Funny old game. At half time it was Bristol 1 Arsenal 0. Or if you were watching the other one it was the Russians 1 Arsenal 0.
Given that Arsenal had won every single game this season, and last season the score at Bristol, where I was, was a bit of a shock.
You know those games where Arsenal attack, attack, attack, attack, and then the opposition get a couple of breakaways, and score in one of those; well it was that. The Ladies mimic the Men.
Fortunately the ladies game kicked off at 2pm, so I was able to get to the pub for the men’s game, and having seen a fine recovery in the game I went to, I was prepared for what happened.
At Bristol, Arsenal made a change at half time (which I spent queuing for a hot chocolate, only to find out that they had sold out just as I got to the front of the queue). And then it all turned around. 3 great goals, followed by a funny own goal, and Arsenal Ladies maintain the 100% record and saunter off 4-1. Watching the bench after Bristol took the lead, no one seemed worried. It was as if they knew what came next.
So, then into the pub to watch the men repeat the same trick, although the men only managed two in beating the Russians.
Probably we won’t hear too much in the next day or two about stubborn Wenger, and how he (very strangely) refuses to take the advice of all the knowledgeable bloggers and instead insists on going his own way, not buying defensive midfielders, not doing the same as the clubs higher up the league, and in fact not doing much at all except what he believes in.
Of course the win against the Russians was one game, and the only thing that is really proven at the moment is that all the bloggers who said that we would slip into mid-table mediocrity as soon as we started playing the other top clubs, were wrong. “If we lose to Hull and Fulham,” they cried, “just think what Manchester Bankrupts and the Russian mob will do to us.”
Not too much as it turned out. “Chelsea never concede a goal in the second half,” said Radio 5 at half time. Ah well. Sky weren’t much better in their pontificating.
There’s no denying the season has had its disappointments – none more so than the game against Aston Anti-Football, but today was a highlight, a real up-turn, and let’s enjoy it.
I would say that this team really is on the move, and although we have seen, and may well see again, some disastrous performances, this is getting exciting. What’s more it can get better because of the players who are currently out, and the players who are maturing. Of almost the entire team we can say for sure that they will certainly be better next year than they are this year.
And maybe we should have a moment to say a special word to those who said we should be out buying centre forwards because van Persie would never be able to play more than one or two games at a time. I can’t think what the special word might be, but I know there is one. Maybe its Eduardo. On the bench on Tuesday? Wouldn’t that be fun.
All in all it was a jolly day. Bristol 1 Arsenal 4. Watching in a tiny ground, open to the elements, it was bloody cold. Russia 1 Arsenal 2 in the pub. Rather good.
Now for Burnley.
- Arsenal v Leicester footnote: bad runs and past games
- Arsenal v Leicester; the injuries, the team, recent games, ludicrous predictions
- Arsenal v Leicester: comparing the form, and the goalscorers
- Arsenal v Leicester: how will the ref handle Leicester’s multiple tackling?
- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.