A point at Everton is a great result in my eyes, especially the way it came about for us on Saturday evening. Being 2-0 down with 7 minutes left I had already begun to think how we might lift ourselves for Besiktas on Wednesday and ensure through qualifying for the Champions League that we bring in a couple more bodies for the long haul of the season. There I was thinking about a nervous Wednesday night (which it still may be) and we got a goal back as Everton had switched off completely. They almost looked as though they didn’t think we could create anything. Enter Santi Cazorla. The rest was a bit of a blur and we could have even won it at the end with Cazorla in a great position a minute after Giroud’s goal. All in all a great point to earn before the game started, let alone being 2-0 down with 7 minutes to play.
After the game I went through my Twitter feed of the game as the events unfolded and the extent to which some Arsenal fans were reacting was a tad over the top. Granted our first half performance was one to forget, but the manager changed that quickly at the break and we would have reduced the deficit within minutes if Giroud had his shooting boots on. The shape of the team seemed more balanced and everyone seemed to know their jobs a little better. With some better finishing we could have won the game comfortably. But I’m not sure on some of the knee-jerk reactions that were overly condemning of both the manager and team. The reactions almost lulled me into feeling that the season was over – it’s only game 2 and I think the boss is playing a fine balancing act to ensure we have the right shape for the season ahead. We have money in the bank, yes, but it seems that we cannot invest that money without Champions League football to ensure the future remains bright. Us fans want to live in the now and I totally understand and get that, but if you don’t plan for the future you end up with David Moyes, finish 7th and have a bird poo in one of your players mouths. There will be a few games in the season, no matter the personnel on show that day, where it just doesn’t quite work and we get beaten – that happens, but it happens to most other clubs as well. I really do feel that if we get through the Besiktas game as we hope to, the final pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place. A bit of patience should see that happen. There also seemed to be a fair amount of criticism sent towards Olivier Giroud who is a player that greatly divides opinion. He has his deficiencies but as a team we look far better with him in it. He opens up the play for the wide men and other on coming midfielders by holding the ball up and great first touches (on the whole). I’m a big fan of his and whether we get a forward or not I think it’s best to back one of your own as doing anything other than that normally does more harm than good.
The result against Everton should leave us in high spirits to go out and get the result we need against Besiktas on Wednesday. From post match reports it also seems that Giroud will be ok to play which gives us a massive boost of our most experienced goal scorer. I fully expect it to be a nervy night but one that we should get through.
This could prove to be a massive week for our season which could help either snowball us into bigger and better things (signings, money and Champions League football) or into obscurity and disillusionment (no signings, no money, no Champions League and bird poo). Let’s hope it’s the former.
Bring it home Gunners.