Here we are sat in 4th in the table with a couple of home games to come. No doubt they are yet more fixtures that provide a test for this new group of players. They seem to be facing their first real test every week every week in fairness, and they seem to be passing them in terms of results.
Fans are very eager to not get carried away with our start to the season, and rightly so. It is, after all, early days and there is still a long way to go, even though we are nearly quarter of the way through the season. Points have been earned with hard work, stout defending, and with some skill mixed in for good measure.
Alan Pardew said something in The Journal this morning which interested me. He harped on about low expectations, realism and the team spirit. Have a read.
“Our fans don’t have great expectations of the team,” Pardew told The Journal. “I don’t think any of our fans will be thinking of the Champions League. We’re realistic and we’re very pleased with where we are, but let’s see how far the team can go. The strength of any football club is not in the individual, it’s in the team. And we’ve got a decent team.”
“The players are not the type to get carried away, they’re pragmatic. We’ve got a decent team structure where good players will do well, and we’re getting the benefits.”
The “let’s see how far the team can go” bit interested me. It’s an interesting question really. How far can we go?
As I said earlier on in the article, it’s still early days, but we’ve also had near enough a quarter of the season to form a judgement not just on ourselves, but also on how other teams are doing and how they are performing. Obviously no team is going to stay in exactly the same vein of form as they are in right now, including ourselves, but going by what I’ve seen so far I don’t see an awful lot to be concerned about in the Premier League.
You can pretty much discount the top five. To me those positions are nailed on to belong to Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool. Arsenal look ropey to say the least but they still have the resources and players to be able to fight their way back up the league, but at this moment in time they don’t look like doing anything spectacular.
Beyond that though I don’t think we have much else to fear. I honestly believe that we could push for 7th place, maybe even 6th with a bit of luck and the wind behind us. This is not me becoming all deluded as I’d still settle for top ten and an improvement on last season. This is merely an assessment based on what I’ve seen of the season so far.
How far do you think we can go?