Yesterday’s game was a good old fashioned 1-0 to the Arsenal, although the way in which we started, you’d think we’d have gone on to win by a greater margin. But on hindsight, the margin didn’t matter, the three points was all that did. The game itself was in stark contrast to the game at White Hart Lane, where Sp*rs had 25 shots versus Stoke’s 6 and finished the game with a draw. Our game was slightly more balanced, but we held on for three vital points.
We’re now into third (who would have thought?) and above Sp*rs. Life is good.
The starting XI was an interesting one, with Ramsey deployed on the left of midfield and Rosicky retained into the team, with both Oxlade and Gervinho on the bench. The plus point was the that the back five was our first choice back five and that was also very important. We’ve been on a great run recently and it’s no wonder that that has coincided with the return and of and consistency that having a solid back five brings – with full backs!
The line up was:
Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Arteta – Song
Walcott – Rosicky – Ramsey
Although originally deployed on the left of midfield, Ramsey found himself floating into the middle and Rosicky seemed to have a free role. A little unbalanced defensively, but from attacking point of view, it was exciting to see the runs of all the players in all the different directions.
The goal of the game came just 8 minutes in when Thomas Vermaelen nodded in a Van “He assists when he wants” Persie corner. Great start, our third chance of the game and 1-0 to the Arsenal. I expected us to go on from there, but sometimes you have to battle it out for the win, and that’s exactly what we did.
1-0 to the Arsenal!
Arsene spoke about yesterday’s game and also the recent run of games and form we’ve experienced.
I felt if we scored a second goal maybe we could give a psychological blow to Everton. We had a brilliant start and slowly Everton got back into the game after 30 minutes. In the second half, for the most we did hang on until the last 15 minutes when we started to create chances again. But it was all Everton [until then]. We were resilient, focused and with a great desire to defend. Our defence played very well tonight. I felt it was a bit psychological – we refused to play because we just wanted to keep the score. Credit to Everton they played very well in the second half. I was always optimistic, because if you look at our results from October onwards we only had one bad spell when we lost three times on the trot because we had no full backs. The attitude of the team was always good, so I felt we could bounce back. We needed to be strong because we were under a lot of pressure and we will need that until the end of the season. Where we come from, we know what suffering means because in some press conferences I had to answer ‘are you playing not to go down’. We know we have a difficult battle in front of us.
We were 17th in the form table and now we’re 1st. That shows a great turn around if I do say so myself. But the job is far from done. We have a long way to go. We’re third now, but we’ve got to keep third and start to create some distance between us and Sp*rs. We were fortunate with other results, Liverpool, Chelsea & Sp*rs all dropping points, but it goes to show that we can also drop points if we’re not on top of our game.
It’s Aston Villa on Saturday at the Emirates. A win there would get us higher up the table and with Sp*rs and Chelsea playing each other on the weekend, as long as we get the three points, we’ll increase the gap…