Good evening Positivistas,
With an early kick off, a windy, wet day on the South coast the safe collection of three points with not too much difficulty is the result all of us were looking for. We slide into third place behind champions elect Leicester and Spurs, a week of preparation for the blockbuster seven days hence.
Of today’s game ?
That was certainly not a ‘classic’ Arsenal performance or even, if I am being honest, much of a game of football at the unfortunately named “Vitality” stadium. We started the better than the home side it has to be said, a little sharper and quicker. We imposed that quality with two chances and two excellent finishes, and then settled back to see out the next 70 minutes of the game. For much of the second half however our play seemed hesitant and we were not quite convinced what we were about. A third goal would have killed the game but we seemed reluctant really push for it. It may be I was not the only one eyeing-up next Sunday’s fixture long before the official end of today’s game.
I thought our back five put in a good display today. Cech never put a foot or hand wrong on an afternoon where the ball was affected by the weather. Kosc and Gabriel were solid, but for one nasty first half slip by the Brazilian with Hector saving his arse, and Nacho put in his usual 93 minutes of concentrated professional effort.
Going forward Ramsey played well and kept going for the full distance when others we clearly flagging. Flamster was generally good even though he was fortunate to stay on after his chien lunatique first half effort. The Ox was better and can satisfaction in a well taken goal. Sanchez looked generally out of sorts – not like himself at all – I suspect illness.
For the Cherries they were lively enough all over the park without ever piercing our defensive shield. It was not until the very end that Cech was really tested. Loads of effort and probably, when someone shows me the stats, loads of possession, but no guile, no cunning. Just the same offensive approach recycled time after time for 93 minutes. Commiserative pat on the shoulders for Smith, Arter and Ritchie but their best player in red and black for me was Pugh who might just have turned it. AFCB have enjoyed a good run of results recently and they should not be disheartened by defeat today. I remain convinced they won’t go down.
No doubt somewhere someone is preparing a petition on Mr Friend. As you may have noticed recently if people want to post links to these petitions on here I am content allow them through the filter. I thought the referee was really rather good today, and helped by two sets of players who did not feign injury or roll around (very much).
Onwards to next Sunday from a solid if unexciting foundation today. I saw no injuries or obvious knocks. Arsene is clearly being cautious with Sanchez and Le Coq as they pick up first team action again. We are scoring again which is a relief and the finishing of both goals was good quality.
Enjoy your Sunday and we shall meet later in the week.
(Snap of Mesut sucking his thumb from the Guardian in case you wondered – odd lad)