Arsenal vs Spuds- We showed good composure and got the rewards by VSM
There’s nothing better than beating Spurs, and beating them by a comfortable goal margin probably adds salt to their wounds. And going behind, well we just do that to give them false hope!
In fairness they had more energy for the first 10 minutes, and during this time they were always winning the second ball and those 50/50’s. Especially in the middle of the pitch, where we should have outnumbered them 3 to 2 because of formation choices (they went 4-4-2); they seemed to be winning every bouncing ball or free ball that there was.
Mertesacker’s mistake for their first goal was inexcusable, although he made up for it and some later. He is standing so far up the pitch that he’s level with Arteta when the ball is played to Defoe. In fairness it was a good piece of movement by Defoe, dragging Mertesacker up the pitch before scurrying forward to receive the ball, leaving the BFG both ball watching and in no man’s land, as he wouldn’t have had the pace to keep up with Defoe anyway.
There’s no denying that the red card changed the game, but what I applaud is our reaction to it. There were angry heads out there, and people underestimate the composure it takes to pass it around, control the game and still remain solid at the back. It would have been very easy for us to get 11 v 10 syndrome, leaving us exposed to counter attacks by bombarding forward. We controlled possession, carefully probed, and ended up getting the rewards. AVB decided that telling lies was the way to go after the match, and blabbered on about how Spurs controlled the match. Lies.
The aggression of Jack was sensational. He provides a perfect complement to the style of play of Santi, who was excellent by the way. Jack stuck with Bale every time Bale got the ball, made it difficult for him, and it was only when Jack left the proceedings that Bale scored and could have set up Defoe for Spuds’ third. Jack provides the hint of nastiness that we need, because a tactic teams use against us is to push us around, be aggressive with us, and Jack provides the perfect counter for it.
One more thing to point out, is that we were finally utilising Giroud in the way he must be utilised. I say finally, but we’ve been doing it for the past few weeks and it has reaped rewards, with Giroud now scoring on a consistent basis. Sagna kept crossing it to Giroud, and his goal came from a great bit of play from Santi.