Bouncebackability as it’s known, is a big term in football. Being able to react positively to a previous disappointment. In the modern game we’re flooded with football matches, sometimes our beloved team play three in a week. There isn’t time to lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself. Once the whistle goes the game is done, focus shifts to the next match. That’s the very nature of the beast. And this week, this Arsenal side showed that they can do just that (as they have multiple times this season) with a performance that oozed class and control.
Crystal Palace sacking their manager before the game against us didn’t surprise me but it also doesn’t make sense to me. With the bottom half of the table still to play, realistically needing 3 wins to secure safety, sacking Vieira makes no sense. But this isn’t a Crystal Palace blog. From our perspective nothing changed. We had to go out and do enough to win and we did just that. Aside from Zaha’s shot that hit the post and bounced out, we were in total control. Our passing was slick, fast and accurate and after we took the lead we never looked like relinquishing it.
There were four great goals from us. It was somewhat disappointing to concede another goal from a set piece and I’m sure that’s something Arteta will look to address but he can’t be upset with our attacking performance. It was comfortable and after Thursday it was exactly what we needed going into the International break (more on that shortly). The onus is now on Man City. Do I expect them to win their game in hand? Yes. Does it add pressure though? Undoubtedly. Points on the board are always better than games in hand and my opinion on that will not change.
With a two week break until we play again, attention (or lack of) turns to the International fixtures. I don’t care much for international football so like Mikel Arteta I can only hope that all of our players come back with a clean bill of health. And we have A LOT of key players on duty over the next couple of weeks. By my count we have 7 first team players away with their countries for this break. Along with that, Tomiyasu’s season is all but over with a decision pending on whether he needs surgery. The William Saliba situation on the other hand is a bit hazier. I don’t think there is a serious problem and I think there has been some gamesmanship from the club to prevent him travelling unnecessarily. Only time will tell. But either way we simply cannot afford to lose anymore players.
That’s your lot for now. I’ll be back before the resumption with another big home game against Leeds.