Greetings on this fine early Autumn morning to you all, and above an excellent snap from the Mirror this morning that captures the moment the battle turned decisively last night.
A little more chipper in my mood this morning and I suspect I am not the only Arsenal fan with a little skip in their step, a gleam in his or her eye. If I were a squirrel I would have risen especially early to grab some extra winter store.
And the spring for this more joyous demeanor we all know. Well who would have thought it? The man they could not hang – or allegedly Arsenal football club could not give away in the Summer – Mathieu Flamini. Deadwood to destroyer of worlds in the space of 90 busy minutes at the Lane! Well, well, well.
The game itself was what I expected. Plenty of scurrying after the ball, both sides a mix of experience and squad players. Having sat largely un-played on the bench since August these players were not going to pass up the chance to impress the crowd in the stadium or the legions at home. Fewer youngsters than I expected in red shirts, perhaps a firm indication of how much stronger our squad is these days.
Per and Chambers I thought were excellent at the back, with Callum showing none of the nerves that characterized his start against Liverpool. He is growing into the role literally and metaphorically. Huge bad luck to net an own goal but after a brief shake of the head there was no evidence of him letting it prey on his mind and he played as well as before the accident to the final whistle.
Ramsey did his box-2-box thing which he does so well. The Ox worked hard and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Olly worked his arse off again and will earn his just rewards soon.
Debuchy was picking up some stick but given his lack of match time so far this season it seemed a bit unfair. Whisper it quietly to the Scarfers that Danny Rose – yes him – was actually having what is known as a “good game” and flying past Debuchy and Joel. It happens sometimes – opposition players play well; in Rose’s case unexpectedly well. Gibbs’ header off the line at 1-1 was another crucial roll of the dice. Thank Gawd for goal line technology or that would have brought the game to a standstill.
I did not see anyone in red fail to put in a decent effort. I suspect Campbell is disappointed that he did not make a bigger splash but he was eager with some good touches, more chances will come his way.
And the opposition?
It seemed Spuds had decided to go rather more youth/experimental than us but I thought they put up a decent performance that on another night, and we have had a few, might have earned them at worst extra time and possibly more. Very much in the balance at 1-1. Eriksen is a top quality footballer, Townsend did well and, as I mentioned above, Rose nearly cracked us open. Fazio looks like an accident in a constant process of happening – with a face like his surely a career in gangster movies beckons if he does not master this football lark.
So onward to the KingPowerWalkersCrispsDrome on Saturday for what will be probably a good physical working over from the Foxes and our old friend Claudio Ranieri. Am I worried? No I think we have our mojo retrieved and shining brightly.
Bring on the next one.
Enjoy your Wednesday.