Winning trophies may be the object of the exercise but if they continue to elude us we can take some comfort from what we witnessed yesterday as being pretty darn close to the next best thing. If you were lucky enough to be at the ground and didn’t walk away feeling entertained then perhaps you really should think about taking up knitting. Six goals from six different players, something I can’t ever remember happening, is as good as it’s been for quite sometime, add to that the determination to come back after twice being behind – can you imagine that happening last year — and you could easily start to believe, as I do, that we are at the beginning of something very special here.
The team selection was spot on except for you know who but I will get to that later, it’s interesting how our wish team is now getting closer and closer to Wenger’s selection, all good stuff.
It was fairly predictable that Boltburn (I will get it right this season) would come to the Emirates and try and get bodies behind the ball, tediously time waste, in the hope of grinding out a draw. In situations like this, when space is at a premium, the silky skills of Fabregas, Arshavin and Rosicky, weaving their magic past obstinate defenders, is the order of the day; and, even more compelling after going behind which gave the opposition’s defence renewed determination.
One of the more hilarious criticisms of Wenger ran through my mind yesterday: it was rumoured that he would discourage players from shooting from distance as it was thought that they were less likely to score; far better to look for the pass, the result being more passes than necessary, hence the name Passenal. I envisaged Wenger calling all the players who are most likely to do this into his office to explain that this kind of behaviour would be frowned upon, although, thinking that it would not be necessary to invite the Centre Backs he forget to tell Vermaelen — and boy am I glad he did. Lol. Vermaelen’s left foot screaming equaliser acted like a release valve for the rest of the team; like naughty school boys realising that if he can break the rules so can we; the shots from outside the box came thick, fast and from all angles.
Fabregas is back to his best, well surprise, surprise, of course he is: when a player of this quality is surrounded by players of similar talent they all raise their game out of respect for each other.
We do still, off course, have one problem child: Diaby. The silver lining to this situation is that every time he is picked we get closer to one of the only two eventualities possible: he either blossoms into the player that Wenger sees him as in his minds eye or Wenger realises what many of us fear; either way, all should be revealed by Christmas and with a bit of luck no harm would have been done.
But to focus too much on Diaby would be to miss the point on such a great day when even Thierry Henry put in an appearance to adoring applause.
Wenger has clearly got them believing that they all have important roles to play in the squad. Ramsey replaced Fabregas and it was hard to see the join, this may seem like high praise indeed with our Captain leaving the field having notched up three assists and a goal but Ramsey was that good in the short space of time that he was on the field; he too, came close to getting three assists and a goal.
All that is good about healthy competition for places is now coming to the fore, with Rosicky and Arshavin off, the attack was then made up of Bendtner, RVP and Walcott and this was almost, if not equally, as impressive. Walcott takes the pressure of off RVP; he allows the Dutchman to play out wide knowing that Walcott, an able centre forward himself, would have replaced him in the box.
Above all, for me, this week and this game were about one man: Arsène Wenger; he was quicker than normal to put his hand up in acknowledgement of the song “One Arsène Wenger”, and rightly so, he knew that things were going very well indeed.