As tiresome as they can often be, clichés are a part of sport. We've seen them used in interviews and press conferences time and time again.
And yet, they wouldn’t be clichés if they weren't true – at least some of the time.
Considering Arsenal's form so far this season – and the number of injuries in the squad – two contrasting clichés come to mind. And as the international break comes to an end, we turn to our panel of supporters to find out if they think we've already seen the best that the squad can offer, or if even better days are ahead.
But in cliché form, of course.
Question: In terms of the rest of Arsenal's season, which of these horrible clichés best describes your view: "as good as it gets" or "you ain't seen nuthin' yet?"
I really had to fight the pessimist in me to offer a response of “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.” But while the style of football Arsenal has already shown may be “as good as it gets,” I have to say I fully expect them to build on this run of results over the course of the whole season and achieve something even beyond the flashy football they’ve already exhibited: that is, simply, a trophy.
While I do expect we’ll see more of the kind of fluid interplay that tore Napoli apart, I think the next level for Arsenal will be to overcome the poor results that will invariably come their way and prevent what we’ve seen in past seasons, where bad streaks have tended to follow the winning ones.
I fully expect them to build on this run of results over the course of the whole season and achieve something even beyond the flashy football they’ve already exhibited.Joel McNamara
I think it’s safe to say that losing to Villa on the opening day of the season -- after such enormous pressure had already been heaped on the club -- was a remarkable low for the team, and yet they’ve shown the determination and solidarity to quickly respond to that by blazing a trail of results that have vaulted them to the top of the table.
It’s also important to note that this has been mostly achieved in the absence of several key players whose return will only bolster the squad’s resourcefulness later in the season. With the return of goalscorers like Walcott, Podolski and Cazorla, I believe we’ll have the necessary depth to mount a challenge for silverware in at least one competition.
Again, from a strictly stylistic perspective I’ve enjoyed Arsenal’s performances this season immensely: the brand of football they’ve put on show is really about as good as it gets. I think we’d all agree, however, that by winning trophies it’d get a whole lot better, and that’s something I’m backing this current squad to do in the remaining seven months.
I think what Joel says is pretty strong and it goes along with what I believe. While I think Arsenal have played football this season where you say that was ‘as good as it gets’, I still think there is room for more, ‘you ain't seen nuthin' yet.’
Health. The one word that has plagued Arsenal over the years has once again this season. While Arsenal have been good this season, how good would they be at full strength? How good will they be when everyone is back? How good will they be when Cazorla and Ozil have had time to gel and link up with Giroud?
I truly believe that the longer the season goes, the healthier Arsenal will get and the more cohesive a unit they will become. This Arsenal team will win a trophy and venture farther into Europe than they have in a long time.
That is why you can say ‘you ain't seen nuthin' yet.’
As good as it gets or You ain't seen nothing yet... Would it be asking too much if I added a third option: I just can't get enough!
I think Joel noted the major points: that we've played beautiful, and more importantly successful, football this term, and have done so while missing several rather major components from last season's team. We have been brilliant at times this season, Ozil has hit the ground running, and some unexpected contributions, at least in terms of goals, from Ramsey and Giroud, have alleviated some of the pressure in our attack, but it might be a bit hopeful to expect either player to continue to tread a patch quite this purple for the entire season.
Luckily, we should, should be seeing some of those missing pieces returning in a matter of weeks, starting with the most important of the bunch, Santi Cazorla, as early as Saturday against Norwich. Personally, once the initial thrill of the Ozil signing settled in (and that floating-on-air feeling hasn't left just yet), my first thoughts turned to the prospect of the German maestro in interplay with Santi out on the left, and it is an appetizing prospect for fans of Arsenal and of football in general.
If we can get some of the key players back without losing anyone else and weather the coming storm of fixtures, then I think we'll have the true measure of what this team is capable of.Brett Chase
But while we're on the subject of injuries, my greatest concern for Arsenal's chances at a trophy this season have much to do with that, in particular the lack of depth in the squad overall and in certain areas in particular. Injuries have robbed us of much of the width in the attack, with Walcott, Podolski, and Chamberlain missing for long stretches, and while Aaron Ramsey has been able to make contributions while being pressed into service on the wing, it does Jack Wilshere no favors to be shunted out wide as he struggles to find his form. Despite Jack's goal against West Brom, our lack of options, particularly pacey options, out wide left us found out a bit against the Baggies.
I do think that the squad, while possessed of a great deal of individual quality and team spirit, is still a bit thin. The situation in central defense has, very luckily, not been tested by the injury bug (KNOCK WOOD!), as it is paper thin. Yes, Thomas Vermaelen is patiently waiting his chance, but beyond that our next center back is Bacary Sagna, who remains our best right back by some way.
That situation bears consideration in January, as does the need for another striking option. Nicklas Bendtner needs Arsenal in order to build up his profile, but we need him perhaps even more desperately right now as the cupboard is absolutely bare apart from Giroud and the Dane. So while we're all very grateful for our Transfer Deadline Day present, Arsène, Christmas is right around the corner...
If we can get some of those key players back without losing anyone else and weather the coming storm of fixtures, then I think we'll have the true measure of what this team is capable of. We'll know even more if some of the scuffed edges were smoothed out with a well-placed signing or two come January.
At this point in the season, there's no reason not to feel optimistic about what Arsenal can achieve this season. But I'll have my fingers crossed for a while just yet, while saying, "More of the same please, lads."
The views expressed above are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Media Group.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Oct 2013