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Enthralling Match Shows How Far We've Come

Enthralling Match Shows How Far We've Come

A mere few months ago, we were, let`s face it, bollocksed, an horrendous start to the season saw us in the bottom third of the table, and whilst relegation wasn`t that much on my mind, it did seem hard to see where and how we were going to start climbing the table.

Our worst start in Premier League history coupled with our worst defeat in 120 years, we`d lost some of our best players and I`m sure many of you joined me in feeling we had hit rock bottom.

Arsene Wenger had brought in Gervinho in over the summer, but the lack of incoming players was also a massive concern. However in our first ever exciting "Transfer Deadline Day" (Trademark owned by Sky Sports News), Le Boss brought in Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker on permanent deals and Yossi Benayoun on loan.

Many pointed a finger at Arsene claiming these were panic buys, however each and everyone of them has played their part in our rehabilitation. Yossi to a lesser extent, but hey, he is only on loan!

Of course we`ve been aided on our way by the continued emergence of the fabulous Wojciech Szczesny, and most notably the man who on current form I consider to be the best striker on the planet, Robin van Persie.

Like most recoverys, it`s been a tough one, scraped results here and there, bad performances just enough to see us through, but the more we won, the better we got, culminating in a thrilling game at the City of Manchester Stadium yesterday (I don`t advertise for my own club by refering to it`s sponsored name, no chance of me doing it for someone else).

Of course some might think it odd that the barrometer to measure our progression might be a 1-0 reverse away at one of our rivals, but when you consider what we have been through, not to mention what we were up against, then there`s no more proof needed, when you look at our performance, to know that we`re back!

We have to be realistic and say we just can`t compete financially with Man City (or Chelsea), so over the course of the season it`s going to be an almost impossible task to best them, but over the course of 90 minutes we stood toe to toe with them, trading blows with such ferocity I was sure the players would all collapse with exhaustion before the end.

Yes, City were worthy of their 1-0, but on the flip side of the coin they couldn`t have any complaints had Thomas Vermaelen`s late effort crept inside the post. It`s just one of those games where someone has to lose, even though they might not deserve it, unfortunately for us, it was our turn.

It was a crazy game, one that both teams should be proud of participating in, but our players and fans should be proud of our efforts, that was a tough game, against the toughest opponents in England, and whilst some might bemoan how City came by this amazing team, we`d be much better off focussing on what we can influence, and that seems to be what Arsene Wenger has done rather well.

If we can keep performing like this till the end of the season, we`ll have no problems finishing in the top four.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday December 19 2011
Time: 1:29PM


Well said. That we gave so much does make me worry for Wednesday :-/
19/12/2011 13:37:00
Good article Rocky. Things certainly look a lot more rosy for Arsenal now in comparison to that disastrous start. The only concern I would have is the obvious over reliance on RVP ( who I agree is the best striker in the world at the moment ) for goals, I'm not suggesting you're a one man team or anything ridiculous like that but the rest of the team need to start chipping in with their fair share. It was a cracking game and it's good to be on here talking football for a change. Good luck for the rest of the season and I'd also like to wish you all a very happy Christmas.
19/12/2011 14:56:00
A great game and the next time we meet it will be in our back yard. I thought they were starting to tire towards the end of the game. Noticed that they cut theo out by ganging up on him and stopping any effect he could have on the game. It changed when he stated to move towards the centre of our attack by the boss subbed him. Loved the fact he was annoyed at being subbed which shows how players in our side now react; except for a certain Russian who I suspect can play better but does not care or is interested in putting a real effort in. At a recent QA Martin asked the question that he thought the Russian did not love the club and apart from his match at Liverpool had been missing disinterested. I attacking one of our players but enough is enough. Gooner Vin I suspect Man city may have given too much did you not notice yaya Toure was almost out on his feet and Richards was grabbing his leg a hammy?? l
19/12/2011 15:13:00
That was a nice post, Bluedub. Forgive my ignorance, but which blue team do you support? (serious question) / as with our CC game v. City, I'm very proud of our players. Frustrated with AW for not subbing Benayoun on, tho. We may well finish outside the top 4 this season, I'm prepared for that. My expectations this season are modest & pragmatic. I'm just happy to see maturity, fight, bravery and discipline in the team. Have to say tho City showed their the total lack of class when their fans chanted "RVP is ours" and "you're our feeder club" and then by naming Nasri as MOTM just to rub our noses in it-when clearly their best player was Kompany. How can you respect that kind of petty lack of class? It's not something Arsenal would ever do. I have no love for Utd or Chelsea but I've yet to hear their fans (or ours) ever chant to an opposing team "so and so is ours" re one of their players. And the notion that we're their feeder club is ludicrous since we've made them pay exorbitant money for players who are often on the bench or in the case of Ade don't even play for them anymore. Anyway, clearly our problem is our bench in such big games.
19/12/2011 15:22:00
over the last few games, i think we have finally rectified a couple of our longest standing problems i.e. defending set pieces and defending counter attacks from the flanks. we have certainly traded some flair (in fab & na$ri) for more grit. glad to say that we are more balance now
19/12/2011 15:40:00
You ever heard of a wind-up between fans then jaelle? I don't think anyone at City actually considers RVP as a realistic target, fine player though he may be. The feeder club chant is what the rags sing at Spurs all the time, so I don't think that argument holds water either. On another note, I'm very surprised that Wenger didn't choose to have Oxlade Chamberlain on the bench at least - he certainly gave us a tough time in the Carling cup match and personally was more worried about him than Walcott, as Zabaleta always seems to have a good game against him. Arshavin is just going through the motions and looks like he'd rather be somwhere else!
19/12/2011 15:44:00
I'd agree with FCB that it doesn't matter what fans sing to each other (within reason of course) and that's nothing more than banter. There was a time we used to sing "you're the Spurs of, you're the Spurs of, you're the Spurs of Manchester, you're the Spurs of Man-chest-er" to the City fans, so it's all fair game. However I thought naming Nasri MOTM was not only tacky, but disrespectful to Kompany and the other City players who worked their arses of for the game. With regards to Bluedub's comment, whilst van Persie is clearly our best player, I'm convinced that the reason everything goes to him not because it has to, but because it's the best idea. If he wasn't on the pitch we'd plan for that fact. It took us a while, but everyone thought we wouldn't create chances when we lost Cesc, but we've proven that you can lose even the finest players and not cease to exist.
19/12/2011 15:59:00
Hmm Jaelle, I'm sure there was no gooners laughing and joking @ sp*rs when we robbed them of their captain. All part and parcel of terrace back & forth.
19/12/2011 16:27:00
Calling us the "Spurs of Manchester" is beyond the pale in my opinion! ;)
19/12/2011 16:32:00
Yeah that was a bit below the belt! But it was usually followed up with a rousing chorus of "Stand up, if you hate Man U!" in which both home and away fans both rose and then clapped each other. Ahhh those were the days, back when there were no oligarchs, no shieks, Arsenal were the toast of the world, and spurs were truly sh**e. It was a simpler time, it was a better time.
19/12/2011 18:01:00
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