Arsenal: Jack's Lucky Strike Makes Liverpool Game Look Momentous
It was an enthralling game yesterday, a great effort from the West Brom team, who excited with their refusal to be overawed by Arsenal and counter-attacked with real intent. They also worked their socks off with their hard-running, tackling and fierce commitment. Sessegnon and Berahino both impressed me, along with the Yacob and Mulumbu’s defensive midfield partnership.
It was also instructive to note that former Arsenal man Nicholas ‘You should have stayed at The Arsenal’ Anelka is now a rapidly declining force as a forward. Age catches us up with us all even though in my mind’s eye I can still picture him tearing defences apart for Arsenal as a young, innocent and happy young man.
Well, er, maybe scrap the 'happy' part, I’m not sure he’s ever been particularly happy. But what a player he was for us for that one season in the late 90’s before his brothers pimped him out to Real Madrid, stalling his career for years in the process.
To be fair West Brom did a considerable amount of defending too, which they did more than competently as they weathered an early Arsenal storm.
I thought Ozil had a relatively subdued game and Giroud threatened at times but wasn’t consistently menacing. But then again West Brom are a good side and I feel they may be outside candidates for a European place come the end of the season.
For a time just after the Baggies scored and early in the second half I was worried that Jack Wilshere was treading a fine line in terms of a second yellow. Thankfully he showed us his class by hitting the well-deserved equaliser – not to mention keeping a lid on his temperament.
It may have only been Wilshere's sixth Arsenal goal in 107 appearances in all competitions, and the first time he has scored in the league since netting the fourth in a 4-2 win at Villa Park in November 2010 - but he looked a different player as soon as the goal went in.
And in the process more than repaid Wenger’s faith in him since fag-gate. Well done Jack. No doubt all those who criticised you after the Ukraine game will now be wishing you well again for England…
Needless to say the song of the day was from the hordes of travelling Gooners who sang after the goal: “He smokes when he wants/He smokes when he wants…”
And as for the wag who said of the Hitchin lad who was caught smoking last week: “Was it a Lucky Strike?” just stop it ok, it’s not big and it’s not clever to openly parade such poor puns around (yes it is -Ed).
So Arsenal go into the International break back at the top of the table on goal difference from Liverpool, with Chelsea two points behind in third after their 3-1 win at Carrow Road earlier in the day.
Whisper it but the game between Arsenal and Liverpool on 3rd November is already looking momentous – especially as The Stroppy One thinks both teams have had an easy time of it so far.
With Southampton a creditable fourth, confirming that this is such an open league this year and Hull still a place above Manchester United in eighth and ninth respectively, the league table looks as strange and unfamiliar as it has done for ages. And long may it continue to be so.
And as for Spurs losing 3-0 at home to the Happy Hammers?
Well, what can I say apart from to paraphrase an Oscar Wilde quote: “It takes a heart of stone not to laugh…”
Can I also just add, seeing as the FA are making a shameless attempt at nabbing two goal United hero and Brussels-born to Albanian-Kosovan parents, Adnan Januzaj - does that now mean the Belgian FA will be making a similar approach to Ravel Morrison?
Stupendous fact of the day: from Sky Sports legendary football reporter Johnny Phillips, author of Saturday Afternoon Fever, who sent me a text whilst I was doing live blogging of the game yesterday for an Australian website:
“As The Hawthorns is the highest professional football ground in England there is an urban myth that if you boot the ball over the stand directly east and it goes on the same trajectory as the top of the stand the first thing it will hit is the Ural mountains – can anyone confirm or deny it?”.
I for one would love to hear what people think of that one – almost as much as I’d love to hear what Daniel Levy thinks of the fact he allowed £110 million to be spent by AVB in the summer on, er, not very much by the looks of it.
So enjoy the International break Spurs fans. Looking at the league table I know I will.
Even if I know top spot is not going to last.
Or will it?
Follow Layth @laythy29
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