Sunday, 20 April 2014

Hull 0 London 3

Happy Hour arrived for the travelling fans today as three goals inside an hour and six within a weeks seems to have made us Get Back Up Off Our Knees and on a roll again. Hull won't be too disappointed with this result if on May 17th, their Flag Day they can reverse the result but bar a few scary moments and the wind, this was pretty comfortable for Arsenal.

I'm always Anxious for any Arsenal games these days, but seeing the inclusion of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in the starting line-up makes you feel a lot more confident. The talking point this season will be "What If Ramsey had stayed fit" and although I've been Sitting On The Fence for a while, Ramsey can achieve anything he wants to, even when he was struggling and was being dismissed as not good enough by people like me, I was in no doubt that if he ever turned it around, he could achieve great things as he never goes missing, he has a great attitude and desire for football. As for Ozil, the Sheep will tell you he's not been great this season but if you Think For A Minute, his absence was during the period where it looked like we'd never score again. Coincidence?

We're Not Deep as football fans but if Ramsey had stayed fit and Ozil and Walcott had played more, we'd probably still be in with a shout of the title, we didn't lead the league for most of the season for nothing, but the age old problem of training methods comes about again. The defence looks back to something like normal, it's harsh on Vermaelen who had played well but with Koscielny and Mertesacker and their "Lean On Me" when it's going wrong for the other rappour, they simply have to be first choice.

Ramsey also means that Santi Cazorla has more Freedom, and also Giroud to some extent as Ramsey makes the runs beyond Giroud which enables the striker to be more than a spare part, his link-up play which has been generally good comes into play, and we look a better team for it.

So People Get Ready, 4 more cup finals (1 is actually a cup final) - 2 home games that we should be winning and Norwich away, it's in our hands, we've got the experience, what a good place to be.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Paralysis by Analysis

The morning after the carnage of the evening before and however bad we were yesterday, Arsenal are in the FA Cup final for the first time in nearly 10 years. It seems as if the rules are changed and the common theory that "winning ugly" is a sign of strength and mental fortitude....unless it's Arsenal and in that case we were just lucky. The game was as most people expected, Wigan defending deep and well and trying to exploit on the counter and Arsenal's flat, insipid passing trying to break them down, but don't let the narrative confuse you, there was only one team who deserved to win that game, and it wasn't Wigan, 95% of the clear cut chances were Arsenals, we had more of the ball (as you think a Premier League team should against a Championship one).

And then you have the furore of the celebrations, this is a team going through the wringer, nearly a decade trophyless having just won a penalty shootout in a a game they were 8 minutes away from losing, if you can't celebrate that then you might as well stop watching Sport. You had Roy Keane and some Liverpool chiding Arsenal for celebrating "only beating Wigan", well did Roy Keane celebrate when Manchester United beat Millwall? Did Liverpool celebrate beating Cardiff (on pens)? Of course they did and have every right to. (The Caveat being that they were finals, we could still balls this up)

But we're there, 90 mins away from ending the drought, shutting many people up in the process although knowing the law of sod, we'll finish 5th so the cup win will largely be forgotten.

West Ham on Tuesday, if you're going to The Emirates, take a pair of boots, you might get a game.

Until then.

Relieved of Warwickshire.