Apr 11th, 2012 by 'holic
A night of lessons we have just witnessed. I am assuming that most of you found working streams. I have to confess my surprise and delight at finding a couple that survived without any major buffering.
I suppose every view of the game should contain words to the effect that effectively the game was over as a contest after only eleven minutes. That easy to trot out phrase could have been proven very wrong had Wojciech Szczesny not produced one outstanding save around the hour mark to deny Doyle. It was made all the better by the fact that, other than that, his only other serious work came at the death as he denied Milijas. Astonishing concentration and application from a ‘keeper so young. The ‘holic pound was lost as a result, and that is not the first time he has denied me a tidy tickle this season.
Of course the major talking point was the penalty on nine minutes and the resulting red card. The Wolves fans, well, cried wolf. When Tony Gale admits the penalty against Arsenal, and the sending off of Bassong, was a correct pair of decisions, then you know it was nailed on. That apart, his negativity knew no bounds. West Ham’s answer to Gus Caesar is a strange choice as an ‘expert’ co-commentator.
The skipper broke his mini-drought with a cheeky penalty. Two minutes later the skipper turned provider. Theo was through again and this time finished himself. There followed some interesting challenges by Kightley and Doyle, enthusiastic I think you would have to describe them as Mr Swarbrick, not a referee I have seen much of, showed a reluctance to add to the hosts misery until in separate halves both committed one foul too many and were rewarded with yellows.
Our selection of Aaron Ramsey ahead of Tomas Rosicky meant we were relying on retention of the ball, rather than speed of attack, to secure the points. That looks a criticism in black and white, and criticism was levelled from many observers. The young Welshman, lacking a little in sharpness and confidence, never hid once, and was denied a clear penalty in the second-half when brought down in the box by Milijas, who waved an arm of apology before realising it wasn’t going to be given. Remember Aaron and Jack Wilshere ripping Manchester United a new one at the Grove last season and show some patience. His time will come again.
The result from Wigan shows we may well need a fresh Rosicky if we are to stretch our advantage over the neighbours to eight points when the Latics come calling next Monday. Good work by Arsene and his advisors to get the selection spot on tonight.
Following Szczesny’s wonder save we locked the points up with a super strike from Yossi Benayoun. I don’t know what the summer holds in store for him, but I hope his move is made permanent. His presence has been a feature of some important wins of late. He would remain a squad player rather than an automatic starter, I would imagine, so I guess it will come down to how much he wants regular football. Whatever happens, he has given his all when called upon and certainly adds to the experience and quality in this group. Thanks Yossi.
So basically that was that. The result at this time of the season is always more important than the performance. We may have produced something of a curate’s egg this evening, but a relatively comfortable 3-0 triumph on the road should be appreciated a little more than it was in some quarters. I can’t help thinking though we will have to raise the tempo a little to get another three points next Monday against a Wigan side who defeated the champions elect tonight, and would have done the same at Chelsea at the weekend with fair treatment from the match officials.
Enjoy the rest of the week ‘holics.
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