Written by peachesgooner
It was hard to imagine that November could get any worse, with two dreadful results behind them the team took to the field for the early kick-off against a struggling Aston Villa. Cesc was not in the squad following further excacerbation of his hamstring injury on Wednesday night against Braga but Arshavin, Nasri, Song and Chamakh returned. Tomas Rosicky was the captain for the day.
The added spice for the commentators came in the form of our very own Robert Pires lining up for Villa. Bobby had been training with the Arsenal squad and expected to go to a lower league side but AW had bigged him up and Houllier had snapped him up. Was this to be another performance undone by a former Gunner? No chance.
The opening 10 minutes were as exciting as any we’ve seen so far this season. Arsenal were rampant and imperious, creating 6 really good chances. We seemed to have our shooting boots on today even though the cob-webs were preventing some clean finishing. Arshavin was playing like a man possessed or at least like the Arshavin we always hoped he would be, finding space for himself, running at players and seeing the pass to set up a shot. Chances come and go for this Arsenal team and there is always the nagging doubt that we’ll have squandered ours and the opposition will get a lucky break.
Arsenal were in total control of the first half with Villa hardly managing to get the ball out of their half of the field. With six minutes left Arshavin picked up a ball just on the half way line and set off on a run, jinked pass a couple of Villa players, found himself the space to shoot and scored. Within a minute it should have been 2-0 as Arshavin put a great ball through to Nasri who rounded the keeper but put his shot just wide of the post. A corner gave Chamakh the chance with a great header that was stopped by Freidel. Another corner swept in by Arshavin was met by Nasri who thumped it through several players and into the back of the net. 2-0 at half-time.
How many of us knew the second half was not going to be so easy?
A defensive mess up allowed Villa to score early in the second half and there we were 2-1 again and looking shaky. Another great collapse in the making ……………. not this week. The combination of Jack, Arsh and Nasri feeding Chamakh and Song putting in a great shift meant that although my heart plummeted when Villa scored I felt we were in good shape to ride a small storm. A great pass from Arshavin to Rosicky put Chamakh in to score our third but of course we had to let Villa score again before Chamakh floated a ball to Jack to head home.
Another great win on the road and we were top of the league for a couple of hours. It doesn’t disguise the fact that this could be a great team that will in all probability be undone by lapses in concentration. We flatter to deceive, we let the opposition back into games and we undo all our own good work. But it’s only November and the season isn’t over until May.
If anyone wants to add some player ratings I’ll tuck them on the end.