Thursday, 5 December 2013

Bendtner's attitude spot on in Hull win -Ozil and Cazorla step up

Morning Gooners.

We've started the month of December exactly how we started the month of November with a 2-0 home win in the Premier League. Last month though it was against Liverpool, who our opponents last night Hull, beat last weekend 3-1. It showed that we couldn't be complacent with them.

And from the first minute we swung into action. Although we didn't find the back of the net as quickly as Jack Wilshere did last week against Marseille, Nicklas Bendtner's first goal in the Premier League for the club in 1,005 days can certainly be described as being in the opening stages.

Many had been disappointed with Arsene Wenger's decision to recall the Denmark international into the side for Olivier Giroud, one of five changes the manager made to the side which beat Cardiff on Saturday. But it was the right call.

Carl Jenkinson, who started in place of the injured Bacary Sagna, was found in space on the right by a delightful Aaron Ramsey ball. The full back raced to the byline where he crossed to find Bendtner in the six yard area, wedged between the two Hull central defenders. The big Dane showed his desire to score and bravely put his head in there to finish off the move with a goal.

If Bendtner's attitude is right, his desire and hunger is there, then he can be a valuable member of our squad. And we certainly need a back up to Giroud, who has already played a lot of football already this season and we're not even half way through the season.

From the minute we scored you knew it was going to be a long night for the visitors. Arsenal were in a mood which showed their professionalism and desire won't be altered despite who the opposition is.

We were treated to some delightful football were we rarely gave up possession for the first 30 minutes. We were prodding the big cat gently, showing him the upmost respect, but he couldn't lay a paw on us.

The combination play between Tomas Rosicky, in for Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla was a joy to watch. After being critical of his performance against Cardiff, I thought the little Spaniard really stepped up last night to prove his worth to this team. He's not found the same heights as he did last season, but if this performance is the start of his resurgence, then I'm looking forward to the games ahead.

Aaron Ramsey seemed to be playing in a far more advanced role last night than the one he would usually play alongside the other deep-lying midfielder. Last night Mathieu Flamini was chosen to do that role, while Mikel Arteta took a breather before this weekend's match with his former club Everton. Ramsey however was released by the Frenchman to push further forward and would often interchange with Rosicky and Cazorla.

Many expected the Welshman to be rested for last night's game. But when he's the first name on the team sheet, having the season of his career, is scoring and making goals for fun and his numbers don't show a sign of fatigue, he's got to play in my opinion.

And while the front players will get many of the plaudits from last night's result, I thought that our defence was once again excellent. Arsenal have not conceded a goal where Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have started together in 638 minutes. Wojciech Szczensy has kept a clean sheet in seven out of his last eight games for Arsenal and that was from the head of the greedy badger.

Even with Wenger making two changes to the back line - the aforementioned Jenkinson at right back and Nacho Monreal starting his first Premier League game of the season, we looked to be in control of the game from the back.

That made the jobs of the midfield and forward much easier. But it wasn't until the opening minutes of the second half where we extended our lead. It was our Welsh wizard on hand to create the goal for the King of the Assist Mesut Ozil, with a delightful reverse ball which had the Hull defenders napping.

Perfectly weighted for Ozil's left foot which immediately swung at the ball and found the bottom left hand corner.

I thought that Ozil looked a lot more dangerous last night. He seemed to have more hunger for the game and wanted to put on a show. He created four chances and we didn't score from one of them. Thing are hopefully heading in the right direction.

We ended the night top of the table, four points clear with the best defensive record in the league. The chasing pack all got the result they needed and as we head into an important week with some tough games, we're looking in good form and have rested some legs ahead of the Everton game.

It's now six out of seven wins at home in the league. The Grove needs to be our fortress and with the defence playing the way it is and the attackers finding the net as they are, we're moving together in the right direction. Lets keep this run going.

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