ARSENAL IS OVERPERFORMING by Uche
Happy new year everyone and welcome to 2016. It was a tough, scrappy and nervy win against Newcastle yesterday but a win nonetheless. The difficulty of that game was expected. In fact, I am shocked that we are league leaders when you consider all the crucial factors working against us. That is why I am surprised that some people out there actually thought we played badly against Newcastle. Some even described our performance as our worst of the season! Seriously? This Arsenal team is stretched to its limit! Isn’t that obvious? I keep expecting this team to implode but it is still hanging in there. That is nothing short of amazing. There are many ways to win a game. When you are firing, score as many as possible and outscore the opponent. When you are short, defend doggedly and grab a 1-0 win. That was what we did. That is a legitimate win.
As far as squad strength goes, we have been playing at 60 percent of our capacity for some time now and yet, we are still top. Sanchez, Cazorla, Coquelin, Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky are all injured. These are all top international footballers that can come in and change the complexion of a game. How we have managed without them till now is a miracle. And on top of that, the players that have come in to replace them have not been match fit. Ramsey, Ox and Campbell were all rushed in to the first team because of our injuries. They are clearly not in form and they are not first team material. Yes there have been a few scatter gun brilliant performances here and there from these three but nothing like the sort you get from a Sanchez, Cazorla or Coquelin and yet we are top of the league. If I recall correctly, Manchester United spent 250 million pounds in the summer and Man City blew around 170 million on Bony, Otamendi, Sterling and Debruyne.
What is their excuse? All we spent is 10 million pounds on a certain Peter Cech and yet we look better than everybody in every aspect of the game this year. We should be celebrated as an anomaly, not ridiculed. What Arsene is doing with this limited few is legendary. Take a look at this recent Arsenal stat. Most points taken, most clean sheets (8), best passing accuracy (85%), most passes completed (8,993), most pleasing team to watch, the team with the fewest fouls (164), fewest yellow cards (18) and the team with the best playmaker who has created the most chances (Ozil, 88 chances). Yep little old Arsenal beats everyone in every single stat. And you expect more? We cannot be blowing teams away in every single game. Not right now. Not with our injuries.
And there is more. Considering how even the playing field has become with Premier League money being shared equally and top managers and players moving to mid-table clubs, the league just got tougher. Now throw in our injuries and the fact that we did not buy a single outfield player during the 2015 summer transfer window, and you suddenly realize that we are over performing. If you think we can do better at the moment, I have to ask you one question. Why? Because our front line is led by Messi, Neymar and Suarez? Our best striker is Olivier Giroud and he is flanked by Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott! Quit whining. Be happy. You are top of the league! Everybody is struggling. Injuries are hitting hard. No team is cruising. Why Should Arsenal be any different?
Chelsea won the league some months ago limping over the finish line with 1-0 wins here and there. They were hailed as geniuses. We are doing the same thing that Chelsea did but with so many injuries and no outfield players purchased last summer and yet people think we ought to be doing better? Based on what?
There is something about that feeling of entitlement that just drives me mad. I will never understand it. Sometimes when fans and pundits talk, you will think that the three points and trophy in question are our birth rights. Honey there are no easy games anywhere. No single point in this league is won without a fight. No single team turns up to gift you three points just because you are Arsenal or Manchester United. Newcastle played very well and even deserved a point. How about we acknowledge that and give the opposition the compliment they deserve? By all means, support your team but never let fan sentiment get in the way of common sense or you are going to end up looking like a moron. The footballing level has gone way up.
Take a look at West Ham beating every top team home and away. That is no fluke. Look at Leicester City’s months of giant killing as well. We are in new territory now my friends and the EPL as we knew it will never be the same again. Newcastle played well and did not deserve to lose. Arsenal is stretched but we still won. Let us focus on the last part. WE STILL WON. Peace.
Lagos – Nigeria