So Arsenal extended their place as leaders of the Premier League for another weekend. Anybody who thought that going to Crystal Palace was going to be easy was mistaking, as there are no easy games in the league. In the end it was a hard fought out victory but a deserved one. Here are some match thoughts.
Wenger Got his Tactics Spot On- Wenger had a bit of work to do today, with Flamini coming off injured and Arteta getting sent off. He surprised us all by bringing in Gnabry for Flamini since the young German is naturally a winger while Flamini is a defensive midfielder. I thought that it was a mistake but Gnabry added some dimension to our football and Crystal Palace still weren’t able to break us down, despite being without a natural holding midfielder. When Arteta got sent off, Wenger once again made the right call by bringing on Wilshere and Monreal to the midfield. We played as if we still had eleven on the pitch, so credit goes to Arsene for that. The strange thing is that we looked more dangerous with ten than we did with eleven.
Szczesny Deserves Some Praise- Our big Pole has been in scintillating form this season, but most of it has gone unnoticed due to Ozil, Ramsey, and the fact that we keep conceding penalties and flukes. Szczesny was on top form today and without him we certainly wouldn’t have won. There was one period were he made two saves in quick succession that were absolutely sublime. They kept us in the game and now we are sitting pretty at the top of the league.
Giroud Needs Help- In my honest opinion, I wasn’t too impressed with Giroud today. A lot of Arsenal fans will criticize me for saying that, but that’s just what I feel. He wasn’t bad by any means, it’s just that he felt like a weak link whenever he got the ball. Giroud is at his best when we are going forward so that he can lurk around the penalty box. Unfortunately for him today, we didn’t really have those kinds of moments, which meant Giroud had to come out deeper than usual. His dribbling skills are certainly not the best and he is not the greatest passer; those are skills that aren’t necessary to be a good striker, it’s just that we need to have a striker who can play like that for games like today. If we had a partner for him like Rooney or Suarez than there is no doubt we would have a more lethal front line. Of course, he did take his goal well to give him some confidence.
Gnabry and Ramsey are Exciting to Watch- Let me start off by saying that Gnabry is not a complete footballer at the moment and I would not want him to be starting almost every week. However, he has shown in almost every game he has played this season that he has bags of potential. Today, his movement was very promising. He almost reminds me a bit of Ronaldo, especially with the way he won the penalty. The only difference between him and Ronaldo was that there was actual contact between the two players. He still has a long way to go, but as long as he keeps doing what he is doing, there is no doubt in my mind that he can become the next big thing, like Nicklas Bendtner and Walcott before him.
Now onto something everybody knows, Aaron Ramsey can almost be considered world class. That is depending on your definition of world class. The way that he plays is so positive, it reminds me a lot of Zidane. He has found his personal move, the roulette, as he attempted it on a few occasions today. His cross for Giroud was superb at the end of the game, along with his dribbling and passing. The scary thing is that Ramsey is still only 22 years old, meaning that he has a good five years to become better. Gareth Bale is going to be wishing he can play like Aaron Ramsey.
The last thing that I want to mention is that we play Chelsea in the Capital One Cup this week, and I am hoping for a completely changed XI. When you see Ozil and Giroud sucking air at the end of the game like they way they were, you know it’s time for them to have a break. It looks like the Great Dane is going to get his chance to shine next week!