Owing to a busy weekend this is the first chance I’ve had to pen my thoughts on Saturday’s victory. It says much that 48 hours on all I can remember are the goals and a couple of other incidents.
That is not a criticism — far from it. It means this was a routine win in which we dealt with the opposition professionally, with no fuss and no drama. For the first time in many months I was relaxed from the first minute to the last as we dominated while keeping the visitors at arms length and registered an easy three points.
This was the Arsenal of old. We had about six decent chances and took half of them whilst restricting West Brom to hopeful pot shots. Their first effort on target was in the 85th minute and my daughter could’ve played instead of Szczesny and we’d still have kept a clean sheet.
There was no dodgy defending to recall, no magnificent saves from Szczesny, no alarming marking at set pieces, no anxiously looking at the clock to see how long we had to break the deadlock and no nervy last few minutes to see out.
Robin plays, Robin scores. If that continues who knows where we can finish
Instead we got hold of the game from the outset and never let go. I won’t bother with a typical match report as I expect you’ve all seen and read about the main incidents by now. From what I remember the first time we got behind them we scored, when Ramsey played a perfect pass to send Walcott clear and his parried effort was tapped in by van Persie. Once Vermaelen had swept home van Persie’s pull back shortly before the break the game was finished, especially as West Brom were missing Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie up front and their few counter attacks failed to test our backline.
The second half was a question of how many we wanted and it was nice to see Arteta finish off a good move to rifle in a deserved third. He grew as the game went on and I hope the goal will rekindle his early season form that had dipped a bit recently.
Other impressive performances came from Jenkinson (who delivered some excellent crosses and looks a great prospect, although his defensive abilities were never really tested) and Vermaelen, who was as steady and assured as ever and it’s fantastic to have such a big player back.
So a routine day at the office — that’s how it should be. The Chelsea match was wonderfully entertaining but both sides had 10 chances each and it could just as well have ended up 5-3 to the Chavs. I prefer games like this to be honest — games so short on drama that we’re relegated to slot six on Match of the Day and I struggle for material to write about. Let’s hope we can get back into the habit of winning a few more drama-less games to haul ourselves back into the top four.
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