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Victory Through Harmony
By Walter Broeckx
Where do you start when you just have seen Arsenal booking a place in the Carling Cup final?
I think this is just the time to enjoy the final result. This is just the time to sing a Song even if he didn’t play. This is the time to celebrate. This is the time to have a look at who was vital at the end of the day.
And in a game when Ipswich was building a big blue wall in front of their goal the first goal was going to be vital. I think we all know this and as it took us a long while before we could get it. But when it came I just knew we would win it and go to Wembley. This feels good typing these words. So I will just type them again: We go to Wembley. (Actually Walter even season ticket holders are not guaranteed a seat at the final – we have to enter a lottery – Tony.)
But back to that first goal. From the moment I saw Wilshere play in our reserves I knew he was going to be a massive player for us. Oh those great days when Arsenal.com was still showing our reserve games live. Even this week I said on the forum of the Benelux fans that Wilshere will be our most important player in the next decade. He will be the man and if Cesc ever leaves us, he will be our captain. What a fighting spirit, what a stamina, what a…I just can find enough superlatives to praise this young lad who has only just a month ago turned 19.
He was running and covering every metre on the pitch today. His vision, his work rate, his fighting spirit and his skill are so great for such a young player. And remember the way Cesc developed from when he was 19 till the player he is now? I do have a feeling that Wilshere will be even a better player when he is 23. That will be the moment he will begin to shine and to dominate like never before. Oh my God, what a bright prospect to look forward too.
The way Wilshere played the ball over the top towards Bendtner for the first goal was just great. He had the vision to see it but most of all he had the accuracy to play the ball perfect to Bendtner. It was a pass that had written Cesc all over it. Just imagine those two, Cesc and Wilshere playing at the top of their game.
But let us follow the ball and arrive with it at the feet of Bendtner. Even here on this site some people were having a go at him and saying yet again: not fit to wear the shirt. And yes he is no Walcott with blistering pace. Yes he is no Van Persie with a great first touch. He is who he is: a big centre forward who is playing on the wing for the moment.
But boy, did he make a great run to play himself free on the left wing. And what about that first touch of him. The one that is not good enough according to some fans. Well it was more than good enough for me. And what about that finish. Coming from the left hand side, curl it in at the far post. I have seen an Arsenal legend producing a few goals like that. And in fact I have seen Bendtner produce a few like that.
It was his goal that finally broke the door open from the parked tractor or from the concrete wall. And just like the Berlin wall came tumbling down at last, the Ipswich wall went down.
And look who was having some big influence in this. Our most unlucky player the last weeks. Totally out of form: Andrey Arshavin. First he went after a ball that seemed lost and forced a corner from the defender. And then he takes the corner and Koscielny headed it in.
I will come back to the French Pole in a minute if you don’t mind. But now I will keep my mind set on Arshavin. Another assist from the little Russian. Who still wasn’t on his best game. But you can see that he is trying and I think no one is more disappointed when things don’t go like he wanted it.
And let us look at our third goal. Cesc gets the ball and Arshavin starts a run and receives the ball from Cesc. And then he does what he can do so brilliantly. Holding the ball a bit while running at the defender and then releasing the ball at the right time for Cesc who put it in for our third. Another Arshavin assist to add to his numbers. So even without playing great he still made 2 of our goals tonight. Blimey, just wait till he is back in form.
And so I come back to Koscielny. On this site most of us never heard of him until he signed for us. And most of us said: oh, let us just wait and see how he adapts to the EPL. Some other fans knew better already in July. Without him even playing a game he was useless. He only played one season in the highest French league so how can he be good? He was too small. He was not strong enough. He was the next Cygan or Stepanovs. Wenger had lost it. Again.
But from the start I saw a very atypical defender for the EPL. Not the defender who comes charging in like a bull from behind to kick everything away that is close to the ball including the striker. No, he was more the defender of intercepting the ball just before the striker without committing himself in the hard challenge. Of course this is not the way we like to see defenders. We want the bull type. But this quiet looking player just went on. And yes he made a few mistakes. Who doesn’t?
But the great thing about him is that he just gets up again, dusts himself of and just continues to play as if nothing happened. A great thing to have. And because of the injury that Vermaelen had/has he got more and more games than Wenger and he would have dreamed of at the start of the season. And I admit I like his style. I like the way he plays. And most of all I like the way he adapted to the EPL.
And what about his partnership with Djourou? That other centre back who we didn’t expect back in this shape. They do look great together and my God it will be difficult for Vermaelen to come back in the side! But I think by then one of them will need a rest and Vermaelen will come back in.
But Koscielny who was bad before the season started for some fans, and who even this week was criticized by some fans, has made a great contribution if you ask me. Remember his great ball over the top against Leeds last week from which Sagna almost scored? Well now you can see he is confident of himself and his game. At the start of the season you could see that he was a bit shy when it came to playing the ball and always chose the easy pass. Now he begins to play more and he also scored. I would say in a typical Vermaelen style.
And maybe this is the best compliment one can give him. He is our Vermaelen of this season. And yet again Wenger did know what he was doing when he bought Koscielny last summer. He knew more than the whole Arsenal blogosphere with their many writers. 5 clean sheets now with Djourou and Koscielny in the centre. Who would have thought this possible?
So yes, in Arsène I still trust. Long may he continue. Thanks lads, thanks Arsène, thanks Arsenal. It was a great day. OOOH TOOO BE A GOONER!!!!
Do you know how the off side law came to be? The full story is on the Arsenal History site
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