Arsenal have won a game, I repeat Arsenal have won a game! I was honestly beginning to forget what winning felt like and whilst particularly in the first half it wasn’t exactly vintage Arsenal we won’t dwell on that too much.
When you’re playing as poorly as we have been of late it’s all about the result and the hope is our first away victory in the league since the opening weekend of the season will lay a foundation on which Freddie can now build.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much confidence a single goal can breed into a side totally devoid of it and Gabriel Martinelli’s equaliser was the catalyst for what followed. A nine minute period in which the Gunners blew West Ham out of the water and completely turned the game on it’s head could prove a huge turning point for our season.
He may only be 18-years-old but it’s been clear for months that in Gabi-Gol as I’ll now call him we have an exciting young talent. Last night’s calculated and accurate finish was his 8th goal of the season and in my opinion he has got to be starting on that left-hand side week in, week out.
Reiss Nelson who? This kid is miles ahead of him and if it means Lacazette is left out in order for him to be accommodated (because we sure as hell shouldn’t be dropping Aubameyang) then so be it.
Ladies and Gentleman, Nicolas Pepe has finally arrived in the Premier League. That’s the player we all thought we was signing, rapid, skilful and a ruthless finisher. The Ivorian also proved he’s got the stomach for the physical side of the competition – how Aaron Cresswell wasn’t shown two yellow cards is beyond me but it was Nico who had the last laugh on the night.
One final point because I don’t want to spoil the podcast that will be dropping later today but it looks to me as though Freddie has at the very least begun addressing the transitional issues he spoke of after Norwich. Xhaka (although extremely sloppy in possession at times) and Torreira were noticeably more conservative in their runs forward and were clearly instructed to offer greater protection to their central defenders.
West Ham weren’t exactly prime Barcelona but I thought for the most part our defensive performance was a lot more convincing. I still hate that our central defenders take so many risks in possession but hey ho, small steps right?
We travel to Standard Liege on Thursday and that’s followed by the visit of Manchester City on Sunday. Hardly the ideal Premier League follow on having just picked up our first win since October 6th but perhaps we’ll only concede three now instead of five. Just kidding, come on you Gunners!