It seems that reports of the demise of our title hopes have been greatly exaggerated. Arsenal took tentatively to the field and grew in confidence to such degree that having beaten Hull three – nil they strode off like Lions.
There was a new determination yesterday, the vacuum left by the absence of the Fabregas/Van Persie axsis has been filled by the more gritty nature of Vermaelen and Arshavin and this is worth emphasising; they are the alpha males of the team now and their fighting spirit was permeating throughout the team. And as if that wasn’t good news enough there was a punch up on the pitch as well.
Nasri trod on one of the Hull players feet, which looked as if the Hull player just fell over at the time, and then it all kicked off with Song weighing in and I suddenly had the thought that I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him in a dark ally. The Referee and linesmen went into a huddle and I feared the worse: a red card was surely on it’s way but luckily only a yellow appeared and up stepped Denilson, everyone’s new best friend, and scored a free kick with Brazilian aplomb.
This changed everything, gone was the early nervousness and on came a very determined second half, which was only interrupted by the referee awarding Hull a penalty for some mysterious shirt pulling, the Rum was going down a treat on this freezing afternoon and all around me went mad with joy as Almunia saved.
Big Al’s heroics kick started us back into action and it didn’t take long until we were able to sit back and roast chestnuts in the warm glow of a two nil cushion. Some superb work by Diaby on the left to then cut it back for Eduardo to score one of his trade mark tap ins. Diaby was going from strength to strength now and crowned a fine afternoon’s work off with a powerful goal of his own, this was the cue to try and increase the confidence in the rest of those lacking in it on the bench: enter Walcott and Ramsey, although the Welshman doesn’t need his confidence increasing he just needs more games.
All in all, a great afternoon, I mean, what could be sweeter than rubbing Phil Browns nose in it? Oh yes, I know, Mark Hughs getting the sack. Lol
Almunia: come on admit it, you forgave him for a minute when he saved the penalty that kept us in the game. If Hull had scored they would have put eleven men behind the ball and wasted time to such an extent that your hatred of Phil Brown would have reached a level that you would have wanted to see him tortured before he was put down. Well, done Big Al. 7.5
Eboue: everybody’s favourite back up, gave Sagna an opportunity to recharge his batteries, kept his diving down to a minimum and gave a classy display in just how to play against one of the lesser teams. What are we going to do if someone comes in and actually wants to buy him? 8
Gallas: never made a single mistake, still so obviously loving playing along side Vermaelen which is making even more sense now we can look objectively at Kolo’s scatter brained work up norf. 9
Vermaelen: you just know that when the ball breaks and he is chasing side by side with an attacker there is only going to be one winner. His aggression and determination have been badly missed in the Passenal of recent seasons. I wonder if he has any brothers or cousins, a team just can’t have too many Vermaelens. 9
Silvestre: some wise sage has been battling over recent months to try and explain that Mikael is an inexpensive piece of insurance taken out by Wenger on the off chance that three left backs get injured, hhhhhmmm, who was that? Considering he has only played three games at left back in as many season he is doing fine and was better today than he was in the week. Keep it up Mikael 7.5
Denilson: you just know that the Lefties had a collective orgasm when he scored his goal. We have a new free kick taker and superbly taken it was as well; his confidence soared after scoring and had one of the best games of his career at Arsenal to date. 8
Song: he is realising that he is one big tough Cookie. I hope they make him captain for Camaroon in the up and coming ACoN, the only thing he is missing from his game is leadership quality. 8
Nasri: this man does not like travelling but put him in the Emirates and he is a different person. Freed from the powerful influence of Fabregas, the now fit Nasri went about running the creative part of the midfield with Galic flair and determination. 8
Diaby: someone else, who, being free of the powerful influence of Fabregas was able to express himself, safe in the knowledge that Denilson and Song had his back covered he was able to power forward playing the one role he is suited to and a very good goal to boot. 7.5
Arshavin: our new centre forward may not be too much of a threat in the air to most defenders but you can see that they are having a hard time dealing with him on the deck; worked hard and his winning mentality is starting to rub off. 7.5
Eduardo: slowly coming back to life, it’s all about goals with him and his important second goal of the afternoon lifted not only him but the whole team. 7