The mini-high from the victory over Porto has continued today, with most of the blogs featuring some very happy readers. It’s quite a contrast from the Hull backlash (or even the ‘drop Kolo Toure’ backlash that occurred on this blog – heh) and one which has been most welcome indeed.
Two of the stronger performers against Porto, two-goal hero Emmanuel Adebayor and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, both commented on the win and pointed to the strong spirit and character that the side showed in recovering from the weekend slip-up against Hull.
Adebayor said, in his customary spitfire way:
“We knew this was a very important result after what happened on Saturday and we won 4-0 so we did it quite well. Losing to Hull is not like a crime. It can happen in football. We had to show character and belief in our personality. But we took our lesson. We are top of our group and we took our three points so we are happy.”
While Almunia added, with a chirpy Spanish tang:
“It was crucial to have a clean sheet, have a victory like this and play fantastically like we did. I think Arsène was furious before the Porto game and we said to ourselves that we had to play the Porto game as Arsenal know they can. But now we have togetherness, we are strong now, this is an important victory and it will give us more confidence.”
It’s interesting that in speaking about the win against Porto both referred back to the loss to Hull. It shows how seriously the players took this game and what is important is that they were able to react positively to that particular setback.
A few people have commented on various blogs warning Arsenal fans of getting ahead of themselves by celebrating the win so much. I think they’re missing the point. The joy that everyone is taking out of the win over Porto is not because they think Arsenal are going to sweep all before them and become the best team in the universe, it’s simply because they are happy that the boys were able to respond to the Hull setback in a positive way.
Just by the way, you don’t often hear of Wenger being furious with his players so it’s clear that he saw something in the loss to Hull that he really didn’t like. You sometimes get the impression that he’s a soft touch because of his manner in the media, especially compared to guys like Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, so it’s nice to hear every once in a while that he can be an angry old bugger too. Well done, Arsene.
Next up is what I consider to be a relatively tricky away trip to Sunderland. Although they’re struggling a bit this season – currently sitting in 13th in the Premiership – there is something about Roy Keane managing Sunderland that makes me a nervous wreck every time we have to play them. As such, I won’t mind how we get three points as long as we do get them.
For those who are interested, I’ve already set up a Pikum! for the Arsenal v Sunderland game which you can enter here. It should be a lot of fun and I’d encourage you to use your £10 worth of free credit if you’ve still got it in hand.
Anyway, that’s all for today in a post which is almost as short as I am. I’ll have a full match preview of the Sunderlund game in tomorrow’s post so until then, have yourselves a lovely Thursday and enjoy the happy Porto vibes floating around the blogosphere.
Have your say on Porto, Adebayor or Almunia by leaving a comment.