Many times, my friends; many times I’ve sat at my trusty chair, clutching a delicious beverage and wrote to you regarding an Arsenal victory that was accomplished despite a bloody awful performance.
Once Steve Sidwell was dismissed for an unwelcome lunge at Mikel Arteta, I didn’t assume the floodgates would open, I feared it was exactly the kind of opportunity Arsenal would spurn in favour of making life difficult for themselves, and causing us fans to fear suffering a horrific cardiac malfunction.
Yet, as I often find myself saying, we won. We came home with 3 very valuable points, and those points wouldn’t look any different on the board had we blown Fulham away in a typhoon of attacking verve. I find it difficult to be too critical in such instances, because winning is what’s of greatest importance, and all else matters not a jot. Undoubtedly, we’d all like a routine victory, one without the maddening lapses and hide-behind-your-hands moments., but supporting Arsenal just doesn’t seem to work that way.
There’s no doubting the team have greater to show. Across the entire starting XI it’s difficult to single out any one player worthy on anything remotely like effusive praise. Santi Cazorla looked fatigued. Jack Wilshere doesn’t appear to be anywhere near fit, and Laurent Koscielny had one of his less convincing days.
However, one player I’m sure will receive plenty of criticism, I don’t think entirely deserves it; Olivier Giroud. He may not be the most graceful of centre forwards, he may currently be filling the shoes of someone we all secretly miss, but he’s done very well for us. The good points of his contribution to the cause far outweigh the negative. He’s an easy target for some fans when the going gets tough.
Do I think he could have performed better yesterday? Yes, he has plenty of times this season. Do I think his red card was justified? Not in the slightest. The challenge was awkward at best, and perhaps looked immeasurably more dangerous at full speed than it actually was. To give him a straight red and a 3 match ban was harsh.
On the back of one or two ropey performances, I see folks across the Goonersphere already clamouring for Podolski’s inclusion in the side, as if they’ve forgotten somehow his form hasn’t exactly been spectacular. I personally think Arsene will opt for Theo down the middle during Giroud’s time on the sidelines, and the less said about Mr Walcott today, the better.
All in all folks, a win is a win. It wasn’t pretty or comfortable. It’s certainly replaced a few of my beautiful brown flowing locks with grey ones. Yet all we can ask for is points accumulated, and points gained. If we secure 12 points from our remaining 4 games with performances like yesterday’s, I won’t care. I’ll have probably been omitted to hospital with nervous exhaust, but I won’t care.
We’ve a full 7 days break now until the visit of Manchester United and their pantomime villain. Hopefully Spurs and Chelsea will see fit to blunder before that game and give us a little breathing space. It’s going to be a tough one to gain 3 points from, but wouldn’t it be typically Arsenal to struggle at Fulham only to pull something out of the bag spectacularly when we least expect it? God, I hope so.
That’s all for today folks. The comments section below awaits your thoughts on the game. Happy with the 3 points above everything else? Frustrated with the poor performance? Let me know.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.