I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t nervous ahead of the match against Aston Villa. The dreadful match versus Dortmund didn’t exactly fill me with confidence and to be honest our overall game has been lacking so far this season but the players seemed up to the task at kick off. The main headline when the starting lineups were announced was Mesut Özil was starting at the number 10 spot.
Last week I said that Özil must play even if his form was dwindling. A player like him needed confidence and support and to be played in the position that he is most comfortable. I was ecstatic to see that he was starting in the center of the midfield. Once the match started Özil showed he was up for it.
Arsenal had lots of possession in the early stages of the match but weren’t really clicking in the final third, despite Özil having Ox and Welbeck running onto his passes. Unfortunately Villa should have been ahead when Szczesny cleared a ball straight to Delph who shot but our keeper made a fine save to keep it level. Arsenal pressed for the lead but Welbeck and Ramsey shots were off target and it appeared that this was going to be another one of those games. Villa again attacked and won a corner which was played to Clark whose header was stopped at close range by Szczesny who made a blindingly quick move to the far post. Still level.
Next on the script was a wonderful 180 seconds of pure footballing joy for us all to celebrate. Welbeck played a pass to Özil who was running close to the defense and ended up with a bursting run that Welbeck spotted. The pass was perfect and Özil slotted home to make it 1-0 to the visitors. Seconds later Özil turned provider as he was freed on the left to play a cross to Welbeck who side-footed the ball high into the net. 2-0. Again Arsenal pressed the attack and Villa was left on their heels as Gibbs scuffed a shot from the left that appeared to be heading into the path of a rushing Ox but Sissokho knocked the ball into his own net while trying to clear the shot. Seemed to be a goal either way and while I would have preferred Ox to have it added to his tally, an own goal works too. 3-0 at the break.
Arsenal started the second half in complete control and 45 minutes of dull, slow controlling play followed. We Gooners are far too accustomed to having to watch Arsenal give up late goals and play with fear as the opposition press the attack. We draw up every time a set piece is delivered into the box. Not this time however as Arsenal seemed content to control the play with accurate passes and smart movement. I will take that boring style of football every time as long as means we win matches. My heart can’t take the pressure of watching us nearly lose a game due to a corner at 90 minutes. 3-0 was the final score and Özil and Welbeck were easily the star players on the day. If those two find a partnership for the remainder of the season, this Gooner won’t complain especially if it means Welbeck puts 3 past United when we face them at Old Trafford while Van Gaal goes mental on the sidelines.
In the aftermath it was discovered that Monreal will be out until mid-October and Debuchy will be out for three months. This is not news we needed. Gibbs, Chambers, Mertesacker and Koscielny are now our only defenders healthy. Bellerin will be getting matches now. Wenger may have to shop the reserves for substitutes in case the unthinkable happen. Enough said about that.
We played Southampton in the Capital One Cup yesterday, a match that ended 2-1 to Southampton. Alexis scored a fantastic free kick that was neutralized by a penalty. Nathaniel Clyne scored a 30 yard belter that Ospina couldn’t be blamed for not stopping. We just didn’t seem to have enough to win the match. Part of me thinks that this was because we have to focus on the match against Spuds next week, a match which is far more important. We need to keep our league form up and I think the Capital One Cup can be sacrificed in favor of league results. Besides we lost to a Southampton side that should be credited with going for it even when they were 1-0 down away from home. It was a fair result in the end.
Coming up this weekend is the match against the scum themselves: Spurs. I don’t have to stress the importance of this match especially at home but Tottenham hasn’t been performing well and with our fine win over Villa, we should be eager to put our “rivals” to the sword. I am eager to watch this match, with cautious optimism, but I believe we may have seen the start of something special with Welbeck and Özil last Saturday and I hope that trend continues this weekend. It’s a late start and against our rivals so I feel the pub will be rocking with Gooners in full voice. I expect to be there as I have been unable to be there for the last couple of matches.
That’s all I have to say for this week. Once again I am trying to avoid discussing the lack of defensive cover we have as our players continue to drop like moths in a bug zapper. It makes me far too angry. As I have stated there isn’t anything we can do except pray to the football gods that no more players get injured.
I am hoping for a quick week of work so Saturday can get here faster. The North London Derby is on my list as the best rivalry game to watch and I am always psyched when we face them. Have a great week Gooners
Answer me this question:
What do we think of Tottenham?