80 Comments

We have our swagger back

Watching yesterday’s efficient despatch of West Ham in the gentle Spring sunshine of North London it occurred to me that we definitely have our swagger back, domestically at least.

The Appy Ammers arrived with few expectations of a victory after a 14 game run against the Arsenal with not one win but hopeful of making us work, clinging on and eventually stealing a point. Sam has form for this type of result. Never pretty but Sam would never claim to be pretty. Like dogs his teams take on the characteristics of his misshapen bulldog skull.

Alas within a short while it became clear even to the visitors’ noisy contingent that the best result they might hope for would be a respectable defeat rather than a definitive shellacking.

Our midfield movement from the first whistle opened the Ammers up. Players moved not as independent and disconnected units but in sequence, joined in a collective mind to look for the space, the opening, the weak link to exploit. Song to his credit battled hard, too hard once or twice, and Adrian was a warrior between the sticks. But the power was all one way, the force bearing down on the claret and blue goal. Oh yes, the confidence flowed through my system as the ball weaved and span across the baize, stroked, caressed and eventually potted by our finest crop.

And eventually it came, the hammer blow into the top corner just as the half time oranges were being cut. I share below a snap taken by excellent AFC photographer Stuart MacFarlane – if you don’t follow the man in Twitter you should.

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal

I did not realise the cod-piece was making a come back in modern sportswear but you have the evidence.

So 1-0 at the break and cruising, it should have been more.

And then the opening ten minutes of the second half ? Not good, not switched on when we came out and a better side than West Ham might have taken advantage. Fortunately while they had possession and pressed us back, and we appeared unable to keep the ball, they had no sharpness in the box to take advantage. The cloud passed over, the sun shone on. And so, inevitably, we started to control the game again. Santi and Danny came on, and our control developed into total domination. The next goals came, inevitable and very tidy they were against a team who, with ten minutes to go, had clearly nothing left to contribute but were out on their feet.

There may be those who tell you that West Ham, at just 0-1 down were “still in the game” to the 80th minute. Don’t believe it, They were never, ever in the game.

It finished 3-0, a distinctly unflattering score given our dominance. I did however have my fingers firmly crossed during that last few minutes for that third goal to go in, because of Tuesday. The third goal seemed important, a portent of future events, because of Monaco. And the man from Marseilles duly obliged. You know what I mean.

For all the patterns and systems it is about players and I thought Mesut was magnificent yesterday. A superb contribution with the ball, exquisite movement off it, and great energy. Kosc was a yard faster and a thought ahead of anything West Ham may have had up their sleeve. And le Coq is gradually becoming more creative, not just the “midfield beast” that the  experts demanded.

So enjoy your Sunday. Two interesting games later. I think we set off with great heart to Monaco after one of the best footballing weeks in a long time.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 58, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

80 comments on “We have our swagger back

  1. I love his Tory Boy as well.

    Like

  2. Fair result and Saints can be pleased with that.

    Like

  3. Koeman as Wenger’s successor?

    Like

  4. Francesc was Franshit. Özil is better, in my opinion.

    Like

  5. 7 points in it now

    Like

  6. Ref bottled it by not giving Matic a second yellow. Let’s see if Mourinho still has the cheek to say refs are targeting his players.

    Like

  7. After seeing Hector at manure and now matic today maybe refs have been told to give the bench a chance to take players off or maybe that’s too sensible and im being naive.

    Like

  8. Chelsea are wobbling. Been up there too long – lack of oxygen maybe, José?

    Like

  9. Van Gaal sticks with Fellaini – extraordinary, bizarre, or the mark of a genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Testing

    Like

  11. What a strike from the Belgian – football eh – blooooooody hell

    Like

  12. Genius 1-0

    Like

  13. It was a good game of football played today to be fair. I really like Southampton’s goalie Forster as he put in a real shift towards the end, but think Southampton should of been 2-1 by half time. As it stands Chelsea have dropped two points at home, them is the facts, which ever way it’s spun in the media.

    Chelsea players looked fatigued even with a few days rest, but Maureen doesn’t seem really keen on rotation. It will be interesting to see what the effects of this strategy has over the next few weeks. That artificial siege mentality created is turning into a worn down besieged mentality. Basically, a few more draws and losses will do us nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Trust the spuds to roll over and have their tummies tickled. I can’t take them seriously.

