The table doesn’t lie – Arsenal HAVE progressed! by Highbury Hero
After 13 rounds last season, Arsenal was already out of the European race and was on course for the worst season in recent memory. We were sitting just above the relegation zone with signs of improvement not in sight.
And surely, we went on to have the worst season that every one of us would like to forget. Things were still not looking good at the beginning of this season when we followed our worst season with the worst start: losing embarrassingly our first three games and sitting at the bottom of the table with an embarrassing goal difference. And all these after we had our most expensive transfer window.
Fast forward to today we have climbed to the 5th spot with only goal difference separating us from 4th at the time of writing. It is even more impressive that the point gap with the league leaders is not as big as most would have expected.
The league table was the stick I used to beat the manager with, and it is the league table that I use to acknowledge the work he is doing, because the improvement is obvious.
The league table is not the only thing that has improved; personally, I am starting to enjoy our games again. I now look forward to our games with positivity, unlike last season where all I felt was an apocalyptic doom and gloom.
I can’t say I have seen an identifiable style of play yet, but it is starting to take shape. A huge improvement from last season’s unwatchable games. Time will tell if it gels together or collapses. Signs are in favour of the former.
Things are still not rosy all things considered. We have shown brilliance in some games and the horror of last season in others. Hopefully as the season progress the performances will be more consistent.
I am a confirmed Arteta out brigadier, so I won’t praise him for the work he is doing. It is the thing he was hired to do and should have been doing it from the start, but better late than never.
One regular commenter congratulated me on changing my stance from what he called my previous wrong view of the manager. But how are two consecutive 8th place finishes a wrong view of the progress? The whole point of the league is results, and fan’s views will always change according to that.
Our new recruits have been a revelation, especially Tavares, Lokonga, Tomiyasu and Ramsdale. But Arteta should work hard to bring the best out of the top talents we already had. I am not happy with the developments of Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe. These players are huge talents and can offer so much to the team considering we are still weak in attack.
It is the manager’s job to make it happen.
I also think we should set our sights on finishing in the top 4. I am not one to lower expectations and say 6th is good enough for now. No, 6th is not good enough. We have already shown we are capable of challenging and in the end securing that spot. If we expect to drop down the table that means the transformation we have seen compared to the start of the season is down to luck.
Is it luck? If it is not, why should we expect to drop down the table? The only reason anyone would expect us to drop is having no confidence in the manager and the team, in my humble opinion. We should leave that to the biased pundits.
The race for European spots is very crowded nowadays. When one team underperform the others take advantage. The usual top 4 contenders took advantage of our underperformance for the last two seasons but where are they now? They are all struggling so far. It will be a shame not to capitalise on that.
We are in a good and acceptable place right now, but we should strive for more because we are capable of more. And things are only going to get harder. Spurs new manager is a winner, and they have two of the top talents (Son and Kane) of this generation capable of carrying the team on their shoulders.
Furthermore, we do not know what impact the new Man Utd manager will have, West Ham have picked up where they left off last season, and there is always a possibility of Leicester making a comeback.
Can we say those teams have what we don’t have? And we have the advantage of being settled compared to some of them with new managers in charge. The manager and the boys should pull up their socks, things are just starting!
Have I changed my stance on the manager, and do I finally see him as the right man for the job? ‘No’ is my answer. I cannot say he is the right or wrong man for the job. Only his performance can say that. My view will always be based on that.
He was the wrong man last season, but he seems right this season so far. Since we don’t know what he will be as the season progress, we can only enjoy the moment.