Well, well, well… Arsenal return to form when the heat is well and truly off and guess what, we look pretty damn fine!
The new line up Wenger is working with looks very balanced. It’s exciting and it appears to click. What a shocker, Wenger finding the right formula when it doesn’t really count.
OR, when it does count. Don’t write us off yet, we still have something massive to play for… beating Spurs to second place.
(and maybe the league?)
Leicester continued their convincing charge beating back Southampton playing out another 1-0 win.
Arsene Wenger opted for his new favourite front 3 of Iwobi, Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. It works because it’s mobile and technically sound on both wings (and all 3 can interchange with ease). What Danny Welbeck lacks in composure, he more than makes up for in brute force and work rate.
(but we still need someone with great composure, we can’t continue to bank on people coming good)
The midfield is working now. Coquelin supported by the Duracell bunny rabbit that is Elneny gives the team a different kind of feel (and intelligent one). You have someone who again boasts superb composure on the ball, but also a footballing brain. I can’t work out if Elneny is amazing yet, but right now, compared to Flamini, he’s like a f*cking footballing god out there. His passing is crisp, he has vision, he uses angles really well and he’s also proving a pretty unlikely goal threat… which I’m sure Wenger will beat out of him by September.
Iwobi dropped in another very encouraging performance. I have very good vibes about this kid. To play like he is at 19 is a joy to watch. He is the perfect blend of Hleb and Rosicky… and unusually for a young player, he’s already showing that he’s going to be a threat in front of goal. I mean, he really could have it all.
He kicked off a productive afternoon with a perfectly weighted cross to Sanchez early on, the Chilean headed at Gomes, who parried, allowing the ball the bundled in at the second attempt. Sanchez, a man who looks very in tune with his young Nigerian counterpart repaid the favour picking him out on the edge of the box where he was on hand to sweep home.
The third goal was really scruffy, but the build up play between Bellerin and Sanchez out on the right was pretty fun to watch, a poor clearance from Watford allowed Hector to duff a volley in off one of their defenders. Not sharp defending from a team who somehow managed to knock us out the FA Cup a few weeks ago.
Joel Campbell and scapegoat of malaise, Theo Walcott, hooked up to finish off Watford with a fourth late on in the game.
A really pleasing performance, but once again, as appears to be a familiar pattern, too little too late.
Don’t kid yourself people, this is so very much Arsenal. When the pressure is off, we find the form. It happens every season without fail. Wenger goes ruthless and somehow cobbles a line-up that works for a short period of time, the he doesn’t build on it the next season. It’s odd though, why Wenger can’t do it under pressure? Or build a squad if players that is balanced and interchangeable at any point of the year?
… because, bar Danny Welbeck, most of the players on the pitch yesterday have been available for a while. Why did it take so long to bring Elneny into the fold? I mean, not just for this second half of the season… but why the hell didn’t we have him at the club last summer? Why wasn’t a player like him top of the agenda? Amazing really. Shooting the breeze with my Gooner pals, we were wondering if a player like him was the difference between winning this shit show of a league this year? Maybe…
Arsene Wenger really needs to get ruthless this summer. It’s been quite clear the sort of players we need to work with for a few years now. It’s quite clear who can’t play Wengerball. It’s quite clear that we’re going to need to have a clear out this summer and make some teary decisions.
We need technically gifted players at the club. We need players who are hungry. We need players who can play whatever system lives in Wenger’s mind.
It shouldn’t be a happy accident that allows us to find balance. Wenger was so petrified of changing things up when they were failing that in the end, we blew a whole season.
He needs to get smarter about his workforce, it’s clear he doesn’t have the right personnel at the club to play league winning football… so he has to cull his favourites.
Look, I still don’t think the league is over. Leicester still have 6 games to screw things up. They still play West Ham, Everton, United and Chelsea. Those are not easy games.
Spurs have a tough run in as well. They have United, Chelsea, Stoke and Southampton.
People writing the league off… well, I feel you’re silly or just too attuned to Arsenal and our history.
HOWEVER. We are good at the run in. No pressure. No one is expecting us to smash out a 9 game winning streak. But look, way crazier things have happened.
Plenty of twists yet… I hope.
Right, have a great day, see you later!