Take a look at the picture above- ain’t that a sweet sight?
If I had blogged after the Schalke disaster, I would likely have begun with something that would have sounded like a rationalisation, but would nonetheless have been true. I would have said something like this. That result was entirely to be expected when you think of the quality of the opposition and the players we had out. Not to mention the fact that Gervinho was, once again, deployed up top. It doesn’t excuse the performance, of course it doesn’t. But, as you well know, it simply isn’t possible to play well all of the time. I would also have said that things were sure to improve.
And whilst the performance at home to QPR wasn’t much of an improvement; a) it was an improvement and; b) we got a win. And, after the week we’d had, any kind of win was going to be a good one.
The big news for us was Jack Wilshere’s return to first team action. It’s a measure of the importance he has assumed in his absence that we can welcome the best right back in England back at the same time and he’s relegated to something of a sidebar. You will all have read Jack’s passing stats from Saturday’s game, seen the 1-2 with Cazorla that resulted in that most wondrous of events- a shot on target. So I don’t really need to go on about these things here, but it is very, very good to see him back. I imagine Santi Cazorla will be thrilled to have someone alongside in the team capable of tuning into his game. I am even allowing myself to dream that, having got another week’s training behind him, Wilshere can help Mikel and Santi pass those mancunian bastards off the pitch. Yeah, I know.
On that note, I wasn’t particularly planning on talking about here, but I saw the Dutch Judas score against Chelsea on Sunday. No, I wasn’t at the game, but it was the first time I’d seen him score live and it made me feel sick. Whatever about the direction of our club being a bit more M25 than M1, I can’t believe that he doesn’t want to punch every single one of his new teammates in the face. In the spirit of positive thinking, I am totally disregarding the possibility of him scoring lots of goals against us on Saturday and thinking only of the WAC crew enjoying such a monoply on possession that the Dutch Judas is relegated to a mere irrelevance. Some hope, eh?
But we have another game to look forward to before then. Tonight, Arsenal visit the Madejski Stadium in the Capital One Cup. A match against Reading isn’t quite the same kind of pressure cooker as the one that awaits us at the weekend, but we have to be looking to progress. And, you know, maybe have a crack at winning something.
The squad list has been announced and the experience will be provided by the likes of Arshavin, Chamakh (stop laughing at the back), Koscielny, Djourou and Walcott. Having been dropped for the Bac Man, Carl Jenkinson will be there, along with the young tyros; Coquelin, Frimpong (welcome back), Gnabry and Miquel. Damian Martinez will keep goal and I’ll be interested to see how he does. With Fabianski apparently broken and Mannone as convincing as a Spurs fan talking about remembering their last league title, I think there’s an opening there for him. If he’s good enough. Wojciech Szczesny (now back in training, thank God) may not be the best goalkeeper we’ve ever seen, but he is so much better than the other two, he could certainly do with a bit of competition. And, as we’ve seen with Szczesny, if Martinez can put some performances in, he may well get a chance. I type that and I don’t know if he should get a chance, but that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight. Obviously. I’m also hoping that with nobody’s favourite Ivorian now sidelined, a good showing from Arshavin might see him returned to first team action.
It was three days ago now and I know it’s late, but I can’t close this blog out without laughing at Mark Hughes. Our winning goal was offside, was it? Oh well, shit happens.
And, with Mike Dean scheduled to referee us- again- at the weekend, I think that’s probably best way to look at things for now.------------
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