By Walter Broeckx
The league is 4 matches far. And some say it is all over already. That all is a bit quick if you ask me. But that happens when you only look at one result and then predict the future. Or even looking at 3 results and hen telling that this is the way it will be. I think we will have to wait till after some 10 matches are played before you can even say something remotely about who will have a chance of winning the league or not.
As always you have some quick starters and then you have the slow starters. And sometimes last seasons quick starters are this season slow starters. A quick look upon the league now and then.
Last year we had Chelsea with the perfect start after 4 matches and they went all the way. This time City has done the same. So that’s it then City is champions. Except that isn’t always so and the season before Liverpool had a great start and then slipped up in the end. And City then won the league by taking over 2 days from the end. And the last time Manchester United was crowned champions they had already lost 1 match after 4 matches and was in second place. Of course it helps to have a good start but there is still such a long way to go that nothing is set in stone yet.
We also see that each season a few teams have a great start. Last season Aston Villa and Swansea had great starts. The fickle part of our fans was shouting and crying and swearing and wondered how it was possible that those clubs had taken over. Well the lesson we learn from these good starts by smaller teams is that you better wait to judge them after 10 matches. Because last season after their great start Aston Villa finished 3 points above the relegation zone and Swansea ended up in mid table. Which is not bad for Swansea of course but they couldn’t keep up the high tempo from the start.
And mostly it is the smaller teams that have a great start and then slowly fade away. At the moment they have that great start the fickle fans use that club as an example on how it should be done. Their manager gets all the praise and we are told that he is far better than Wenger and we should kick the latter out and replace him by whoever is the flavour of the moment. Later when said team fades away in the league table they usually shut up about him or that manager. But meanwhile they had their say and their few moments of ‘glory’ on telling us deluded souls what idiots we are. But as usual the dogs bark at the passing convoy but the convoy just goes further. Undisturbed.
People who write of Chelsea now, do this on their own risk. Of course it is very funny to see Mourinho losing at home to Crystal Palace. And to have seen them drop points in such a way that they are now 3 points behind us and 8 points behind City. I will not deny it that I love every bit of it. Mourinho of all people. The one who was much, much better than Wenger.
Despite him spending all the money he has already spend in the last 3 seasons it seems that spending money and more money still cannot prevent a team from having a bad patch in a season. But we have to keep in mind that they still have some great players in their team who can turn things around and go on a run.
Meanwhile we get the tried and tested Mourinho scenario, where, in his 3rd season at a club, it all goes wrong. So I hope he keeps it up as he is doing. Fighting with backroom staff, medical team, players and all and sundry in order to keep any blame from him. And what it also shows is that by spending each time it doesn’t guarantee winning all the time.
Football goes in cycles. Sometimes teams cannot score even if their lives depended on it and then suddenly for no obvious reasons a team start scoring and cannot stop scoring. Arsenal are in such a low scoring period. Something that every Gooner should know that will happen during a season. A period where the ball doesn’t come at the right pace at the right time in front of the right player. I think I have seen that frustrating period in every season I have followed the Arsenal.
And for those saying ‘the invincibles’ I can only say that if you look at their results you will find periods where we didn’t produce high quality performances week in week out. The big wins are still in our minds. But the narrow wins, the hard fought wins, even the undeserved wins….they are forgotten. And sorry if I broke the dream but we did have those during the unbeaten run also. As each and every team that won the league has during the season .
Meanwhile we have seen some strange results so far. With Arsenal losing form themselves at the opening day to West Ham repeating the trick at Liverpool. Manchester United whose fans already said aloud last week that they had the new invicibles because nobody could score against them suddenly woke up losing from Swansea (well done Lukas).
When we won at Crystal Palace some shrugged their shoulders and said that it was only a small win and we didn’t play good. That might have been the case but Crystal Palace played 4 matches and won 3 of them and lost only one and that was against us. More importantly however is that they went to Chelsea and won at their ground. So maybe they aren’t as bad as they said they were? Of course Palace might be one of those teams who start on a high and then slide down. And the chance they will slip back is rather large, I think. But that still shows that beating them was not nothing.
The league is still a marathon and we sit behind a bit. But not every quick starter reaches the end of the marathon in first position. There are some who can but most of the time they don’t. So we have to make sure that we will keep as close to Man City as can be till they get their moment of weakness. It will come. It always does.
Untold Anniversaries – the full list of today’s anniversaries is here – just scroll down the home page
- 1 September 1934: First home match for George Allison. Arsenal 8 Liverpool 1. Ted Drake and Ray Bowden each score hattricks in front of 54,062. Having won the league for the last two seasons expectations were very high despite Chapman’s death. It was Jack Crayston’s first game.
- 1 September 1953: Ted Platt sold to Portsmouth. Ted never made it as the first choice keeper, playing only when Swindin was injured until in 1952 with Swindin out for much of the season Ted Platt played in only the first three games, and after letting in five goals in that short sequence he was replaced by Jack Kelsey.
- 1 September 1970: Arsenal 0 Leeds 0. League match 7 of the first Double season. This was one of only three draws at home that season – every other home league match was won. But after six games played Arsenal were sixth.
Latest from the Pre-season files
- 1980: The Arsenal pre-season after trying to win nearly everything
- 1893: The first Woolwich Arsenal pre-season
- Latest news on the Untold Banner (as of 25 August)
- A Memorial to the founders of Arsenal’s Highbury dynasty.
- The petition to raise a Parliamentary Debate about State Aid for the new WHU stadium is running. If you feel that there should be an investigation and you are resident in the UK, please do sign the petition.