With Arsenal’s performances over the last decade under Arsene Wenger seeming to have a pattern of failure to sustain a title challenge, as well as selling our best players to our rivals, we could all be forgiven for expecting more of the same this season considering we have so many players entering the last year of their contracts.
But we have begun the season with a dramatic win, which is unusual in itself, and we Arsene Wenger has continuously and consistently refused to allow any of our stars to leave. So have Arsenal finally grown a pair and instilled that elusive ‘winning mentality’ into our side?
Wenger, for one, was very impressed after Friday’s victory over Leicester where we came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. “Overall I must say we kept going and the spirit of the team was absolutely outstanding and overall you could say as well we were punished on every single mistake tonight by a Leicester team who was very efficient going forward.
“And you could see that this team has quality and is used to playing together, but [we had] 70 per cent possession with 27 shots on goal. Leicester had three shots on target and scored three goals, so that shows you how efficient they were, but overall I must say if you look at that from a neutral point of view, for the first game it was a top-quality match. You want the Premier League to be the best league in the world and I think it has to produce this kind of game to produce interest and quality. Even people will say we conceded three goals, yes, but we scored four as well and the game was of quality.
“Well if you were a manager and you would be on the bench when you’re 3-2 down with 20 minutes to go, and you win 4-3, you’re more happy than concerned. I feel as well that the goals we conceded, we can work together to get rid of that because one was a corner, one was a ball we lost in the build up and the third goal was on a corner again, so we conceded two goals on corners. We were quite good last year on corners and overall I believe that with a bit of work we can get that out of the system.”
So the Gunners have continued their winning run from last season, and with the extra confidence of beating Chelsea to two trophies since they were crowned Champions, surely we should be amongst the favourites to win the title this time around, if we can keep our spirits high in the dressing room. “Yes, of course,” Le Prof continued. “I am convinced that we won 10 of the last 11 games, and we won against Man City in the semi-final and the final against Chelsea. Overall I am convinced that the team is focused and I see that every day in training.”
Will this hard-fought opening day victory prove to our rivals that we mean business this time around?