Arsenal 2 (Gallas 83, Rosicky 86) Wigan 0
It was a long time in coming, but the three points were eventually gained on Saturday, against a resilient Wigan who looked a lot more solid than in recent weeks.
Once again, it was captain William Gallas who made the decisive breakthrough, heading in Sagna’s excellent cross after good work from Bendtner. Rosicky’s second was inevitable once Wigan were forced to respond.
For a long time, it looked like last season again, plenty of possession but no cutting edge. But with the midfield makeshift but talented, and Adebayor losing a little form in front of goal, that isn’t a great surprise. The most important thing was that three points were taken on a day when they could so easily have been lost.
Elsewhere, Bolton forgot to roll over when United came to town, Anelka scoring the only goal of a game in which Ferguson was sent to the stands – he has since been charged. His post match comments were laced with hypocrisy:
“You expect a team near the bottom to battle, scrap and fight. But the key thing is how the referee controls it. He is the arbiter in terms of the application of the rules of football. That is where we feel a bit aggrieved.”
We’ve been saying the same about Bolton for years, but funnily enough Ferguson has always dismissed our complaints.
There was also good news from Chelsea, who, despite beating Derby, had Essien sent off for violent conduct. Essien only scored twice last season, but given that both were against us, it is superb news that he will be suspended for the trip to the Emirates.
John Terry had his customary strop, and I still have no idea how he gets away with it, while Avram Grant had this to say:
“I don’t want to say something against him [the referee] but I have a feeling – and I was warned about this before I came to Chelsea and I fear it’s true – that we are an easy target for getting red cards.”
Essien unnecessarily and aggressively whacked Kenny Miller round the head. And Grant wants to appeal the red card. Crazy.
Looking forward, and tonight sees the return Champions League fixture in Sevilla. With qualification already assured, Gallas, Clichy, Adebayor, Van Persie and the injured midfielders are left at home, so it should be an excellent opportunity for the likes of Bendtner, Traore, Gilberto, Senderos and maybe Eduardo to get some first team action.
It is in no way a meaningless match, as Sevilla would go top with a win, so Arsene is putting his full faith in the squad, and I for one am looking forward to it.
On a sour note, Michel Platini has once again decided to renew his attack on English football, and yet again, it is his considered opinion that it is all the fault of Arsenal:
“In Arsenal now you don’t have an English coach, English players, maybe not an English president soon. So why are they playing in England?”
Let’s break this down. Arsenal have one of the best coaches in the world at a time when it is widely accepted that there is a lack of decent Englishmen. Wenger is backed by a largely English team.
As for the players, if Platini examined the situation a little more carefully he’d realise than soon after Wenger arrived, he plowed resources into the youth setup, which is now bearing fruit as Arsenal have some excellent English talent aged between 15 and 18. As for the current England lot, they wouldn’t get in the Arsenal side.
But it is the last point which is most ridiculous – ‘maybe not an English president soon’. Putting aside the fact that English clubs don’t have presidents, he is criticising the club for something that has not yet happened, and that everyone connected with the club is doing everything they can to prevent.
Why, when the rest of the top six in the Premiership are all foreign owned, does that particular attack fall on us? It is simply a case of Platini following the badly researched, popular voice. The day he was elected UEFA president was a bad day for football. The man is a complete idiot.