It’s been a tough Summer, with key players leaving and a turn around in playing staff. Last summer, our main players who left weren’t quite replaced and it left our start to the season in a bit of disarray… We ended up going through the season lacking something and becoming heavily reliant on RvP… This Summer, despite the change around, you have to feel that we have a better group of players in terms of quality and motivation – Santi Cazorla and Lucas Podolski are just two examples of the quality signed and replacing players leaving with new players ready to play.
Last time out, against Liverpool, it was an impressive display throughout the team, and definitely a step in the right direction and the challenge for the team was to build on it and continuing improving. Our line up yesterday was:
Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Arteta – Coquelin
Oxlade – Cazorla – Podolski
Giroud had been dropped to the bench and Gervinho favoured in a different position – with the fit again Szcznesy replacing Mannone, who hadn’t conceded a goal in the Premiership so far this season. A surprise inclusion on the bench was Arshavin, who was named alongside Mannone, Koscielny, Santos, Giroud, Ramsey and Walcott.
Southampton gave Man United a scare last time out, going 2-1 up before losing 3-2, and if that game told us anything, it was that we need to focus on playing our game to the maximum of our ability. And what a great start it was. From the off, we really got going and the little Spanish maestro was in the heart of everything.
The first goal came through some excellent work through Podolski who wrestling the ball from a few players, charging into the box before sliding it to Gibbs who shot at goal, forcing a defender to push it through his own net, 1-0 to the Arsenal. And Cazorla, Podolski and Gervinho combined with Gibbs a lot in the opening stages, putting some really good moves together.
The second goal was absolutely sublime – after a lot of pressure from us, Coquelin was fouled outside the area – Podolski stood up and took the free kick and it went round, high and in – 2-0 to the Arsenal… but there was more – Cazorla holding the ball, releasing Arteta who played in Gervinho to make 3-0, a drive at the near post… and then it was 4, when some good work between Podolski and Gervinho saw the second own goal of the day… 3 goals in 5 minutes…
4-0 up and Southampton looked like they were