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A few thoughts on the Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0 league match

March 25, 2012

Morning Gooners…

After watching my Sons teams lose their last game of the season and end up 4th in the league and with time tight, we made our way to the Emirates to see Arsenal v Villa…

A good result for us in the Chelsea/Spuds match meant that a win would take us 3 & 8 pts ahead of them respectively.

We came out of Holloway Road tube into the sunshine and you could feel the difference in the crowds of Gooners making their way to the stadium. We crossed Holloway Road the Arsenal fans that had just poured out of “The Rocket” and were in full voice on their march to the stadium. You could feel the excitement and the recent lift the crowd had been given… The doom-mongers had gone back into hiding and replaced by a much more upbeat support.

Arriving at the ground around 2.45 we took our seats and found that Koscielny would be missing due to tendonitis in the knee and his replacement would be Djourou. Apart from that, the team line would be:

Szczesny (6), Sagna (8), Djourou (7), Vermaelen (7), Gibbs (6) (Santos 68) (5), Arteta (8), Song (9), Walcott (7) (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77) (5), Rosicky (8), Gervinho (6)(Ramsey 68) (5), Van Persie (7). Subs not used: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Chamakh, Benayoun. Attendance: 60,108.

Just before Kick off at the North Bank a Muamba banner was unveiled.. Nice touch..

The match kicks off on a glorious day of Sunshine and 21c. Red shirts were everywhere.. The stadium looking splendid.

An early injury to Djourou who is down for about 4 mins after a challenge by “He couldn’t score in a brothel”

The first real chance falls to Villa as Albrighton is put away with Gibbs nowhere, however, Albrighton fires his shot hard over the bar. Petrov is booked and Villa though not steaming in are following their manager instructions to make niggly fouls and swap around. Stop Arsenal from playing.

Djourou-Sagna-Theo-Sagna open up Villa. Sagna plays ball to RVP whose back-heel is just not into Theo’s path and Theo’s shot is tame at Given who palms it out to Sagna who fires high and wide.

16 Mins Gooooooooooooooal!!! Rosicky-Gibbs-Gervinho-Rosicky-Gibbs-Rosicky-Gervinho who holds it up looking for space, see’s Gibbs in the area and slips the ball into him. The Villa defence opens to let Gibbs in and he hits his shot hard and low and Given can only help the ball into the net. Maybe if Given tried harder to save the ball than already trying to waste time when taking goal kicks he may have saved it.

Arsenal are playing well and passing the ball around neatly and attacking quick with two good full backs and Gervinho and Walcott on the flanks…

25 Mins Gooooooooooooooal!!! Again good pressure from Arsenal closing Villa down and forcing errors, the ball falls to Song who looks up and with one of his trademark chipped over the top passes, finds Theo, who takes the ball with great control, brings it down and just passes the ball into the net for 2-0 Arsenal. The ball from Song deserved a goal.

“Are you watching Tott-en-ham… Are you watching Tott-en-ham.. Stand up if you hate Tottenham… Stand up if you hate Tottenham… Roared from the terraces..

Pressure from Arsenal see Given save from Gervinho and a rasping shot from Arteta. This followed by a one-two with RVP and Song that see RVP’s first chance blocked and then see RVP do a lovely bit of skill, drag back and shot only to see Warnock amazingly clear the ball off the line.

2-0 half time

The second half is much more quiet and the best chance fell to TR7 who hit a long-rage shot that stung the hands of Given.

Super… Super Tom.. Super… Super Tom… Super… Super Tom… Super Tomas Roskicky..

Arsenal replaced Gervinho and Gibbs with Ramsey and Santos. An early stray pass from Santos leaves Weimann in but he could not make anything of it and just tamely passes across the goal.

Arsenal are passing the ball around the fun now and the ball arrives at the feet of RVP who with the crowd chanting the oles, decodes to do a lovely bit of skill by dazzling the full back and flicking the ball up to the delight of the Arsenal crowd basking in the score and sun.

TR7 who I once again thought was superb, running all over the park and his only thought to attack, slide the ball to Ramsey who let the ball run through his legs to take the Villa player out of the game, turned and fired a shot just wide.

Oxo is now brought on to replace Walcott who had another pretty decent game. A quick break from a Villa corner, the ball passed out to Oxo, who speed beats the first Villa players and with Oxo is running at speed towards to the Villa goal is taken out by Ireland, TV showed later that Ireland did get the ball, but for me I was not sure how Ireland was still on the pitch after making at least eight fouls.

SCREAMER!!!!  Game approaching full-time and what has been a rather tame second half, ends with Arsenal being awarded a free kick about 30 yards from goal after Song was taken out with another of those tackles that has Alex McCleish’s trade mark team talks all over it. Arteta lines up to take it. Arteta lines the ball, steps up and WHACK fire’s a Bullitt of a shot pass Given who did not even move 3-0 Arsenal and a score line that more reflected the match.

The final whistle goes and Arsenal are now making a gap of their own. Three points clear of Spuds and eight clear of Chelsea and the crowd leave the Emirates into the afternoon sun happy as Larry…

Shocker for Liverpool at Anfield as they lose to Wigan 1-2. Thus seeing them lose to two of the teams in the bottom three in four days.

Gibbs and Walcott scoring meant Arsenal had two English goalscorers in a Premier League game, the first time since Ian Wright, Ray Parlour and David Platt scored in a 5-0 thrashing of Barnsley in 1997. The goals helping Arsenal to their seventh successive top flight win making this run Arsenal’s best run since 2007. This equalled the best run also this season by Man City in Sept/Oct/Nov.

Later would see Man City drop two points to Stoke RFC and take a bow son to Peter Crouch who scored one of the best long-range goals you will see.

Arsenal are third on MOTD… Gary, Lee and Alan are in attendance and I wait for the game and then their analysis on the game… about 4 mins of the game shown and what is this!!! No analysis, none at all, save Lee telling me the defence still needs some work over the summer. Just pass onto the next match.

You see I have this theory. These so-called experts and our wonderful media have spent so much of their effort having a go at Arsenal this season, telling us week in week out how poor Arsenal are and that they would be lucky to get seventh let alone Champions League football. Our huge injury situation is not taken into account, your only allowed a squad of 25. You could have six full backs but if their all injured how can you legislate for that? During this time the experts and wonderful journalists have been hyping the club/manager/Bale down the road.

When push comes to shove and the sun comes out, we see Arsenal have won seven on the bounce, Spuds can’t win for toffee and Arsenal are third in league and in the cat-bird seat so to speak.  The journo’s and expert’s have been made to look a tad silly and even with backs to the wall are still trying to spin it that spurs are doing alright and deserve a Champions League spot and that Arsenal still have much to do.

I make no apologies for repeating this article.. Feb 25th… Henry Winter… and this on North London XI

You could not make this stuff up. @ollieholtmirror was  forced to admit he got it wrong in the amount of Arsenal fans that were calling for Wenger’s head, by admitting it was more a vocal minority, rather than a silent majority that were calling for Wenger’s head.

That’s all folks… Have a great Sunday.

Follow me on Twitter @harlowgooner.

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