Completing the most awesomest of weekend fixtures not involving Arsenal yesterday, Manchester United’s defeat to Swansea means that aside from an all-conquering Moneychester City (I’ll come to them in a bit), we pretty much clawed back ground on any of the ‘big’ clubs that we dropped points to by losing to West Ham on the opening day.
In fact, with some of the results we’ve seen, it looks as though this league will be the toughest one to win this season, and we can all ignore the hyperbole around City too. Yes they’ve looked impressive, yes they look like the team to beat, but the way the media are fawning you’d think they’d have just completed victory number 30 out of 30 having scored 900 goals and conceded none at all. City will concede. They will drop points and they will have off days. It happens. What is important is that we don’t lose ground like we did last season. Back then we won just two out of our first eight, when Chelski were looking invincible, which effectively cost us a proper go at the title.
We’re not playing well at the moment, but as long as we hang in there, try to keep pace with City in these early stages by winning games when they are, then we’ll give ourselves a chance. We’ve seen it every season for a number of seasons; this Arsenal team has played poor before in patches and then gone through a spate of victories and performances needed. That’s where we’re at now.
Aaron Ramsey understands this and talked about the table being significant only after 10 games. He’s right. If we win our next three games (one of which is away to Chelski) and City even draw and lose one during that period, we’ll be right on their coat tails, but what is important is that we’re not looking up too much once we hit October time.
Will we have extra players by then? We’ll know one way or another by tomorrow at 6pm I guess, when the transfer window closes, thankfully. Whether that’s enough I don’t know, but at least we have the numbers in the squad. We’re not worrying as much that if a player goes down injured, we physically have no other players available, are we? I mean sure, we all want another class destroyed in the middle of the park and sure we all want a world class centre forward, but let’s be realistic and just accept the reality that this group of players is the set that has to do something special this season.
Arsène says that he and his team are active the whole time, but if we do sign somebody, I think it’s not going to be the big name signings we expect, in fact I’d be shocked if it is. Yes we signed Mesut Özil, but that had started to rumble a day or so before the window closed as I recall. Plus there was another domino effect which was the Bale deal. There’s nothing this time. The Welbeck deal happened on the day of deadlines, but he isn’t exactly an ‘Elite’ player, so I suspect we’d be far more likely to pull off one of those on deadline day, than a ‘Galactico’. And do we really need that sort of signing? Not up front for me. We have Welbeck, so what point would a Charlie Austin or Javier Hernandez be? In the destroyed possession maybe, but someone like Victor Wanyama isn’t better than Coquelin and are we really going to pay £25million for a squad player? Doubtful.
A quick one before I go though, on Financial Fair Play, which should probably be Farcial Financial Parameters, because there is absolutely no point in its existence now that City have spunked another £58million on a player. They are clearly aware of something that will not be enforced and as a result are content to take liberties with it. When you’ve got as much money as City have, as many resources, then you have people in high places that get assurances. That’s clearly what’s happened and now it will most likely have a domino effect that will see Chelski and PSG follow suit. For us we have more finances to compete at the level below, but the spinelessness of UEFA will affect other teams’ ability to get in to the higher echelons of football and will create a further gulf that will just keep getting bigger.
Anyway, I’m off for now, got to head back down south from the North East.