Savoring Success Over City And Looking Foward To Wolves
I’m still buzzing from our win yesterday, as are most Arsenal fans judging by the goings-on on Twitterdom. It was not only that we won on Sunday, but that we won convincingly and over-ran City all over the pitch. When combined with the anger felt at City’s poaching of our players and the return of Samir ‘Judas’ Nasri, the victory and the Poznan celebration that followed were especially sweet and the taste lingers pleasantly even now.
Talking of Nasri, he’s been involved in a war of words with (in) famous Arsenal celebrity fan, Piers Morgan. Piers is fond of riling opposition players and supporters before, during and after games – especially when Arsenal are winning.
Of course when Arsenal are losing, Piers wants Arsene Wenger sacked, the board soaked in diesel and set alight, Aaron Ramsey shot, the medical staff crucified and any other extreme measure his pea-sized brain can come up with. I used to think the CNN host was really obnoxious in defeat. I soon realized I was wrong; obnoxious is Piers’ normal state of being.
I find it hilarious that a guy who routinely trashes his own club when the going gets tough feels entitled to lecture a player on the virtues of loyalty. Glass houses, stones and all that.
Of course, Nasri’s done another foot-in-mouth, claiming he’ll win a trophy with Manchester City before Arsenal wins one. I just can’t wait until the next time he visits the Emirates, probably with the Sp*rs squad after being loaned out by City, and what the fans will have to say to him then. Of course the best thing would be to win a trophy next year and put that debate to rest once and for all.
The one fallout from Sunday’s victory was that Laurent Koscielny picked up his tenth yellow of the season. It means he’s suspended for two matches and will miss the trip to Wolves on Wednesday and Wigan’s visit on Monday. The defender has been spectacular this season so he will certainly be missed. However, if Arsene Wenger had to handpick two games for the Frenchman to sit out, it’s fair to say he would probably have chosen the next two. Johan Djourou performed solidly against Aston Villa and I am sure he will cover adequately for Koscielny.
The other concern is the injury picked up by Kieran Gibbs, of which there is no further news at this point. Since his return in February, the youngster has improved with every game. His match fitness seems to have returned, he’s more composed on the ball, he is crossing with more regularity now and just looks more and more like the player we all hoped he would develop into. While we do have cover in Andre Santos, I hope this injury does not rule Gibbs out for long because he is Arsenal’s long term solution at left back.
In Premier League news, both Sp*rs and Chelsea dropped points yesterday while Newcastle kept up their recent winning form in yesterday’s matches. Tottenham were well and truly beaten by an organized and attack minded Norwich team, who were unlucky to be denied three very good penalty appeals. Mind the gap? More like mind that foot.
At Craven Cottage, Fulham came from behind to secure a draw against Chelski and Newcastle beat Bolton at home. This brings the Magpies upto fifth and equal on points with Sp*rs. How wonderful would it be if we finished 3rd and Newcastle 4th? Newcastle did sensationally well in the transfer market last season with a limited budget, and it would be an emphatic statement to premier league big-spenders if two of the most financially judicious teams were to finish in the top four.
On our part, the players need to refocus and plan for the next game. We paid the price for being complacent against QPR. Hopefully, the team will put that right tomorrow evening by putting Wolves to the sword at the Molineux.
In other news, the club has announced that the Gunners will play a friendly in Kuala Lumpur on the 24th of July. It is part of a pre-season tour of the Far East comprising three matches, one of them a high profile clash with Manchester City at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. Last year’s sojourn to the same shores was a huge success and I for one am delighted that the club is actively seeking to expand our fan base around the globe.
Back with the preview for that game tomorrow. Until then.