A few words from ‘Mad Jens’ throughout today’s post:
We once played Inter Milan and nearly got knocked out of the Champions League. We knew we had to get a result and all of a sudden this team really stood up. We beat them 5-1 in Milan, and so it showed us at the time how great we were as a team. The team spirit was vital to achieve such things.
Prior to this campaign, when did we last see the team spirit that Jens experienced?
Maybe in the odd game or two is my answer.
Certain players have stood up, but seldom have Arsenal stood tall together as a team, with each and every one giving their all to ensure we secure a victory or hang on to a crucial point.
Of course many of you will no doubt say, what about this game, or that game and of course you will all be right, but the team spirit Jens refers to was witnessed from beginning to end of the 2003-2004 Premier League season.
When you see Robin van Persie, a player who wants to leave for money and probably because he thinks that somewhere else it is easier to win, you have to let him go.
The bad apples are no longer with us and ‘our bunch’ is no longer being spoiled.
Apart from the little saga with Theo Walcott, every player wants to be at Arsenal and that is what most of us have been asking for, for many seasons. The age of the more experienced players is right, the younger ones, well most of them are Gooners or like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, they have reiterated their own desire to be at the club for years.
We have togetherness and judging from what we have seen so far, we could finally see the team spirit that we witnessed back in the days of Mad Jens.
This could be the season that ‘things’ really start to tick and it’s fixtures like today’s that will show us how far we have come and how deep the team are prepared to dig in order to get a result.
Man City haven’t lost a game at home since December 2010 which is why I suspect that no footballing fan, other than Arsenal ones of course, expect us to get anything from the game today but what do they know eh?
The future will tell us, along with what will come into place next year with the introduction of Uefa’s financial fair play rules. Then we will see how these rules actually come into play for clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. It could turn out that clubs like Arsenal are all of a sudden far ahead of their rivals.
Why wait until then?
We have a strong squad, Wenger suggests it’s his strongest ever squad:
It is true that the squad has maybe more strength than I have had before. At centre-back, yes, but also in midfield.
City may have all the money and all the super stars, but what we have is worth more. We have stability, a group of players who look happy and we certainly have no ‘off-field’ arguments rumbling on. We even have players on the bench who have the ability to come on and change games, something we haven’t had for a few seasons now.
So are they ready to stand up and show that later today?
We’ll soon know the answer…….
That’s it for another day, hope it’s a great one.