FA Premiership, March 21st; Everton 0-1 Arsenal
Great 3 points, wasn’t it? Okay, it was far from any of the vintage Arsenal performances of recent times, but it was earned in a manner we’ve been unaccustomed to; like the Arsenal of old. 1-0 to The Arsenal.
It goes to show the benefits of having your first choice defence in place. Our back four looked solid throughout. Everton showed plenty of industry without any real threat – their only real opportunity came in the shape of a Drenthe ‘goal’ wrongly flagged for offside by the officials.
We had chances to put the result beyond doubt by bagging a 2nd, but it wouldn’t be an Arsenal performance at the moment if they didn’t cause us to uncontrollably fidget and repeatedly make trips to the lavatory in nervous exhaust. We took the lead through Vermaelen’s glorious leap as early as the 8th minute, and from that moment forward there was a palpable sense of discomfort throughout the various live and online communities; we all collectively dreaded that sinking feeling only an equaliser brings.
But, we held on, and Everton rarely troubled Szczsney. Vermaelen was again immense at the back and Laurent Koscielny’s superb displays are rightly seeing him considered one of the best centre-backs in the country.
Certain people in the media, like Chris Bascombe at The Telegraph, may report our victories through gritted teeth, seemingly happier to focus on our early season failings than anything good we have done, but I choose to take the positives. Yes, we have faltered in places and we won’t win a trophy this season, yet we’ve out-performed the expectations of all the so-called experts, and we’ve done so under great adversity.
My only regret is the errors made over the summer. Had we sorted out our transfers earlier, and addressed certain deficiencies in the squad, I do begin to wonder just where we could be now.
That’s the past, and it’s irrelevant. Focus should be on the future. We’re 3rd, we’re 6 points ahead of Chelsea and a point ahead of Spurs when we previously lagged 10 behind. If we can keep our squad together and make some additions, I think we’ll continue to surprise many people.
I’ll finish today with a mention for Thierry Henry. I didn’t think it was possible for me to admire and love the guy anymore, then I read this story about him flying some 5000 miles to visit Fabrice Muamba. Truly he warrants the label ‘legend’ – a term brandished around far too easily for my liking.
That’s yer lot for today, folks. Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to comment and follow my Twitter account – @_ArmchairGooner