Saturday, 4 December 2010

Time to win a trophy now. Wigan match report and thoughts.

Arsenal 2 Wigan 0

I could moan about Carlos Vela's failure to take numerous chances in the first half. I could equally moan about Theo Walcott's woeful finishing and poor crossing in the second half.

But that would be missing the point. In a sense, the Wigan match was exactly the match we've been waiting for all season - a 2-0 victory, where the opposition didn't create anything and it was just a solid victory. It's been exciting thus far, but one of the hallmarks of champions is to play a series of nondescript matches.

We haven't had a series of poor matches, but the Wigan one was certainly a good place to start. Alcaraz headed home an own goal and Bendtner scored a tap-in but by and large, we didn't really create much. Nasri almost scored a goal from nothing at the end, and as I said, Vela and Theo could have had a brace apiece, but we did lack something of a cutting edge.

Yet this was unimportant - in the entire match Wigan really didn't create anything. It would be nice to see more matches like this one - with less stress involved and nothing to fret about. Equally though, with Szczesny in goal, I always do feel more confident, and Gibbs seems a lot more reliable than Clichy.

With Ipswich in the semi-final and (potentially) Birmingham or West Ham in the final, it looks very much like this trophy should be ours. Having not played in a cup final since February 2007 it would obviously be nice to have another day out - and if we can't beat Ipswich I predict some serious introspection.

But more importantly, it could be the start of something special. I'm not saying we're going to win them all, but we're the only club which can still win the quadruple. The whole thesis that this team needs to win one trophy to be educated how to win more seems a little disingenuous - there's a big difference between beating West Ham to win the Carling Cup and beating Barcelona to win the Champions League. But also, trying to win every trophy we enter can hardly be counter-productive. Quite the opposite in fact.

Beating Wigan has left us favourites for the Carling Cup, but with United's game postponed this weekend, two wins in our next two matches would leave us in a brillaint position - top of the League, in the Champions League last 16, and in the League Cup semi-final.

In spite of our floundering form so far this season, we couldn't ask for any more than that.

Keep the faith.

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