Above all I would say that we have finally found someone able to play the number nine role, this was demonstrated perfectly by his Ian Wrightesque finish against Cologne after wearing the glorious red and white shirt of Arsenal for just ten minutes. A sublime chip from Wilshere played inch perfect for The Gerv to run onto and slide powerfully past the on coming goal keeper.
It got better.
And just to show us that that was no fluke, ten minutes later he was in the right place at the right time: arriving at pace in Ian Wright territory, the six yard box, to stab home Theo’s slide rule pass.
Now that is what I call making an impression in the first ever forty five minutes for your new club.
Next up Boca Juniors: as soon as I saw the top three line-up of Arshavin, Rvp and Gervinho I thought, this is Wenger trying out what he hopes will be his best strike force.
The fluidity, the fluidity, it was all about the fluidity: Gervinho and Arshavin were swapping wings with more confidence than I have seen two Arsenal players do in years: Gervinho coming in from the right, no problem, Gervinho coming in from the left, still no problem, best demonstrated by the inch perfect pass played with his weaker left foot to the fast moving Van Persie who powered home for the first goal.
Happy, happy, happy.
On come NY Red Bulls, this time the fluidity went further than Arshavin and Gervinho switching wings as happened the day before. In this game we saw how The Gerv was capable of swapping so effectively with RvP that you could not even see the join. Think of the brilliant pass that Rosicky played for Gervinho to run onto creating a one on one with the keeper. This is an attacking star in the making: capable of being a number nine if needed or play on either wing. The Ivorian should have scored or played it square for Ramsey to slide home but hey, every player deserves a honey moon period and as you can tell from the tone of this post, The Gerv is in Hawaii with a garland of jasmine flowers around his neck.
The goals and the assists are the obvious stuff but the hidden gem was how he was able to bring out the best in RvP; he seemed to take the pressure off of the Dutchman. RvP didn’t have to force it; his play was more composed, more assured than I have ever seen it. The Boy Wonder’s headed goal against NYRB was class and so was the ball sent in by Rosicky who as Irish rightly pointed out was MOTM by some distance.
There has been so much talk about how RvP is not a natural number nine and that 4.3.3 doesn’t work for him, the most common solution put forward to remedy this has been to revert to 4.4.2, not one of us thought of the idea of finding someone that makes 4.3.3 work with RvP in it – brilliant in its simplicity.
Please excuse this bare faced adulation; it’s just that I am starting to get excited about the new season.