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Arsenal Looking Good

arsenal badgeArsenal are fantastic right now. Simply brilliant. Wonderful play. Fast and thrilling, even when they lose. Perfect passing. Crisp finishes. Superb combination play. You get the picture.

Okay, please do not kill me on this post. I am neither a fortune teller, palm reader, love guru, snake charmer, nor am I a genius. I have no idea who will win the Premier League this season but I am pretty sure it will not be Manchester United or Liverpool. They will both finish fine but something tells me they are suspect. Before the season started, I thought Chelsea would run the table, and they still might, but here are a few reasons why everybody should be watching Arsenal:

1. The Starting Eleven. Arsene Wenger has started a different starting eleven nearly every match this season. This is a necessity for Champions League teams with multiple international players but some are noticeably lacking (hello Liverpool). If Arsenal are hurting this season, I’m not seeing it. For a team that has been plagued by injuries in the past (and, to a certain degree, in the present) they are looking like a team that has more than a few gems on the bench.

2. Vito Mannone. Yes, as soon as Manuel Almunia, gets to feeling better this fantastic shot-stopper will surely go back to the bench. But, a reliable, talented back-up keeper is seriously helping the entire team’s confidence. For those who don’t believe this is important, I have two words for you: Ben Foster.

3. Goal Differential. Arsenal have the highest goal differential so far this season (+16). Manchester United are a close second (+12) but they seem set to score less points since Christiano Ronhairgel left. Arsenal’s goals are coming from everywhere. This is surely a good sign of things to come.

4. Game In Hand. Okay, before all you Red Devils fans go killing me with all that “you hated on us in your post but we are top of the table” comments, please understand that if Arsenal pick up three points from their game in hand they are in a close second behind Man U. Obviously, anything can happen between now and that time, but looking at the table today, one can surely see that Arsenal are sitting pretty. I guess it’s good to be at the top but it might be better to be able to sit back and know you have a little wiggle room.

5. Arsene Wenger. He’s taken some heat over the past few years but don’t count this guy out. He is a genius in suit. I don’t hear boos (yet) around The Emirates nor do I see him losing to Burnley or Fiorentina (sorry, that was too easy).  At this point, he is loving life while Sir Alex and Rafa, especially Rafa, are taking a bit of a knock.

6. Time. With everyone in the top four losing matches already, time is on the Gunners’ side. It’s been a while since they have won anything and this seems like a year when a non-perfect team (yes, they are not perfect) can win the league without 243 points–and Arsenal are due. Every other top four side has an issue (Rafa, transfer ban, no Ronaldo) but Arsenal are cruising along just waiting their turn.

So, will this be the year that the trophy returns to NW6? Who knows? There is a long, long way to go in the season. With Chelsea and Liverpool both losing this weekend, the race is wide open. I guess Arsenal could fall apart and Spurs could kill everybody and run the table. Or maybe Man City will truly cash in with some serious consistency. Whichever way it ends up, I know I’ll be watching!

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  1. Abdul

    April 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    No team like arsenal i hv a believ that gunners owns all the league cups

  2. prazz

    October 20, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Its still early to say the winners of Epl but arsenal is playin superb rite nw even witout sme key players such as nasri, denilson, almunia although mannone is great, eduardo n walcot ..when all these players join d team they wil be issue i wld like 2 point out again is arsenal has been takin out d small teams they cldnt beat last term n its really a plus 4 team..4get abt d top 4 teams, arsenal always takes care of them.

  3. Chris

    October 20, 2009 at 7:42 am

    I put £20 on Arsenal to win the league this year (just a hunch),but watching Fab break out of his own half, passing to Arshavin to very coolly slot the ball in the back of the net on Saturday, reminded me of the invincibles season. If the confidence that Fab, Arshavin, Song and RVP are showing can spread throughout the whole team, I can certainly see Arsenal killing off more and more teams in the same way. no one wants to play Arsenal right now and for good reason.

  4. Wonder

    October 20, 2009 at 7:38 am

    i don’t know why people complain abt arsenal not beating the best 4.the question is “is winning the best 4 dat gave man u the cup last season”?.NO.

    • b

      October 20, 2009 at 11:07 am

      true, beating the top 4 isn’t enough. and it was losing to the minnows that cost arsenal any chance last season.

      but being competitive against the top 4 is pretty much required for a title run. you need to take care of business against small teams and don’t give away cheap points to the top 4…like heading the ball into your own net.

  5. b

    October 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Arsenal are playing fantastic, but it’s very, very early. The losses in Manchester both hurt. But especially to United, who we completely outclassed.

