Arsenal 5-2 Totteringhams
Not bad for a team that hadn’t been in control of the game from the first minute to the last, eh, is it, Andre? I especially liked the bit at the end of the first half when we were so not in control that we scored twice and could have scored another. Reminds me a bit of the Churchill quote:
History will be kind to me, because I intend to write it
Granted, they were the better team in the first act of this rousing play. But when Adebayor took centre stage in the second act, it was the kind of script that Arsenal fans could only have dreamed of. Imbecilic wind-up merchant gets himself sent off having scored a goal, at which point his team concedes four times before finding its feet again? Don’t mind if I do. When he exited stage right, the game changed forever and Arsenal took great advantage. It’s precisely what we needed.
I think we can safely ignore the defending that left us behind yet again in a game (two men simultaneously break the offside trap – it’s not good for the heart, let me tell you). Our diminutive midfield did struggle at first with the physical nature of things, but once they found space Wilshere, and Cazorla in particular, were outstanding. The latter can go to Panama more often, as Wenger said.
On the flank, Walcott showed what a bit of pace can achieve. Frankly, I never want to see either him or Oxlade-Chamberlain overlooked in favour of Ramsey in that position again. Not that I think Ramsey isn’t a good player, but he’s no winger, just as Djourou is no right-back and Santos no left-back (the truth has at last outed on that front – he’s an auxiliary left-midfielder, who comes on for tax purposes). I have filled my boots on this blog ranting about the insanity of letting the Theo contract scenario get to this stage. He showed so many good things yesterday that it is plain to see he is an asset to this team. He does seem pretty happy and clearly has mates at the club, but I do fear all that will count for nought now that he is so close to doing one on a Bosman. It’s a madness if you ask me, and just at a time when the very last thing we need is the departure of a form player mid-season. Anyway, let’s hope for the best, eh.
What else did I like? Podolski scored and created, and it’s hard to ask more than that. But Giroud again caught the eye up front. He’s so eager, like a giant puppy thundering about, but his body strength and aerial prowess are slowly giving us the kind of Plan B we need. As a team, we’ve now scored three headed goals in two games. It now pays to cross into the box at head height, and he’s partly why. He’s got seven goals in eleven starts and seven substitute appearances. Given that he is new and the team has struggled, that’s very decent.
Above all though, some good goals and imposing play brought the fun-factor back. Just listen to this clip, recorded in the half-time beer queue.
Exciting football is the drug we all crave. Give us that and the fans will get behind the side, even forgive weaknesses elsewhere. One of the (many) criticisms of this side is that it no longer plays some of the best football in the league (which was maybe always a burdensome tag). That, when it’s bad, watching Arsenal can be just plain boring. Well yesterday, much of the good stuff flooded back and it’s no wonder we lapped it up.
Enjoy away, gooners. Enjoy away.