Wednesday, 8 December 2010

11 conclusions from Arsenal 2 Fulham 1

Arsenal 2 Fulham 1

1)Whilst clearly stating the obvious, Samir Nasri is in scintillating form. The case against Arsenal is that we don't have a defence nearly good enough to win the League. The case for requires only two words: Samir Nasri. As somebody who has more than a passing resemblance to Nasri, I'm hopeful of being shown some love very soon.

2)Nasri's goals reflected a wider point - illustrated by Arshavin's goal last week against Villa. Our success in attack this season - at least in part - can be put down to a willingness to run with the ball. The lack of goals from outside the box is because we're no longer passing the ball around 25 yards from goal, looking for a break; instead, we're genuinely running at the opposition and it's a tactic which is clearly paying dividends.

3)In terms of pivotal moments, the save Fabianski made at 1-1 was crucial. I accept there were 20 minutes to go, but lose and it would have been yet another home defeat and yet another missed opportunity to go top. As it was, things turned out well, but how important a moment may that have been in our season? While this is massively stating the obvious, time will tell.

4) When will Laurent Koscielny drop in the pecking order? Good in the second half against Villa, the clash with Squillaci will bring the doubters out once again. At any rate, regardless of how low an opinion you have of him, Djourou is clearly a better player. Considering how long Wenger continued to start Wiltord, it is almost like he selects by price tag.

5) On a wider point about the defence, the second half performance was one of the best defensively for a while. Sure, we were cut open a couple of times. But Clichy was actually defending well, Djourou was immense, Sagna was everywhere, and Squillaci was solid and reliable. More of the same please.

6) That Andrey Arshavin continues to make chances and scare the opposition is certainly enough in my eyes to merit a pick. That people doubt him is moot; certainly he is not going to run your team back into the game with his work rate. But equally, having a player who can change a game in an instant is what makes him an enormous luxury, rather than a luxury player.

7) As I'm fond of damning Wenger's substitutions, I should praise him for bringing on Robin Van Persie - the Dutchman's assist for the winning goal was probably only his second good touch since August, and it took balls to bring him on.

8)If Aaron Ramsey recovers fully from his injury - and it's a massive if - blasphemous as it sounds, would selling Cesc be such a bad idea? Obviously this would be based on the proviso of reinvestment in the team, but with Nasri, Arshavin and Ramsey all on form, any reliance on Fabregas at the club would be normal. This is far from me advocating selling him, but with Nasri's extraordinary influence (admittedly from another area of the pitch), it's certainly a thought.

9) Song playing further forward is fast becoming a massive issue. It's a double whammy in a sense - not only does he interrupt our attacking flow, he's also not there to defend when the opposition counter-attack. That Wenger says it isn't a problem is worrying - it definitely is a problem.

10) For too long, Wenger has been concerned by resale value. With Rosicky, this is presumably not the case judging by his age and injury record. This is undoubtedly a good thing - the experience and calm head Rosicky has really helps our team. His versatility is excellent and he seems an all-round good egg. He is the sort of player who genuinely could take us to trophies.

11) Sorry to go on about it, but Samir Nasri was exceptional. If he was English (or Welsh...) the hype would never stop. His two goals were both brilliant and he seems to me to be the best player in England at the moment. If he keeps on scoring goals, this really could be a glorious season.

Keep the faith.

No comments: