Ha ha, just kidding ya, it’s too early to be getting very excited. Mind you, a convincing win is always good for the soul, though when Arsenal get six or even seven it always looks like they should have got into double figures, such is the number of chances created, the overwhelming superiority of possession, and virtually every other stat you can think of. But 6-1, well you can’t complain. Mind you, you know me, I’ll have a go. Well, not complain as such, but there is always an alternative viewpoint, and I’m a seeker of perfection.
Gervinho got in with a couple, which makes it one of his most effective performances. Good points: confidence must be coming back, and a couple of goals could get him in the groove. Bad points: still wasteful with the ball. One game doesn’t change anything much overall, I just hope it’s a sign of good things to come. And he needs to be able to score in the big games too, not just the ones where we are strolling.
Podolski: surely man of the match. He showed his quality and if we have someone who can take a free-kick as well then we’re laughing, because I lost count of the number we wasted last season. I was surprised anyone doubted his quality at all. Surely he’s already done enough to show that he will be a big, big player for us? (Watch out, the jinx is now on.)
Szczesny: oh dear. I’ve said before I think lack of concentration is one of his biggest problems. When did we last have a keeper who was actually good on crosses and high balls? You can say – and no doubt many will – give it a rest, we won 6-1. Fair enough on the day, but you have to look longer term as well, and lack of concentration in a keeper is what costs you points over a season. It’s also frustrating not to keep the clean sheet run going, but of course a win is the important thing.
I just hope Szczesny is absolutely gutted to have made such an error. There’s nothing to say we would have kept a clean sheet with Mannone in goal of course, and I still think Chezzer is the best of the mediocre bunch of keepers we’ve got. I’ve just heard Arsène being interviewed, and he said we should have kept goals against to nil – I hope if he’s not prepared to dish out a bollocking to the keeper then Steve Bould will. No point drilling the defence until they reach the standards Bould and his colleagues set if the keeper is going to be a permanent weak link.
Gibbs seems to be coming into his own, which is great to see. At least we’ll have competition for places all over the defence as long as everyone stays fit. This may not be the case up front, where to me the squad is thin.
Talking of up front, Giroud, perhaps inevitably, failed to score after so many had pointed out all the Arsenal greats who started their scoring against Southampton. I see Arseblog was joking during the game that OG was off the mark, ho ho – sadly it’s own goals who become our joint highest scorer. The positive side of that is you rarely score an own goal if you’re not putting a lot of pressure on – Lee Dixon and his famous 35-yard chip over David Seaman being an honourable exception to that rule.
I haven’t even mentioned Cazorla, the Coq, most of the defence, or even Theo’s cameo and goal (the cameo is perhaps his best position). Good stuff all round today, there really is very little to complain about in the performance.
Southampton are apparently the seventh biggest spenders in Europe this summer, while we of course made a profit, albeit a small one. The Saints are obviously spending all the extra money they’ll get from being in the Premier League early, in an effort to try and stay in the Premier League – the Championship is skint these days, so no one is spending there. Will they succeed and stay up? To be honest I don’t really care – I don’t have any strong feelings about them either way, but they have had a very hard start to the season. Our shift is about to get tougher. But at least we go into the tough games on a bit of a roll, which can’t be bad.
And now for the Champions League. Mind the gap, everyone.