On Sunday Arsenal played much as they did in the previous two games. They played well, kept tight in defense, passed around plenty and shot when the opportunities arose.
There was some improvement in their coherence, certainly, and they were playing more like a team that knew each other. That is of course going to come with time.
I’m not convinced, as some are asserting, that there was a great improvement between the last couple of games and this one. This team were always going to get better as they got to know each other more, but not ‘massive’.
As for the press – well they’ve suddenly thrown Liverpool into crisis apparently (much as the naysayers were saying about Arsenal only one game ago). The media would like it to be believed that Arsenal only won because Liverpool were poor, and disintegrating.
Given that they held City to a 2-2 (and arguably were the better side), I’m not sure they’re quite as bad as people are saying. West Brom had a blinder first thing, and Arsenal were just better on the day. Saying Arsenal only won because Liverpool were bad is missing the mark by quite a large margin.
The new players are making a pretty large mark already too, with a goal each for two of them. Giroud needs to get off the mark, but as I’ve said before, if he keeps getting in those positions, soon, he’ll take his chances. There are some already comparing him with Chamakh, and that’s not too unfair in terms of this stage of Chamakh’s Arsenal career. Of course Chamakh’s career seemed to take a downturn after the first dozen or so games, and while there are plenty of rumours, there’s nothing concrete to say why. I don’t believe Giroud is the same kind of player though. He gets in the middle more and makes more of his (better) positioning.
So, this is a steadying time. We have Southampton this weekend coming, and (all together now) “there are no easy games in the Premiership“. Southampton ran Man Utd very close this weekend (sadly not close enough of course), and they’re not going to roll over for us. On the other hand, we have them at home, and if the Emirates crowd can get a little bit more support going, I do believe Arsenal have the motivation to succeed.
One would expect (which is a very dangerous word) Arsenal to beat Southampton. Certainly (expectations aside), if they can, then they’re set to face the champions.
I can’t see past Man City for the title this year (that’s my prediction), and that’s going to be a tough tie. One match at a time (I have to keep telling myself), and the next one is always ‘the big one’.
So… we’re doing okay so far, let’s not get too excited, but let’s enjoy a good win while we can.