I was a bit nervous going into the Emirates. Not at the thought of Citeh whose inability to travel left me in confident mood, but in case I didn’t recognise The Arsenal. It had been such a long time since we’d last met, and in desperation had even tried watching some other team playing football to see if that floated my boat. The sight of John Terry & Cashley Cole singing the national anthem put that experiment to an early bed at least.
But sound hosannas and ring alarum bells – The Arse are back baby! And with Cesc back in the middle dictating the tempo of the game, we were treated to as enjoyable game of football as I have seen in about 2 weeks. The goals when they came weren’t things of outstanding beauty, but it was good to see Ade back in the goals straight away. We will need him to be in his goal-scoring mood if this season is to end with some silverware to polish over the summer.
To pick out one or two individuals who were impressive;
Song – I don’t know what we have put in his shreddies over the last couple of months, but this is not the same Alex Song as we saw in November. He read the game well, tackled tidily and aggressively, and his distribution was simple and effective. He created a platform for Cesc to play on, and it was mightily impressive. We’ve only got one Song, indeed we may only need one.
Theo – having been tortured with the sight of Aaron Lennon in mid-week it was good to be reminded of what a good player Theo can be. His running was as blisteringly fast as ever, but he brought his all-round game today. He had 3 or 4 good shots (one cracker near the end), tackled back to support Sagna and keep Robinho quiet (who ended up swapping wings as he was getting no change from that pair) and generally tore both Bridge and Zabaletta new ones.
Obviously Cesc played awesomely, and Ade got his goals, but they will be the Mirror’s Men of the Match, so they will get coverage elsewhere.
There are a few other things of vague noteworthiness though.
- Denilson was poor in the first half, but he really turned it on in the second.
- Clichy again made some critical errors that a better team may have punished. He is sadly becoming a liability.
- Nicky B is deadly from the bench. His running late in the game must be a nightmare for tiring defenders, and to my mind he offered more threat than Ade did.
- Eboue has remembered that he can play football, and completed the feat of tearing Zabaletta yet another new one.
- Cesc has a new tattoo on his elbow.
- I love Cesc.
It is quite amazing we have a run of games as important as this in a season that for a long time looked to be going nowhere. The team look to be clicking, and with players fit and hungry I think we are in a great position to actually achieve something – FA Cup, Champions League 3rd in the Prem. That’s my slightly exuberant prediction.