Just enjoy it…

Rambo with a strike that will live long in the memory...

Rambo with a strike that will live long in the memory…

For me, supporting Arsenal is like riding a rollercoaster but the difference is that I refuse to get off regardless of how scary it gets. The thrill of winning is so exhilarating that I forget a dismal loss straightaway, even if it is a few days earlier. For example, I was fearful after the Stoke defeat that our season was about to implode but the 4-1 mauling of Galatasaray in the Champions League put the disappointing result at the Britannia to the back of my mind and I could move on. The wonder strike from Aaron Ramsey was on loop in my mind and the horrific thought of being 3-0 down at half time was becoming a distant memory.

I am pleased to report that the team put in another classy performance against Newcastle on Saturday evening and secured the second 4-1 victory in 4 days. Yet Arsenal fans were coming away from the stadium still pessimistic about the future. I kept hearing mumbles of “this won’t last” and they’re probably right but that’s football and there’s absolutely nothing supporters can do apart from cheer on the team. There’s no point worrying about how your defence is going to cope at Anfield the following weekend after witnessing them cruise to a comfortable win. Just enjoy the acute finish from Santi Cazorla and get excited that he is potentially hitting top form again.

Another reason why I’m full of beans is the Champions League draw for the Round of 16. Luck has not been on our side in recent years; drawing Barcelona back-to-back followed by successive ties against Bayern Munich. I was convinced that this year would be no different as we’d finished second in the group again so the likelihood was that we’d face one of Europe’s big 4. I therefore couldn’t believe when we were paired with AS Monaco. Yes, they qualified as group winners so must be decent but it was the tie Arsenal supporters craved as it gives us the best possible chance to progress.

My positive bubble may well burst on Sunday but I just think what’s the harm of being so optimistic. Most of us are strapped in for the long haul so we may as well enjoy the ride.

By Glen Shorey

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Crashing down to earth…

The team needs our support...

The team needs our support…

I really like Arsenal but do you really like Arsenal? Or just with trophies? Dennis Bergkamp

As you can imagine, the mood around the Emirates Stadium before the important Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund was one of trepidation and fear. What with the home defeat to Manchester United a few days earlier and the Anderlecht debacle (we let a three goal slip if you didn’t know) in our last European game, people had a right to be less confident. I must admit that I was sure that we would not win and our defence was so leaky that the only way we would get a decent result out of the game would be with a high scoring draw.

However, I have a little something that more than half of our fan base lack. It’s called perspective. I knew that we only needed a point to secure qualification but regardless of whether we got that against Dortmund, Arsenal were only in danger of being eliminated if we lost both our remaining games and Anderlecht won their two matches (unlikely that the Belgian side will win out in Dortmund). I also realised our league position could be a whole lot worse, even after two consecutive defeats. I mean we could be fighting relegation or stuck in the bottom half of the table like Everton.

The Dortmund match was a pleasant surprise as contrary to my pre-match predictions; we cruised to a 2-0 victory with composed finishes from Yaya Sanogo (who broke his duck) and of course Alexis Sanchez. On top of that was a clean sheet, which is always welcome, especially after shipping seven goals in the previous three games. This new found defensive solidarity was not a one off and two 1-0 wins in the Premier League against West Brom and Southampton soon followed. We were now on a run and everything was looking rosy. That was until Stoke sent us home with our tails between our legs on Saturday.

19 seconds. That’s how long it took for Peter Crouch to open the scoring at the Britannia Stadium. A bad start no doubt but with 89 minutes remaining, retrievable to say the least. The players obviously didn’t agree and seemed to give up. They were very fortunate to only be going in 3-0 down at the break. I don’t know what was said in the dressing room but the team were a lot better after the interval. If Alexis had not hit the post (you would normally put your house on him scoring once he has rounded the keeper) and Callum Chambers had not seen red, I’m convinced the match would not have ended 3-2.

Sadly, all them things did happen and we ended up losing. I am still gutted and annoyed at the team for giving Stoke a 3-0 head start before turning up but I still love Arsenal. I am supporter (clues in the name) through thick and thin. It can be frustrating at times but I think Dennis got it right with the above quote. I’m sick and tired of the fair weather fans who only sing when we’re winning and boo or make banners or leave early when things aren’t going well. Please don’t come to matches because you’re not supporters, just glory hunters.

By Glen Shorey

This is football…

It wasn't our day...

