It’s been a relatively quiet news day for the club as the Arsenal side start preparations for the weekend Premiership clash against Roy Keane’s Sunderland.
As always, though, a couple of Arsenal players have had some things to say about the excellent result against Steaua Bucharest. Dutch striker Robin van Persie has kicked things off by saying a big, fat ‘I told you so!’ to the football public after his side’s bright start to the season.
“I first started just with Theo [in June] and then the other lads joined. What I saw was a great togetherness, a great belief and a great, great quality. It was early but I told you at the Amsterdam Tournament this is what I felt. However when I spoke, everyone was laughing.”
I have to say I remember laughing at van Persie as well, but it was not at what the Dutchman was saying but the way that he was saying it. Sometimes when the club has had some good results and van Persie scores a few goals he can get on a bit of a roll and sound a bit overconfident. To supporters of the club who understand him this seems quite alright but to outsiders of the club it can seem a little bit arrogant, and that’s probably the reason why noone really took him too seriously.
One thing I have noticed so far this season is the diversity in personalities that Arsene Wenger has blended into the squad. The outspoken, confident players like van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Jens Lehmann are countered by a group of intelligent, humble players like Gael Clichy, Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb, who are lead brilliantly by the likes of William Gallas, Kolo Toure and Gilberto Silva.
Gilberto’s wise words
There are, of course, a whole range of other players who fit into these categories and many more. But what it does show you is that Wenger has created a dynamic blend of diverse personalities that any sport psychologist would approve of. You just have to compare van Persie’s comments about the Arsenal team to those made by Gilberto Silva to see what I mean.
“It is important we keep our feet on the ground because football changes all the time. If you don’t keep your feet on the ground and your mind strong it is very hard.”
Whether this diversity equates to success this season is another thing entirely, but it does suggest that all the right ingredients are there for great success for years to come. Just on Gilberto, he has shown Arsenal supporters time and time again just what an intelligent and humble man he is, and these latest comments are no different. This current side is yet to face any real setbacks and it won’t be until they lose a game or two until we will be able to tell whether Wenger’s side has the ability to go all the way to the title.
On a side note, I would suggest that Gilberto’s comments have something to do with the man who has replaced him in midfield so far this season, Mathieu Flamini. The Frenchman has been in outstanding form so far and whilst I would not like to see him dropped for Gilberto at this stage, the Brazilian’s comment that “football changes all the time” should serve a timely reminder to Flamini and the Arsenal supporters that he may not necessarily maintain this form for the entire campaign. I think it is great to have such a wise player as Gilberto in and around the club and it speaks volumes about his honour and integrity that he is prepared to remain patient despite limited playing time this season. He is a credit to the game of football and someone that a few so-called ‘stars’ could learn a thing or two from.
Arsenal should remain cautious
Thirdgen, who writes another excellent Arsenal blog, mentioned in his post today that the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003/04 are being mentioned in the same breath as the current Arsenal side, and I tend to agree with him. There is no doubt that Arsenal have started the season brightly and have given themselves every chance of winning some silverware but we shouldn’t get too carried away. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but one defeat can easily turn into three and I believe that is what Gilberto is referring too. This side will certainly face setbacks this season and they will lose at some point, and it will be up to Wenger and the team to react in a constructive manner.
Just before I go I want to remind you again about the Arsenal FC Blog eMagazine that will be launching on Monday. You can check out all the details here. There is also a competition where you can win a free shirt thanks to the good people at Arseshirts. All you have to do is come up with a name for the new eMagazine and if you win, you will not only get the free shirt but the name you come up with will also be used for the new eMagazine. You can leave your entries here. I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again: good luck!
What do you think?
Have you say on the personalities in the Arsenal squad by leaving a comment.