Yesterday morning I was pessimistic about our chances of taking any points at all so, given that I was expecting us to take a pounding against the tiny Totts at Wembley, the fact that come 3pm I was disappointed that we hadn’t picked up all three points I think needs to be seen as a positive in the way we’re not laying at the moment.
But if you get a penalty in the last minute of normal time and you’ve got a chance of winning the match you are always going to be disappointed that your team isn’t coming away with all three points and the narrative of the game is always going to feel different. One things for sure; Aubameyang will have had a long and uncomfortable nights sleep going over his tame penalty miss on 90 minutes yesterday. He might find some rage and conciliation in the fact that Vertonghen chested in behind about five yards inside the box when he took the spot kick, which meant he couldn’t tap in the rebound, but the reality is that it was a poor penalty in the first place and he could have got us our first win there in five years.
And despite what Pochettino laughably said about how Tottenham were the better team overall in the game and deserved more from it, I think we all know that Arsenal will be the ones kicking themselves this morning, because there was a big opportunity to take all three points yesterday. Tottenham were not great and looked like a side a little low on confidence. They didn’t muster a proper shot on target until the last ten minutes of the first half and perhaps most surprisingly of all we saw an Arsenal defence that was compact and disciplined.
Unai had surprisingly named a back four and where Wenger was predictable for opponents in his set up, Emery has shown that he’s anything but and I bet it surprised Pochettino and Tottenham too, which perhaps played in to our hands. We looked better in a four, we had some very good performances from Sokratis and Koscielny, plus even the full backs did well.
Well, Mustafi did ok except for the fact that yet again his stupidity cost us points. Harry Kane and about three Tottenham players might have been offside for their penalty, but when the linesman doesn’t raise his flag you still have to defend it. His answer was to inexplicably shove Kane in the back and I hope as much as Auba has nightmares over his miss, that Mustafi had nightmares over his shove, because without it we win and possibly keep ourselves our first clean sheet of the season.
But at least we picked up a point and that is also in part down to our departing Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey who broke the Tottenham high line and danced his way past Lloris to give us a one goal advantage on 16 minutes. And for the second time in a week it was one of those goals that I love i.e. a through ball that sees a player bearing down on goal. We don’t do enough of those for my liking so the fact we’ve had two in a week is a-ok with me.
So we’re one up, we are playing well defensively, yet we draw the game and everyone’s feeling frustrated this morning. Lacazette should have buried a chance too, which would have put us out of sight, but this morning I’m trying to look at the positives and those positives are the way we are playing. Suddenly we appear to be hitting some kind of form and the rotation that Emery has been doing is working. We’ve picked up seven points from our last nine games in a week and if we can go to Rennes and win, then we’ll be ok a roll and hopefully also in a good position for when we played Man United next weekend.
And that game will be massive. A win at home against them could be huge and even though we are back down in to fifth today, the fact we picked up a point means that we are only one point away from them and so a win in our next league game changes everything again. From looking a little gloomy two or three weeks ago we now look like we’re finding some form again. I hope that continues for the next two matches because two wins could mean we have ourselves some momentum at a crucial time in the year.
Roll on Thursday.
Catch you guys tomorrow.