    The defense is miles better than last year, but still very thin. Denilson is out for a month or two. Djourou is out. Senderos can’t even make the bench. If either of our center backs go down, we’re in trouble. Ditto with Song.

    We have some midfield depth, but no Walcott for 4-6 weeks. And no Nasri back yet.

    Which is all to say we’re playing a lot more aggressively this year and doing well, but need to beat some top 4 teams to really cement this team’s claim to being a contender.

  6. Jon

    October 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    What is most promising this season for me is the way Arsenal are playing against the weaker sides in the league. Despite the comment above about Arsenal not beating any good sides except Everton, the key to winning the league is not beating the “good” clubs (the other Big Four), but getting wins against the poorer ones.

    Arsenal struggled last year because it lost or drew to poor quality opposition. In the big matches we did comparably well, taking points from all of the other Big Four clubs and Villa and Spurs. We lost because of drops to teams like Stoke, Hull, and Man City (who, last season, were not the team they are today). United were eventual champions despite losing to us, Chelsea, and Liverpool, because they made up the ground by beating those weaker teams where their opponents lost or drew. You can easily lose to all the “good” clubs and win the league if the other good clubs drop points where they shouldn’t (Chelsea losing to Wigan, United to Burnley). The key to victory is consistently beating the teams you should outclass.

    In that respect, this season is already a massive improvement. The losses to City and United don’t matter if we put away the lesser lights, and 6-2 seeing off of Rovers, 1-0 over Fulham, and last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Birmingham are a good start. So long as the team puts these games in the win column, the title is in reach. If we beat the others, I don’t care if we lose to United, Chelsea, Liverpool, City, and Villa,

  7. Anon

    October 19, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Other than Everton, who are not doing particularly well this year, Arsenal haven’t beaten a good team yet. Is Arsenal for real this year? I think they need to prove themselves against the top teams first. So far they have no wins and 2 losses there. Goal difference is nice, but when it comes against Portsmouth, Birmingham and Blackburn, color me skeptical.

    Still a step below Chelski and Manure for me. Could they win the League this year? Sure. Are they favorites? No way.

  8. NSBG

    October 19, 2009 at 7:29 am


  9. minilik

    October 19, 2009 at 7:25 am

    As to me there is no doubt about RVP being one of the best strikers in English PL as well the best in arsenal. To mention some of his exceptional qualities:
    He has strong gut of being a winner.
    He usually come back and helps the defense whenever it is necessary to do
    He has a good share of assists in almost ever game
    He can score from difficult positions
    He has strong shot sometimes difficult for goal stoppers

  10. Norseman

    October 19, 2009 at 6:17 am

    anyone considered the fact that RvP has had a shitload of chances’? thats also part of being a brilliant striker. and if you’ve watched the games you could see that he has been very unlucky! imho he is arsenals best player 😀

  11. Baz

    October 19, 2009 at 3:36 am

    adding to that, remember when when every1 was saying ‘arsenal, always trying to pass it into the net’

    times have changed, still the same class, but with goals to match the expectations

    RVP has picked up lately btw, so i would expect that percentage to increase as time goes on

  12. Baz

    October 19, 2009 at 3:33 am

    no other team (not that i checked up on this) but no other team, seemed to have such a vast array of scorers, RVP’s ability to create assists, as the lone striker mind you, is still excellent.

    the point is, Van Persie is Arsenal’s lone striker, Arsenal are scoring a shit load of goals. One may argue they would score more with a different player, but myself being an Arsenal fan, i would eat my hat before changing up this combination of attacking players

  13. kanthu

    October 19, 2009 at 2:23 am


    You are not wrong in expecting more goals from RVP.That is something he needs to improve upon.Especially for a player of his supreme ability.But,RVP not world class? Surely,you must be basing your opinion by only considering Messi.Did you ever see the goals he scored at Fulham and against Birmingham.If you missed them,go and download those goal videos and watch them carefully.Those two legged touches of pure class will make any striker envious.

    I know that most of the people rate long range kicks(or free kicks) as some of the best goals.Mind you,rarely do you see those type of goals which showcase technique so intricately yet very astoundingly.

    • Anon

      October 19, 2009 at 11:01 am

      Difference between world class potential (RVP) and world class production (Ronaldo). RVP is Louis Saha version 2.

  14. stormid

    October 19, 2009 at 2:12 am

    There hasnt been a better defensive midfielder in the whole of Europe then Alexandre Song this season.

