A Saturday welcome I bid you my friends. Sadly it’s one without The Arsenal but I guess it is what it is and we have to contend ourselves with a weekend of supporting every other team that our rivals play. So it’s Newcastle and Watford that we’ll be hoping to do something special today. And I say special because both those teams are away to Chelski and The Tiny Totts and so I’m not really expecting anything other than two home wins today. They may be having their troubles on the road and in the dressing room, but there’s no way that Watford aren’t bending over and politely taking one today. Same for Newcastle.
So we’ll have to probably just find other things to do with our Saturday folks. I’ve been watching the rugby this morning and I think I’ll do some housework later. Not out of choice but necessity unfortunately.
I wonder what David Luiz will be doing. Plotting out how the hell we win the league I hope, because he’s been talking to Sky Sports ahead of Monday’s game, explaining that it’s possible.
It’s not David, sorry.
I don’t want to be too defeatist in October, but the difference between us and Liverpool/City feels vast at the moment. Yes we are only a point off last year’s champions and yes, Liverpool are not going to continue this winning streak all season, but we have been poor in performance and already dropped points at places like Watford, which suggests to me that we’re going to fall well short.
Liverpool have a more complete team than us. They have a pattern of play and an established forward line that all know their place in the side and the positions they occupy on the field. We have question marks over the positioning of Aubameyang out wide when Lacazette is fit and Pepe is still settling in. Behind them we have issues with our midfield in that we still don’t seem to have a settled two or three. We have issues in linking the midfield and front three and the player – or players – that could potentially step in to that position, have either not been able to establish themselves or have been frozen out at the club.
Defensively Liverpool have a lynchpin in Van Dijk and their full backs are what we are hoping our full backs will be. But we don’t know yet. Bellerin and Tierney feels like that particular piece of the jigsaw could be ticked off when making a case to challenge Liverpool, but they are still yet to play 90 minutes together and so there’s a lot of “ifs” being placed on those two working.
But that’s us right now. We have a lot of “ifs” and many of us are unsure what’s going to happen with the team this season. Plenty thought that Emery needed a season to establish his team and style and we’re at the quarter way part of his second season and we still don’t have any assurances. Which is why some people are getting a little stressy. I get that. But some of the online comments are a little mental if you ask me. Emery still needs time and if we’re getting to Christmas and we haven’t seen a ‘click’ yet then we should be asking some questions, especially if results have suffered too.
As I say though, the “ifs” are numerous, so we need to see some green shoots somewhere and I think it needs to happen with the existing playing staff on the pitch right now, because expecting Holding to come in and salvage the wreckage that has been our defence, for example, feels a little too fanciful. He’s a good player, he’s got potential and if he stays fit then great, but let’s see him get a run of games under his belt before we start hailing the second coming of Maldini. I saw a tweet from Orbinho yesterday which said that Holding has only played 10 matches for Emery so far. That’s hardly a player who was a stalwart for the manager before his injury so we should be careful of putting the defensive eggs in the Holding basket.
It’s the same for Saliba. He’s a good player, a young player, but a player who will need an adaptation period. It may be that the team that we hope will be able to match Liverpool’s side doesn’t actually form for another two years. By then Özil will be gone, Auba will most like be coming to the end of his time and potentially even Lacazette, so there’s probably another iteration of our team that needs to emerge before we see any kind of real competition at the top.
It’s the right thing for Luiz to say and we as fans need to appreciate that he’s got to keep the positive PR up, but I’m not sure how many of us truly believe that what Luiz was saying has too much credibility to it.
Anyway, that’s probably enough of my waffle for a Saturday morning. Have a good’un.