Who knew the missing ingredient to our lacklustre attack was Nacho Monreal?
The Spaniard had a real drop the mic moment, coming on, scoring one, assisting two, then floating off to preserve his attacking skills for the Wednesday night game against Chelsea. Jokes aside, all the post-game commentary seems to point towards both he and Ozil being good for midweek, which is a huge relief.
Wenger returned to 4 at the back and watched his side deal out a destruction order on a very off key Crystal Palace.
Fans didn’t hide their disdain for the goings on at the club, thousands sacrificing their tickets, preferring to stay at home for the rainy 3pm kick-off. Those that stayed were treated to an exceptional first half, led by a very exciting partnership of the showboating Wilshere and Ozil.
We were unplayable. The first goal came after a slick passing move from the left ended in Iwobi placing a high shot that Hennesey tipped over the bar. The resultant corner, which was pretty average, floated to the back post where Monreal was hungriest and ferreted out a header he put in from close range.
The second goal came from the left again, Monreal jumping on a loose ball, carving into the box, then picking out Iwobi who guided the ball home from close range.
Our third came from another poor corner that found who other than Nacho at the back post, he volleyed the ball back into the area for Koscielny to bundle home.
Our final goal, which came inside 23 minutes was a masterpiece. Ozil worked the ball into the box with a series of one-twos between Iwobi and Jack Wilshere, he finished the move with a perfect backheel into the path of Lacazette who drilled his shot low across the keeper. One for the end of season highlight reel I know you’ve all got an Amazon preorder on.
We still managed to concede a goal at the death, but considering the circumstances, the day was a welcome exhibition as we prepare for Wenger’s annual Get-out-of-Jail Cup push.
So what have we learned?
Not a lot really, the true test comes on Wednesday. Palace were really poor, you can’t learn a lot from a team on a good day. You need to see how team spirit fares under pressure. That’ll be against Conte at home in a game that could see us back at Wembley. Worth noting they beat Brighton 4-0, though the scoreline flattered.
I also think it’s unfair to judge the team until we have Mikki, who is all but sealed.
Word has it we took £20m and the Armenian for free. Unreal dealmaking. Think what you want of the exDortmund attacker, he’s a great player and he had 3 years left on his deal. That’s good work from Arsenal.
UPDATE: David ‘God’ Ornstein, says it’s a straight swap. Say what you want about that, but if you’ve spent ten years laughing at Wenger and his cash pile, and you’re not bitching about money, you need to have a word. Cash isn’t going to shoot us to Europa League glory, Mikki back with Auba might.
There’s also been positive noises on Aubameyang. We’re up to our usual tricks of playing hardball when we’re fucked. However, our opening bid of 50m euros isn’t far off their 60m euro valuation. I just hope we don’t end up getting gazumped because we tried to pinch pennies (Cheslea rumoured to be sniffing around). We need an injection of excitement sooner rather than later.
If we do land both players, you can’t deny this will have been a good January under the circumstances.
Ignore the fact Wenger is gearing up his excuses for his end of season chat with Stan K.
“We have to very quickly get over this transfer period because for us especially this period has been more disturbing than ever,”
This is a man who in September was saying the contract situation with 6 players was ‘ideal.’ He’s clearly planning survival tactics, and this is the verbal equivalent of digging the trenches.
I hope the board saw how empty the stadium was as they look for counter attack pointers.
Before I go, Welbeck and Ramsey were missing again. I really hope the club move those two on this summer. Both haven’t delivered, both are down to 2 years or less on their deals, both could fetch pretty good money. The club need to invest in fit players, those two aren’t cutting it.
Right, that’s me done. We’re saving the podcast until Wednesday. BIG week ahead. See you in the comments.