What I want to know is this: exactly what happened in the dressing room at half time? Any ideas? Was it even legal?
The first half was one of those end of season games between two mid-table sides with nothing to play for. Only it shouldn’t have been. Sure, the odd bit of skill here and there, but generally looking more like twenty two footballers who had never met before.
So, the first half rumbled on until, and oh thank you West Ham, a goal, and then all change. Arsenal reacted, and no surprise it was Podolski who pulled us level. The Man can shoot accurately and hard.
Into the dressing room at 1-1. Now, I’ve never had Arsène down as a natural motivator, which is fine so long as you have natural leaders and fighters on the pitch and I’ve had my doubts that we do. I was beginning to believe the gutter press, particularly with regards to Santi, but he in particular, but also the entire side in general, were clearly introduced to each other at half time, and a new side emerged for the second forty five.
Energy, drive, understanding and desire was evident from the Arsenal XI.
In the fiftieth minute, Ollie climbed into DB10’s football boots, controlled the ball with the most exquisite of touches and buried the ball with a superb finish. Sheer quality. Twenty odd minutes later, and Podolski slammed home his second and Arsenal’s third. Job done.
At this stage of the season, and given the closeness of the battle for forth with Everton, it was always the points that most mattered, but the nature of the second half performance gave room for massive optimism.
Verm played a disciplined and excellent game, and the importance of quality in depth was further highlighted by the introduction of Aaron late in the game. With the likely return of Mesut for part of the run in, and of course my favourite Ox in the wings, I’d image we could be savouring some great performances as well as the necessary points.
Written by MickyDidIt
We have two posts today, here are kelsey’s thoughts on the game……….
Arsenal burst West Ham’s Bubble.
Many questions were asked before the game. Would the draining one hundred and twenty minutes on the Wembley turf would take its toll on our depleted squad with only three days respite between the two games? Who would have recovered in time yet keeping a balance in the side?
Wenger decided to make five changes and in the end they were more than justified. Every game in the run in is a massive match and the jostling for fourth place might not see an outcome until the final day.
For the first half an hour apart from a glaring miss by Giroud, our play was nervous and generally lacked pace and a real threat, then invariably in one of West Ham’s rare attacks Jarvis scored a header which in all fairness was a messy goal and thoughts returned again to “oh no”.
Of course the ideal situation is to fight back immediately and just before half time Podolski let fly with his lethal left foot.
“Goals change games” , a phrase often used and the Arsenal team that came out in the second half had a spring in it’s step and was more like the side we had been watching a couple of months ago .
Giroud, the enigma he is, scored a fantastic goal and the when the tired Rosicky game off the introduction of Ramsey showed how much we had missed him and within minutes his dinked header into the path of our left footed German nearly broke the net, and the game was won.
It was a much changed team and it was nice to see Cazorla back to his best after a slow start. He seems to save his best performances for Home games and I just can’t work Giroud out. He generally misses the easy chances yet converts the more difficult ones. Maybe with him and even Podolski to an extent it’s just regaining confidence.
Another who surprised me was Arteta, though not foot perfect, he and mainly the whole team seemed to have been revitalised after the Cup win, and that bodes well for the run in.
I keep repeating it, but Sagna should be retained if possible. He even found himself in the centre forward position on one occasion and his energy levels are amazing. He maybe getting on,but a player who can naturally play in at least three different positions is invaluable.
All in all a very satisfactory performance and a vital three points. Others are still to come back and by the weekend including most probablty Ozil and Oxdale-Chamberlain, we may well then have a selection problem. It’s a “Funny old game”, that’s why we love it and emotions swing up and down several times in just ninety minutes.
Well played lads, today we are smiling :)
Written by kelsey