Pro's and Con's v Man Utd
Our win over United on Sunday was a nice little confidence booster as the season winds down but what can we take from the game? He's my view on the performances of 4 players.
AS17 was immense . He was disciplined throughout, he protected the back four, he won his tackles and he kept possession.This is the player we need on a regular basis. Not the maudering midfielder who leaves us exposed but instead opting for a mature approach and realising his true worth to our side. I hope to see these performances on a regular basis and display that this is not an area for improvement as and when this team needs strengthening.
It's great having him back, isn't it? What more could we ask for? Maybe I've not picked up on it or has Ramsey's goal not received the hype it deserved? It was a finish of the highest order. The technique display was majestic, he executed a deliberate measured finish into the bottom corner past the keeper of the season. He could have easily lashed it and watch it sail high and wide into The North Bank, given the time he seemed to wait there for RVP to realise he was free. A bit like Jack did in the opening few minutes when he skewed his shot wide. Aaron's all round game was tidy and he looked comfortable in possession throughout the game. Hopefully the psychological issues caused by a horrific leg break won't hinder Ramsey as much as they did with Eduardo.
It's easy to forget before he was injured at the home of thuggery and violence that Ramsey was already showing signs of the promise. Yesterday led to a few individuals going along the 'Cesc who' route, which is so far wide of the mark it's untrue. Yesterday was one game and it certainly doesn't mean we should cash in on our star asset. Yes Cesc might leave one day but I'm pretty confident it won't be in the next couple of seasons. Aaron can learn from Cesc and his recovery from that horrifc injury will not be over until he's played a full season and he needs his midfield partner to achieve that.
I really love the influence Szczesny has had on our side and the fact that he has resolved our ongoing goalkeeping issues. However, there is one side to his game that is beginning to frustrate me and it has played it's part in us dropping points. His distribution when we are under pressure is woeful. Away at Newcastle in the 2nd half from hell he launched ball after ball towards RVP, who stood little chance of a) winning the ball and b) keeping it and waiting for the cavalry to arrive. Against Liverpool he launched a massive hoof downfield and we lost possession and suffered directly as a result. Then yesterday whilst taking the ball to the furthest corner of the box (clever!) before thumping it downfield (defeating the object) and miles beyond anyone and allowing United one more attack! I hope someone at the club picks up on this because it's not really a case of lack of experience but going against Wenger's possession policy.
Left Back is very much a position of scrutiny and one that I have been pretty critical of myself. However on Sunday Gael struck lucky when his clear foul on Owen was missed by the hapless ref and his blind assistance. Just over 2 weeks since Eboue's awful decision cost us 2 points in a title race, Clichy showed a naiviety around the box that should cost us. Even though we got away with it, Clichy still warrants a form of criticism. It is these crucial moments in games that cost us in the title race and we can ill afford lapses in concentration.
All in all, Sunday was a very good day. Ultimately we didn't prove anyone right or wrong as the pressure wasn't on and those key issues will remain unaswered. However, if Chelsea beat United on Sunday we could find ourselves 3 points behind the league leaders and that 'what if' keeps growing ever stronger!