Such a headline has not been linked with us for a very long time. It’s quite rare, just like me writing a blog on this website (sorry for that). The last time we won our first two league games was in 2009. Our only first-team signing that summer window was Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax. He was good, but for the rest it was not a transfer window as good as the most recent one. The last time I was really excited about an incoming transfer was when Mesut Özil signed in 2013. However, we lost our first game in that year. So, like I said it has been a while since we won our first two games and also had a massive transfer window as well.
When did we have a two win start and big signings?
In 2004 we also started with two wins but had a less impressive window. Manuel Almunia, Matthieu Flamini and Robin van Persie joined. The latter obviously turned out very well but was still very young and therefore not per se a really impressive signing at the time. It has to be said though that we had a team back then starting their new season after the Invincible 2003/04 campaign. The team contained – just to name a few – players like Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann and Patrick Vieira. So maybe an impressive window was not as needed back then as it was now. The Invincible season also saw us win our first two, by the way. 1999 saw us win the first to as well, signing Thierry Henry among some others. So maybe we should take that as the year it last happened. That is 20 years ago!
A real test awaits us this weekend
Haters will say we won our first two against two relatively easier sides. I will freely admit Burnley and Newcastle are not teams people are really surprised to see losing to Arsenal. That’s a fact. But still, the last few years have shown that we can struggle against teams like this. Adding to that there were a lot of changes in the first team. Six players were added to the first team squad, while a lot of important names left our dressing room as well. The dynamics in the dressing room have been thrown upside down and everyone has to settle into this new team. That will take some time. This Saturday we’re taking on Liverpool in our third league game. As one of the hot favorites for the league title this year, it could really show where we are at currently. But let’s face it: if we lose, there is absolutely no shame in that. I would even go as far as stating that anything else than a loss is an absolute win for us right now. Liverpool were very impressive last year and made almost no changes and are all very familiar with each other. They are stable and ready. We are still finding our shape. It’s not that I am not backing our team. But you have to agree with me that we will be in the underdog position this weekend.
Even more to come in January?
In a recent interview Josh Kroenke told the official Arsenal website about how they took on this transfer window. In the lost Europa League final last season it became clear to them a more aggressive, proactive approach was required. That was exactly what we’ve seen. Rumors about us being on a relatively low budget, only to see us sign and sell a lot, breaking the club-record fee in the process. Personally, I did definitely not see that coming. Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and the others of the Arsenal football operations department deserve a huge compliment for how they’ve dealt with this situation.
Two wins from two. In the last two occasions we managed to win two from two, we won our first five (2004) and first four (2003). In those seasons we finished second and as champions respectively. Let’s see what the future brings. But let’s remain positive whatever happens! Come on Arsenal!