Welbeck In Business
Tenuous link on the title but a huge win on the weekend will have The Arsenal and supporters flying high! Having suddenly shifted the feeling on our fading title hopes, I’d like to take a look at the game against Leicester, the upcoming matches, and our competitors.
It was hard-fought and teetering on referee controversy, but the best part about the Leicester match is that it really wasn’t coming off for us. Ozil, Sanchez, and Ramsey played hard but did not have the end product for the majority of the match. Ramsey’s midfield work and distribution were there but he scuffed multiple shots off-target. Sanchez was shut down multiple times trying to cut in from the left. Ozil was dispossessed and even misplaced passes on a couple of occasions! Again, they did not play poorly. This game did show, however, Arsenal as a unit trudging through absolute dire luck and world-class-on-the-day goal-keeping (25 shots on target) to find a really important three points.
Monreal and Cech had excellent performances, and I think that credit needs to be given to the manager and substitutes for game management and impact. As a proud Gooner, I do not like winning by a PK or a man sent off. In this situation, I am adamant in thinking that Vardy did not deserve a penalty and that Simpson’s challenge was deserving of a yellow. Monreal’s foot was in the ground and Vardy moved in a different direction than the ball. Giroud had turned Simpson and was potentially in behind the back line when pulled down. Wenger’s actions immediately following the sending off were impeccable. Coquelin is still returning to form and was getting very heated. His replacement, Theo Walcott changed our system significantly and went on to bring us level from an excellent layoff by Giroud. Chambers was even solid on the day, too. He found himself in multiple one-on-one situations and in opposition to the negative reviews he received, I think he handled them safely with relative comfort. Welbeck – oh, Danny Welbeck what a comeback! The late winner is incredible for multiple reasons; Ozil assist, Welbeck scoring after a long run out to get his confidence back up, and Arsenal snagging three points when it looked like we were destined for a draw!
Looking forward on our current position, the Premier League title must be our priority. I can’t decide what to expect from the squad’s reaction to the Barcelona match, but I hope that Wenger is strategically planning for the league game against Manchester United. I’m not suggesting that we disregard the Hull and Barca games, but the main priority of the next two matches is to get through them without fatigue/injuries and any loss in confidence or momentum.
Arsenal has us nearing the peak of the emotional roller coaster, as they do, and we are hoping that this will last for a solid run. I’ve mentioned that this Arsenal side has been continuously covering foreign territory in terms of progress, but the other clubs at the top of the table have ventured even further into their relative unknowns. Nobody can predict Leicester’s reaction to the wound from Welbeck, City seem to be confused, and all of this talk of Tottenham is as uncomfortable as it is annoying. Forget them though, this is our last opportunity to put this league in our hands with a run of form. The fans came to life on Sunday, and we are gaining confidence from the dwindling injury list and our league position. Surely, the players, the manager, and the club must be feeling it too!