What a game that was, eh? What a f****** insane game?!!!!! After about a dozen or so beers, in all alcohol granted wisdom, I decided to commemorate the German’s thoroughly ninja performance with a few puns:
- I daresay yesterday was an Özpicious day for us gooners.
- Napoli are a good side but we disÖZembled them
- Whatever it was, the first 15 minutes were an ÖZesome display of attacking football from Arsenal
- After that humiliating defeat… Rafa will be feeling nÖZeous…
- After the arrival of the German star, Arsenal’s season has undergone reverse-ÖZmosis…
- Most humans need O2 to live… Gooners just need Öz
- I used worry about the harmful radiations of these carcinogenic MU fans, but now Arsenal have plenty of ÖZone.
- I’m looking forward to a season filled with ÖZsists.
- Suffice to say Napoli found the conditions at Ashburton Grove inhÖZpitable.
Hope reading that wasn’t too much of a pun-ishment. Ok,ok I’m stopping.
All it took was 15 minutes of pure devastating attacking prowess to demolish them into tiny specks footballing dust. Our XI effortlessly reduced them to their constituent parts, isolated individual threats and nullified them, all while looking ineffably cool.
Rafa responded by venting the glut of his frustration of that poor note-pad that he loves to dive into. In all honesty, I had expected a hard fought victory, but the Arsenal war machine brushed past the stunned Italians in what could only be described as second gear. For the first time in a very long time have I seen Arsenal take out a powerful team with no need to fire on all cylinders! And by Jove, it was pleasure to watch!!!!
Every time I close my eyes, I can visualize that sweet side footed volley, with enough spin to curl into the side netting. God! It was a thing of sublime beauty indeed! Weird as it may seem, Mesut reminds of a Barracuda: lean, sharp, fast, deadly and with large bulbous eyes that pick out prey (read passes) with consummate ease as it tears through the water (read opposition’s defense) with apparent effortlessness.
Listen to this:
“…Floating near the surface, the great barracuda has a bird’s eye view of its surroundings. As soon as it spies its prey, this fish waits until the animal has its guard down. With a burst of speed, it chases after it. Tearing its prey into large pieces, the great barracuda swims away then circles back to chow down on the pieces….”
Eerily similar to how he operates in his ‘free’ role in the midfield, isn’t it?
Day dreams and outlandish depictions apart; interestingly, both the goals came from passes pulled back across the face of goal. Coincidence? I think not, I’d attribute it to the Barracuda erm.,Özil who spotted a weak link in the right side of Napoli’s defense and made the most of the opportunity (twice) before Rafa could cry “Jack Robinson”. Giroud too was instrumental in both goals as he held the ball and waited to lay off the ball to a team-mate before rushing into the box to provide a goal threat; a tactic that utilizes his physical strength to the maximum advantage. Ramsey and Sagna were warriors as usual and impressed with their efforts, but I speak about them far too often, so let’s try to look the others who contributed to the victory.
But the real cherry on the icing was our performance AFTER the first fifteen minutes. The team as a whole decided to relax and take things a little easy but yet refused to allow Napoli to get a foot in the door. In the past, our fiery starts have often tapered into embarrassing draws and defeats due to sheer complacency or lapses in concentration; but yesterday Arsenal went straight for the jugular and the death grip was released only after the final whistle after watching Napoli’s death rictus as they were gradually bled to death over 75 minutes with the cold ruthless eyes of a professional assassin on them. There was no release in pressure! No let up! No escape!
Flamini and Art culled any semblance of a resistance and categorically eliminated any chances for a come-back. We were parsimonious in possession and rarely allowed them any time for build-up play as Napoli were denied any chance to create momentum going forward; with Ramsey and Flamini hell bent on controlling the ball at ALL times and simultaneously reducing Hamsik to a funny haired joke.
Art & Rosicky were found wanting at times, with a few wayward passes and reckless tackles, but players returning from injury take a few games to get their eyes in and their rhythms back in sync with the team, a perfectly natural phenomenon. Our utter domination ensured that this was a luxury we could easily afford.
Usually at juncture in the season, a spate of injuries would usually cripple our team as we would slowly sink down the table struggling under the weight of Diaby’s calf muscles; but this season, not only has Arsenal weathered through the storm of injuries, we have done it in style!
The return of Art and Rosicky will allow certain weary souls a well-deserved rest, but more importantly it will ensure that every member of our squad will have to fight to make to the starting XI. Jack in particular could do with some competition. Ever since his move to a position on the wide left, the Englishman’s game is not what it used to be. Whether it is intransigence or a merely the challenge of mastering a new position I cannot say, but a fully fit Rosicky would probably trump him to the team sheet which means that the younger midfielder will have to work on his positioning and overall gameplay to try and force his way back into the squad.
We see the usual sparks of brilliance off and on but the kid who took the league by storm two years ago with is verve and consistency is still missing. The impending return of Cathola and shortage of slots in the starting eleven will soon change that. For a squad of Arsenal’s size, a healthy sense of competition and espirt de corps will prove to be the panacea to complacency.
Meanwhile we can look forward to hosting WBA which should be a stroll in the park, except for the fact that Steve Clark is no imbecile and would have watched our first team with great interest over the last few games; no doubt he will have a few counter-strategies to try and limit our creativity and incisiveness. His team also had a taste of what Arsenal is capable of this season and will be seething for revenge after their ignominious exit from the league cup by our second string team. I say: “Bring it!!”