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Arsenal: The Trinity Of Excellence

cartier-bresson-giochi

Dila mshvidobisa Positivistas,

What a fine morning to be alive as an Arsenal supporter.

The milestone of Arsene’s 20th anniversary at the helm of our football club celebrated in glorious and emphatic fashion. An opponent club who have stood, and arguably still stand, for much of what is rotten in modern football flattened. The evening lit up by what is good in football, art, athletic excellence, intelligence, concentration, the unity of purpose of players working as one body, one mind.

Of the details of yesterday’s game against Chelsea? As I invariably say, you all saw it, but bear with me.

Three aspects of Arsenal stood out for me and each of which I think led to our overwhelming victory. First and foremost, an exceptionally disciplined defensive performance by our back five, aided by first Le Coq then Granit, in which no player lapsed. No one, literally no one, put a foot wrong until the 83rd minute when Batshuayai managed to nick the ball and break on goal, and Petr made his first save of the afternoon. 83 minutes! We tackled cleanly, we headed decisively, we cleared without hesitation, we ignored the Costasaurus and his increasingly absurd antics.

Many times have I, have WE indeed, seen a bright Arsenal performance undone by a silly defensive error, a half second of irresolution or a misdirected clearance. Against CFC, I hesitate to say, we have had a tendency more often than probably any other club over the past few years. Well not last night, not once, not one sniff of weakness. Entirely professional, not one petulant retaliation or response to provocation, we were faultless. That was an exceptional defensive base to build from.

And build we did. Second up two individual performances that stood out from Mesut and from Theo. The former has been ‘quiet’ since the start of this season, good of course but not quite the decisive game-changer week in and week out that we became used to. He roared back yesterday against a team that, in previous contests, he has found it difficult to get into the game against. He oozed class, he bamboozled, Ozil gave them the ‘eyes’, and they fell for them.  My second individual award to Theo who played what was his best ever game last night. As an attacking player he tore holes in the visitors all night and was unfortunate not to have more than one goal to his name. At least as impressive when we did not have the ball TW was constantly busy, chasing, denying space, putting in tackles and working seamlessly with Hector.

The third block on which the victory was built was the strength of our bench and the timing and the quality of our replacements. Returning to point one, if we have suffered self-inflicted defensive errors our efforts in so many games have also been undone by a sudden injury and the exit from the field of a key (midfield) player. Often an exact replacement has not been available, the disruption has killed our positive momentum in the game and, in the end, it has cost us. Xhaka for Le Coq caused barely a ripple. Straight off the bench and down to work. A tough, tackling midfielder for a tough, tackling midfielder. Like a clock mechanism, old spring out, new spring in. If the change of Xhaka was enforced then the introduction of Gibbs and the stability that brought to the left hand side was freely chosen and beautifully timed. Iwobi was tiring, Nacho had had a hard afternoon against Willian. Whatever Chels might have made of opportunities down that side was snuffed out, and to his credit Kieran not only assisted with defensive duties but put in a couple of creative touches that nearly added a fourth. And young Kieran is another man who has found previous games against Chelsea ‘problematic’. Goodness me Arsene got his choice of sub and the timing right.

As you can tell the seam of superlative descriptors has been heavily mined over the past hour, or should that be descriptive superlatives – and why not?

We stride purposefully into the 21st year of the reign of Mr Wenger at the club. Let our pace be assured, and our heads held high. There are great days ahead.

Enjoy Sunday.

 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 58, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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80 comments on “Arsenal: The Trinity Of Excellence

  1. John Brewin ‏@JohnBrewinESPN 22h22 hours ago Poplar, London
    Chelsea look old. Which is a damning indictment of a club that wins the Youth Cup every year.

    Like

  2. Ben Dinnery ‏@BenDinnery 1h1 hour ago
    Carl Jenkinson re-joins the main group and has been taking part in full training. The right-back has been sidelined since January. #AFC

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddy
    If you don’t know what a budgie smuggler is, you are blessed.
    Suffice to say you’d see very few of them on an Irish beach in September.

    Like

  4. irish beachwear in september

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Home games in the league between now and end of the year:
    Swansea
    Middlesboro
    The Totts
    Bournemouth
    Stoke City
    West Brom
    Crystal Palace

    Without getting too cocky, Arsenal should be collecting a bunch of 3 points from that list.

