Yesterday saw us achieve what could turn out to be a decisive victory in relation to our fortunes this season. I know that we won’t win the league based on that result alone but, I feel that it could be used as the springboard to greater things. The team now knows that it can travel away to one of the big teams and get a result. The confidence that yesterday’s result will instill should stand us in good stead going forward.
There will be some that say that we played against ten men, after Dedryck Boyata had been sent off within five minutes of kick-off, and so shouldn’t read too much into the result. However, I don’t think that playing against fewer men was the reason for our victory. I think that this team is on the way up again after suffering some disappointing results. That now makes it three victories in a week and it was great for both the team and Fabianski that we managed to keep a clean sheet last night. I’m sure that City being down to ten men did them no favours, but it is often the case that playing against ten men is harder than playing against eleven. It took some great saves by Fabianski from Silva to ensure that we didn’t give the home side a sniff of a result.
At times our defence looked a little suspect and there is clearly some work to be done, but overall I think that the Djourou and Squillaci partnership is slowly improving. This improvement is no doubt aided by the fact that they now have a bit more confidence in the man in goal behind them.
Nasri has been winning a lot of plaudits of late and rightly so. His all-round game seems to have gone up a level this year and he now looks like delivering on the potential that Wenger saw in him when he was first signed. He played a nice little one-two with Arshavin for the first goal and finished well past Hart, yet another assist for the little Russian. As Arsene would say, he has good numbers.
Song’s well taken goal came after Cesc played a ball towards Chamakh in the box which Bridge made an absolute mess of intercepting, the ball fell perfectly for Song and he applied a finish that the keeper had no chance with. 2-0. I’m not complaining about Song getting a goal, but I do with that he would concentrate more on being the defensive midfielder and just sitting deep. Leave the heroics to Nasri, Fabregas, Arshavin and Chamakh.
The third goal was scored by Bendtner and it will do him the world or good to get a goal so soon after returning from a long injury lay-off. The ball looked to be going out of play, but Nasri didn’t give it up, just managed to keep it in play and played a nice ball between the two defenders for Bendtner to latch on to and finish nicely past Hart. 3-0, game over.
There are some signs that we are no longer a team that can be easily pushed or bullied off the ball. The team is stronger and more experienced and is a bit better prepared for the challenges that face them on a week by week basis. The biggest problem for this team will be complacency and lethargy, as was witnessed in the game against West Brom at the Emirates. If we can totally cut out that bad attitude and make sure that we are fully focused and up for every game, then there is a great chance for us to win some silverware this season.
It was good to see that the team didn’t drop their heads after Fabregas missed the penalty towards the end of the first half. Perhaps this is a sign of their growing maturity.
I thought Denilson played well yesterday and he is a player that often gets overlooked as not being good enough as a lot of the things he does are very simple and he therefore flies under the radar a little. But, his passing accuracy yesterday was very impressive with just a few wayward passes in each half. I heard that Diaby didn’t play due to his ankle giving him a bit of trouble, but haven’t heard anything more on that since, but I think that the enforced start of Denilson alongside Song worked in our favour. Speaking of Song, he still needs to get back to playing the holding midfielder role instead of trying to get forward as it is something that we could be punished for when playing against teams with a greater emphasis on attack.
Next up is Newcastle on Wednesday evening in the Carling Cup and I have a feeling that Gibbs, Koscielny, Bendtner, Walcott and Denilson will all feature in order to get some much needed playing time under their belts. I wonder will the boss stick with Fabianski or will Szczesny get the nod? It could be another good chance for the likes of Lansbury and Eastmond to get some playing time, too. Kick-off is at 19:45.
This Saturday will be West Ham at the Emirates. Fingers crossed we can make it five wins in two weeks.
Anyway, that’ll have to do for today. It’s always a good Monday when your team are sitting second in the league, just five points behind the leaders. Between now and the
Take it easy.