Eduardo will improve, improved side
Two victories, four goals and one conceded. Not a bad start to the season is it?
What I enjoyed about the Sparta match was the manner of how the players handled themselves on the pitch. Sparta Prague obviously had a game plan to rough us up and stop us playing which worked pretty well in the first half. They closed us down and put us under pressure. The Sparta pitch was in terrible shape and it didn't suit our passing game. That is our disadvantage with training and playing at home on a perfect pitch.
Other than a wonderful Lehmann save onto the post there wasn't much goal mouth action.
The second half was scrappy but Arsenal started to dominate and control possession. We were not being bullied and Flamini, Cesc, Hleb and Rosicky were flying into tackles in the midfield which made us alot harder to break down.
You didn't see this very often under Thierry Henry's Arsenal.
What's the difference? Is it Gallas? Are the kids growing up? Its probably a collection of a few things but what I do know is that we have changed from last season. A different attitude, a different mentality.
Gael Clichy created the first goal after a wonderful interception and run that Ashley Cole could never do in all his time at Arsenal. Clichy had the awareness to spot Fabregas breaking alongside him to his right and slipped him in. Fabregas cooly slotted the ball past the keepers left much in the way that he did against Bolton last season.
Bacary Sagna looks like he is getting better and better in every game and has thrown the adaption period rule book out of the window. He wins headers, he doesn't leave spaces behind him. He has improved the defence in 2 matches.
Could we possibly have the best full back pairing in the Premiership? Quite possibly.
Robin Van Persie continues to look isolated upfront. The improvement of Hleb unfortunately means that we are losing a bit of Van Persie's quality.
Wenger still has to juggle around the side to get the best balance for the team. Arsene will have to look at Hleb, Van Persie, Rosicky, Eduardo and Diaby and make tough decisions.
1-0 to take the second leg would have been pretty good but 2-0 makes it pretty certain that we will qualify.
Lehmann threw the ball out early to Sagna who powered down the left hand side and sent in a low cross to Hleb who showed desire to get into the box, he took a touch and hit a shot (probably scuffed) across the keeper into the far corner. Game set and match.
Eduardo will improve this improved side. He will make diagonal runs for Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb. Gilberto will protect an improving defensive unit. Robin Van Persie will also improve when he has more support, more options.
Blackburn away is next and it will be interesting to see of the team give as good as they get from Mark Hughes' lot. The team are building momentum and are growing in confidence. Long may it continue.