Swansea City 1-2 Arsenal
A while back – and for a long period, to be fair – this whole blogging lark was often less fun than it ought to have been because Arsenal kept repeating the same mistakes. There was practically a template you could dust down for a certain kind of Arsenal result. You know, letting the first goal in, fannying around too much, leaving things late, general sluggishness. It’d happen once, then there’d be a gap, then it’d happen again. Back and forth it went. Everyone got a bit cross. They’d get happy for a bit and then they’d get cross again.
Well, the groundhog blogging’s on the other foot now, as it were (cough). All these blasted away wins – so predictable. Same thing every week. Where’s the glorious inconsistency we grew to love and cherish?*
*There really is no need to answer this.
Seriously though, there’s nothing better than riding the wave, is there? That even without a cavalcade of unavailable players, we’ve still got enough in the tank to up our game when needed and grind out a win. When things are going badly, you can wheel out a rookie like Gnabry and he’ll look, you know, like a rookie. But when things are going well, there’s enough confidence about the place for it to work.
And what goals they were, on Saturday. If I had to describe Ramsey’s for a radio audience, I’d probably go for something like tackle-ping-ping-ping-ping-pause-BOOM. This might explain why I don’t work in radio.
And as for Mr Now – so utterly pivotal at the moment – I love his disguised pass that Gnabry scored from. You can only do that when you’re at the top of your game and I must have watched it 10 times already.
Onto Napoli, a game I can’t make. Nor indeed can my brother, and he put both our tickets on the exchange on Saturday. The place was like a bag of piranhas – they went in moments. Practically snapped out his hands. This is what a winning run does. And a big signing, of course.
Wenger’s fears about us having to use the same players twice a week thanks to our injury epidemic are fair enough. We may come unstuck because of it (all good things come to an end of course). But he couldn’t have asked for much more of them so far.
I find myself in a calm place. Enjoying the run we’re on, enjoying watching the team, but massively cautious about the season ahead. It really is, to coin one of football’s oddest sayings, still early doors.