Good morning Positivistas far and near,
Grey and quiet at 9.00 on Sunday morning in Norfolk. Another week and those leaves will be down.
A formidably straightforward task this morning in reviewing an entirely straightforward away win at Vicarage Road. Like any sane Arsenal fan I travelled, in my mind’s eye admittedly, up the line to Watford through Metroland, with a degree of caution as to what might await against a home side whose first eight games in the PL this time have earned them respect and a few well won points. I anticipated a vigorous work out and a win by the odd goal. With the unexpected win by the red Mancs at Goodison my irritation edged up a notch before kick off.
Within three minutes my apprehension had been quelled as we took control of the ball, and the game, and the contest settled into the pattern that it would more or less follow for the next 90 minutes. We probed Watford, sharp movement and intelligent use of the ball, they defended in numbers and sensibly. They had their plan, which consisted of hanging on to the point they started with, and we had ours that consisted of depriving them of the pleasure. Commendably there was no rough stuff from the home side and only the occasional bit of deceitful theatre. Mr Jones I thought had pleasant afternoon with little to do.
We made a number of decent chances first half that on another day would have seen us go in 2 or 3 ahead at half time. One sticks in my mind but I shall name no names but he made up for it after half time. The others were a split second of timing off or a the ball a half a yard beyond an outstretched foot. Gomes did well, albeit with a bit of panicked scurrying.
Watford were not entirely supine and Deeney and Ighalo posed us some problems. Cech made his one save of the evening and Kosc and Hector had to tidy up but that was about that as far as I recall. Nothing wrong with Kosc’s hamstrings apparently. I am sure Watford are good enough to stay up but they really need to sign a world class striker etcetera etcetera
Oranges sucked Jones got us underway for the second half and I sensed a little more vim in our approach, an extra sharpness of movement, though that may have been wishful thinking on my part.
The hour bell rang and suddenly Watford’s roof fell in. What we had been threatening to do all afternoon we finally did, Alexis, Giroo and finally Aaron put away what were effectively three consecutive chances. Whether the home side had run out of energy at the hour I don’t know. There was an interesting remark by Redknapp (I think) who spotted Capoue had stopped running for our first goal, the will to resist he had managed thus far having apparently run out of his laceholes.
The remaining 20 minutes or so both sides went through the motions. Watford’s crowd did their best to keep the players spirits up, we had one eye on Tuesday. Ozil and Sanchez hooked, Olivier could have had a second but it was Gomes’ lucky day. The Ox looked a little frustrated, for his brief cameo, the boy was trying too hard I thought. Relax son, relax.
No injuries I heard of, Arsene may be weighing up Per’s experience against Gabriel’s speed for Tuesday. No doubt hindsight will determine the correctness of his choice.
So as we trudge back to Watford High Street with three points collected, we are back on to Citeh’s shoulder. “Thank you very much, enjoyed ourselves”. “Oh do come again” “We certainly shall”.
On a final point I was incredulous to read on the Arse.com report of the game the following;
“Until the hour mark this game looked like it could go either way.”
As a famous American football owner once said “WHAT are they smoking down there ? “