Monday, September 03, 2012

Par for the course

By William McMenemy.

All that worrying for nothing right? It was a ruthless performance at Anfield yesterday. There was worries about Arteta playing the ‘DM’ role (which I’m getting sick of writing) and worries over Mertesacker. 90 minutes later and two early bookings to overcome, they both performed well yesterday. 3 games, 3 clean sheets. It doesn’t get better than that for a start from Steve Bould. He’s definitely got the Boulden touch.

Also, praise for the much maligned Jenkinson is in order today. Best performance in an Arsenal shirt by far against a hot prospect in Sterling. He tackled well, tracked well and caused problems going forward. Still some issues when he’s on the ball in our own half but I’d rather that be an issue then his defending.

Another talking point is the performance of Abou Diaby. I’m not surprised, he’s capable of these excellent one off games. It’s his consistency that’s the issue. Whether it be injuries or poor performances, he’s not showed that consistency yet in an Arsenal shirt and the onus is on him now to put pressure on Wenger to keep him in what with Wilshere’s return coming soon.

Onto our goals and they were both fine goals. The first was a ruthless counter attack, one of our most ruthless in years. Gerrard gives the ball away and in the space of 3 passes, Podolski fired home. The first of what we hope is many no doubt but it’s still nice to see an assured finish from the German. He needed that, the team needed it, we needed it.

The second was a goal more akin to the goals we’ve scored in recent years. A period of possession outside their box followed swiftly by a crisp 1-2 between Cazorla and Podolski which resulted in a strong shot from Cazorla which Reina could not keep out.

The only thing missing to perfect the afternoon was a Giroud goal but you can’t have it all. He missed what was deemed a good chance by most although I personally thought it was a tad difficult but you expect a better effort on what was his stronger foot. Other than that he worked tirelessly hard again and won a lot of headers but none of his team mates were in tune with him. His goals will come, I’m sure of it and I’m sure the first will be against Southampton.

The fans were supreme, particularly for Giroud. They didn’t get on his back once, but kept singing his name. That’s how you help a new signing out.

So 3 games down, and we have 5 points. That’s par for the course so far for me. I looked at these opening 3 games and expected 5 points, although I thought the win would be against Sunderland. It’s a solid platform to build on, especially with the 3 clean sheets and one thing a Wenger side does well is do well when it’s going well. Slighty tongue twisty that phrase.

Southampton (h)
Manchester City (a)
Chelsea (h)
West Ham (a)
Norwich (a)
QPR (h)

That’s the next 6 and for me if we are on 18 points after those 6 games, we’ll still be par for the course. There’s a few CL games to be played in between some of these fixtures and our apparent ‘threadbare’ squad (Koscielny, Walcott, Wilshere, Sagna and  Szczesny did not feature at Anfield) will be tested a bit but I see no reason why we can’t pick up 13 points from those games.

It’s nice to be talking about goals and performances and not poxy DM’s and transfer windows isn’t it?


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