Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts on the Arsenal victory

Make no mistake, todays win was an important one.

With eyes upon us, and an air of expectation around the stadium we turned in a result and performance that suggested this side could be ready to achieve something.

With a more defensive formation, we managed to combine both endeavour and an attacking threat to come away with all three points when at one stage we may well have been facing a defeat.

It was a very watchable first half - and I thought we looked very comfortable - the selections of de Jong and Bellamy to supplement the defensive side of the game were justified as we stymied Arsenal for the most part. We looked solid at the back, were the more fluent and lively side and deserved the lead at the break.

It was interesting to see the opening goal the result of another set piece, and the threat we possess - with Richards, Lescott et al gives us a dangerous presence that we have lacked for such a long time.

You expected more from Arsenal after the break and we saw a more purposeful side, one ignited by the introduction Rosicky and this saw us come under heavy pressure. Shay Given again proved his value with a pair of excellent saves but a moment of quality brought Arsenal on level terms.

At 1-1 Arsenal then looked the side who would go on to take all three points, but there is a greater belief about this side, untainted by collapses of City past. I was concerned that we lacked the ability to conjour a winner up in the side without Tevez or Robinho, but one thing we do possess is pace and this threat led to the remarkable passage of play that saw us take the points in style.

The value of Petrov coming off the bench should not be underestimated either, his natural width allowing us to stretch the play and with Arsenal sensing their opportunity for victory, this created an opening for us as we sealed the victory with three counter-attacking goals of the highest quality that Arsenal had no response to.

The celebration by Adebayor following the third goal was unwarranted though. Yes he was fired up and to be booed at every touch (deserved or not) would surely rankle, yet a distance of 95 yards is surely enough to override any spur of the moment action or thought. Should censure arive from the FA, this could be even more ill-timed given his importance next Sunday.

Showing that we have not quite eradicated some of our more frustrating traits, we conceded again and on another occasion could have seen a penalty awarded for a handball against Gareth Barry, but there is no doubt victory over the course of the ninety minutes was deserved.

Our best start then for 48 years and a significant one in that after surrendering a lead, we had the wherewithal to then go on and win the game against an Arsenal side who, contrary to some predictions, will be a player in the top four.

Pleasing for Hughes that it was achieved with resolve and endeavour but also with the quality to product the goals that won us the game - and this without either Tevez or Robinho.

Traits which we will certainly need in our next fixture.

vote it up!


Elby the Beserk said...

Hat tip to Hughes. He's doing a fine job of getting the best from the squad, and of shutting up the moaners. Work to do yet, but it is very early doors really. Well done that man!

Danny Pugsley said...

I agree completely. The performances so far this season I think have been vindication for the decision to keep hold of Hughes when the heat was on last season.

Anonymous said...

Adebayor gets away with horrid tackle on Fabregas and minutes later a stamp on Van Persie but booked for celebrating.
What was clettenberg thinking...???
Is it a tackle-free-for-all on the Arsenal players?
Adebayor got away with murder, and he knows it.

Anonymous said...

the better side? deserved the victory???
so - about which game do you write?
an own goal, a goal from an player that should have been sent off (twice), another penalty not given, hit the post, ...
deserved? the better team?
dream on ...

ChrisR said...

No wonder you stay anonymous, I'd be embarrassed too with those comments. When will arsenal fans learn that passing the ball sideways does not merit victory!?
If you can be so one-sided, how about...
Van Persie should have been sent off for the tackle when he got stamped on. If the ref had blown instantly, Ade may not have had time to stamp.. Song should have gone for his off the ball swipe at Ade (no attempt for the ball, seen plenty given- Guthrie for example). SWP missed from a yard out. Ireland should have scored or set up a goal in the first half break.

Or we could look at a scoreline that shows we scored two extra goals than you, which back in the good old days used to deserve a win, no?

And finally, lets not have any Arsenal fans using Ade's celebration as an excuse for their hooliganism. Ade didn't injure any stewards, that was purely your fans. The anger on some of those fans' faces was incredible, and completely unnescessary. If you can boo his every toch, he can celebrate without things beng thrown at him. Van Persie celebrated in front of the City fans, shouting crap, and what happened? Buggar all. No excuses