Should we start dreaming of winning the EPL this season.. or not? by Sylvester Kwentua
When this current season began in August, a lot of football fans, including Arsenal fans, were full of expectations and optimism that their football clubs were going to have a good season. However, three games into the season, the mood changed from that of optimism to fear of ending the season struggling for league survival for some club supporters, including Arsenal fans.
After losing thrice in a row to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City, the fear of having a very bad season, were etched on their hearts. To a whole lot of Arsenal fans then, sacking the manager in order to save Arsenal’s season, was their solution. Nothing ever seemed to be going on well for Arsenal at that moment, and as far as a lot of people were concerned, Arsenal was going to have it rough. Three months into the league, and it seems every gloomy story is gradually turning into a fairy tale! What has really changed? With the way things are, can we now tag Arsenal as genuine Premiership title contenders?
Arsenal in all fairness has turned the table around! From losing three games in a row at the start of the season, to not losing in their last ten games, they have gradually climbed their way up the table and at the moment, they are just six points behind the highest placed team in the league. All these gradual but positive upward movements are enough signs to make an average Arsenal fan dream of the club winning the English Premiership title this season, but I hope I won’t be seen as anti-Arsenal, if I should request that we lower our expectations towards Arsenal this season?
Winning the league title would be a good achievement no doubt; considering the fact that many of us can’t even remember when Arsenal won the league title last, but do we really think we have the team and of course the manager, to lead us to a first Premiership title in more than 16 years? We are doing well in the league and other competitions, but for how long can we keep up with the momentum? Do we have the players needed to see us through the tough periods of Christmas, New Year and AFCON? When injuries set in, do we have quality replacements? Don’t we deserve answers to these questions?
Currently, Arsenal for the first time in a long while is not competing in Europe. This to me is a big shame. A big shame because we are built to play and win competitions. We have a proud history of winning trophies, and as rich as our history may be, we are not so successful in Europe. This record should be on our minds, as we draw up expectations for the club this season. We should focus more on qualifying for any European competition next season, than winning the league title.
Another priority this season should be to build a strong team for next season. Yes, you heard me right; we need a strong team. The players we have now are slowly building themselves into a formidable unit, but they are not yet a strong team, and what they need at this moment is a good manager who can help them achieve their potential, while gradually making progress this season and making a name for themselves.
In Arteta, the players seem to have found a manager who believes in their abilities, and they are starting to become a hard-to-beat team. However, they need to be allowed to grow without any huge expectations placed on them. This way, they may even surprise a lot of people and even smash every limitation on their way to winning one very important trophy this season.
While we await the team to come to full realizations of their potentials, will it be wrong of me to request that we drop our expectations and allow them grow into a formidable team?
Can we do this?