By 1970’s Gooner
Watching during those opening 25 minutes you wouldn’t have thought that Arsenal’s supremacy would eventually have been so easy.
Wolves were pressing the midfield areas of the pitch with gusto and determination not allowing the Arsenal players room to turn.
And if it wasn’t for good defending and Berra’s inability to head towards Arsenal’s goal, when presented with a free header, Wolves would have gone ahead.
It would have been quite a different game after that.
What was wrong during that opening half hour was Wenger’s decision to rest Song and play Ramsey instead.
The little Welsh wizard is a very good player and will grow into a great player but he surely cannot be expected to replace someone as good as Song.
Especially if along side him was Diaby who is of course improving but alas proved not good enough to give young Ramsey the support he needed.
So and don’t get me wrong, I was “pleased” when Diaby had to come off (with a calf strain). As soon as Song came on he bossed that area as only he can. Wolves could not bully us anymore and then Arsenal’s beautiful football took over.
Culminating in that sublime Fabregas goal, Arsenal’s third, after himself moving the ball from defence onto Sagna on the right who then crossed for van Persie in the area who, in one touch, laid it back onto the oncoming Fabregas who promptly dispatched it into the net. FANTASTIC
The worrying thing about today’s performance is that it has shown how vulnerable this Arsenal side can be when Song goes away to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Whoever Wenger picks to replace Song will need to step up the plate if Arsenal are to have a realistic chance to win something this season.
Where team selection proved its worth tonight was in picking Eduardo as one of the wide players in Arsenal’s 4 3 3 formation, although as Tony Adams has revealed, Wenger considers it as a 4 1 4 1 formation.
Whatever it really is it has revolutionised Arsenal’s performances this season and helps to explain why we are scoring so many goals.
Fabregas is of course playing in the more forward positions now. This means that he moves forward to give support to van Persie and therefore can find himself in the more dangerous areas of the pitch and influence matters from there. His “maturity” and clinical finishing inevitably mean that he is among the goals.
But further than this the two wide men are also further up the field feeling more secure with the three midfield men shoring the areas behind them.
That is why Arsenal are pressing much more up the field keeping the opponents pinned in their half especially when their defenders have the ball.
This system depends crucially on the effectiveness of the three midfield men especially the two more destructive midfielders. If they are on top of their game and keep control of the midfield stopping the opposition from playing their football then it can work.
It only worked today when Song came on.