Yesterday’s brilliant North London derby win over Tottenham certainly gave all Arsenal fans a giant boost, and has put us right back in the fight for the Top Four. Arsene Wenger picked his very best team and they all looked like they were up for it, and played their hearts out for the whole 90 minutes.
As Wenger said after the game: “Yes, I think we played with purpose, good concentration, the desire to always be efficient and with great solidarity. From the first to last minute the quality of our concentration was very high, we never had a minute where we felt that we dropped a little bit of our focus. Overall it was a very intense game when you look at the physical performance of the two teams. It’s absolutely through the roof, so that means the with the distances the players produced, it was an immense performance on both sides.”
Arsenal have now won 11 home League games in a row, which is our best run since the Invincibles era, but we are 12 points behind Man City because our away form has been dire, but Wenger insists that his team has not performed badly away from home either. “I feel we had a very good game at Manchester City and I analysed it very well, it was a very tight game. We had a few away games where our performances were good but, when you lose, people always go to definite conclusions without going further into any analysis and we were not as bad as people said, we have 22 points today. We are a few points short, but if you can analyse the games I can show you why.”
After most of our defeats, Wenger has normally (rightly or wrongly) blamed the referee’s decisions, but yesterday Mike Dean was thought to have favoured us instead, but Wenger disagrees. “I don’t think so, no. Last week we conceded a goal that was not marginally offside, that was a yard offside and that nobody found a word to say. I watched this one again and I’m not sure it was offside and it was a foul, so suddenly when we concede the goals it’s absolutely normal, and when we are a yard offside maybe you have to answer that in a press conference.”
There are now only four points between Man United in second place and Burnley in seventh and it is still all to play for, despite Man City looking like the obvious winners there is still a lot of games ahead. If we play like this in every game there is no reason why we can’t keep winning and close in on second place at least…
Onwards and Upwards!