With official captain Mikel Arteta only managing cameos for Arsenal this season, and Per Mertesacker relegated to the bench recently, it was left to Laurent Koscielny to marshall the defence and the team against Everton yesterday. He was obviously happy that the Gunners finally got their first League win for a month, but just as importantly we kept a clean sheet despite being up against one of the Premiership’s most in-form striker Romelu Lukaku.
Koscielny said after the game: “It was important to win today because we didn’t win the last game, which was difficult. We did the job and it was quite difficult because Everton played very well. Today, we wanted it more and it was important for the confidence for the rest of the season.
“When you score the first goal, it is always important for the game. We killed the game with the two goals in the first half. We played on the counter-attack but we could play more with the ball in the second half. When you lose some games, the confidence can go and we came back slowly but today was different.
“When you do a good job defensively, it is good, and today we did so we need to keep this up until the end of the season.”
So one down and eight more to go. There are no more midweek games for the Gunners so we will have the whole seven days to prepare for the return of Watford to the Emirates. I am sure the lads will be desperate to get revenge for our FA Cup exit. The Hornets are comfortably clear of the relegation zone so hopefully their minds will be concentrated on not picking up any injuries ahead of the FA Cup semi-final and won’t be too hard on our boys…
Onwards and Upwards!