It’s almost December and Arsenal are still first!
To begin the blog off, I would like to pay tribute to Gunners Legend Pat Rice, who is currently receiving treatment for cancer. Pat Rice is a true Arsenal legend, both on and off the pitch. It’s been unusual not seeing him next to Wenger for the past season and a half, as you always used to see him screaming at players to do more. I would like to wish him a speedy recovery.
When you look at the reasons why Arsenal are first, it comes down simply to one thing, consistency. Usually, Arsenal and consistency are not two words that coincide together, but this season it could not be much more different. When you look at the start of the season, there were many ways in which you can fault the Arsenal squad. You could say that they were not old enough, strong enough, or even just good enough. Then came the signing of Mesut Ozil. Ozil’s greatest contribution to the club has not come on the pitch but rather the immediate impact it had on everybody. Days before he joined, people were protesting against the club refusing to buy shirts, pies, or even go to the games. Now, Ozil is currently the third most sold shirt in the world. That is quite a turnaround.
It’s not just the signing of Ozil that has made the difference though. Wenger has to take credit for the position of the club because he made the entire squad from scratch almost. It seems like every player that he has signed in the past few seasons are turning out to be very good players, and since we are not a selling club anymore, we are able to gel together. Just look at some of our best players this season: Szczesny (came from the youth ranks, with many people saying that we needed to sign a new goalkeeper in the Summer), Koscielny (Joined having one year of football in a top division), Ramsey (One of our most inconsistent and frustrating players over the past couple of seasons) and Mertesacker (Had a difficult first season but has been superb in the past two). The list can keep going and going. All of these players are thanks to Wenger.
Moving away from Arsenal’s season, I would like to give a special shout out to Tottenham, London’s finest. I don’t think any gooner in the world would care if Tottenham lost 6-0 to any team every week of the season, and seeing them lose in that fashion to City last weekend was one of the greatest joys of the season. Tottenham have scored 9 goals this season, and it seems like all nine have been from the penalty spot. Look at how times have changed. At the beginning of the season, most of us were upset that Tottenham spent £100m while we were yet to spend a penny. Now look at where we are at. Don’t worry Spurs fans, you can get back on track by beating Tromso (whatever Tromso is) today in the Europa League.
Everyone one have a good day.