Morning Grovers, it’s my first post in a while… and it’s a bleary eyed one… many beers were consumed last night and I wont lie… mainly because if I was going to sit and watch us grind out an unconvincing 1-0 win… I was going to do it off my face on cold, refreshing Peroni.
I rolled into the ground to hear the name I’d been waiting to hear for a year… Eduardooooooo! The roar that went out for him was passionate… it was great to see the Crozilian back in the team after such a horrific injury. It was also great to see a proper wide man playing in a wide position. Carlos Vela was treated to a rare start.
Sagna Toure Gallas Gibbs
Vela Song Denilson Nasri
Eduardo Nik B
As soon as the game kicked off, you knew Arsenal weren’t going to be beaten. There seemed to be renewed belief round the stadium last night, like maybe tonight could be the spring board for our season… and it didn’t take long for that belief to be rewarded. Eduardo played in Carlos Vela, turned out into the box… Carlos chipped a sublime cross onto the head of Eduardo who buried it high into the left corner of the net… Everyone went ballistic! Fantastic… Eddy was back, and that goal meant a lot to the striker who’d been out for 51 weeks.
The next goal didn’t take long either… Arsenal were carving out chances like attacking play was going out of fashion. Someone put something in the players water bottles and it wasn’t crab juice…
Our next goal came from a corner… Nik B rose like a jumping gazel (Why does it have to be a salmon?) to direct a glancing header past the hapless Cardiff keeper.
2-0 up and cruising… how many times have we been able to boast that this season?
Nik B was worked extremely hard for the team… but as usual, he had to do something silly. Vela powered a shot across the keeper who parried it… all Nik had to do was slot the ball in the empty net, but he somehow managed to hit the post and miss the rebound. When the replay went up, the gasps were almost as loud as the earlier Eduardo cheers! Read here to get the low down on Niks comments from yesterday…
The second half started… more beer had been consumed… and due to the emptiness of the stadium… I spotted a rarity… An Arsenal player sitting 4 rows up…
Beer + Excitement = embarrassing moment when grown man decides he would like to go and sit next to player.
So off I went… I asked Diaby how he was, he said
Then I asked if he spoke English?
‘Yes my English is very good’
Then his agent asked me to stop talking to him, to which I replied…
‘No way, Diaby is my hero and I’ll give him a bad write up if you don’t let me talk to him…’
To which the agent said,
‘You sit next to him then.’
So I did… I asked him where he sees himself playing for the team… he said in France he loved to play in hole as a second striker. He wouldn’t budge on who he liked and disliked and he said he was definitely enjoying life in England and he’d be here next season. At this point I decided that my 10 minute interrogation of him was probably a bit annoying… so I left him alone… leaving a stray hand on his leg for reassurance.
Anyway… then I looked up, Eduardo had been cynically bought down in the box, the ref blew up and pointed to the spot… cue an Eduardo net buster of a penalty! Superb… what a way to make your comeback!
Eduardo went off to a standing ovation and was replaced by RvP… a man who I can honestly say looked hungrier than ever to get on the score sheet. Finally that opportunity came when Nik B rolled in a beautifully weighted pass which Robin slotted home convincingly. He fist pumped at the crowd and we were all pleased we could go home with a smile on our face.
I can confirm Diaby did leave with 7 minutes to spare… bloody club level plastics…
Fabianski: Solid game from our slightly hyperactive number 2. He didn’t really have much to do bar sweeping up any loose balls that landed in our half (Literally in our half… he’s like one of those jack russel’s that sees a ball and must chase it down). 7
Gibbs: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Arsenal were a factory, we could boast the finest left back production line in the world. Once again Arsene has another potential gem on his hands. Gibbs is composed on the ball, a dream going forward and full of pace. His defending is sometimes a bit of… but he has many years on his side. 7
Toure: Funny game from Kolo… he was tearing about all over the place last night, and he dropped a few clangers… but he is Kolo, and I love him. 6
Gallas: Another assured performance from a man who, for the first time is looking like a £90k a week defender. 7
Sagna: Managed to play a nice cross into the box. Quiet night for the Frenchman. 7
Vela: What we’ve been waiting for… a creative pacey wide man who can spark a midfield into action. I thought he had a tidy game last night without being exceptional. I think he banished any presumptions about strength by putting in a few good tackles… for me, he needs to be given a fair crack at the whip… because he is miles better than the unproductive Ivorian I care not to mention. 8
Song: Another solid game from the Cameronian. Nothing spectacular… but improving. 6
Denilson: I thought he had a top game in the middle of the park. He was tenacious and had a renewed vigour about his game. I honestly think he’ll become a good player for the club and I think a lot of the criticism of him has been unfair this year. 7.5
Nasri: Another good performance from our floating Frenchman. He glides across the pitch wherever he senses he can cause problems. If he can add a decent final ball to his game, we’ll soon start getting a bit of value for money from him. 7.5
Eduardo: It’s nice having a striker with really terrific movement. Eduardo knows where to be to get on the score sheet… and he seems to live for the goals unlike some of our other strikers. I expect to see a more involved Eduardo this year (In the team effort) and I expect to see him starting more often than not. RvP and Eduardo could be a pretty special partnership… and it’s probably one of the few we haven’t really seen. 9
Nik B: You can’t fault the lad for effort. He works his socks off for the team and he is starting to throw his weight about up front. He knocked in a good header and he went close on a few other occasions. I really think he’ll come good this season in a Flamini-esque kind of way. One goal, one assist… who’s complaining? 8
A convincing win and two easy games to make it to the exciting rounds of the FA Cup! Our football seemed to click into gear last night, so lets kick on from this and make something happen this year!
Have a great day Grovers!