A match report from Tim, @foreverheady
Saw the game (as live) very late in the day due to a disjointed and complicated Saturday, and would put it down as one of the odder matches I’ve seen. Almost total control in the first half never really looked like leading anywhere and a curious sense of detachment from just about everyone. At half time I really couldn’t tell whether we would win 2-0 or lose 1-0 as both scenarios seemed equally likely. In the end it was neither, but what a strange second half: more Arsenal pressure, more frustration and then a wonder goal showing what a magnificent signing Welbeck was – talk about a farsighted solution to a short term problem, Dat guy Welbz showing Dat guy Arsene still has few if any peers when it comes to deadline day transfer deals.
But then the legs ran out (and why wouldn’t they after International action, Man U and Dortmund in the very recent past) so the last 15 minutes which should have been comfortable ended up with us struggling to get hold of the ball and ticking the clock down with ease. But handsome is as handsome does and a decent and important 3 points that might not have been that pretty at the time but which will no doubt be worth their weight in disappointed banners come season’s end.
Martinez again looked solid and he has a size about him that could well turn into a commanding presence, and it was good to see Kos back in action. Poor old Nacho, limping off after a knock that was hard to spot, and even poorer Gibbs whose brief rest turned into no rest at all and perhaps another worrying injury to boot. The Flamster was OK and did his marshalling job sensibly, while Aaron again showed signs of a steady return to form that I suspect won’t come totally to fruition until he plays alongside Ozil once more – at times he and Alexis couldn’t get out of each other’s way, which didn’t really help: both will benefit from the return of the space-maker. And so it was left to Santi to provide his class and recent doubters wrong with a twinkle-toed display of impish magic that was an utter delight all day long. His new shirt seems to be fitting a little less snugly now than it did back in the early Autumn and you sense that he has decided that it is up to him to take responsibility for the team’s success.
The early start yesterday didn’t help after Wednesday night’s exertions, but at least provides more recuperation than Southampton will get as they have City to negotiate this afternoon ( let’s hope for a hard-fought draw there) before travelling up to us in midweek. So a day of rest for our players today, and although the matches now come thick and fast at least they do so for everyone and I just have an inkling that yesterday was the day when the luck began to turn in our favour.
And now Andrew has some comment on the halfwits with a banner @arsenalandrew
I can hardly bring myself to dignify the cause of the banner wankers by commenting on it.
Suffice to say, whilst they clearly relish the Arsenal spotlight, now that the wider footballing world is laughing at our residual embarrassment, maybe they’ll curb their ill-judged activities. Unlikely though as they must derive great encouragement from their association with all that is most hideous within the Goonersphere with the likes of Piers, Payton and Pedro as ugly bedfellows and the worst of the so-called Arsenal old-skool braying along in noticeably thuggishly aggressive fashion.
When a cause has to fall back on the underlying suggestion of threat, violence and intimidation, as evidenced on the more colourful Twitter exchanges, then you know it’s a flakey one.
But as I say, they do appear to be making inroads with their protests as not only are the majority of Arsenal fans pointing at them now, but so too the rest of the football world, whilst collectively enjoying a good old laugh.
Whilst on the one hand I slightly fear being tarnished by association, on the other, my confidence in the club enables me to thoroughly enjoy the ill-judged entertainment they bring as their preposterous behaviour gains ever greater exposure and they inevitably start to soak up the reputationally-ruinous ridicule.
They see themselves as robustly challenging the club but are much more widely recognised as the spoilt brats that they are; punch-drunk on self-entitlement, blind to their club’s successes and its undeniable progress and clearly oblivious to its massive long-term future potential.
Has anyone ever previously seen fans protest in the wake of CL qualification and a decent away win in the league? Most clubs and their fans would give their proverbial right arm to be playing in Europe next year.
Apart from having little in the way of convincing argument, some Goners, at least, have no sense of timing.
To display such a banner in front of a winning side as they walk towards you to thank you for your support is as rude and as paradoxical a situation as one can possibly imagine. And when some subsequently complain of the ‘outing’ of the banner-wanker’s identity well, you’ve gotta laugh, haven’t you.
Of COURSE you should be allowed embarrass yourself, in public, in complete anonymity.
Well done, lads, nice one.