Just how good was that result against Arsenal on Saturday?
Going to the Emirates and getting a result is never an easy task. I think most of us had felt that if we went there and got a draw we would have been happy.
But to go there, on the opening day of the league, and comprehensively outclass Arsenal and beat them was brilliant. We were even kind enough to let them score first!
I’m a little peeved about the fact that some, not all, of the media outlets are focusing more on Arsenal being poor rather than on us bring great on the day. Some outlets have stated that we were ‘fantastic’ on the day (Alan Shearer said so on MoTD, and even Robbie Savage said we were brilliant) but, listening to some radio phone-ins after the game, unsurprisingly, most Arsenal fans were upset by the refereeing decisions and Wenger not buying any players yet. The fact is we beat them so convincingly that Wenger had to issue an apology to his fans.
A real positive for me was that Weimann and Benteke didn’t have the best of games at all and yet Benteke got two goals and Weimann played a big role for the team, tracking back at every opportunity and making willing runs forward to take players away. It’s good to know that if 2/3 of our biggest goals threats aren’t firing at least one will cause damage to the opposition team.
That moves me on to my next point – how great was Gabby Agbonlahor on Saturday? Immense. Gabby played like he had the fire in his belly. I don’t know if he was just excited that the Premier League had started again or if he feels he needs to prove a point after the emergence of Benteke but he played like a man on fire. That run he made to win the first penalty – wow!
His speed is electrifying at times. He picked the ball up near the half-way line, cut inside to completely get away from Ramsey and Wilshere then went through the defence like a hot knife through butter. In winning the penalty, he nutmegged Koscielny and then got to the ball before Szczesny, who in my opinion was lucky to stay on the pitch after that.
He then won the second penalty, which at the time looked harsh. However, after watching Alan Shearer’s analysis, it showed us that the defender clearly took out Gabby’s leg before touching the ball, which shows that the ref’s decision was justified. Agbonlahor was class. He was more arrogant in a sense. Don’t get me wrong, it was a ‘good’ arrogance – he was showing what he is capable of.
It was bemusing but satisfying seeing Tony Moon going through on goal and putting the ball away like a veteran striker. He also did exceptionally well on his debut, minimising the threat of Theo Walcott. Guzan also made two world-class saves and showed why I rate him so highly. He is, without a doubt, one of the best keepers in the league. The headlines might have gone to Begovic and Mignolet this weekened but Guzan deserved praise too.
Another shout out goes to Fabian Delph – he is looking like a star at the moment. He was excellent in midfield and completely overshadowed Wilshere and Ramsey, who are regarded as the best midfielders for their respective countries.
Karim El-Ahmadi also did a great job in midfield, playing in the anchor role.
Anyway, it’s Chelsea tomorrow at the Bridge. I don’t need to remind anyone what happened there last season but I’ve got two words in my mind regarding that game: ‘nervous’ is one of them and the other is ‘revenge’. If we win, I will go ballistic. We seem to be Mourinho’s bogey team so long may that continue. Chelsea seemed okay at best at the weekend and, although they won 2-0, it did seem like they were still getting into their groove.
So what do we reckon Villans, what should we expect tomorrow?