Two games, 3-0 and 2-0 to the Arsenal, five goals, clean sheet and mesmerizing football for two times 45 minutes. It is good to be a Gunner this week! 🙂
We expected it to be hard to break the Swiss defence down, and previous Basel games on British soil proved very hard for our PL colleagues. We were warned. So what is the best thing to do: bamboozle – or bambasel – them with high pressure, run around the emmental holes like crazy killer animals and pounce as soon as possible.
Arsenal’s first half against Basel was as good as football gets. We could have scored five in that half alone, but two was still a fine reward for the attacking football we unleashed on the Basel players. Just as against the Chavs, the job was done after 45 minutes, and Arsenal once again put on the handbrake in the second half to see out the game and spare our opponents. This may sound easier than it was, as it still requires discipline and concentration. The fact that we were able to see out the two last games with such composure and maturity is also very welcome.
Eight Positives from Arsenal v Basel:
- Theo the panther: Walcott loves space to hunt down his pray and pounce instinctively on any opportunity that comes his way. Theo does not overthink things and sometimes this shows but often he is victorious as a result of it. His second goal was a typical Theo finish: beautifully executed. But his first goal was even better: as a desperate panther he pounced on Alexis’ fine cross and left the Swiss defence for melted, fondue-ready Gruyere. What a fine brace by the reborn one;
- Alexis the pack of wolves ‘in one’: flipping heck I love this Alexis even more than the previous seasons’ one. What an engine this guy has, and what a desire to play football, enjoying the dirty work as much as the lofty stuff. Desperately unlucky not to score himself but he won the game for us with two selfless and clever assists. Burnley are you hearing that sound of howling wolves coming your way?!
- Ozil the enabling chameleon: Mezut is just so adaptive and flexible, always aiming to add maximum attacking value to the team whatever it requires. He still does not have an assist this season, yet we score about 2.5 goals per game now – wow. He has two PL goals already, though, after missing the first few games and could have had one or two more on Wednesday. The link up play with his fellow attackers is such a joy to watch and more is still to come.
- Iwobi the polar bear: Alex is fast when he attacks and already has an artic cool head when it comes to decision making. He also has stamina to run and run between the defence and attack lines, and sniffs out danger with his footie nose. A really good team serving performance on Wednesday and looking a bit better after the Cheese than during the weekend. Monreal appreciated it;
- Xhaka the black bear: you don’t mess with Granit. He protects the forest behind him and will pounce on you if you leave him any space. A very disciplined performance based around his excellent positioning and presence on the pitch – gave his fellow countrymen no chance.
- Santi the puffin: Is there a more colourful and joy-inducing animal on the British shores? Cazorla brings joy and creativity to the team with a constant and positive energy and a fabulous ability to spot and pounce on openings. What a well spotted pre-assist for our first goal.
- Ospina, Koz and Mustafi the triangle of doom gorillas: they did not have too much to do, but every time they had to get involved they formed a triangle of morale sapping doom. They are fast, they are hard (but fair), they don’t give up till you are well outside their domain, and if you do not get the hint you will come to regret it. A vey mature and focussed performance.
- Bellerin and Monreal the hyena-leopards: is there one animal that sums up our fantastic full backs? For me they have the never give up attitude of the hyena and speed and pounce of the leopard. The final part of the hunt still needs improving a bit as we need more key passes and assists from them, but they are vital animals within our team.