Arsenal continued their Dr Jackyll & Mr Hyde season yesterday with an emphatic win against Everton. They were top class and controlled the game from start to finish, what a stark difference from the FA Cup game against Watford and the PL game against Swansea.
At Goodison the midfield passing was crisp, the defensive display was solid and the attack got the goals needed to win the game. Yesterday for me proved that Giroud and Walcott need to stay on the bench till the end of the season, Welbeck and Iwobi were excellent and got a goal apiece, the first from Welbz was outstanding and something both Giroud and Walcott would have fluffed.
Sanchez had a bit of a schizophrenic game, he set up the first goal for Danny but I watched him during the first half and once again he gave away possession on 6 or 7 occasions. He continues to run with the ball until he reaches a dead end, fails to pass and then tries to get past an opponent but instead loses possession. Perhaps it’s what most people think and he is trying too hard, but still, I view him as a liability at the moment.
Iwobi had a superb game, my MotM, topped by him getting his first goal for the cluub, he showed why he should now keep his place ahead of Walcott. Le Coq and the Egyptian were both solid in front of the defence and Elneny is definitely becoming the Ramsey / Cazorla replacement. He spreads the ball about with confidence and presses the opposition players when they have possession. Long may that partnership continue.
The defence for a change worked well together, Bellerin and Monreal as usual both put in a good shift and Paul Easter and Kos finally clicked and were solid as a rock in central defence.
Özil was his usual mercurial self, playing some lovely stuff but then disappearing or just strolling about as if he didn’t care, the jury is still out on that one!
The injury to Ospina was worrying but he seemed to play through it so I’m hoping it doesn’t affect him after the international break. Overall, it was an extremely fluid performance, similar to the way we played against Man United and Leicester. I did notice a couple of things however, firstly, we seemed to press more and higher up the field, something which really restricted Everton from getting out of their own half. Secondly, when defending there was more hoof-ball rather than trying to dribble the ball out of defence, again, something that restricted the opposition from gaining an advantage. I sincerely hope both tactics continue, I don’t mind hoof-ball when it’s needed, kick the fucking ball as far up field as possible when there is danger. Both tactics worked yesterday.
Everton in their frustration did revert to dirty play eventually and shame on the referee for not protecting our players and giving more yellow cards. I saw Bellirin get an elbow /arm in his face at one stage and it was a blatant foul that Clattenburg failed to penalise or decided to ignore, Refs really do need to be held accountable for their performances.
If we continue like that for the rest of the season I see no reason why we will not get third or even second place. Although there’s still a mathematical chance we can win the league, I think the eight points (if we win our game in hand) between us and Leicester is a bridge too far, we would have to win a minimum of seven out of our last eight games and Leicester would have to lose at least four of their remaining seven fixtures. They do have Man United and the Chavs away and West Ham and Everton at home, but realistically, I doubt they will lose four.
So it will come down to us or the genital warts from N17 as to who gets second. They’ve got Liverpool and the Chavs away and Man United at home, plus their last game is away to Newcastle, let’s hope Rafa has worked his magic by then and they need to win that game to stay up. We on the other hand, now have a fairly easy run in. Ok, we’ve said that on a few occasions this season and we haven’t been able to do the business, but, and it’s still a big BUT, if we play how we have in our games against Barca, the genital warts and yesterday at Goodison, then we can still keep the cock suckers where they deserve to be, deep in our shadow.
That’s what we are playing for now and if we do well, we could still win the title if Leicester suffer from the pressure and start dropping points. We can live in hope.