No More Counter at a Canter
As Gooners, i am sure that one and all of you, esteemed readers, will be bathing in the warm afterglow of a sumptuous result yesterday at 'The Lame', as if enjoying an extra-long cigarette after a particularly satisfying bout of coital activity.
And whilst i would not advise anyone to take up smoking, i can wholeheartedly approve of the smoking manner in which we played some of our counter-attacking football yesterday, highlighted by our second goal.
In the past season or two, talk has been of how Arsenal's play had become slowed down and almost too intricate at times, since PV4 and Bobby Pires exited the club. But yesterday, The Arsenal provided many a counter-thrust that was conducted at high intensity and pace. And I have to say, it was beautiful to see.
This may have been because it was a North London Derby, which are always conducted at a frenetic level of pace and intensity, yet our attacking play from 1.30pm yesterday was fast, without compromising on accuracy (for the most part...). The running was good, the passes picked out and the movement excellent.
I do not wish to dwell too much on yesterday's match (on here anyways, as LD shall of course be providing a full write-up of the experience for you all, to ensure that one day on, the feeling of satisfaction is re-kindled to full-time level, but rest assured that in my head, I have been going over the game again and again), but suffice to say that, I do hope to see the team display that level of intensity in our attacking play much more often through out this season. The signs are good, it must be said.
The growth of the team into itself, the greater understanding they have a year on from this time out last season, and the fight they have for each other - they all bode well for this current campaign.
Of course, one win is but three points, even if it is against our 'nearest and dearest', and it is important to not get carried away. We have all been enjoying the fact that - so far this season - we have slipped under the radar, as Arsenal were overlooked by the media and the pundits as challengers for the Premier League; we all expected an upping of performance and consistency from the team this time round, and have all been quietly confident that they may perform above the expectations of the 'experts', and the signs are that this may be coming good.
On Gunnerblog, GilbertoSilver wrote a piece on saturday entitled 'Beat Spurs, and I will believe we can win the title'. Let's see if any of the media begin altering their opinions on this side. It matters not either way, but I still think I would prefer us to be allowed to go about our business unheralded. To come away with the title (if we were to do that...) at the end of the season would feel all the sweeter as a result.
Yet this all lies in the future. For now, let us enjoy the fact that the table tells us we are the top side in the Premier League at this moment in time. Not bad for a team that was a 'sinking ship' according to spuds fans, after the exit of one M. Henry.
This was our sternest test so far this season, an exceedingly treacherous away fixture where it would have been very easy to slip up. And we passed very well, both in terms of result and performance.
And all this whilst apparently also not having any real wingers (myself excluded, this 'Wingers' is very real). Yet who needs wingers when you have the trickery and fine interplay of Rosicky and Hleb, allied to the blistering forward forays of messrs Clichy and Sagna. I swear that at times yesterday, I saw young Gael leaving a vapour trail in his wake. This system seems to work well for us - but one question is, can it be sustained over the course of a while season? One would certainly hope so.
As I mentioned earlier, I spoke of the team's 'fight for one another', which brings me to my favourite moment in the match. After Ade scored the third goal, the camera cut to a shot of Arsene walking back from the touchline, to his seat on the bench, where he tapped Robin van Persie (who had been substituted earlier) on the shoulder - RvP turned round, and both of them beaming, they shared a warm handshake. I loved seeing that, it spoke volumes. I believe there is a lot of unity in this squad. And that can be the main thing above all that leads us onto great things for the challenges ahead.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, one and all.