Last time we played Cardiff away was at the end of November 2013 and we cruised down the River Taff to take a 7 point lead over Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League (both were playing a day later). The BBC published the following stat alongside their match report…… “Arsenal have now won 10 of their last 12 Premier League games and continue to hold the division’s best away record.” Here’s the AA post from the day after – take it away, LB.
How good was that? It is getting more and more difficult to find sufficient superlatives to describe the Arsenal performances these days. As the first half rolled on and the Good Guys were spraying the ball around with consummate ease the term “thoroughly professional performance” came to mind. But we have used this a few times recently and somehow it didn’t seem enough to describe what I was watching, intensifying the search was the first goal and the brilliance of its simplicity: a tidy pass to Özil who sent over an inch perfect cross for Ramsey to head home and put us in the lead. As he walked away avoiding celebration out of respect for his fellow countrymen, I thought to myself I am going to need something far more complimentary to describe this.
Racking my brains, playing cards came to mind and the hierarchy that exists: a pair is beaten by three of a kind which is beaten by a straight which, I believe, is beaten by flush and then it came to me: the next up from a “thoroughly professional performance” has got to be “A performance worthy of winning the league” and that is what is was, a full house of a performance, not to be confused with a “Winning the league at White Hart Lane performance” that is obviously a Royal Flush and although rare, it does seem to happen with more regularity than many might imagine.
Wenger foxed us all again with his team selection, it made sense to all who considered it to play Flamini alongside Arteta but no, Le Boss had plans for the Frenchman and opted to start with Wilshere and within one and a half minutes we all understood why: an arrow of a shot released from the edge of the box had all the makings of goal number five for our non-attacking midfielder lol but alas at the last moment it swerved away and hit the bar.
As it turned out, as far as Arsenal taking the game to Cardiff was concerned, this was only the start, the Good Guys were brimming with confidence, chances weren’t coming as often as London buses do when you don’t need them but they were coming; the next fell to Giroud who, clean through one on one with the goal keeper, decided to “walk” before the umpire had given him out, it might be the honourable thing to do as Özil clearly touched the ball but in this day and age — really?
We had to suffer five uncomfortable minutes when Mertasacker hit the deck with the force of a felled giant redwood having clashed heads with Sagna; I defy anyone not to have worried about the possible downside of this potential calamity but luckily all was well with our Big Friendly Giant.
Still goalless, but in today’s script only one person was going to be first on the score sheet and our humble Welshman rose to the occasion and headed us into the lead that took us into the break.
Cardiff started the second half well and created a couple of chances that were a bit closer than I for one would have liked, notably a header from Campbell that brought a brilliant save from Szczesny. TPIG was looking as commanding as ever, we could have and should have made more of the breaks that were frequently arising but our interplay was not quite as good as it should have been, it seemed like Theo time but Jack was tiring and they were coming onto us with a tad more purpose than was good for the blood pressure so Wenger opted to shore things up and bring on Monreal and then Flamini.
As the Frenchman took off his track suit all eyes were on the sleeves – tradition won out and rightly so; someone had clearly whispered into his ear that he had, perhaps without realising, upset a few fundamentalists and today was not the right time to go desecrating sacred objects – best solution: roll your sleeves up and go and score a thumping second goal — and that is exactly what he did, yet another sublime assist from Özil who rolled the ball into the Frenchman’s path to powerfully hit home and put us all at ease.
Was this going to be Flamini’s day, no it wasn’t, this was Aaron Ramsey’s day; a second goal for him and with it he rightly picks up pretty much everyone’s Man of the Match award.
Somebody remind me, where are we in the League?
Enjoy your Sunday.
Written by LB
What a pleasurable read! All praise LB and the archivist.
I would be more than happy with a “flush” regularly this season, and the odd “Royal Flush” to lift us all to the old “Arsenal Wonderland” once in a while. Slow and steady wins the race.
Oh, we still had the attack and the goal keeper to sort out.
Naturally, I was going to volunteer for the GK post as I could have used even less words 🙂
No disrespect to the wonderful Rocky, but I’ve yet to read any new oldies, but I do look at the pictures 🙂
I was thinking about ‘Auba, Laca or both?’ for tomorrow’s post!!!!!
