Well here we are then ; Top of the League. Bloody hell ; how did that happen?
I think everyone will concede that we did not play well yesterday, but instead of laying into the team, let us appreciate the handy knack of winning without playing particularly well ; A great habit to have. One feature of this season so far has been the early goals ; we have scored before the 23rd minute in every league game so far, and even though we have conceded on a few occasions (don’t mention Villa), we have recovered well and there was more of the same yesterday.
Losing Walcott so late was a big blow, and even though I have never been Theo’s biggest fan, you can see how we do miss him when he is not there. There is a glaring lack of pace in the team in his absence, and even though Gnabry had a tidy debut, we could not expect him to be taking people on and getting behind their back line in just his first game ; The team will need to learn how to play to his strengths, just as they have done with Walcott. Ramsey continues to be our best player, and Flamimi was not far behind yesterday. I will admit that I was dead against the re-signing of Flamini, as I see it as a backward step to an already flawed transfer policy, but he continues to prove me wrong, as his performances have been exceptional since returning. I have said it before, but never underestimate the importance of having a pointy, shouty bloke in the middle of midfield ; even better if he loves a crunching tackle and doesn’t mind a yellow card or two. Nice to see the BFG and Sagna getting a goal each also ; If you have defenders that play every game, and they can notch 5 or 6 goals by the end of the season, then it can make a massive difference. Get in there.
And what can you say about Ozil? Three assists, and I actually thought he had a fairly quiet game! The guy just oozes class, but it helps that the team are playing well anyway, to give him a bit of time to adjust ; so far so good.
The games keep coming, and it is the League Cup on Wednesday, and there will surely be at least 8 changes to yesterday’s team ; However, don’t forget that West Brom will also be doing the same, and as they could be set for a relegation scrap, this may play into our hands. It is frustrating to see AW complain that the squad is light on numbers, having had all summer to strengthen, but West Brom’s second XI can’t be as good as ours, can it?
Changes or not, we have to be confident of another away win to go with our remarkable run. Come on you Reds.