Monday, 23 September 2013

Killer Ozil takes aim at Stoke -Rampant Ramsey performs again -Impressive Gnabry

Morning Gooners.

Top of the league... who would have thought it would have been the case after our opening day defeat to Aston Villa. Five games in and four league wins on the bounce is a great turnaround. It's a case of keeping the momentum going.

I thought yesterday we didn't really get out of first gear. Perhaps Aaron Ramsey's early goal after five minutes allowed us not to be at our best. Did the midweek win against Marseille take something out of us physically? Is it really a problem having a small squad which we can't rotate?

I would think that the game in midweek did have something to do with it. Marseille are a good team and we had to work hard for our win. The same could be said of the result we picked up at the Stadium of Light the Saturday before.

But three points is three points and the majority of the team who played yesterday will get a week to recover  in time for our trip to Wales on Saturday. I can't imagine the manager will play many - if any - of his first 11 against West Brom on Wednesday night. There are bigger targets than the League Cup, but it would be great to keep our winning record on the road going.

I'd expected more from Stoke if I'm honest. I thought they would have given us a game and perhaps the change in management and the way they want to play football now gave us more of an opportunity to take all three points. You'd expect the ball to be up in the air more when you play them, but it wasn't the case.

Another thing you don't expect is all three of our goals to come from set pieces. Ramsey tucking away the first with a fine left foot shot when Begovic couldn't keep hold of a Mesut Ozil free kick. I wish i'd put money on it. It feels like it was on the cards before it even happened and it was lovely to see Ramsey sssh the Stoke fans in his celebration.

We didn't really get going after that and it was a mistake which allowed Stoke to score their goal. Should Szczesny have done better with Cameron's follow up shot after the ball came back to him after Jones' strike hit the post. I think if you were being super critical I think I would say I'd have wanted him to save the second shot.

Their goal should have acted as a wake up call but Mertesacker lost Jones and if his touch hadn't been as heavy as it was it would have allowed him to get his shot away unchallenged.

It was only then Arsenal were spurred back into life. It was a BFG header which took us back into the lead nine minutes before the break. Ozil can claim the assist for that one.

Stoke came out and played the better of the football in the opening stages of the second half and you felt that a third goal was needed to kill off the game. Wenger was preparing a double substitution of Miyaichi and Monreal but before that could happen, an Ozil corner found the head of Bacary Sagna and his looping header found the back of the net.

And that was game over.

Clearly Ozil will take a lot of the plaudits and rightly so for his role in all three goals on his home debut. But again Aaron Ramsey had a fantastic game. I was also impressed with Serge Gnabry, getting his first Premier League start when Theo Walcott felt a twinge in the pre-match warm up.

It's all looking bright at this stage of the season. We just need to keep it going. Hopefully our form will continue on Wednesday night.

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