By Walter Broeckx
I think this was a game that was a great summary of our football club in this season. Being the best team, being on top for most of the game but still have to work incredibly hard to get a victory.
Let us start with the bad things. Again we had enough chances to win the game in a relaxed way. But again we missed too many chances to do this. We should have finished the game after 60 minutes. But keeping the score at 1-0 meant we had to be careful for the slightest mistake.
And that is the second thing. Again a goal for the other team was a follow up of mistakes. First of all the header from Jenkinson. In such a case what a defender has to do is to head the ball high in the air in a looping way. By doing that you give time to your own team mates to get back and maybe they can challenge the player from the other team and even win the ball back. But heading it to the ground and in the path of a Villa player was mistake one.
Mistake two came from Szczesny. As a former keeper I can say this was bad. I think any goalkeeper will confirm this. He should have stopped the ball. I think he will know that as well. I think he will have been the most disappointed person in the Emirates. Well I hope he will have been the most disappointed person in the Emirates.
It is clear that Szczesny has a bit of a confidence problem for the moment. After his great match at Sunderland it all went wrong a bit. The Blackburn goal was not really the best clearance at the time. The second Bayern goal wasn’t also one that he will remember with the thought that he couldn’t have done better. And now today again.
So what do we do now? Throw him out? I wouldn’t be that quick to take such a measure. As I think there are a few things that we need to keep in mind. First of all he is still only 22 years old. And that is still very young for a keeper in the PL. And I think he is having a year and some moments that each keeper face in their career. A moment where you don’t have any luck and when you seem to make a few mistakes in a row.
A moment that can define a career. If he comes out on top of this before the end of the season he could be on his way to greatness. If he fails he could be on the way to not becoming a top class keeper. So the manager has to make a choice now. Will he stick with him and support him and he could end up with a world class keeper or bench him and risk that he might lose his confidence. A difficult choice. I hope that Szczesny regains his confidence and will become a top class keeper.
Now let us go to the good things and let us start with that the team at times seemed to defend a bit more in group. Not that it was perfect, but I noticed on a few occasions that we did what I asked for. Not that they did it for me of course.
For those saying that Wenger doesn’t do tactics I noticed a change in formation. And with Cazorla playing more on the wing from the start, putting Wilshere more up front and with Diaby and Arteta more as the hanging midfielders.
Cazorla was the man who will be catching the headlines of course. With two well taken low shots he brought us the two points. A nice statistic that we can say about Cazorla is that he is the first player since Thierry Henry who has scored more than 10 goals in his first season. Before we know it we have the new Henry in our little Spanish player.
What was impressing was the way the team was putting up the pressure in this game. I thought it was a one way game with only one team playing to win it and Aston Villa playing in the hope to get a point and get a Blackburn result. The early goal from Cazorla made that scenario unlikely but we kept on searching for that second goal that would be the end of the game. At times it looked like a handball match with Arsenal circling and surrounding the Aston Villa penalty area but not finding the much wanted second goal. And Aston Villa hanging on and then getting a lucky break.
The second goal was a beautiful move. Wilshere with a delicate ball to Monreal who pulled the ball back to his former teammate and Cazorla who kept his cool and side footed the ball in the far corner. A nice and simple move and a very effective one.
It brought us the 3 points and apart from the media everyone in the sane part of the world agreed that this was a well deserved victory for Arsenal. And I really cannot understand how any person apart from the lovers of parking the bus football can say that Villa deserved anything apart from a fine for parking their buss on a football field. There is a bus parking for the team bus under the Emirates but not on our nice lawn.
With the other results like Everton losing we now have made a 5 point gap for the teams who are behind us. And we are one point behind the totts who play on Monday at West Ham and for once I will be supporting Big Sam. And with the game Manchester City – Chelsea tomorrow we will win ground on one of those teams and even maybe on both.