Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in the Premier League’s opening weekend:
Liverpool and Tottenham both lost, while both were expected to do something special this season. West Brom, Fulham and Swansea all won very well and none of them were expected to do anything significant this season. It only goes to show that….. who am I kidding? It shows nothing. NOTHING.
It’s one game, and it’s the first game of the season. Teams form and re-form, relationships between players grow, partnerships form, fitness improves, and tactics are adapted as managers see what works and what doesn’t with their current crop of players.
So City beat Southampton…. just, after the Saints fought back with courage and conviction. Chelsea beat Wigan, but it could have been 5-4 to Wigan if they’d been less profligate in front of goal. I mean yes, those results are what you would have expected, but neither of the ‘weaker’ teams played the helpless victim.
This season could be very interesting, especially since the smaller teams seem to have realised that the big boys are beatable. No Fear will be the watchwords of this season.
And of course with Arsenal in crisis, they’re likely to be relegated this season.
Yeah, well that’s what some ‘fans’ would have you believe. So Song has gone to warm the bench at Barcelona, and Van Persie has gone to entertain the medical staff at Man Utd. We can care, we’re allowed to mourn the loss of two good players. But Arsenal are not suddenly in a catastrophe.
Stymied by Martin O’Neil’s awful (but effective) tactics on Saturday, Arsenal didn’t give up, they didn’t stop coming forward, and they began to form partnerships, to get to know each other. Watching the match over again I become more convinced that this team will be great together. Of course at the moment communication isn’t at it’s best, as relationships are in their very early days. It could take a month or more for Arsenal to start demonstrating their real class. That’s fine, I can be patient. It’s worth remembering that the Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s a long long way to go.
City didn’t look that convincing (and possibly lost one of their best players in the process), and Chelsea quite frankly looked very beatable. Who are our other main contenders? Well Tottenham and Newcastle both looked average, and Liverpool, whilst it will take time for them to get going, are possibly more disrupted than Arsenal what with a new manager as well.
So tomorrow we’ll see Everton take on Man Utd, and with few changes to either side over the summer, it will be interesting to see who is the least disrupted. I may even go for an Everton win in this one, especially at home.
Remember how we started last season, and remember where we ended up! I read a comment by someone on a forum yesterday – “out of 92 teams in the English Football League, you finished 3rd – what have you got to complain about?”
Expectation, as I’ve written about many times before, is a nasty thing when treated as a ‘right’, and some Arsenal fans need to get their heads out of their arses long enough to realise we are still a successful club.
For the rest of us who are grateful for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – we can take great pleasure in simply being a supporter of the greatest team in the world (IMHO).