Song serves, van Persie volleys and it’s game Arsenal

Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

And so a points difference between us and Our Friends Up That Roadâ„¢ that was looking at 1.20pm last Sunday like it might be 13 points turns out, just a week later, to be only the four.

Football fortunes can swivel on a sixpence: there’s not much getting away from it.

After three straight defeats in January, when the merest notion of making fourth was taped up in bubble wrap and deposited in the attic, we had two cups to rip into by way of compensation.

Blink again and we’d blown the cups, only to make a quiet then explosive recovery in the league. Dreams of fourth were fetched back down and unwrapped, and now there’s foolish talk of third.

(I say foolish because a) I refuse to jinx anything and b) I’ve watched us play a lot this season and dampen my enthusiasm accordingly).

You won’t get any triumphalism from me though for those very reasons. You only had to look at the first half yesterday – when we were stretched hither and thither – to realise that there’ll in all likelihood be loose shoelaces, black ice and banana skins aplenty over the course of the next 11 games.

But what I liked about yesterday was the togetherness and the spirit. We worked hard – as a team – rode the storm then imposed ourselves better and nicked it at the death. There was a bit of lady luck, maybe, but at the same time the penalty was highly dubious and the own goal was a quite literal slice of bad luck.

All hail the might of Sir Chesney though – he was quite astonishing. Double penalty save, headed clearances, several other crucial saves – the man was the rock we needed in a testing first half.

And there was nothing lucky about our goals. Sagna’s cross (how we’ve benefited from having him back) was so inch-perfect that I reckon even I could have wheezed my way into a scoring position. And Songinho, fresh from unleashing Walcott in the last game, did the very same for van Persie to whistle in another persielicious winner. Our 31-goal captain defies words, at the moment. He scores when he wants.

And so on to the Milan game we go, on Tuesday, for a rubber that, if not yet dead, is barely twitching. Wenger appreciates the reality but says that “everyone expects us to be out, but we are not yet, we are still in there.”

We need to “just go for it”.

Well, yeah. We might be mathematically “still in there” but this is an order of the tallest variety. I can’t dispute the call to “just go for it” but retrieving a four-goal deficit against a wily old dog like Milan is a massive ask. Nevertheless, there’ll be no handbrakes, for sure. You don’t need a handbrake at the bottom of the hill.

There may well be a few less empty seats in the 60,012 crowd though, given our last two results.

And – ooh – I think I might be getting a bit excited about it.

Stop it man, stop it. This is patently daft.


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

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jeff

    Excited for Milan, but dubious about third – not necessarily playing the stats there.

    I feel momentum in the league.  Until the big Mo loses stride, I’m basically counting on third.

    Milan. Well it will be exciting if we play the 5 strikers.  Maybe dust off Chamakh.

    Gervinho Chamakh Walcott
    Van Persie Chamberlain
    Back 5

    Gervinho and Walcott always give us width.  We need a lot of crosses into the box.  Maybe Jenkinson could start.

    It calls for an experimental line-up.

  2. Tim Merrick

    Great post….as you say two weeks is a long time in football. The hardest thing about the Milan game might be which team do you pick? Act (realistically) that it’s essentially an exercise in getting some pride back over the two legs and rest the key characters (Sagna, Song, RvP, TV) or just go for it and damn the tiredness possible injury risk? Other teams than Milan might provide us a better than tiny chance but I can’t see them being as leaky as we need. Based on this season though…who really knows.

    However..I have look at the remaining fixtures and even without penciling us in to pick up all remaining points (which we won’t) I do see us getting 3rd – I think Tottenham have a pile (5-6 at my guessing) of games where they will only scrape a point. Final totals:

    Arsenal 73 pts
    Spuds 70 pts

    We finish with P 11 W 8 D 0 L 3
    Spuds creak to P 11 W4  D 5 L 2

  3. East Lower

    I think we can get third but only if we can maintain consistency. Something we’ve not managed to do all season, really. I’d settle for fourth. Long way to go for either.

  4. East Lower

    Midfield is the issue with Wilshere, Diaby, Arteta, Benayoun and (maybe) Rosicky out. This kind of turnaround has only been done once in European football I read somewhere. So let’s just enjoy it, play a little bit with the handbrake off and making sure we’re not too much in the wanting zone, and we might at least give them a bit of a shock.

  5. Jeff

    It would be criminal to be too much in the wanting zone.

  6. Adam Elder

    and when each of those players returns to full fitness, it’ll be like a new signing.

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