So, Do You Think We Can Win The League?

July 16, 2010

I don’t know why but I am not as confident about winning the league this season as I was last which is unusual for me because when it comes to optimism and blind faith I make Stevie Wonder look like he has twenty, twenty vision.

This time last year I was getting quite excited, we had just managed to offload the disruptive Adebayor to City while fleecing them shortly after in the form of Toure. Our attack looked solid helped by the long awaited return of Eduardo. The midfield was bolstered by the return of Rosicky and the defence was augmented with Vermaelen. This gave us the partnership in central defence of Gallas and Vermaelen with Senderos, Silvestre and Song as cover all of which sat well with me. Manu had lost Tevez and Ronaldo, the dippers were totally reliant on the fitness of Gerrard and Torres and the chavs, well that one was always going to be the biggest hurdle to get over but nevertheless, I put my faith in my optimism and arrived at the conclusion that we were going to win the league.

This season, I am not so sure, we have Chamakh which is very exciting, although, for those expecting to see an out and out number nine alla Ian Wright I think you are going to be disappointed. From the five full games I have watched him he plays the channels, he is far more of a team player than the selfish Wright, although, that is not to suggest that being selfish is a bad thing for a striker, it just makes the point that they are very different. The clever advantage, above all, of having a player like Chamakh is that by reputation he will not expect to get an automatic starting place  – he will know that he will have to earn it; the other advantage is that the rest of the attack won’t feel threatened but he will keep them on their toes.

The midfield is so obviously reliant on Fabrégas that there seems little point of discussing the possibility of life after Cesc, as far as I am concerned — Denial is a river in Egypt — and Cesc will lead the good guys out at Anfield.

On a serious note there is only one issue out there that the Cesc bashers are still clinging to and that is what his father is rumoured to have said: the next time you get into a debate with one of them ask if there is a shred of evidence to show that Cesc’s father actually said that his son would like to leave and you will find out very quickly that there isn’t and do you know why that is true? Because if there was, those so called Arsenal supporters would be throwing it in our faces at every opportunity — Cesc has acted impeccably throughout this trying time.

I digress or perhaps I was just trying to put this off — the midfield — I have to admit that such a pivotal role falling to Diaby scares the life out of me the idea that he can stay focused for the whole season seems way beyond his capabilities but hey ho in Arsène we trust as they say.

The central defence: “we won’t win anything until we get four world class centre backs.” Don’t you just want to strangle people who make statements like that? It is about as banal as saying grass is green, it also suggests that such a revelation might not have crossed Wenger’s mind. Four world class CB’s at a club at any one time is a mirage, an impossible dream, you may be able to keep two happy but which two other self respecting world class players would be prepared to sit on the bench for what could be the best part of a season if not more, Chelsea with their inflated wages come close but even their situation is far from perfect.

When it comes to Wenger’s signings we as Arsenal supporters are used to having to make a leap of faith; there was a time when the names were so obscure that I was chuffed just to have heard of the country of origin never mind their pedigree.  Last year it was Vermaelen, although, in his case we had the reassuring knowledge that he was captain of Belgium and captain of Ajax. This year we are really being tested with the signing of Koscielny —  I have to admit I am nervous, this is possibly the biggest leap of faith we have ever been asked to make. Still we won’t have to wait long, his first appearance is on Saturday at Barnet when, if all goes well, people will return with glowing reports of how Wenger has unearthed yet another gem and this uncomfortable pessimism will evaporate………I certainly hope so.

Written by London