Yesterday was extremely important for the league, but really, the only thing on the minds of most Arsenal fans was the FA Cup final. How would Hull set up? What did they have in their side for us to worry about? How painful would the seasons show piece be?
Well, on the face of it, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be too much of a problem.
Arsenal set up with two key components we haven’t had for a large chunk of the season… that’s an Ozil and a Ramsey. it was a telling difference against a Hull side who really didn’t have much to offer bar the impression of being organised.
Our opening goal had it all. It was Arsenal all over. The superb turn on the half way line from Ozil, the intricate interplay between about 5 of our players, followed by the clinical finish from Ramsey. We’ve missed those runs. We’ve missed that direct behaviour. We’ve missed his energy and pace.
Our second goal was equally pretty, though tinged with a bit of controversy. Arteta dispossessed Jelavic, who stumbled over, blatantly looking for the foul. Arsenal picked ip the ball, broke down the other end, Giroud floated a beautiful ball into Rambo, he chested it into the path of Lukas who volleyed home. What a tasty goal.
The game was finished in the second half when Lukas picked up the scraps of a Ramsey shot, he controlled and placed beyond Harper. Game over.
We controlled the rest of the game. Hull really didn’t have anything to offer. Arsenal zipped the ball around with much ease. We were in total control and we left the KC with what we came for… the three points.
It’s still looking relatively tight for top four. Our games are pretty easy in comparison to what Everton have on the cards. I think they’ll seriously regret the points they dropped against Palace. Newcastle at home should be pretty straight forward, they’re in serious disarray at the moment. The players aren’t playing for Pardew and it feels like end of days for him. Then it’s West Brom, our last home game. I don’t like playing them. It always feels like there’s something on a West Brom game. I’m sure this is the third year in a row we’ve had them right at the death? Anyway, they’re also in a world of bother. In-fighting, bad results, bad press. The final game is Norwich, they were ok against Liverpool yesterday, but you’d have to fancy us there with our key players back. It’s looking good. We just need to concentrate.
Hey, whaddya know, when our best players are fit, we play better. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as people are making out.
‘Imagine if Arsenal kept all their players fit’
Yeah, imagine that. It would be magic. But, to have that, you’d need a manager with a different vision combined with a different approach to training, rotation and recovery. Key players not being fit is a consistent blight at Arsenal. Amazing pundits and journo’s rarely join the dots.
The difference in Giroud first half of the season and second is the reality of what happens when we do keep our better players fit. They start well, then dip. But, having Rambo and Ozil in your side obviously gives you more. I hope someone in the club shines a big fat spotlight on the loss of our key players this season. I hope they shine the light on the lethargic play of our team from December onwards. There are reasons our game dips and they’re pretty damn obvious. Lucky for us, the injury induced rest imposed on Ozil and Ramsey means they’ll both be fresh for the rest of the season now. So we should be looking good for success.
The man can’t stop scoring at the moment. He’s clearly a great finisher, he just doesn’t have enough about his game to be the main man. What we’ve seen in a the past few games is that when he plays off a big man, he’s very effective. Podolski in a kind of 4-4-2 feels like a plan B. Something for Wenger to consider when we’re trailing in a game, or when we’re playing weaker opposition.
When he arrived on the pitch in the second half, we really did start to look far more exciting. Hopefully Wenger can see that having pace an energy in the team is tantamount to success in the Premier League. I hope Wenger has his scouts looking at what’s making Liverpool tick. We need depth to our pace. We need players who are trusted that can come in a rotate with people like Theo and Chamberlain. I mean, imagine a massively pacey forward line, with a powerhouse midfielder who could break at pace… with Ozil and Santi picking out the paces. It’d be magic. We need to build out our squad the way we used to build out squads.
Jelavic and Shane Long are both out of the cup final. They really don’t have much to shout about. Good times.
“You can never be sure of anything in our game. We lost [Theo] Walcott in an accident. We lost Özil – we haven’t really found out why.
“Maybe we overplayed Ramsey a little bit, and should have rested him before he got injured.
A stark admission really, but nice to finally get a bit of vindication on what I’ve been telling you for years. Take a look at the Ozil and the Theo schedules before they picked up their injuries… then make your own logical judgement.
Player health. It’s in one mans hands.