Arsenal have now played two Premier League games and the first leg of the Champions League play-off against Besiktas, but we are still looking rusty. There were some encouraging signs of improvement during the game at Everton yesterday, but are still trying to find some of the attacking fluency that was on show last season and, strangely, during the comfortable Community Shield win over Man city at Wembley.
So as the Gunners try to find their higher gears, what did we learn from the game at Goodison Park yesterday? Firstly, I think we should all go a bit easier on the big man. No matter how frustrating we find Olivier Giroud at times when he fluffs a finish or for his lack of pace, the first half yesterday shows just how much he gives the team a focal point up front.
Secondly, Aaron Ramsey has not really got going yet. Some of his passing and shooting were like the bad old days, but he will sit out the game on Wednesday with a suspension and will hopefully be fired up for Leicester next weekend. And even with the handbrake on, he still found the perfect run into the box to score the goal that started us on the comeback trail. Two goals in two BPL games when he is off form suggests that Rambo could be even better for us this year.
Calum Chambers is a great prospect but still has a lot to learn and with Per Mertesacker now having a full game under his belt, I expect Arsene Wenger to revert to the tried and tested defensive pairing of him and Koscielny. Chambers should be good for cover, but I hope he will also get a chance in the defensive midfield role now, where the odd mistake will not be as dangerous.
Alexis Sanchez might need time and patience from us before he really starts to motor in the English Premier League. I think he is trying too hard and is desperate to start repaying the transfer fee. I reckon a goal will go a long way to relaxing him, but if it doesn’t come soon I hope that the fans don’t start to get on his back.
Finally, although Arsenal have not been at their best so far, I am really impressed with the team spirit and determination that has seen us simply refuse to fold in three tough games. Once we really start to click, this attitude suggests that the Gunners will be a much tougher prospect for our rivals this season and could just see us lifting that big trophy next May