I can’t quite believe it but what started off as a particularly crappy weekend football wise turned into the performance we’ve all been crying out for. When a team has players that pound for pound are better than yours then you have to adapt. We did. For once. At least in recent times anyway. There has been a bit of thing about our record against the big boys but let’s remember one thing. However it’s not as though we haven’t seen this kind of performance before, we have been capable of it it’s just been a bit rare. Wenger made an interesting point in his post match interview, he said something like “look, I think it’s where everyone has done their jobs today”. And herein lies the point. We have the personnel to pull it off every now and then but we need one or two more who can help make this sort of performance a regular occurrence. When clowns like Robbie Savage praise the 4-1-4-1 genius of Wenger when he was slated by the same pundit for formation naivety speaks volumes. We’re not a million miles away, granted even against the best, we’re used to our Arsenal winning with total football, but we’re in an age where we can’t spend as much as the big boys so putting in performances like this bears no shame. We’ve been slated left right and centre for gutless performances, especially away from home, so it’s great that we can enjoy the media being overly excited at the new Arsenal.
Santi Cazorla had one of the performances of his time with us and what he did with the 35% possession we had was miraculous. One man team in Sanchez??? Pffff!!! Don’t get me wrong Alexis Sanchez is our new main man but it’s refreshing to win a game without direct involvement in the goals to calm down the “one man team” brigade. OOOOOHHHHHHH SANTI CAZOOOOORRRLLLAAA!!! It was also a great performance from the full back 4. In fact every single one of our boys were phenomenal. The work rate, desire and sheer Gandalfian “you shall not pass” mantra shone through. A special mention to Nacho Monreal again as he’s fast becoming a guy difficult to drop. The fact we were able to go and win a game where the likes of Walcott, Ozil, Welbeck, Debuchy, Gibbs & Arteta were all missing is amazing. It gives the whole squad the injection of belief that has been missing against the best for a long time. Winning or drawing against them at home is one thing but winning away against the champions with a clean sheet is simply brilliant. A blueprint that has to now be repeated again and again. The 31st of Jan invites the opportunity of us closing the gap between us and City to 5 points or Chelsea to 10 points. There is plenty to play for this season, plenty.
Onto the great topic and debate of the latest buzzword of the game, bus theory. The interesting thing here is that the first goal always dictates the flow of the game. At our place when City went 1-0 up they did the same as us, they sat back and waited for the right time to attack and get the second goal. That didn’t happen and we were able to break through them twice before they came at us again. People will no doubt talk about us parking the bus and that will be the only reason we won, but it’s the same way City played against us. It’s the same way Chelsea played against City (even with a man advantage!) and it’s the same way all the big boys have played away from home in the big games if they are 1-0 up. It further reinforces the fact that if we go 1-0 up we are much more likely to go an win the game. It dictates energy in the early part of a game which if wasted costs you at the end. Thankfully even with all the possession it was City who looked knackered at the end and not us. Additionally to get back to the days of us not giving a monkeys as to who we were playing and simply blowing them away with sheer skill will only come back if we can match the spending of such opponents. Give Wenger £100m every transfer window and he’ll ensure we play the best football in the league and win. Without that we’re competing with 3 monstrous budgets as well as other teams run by clowns who love flushing money away. It’s a tough space to go out and get the best on a budget. That’s the problem we face as a club on the market, but results like this are what can be the final convincing factor in bringing people in. Ambition and self fulfilment are, sadly, more important then club success to players these days so being in the Champions League and beating teams like City are what is required to entice some of the best. Not for Alexis Sanchez mind, as he continues to endear himself into our hearts through pictures of him with his dogs.
A final mention to the MOTD 2 pundits Trevor Sinclair and Robbie Savage on penalties as well as their all round analysis. One word. Clueless. Apparently Nacho Monreal being blocked completely on purpose is not a penalty where as Aluko not going down with less contact is a penalty. Quite hilarious really and as I said…clueless.
Schneiderlin and any form of a CB please now Wenger.
Have a great week folks.
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