Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham
Itâ€™s hard to know what to make of this Arsenal side at the moment. In terms of personnel, weâ€™re stronger than last season. But as a team? Itâ€™s just not working properly, as two wins in nine testifies.
All the possession in the world, but whatâ€™s the point of that if we lack the means to go for the jugular?
Donâ€™t get me wrong, a point is no disaster, but weâ€™ve been a curious side to watch for much of the season. Generally not bad – apart from in Dortmund, where we were awful – but certainly not quite good enough.
Getting the right system right and bedding new players in is clearly vexing Wenger, as it is with several managers, so I suppose the fact that we are unbeaten in the league is something to draw comfort from. Weâ€™re not easy to beat.
But weâ€™re six points off the pace, and should we see the kind of top four away-day Collaps-o-Arsenal of recent years next weekend (I donâ€™t think we will ship six, but itâ€™s a fair question to ask), then weâ€™d be nine points off the top at the beginning of October. Time to get worried, or a bit of perspective required?
The latter, to be honest. I think weâ€™ve got a very strong team, but itâ€™s one that has yet found the groove. New players, World Cup returnees, etc etc – itâ€™s not an excuse but itâ€™s a factor.
As for yesterday, there were good shifts put in by most players. Oxlade-Chamberlain looked strong, Ozil and Welbeck worked hard, Wilshere was always looking to drive forward (and was felled on most occasions). Like I say, curious. We didnâ€™t look bad. We just didnâ€™t look quite capable of knocking the door down.
And to cap it all off, Arteta and Ramsey are now out. Of those, the former is the biggest worry as Flamini didnâ€™t cover himself in glory yesterday. Why we have no other options in that position is of course a question thatâ€™s been asked a thousand times before, given our millions in the bank. But there you go – there are only so many times you can say it before it becomes boring.
Ramsey has perhaps epitomised Arsenal this season. Not bad, but just not hitting the heights of last season. Fortunately, itâ€™s one position in the team we have options. If heâ€™s been carrying a knock for a while (and itâ€™s the second time heâ€™s been out this season, so that could well explain something) then itâ€™s probably best that he lets his body mend properly.
Onto the Champions League we go, where weâ€™ve little room for error already. I guess we just have to KBO* until we get the balance right.