    RVP had a tough start missing a lot of chances. But he has regained his form scoring in the last 4 games for Arsenal.

    He is just getting into the new formation.

  15. Titi

    October 19, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Why are you so afraid speaking out what you believe?

  16. Efrain

    October 19, 2009 at 12:34 am

    @baz @david

    I figured Id get some backlash on my opinion.

    I dont consider VP a world class striker, Messi on the other hand… World Class. VP has scored like what 4 goals so far, Vermallen, a defender is equal to him I believe. So what if Ramsey plays midfield, Cesc is a midfielder too and hes got the same number of goals. Personally, I would prefer to see Wilshere start as I think he could score and assist his share (as a midfielder.) Last year VP scored maybe 10? I just dont see it. Maybe he will improve, at least he is on pace to beat last years number of goals. Ive only followed them for 3 years now, so maybe I have more to learn, but its just my two cents. But what am I missing here? Am I wrong to expect more from him for the number of chances he has?

    Van Persie Shots-37 Goals-4 11%
    Vermallen Shots-12 Goals-4 33%
    Fabregas Shots-18 Goals-4 22%
    Arshavin Shots-12 Goals-3 25%
    Wolcott Shots-4 Goals-1 25%
    Ramsey Shots-6 Goals-1 17%

    I also checked out other top scorers…..
    Defoe 19%
    Keane 31%
    Adebayor (this was a tough one on me lol) 31%
    Agbonlahar 29%
    Ibrahimovic 23%
    Messi 31%

    I dont mean to be a smart ass, but am I using the wrong metric to measure a strikers worth? (remember I am fairly new to the game?)

    • J

      November 8, 2009 at 2:56 am

      are u kidding???? RVP is good NOT just because of his goals BUT CUZ OF HIS ASSISTS AS WELL. as mr wenger said this week, RVP is a blend of henry (amazing striker) and bergkamp (amazing playmaker)… he might not have the most goals but that is due to the fact that he can give passes to set up players and also, arsenal are playing in such a way that allows goals to come from everywhere not just from their WORLD CLASS striker. you commented on oct 19th which means, in my opinion, it is WAY to early to making a a basis of world class on this seasons stats alone. RVP is world class not only for his scoring ability but for his assisting ability as well…. oh and if you would like to make a basis of world class on this season alone… nearly a moth later and i believe its safe to say RVP is top class.

  17. Sarah Millery

    October 18, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Taking how Arsenal are playing now and then using that to predict the future is very dangerous in my opinion. The reason I say this is that we have no idea what will happen, or how the team will respond, until they hit a bad patch, and they will hit this patch at some stage this season.
    I personally think there is going to be a tremendous amount of pressure on Arsene and the team this year, and that this pressure will be too much, but once again it could go both way, and the extra pressure could provide extra motivation.

  18. Cam

    October 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I’d like to see Arsenal when they lose their best player (Fabregas) before the season starts and then see how you go…This whole “United in trouble” thing makes a little bit of sense, but how can you say a team is in trouble when on top of the ladder?
    To say sitting back may be a better idea is possibly the most stupid thing I have ever heard! “Wiggle Room” as you so called it, only helps when you are on top with more points than the other, and at the moment, Arsenal need to win every game to stay in the fight! It just astounds me how sooooo many so called “EDITORS” on this site have the most biased view out of anyone on the blog…you make some ok points Fletch but overall, pretty dissapointing!

    • sam

      October 18, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      arsenel has so much midfield depth theyll be fine if injuries arrive in the , rosicky looks great again, denilson can play, same with ramsey, arshavin could play anywhere basically, walcoot eboue and nasri is back soon, they ae an excellent team, i am a spurs fan to so it hurts to say it

    • miroku_true gunner

      October 19, 2009 at 3:03 am

      u r a dud my friend, last season gunners didn’t have many of their stars leave alone cesc but did they not take the fourth place……u know it was who or rather which players that helped ……..i say it was van persie…..and ARSHAVINNNNN…………. HE IS OUR KEY MAN ………….VAN PERSIE TOO…..

    • Fletch Spigner

      October 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

      You are correct on one point: no Fabregas = no chance for Arsenal. However, being at the top does not ensure that a side is not in trouble. Being in fourth (or 8th for Liverpool) does not mean that a side will end up there either. It’s just as easy (or hard) to move down as it is to move up. I just think that Arsenal has more staying power than Man U at this point–anything can happen, of course!

