Although last night’s Capital One Cup match between Arsenal and Coventry City took place amidst a total lack of live coverage from, er… anyone, it provided the 58,000+ who attended with a veritable feast of goals. As I wasn’t at the match, it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions from the 6-1 hammering dished out by the guys. However, my friend Rachid was present and has now witnessed 19 Arsenal goals in three matches.
I’m not sure if he said this to be different, but he told me today that our goalkeeper, Martinez, was the man of the match. He also asked me to ask you all, and anyone at Arsenal who may be reading, can somebody provide him with a season ticket please? It strikes me that if Rachid were to go to every home game this season, not only would we probably win the league, we’d do so with the best goal difference of all time. Of course, this could all be just be a statistical fluke, but if you believe that, you probably don’t believe in Father Christmas. And we all know he exists, right? Right?
Moving on, then, and to what should be terra firma… last night saw Olivier Giroud put an end to one of the most ridiculous things I’ve come across in my years as an Arsenal supporter. Yes, Giroud finally got himself on the scoresheet. I’m not sure what the exact, dictionary, definition of “finally” is, but it strikes me that four first team starts and three substitute appearances hardly constitutes a wait of biblical proportion. And, aside from the admittedly terrible miss at home to Sunderland, it’s not as if he’s been going out and missing sitter after sitter, is it? Anyway, he broke his duck, and the deadlock, with a fine lift over the goalkeeper. And I’m sure he would be now feeling full of beans had he not seen his second half penalty (given after what was definitely a wait of biblical proportions for a home penalty) saved by the Coventry keeper. He also had to wait for ages to take the penalty, due to a minor pitch invasion.
How football giveth… and then taketh away.
If you’re gonna have a penalty saved though, best do it in a scenario that isn’t likely to prove too costly. And the Gunners quickly set about making sure Giroud’s penalty wouldn’t matter too much. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s strike from just outside the area was greeted with a shout of “ey up” by Mr Craddock- and comparisons to Thierry Henry’s exocet aginst Manchester City in 2004 by everyone else. Andrei Arshavin showed some deft control before slotting the third goal and then Theo Walcott raced down the right to bang one past the keeper.
Calum Ball interrupted the fun by stealing in front of Djourou to get the visitors on the board before Ignasi Miquel headed home the fifth goal. The final goal of the evening came from Walcott, who wandered out to the left wing, before accelerating back towards the centre of the penalty area and curling another Henryesque finish in at the far post. I’m not a big Theo fan, I think you know that, but this was a delightful goal.
As I mentioned above, Andrei Arshavin scored the third goal and set up three others (not quite the hat trick and chance every minute I talked about yesterday, but a good effort nonetheless). His display prompted Arsene Wenger to say afterwards that he felt Arshavin’s best position was “now” behind the striker. Now, Arsene, now? It always was, surely? Anyway, he also said,
“But he will get his chance, and he showed here that he deserves it.”
I have some doubts about that. I don’t see how Arshavin even gets into the matchday 18 when everyone is fit. Which isn’t to say he isn’t a wonderful footballer- you all know that I think he is, but I don’t see that he fits anymore. Still, you never know..
Speaking of everyone being fit, you know that thing that never, ever, happens, we got a step closer to utopia last night. Emmanuel Frimpong made his first appearance since recovering from his second cruciate ligament injury and we now have the news that Jack Wilshere will play an hour for the Arsenal ressies at West Brom on Monday. I bet he’s so happy he could cry.
I know I am.
A trip to Reading awaits us in the next round. With one of Chelsea and United certain to leave the competition along with Manchester City, perhaps- even at this early stage- we can smell some silverware.
Well, a hint of a whiff of it anyway.
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