I shan’t lie to you; sitting through those 90 minutes wasn’t one of the more pleasurable experiences I’ve encountered as an Arsenal fan. Mercifully, for all their ‘heroic’ huffing and puffing, Tottenham Hotspur remain irredeemably bloody hopeless.
In many sectors of the media, yesterday’s performance will be branded as “hanging on” or “backs to the wall”. In all honesty; I can’t say I was especially comfortable throughout, nor was I particularly nervous. I resided in a state of football purgatory where my emotions cancelled each other out, leaving a stark, listless stare on my face as I awaited the jubilation of a confirmed result. When that moment arrived, glorious elation swept over me. There is little that feels as good as beating Tottenham.
It certainly wasn’t vintage Arsenal. Spurs were given too much to cling too when, but for Chamberlain’s profligacy, we would have had considerable distance between us and them on the scoreboard. Classing the team’s performance as “hanging on” might seem accurate, but it does warrant mentioning that the only two chances to score Spurs managed to get were gifted to them by Szczesny having one of his flappy days.
Enough of that. Let’s all take a moment to enjoy that Rosicky goal.
Wow. I’ve stated elsewhere that I believe the word tw*t isn’t used enough by commentators when describing a ball being struck perfectly. It’s such a simple exclamation, but beautifully apt. For example, when Tommy’s howitzer hit the back of the net, the appropriate response would have been:
“TW*T! Get in. Tommy proper tw*tted that!”
Alas, I can’t see it catching on.
As usual folks, instead of tediously recapping events you’ll all have seen by now, I thought I’d take a moment to discuss a few of the notable performances on the day. Some of it will be droolingly effusive, other bits not so much, but I’ll try to be level headed as best I can. At this moment I’m still ebullient enough to be overwhelmed with the desire to run up my street shrieking grand statements of victory at my neighbours.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny
- Perhaps I’m biased, but I do not see a better partnership in all of Europe. Individually they were both outstanding, but collectively they marshalled the defence with absolute brilliance. Words alone cannot aptly express the love I have inside for both. Perhaps only dance can. By some considerable distance, our stand-out performers.
- When the team is forced back, Olivier struggles. At the Emirates when Arsenal take the attacking impetuous he hold up the ball and brings others running beyond him into play with great aplomb. When you reverse that scenario he tends to get isolated and doesn’t possess the pace to worry opponents if a ball is played over the top. Yesterday was exactly that and he was largely ineffectual the whole game.
- Much as Flamini did in the reverse fixture, at one stage Bac fabulously sent the hideously pudgy figure of Danny Rose spiralling unceremoniously through the air. I enjoyed that immensely. Danny Rose is an awful little urchin and his clattering was hugely justified, if only for the horrendous fluke he scored against us a few years back. If there is such a thing, it was a brilliant yellow card from Sagna.
- He just loves scoring against Spurs, doesn’t he. There isn’t much I can say about Tomas that hasn’t already been said. He’s a magnificent player, thoroughly likeable and the running ability and perseverance he has at his age is awe-inspiring. That goal he scored will live in the memory for quite some time and fully deserved to win an match.
All in all, folks, the result is exactly what mattered. You can analyse the performance until the cows come home from ASDA, but it matters not a jot. North London derbies are fierce, fiery affairs where form counts for little. The only thing to take from one is the result and we got that. With Liverpool winning and Chelsea losing, the race for the title is starting to really get hot. Should we dispatch Mourinho and his minions next Saturday, then things are really going to get interesting.
That’s all from me this morning. The comments await below, so use ‘em to pour the contents of your heart out and have it immortalised in cyberspace. What did you make of the game? Who was the stand-out performer? Let me know what you think.
I’ll be back tomorrow at the usual time with more. Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.