By Tony Attwood
Funny ol’ game. When we win we are lucky, because the other team had lots of illness – a virus swept through the Aston Villa camp prior to the game. When we lose it is our fault for not being prepared, and no excuses will help us.
Ah well, we won, with 71% of the possession – one of the highest I can recall in a while. We had three shots on target and scored three goals. So it goes.
Now the media will start coming out with their excuses for the merciless attacks on the stunningly talented Mesut Özil – indeed I’ve heard them practising them. It’s not our fault that we attack him, they say, he has the look of someone not bothered, so we are bound to attack him.
So now we judge players not by their ability or skill but the look in their eyes. Ah well, another day another excuse.
And there’s the one about the “Gunners fans imploring Arsène Wenger to drop Özil.
No, that was the little hard core AAA mob, that the papers like to listen to. Not the people who go to games. Alexis Sánchez is said to have been given a rest – but was said by the club to have had a minor knock in the warm up. We believe who we wish.
Ozil’s goal came from Welbeck’s pass through the middle. Then apparently it was “Welbeck’s turn to answer criticisms”. No, Welbeck has been playing his own game, getting himself into gear, getting used to the team. It was the newspapers’ turn to change their minds, certain in the knowledge that most of their readers have the attention span of a gnat on heat.
Danny played the ball out to Özil on the left. He ran forward, took the return pass and scored first time. After that Aly Cissokho put Kieran Gibbs’ cross from the left into his own net. And that was that.
Wojciech Szczesny was superb beyond superb yet again. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saved a goal by blocking a ball heading for the target.
They (the unholy alliance that criticises Arsenal at every turn) will carry on doing so, with snide remarks and pathetic sarcasm (I heard Talksport during the Liverpool WHU game run an interview with Mr Wenger in which he jokingly said something like “I have five players who want to play in the centre”. They said, “well clearly he’s bought too many players of the same type.”)
It was a joke, Talksprout, but of course, you had a humour by-pass long ago.
Our team was…
Calum Chambers Per Mertesacker Laurent Koscielny Kieran Gibbs
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Aaron Ramsey Santi Cazorla Mesut Ozil
The subs were
- Tomas Rosicky
- Lukas Podolski
- Jack Wilshere
all coming on at 78 minutes.
Those we didn’t use were
- David Ospina
- Alexis Sanchez
- Abou Diaby
- Francis Coquelin
so it was nice to see Diaby moving up the ladder all the time, having had his run outs with the under 21s he is coming onto the bench. Let’s hope he is well.
Chambers, Ramsey and Wilshere got booked.
But one newspaper did ok in its on-line coverage. The Independent said
“A lesser man than Arsène Wenger would have welcomed a public apology. He might even have sanctioned the circulation of his CV, so its depth and substance could be savoured and celebrated. Yet he merely smiled serenely, and allowed his persecutors to reach an obvious conclusion.
“He’s not bad at this management lark, you know. He may be second guessed by couch potatoes and serial pessimists, but his principles are sound and his nerve holds firm. He did not need to dwell on the personal relevance of a four-minute, three-goal, spell which promises a timely transfusion of self-belief.
“The doubters would have dropped Mesut Özil, absurdly dismissed as a waste of £42million. Wenger retained his faith, and incorporated a significant tactical shift which utilised the German’s mobility and positional intelligence in his favourite role behind Danny Welbeck.
“The hanging judges have already condemned Welbeck as a dubious investment, a forward who embroiders an attack rather than eviscerates a defence. He scored his first Arsenal goal minutes after setting up Özil’s first of the season.
“It might not be Total Football, but it is a welcome flash of colour in the uniform greyness of the Premier League. The rotational movement of the front five was subtle and sinuous. Wenger’s facial features, so often pinched, were softened by the release of suppressed tension.”
Thank you, Independent. A nice piece of contrition.
There is an index to recent posts, a guide to today’s anniversaries, and details of our other sites on the Untold Arsenal home page
- Arsenal v Tottenham update, team news and appalling, flagrant media bias
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.