Against a team that had not lost at home all season (albeit, also one that has hit a sticky patch), that was an excellent result. Made all the more excellent by the proliferation of draws involving the other teams at the top. Two points clear, and we continue to confound those who consider Arsenal too callow and too short-staffed to keep it up for the whole season.
I must say, I occasionally count myself as one of those people. It seems truly odd to me that Wenger goes on about the lack of bodies in his squad (“tomorrow we are down to 14 outfield players”, he confessed on Friday), but does not bolster that squad when he has the chance. It’s either a very clever way of boosting the players’ belief at a crucial stage of the season, or another example of Wenger’s brilliance in judging the abilities of his squad. He did after all say at the start of the season we didn’t need wholesale changes and he has been proved right.
Anyway, it’s too late now: we can but hope that we get Toure, Eboue, Song, van Persie, Rosicky et al back as soon as possible because as well as we are doing, we are going to need all hands on deck for an assault on three fronts.
I can’t believe I now include Song in that list…
Yesterday the Adebayor roadshow rolled into Manchester and duly lived up to its hype – two more goals (21 now), which makes it 8 in 6 matches and makes him first player to score in six consecutive league matches since Horseface in 2003. I don’t need to list his burgeoning skills, but I’m going to: strength in the air, swiftness of foot on the earth and power of the body in the body. He’s sizzling hot at the moment, and merits the column inches coming his way.
I was about to rejoice at the arrival of a much-needed nine days to enable the squad to recharge its batteries. Believe it or not, we only had one midweek off in the whole of January.
But then I realised England, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Holland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Brazil, Denmark, Spain, France and for all I know, Mars, Pluto and the planet Zog are conducting friendlies this week. Arsenal being what Arsenal is, it’s going to be a busy one.
The real midweek games start again with the trifling matter or AC Milan on 20th Feb.
Any chance of van Persie being back by then?