Speaking of playing without the ball. How good was Santi Cazorla in that second half? Who needs a big beast of a 'DM' when you have little Santi scampering around throwing his body in between the opposition and the ball as he did so often last night. I thought he worked tirelessly for he team and it was infectious. I'd love him to find the form of his first season at Arsenal, a joy to watch when on
I just had a feeling that we would do it from that point. Everton was dropping deeper and deeper and we were knocking on the door. I had turned my phone on moments earlier as it had been charging, it then alerted me to Ramsey's goal from earlier. A few minutes later it had made the same sound and I refused the urge to check if it was yet another alert from a new app I had installed but secretly I was hoping it was. When Ramsey had blasted a cross way beyond everyone my stream buffered for a second and my heart sank. We needed much better delivery than that but when my stream returned Giroud had headed in the equaliser. On the replay Nacho had done brilliantly to retrieve the ball and cross perfectly for Giroud.
I cannot remember a time when an Arsenal first team had made so many bad passes in one 90 minutes. I couldn't believe what I was seeing at times in the second half as players usually so assured at keeping the ball were misplacing 5 yard pass after 5 yard pass. But before that, Arsenal had gone behind to yet another set piece. Hangeland was being marked by Alexis Sanchez of all people but he was shrugged away and then the new Palace signing ran into our near post zone. Sanogo could not reach the cross and Hangeland nipped in front of Koscielny to head past Szczesny
When was the last time you saw Jack Wilshere looking as clean and tidy as that? It was still only a friendly so we need to see him in the Premier League but he looked very sharp and fit. Is it even worth talking about Aaron Ramsey? nothing new really, just another top quality display from a top quality player. His goal for me was the highlight of the day. Yaya Sanogo's pass to him was slightly behind him but Ramsey with a player in front of him scooped the ball over the defenders foot to make room for the shot across the keeper and into the net. His conversion rate much be through the roof because the FA Cup final aside, I cannot remember many games where Ramsey has missed a host of chances before finally scoring one. It seems like he tucks away his first chances these days.
I thought Alexis tried too much to the detriment of his performance. He seemed to want to beat a man whenever he got the ball and often lost possession but I'm sure he will get better at picking his moments when he is fitter and sharper. He certainly showed glimpses of his quality. Starting on the right wing with licence to drift inside, there was one moment on the first half where he came inside and threaded one defence splitting pass to Giroud in between a few defenders but the Frenchman's legs could not rotate quickly enough to gain control of the situation and the chance was squandered. Once Theo Walcott is back in that right sided position making those runs in behind the full back and centre back then Alexis Sanchez is more than capable of finding him if indeed he is
As exciting as Campbell, Ramsey and Sanogo's goals were, I was most impressed with the forward contribution of Hector Bellerin. I've enjoyed watching him in the reserves for a while but really wanted to see him around more senior players. I got my wish yesterday. What instantly stood out was his composure on the ball and lack of fearlessness. His link up with Campbell was impressive and his pick out for Campbell's goal was worth applauding by itself. For years we have seen our right back get to a certain position on the right and fire in crosses into the box without any particular target in mind. One run in the first half was reminiscent of a seasoned winger in his prime. From what I've seen of him at reserve level I love his little darts in behind the opposition left back which has lead to plenty of assists
- Hull City (n) - Arsenal: FA Cup winners 2014
- Norwich (a) - Ramsey the striker we've missed
- Newcastle United (h) - No easy games? They were wrong
- Hull City (a) - Ramsey and Özil improve Arsenal's attacking blend
- West Ham (h) - Pocket Podolski, Giroud's Right Choice & Rambo Shines
- Manchester City (h) - Confidence restored, now keep it going
- Swansea City (h) - Haunted by the Arsenal of old