It wasn’t our day…

Believe it or not, I’m not upset following our 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United because Arsenal were the better side. Immensely frustrated yes but I haven’t gone into the depressed state I normally find myself in. It was just simply one of those matches that illustrate in football, anything can happen. One team can completely dominate proceedings but still manage to lose (just like when we stole the three points out in Belgium last month). It doesn’t make sense one bit but that’s why the beautiful game is special. Burnley won at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday eventhough Stoke have already beaten Manchester City and Spurs away this season. Please explain that to me.

The football fan however can never just accept that some inexplicable results will occur from time to time so always need a scapegoat to blame. That’s fine. Who am I to question human psychology? All I’m saying is (I know I’m repeating myself and it’s getting quite boring but so is the constant ‘Wenger Out’ rhetoric) one man cannot be blamed every week. While I wholeheartedly disagree with the crux of the argument, I can see why some people might have been disillusioned in the immediate aftermath of the Swansea debacle due to the woeful performance.

It was a different story on Saturday though. Anyone who is pinning the blame for that strange defeat on Wenger only has a one-track mind and will not be satisfied until the Frenchman leaves. Even then, I don’t think the happiness will last because when everything goes belly up, all the blame will yet again be placed upon the manager. Not many are pointing the fingers at the board. It is claimed that we will never win a league title under Wenger again. I’d change that a bit. Arsenal Football Club will never win a league title with Ivan Gazidis as CEO and Stan Kroenke as owner. FACT.

If you do have to blame someone for the defeat to probably the poorest Manchester United side I’ve ever seen live, why don’t you criticise everyone’s favourite homegrown talent (except mine) Jack Wilshere. The 22 year-old had an easy one on one in the 14th minute and somehow missed it. He either should’ve slotted it home or put it on a plate for Alexis. Talk about pivotal. We were all over them and probably would’ve gone on to win by three or four. Instead, it was a comfortable save for David De Gea and the floodgates did not open. Wait. I forgot. We can never criticise the Englishman but if Olivier Giroud misses a sitter, we can lambast him for weeks. Makes sense.

By Glen Shorey

Get a grip…

Clearly it's all Wenger's fault (Sarcasm)...

Clearly it’s all Wenger’s fault (Sarcasm)…

It’s safe to say that Arsenal have not had a great start to the season; we’ve only managed to win six games, lost four and drawn the other seven in all competitions. However, I believe the reactions that have followed the recent disappointing results are over the top and quite moronic. I would like to remind people that the life of an Arsenal supporter is not as terrible or frustrating as one would make out. We’re only three points off the Champions in the Premier League and are in a similar position to Chelsea in the Champions League (only need a point to qualify for the next round). Everyone just needs to take a breath and calm down!

Winning a football match or a piece of silverware is a brilliant feeling but there is one thing I love even more (family aside) and that is Arsenal Football Club. I wish the same could be said for a growing number the fans I see week in, week out home and away. Instead, they seem to be glory hunters who throw their toys out of the pram when we lose. Don’t get me wrong, it’s like I am mourning a death after a bad result but I have the cognitive ability to understand that this is football and no team in the whole world can be victorious in every single match.

Let’s get on to the boring and predictable criticism/abuse that Arsene Wenger is consistently receiving. Now, people will argue that their disillusionment with the Frenchman is nothing new and losing at Swansea just cements their belief that he is not the right man for the job but it is beginning to agitate me. I have said before that I am not a blind loyalist and I’m not. His weaknesses such as being stubborn have always wrangled with me throughout his 18-year tenure but it seems too easy to blame a string of poor performances on one man and not take into account all the other factors surrounding the club.

Football is a team game so the players need to start taking responsibility. Perhaps, after all these years of being a manager, Arsene Wenger should change his coaching style and become a Martin O’ Neil character (bellowing instructions from the touchline). I mean that is clearly the only way you can hold onto a lead in the modern game. I forgot footballers need to be spoon-fed everything and cannot think for themselves. Obviously, I’m being sarcastic and saying that the experienced internationals such as Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker should know how to see a game out. The boss cannot legislate for idiocy.

Another part of the Football Club that needs to come out of the woodwork and stop letting Arsene Wenger be the fall guy is the board and in particular Stan Kroenke. According to a growing number of fans and know-it-all media pundits, the injuries excuse doesn’t cut it (eventhough Chelsea would definitely not be in such a good position if Ivanovic and Cahill were injured but I won’t dwell) because Wenger failed to buy defensive reinforcements. Really? You expect me to believe that the well educated Frenchman refused to get another defender in?

