Great start Arsenal - but there’s nothing to celebrate yet. 😂.

Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Arsenal are the team that can be most satisfied about their start to the season. But that’s all it’s been. A great start. No more. No less. There’s nothing to celebrate just yet.

The Gunners are in a much happier place than they were a year ago mind you. And I repeat what I’ve already said about the business they’ve done. It took some courage to get rid of the dead wood. Edu and Arteta can take a great deal of credit for that. What they’ve got now appears to be a vibrant young side that should finish in the top four - and might even mount a title challenge, although I still believe that’s a way off yet. But there’s no question that they’ve made huge progress.

It was great to see Son back to his best with that 13-minute hat-trick v Leicester. I can’t think of a more popular footballer than him right now. He’s a charmer - all smiles and so humble with it. It would be great for him and Kane if Spurs could finally land silverware this season, but don’t count on it. I still get the feeling that when it really matters they’ll do what Spurs always do, but the start has been encouraging.

It’s going to be interesting watching Brighton and Chelsea now. Brighton will level out. Potter got out at the perfect time, although he can look back on a very good job done at the Amex. I’ve no idea what’s going to happen at Chelsea. As I said last week - I fear that Potter will get swallowed up, but I really hope I’m wrong.

Haaland has taken no time at all making one of my pre-season predictions look daft. He’s different class. He’s a beast. Nothing fazes him. His timing is incredible. He’s always making the right run at the right time - the right movement at the right time. And I love his confidence. City will win the title if he stays in the sort of form he’s shown so far.  I think that’s the safest prediction I’ve ever made. 😂😂.

I can’t pretend that I’m a little surprised about Liverpool’s stuttering start. I’m sure it’ll come right, but they look tired. Salah is still way off and that’s got to be a concern for Klopp. I know they had to sell either Mane or Salah because both contracts were winding down, but at the moment it looks as if they sold the wrong one, despite Mane’s apparent difficulties in Munich.

Forest are in trouble. I said pre-season the key for them would be winning home games. But they’re not doing that. I expect a whole lot more drama at the club yet.

Leicester are the real surprise so far. What on earth is going on there? I don’t understand it.

Ok. Schmeichel has gone. He was a huge character in that dressing room. Vardy looks like a shadow of himself. I can’t help but wonder if his wife’s tumultuous summer has taken more out of him than we thought it might? Certainly some of the stories we heard wouldn’t have made him too popular with some of his colleagues. But not much else has changed. Rodgers is still a fine coach and they’ve still got good players. It’s a mystery.

At the time of writing there isn’t a vacancy, but that hasn’t stopped good old Rafa getting busy. My friends at Leicester tell me he’s already made himself available should Rodgers get the sack. It wouldn’t be the first time an out of work manager has smelt blood and got busy - but come on. After the shambles Benitez left at Everton - he should crawl away and
keep quiet. But oh no - not Rafa.

Not for the first time he’s blaming everyone else for what happened at Goodison. He’s opened up on his ‘struggles’. How brave of him. ‘I couldn’t do it because I was a red’ he’s said. Is this guy for real? Does he want us to feel sorry for him. His ‘struggles’? Really? Was he the victim then?

No. Here’s the truth. He wanted the job at Everton for years. It was a nice one for him because he lives on Merseyside. Remember what he told us when he finally got it - that he felt he was doing something for the ‘people of Merseyside’. Pass the sick bag. He also got it at the wrong time. If he’d been available he’d have got the Newcastle job back. Oh how that must haunt him. Shame.

His transfer business at Everton was embarrassing. He landed them with Rondon. Why? Why does he follow Benitez everywhere? (I’ve no idea) He signed a player that couldn’t get into Palace’s best X1. Ok - so Demarai Gray occasionally turns up - but I’m not a fan.

I know money was right, but Lampard is operating under the same financial restrictions and making a much better go of it.

No Rafa. Don’t ask us to feel sorry for you. You sold Liverpool fans out. You sullied your reputation as a red. I told you at the time it was an impossible job for you to do. Evertonians didn’t want you. It was never going to work.

If you now feel full of so many regrets - hand your settlement money back. Apologise for believing it was possible. Apologise for taking the job.

Why has Benitez started talking again now? Has it anything to do with putting himself back in the market?

Benitez is a busted flush. If I’m a Leicester fan I don’t want him anywhere near my club. Vardy might be getting on a bit - but he’s still better than Rondon.