Arsene and his comrades moved back to the top of the table with a hard fought 3-1 victory over West Ham, thanks to a last 25 minutes spectacular showing. The gooners scuffed many chances in the first half, Olivier Giroud, the major culprit and were made to pay 40 seconds into the second half when Carlton Cole scored with a rebound shot. O’Brien and Cole missed subsequent chances to kill the game, but with the introduction of Podolski, Arsenal upped the tempo and scored three goals in 12 minutes to seal victory over close by neighbors.
GOONER OF STEEL BRINGS YOU FOUR VERY IMPORTANT LESSONS WE ARE TO LEARN FROM THIS GAME:
WELCOME BACK PODOLSKI
For those of you that are regular viewers of my blog, you would remember when I said that we lacked width down the left and all our attack seemed to come from the right. It was only on few occasions when Gibbs overlapped forward that we had some presence on the left. Carzola and Wilshere have occupied that position but have formed the habit of always going inside most of the time. However, that was to change as Podolski entered into the fray and we had life back to the left. Over the years, we have had some great left sided midfielders, Pires, Ljunberg and even Henry would most of the time make runs from the left, so it was frustrating for me to see that area very dormant.
Podolski return would surely give us another source of goals, his power and pace, accuracy in shooting would be most welcomed and then his understanding with Gibbs would prove crucial and they could form a resemblance of the Ribery-Alaba partnership in Bayern. Welcome back to the Flying German.
WE NEED A NEW STRIKER
I am always a believer in the qualities of Giroud. He is definitely not in the class of Bergkamp or Henry but he is not a striker without qualities. He is gone close to some games without scoring, for a striker that plays for Arsenal with the amount of creativity around him, that is totally unacceptable. Over the course of the season, he has shouldered the striking responsibilities of not just Arsenal, but the French national team and has already played close to 30 games already. I believe it is just beginning to catch up with him.
Some of the chances he missed against West Ham were just unimaginable and if this trend continues, it is clear we would need a new striker. Even, Wenger recognizes that and during the summer went a public pursuit of Jovetic, Higuian, Suarez and Ba; I believe that he would still shop for another striker.
The title race this season gives no room for error or missed opportunities and in the West Ham game, we almost paid for those missed chances. This is very important, as it would lift the morale in the squad as the signing of Ozil did and also, it might amount to a happier squad. Ozil and co created a lot of chances for Giroud and you can imagine how painful it is for them to see those chances go away.
I have not entirely given up of Giroud (I could not do that as far as he wears the crest on his chest). He brings certain qualities to the team: his link up play, commitment and aerial ability but for a club like Arsenal, we want more. Another striker would add competition to the squad and that might just be the last straw that breaks the Camel’s (of lack of trophies) back.
OOOOHHHH SANTI CARZOLA
Santi has had a very tough start to the season but maybe the rest against Chelsea might just have given him a much need breather. I thought in the game against West Ham, he was awesome in the last 25 minutes when he shifted back to the no 10 position. He held the ball well, gave a lot of looping balls into the Hammer’s box and played the best football I have seen from him this season. With Walcott and Podolski back and Oxlade- Chamberlain not too far away, Carzola’s days out on the wings are surely numbered.
OZIL AND RAMBO NEED A REST
These two men have been the driving force behind Arsenal’s resurgence this season. Their understanding, work rate, assists and goals have been very important, but I think they need a break and allow other players to play some part. Over the last two games, they have looked very jaded and fatigued. The Arsenal squad has a good bench this season and it would not be surprising if Wenger gives them a rest. With Ramsey suffering from a thigh injury, that could serve him very well and see him come back better and sharper and I really expect Wenger to put Ozil on the bench against Newcastle and allow Carzola function in the free role. In our last title challenges in 07/08 and 10/11, the players have worn out when the real work was about to start, therefor to avoid that this year, Arsene must manage the fitness of his star players very well.
This was a laboured win, but based on the last 25 minutes, it was well deserved. another three points in the bag, Next up is the one of the most inform sides in the league, Newcastle. we have to be at our best to stop Alan Pardew French Musketeers.
like what you read? visit our facebook page and hit the like button
or join the mailing listfollow me on twitter @blueprintsammy
happy yuletide season