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For the most part we produced yet another first class defensive display and Napoli had very little answer. Laurent Koscielny was superb once again. I had been thinking for a large chunk of the game that if Higuain does not score then what does he do for the team? He was invisible until late in the second half he spun and shot past Szczesny. Higuain is quite the opposite of Giroud. Giroud rarely scores from half chances but gives so much during the course of 90 minutes. Higuain will do nothing of note but pop up in the right place to drag a shot past the keeper and into the corner of the net. The goal was followed by the Arteta sending off and we were against it. The late Dortmund goal had pushed us into second place. Napoli's late second was nothing more than a consolation.

A deal that seemed almost certain to go through was the transfer of the affable Harry Kewell from Leeds. He seemed the perfect fit for us at the time, quick, technically gifted and could play as an attacking midfielder or striker. He had one year left on his contract and had been making sexy eyes at Arsene and the club for a number of months. I was bitterly disappointed when he signed for Liverpool; news that Liverpool paid a fee of £5 million with £2 million going to Kewell himself demonstrated that Arsenal didn’t feel the amount touted was acceptable. In addition he was on a reported 5 year deal at £60,000 a week which would have been near the top end of our budget. In hindsight, it looks like we dodged a bullet. Kewell never emulated the form or class he portrayed at Leeds

Arsene Wenger was able to name a very strong bench and it was the manager's bold use of a triple substitution that gave Arsenal that extra impetus when the game was deadlocked. Ramsey, Cazorla and Wilshere were all withdrawn at the same time and replaced by Flamini, Rosicky and Walcott. The fact that the latter two combined for that opening goal just shows how effective the changes were. It's something of a testament to Wenger

Arsenal’s second goal came in the second half and displayed all the hallmarks of team taking their position at the top of the league rather seriously. The excellent Nacho Monreal stretched to prevent the ball going out of play on the left hand side before feeding Ozil. The German, with the assistance of Aaron Ramsey, then weaved a tapestry through the Hull defence with an excellent 1-2 that culminated in him calmly slotting the ball past a helpless Alan McGregor. The interchange between the two midfielders was as impressive as anything you are likely to see in Europe and the delicious reverse return pass from Ramsey is just another example to add to the growing list of wonderful things he has done this season

Funnily though, that spot light hasn’t quite been shone upon Arsenal’s leader of the line, Olivier Giroud as much as one would expect. Going into the season with only one senior striker is quite a bizarre scenario, in years gone by it would have been unheard of given that most formations required two strikers starting on the pitch. Given that we play with one striker slightly lessens the theatrics of the situation, but it is still incredible to think if Giroud picks up a suspension or an injury, our fantastic season could crumble instantaneously. So why haven’t the journos and media made a bigger mountain out of this molehill? Well, with Ramsey’s form, the arrival of Özil and that messer Flamini going round mutilating football jerseys, there simply hasn’t been an opportunity to stoke the

Aaron Ramsey tormented his former club in a hugely impressive 3-0 Arsenal win. On paper, this match looked like a potential banana skin - especially considering the troubles the two Manchester clubs experienced on their trips to the Welsh capital this season. The red-shirted Bluebirds did have their moments in what was a nervy second half, the Gunners' class eventually shone through The win was bookended by two goals from the Cardiff old boy. Ramsey opened the scoring against his former club with a flying header in the first half and

Speaking of Özil, that missed penalty and his abovementioned assist for Wilshere provided two stark moments of contrast in what was an interesting game for the German. Despite showing some nice touches, Özil didn’t really get into the game as much as one would have liked/expected in the first half. Wrightly or wrongly, it has been suggested recently that Arsenal’s record signing has seen his levels ‘drop off’ in the last few weeks and consequently not quite influencing games as much as he should. For the price paid, people seem to expect Özil to take on something of a starring role. However, anybody that watched him regularly before his arrival at the Emirates would know that he is actually more of a ‘conductor’, tailoring his play to allow others around him to flourish.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more