Bang Bang!!! 5 wins out of 5, and now finally after a horrific start to the season we can finally start to look at finishing in the top for as a possibility not a distant dream! Amen and hallelujah!! So we went into this game on the back of an international break and would normally have a few more players added to the injury list. but the heavens are looking down on us and we nearly had a full strength squad (I’m laughing profusely now). My only bit of beef was having Dave playing out on the right and not in the centre. But then Arsene can’t put a foot wrong these days so I will forgive this over-site.
The game started furiously and we really should have been a few goals up by 15 mins. But then this is ‘The Arsenal’ and we just don’t know how to do things the easy way. After 12 mins, had it not been for Norwich keepers acrobatics to stop Theo’s curling shot into the bottom corner following a quick counter-attack by Gervinho, we would have been 1 – up. As always we continued to pour forwards and stretched Norwich on both flanks. But like I said we just don’t like it easy and at 16mins it was made all the harder. Ball into the box Per unsure what to do, Morrison (who I really do think has talent obviously because we learned his football at Stevenage FC) putting Per under pressure got ahead of him and slotted the ball past Chezzer. Totally against the run of play but then we have been here before. Good news is we continued to pile forward despite the goal, however, and unbelievably it took two more goalline clearances from Martin – the first from RVPs header and then when keeper John Ruddy could only half-stop Gervinho’s effort one-on-one – to keep Norwich ahead. But RVP unplayable at the moment and on the form he is on 26mins the equaliser came. Theo skipped past Tierney to cut the ball back through the six-yard box, where Gervinho failed to connect with a reverse flick, but it fell to Van Persie with a simple tap-in for his ninth goal in five Premier League games. Calm had been restored.
We continued to make a few chances but nothing to shout about until the second half. Not having seen Norwich this season you can see how they managed such rapid promotion under Lambert these past few years. They are another newly promoted side that are playing good attacking football – a very non Stoke style of playing. So they continued to play but there really was only going to be one winner today. Through pressure from Arteta and Song, Martin lost the ball Song played a great ball to RVP who took his dance superbly scooped the ball over the keeper just shaving the inside of the post. But with more than 20 mins to go playing away from home the onset of squeaky bum time had well and truly set-in. but there was something different this time – yes Norwich had chances but no real heart in the mouth moments. And at 80mins we must have kept the ball for five minutes with Norwich just chasing shadows. Well deserved win.
PLAYER PRAISE – I know that RVP will be getting all the headlines and so he should but the past few games Theo has really impressed. He just looks sharper, meaner and all together the player that he should have been four seasons ago. Kudos to you my Dragon loving children’s book writer friend.
PLAYER MOAN – Per Mertesacker I don’t know what he was playing at with the Morrison goal but Arsene doing his best to cover for him, but he just is not having a good first season. but then nor did Dave so I am willing to overlook this for now. But you have been warned Per.
The Arsene Commitment
After the game Arsene moved to clarify his comments in L’Equipe magazine talking about the departures of Cesc and Nasri he said…
“For first time I lost young players, who were reaching maturity. I suffered. It’s painful to lose key men you’d invested a lot in”, he said, and spoke suggested that bad results last season ‘broke the squad. They could have been extraordinary. I often call it ‘the season of the last-minute’”.
So Arsene moved to clarify this statement
“I wanted just to say that this is the Club of my life,” he told Arsenal Player after the 2-1 win at Norwich. “I have a contract that I will honour and the only way I would one day consider [leaving] is if I feel I have not done well enough for the Club.
“You cannot say you love the Club and have a start like we had then ignore it. That is just what I wanted to say.
“There is no mixed message in there. My commitment and love for this Club is total. The only way I would consider [my future] is if I was not doing well enough for the Club.”
Well one thing is for sure is that he is right, he will leave if he wasn’t doing good enough. But by whose perception of doing well? Players or fans? Because I do have the feeling that if we fall short of the top four it won’t just RVP that will have some serious thoughts on leaving this summer but everyone else that is close to two years left. But the season is not over and there still is January transfers to think about. A lot can happen between now and then so lets just hope we are still in contention at the close of the window.