Well, that was a game and a half wasn’t it?
We had a job to do, we did it.
It was a shame so many fans decided they couldn’t be arsed. I mean, it’s not like the group was dead. That showing was Capital One Cup poor. I only mention it because people I watch it highlight it like it’s a problem with my people… plus, it is a bit poor.
Anyway, enough about the showing, how about the game?
Ok, so the team was very strong as we expected. No one lands a rest at Arsenal at this point in time. If we’d done a better job in the opening 4 games, we’d have been able to rotate (whimsical thoughts), but we’re chasing qualification, so that wasn’t possible.
This was a game that any Arsenal could have showed up for. Lucky for the 40,000 fans that did show, the Arsenal that turned up was fuelled by Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Those two were literally fire 🔥🔥🔥, all game.
Mesut and Alexis looked like they’d dropped their first bomb of something illicit at a festival. Tearing around the pitch like two world-class players who weren’t going to let their club down. They took responsibility for affairs and they delivered when they needed to.
Heck, even Joel Campbell looked like a semi decent player last night, contributing solidly in the opening 20mins of the game with some spirited play.
The opener game from an unusual place… THE DIVING HEAD OF MESUT. Alexis Sanchez cut in from the left, whipped a tantalising ball into the box where Ozil was on hand to nod home. It was a dangerous ball to put a head on… he nearly landed a face full of keeper foot. This is Mesut 2.0. This is 6 months hazing in a cold shower room with Keown and Nelson Vivas.
Both players loved it as well. Predator turned provider. A beautiful moment for the crowd to savour.
The second goal came from some smart high press defending. Santi had jinked his way to the edge of the box, his pass went straight to a Zagreb player, but Monreal was on hand to intercept, break the line and cut back to a grateful Sanchez who eased the pass into the far corner.
The third goal was mastery. It was like Ozil had temporarily perished and taken control of Joel Campbell, like in Ghost with Whoppi G and Swayze… he cut in, ran back on himself from the wing then slid a ball between five players, Sanchez shot across the line of the defence, rounded the keeper and cut his shot into the roof of the net.
Here is my analysis.
So that was that.
A brilliant win. Even better news was that Bayern managed to some how beat Olympiacos at home. I mean, I was pretty shocked. Incredible effort from them.
So, the deal is, we have to win by two clear goals or beat them 2-3 away from home.
Then it gets interesting, because, if things stay the same, we’ll finish second in the group then we’ll have to play a team that finished first. Thankfully, our teams are doing well. Bar us, the rest of our sides are topping their groups. That means no City, Chelsea or United in the next round. Also, no Bayern Munich. That currently leaves us Barca or Madrid (BOOO)… alternatively, Zenit or Benfica. You can’t argue with those last two.
Anyway, a good run.
No rest for Sanchez at all again. But at least Santi was pulled early.
This weekend we have Norwich at 16:15 on Sunday. It’s an away game, which isn’t ideal. However, what is ideal is that I think there’s a bunch of Capital One Cup games in the following week. So the boys get a rest. How the club use that is hugely important. Let the players have some time to relax (chain Sanchez to a door or something). Recharge doz batteries because the week after we have Sunderland at 1500 (what a treat) followed by Olympiacos away in the big one, followed by Remi Garde’s Villa side. Thankfully the Villa players seem to have given a rats arse about impressing the new manager for about 16 minutes before going back to a ‘zero fucks given’ state of mind. After that, another pretty decent chunk of a break for December… 8 days break to prepare for Manchester City. THE MEGA ONE.
City have a tougher bunch of games compared to us. We can use that to our advantage by keeping players fresh. But we won’t. They have Juve tonight, Stoke, Monchengladbach, Southampton and an extra game in the League Cup… the game before us is Swansea and they have one day less to prepare.
THE STARS ARE ALIGNING
Some important games, but with reasonable gaps in between.