Pompey 1 – 4 Arsenal, we’re behind you Chelsea…

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…

Just before I go, here’s Arsene’s general overview of the game:
“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.”
And finally…

Wishing you a very awesome New Years Eve tonight, whatever you’re doing, may 2010 bring Arsenal a trophy or two…!!!

  • Fo

    It was a very good result and the only thing that we need to do now is capitalise on it – we need to beat Bolton at home and then Everton at home and continue upwards…

    If we do add a striker to our ranks, then we could just win the league!

  • devday

    Very true Fo, have a look at ours and Chelsea’s fixtures though…

    Chelsea’s January looks very easy – Hull, Sunderland, Birmingham and Burnley…

    Where as we’ve got Bolton twice, Everton, Villa and United.

  • goonerman

    and then the beggining of february doesnt get much easier with chelsea and liverpool straight after united so its a big couple of months coming up but that means we will get a lot of big games out of the way quickly !

  • devday

    Very true Goonerman, if we get through Jan + Feb within reach then we will have a very serious chance of winning the league…!!

  • JAT

    happy new year dude. particularly looking forward to celebrating a cup victory in madrid with you in may!

  • Fabrez

    Song was absolutely immense. At his age, he’ll be as good as Makalele in my honest opinion. Of course it depends on how committed he is n stuff but I feel he has the right attitude and like so many other Gunners, he’s ridiculously young for his capabilities. But that’s what you get when u r @ the Arsenal. I remember we wanted Melo badly…i did presonally… but u do wonder if Song would have blossomed like he has if we got Melo? Hard 2 say. But he has been super 4 us and we will miss him.

    Having said that, I’m enjoying seeing Diaby develop into a box-to-box kinda player helping out at the back and in an attacking sense. It’s really good 2 c. In Song’s absence, his height and physicality will be important for us. I think Ramsey can play with Cesc because he really started deep yesterday and was getting stuck in & winning a few tackles. Very very good 2 see.

    I think us getting back the likes of Bendtner and Theo (again) in Jan…maybe even Clichy…will be a welcomed boost at a time when fixtures are very pivotal. And as Dev said, When u compare the players we have out to players Chelsea have…had their equivalent players been out, they would have been in a right mess. Seriously!

    I like how Arsene switched between Sagna and Eboue so far so u feel as if once Sagna isn’t injured, the rests he got earlier in the season will serve him well in the nxt month or so with Manu off to Angola.

    Heard Diaby signed a long-term contract. I like how the Club are signing up players this year. Very encouraging and nice 2 see. Personally, can’t wait to see Rosicky signed up! He’s a fav player of mine.

    Tough times ahead but let’s show we are ready to take the prem down to the wire!

  • Francis

    Good game all in all and kudos to our midfielders…i must admit like Dev i was nervous given how pompey had turned liverpool over, unlucky against Villa, unlucky to loose against man utd albeit with some dubious refereeing decisions.

    Without being negative or too hard on the boys….

    Only criticism for Ramsey and Diaby is their failure to track back for Pompey’s goal. Ramsey was about 7 yards from Belhadj yet he just stood and watched the pompey player score from the cutback as Song had got into the box to cover the space between Vermaelen and Billy. Diaby just strolled back towards the 18 yard box. I think this got Wenger angry. I have no doubt Wenger will be pointing this error out and the fact that you cannot switch of at any point. Thankfully Song got the all important 4th goal to kill any comeback hopes…

    Inspite of the above i cannot fault the teams attitude and application.

  • Yemi

    Go gooners ! Go gooners !! Go gooners !!!

  • http://twitter.com/DebsGooner Debs

    Happy new year folks! Hope 2010 brings with it loads of Arsenal trophies, and ofcourse, your heart desires! :-)
    Much love!

  • Sam

    Happy New Year to all Gunners and Gooners!

    We have Bolton twice in the next 2 weeks, so the appointment of thei rnext manager is of grave oncern to us. Read Sparky is up fo it, though I hope not.

  • ermias

    i want to be a member of Arsenal.