Bwayne Errz Dee Arse Positivistas*,
A fine morning up in Norfolk to start the week as we move into the final days of November. Not such a bad few weeks was it? Not all we wanted so far as points or performances go, and a couple of injuries that cast a bit of a pall, but an unbeaten month (so far), two wins and three draws, easily into the CL R16, three points off the top of the PL with two of the teams ahead due to clash on Saturday – not so dreadful is it?
Yesterday was a good game I thought. We started, and persisted for about 20 minutes, in a style that suggested we were going to slaughter the visitors. The early goal, pressure aplenty, the yellows for two Bournemouth bemused defenders, a large score and extremely comfortable kind of early afternoon beckoned.
And then ……….! Something, somewhere shifted, the metaphorical butterfly effect. Debuchy went off on 16 minutes – poor sod – but I don’t really know what “happened”. Suddenly the command we had of the contest slipped away, Bournemouth took possession of the ball and pinned us back, referee Jones obliged with a dubious decision to even the scores, tackles flew in hard, and from an easy afternoon suddenly we were locked in battle with a determined opponent and one that, for most of the remainder of the first half, looked more likely to score again than we did.
Whether Debuchy’s departure upset the back line is no doubt a point that AW is pondering this morning. Mathieu is hardly a regular so that his 15 minute cameo as the source of a nervous breakdown amongst his defensive colleagues seems implausible. Gabriel came on and immediately fitted in, not a natural right back but he has played there before. Most odd. It would be churlish however to not give the Cherries due praise for taking the initiative as it fell open. I have no idea what the simmering row is/was with Arter. He was the target of a couple of serious assaults and the perpetrator of a potential leg breaker on Monreal. I remember Arter and Le Coq squaring up last season so it may be a hangover from that. The boy needs to sort his head out.
Thank Gawd after half time Arsenal switched back on and put together as good as half as football as we have over the past month. Alexis was imperious all afternoon, not just the goals but his passing was really, really good. Granit and Mo, after a first half wobble, got on top of the Bournemouth midfield. Mo’s energy was exceptional, and Granit I see put in eight tackles. That is le Coq output from the Swiss. Good lad. Theo was not particularly sharp yesterday compared to earlier in the season but his goal scoring header was top quality. No complaints about Gabriel, he played well. And the one moment in the game we needed him our Cech made a decisive, almost point blank, save from Afobe. On such small moments are titles won, and/or lost. And finally, to relieve the pressure the third goal, a sweeping, fast passing goal, the visitors flattened and their defence opened up. Sanchez’s second tap-in of the afternoon, another late, late goal, a sweet finish.
For the visitors I was impressed with Nathan Ake – playing centre back but a good footballer – no doubt he will be cast off by Chelsea as superfluous to requirements. I shall keep an eye on the young Dutchman.
So that is about it today, just a short break before the next contest against the Saints who looked very useful against Everton yesterday in the late game. I fancy another exciting game on Wednesday night. And finally, for those who enjoy vigorous debate on football matters this caught my eye from this week’s Private Eye;
*I thought as our Chilean tiger has been making an effort to master the lingo we could join in. Next week we shall learn “Qué piensas de ……..” (trans. ‘What do you think of …..’)