I have to say these are the blogs that all bloggers love to write. This is why we got into this mugs game. Today is a happy day for gooner bloggers everywhere as we get to write positive things about our beloved club and get to drive the dagger in further about our fiercest rivals.
The match certainly didn’t start that way however. All pre-match talk was about how Spurs had wrestled the ‘inge of North London’ tag and were now the best team. Gareth ‘monkey man’ Bale had said as much in a pre-game newspaper article. I don’t think Wenger is the ‘pin up an artist in the dressing room’ type, but you can be sure that some of the players would have heard of the commentary from the Welsh international and ultimately, by Jove they responded.
As I said, it couldn’t have started worse. Within four minutes Adebayor had found Saha after Kos slipped whilst pressing the Togolese, and the Frenchman took a couple of touches and hit a shot that deflected over Sczsceny and into the goal. It was poor for us to be cut open initially by the Spuds, but there was a huge slice of luck with the goal.
The fans clearly feared a grim day. But where I was sitting we picked ourselves up and continued the chanting. We were the 12th man and we still had a job to do. And to be fair the team started to react. I would say that after about 10 minutes the rest of the game was Arsenal in the ascendency. So what happened on 34 minutes was classic of how our season has been served to us: with a slice of steaming poo pie.
Le cocks were awarded a penalty. A bale through from Modric found Bale and Gibbs in a straight dart, and whilst a normally fully fit Gibbs might have got there, on this occasion Bale got in just in front. As he bore down on goal, Gibbs slid in, didn’t get the ball but certainly didn’t touch the man, and Scz came out to narrow the angle and also not touch Bale. Cue the beautiful Tom Dalyesque dive from Bale and a Mike Dean wave to the spot. The ‘referees assistant’ on the far side to us who had a better position than Dean, but he didn’t raise his flag. Dean even went over to discuss the decision but decided to give Bale the benefit of the doubt. Now, I don’t watch Spurs play to often, but I’ve seen Bale dive a few times and get away with it. So why hasn’t he been chastised? Even Match of the Day didn’t mention it in post match commentary. It’s amazing how much leeway you get as a golden child from the British Isles. Adebayor side footed the ball home and we were left with a big climb to get back in the game.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a secret weapon good luck charm. Whenever my charm is at the Emirates The Arsenal win, usually by three clear goals. My charm has been to Watford at home (3-0), Bolton (4-1), Blackburn (6-2) amongst other games. My secret charm: The Management. She’s always said to me she wanted to go to a big game and so this weekend, with Jamo unavailable for comment, she took her place in the crowd.
At 0-2 down I wondered if she had lost her lucky streak. At 2-2 I rubbed her face for more luck. At 5-2 the guy behind me told me to give her my tickets for the rest of the season.
The first two goals in the first half for us were crucial for our fightback. Had we gone in at half time two down we might have not been so jolly this morning. But it was Bacary Sagna that got us ‘Bac’ on track. RvP’s right footed shot cannoned off the post and fell to Gibbs out wide. He slotted the ball to Arteta for the little Spaniard to dink into the middle for Sagna to nod home.
Cue the fightback.
Sagna’s goal was on 41 and we were level on 43. A captain’s man of the match performance from RvP was topped off with a fantastic curling strike from just outside the box that left Friedel with no chance. As the half time whistle blew we were all square and the half time pint could be supped with relative happiness. But the best was yet to come.
The second half saw goals from Rosicky and two from Walcott to finish off a dejected Spurs. There was even time for a pantomime villain in the shape of Scott Parker to get his marching orders for a second yellow card. The only annoying thing was that it looks like Vermaelen picked up a knock, but I’m sure we’ll find out more in the coming days.
Now, to some praise giving. Both Rosicky and Walcott have had (rightly so in my opinion) serious questions raised about their inclusion in the team. But yesterday Rosicky was like the old player we knew in that midfield four with Hleb, Fabregas and Flamini. He was busy, worked the ball really well and even got his first goal for about two years. He came very close to winning the MOM award but overall it was Robin’s impact and overall awesomeness that pipped the Czech midfielder.
Walcotts performance was a classic footballing ‘game of two halves’ cliche. In the first half he was quiet on the verge of anonymous. He couldn’t pick a pass at all and I think that he probably would have been hauled off at half time if we were behind. But the second half he was more like the Theo we all want to see. Direct running, splitting defence and showing some great composure (although for one of the goals his first touch was nearly a tackle!) to score goals four and five for The Arsenal.
Overall the whole team deserves a big round of applause for the courage they showed to restore a two goal deficit. We lost a two goal lead against Spurs last year at home, so justice was served with yesterday’s fightback. It would be farcical to start making ‘turned the corner’ comments, as we still have plenty of games to play, but this victory will do great things for the teams confidence and bring a big lift to everyone associated with Arsenal. The most important thing is that we now look towards Anfield next weekend and hope that we pick up a/some points against the Scousers.
Happy Monday all.
P.S. season ticket waiting list for my lucky charm. Anyone know a way they can fast-track her in for next season?