No swashbuckling, but no buckling either

Swansea 0-2 Arsenal

Optimism is not an emotion I have much associated with this stuttering season, during which all our weaknesses have been laid bare on far too many occasions, but I have been in a curiously upbeat mood since our ultimately futile win in Bavaria.

I thought we’d win in Swansea – based on nothing but the clutching of straws, probably – but my bullishness had started to fizzle out by the middle of the second half. Neither side created much and it wouldn’t have surprised me had it finished 0-0. A few high-scoring games aside (Reading, Southampton, Newcastle), we’re not scoring for fun these days. So when the goal came, it was after some huffing and puffing, and it was a bobbler of the first order.

I have to say, I love a bobbler. A scuffed slicer, one off the knee, or something bouncing off a player’s rear echelons. There are pirhouettes, volleys, 30-yard raspers and there are daisy-cutting scuffed-bobblers. I’m standing up for the latter.

It was a first goal for Nacho Winterburn (Nacho Winterburn, Na-cho Winterburn – thanks Nige) and boy did we need it. Then as if to turn the world as we know it on its head, a second came at the end from Gervinho, who hasn’t scored since the trees were in leaf, a goal set up by the oft-maligned (but in my view increasingly impressive) Aaron Ramsey. Substitution-tastic.

I’m not sure Fabianski could have had a gentler re-introduction to Premier League football – but things could have been different had Michu rolled a good effort a bit to the left. Overall though we defended pretty well again and whatever our weaknesses elsewhere on the pitch we do now boast real quality at full-back. Gibbs and Monreal, Sagna and Jenkinson. A lot of teams would kill for that depth.

We’re still a way off where we want to be, let’s be honest, and it’d be a fool who got too confident, but it’s been a good week – however bitter-sweet Wednesday was.

Heading into the ‘lull pointless and back to square one would have been no fun at all.

So those three points were sweet.

4 thoughts on “No swashbuckling, but no buckling either

  1. I wouldn’t call Ramsey “increasingly impressive”, but at least he is shaping up. Which is good, keep it up Ramsey, because we all know Wenger will keep playing you over Rosicky no matter how badly you perform, or how fantastic Rosicky is..

  2. Ramsey is an interesting one. I posted here at some point, ahead of last season, I think, the one that Wilshere ended up missing, that one of things I was most looking forward to was Ramsey playing, and I’ve since been fairly disappointed, but I’d love to see him really do well.

    Diaby is one of the most interesting/frustrating players. He looks so skilled sometimes, like he could walk it into the net, but at the same time looks like he’s hardly trying and he’s mostly ineffective.

  3. Ramsey’s performances have got better simply since Arsene stopped playing him on the wing. Imagine that Arsene. Pointless comparing him with Rosicky, their strengths are completely different. (though you could also point out that Ramsey’s performance in Munich was miles ahead of Rosicky who had a nightmare)

    Jeff, Diaby has all the technical ability but he just doesn’t have the brains (he reads the game so badly sometimes it’s frightening) or the desire (most obvious when he plays alongside Jack who puts him to shame) to be a top-class player. We have simply got to move him on in the summer.

    Results all that matter now. The Totts are – as usual – falling apart. The question is are we good enough to take advantage ? Let’s hope so. It’s there for us now if we’re good enough.

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