The promise of pre-season was there today, in a lot of ways. You saw that players are hungry and ready for the new campaign. Some of the movement was excellent. The closing down and the work rate was phenomenal. A lot went totally right.
Yet we didn’t finish that game off as soon as we could have or in the style we might have done. There were a lot of chances, and a lot of sloppy finishing. We created enough of them to have won five or six matches … the score could have reflected that.
When a team is as dominant as we were today, especially in the first game of a new campaign, you expect the manager to be pleased. He wasn’t. Not totally. And he let his players know it. Ange is not the new guy in town anymore, the guy who had to please a lot of people and win friends before he could start to influence things.
He’s the Man now. He’s the leader. He’s a title winning boss at this club, and he has set this team standards and by God he will not allow this team to follow below them. That is incredible. That is a warning to his own footballers … and to every other club in the league. This guy intends to drive this team to even greater heights than in the last campaign.
And that should concern everyone at those clubs. That should not be something they casually dismiss as just talk. Even as we were putting sides to the sword last season on a regular basis, Ange knew there was more to come from this side.
He’s determined to get there, to dig every bit of talent out of this team and see them in a stronger position than ever before. If the man isn’t satisfied with a win like that he’s no longer playing the benevolent dad role … he’s playing the demanding father figure who wants to see the kids graduate with honours. We are about to go up a gear.