Since our comprehensive victory over Everton on Saturday evening I’ve been feeling overwhelmingly positive. A win will do that for you. A big win will definitely do that for you. But also the hope that something has changed at the club will 100% make you feel good.
I saw that Aubameyang put a nice message on Instagram and whilst I’m not really one for post-game social media from players (it all feels a little hollow – I don’t even follow any Arsenal players on any of their accounts for that reason) I did have a quick flick to see Auba’s.
Perhaps it’s because he’s shiny and new. Perhaps it’s because he’s an elite striker. Or perhaps it’s that I wanted to see what he had to say and whether it was all smiles like he seems to be. And that got me to thinking how important it must be to the players to have that kind of atmosphere.
In the run up to his transfer we all looked a little more closely at Auba. We all tracked what was going on and yes, he did have an issue with Dortmund just before his transfer but with a few days elapsing, Dortmund were clear that he had returned to training, plus we got some pictures of him laughing and joking with his teammates.
He looks like a guy who can lift a dressing room and whilst we can all lament the terrible away form and poor defence we’ve had all season, it’s hard not to see somebody like that coming in and being a little more jovial as a good thing, so I’m hopeful that he and Mkhi’s arrival can have more than the obvious impact on the pitch.
I hope the team spirit and camaraderie is lifted too. I don’t have any inside knowledge, access to what goes on at London Colney or any special kind of crystal ball, but I’m sure like you I could see that Arsenal didn’t seem to be a happy place. Mesut’s contract saga looming over the team, Alexis and his loner attitude, the form of the team and players clearly unhappy like Debuchy. It all just have contributed to a negative atmosphere; perhaps not one that was obvious, but I bet to the players it would have felt like there were issues bubbling under the surface.
Yet now we may have cleared the decks dramatically and left ourselves with a small squad, but perhaps that can work in the teams’ favour? Perhaps a smaller band of brothers approach – assuming we don’t get our usual injury crisis – will give this team the psychological lift that it needs?
That’s my hope this morning as I write. I hope that the arrival of the two former Dortmund lads can be a catalyst for change of the on-field fortunes, as a result of both improved quality but also morale.
No more individuals doing their own thing. Let’s see a team that purrs when all of its moving parts have synergy with one another. Just like we saw on Saturday. Because let’s all be honest here, Saturday was great to watch, wasn’t it? It didn’t feel like the Arsenal of this season. It felt like an Arsenal team of about ten years ago. One that moved the ball quickly, found pockets of space and made the best use of quick, one-touch football, that leaves opponents chasing shadows.
No doubt we’ll not get the same level of opponent next weekend; we know that the Totts are far far superior than Everton, but if those Arsenal players demonstrate the same level of passing proficiency that we know they can deliver, then we’ll at least give ourselves some hope of scrapping for something.
I suspect the training ground will be a happy place today when all of the players do their usual training session. A win will do that. But I hope they are all as excited as we all are too because if that’s the case going in to the week that leads us to the North London Derby, then at least we can hope for a team that gives itself a chance.
Righto, I’ll leave you all to your own Monday’s. be sure to smile. The world is a brighter place when the Arsenal are winning.