We had one of those comfortable victories that we have every year. The one where opposition just doesn’t turn up. I am not trying to take anything away from the victory. We had a good game. But Wigan were worrying, especially to fans who like to see teams play positive football. If Wigan continue this way they could be in trouble and it will only strengthen the park the bus brigade’s defence.
As I mentioned in the preview, there is a fear that Martinez might do a Mowbray. The Next Wenger has brought in a couple of players from Spain. The former WBA boss had also taken a club record gamble on a little known Spanish chap called Valero. It didn’t work out and the same might happen to the Latics. Having said that, Martinez perhaps knows Spanish football better than Mowbray and there are other teams doing far worse so hopefully Wigan will improve and do well.
Coming to the match, four goals and a clean sheet should definitely help the confidence in the dressing room. Vermaelen continued his impressive start. He seems to be one of those players who can excel in any role they are given. Let’s just hope he isn’t bitten by our injury bug anytime soon.
Overall the team was more adventurous. The midfielders got into the box a lot more often, Eduardo and Eboue also attacked the ball coming in from the left and right. It remains to be seen if this was down to a poor effort from the Latics or we will see more of this in the future. It certainly gives our attack more bite. What with the manager always talking about being sharp and all that.
Clichy had a good game. He has been criticized by a few people. And I have a feeling he must have been unhappy with himself as well. This will hopefully be the start of a revival of sorts for him.
Van Persie on the other hand had a very bad game by his standards. He worked harder and was more involved than he has been so far. But his finishing was woeful. And we have already seen from the Citeh game that being clinical will have a big say come judgment day. I am convinced that he is not a central striker in a front 3. But the problem is he is not a striker who can excel on the wing either. He is at his best when he drops deep, links up play and arrives late in the box. If our midfielders make the runs into the box more often and the wide front players come in regularly then RvP might also come into his own.
Cesc was another key player who looked out of sorts. Thankfully, he didn’t have to do much yesterday. It does raise the question whether he could have been rested and Rambo given a chance instead. I think Ramsey needs a game or two. Every time he comes on as a substitute I get a feeling he is trying too hard to prove something. There is an evident lack of composure in his play. He either hurries a cross or misplaces a pass or shoots when a better pass is available. So far it hasn’t hurt us much except at Old Trafford where we could have used a better performance from him.
Eboue had another hard working, tricky and stupid performance. Those are the three words that define him. His performance at the end of the day depends on which of the three dominates. But he is not a cheat for sure. To me there are enough cheats in the game, people who are cunning and devious. Those who can dive and come out and blatantly claim it was not a dive or commit the ugly fouls when the referee is not watching and pretend to be saints. Eboue is a fool who tries to imitate them but just doesn’t have a cheat’s talents.
Mannone had a decent game. I am not as scared at seeing him in goal as I was a couple of games ago. Gallas, on the other hand, worries me. I know he has received a lot of praise from all quarters. But he has one critical problem. He is not quick enough for the high line that we play and doesn’t have the desperate tackle that was the hall mark of Toure. Our goalkeepers have to come out because Gallas can’t catch up with a quick striker. I can put half the blame for Rooney penalty on Gallas not being quick enough. He was lucky not to get sent off against Portsmouth. Even yesterday the young Italian had to come out because the old Frenchman was left behind. Rodallega is certainly not the quickest striker we will encounter and our keepers better get used to a center back who might not always get the last ditch tackle in. It’s funny how everyone fails to notice these problems because they haven’t directly resulted in a goal, yet.
All in all, we have had two contrasting wins and with a weeks rest for most of the main players there is a lot to look forward to starting with Craven Cottage.