Good morning Positivistas,
And with our third fixture yielding its proper reward a far more pleasant international ‘break’ faces us as we take an enforced breather until the Saints in a fortnight.
Of the game itself I know you all saw it and clearly it was a fixture that was all but over by half time. We often put ourselves through the grinder of anxiety watching the team, heart in mouth on occasions I admit, but yesterday was not one of them. Even before we had collected our unassailable three goal lead the home side had not demonstrated they had the ability to counter our swift, incisive play. They tried to meet guile with bruises, and in the modern PL there is only one way that ends.
Naming names Granit showed the steel in his game and he and Santi fit together well in the middle. In addition to the Swiss steel he hit a couple of extraordinarily good passes. I did not doubt Xhaka had that quality of passing in his repertoire, it takes a confident player to pull it out in his full first team debut, and in the rough and tumble at Vicarage Road.
Sanchez had a good afternoon. Having endured a fortnight of “he can’t play up front” accusations he showed that he can play up front, lead the orchestra and play the fiddle rather well. Now that may be a result of Watford’s three man defence and erratic wingbacks. It may however he the result of Alexis, and those supplying him tuning in better. It strikes me that if you are asking a player to take on a new job it will take at least 5-6 games before you find out if he is really cut out for it, and the players around him adapting to the change. I am sure, even though we are likely to see our French centre forward back on September the 10th that the ‘Sanchez as striker experiment’ is not over.
Other mentions ? Ozil, the usual inventive quality and a lovely goal with his head !! HIS HEAD ? Is their nothing this man cannot do! Theo’s right wing rehabilitation moved a step further forward with a more assured, more involved 90 minutes. He left his opponents on their arse on a couple of occasions. More of that please. And finally, and the weekly mention for our keeper. Despite our control of the game, Watford clambered out of their coffin in the second half, made chances and got a toehold back in the game with a tidy finish from their record signing Pereyra. Any wobbling after that would have made it a tense final few minutes, and Cech stopped two good efforts from Holebas then Ighalo that might have embarrassed us.
Of our opponents the Hornets look as though they have a difficult second season in prospects, and given the maniacs in charge sacked what seemed me a manager, Quique Flores, performing well above expectation in the Summer I wish the new man Mazzari good luck. One strong card he has in his hand are a two strikers, Deeney, Ighalo and the attacking midfield recruit Pereyra, who have goal scoring ability.
The only genuine cause for concern I had on yesterday’s performance from Arsenal was Jack trying too hard and getting booked. The player is desperate to make an impression in the few minutes that he is given. I sympathise, in fact I understand, but jumping in is not going to help.
The less serious cause for concern is where, with Gabriel and Danny and Giroud due back in the none too distant future, our new signings are gong to fit in ?
Such are the worries of the modern football fan. Enjoy your Sunday.