That’s Better Boys and Girls!
Thursday 2nd October 2014
Come this time of the year Autumn is well and truly upon us apparently. As the sun pours through my window for the umpteenth day on the trot however, Summer appears to be hanging in there. The evenings certainly should be much cooler but the many still wearing short sleeves at last night’s latest Champions League outing certainly suggested otherwise. Not that this is a complaint of course. Those dark, wet, dreary Winter nights can stay far away all year round as far as I’m concerned!
Despite remaining unbeaten in the league I think it is fair to say our season hasn’t really got going as yet. Getting through our tricky Champions League Qualifier was huge of course but exiting early in the league Cup and arguably dropping points in league games we should have won on the day have not necessarily put us in the most buoyant of moods. Our bad luck with injuries has continued too but although this all sounds a bit ‘doom and gloom’ I think in addition we all recognise new players take a little bit of time to integrate and the start has been far from disasterous.
Overall however, I think we all needed last night. A good, powerful, thumping win is just what the doctor ordered.
The streets around where we usually enjoy our pre-match build up were very quiet last night, maybe testament to my words above but midweek home games often see fans arrive much later than they would for those at the weekend, work commitments putting time at a premium. Reports in the news, social media and from fellow Gooners suggest it wasn’t as quiet elsewhere, the passion of a small number of the Galatasaray fans present going beyond what is considered acceptable and more importantly safe when it comes to attending football matches.
We saw examples of this a bit later inside the stadium too but by this time our first half blitz had virtually seen us home and hosed.
From minute one we totally dominated possession and until one incident later on in the match, Chezz will not have a quieter night. The first goal is crucial of course and was a perfect example of superb centre-forward running and finishing on what was to be a memorable night for DW. With the pressure off we looked extremely dangerous and goals 2 and 3 soon followed, again great examples of sheer pace and power. Half time and it was pretty much job done. Happy days.
Like a Villa a couple of weeks back it was all about keeping control in the second period and for the first 15 minutes we done this extremely well. With our visitors looking to try and get themselves back in the game in fact, we looked incredibly dangerous on the break and Welbs completed his hat-trick with a fine run and finish to pretty much put the game to bed. We were so much in control I feel with eleven v eleven we may well have gone on to get a hatful but Chezz receiving a red our visitors saw a potential opportunity to get back in the game when reducing the deficite the 4-1 from the resulting spot kick.
I strongly believe that rule should be changed. The punishment is too severe in my book and the reasons are threefold. The pace of the game means genuine attempts to get the ball can be illegal by a millisecond. Does that deserve a sending off? Players always ‘look for’ penalties and some are better at it than others. This makes it extremely difficult for referees but when players are very ‘clever’ does that warrant the defensive player being sent from the field? Thirdly officials get it wrong sometimes. They are human and as frustrating as it is, we have to accept that. But having given the penalty, sending the player off is simply wrong. In my opinion, if the referee deems the foul in the box a goalscoring opportunity or whatever it is called these days, a goal should be awarded. And the offending player should receive a yellow card but remain on the pitch. Quite radical I know but a better all round result for the remainder of the game and most importantly us fans, the paying public. Even if David Ospina had saved the penalty last night I would rather our visitors were given a goal and we remained with eleven on the pitch. Just my opinion.
For the remainder of last night’s game it was a case of keeping our defensive shape and seeing it out. Our visitors had a few attempts, mainly from distance but our new goalkeeper made some decent saves and we took the 4-1 victory we deserved away from the game. Indeed Santi was inches from making it 5 in the dying seconds.
So, a thoroughly good night with goals and that all important victory takes us into the tough tough fixture away at the current Premier League frontrunners.
Make some noise at the Bridge.
Come on you mighty reds!