Wounded, bloodied and showing signs of decline, as a crisis of confidence has seemingly gripped the arsenal squad of late, we stood on the Lunch time death slot where we have failed to win a game in over 3 years [since Sept 2009 when we beat, Spurs 3-0]…..
In our way again, those unlikeable Lily White neighbours strode in complete with their bloated egos, not exactly in great form themselves, but the usual pre-match hype had them claiming that the gap was closing and today was their day and they would go on to finish above us…..
Arsène fielded pretty much the strongest team available, with injuries slowly abating, Szczesny was back between the sticks, he is our number one that there is no doubt for me, Mannone is an ok No2 but lacks the presence of a top keeper…..
AVB was brave from the start as he went with a very attacking line up, with Defoe and Adebarndoor up front, supported out wide by the overrated lennon and bale, pace wasn’t lacking….At least we had Walcott starting, [how many games has he got left in an Arsenal shirt??]
The first few minutes saw the midfield three of Cazorla, Arteta and Wilshere look to dominate possession, but Spurs were pushing up a high line and squeezing the space in the midfield…..
The crowd were up for it as was Tottenham’s Sandro who went through the back of Giroud early doors, but Arsenal were working hard and most notably Podolski was working very hard defensively, however slowly Spurs were getting at us more and more. Sandro then went through Wilshere……
Walcott was looking up for it and getting crosses in, but still Spurs seemed to get stronger, a breakdown the right from Lennon, gained a free kick as Vermaelen blocked him. Bale floated a free kick in, which was headed straight out to Huddlestone, whose shot was blocked into Gallas path by Kozzer, Gallas scored but was ruled as offside, that was a warning that we didn’t heed.
As Vertonghen hit a quality long ball down the left into the path of Defoe whose movement had left BFG stalling, defoe put it across Szczesny, who got a hand to it, but it fell to Adebarndoor, who tapped it in 0-1….just 10mins in……murmurs…..
Moments later lennon pulled an easy one across the goal with Szczesny looking beaten, I really have never rated lennon, thank god he as poor as I think he is…….Poor man’s Walcott for me…
Arsenal weren’t getting totally outplayed but were struggling to get back on terms, then on 16mins another long ball out by Vertonghen was headed down towards Carzola by BFG who out jumped Adebarndoor, but then Adebarndoor launched himself at the ball and took our little maestro out….
Howard Webb gave him a very deserved red card…….In midst of the heated moments that followed Jack had a little spat with Bale, but was calmed down by the rest. Let’s try and keep 11 on eh..?
Anyway, with numbers in our favour, Arsenal started to dominate, on 23 a great cross by Walcott was met by BFG who powered in a header, to redeem himself from his earlier error, 1-1 …..
Fantastic first goal for the Arsenal by the rather large german…..
With the extra space Arsenals’ talented trio in the middle started to dominate, with Theo looking lively, Giroud looking more and more the striker we needed, Podolski was also still working much harder than he has been.
Half time was getting closer, Sandro was also getting closer to an early bath as well, how he didn’t have at least a yellow was beyond me……Sadly Lloris was looking good in between the sticks, could we get in front?, on 40 Giroud had a very powerful header but it was straight at his French team mate.
Moments later, Arteta, drove across the pitch looking for a one two with Jack, but the ball came off huddlestone and fell to Lukas, who managed to dig the ball out across the back of gallas and it trickled into the far corner as Lloris was wrong footed…….2-1….half time was nigh…..
But wait, Lennon connects with Vermaelen, the free kick which comes back out to Santi, who devilishly darts into the box through a couple of stumbles, but manages to keep his feet, play on from Webb, as Santi squares the ball to Giroud, who with Gallas and Vertonghen in his way, manages to sweep the ball in 3-1, thats 5 goals in 5 for Giroud, after me, who needs Van persie when we’ve got Giroud…….I know….
