Güete Morge Positivistas,
A mood of satisfaction this morning after events at the Ems yesterday evening. The ship is off the rocks, the holes in the hull patched, re-floated, and back on course. Half way point, top of the league, coping well with long term injuries to players who appeared to be pivotal, playing good football, and probably starting 2016 in pole position (barring an upset at the KP tonight) – not too shabby.
Yesterday’s game, as it played out, was not what I was expecting with AFC Bournemouth playing a lot more football than I anticipated. No suggestion of settling for a draw or coming only to stifle and spoil at all from the visitors. I have watched the Cherries a couple of times this season on TV and I still would not recognise any of their players if he sat next to me on a bus. They have a combination of hard working and apparently very fit players, and most seems comfortable on the ball. They lack a real goal scoring threat and Cech did not have much to do. If they can address that weakness, and I read AFCB also have injured players to come back, they are good enough for a mid table finish.
We started a little hesitantly I thought, perhaps still aching after Saturday’s hammering, but gradually assumed control. Our German maestro gradually found the time and space to place his passes and pick out team mates. I thought Ox and Aaron also worked well and got a grip on the midfield against our industrious opponents, the key to dominating the match. The goal when it came was a surprise too. Gabriel found himself in an acre of space for the first, with Bournemouth’s defence asleep. Good header nevertheless. No mistake. As against Spuds earlier in the Autumn we came across a side who appeared to have a fatal weakness against our corners and high balls into the box. I have no idea why certain teams in certain games fall apart like that but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. There followed a flurry of goal scoring chances with the visitors rocking on their heels, but no killer second.
There was a slight edginess until our second on 63 minutes, a classic very Arsenal goal. Olivier’s touch exquisite and Mesut’s placing of the pall past Boruc precise and deadly.
Thereafter we settled back and ceded possession and space to Bournemouth for the final twenty. As in the first half we created another handful of chances that could have racked up the goal difference. Rewatching the chances in slo-mo and from multiple angles they look easy don’t they ? Shows what I know. With both sides beginning run out of gas after two games in three days the Cherries finished on the front foot but came no nearer to spoiling Peter Cech’s new PL clean sheet record.
Arsene took the risk in rotating but those players he brought in all played well, one and all. In the past when a player has been given a chance after a spell on the bench they have often been ‘too eager’ and messed it up. Young Callum earned well deserved plaudits, a little wild at times which would get him into trouble on another day and against less honest opponents, but fully competent. The notion of Le Coq on the sidelines and Matty unavailable is not the worry it was a month ago.
A few days off now before another home game against team with the fans for which the phrase “long suffering” was surely created.
Enjoy your Tuesday.