If you’re answer is yes, please answer these next few questions seriously: Does Arsene Wenger have a learning disability that impairs on his ability to make decisions? Did Stan Kroenke offer Wenger additional funds after the initial summer signings to buy a striker AND a defender? Does Wenger believe Nacho Monreal is a better centre back than Mats Hummels? The answer to all three is of course no. He’s not a clinical moron; he knows the defence is not good enough. Has anyone else thought that after the draw at Leicester when fans were crying out for a striker, Kroenke gave him the £16 Million and as Welbeck took up all the money, Arsenal finished the summer without sufficient defensive cover.

I’m guessing most people won’t be swung by my argument but that’s fine, everyone is entitled to an opinion. You just keep taking the easy option and heaping all the blame on the man behind our greatest achievement in Arsenal’s history. You can boo, hiss, make banners, throw your season ticket and go on protests. It’s a free country. Just remember the man’s a good for nothing imbecile next time you’re singing “49 undefeated” or boozing it up on a European away day. I will end this post with two words: Manchester United.

By Glen Shorey

Making the fans sweat…

The players need to stop mucking around...

The players need to stop mucking around…

I learnt from an early age that Arsenal Football Club never do things the easy way. The team, whoever is playing, seem to enjoy scaring the supporters half to death before finding a way to escape dismal failure. The Invincibles did this in April 2004 when they came from 2-1 down at half time to beat Liverpool 4-2, thanks mainly to a splendid Thierry Henry hat trick. Another recent example of the Gunners doing it the hard way is the victorious 2014 FA Cup final where we were 2-0 down within 10 minutes and it took extra time for Aaron Ramsey to score the winner. Like all of my fellow Gooners, I could not relax until full-time.

The trend has continued this season. The Premier League match against Burnley last Saturday should have been a comfortable victory on paper. In the end it was, but the 3-0 score-line maybe did not tell the full story. Alexis Sanchez did not break the deadlock until the 70th minute, and it seemed as if it would be another frustrating draw. The team did step it up in the final 20 minutes and probably could have won by more. Theo Walcott made his come back from injury (that has kept him side-lined for over 9 months) in the closing 10 minutes and looked sharp. I left the Emirates feeling positive for the future as I thought we had maybe turned a corner.

I still felt this way at half time against Anderlecht last night as we were 2-0 up and were well on our way to qualifying for the last 16. I grew even more confident when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 3-0 soon after the break. However, I could not have envisaged that the team would completely capitulate and throw away such a commanding lead. It was disgraceful and embarrassing but the fact is we are still five points ahead of the Belgians with only two games remaining, so in all probability, we’ll qualify. This is again a case of Arsenal making life difficult for themselves. If we had held on and won last night, the final two games would not have really mattered (we were never going to overturn Borussia Dortmund’s superior goal difference anyway).

Most of the blame for yesterday’s 3-3 draw has been attributed to Arsene Wenger and his tactical naivety but I feel this is unfair. One man alone cannot make a team win, draw or lose. I’m not a blind loyalist and will admit Wenger made a few mistakes including his decision to not bring on Walcott but to say Wenger is entirely at fault shows a lack of understanding. I agree with one particular part of Paul Merson’s post-match comments where he said that the players need to take the blame, because the team is made up of “international footballers” and “not little kids”. The manager can only take them to a certain point; the rest is down to the individual players and attitudes.

I just long for a comfortable result where we dominate a match fothe whole 90 minutes and the win is never in doubt. I have had enough of being put through the ringer.

By Glen Shorey

The thieves take advantage…

An unexpected goal-scoring hero…

Arsenal are beginning to make late comebacks their own, in the same way that Manchester United became renowned for stealing results in injury time when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge. On one hand, it shows great resolve and character because the team do not know when they’re beaten. However, the fact that it’s nearly November and our performances continue to be so bad that we have to keep relying on late goals to salvage the points is quite alarming. This past week has not been bad in hindsight, as we have come away from three matches without losing, but the manner in which we have played tells a completely different story

The opening 17 minutes of the match against Hull City was very promising. Arsenal had come out of the blocks quickly and were obviously desperate to make a mends for the defeat at Stamford Bridge before the international break. Alexis Sanchez soon put the home side 1-0 up and it surely was only a matter of time until the lead was increased. That wasn’t the case though as Diame equalized (with a rather questionable goal) and the Gunners capitulated from there on in. Soon after the break, the Tigers went 2-1 up and it took the rest of the half for Danny Welbeck to steal the point.

