Wigan 0-1 Arsenal: We’re Third, Somehow

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Not an especially convincing win, but an especially vital one. With Arsenal not due to play again until next Saturday evening, taking all three points and putting a three-game winning streak together for the first time in the league this season, was all that mattered. But let the record state that if Kone’s finishing hadn’t been so Gervinohian, we would rightly have conceded twice. So, fine margins and all that.

To my eyes there wasn’t any doubt about our penalty. Walcott does well to burst into space and gets bundled over by Beausejour. It was the best thing our wantaway striker winger did all day. Having gone in for the niggling rotational fouls gameplan, I’m tempted to say Wigan got what they deserved. But more likely it was a case of Roulette wheel decision making from a ref who never really seemed in control of the game.

Not that I was particularly impressed by their late handball penalty shouts. Defenders tuck their arms into their bodies specifically so they don’t get hit while waggling them about in thin air. In either case the ball would clearly have gone on to hit chest/abs. The defining criteria, according to Auntie, is whether the player handled the ball deliberately – which would imply moving his arm towards the ball in order to gain an advantage – of having the arms in an unnatural position.

Holy shitballs, I can’t believe the best I can come up with is a riff about deliberate handball. There really isn’t much more to say about the game. Jack did well, then tried to do a bit too much. Sagna probably just shaded it as our best player. There was a timidity to our movement generally, in that players would pass and then not move – meaning attacks broke down while teammates looked on.

At half-time I thought the Ox, early shot aside, had been especially ineffective. Then he was our best creative outlet in the second half, for which the rewarded was being hooked. Arsene’s subs did seem to work though. Or at least that’s the impression you take away because we didn’t concede. Had a late shot gone in, the whole narrative changes. Again: small margins.

Anyway, though Wigan worked tirelessly, and arguably deserved a draw (reminder: deserve doesn’t matter) I’m glad we’re not having to listen to more people blowing smoke up Bertie Martinez’s arse. I’m haunted by the idea we might wind up with him as the next Arsenal manager. Less against that idea, I suspect, is Hayley Wright – who hosts the excellent Diary Of A Season video blog. She’s was kind enough to invite me on to talk about the match. These are the words what we said…

Both regular A2M readers may also note that the podcast promised in the last post has yet to materialise. Blame my ongoing house moving ballache for that. Hopefully it should be up before the Newcastle game. Although that will depend on me removing the eggnog drip at some stage, so no guarantees eh?

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