Why did I fear yesterdays NLD, it really was a piece of cake wasn’t it…..
Apart from a deflected shot which clipped Koscielny in the first half and a desperate last ten mins of basically playing hoof ball into our box to try and grab an equilizer did they really cause us many problems? I’d say not really, no created chances and very little to show for a lot of money spent. Tottenham barely troubled Szczesny. Whatever was thrown at our Pole though he certainly handled with care, especially that first half save.
In front of him was a resolute back four. Ok at times, especially early on, both Gibbs and Jenkinson had a few stutters but as the game went on, their game went up a gear. Centrally, Kos and Merts were solid from start to finish.
In front of them was a midfield of Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky and Cazorla, not the tallest overall, but that didn’t stop them fighting for every ball and apart from early in the second half when we had a period of being unable to keep the ball, we won that midfield battle. Not even the big strong Etienne Capoue feared any of our little ‘uns….
I’m not even sure who was meant to be where as they seemed to cover ground everywhere. I’m sure someone will tell me how we set up etc etc but in all honesty, I don’t care, not today.
Then in front of them was Giroud and Walcott, the latter had a quiet game but was crucial for the goal, providing the perfect cross for Giroud, whose movement towards the near post was perfectly timed. His finish was world class. He could only have had a couple of inches to aim for but he found that small space and left Lloris with no chance of stopping his pinpoint shot.
Walcott had a few half chances but Lloris was on fire, without him between the sticks, the scoreline would have been much greater in our favour. He really was outstanding. Ramsey had a good chance to make it 2-0 but unlike him of late, he fired his shot high over the bar. Walcott and Giroud were also guilty of not taking other chances that fell their way.
Cazorla saw his first free kick saved well, his second was cheeky as he fired it under the jumping defensive wall, only to see it miss by a whisker….
Jack had to leave the pitch with a stomach upset just before half-time and on in his place came Mathieu Flamini, his first crunching tackle let Tottenham know he was back and meant business. It also earned him a booking.
Half-time saw Flamini stay on the pitch with the sprinklers…..
Nothing of great note happened in the second half……. Like heck!
The second half we dropped our level allowing the Toots to enjoy a bit of possession, even when we won the ball back, we were a bit sloppy in possession but that didn’t last too long….
Szczesny made another top class save to keep Defoe out, the defence, midfield and forwards defended like their lives depended on it – Walcott forced another save from Lloris which he could only parry to Monreal and how he didn’t make it 2-0, I’ll never know.
The Totts gave their all to nick an equaliser as the game drew to a close, but there was no chance that our players were going to let that happen. They threw whatever part of their body in front of everything thrown toward the goal.
They were a team, they were united and they all wanted that victory, they got it.
And well deserved it was too. Top top class performance…….
The day was set up by Olivier Giroud who tweeted before the game:
Big Derby game, we are ready, passion, commitment, need the fans, attitude, strength and honour.
Boy did those fans at The Emirates oblige!
For a while now, we have seen numerous empty seats at the ground, fans too busy using their mobile phones or other devices rather than watch what has been going on on the pitch. Fans have been quiet, the stadium has very quiet, more like a ballet was taking place rather than a football match…
But all that changed yesterday, fans were loud and proud from the moment the players walked onto the pitch until the moment they left, they were magnificent…
They set the tone of the day, they made it very clear that yesterday mattered, the players followed that theme on the pitch. The fans and players were united as one, they all wanted one result and they got it.
As the game came to an end and some of the players looked on their last legs, the fans seemed to carry them through with their voices.
In return the the players gave everything, there was no way in the world that our 1-0 lead was going going to be surrendered…
And it wasn’t…
When the fans see the effort on the pitch they respond and yes it was the swampies but it would be the same week in week out if we saw that kind of effort and commitment and passion from the players on the pitch.
The fans feed off of that passion and drive and in return the team will get the fans onside and get a huge lift. One drives on the other in my opinion and it’s been a long time in coming. We need it to continue and if the players show those same qualities throughout most of the season then the results will follow and the support will always be behind them no matter what.
The atmosphere lifts the team lets hope it’s like yesterday for the rest of the season, it most definitely makes a difference.
What a day for Arsenal FC, the players and all of us who support this mighty fine club….
The Daily Telegraph report that Arsene Wenger is ready to spend £80 million today..
Do that Arsene and you may just witness that same kind of support each and every week.
Have a good day all…..