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Here we go!
Serious contenders? … Of course we are and this empathic win against the reigning champions Manchester City in the Community Shield has got nothing to do with it. It is the lack of deadwood in our current squad, which was our Achilles heel for the last few seasons.
I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure, staring at the list of playing members in our squad this season is not just just a figment of my imagination. It’s a far cry from the days when our 1st and 2nd choice goal keepers were Almunia and Fabianski respectively. Now, not even this season’s signing Ospina who is a top class GK, is guaranteed first team football, improvement in epic proportions in that department.
In the last couple seasons, out went the likes of Bendtler, Djourou, Squillachi, deadwood4, deadwood5… in came players like Ozil, Alexis, Chambers Debuchy and Ospina and boy doesn’t it show in the performances of the team.
There is an easily detectable new belief in this team… a new swagger. This very much looks like the begging of a very promising new chapter in the Arsenal’s famous history. It even got me writing blogs again after sulking and not feeling it for the last few seasons.
On Sunday afternoon, poor Manchester City found out at its own cost that this new Arsenal side is not to be taken lightly and got literally smacked 3 -0.
We blitzed them in the first half with Alexis looking lively although being only 70% match fit and there is no mistaking that we have got ourselves a player and a half here. Of the other new signings; Debuchy looked very, very impressive. He is like ‘Sagna with end product’. Chambers; is this boy for real? Only 19 years old with only a handful of first team appearances in the top level, slots into as crucial position as a CB for a team with full of big name stars and plays like he was born there! Again, we got ourselves a gem here.
Cazorla who also had a very good game, fired us in front in the 21st minute from the edge of the box with a cross shot to bottom right corner after pouncing onto a loose ball, 1 – 0. The way he shifted the ball to his left with his right foot was very much, erm… Cazorla. Still nobody knows which side is his strongest.
Such was the Arsenal’s dominance in the 1st half, using the vanishing spray for the first time on British soil for a free kick for City was the highlight of the half for them.
In the 40th minute, we counter attacked them with Alexis on the right side, He played a lovely ball to Sonogo who made an intelligent run into the corner of their 18 yard box. His hold up play was excellent, so was the way he laid the ball for Ramsey to do his thing. And we all know by now what he can do; a wonderful little dink over the approaching foot of Nastasic to set himself up for the top class finish, 2 – 0. Ramsey is getting better by the day and he was the MOTM for me. His box to box play is second to none. It’s worth mentioning that he is on 17 goals and 9 assists since the start of last season and he missed a big bulk of last season through injury. If only….
We should have gone 3-0 up before the half time whistle if Alexis wasn’t so wasteful with his finishing after a lovely 1-2 with Sonogo. Some credit must go to City’s new GK Caballero for coming out of his goal very quickly and blocking his shot.
Arsenal started the second half by using 3 of the 6 allowed substitutions; Ox, Monreal and Giroud came on for Alexis, Koscielny and Sonogo. Worryingly Koscielny has a slight Achilles problem and could miss our season opener against Palace on Saturday evening.
Second half was almost a complete cruise apart from a couple of Jovetic half chances one of which Szczesny had to make a smart save low to his left from his stinging long range drive.
Giroud put the game beyond and doubt -as if there was any^^ – in the 60th minute with a spectacular shot from the edge of the box, 3 – 0
My special mention goes to our one and only Pat Rice; it was so nice to see him healthy and representing Arsenal as a club Ambassador.
Team line up
Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo
Subs: Martinez, Monreal, Flamini, Campbell, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
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