      Also, I am not an “editor.” I wouldn’t know how to “edit” anything on this site if I tried! I am simply stating the reasons why Arsenal may challenge for the title, hence why I went out of my way to say that I could not predict the future. United may end up on top, and more power to them if they do. Obviously it’s a long season so anything can happen! These are just my observations of a good side who are doing well at the moment.

  19. brian

    October 18, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I hated how everyone wrote off Arsenal at the beginning of the season. They were suppose to be fighting for 4th position because they couldn’t compare to the top 3. It is funny how things can change.

    I always felt like Arsenal had the potential to be the best in the league, but they lacked confidence and maturity. This season, even when Arsenal is behind, they keep their composure and are confident they are going to win the game. It is the other big 4 teams who seem to be losing their composure this season, while the smaller clubs are more confident in winning.

    The only thing that worries me about Arsenal still is their defense, especially on the counter attacks.

  20. David

    October 18, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    @Efrain my head almost exploded when I read your post. RVP may have the best first touch in all of the epl. He has literally won Arsenal games all by his lonesome. I have to assume your post is in jest so I am going to stop right here

  21. Baz

    October 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    haha Efrain, are u kidding me?

    Van Persie is a world class striker.

    And Ramsey up front? He plays in the center of midfield.

    I dont even know why im replying to you, you obviousliy have zero idea.

  22. Efrain

    October 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    They are looking good, but losing (unfairly in my opinion) to Man U sucked. And from what I can see they are beating the easy teams, the teams they are expected to beat. Losing to City and United concerns me. I dont care for Van Persie…. I dont know what they hype over this kid is. Hes got some nice moves but has too many “close calls” with goals and not enough actual goals. Bendtner is not much better. They both do well with weaker teams. Wish we would see more of Wilshere and Ramsey though. Id love to see Arshavin, Wilshere, and Ramsey up front to start and see how that goes.

  23. Norseman

    October 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    my prediction before the season started:
    1. Arsenal/Chelsea
    2. Arsenal/Chelsea
    3. united
    4. city/liverpool
    5. city/liverpool

    Now its:
    1. Arsenal
    2. Chelsea
    3. United
    4. City
    5. Liverpool
    6. Tottenham
    7. Villa
    8. sunderland

    :DDD an i think we will break the magic 100 goals!! this is v.persie’s year!!

  24. eplnfl

    October 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Similar ideas came into my head yesterday after I looked at the table and said hey Arsenal has a game in hand and with a win is right there. It’s a long season and October is still early in league time but just when we wanted to look for a new man at the top in North London we find the Gunners right in the mix.

    With Chelsea all of a sudden a poor road warrior and Man U a uncertain champion who knows if Arsenal isn’t there at the top after all.

  25. Jay

    October 18, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Arsenal this year are beating the teams there supposed to. If your a fan of Arsenal you have got to be happy with the way the season has started even with the 2 defeats.

  26. Joe

    October 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    NW6? So you’re sending the EPL trophy to Kilburn then?

    I think you’ll find the postcode associated with Arsenal is N8 mate —->,+London&sll=51.543239,-0.203934&sspn=0.063843,0.209255&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Londra+N8,+Regno+Unito&ll=51.554581,-0.107417&spn=0.007978,0.026157&z=16

    Peace out.

    • Fletch Spigner

      October 19, 2009 at 9:48 am

      Do I at least get credit for knowing that the Holloway Road Tube stop is infinitely better than the Arsenal stop for getting to The Emirates? Thanks for the correction!

  27. Nigel Benson

    October 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Disagree with your last two points.
    I think Song has been doing an excellent defensive “invisible wall” job, a la Gilberto. That is what has freed Cesc up.
    Almunia is simply not a top class keeper and I for one (I’ve been watching Arsenal since 1977) am much more confident with Mannone there. It looks like our defenders feel the same way.

    • Fletch Spigner

      October 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      I agree with you about Almunia. As hot a Mannone is right now, I might leave him in goal even after Almunia gets healthy. Almunia doesn’t inspire me much but he is not hurting them either. Manonne is definitely somebody the Gunners should hang on to!

  28. Didier Muamba

    October 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Manu are having difficulties scoring, and the’re getting help with opponent’s own goals: against arsenal, sunderland and bolton!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Simon Burke

    October 18, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I hope you’re right. The next month is pretty difficult for Arsenal. The good news is we are beating the weaker teams – we just need to beat a couple of the good teams as well and we’ll be up there at the end. Its the most open race for years at this point of the season. Liverpool need to watch out or they will be left behind. Arsenal still are defensively dodgy – need to get Almunia back in there playing well and i still think Song wouldnt start in the other top 4 type sides.

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