Monday, 4 February 2013

Arsenal need confidence injection -Monreal's assured debut -Podolski's goal could've been better

Morning Gooners.

There is nothing quite like beating Stoke. They're not in any way rivals for us in the league, but because of Ryan Shawcross breaking Aaron Ramsey's leg, they are now one of our most hated opponents.

And as the game was heading towards a goalless draw, there is no better way to win a game like that than via a deflected goal. If only it had been off of Shawcross rather than Geoff Cameron.

The weekend would have been perfect for us had Spurs not picked up all three points at West Brom yesterday. But there time will come.

To be honest there isn't too much I want to write about regarding Saturday's game. We won and got three points and that's the main thing. It wasn't pretty. We didn't play to our best and there is plenty of improvement still to be made, but after a disappointing set of league results in January I hope we're moving in the right direction.

We've got three league fixtures this month that we have to take maximum points from. The only away game of the three is this coming weekend at Sunderland. Building a momentum is key if we are to secure a place in the top four and ensure we progress in the FA Cup and Champions League.

I was impressed with the debut of Nacho Monreal. He kept things simple and had a fantastic cross in the second half which could have easily led to a goal  He seemed to loose a lot of aerial duels but I would expect he's not used to the ball being in the air so much. I was pleased he had a decent game.

One of the things I was most pleased about is that we won a lot of the second balls. When we play teams who have a big striker we often fail to pick up the knock downs. But on Saturday there was more of a determination among the players to make sure we snuffed them out as soon as possible.

I hope we took confidence from the win. We need to quickly pick up the pace and turn a win, draw and win from our last three games into an unbeaten run.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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