Not going to lie hear ladies and Gents, I had my doubts about yesterday’s result. We don’t do things the easy way. Arsenal this year, so far has been all about ease and simplicity. Could we really maintain our focus?
Hull were and are firmly in the mix of a relegation battle. Arsenal are all but secured for top four with only the FA Cup to fight for. It could have been messy.
Thankfully we bossed the game pretty much from start to finish. The starting 11 had very few surprises, our best back four was set up, in midfield Santi and Coq pinned, Ozil through the middle with a front three of Sanchez, Rambo and Giroud.
We controlled the tempo and played with all the swagger of a team that finally found its balance. Our first two goals came with a dollop of Frank Lampard like fortune. Alexis Sanchez whipped a freekick in off Michael Dawsons head for our first. The second came when Santi picked out a blistering Aaron Ramsey run, the Welshman stunned the ball, turned inside his man and rifled off a shot that pinged in off Brady into the top corner. Exquisite regardless of the balls final journey.
We capped off the half with Sanchez rounding the keeper with a clean / zero deflections kind of goal.
Hull had the chance to make us worry, Santi lost the ball through the middle, Koscielny was crunched in what looked like a brutal crunch tackle, the ball was whipped into the box and they headed home for the consolation.
So, 1-3 up North. A touch closer to Chelsea in the finished title race. Well and truly in the mix for second.
Absolutely breathtaking at times. He blends in and out like a clockwork ghost. His touches were nothing short of mesmerising at times. He’s adapted to the pace of the league fully and he’s toying with it every week. If we bring him back after summer in this form, we’ll be in for a treat next season.
Strong performance in that deeper role. It’ll be interesting to see what the manager does with one of the seasons unsung heroes. Can he pin a midfield at 31? Does he have a strong future in our starting 11? A superb talent, I just wonder how influential he can continue to be. Have we reached peak Santi? A big question this summer, especially as contract negotiations have apparently stuttered.
A much stronger showing over the last month. I still wonder though. He’s kind of the opposite of problem to Ozil. He’s all action, spectacular but quite wasteful. He wants life through the middle, he wants to score all the goals but often at the expense of the team. He’s great to watch, I think he could do with a bit of mentor time with Ozil. He’s going to have to craft his talent over the next year to grow his importance in the starting 11.
We have a lovely few days off to prepare for Swansea at home. The return of Fabianski. I hope we all boo him mercilessly for his betrayal. Gary Monk is doing a sterling job over there. A very likeable character. Then it’s United the weekend after. They play Palace before us and have an extra day of rest over us (CONSPIRACY). That should be a fun game. A real tough match against a team who I have no doubt we’ll be tussling with next season after they blow another £150m on players.
Here they are >>> Arsenal player ratings
Enjoyed this read about Geordie fans not being the most destructive entitled fans in the UK. Kind of reminded me of the feeling I used to get when journalists who dip in and out of Arsenal would tell us how grateful we should be of a manager who injured all our players and didn’t engage in tactics. Not sure if I’d agree with the article though, little bit too much innocence in there. I’m reminded of them bringing in Alan Shearer, with zero experience to oversee a relegation… pushing Pardew out and replacing him with a man who can’t stop telling the world he’s ‘one of them’… fans singing about the fat Cockney in charge relentlessly. It’s all a bit, well, Newcastle…
Finally, so sorry I forgot to mention this earlier, but if you could spare a few moments to make a donation to help the disaster effort in Nepal. (DONATE HERE). A lot of good people in a lot of trouble, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.