MY WORD THAT FEELS GOOD.
Ok, still VERY buzzing, so adrenaline MUCH, I struggled slep, HEART PALPITATIONS, honestly, feelings ARE huuuuge.
… we won.
Wolves are good, I’ve been writing about them all season. They are technically sound, extremely fast on the transition, and they have a lot of good players. Bruno Lage is an excellent coach, no doubt about it, but we were more than a match. We controlled the first half, were more than worthy of a lead, and we matched them for energy and power for the full 96 minutes.
Then things got silly, as they seem to be on the regular in 2022.
Gabriel Martinelli fouled a Wolves player, the ref played the advantage, Martinelli was adjudged to have fouled the player again.
Michael Oliver, with a full on face erection, reached into the deepest, darkest depths of the rule book, and threw out the most batshit crazy interpretation of a statute and gave two yellows and a red for two incidents in the same passage of play.
Have you ever seen something so ridiculous in your life?
Michael Oliver was literally creating a new precedent in football. A double booking for a player that hadn’t even been causing problems during the game. It was mental and according to the ref rules sleuths, actually an incorrect take on a pretty clear rule.
Arteta nailed it: “You have to be very very willing to do that”
Oliver was desperate to send off an Arsenal player. So desperate, he did something he had NEVER done in his career. I’ve never seen that. You’ve never seen that. Arteta has never seen that. It should lead to a demotion from the Premier League. Here is the rule
The red card should be rescinded. Michael Oliver should apologise. The referees that have dished out 4 red cards to Arsenal should ask why they treat us so much more different to other teams.
Think about it, how many times have you seen a player foul, then boot the ball away, and get a double yellow? NEVER. It doesn’t happen. So please, less of the ‘naive Martinelli.’ If you were arrested for clapping on an aeroplane tomorrow and you were arrested, sure, it might be deserved, but no one could accuse you of being naive about it because it’s not the law and no one has ever been arrested for it.
BUT BUT BUT…
Who needs to be a victim here when you have a group of fighters like Arsenal has right now?
No one gave up. There were no dropped shoulders. Not one player switched off. We just cracked on with it. Bob Holding came on and performed a masterclass in defense. Everyone knew their role – because presumably, Arsenal now have to expect a red is coming – and we started to play.
We carved Wolves open almost immediately, Gabriel slotting in Laczette for the miss of the evening.
Arsenal players have elite level IP when it comes to going down to 10 men. They buttoned down the hatches, turned their rage into clean sheet superpowers, and left it all out on the pitch.
The game ended with Ramsdale having to deal with 4 shots on target, 3 were pretty tame.
That’s his 11th league clean sheet in 19 games. That’s a 58% clean sheet percentage. The best in the league.
We’re not 5th in the league, look at how sexy that table looks right now.
Spurs next 3 games are Wolves (H), City (A), Burnley (A), then Leeds (A) 3 days later. They have a great manager and a good team… but I’d prefer to play Southampton over all of those teams.
United: Southampton, Brighton, Leeds… then Champions League starts against Atleti.
West Ham: Leicester, Newcastle, Wolves
This is squeaky bum time. There are no easy games now. Top 4 is a roll of the dice, but we have momentum. As Matt from the pod said, Arsenal beating Wolves THAT way was better than a 4-0 win. It said something about our character, it said something about the reality of our form, and it sent a message that we won’t be beaten by narratives like ‘everyone else fucked up, so we’ll fuck up.’
You know what else I love? This from Ruben Neves.
“We saw the way they celebrated the win and that shows the level we are. I didn’t see Arsenal celebrating like this in the past 10 years – it was like they won the league.”
Superb. I will take our players celebrating a MASSIVE win like that with full throated vigor than some of the wet lettuce bullshit we’ve seen over the years. Santos swapping shirts at halftime, David Luiz with big smiles and hugs after getting pummeled by a team, just a general lack of ‘ we don’t really give a fuck’ after results. Give me the fire. I want to see videos of Ramsdale and Gabriel celebrating cleansheets. My players SHOULD care. Ruben Neves saying he hasn’t seen passion like that from Arsenal in 10 years tells you what you already know… the culture at Arsenal is changing.
Our January was the correct one. We shipped out players that lack the talent or the passion for the next level. We oxygenated the squad, increased talent density, and only kept players that give a fuck. Granit Xhaka saved a near certain goal in the first half and was excellent all game. Cedric was excellent all game. Ben White and Gabriel returned cross after cross. Everyone managed their space expertly. You can only be that good if you care, these players care, and Arsenal fans love them. Just listen to that noise from the away end fans… that was special.
There are 16 games to go. 16 cup finals. We need to make sure this game is the start of a run, not a happy blip. There are 9 days until the Brentford game at home, that has to be 3 points. Then we have to make sure we do the job against Wolves in the return game at home.
For me, Spurs will be the competition, if Conte can keep his head in the game. The biggest difference between them and us is Kane and Son. But however this season ends, they are coming to the end of a cycle and we are just starting ours. The fact Top 4 is in our hands at this stage of the season is real testament to the new strategy, the coaching staff, and the players.
Long may it continue.
Right, jump into the podcast. It was a cracker. Last night was our biggest ever streaming audience. Thank you for checking in and leaving a comment, it means a lot to us that you want to spend time on our feed after the game. x