To Hull And Back… With Three Points

Posted by Sonuvagun

If you were expecting a rollicking match report of our mid-week romp against Porto, full of superlative-drenched descriptions of all five goals, and bordering-on-sycophantic praise of our infinitely talented team of players, all soaked in bubble bath of Arsey-feel-goodness then you’re not the only ones to be disappointed… I was looking forward to reading it too!

Unfortunately in a seemingly Sol Campbell-esque moment of mental instability our young blogger SmartArse has gone AWOL (rumours that he is struggling with his sexuality are already circling in the press offices of the daily rags), and unfortunately, not only has he gone absent without leave, but he’s gone absent without posting. Or AWOP, as it’s known in journalist circles.

Naturally we’re thinking of selling him to some soon-to-go-bust Portsmouth based blog. But if however, in the twilight of his blogging career, he shows enough character during drafting we may consider offering him a shock return to the limelight, although naturally only on a six month rolling contract based on form and fitness.

Anyhow, despite this setback in the halls of COTA head office, Team Arsenal the football club at least seem to be all present and correct. We’re sure you enjoyed the pasting of our Portugese guests as much as we did, and if you celebrated by busting out your best hip hop moves and singing Luniz I Got Five On It we don’t blame you.

Since then of course another game has taken place, and whilst it was by no means as entertaining to watch, the sight of man-of-the-moment Nicklas Bendtner sending the ball past the hapless Myhill in the 93rd minute to keep our title chase on track was certainly a sight for bored eyes. And nervous Arses.

Whilst the first half had started according to plan with Arshavin bundling the ball past two defenders before slotting home in the 15th minute, what looked like it might turn into an Arsenalicious day out was turned on its head by some cynical play by Hull front man Van Helsing. The linesman failed to spot that the Vampire Slayer was a good three yards offside when he was played in by an admittedly clever flick from the Hull midfield. Sol Campbell, who thought his job was done when he stepped up to play the striker offside, found himself chasing back from an awkward angle… Ferry Link cowardly chose not to trust in his own skill to bring the ball under control and get off a shot, but instead let Campbell run into the back of him and tumbled over for the penalty. It was clever play/pathetic attempt to beat a better team by blatant cheating, depending on your point of view of course. Jimmy Bullard pulled a number of (even more) ridiculous faces (than his usual one) before slotted home from the spot.

At this stage there was no sense that Arsenal couldn’t go on to score another, if not several more, goals, but the dismissal of Boateng for a) poking Bendtner in the eye (Bendtner inexplicably also went in the book, presumably for having provocative eyeballs) and b) a nasty studding to Sagna’s knee, seemed to hinder us. So the cliché of playing against 10 men at their house proved true.

Anyhow for whatever reason we lost all fluidity and threat in the second half and although Walcott introduced some much needed spunk to proceedings we really didn’t look like scoring. So much so that I cursed Bendtner for not getting us some revenge and going down when he was clumsily challenged in the Hull box – I was sure the ref would give a penalty after gifting the toothless Tigers such a soft one in the first half. It was a mark of our desperation that Gael Clichy saw fit to try a long range effort in the dying minutes and when it didn’t magically fly into the top corner it seemed for all the world that we were going home with only 1 point and a major major dent in our title chances… but then up stepped Denilson!

Perhaps the only thing young Denilson brings to our midfield that Alex Song doesn’t isn’t the ability to ping in a missile or two from 30 yards, and having thrown everything else at them it was up to the Brazilian to let fly. To be fair the keeper should have done better than parry his well-struck shot, but parry it he did and – proving Porto was no fluke – Bendtner popped up in the right place at the right time and cleverly angled the awkwardly bouncing ball into the opposition net! GETTTTT INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!

Maybe it’s just me, but the event seemed so much more than a scrappy last minute goal… it seemed to me a sure sign that the fickle Gods of football may have finally decided to side with us. I believe it was Marcus Tullius Cicero, talking about Pompey, who said that a great general needs three things: something, something and luck. Well so do great football teams Senor Cicero! I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal have got plenty of something and something, and today shows we might just have the the invaluable dollop of jam that normally only graces the proverbial doughnut of Alex Ferguson. Let’s hope he’s inadvisedly licked all his out, leaving just a stale sticky piece of bread to chew on in the final run-in to the season.

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