A clash which showed that the game of football is really about two aspects, attacking and defending, and while the first has always been on the club’s crest, there is always the view that the art of defending has long become history as far as it concerns the Gunners.
What we saw today would prove that wrong, as this was about as accomplished a defensive performance as you would see all season from any team. It bore a strong resemblance to the last game of 2014 at Upton Park but like it was then, there was no breaking this Arsenal wall. All of the hardwork was nearly undone within 90 seconds but it still would not have been enough to prove that Steve Bould’s influence on training has failed to improve.
Finally World Class
11 goals in 19 games equals a goal average of more than 1 in 2, a record every manager will be proud of in his striker. He will never beat six men on a 40 yard sprint to score but Olivier Giroud’s 50th Arsenal goal shows signs that the former Montpellier man may now be arriving at his true potential. He has always been a slow starter and the Emirates supporters could be the chosen ones to enjoy the beauty of his finest days.
Master of assists, check. Beauty on the ball, check. Wonderful charitable guy, check. Since his arrival to the Premier League, Mesut Ozil’s weakness has been an apparent inability to stand his ground on the ball. We were told the gym instructors had to work overtime during the period of his injury last year and there were more occasions for us to see just how much of that is paying off now. He is not only holding off more challenges but making blocks and challenges himself. Running down to defend and shielding the ball out of play for an Arsenal goal kick felt as good as a goal and he should have got his reward with an assist with the same show of physical presence to hold his marker off. We can only hope for more.
But certainly Coquelin couldn’t get any better, could he? It would be nice if he were able to notch up some goals or assists but basically, the guy has been doing his primary job and there is clearly no stopping him now.
Finally Top four
Arsenal have now planted a firm foot in the top four and why do I have this strange feeling that there will be no slipping up again, especially if most of the remaining games are to be played at the Emirates?
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