January 26th – Southampton 1 Arsenal 3

Now that’s a result. Fuck the F. A. Cup. Give me three points any day.

It’s amazing what a few – important changes – can do for this team. It’s the removal of WEEP (Willian, Eddie, Elneny and Pepe). We’ll not quite, more WEE. Consigned to the bench were Willian, Eddie and Elneny. Phew. I was not too happy to see the last member – Pepe – in the team. I was hoping for Martinez.

We started so brightly. Aggressive, fast movement, quick passing. So different from Saturday. And then our pressing of them (in contrast to them pressing us on Saturday) lead to a perfect through ball from Xhaka to Cigarette. Instead of giving us an immediate 1-0 lead, he extinguished our hopes. And then, naturally, P of WEEP, went to sleep for a corner and instead of leading 1-0 we’re 1-0 down.

I’m immediately into trashing P; can’t even bare to say his name. And then, he wakes up and care of Xhaka again (I think) gets us level. Finally Pepe comes alive. Phew. We needed that. Overall this was not his worse performance. And maybe I have to finally concede that Willian is the worse of the two.

Anyway, enough negativity. This was a game to enjoy. There were so many good performances. Let’s start with our Portuguese pigmy – Cedric. Poor boy has to fill in for Tesco Tierney. But unlike in the F A Cup, he was more dynamic and help create down our left. Ultimately, he capped it with a cross field ball to Saka to set up the final goal.

In-between, the wonderful Saka took advantage of yet more pressing to receive the ball from Cigarette run round their tree shaped GK. How impressive was Saka today? This boy shows not limits to what he can do. They hacked at him all game but could not stop him.

Smith Rowe darted around, full of energy and chasing. His passing and link up play speed up this team and help open up the opposition. It was not his best game but he and Saka change this team – for the better.

Cigarette redeemed himself with that pass to Saka and then capped it of with his goal. He was so sheepish after that miss. He knows he needed to put that one away. It really could have been costly for us. If we had lost he would have shouldered the blame. Thankfully, we dominated Southampton and thoroughly deserved this win. So aside from that miss, he worked so hard, constant running and excellent link up play. Everything that Eddie can’t give us.

Xhaka was excellent today. Great passing, great position. And worked really well with Partey. In fact Xhaka gave the ball away less often than Partey. Partey was caught on the ball in dangerous positions a couple of times. He’ll learn. I remember Viera committing the same mistakes. But what a difference the midfield is with Partey. He is strong, dominant and intelligent in his play. And unlike Elneny, he passes the ball forward – quickly.

Aside from Cedric, Bellerin was very solid and Holding was excellent. David Luis was reverted to his kamikaze style at the end – trying to gift them a goal. Luckily we had Holding to clean up. Holding really is holding up our defense. Holding is robing attackers of the ball. And behind them we had Leno to clean up and save us at crucial times.

OK, we were not perfect today. But we were more like we were against West Brom than Palace. And less like we were against Southampton twice before. At our place and on Saturday. Why. Because most of WEEP were on the bench.

A word for the referee. C*nt. What a shit dick this c*unt was. How did he book Xhaka and then let their center halfs butcher Cigarette? Not that I mind them kicking Willian when he finally. Made his appearance. But how was that not a yellow. He have a yellow to Bellerin for breathing on them. But they kicked Elneny right in front of him. And, how was that not a penalty on Cigarette? Anyway, Kevin Friend. You are a right royal prat. And you are surely one of the ugliest refs in the league (and there is mighty stuff competition). Let’s hope we don’t see him again.

OK, that’s it. Short but sweet. As the actress said to the bishop. And a minutes silence for poor Frank. Barely 17 months and he’s shown the door. He must have wished he was managing over here. The poor guy had no transfer window last year and got them into the Champions League. Someone signed a bunch of duds and he gets sacked.

So, great result, great game. And we have some mighty fine players. And a bunch of tossers on our bench. Long may WEE stay there.


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