Arsenal 12 Reading 2

That was a bit more like it – 12 shots on target to the opposition’s 2, and another 8 shots off target (again to the opposition’s 2.)  That is the same sort of stats that we used to see through the good part of the season – until the violent attack on Eduardo and a set of dodgy decisions turned everything around.

So what’s the difference?   Of course there is the confidence – but there is more than that – and “the more” is of course Theo.

We’ve watched and waited, supported and hoped, and it all came to life.  There was that  spell against Birmingham following the attack on Eduardo, amazing burst in the Liverpool game, and of course the journos mentioned that – but there was something beneath that.

In one sense it was as simple as holding his head up – but it led to the ability to beat the opposition with a simple turn, to move past not one but three players, to shoot accurately, and beyond everything else, to run at those great speeds.

Now, let us pause for a second – do we know anyone else who can do that?  Who can beat 3 players by a simple turn, who can cross, who can shoot, who can run at the most amazing speed?

The answer of course is Thierry.   And before you change pages because this has all got far too silly, remember the first season Thierry came along, when we watched him and wondered what the hell he was doing on the left wing, how come he couldn’t even hit the target…  How Vieira said Thierry couldn’t even hit the clock let alone the goal.

It took Thierry a good year before we could recognise him as a striker, let alone a really good striker.  The great news is that Theo is going through the stages in less time.

Henry also needed Pires to flourish.  We already have several players who can fill that role.

I can’t guarantee that we now have our new sensational striker, but we have now got another player who can play each game, who can score goals, who is brilliant at all the forward things that matter.   Be ready for next season – the emergence of  Theo.

It is going to be rather good.