Our fourth successive win in the Premier League has seen us rise up the table, and despite our awful start to the season, we now sit on 19 points – on par with Liverpool – with the same number of games played. The top 7 in the table is now the top 7 and there is clear daylight between 7th (us) and 8th in Aston Villa. The top 7 will most likely remain the top 7 until the end of the season, and the key thing is to maintain our current run, and slowly but surely overtake Liverpool, Sp*rs and Chelsea.
Arsenal 3 – 0 West Brom
A clean sheet, three goals, and some decent football – a good day in the office.
The starting line up was as predicted:
Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Santos
Arteta – Song
Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho
With a bench of Fabianski, Djourou, Mertersacker, Rosicky, Arshavin, Benayoun, Park
Having not watched the game at the ground yesterday, my initials thoughts were based on the little mini synposis’ that I was getting from my phone was that our game was very average and that it wasn’t the “fluid” Arsenal we know… but then, when I got home and watched Match of The Day… it was a different story – we played well, we were fluent, we created chances, and best of all, we scored them!
Our first goal came through Van Persie (who else?), a player in extreme form. Part of the build up showed our quick passing and incisive play, when Walcott was set through from the right and shot well, with the keeper saving, but the ball parrying out – to who, to Van Persie, who swept it into the back of the net – how many goals has RvP scored now? It’s hard to keep track… it’s something like 32 goals in 31 games in all competitions in 2011… but it’s 10 goals in 10 games this season, which puts him top of the goalscoring charts.
And the Dutchman was pivotal in the general play and set another up before half time – this time for the club vice captain, Thomas Vermaelen. Some good build up play saw a lot of players forward and Van Persie’s cut back eventually came back to Thomas Vermaelen, who finished like a forward, a sweet left footed striker – 2-0 to the Arsenal.
Van Persie’s overall play was very good. He plays a free role, to a degree, which allows him to come deep when he needs to and get involved in the build up. Our third was another assist from Van Persie, who found Arteta marauding into the box – a sweet cut back and a great finish from the Spaniard…
The manager spoke after the game and was keen to stress the importance of the controlled manner of our performance:
Overall it was a controlled performance where we had complete domination of the game. It was a good pace in the first half – in the second it was a little bit off - but we were never really in trouble. We are getting stronger and overall it is a positive afternoon. We scored five goals last week, three goals today and didn’t concede.
It was also very important to score some goals and try and get our goal difference back to positive figures:
Yes. We put ourselves with a good handicap with the 8-2 [defeat] at Manchester United! It’s good but I was not used to seeing that before. It was a shock every time I saw minus in front of our goal difference. We know that can make a difference at the end of the season. Not only is it the first time we have had a positive goal difference but if you look at the teams above us there is not much difference – they are plus two or four maybe. That is catchable.
It’s good to see the catch in fortunes – after the Blackburn result, I really didn’t see how we were going to get better, and how we were going to get back into our stride. But we have done. We have done remarkably well to pick up our form. Our next four games are winnable games…
- Norwich (away)
- Fulham (home)
- Wigan (away)
- Everton (home)
Another 4 victories out of the above, and we will be in the top four, for sure….
We’ve now been interrupted by the International break and if it’s any time for any manager to fake any injury for any country for any player…. now is the time, Arsene is the manager, Van Persie is the player…