If Arsenal don’t stop this, I’m going to be dead of a heart attack before we move into 3rd place. Four comebacks in four consecutive PL games (a record). Two at the death. In terms of a euphoric sensation, it doesn’t get much better than what we experienced on Monday against Newcastle United.
The game on Monday we obviously were about as sharp in front of goal as a rusty spoon. We played well in midfield, played well defensively, created the chances in front of goal, but suddenly it seemed as if the Arsenal players made some sort of crazy bet in the locker room to see who could come up with the worst whiff from six yards out or less. Robin set the tone early on, then Rosicky said, “Oh yea, watch this.” Not wanting to be left out of the betting pool, Gervinho had to work extremely hard to miss from that close.
However, I absolutely love, love, love the fight we are seeing in this team at the moment. The “never say die” attitude. Sure, we got kicked in the balls pretty hard a few times, but we stood right back up and executed a wicked crane kick to the solar plexus while balancing on a moderately mended leg. And the best part is we’re getting some key players back from injury at just the right time. Could you imagine Wilshere, Chamberlain and Song running rampant in the midfield? I digress.
Anyway, ten more games to go, 30 points at stake, 5 teams still swirling around the Champion’s League whirlpool. Must. Stay. Focused.
For this game, automobiles seemed appropriate – some are more finely tuned and crafted then others, and every once in a while even your $300,000 car won’t start and needs to be towed. The Arsenal player ratings, the automobiles edition:
Szczesny (Lexus) – A luxury sedan that performs solidly and stops goals like the one that was scored on Monday 9 times of out 10. He’s the real deal, no doubt about it. A definite upgrade at goalkeeper from what we’ve had in the past (a Yugo and a Pacer).
Sagna (Volvo) – I am, of course, referring to the old-school Volvo here when it was still a Swedish company. When they were nothing flashy but extremely reliable cars before they were bought by Ford (and now some Chinese group). Sagna provided a solid, reliable presence on the pitch that (it appears to me) frees up Theo to feel more confident on the wing.
Vermaelen (Bulgatti) – Has some reliability issues from time to time (first goal for Newcastle), but when he decided to shine he decided to shine in a very dramatic fashion and steal the show. Not to mention the full sprint from one end of the field to the other to be in position to score the goal.
Koscielny (Citroen) – Not just saying Citroen just because he’s French. Not really the most attractive car in the world, but world-renown for its comfortable ride. Koscielny doesn’t always play the most attractive football, but there’s a sense of comfort when he’s in the game. Like everything is going to be ok.
Gibbs (Honda) – Solid car, solid performer. Nothing out of the ordinary, but very reliable and dependable. Had a minor blip when he let Ben Arfa turn on him for the first goal, but had a solid game nonetheless.
Song (Mack Truck) – Solid, does a tremendous amount of dirty work, doesn’t complain, stands its ground and doesn’t look for accolades. Song was key in the midfield on Monday, breaking up plays, keeping Newcastle from getting into a rhythm and showing his defensive steel.
Rosicky (Audi) – My personal favorite car brand in the world. Sleek, precisely tuned, superb handling, crisp execution. The perfect culmination of grit and finesse partnered with determination and creativity. Rosicky was a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the pitch. I’m torn between him and Walcott as my MOTM.
Arteta (Ford) – Decent enough car and will get you from point A to point B most of the time. Behind European models in terms of quality and precision, but usually gets the job done. Sort of your “Everycar” if you will. That was Arteta’s game on Monday. Fairly mundane but enough.
Walcott (Ferrari) – Ferrari’s break down a lot and can be expensive to repair, but when all the pieces come together and work in harmony, holy shit! Speed coupled with technique and a bit of football intelligence thrown in and Theo is close to unstoppable. He may be completely unreliable for the next race, but he was absolutely fantastic on Monday. Speed kills.
Chamberlain (Aston Martin) – Smooth, elegant and surprisingly powerful and speedy when you least expect it. Has reliability issues from time-to-time as well, but a thing of beauty when it’s on the road an performing at its peak. Chamberlain is looking stronger and stronger each game, hungry to play, no fear, willing to shoot from the outside and take on challengers.
Van Persie (Monster Truck)— Elegance and refinement be damned, I’m going to be in your face and do what needs to be done. RvP missed a shot that he should have made, scored a key goal that needed to happen, and basically got in the head of Tim Krul and refused to back down. Left some tire treads on a couple of players Monday.