Four points means a good start
By Corey Kenny
Looking ahead to the Britannia on Sunday
With Man Utd faltering against a surprisingly fast-starting Everton side, superbly led by their 6 foot 4 inch talisman (need I say the name?), Man City showed tremendous spirit and fight to again fight back from a 2-1 deficit against much inferior opposition on a Sunday afternoon. They did it the hard way but, according to pundits, that is what makes champions. Chelsea performed an identical feat against a remarkably impressive Reading side, and I don’t even think that outfit Newcastle beat deserve a sentence.
Arsenal were solid at the back, albeit against a parked Sunderland bus. However, we lacked that cutting edge upfront in the final third. Podolski received next to no service in and around the 18-yard box, despite his constant off-the-ball running. However, there were two brilliant performers, one obvious, one some may dispute.
Santi Cazorla was exceptional, his touch, his dribbling, his passing, a real modern-day Spaniard. At 5 foot 6 inches, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the pitch. He created six chances, the most of any player in the Premier League, and if it wasn’t for a superb save and a poor finish, he would’ve stamped his first goal and assist on his record.
For me, the other star player was Yao Kouassi, better known as Gervinho. He had the beating of his full-back every time the ball was with him and was the only player who was anywhere near as imaginative as the creative Cazorla. Gervinho received a shed-load of criticism from the Arsenal faithful last year, and when I watched this at the pub despite him putting in a real 7/8 out of 10 performance, the pub’s consensus was still that he was…let’s just say ineffective, for any young reader’s sakes. Not to forget that Diaby played 90 whole minutes.
We travel two and a half hours to the notoriously solid Britannia Stadium. If ever there has been more hatred between a Welshman and a Frenchman, somebody please let me know. Ever since Tony Pulis brought rugby into football, his side have been one that nobody wants to play. Arsenal have always struggled in this tie, and I don’t see it being any different this time. I’d love to sit here and say we will win by two goals, job done. But sadly, I’d settle for a draw right now if you offered it to me.
However, these are the games when real sides step up, take their stand and deliver in a brutal battle for a 1-0 win. "1-0 to the Arsenal" would be a sweet tune for the travelling supporters to sing. The likes of Diaby, Arteta and Cazorla need to grab hold of that midfield and conduct the play, and the back four need to stand strong, be counted and protect the clean sheet that Szczesny will be desperate to keep so as not to have any smudges on his so-far-100% record.
I am not saying we are going to win the league, but success breeds more success and a win in an often unwinnable environment for passing will make our mark on an already brilliant start to the Premier League.
24th August 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
Andy M 11:29am 24th Aug 2012
Need to find the steel against them that we did when Ramsey had his leg broken by one of their footballers - oops, sorry, mean't talentless f***wits. Still, with Giroud and Mertesacker standing tall, we have more chance from the Delap line-outs don't we? Hope we go and get a result. This team is far better than the media would have you believe. Come on you Gunners! Let's smash some pottery on Sunday! - Post No. 28242
maguiresbridge gooner 14:49pm 24th Aug 2012
Four points would be a good start but six would have been even better.We needed to hit the ground running we didn't.To be fair a waste of time pre season didn't help yes the red mancs slipped up but the blue mancs didn't and neither did the chavs.Yes it's early days yet and i agree it's games like these that we have to step up to the mark and deliver and get something from preferably three points yes one is better than none but no matter how early in the season it is it's games like this and dropped points that matter when there's just a month or two of the season left. - Post No. 28250
Graham Simons 16:07pm 24th Aug 2012
Nothing would make me laugh more if Stoke were undone 3-0 via three Steve Bould flick-on corners. - Post No. 28255
CanadaGooner 17:24pm 24th Aug 2012
Corey mate, dont be a dreamer! 2 points means a good start (compared with how we began last season). If you think the team we have will go and secure 3 points at Stoke, you are indeed a dreamer my friend! The best we can hope for is a draw. Arsenal is a team with a weak-core, suspect goalie and equally shakey defence. Several points dropped against Fulham, Wolves, Blackburn (and the list goes on) last season confirms that. For years Sam Allardyce rolled us over at Bolton and the same problems havent been solved in almost 14 years! So, how on earth can anyone expect us to get 3 points at Stoke? (come on Podolski! prove this cynic wrong!!) - Post No. 28262
Wombledin 1:37am 25th Aug 2012
You'd settle for a draw against a crap team like Stoke? Nothing but a convincing victory against that lot would satisfy any red blooded gooner? You must be one of those new fans who thinks 4th place is a trophy. - Post No. 28268
Au Revior Wenger 16:28pm 26th Aug 2012
12 corners Stoke's keeper never had a shot to save and another 2 pts dropped same old Arsenal - Post No. 28284
Paul 18:56pm 26th Aug 2012
Gervinho is Sh*t - Post No. 28285
NOOP 15:18pm 28th Aug 2012
I think that's a bit harsh on Gervinho. The guy didn't even get to start the game. What's that ? Oh. - Post No. 28337
20th May 2013
Online Ed: 4th place trophy and CL qualifier secured