Morning folks and welcome to Tuesday. It’s an odd one in the UK because the bank holiday yesterday was essentially non-existent two weeks ago, so it kind of still feels like a Monday morning. Only it isn’t. It’s Tuesday. But it carries that feeling of a Monday of satisfaction after the three points at the weekend and I have to say I’ve been utterly absorbing every last inch of Arsenal content in the last 48 hours. I’ve listened to as many podcasts as I can get my hands on, i’ve read and re-read as many blogs and articles as I can find, I’ve looked at tactical breakdowns of the game via video and I’ve even been checking out what other fans think – like the Brentford fans – on how we are looking right now.

We are looking good. We are looking like the real deal. We are looking like one of the big teams fighting for the league. Now, you and  both know that the likelihood is that we will fall away; City and Liverpool have players who have been there, seen it and done it. We have a couple in our team but we are such a young team too that, if I’m honest, I am just waiting for something to give. I just hope it isn’t on the immediate horizon because it would be lovely to dream big for another month or so. Let us have these dreams and hope for an exciting season a little longer.

For Arteta and his team the focus obviously has to be on just plugging away on a game-by-game basis, but as I said yesterday, as fans we’re looking at all the narratives being knocked to one side and we’re getting a little more excited each time. I saw James Benge tweeted a stat yesterday that for us to get to 18 points in the last few seasons it has taken us 13, 16 and 11 games to reach that points marker. This season it has taken us seven and that is a massive improvement and something that should be celebrated. I know it is a painfully obvious thing to say, but this early season form and getting points on the board as quickly and early as we have done so far this season, is huge. If we’d have played that Everton game I’d be sure that we’d be on 21 points with eight games played and if you think that the old adage is that the league doesn’t take shape until 10 games in, it shows just how consistent and impressive we’ve been.

Nine games in to the season is just under a quarter of matches played in a whole season. If you are north of 20 points after nine games then you are trending at a north of 80 point season. I know life isn’t linear and just because we’ve had a great start now, doesn’t mean we’ll continue to do well for the rest of the season, but you can only go based on what you’ve done so far and our tally is such that if we get to north of 80 points come May 2023, we’ll have hit 80+ points for the first time since 2007/8. That would represent our best points haul since we competed for the league in the Eduardo leg break season. That just goes to show just how important it has been to get the start we have got and as we’ve all talked about in the fanbase we know it is early days and we aren’t getting ourselves carried away, but we are playing the kind of football with the kind of confidence, that just has me believing that we can at least compete for the top four this season. We aren’t playing catch up, we aren’t looking like other teams are miles better than us, we are a genuinely competitive outfit and that is so pleasing to see.

Last season we got 69 points. That means we need another 51 points just to match that, which is 17 wins in the league. We have 31 games to go. So even if we only won half of our games between now and the end of the season, we’d be close to matching what we did last season and that was bringing us close to a top four spot. I suspect the numbers for that fourth spot will be similar again this season and the reason I am breaking it down like this in my head is only to highlight that the excellent start we have had has enabled us to build in buffers should we have a blip, suffer even more injuries than we’ve already had, yet still be able to compete for the top four. Think about it like this; if we lost all of our ‘big six’ games, we could still finish fourth by beating all of the teams below them. Or, to look at it another way, if we have an excellent home record and win all of our home games left (16 games for the season), we’d have 66 points. We’d then only probably need to win three or four away games across the whole season in order to achieve what I would call success this season, which is a top four spot.

What I’m saying here is that every one of the wins so far has had a massive impact on our season, regardless of what pundits and other fans are saying with regards to the ‘easy run’ we’ve had. I don’t care about easy runs, I don’t care about ‘adjusted league tables’ based on the quality of opposition, what I care about is that we keep racking up points that bring us closer to our targets and the sooner we can hit those little milestones – like hitting 20 points before match nine, or 40 points before match 18, 60 points before match 27, etc, then that’s all that matters.

So let other teams have their say on our season and how easy we’ve had it; let’s just focus on doing our job and let’s hope that we can continue to rack up those points in October. If we do, it’ll continue to be a great ol’ time when we hit 2023.

Catch you all tomorrow.