    Like

  15. It’s the Marouane Fellaini Show !

    Like

  16. Spurs and Dortmund left their seasons in their high energy home games against us.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I doubt even Phil Jones can get Spuds back into it now. 3-0

    Like

  18. Could we be about to enjoy a right tonking for the neighbours ?

    Like

  19. Since Arsenal, Wenger has turned down: Madrid thrice PSG twice France twice Bayern Twice England Twice & Barca Twice

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “What momentum,” eh Maureen. Watching us so closely you conveniently skipped over 2:1 at Old Trafford and reaching desperately for that 3:1 vs Monaco. I wish our boys maker this a pin-up in their dressing room. The disrespect shown for his opponents by this megalomaniac is worth a million times more than any motivational speech by Wenger and we all know the boss doesn’t resort to these cheap tricks. As Goona-gal and others have noted he is running his favorite 11-13 players into the ground and we all know from experience judas Cesc cannot be relied on in the homestretch. Say it softly but we stand a chance at the title if the Chavs bottle it in their next 3 games. A long shot but fingers crossed.

    Like

  21. What happened? Why is everyone so jolly? From Anicoll’s piece one would think Arsenal put in a hell of a performance…..oh well I think I’d better do some catching up and watch the game I managed to record….should be good….

    Like

  22. Very good read, I agree completely. The fluidity of our passing and movement was beautiful, especially the trio of Giroud, Özil and Ramsey who conjured up passing triangles of perfection. From the start our sharp and crisp one-touch football was too much for the Hammers. Naturally some people werent content with this and looked for things to moan about; Sanchez, Chambers and Walcott in particular.
    Sanchez has been outstanding individually but, desire aside, he is but human. No player is immune to loss in form and the result of working so hard for so long(and assaults from masters of the dark arts) has finally caught up with him. This is no different to when Cazorla returned injured at the start of last season, Per returned exhausted both mentally and physically this season or when Girouds confidence was drained due to fatigue in the middle of last season.
    Chambers problem on the other hand is simply his youth. He has had less than a season of playtime at senior level, jumping in and out of the team and between RB and CB and above all is still a teenager! Asking him to perform like a player with up to 10 more years of experience is baffling.
    As for Theo, there is no doubt about his goal-scoring ability. He has been one of the most consistent and accurate finishers in the team the last two seasons. Given enough time he will return to a level that would see him have a hattrick last game in the first half alone. The question is rather how he will fit into the new system and gameplan of pressing and defending as a unit. The answer might not be revealed this season, but there were promising signs. It looked like his avoidance of contact was more due to fear than unwillingness to defend; one time in the first half he was a few yards away from the player with the ball yet was rooted to the spot. Later in a similar situation he instead went straight towards the ball. He is still in the rehabilitation-phase and if he continues working hard and improving I dont see why he wouldnt be able to take a place in the first XI.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Eddy, is sleeping again!

    • Sam Allardyce has never coached a winning team away at Arsenal in the Premier League, losing eight and drawing three of his 11.

    • Arsenal have won eight consecutive home league games for the first time ever at the Emirates and the first time overall since November 2005 (13).

    Courtesy of FourFourTwo and Tim Stillman

    Like

  24. The problem about Chelsea bottling some games – which they might very well do – is that for us to capitalise we would need just about a near perfect return from our last nine games. Not impossible, of course, but it would take one heck of an effort and some strange unfickleness from Dame Fortune. What is for sure is that we have the squad to do it, even if we end up playing the maximum seventeen matches still at this stage open to us. I suspect even the specialist in vitriol would have to acknowledge some momentum then.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The way Jose has been unravelling over the past month he will have been sectioned before the PL title is decided.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hopefully Jose and Nigel Pearson will be on the same locked ward.

    Like

  27. Sectioned. Now there’s a thought. Jose to play Salieri to Arsene’s Amadeus maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. notna@7.14pm: I also noticed that Theo seemed stronger on the ball against the Hammers (always laugh when I write that – when did they last hammer anyone?). He was holding his man off much more effectively than before he got injured so maybe he’s beefed up a bit and has been working on that aspect of his game. It’s always been something I’ve thought was lacking in him, so I look forward to watching him play again – maybe Tuesday? With Ox out, he’d give us the pace we need to get behind Monaco’s 6-man defence. But they’ve just put in two excellent performances (but of different kinds) so confidence will be high. Bit concerned though about fatigue. I see Monaco played on Friday evening so they will have had an extra night’s rest. Why can’t English clubs in Europe be given that possibility – is it the controllers at the TV companies?

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Here’s a little something to warm those cockles:

    Like

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: