Sunday, 26 February 2012
I must admit that like most of us I was dreading this game a bit. For the first time in ever we were going into a North London Derby as underdogs .... at home! The last two performances were abject and left us with little to grasp on to. I was concerned. Form goes out of the window in these games and thank Dennis for that as we have no form.
Those fearing the worst soon got it as our defence went all Hackney Marshes on us again. We slapped our collective legs, looked to the sky and let out a communal swear word. We attacked. They occasionally attacked back. Their defence creaked while ours cracked under the weight of a missing midfield. Bale dived. Greedypaymore scored on his birthday. The 'Wenger Out' brigade found its voice and we all just wanted to go home.
That first 35 minutes was everything that's wrong but you know what? I'm ignoring it. What could be written now has been said time and time again. What followed was a lovely surprise. Let's enjoy that. Before the game my only expectation was for the team to give it their all. 100% effort, desire and passion needed to be seen after giving nothing the previous week. Any man not giving that would never be forgiven. Show passion or piss off. Forgiveness was unnecessary as, after a shaky start, they gave us everything and more. Indeed we may have even witnessed, for the first time ever, the mythical 110%.
Who didn't think it was a hopeless case as the post was struck? Yet before the groans had died Sagna had planted a bullet header past Bradley. Belief on the pitch spread to the stands as it was clear that the spuds defence was worse than ours. They looked softer than a caramel left out in the sun. Moments later this defence expertly allowed RVP to turn onto his 'wand' and he soared a cracker into the top corner. Family and strangers were hugged. We were as one again. This is how it should be. Had we gone in 2 down I would've feared for the season. Suddenly we didn't want it to end. Spurs were twitching.
The second half was a joy. 'arry saw things weren't working so he weaken his team by bringing on Lidl Dutchman and a lump. The result? Rosicky's cuppa kicked in and he stormed through to score for the first time in 100 years. We had actually turned this around. We looked rampant. The media darlings were wilting. They were there for the taking but with our defence were probably only two attacks from being 4-3 up!
Now we get to Theo! His first half was awful and I would've taken him off and sold him for scrap. What do I know! Not only did he score two very good goals but he worked so hard. He was the player we all hoped he can be. He was nothing short of magnificent & was a whisker away from a hatrick. He tore them to bits and finished off the lifeless twitching mugs.
Other than the score and the huge change in the attitude of the team the main highlights were the individual performances of players we'd slightly given up on. Rosicky was immense and, like Theo, showed us what he can really do. Yossi too showed his class. He might be slow but he ran his bits off today. The Chavs may have made a small mistake in letting us borrow him on today's evidence.
5-2 and we wanted more. Extraordinary and why football continues to enthral billions. The psychology of the game cannot be explained. How a team can give so little one week then play like that? How can they start so badly, look down and out and end up thrashing the rivals? How can a player like Walcott look like he'd won his appearance in a raffle, have a 15 minute sit down & return a world beater? It was, in fact, utterly perfect. We lulled them into complacency! We gave them a two goal start then hit them so hard their last league winning team would've felt it. We need to use this now though. It's been spelt out quite how financially important top 4 is and it's all we have left. However that's the bigger picture and that's for tomorrow. Today is all about stuffing the scum. It's about going to work or school with your head held high as you find a (slightly less) cocky spud and put them in their place. It's about forever in our shadow. It's about mind the gap. It's about 2-0 and you fu*ked it up!
Enjoy your Monday! Up the Gunners.