Sunday 25 March 2012

Not just an one man team

Gibbs, Walcott, Arteta, all get on the score sheet.

Apologies for yesterday's missed post. Some problem with the stupid network, just didn't allow me to get through. But there's plenty on the agenda today, some positives and maybe some negatives.

Once upon a time, in the summer of 2011, the pessimist folks had written off the Gunners as just a feeder team, a training centre and probably just a long forgotten legacy. People had made predictions that the team was destined to be nothing more than a mid-table team and probably after 5 matches into the season, had declared the team as relegation material. Just 6-7 months later in the season, and here the Gunners are, not in the relegation bottom 3 but the league top three.

Our two London rivals, Rottenham in 4th and Chelsea in 5th, are 3 and 8 points, respectively, lagging behind us. We still have 8 matches to go in the season, and the strangest things have happened this season, but Arsenal are keeping their feet firmly on the ground. Out of these three, Chelsea have the tightest schedule, given that they are still in the Champions League. If they proceed ahead of the quarter finals, I guess it will be a test of their physical and mental strength. On the other hand, Rottenham have played out what seemed to be the toughest fixtures in the last 10 matches and gaining just one point out of games against Manc and Chelsea.

Arsenal have yet to play Chelsea and Manc this season and, for me, these are the matches that might just decide the finishing positions of these three teams. Maybe this is too far fetched or wishful thinking, however, Manc drew their away match against Stoke last night, and almost lost it, but that leaves them just 12 points ahead of us. They sit at the top ahead on goal difference but Manu have a game in hand. I know 12 points is a pretty decent margin, but who knows, we came were 10 points off Rottenham and now we are 3 ahead of them. It's a possibility, but our focus remains on our current position and as I said in the past, it's only ours to lose.

Coming back to last evening's game. We had just played Everton 3 days back, and that must have drained the players of some juice, but to deliver that kind of performance against Villa was amazing. It's what I call total football and total dominance. Our attacking play was almost accurate. Walcott, for me, gave in a man of the match performance. After taking so much criticism, he has grown in leaps and bounds. Maybe, the team has a new psychologist or it just might be that the are eating good, but whatever it is has added something to Walcott's brains that can keep up with his feet.

At the other wing, Gervinho contributed to both the attack and defense equally. Initially, I thought, Gibbs found it a bit, just a bit, tough to handle Albrighton's pace, but later on Gervinho kept tracking him down and matched him for speed. Not only Gervinho, but Walcott was good in defense too. Gibbs was pretty decent too, both in attack and defense, and his opening goal just showed the multi-dimensional nature of this Arsenal attack. When you look at Arsenal's right flank, it just looks impenetrable with Sagna and Walcott in it. They work around each other beautifully. The link up play between Rosicky and wither of the flanks is just a delight to watch.

Song has been a rock infront of the back four this season. Not only has he been solid defensively and with his interceptions, but his vision has been pin-point with almost 10 assists this season. It's almost as if we would want to forget Cesc in a hurry! When you look at the pass to Walcott which created the second goal, it is just a treat to the eye and I don't think there is a defensive midfielder in the league who can get that many assists.
Arsene says, praising both Walcott for the goal and Song for the pass,
Theo had a very good performance and scored a great goal. You have to give him credit for that. But I would like to give credit to the pass from Song, because it is not the first time he has done that. You do not see many defensive midfielders do that. If you look at the assists that he has made this season, you will see that his numbers are top in Europe.
RVP missed out again on the scoring, but he was not invisible in the game, he, alongwith Rosicky, were the key players in linking up between the midfield and the attack. Though I love to see him score, it's good to see that Arsenal can also gt goals from other parts of the pitch.

Did you see the last minute Arteta strike from the free kick? What am I saying, of course you did! To beat the quality of Shay Given from that kind of distance, he must have put some power through it. The ball finished in the corner and that shows you the precision. Shay Given made an amazing save to a first half strike from Arteta, from outside the box. He also saved one from Rosicky, but the free kick was just to good to be stopped. Later Arsene said,
I prefer it when he takes free-kicks with his laces because he has short feet. Usually the guys who have good insight have bigger, longer feet, and when a guy has short feet like that they are very talented at hitting the ball with their laces. The ball floats a little bit when they take it and I think he is more built to hit the free-kicks like that.
That might be too technical for me, but it's good to know that he knows his players really well and maybe those weren't panic buys after all.

About the negative, Arsene had almost played Kos, until he decided to pull him out of the team during warm up. He said that Kos had some problem with his knee and couldn't move after the warm up. Djourou replaced Kos, and did pretty alright except for an elbow in the nose from Emile Heskey that almost prompted another defensive replacement!

So that's 21 out of 21 now, and we have every reason to believe that we can keep our position, even if we have a couple of tough game. Seeing the way this team has shaped up in the last month, I strongly feel that we will keep our place.

Go Gunners!

EPL countdown: 8 to go!


  1. gun bandh padli ka.. no newer posts...

    1. No dude, I have been facing some problems lately, network wise and physically too. Just got off my bed last evening. But will surely be back to my usual pace now.

  2. gun bandh padli ka... no new posts...