Before I get started today I just want to apologise for the problems that readers would have had in the past few days with accessing the blog. Things are now back up and running after some server problems and I definitely have some catching up to do…
The server problems have meant that few people will have read the post I wrote about the Arsenal FC Blog monthly eMagazine that is set to launch in a week’s time. You can read all about it here. I just wanted to remind everybody that I am running a competition to see who can come up with the best name for the eMagazine. The winning entry will be used for the eMagazine and the person who comes up with it will win a free shirt of their choice from Arseshirts.com.
You can check out all the shirts on offer from Arseshirts.com by clicking on the link to the right. You must send in your entries via the Contact Form and be sure to leave an email address so I can get contact with you if you win. The winner will be announced on the launch of the eMagazine next week. Good luck!
Arsenal maintain lead at top
You’ll be well aware of it now so I’ll cover it in brief detail, but Arsenal is still on the top of the Premiership table after a gritty 1-0 win over West Ham at Upton Park. Robin van Persie was the scorer of the only goal, heading in a fine cross from Alexander Hleb after a great bit of play from Emmanuel Adebayor. I watched the game at the pub with my Chelsea-supporting friend and although things got little hazy there were a couple of things that stuck out in my mind. One was just how easily Arsenal controlled the game and the other was how well Mathieu Flamini played.
When Arsenal took the lead in the 13th minute, I never thought West Ham would get back into the game. For all of Philippe Senderos’ defensive fallibility and as good as Dean Ashton was, I just never thought that Arsenal would concede. I met a couple of English fellows who supported Arsenal and spoke to them at half time, and I just could not believe how worried they were about the game. One of them even said to me that he would be happy if Arsenal got away from the match with a point. It was quite astonishing. Contrastly, I never felt like Arsenal were under any real pressure and in my mind it was always more likely that a second was going to be scored for the away side than a first for the home team.
Flamini on fire
A large part of that came down to an excellent performance by Mathieu Flamini. On a day when Arsenal’s football was not at its flowing best, Flamini had another great game and showed just how valuable he is becoming to the team. His fighting qualities were there for all to see but it was his control and passing that were much improved, a sign that he is starting to play with composure and a real sense of confidence. Unsurprisngly, Arsene Wenger had some very nice things to say about him at the end of the game.
“He is growing – he has a little bossy attitude in midfield you know and he is an organiser, a fighter and a winner. He has improved in football terms; his vision is better, his presence is better and overall at the moment he is doing very well.
Let’s hope he continues to grow because his decision to stay is having a big impact on Arsenal’s season so far. I mentioned previously that Flamini is the perfect squad player; someone who can be relied upon to perform well whenever they are required in whatever position they are required. It’s pleasing to see that he is possibly becoming more than that.
Overall though, it was an excellent three points to pick up, and keeps Arsenal two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table with a game in hand. You couldn’t ask for a better start to the season and with an away trip to Steaua Bucharest and three home games against Sunderland, Bolton and Slavia Prague next up, there’s every chance that Arsenal will maintain their unbeaten run for some time to come.
What do you think?
Have your say on Arsenal’s win over West Ham by leaving a comment.