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Arsenal deserves some respect

It’s almost unfathomable to think that after 21 rounds of competitive football out of 38, Arsenal still isn’t respected by its peers for its performance so far in the English Premier League.

I know that the league is far from over and I know that it isn’t a given that Arsenal will win the English Premier League but what happened with giving a pat on the back for a job well done! When did it become okay not to give credit where it is due?

Personally I think the critics are being too harsh.

I am fully aware that there is still a long road ahead and that the toughest part of the season is yet to come but, by the time we are 21 rounds in, every team has played every other team in the league and Arsenal still leads.

I would be the first to criticise the fact that Arsenal have been leaving it very late to kill games and that Arsenal struggle in the last few minutes of many games to walk away with the three points but no-one said it was going to be easy. The Arsenal v Newcastle game recently nearly gave me an ulcer in the dying minutes of the game and watching the final minutes of Aston Villa v Arsenal this week also increased my level of acidity.

Do I appreciate it? No! But loving and supporting a team to the end isn’t for the fainthearted; ask any Arsenal supporter.

I would also be the first to criticise Manager Arsene Wenger, who is still twiddling his thumb over signings when it’s evident that the club needs an experienced striker. It’s unbelievable that Wenger can look at his current squad knowing that in February the Gunners play Liverpool at Anfield, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, and feel that the positions are well covered. It’s upsetting how Wenger can look at a player like Yaya Sanogo and feel that he has striking power; that he can have so many injuries and not feel the need to even pick a player on loan to take the club through the season.

Well, as Arsenal supporters, we know that this has all become part of the club’s DNA. As long as Arsene Wenger is in charge, certain things will continue to happen or, in the case of big signings, not happen. As much as fans criticise him from within, there is no denying that this season has been special. He’s given the fans hope.

With all Arsenal’s drawbacks in comparison to Manchester City and Chelsea, what Wenger and the boys have managed to achieve is worth appreciating.

Manchester City and Chelsea have such wide and experienced squads and yet they aren’t top. Will it favour them going into the busy February month? Of course! In fact Man City are being favoured by most critics to win the league and, hey, they may just do that, but there’s no denying what the table looks like now and how the table has looked for most of the season.

I know critics will tell Arsenal to win silverware first and I agree that trophies are what gives you a place in football history but for the past six months and right now and right here, The Gunners are top! For that they deserve a little of your respect.

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