Sunday, September 29, 2013
A few months ago I wrote this article for STC Sports (click here) claiming that this season was Arsenal's best chance in ages to win a trophy and especially the league title. We're almost 2 months into the new season and Wenger's men are sitting at the top of the league while the rest of the top clubs are floundering around them.
David Moyes' start at Manchester United has been the worst the club has had to endure in its Premier League history. Manuel Pelligrini and Manchester City, despite all their millions, are still capable of shooting themselves in the foot. Jose Mourinho seems to be his own worst enemy as he's not making a great deal of friends on his return to Stamford Bridge. The verdict is still out on AVB at Spurs and Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, but they've both started their campaigns decently.
So bearing all this in mind, Arsenal seem to have steadied their own ship. Their fans are actually happy, the team seems to have gelled and by the looks of things there's a good vibe around the place. It may not be evident, but most Arsenal fans around the world are secretly asking themselves if "this is really it". Are Arsenal finally going to break their trophy drought this season? The future's looking bright if they can sustain what they've currently got.
Signing Mesut Ozil was probably the biggest surprise of all, but that isn't the only thing that's boosted their chances significantly. Aaron Ramsey has been a revelation this season so far and is looking like a completely different player to the one we've seen over the past few years. However, the true unsung hero of their current line-up in my opinion is Mathieu Flamini. It's been a while since the Premier League has had a battler in the Keane/Vieira mold running the show on the pitch and doing the dirty work, but Flamini has been doing it very well since his return to Arsenal and his determination seems to be spreading all across the pitch. This Arsenal is a different one to what we've previously seen.
We've all mocked them long enough but the encouraging signs are there for Wenger. If he can keep the team performing at this level (on all fronts), they might pull off a surprise. Let's see how things go, but for now Gooners have every right to feel confident.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Manchester United fans are worried. Actually, they're very worried. They're so worried that some of them are bashing the players and calling for David Moyes' head already. The hashtag #moyesout trends quite often on Twitter whenever United seem to be doing badly. The reactions and comments by United fans on Twitter, Facebook and all other social media are way over the top and considering it's only been 5 games since the league started, they're actually quite pathetic.
There are only 2 ways United fans should be looking at this start of the 2013/14. Firstly they can consider this as a "baptism of fire" for David Moyes who has had to face Chelsea, Liverpool and Man. City in his first 5 games, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt to succeed and requires the time, support & patience of all the club's fans in order to prove his worth.
They can start calling for his head (like at other clubs such as Real Madrid, Chelsea and so on...) following such a short stint at the club while refusing to give him any time to move forward. These same fans will also be the ones who'll read into what all critics and tabloids say (without realizing that most critics say these things to sell papers and make a living off it), so they'll happily agree with them just because it's the "hip" thing to do.
However, I would rather look at the facts and other United fans should do the same too. Ever since the re-branded and reformatted Premier League started (1992/93) below are the records of how Manchester United have performed following their first 5 games of the season. In green you'll find the seasons when they've started better than this season, in red you'll find the seasons when they've started worse and in yellow you'll find when they've found themselves with the exact same points as today. Make of it what you will, but the first one in yellow was Sir Alex's first ever league title.
Should United fans still be worried? Or should they learn how to be patient instead?
(Click below to enlarge)