Date:Monday December 19 2011
A mere few months ago, we were, let`s face it, bollocksed, an horrendous start to the season saw us in the bottom third of the table, and whilst relegation wasn`t that much on my mind, it did seem hard to see where and how we were going to start climbing the table.
Our worst start in Premier League history coupled with our worst defeat in 120 years, we`d lost some of our best players and I`m sure many of you joined me in feeling we had hit rock bottom.
Arsene Wenger had brought in Gervinho in over the summer, but the lack of incoming players was also a massive concern. However in our first ever exciting "Transfer Deadline Day" (Trademark owned by Sky Sports News), Le Boss brought in Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker on permanent deals and Yossi Benayoun on loan.
Many pointed a finger at Arsene claiming these were panic buys, however each and everyone of them has played their part in our rehabilitation. Yossi to a lesser extent, but hey, he is only on loan!
Of course we`ve been aided on our way by the continued emergence of the fabulous Wojciech Szczesny, and most notably the man who on current form I consider to be the best striker on the planet, Robin van Persie.
Like most recoverys, it`s been a tough one, scraped results here and there, bad performances just enough to see us through, but the more we won, the better we got, culminating in a thrilling game at the City of Manchester Stadium yesterday (I don`t advertise for my own club by refering to it`s sponsored name, no chance of me doing it for someone else).
Of course some might think it odd that the barrometer to measure our progression might be a 1-0 reverse away at one of our rivals, but when you consider what we have been through, not to mention what we were up against, then there`s no more proof needed, when you look at our performance, to know that we`re back!
We have to be realistic and say we just can`t compete financially with Man City (or Chelsea), so over the course of the season it`s going to be an almost impossible task to best them, but over the course of 90 minutes we stood toe to toe with them, trading blows with such ferocity I was sure the players would all collapse with exhaustion before the end.
Yes, City were worthy of their 1-0, but on the flip side of the coin they couldn`t have any complaints had Thomas Vermaelen`s late effort crept inside the post. It`s just one of those games where someone has to lose, even though they might not deserve it, unfortunately for us, it was our turn.
It was a crazy game, one that both teams should be proud of participating in, but our players and fans should be proud of our efforts, that was a tough game, against the toughest opponents in England, and whilst some might bemoan how City came by this amazing team, we`d be much better off focussing on what we can influence, and that seems to be what Arsene Wenger has done rather well.
If we can keep performing like this till the end of the season, we`ll have no problems finishing in the top four.
Date:Monday December 19 2011
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