You know who is an 18 year old? In this country, that is the age when you are eligible to vote and to drive vehicles. When I was 18, I was being scolded by my father for not studying hard enough to get admission into a good engineering college. 18 is just a number that lends maturity to you and your character; the person is just ripe and learning the ways of the world.
Serge Gnabry is still 18. I am assuming that as you are here on this blog, you know him. Just to refresh things, he is a young German who scored couple of nights ago at Swansea for Arsenal. That was his first senior goal for the club and that has lifted him to the second youngest scorer in the club’s history after Cesc Fabregas. He scored at the age of 18 in his 3rd appearance in the Premier League.
And this was not a day when Arsenal was already 4-0 up by 70th minute and Wenger felt the need to play the youngster to give him a feel of the league. Gnabry started the game, helped by many players on the injury list. And this was Swansea which, as per stats, is at the same level as Arsenal. They play the passing game by stringing short passes; the ball keeps moving and you admire their game. The game was being played at Liberty Stadium, a difficult place to come to. Gnabry was not just a try-out; he was drafted ahead of more discussed Ryo and experienced Monreal. He did not disappoint.
After first 45 minutes of entertaining football and where Arsenal was bogged down by Swansea’s high pressure game, Arsenal got it together. The second half started in a much better way. Gnabry got hold of Ramsey’s pass and blasted it to the far corner. His first goal for the club at the age of 18 and then running away towards the fan to celebrate it; this is the stuff dreams are made of. A player of my favorite club, 8 years younger than me, has become my hero. I almost found my eyes wet. Emotions, anyone?
Second goal was scored by the ever present Ramsey who has suddenly decided to take the matter in his own hands. He runs and tackles and then makes those scintillating runs to get at the end of ball and score. A complete midfielder and it saddens me when I think that last year, I wanted him to leave the club.
In between those two goals, Ozil should have scored. He had ample of time and space but he took quite a bit of time and Vorm was intelligent enough to guess his shot and save. I think Ozil is still getting the feel of the league. He will get better and he will score a hell lot of them. Ben Davies’ goal scared but at the end, it was Arsenal who could come out at the top.
6 weeks later, I would have bet anything for this position on the table. Arsenal has 15 points, 2 more than Tottenham and 8 more than Manchester United (Let us laugh at Man Utd- Hahhahahahahahahahah). Two more games (Napoli and West Brom Albion) and we enter the international break. Last year, this break proved calamitous to our form. Arsene Wenger will be wary of the same this time. But his first concern will be no injuries.
Arsenal welcome Napoli on Tuesday night and the fact that Gnabry is not a part of Champions League squad until January has suddenly started pinching me. In a tough group where we have dispatched Marseille in the away fixture; all I am hoping for is full points in home games. That will ensure a progression to the knock out stages.