Midway through the second half, and the moment came that was most discussed in the post mortem. Weimann was allowed to charge unhindered through the centre before shooting more in hope than in expectation. Wojciech Szczesny might have been distracted by the lack of a challenge by those in front of him and allowed a soft equaliser. That will happen with young goalkeepers, I argued, but the lack of a challenge to his position may not be doing the Pole any favours. Others were not as understanding.
It set Arsenal a real test of their desire and determination. There was no mistaking how important the three points were. One of the few positives of the day was that we were not found wanting. Santi Cazorla, having given us the brightest of starts with a sixth minute opener, found another fine finish when set up by Nacho Monreal. With five minutes to go the points were ours.
From a low vantage point the game only occasionally rose above the pedestrian, and when it did both teams fashioned opportunities. One glorious Theo Walcott curler in the first half deserved better, but at the other end Wojciech produced a couple of saves that suggest his future is bright, despite the odd calamity.
For me the most significant positive came in the performance of Carl Jenkinson. After a couple of shaky displays he was back to the player we saw at the start of the season who attracted the attention of Roy Hodgson. Interestingly on three separate occasions Mikel Arteta played poor passes out of his reach and berated the young full-back, but Jenks just ignored him, and got about his business with unwavering concentration. One hasty first half retreat denied Villa an excellent opportunity to grab an equaliser. More of the same please, young man.
On the other flank Nacho Monreal ended the game limping quite heavily and it was a surprise that he wasn’t substituted when Laurent Koscielny came on. I hope it is one that was run off in the warm down. Our options at left-back are limited, and the fixture with the neighbours next week is another massive one.
Overall the mood in the pub afterwards was one of relief. Four wins and a draw in the last five Premiership starts is the sort of form we need to take up the Seven Sisters Road next week. The ability to grind out results when not in fine fettle is an admirable trait, but I suspect we will need a little more than that in the weeks to come.
Now, any of you know what a Google+ hangout is? Me neither, but I will be one of a number of Arsenal bloggers taking part in one this evening (Sunday) at 7.30 pm. Details will follow in the drinks and on Twitter as the day progresses. If you are on Twitter keep an eye out for the hashtag #SWOLAFC for more info. The event will be broadcast live in a post on Soccer Without Limits as part of their excellent Arsenal Month feature.
Live broadcasting, a scary first for more than just me, I suspect.
85 Responses to “Cazorla Wanna Do Is Dream”