A header, a chip, a flick and a panenka

Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle Utd

Arsenal’s best league performance of this season? I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. And so very Arsenal that it should come straight after our worst. Welcome to Arsenal!

Which is why to me there is no real hypocrisy in booing the manager one week and singing his name the next. It might be baffling to the outsider that a fanbase can be so schizophrenic, but if you watch this team week in, week out you will see a team that plays bafflingly differently from one moment to the next. Five wins in six, and you wonder what all the fury was about, except that you simultaneously don’t.

Still, we got the right end of the spectrum yesterday. A fluid and efficient attacking performance allied to an admirable work effort, and it all just clicked in a way that, for the most part, it simply hasn’t this season.

There were some fine performances across the pitch, from Olivier Giroud (who we really have missed, I think it’s safe to say) to Santi Cazorla and the irrepressible Alexis. I thought Bellerin had a very promising game at right-back too, but really, this was simply a really good performance all over the place.

Welbeck was his usual industrious self and his cracking finish should have stood – the only thing he was guilty of, as far as I could see, was standing next to a player who fell over.

And an ideal result ahead of a trip to Anfield. Last season, we were beaten black and blue up there, and while this season Liverpool have had their own well-documented trials, this is still something of an acid test for us.

Until then, what’s that warm glow? I’m not sure, but I might just bask in it for a day or two.

Played the Arsenal.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.