Yesterday was a very important game for us and two things that we needed to do before the game: score and keep a clean sheet, we did. There were some fears before the game that Rosicky and Koscielny would miss the game – coupled with the plethora of suspensions and other injuries, left our squad thread bare… but both the aforementioned players were passed fit and we managed to field the following line-up:
Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Ramsey – Song
Walcott – Rosicky – Gervinho
The bench was Fabianski, Djourou, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bendtner
The game was won by a good move just after 4 minutes, when Theo & Ramsey broke the defence, Ramsey going wide, and Sagna passing the ball into his path. Ramsey kept the ball under control and then swung the ball in for Walcott to volley into the back of the net. The goal was good and highly needed and it seemed to be the one thing we clung on to as Udinese came pouring forward in search of their equaliser. Personally I feel that we were lucky not to concede – but the luck was born out of sheer determination to keep a clean sheet – our defensive performance was amazing considering how badly positioned we were – Gervinho and Walcott did well tracking back, but not positionally – more in effort.
To not concede a goal was amazing – when I look back at the game and the number of chances Udinese, it’s incredible that they failed to score and that we kept a clean sheet. Sagna for me, was absolutely outstanding and the partnership of Koscielny and Vermaelen seems to be gelling a bit better. One thing to note was the injuries to both Gibbs and his replacement Djourou – both hamstring injuries – meaning both players will miss the Liverpool game. With Jenkinson having made his debut yesterday, he could be thrusted into the weekend game from the start.
Walcott looked like he had more hunger – it was like he has realised his responsibility in the team. “I have to win games”, rather than “Robin or Cesc will win the game”… type of attitude, which is what we need out of him. His runs were good – his goal was good and we need him to stay injury free this season. Gervinho also looked lively and I’m sure he will contribute a lot this season. Ramsey was also very good throughout the game – but I was very excited with him when he moved up to the “Cesc role” and was playing just behind the striker – he seems to prefer a more attacking role – and when Jack returns, I can see him playing more in that position. Another positive point is the introduction of Frimpong who looks