Sing when we’re winning, we shall!
Arsenal capped off a very good November with an emphatic win against another plucky Northern team with a soft underbelly that we brutally exposed with butcher like precision. We’ve won 12 on the bounce at home, if we beat United at the weekend, that’ll equal our longest stretch of home wins since 2005 at Highbury.
I happen to think David Wagner is a very good manager, but to expect him to come to The Emirates and cause us problems after doing so well against City this weekend was fanciful at best. They had a game plan, but it was decimated within minutes. Lacazette found Xhaka in the middle, the Swiss passed forward to Ramsey, he dropped dirty little flick into Lacazette who had timed his run to perfection, the Frenchman cooly placed his shot inside the post and put us into the lead.
Huddersfield made a pretty good go of it and didn’t retreat. We were a little bit sluggish at the back and let them in a few times. A couple of smart saves kept our lead safe. Cech pushed a loose ball safely over the bar from a Steve Mounie shot. He also did well from a Quaner one on one with a solid block. Our passing was really off, Ramsey dropping a horror show 65% first half pass completion rate.
We made it count in the second half, scoring 3 goals in 4 minutes.
Ozil dropped a cheeky one-two with Sanchez before teeing up Olivier Giroud to slip home from 6 yards.
Shortly after, the Chilean bagged his first with a hammer strike of a volley from a floated Ozil pass.
The German capped off a superb display with a goal of his own, latching onto the excellent Ramey’s neat defence-splitting pass, slotting past Lossl closing out a pretty humiliating passage of time for the northerners.
The final goal was pretty amusing, Kolasniac created a chance for himself, he bore down on the loose ball ready to fire home, but just as he was about to pull the trigger, Giroud roofed the ball instead.
Dirty work Olivier, but hey, if your control isn’t tight enough, what’s a good looking guy supposed to do?
A fine evening, well worth the cold trek I’d imagine.
All the talk post game was around Ozil. Wenger waxed lyrical.
“Nobody has to convince us he’s a great football player,”
“Everybody knows in the stadium he’s a great football player, but at the moment as well he shows he can fight.
“When you look at the percentage of possession during a game, no matter what the game is, he always wants the ball. He never hides, he’s always available.”
It was a great performance. The first time he’s been part of three goals in a single game in his Premier League career. As fans, we all gasp as he glides around the pitch and opens up space with his 360 vision. I’m enjoying it. Wenger is right and wrong about the fight element. We saw it against Spurs, which was unreal. But then he bottled Burnley on Sunday. It’s not surprising he’s ripping Huddersfield apart at home, he had an 11 day rest. He’s a world-class player bossing a team with a wage bill £3m more than his personal yearly salary.
Which Ozil will we see against United on Sunday? My guess is we’ll see the one who wants to impress. He won’t pull a sicky for a shop window opportunity. We’re unlikely to see a Chamberlain/Liverpool abomination. So at least he’ll try.
Anyway, not sure where I’m going here. I guess my point is outside the Spurs game, this season is typical Ozil. He’ll dazzle front half, then disappear after Christmas, like he always does, difference this season is he’ll leave.
Aaron Ramsey was excellent again. In the first half he made 41 sprints. His engine and intensity is outrageous. He had two assists. He grew with the game. I’m so pleased he’s managed to maintain his fitness for a whole half a season. Not surprising he’s pulling it together this year. He’s going to be in a very good position this summer, Arsenal will throw money at him, and if he keeps up his form, I’ve no doubt a Spanish club like Atleti will come knocking. Get whispering into that ear Wenger!
Final talking point. Really sad to see Lacazette pick up an injury. He was playing so well. He’s been a really good signing, I’m sad we don’t get to see him this weekend. That poses three options. Giroud, Sanchez or Welbz. To be honest, I think Danny Welbeck is the best option even with a fit Lacazette. United are a big side and Mourinho will come to bully. You can’t bully Danny. What you lose in finishing ability, you make up for in work rate and intensity. Giroud can super sub it for us.
DOUBLE FINALLY: Spurs are in 7th. Life comes at you fast. The gap is back.