Tuesday 13 March 2012

RvP+Verminator, Captain Fantastic & Vice-captain Ballistic!

Some crazy game this football.It might just be the next thing after daily soaps to portray all kinds of emotions. We have been through hell this season, and the blazing form in the past five matches has seen us rise to the fourth spot and knocking on door for third spot. First time in the Premier League history that a team has four consecutive wins coming from behind. It's not the win alone, but the manner with which they have been achieved.Of course, when you hit rock-bottom, there's only one place you can go, and that is up.

We started the game with our regular passing game, but Newcastle looked comfortable too and apart from a close chance missed by RVP(yes, he's human too), there weren't any breathtaking moments. Newcastle got the lead on the half hour mark from a neat finish by Ben Arfa. It was TV who lost the ball cheaply and then Kieran Gibbs over committed himself defending against Ben Arfa, who came inside and slotted the ball, beating Szczesny at the near post. Though no keeper likes to be beaten at the near post, there was little Szczesny could do. Maybe he was blinded for a minute because of Gibbs, but credit to Ben Arfa for the finish.

If this match had been played by our dispirited side, in January, it would have been very difficult to get back into the game and the opposition could have easily rolled over us. But it has been a refreshing last month, the players have shown great spirit and tenacity to not let such situations drown them. Amazingly, after giving away the goal, even before I could say, "Oh no, not again!", RVP equalized at the other end. Rosicky laid a neat pass wide towards Walcott, who hit a low cross to RVP. RVP, as you would expect took one touch to disorient Williamson and another calm touch to get away from him and he equalised for Arsenal. If you think the two touches were brilliant, the goal was just phenomenal. The composure and balance in that finish was simply exquisite, no wonder it was RVP who got the goal.

Walcott and Rosicky were brilliant throughout the game. It was a testimony to Arsene's persistent belief in both of them. Rosicky has been scorching the pitch since the last five games and deservedly earned his contract extension. Walcott on the other end was just to hot to handle for, firstly Santon, and later on after he got subbed, Perch. Both of them just couldn't come in terms with his movement and the runs he made behind them. Almost every time he got the ball, it looked like it could end up in the goal. He must have given at least half a dozen crosses in the penalty area and it was surprise that RVP missed a couple of them and Rosicky one.

Ox was virtually non-existent in the first half but came around in the second. His shot on the volley, outside the box, after controlling the ball brilliantly on his chest, missed the goal by inches. It was glimpse of the talent that he possesses and all that is to come in the future. Arteta controlled the midfield nicely and played alongside Song very well.
Arsene praised his team for their "never-say-die" attitude,
Certainly the fact we have done it before helped us. Even when we were 1-0 down we just kept going and we feel now at the moment in the team we just have that complete and total commitment to do as well as we can and give absolutely everything.
We kept pushing Newcastle behind, and looked likely to score the second winner. Our first half ended with the scores leveled at 1-1. In the second half, we picked up where we left off. Most of our attacks came from the wings, either from the full backs or the wingers. Maybe that is why Newcastle couldn't put a string of attacks together. They tried to catch us on the break, but they were intercepted in most of their plays. Rosicky showed offered that extra creativity while attacking, and was equally tight while defending and winning back the possession. While assessing his own performance, he said,
I am very happy. I wanted to continue here and I am enjoying it very much so I am glad that I am staying. I am trying my best and enjoying the run of games that I am playing. Sometimes in the past it has been difficult when you play once in two weeks, sometimes it is not easy. You can see now that I have the rhythm of the games and that is what I needed. As you can see I think I am contributing well and I want to continue like that.
Arsenal got into the tricky period where it could have gone either way, but we kept up the tempo and offered very little to Newcastle. Krul tried to push the minutes, by prolonging his goal kicks, free kicks etc.
RVP tried to get him moving a couple of times and Webb had to interfere. But Arsenal were not ready to look at the things that were going against them. They were given 5 minutes of injury time to win 3 points, which was largely due to Newcastle's time wasting tactics.

The first four minutes saw 2 chances being defended by Newcastle. In the last minute of stoppage time, we got off on the break and RVP led the counter attack. Song took over and let RVP go forward. He passed the ball wide to Walcott, who made no mistake with the cross, but just when it looked to have missed everyone, including the keeper, TV had ran the length of the pitch and offered that extra body in Newcastle's penalty area and got the equaliser. He showed great commitment in making that run, especially, after a toiling 94 minutes. 10 goals from 50 odd games is a very good record for a defender!

Once again it was a last gasp winner from Arsenal and though my lungs don't appreciate such tense moments, I very well do. Strangely, this time there was a feeling that there was winner coming, with the assault that Arsenal launched on Newcastle in injury time. The celebration just showed how much Arsenal desired this. RVP and his international team mate, Krul, had a go at each other after the goal. Though the reason for that was not known, both of them got an yellow for their behavior.

The recent displays have shown burning desire in this team, that was missing in our poor run during January. But with our fullbacks out injured during that period, it was tough to get through the month. With Arsenal returning to almost full strength, things are looking very positive. I am glad that the team kept their momentum going and hope that they'll continue to fight in every game. We cannot afford any more slip up's in the season. Rosicky has warned his team against complacency,
If we take our foot off the gas then we will pay for it. Newcastle are a good side who are tough to play against, nobody will give you anything for free so we had to fight hard. It is what we are doing and I am enjoying playing in this side very much.
We have a good 10 days rest before we play our next game against Everton. The rest will definitely help in recharging the team and preparing for another spirited performance.

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