Arsenal 5-1 Everton
Today is a good day. Arsenal won, they did so playing some very exciting attacking football and, inexplicably, I drank copious amount of gin last night and I don’t have a hangover. Ordinarily, I’d be crumpled in a heap somewhere letting out the occasional pained groan so that everyone knows I’m still alive – think of a noise somewhere between Chewbacca and an Alien.
Yet here I am, chipper and upbeat and without the slightest remnants of the night before. Is it all a trick? Will my hangover unexpectedly arise later this evening at an inopportune moment? Or have I just become an accomplished drinker overnight? It’s a mystery, but a very welcome one.
Before I left to head into town last night, I watched the 1st half (I kept up with events during the 2nd by unsociably glaring at my phone during spare moments) and that was our best 45 minutes of the season. Arsenal looked like Arsenal.
A lot has been made of the influence of Alexis Sanchez. Most folks will say he’s a bit of a loner and a disruptive influence in the dressing room. He was a very exciting and effective player, of that there is no doubt, but sometimes losing someone like that can be beneficial.
I recall when Thierry Henry left for Barcelona; it was painful, but we became a better team overall when he left. I’m not trying to compare the two players in either talent or temperament, but the two situations have similarities.
I think we’ll become a better team. Yesterday’s rousing victory is certainly early doors. I’m not getting too carried away just yet, but what I saw certainly gave me a far brighter outlook for the future. Our attacking play looked so sharp and cohesive. The two January purchases, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang look like they’ll cause defences no end of problems.
Wenger said of them and the overall performance:
“In the first half we were quick, mobile, technically very sharp and we finished very well as well. Overall, two players integrated well into our game and they looked as if they had played for us forever.
They have similar qualities to what our game is about. Technically, they are good. They are quick and overall it was a first convincing performance”
Ramsey deservedly received the man-of-the-match award for his goal scoring endeavours, but it’s worth singling out Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who’s overall approach play and contribution was excellent. He linked up superbly and it’s worth noting the effort and tracking back he did on top of the 3 assists.
The pass he supplied for Aubameyang’s debut goal was one born from two players with a pre-established understanding and that bodes well for our attacking in the future. Especially when you consider Mesut Ozil is sticking around and our bench could boast the talents of Wilshere and Lacazette.
However, the one constantly worrying factor is our inability to defend. I know, I know… mentioning that is a touch miserly when I’m reporting on a 5-1 victory, but it’s a problem that’s there in the background waiting to jump to the forefront and be f*cking annoying. Arsenal always look like we could concede a goal. Always. It’s unfortunate, but we commit so much too attack that it invariably leaves us wanting at the opposite end of the field.
We’ve taken some big steps to resolving problems in the past January window. I’d hope the summer will have the same approach, but that will be more focused on the positions in which players are paid to prevent goals. We’ve got a very, very promising attack that, I think, every team we’ll face will have serious concerns about. If we can solidify at the back and become harder to score against, this team could do big things.
Right, that’s it for today, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow with more goodness for your perusal. The comments section awaits below if you’d like to share your thoughts on the match.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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