Monday 27 February 2012

Still the Kings of London!

Redknapp must have woken up yesterday thinking, YES, Rottenham are the only team in London and after just one season of so much success probably though he had achieved everything. Little did he know that by the end of the day he will carrying his sorry face back home after finding his and his teams true place in football world, and that is in the sewers of White Hart Lane. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on his part thinking that they were the better team in London after not even a season in the top four.

After two early goals against us, and the first one as early as 4 minutes, I never thought that we would make through and there would have been so many "There we go again...", and no one can blame them for saying so after our recent form. The way Walcott went about the first half, you were sure to predict a half time substitution and the Ox coming  to replace him. But that's the thing, when these things don't work, we have been murderous and immediately pounce on the manager, questioning his ability to make decisions. What a decision it was to leave Walcott on for some more time! If you have observed, this season, Walcott has been very effective in matches where Arsenal were doing really well offensively. His performance in the 3-5 against Chelsea, the assists against Blackburn and now yesterday. All in all he has done very well in most of the derbies. All he needs to do is maintain his consistency.

The match started as usual, we were put on the back foot and our defense looked all over the place. The first goal was down to such poor positional awarement, Adebayor just slipped through a pass to Saha and he struck it. TV was very unfortunate to get a deflection on the strike and the ball looped over Szczesny. The second one was not a penalty for me and I have seen those not being given in Arsenal's favor so many times. The fact that Mike Dean was monitoring, didn't make matters easier, Adebayor took the penalty and even though Szczesny went the right way, he just couldn't stop it. The co-ordination was not right and we were just not feeling cohesive enough. We were still looking to make inroads and there were a couple of chances that just didn't get converted. Walcott was looking too erratic and it looked like he would have to be substituted at half time.

Suddenly things started to fall into place and for some reason, Rottenham were not looking to capitalise on their fantastic start. We had a corner, and I know we have not done well on the set-piece front too often. Somehow Sagna lost his marker, surprisingly it was Bale marking Sagna, and got at the end of a decent corner kick and headed powerfully into Rottenhams net. Just before that Rosicky was denied a header by a very good block by Friedel, but Rosicky showed some positive signs early on a was looking to attack. Him and Benayoun exchanged positions continuously, and it was just too much for Kyle Walker to handle. Our second goal came just minutes later and I am sure the arguments about the world's best lone striker must have been put to rest after RVP's strike. Song just looked to lob the ball over the defense, but it was cleared by Assou-someone. It fell to RVP and he did very well to create some space and still many would have not shot from that kind of position, but the finish in the end was world class and just shows why the world's best teams are after him. The down slide had just begun for Rottenham after the equaliser.

Arsenal were on top at half time and Harry decided to strengthen his midfield at half time by sending
Van Der *aart and Sandro for Krancjar & Saha. Even they could not be any more constructive and were just spectators to the on coming avalanche. Walcott was, to the surprise of many, continued after half time and he did well to repay the faith AW showed in him. Rosicky was looking like his old self and got more dangerous as time went on. Finally he got his reward with a beautiful finish from a Sagna low cross. First goal in PL for two years and what a time to score it! Walcott looked more potent there on and had two great goals from two beautiful finishes. You almost didn't believe that this is the guy who missed a lollypop goal against the Wolves earlier in the season.

Everyone who had talked about how they wanted to win this derby, from RVP to Sagna, Rosicky and especially Wenger, would have said after the match "Told you..". It was just the perfect setting to beat our rivals and against such odds. I don't think many would have put there money on Arsenal to win it.
Before the match, when asked about predictions of the match, Nigel Winterburn replied,
Because it is the team I love, I have to support the fact that Arsenal will win, but looking at the current form, I don't know, I am not so sure.
Wouldn't he be glad to see his team come out on top with such remarkable feat. Wenger said after the match,
Arsenal are alive more than anybody thought before the game. Today we gave a performance that on the spirit side, the technical side, the drive of the whole team, on the style of the game we want to play everything was perfect despite a very bad start. I felt in the first five minutes Tottenham started well, after that it was all us for 85 minutes.
We complained about the nature of pitch against Milan and Sunderland, but back on home turf, it had to be Arsenal. Although, we need to start winning on all kinds of turfs if we have to get back on top.

Sagna mentioned that, on home ground and against "the enemy", Arsenal had no choice but to win it.
He added,
It might be the beginning of something. We lost quite heavily at AC Milan but we promised ourselves we would keep playing even if we kept losing. That is what we did. If we didn't keep fighting then we would have lost this game.
Even the manner of his return, after a horrific reverse fixture where he got injured, was outstanding.
Rejoicing his own opener, he said,
I wanted to score especially because the first game away was difficult for me. I am just very, very happy because this was a day to score.
Sure Arsenal must have their hopes quite high now, after such a huge win and still in the fourth position, after Chelsea scored 3 against Bolton on Saturday, we had to win this one and maybe keep our goal difference up. We travel to Anfield next week, which is always tough. Liverpool are in very good mood, after winning the Carling cup last evening. Last year, this cup final had triggered our downfall, but Liverpool managed to win it after a tough fight by Cardiff. Yes it is one of the tough games, but we should carry our momentum in that game too. The consistency has to be created and then maintained, maybe it would do us some good in our Champions League match too. And who knows, with the kind of game we played last night, nothing is impossible. I don't think anyone needs to remind Harry, who the Kings of London are!

Oh, meanwhile Arsenal have declared their interim financial results for this season, and even though I am not a commerce know-it-all, I think that we are in a pretty decent position..financially. It is just up to the management/Wenger where they opt to utilise these profits. As Wenger said,
We spend one pound if we make one and then people say 'what are they doing?

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