Morning, happy campers!
Mmmm. 3 delicious points. Aren’t they scrumptious? In emerging victorious yesterday, Arsenal managed to break a couple of records; we became the first team to win from a losing position in 4 consecutive league games, and Robin van Persie now holds the honour of the most goals amassed in a season by a Dutchman – beating the amount held by that deplorable horse-faced individual who Patrick Vieira wanted to punch in his irksome, cheating face.
It was another good performance. Tomas Rosicky – buoyed by his new contract – was a blur of technique and industry in midfield, Theo’s game was at it’s pacey and threatening best and the whole team had that urgency and passion about their play we’ve all yearned to see more of.
Yet, as is seemingly customary, we had to go a goal behind to step up a gear. Ben Afra’s crashing finish was the opener, and Newcastle were able to bask in the glory of a lead at The Emirates for a full 50 seconds. Virtually from the kick-off, Theo fed Robin and the Dutchman’s wonderful first touch took him past the defender before he slotted past Krul.
From that moment, Newcastle, a team with good attacking players and needing a victory, disappeared up Alan Pardew’s arse. He decided a draw was enough, and the time-wasting tactics kicked in embarrassingly early.
I thought it was pathetic. No, downright shambolic that a team still in possession of Champions League aspirations weren’t prepared to go for it. The second half was constant bombardment of the Newcastle goal, with both Gervinho and Rosicky guilty of moments of profligacy.
But we weren’t to be denied. 5 minutes into injury time, up steps Thomas Vermaelen to slot home the ball from a loose header. Cue pandemonium. The stadium erupted with a cacophony of delirious screams. Robin van Persie chose this moment to let his feelings be known to Tim Krul – comfortably the worst practitioner of Newcastle’s time-wasting antics.
He spent most of the game dilly-dallying with his goal kicks and taking as much time as he could. It was getting extremely frustrating and was only exasperated by the inept Howard Webb’s refusal to book him for such an obvious offence. Once Vermaelen scored, Robin was alleged to have enthusiastically said “time waste now” to the Newcastle keeper and the two had to be separated. Perhaps his actions were a little ill-advised, but I thought it showed passion and a man who’s really become an exceptional captain. Plus, Krul deserved it – there’s no two ways about it.
All in all, it was a great result and another step towards securing Champions League football. The team played with passion and the fans where magnificent.
After the game, Arsene said:
“It was an exceptional night because the pleasure is even more intense when you win in the final minute of the game when you have given everything.
“We won in the last minute at Sunderland, Liverpool and now Newcastle. That shows we have absolute commitment.
“They are refusing to lose. That’s fantastic. That shows that we have quality and spirit. It was a relentless effort from the first to the last minute.”
Theo Walcott echoed his manager’s sentiments by adding:
“Tottenham have got to be watching over their shoulders now.
“It’s been an up-and-down season, but it’s the way you finish, and that’s the most important thing.”
Absolutely. The faltering and poor performances that blighted our season at times are in the past. It’s taken a while, but this Arsenal team are looking good; unified, threatening and full of desire. I’m a happy guy today, proud of the team and the fans who’ve made The Emirates a rocking cauldron of noise.
Good times. Someone remind me, what gap is it we’re supposed to be minding?
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