I know Robin van Persie scored his 456th goal in 432 games and it’s easy to label us a one-man team, particularly in an attacking sense, but Saturday’s come-from-behind victory showed once again that this clearly isn’t the case.
We all know what the giant brain head man Gervinho is capable of and he had a typically bright, energetic game down the left — but what to make of Theo Walcott’s resurgence? There has always been an unrecognised consistency to the Englishman as a contributor, only injury has interrupted regular goal-scoring and goal-providing contributions from being fully appreciated, but Walcott has undoubtedly taken his game up another notch in recent weeks.
It seems that since the moment that little Theo popped up off the turf at Stamford Bridge, gave the proverbial F-YOU to the Chelsea defence and slammed the ball past Petr Cech his confidence has soared. He’s ripping apart mediocre left-backs with consummate ease at the moment and that has added an exciting third element to an already well-functioning attack.
The departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri forced a re-think in Arsene Wenger’s approach and the move towards van Persie being supported by two speedsters on the flanks has been a success. It’s taken some time to bed in but the win over Norwich, which saw our front three create a bucket-load of chances between them, showed that things have clicked.
It’s just as well too because Per Mertesacker’s mistake showed we still have problems to iron out at the other end of the pitch. To be fair to the big German though, his mistake was more a product of over-confidence (and the small matter of a fairly blatant foul being committed) rather than one of incompetence, and his experience allowed him to move on from the incident without a hitch.
In an interesting move Wenger chose to play Laurent Koscielny at right-back to accommodate for Mertesacker’s return to the centre of the defence. It will be interesting to see whether he keeps the Frenchman there against Dortmund in mid-week, a game that Mertesacker will surely start, or whether Johan Djourou will get a run-out.
It’s rather a good time to be an Arsenal fan though, isn’t it? Five wins from five in the Premier League, a resurgence that has seen us rise from 17th on the table (gahhh!) to equal 4th (yay!) in a couple of months and some good football being played to boot. Expectations have been checked and it’s making for some wonderful evenings of football.
On another topic, you’ve probably noticed that my contributions to the blog have been mediocre and inconsistent of late, a product of my return to Australia and a hefty workload I now have as a result of becoming a full-time freelancer. You’re also probably a little peeved by the prevalence of the weekly betting articles that are helping me earn a little bit of money on the blog.
I’ll go into it in more detail later in the week, but I want to assure you that I’m making moves to rectify this situation, including bringing in somebody to permanently help me out with the content and community management on the blog. That should mean the content goes up, the betting articles are a little less dominant, and everybody is happier.
Cheers all, speak with you in the comments.
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