    Away games:
    Burnley
    Sunderland
    Man Utd.
    West Ham
    Everton
    Man City

    The fixture computer has not been as kind, but I can’t see the current Arsenal team on the form they are in losing any of those Games.

    Like

  6. Jayzus, you’ve been going through me Facebook photos, Eddy?

    Like

  7. Welcome back Corporal.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. A superb write-up Anicoll. Concise and without exaggeration or triumphalism. I’m still on cloud nine….lets hope this is the norm….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is difficult to see any similarities between what we had the chance to watch on a football pitch and the game being played at the Olympic stadium. 2/10 football. WH dreadful, Saints in front without doing much at all.

    Like

  10. Just started reading the comments. This from gf60 is on another planet….

    “At my age, orgasms should be confined to the depth of memory. Shamefacedly I can admit that to experience ten in 45 minutes really was beyond my prowess. But yesterday proved it was possible. Different circumstances admittedly, but the experience was as good as any.”

    Liked by 4 people

  11. malcontents poster boy Slaven Bilic could soon be free to take over from Owen Coyle, or David Moyes or Gary Monk or who ever else was flavor of the month for them

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I thought gf60 caught to moment, or moments, perfectly !

    Like

  13. Römeo@Arsenal490304
    Nothing special about Ozil’s no look pass.
    Rooney doesnt look where he passes every week tbh

    Like

  14. Lovely post and great comments.

    Like

  15. Chelsea fans waking up to the fact that Kante looked a lot more assured in a team that played hoof and run ball. A lot of them are discovering that he can’t make a five yard pass.

    Like

  16. The curse of the malcontents managers of choice.
    How long before Martinez sacked from Belgium?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s quite rare that I give up on things but I abandoned the West Ham game once I’d got bored admiring that enormous running track encircling the desperate events taking place on the former Olympic park. Even the players looked uninterested and one could only feel for anyone trapped on the rolling ‘terraces’, about as far removed from the (in)action taking place far below.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Carl Jenkinson ‏@carljenkinson 23m23 minutes ago
    Back in full training tomorrow… Feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve 🙈😂

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Love that picture Ed, 2 gladiators congratulating each other after battle, blurry in the background, the emasculated foe….!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 4h4 hours ago
    On this day in 2013: Hector Bellerin made his Arsenal debut in a shootout win over West Brom in the League Cup. #afc

    Iwobi was an unused sub, his first call up to the first team

    http://www.arsenal.com/match/report/1314/post/first-team/west-brom-1-1-arsenal-aet-report

    Liked by 2 people

  21. The Mezut no look pass was amazing, normally your supposed to look at one player and pass to another but Ozil was looking in the crowd and Cahill still fell for it..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. alexis done an extravagant no look pass to ozil late in the game, alexis was on edge of the area, and ozil was in it a bit to the left

    Liked by 1 person

  23. you see that is what the wob mean, look at match of the day 2, west ham’s karen brady just said its WHU ambition to win the league, now why can’t our board come out with stuff like that, shambles of a club.

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  24. ha ha ha, the fucking mongs at the Mirror think Arsenal are away to Basel on Wednesday, the spurs loving twats

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenals-arsene-wenger-wary-champions-8913546?

    Like

  25. Bit surprised if Eduardo hasn’t posted this yet. Excellent little interview with Gilberto Silva in Mail [suppose it speaks of good sense not to be reading that paper actually]

    Love his words on dm position

    ‘That job to protect the back four is not easy but very important,’ says Gilberto.
    ‘You are like an unknown person on the field and you mustn’t mind if people praise you or not. What is important is to work hard and deliver results. My target was always to help us keep a clean sheet.
    ‘I hope for Arsenal that Xhaka and others like (Francis) Coquelin and (Mohamed) Elneny understand this. You have to do a lot of fighting and the fans and media might not pay attention. It doesn’t matter.’

    Good stuff on how Wenger protects his players and, to finish, a quote to make George himself think he hasn’t been praising Wenger enough

    ‘Arsene has not only taken care of the team, he’s looked after the club’s infrastructure and finances. His work has improved the club for the next 50 years. So we can say he has done a very good job.’

    Liked by 2 people

  26. what super analysis from robbie savage on match of the day, who would have thought that when defenders are not allowed pull drag and foul opponents at a corner, more scoring chances are created

    Like

  27. Steve Wheeler SFC ‏@Chippie71 4h4 hours ago
    A West Ham family moment.

    Like

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