By 1970’s Gooner
I feared that Newcastle will provide very stiff resistance coupled with offensive capability. Demba Ba along with Ben Arfa and Oberton just behind provided an attacking threat in the first half that threatened to derail us.
They were supported by a very combative central midfield which included Tiote and Cabaye. Add to that mix their manager Alan Pardew who,due to previous history with Wenger, always manages to create problems for us.
And it looked like that when they got their goal. I knew then that we were in for a hard night.
The main reason for that was Kieran Gibbs’ positioning. He was way out of position when Arfa received the ball and when he did get back into position he made the mistake of allowing Arfa on to his favoured left foot rather than directing him to the other direction.
Gibbs has not been at his best since his come back from injury. His positioning in recent games has left a lot to be desired and the same has to be said of his attacking forays. He rarely gets round his man when he is forward and his rare crosses are not up to standard.
I hope that with more games he will improve but it has to be said that due to the brilliance of all the other outfield players at the moment his displays stand out so much more. He is the weakest link now.
And what brilliant displays we are all enjoying. Brilliant displays from new found leaders running down the spine of this Arsenal team.
At the back Vermaelen has, since his return to the team but more importantly in his preferred position in the middle of the defence, been absolutely fantastic. A real leader in defence but also going forward for the dead ball situations as well of course committing to attack when required.
In central midfield Arsenal have found their maestro. An orchestrator that this team has so obviously been lacking ever since Cesc departed and Wilshere vacated due to injury. Tomas Rosicky has provided determination, speed, forward passes and tenacity. A new leader in a very important area of the pitch.
And of course RVP has been a leader since this remarkable season started. He leads from the front and this I think inspires the rest of the team to follow suit.
If Theo keeps this level of performance then he will be another ‘leader’. And what a fantastic performance he put in last night. He was simply unplayable.
The quality of the display, the pathos and work ethos of all the players and above all the quality that this team contains make them as good or even better as the two top teams in the League.