There have been a few common themes this season. General musings that you hear around the TV at home or in the pub, or sometimes by the people on the TV. Like ‘West Brom are surprising’ or ‘Michu is a great signing’, and that’s fine because they’re right. One thought has been floating round that needs a rethink however – ‘Arsenal are rubbish’.
Variations include ‘Aren’t playing well’ or ‘Won’t get forth’ and I can understand where the theory is coming from. Losses to Norwich, Olympiakos, and Swansea have taken their toll on the people’s opinion.
They seem to have picked up their north London brethren’s knack of letting a lead slip, and have been battling to get the ball in the net most games this season. But to suddenly dismiss them as a quality football side is churlish.
There are two parts that go towards being a great team. One is success, which the Gunners do have (consecutive CL knock out stage for 13 years), just not in trophy form. The other is to play a great game, to create beautiful football. Just look at Chelsea, they had the silverware but desired a more pleasing game to watch.
Regardless of what you make of Arsenal‘s trophy-less success, you can’t deny that they have the second attribute in spades.
That doesn’t happen by accident. ‘Put quality players together and they’ll play quality football’ only gets you so far. Years of training, and buying into a philosophy makes that possible. Arsenal are currently in 7th, two points off the three positions above. They aren’t doing badly, as everyone will realise when they finish 4th.