Written by Mean Lean on Monday, 21 November 2011 17:15
Happy Monday afternoon Gooners,
Still feeling that post victory good feeling today, the more we play the more confident and secure I am feeling about this team. I am sure that is also the case for the players in the Arsenal squad. Something struck me during the game, a feeling that has been absent for a good few months now I would say,
When Norwich City scored the opener, after a frustrated slap to the leg I simply shrugged my shoulders and said to myself that we were still going to win the game anyway. This was certainly not the case a couple of months back. As Arsene has said a number of times during his reign at Arsenal. Confidence is quickly lost but slow to rebuild or something to that effect.
I am going to sound like a broken record now but it makes me so content that I cannot help but express it. That is the work and fight of the whole team from front to back. I have watched the game three times now and while we can point to a few players being off their game slightly, none of their work for the team can be questioned.
Gervinho may had a few fingers pointed at him for some bad finishing or final balls but the amount of times I saw him sprinting back into the left back position to cover or to close down was quite amazing. Something has changed from last season and a few prior to be honest. I don't know if this is purely down to personnel or the fact that we have been in such an awful position at the start of the season. Whatever it is, I bloody like it. It will be interesting to see if those levels are maintained when the squad is rotated more during the busy period coming up.
I remember last season when the Walcott, van Persie, Cesc, Nasri team really clicked, we were pressing from the front and the team improved. We beat Chelsea at the Emirates because they couldn't handle our energy. During that period we travelled to Wigan and Wenger made a vast amount of changes to the team and the pressing came to a stop.
Something tells me that our off the ball defensive work is here to stay regardless of which players wear the shirt, well at least that is what I hope for.
Theo Walcott has been talking about his on pitch success with van Persie and you have to say, they have been very successful so far. The answer as to why they are now clicking so well is very simple.
“Over the past few years I have had my injuries and he has had his so we have not been able to sustain a run of games together"
It has been the story of the last few years really. You look back through the Wenger teams and think of partnerships like Vieira/Petit, Bergkamp/Henry, Cole/Pires, Campbell/Toure, Bergkamp/Ljungberg. All those combinations plus many more were successful because they had sustained runs together and understandings were formed.
Ask an Arsenal fan what springs to mind over the last six years and probably the media driven trophyless word will pop up but after that you cannot escape injuries.
When you look through the spine of our team you see that Vermaelen has already missed a chunk of his Arsenal career. Cesc Fabregas had more than his fair share of injuries and of course Robin van Persie, I need not explain what has happened to him.
I am getting over the departure of a former number four, our recent results and the form of Aaron Ramsey is helping that along nicely but I do regret not being able to see Cesc and van Persie establish that connection over an entire season. I was also convinced that Walcott and Cesc would make a devastating partnership, much in the way that Bergkamp and Ljungberg did in one of our title winning season's but injury to both players meant that we could only witness it sporadically.
Anyway, not wishing to harp back to the past, we are slowly witnessing new partnerships gelling and there is no telling what we can do again. Alex Song and either Mikel Arteta or Jack Wilshere, Vermaelen and Koscielny have hit the ground running while Gervinho and van Persie are already striking up a pretty good understanding.
Our midfield trio as well as our attacking threesome have had a run of games together so it is little wonder why the team are finally getting their groove back.
If you haven't not yet read Arsene Wenger's interview to L’Equipe, well the full transcript has been posted on Arseblog News.
Personally, I think the man is a legend but even if you think he is not the man for the job, how can people not give him the respect he deserves. A truly classy man.
Football changes so quickly, it was only a few months ago that Arsene Wenger was seen as the joke while Andre Villas-Boas was the messiah. A few weeks later and there is talk of Villas-Boas not lasting until January and in the north side of London talk of needing a defensive coach has evaporated into thin air.
All this without a Gary Cahill or Chris Samba. Who would have thunk it ey?
Oh before I make my getaway, I would like ot point you in the direction of an article written by Wenger Boy over at Chronicles of Almunia. There are plenty of transfer facts, so I know you're gonna like it.
With that, I am off,