What a difference a month can make. Back in mid-December, if you took the pulse of the Arsenal fanbase, you’d think the club had already been relegated and was on the verge of collapse. Now, on the back of five unbeaten in the Premier League, we’re looking at the schedule and counting up points to get back to a Champions League place.
The truth about where Arsenal actually are is somewhere in the middle. We have a tendency to be a bit melodramatic when it comes to the Gunners, but things were pretty bad, and now they’re some amount better.
The most important thing, at least for me, is that I’m enjoying watching Arsenal matches again. Yeah, it definitely does correlate with scoring goals and winning, but that the young talent is shining and the lads are playing an attractive brand of football doesn’t hurt, either. A good number of us fell in love with the club not because they were quite successful (they were, anyway) but because they were successful and they looked good doing it.
Yesterday against Newcastle, especially in the second half, Arsenal were back to zipping the ball around the pitch. They played one-, two-, and three-touch football with combination team play leading to scoring chances.
A finally healthy (fingers crossed he can stay that way) Thomas Partey was a revelation. As I tweeted and wrote, the thought of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe zipping around the carpet at the Emirates and linking up for goals brings me endless joy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was smiling, scoring, and doing front flips.
That’s what I want to see from my football club. I think that too often we get to wrapped up in playing armchair general manager. That’s fine if you want to do it — I often do and enjoy myself doing it. But we let that get in the way of the simple, most basic thing about being a football fan: it’s supposed to be fun. And right now, Arsenal are definitely fun again.