Sunday, February 28, 2010
Arsenal have renewed belief again
By 1970’s Gooner
Everyone considered the away game at Stoke as the next big test for the Gunners. Like Bolton away used to be before big fat Sam thankfully believed he could manage at a higher level than he is actually capable of.
And sure enough it looked that we couldn’t find an answer to the long throw ins and the physical side of the game.
It seems that our defensive coaching is surely lacking, as again players at the far post went AWOL.
Both Sagna and particularly Eboue just walked away from the far post. Surely they must have been told that it’s the second ball that has to be defended as much as the first.
How naïve and annoying it is to concede an away goal with Arsenal players abandoning their position from a set piece, again.
Remember Clichy’s walk about for Chelsea’s fist goal at Stamford Bridge?
And once you go a goal behind in an away game then it gets even more difficult giving the home team belief and something to hold on to.
But the way we fought back will have given a strong boost to the player’s belief, especially with Chelsea dropping points again.
It seems that Terry’s off the field behaviour but more importantly Cech’s replacement hilariously combined to bring about a defeat that a lot of you couldn’t foresee.
You see, it’s not only Arsenal that has to put up with replacing important players through injury. Now it’s Chelsea but next it could be Manchester United. We have had our share of bad luck you might say…
Of course what stood out at Stoke was the Arsenal players’ reaction to Ramsey’s horrific injury. They played football and run the opponents rugged eventually getting just rewards.
This of course was not the reaction that came after Eduardo’s injury at Birmingham two seasons ago where Arsenal’s challenge began to fall apart.
In a strange way the happenings in yesterday’s game could spur Arsenal on to strongly challenge for the title this time rather than wilt away.
It must be said however that after the Ramsey injury two other factors worked in Arsenal’s favour.
The first and most obvious one is the fact that Stoke had to play with ten men. The other was their obvious and increasing tiredness partly explained by their efforts against Manchester City in the Cup a few days before.
Nevertheless there were some other very encouraging signs to come out of this game.
The first is the obvious increasing fitness levels of several players like Clichy, Nasri, Rosicky and Bendtner.
The second is Bendtner’s scoring form. His second in successive games and what a centre forward’s goal that was!
I tell you Bendtner will flourish in this position and will prove a very significant player in our challenge for the title. He also offered an outlet or plan B. Something that was not there ever since van Persie has been out.
And we hit Stoke with a piece of their own medicine. A high ball into the box rather than messing about around their penalty area with short passes to feet.
The third is Sol Campell’s fantastic fitness level and form. I am astounded. He looks great and plays like he used to, like he never left Arsenal. And his experience is vey valuable.
I hope Wenger does not rest him for the next game though I fear he will…You know what I am thinking don’t you? Silvestre….oh my God.