Good day you wonderful positive gooners.
Next time some miserable git declares “only winning matters” remind them about the feeling we had a getting a mere draw. We beat United at home, but let me tell you this point away at Chelsea felt much much better to me.
The game started with Chelsea slightly on top, they were energetic and quite fluent. We appeared to have the intention to attack down the flanks, this was evident from Ozil’s positioning out wide. Him being wide did leave Xhaka and Torreira outnumbered in midfield, It was a tactic that may or may not have worked, but we will never know because about 25 minutes in, disaster struck.
Mustafi, who up until that point had look as nervous as a kitten on the ball, played a horrendously under hit ball to Leno, who seems a bit slow off the mark to me, Luiz tried to get back ,made the foul and got his marching orders. There has been a big discussion on social media as to whether or not it should have been yellow or red, I think it could have been interpreted as a yellow, but was probably a red. At this point I was about to tweet “that’s that then” but thought better of it, lucky old me? What followed the dispatching of the resulting penalty was about 70 minutes of football that made me proud of Arteta and every player involved, it was a magnificent effort.
Every single player stepped up to the mark, the effort an bravery was clear for all to see, What impressed me most was that although we sat deeper, that did not in any way mean that when we had the ball we didn’t try to both keep it and attack with a passion.
Soon after the sending off Arteta had Rob Holding stripped and ready to go, but he was not introduced at this stage. Odd? I though as this would be the stock response of more coaches. What was going on? Xhaka had dropped into centerback and stayed there for the entire game, he was , by the way, magnificent, an absolute warrior and played fantastic to boot. Arteta has since explained his decision.
“on whether he was thinking of bringing off Martinelli for Holding…
Not Martinelli, but I did change my mind. I was thinking about that and I said, ‘I don’t want to send that message to the team’. We decided to keep it as we were and give them a chance. I wanted to see how they could respond to that. I didn’t want to make the response for them because I want them to be accountable for what they do and I didn’t want to make a decision so they wouldn’t decide for themselves. It’s a great response from them”
I can’t stress how brave a decision this was for Mikel, had it gone wrong the media and many fans would have rounded on him, because that’s not what they would have done, but that is what makes some managers special.
Last night I said this on twitter
“Some credit” is an understatement, I can’t imagine how low he must have been, but he fought like a gladiator.
No need for me to describe the goals, Martinelli, with the assistance of Kante, showed speed and composure that is incredible for such a young man and Hector surprised the world with a left foot shot that will be remembered long after his career is over.
That was as good a point as I can remember us winning.