Blue Seats Again

So for the second time in as many months Arsenal have provided both me with the ability to come to work saying “I told you so” and the opposition fans such a crushing blow that they all left leaving nothing but a huge swathe of blue seats behind. Unless it was just really cold.

Man City / Spurs, two teams with pretensions of being better than they actually are, being put back into place by a weakened Arsenal team – no Diaby, no Verm and no Van Persie. Of course we were also missing Wilshere and Fabregas/Theo/Bendtner all played their first games since returning from injury. We were also without supposed first choice Almunia, although so far in his latest run Fabi-Banks-i hasn’t put a foot wrong so I suppose he’s now the first choice?

However you cut it, we were not anywhere near full strength yesterday – and yet Arsenal manage to grind out a solid win against a dangerous team (even with 10 men) in a hostile atmosphere. Well I say a hostile atmosphere, it was until we scored our second and they all went home. Boo hoo wankers.

I won’t dwell on the match too much after Debs excellent report but the turning point for me was not the sending off or first goal. City were always going to tire with 10 mercs, but for 60 or so minutes they came at us with purpose and frustratingly enough we let them have the ball for long periods. We ended with 66% possession but I’m sure that is entirely down to the final twenty – for most of the match is was far more even. Particularly at the start of the second half we were inviting them to come onto us and they had a few half chances. In the end they didn’t create much, but I think that was down in part to our luck. On a different day they could have nicked one – and I’d have put money on us then collapsing.

The turning point was Tevez’s withdrawal due to injury – up until then he had been pulling Djourou out of position and creating space for Silva. Arsenal looked like they couldn’t cope with his movement – however when he left the pitch they started to lose some of that space and with a bit of order back behind the ball we pressed properly for the killer goal.

I spent all match shouting “NO SONG GET BACK, GET IN FRONT OF THE BACK FOUR” and then he scored a remarkable poachers goal. Great instinctive finish, get the lad up front. Songinhio indeed.

Ah, the other events of the weekend, including Manchester United and their loathsome right back horror show Adolf Neville. How the fuck he stayed on the pitch until half time I will never know. He’s a lucky dictator-like. Lovely touch from Fergie, letting him get on the pitch for the second half before subbing him off. MOTD2 reckon he forgot. I think it was deliberate, Fergie laughing his bollocks off. I hate Fergusmoan, but my what a joker. Credit where credit’s due he got Adolf properly.

I suppose I should cover the Rooney thing? Nah, he’s a loathsome clusterfuck of a human being. I hope he hits his head at the bottom of his Dubai swimming pool and forgets how to kick a ball. And then he learns some loyalty, I mean he had none at Everton or to his wife, why are United fans surprised? Speaking of his holiday in Dubai, I bet he had to save up all day for that.

Liverpool won. Torres scored. Shame that.

I watched the West Ham / Newcastle match – Noble played perhaps the best ball of the weekend for their goal, but for whatever reason they collapsed almost immediately and Newcastle came back into it, West Ham look every inch the team that are going down. Unless they drastically alter something, they’re fucked. If they keep pretending Carlton Cole is a footballer, they’re double fucked.

It’ll make for an interesting game on Wednesday – I hope to be there. Newcastle are no push overs, players like Nolan/Smith/Barton in the midfield are not only strong and combative, but creative and capable of passing. A few teams have gone into games with Newcastle expecting a physical encounter but overlooking the fact that Newcastle can play the ball very well.

Newcastle are quite leaky at the back though (Carlton Cole scored, see) and I think its a game where we will need to stick two on the back four at all times. Perhaps it would be a good game for Theo to get involved, his pace could/should terrorise Collocini and Enrique and would give Arsenal the ability to play it over the top. I expect Bendtner will start as well, Chamakh having played 3 years of solid football in two months and Van Persie being corn beefed.

Ah and Sunderland for Europe this season. You read it here first. If they continue to play as they have done for the rest of the season, they’ll capture 7th. They’ve played Man City, Liverpool, United and Villa (and us!) and currently have 12 points. Dark horses.

  • devday

    Totally agree… without our top top players, this team is starting to grind out results. Yesterday it was a certain 6 pointer and for once in a long time, we came out on top!

  • Kieran

    Also forgot to mention – Cesc waving the card is terrible. Never again please chaps, bad taste.

