Welcome to a brand new month on TremendArse. Just a very brief post for you this evening and where else to start other than our narrow 1-0 win over Norwich earlier, secured thanks to a second-half strike by substitute Danny Welbeck.
After a pretty dismal first-half performance by Arsenal in which the visitors looked the more threatening team, Arsene Wenger replaced Alex Iwobi with Welbeck ten minutes into the second period with large sections of the home support voicing their displeasure at the change.
Yet within five minutes the manager had been proven right in hooking Iwobi and leaving the struggling Oliver Giroud on because it was the latter whose clever knockdown was half-volleyed home by Welbeck in a crowded penalty area. Remarkably, that pretty much sums up the football because it really was forgettable fare.
So onto the protests – if you can call them that. It was more a tiny minority of fans holding up A4 signs urging the club to change it’s ways, being outnumbered and drowned out by cries of “come on Arsenal” and what is now an all-too-rare chorus of “there’s only one Arsene Wenger”.
If the manager was dreading the 12th minute, by the 15th he was processing his surprise at the level of support he still commands. I know I was. It just goes to show that Twitter and the online Arsenal world really is a poor gauge of widespread fan sentiment at times.
Afterwards, the boss gave his take on the game, saying:
It was much wanted and much needed. It was difficult. We played against a team who were very well organised. We didn’t find a good pace in our game but we were serious and organised, and in the end we got the win. In the first half we needed to be patient, and we needed Petr once or twice. In the second half, it was a deserved win against a team that fights not to go down. It was a typical game that you get. We played Sunderland and Norwich and got two similar games.
He also discussed the atmosphere in the ground, labeling it ‘strange’:
It was a bit of a strange atmosphere. We have to live with that. Some fans were protesting, yes, but a big majority didn’t and the big majority was behind the team. They showed that they appreciate what I’ve done until now, so it’s alright. It was a difficult atmosphere yes, but we have just to live with that, give more, focus on our performance and try to make 100 per cent of our fans happy. That’s our target. The game was difficult in itself and the atmosphere was alright. I think the fans were behind the team and I believe as well we had not the stylish performance that could raise people off their seats. We had a serious and studious performance, a bit subdued at stages. We wanted absolutely to win the game and we did it.
My over-riding view right now is quite straight forward; one down two to go. Then we can put this season behind us, enjoy the summer when hopefully the manager will prepare for what may well be his last season in charge by going mad with his cheque-book like never before, and we build a team and squad that can finally land us a Premier League crown.
See you next week.