This Arsenal team is so strange. It's almost completely opposite of last year's squad.
Southampton came to the Emirates Stadium and was absolutely thrashed 6-1 by Arsenal. The Saints' only goal was handed to them on a silver platter thanks to a Wojciech Szczesny brain fart. He tried to clear the ball, but only managed to move it a couple feet right into the path of Daniel Fox who scored into a wide open net. Fortunately for Arsenal, that was easily the worst moment of the day.
The other 10 men on the pitch were much better. Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen were rock solid in defense, and the two came extremely close to scoring on several occasions. Kieran Gibbs was mainly responsible for two goals, even though they were ruled as Southampton own goals. Carl Jenkinson held his own today.
The Gunners' newest members in Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla were the two best players on the pitch. Everytime Cazorla had the ball, it felt like something good was about to happen. As for Podolski, his curling free kick into the left-hand corner of the net was a work of art. It was a microcosm of his day. Perfect.
How would you feel if Arsenal signed a world-class player on a free transfer? Hello, Jack Wilshere.
Having already been out for 13 months due to injury, Wilshere being able to play again will be exactly like a new signing for Arsenal. The last time Wilshere played in 2011, Robin van Persie, Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, among others, all shared the pitch. There have been many changes to the squad and it will be like playing for a completely new team.
Fans of the club were upset when head coach Arsene Wenger didn't sign another world-class player to offset the departures of van Persie and Song during the end of the transfer window. But most people seemed to overlook the fact that Wilshere, arguably Arsenal's best player at just 20 years old, is lurking in the shadows, waiting for his time to get back on the pitch. He's almost a forgotten man.
One of the most unlikeable characters from the Harry Potter series, Dudley Dursley, got everything he ever needed or wanted and still complains about how much he doesn't have. He's simply a spoiled, ungrateful brat.
Now substitute Dudley with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and the two appear eerily similar. He's one of the highest paid players in the world as he'll make around $17.6 million this year. His team, Real Madrid, is arguably the best club in the world and is contending for trophies each and every season. Ronaldo also has the supermodel looks that can make any woman faint. So what's there to complain about?
It appears Ronaldo is upset with someone within the organization. He began to act strange during Real Madrid's battle with Granada over the weekend when he scored twice, but did not celebrate as if he had just won the Champions League as he usually does. After the game he was asked why he didn't celebrate and he said that he doesn't celebrate when he's sad. He also said that certain figures within the club would understand why.
This summer has been like a 100-meter sprint for Arsenal. The London club shot out of the gates quickly and kept up its torrid pace. But towards the finish line, it tripped and fell hilariously on its face. This summer's transfer window has been just like that, except it hasn't been funny for those who support the cannon.
After singing Santi Cazorla from Malaga earlier in August, conditions looked perfect for head coach Arsene Wenger to add yet another quality signing. But over three weeks later, nothing has materialized other than Robin van Persie and Alex Song leaving the club along with Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park being loaned out to other clubs. And for supporters of the club, that is a huge disappointment.
What was shaping up to be an excellent summer for Arsenal ended with us wondering what in the world happened. Like a movie that ends suddenly and unsatisfactory, it left us wishing for more. One has to wonder if van Persie was right to criticize the ambition of the club; it took two steps forward and then took three steps back. After that it did nothing and then accepted what happened.
The Britannia Stadium is a true house of horrors for Arsenal in recent seasons and that continued somewhat on Sunday during its 0-0 draw with Stoke City.
While Arsenal fans will be feeling frustrated by the lack of goals to start this campaign, there is plenty to be positive about. First and foremost is the quality of Arsenal's defense so far. Steve Bould's appointment has definitely been a positive influence on the defensive work and the pairing of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen looks solid. The back line has looked surprisingly organized so far, and considering Stoke's ability to convert from set plays, the Gunners held them at bay admirably.
Getting a draw in such a hostile environment should be an accomplishment for Arsenal. Now that the game is over, head coach Arsene Wenger and company should feel relieved they don't have to visit again until next season. With Potter fans chanting things such as "break his leg, break his leg," referring Aaron Ramsey's horrific injury there a couple seasons ago, it's quite obvious Arsenal wasn't welcome at all.