  • theusualsuspect

    Excellent performance if you look at the scoreline. However this game left me a sour taste in my mouth… Our first Half was shocking to say the least. THe second half was better but against a 9 men team (yes tevez played half the game with an injury and I believe this is the main reason he was transparent), and if we consider we’re title challengers, we should’ve killed this game far earlier. If we watch the succession of events today, everything was going our way and we were the only ones making it hard for ourselves!
    Djourou, in the first half…. Shocked Shocked Shocked Clichy can be at fault for many things, but he’s not responsible for Djourou being clumsy and god damn slow!!! Djourou’s performance today was Silvestre-like! The guy is nothing more than a big accident waiting to happen! THe less I see him play this season the better…
    Arshavin was his usual self, lazy as fuck! We know what he’s capable of which makes it even less forgivable.
    Nasri is growing in stature this season. Let’s hope he can keep this good form. His body language suggests he’s in a very good shape physically.
    Flappy… Shocked Shocked Shocked what happened to the lad??!! Looks like the “training fabiansky” has taken over the usual “Flappy-handski”.

    Overall, great win. But not as convincing as I expected a victory at man city would be…

  • Nick

    Very impressive showing from Fabianski.
    Can’t believe Cesc had the PK blocked. It was so obvious where he was going and Joe Hart read it all the way.
    What do we have to do to get Arshavin to run and stop giving the ball away? His pass to Nasri for the first goal was about the only thing I can honestly remember him doing.
    I thought Theo should’ve been brought on sooner. Defense was very lackluster, especially the first half.

    Overall it was a great away win. Very happy for Song’s goal. Still don’t know how he avoided a double dose of yellow.

  • Kodjo

    Sure JD made mistakes and his timing is off…but that is expected after such a long lay off. He needs games to get his timing back.

    To suggest he is not a good defender is a no – no. The boy has talent his problem is that he hasnt played consistently due to injuries.
    Folks quickly forget how good he was when he played a couple of games along side Gallas prior to his injury.

    @ Kieran

    Excellent analysis…a i have mentioned previuolsy we have a weakness on the left side of defense right through the midfield and intelligent teams will exploit it. The aerlier Wenger sorts out the balance the better!

    Part of the problem is lies in the system, the combination of Djourou, Clichy, Denilson and Arshavin for yestredays game. Clichy was caught out high up the pitch, Denilson had problems covering the space Clichy left…the direct runing of Silva and at time Richards troubled the defense.

    The early and stupid yellow cards picked up by the midfield trio also played a part. I was particularly worried that we could have ended up with 10 men if not less …

  • trevor

    What a fantastic performance by the boys and I’m very proud to be a Gooner but going by the commentators on Sky Sports I think we upset them a little ickle bit.

    All I know is (and its all I kept hearing) ManCity were ‘very courageous’ and were unlucky. Courageous? In what way? Because they went down to ten men? Do me a favour! And before anyone grumbles that Arsenal only won because City only had ten men better think again.

    Of course the numerical advantage helped us but the way we played today they wouldn’t have beat us even if they started with twelve players. I have no doubt we will hear plenty of moans about the sending-off but the truth is it was the right decision and Boyate gave the ref no choice.

    I think hardly anyone expected Arsenal to go to the City of Manchester Stadium and win, let alone win so convincingly. And it was massively convincing too. The commentators did their best to take their shine off the Arsenal win and their tongues were so far up City’s arse it was unbelievable.

    Had Chelsea or Manchester United gone to Eastlands and won 3-0, albeit against ten men, we would be hearing nothing but praise and how ruthless they were. All I heard today was of Man City’s bravery. Did everyone think they were going to just lie down?

    I think we burst the City bubble, from the media point of view. Nobody gave us a chance and every man and his dog wrote us off. We really upset the form book.

    In the bookies for the first time in my whole entire stinking existence (that I know of) City were favourites to beat us today. Not surprising when they’ve spent a record £3456324 billion on players really.

    I really fancied us to win 3-1 and Nasri to score first. The odds? 200/1. So on goes a fiver. I think its the only time in my life I wanted the opposition to score.

    Anyway we’ve proved we can beat a ‘strong side’ like Manchester City so maybe a mental barrier has been lifted. It’s true we’ve struggled to pick up points against sides like City, United and Chelsea recently but maybe this is the turning point.

    I’m sure some people were urging us to lose today just so they can say ‘I told you so’, well we’ve stuck two massive fingers up at them and given them the wanker sign. Any doubts that we can win the league surely have evaporated. We CAN win the league and we CAN beat the so-called other big-guns no matter what the likes of Andy Gray say.

  • Sam

    West Ham look every part like Portsmouth of last season. Great job, Mr Avrant Grant! We should pick up 3 points and improve our GD on Saturday.