No club football leaves a fan to ruminate on things.
There is far too much time to think. When the Premier League, Europa League and domestic cup schedules are in full flow, it seems as though there is a match every three days – there actually is – which leaves little room to stew on things.
But when international football returns each time, we have two weeks to think on things. To reminisce on football and also to extrapolate everything from our last matches.
So it’s a pity that our last game was the drubbing to Aston Villa.
It would have been so much easier had international football returned just after our Man United win. Optimism was at a high, our concerns over lack of creativity diminished and we had beaten one of the big boys again.
But we had to slip, didn’t we? It wouldn’t be peak Arsenal if we had then gone on to beat Villa.
We have looked into the game from all angles, wondered where the fault lay, but the bottom line is that Arteta is still fine tuning his system.
Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp took time to hone their tactics, squads and backrooms. They needed patience from the fanbase as they built something that resembled title winners.
Arteta needs the same.
I find it quite ridiculous that the Spaniard is catching heat from a fair amount of fans. Concerned with our gameplay, our results, our position.
Arteta needs critique, of course. He isn’t flawless nor impervious to errors.
But let’s look at what he has done.
He has the team in a positive frame of mind.
His direction was enough to persuade Aubameyang, who could have signed for anyone, to sign an extension with us.
He has won a major cup in his short time.
He has overseen a major shakeup behind the scenes, with Raul Sanllehi departing and Edu and Vinai Venkatesham taking new roles.
He has shored up what was a ridiculously leaky defence and before Villa, transformed it into one of the best in the PL.
This is all in less than a season and still he hasn’t had the benefit of a pre-season to have an intensive period to instill his teachings.
So, let’s give the guy time. Unless you’re truly ignorant you can see we are heading in the right direction.