We really needed to win last night’s game but I reckon most of us are pleased with a draw in the end. To get back into the top four, we really need a good run of games with three points from most of them. We actually have not been playing bad at all, but too many draws have left us a dangerous number of points away from the top four.
Judging from our recent performances, I reckon we have the quality, passion and perseverance to finish well this season.
Eight observations from the Arsenal v Chelsea game:
- We have a very strong spine. Cech-Mustafi-Jack/Xhaka-Ozil-Lacazette are all fine, top-quality players who play with passion for the shirt and fear nobody. I was impressed with all of them and let’s hope we will sign up Mesut and Jack asap. This is a spine we can build our team around (Cech may need replacing eventually, though);
- Mesut is playing with such joy and incision at the moment. It was not a game to nominate a MOTM as the whole team worked hard and there were many fine performances, but Ozil played with pride for the shirt and was fully IN the game.
- Hector Bellerin saved the game with a beast of a strike, and boy did he – and we! – need it! Many of us, me included, have been critical of him – his final attacking ball is not incisive enough and his defending should improve, and there were still such moments – but I loved his determination to fight on and not let his head drop after he gave away a debatable penalty. Games like these will turn him into a man and top Gunner.
- How good is Maitland-Niles?! He glides over the pitch with such composure and determination! Top performance.
- Oh Jackie-boy, what a goal was that! Boooooooooooooom! Another composed, passionate and wise performance: seeking out the limits and putting his heart into it from start to finish. And that hammer in the top corner will forever be in our minds!
- Our attacking football was awesome for 90+ minutes. The Chavs’ defence was very, very good to keep us out for so long, but I loved our intensity, relentlessness and aggression when we attacked, using the wings really well and having enough players in the box to create proper chances time and again.
- Really loved Alex Lacazette’s performance. He gave us his all and worked the Chavs’ defenders really, really well. We need either Ozil or Alexis to play closer to Lacazette as to benefit from all that hard work and help him to get more into scoring positions. Alexis for me is not that player. Sell him now and get new, team-playing blood this January!
- Our defending was poor, but the boys worked their socks off and Mustafi was immense. I still have nightmares from those fast balls over the top that undid us so easily. I have no doubt that we would have defended much better with Koz and Nacho on the pitch, but that was still a shock to the system for us. Playing three at the back does not suit Chambers and Holding, it seems. But that is for another blog.