To be fair to Arsenal, we have recovered somewhat from a shaky start to the season and are now playing better football. Most of the time at least, but there are still real concerns about our consistency. And with a great chance for the Gunners to go further in the elite Champions League tournament than we have for years and prove to the fans and the football world that we are on the way back to the top, it is time for the real Arsenal to stand up and be counted.
I know that I am a one for banging on about the referees and the way their bad decisions often seem to go against Arsenal. With all our injury problems and the way we always seem to get a tough draw in cup competitions, it just seems to add to the the struggle that Arsene Wenger and the Gunners have to go through.
While it has been a very good week for Arsenal with three good performances, although a better result in the first against Manchester United would have been nice, it has been the exact opposite for the team we beat in the second of our games, Borussia Dortmund.
After last season when Arsenal spent much longer at the top of the Premier League table than any of our big rivals, only faltering in the second half of the season as the injury list ground us down, expectations were naturally high going into this campaign.
The Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker is still convinced that the Gunners have the “potential” to be an excellent team, but first of all they have to realise that the length of a full game is supposed to last at least 90 minutes, whereas the Arsenal players seem to think the whistle should go at 60 minutes!
After the slow and somewhat disappointing way that Arsenal have started the season and straight off the back of that confidence sapping Champions League home draw with Anderlecht on Tuesday, you might well wonder why I am fairly confident of the Gunners bouncing straight back with a valuable win at the Liberty stadium on Sunday.
Everyone makes mistakes I guess and boy did the Arsenal players make some big ones against Anderlecht in the Champions League. One of those was made by our giant German centre back Per Mertesacker who got the wrong side of the Belgian club’s striker Mitrovic who then scored a last minute equaliser.
It was painful enough having to watch Arsenal go from a slick team in cruise control; three goals up at home and looking like scoring a hatful, to allowing lowly Anderlecht to score three late goals, thereby ending all hopes of winning the Champions League group and even putting our qualification in doubt.