Sunderland were awful.
There is no way of trying to big them up to make it look like Arsenal were brilliant in a 4-1 victory. Sunderland were truly awful.
An awful city, an awful football team, and awful journey there and back. There will not be a tear shed when they go down. Hopefully taking the equally awful Swansea City, Hull City or Stoke City down with them. Let’s start cleansing the Premier League of these horrible little clubs who have horrible little train journeys. They won’t be missed.
Arsenal played OK. No better than they have played recently, no worse. But Sunderland were just dreadful.
Why would you play a high line when you have John O’Shea at centre back facing Alexis Sanchez upfront? You are asking for trouble. And to compound it, 5′ 6″ Sanchez opened the scoring with a header.
All Sunderland could do was try and kick us off the pitch. Sanchez took some treatment and it is testament to his mentality that he kept it together. A lesser man (Suarez, Costa) would have got sent off or (Reyes) gone into hiding. Every time Sanchez got knocked down, he got back up again. He will wake up bruised this morning and deserves his ice bath.
How Sunderland kept 10 men on the park was only due to referee Martin Atkinson ineptness. He was as bad as Sunderland. And how he did not give that penalty I will never know. I imagine he will be joining Jon Moss in the lower leagues next weekend.
Luckily for Arsenal, two poor refereeing performances haven’t affected the results.
One thing that yesterday showed was just how much we missed Olivier Giroud.
I said after the bore draw with Boro that had Giroud been on the bench, we would have won. He is the best Plan B in Europe.
When teams are defending deep, he causes havoc in the 6 yard box with his strength. He bullies defenders, draws them towards him, and if not scoring himself, makes space for others.
Against Boro we missed him. They packed the middle and left space out wide, but we were unable to take advantage of it.
Giroud’s first goal was typical of the Frenchman. Space out wide. Cross in. Get in front of the defender. Sweep it in with his left foot. 2-1.
He gets his critics, but remember, he was always bought as a Plan B. This was what I wrote in 2012…
When we signed Sanchez, the rumours were he would play up top, like he does for his country. He started there but was soon moved out wide. By luck of design, he has found himself as striker again this season. Yesterday took him to 50 goals in 106 games. A phenomenal record.
His form, alongside the returning Giroud, gives us options up front. We can now change things up. Changes styles. Depending on the opponents, on the in game performance.
And having Aaron Ramsey back is a game changer too. Being able to bring on players of his and Giroud’s class shows our incredible strength in depth. Even with no Walcott, Welbeck, Cazorla, Wilshere & Perez.
Ramsey’s return will give Wenger a head ache. With Coquelin, Elneny, Cazorla & Xhaka all potentially available for Spurs next weekend, 5 into 2 doesn’t go. Wenger needs to not only get the individual personnel right, but also the partnership.
Plenty of arguments on Twitter last night as too who should play. Few agreed.
A final thought, when was the last time every player in our 1st 11 was replaceable by someone else in the squad? Take out Ozil, replace with Cazorla, Walcott for Chamberlain, Monreal for Gibbs. The depth is incredible, and is forcing players to maintain top form.
So Sunderland are the worst team ever in the Premier League. They won’t be missed. Bye-the-lad.
Have a cracking Sunday