A first post for the blog and what a pleasure it is to be toasting an emphatic win against a team that over recent seasons has caused us countless problems, both at the Emirates and away.
The initial minutes of the match saw our line broken with ease and Chelsea should have been 2 goals to the good within 10 minutes. Defensive frailties as well decent attacking play from both sides was responsible for what was an extremely open game and Gerviniho should have netted after Walcott played a superb cross from the right hand side, however the Ivorian was found wanting in front of goal. Credit to him though as he picked himself up to provide a calm and selfless assist for our captain and talisman Robin Van Persie.
We came out in the second half and I doubt there were many who could have picked the result of the game. Our performance at the back was undoubtedly more alert and solid with only an excellent goal from Mata breaking our line. In attack we played high tempo, direct football and 4 goals at Stamford bridge in 45 minutes is something that very few teams can boast.
I don’t think that the importance of this win can be underestimated, over the last couples of months Arsenal football club and its fans have been through a whole host of emotions starting with the departure of arguably our two best players and continuing with a torrid start to the season, however since then the team has started to gel in a very positive way and I think it is clear that players are starting to understand and grow into their responsibilities within the squad.
Theo Walcott’s performance in this game is something that highlights this for me. Van Persie will quite rightly take the plaudits for his hatrick in the game to add to what had been an exceptional season for him so far. However, I felt that Walcott worked extremely hard for the team. He gave Ashley Cole a torrid time at left back, preventing someone who is generally a pretty potent attacking force for Chelsea from establishing himself in the game and providing cover for Djourou who bluntly is looking out of his depth at right back. Walcott’s desire to get himself up off the ground to wriggle his way through and finish calmly past Cech showed the sort of desire that we have been crying out for in this Arsenal side. Let’s hope that this is something that he can build on over the coming months.
Prior to the game Arsene compared the game to a cup final and I think he was right to do so. A loss in the game would have lead to more scrutiny for the team and led to another dent in confidence. A win has provided the exact opposite, yes the state of our defensive play at times is something that cannot be ignored, but the manor in which this game was won was huge for everyone at the club and the post match celebrations were can indication that the squad understood the importance of the result.
The Arsenal of the past seasons have often suffered hangovers from games such as this and it is paramount that we push on from here starting with a solid performance against Marseille on Tuesday, if the desire is there and Robin keeps netting in the way he is then there is no doubt that this team will go from strength to strength.
Just a thought on the leadership of Van Persie, on Match of the Day a couple of weeks ago Alan Hansen questioned the captaincy of Van Persie and his ability to lead. Looking back on it now this statement is something that should leave our dear Hansen questioning his career on the arm chair. I don’t think there is a more influential player in the premier league at the moment. Van Persie’s desire is there for all to see and is currently uniting a dressing room and a fan base. If scoring 28 goals in 27 premier league games is not leading by example then there is nothing that is.
That’s it from me back tomorrow with news on the Marseille game from my fellow blogger.