Don’t let the media spin fool you; the Premier League is currently a poor league. A Manchester United team that features players such as Smalling, Evans, Jones, Carrick, Kagawa, Cleverley and Welbeck is going to walk the title (and fair play to them), possibly with a record number of points. The Carling Cup was played out between two clubs that are not part of the so called elite, The Premier League has no representatives in the Champions League, and West Brom, Norwich, Swansea, Fulham and Stoke are in the running for European places. Mancini’s Manchester side are most likely going to take second spot, given that Chelsea are mired in fixture congestion. Tottenham still have the points in the bank but look precarious in their fourth spot.
In this climate is it inconceivable that the Arsenal can’t compete for a place near the top of this tree of mediocrity? Certainly a home fixture against a team that are plummeting into the abyss is a fixture that cannot be lost and with a game in hand is third spot a pipe dream? It is quite literally ‘up for grabs now’, starting Saturday.
The frustration of the situation is that being less average than the rest is may have been good enough. Being less mediocre would have had merit. Being less profligate could have reaped rewards. Showing a jot more fortitude may have resulted in triumph.
Those are the imponderables. What is clear is that we have some games ahead of us that, all bar one, are winnable. I want us to put Reading to the sword. A game against a struggling team with a new manager; that’s something that seems to happen to us on a regular basis, but we have put 12 goals past them in our two previous meetings.
So come on the Arsenal, let’s be merciless and start grinding out results, applying pressure and any other clichés that can be conjured up. Let’s show that we are a bit less average than the rest.