I’m in a surprisingly good mood for a Monday, don’t you know, and let’s not pretend it’s not anything else than one of the greatest ‘during the season’ Premier League weekends that any Arsenal fan could have.
Why? Well not only did The Arsenal emphatically put away an in-form Villa team, but every single other team that will most likely finish in the top seven, dropped points of some regard. Liverpool went down to Wessstahhhhhm, the Spuds were defeated at home to West Brom, United were torn apart by Leicester (as quickly as they were ‘back’, they’ve gone ‘back’ on being ‘back’), Everton lost at home to Palace and then Chelski and Moneychester City shared an oil-whoring point between themselves.
I have this weird thing that I’m only truly happen with an Arsenal win if I know that at least one ‘rival’ has dropped points during the weekend. It means we’ve put a little bit of distance between an opponent each time. So when you have weekend’s like this, under my weird logic, it almost feels like we’ve been granted six points this weekend.
To top it all off, we get to be positive about performances like Mesut Özil’s, or Santi Cazorla, or Danny Welbeck. Heck, even Arteta was steady and assured enough at Villa Park, such was the comfort afforded to the team through a quick-fire round of three goals in four minutes. The questions that exist about his ability to boss the bigger games will still remain, but for matches such as this weekend we have a more than capable captain.
Such is the manner and fast-paced nature of football at the moment – with the games coming thick and fast – there is little time to bask in the reflective glow of our awesomeness and everyone else’s inferiority, as the gazes will already be cast towards a Capital One Cup game at home to Southampton. There will be more over the coming days regarding who we might play, but I did have a bit of a chat with a fellow Gooner follower on Twitter yesterday about wholesale changes to the team, as I am most certainly in favour. In fact, with the NLD at home on Saturday, I am hoping that there isn’t one player that will play in that game that rocks up on Saturday early evening. We need a clean and fit bill of health for that match up, so changes to give some of the other players a place in the side will be essential to us having a proper go at the Spuds.
Plus, let’s not forget that the squad is big enough now that we could feasibly see a team made of first team players rather than youth prospects, so it’s even more reason to push for a major reshuffle.
I think there’s almost an inevitability that Welbeck and Özil will be rested, which is just as well given Le Boss talked up their combination play with Mesut playing through the centre. The first goal at the weekend was somewhat of a role reversal for both players against Villa, with Welbeck providing the ball in behind the defenders for Özil to slot home, showing that the fluidity of the team is paramount for the system that Arsène wants his team to play to work.
It is interesting that Arsène has talked up that link play and hasn’t spoken yet of the link up play between Alexis and Özil. Perhaps it is because they haven’t been deployed as a traditional number ten and a striker as yet, or perhaps it is because Alexis is still finding his feet in terms of making those runs in behind defenders, but I suspect we’ll see a bit more between all of that three attacking players as the season wears on. What you can say about all three players is that they are very good at bringing other players into play. They move the ball well, keep retention of the ball well too, which allows for more fluidity and movement of runners in beyond the person that might have dropped deeper to receive the ball like Welbeck did for the first goal.
Welbeck himself has spoken about how he feels there is more to come from him now that he is off the mark and you suspect he’s right. As with Alexis, getting that all important first goal means everything for the confidence and so let’s hope that it means he’ll be slotting home a few chances on Saturday evening against the old enemy too.
That’s all there is from me today. You stay super.