After their somewhat lacking start to the season and the simply awful game at Old Trafford, people were questioning both Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, asking if it was time for the Frenchman to move on, and just how much could they actually accomplish this season – in short, times were not happy at the Emirates, and even certain sectors of the fans were voicing dissenting opinions.
Any realistic person would have known that following the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy, Arsenal would have struggled initially, having to come to terms with the loss of three very influential players – none more so than skipper Fabregas, who was the creative heart of their side, yet the patience vastly evaporated from supporters, with all kinds of negativity both in the media and stands, and following the humiliation against United, Wenger entered the transfer market in what was perceived as a flurry of panic – something the carefully spending manager had never done before.
In came Arteta, Mertersacker, Santos and Benayoun, and Wenger came out with the usual spiel of how the season was not over, and Arsenal still had plenty to offer. As it turns out, this seems to be the case, with Arsenal going strong in Europe and also making a comeback in the Premier League, with a top four spot looking more than a feasible achievement – especially when you look at the form of Chelsea and wonder if Newcastle can really last the whole season in the top four.
Now, of course, the dissenting voices have faded away, yet did they really have anything to complain about at all?
Only Arteta out of the new signings has made any kind of significant impact, with Mertersacker in particular struggling with the nature of the Premier League, and whilst both Santos and Mertersacker look like players with potential, only the former Everton midfielder has had an immediate effect, so really did Arsenal have it in them all along?
The simple answer to this question is obviously yes – all teams go through bad patches, and it was unfortunate that Arsenal’s came at the start of the season – but there is plenty of time for their season to be turned around, and they are well on the way to doing that.
It is the all too familiar story of fans and media jumping on the negative bandwagon after a couple of bad results – Chelsea are the latest club to go through this, and after a couple of poor results – should they get them – City will also have to deal with this. It is very easy to forget that the season is 38 games, not 3, and a great start does not mean trophies, nor does a few defeats signify doom. Arsenal fans are realising this, prehaps they should pass it across London to Chelsea fans!