With the extremely boring International week I decided that I would give my thoughts on the opening month of Arsenal’s campaign. The fact of the matter is that we have played 6 games (albeit one in September) and won 5, and should have won the other which was a draw.
Funnily enough though even with that start, everyone still thinks Arsenal have no chance in winning the Premier League.
We have played Fulham, Sparta Prague twice in Europe, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Portsmouth.
That’s 6 games, 12 goals, 5 wins and a draw.
People thought we would struggle for goals with the departure of Thierry, but the goals have been scored by 6 different players; with Fabregas (4), Hleb, Rosicky & Van Persie (2), Eduardo and Adebayor.
It seems the young guns have stepped up this season and have driven on from their focused and winning pre-season tournament wins at the Emirates and in Amsterdam.
There’s a winning mentality.
Another encouraging aspect is that in those games Arsenal have only conceded three times, which in all reality were due to fluke incidents. The first was a foolish attempt at a clearance from Lehmann against Fulham, the second was THAT mistake at Blackburn Rovers and the third was a complete freak of a goal conceded against Portsmouth from the idiosyncratic Kanu.
And to so easily push aside a Portsmouth team who gave Chelsea allsorts of problems on the opening day is positive to see.
You might say this is all well and good against these teams but what about the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea?
Well if last seasons performances at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane without Thierry Henry are anything to go by then I would say things look promising.
And our rivals?
Well people would say Manchester United have been struggling after drawing their first two games and losing against Manchester City but the fact is that they’re still only 2 points behind us (although we have a game in hand). They’ve struggled to score goals without a recognised striker but with Louis Saha back don’t be surprised if they win their next few games by comfortable margins. They have a lot of injuries to the likes of Rooney and Neville, and Ronaldo is also set to return after suspension so Manchester United will be very strong.
Chelsea have also played one more game than Arsenal but sit level on points with us on 10.
They seem to be playing this brand of ‘more attractive’ football this season that has been demanded from owner Roman Abramovich and Chelsea look more vulnerable because of it. In the 3 games they have won it has been by the single goal, and they have conceded 5 goals in 5 games which for Chelsea is poor – considering Petr Cech’s record for keeping clean sheets is excellent.
They recently lost to Aston Villa and were lucky not to lose against Liverpool after that decision by Rob Styles. It must be said though that they do look a little lost when either Terry, Lampard or Drogba are out injured. But if anything Chelsea will get stronger as the season progresses and it would be stupid to even think about writing them off.
And Liverpool. They have been impressive.
In their opening 6 games they’ve racked up 16 goals and only conceded twice – and they have yet to concede a goal from open play. The only time Reina has been beaten was from the penalty spot, to Barry on the opening day and Lampard at Anfield.
It’s a long hard season and anything can happen but this is shaping to be one of the most exciting Premiership seasons for a long time.