Monday, October 27, 2008

Banana Peel #1, avoided

Arsenal were 2-nil winners over West Ham on Sunday. A London derby and a match that could have easily ended in frustration - read, disappointment. The way things have gone this season, dropping points far too easily, this was an important win. Especially given United's draw to Everton, and Chelsea's loss to Liverpool. It's crucial not to slip-up when things stack in your favour toward the top of the table.

West Ham, as one would expect, packed it in and defended the entire match. They showed a few surprising flourishes downfield from Craig Bellamy, but on a whole, the Hammers crossed their fingers that Arsenal wouldn't care enough to try to find the goals. Fortunately, Adebayor added the extra dimension as a substitute. Frankly, I'm surprised that Walcott didn't find the breakthrough, he was dazzling on a few runs in the first half. Strong goalkeeping from Robert Green kept it close.

This was one of those matches that was just flat out frustrating to watch. You know the entire time that the breakthrough is inevitable, and when it finally comes it's just relief. Doesn't even really make the football all that enjoyable, does it? I did think that Arsenal didn't put their foot on the gas throughout the match. We enjoyed a vast majority of the possession and moved the ball around well, but we didn't have a spark or a level of incisive creativity outside of the middle of the park. We missed that cutting edge that Liverpool so richly enjoyed from Steven Gerrard at Stamford Bridge. But, as I say, it's three points in the bag and a step in the right direction as we try to finally establish some momentum in the league.

Next up, another banana peel ... an even more dangerous one at that. Spurs on Wednesday. Talk about not wanting to lose a match. Yikes. Spurs supporters are wallowing in their worst start in generations after yet another big outlay of cash, and now they pick up ol' 'arry Redknapp as manager, they do. That team has been shambolic thus far. Quite rightly, anything less than a thorough waltz will be unfortunate. But they are definitely something to watch out for with this shake up they'll be undergoing. 

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