Goodmorning. Bonjour. E kaaro… An Arsenal win sure can turn one multi-lingual.
The season started with trepidation, what with the departure of two of the team’s best performers from the season before, Robbing van Pursestrings;the league’s highest goalscorer and cunt of all-time, and Alex Song, the swan who thought himself a peacock (now that I think about it,he sure had a lot of colours on him). The arrival of the trio of Santi, Poldi and Giroud did little to calm Gooner hearts, worse still when the gaffer refused to be browbeaten into making any more buys before the transfer window closed. Draws against Sunderland and Stoke gave fodder to the doomsayers (le-grove take note) and talks of depth were brought up after even the Liverpool win; the question was what if Diaby gets injured?
Fast-forward to Saturday, September 15th, 2012, venue is the Emirates stadium where the team has had 4 draws in its last 4 matches; the visiting team is Southampton, a team the two Manchesters laboured to beat and most of all, no Diaby. Perfect time for the gaffer’s much-discussed,alleged and vaunted lack of tactical nous to be brought to the fore…tick tock, it is 3pm Nigerian time;it is kick-off time… and we are away…
It is 4:50pm, the referee has blown the final whistle and…wait…it is 6-1! to the Arsenal. This can’t be happening, we were supposed to be struggling, this team is supposed to be down and out. How did this happen?
For those who, for a reason or the other, didn’t see the match (and those who did but can’t believe their eyes), herein is how it went down.
The line-up for the Arsenal was the same as beat Liverpool with only two changes to personnel in the form of back-from-injury Sczesny in goal and Le Coq for the rested Diaby. The game kicked off with the Arsenal looking businesslike and taking the game to the Saints. The pressure was quite high and maintained and it was only a matter of time before something gave. The 11th minute was the time,Poldi collected the ball midway between the opponent’s goal and the halfway line, met obstacles, fought through and spread the ball to the wings where Gibbs waited, collected the pass and sent a cross-cum-shot into the goal area, though caught by the goalie it was fumbled in for an own goal by a Saint defender…1st goal and a precursor of things to come. A clumsy challenge on Coquelin by Davies (wonder how he finished the match on just 1 yellow) led to a freekivk just outside the box; a freekick that was sumptiously curled over the wall and into the net by Lukas. 2 nil Arsenal. Another own goal fromk a Gibbs cross, a goal by Gerv after being found by an Arteta lofted pass completed the first half goals but not before we waved au revoir to the clean sheets after an uncharacteristic fumble by Sczesny allowed for a goal.
The 2nd half saw a revived Soton but then the damage was done. Ramsey came in, Theo for Gerv who was deservedly given a standing ovation and Olivier for the last quarter of the match with Theo scoring a rebound to close out the game at 6-1.
It was another virtuoso performance by Arteta, Santi, TV05, Per, Jenk, Gibbs, Gerv… You get the drift; the team was awesome and didn’t look like they actually stepped up the gear to get this win and best of all, killed the game early on. Le Coq made a good case for a place in the starting line -up with an efficient and disciplined display ( the word discipline is fast becoming synonymous with Arsenal).
For those of you who like stats, well the Arsenal had just 50% of possession, scored six goals, conceded one…and Bouldy was with his iPad.
That would be all for now. Till I come your way again, namaste and obviously, Arsene knows.