By Bilal Zaidi
Gone are the days where Arsenal dominate a match and it ends in a frustrating draw. Yesterday Arsenal had 71% of the possession, an astonishing statistic in a league that is supposed to be “competetive”. I will be the first to admit a slight “un-easiness” when it got to 75 minutes and we were still at 0-0.
As Denilson got taken out by a Wigan player, Gallas and Heskey put arms in eachothers faces like a fifteen year old school fight after the incident…then Walcott got run over by Heskey just after the Wigan striker had been yellow carded. The foul on Walcott looked a lot more serious than it now seems to be but as Walcott came off for Bendtner I had a funny feeling that we were going to score late as our 41% of goals scored in the last 15 minutes of games this season shows.
What a fascinating statistic…don’t you think? 41%…that’s a huge proportion of goals…it would be even more interesting to compare this to other teams and our previous seasons. It seems however that this year it has become a promising trend that is becoming so crucial in our pattern of play.
With Flamini, Cesc, Hleb, Gilberto and Diaby all out…it was nice to see Diara and Denilson finally getting a chance. It is difficult for Arsene to accomdate so many midfielders who would all like to play in central midfield but this is the basis for our solid performances this season. We don’t have the biggest squad compared to our main rivals apparantly but in my opinion we have enough “numbers” in all positions. For example we have four or five players alone who can play at right full back. We have had some injuries this season already but I’m glad to see that it hasn’t had a huge impact or in fact any impact on our performances. Van Persie has been out for six weeks now and many thought that when he got injured it would be a huge blow to our scoring credentials. However, just as when Thierry left…others really have stepped up to score the goals. Ade and Cesc are both in the top five premierleague goal scorers with 7 and 6 goals respectively.
Overall…yesterday showed us that even without our starting midfielders…the team fight and determination is definately in all of the teams players. It could have easily been a 0-0 draw and the international break would have been “to blame” but it is good to see Gallas driving forward with aggression and nodding in a goal. It was fantastic to see Bendtner involved with both goals and also a promising site to see Rosicky score another goal.
Van Persie will be back soon and it will be a slight transition to the team which has been used to playing five in midfield apart from yesterday. We now have four tough away games in Seville, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Middlesborough. We entertain Chelsea on the 16th December at home also. A tough month ahead of us. Lets hope that as we did yesterday, that we can dig deep for the resources needed to maximise our points througout this chilling period.
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