Here we have @anicoll5
Good morning Positivistas on the third Monday in January. Today I am told by experts is “Blue Monday”. Well for reasons that you and I know, and saw and listened to during yesterday afternoon, rather than the babblings of cod-psychology this is not in anyway a Blue Monday but a RED MONDAY. Flaming red, a redder than an angry baboon’s arse kind of day, a day when any Arsenal fan who did not flicker to life with at least small smirk on their lips must be, sadly, dead. Rest in Peace brave gooner, struck down at the moment of footballing ecstasy.
I must admit I approached yesterday’s contest with just a shade of trepidation. Despite the about face by the media after the result was in, Citeh are not a bad side and their recent PL form is good, their form at the Etihad year after year very good indeed. To lose to a good team, champions, at their ground who are in form is no shame. No that was not the concern. To lose and not perform though, to fail to play as we can play and allow ourselves to be brushed aside, to be dismissed as nothing, that was the worry.
Well if that was the apprehension then what happened, after about 2½ minutes of the game anyway, was the exact opposite. We performed, from 1-11, in an absolutely exemplary form. With the ball we were creative and cutting, without the ball we were measured and unrelenting. Citeh, a good side in good form at Fortress Etihad produced nothing, absolutely NOTHING. I cannot recall Aguero so toothless, Silva as bereft of invention, indeed the little Spaniard looked like a schoolboy who had wandered into the wrong game.
I could legitimately name 11 Arsenal players, 14 in fact if we add in the subs, who produced exactly the right performance on the right day, at the right time. Men of the match. The choice of starters was right, the set up on the pitch was right, the substitutions were perfectly timed. From a few minutes into that game there was, in my mind, no doubt who would win and who were the superior footballing side. It did seem to me also, and this is an irritation of mine that I have highlighted before, that not once when an Arsenal player was knocked off the ball and no foul was given, did any player lie on the ground moaning pointlessly at the referee. We got up, we got on with it, we let Kompany and his increasingly unmerry men get on with whining to Dean (much good it did them- Ho ho ho).
As ever after a notable win there is no shortage of informed comment out there in the mainstream and social media, facts, figures, names, statistics, etc. I would still like to find the Opta statistics geek who calculated the 35% possession figure. There are, in every journal and blog, with multiple explanations of how factor X is responsible, or Plan Y, and of course Z “as I said so often etc”. As we know so well victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan.
The nice thing about this blog is we don’t need to explain, because we know.
Have a good week !