Evening all. I wish there was more to talk about, discuss and dissect, but seeing as we’re at the start of the 14th international break of the season (seems like 14 to me), Arsenal news, as you can imagine, is like Riyad Mahrez. A bit on the thin side.
Thank God then, that Arsene Wenger was today named the Barclays Manager of the Month for October, after guiding us to four Premier League wins out of four. To be honest, I think the boss deserves an extra special prize considering the circumstances surrounding, and manner of, those wins.
We blew Manchester United away within the opening 20 minutes, beating them 3-0 at Emirates stadium whilst playing some of the best football these shores have ever seen, and then won 3-0 at Watford, who boasted a mean defensive record at Vicarage Road until we turned up, took it easy in the first half just to lull them into a false sense of security, before casually putting three past them in the second.
Next up it was Everton, just a few days after we’d played a hugely draining game against Bayern Munich and lost Aaron Ramsey to a hamstring strain in the process, and we produced a very professional performance despite tired limbs and a depleted side to secure a 2-1 success.
We then ended October by heading west to Wales and Swansea, where despite being forced to field our seventh choice option on the right-hand side of our attack in Joel Campbell, we produced yet another 3-0 win.
So it seems inappropriate that Arsene should be presented with just the bog standard MOTM trophy, Barclays could at least have pushed the boat out a bit and super-sized it or something. The funny thing about the boss collecting that accolade though, is that it was just last week I think, when he reiterated his long-held dislike of individual recognition in the game when discussing the Ballon d’Or.
Moving on and Petr Cech has been speaking to Arsenal Player about our season so far, highlighting the squad’s work ethic as being key to our fine recent form. He said:
We started very well in the Community Shield, our first competitive game after we had a very good pre-season. Then the first league game came and we lost 2-0 at home. That’s possibly the worst start we can imagine, but we recovered from it and learnt from it. Since then we’ve been picking up points and as a team we’ve settled into the way we want to play. I think everybody understands their role within the team. People try to do their best every day to make sure we are ready to compete, and so far it’s been bringing the success. It’s [down to] the work ethic of the team. You never win things without going for it, without being focused, without being right in the training ground. So far, I have to say that the team are focused on what we are doing every day and I have to say that this is the key. You prepare every day and if you are really focused in what you are doing every day, then you give yourselves chances to win games. I believe that this team has that ability to be focused and ready to achieve. We are giving ourselves the chance to win every game.
I think our mindset in Premier League games so far this season is notable for the how focused it’s been, not just on winning games, but what we need to do to in each one to take all three points.
We’ve had fast starts and games won early, we’ve been patient and secured them late, we’ve dug in and been more direct when our passing was off or we were a little jaded physically, and in our last match, we managed to get something from a game we were struggling to stay in for long periods, with a patched-up side at the end of a marathon run of fixtures.
The word I’d use to describe us this season would be ‘mature’. For the most part anyway. Cech’s obviously been a critical component in our mental development this term, as many suggested he would be when we signed him in the summer, and it augurs very well indeed in terms of our chances of silverware this season if we can just keep it up and avoid more injuries.
See you on Wednesday.