First things first and most important, Arsenal won and were awarded three points, temporarily putting them in the top four. Second, my heart didn’t give out and I’m alive to write this. It was always going to be tough, as WBA have given us a good test every time we’ve played them in this most recent spell in the Premiership. They’ve done a good job under both Roy Hodgson and Steve Clarke (as much as I loathe to admit anything associated with Chel$ki is respectable). Respect due but moving on.
The Gunners needed three points and that’s what we got. I have to admit that I watched it streaming on the “interwebs” (did Al Gore trademark that or can I use it?) and there were several moments I missed based on that, so I needed to watch the game again so that my poorly pixilated laptop didn’t go into seizures. I was surprised that what I had watched poorly pixilated actually was what happened. Arsenal continued in the shape that has gathered points it recent weeks and were on the front foot from the off. They sized it up and got it sorted. I love Tomas Rosicky as I have been professing for the last several columns and will expound further later. He changes Arsenal’s game.
When he and Mikel Arteta are running whatever is going on in the midfield, regardless of if it’s Santi, Walcott, Ramsey or whomever (looking at you Franny Coq as I lament Diaby’s plight as also previously outlined). When Jack comes back, is he better than the third or fourth midfielder in the selection process? Regardless, I am totally fine with how they have been playing on the field eight of the last nine games (Spurts being the exception), provided we have 11 men. PROVIDED WE HAVE 11 MEN ON THE FIELD.
The tackle had to be made and the red had to be given, that’s simple. Shane Long is tricky and perhaps, and being generous, is half the size of Per Mertesacker. Maybe he should have just tried to eat him. Per was the last man, it was a scoring opportunity, and was a straight red. He knew what he was doing and took the dismissal well which is something I find all too uncommon today. Arsenal walked away and figured out what to do next, they didn’t surround the ref and complain. They got on with it. Somewhat uncommon. The ref isn’t going to change his mind, actually. He can’t.
Shut up, get your man off and accept that you now have to figure out how to win the game. There is a reason for a ref and that’s what everyone who has ever stepped on a pitch has to accept. Per was a sterling example of this. I’ve made tackles I know will be red cards and I did it so my keeper wasn’t in a one-on-one situation. One of them punched me in the head for doing it and went on to save the penalty. Lukasz Fabianski almost did that and was perhaps a bit hard done by. Howard Webb will not be discussed and/or commented on here but if that’s the best ref in England, something it wrong. Note to Howard: not your show, buddy.
The watching was brutal the last 20 minuets after the sending off. All I could think was, clear it, sort the back line and get it up field so someone can stick it in the corner. I do not blame Olivier Giroud for taking the late shot but if I was his captain, I would have bleeped the bleep out of what I said to him if it was being recorded. Just take the ball to the corner and let WBA try and take the ball off him.
What it comes down to is that Arsenal were super lucky to come away with a win. I would have settled for a draw after the red. So many, ok, three chances, but WBA was running the game. There was no closing down and the Arsenal were just trying to boot it. I don’t think that’s a winning strategy overall (Sam Allardyce I’m looking at you) but they pulled it out of their arses and got the job done even if it was ugly in the end. THREE POINTS!!! Oh, and the Spuds lost points this morning…I will refrain from making smiley faces.
- Squad players getting more time means they play better? What? Alert the press…TR7 is apparently the squad depth Arsene Wenger was referring to in the window. He did it last year, so what he can only play 23 games a year…I’ll take him over anyone else we could have signed at that point and he was free…“Like a new signing,” as the boss would say.
- Which also leads me to my main man, Tomas “insert expletive here” Rosicky. I’ve been overly talking about him as a player, but seriously, you have to give the guy props. I’ve only known/got to watch one other No. 7 at Arsenal and that was Bobby P. (All respect to Liam Brady and David Rocastle) Maybe he can only play half a season. I’ll take that if that’s the expectation. So what if he’s getting older, if he can put in 60 minutes with how he’s been playing, sign him up until he wants to quit. Wenger hinted as much in his post-game comments. That would be fine with me.
- Speaking of like a new signing, Aaron Ramsey. He has also had an “insert expletive” middle name couple of weeks. And I love it. All action and where he needs to be. I am fortunate to have seen Ray Parlor play and would liken him to Ramsey. Not a star but someone with a little bite in the tackle when needed and a general presence on the field you notice. Needs to work on his finishing is my only criticism. It amazes me how much he gets abused and hated on by people of the team they “claim to support.” Charmingly as ever, Twitter was alight. Granted, he missed a sitter. The guy has played less than a full season after having his leg destroyed by a troll. Ok, I don’t believe in trolls but anything in red and white stripes that looks like Ryan Shawcross will be referred to as a troll at this point so take that for what you will. Getting on someone doesn’t change what has happened and doesn’t help them personally. That’s another rant but my general feeling is if you don’t know what it takes, haven’t tried and want to criticize, shut up, please, and let the man get into a rhythm. He’s 22, just in case you forgot, and he joined the club as a 16-year-old and has been in the first team since, injuries excluded.
- I like Giourd, but his defending and tracking back just doesn’t do it for me right now. He’s a good target man and knocks the ball down well but I think needs to get off his arse a little and the get into the Arsenal half and bug defenders enough to think about what they are doing as far as trying to distribute. For WBA, Long did an excellent job of at least trying to pressure the distribution from the back. As it is now, he looks bored and on the halfway line doing it. You should never look bored on the pitch, regardless of where you play. And if someone is telling him not to track back then, well, telling us people would probably shut all of us up on twitter now, wouldn’t it?
- Jerome Thomas is a decent player, isn’t he? He always has a good game for whomever against Arsenal. There have been several youngsters that have left the club that I think got let go a bit soon, but you can’t fault for wanting to play, they had the talent. Seb Larsson, Fabrice Muamba and Thomas come to mind as players that showed their ability at the Premiere League level week in and week out. It may have taken them a couple of years to get good and no one was going to push Cesc out, let’s be honest. People not making this list include Jerome Pennant, David Bently and “Little Nicky” Bentdner. Not to fault them for being human, but if I was 20 and on £800 a week I probably would have gone out partying as well. The English have a term for these types of folks, but as my mother doesn’t approve of the word, I won’t use it here.
- Based on The Liverpool Toffees (Everton, I couldn’t come up with better derision…) taking a point off the Spuds on Sunday, Arsenal have a better league position, but still very little breathing room with Chel$ki winning. Time to suck it up and win out.
21 points left to claim and the Arsenal can take them all. Shush, we can talk about the upcoming ManUre game some other time
COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!