It was only a couple months ago when I sat in the JCR, miserable, watching the north London derby as spurs fans celebrated Harry Kane scoring a penalty in what developed into a 3-0 thrashing. Head in hands, tired of stress snacking on giant skittles, distraught and upset, I got up and left before half-time to fill the void of sadness with some cakes at the welfare tea happening across college. Ranting while eating a mr kipling slice I insisted that there was no point supporting this team that made me so upset.
It goes unsaid that the 21/22 season for Arsenal fans was not one for the faint hearted. With such a terrible start to the season, the hope that the team could despite all odds finish in the top 4 was strong and powerful. It eventually came to a painful, crumbling halt, only for an all or nothing documentary to come out a few months later to add further insult to injury and salt in a fresh wound.
But this season feels different, fans who have had their eye on the team since the pre-season have noticed that despite the disappointing prior season, the team have genuinely come back stronger. In the last couple months, Arsenal have developed into quite a threat beating high performing teams consistently. Worries the team faced limbo following the exit of high profile players like Aubameyang and Lacazette seem futile now following the welcoming of Jesus and Zinchenko and returning of Saliba. With no draws and one loss so far, in the league, Arsenal are a much better team than they were a year ago.
However, the conversation surrounding Arsenal seems to be: give it time. Celebrations are premature. I ask, at this point how much more time does one need, eight wins in nine games seems like enough time to say that Arsenal are genuinely in great form. They’ve had one of their best starts of the season in a long while, whilst a year ago they were making one their worst starts to the season in history. If fans weren’t making a big deal, I would be concerned, it is not everyday you see Arsenal at the top of the league past GW1.
Furthermore, it is the same people screaming at fans to stop celebrating prematurely who are increasingly reliant on Arsenal players in their FPL. If we’re celebrating prematurely then, take Martinelli out right now and while you’re there get rid of Jesus and Saliba. More and more teams not only have maxed out city players on their FPL but Arsenal ones too. This is the same team who were eighth in the league only 2 seasons ago, and have not qualified in the top four for a long time.
So when I see people complaining online that Arsenal fans are celebrating prematurely, I get a bit confused. We’re not used to the top of the league like that. Interestingly some fans complain that Arsenal’s winning form has got people jumping on the bandwagon of success. There was a time when the team didn’t even have a wagon. The obvious fact is Arsenal are performing better than they have in a long time and it’s making a lot of people quite happy. So what if we want to celebrate, who knows how long it’ll last?
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