It had been a quite dire weekend of football simply because we had to see Chelsea win the league. Well deserved over the course of the season but a hideous team with a hideous manager doesn’t make it any less sickening. On top of that my Saturday side had our cup final on bank holiday Monday and we lost 4-2. Football testing my patience as it can. Thank God for Arsenal.
United went and somehow conceived to lose at home to West Brom, which was really quite fun to come to know as I was out at the time and had already conceded that they would easily win by 2/3 goals. City went and beat the Spuds but I was kind of hoping for a draw or for the Spuds to win to give us a little more breathing room if we were to best Hull. Alas they let us down. It’s been a really weird season, a fairly attritional one in my view. Things happen and not many people seem to realise anything has changed or any progress been made. Slowly but surely coming to its conclusion, which seemed to be inevitable.
As far as our performance was concerned, we were quite simply sublime. 3-0 up at half time and cruising. It really could have and should have been more in the second half but we didn’t quite manage to take our chances. We had some quite masterful performances from both Cazorla and Ozil (that flick! Ooooosh!). My annoyance, albeit brief, was two fold. The Coq’s forays forward were not to my liking. In addition the goal we conceded was because Santi tried to overplay the situation when a simple clearance would have been fine. It didn’t really change the shape of the game but it’s things like that, that would cost us against better teams. It’s why we need to 100% go and get Schneiderlin to increase our intelligence in that part of the field. That’s what we’re missing so him alongside maybe one or two others would complete our squad.
With regards to the goals I couldn’t have been happier at the first. Tom Huddleston gave the ball away, Jake Livermore fouled Alexis and the resulting free kick deflected in off Michael Dawson. A truly perfect way to bring us to #StTotteringamsDay. The second was the pass of the game from Santi Cazorla followed by an immaculate touch from Ramsey that deserved a finish, even though it was a deflected one. The third pretty much sealed the game with a sublime pass from Rambo and a cool finish from Alexis Sanchez. Jack Wilshere came on and played really well I thought, with some jinking runs and great at driving us forward. I really hope he can stay fit for a year to prove he can cut it at Arsenal Football Club. All in all, a nice way to cheer me up. It solidified 3rd place by putting us 5 points clear of United with a game in hand. A win against Swansea next Monday will pretty much guarantee 3rd place for us and automatic Champions League qualification. It really would be nice not to have to play a qualifier so that we can have that extra week to prepare for next season.
I’ve written about pundits before but it really needs visiting again. There was a lot of talk on how boring Chelsea were this season which has simply emanated from Arsenal fans singing it during the game against them last week. People such as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher along with plenty of other journalists and media outlets have latched on and rubbished the ‘claims’ of boring and said they were worthy champions. Let me fill in some blanks media moguls, they were worthy champions – ‘boring boring Chelsea!’ was a fairly tongue in cheek chant that really shouldn’t be the cutting edge topic on sports journalism around the UK. Surely you’re better than that! Obviously it was used to fuel further fire into the Wenger v Mourinho battle of wits, with Mourinho inciting that it’s boring that Arsenal are without a title for 10 years. He also had a dig at Pep Guardiola (indirectly) about choosing a tough team to
manage in a tough league not a comfortable and easy ride to titles as other have elsewhere. Every manager loses like a tosser in the Premier League but this guy even wins like a tosser. Christmas must be grim at the Mourinho’s…
Lastly I’ve seen a few rumblings about Santi Cazorla’s future. He’s now 30 and if we go ahead and purchase Schneiderlin he may think on where his place in the team is. It may well be that against most teams we go with Schneiderlin and Cazorla at the base but that then means it’s Ramsey and le Coq that may miss out. Think about our central midfielders; Coq, Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Rosicky, Flamini and Diaby. Plus we may add one more. There will need to be a few outgoings to make room for any purchases in my view. It’s a tricky situation but I really hope that we find a way to keep him. He’s an absolute joy to watch and we would be a worse team without him. He himself is talking about wanting the title next season so his mind seems to be firmly focussed but the summer comings and going are likely to dictate his decision but I for one would love for us to keep the midfield maestro.
Have a wonderful week people.
Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1