I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated reading the press and blogs this week. Certain consistently reasonable sites excepted, there has been a glut of unnecessary complaining, ranging from us being merely Barcelona-lite (hardly the most pointed insult) to demands for a complete squad overhaul.
Some would have you believe that our season is over already, and are already going through the process of deciding who we should buy and sell in the summer. Hang on a second. We’re three points off the pace in the Premiership – we have plenty left to play for. Isn’t the summer madness long and painful enough without starting a month early?
I haven’t done one of these lists for a while, but I decided to because a) they don’t actually take that long and I’m pushed for time tonight, and b) I wanted to remind people why there are plenty of reasons to stay positive. Here we go.
1) We got as far in the Champions League as any English club, further than Chelsea and miles beyond Liverpool.
2) We may have been ultimately outclassed by Barcelona, but we gave them a scare, which is more than most, and we did it by playing football, not by using underhand tactics. They are the likely, and deserving, champions.
3) On Wednesday, we could celebrate St Totteringham’s Day at White Hart Lane. Having won the league there a few years back, it would be another reason to chuckle at the expense of our neighbours.
4) We have had more injuries than last season, yet have improved domestically. What does that say about those that stayed fit? How much have they improved?
5) We have a manager with class. Tony Pulis can continue his personal vendetta by spouting all sorts of nonsense in the press, but his team are filled with players who break legs and fight with each other, so what kind of moral code do you expect? Wenger, rightly, is keeping quiet and letting our football do the talking.
6) No matter how bad things get, put yourself in Liverpool’s shoes. Having spent far more than we have, they are sixth in the Premiership, they lost in the League Cup to our kids, to a Championship side at home in the FA Cup, went out of the Champions League in the group stage, and have warring owners. Oh, and a manager who is probably off in the summer.
7) Van Persie, Djourou and Gibbs may all play before the end of the season.
8) We are signing a player in the summer who keeps scoring crucial goals for Bordeaux, both domestically and in crucial European games. And we aren’t paying a penny for him.
9) Our financial approach is sustainable, and our debt manageable, unlike the rest of the Premiership’s top brass.
10) We have a team spirit this season that hasn’t been matched in some years, largely because certain negative influences (here’s looking at you Adebayor) have gone. The fight is there for all to see.
No-one is pretending that everything is perfect. I know certain things have to change, and my guess is that Wenger does too. But the way some people are talking, you would think that we were tenth in the league, not in with a chance of lifting the title. I guess some people prefer to moan than look at the obvious evidence in front of them that says we’ve improved dramatically in a year.
Stay happy. We’ve got Spurs to teach a lesson to on Wednesday.