If the Hull game was a light robbery, then what happened last Wednesday evening was a complete smash and grab. It was by far the worst Arsenal performance of the season to date yet we still managed to win. How did that happen? Perhaps it was because I had made the trip to Brussels (lucky European charm)? Or maybe it was a perfectly timed Kieran Gibbs volley and Lukas Podolski’s lethal left foot in a crazy end to the match? Joking aside, we were plain awful and probably should have lost 3-0.

Sunderland on Saturday was another underwhelming and disappointing display but again, somehow we managed to leave the Stadium of Light with all three points. The Black Cats looked like a team who had been beaten 8-0 the previous week and were totally bereft of confidence, especially in defence. If the Arsenal team had put their mind to it, they probably could have ran away with it. Instead of an easy game, we never left first gear and treated it like a training session. Our two goals only came from mistakes so it was more of a mugging this time as opposed to robbery.

It is quite clear that our performances have been below par and I cannot argue that we would have been very lucky to leave Brussels with a point, let alone grabbing a late winner. However, there is at least one obvious positive to be taken from the past two results which perhaps could act as the turning point of our season. For the first time in this campaign, Arsenal have secured back-to-back victories. Hopefully the two away wins can be the start of a streak because our main problem in recent months has been an overall lack of consistency.

Up until now, we have failed to build on positive results. The late win against Crystal Palace on the opening day was followed by an excruciatingly dull 0-0 draw out in Turkey. A week later, Arsenal secured Champions League football for an incredible 17th year in a row but were soon brought down to earth with a bump when new boys Leicester City held them to a draw. The next victory was a comfortable 3-0 up at Villa Park but the euphoria didn’t last long as Southampton soon dumped us out of the Capital One Cup.

Our most impressive win to date was when we demolished Galatasaray 4-1 in a game where Arsenal could’ve and should’ve hit double figures. Again, a disappointing and some might say inevitable 2-0 loss at Chelsea a few days later showed that the triumph in the CL was a one-off. The win out in Anderlecht last week followed by the 2-0 up at Sunderland might be the start of a decent period where we can kick on and continue to grow in confidence. Then again, Burnley could make this whole post irrelevant so I won’t hold my breath. Football is just so unpredictable.

By Glen Shorey

Too many cooks…

The front three that work...

The front three that work…

The past week or so has really been a rollercoaster of emotions for Arsenal fans. It began with the North London Derby, which was immensely frustrating as we dominated proceedings but only managed a draw against an inferior Tottenham team. I remained positive because we played well and on any other day, probably would have taken all three points. My blind (some might call it) optimism was proved right on the Wednesday night when we tore Galatasaray to shreds. That jubilation did not last long as we fell to an inevitable 2-0 loss away at Chelsea.

Derby days against our nearest and dearest from White Hart Lane always fill me with dread because, eventhough Arsenal have always had an impressive record against Spurs during my lifetime, form always goes out the window and you never know what will happen. However, this year felt different. I was extremely confident after the Aston Villa demolition and an XI with Ryan Mason in it does not scare me one bit. I came away from the Emirates feeling confused though. Our performance was decent (69% possession and 16 shots compared to Tottenham’s six) but ultimately we had difficulties finishing off those chances.

As I said, I still remained upbeat what with us still being unbeaten in the Premier League and after the debacle that was Dortmund away I was desperate to start the Champions League properly. I wanted the Arsenal team to send out a clear message to the rest of Europe that they were completely serious about the competition and Gameweek One was a mere hiccup. Danny Welbeck and co certainly proved they have got what it takes to challenge at the top table. While Galatasaray are not the greatest opposition, the 4-1 win showed that we can be an imperious force when we put our minds to it.

Just like after the pleasing result up at Villa Park, we couldn’t follow up a great win with another. Chelsea away is easily the most difficult league game this season but for some reason, I thought we could get something out of the game. I was disappointed we lost obviously but it was a tight game and our display on Sunday was definitely an improvement on the last few years. We could have easily left Stamford Bridge with at least a draw and were not bullied/dominated (as has been the case in previous encounters) so I was satisfied with most of the performance apart from our final product.

Don’t get me wrong; the Galatasaray match was not perfect. For one, it’s no exaggeration to say we should’ve entered double figures (again illustrating our main problem is that we’re not clinical enough as a team) and although Welbeck took his hat trick well, other players need to step up on the finishing front. Secondly, Wojciech Szczesny gave away a penalty and got sent so that’s just another irritating ban for the next game. To be fair to the Polish international, he had no real choice as the attacker was about to score and it was bad news either way. He was simply trying to protect the clean sheet.