Didn’t want to overdo it.
To Helmet or not to Helmet?
1. Both. You play all your goal scorers
2. Who cares?
One for BR
So not worth writing a post for tomorrow as you’ve already sorted it. OK 🙂
I would never listen to me because I’m the sort of person who swears by the 2-3-5 which kinda flies in the face of contemporary thinking
A traditionalist and a purist who struggles in the modern era
Eddie must be in Poland
“intensifying the search was the first goal and the brilliance of its simplicity”
What crap English. I have looked at that for a good five minutes and I still can’t work out what I was trying to say.
One thing that did surprise me rereading that post was how excited I seemed to be, blimey it was only Cardiff.
Crikey, it was an LB. Apologies
And only November LB!
These days I’d just be happy with a low pair (of victories). I’d take any performance at the weekend as long as it get us 3 points closer to that magic 40-point mark! 😂
Wonderful read, thanks LB (and chas)
To think that only 5 years ago we were eulogising about the beautiful football … and Ramsey was the rising star …. let’s hope he can rediscover that form and his love for the Arsenal
Sorry for putting this up without your approval, LB.
I enjoyed re-reading it and could understand the eulogising with us having won 10 of the last 12 and going top by 7 clear points.
I’d take that any day.
Was this the year we got hammered by the big teams? Liverpool 5-1, City 6-3, Chelsea 6-0! Painful.
We did win the FA Cup though.
Carabao Cup draw tonight. I wonder how Emery will treat it? Anyone know what his record is like in domestic cup comps?
Wouldn’t mind a couple of long Cup runs this year.
You have a fine memory for big defeats – you poor thing!
Thanks Chas, that vid made my morning. Would have been brilliant if Ibra had signed for us.
They seem to have been more memorable and more frequent than our big wins in recent years. Can’t recall the last time we hammered someone in a big game. Maybe the 2-0 at home to Spurs last year? 3-0 at home to Chelsea a couple of years ago?
I forget them a week after they’ve happened
What a lovely read, thank you chas for putting that up and to LB for writing it ……………. 10 wins out of 12, those were the days and top of the table to boot 🙂
Looking forward to us going on a bit of a run now really 😉
Chas click on Arsenal Wednesday May 11 2005 – look at the video to be reminded of the Arsenal of old……………….in goal scoring mode.
You have the most recent one for me Arsenal 3-0 against Chelski
“Long time ago and far, far away”………Everton, Middlesbrough, Leicester, and Southampton. Perhaps we were flat track bullies then, but I can remember a few 1-0s I wouldn’t swop!!!
I was thinking about high scoring games and April 15 1961 came to mind the day England beat Scotland 9-3 in a home international game – I was standing in the clock end watching Arsenal lose 1-3 to Chelsea. The scoreboards in the corner of the pitch kept showing the changing scores. The players on the field must have wondered what everybody was cheering for – the cheers got louder the higher the score went.
I had to look up the date but my memory of the afternoon is very clear – most enjoyable losing game I’ve ever watched.
Geez that’s 57 years ago and I’d already been going to games for 14 years.
Some rough CL draws for the English sides!
Spurs – Barca, PSV
Liverpool – PSG, Napoli
United – Juventus, Valencia
Flip side though is that some decent sides will finish 3rd and go into EL.
Spurs have an easy group (Barca are not what they were). MC & MU as well.
Not so easy for L’pool but they showed last season that they are very good in the CL.
I disagree BR. Barca stormed the league last year and have added some more quality with Vidal and Dembele coming back to form. PSV and Inter are not easy places to win either. I think Spurs will qualify but it will be tough.
City should breeze through but I anticipate the other 3 finding it hard and that could play into City’s hands in the title race. CL is always a factor at some point when it comes to domestic form.
Home v Brentford in Carabao Cup.
FGG. Inter and PSV are pants. Spurs will qualify. I bet you a smoked fish
Would love it if MU fall at the group stage
what happy memories! thank you LB 🙂 and thank you Chas 🙂
nah! nothing interesting in footie, none in tennis, and sadly none in cricket as well. sad day for an armchair konosier.
could do a post
wow for the 7:26’ers