As Arsenal completed their pre-season with a 3-1 win over fellow Premier League side Manchester City, it proved to be a very effective and top level performance from the Gunners. Man City certainly weren’t sluggish and had several attempts, but Arsenal’s sheer determination and good style of play managed to keep them out for the majority of the game.
But one thing I said about the game before they kicked off in Helsinki yesterday was that no matter the result it means nothing. If we were to lose it wouldn’t mean we were in serious trouble for the upcoming season (although unless we make some signings that could be a point I prove to regret), and if we were to win then it doesn’t mean we are good enough to compete on a regular basis amongst the other big clubs and ultimately have a competitive and challenging season in which we become contenders for the Premier League trophy.
I reiterate that this win over City doesn’t mean we have a greater squad than them. Their team is far superior to ours but it was a number of mental aspects including spirit, team morale and determination as well as a good understanding between the players on the pitch that made us successful yesterday, just like the case with Wigan against City in the FA Cup final last season. We do have a good team, but it certainly isn’t up to scratch if we are seriously considering challenging for major honours.
Wenger cannot use yesterday as an excuse not to sign players, nor can we use it as an excuse to think we may be in for a serious title challenge. It’s a very pessimistic approach, but it’s also a realistic one. We need signings there is no two ways about it and I know the majority agree, so don’t let the result fool you. We can beat any team on our day, we have shown that by beating the likes of City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan but we must also remember that we are also prone to any team being capable of beating us on their day, the likes of Norwich, Birmingham, even Bradford.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a positive mental boost and will fire the players up for the start of the season, just like it will put doubts into the City player’s minds, but it’s now time to recognise that this will once again be a long and challenging season for Arsenal.