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Sunday, 17 August 2014

1-0 Down, 2-1 Up. Can We Win More Than The Cup?

I neglected to mention below that the MoM in many of the weekend's matches appeared to be the vanishing spray. I wondered what everyone was laughing about at our place and it wasn't until today that I discovered Santi suffered a faceful! Also, in all the euphoria over Aaron's goal, it seems to have been forgotten that his tap-in resulted from Debuchy coming oh so close to opening his own Arsenal account and all due credit to Kos for contorting his neck so impressively to head home our equaliser. Meanwhile it would appear that the Gunners are only too aware of the frivolous tastes of their target audience and I'm guessing that the cut-out Alexis featured in the matchday programme will be making an appearance on desk tops up and down the country. Further to my comment about no one team running away with the title, here's hoping that Chelsea's result tomorrow night doesn't leave me with my foot in my mouth


COYG
Peace & Love
Bernard
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If the weekend’s opening salvoes served one purpose, it was to remind us that we’re slaves to such a fickle, footballing mistress. Although Man Utd might have appeared decidedly lightweight, in Louis Van Gaal’s baptism of fire defeat to the Swans in Saturday’s early encounter and this might well results in a rash of last-minute spending, on the sort of experienced star names that might lend his immature squad a little more Galactico gravitas, it could’ve been an entirely different story, if Wayne Rooney’s wonderful free-kick had curled a couple more inches, into the onion bag, instead of walloping the crossbar.

Moreover, instead of Man U being booed off, at Old Trafford accompanied by the Swans’ fans “sacked in the morning” teasing, much like the disgruntled Irons, with their tantrums over Tottenham’s last gasp winner at Upton Park, it might well have been us Gooners giving Arsène Wenger and our team the bird at the end of Saturday’s late game, if it wasn’t for Aaron Ramsey saving our three-point bacon, by putting a stalwart Palace to the sword right at the death.

I was left reflecting on what would’ve been a completely contrasting mood, if not for this late, late show in North London. As the clock ticked away and the climate of tension rose, during an increasingly frustrating and uncommonly sloppy second half, with far too many casual passes going astray, we were hardly peppering Speroni’s goal and you could feel that our inability to break the Eagles dogged defence down in the final third, was building towards a crescendo of discordant disapproval at the final whistle.

Instead of which, with Ramsey bagging himself the winner and securing our first opening day triumph in six long seasons, we enjoyed an explosion of relief as we stood there savouring the Gunners ‘win ugly” resolve to get the job done – whilst casting sympathetic glances over to the unwaveringly hearty band of Eagles fans in the corner of the stadium, who’d just endured having their opening day delight snatched from their grasp.

Nevertheless, although Saturday’s performance proved somewhat anti-climatic as Palace failed to be the expected easy prey, to the sort of free-flowing, entertaining football that we were all hoping for, it was probably no bad thing. We’ve managed to get off on the right foot for once, securing the all-important three points and thereby avoiding allowing the competition their habitual head start, while at the same time tempering the buoyant mood of optimism with a dose of reality. In fact, renewed Premiership hostilities around the country have reminded everyone that no one team is about to run away with the title.

Despite the disappointing evidence that Kieran Gibbs remains no less fragile than he’s been in previous seasons, there were plenty of positive signs. The fact that Debuchy appears to lack the same pace of Sagna could prove a problem, but he’s a far better crosser of the ball than his forebear. Callum Chambers appears to grow in confidence with every additional minute on the pitch and in contrast to Jack Wilshere, I adore Alexis’ willingness to stay on his feet and his work-rate.

In fact Sanchez appears to be so hungry and so motivated that I’m certain his influence will grow, as others attune to his sentient wavelength, especially when Özil returns to the fray and begins to take advantage of the Chilean’s unstinting eagerness to get on the ball. We are all too patently aware of the obvious, but pleasant midfield conundrum, when everyone is fit and available and it will be interesting to see how Arsène maximizes all this potential, in particular with Ramsey and Wilshere, who, much like the Lampard/Gerrard England enigma, rarely manage to impose themselves on matches when both are on the pitch.

Still, if the Gunners are to be genuine title contenders, the consensus of opinion appears to believe that we remain a couple of players short. In this respect we might benefit from Man Utd’s demise because it might well result in the sort of big money signings that could provide the necessary momentum to the transfer merry-go-round?

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 e-mail to: londonN5@gmail.com

2 comments:

Shane Brewster said...

Hi Bern, you reckon Jack is ever gonna live up to his potential? I'm starting to fear he won't..

Bernard said...

See:

The Wilshere Enigma