By Blake Pirtle
There are more than a fair few Gooners whose happiest times in recent years come before the start of the latest Premier League campaign when Arsenal stand proudly atop the table… for alphabetical reasons. Looking at the current campaign, one might think that this could be the year that all changes. Arsenal currently sit second in the standings, tied for the lead in goals scored as well as tied for fewest let in. I’m not one to completely get my hopes up this early into a campaign (who am I kidding? I’m giddy like Brian Perceful at a 90’s alt-rock concert), but I am certainly hopeful that with the quality players already in the squad (A charming Frenchman, anyone?) and the top class quality recently added (Öh man, am I excited) that we can finally take our rightful place atop the leader board at the conclusion of a season. Let’s take a look at some of the squad and talk about the high’s of this first month.
Olivier Giroud: He’s tall, he’s surprisingly agile, and he looks fantastic even when blowing snot rockets across the pitch. The second year Striker is off to a fantastic start. As of this writing he has scored in each Premier League match, and they haven’t even been all off his head (the majestic thing that it is). He seems to have accepted the pressure and responsibility of being the only real option we have at the striker position, and if he can stay healthy, I believe will have a truly outstanding year.
Aaron Ramsey: 6 goals in all competitions thus far, and the humility and class not to rub it in everyone who called for him to be thrown off the pitch and into an alley’s face. The Welshman has been fantastic for Arsenal and I see no reason for him to stop now. It’s a true testament to Arsene Wenger’s belief in what he sees as quality. He stuck with Ramsey, knowing what he could do when in full form. You know that Ramsey has to have seen this as well and carries that with him. I can’t help but to get warm fuzzy feelings just thinking about it all.
Mesut Özil: I will never forget his first match with Arsenal for as long as I live. Sitting at George’s Pub in Jenks, Oklahoma with 14 other die hard Gooners as Mesut delivered a textbook cross to Giroud, who soundly put it away, only 11 minutes into his new career with our great club. The Cheers were heard around the block and rightfully so. It signified something so much more than a new signing, or a great goal. Arsenal had finally taken the first step to asserting that they are in fact a “Big Club”, and hopefully turned a new, albeit umlaut filled page in the history books.
Bacary Sagna: Bac wins the team player of the month for me. He has shown that he can fill holes left by injuries, illness, and red-cards to play not only his desired right back position but also as one side of our outstanding centre halves. He has done surprisingly well in the middle with, both, the BFG and his countryman Laurent Koscielny. I believe with the kind of class and willingness to adapt that he has shown thus far, a new contract will be in the works to ensure he finishes his career with The Arsenal.
On the Champion’s League: I have just finished watching the first match of the group stage vs. Marseille and, while we started off sluggish and ended with a stupid penalty, overall we played well. Theo FINALLY got his first goal of the new-year, and again Aaron “The One True Welsh God” Ramsey was absolutely brilliant. I also have to give it up to Kieran Gibbs for his spectacular showing at left back. Arsenal showed tonight that they are not on a lucky streak in the BPL, but truly have quality. My hope is that they continue to show this as they move forward in the aptly named “Group Of Death”.
Am I optimistic? Yes, I am. Do I have a reason to be, other than my unbridled love for the club? Absolutely I do. We have shown to be a top quality club even with the un-godly amount of injuries sustained so quickly into a new year. That fact makes all the difference to me at this point and excites me for the days/weeks/months/years to come. For now you’ll find me cheering loud, Guinness in hand, most likely at George’s Pub.
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Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!