Anyway, the reason why we’re so inconsistent is clear to me at the moment. I completely respect Arsene Wenger and would never call for his head (I wear ‘In Arsene We Trust’/’Pro Wenger’ t shirts because I’m fed up of the vile abuse he gets) but that doesn’t mean I cannot criticise him. The issue I have is that we keep changing our system. As usual, injuries are a massive problem so it has been impossible to name the same line-up but that doesn’t mean we can’t play two wingers every match.

It’s no coincidence that our midweek triumph saw Sanchez AND Oxlade-Chamberlain start whereas only one of them started in each of the other two games where we failed to win. Trying to fit in more than two attacking midfielders (i.e. Cazorla, Özil, Ramsey and Wilshere) limits us width wise and makes us predictable. That’s why we didn’t get Fabregas. He’s another central playmaker Wenger would have to shoe horn in so I understand why we rebuffed him. I feel any future success will come about if we play two wingers, with Walcott replacing the Ox when he’s back up to full speed.

By Glen Shorey

The right response…

We score when we want...

We score when we want…

The defeat out in Dortmund did not surprise me one bit as they are a very good side and Klopp’s men could beat any team in Europe. However, it was the lacklustre performance that hurt and disappointed me the most. It wasn’t just one player who had a bad match; the whole team looked out of sorts (maybe I’m being harsh on Szczesny who done well to keep the score from becoming embarrassing). Anyway the reaction against high-flying Aston Villa would be important. The key players such as Mesut Özil and Danny Welbeck certainly stepped up to the plate as Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Apart from winning there were a couple of other noticeable points to come from the game. Firstly, the fact that we scored all three of our goals in 3 minutes of football shows that Arsenal can be clinical when they put their mind to it. Although Paul Lambert’s side have got off to a good start in the league, they cannot be classed as a top club (they’re not in Europe, let alone in the Champions League), so did not really pose a challenge. The real test comes against teams such as Tottenham tomorrow, or Chelsea next week, where we have to continue to be ruthless in front of goal in order to take all the points.

Secondly, Mesut Özil began to show his class again and proved that his early season form has been perhaps temporary. Pundits said that Arsene Wenger was to blame for the German’s slump in form but fail to grasp that a manager can only work with him to a certain point. It’s up to the player to perform. Also, many critics have said that Özil played better against Villa because he was in the no. 10 position, but that is a fallacy. Wenger gives the whole of the Arsenal midfield license to roam and swap positions with each other so it’s down to Mesut where he plays.

Most of you reading are probably wondering why I have conveniently left out Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third round defeat at home to Southampton. This is simply because I do not think the result will have much relevance on our future performances in the Premier League and Champions League (where it matters). Obviously it’s always nice to win and I would have liked to progress just to give our squad players some game time, but none of them took their opportunity so they only have themselves to blame. Having said that, the team from the South-coast played extremely well.

I’m getting behind Team Afobe (MK Dons) for the Capital One Cup.

By Glen Shorey

 

Slow and steady…

More of this please...

More of this please…

I had a good feeling ahead of the match at the Emirates on Saturday. Last season, we fell apart in these early kick-offs against the big teams but it felt different this term. After a few sluggish displays, I could not wait to see how the team would cope with it’s strongest challenge yet; the reigning Champions. We had beat Manchester City back in August to lift the Community Shield but Pellegrini and co. claimed that it was not a serious competition (I wonder if his post match comments would have been the same had the result been different?) so it wouldn’t be a comfortable 3-0 victory this time.

Both teams were certainly fired up from the start this time and were fighting for every ball. The only problem for Arsenal was that they were trailing 1-0 at half-time eventhough Arsene Wenger’s men had dominated for large periods and were creating chance after chance .I am confident that if Danny Welbeck dink over Joe Hart early in the match had gone in instead of hitting the post, the Gunners would have gone on to have comfortably win the match as man city were playing a highline and could not cope with our pace. However, it didn’t and that is football. A matter of millimetres.

The players knew that they had played well in the opening 45 minutes but the score line meant that they still needed to up their game. Jack Wilshere (who for the first time in a while had a superb game in the middle of the park) scored the equaliser with a great bit of combination play with Aaron Ramsey that resulted in a neat goal from the Englishman. Shortly after, Alexis put Arsenal into the lead with an outstanding volley and cemented the fact that the team has definitely got some fight in them, compared to last year. Our need to be ruthless in front of goal and kill off matches was reiterated when Demichelis snatched a draw with eight minutes to spare.

