Bournemouth at the Emirates
Bournemouth came out with pace against another surprising lineup. I mentioned that it looks like Wenger is trying to prove to his squad that he has a squad! All joking aside, rotation was very necessary and it was the highlight of the outing.
Xhaka, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Debuchy got the start today and answered the calling! Debuchy, unfortunately, went down around the 15th minute and had to come off after showing some quality for a short period. Gabriel came on and performed quite well with the help of our favored center back pairing.
I believe that the results of the last three matches heavily influenced the nervous approach against Bournemouth. Having given away a penalty, the Arsenal put the fans in the familiar state of anxiety before pulling it off in style! Giroud, Ozil and Sanchez linked up for a classy third goal to close out the game in old-Arsenal fashion.
Three from Three; Looking Back
Before this weekend’s win, it was three underwhelming performances in a row. The team scratched and fought to avoid losses in major matches, but the labored performances showed symptoms of the dreaded November dip. We missed the opportunities to go top of the table, the Champion’s League group, and bury our two fiercest rivals.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Those of you that read the blog will know that I’m generally optimistic looking forward. The expected injuries and fatigue have allowed for rotation in the side. It’s important to note that this isn’t the rotation of the past. The quality and squad depth have allowed us to bring in players on the edge of the first team for sharpness.
Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Iwobi, and Elneny have all stepped up when called upon. Giroud has been especially sharp, scoring almost one goal per game in recent appearances. People took his latest muted celebration to mean that his head is being turned, but I think that he was merely focused on going for the win.
Without a doubt, the best news of the week is that Hector Bellerin has signed on a new 6 and 1/2-year deal. As a top talent, and future legend of the club, he is a model professional and represents all of the best things about football. It is a major victory for the fans; to see the club show enough ambition to reward and lock down a player who I think we would have trouble obtaining otherwise. We look forward with a new confidence in our prestige and with fingers crossed on the contracts for Ozil and Alexis.