Good morning and apologies for the lateness of this particular blog but then *boilk* and nobody should criticise a man who was drinking whiskey at 6.30am. It’s just not the done thing.
So, we beat Norwich yesterday to continue our good run of form and winningness, again we have to give thanks and praise to the Lord our Robin for his two goals which sealed the deal. Let’s be fair about this though, as good as Norwich were, and they were pretty decent without ever being too scary, we should have won this game by more than one goal.
Before they scored their opener we had about three or four really good chances. Robin being off-target, clearances off the line and some other stuff which I don’t really remember now meant we should have been ahead. However, this is Arsenal and the way we do things is: have lots of chances and not take them – let the opposition score with their first attempt.
If I was being super-fair and a paid up member of the centre-halves club I’d say Mert had the sun to deal with, there was a bit of a foul and the ball didn’t bounce high enough for him to do anything with other than swipe at it with a German nipple. Unfortunately, nipples really aren’t very good at football and he should have dealt with the bouncing ball before that baldy bloke wrestled him out of the way and made it 1-0. If you look at the replays again I think SZCZ’s face says it all. It says ‘WTF PER?’
Still, we continued to make lots and lots of chances. Sadly, they mostly fell to Gervinho who was to finishing chances what Harry Redknapp is to filing tax returns. Time and again he missed chances he should have scored. Well, three times and you can have whatever number of agains you want. Would it be one chance and two agains? Let’s not argue about this, his finishing was positively plop.
He was involved in the equaliser though. He started the move, cutting in from the right hand side, playing it to Robin who played it to Theo and he was there in the middle too to completely miss the ball with a ridiculous backflick attempt which allowed Robin to just sidefoot home to make it 1-1. If Gervinho had managed to make contact I suspect the ball would have flown off his heel, ruptured both of van Persie’s cruciate ligaments before smashing Pat Rice in the glasses. He had that kind of game.
In the second half he missed other chances, a header from 10 yards and then one when he went around the goalkeeper and passed it to the goalkeeper instead of scoring, so when Alex Song had a decision to make having won the ball back in midfield it was pretty easy for him. His choices were a) give it to the bloke in a great position who keeps missing or b) give it to the bloke in a difficult position who has been scoring like a fox.
He gave it to Robin and his right footed chipped finish was a thing of real beauty. It was his bazillionth goal of the season and what can you say other than he’s awesome? If I ever had any more children I might name one after him. I’m not sure ‘robinvanpersie’ is an actual first name but somebody has to set the standard.
Norwich’s answer to going behind was to send on a really, really fat bloke to fall over and win free kicks, which he did quite well in fairness to him. However, when Holt threw himself to the ground in the box while Mertesacker looked on he rightly got a yellow card. Which he probably tried to eat because he thought it was made out of custard.
We saw out the last 10 minutes very well. The experience and maturity of the team showing as we held onto the ball, denied them possession and one late free kick apart they did nothing which worried Szczesny. Afterwards Arsene said:
We should have got there at the start because we missed some early chances. In the first 20 minutes we had at least three clear-cut opportunities and on top of that we were 1-0 down. That made the game difficult against a very dynamic Norwich side.
But backs against the wall we did very well again today, like we did at Chelsea. In the second half, once we got to 2-1 we controlled the game well and were never really in trouble. Overall it is a very positive win today. The team is growing from game to game, getting stronger and you feel there is some mental strength inside there.
No arguments here and it’s good to get going again with a win against a decent side who will make life tough for most teams that visit the Delia Bowl, We needed to get straight back into business and a win puts us on 22 points – at the same point last season we had 23 so while the start to the season was utterly Phil Collins we’ve done well to pick ourselves up and get back on track.
Right, that’s about that really. The only news is that Arsene said he might leave but then clarified it and said Arsenal was the club of his life and while I might have some issues I love hearing stuff like that because Arsenal is the club of my life too. He’s a frustrating old goat but he’s our frustrating old goat.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to fall over. Apologies for any spelling mistakes but, you know, it’s Sunday. Don’t be so picky.