Morning all happy Mondays!! It’s Alex here, blogging to you from the Northern line. The horrible, claustrophobic Northern line.
So I was promised – through a friend of a friend – a seat in the diamond club for yesterday’s game. All week I had been prepping myself for it; conserving my appetite for oysters and gold plated hotdogs, dreaming up witty anecdotes that I would regale to Bobby and Thierry over our vienettas, and relentlessly practicing my smug face for when I took AN ACTUAL ESCALATOR to my seat.
So imagine my horror when I arrived at l’Emirates to discover that rather than the Director’s box, I would be in the away end with a thousand tanked-up Geordies (are they Geordies or Macam or Teesidees?)
To say I was nervous was a slight understatement, especially when I went to use the toilet and found every one of the sinks being used as a urinal. Who would have thought football fans could behave in such a boorish way?
Sitting in the away end did give me a different perspective on the game however. The Borough fans, who were all actually really nice and good fun, REALLY rate Alexis. All their chants are pretty much identical to ours (apparently we aren’t the only fans who think we have by far the greatest team in the world).
However what else I realised is how totally and utterly dominant Arsenal were. You have to feel sorry for Borough. They are a good team, but their current league position means they have no way near the resources to deal with a threat as potent as Alexis, Cazorla and Ozil.
Those guys were on another planet yesterday, almost unplayable. Apparently Ozil created 7 goal scoring chances. Meanwhile Alexis just didn’t stop running and Santi ran the show – his pass to Gibbs for the first goal was something else. In fact the movement from the whole team for that goal was pretty f***ing spectacular.
I like that there is talk of Santi getting player of the year. After a strong debut season he kind of faded away last year and there was even talk of selling him by controversial bloggers like Le Grove. It’s great that he’s now showing exactly how good he is and how wrong Le Grove was. God I hate Le Grove.
Other honourable mentions go to Olivier – who did what a striker needs to do – get in the right place and put the ball in the net. The second finish in particular, was not as easy as he made it look. I do love Oli. He prances around a lot and is quite slow but there’s something very honest about the way he plays. He’s like a friendly shire horse. Or the big gangly kid in your school team who looks rubbish but always ends up top scorer without anyone knowing how or why.
Despite bringing the handsome quotient of our team down quite hard, Gabriel looked very assured, even his booking was probably the smart move. He also slotted in well alongside Kos which is great for the run in.
Dishonourable mention goes to Flamini. I didn’t really get what everyone’s beef was with him, but after watching Coquelin’s recent performance you realise he is NEVER where he needs to be. That’s usually because he is pointing at others telling them where they need to be. It’s great to have a leader on the pitch and all that but you have to kind of lead by example as well. Just pointing at where others should be running rather than running yourself is the ultimate pub footballer move.
FA Cup gonna mess you up
Anyway onwards and upwards. Though I did say earlier you have to feel for Borough, it’s worth remembering they did knock out City in the last round so the fact we roasted them like a Bolivian peanut is nothing to be sniffed at. This feels like our year again (for the Cup). Let’s hope Liverpool and United draw each other in the next round and they both lose.
Szcz – 7 – played fine, didnt have much to do
Chambers – 7 – defensively solid and made some great runs forward
Gibbs – 7.5 – likewise but created a goal
Kos – 7 – solid
Paul -7 – likewise
Flam – 5 – chill with the pointing fam
Cazorla – 9 – Holly Willoughby
Ozil – 8 – I love you
Alexis – 8 – Dont ever leave
Welbz – 7 – Loves to run
Giroud – 8.5 – Loves to score
Walcott – 7 – had a great opportunity (his reception of the ball WAS world class), but scuffed the finish
Rosicky – 7 – worked his nuts off as usual
Chuba – 6 – fine
That’s your lot from me. Follow me at @aldo_doel
Love you x