Alexis Sanchez Makes Everything At Arsenal Fit Together
He might not be on top of his game at the moment but Alexis Sanchez did still force the own goal which won Arsenal the match, and his mere presence altered everything in the Gunners’ favour.
Suddenly the likes of Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey looked a lot happier in their positions following the anguish of West Ham last week, and at times Arsenal were playing terrific football which suggested they were going to run away with the game.
That never happened, but once Sanchez gets into his stride then it could very well do.
Olivier Giroud Can’t Really Do Any More To Prove His Worth
A serial victim of the obsession with transfer rumours and the belief that anything newer is better, Olivier Giroud has had to go about his job at Arsenal under a cloud for a while now.
He’s not enough of ‘a name’ apparently, that mythical thing which Karim Benzema is and Arsenal have supposedly needed upfront for an eternity, but as Giroud demonstrated again here there really aren’t many better forwards in the Premier League at doing what he does.
The manner in which he turned Mesut Ozil’s overhit cross into a fantastic finish was sublime, and he’s deservedly holding onto the centre-forward’s shirt for Arsene Wenger regardless of what Theo Walcott and an army of critics think.
Petr Cech Must Not Know What He’s Wandered Into
After over a decade of playing behind John Terry and other assorted and expensive Chelsea defenders, Petr Cech now finds himself behind a new pair of centre-backs – and they aren’t exactly helping the new boy out.
Last week, neither one of Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny saw fit to close down Mauro Zarate before he fired in West Ham’s second goal, and here Koscielny fell into that same trap again, performing the criminal act of turning his back as Joel Ward shaped to shoot and subsequently found the bottom corner.
Cech won’t be used to such shirking of responsibility, and there should be more than a few words about it on the training ground this week.
Crystal Palace Don’t Look Like They’ll Be In Any Trouble
We’re two games into the season now – for most teams anyway – and apart from Sunderland we don’t know who the really bad teams are going to be just yet, but it seems certain that Crystal Palace won’t be one of them.
Alan Pardew has amassed a very impressive squad at Selhurst Park, and that coupled with the unique atmosphere generated at the old ground suggests that Palace will be more than alright this season – a strange sense of stability for a club which traditionally yo-yos between the divisions.
Lee Mason Is Still One Of The Stranger Referees
Referee Lee Mason has long been one of the odder Premier League officials, and can seem to lose his head during matches – leading to frequently bizarre decisions.
A free-kick given against Connor Wickham for almost having his head kicked in by Nacho Monreal was a highlight, but the strangest was certainly his failure to send off Francis Coquelin despite the Frenchman committing three yellow card offences.
In all seriousness that is something that Arsenal will need to address, as perhaps the Premier League should with Mason.
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