Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Wolves thoughts: this is a team in form
Arsenal 2 Wolves 0
The natural conclusion, after this performance, was that the second 45 minutes was a fluke constructed by a series of circumstances which should never come together again. The telling statistic is that aside from that second half, Arsenal have played seven and a half games and won all of them - scoring 22 and conceding three in the process. Considering that two of those goals were the Leeds' wonder-goal and Saha's offside effort, it shows how well this team is performing.
Saturday was no exception. It's odd - I'm just not used to seeing us dominate for 90 minutes and win comfortably. Matches like this one and the Wolves one are very different from much of what Arsenal have produced over the last couple of years, but they're more enjoyable. It's not just that I can't deal with the tension of every game going down to the 90th minute - though it isn't good for the heart-rate - but more to the point, it means the players can get a rest because they're not playing flat-out for 90 minutes every game. And, when we beat teams as convincingly as we did Wolves and Wigan, it helps build Arsenal up - and teams play us with less expectation of a result.
This match was interesting for how Arsene removed the talking points - people have complained in the past of him weakening his team and also about him dropping players. Last time he refused to do this - when Nasri played against Huddersfield, people complained, but I can see exactly why he does it. With Cesc and Van Persie on the pitch, this is a much stronger team, and credit to Arsene for recognising that.
Robin took his goals excellently - and made a pretty funny reference to his chocolate leg in his post-match interview - and he epitomises how this team is purring at the moment. Arshavin is back in form, and at the moment we're playing the best football. The second goal on Saturday was one of the best team goals I've seen from us in a long time.
We're clearly in a title race, and it's a two-horse race. If we can push the Newcastle result to one side and keep up this football, then we could well win the League.
And that, is enormously exciting.
Thoughts on Barcelona in the morning.
Keep the faith.