Good morning Positives,
Palace swept away with little difficulty yesterday and one of those relatively rare occasions when we just about controlled the game from first to last and collected the three points without ever really needing to get into flat-out, handbrake off mode. Palace were a sorry sight yesterday, with a look of the “Championship” about them.
The mainstream media this morning are noisily salivating over Larry’s goal, and so they should. Our Frenchman has never let his head drop once in what is now a long Arsenal career, 200+ appearances. Every game he is in the fight, from first minute to final whistle. The embodiment of POSITIVE Arsenal. After a half season in which he has spent more time on the bench than he would like it is massively to his credit that in the past two games he has scored decisive goals. He is receiving a little of the acclaim his unrelenting effort deserves. He seemed much more relaxed yesterday, much happier, smiling. It may purely be impression on my part but happy footballers tend to be better footballers. Clearly I do not like to put too much down to our chance pre-Christmas encounter on the Selfridges’ escalator but …. well ….. just co-incidence and all that.
Elsewhere about the pitch Hector put in a mighty 90 minutes and one game the boy will get the two or three goals his incisive attacking and shooting deserves. I was pleased too with Granit Xhaka who, now four games as a starter, who seems more composed on the ball, tackles more cleanly, and more confident generally. I sense he has got his head around the Premier League fully now, in particular in how physical he can be and reading the referee. An attractive contribution from Lucas Perez too, commendably no nonsense as he flattened Zaha on one occasion. I would like to see more of the flinty Spaniard. And did we “miss” Ozil ? Not at all, although no doubt the German would have enjoyed his afternoon against Sam’s feeble fumblers.
On the topic of Zaha I thought referee Andre Marriner played a blinder by the way, totally neutralised the Palace winger whose increasingly desperate efforts to earn a free kick petered out to almost nothing. The Referees Union has your card marked, my son. Cease and desist. Give up the diving Wilfried, you will probably be a better player for it.
A short break now before the trip to Bournemouth and almost certainly a far more vigorous work out from the Cherries than we faced yesterday. Our opponents tomorrow night have the look of Premier League mid table solidity about them, a decent home form and the ability to batter the relegation sides on the road. Another professional performance required.
A short one from me today. Perhaps I am not in top gear !
Enjoy your Monday.
- The scorpion strikes – a phrase for special occassions