I have a bit of a headache this morning. Ordinarily I choose to avoid the dark temptation of a few tasty beverages. Here in Amsterdam, I was well and truly tempted so threw caution to the wind and enjoyed a few Black Russians (make up your own jokes).
This is my first trip to the capital of the Netherlands, I’m here because my girlfriend bought us a city break for Christmas. First impressions are it’s a beautiful, hospitalble city. I’m off out to explore more soon, but first things first, let’s talk about the football.
I’ve not had the chance to watch the whole game back, but thanks to the wonders of the Interwebs, I’ve seen all of the major incidents and enough to suggest it wasn’t exactly one of our more scintillating or comprehensive performances.
Perhaps it was to be expected after Bournemouth… Arsenal like to make us supporters go through as many emotions as possible. Starting strongly and asserting ourselves on Preston would have been far too easy. Taking nothing away from our Championship opponents, who played very well in patches and deservedly took and early lead, it was a poor display and we could count ourselves fortunate to not be further behind at the break.
At that point the negativity was in full force. You could imagine full-blown Armageddon wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to Arsenal fans melting through their arses on Twitter because of an impending loss. Frustration is one thing; it’s a totally understandable emotion to feel as an Arsenal fan. As is passion. However, what you see is anger and hatred hidden behind the aforementioned.
Thankfully, in the 2nd half Arsenal picked it up and we equalised thanks to a great strike from A-A-RON within seconds of the restart – it flew into the net from 18 yards with such velocity that the keeper didn’t move. From that moment we controlled the game, dominating the possession and restricting our opponents in the way we should have during the first 45.
It wasnt vintage Arsenal. By the time Olivier Giroud accepted a delicious backheel from Lucas Perez to score the winner I was assuming we’d be headed back to the Emirates for a reply. In fairness, that wouldn’t have been an unfair outcome.
The win was sealed and we progress to the next round. At this stage, under pressure from all sides because of bad displays, the result counted most. We in in the draw for the next round and I’m happy with that most off all.
There were some big positives. Ainsley Maitland-Niles should promise at full back and Lucas Perez showed more signs that he should be involved in the first team more often. Best of all was the return of Welbeck (WELBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) from serious injury. He looked sharp and could have scored late on but for the keeper. We’ll need his pace and strength in the run-in.
Im off to explore more of Amsterdam. I’ll be back soon, but feel free to comment below and share this post across the world. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.