So we remain top of the league in December and still no one expects us to win it. I kind of like the fact that so many are predicting that we will fall away; it really takes the pressure off. This will change, of course, when we beat City and Chelsea in the next couple of weeks. But I am getting ahead of myself, silly me; I forgot that we will, of course, beat Napoli before hand.
Tell me, did this same Hull team really beat Liverpool 3-1 on the weekend — really? Because they were pants, Championship fodder if ever I have seen some this season.
Steve Bruce may have ordered a bus and tried to park it on our eighteen yard line but only a mini bus arrived. The Good Guys just blew them away with Wengerball of the highest calibre. I think you could probably count on one hand the amount of times that Hull touched the ball in the first twenty minutes such was the control and domination that Arsenal had over their opponents.
It all started so well, Wenger made predictable changes with one exception. As I took to my seat with fifteen minutes to go I could hear the groans from people as they filed in having realised that Bendtner was starting. I have a certain amount of sympathy for his behaviour; he is tall, handsome, obviously a good footballer at school, got a great contract with Arsenal, has Danish Princesses throwing themselves at him, not to mention the women every time he goes into a night club; I mean, are you sure that you could stop yourself thinking that you were God’s Gift to football if that were you? I am a humble person by nature but I do have a soft spot for Danish Princesses.
Anyway, cometh the hour, cometh the man or should I say cometh the end of a contract, cometh the first signs of some determination.
Big Nicky shut every one of his critics up after just two minutes when Jenkinson sent in one of his trade mark quality crosses for our Dopey Dane to head home from six yards out and boy did he celebrate. It was a fine goal, it settled the nerves and it was clear that the game plan was going to be played out in exactly the way that Wenger had anticipated.
It is easy now to think that as Hull were so weak it was the perfect opportunity to start with Bendtner but I think there is more to it as I still expect him to be sold in January; the reason being, that his contract ends in the summer, we are not going to give him a new one so he will be able to leave for free. That being the case; the club know that it is far better to get something for him while they can in the January transfer window rather than nothing four months later.
The other thing to remember is that he has played for Birmingham on loan under Steve Bruce and I think Sunderland; they have a history. So I also think there was a lot of “trial” about the decision to start with him last night. We will see, but the most interesting thing about this if it does turn out as I suggest is that Arsenal will buy another striker and that is not might, that is, they will have to and as we all know the signing of a new striker is always exciting.
Back to the game, we were totally dominant in the first half and should have had a hat full but we went into the break with only one goal to show for our effort and while there is only one goal difference in any game there is always the possibility that the opposition could score a lucky equaliser. I am trying to add drama to this aren’t I and I am probably failing. This tension I am trying to create lasted all of two minutes from the restart when Ramsey rolled the ball into the path of Özil to slot home from less than five yards out.
Job done; everyone relaxed and spent the next half an hour looking at the scores of the Chelsea and City games on their smart phones. The substitutions were made with the customary twenty minutes to go. So much for resting Özil, a full ninety minutes for him. Wilshere, Walcott and Arteta came on for a kick about as we saw the game out in an orderly fashion. While I am on a team selection roll I will predict this: Walcott will start up front against Napoli, the Italians have to score three so they will come onto us leaving acres of space and when there is space it’s always Theo time.
This was a comfortable win on a cold night; the first time in a while we could sit back and allow our finger nails to recover and we need to as they are going to be chewed to the stumps in the coming weeks.
Written by LB