It is no secret that I am a great admirer of Santi and though others had a good game, he really had an excellent game in all departments with his passes,dribbles,touches, shots (unlucky not to score) and of course setting up the goal for Welbeck, who leaped like a salmon to powerfully head the ball past Foster in the WBA goal. The guy is rejuvenated and Welbeck is tireless in contributing be it in attack or defence, his energy is awesome.
Ramsey is still not at his best and yet again the goal he is crying out for was again just wide of the post. No doubt he is a talent, but perhaps needs to go back to basics and cut out the Hollywood passing for the time being.
To see Giroud back together with Sanchez and Welbeck was, I feel, an experiment, but will pay dividends as the season progresses. Sanchez needs a rest but we are so over reliant on him so far this season, it has to be timed carefully.
There is no doubt that Mertesacker plays far better with Koscienly besides him, and though not always pretty the defence locked far more solid, though improvement is still needed. There were times during the match where I looked back to the George Graham days.
Resting Gibbs was the right decision, but our injury curse struck once again in the shape of Monreal so Gibbs had to play the majority of the game, though he suffered a slight injury towards the end of the game, but that has yet to be assessed.
Martinez is growing with every game and his distribution is far better than OPIG and possibly will provide competition, which is no bad thing.
Wenger had this to say after the game.
“In the end our solidarity got us through when the legs went in the last 10 minutes. Maybe we were a fraction lucky on the crossbar, but overall it’s a well-deserved win. We had a clean sheet against Dortmund and we had one today. Defensively we were maybe a bit more stable.”
Which I think is a fair assessment.
One has to mention the banner.
“I don’t want to comment on that. I try to do my best for this club that I love. We are very united with the players and staff around the team, that’s all you can do.
“It’s easier to deal with the upwards than the downwards, but you cannot be a manager and have only one side.” Diplomatic or what ?
He may not admit it, but there is a proportion of the fan base who are losing patience and of course the media take great pleasure in fueling their desire.
I have made my stance on the manager quite clear but to be fair this ever increasing injury list doesn’t help his cause to try and cement a unit that can play week in and week out with just the odd subtle change.
The midweek match against Southampton will be a far sterner test and then perhaps we can truly see if we are progressing.