If you don’t tingle with pride at being an Arsenal supporter today then you my friend have a severe case of Jaguaritis and that is not good because yesterday we walked with giants and witnessed the quality of champions.
How dare these pie eating upstarts take two points off us up North? How dare they? Well the natural order has been restored after the good guys put on a football display to make Barcelona sit up and think very seriously about what they are about to face in the not too distant future. You may say that it was only Wigan but what kind of opposition do you think Barcelona make mince meat of every week? Wigan are exactly the kind of opponents the Catalans meet save for two Saturdays in the season when they face Real opposition.
Seriously, Wigan; Spanish manager, limited resources, what’s the difference between that and what Barcelona play practically every week?………bring em on, I say, we are ready.
The game, yes, yes, the game I should say something about that; we completely out played Wigan, different class from start to finish, total domination, absolute control.
We all knew what the line up would be: the A team was required and the A team dutifully appeared. It took no time for the gulf of class to be established: chances were continuously created and missed throughout the first half, only interrupted by Van Persie’s hitting the back of the net after 30 minutes. The rest of the time Walcott was carving out opportunities left and right for his team mates, all of whom went close but all were denied by one Wigan limb or another thrown in the way. There were so many chances in the first half I honestly lost count, just to say that it was an absolute miracle that Wigan went in at half time only one nil down.
Our Northern opponents took heart from the generous score line coming out after the break and trying a bit of quick closing down themselves, it looked quite good for all of fifteen minutes, that is until Fàbregas sent a world class pass over forty yards to Van Persie who volleyed it into the Wigan net.
Two nil, game over, time to sit back and enjoy the master class in front of us; chances kept appearing until eventually it all got a bit too much for Wigan and they couldn’t stop themselves hacking down one of our players, (still haven’t seen MOTD so not sure which one) in the area, up stepped Van Persie but instead of scoring his first ever professional hat trick in his career and that includes his Feyenoord days, he skied it in what I can only describe as one of the worst penalties I have ever witnessed. We had to wait a bit longer for the Boy Wonder to break that duck and much credit has to go to Walcott who held off the Wigan defender, very cleverly enabling Van Persie to fulfil my prediction of three nil to the good guys.
Szczesny: had little to do but what he did he did perfectly. 10
Sagna: we have a quality right back. 10
Djourou, calmness personified. 10
Koscielny: I wonder if he communicates with Szczesny in Polish. Faultless.10
Clichy: good runs, good positioning, good tackling. 10
Fàbregas: my MOTM, he was more World Class than The Boy Wonder today even though he didn’t score. 10
Song: Rasp was the first person I noticed to use the adjective imperious to describe our Alex, it struck a cord with me, since then I use it when ever it is mertited and today Alex Song was imperious. 10
Wilshere: this young man is surrounded by world class midfield players and yet at the tender age of nineteen he still manages to hold his own which is quite astonishing. 10
Nasri: Wigan systematically clipped the ankles of our players, they were obviously not Shawcross tackles but they were dirty and sneaky, most of our players survived but poor old Super Nas caught it and hobbled for most of the game. 9
Van Persie: This man can take us to the Promised Land. 10
Walcott: good, good, good a better game than might meet the eye, watch how clever he was for RVP’s third. 10
Written by London while drinking a bottle of Rioja, Gran Reserva, 2002.