If the season was divided into sections like a 4 course meal then this premier league climax was like a Michelin star restaurant dessert. Probably a Heston Blumenthal one who, if my sources are correct, is a dedicated fan of the good guys. Next week of course we are onto the Cognac and cigars. Let’s hope it is a vintage Remy Martin and the finest Cubans.
This was not just a fine win but a fine performance. We played how we expect and want the Arsenal to play. Great quick interchanges and incisive penetration. I think that penetration is a good description. This wasn’t one of those lots of possession but with lots of side and back passes and no real threat. We looked dangerous most times we went forwards and were always looking to get in behind them.
The question is why? What made us seem so much more threatening in attack? For me it was the W’s. Jack and Theo. I will not go through the whole side because I feel every one had a pretty good game, possibly Ospina aside, but keepers can have off days.
Looking at Jack firstly I make no bones about having always been a fan of his. I do, however, get some of the reservations some have had about him in the past. For me though he is a rare talent. He is maturing now and, if he can remain injury free, I feel he is the best English midfield talent since Gazza. I love the way he carries the ball, bursts past opposition players and has a real (Barcelona type) knack of operating in tight spaces in the box.
One of the things I have always liked about Jack is his desire to always try and get us on the front foot, always trying to make positive things happen for us. This is something you even see him doing when he and the team are having an off day. Perhaps at these times in the past he has tried too much and tried to force the play. Right now though I think most Arsenal fans would be very excited at the prospect of having Jack with us for what should be his best years.
Onto Theo. How to talk about Theo without sounding as if we are banging the same drum again? I will try and keep it simple. I have said many times I think Ollie, as much as I like him and recognise his worth to the squad, is not a first choice striker at this level, or at least the level we are aiming for. He has his place in the squad but we need a quicker and more lethal first choice striker. I don’t know if Theo is the striker we need, all I have ever said is that he may be, but we won’t know till we actually try it.
Theo has gone from youth striker to winger, with an intent to reconvert him back into striker at some point. Is now that point? If anything yesterday has thrown up more questions than answers because one swallow and all that IMO means we can’t be certain from one game. You would perhaps need at least 10 consistent games against different opposition to be sure. We may be staring at the lethal top level 30 goal a season striker we need. Then again limitations in his game may become more apparent over a longer trial period and he may not be that player. If anything I feel Arsene has left it too late to try and find out because can we really afford to not go into next season without a proven top class striker and go with a (largely) untested experiment?
Personally for me Theo should hold the strikers role for the next while and see what happens. I still feel that another striker is needed and then if Theo turns out to be brilliant he can battle it out with that player. If anyone is to suffer a drop down the pecking order then unfortunately for me it would have to be Ollie under those circumstances. Some of you may not wish to revisit the Theo debate but after yesterday it could be considered that fresh evidence has come to light and we need to look at it again. Could Theo be the striker we need? What do you guys think?
Written by GoonerB