I read some very positive match reports and analysis of Saturday’s game, and can’t say I agreed with the comments of the performance ; I though it was rather average, and it was only with the clinching third goal in the 83rd minute could everyone relax. 4-1 was tough on Norwich, but : BREAKING NEWS : Who gives a shit?
We started well and an early goal always helps. The loss of Flamini really affected the team, highlighting the importance of a signing that many (including me), were thoroughly underwhelmed by at the time. The team struggled to reorganise, as Ramsey’s introduction was never going to be like- for-like in the oh so important ‘pointing and shouting’ position in the middle of the park. At 1-0 after 30 minutes, Norwich had a decent spell and we were desperate for the half time whistle. Norwich again put us under pressure at 2-1, but the late flourish made everything a lot more comfortable. Do not underestimate the importance of the +3 added to the goal difference column either. That is exactly what we should be doing in each such winnable home game.
We played some lovely stuff at times on Saturday, and I can’t remember the last time we scored four such aesthetically pleasing goals. The first goal by Wilshere was just delicious, and again showing the key role that Giroud plays as the lone front man. It was a classic 4-5-1 formation goal, with the striker being the focal point and the midfielders playing off him and occasionally getting ahead of him, this time to fantastic effect. Giroud set up the 2nd goal for Ozil superbly as well, and even though he did not score, he had a very good game. Only that excellent save from Ruddy at his near post in the first half prevented him from having a perfect day. While the rumours resurface about January bids for strikers, you have to admire his attitude ; ‘Buy someone to strengthen the squad, but he’ll have to get past me first to get in the team’. A stark contrast to some other players with the opposite outlooks we have seen come and go since the stadium move. You know who you are.
The big games keep coming now, and I am loving every minute of it. A big test against Dortmund tomorrow night, which I think will be a big indicator of how far we might be able to go in the Champions League this season ; It could make a nice change to meekly exiting at the first knock out stage. Hopefully, Flamini is fit, as he will be vital to the more ‘European’ line up that AW prefers in such games.
Then on to Palace on Saturday, and a game we must win if we are serious about this ‘challenging for the title’ thing I keep hearing about. Away to a promoted team must be a slam dunk of three points.
Come on you Reds.