After unequally sharing 10 goals with the school bully (nice he allowed us two I suppose) all we wished for was a win & a win is what we got.
On the way to the ground there was anticipation rather than trepidation due to the late night shopping of the previous Monday. The new boys weren't so much exciting as necessary. Three Swansea fans asked if I could take their picture with the ground as a background. This was another cup final to them. Nothing to lose. They weren't confident but their belief that they couldn't defeat Arsenal because they were Arsenal planted doubt in me. We have been nothing short of shit for months. Would today be a Blackpool thrashing or a Hull City humiliation? With this side you can't tell.
We started brightly & the crowd were right up for it. The in fighting had gone. We were one again. The 8-2 had galvanised the club. Blame was shadowed by the future. We need to get out of this mess starting today. Mertesacker looked enormous even from my seat in the clouds. That's more like it. A big international beast of a man who knows where to stand at set pieces. He made the odd error but looked solid & I'd rather have him there than any of the other fit options. Most pleasing was how Koschelny mopped up the errors. He's come a very long way very quickly.
R. Teta (like R. Kelly, that's right isn't it) stole the new boy's show. He looked lively & slotted into the passing, moving, triangle thing we love so much. He showed the value of a signing who knows this league. Whereas Mertesacker looked a bit off the pace Arteta was at home. He maybe Cesc lite but that's where we are now.
Many positives after the *-2. Not least Szzzzzzzny who looks like a proper goalkeeper. He's confident and commanding & pulled off a number of top stops especially when Mertesacker let a Swan nip in front of him in the first half at 0-0.
Concerns were Gibbs & Walcott. Gibbs is interesting as Arsene obviously rates him highly but has bought an experienced Brazilian international who won't be happy with being 2nd choice. Although you could understudy Gibbs and still play more games than him. He did ok going forward. His crossing sometimes seems better than Walcott's but defensively he seems all over the place. Clichy used to ignore where he should be & Gibbs is copying that. It's an area that stronger teams will target.
On the other wing we have Theo. He's desperate to play centrally & I can see why. He doesn't get past people & his crossing is woeful. If he made a promise he'd struggle to cross his heart. I really want him to succeed but he's going backwards out there. Oddly enough it was an awful cross-cum-shot from Theo that led to the winner. A deflected shot-cum-cross was kept in by Vorm who inexplicably threw the ball against Angel Rangel (& if his names don't rhyme it's criminal) & into the path of Arshavin. My initial thought was what's he going to do as everyone had run away ready for a clearance. From a very tight angle rangle he found the net. A fantastic effort & thank Bergkamp it was as that was it for us.
We had chances. We hit the wood but so did they. In the end we were on the edges of our padded seats as Swansea gave it a final push. They should've equalised when the ball was skied from a few yards out. We scored a freaky tricky goal. They missed an easy one. The margins are thin.
At the whistle there was a lot of sighs of relief. The steward looked at me as we left (when the game had actually finished still unlike thousands around us) & said, "you've got to take what you can at the moment!" I agreed but this tainted the win. Yes it was lucky. It probably was just about deserved but it probably wasn't good enough either to make any of us think we can even challenge the top 4. We are so far away from the Manchester pair at present it's scary. Yet, a win is a win and my God we needed it.
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