Its been three days since our win over Blackburn. A win that most were saying would make our title challenge more real. A win we did get but has it really created the effect that it should have. Has it really created some fear in the minds of all the Arsenal doubters? For me, this win has given a message to all the anti-arsenal people out there that this season we mean business and we will not be bullied by the thugs and that we can carve our own fortunes. Three points against Big Sam’s team in their own backyard with their no-football-but-only-rugby tactics speaks volumes that we are not to be intimidated this season.
It’s an enormous win for us and it has shed light on our capabilities and the shortcomings that are to be removed.
The most important thing we learnt from this match is that we can survive aerial bombardments as a team quite effectively for the whole game, though we didn’t look comfortable at all and were always panicking. This in turn led to us conceding possession on more than a few occasions to the Rovers including giving unnecessary free kicks in their half, which Robinson utilized to its maximum. The irony is that the goal we conceded was just a tap in due to a defensive blooper. For us to be more effective we need to impose our game on the opponents and bring them to our terms – as was the case in the second half till Fabregas got substituted. We need to play the game in our pace and for that we need to control the midfield. We should be composed no matter the opposition we face.
We also learnt that Koscielny is not yet ready to handle the physical nature of Premier League as he was overpowered quite easily. He is good when his back is to goal but in one-on-one situation I don’t know what goes wrong – the same was the case in the first match against Torres.
Coming to van Persie, I just don’t know what’s with injuries and him. This injury although is a blessing in disguise because he will miss the international break, but he is out for ‘at least a few weeks’. He was just back to full fitness and was his first start of the season. As Bendtner is already injured, we are only left with Chamakh as our main striker with Vela, Walcott and Arshavin in support. It doesn’t look bad now but if Chamakh gets injured we will be in the same situation as last season. So let’s hope Chamakh stays fit and just for laughs change the diet of Van Persie, give him something that can keep him fit for the whole season – a dream which I think may never a be reality .
Now onto Walcott and what a game he had. Finally we are seeing the confidence oozing out of him and he is turning into a player we want him to be. He is now not afraid to take his chances and his decision making has improved. His movement on and off the ball was superb. He just needs to be released more often and he will create havoc and it will be difficult for any teams defence to contain him. Now I am really looking forward to his performances this season.
Alex song also had a very solid game and he was brilliant in his favored position.He has not lost his touch and form from last season. Clichy needs to pick up his game exponentially or he should be replaced by Gibbs because a goal conceded like that is unacceptable. Vermaelen had decent game but not his better ones as he did quite a few mistakes. Sagna was splendid defensively as well as while going forward and his crosses have improved. Fabregas misplaced a few passes in the first half and his first touch was not good. Credit to Rovers in not giving him much space. He got more control in the 2nd half and was dictating the game nicely. Still he needs more playing time to get to his best. Almunia had a really good game but he should be at best our second choice keeper and for that we need a new keeper.
As I am writing this the transfer window has closed and I have my fingers crossed for a new keeper although the news is that mark Schwarzer is staying with Fulham. I am going to wait for 4 to 5 hours for any announcement. Everyone including Arsene knows that to win titles we need a top class keeper and we don’t have that in our squad. Almunia is a good keeper as he demonstrated on Saturday but he is prone to do mistakes and he is not consistent and no one wants this to be the reason that we suffer losses or drop important points. It’s on the club to by the required players to challenge for the title; all we can do is support the team and players every time and let’s hope that it all turns up good even if we get a keeper or not.
p.s. An hour has passed, no signs as yet of a new keeper.