While Saturday’s contest with Hull City was by no means their best performance, it nevertheless shows an ever-apparent resilience that the current Arsenal side lacked just a few months ago. On an unbeaten run that has showed more defensive solidity than offensive firepower, this team is becoming increasingly more substantive than stylish, and it surely has been Wenger’s wish lately to marry those two together. Although Hull did score, it really did come from a bit of bad luck. If the same luck were to be applied to Arsenal’s attacks, surely three more goals would have been added to the tally. Robin van Persie’s freekicks and Bendtner’s unlucky header needed only a trifling of fortune to have been counted, yet they were not to be. That said, Nicklas Bendtner’s goal did come from an offside van Persie, so it appears that we got our just rewards.
Carrying on with the discussion of Arsenal’s attacking, Nasri, Diaby, Ade, and in particular, van Persie, all showed a developing cognizance for interchanging and no look passes, which were characteristic of the Flamini, Cesc, and Hleb era. Quite a bit of attacking responsibility has fallen onto the shoulders of our attackers, what with the losses of Hleb and Flamini, and the injuries to Cesc, Theo, and Rosicky, and it appears that our current team has stepped up to the plate.
This weekend’s Premier League action was pleasing not only because of our first team’s performance, but also because of the performances of both Jay Simpson and Armand Traore. Simpson got himself into good scoring positions and was a real menace throughout West Brom’s 3-0 win, and surely his confidence has gotten even higher. A player many wrote off not too long ago, he has gone from strength to strength and has given Wenger plenty to think about. Here’s hoping he continues his current form for the rest of the season.
Armand Traore has been a valuable player for Portsmouth, and Sunday’s game against Twattenham further underlined his worth. While Pompey struggled to maintain possession, the few times they got the ball to the French winger, good things happened. Indeed, a driving, 40-yard run by him set up David Nugent to smash home Pompey’s only goal of the match. Traore, like Simpson, is also giving Wenger plenty to think about, and has really seized his loan chance.
A smorgasbord-style review of the weekend’s action would not be complete with a review of the ‘new Nasri,’ such has Andrey Arshavin’s prolonged transfer been. Many quotes in the papers, and indeed from his agent, indicate a resolution will be reached within this week. I, for one, would be quite delighted to see him holding up an Arsenal shirt. If there remains anyone who thinks he would not be a real potent attacking threat for us, then I thoroughly cannot wait for you to be surprised. He has the pace of Clichy, the vision of Nasri, and the finishing of Adeba…er, of a striker worth 15 million. May his inclusion into the squad come quickly;
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