Arsene Wenger had a lot of nice things to say about the second goal against Wigan. And I’ve no doubt even the worst critics of Arsenal will enjoy that goal and can watch it over and over again. The pass from Cesc was incredible and the finish was a piece of art.
I was thrilled by that goal but fell in love with the first one. Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of details and this goal provided a great many.
The ball went out for a throw on the right just inside the Wigan half. It was from a misplaced pass as the visitors were trying to break. The time was just about 20:00.
Sagna took the throw and passed it to Cesc who had dropped deep. From Fabregas the ball went to Song who spread it out wide to Clichy. The full-back played it to and received it from Nasri. Then Clichy played it to Song who passed to Nasri. The Frenchman turned his man well and ran forwad with the ball before passing wide the RvP. The Dutchman ran with the ball across the pitch before passing it to Wilshere who kept possession by intelligently avoiding a tackle by letting the ball run across him. Subsequently the ball was passed wide to Sagna and Walcott. It came back to the middle and passed between Wilshere, Cesc, Nasri and Song once again. The seventeenth pass of this move was the assist from Song. When the ball hit the net the clock showed 21:00.
All this is brilliantly captured in this graphic created using the Guardian Chalkboards.
This reminded me of the last minute winner against West Ham in which we had 9 players involved and there were 15 passes. In this case, barring the centre backs and the Keeper, all players made a contribution.
Once again we can see the ball moving from the right to left, back to right, before returning to the left from where the assist came. Such goals show the importance of patient sideways passes and keeping possession. Highlights packages don’t show these but to me they form the crux of football. They also show the importance of movement. For instance, RvP first touched the ball on the left touch line. He then moved to the centre of the Wigan half before proceeding into the box. Fabregas collected the ball inside the Arsenal half but also contributed just outside the Wigan box. Similarly, we can appreciate the movement of Song, Sagna, Nasri, and others. All of this happened within a minute and seamlessly.
I haven’t been able to locate a video clip with all the passes. If you’ve seen one please share it. Till we get that we can enjoy it on chalkboards and on ATVO if you have it.
Speaking of video clips, in no relation to the above discussion, have you seen this goal by Roberto Carlos? I really miss that character.