‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times’.
That sort of sums up the last week for me. Here’s the last week in Tottz size bites:
The rollercoaster continued it’s face numbing downward plunge on Wednesday with a poor 0-0 draw at Bolton. Arsenal had their chances in the first half from Theo, AOC and Ramsey. Keeping high levels of possession but creating very little Bolton slowly grew in confidence and took the game to Arsenal. In the second half Arsenal were devoid of any cutting edge or creativity, slowly but surely we sat deeper and Bolton through at us. In the end were lucky not to lose but the feeling afterwards was very much of another loss.
Bolton were there for the taking in the first half. We created chances we couldn’t convert but then reverted back into our shell as it became more apparent we weren’t going score. A lot of recent unfair stick has been thrown at Ramsey but the Bolton game was the tip of the iceberg for him. The guy is shattered and struggling to find any sort of form the team badly craves. Is that his fault? No. He’s been thrown in to the deep end ‘in his first full season’ with the impossible challenge of replacing Cesc. If you listen to enough people we need to buy a player in every position on the pitch however the biggest gap for me still remains behind RVP. You cannot replace a player like Cesc but at least try. In an contradictory way for typical thinking, we’re actually ‘killing’ Ramsey by not buying. It’s water under the bridge (pun kinda intended) but Mata is the one we missed out on. Who’s fault is that? Not Le boss. Wenger identifies the players he wants, it is the job of Dick Law, Gazidis or whoever to close the deal.
With the Daily Mirror making up the notion of a bin bag protest, the fans weirdly united in to mock and defend the clubs integrity. I rarely go into a game with confidence these days but I was uber confident Blackburn would feel our wrath, I wasn’t wrong.
Within 2 mins it was one nil to the Arsenal. A friend of mine in the row behind hiliariously asked ‘who scored?’ Who else, RVP from great work from Theo. Frustratingly nothing happened after that of any note and Blackburn scored through an impressive free kick by Pedersen. I felt Blackburn had been heavy handed in their approach and Givet proved that through a stupid and reckless red card tackle on RVP. Fair play to Steve Kean who checked if RVP was ok after treatment and shook his hand in way of an apology.
Arsenal then kicked into gear themselves. Theo did fantastically again to give RVP a simple tap in and then RVP went all Bergkamp on us and released AOC for a great goal.
We motored on early in the 2nd half through strikes from Arteta, AOC and RVP crashed in his hat trick with another first time shot in the box. With 30mins to go and 6-1 up, Arsenal took their foot off the pedal. The final moment came with the last kick of the game. Henry picked up on a mistake exchanged passes with RVP and slotted in his 228th goal. A beautiful moment on a cold but exciting day. For all the people that left early, you may have missed Henry’s final goal at home. I hope you feel suitably stupid.
RVP may have got a hat trick but all the talk was about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. My line post game was ‘the most exciting player since Henry’, some even dared to say more exciting. Praise indeed. He’s got it all; power, pace, shooting and the ability to beat a player with ease. Wenger’s got to use him wisely but he’s slowly making him a first choice player.
A quick word for Theo Walcott too. While he hasn’t been on top form recently he showed on Saturday what a player he can be with 3 great assists and a constant menance to Blackburn. With RVP, AOC, Theo upfront and Gervinho to come back, this team should be picking teams apart.
Theo voiced his opinion yesterday:
“There are so many world-class players in the dressing room, so it is disappointing when we come back from Bolton with a 0-0 draw where we had a lot of chances.
“It has just been one of those frustrating seasons.
“Hopefully a lot of those frustrations came out against Blackburn, where everybody stood up for themselves.”
On the subject of goals, Saturday’s game was the first time Arsenal scored more than one goal in a home league fixture is November 5th. Crazy.
Next up a tough tie against an inform Sunderland. Which Arsenal will turn up?
In other news:
Wenger has been teasing fans in the way he knows best with intriguing quotes about Eden Hazard:
“I like Eden Hazard a lot, and for many reasons,”
“His creative ability, his talent for unbalancing opponents, his vision of the game, and his consummate skill in making the final pass all make him an in-demand player.
“Hazard has what it takes to play for a top-level club, and Arsenal are a top-level club.”
He added: “You should know that each season, it is imperative to show a profit of between £15m-£20m.
“I would add that the purpose of a coach is to always buy at a price he sees fit.”
Which way should we read that?
- I want to buy him but we’ll need to sell before we can buy him.
- I want to buy him but the board have told they want to me to sell before they make funds available.
- I want to buy him. Oh by the way, as a general business we should always makes a profit of 10-15m per season. It’s a good business model, non?
Which ever way it was meant to be taken, there’s little point speculating so we’ll need to wait and see. There are far greater matters that should be concerning us right now.
Have a great Wednesday Gooners.
Comments welcome – @Tottz82