If you are anything like me, then you would have been seriously nervous yesterday. Having seen Portsmouth play out of their skins against Liverpool to record a 2-0 win and having played well at Fratton Park generally recently, coupled with the absence of Denilson, Cesc and then Walcott in the lead up to the game… nerves were frayed.
But this Arsenal team seems to have a few things more than it did last season – confidence in their own ability, belief in themselves and their team mates and quite a bit of strength in depth. Considering Van Persie, Niklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Clichy and Gibbs were all out – I mention only these players, because they are first teamers – the rest of our team have done very well to play as we have.
For Arsenal Van Persie, Bendtner, Walcott, Cesc and Denilson read for Chelsea, Drogba, Anelka, Lampard, Essien and Joe Cole… now it seems a little more interesting to see what we’ve achieved without some of top players.
We take on West Ham in the FA Cup on Sunday and then Bolton next Wednesday in the league – with Chelsea not playing until Saturday, we could be one point behind them and ahead of Man United by Wednesday evening – what a turnaround that would be.
It was a very good performance yesterday by the Arsenal. Eduardo had another run out and hopefully the extended run in the team will allow him to gain some match practice – he’s not lived up to the player he was before his injury, but he has shown in glimpses what he can do – and it was down to him for the first goal – our third free kick in as many games, albeit this one going in off the wall. And we always looked more dangerous and the second came through Eduardo, squared to Ramsey, squared to Nasri and in the back of the net!
The third was a great goal – Aaron Ramsey picking the ball up, nicking off a Pompey player and then avoiding a few challenges, belting it from 25 yards, left footer… nice. And the 4th was a nice header from Alex Song – who deserved a goal after all his hard work during the game – Alex Song is seriously one of my favourite players at the moment, he brings so much to the team…
Just a quick message from Ramsey on the goal and his role…
“I think that’s the best goal so far. There’s been injuries and I had to do a job tonight and I think I did that. But it isn’t about me, it’s about the team. We had a good performance and it was important to get the three points.”
Oh, the goals, in case you haven’t seen them…
“I would like you to sing it. I believe it was a big game for us because we played a big game on Sunday and sometimes, three days later, you can be less focused. But we were committed, focused, and ready for it and played like a real team against a Portsmouth side who fought very hard tonight. We were a bit lucky on the first goal but after that we controlled the game. I’m proud of the team because the belief is there and we played like a real team. It was a big game for us tonight. We knew, to keep chasing, it was important to win here.”
Wishing you a very awesome New Years Eve tonight, whatever you’re doing, may 2010 bring Arsenal a trophy or two…!!!