When it comes to Spurs v Arsenal, the performance is not of importance, it is all about the result. And what a result it was. 1-0 to The Arsenal. Boring Boring Arsenal. We have not won in the league at the Lane since 2007, so yesterday was sweet. For those moaning about the performance, shame on you. My guess is those moaning this morning were not at the game. They were sitting on their sofa watching on a laptop. They are the type of fan who probably think a game against Chelsea is a bigger, more important game than one against Spurs.
What I remember of yesterday is a blur. An early goal (only realised this morning it was after just 2 minutes!) was then followed by a disciplined performance. It is testament to the way we played that, even with Spurs having 59% of the possession, and the score just 1-0, I felt comfortable. At no point did it seem like Spurs were dominating play and threatening us. Spurs had no real chances, and Szczesny made just 2 saves.
The victory was a double bonus. We moved closer to Chelsea after their defeat to Aston Villa, and are now 9 points ahead of Spurs, pretty much ensuring we are top 4 again. Are we back in the title race? A victory on Saturday will ensure that.
And onto the next one. Getting the victory against Spurs was a good 3 points. That then needs to be backed up with a victory against Chelsea.
Chelsea play tomorrow at home to Galatasary. Any advantage some might think this gives Arsenal is negligible. They are at home, and will still have 3 days to prepare for Saturday. Arsenal’s biggest advantage could be a mental one.
Whilst we had a great result against Spurs, Chelsea lost away to Aston Villa. Football is all about momentum. Defeat for us v Spurs would have meant we were going into Chelsea risking a 3 straight defeat. Instead, they are the ones now fearful of back to back defeats. If we remain as disciplined as we did against Spurs, a positive result in our grasp. With them missing Willian, Ramires and possible Mourinho, I see no reason why we can not cut the gap to just 1 point.
Olivier Giroud has come in for a lot of stick this season. From his disappearing acts in big games, his tendency to play dead when he perceives himself to be fouled and his off the field shagging. A lot of the criticism Olivier Giroud he does deserve. He is not good enough to be Arsenal’s first choice striker. He was always signed to be back up. Firstly to Robin Van Persie – before he left – then this season to Luis Suarez. An impact sub. And as he showed against Everton, he would be very good in this role.
But also a lot of criticism is undeserved. It was recently highlighted that, with 12 goals in the league this season, his record is fairly similar to that of Didier Drogba, who only twice scored more in a campaign than 12 league goals. It does make you consider, is Olivier Giroud really that poor a player? Or on the other hand, was Drogba vastly overrated.
One big difference between the two is their big game performances. Whilst he could be fairly average at times, Drogba was a big game player. Scoring in 4 FA Cup final’s, 3 League Cup finals & a Champions League final. Giroud is a very important player to Arsenal, and if reports of his wife demanding a move back to France are true, I hope he files for divorce.
The response to Liverpool’s victory against Manchester United once more highlights the media bias against Arsenal. Throughout the season, pundits, journalists and ‘experts’ have lined up to write off Arsenal’s title chances. It showed a complete lack of respect. However, when it comes to media-friendly Liverpool, they are talked about as title contenders by the exact some people writing off Arsenal.
If you had not looked at the league table recently, you would think be the pundits reactions that Arsenal were double figure points off top, and just as far away from Liverpool. The truth however is vastly different. Liverpool and Arsenal are both on 62 points. They are level. And if Arsenal beat Chelsea on Saturday, we will be just 1 point off top, with a game in hand.
Are Liverpool title contenders? Yes. But so are Arsenal.
I usually do not often comment on transfer speculation, especially in March, however, I honestly hope that Arsenal’s pursuit of Matthias Ginter is not only true, but fruitful.
With Thomas Vermaelen likely to leave in the summer, we would do well to recruit the 20 year old German. At such a young age, he would likely be more than happy to sit on our bench for a couple of seasons whilst he progresses. With his potential, he would be a long term option at centre back. I hope we sign him.