Second half, starts with AVB going for it, 3 at the back, fair play to the Portu’gueser, bold and brave. Spurs did well as their ten men stuck in there, arsenal wrongly sitting back, the fans were restless, next goal was crucial…..Oh by the way, Sandro was still on the pitch despite even more fouls…
A long goal kick by Szczesny was flicked on by Giroud, to Theo who chest controlled the ball and brought it down, then played Podolski down the left of the box, who then crossed for Santi to come in at the far post and slide the ball in, 60mins 4-1…….
Arsenal didnt take advantage as Spurs continued to try and get back into the game, with yes you guessed it, Sandro was still on the pitch, but finally he gets a card on 66. Then on 70 mins a sliced clearance by BFG was headed into Bales path and he ran forward and dragged a shot back across through Kozzers legs, 4-2. Immediately Le boss replaced Wilshere with Ramsey…The crowd was now very nervous even with the 2 goals and a man advantage….Moments later Bale has another chance but it drifts wide across the goal, that was too close for comfort…….
On 80 Santos replaces Podolski, a luke warm reception for the Brazilian, but he is not at LB, so not too much to worry about there and he didn’t seem to take any shirts off anyone…….On 85 the Ox replaces Giroud….he looked very lively straight away….
Arsenal are now dominating possession, as they knock the ball about…Ox gets the ball off a loose pass from Vertonghen and drives forward into the box and plays it to Theo, who comes across and drags a shot back across Vertonghen and pass the helpless Lloris…5-2, 91 mins……
Not quite as exciting as last years match which ended the same, probably not as satisfying either in a way, but a major boost nonetheless……
Some sites claim this is just papering over the cracks, codswallop, look we have a good squad and some very talented players, we might fall short for the title, but I expect a top 4 finish at minimum, we do have the players when everyone is fully fit…..and all settled……..By the way, I am not getting carried away, work is still needed.
It was good to see Giroud bag another along with Podolski and Santi getting goals, the three newest signings are still settling in, but you can see their quality….if you cant, open your eyes……..
There is more to come, thats for sure……….
Ratings: [In my humble opinion]
Szczesny: 7: Steady game, good to have the Pole back. Unfortunate with the first……
Sagna: 8: Although I am warming to Jenkinson, he is no Sagna yet, quality game by our beaded warrior, linked well with Theo.
BFG:7: At fault for Spurs first, but a great equaliser and worked hard throughout….
Kozzer: 7: Steady and pacy when needed, still finding his feet this season….
Vermaelen: 7: Took his time to settle, doesn’t like the left and it shows, but did a job….
Arteta:7.5: Dictated the play well when in control of the ball, worked hard, tired towards the end..quietly effective.
Santi: 9: Wizard….. great goal capped his Man of the Match*performance……
Wilshere: 7.5: Spikey, passionate, skilful and OURS…..Just gotta to love our Jack….
Podolski:8: Thought that was his best game he has had for a while, defensively worked hard, not lazy today, lets keep it at that level Lukas, nicked a goal as well…..
Giroud: 8: Gets better every week for me, strong and tenacious, holds the ball up well and links well, more skill than most give him credit for, great goal…….
Walcott:9: Pushed Santi for MoTM very close, pacy, direct and great assist as well as a good goal. If its just 10k more he wants, give him that pen now, if you think he isn’t good enough for us, then you have me stumped, ok not as consistent as we all want, but wouldn’t swap him for Lennon, Sinclair, Sturridge, SWP, Johnson or whoever in that category you want to mention……..Classy when in the mood…….
Wenger: 7: Put out his best team available, but allowed the team to sit too deep for me in the 2nd half. Perhaps should of subbed Jack a little bit earlier and Ox really lifted the team when he came on too late.
Overall: Great result, pressure lifted a little with a reasonable performance, team need to push on now, a win midweek and at Villa next Saturday, then we can move on and forget the blip, consistency is needed now without doubt. Good day as Chelsea lost, as did United losing to Norwich 1-0 as well, which we got slated for…will they? Perhaps they missed Webb today?
Side note for AVB: Brave and bold, fair play and you did ok in the 2nd half but your team did not dominate, your team had moments, but you had them at Chelsea as well, how did that end?
Written by Harry