Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Chickens coming home to roost? Free-range, organic ones then.

The pessimism and negativity had been overwhelming. The doomsayers had ruled the roost to continue the chicken analogy.

And then the season actually started. Horror of horrors, Arsenal can actually play football. Of course, one swallow doesn't make a summer and on isolated occasions we were brilliant last year but results that were achieved at Goodison and Parkhead can only be good for momentum.

I still wonder whether 07-08 would have been a different season if we hadn't flipped the match on the opening day of the season against Fulham.

6-1. Away from home. Against the team who finished one place below us last season. That is sensational.

And then Celtic. 'They're dodgy away from home', we were told, 'so we should just try and hang in there in the cauldron of noise that is Parkhead'.

Sod that said Arsenal. We'll play some football. Last night was scrappier than Saturday but it was always about getting a result. Then we'll have six group stage games to show our true flair.

Whether the 4-3-3 will work defensively is obviously still a question. It was always going to improve us as an attacking threat. But theoretically it should leave gaps on the wings for the opposition to attack.

It was fine against Everton and Celtic because they didn't get into those positions. But against better teams, allowing space to players of the highest calibre will give this team a greater test.

That's not to say they can't come through it - Vermaelen looks like a fabulous signing but he hasn't played against a world-class attack yet. Hell, he hasn't even played against a competent attack.

But that potential negative shouldn't take away from the team the good it has done so far. 30 million pounds not reinvested into the team should have weakened us. The chickens were supposed to be coming home to roost.

Instead, it's been a good start. Well done Arsenal.

Keep the faith,

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