Well it’s certainly been a month of some very good highs and incredibly low low’s. We came off the back of a unrelenting January, some of which was self inflicted. There was a midweek international break which allowed a couple of players to rest and some gain International experience.
We took 10 points from the 12 available. As we all know that should have been 12 from 12 but for one of the biggest capitulations in Premier League history. The true extent of that horrendous 45 minutes will not be known until May. However, as we are only 4 points behind United with a game in hand at present, the severity of that is very apparent. We did show some mental strength against Wolves and we comfortably won 2-0. We also saw the 1st appearance of Ryan Sh@wcross since his malicious tackle put Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines. It was a bizarre game which didn’t see us create many chances, largely down to the injury suffered by Fabregas. We scored early through the unlikely source of Squillaci and managed to survive the late bombardment/missile throw ins. All in all a good month and it was very nearly perfect.
It was one of the best, if not the best night at our new home. Wenger threw caution to the wind midway through the 2nd half at 1-0 down. He replaced Song with Arshavin and the rest is history. Van Persie fired past Valdes to level late on and within minutes Arshavin made it 2-1. Unlike last season we will take a lead to the Camp Nou but very much in keeping with last season’s meeting we look to be set to field a very under strength side. However a lead is a lead and this game always takes me back to our Cup Winners Cup match up with Sampdoria at home. A great night but we conceded 2 away goals and people wrote us off in the same we they are doing now purely because Sampdoria just had to score..
Our back up team should their inconsistency again, this time away to Leyton Orient. We struggled to create and some players missed the opportunity to take their chance to impress. Rosicky got his name on the score sheet but we conceded late to Tehoue and Orient enjoyed their moment and we couldn’t really begrudge them of it. They’ve secured financial security for years to come and also matched the Football Club that had just beaten the best team in world football.
Overall, Wenger seems to be leaning more towards the Premier League as his main priority. Whether that changes if we manage to dispose of Barcelona remains to be seen. The gap is closing though and we are very much a part of a 2 horse race. That’s a 2 horse race with a lot of leverage from officials by the way.
Worst Player of the Month
I know it’s harsh that Diaby only actually played in 2 of our 7 games but his conduct at Newcastle had catastrophic consequences. He has a point to prove. I don’t remember being so furious with a red card since Robin Van Persie was needlessly sent off away at Southampton in 2005. If Diaby can respond like RVP did and lead this side forward then all will be forgiven.
Player of the Month
3rd . Johan Djourou
JD has been immense. It is no coincidence that his injury at Newcastle led to mass panic in our defensive ranks. He makes Koscielny seem at ease compared to when he plays with Squillaci. He’s gone from strength to strength and after his early season form we haven’t seen him inexplicably dropped from the line up.
2nd. Robin Van Persie
It has been another cracking month for Robin, 5 games 6 goals. He scored goals in big games too v Barcelona and in the League Cup final. Unfortunately Robin is now certain to miss the entire month of March which Premier League wise isn’t a disaster as we only have 2 league games. It is apparent though that we will never be able to rely on his contribution throughout an entire league season.
1st. Jack Wilshire
Jack didn’t race out the block at the beginning of the month but after he got his start for England in Denmark he’s never looked back. Huge performances against Barcelona, Stoke and Birmingham have seen him reach new heights in his short career. One thing Jack has done is in the absence of Cesc he has stepped up and not looked lost unlike Mr Song. Long may his great form continue!
Goal of the Month
One of the best team moves you’ll see. I guess this is why neutrals love watching us play.