It is not often I make predictions, especially tactically, and then find that I’ve got them right, but I seemed to be some sort of oracle yesterday. First up I pondered why we didn’t play Coquelin at right back when he has experience there and lo and behold Arsene only picked him to play there with Vermaelen left. Then I mentioned how Arsenal offered some sort of care in the community service to help struggling teams get back to winning ways and finally I closed the blog by stating that if we gave 100% we would grab all three points. Bing. Bing, bang.
Due to other commitments I missed the first half, but thanks to the good people on Twitter I was able to be kept fully abreast of just how not at the match we were. Watching the second half there can be no doubting the effort the team put in but, sometimes, you just have one of those days coll
ectively when touch is a bit off and legs are heavy. This isn’t really surprising given the exertions against City only three days previously.
But we came away with three points thanks to a very late winner from super-sub Yossi. I must say, I’ve always been an admirer of the Israeli and remember being slightly annoyed when Chelsea purchased him in the first place. I wasn’t to know injury would scupper his career there and I genuinely hope that we can make his loan deal permanent though you have to wonder if he puts in a great season with us will Chelsea decide to be a little bitchy and want to keep him. I hope not because not only have the fans taken to the player, the player also seems to have taken to the club and he can do good things for us for a few years yet.
There had been talk of Rosicky being sold in January which I doubted due to the effect he can have from the bench and we got to see that up close yesterday. After replacing Frimpong who had a bit of a stinker (he’s young, these things will happen) the team instantly looked more composed and there was more belief that we could actually get all three points.
That Aston Villa have the worst defensive record at corners was highlighted exceptionally well yesterday by virtue of the fact that we, us, Arsenal, actually scored from one. We suck at corners, we really do, so how bad must they be at defending them?
I’m not going to cover the match play by play, by now you’ll have seen it or read about it and know what has happened. What has been in evidence for a few months now, since that debacle at Old Trafford in the game that never was, was that there is a team spirit within this side that has been missing for many years. Many point to the fact that RvP, as captain, organises a lot more social events and that his wife is integral in including all the other wives and girlfriends. Cesc didn’t do this, but it’s what a captain should do. He should bring the team together and foster a family spirit and we are seeing the rewards of that on the pitch. Sure, we don’t always get it right, but it isn’t for the lack of trying and for the last few years the reasons we weren’t getting it right was for exactly that reason – the players looked like they simply couldn’t be arsed, that losing meant nothing unless it was against the big boys. Now it seems that pride has been restored and every game matters.
The news that the home game, originally scheduled for Boxing Day has now been moved to 27th December because of Tube strikes is extremely annoying. Boxing Day isn’t Boxing Day when your team doesn’t play and with Arsenal playing last year on 27th as well this blow seems doubly cruel. Our New Year’s Day game will be on 2nd January to accommodate TV so we have no festive football on the traditional days. This is mega poo of the highest order.
So, I’m going to shut up now and go back to fighting on Twitter. If you are missing out, come join me.