Afternoon, one and all.
Yesterday’s victory was a funny one. Not it the least because of Artur Boruc’s hilariously awful attempt at channeling the skill of Rivaldo when in possesion. It’s fair to say that Southampton’s keeper made a complete mug of himself, and a bigger gift we are unlikely to receive all season.
The reason I called the game “funny” is not primarily becuase of hilarity, but also peculiarity. Arsenal didn’t perform to the height of our ability, we didn’t create many chances and were put under pressure in periods by a very good Southampton side. By no stretch of the imagination was it a vintage, jarring performance, yet it accompanied the very thing that is most important of all; 3 delicious points. Yesterday’s victory was peculiar because it was comfortable and slightly disappointing at the same time.
I don’t think it is churlish to expect a little more from the attacking talent we have. Now, it’s easy to make a statement like that and have it immediately taken as a cantankerous aside against the team. It is not. It’s just an observation, and one I challenge anyone to dispute. Things get blown out of proportion all to easily these days. Take this video for example. It’s just one guy expressing his opinion. Without anger, without bitterness. Yet, for obvious reasons, the description of it posted via another includes the words “slams” and “rant” – neither of which he does.
I think we’re at the point now where we can start saying Ozil’s not looked good for about a month, which is quite worrying when you spend 44-45 million on a player. Ozil needs to up his game.
We need to see more from Ozil. We need to see more from Wilshere. We hold them up as such great players but they are not performing.
I don’t think it’s all that worrying. The main point of what’s said I agree with; it is not unfair to expect a little more from someone we know is capable of brilliance. Ozil has looked a little off for whatever reason. He’s not been bad, I shan’t be one of the idiots branding him a “flop”. But, I’d like to see a little more.
However, there is some comfort to be taken in our regular accumulation of points and our league standing when you take into account we haven’t yet performed to our full capabilities. At present, we are getting results through resolute defending and professionalism. That is something to be commended. Pundits often remark that the sign of a good team is one that continues to win despite not being at their best. That is happening with Arsenal. Offensively, we are capable of much, much more.
Of course, there is still much to be praised. The back four and keeper played very well, as they have done most of the season. Szczesny is having his best spell of form as our No1. There once was a time when he looked to be capable of a disastrous blunder at any given moment. These days, he looks commanding and assured, and he’s always been a superb shot stopper.
Alone in the striking role, Olivier Giroud again put in an admirable shift; he holds up play, contributes immeasurably to attacks and bagged a couple of goals. As fortuitous as our opener was, it was a good example of the player’s desire to chase down every ball.
What I think is often missed is Giroud’s contribution in his own penalty area. I’ve lost count of the amount of times he pops up in a defensive position to clear the ball. For all his contributions up field, a good argument could be made for his contributing to our solidity at the back.
All in all, we won, we sit 4 points clear. There is little to complain about there. I believe this Arsenal side has yet to peak. There is still much to come and when it does, it’ll be a thing of beauty. Mesut Ozil is still a fantastic signing. He is a little off the dizzying heights we all know he is capable of, but some players need a little more time to fully integrate than others. Look at Pires and Bergkamp. They both started slowly, but once they hit their stride, both became Arsenal legends. I have no doubt Ozil will do the same.
That’s all for today. What did you think of the overall performance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. For now, I shall leave you until tomorrow when I shall endeavour to return.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.