For the first 88 minutes of this game nobody can be faulted by drawing comparisons from Arsenal of old; an Arsenal team that dominates the game, pelts the opposition keeper with shots and still can't earn a win.
I've been suspicious over the last few weeks, but now I'm certain that this is not the Arsenal of old. This is an Arsenal team that, even if the opposition sits their entire team behind the ball, no matter how much time their 'keeper wasted and despite the two clear penalties we should have got, we still give full effort and show top commitment to grind out a win and ensure we get the 3 points we've earned.
With Aaron Ramsey out for a still unconfirmed period of time, Mesut Ozil to miss another game or so and our big striker, Giroud potentially out for a minute or two, we've been fortunate to have world class players returning from injury and returning to form. Walcott has come into the team without the slightest need for adjustment scoring 5 goals in the last 5 games. Podolski had a solid return appearance against Newcastle, scoring after almost 4 months out injured, and now even out-of-favour striker, Bendtner has stepped up and earned his paycheck for Arsenal. With those three attacking forces coming back into the team I wonder if we even need to venture out into the transfer market this January. Update: After limping off, it seems Bendtner is out for 'a lengthy spell' so I wouldn't be surprised if we do perhaps look for another squad striker.
I can't help but mention their player, Medel, the one who looks like a cross between a dying dog and a baby hippo. He's not a very good player in my opinion, and I believe he was Cardiff's record signing for £11million. The first game we played against them back in November he was booked but should have been sent off for his relentless over aggressive 'takling' if you'd even call it that. Yesterday he was responsible for one of the penalties we should have had. Poor fella just looks like he's trying to hard, like one of those kids in the playground that nobody likes and smells like pasta sauce and vinegar who can't actually play football so just goes around kicking everyone, but nobody has the balls the tell him he can't play with them anymore.
If the result and being top of the table wasn't positive enough, I have to mention the home fans too. Obviously it's not the same watching on TV but I've mentioned before about the team needing the home support to step it up and I think they have lately. I suppose you would expect them to when your team is top of the league and bombarding the opposition goal with almost 30 shots, but I still like the atmosphere at The Emirates lately. When the crows get really into it you can see the players have an extra spring in their step, so hopefully this continues.
On a separate note, it really looks like Moyes is feeling more comfortable and easing into his role at Manchester United now. In the interview after being beaten by Sp*rs he was complaining about not enough injury time and penalties not being called. While he might be right on the penalty it's just interesting to see him slowly morph into Alex Ferguson as time goes by. Quite unfortunate really, as who would want to look like a tall, moldy prune? Give the guy another few months and I'm sure his nose will begin to resemble giant blueberry and it'll be like Sir Alex never left.
Incidentally those results leave Manchester United 11 points behind us, which is almost as satisfying as seeing an Arsenal fan run Tottenham. The stars are beginning to align, all we need now is for John Terry to lose his legs in a freak strippers pole injury, but still play for Chelski because the more he plays for them the worse they'll get. And that's just pleasant for everybody.
Starting the year top of the League. Oooh to be a Gooner!