I’m not going to dwell on the Dortmund match on Tuesday because it was quite frankly awful. None of the team played well and they all had an off day so we have to hope that this is a one off. We lost 2-0 but it easily could have been worse so the result wasn’t that bad in the end. Home form in the group stages of the Champions League has always been crucial and this season is not different. As long as we can pick up nine out of nine point at the Emirates, we should be okay. Once again, our defence looked shaky but injuries were perhaps an excuse (we had to play an 18 year old at right back). There is little that Wenger can do now the transfer window is closed but I wouldn’t mind signing a free agent just as cover.

The draw with the Champions was decent and gave me much to be positive about. Obviously, Tuesday night brought me back down to earth but I’ve got to be realistic and say that we can’t win every match. We have had a slow start but now have a run of games, which could define how we will do this season. There is a game every three days or so from now until mid October so it will be a testing period mentally as much as physically but one I’m sure we can get through it if we see more Jekyll and less Hyde.

By Glen Shorey

Time will tell…

He has got a point to prove...

He has got a point to prove…

Since I last posted on here, Arsenal have qualified for the group stage of the Champions League for the 17th year in a row, scraped a 1-1 draw against newly promoted Leicester City and signed another striker in the form of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United. Yet quite a few Arsenal fans are behaving as if we are out of Europe, got thrashed by the Foxes on Sunday and sold a key player (Aaron Ramsey is the best example at the moment). I just want all my fellow fans to stop panicking and remind them that there is much to be optimistic about.

Our record for consecutive Champions League qualifications is only second to Real Madrid but the achievement is nothing to be baulked at. While we haven’t ever won the competition, hearing that famous theme music on a Tuesday or Wednesday night is something that I will never get tired of. People speak of Arsenal’s dark days of not winning a trophy for nine years but I would’ve hated to be a Liverpool fan when they were no longer at European’s top table. The same applies to Manchester United this season. It is an amazing feeling just to be in the Champions League even if you don’t reign supreme and I can proudly say we are in it yet again.

After scraping a 2-1 win on the opening day, fighting back to a 2-2 draw against Everton and only managing a 1-1 draw against Leicester on Sunday, a lot of Arsenal fans have lost a grip on reality and have started to panic. Only picking up a point at the weekend was immensely disappointing but we’re only three games in. Only three other teams (Aston Villa, Swansea and Chelsea) are unbeaten so far, which just goes to show how completive this league will be (the so-called smaller teams can pull off some big shocks). The start could have been better but it also could have been a lot worse.

Manchester City proved last year that having a target to chase rather than looking back at the teams below is a more preferable position to have in the title race. I’d be more than satisfied if Arsenal went the whole season in touching distance of the top but only pounced in the last few weeks. Another positive from our results is that we haven’t crumbled. Last season, we would have not gone on to win that Crystal Palace match after going a goal down. It was 2-0 Everton at half-time last season and we went on to lose 3-0 (should’ve been more) so our resilience is definitely better. Sunday would have ended differently last year as well. Being pegged back to 1-1 probably immediately after scoring would have knocked the stuffing of the team and they would have lost but there is a special fighting spirit around the squad at the moment.

As for the Transfer Window, which closed shut until January on Monday, Arsenal had a very good one in my opinion. Obviously, the £35 Million signing of Alexis Sanchez was the highlight and he has looked impressive so far (let’s just hope he doesn’t dip in form after a few months like Mesut Özil). Then there are the signings of Mathieu Debuchy, Callum Chambers and David Ospina who have all come in to replace three summer departures. All are improvements on Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Lukasz Fabianski who departed in the summer. Yet, numerous fans still demanded more.

I have to be honest and say that I thought we should’ve signed a CDM but Wenger obviously believes Jack Wilshere can make that position his own in the future. Everyone else was desperate for a striker but with Alexis proving himself up top against Besiktas and Joel Campbell’s world cup displays, I was content with the situation and more concerned with conceding goals as scoring goals has not been the issue. However, Arsene Wenger’s philosophy has always been ‘attack is the best form of defence’ so our sole deadline day swoop was for 23 year old striker Danny Welbeck.

Whether this calculated risk will pay off remains to be seen but things definitely feel different to last term. Only time will tell whether we’ve improved and are Champions come May.

By Glen Shorey