That was fun, what a great result, performance and effort. Players that only yesterday were deadwood, left by Wenger, put on a show of great attacking skill, commitment and heart. Odd that?
Until Lacazette and Aubameyang teamed up to score a sensational goal, we were very much under the cosh, one nil down and it could easily have been worse. But that goal turned the tide. The opposition took a body blow and we had a surge of confidence. The rest of the game was a different story. Valencia continued to play well, but we also were playing well now. Then Lacazette, in a tight space, deftly moved the ball two paces to his left ,turned and curled it into the keepers left. Another fine goal.
That put us comfortable and left them needing 3 more ,without repy, to win. It never looked like happening. Even when they got their second, we looked unflustered and AMN flashed a ball into Aubameyang to turn in. The final goal was also a good effort when Aubameyang played a one two with his old hunting partner, the much maligned Mikhitaryan, who’s perfectly weighted deft touch allowed Aubameyang to run onto it and smash it in top bins.
This was the football we crave. Our best players playing in their best positions.
There were of course some problems, AMN struggled defensively most of the night. I felt he was left exposed ( mainly by Torreira) and it was Aubameyang with is relentless effort that helped him out the most.
And then there was Ozil, substituted on 60 minutes and he didn’t look best pleased to be hooked. Now this is interesting because I went back and watched the game again, and concentrated on Ozil. Now what I saw doesn’t mean is what happened, because I am far from an expert on the game, but here is my opinion.
When he was on the ball he was very tidy and effective. But he wasn’t on the ball that much. Most of the time he was doing exactly what makes him a special player, drifting into space. He finds and creates time and space like no one else. His genius(like Dennis before him) is delivering a ball that opens up the game. That ball might not be a goal, an assist or even a pre-assist, but it is the ball that opens up the game, But to do this, when he himself has found his own space and time, he needs to be given the ball. If he is standing in space and does not receive the ball, he becomes a passenger. He isn’t occupying any opposition players and so they are free to make life more difficult for our other players on the ball.
Of course in and around the box it’s different. He does make runs, pulls players out of position, the opposition surround him and that opens up space for others, who he frequently find despite being swarmed all over. But in the area before we get into the box he has to be given the ball in the space he has found. If we can’t do that, it becomes a problem for the team. There are two simple answers, don’t play him if we can’t get the ball to him, or find a way of getting it to him more often and utilizing the space and time he has found. He is the most creative in the league, we pay him £350k per week, so we should use him to his best advantage.
Ok, that’s it from me for today.
What a great end to the season we might still have. GET IN.