Another week and Arsenal are still sitting on top of the league table; I’m starting to get used to saying that phrase. With each week those who predict the downfall of the Gunners are slowly coming round to the idea that Arsenal are a team to be taken seriously. The performances are being churned out, the results are coming through and the points are adding to the table. The high and good feeling amongst those concerned with the Arsenal is becoming sustainable, the belief is growing and whisper it quietly but this could be the year it all comes together and Arsenal can reap the benefits from years of penny pinching all in the name of a long term goal of silverware to complement the beautiful stadium.
Now the weekend is over I am sure everybody has had the chance to digest ‘that’ goal, I will just share with you some of my thoughts from Arsenal’s victory over Norwich City.
Goal of season contender
Oh yes, the goal, and what a fantastic goal it was. It was a privilege to be lucky enough to witness the goal right in front of me. My personal choice of position within the Emirates is amongst my brethren in the North Bank but on Saturday I was positioned neatly in the Clock End. Luckily for me that is where the amazing goal occurred. The move itself was so neat and tidy, the precision of the flicks were ones of such beauty that the goal was so swiftly executed it left the Arsenal fans (and the poor Norwich folk, Not!) still computing what they had witnessed. It really required a second look at the replay on the giant screens to actual confirm that really did happen. The stadium was united in applauding the ‘take a bow son’ moment. It really was a technically perfect team goal, the type of opportunity you associate with Arsenal apart from the bit when the ball hits the back of the net. It’s nice when it all comes off especially being there to witness it.
Despite the wonderful score line and quality goals experienced on Saturday the initial atmosphere in the stadium was quite flat at times. I know Arsenal fans unfairly get the tag of being home to the library but the Emirates does know how to raise the roof when the fans are up for it. I guess the level of excitement is parallel to the quality and/or history of the opponents. Norwich games don’t really carry any bad blood but their fans are one of my favourites to visit the Emirates. The banter is always top notch and I have fond memories of their visits last season and the season before. Grant Holt is gone so they can’t chant his name; we are over Robin Van Persie so they couldn’t rib us about missing him anymore. Instead all they could focus on was the library chants. All be it they were stunned into silence from Wilshere’s goal but soon found their voices when they pulled a goal back in the second half. Thankfully Aaron Ramsey had enough of their voices and shut them up for good with his goal and assist late in the half. The Arsenal fans did find their voices more in the second half but I could put the pin drop moments down to my next observation…
Lack of the Walcott/Ox factor
The problem if you can call it a problem is the efficiency in Arsenal’s play without the outlet of the pace of Theo Walcott is the reduction of bums of seats moments. The play is neat and tidy, even our goal of the season contender was so efficient I don’t think the fans got off their seats until the ball was already in the back of the net. The sight of Walcott tearing down the wing latching onto a through ball has been missed since his absence. Even with Cazorla back in the team only Walcott and to an extend Oxlade-Chamberlain offer the chance to stretch teams down the right hand side. Those moments get the fans jumping up in anticipation of a chance to score a goal; it adds something to the Arsenal performance. Not that the team had suffered without it. In previous seasons the loss of Walcott would be a heavy loss that harmed the team’s performances now there is so much quality and options in the Arsenal midfield that Arsene can try different combinations and still produce desired results. Arsenal may have to contend with more patient build up play in games but no one is complaining.
Dortmund are up next on Tuesday and the only hanging point is the potential loss of Mathieu Flamini from that game due to his concussion suffered against Norwich. His absence will be a big loss such is his impact made this season but we have able cover in midfield to cope.
Last point to mention is the fact I was lucky enough to get hold of Szczney’s goalie gloves after the game on Saturday when he threw them into the crowd; certainly a nice memento as the game will always be remembered for that goal which was scored in it and I now have a part of that game with me.
Enjoy your day people.
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