There appears to be quite a lot of doom in Goonerdom. High levels of injuries and dropping five out of six points against West Brom and Norwich have made the fan-base gloomy. Everybody seems to be looking for that little spark of light at the end of the tunnel, by dreaming of the sort of players Wenger is going to buy us in January, less than a four weeks away now.
I have to say that I am feeling a lot more positive about Arsenal and cannot be bothered to spend any time on who we will, or will not, buy in the next transfer window. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
My reason for positivity is based on: a week’s rest for the players AND the management, Arsene Wenger, and our track record in dealing well with adversity. In a week in which we had to play two PL away games against WB and Norwich and a vital CL game at home, the last game of the three was always going to be the hardest one. Norwich had had a week’s rest, played at home, had nothing to lose and had a clear plan to frustrate us. Our boys – the ones who were fit enough to make it onto the pitch – were knackered and the in-game injuries to two of our very core, quality players – Le Koz and El Alexis – proofed the straw that broke the camel’s neck.
When something like this happens, it is going to be very hard for Wenger to turn things round, and, as I said in the match review, we did well in the end to hang on to the one point.
But now, Wenger has had a whole week with the team to refocus them and prepare them for the triple mission that lies ahead: win at home against Sunderland, win and qualify for the CL in Athens, and get something from Aston Villa away after that. I am so glad that it was Sheffield Wednesday and not us who had to travel to the land of the Orcs midweek. This mini-break came at the right time, for the players and the management, that is for sure.
Many focus too much on the quality of players available right now and forget that we still have a more than decent squad available to get results in these three vital games. Wenger has had time to work with his players and that will make a big difference.
I expect us to fight with focus and quality and get results in the next few games. We still have a strong defence, can shuffle things round in midfield to make it effective again, and have plenty of attacking options left to get the ball between the poles.
Keep the faith fellow Gooners and enjoy the ride: The Arsenal will come good.