Saturday 31 October 2009

Spuds baked, fried, mashed and then devoured

Rarely can a football game be so very enjoyable. I think everyone was a bit twitchy before the game, there is just so much more for us to lose in these games, we are the big club there to be knocked down and if we win then everyone just says that that's what was expected. The atmosphere before the game was a bit special, I think all of us wanted to see all the spuds' pre match boasting rammed firmly up their arrogant behinds.

For once I was happy with the starting eleven. Almunia was back between the sticks, good decision and he went on to justify his position rather convincingly. Bendtner and RVP both started, a good move to have two strikers on against the spuds who often like to play on the counter and would have been much happier against one striker.

The first half was a little cagey, but overall I thought we were very disciplined and controlled the game nicely. Bentley was very fortunate to stay on the pitch after a shocking lunge early on. We were winning the midfield battle, Song was hoovering up nicely in front of the back four, Diaby was erratic but did work hard off the ball and Cesc was very much involved. I was particularly impressed with the centre backs, Crouch was beaten to a lot of ball and when he did win it we invariably swept up the second ball. The chances were all at Gomes' end. Arshavin had a few half chances, Cesc forced a great low save from Gomes and RVP also had a few decent openings.

The end of the first half saw the game turned away from the evil spuds. Of note Eduardo had come on for the injured Bendtner. First RVP clipped home brilliantly from a nice whipped Sagna centre, Gomes had no chance. Barely had everyone stopped going mental when Cesc nipped in, he beat one, two, then a third, he was through on goal, he finished in sublime fashion, 2-0, it was a sensational end to the half. It felt almost like flying in a dream combined with a massive adrenaline rush and a big thumb to one's chest, bloody hell that was a good feeling.

The second half saw us continue to dominate, the freakish Crouch was a lone figure up front and looked completely outclassed, in the end his frustration culminated in a petulant yellow card for dissent. The spuds looked beaten before the third goal but RVP's second after Gomes had made a dog's dinner of a cross made sure that justice would be done. We had several other great chances, the best was one which Eduardo missed when clean through. It really could have been five or six in the end, we had some great positions on the break but failed to grind the spuds' ugly mug into the pavement quite as violently as it could have been done.

There is a lot to say. I have to comment on the ref as always and Clattenberg was weak, he failed to book a couple of shocking tackles while his inconsistency in dealing with handballs was embarrassing. But overall the day belongs to Arsene and the lads. Collectively and individually we were better than the spuds in every single position, it made an absolute mockery of various comments in the media that were telling us just how close the gap between the two sides now was, it was as convincing a derby day win as I have seen in my lifetime. Almunia was rock solid, our defence outsanding, of note our midfield really worked really hard to help our defence in hoovering up the danger, while we always seemed to have the class and spark to be able to open up the opposition's defence when we needed. Well done Arsene and the lads.


Uncle Mike said...

A very satisfying win. Especially satisfying were the looks on the faces of Robbie "What a Waste of Money" Keane and Harry Redknapp, who's probably thinking the legal music he's going to have to face is probably preferable to sitting through another smacking from Le Boss and his Red-White Army.

I wore my 1971 Double-team shirt for this one, and, unlike last week, its first outing after arriving in the mail from TOFFS in the Mother Country the preceding Wednesday, it didn't get sprayed with beer from a bunch of lunatic Hammers fans. Probably because the Spurs' fans beer was watered down with tears! The dumb b@st@rds.

Nevada Smith's in New York is quickly becoming the Church of St. Francesc. The man is an object of veneration there, and there was a guy selling T-shirts with his picture and the word "FABREGASM" on them. My ears were ringing after his goal, and my voice was already shot - and I still had a Rutgers football game (we won that one on a miracle) and the Yankees' World Series game (still upcoming) to watch.

What a day. Oh yeah, and it's Halloween. Since the bar in question was in Greenwich Village (the East Village, actually), Halloween is somewhat redundant, but it's really kicked up a notch there. Of course, with that shirt and the length of my hair, I could have gone as Charlie George. All I needed was the sideburns and a change of uniform number. (I considered his 11, but I chose 2 because '71 was a Double year, and because Pat Rice, the Seventies' 2, has been a part of every Arsenal trophy since then.)

Anonymous said...

"If you look at the squads, the bench that we have is probably a little bit stronger than their bench"
Robbie Keane


1979gooner said...

what an ignoramus keane is

our bench had the likes of nasri, eduardo, eboue, ramsey and senderos on it

who did spurs have on theirs?

not much, their match changing sub was the mighty gareth bale!

Unknown said...

I think the most satisfying thing about this win was that Almunia was back in goal. For him to get the clean sheet was great. To finally make it back and win in such an important game hopefully gets back his confidence. The one thing that bothered me most of all about Mannone was that he always looked so timid. Arsenal needed an adult minding the goalbox. While Almunia is not the most gifted goalkeeper in the league, he at least comes with experience.

Anonymous said...

nice to see a clean sheet.

nice to see that the team picked up the pace after going up 2-0 instead of getting lazy.

vermaellan had a great game too, very commanding...


Obsinho said...

Agree on Manuel and Vermaelen. Being able to play with confidence & authority in such big matches us massively important.

How much abuse has Drogba got for his "dive" by the way? None that i can see so far.

1979gooner said...

indeed obs

watched motd last night and they didn't even comment

to me it looked as if drogba had almost lost the ball, he slowed down to get some contact from samuel, a tiny amount of contact came and he went over rolling around like the cheat he is, utterly embarassing

1979gooner said...

this may be the explanation

Bernardo said...

why were we the 4th game at MOTD?
cesc was simply brilliant in the 2nd goal, he did what noone expected from him, and did it perfectly. according to the comments, it was all about bad defending! what the hell is that?
defense was excellent, almunia is back, i am bit sad for eduardo, but that is the only but.
bendtner is off for a month, but rosicky will come in, we have plenty of forward players.