An intolerably terrible schedule leaves me to very quickly brisk over a ‘thank-god-we-won’ win over West Ham.
This, as written before, was an absolute banana-skin. The fact that three points are in the bag is brilliant.
A few problems stand out, however:
One – our defence still looks uneasy with Senderos in it, but even without him and Gilberto or Gallas in place, the defence still hasn’t found that final composure to assure the team of consistent rearguards. Sagna has improved it all tremendously, but some co-ordination still needs to be improved. Perhaps it’s down to Toure’s knowing of his supreme gift for last ditch tackles. One to ponder, especially given the ambiguity around Ljungberg’s goal declared offside. Typical.
Two – Hleb’s injury leaves a vacancy on the right, with Eboue adequate but far from adjusted to his new role. Hopefully news on a not-so-serious injury is forthcoming, and quickly.
Three – The fact we’re scoring from headers (thank you, RVP) is a tremendous improvement on last season. That, and the fact we’ve won yet another game we lost last season. Man Utd continue to scrape out 1-0s, as Chelsea’s title challenge wilts away, with Liverpool still having a definite say in affairs.
Make no mistake, the win is tremendous, and keeps us at the top of the table with eight straight wins in all competitions. Good to see van Persie mark his return to the side with that close-range header after his break during the Derby match, and Diaby had a useful, productive game on the left.
Man of the match is easily Mathieu Flamini, though. Industry? Check. Bite in the tackle? Two checks. Street smarts? Oh bugger, he’s got the lot out of nowhere. No longer a utility player, he’s playing like a Chelsea-untouchable (heh, as if) at the moment, only with one hundredth of the price tag and double the ability. It’s fantastic to see it all coming right for him, and that the squad members are coming to the fore in a big way.
News away from the match, Wenger was full of praise for Flamini, saying:
“He is growing – he has a little bossy attitude in midfield you know and he is an organiser, a fighter and a winner. He has improved in football terms; his vision is better, his presence is better and overall at the moment he is doing very well.“
The press has tried to get us all superstitious over Clichy’s positive attitude, highlighting his use of the word ‘invicible’ in this article: No one is saying we’re going to go through the season unbeaten. We’re certainly saying we’re going to compete, though.
Apologies for the lack of blog-ness. Hopefully the internet issues can be sorted out very soon. To Ryan Babel: No one’s missing you, mate. Stay well, the rest of you.