Well now, I thoroughly enjoyed that by the end of the evening, even if it was at the expense of some very cold toes and fingers that are only just recovering now.
I think it’s fair to say that yesterday evening’s events at The Emirates were just what the club doctor ordered on a midweek round of fixtures in which we saw the Totts lose, United and Chelski win and an Arsenal team that eventually put Huddersfield to the sword.
Seriously, when was the last time we saw a glut like that in the Premier League?
Feels like a long time that’s for sure. And after the first half I – like many of my drinking companions for the evening – wondered if this was going to be one of those games. You know the type of game I’m talking about. Arsenal dominant, creating a few chances that they should have put away, not quite managing to et that second, then it’s a finger chewing last five to ten minutes as the away side sniff an upset.
So when Giroud danced around the ‘keeper and hit the post I have to admit I feared the worse.
But in the glorious light of the next day I can see that my fear was nothing to worry about, because Mesut Özil decides to take the game by the scruff of the neck and dictate the outcome. The second goal came with a delightful interchange between him, Alexis and then tucked in by Ollie G. The second came after he was set free on the right and played such a measured and perfect pass, that Alexis decided to wait until he arrived before properly celebrating. Which is probably just as well because up until that point the Chilean has been pretty poor I thought.
But good ol’ Mes, he was not done, for he needed to see his name on the scoresheet and so it was that he dutifully dunked the ball over the ‘keeper after being set through by Alexis for the chants to echo all the more loudly around The Emirates.
It’ll be a sad day when he goes, but I’m thankful we’ve got to see a player like that grace the pitch for my team, because he showed his majestic best in that second half.
It wasn’t just him that stepped up in that second half though, because all of the players pretty much did their part. I didn’t think Kolasinac had a great game but by Jove, he contributed, slaloming his way through the Huddersfield defence to pick up an assist that Ollie G will probably get a nipple-cripple for in the changing rooms afterwards from The Tank.
Defensively we were good too. There’s part of me that isn’t sure whether Huddersfield were a bit toothless or whether we were that good, but Mustafi has come back from his injury looking like a different player. He’s winning balls left, right and centre and unusually for him, he’s going to ground and not giving away silly free kicks. Dare I say it, this defence has looked right, in the last few games.
I haven’t even got to the brilliant Rambo flick and Lacazette goal on three minutes. Both players looked on it and Ramsey is clearly benefitting from an extended period without injury because he is looking good. Lacazette too looks like he’s finding his rhythm in this team too.
We’re clicking. I don’t know how long it’ll last, it may all go by Saturday, but that performance showed – in the end – just how capable this team are of putting in quality displays.
And so I come to Arsène. I have derided him at times. I still think we’re ready for change. But it is good to see that he still has something about him. I thought it was madness to start practically the same team that played against Burnley just three days ago, but he clearly knew what he was doing, so I doff my cap. Perhaps just the Lacazette injury is something that hindsight tells us that we could have rotated, but Ollie G has two goals to his name and in a game like the one against United at least we have a decent deputy to call on.
Of course Arsène could call on the spirit of a player upping it against an old team in the shape of Danny Welbeck, but I guess these are all decisions for tomorrow and Saturday to be had, for today is all about enjoying a good tonking and seeing those Arsenal players perform well.
It’s a happy Thursday for us all.
Catch you tomorrow.