A five goal turnaround sealed an emphatic win for Arsenal today, sending Gooners the world over into a boss-eyed frenzy of jubilation while fans of Tottenham returned weeping to their caves.
By no means was it tantamount to a cup final but on the one year anniversary of the Carling Cup debacle there are some parallels to be drawn. A loss today would have compounded a dreadful week for Arsenal. Effectively out of two cups and stranded in the league, it would have been a hammer blow for the collective moral of the team, much like the effects of that game one year ago today where our form spiralled into freefall and arguably is still in a chaotic state. Where’s the consistency in a 7-1 win against Blackburn followed by a no show in Milan?
Yet our level of resilience, drive and team spirit today is the kind of inspiring performance that could have the inverse effect to that of the Birmingham game. Now I’m sat here believing we can get five against Milan. And why not? If we play with such tenacity again, it’s not such an outlandish claim.
Rosicky’s goal is a perfect example of how we can change simple things for the better. Looking back at the replay we had five men in the box, four of which were running at speed toward the goal. This is what we used to do to devestating effect but have stopped doing this year. The slight deflection for the cross off the defender was fortunate but that’s football. You can’t score if you don’t shoot and if you don’t attack you never will.
Talking of which, we had a lot of shots today, again something we don’t do often enough. Our level of creation was phenomenal; a little bit of urgency and movement can help this team pay dividends. The quality is not vintage Wenger but there’s enough there that if we maintain this sort of team play and desire, then we have a base to build on again.
In the years when Spurs couldn’t buy a win against us it was almost expected that we would win or at the very least not lose the North London derby. So what made today all the sweeter was the fact that this is the best Spurs team in over two decades against our worst team in fifteen years. And we spanked them.
My stream cut me off before I could see who got the official man of the match but I’ll hazard a guess it was the little Czech midfielder.
On a personal note I’m chuffed to bits for him. Before his spell of injuries Rosicky was a really strong player for us, scoring some beautiful goals–one curling effort against Liverpool and a long range screamer in the Champions League stick out in the memory–before his efficacy started to wane as his injury problems started to rise.
Not too long ago reports were circling that his wife lost their unborn baby and who knows how something like this affected his game. Sometimes people forget that players are people too. Yet he never showed a lack of desire and after two years without a goal he got a decisive one to make it 3-2 and the emotional look on his face as he wheeled away epitomised our team spirit today.
There was so much to talk about after the match: bad defending, Theo’s frustrating inconsistancy, Robin’s brilliance, more bad defending; so maybe I’ll do some more posts in the next couple of days after the elation has subsided and we can look at things a little more objectively.
For now, let’s just bask in what was a memorable game and hopefully a turning point in terms of our general performance.
And finally, let’s all laugh at Tottenham.
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