I get uncomfortable when the Arsenal receive praise of any kind. I don’t like our club being the centre of attention, I cringe when pundits extol our virtues, I groan when there is a consensus that we are going to do this or that. I like it low profile. Fortunately there has been more focus on DiCanio, Moyes, Mourinho and a host of others to occupy the media spotlight.
We are just quietly getting on with the business of winning games: pretty much adopting that cliché “one game at a time”. That approach suits this group of players. They seem a modest bunch who have grown into a resilient unit. That resilience was sadly lacking in previous seasons and now we see a galvanised team who at times capture the spirit of the Arsenal Way.
We have seen what a touch of real quality brings in Ozil’s contribution, his control and passing are a cut above and one can’t help but wonder what might have been had we added just one player of his quality each season. Having an injury ravaged squad seems to have bought the best out of those players who now have to be relied upon and we have seen Ramsey flourish, Flamini show real grit, Giroud gain confidence and Sagna recapture the form of the reliable player we have seen over the years. The rest seem to be digging deep at this early stage and it will be interesting to see how things develop as more squad members return from the treatment room. Some might say we are simply taking advantage of the instabilities elsewhere in the league but if so, what of it? that's like criticising a boxer for taking advantage of an opponents weaknesses.
Today we have the dreaded 5:30 kick off in a foreign field against a team who play the game the right way and have proved to be tricky customers in the past and I for one embrace it. We have to have the mentality that says ‘bring it on’ for every fixture and against every opponent: that’s the arsenal way.
Of course there is a long journey ahead of us in this season of optimism and adversity so nobody need get carried away but one couldn’t ask for much more with the start to the season we have had. Seeking perfection would be churlish so let’s just sit back in quiet satisfaction and see what “one game at a time brings” maybe opportunity has finally come knocking.