Sometimes there are perfect ways to do things when you are trying to create a statement about who you are and what you stand for… Arsenal made that perfectly last night against a very tough to beat Wolves.
We went 1-0 down early on after an uncharacteristic error from Gabriel, it let the wind out of the sails of a buzzy crowd, but the players didn’t let the moment get to them.
I sat in row 5 last night, I’ve never been the low in the ground before, but you could really feel the focus. You could see the players holding each other to higher standards constantly through the game, and you could feel the players weren’t going to let the moment get away from them.
It felt nervy though. We all kept looking at the minutes winding down. The tension was thick in the air. But the fans stuck with the players, we kept willing them on, there was no groaning unless it was directed at the shoddy refereeing.
Then our moment game from our subs, Eddie Nkeitiah cut the ball back into the super impressive Nico Pepe, he controlled the ball well and turned the ball in. The stadium went off like a firework. It was wild. You sensed there was more to come though, so did Wolves. They were time-wasting, every player had a head injury, it was a very sour from a team that preached about celebrating the right way a week or so ago… but revenge did come and it was ice cold.
Saka fizzed a shot at Sa that was turned out wide, Nico picked it up, played a neat interchange between Odegaard and Lacazette, then fed the return ball into Lacazette who fizzed his shot past the keeper in the 95th minute!
OH MY F*CKING WORD WHAT A MOMENT! THE CROWD WENT NUTS! I think an actual firework went off outside the ground. The whistle blew and Arsenal had taken FULL advantage of the slips from other sides. It was SPECTACULAR.
It was even more special because I was sitting in the ground with Johnny and Matt for the first ever time. We stayed for about 20 minutes after. The players all swung by to celebrate with us. The fans danced in their seats. We knew we’d just seen something really wild.
After the game, I went to a pub, it was heaving, the fans were just losing their minds. If you were ever in any doubt about the feelings towards Arteta and this project, you needn’t be, online isn’t reality, everyone is fully bought in. Arteta actually pulled up next to the bar and everyone helped to the front of the pub to sing at his car. It was truly unbelievable. I am so, so hungover this morning, but who cares, it was well and truly worth it!
So what does that mean for us? Not a lot. We still have to get 8 wins from 13 games and that will be hard. It’ll come with set backs. But the reality is everything is ticking over nicely for us. We had 26 attempts at Wolves goal last night. That’s the 3rd best defense in the league that does NOT leak like that. Our attack is delivering, even if it was a little slow to come to the rescue last night. That’s the 3rd most goals in the league since Auba was ditched. We are firmly in the driving seat for 4th right now… but we have to go again, in a new cup final, when we play Watford.
The Premier League is relentless, no doubt, but Arsenal are also relentless. Winning a game like that tells you all you need to know about where we’re going as a club. Hard work, character, culture, everyone pulling in the same direction, all the buzzwords working in unison.
… but the fans. Arsenal is a cauldron. Eveyrone I spoke to said that same thing. It has NEVER rocked like that at The Emirates. You just cannot knock the project. Arteta took bullets for it in a way Antonio Conte is refusing to at Spurs. The rebuild he and Edu oversaw in the summer has delivered a superb foundation. Now we have to see it through and make top 4 ours.
I AM BUZZING. I hope you are too. See you in the comments. Podcast will come later this weekend.