Monday, January 4, 2010

The FA cup begins, and a round up of recent games..

Things are going alarmingly well, results-wise, at the moment. It's oft been said that Arsenal's fatal flaw was an inability to win while playing poorly... Well, the people who said that better find another fatal flaw. Granted, there are a few prospective ones in this team but let's stay positive for now shall we?

Ok, as aforementioned I didn't really dwell on our defeat of Liverpool at Anfield because I felt it may have had little meaning. But since the draw at Burnley, there have been four wins, there have been goals aplenty, and there have been signs of promise for 2010.

The (eventually) routine Emirates victory over Hull was followed by what looked something of a six-pointer at home to Villa. People had been talking up their strength and our fragility. I fretted over their recent successes against us. And for a while the worries seemed fairly well-founded. But then Fabregas came on.

One free kick and one breakaway classic courtesy of an unexpected moment of quality from Theo, and the captain was limping off with the game won. All that was left was for my worst enemy Diaby, having found form against Hull, to ice the cake with a lovely goal that his performance deserved.

Now with Fabregas out, Arsenal needed handy games and with due respect to Portsmouth and West Ham, they are not opponents to be feared at the moment, even with the benefit of raucous home support. Pompey were brushed aside with Ramsey stepping into the cesc-shaped void. And today West Ham were eventually beaten by a great Eduardo header after Ramsey had cancelled out their opener.

So the team have found reserves of character since the chelsea pasting that I doubted they possessed, and the season is back on track. However, and as ever with me, I see a bad moon rising. Well, maybe that's a bit portentous-sounding but our potential problems are numerous. Song is now away, and we have no obvious replacement for the revelation of the season. Allied to this, Fabregas now has question marks surrounding his fitness. Will Ramsey continue to step up to the plate so effectively, and deputise for perhaps the finest playmaker in the world? It's a tall order. We've been scoring goals, but without a real centre- forward, how long can this keep going? And Gallas and Vermaelen have been playing game-in, game-out with little rest, including today's tie when I expected to see them rested. Surely if Wenger trusts no deputy sufficiently to give either of these guys a rest, he's got to be thinking of defensive reinforcements?

With games starting to come thick and fast, these questions consume my thoughts. There is an opportunity here, to be sure. Ok, we needed Fabregas to come on and beat Villa and injure himself, but we won't face sides as good as Villa every week and matches either side of that have proven that we can at least beat the dregs of the league without him, Van Persie and the rest of the wounded. Hopefully, Fab will be back and in form in time for a tough run around the end of the month, and hopefully he'll have some new team-mates. For now, though, can we keep this run going? There are moments in almost every single game where we are opened up with worrying ease, and I find myself wondering what a PROPER side would do to us... But where are the proper sides this season? Man Utd just got turned over by a LEAGUE ONE team! It's silly season so why not a silly team for the title? If we can keep up our consistency in beating the Premiership's poor sides, of which there are many, who knows?