Firstly thank you Robin Van Persie, two fantastic goals, almost the goal of the season in the first half when his fantastic turn and chip was denied by the post, a fantastic captain's performance that proved the difference in the end. He is a truly top class talent and would get in most top sides in any league in world football.
Secondly well done to all the lads, it was not perfect by any means but small steps are being made forward, slowly I know but it will take time and patience for things to be turned around. Defensively we need to have a settled back four and this has not happened yet due to never ending injuries, we need more continuity.
Overall the work rate was there, we have looked more of a team in the last couple of games, things are starting to gel a bit. Sunderland did have that dangerous spell in the first half where our defense looked a bit shaky, but other than that we looked pretty solid. Szczesny's magnificent save from Cattermole's header to stop us going 2-1 behind was pivotal, brilliant keeping again from him. Larsson's free kick was top notch, Arteta silly to leave his arm high when going for a header, still it was still slightly harsh to call in deliberate handball given that his opponent also had his arm raised.
Suunderland made things tough, they packed their midfield and were allowed to repeatedly break up our game with a lot of rather deliberate little fouls, Webb was rather slow to clamp down on this tactic and really should have shown some earlier yellows to stop this negative cynicism. Having said that we should have been out of sight before Sunderland equalised, RVP terribly unlucky with his chip and then Gervinho blazing over when in an excellent position in the box just afterwards.
I don't think our 4-3-3 system did us any great favours today, RVP didn't get a great deal of support from the midfield, Gervinho started excellently but faded, while Theo was generally poor and not in the game. Song and Rosicky played well, Arteta slightly less so. I would have liked to see 4-4-2 today but the chances of this look slim unfortunately.
Overall today was definitely a small step forwards and we need to keep doing this, we need to edge forwards slowly but surely, we must be realistic about what this squad can achieve. Realistically even with Jack Wilshere, Sagna and Vermaelen all fit, this squad is still well short of challenging for the title, there is plenty more work to do in many areas. Still a win is a win and we should be grateful for that, booing any players during the match who are giving their all is not productive and does not impress. Let's be decent fans and get behind the lads at games.