The 1000th Arsenal fixture under Arsene Wenger takes place tomorrow but it was match 497 which brought him his last success.
Staggering really and of course, that means that during the first half of his career with us he was pretty darn special but since that 497th fixture, things haven’t really gone quite so well – other than getting us into the Champions League place of course and as we all know, there’s no big jug handed out for that.
Plenty of money has been flying our way because of that Champions League qualification of course and we’ve needed that since we moved to The Emirates and it’s fair to say that during the early years at our posh new stadium, there wasn’t a lot of money available for Arsene Wenger to spend so to get us into the top four each season was quite remarkable.
However, this was supposed to be our season, last summer was meant to be the summer in which the club spent big and spent good. Mesut Ozil came in and he was both, very expensive but also very very good but he alone was never going to turn us into the kind of side which could dominate the league in style.
In fact we have witnessed quite a few very average and some disappointing performances of late, especially since the injury to Aaron Ramsey a few months ago and latterly, the injury to Theo Walcott.
But, we are actually winning more games than we have in years and we are so so much better placed in the league at this stage of the season since goodness knows when… The Gallas strop season maybe or had we started to slip down the table by this time?
Is having points on the table more important than how we actually perform to get them? After all and as said before, Manchester United have been pretty average for many years now, yet they still managed to win the league.
Whisper it quietly, but our goals conceded is much better than it has been thanks to our defence… Well, a little bit but it’s our goals scored that is letting us down. I know there are a few games to go yet this season and that tally may well push up over the three figure mark but in all seriousness, we simply aren’t scoring enough goals.
Despite that, our win percentage is up a lot and we haven’t seen that up in the 60% for a long long time, in fact 2007/08 was the last time and before then it was 2004/05.
I do wonder what our percentage could, or even would we be right now had we signed one extra player back in the summer and then again in January when injuries hit us? My own thought is that it would be higher and we’d be way ahead in the league and on the verge of our first double since 2002..
Of course we are still in the race for the Premier League title and should Arsene Wenger finally get one over that short-arsed horrid little man tomorrow, we will be left just one point behind Chelsea and with a game in hand….
That’s how close it is..
Congratulations are in order as Arsene Wenger notches up his 1000th fixture as Arsenal manager tomorrow.
Make it a good one Arsene, because all things considered, you deserve it…..
That’s your lot for another day….