And a good Tuesday morning to the Positive Arsenal fans,
Interesting game last night. A change of “formation” but not really much difference in the set up the side as we had the ball or when we defended as far as I could see. Defenders defended, midfield players did their box to box running, tackling and passing thing, wingers ‘winged’, mostly. Not quite sure about the striker but I will come back to that.
I thought, as I see many others did, the Ox was our stand-out player on Teesside. A genuinely dynamic influence in quickly pushing forward, ball at his feet and taking the Boro full back on, even getting his crosses in from the bye line (!). When young Alex was called on to defend while he was not elegant he was always where he should be, with his head, foot or other body part thwarting the home side’s efforts. I am sure we all shed a tear when Ox’s entirely accidental damaging of Fabio in the 17th minute saw the Brazilian limp off. So unlucky, yet so unusual it is one of theirs rather than one of ours. AOC is just 23 years old but the post match speech he delivered was the footballing equivalent of the Gettysburg Address compared to the vast majority of claptrap spouted by footballers. This young man has a future far beyond the green square.
Other good performances from Mesut, from Granit and from the current boo boys target Alexis.
Remarkable that some sad anorak wearing tosser spends their time counting the number of misplaced or intercepted passes that our players manage, then posts it on the internet for the mob to beat the worst “culprit” with. Hang, him. Sell him. He’s shit. Blah blah blah. I remember when the PA ethos was to support every player, through thick and thin. Aye happy days they were.
Rob Holding was rather good too. Not an easy task fitting into a new formation, on a wet and windy Monday night but the youngster performed more smoothly than a badger’s codpiece. Never jumped in, never flustered.
The one puzzle last night, and it has been a puzzle for the past few weeks was Giroud, and if not Olivier, Danny. We just do not seem to have strikers who are involved in the game. Are they not getting the ball ? Are they not getting the support ? Or are they getting enough ball and support but just not using it properly ? Earlier in the season OG was terrifying defences, physically dominating them, shooting, hitting the target with his head. Recently not. Arsene has some serious thinking to do before Sunday.
Our opponents ? Not very good although I thought their goal was class. Perfect cross, poacher’s finish. They need a lot more of that, and probably a bit less reliance on the ‘set-piece’ wrestling match to clamber out of the bottom three. Traore is still a handful though – In the Boro relegation clear-out I would take him to the Ems.
So three points safely gathered in. Not a convincing but enough quality shown by us, wrapped in a little steel, to take the season forward again. Clearly Wembley will be a very different stage, but some of the good qualities the players – and the fans – demonstrated last night will ensure we set out with confidence on Sunday.
Enjoy your Tuesday.
*nice picture at the top from the Telegraph of a football team enjoying a goal.