Once the excitement of deadline day had passed,
reality had it that it was over 10 days before we could all see our new super
signing in action. Some couldn’t wait and decided they would watch the Germany
match on BT sports over the England game.
treated us to the usual few injuries but the Premier League was back and
Sunderland away was where our first match was. There was then the crisis
headline that Arsenal may have to start their new £42m-man due to Tomas Rosicky
picking up a knock.
On paper it was a nice
game to have, Sunderland have looked poor all season and had little confidence
nevertheless we had to get the job done.
10 minutes into Mesut Ozil’s
debut he put in Olivier Giroud and it was 1-0. “Ozil to Giroud- goal’ how many
times will we hear that this season?
themselves back into it but two Aaron Ramsey goals meant we got the three
On current form, he’s
the best all round midfielder in the League and the Welshman deserves all the
credit. The truth is for most of last
season he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal, he wanted too much time on the ball
and seemed to snatch at his opportunities in front of goal, yes he never
stopped working hard but you need more then that to make it here. I don’t think
the fans were wrong to question his inclusion in the lineups. Of course he had
the injury that was horrific but football is unforgiving and times have to move
on yet Wenger kept giving him so many chances.
However towards the
back end of the campaign his form picked up. In all fairness he was beginning
to play more games in his preferred position and he seemed to look a bit quicker
on the ball. But it’s this summer where
I think Rambo deserves so much credit. He realised that despite everything that
had happened in his Arsenal career there was still a place for him to grab and
he had a manager that had his full backing. He took that chance in pre season,
putting in some fine displays, especially in the game against Manchester City.
He also looks like he’s got stronger. Players go to tackle him and they end up
bouncing off him, which is great to see. It’s also important to note he has
some of the best tackling stats in the league. As well as that he has got his
composure on the ball back, seems more aware of what is around him and
importantly is now finding the net. His goal scoring form is reminiscent of
Cesc Fabregas at the start of the 07/08 season. He’s getting chances every
match and he’s not rushing the opportunities, the goal at Swansea City is
probably the one that highlights this best. It’s been a fantastic start to the
season for him and long may it continue.
After the Sunderland
match we faced our first Champions League group stage game, Marseille away. For
me this was a really difficult match, not just because they have a few good
players and a hostile stadium but also because there was a big pressure to win.
Everyone has more or
less said it’s between Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund or Napoli for the group and
have pretty much written Marseille off.
We had to go there and win and win we did. Granted it was probably our
worse performance of the month, I thought we struggled on a pitch that didn’t
look great but we got the job done with goals from Theo Walcott and Ramsey
whilst also conceding our fourth penalty of the season.
The Stoke City game
was a weird one. We scored three goals all from set pieces and in the second
half had hardly any of the ball to Stoke of all teams. And whilst it might not
have been the most exciting game to watch it showed the new defensive qualities
this team has. Despite having little possession Stoke didn’t have a real
chance. The defence looked solid, being protected by man of the match Mathieu
I know it’s still
early in the season but you have to say it looks like an inspired bit of
business from the boss. When we signed the Frenchman I was very sceptical. Not
just because the way he left the club and the fact it wasn’t the star signing
we were looking for but more because I hadn’t really watched him play in five
However it has become
clear that not much has changed in terms of his style of play. He still keeps
it very simple and although he’s better on the ball then given credit for, he’s
still fairly limited compared to our other centre midfielders. But his
aggressive, no nonsense style, leadership and influence he has on others make
him such an important player for this team.
Against Napoli the
other night it was around the 75th minute and one of their players
was getting treatment. Everyone was catching there breath but not Flamini. He
was still shouting orders, pointing his fingers and jeering everyone up,
brilliant to see! Exactly what this team needs and I’ll admit he’s quickly becoming
one of my favourite players.
Many of the kids were
given a game for the Capital One Cup match against West Bromwich Albion. We
didn’t really have much choice given the nature of our injuries. Nicklas Bendtner
also got a run out and by most accounts didn’t do badly. You get the feeling that at some point
between now and January we will have to play him in a league match. If so then we
have to get behind him but it is strange seeing him back in the squad, it
certainly wasn’t the plan at the start of the summer.
I didn’t get to see
the West Brom match so don’t know much about it. The game finished 4-1 with Thomas
Eisfield getting on the scoresheet and it went to penalties. Since I’ve started supporting the club we’ve
won every shootout we have been involved in apart from the nightmare Bradford City
game. So it was really good to see us win another with a few young players
showing some real bottle and stepping up and the next round against Chelsea
should be a fascinating tie.
It was quickly back to
the League game for an evening kick off against Swansea. An interesting match
because Swansea are one of the best footballing sides in the league. The first
half was a non-event but the second half we really stepped up our game. Serge
Gnabry, who is beginning to make a name for himself, scored his first goal for
the club and Ramsey, back in Wales scored the second. What the game showed was
how our quick counter attacking football, which we seemed to stop playing for a
few years, has come back. We are now
breaking quickly with midfield runners and doing it at pace, it’s great to
watch. Ozil is the orchestra of course but other players like Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs
and even Giroud with his movement are contributing.
Saturday was a dream
day as all the big teams dropped points meaning we opened a little gap at the
top and being eight points clear of a certain Manchester United. Not that I
think league positions are that important at this stage but it’s still nice.
So the end of the
month came and so did was arguably on paper our toughest match of the season.
It also produced our performance of the season and probably of the decade.
Napoli are doing well
in Serie A, have some exciting players like Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon
yet in the first half could not get anywhere near Arsenal. We simply bossed the
game, in a way your use to seeing Bayern Munich and Barcelona do. We went two
up thanks to a classy finish from Ozil and well-worked goal finished off by Giroud.
After that we made Napoli run around for 30 minutes chasing shadows and playing
some beautiful stuff at the same time.
In the second half we
did more of a professional job. Our football wasn’t as fluid and we allowed
Napoli more possession but I don’t think they tested Wojciech Szczesny once.
So six wins out of six
in September and all without our best player last season Santi Cazorla.
Leaving the stadium
there was a real feel good feeling around the place. Not only are we playing
some lovely football again but there’s a togetherness about not only the team
but the fans and that’s how it should be. We wanted our Arsenal back and we
have got it, well for September anyway.