All is well that ends well. Back in the race?

February 11, 2010

Madness. Absolute madness. When I signed the pact with the football gods using my own red and white blood, I should have read the fine print: ‘Supporting Arsenal may induce symptoms similar to bipolar disorder’. You would think it’s there somewhere, wouldn’t you? Just three days after going into the game at Stamford Bridge with no expectations and looking at the nine point gap off the top afterwards, we beat in-form Liverpool, they lose to Everton and the distance now reads six points. With ManYoo only drawing against Villa, it’s advantage Arsenal and the runaway pack now consists of three teams, possibly four if you take City with two games in hand into the equation.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? First and foremost, this post is a tribute to all the players who featured last night: this is what I am talking about, gentlemen, pride has been restored and my hat goes off to you. That wasn’t too hard, eh? Sure, there were a few things that may need to be ironed out in training, but I consider myself  happy with the fact that we managed to grind out a result after such poor run of games. The good guys in red have finally bounced back and let us hope that this result will improve levels of confidence ahead of the next week’s trip to Dragon’s Stadium.  Even the much criticised Almunia & Clichy had a good game with the former making an excellent fingertip save to deny Babel a certain entry on the score sheet and the latter looking much better than in the last two games, running, anticipating and making just a single ‘customary’ lapse. Good one chaps, more of the same please!

Arsene started with the XI nearly identical to what I suggested in yesterday’s post with the exception of Nasri and Eboue starting instead of Rosicky and Sagna respectively. The former lasted only 34 minutes and was replaced by my player of choice – to be honest, I am not too impressed with Samir who could do well with staying a few extra hours in the gym as he is looking a bit on the podgy side and should be told to make a bit more effort. Rosicky who came on instead had two significant moments in the game: a bad one when he fluffed his lines in front of Reina when through on goal as well as a very good one when he delivered a clever cross for completely unmarked Diaby to nod in. This proved to be the decisive goal that kept the precious three points at THOF.

At last, we saw more balanced team with Bendtner starting up top. He may be no Pele, but he looked lively and caused Scousers a few problems. Unsurprisingly, he managed to win quite a few aerial battles and used his physical presence well enough. I still think that having him as the only player of his kind is skating on thin ice, but there is nothing we can do about it, so we will just have to keep our fingers crossed for him to stay fit until the end of this season. Nicklas was yellow carded for diving on the edge of the box by Mr Webb, who chose to be a bit more lenient for Gerrard when he threw himself to the ground twice, first time trying to win a pen without success and once more for the freekick in the dying seconds, which Cesc blocked with his outstretched arm. Of course, the articles about cheating Arsenal and the hard-done-by Liverpool are written and pressed as we speak – if you expect any mention of Stevie Me’s embarrassing theatrics, think again: it should be clear for everyone by now that English players don’t dive/cheat, right? This is what these bloody foreigners do, I thought you knew…

Presence? Check. Pace? Check. Hunger? Check. Pride? Check. It seems like we can make the ‘plan A’ work, it’s all about the right balance, selecting correct personnel and motivation. Since we only employ one tactic against everyone, it’s pretty much about drilling the right levels of discipline into their heads: don’t leave your goal exposed, defend as a team and it may just work for the time being. It has to be said, if it wasn’t for Billy’s brilliant last ditch tackle in the box, we could have conceded one before we scored – there are already rumours that he may leave at the end of the season due to being offered just one year contract extension: I reckon the fans should unite and belt out ‘Two more years’ as we need warriors like him amongst our ranks. His experience is invaluable and if Silvestre warranted special dispensation to get 2 year deal, then Gallas should get it without asking as far as I am concerned.

Better. Much better. Not getting ahead of myself, but top three spot is ours to lose now, as the title is United’s or Chelsea’s. I still don’t think that they will drop enough points to make it exciting for us at the business end of the season, but all of the sudden, out title campaign doesn’t look the mangled wreck it was a few days ago.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day Gooners – I know I will!

P.S. Let’s all laugh at ‘Arry and Spuds: after Twitchy’s cocky press comments about their aim to leapfrog us in the table this season, they have lost to Wolves, which should shut them up for a few minutes – maybe there is a God afterall 😉


  1. Morning, nice post Suga3, theres definitely a god and hes definitely a gooner – well at least he was last night. We’re on news now today eeek and need some good bloggers if you’ve got time to pop in that would be great – you’ll get your own exposure too 🙂

  2. peaches,

    I am doing my best to get on blogs as much as I can, but it’s problematic when I am at work 😉


    saving the world is not an easy thing 😆

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