So the awesome winning run continues with a 3-1 victory over Man City but it was a little hairy there for a while.
We took the lead in the first half when a Vieiratastic tackle from Diaby won the ball in the City half, he strode on and slipped it out to Eboue whose cross was made excellent by the timing of Rosicky’s run and he clipped it home for the opener. Two in two for the floppy haired Czech now and his goals have all been important ones this season.
In general we bossed the first half but some seconds of madness let them back into it before the break. Jens Lehmann’s clearance was poor and when City came forward the defending from Kolo and from Eboue was terrible allowing Beasley to equalise. That’s the thing about this Arsenal side, they’re always capable of conceding in a flash and when you’re at 1-1 and pushing forward you’re always afraid we’ll get caught on the break. As well as that Jens Lehmann appeared to have left his brain at home and he was flapping around like a one-winged kestrel.
The first 28 minutes of the second half were almost like torture. City sat back and we did our best to break them down. It was frustrating, a number of times, to see moves break down in familiar fashion but at the same time we made chances. Hleb shot wide with his left foot, Adebayor’s excellent dummy saw Rosicky clean through but he elected to square it to the Togonator rather than shoot and it was blocked and a good cross from Hleb saw Adebayor have a powerful header saved by Isaakson.
Then the breakthrough. Rosiscky was tackled at the edge of the box and the ball fell to Cesc who controlled it before lashing a great volley past Isaakson to make it 2-1. Like Rosicky he’s now got two goals in two games and it’s great to see from both of them. Their energy and workrate deserves the goals and after breaking the seal the other day I wasn’t surprised to see him score again. It’s like when you go out to drink beer and you can have two or three pints without visiting the bathroom but once you have that first piss you’re going every twenty minutes – except this is goals and not piss. City brought on Samaras and Corradi to try and rescue the game but in pushing forward they allowed us more space. Hleb dribbled into the box, got the luck of the bounce and the ball fell to Baptista who slid it home for 3-1. Glad for both of them to have contributed and hopefully that’s broken the Beast’s seal because with Adebayor not having scored since February it would be good to have a striker knocking a couple in.
There wasn’t much more to it apart from a smart save from Jens when Samaras went clean through and Eboue chose not to tackle him. Comfortable enough in the end though and three lovely points moves us up into third place for the time being. Liverpool can go ahead later tonight if they beat Boro but let’s enjoy it for the moment.
I have always felt that as a professional football player you have deal with that – as a manager as well – when people are coming here, they pay good money, they can get their frustration out. If sometimes their frustration is with the team or a bad pass I completely understand that. It’s down to us to transport them to a different world, when sometimes you cannot do that they are not happy but you have to deal with that.
Smart comments, I have to say, and it shows that the boss is fully aware of the expectations he has brought to the club and the fact we’ve fallen below that level this season. As he famously said some years ago when you give somebody caviar it’s hard to go back to sausage. At times this season has been a massive sausage except without sausage meat inside it and instead some sawdust and fluff from down the back of the sofa. It’s the fact that we know this team should be capable of providing a sausage filled with caviar that makes things so frustrating at times.
However, we’ve now had two good home wins to end a very difficult period and hopefully there’s plenty of confidence and belief ahead of Saturday’s North London derby. Some more thoughts on the team and possible line-ups later in the week. We should have Freddie and Diaby back and Diaby in particular looked the business in midfield before he had to go off with doubledouble visionvision. No sign of Aliadiere on the bench last night though. Anyone know if he was injured or just considered pointless?
Away from the pitch the Chairman MC H-W talks about the potential sale of the club. It more or less mirrors what he said in Arsecast 16 and there’s some good stuff in there. He talks about Danny Fiszman selling some of his shares but this quote is telling and rather splendid:
We’re here for Arsenal Football Club, not to make a few bob. We would be horrified to see it go across the Atlantic.
Now then, to make your day even more fab my good old chums at Goalhanger.com have given me a t-shirt to give away to one lucky reader. They’ve just launched some new Arsenal shirts so you can choose from this one, this one or this one. All you have to do is answer the following question : Tomas Rosicky’s first goal for Arsenal was against a)Wigan, b)Hamburg or c) Aston Villa.
To enter just email email@example.com and I’ll get the RNG to do its thing and announce the winner tomorrow. If you don’t win don’t fret, there’ll be another t-shirt to give away next week.
And that’s about it. The world seems a much brighter place when Arsenal are winning, doesn’t it?