All things come in full cycles. Emmanuel Eboue had lived through the worst experience that a footballer can have and emerged a stronger man and improved player. From being booed by his own fans for tackling his own players and constantly giving the ball away when Wigan last came to town, to today’s fantastic shift that he put in. It’s good to see the Ivorian acknowledging his deficiencies and worked to put it right. He made the final significant touch from Eduardo’s shot that sent the ball away from the diving Kirkland and into the net. That’s his 2nd goal of the season and was forever positive going forward.
Van Persie had another blinder of a game though was very unlucky not to find himself in the scoresheet. The fact that he gets to those scoring position and kept finding space in Wigan’s defence augurs well for the future. The goals will come and he is certainly on the right track. You can’t score if you don’t know how to give defenders the slip and being in the right spot. Probably did not realise that he had more time than he did when Fabregas chipped the ball through to him. A little more calm and surely Kirkland will be picking up the ball from the net.
Overall this was an improved performance from Gael Clichy. At times this season he has looked vulnerable. Perhaps he is still getting used to the new formation which requires him to do most if not all of the defending that comes in the left flank. Now there is no left midfielder or winger who can help to protect him. Whenever Clichy ventures upfront, the is no player that backs-up his defensive position. Either he needs to reduce the number of forays forward or commit to run the line the whole match. As it is, he is already looking tired from doing the latter. So it was nice to see him returning to his usual dependable self. Wenger will need to assess this and see how the midfielders of one the attacking trio to support Clichy during defensive plays.
Now, whenever I looked ahead to January and the African’s Nation Cup, I will feel slightly scared. As this means that Arsenal will be rather short on the defensive midfield spot. Alex Song has really announce his arrival this season. He has looked to make the DM position entirely his own. His self awareness has improved and definitely passing of the ball as well. He did the necessary fouls to prevent Wigan’s counter attacks. He had the discipline to control his play to curb those attacking plays and totally focus on his role as a shield to the back four. A goal or two and Song would really make himself virtually undroppable.
So it was a return to winning ways by Arsenal. The next few fixtures are at Emirates bar one Fulham game. This sequence of games up to Chelsea at the end of November will define the season for Arsenal. Continuous 3 points and Wenger can start telling his players that this season, Arsenal are here for the title.
More to come tomorrow. Have a nice day.