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By Walter Broeckx
With yet another international break to pass by we take the opportunity to have a look at how things stand when we compare last season and this season.
Last season after 7 games we were 15th in the league table. We had played 7 games and won 2, had 1 draw and lost 4 games.
So you could say that this season we occupy a better position. We won 3 games, had 3 draws and lost only one game. And we shouldn’t have lost that one but we did. Now we are 7th and we have 12 points.
Last season we were 12 points behind the then league leaders Manchester United and Manchester City. Now we are 7 points behind the current league leader Chelsea. Chelsea who begun the season with a flying start. It remains to be seen how long they will keep flying and if they come crashing down like they did last season. And the season before. It is then up to us to take advantage when this will happen.
What is maybe more important is the fact that we are just 3 points behind the teams that have been named most to win the league. Both teams from Manchester have a small advantage compared to us but one win can change this and put us on the same points. This is where we should focus on. Stay close and in touch with those two teams will be important.
We also should keep in mind that we played 4 games away from home so far this season and only 3 home games. But our away form has in fact been better than our home form as the only defeat we suffered was at home.
If we look at the goals scored we see that last season we had scored 10 goals in total after 7 games. Now we have scored 13 goals. For the moment it looks as if losing our top scorer hasn’t really affected out goal scoring. In fact another thing is rather similar to last season. As we couldn’t score in our two opening games in that period (Newcastle and Liverpool) and the same happened now against Sunderland and Stoke. One could say that the new players needed a bit of time to get in to their game and get used to the PL.
Another thing to look at is the goals conceded. Last season we conceded 16 goals in our first 7 games. Now we only conceded 5 goals and this is the second best number of all the teams in the PL. Only one team does better and that is current league leader Chelsea with 4 goals.
So if we compare the first 7 games from last season with the first 7 games from this season we can only see improvement.
A better league position, more points, more goals scored, fewer goals conceded. And all this when we had to replace the top scorer of the league from last season. And we also had to cope losing our first two keepers and having our number 3 keeper playing most of those games.
We did it without the best right back in the PL from the last few seasons who was out with an injury. We had the flu passing by and making a few players sick.
We had no Wilshere and Rosicky available who can offer extra things attacking wise and bring even more class and also some determination to the team.
On the very positive side people finally realised what a giant defender Mertesacker is and not just because he is big but because he is pure class. I was as happy as can be when he signed last season and I never doubted him. I could never understand the fact that many people were critical about him because once he had settled in I thought he was really good. But since having a good pre season with the team he surely has shown to all what a defender he is.
Jenkinson has shown once again that Wenger knows more than all 800.000 of us together know about players. I think Wenger will have been the only one to see the raw talent in Jenkinson. And what a buy he has turned out this season.
Also he fully adapted to the team and with the injury of Sagna grabbing his chance to prove the doubters wrong. Believe me I do think that Sagna is still the better and more complete of the two. But I know that I will not make a lot of fuss when Jenkinson starts in the place of Sagna if we want to rest him. I would also suggest to wait another season or two. Because I really think that the way Jenkinson has developed over the last 12 months is an indication that this Gooner-Gunner is a boy who is willing to learn and to accept the advise from the coaches and the manager. And that is the most important part: he can develop and develop quickly.
So an international break and again we can only hope that the players come back in good health. So far the season started well, the new boys are getting better and better. The players we bought last season are also raising their game it seems. But I will go in to the different players in the next days and give my personal view on them in other articles. We have to do something to pass the time, don’t we?
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