Wolves 0-3 Arsenal
A fine win, but one I followed only via the Opta messages on the notification screen of my phone. I like to experience new matchday experiences, you see. It was a bit underwhelming if I’m honest.
Unlike the game itself, which from an Arsenal perspective at least was entirely whelming. Losing a man for most of the game was the last thing Wolves needed but it did us a favour. I’ve always thought a red card and a penalty is a bit harsh, double-punishing the offending side as it does. So that was 1-0 and once Theo lashed in the second moments later, it was an Everest-sized mountain to climb for Wolves.
Benny’s resurgence is interesting though, isn’t it? Perhaps cocking an eye at the marvellous form of Tomas Rosicky, he’s rolled his sleeves up and his high-energy approach is just what we need. It helps that the team is playing well and it helps that he’s getting minutes on the pitch (two starts in a row), but if we need a bit-part benchmark then Benny fits that bill. He warms the bench a lot and can’t last 90 minutes, but he’s rarely let us down when called upon and never moans.
Plenty of Arsenal fans have remarked over the course of this season about squad depth and the depth of talent behind the first XI, but surely Benayoun is precisely the kind of squad player we need? Experienced and often effective.
A few months ago, if I thought about summer ins and outs (which I like to do from time to time – who doesn’t?), I’d have consigned both Rosicky and Benayoun to the Arsenal scrapheap. The former has already unscrapheaped himself spectacularly, and now I’m increasingly seeing the benefits of Benayoun – Benayfits? – as a more than useful squad player. Would he be prepared to play a lesser role on a permanent basis? He’s started eleven games and come on as a sub in another ten. That’s not bad for someone who will be 32 in a month.
If he is, the boss might just take a punt and sign him full time.