Chin up, chin down, chin chin…

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Hurrah! It’s Friday tomorrow, a mere day before Saturday, which is the very day of my first home league game of the season.

Weird that we’ll have had just one home league game more than a month into the season, but that’s how it’s panned out. We’ve played seven, won five, lost two. Is it a disastrous start to the season? No, but I guess it depends what your definition of disastrous is. Is losing away to the champions and away to the team that has spent £100m this summer a disaster? We’ve played three tough away games, and lost two of them. We shouldn’t have lost either.

We’re now in a position no worse than that of Liverpool. It’s so early in the season, far too early for snap judgments.

But I concede (as Arsenal have been doing – pah) that we’ve lost some of our early season momentum, and that for large tracts of Wednesday’s game we were rank awful.

We’re letting in too many goals. 11 this season already, in 7 games. We’re making daft errors across the park. We’ve got too many injuries – nine. And some of our players, very few of whom have won domestic honours, have blown hot and cold – yet again. Some, to whom we have given the benefit of the doubt for a long time now, can really only expect to have this season to prove themselves. Will they take the opportunity?

It could be better – but given how we came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 on Wednesday, you know what, it could be worse.

And although I’m being upbeat here, I do have my fears myself. I’m not blind. Do I think we can challenge for the title with this team? I was quietly hopeful after two games, but after four I’m back to where I was last season. I’ll probably change my mind again if we register a thumping win on Saturday. My point is, when we can’t field anything like our best team from game to game, and any rhythm we find gets interrupted by international weeks, I’d say it’s impossible to judge. So I’m not going to.

As my old hometown mucker and fellow season ticket holder Mr D said today, in one of those frank football email exchanges that tend to happen when email is to hand, exchanges are to be had and frankness is required on the subject of football, we might be an enigmatic team, but “who wants to be Man Citeh?”

Couldn’t agree more. Up the Arsenal!


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.