Aug 242013

Fulham vs Arsenal lukas-podolski_2652517bWhen the back is against the wall and you bounce back, that is what makes a champion. Arsenal started the season in the worst possible way and the negativity of the spotlight was turned in our direction but we have managed the mini crisis maturely, bouncing back with two straight convincing wins on difficult grounds. Firstly at istanbul, we ignored the bonfire from the home fans to dish out to Fenerbahche a good footballing lesson which has pushed us closer to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

In the Premier League, we traveled to Craven Cottage and recorded yet another convincing victory over Londoners Fulham enroute setting a record of the first London club to record a century of London derby victories. Thanks to a goal from Giroud and Podolski’s brace. Bent’s strike only ruined our clean sheet but wasn’t strong enough to give us jitters. Now we are well poised to seal our passage to the group stages of the Champions League and start another century of London derby conquest when Tottenham visit the Emirates next weekend.

As usual, I noticed some issues that I will like to share with you all.

Podolski starting

Going into the match, the German was linked with a move back to his native land (Germany) with Schalke touted as the interested party. Instead of him languishing on the bench, Wenger handed him his first start of the season and how well did he respond with two beautiful goals that sealed victory for the Gunners. He not only scored two good goals, he celebrated them joyfully. Guess Wenger laid down a marker that he isn’t for sale by starting him and he showed his happiness at the Emirates with 2 goals and all action jubilation. He also got a center forward role when Giroud was subbed before he made away for new boy, Sanogo.

Wilshere starting from the bench

After his midweek heroics, the Englishman dropped off to the bench. It’s important he is kept injury free and to achieve that, he must be rested. In his absence, Cazorla and Rosicky pulled the strings in the midfield and when he came on late in the 2nd half, he also put in a decent shift. Guess, he is ready for Fenerbache and the North London derby.

Sagna at center back.

After his midweek heroics when he contained Moussa Sow, Emmanuel Emenike and Webo, Wenger declared it would require long voyage to find a better center back. He proved it yet again today. After holding forth for suspended Koscielny, he contained the forays of Berbatov, Kasami and Bent. It is not a mean feat to handle the Bulgarian who is full of strength, trickery and unpredictability. With his performance so far this season both at right back and center-back, he has proven how deserving he is of a new contract with increased wages.

Ramsey triumphed against scott parker and Sidwell

The Welshman is our stand-in defensive midfielder and has been superb so far this season. Against Sidwell and Parker, he was up against two highly physical and tricky midfielders. He proved his mettle yet again. He showed defensive awareness and also a constant threat when Arsenal stormed forward. With him in such bubbling form, I
doubt if Arsenal need Cabaye. He is a younger version of the Frenchman and his progress shouldn’t be stymied by the arrival of a seemingly bigger player. What we need is a natural defensive midfielder. For a deep lying playmaker, we already have Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere.

Giroud can’t stop scoring

The French man has been in imperious form so far this season. He has scored in all the 3 matches he has played in. Today, he was a constant menace for the Cottagers. For his goal, he showed agility, positioning to beat the offside trap, awareness to recover from the bounce of the ball to beat the goalkeeper. I fancy him having a
great season.

Yaya Samogo debuts in the Premier League

He is Wenger’s solitary signing till date and much has been said about him and most have been negative; he is a freebie, untested at the highest level, injury prone and still a youngster. In his cameo role today, though he didn’t get on the score sheet, he showed promise with his positioning and runs into the box. He looks more of a goal poacher than a hustling striker. (82)

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