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Wednesday 7 October 2015

What Can You Do When Arsenal Do What They Do ?

Well that was more like it, the contrast in performance from Arsenal from their last two matches, both at home, is only something that Arsenal can do. That first 20 minutes you would have to say is some of the best football we have seen from an Arsenal team over the last few seasons. Not only that but I struggle to find any game in which we started as good as we did. We were sharp, fast, focused and determined; you could say the exact opposite of Tuesday night. Not only does the victory lift us above United, it also leaves us 2nd only two points off their City rivals at the top of the table.

I said the Premier League was better than any t.v scripted drama you will see and this was another classic for Arsenal fans, especially given how decisively the cast had reversed the script. I think it's time to stop trying to predict what this team will do and to simply sit back and enjoy the football; it's what Arsene wants you to do. 'Wengerball' at it's finest, most encouragingly of all, built on a strong foundation.

This was our first league win since 2011 against Sunday's opponents, and will surely boost the team's confidence. The Arsenal team is always criticized for results against the best teams, and this win is further highlighting an upward curve for the team. We have beaten all our major rivals in 2015. From the imperious victory at City, to Welbeck haunting United (at Old Trafford) in the F.A Cup, to the trashing of Liverpool, Chelsea in the community shield, Spurs needed a 'Flambulance' and so on; we are significantly improving. Just don't expect to hear that in the press. But let's not get carried away, it was still just 3 points after all.

Mertesacker was keen to impress upon people how well he thought the team had 'clicked defensively', as per;

“We had a good understanding [defensively],” he said. “I think a lot clicked today.
“If one of us won a duel, the other would be there and that was the same in the second half. If he [Anthony Martial] ran past one of us, which can happen, someone else would be there straight away.
“It went well from the start and that’s always crucial. When you take your chances and are strong defensively, that’s a clear indicator that you feel good.
“[Sunday] was just special and then it’s always difficult for your opponents to gain a foothold when they are so far behind after 15 minutes.”
You could see how much the team wanted to respond [from Olympiacos]. As a team you try and remind yourself of what you can achieve and you could see that we have a lot of confidence.
“I hope that we can display that again in two weeks.”

We also heard from other players, like Coquelin who believes the win has silenced Arsenal's critics and Theo Walcott, who had an outstanding game wants to see consistency and the same level of performance every week. It's encouraging to hear the players speak well, lets just hope they can continue to play as well on the pitch as they talk off it.

I thought the whole team played well and there isn't any one individual you can point at and say they had a bad game. At the back we can once again thank big Pete in goal for that crucial save right on half time from Martial. We all know that had we gone in at 3-1 then it would have been a very nervy second half. The rest of our back line was very impressive, with both fullbacks continuing their excellent form. In the middle Gabriel once again showed that he can play with either Per or Koscielny. Mertesacker was his usual self; his leadership and organization are crucial.

In the middle the Cazorla-Coquelin axis was as imperious as ever, the Frenchman's contribution is, perhaps, best seen by his crucial intervention near the touchline to win the ball back in the build up to the first goal. He does this time and time again. Let's pray he stays fit all season. Ramsey once again put in a great shift, although it was irritating to see him miss that great chance to make it 4-0. We all know the Ramsey of a couple of years ago would have scored that. He seems to lack confidence in the final third, and is very rash at times in the box. I'm sure when he gets his first goal of the season that will change.

Then we come to the three forward players who absolutely blitzed United's back line. Walcott, although he didn't score, you would have to say put in his best performance as the front man. He made the runs and created space, but more than anything he actually made a slide tackle. Then we have our little German Mesut Ozil who once again highlighted what a truly fantastic player he is. He scored and he assisted, but for me it was more about his flicks and touches and how easy he makes everything look. He does things no other payer would think of and is two steps ahead of every player on the pitch.

Then we come to Sanchez who really is making up for lost time at the beginning of the season. He looks so sharp and is without doubt back to his best. Where you might say that the best of Ozil's work goes unnoticed, Sanchez is the exact opposite and I think that balance between both of those players is a frightening prospect for any team, Bayern Munich included. Alexis has now scored 6 goals in his last three games; and the quality of the goals again Sunday was absolutely delicious. That near post flick and the edge of the box blaster again show the different sides to his game; there is no holding him back. The only area of concern is the fact that he was substituted with a minor groin injury and as we know, there is no stopping him from international duty and although this may come back to bite us in the arse; what a breath of fresh air he is in football.

I don't think there is a team in the league that can handle us when we do what we do. When we play football like that at such a high quality with the pace and movement we are the best team in the league. The win leaves us in a great position for the league. Man City are rightfully favourites, but we all know they are capable of imploding at any given moment; we shouldn't fear them. We have a chance of winning it this year, as much to do with our rivals deficiencies as to do with any strengths we may have. If we can stay within 5 or 6 points at Christmas, then with our tendency to go from strength to strength in the second half of season's, you never know. There is no set script nor any narratives; only the ones you write for yourself exists in this league. Let's take it game by game.

One pertinent point must be made, this win (more specifically, the performance) seems to be the exception that proves the rule; it's why it has been championed so much, not just from Arsenal fans, but pundits and journalists alike. They weren't expecting what happened to transpire. Not necessarily that Arsenal won the match, but the manner in which they did, scintillating football with a rock solid defence; it was how Arsenal controlled this game through defence and attack which is most impressive of all. It's time we made that our rule and Olympiacos our exception. We have to put in these performances every week.

Right I'll leave it there, What do you think about our title chances ? What about the performance? Who was our best player? Let me know in the comments below!

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Have a good one,

Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.

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