Friday 12th November 2010
Again my thoughts are going to surround the after-match reactions I'm afraid, as again the extent to their variation on Wednesday night was quite astounding! All in all, whichever way we look at it, we came away with a hugely important and extremely hard fought three points. For all of us that has to be the number one priority so we can consider it job done.
It was a chilly old night in the Black Country and consequently the pre-match refreshment was most welcome. Heading into Molineux fed, watered and thoroughly wrapped up, the unique night match atmosphere made it that little bit more special as always.
We couldn't have hoped for a better start! Out of the blocks with some crisp passing, an awesome cross from Songy and a thumping header from Marouane. An unexpectedly early jostle ensued followed by the amusing fact that one of our group, Mick, had missed the goal putting a last minute bet on Andrey to be first scorer! It was almost as if he had just paid to miss it! Of course, in usual fashion, he didn't get any stick for it.
As the half developed both the Meerkat and Cesc had glorious chances to not only increase our lead but almost put the game to bed and as is always the case we all wondered if they would prove costly.
For me however, this current squad is made of sterner stuff and not only did our usual good football create a number of great clear-cut openings as the game went on, we also matched our hosts toe to toe on the battling side.
Cesc missed a cracking chance to double our lead and how Johan's chance didn't go in is beyond me, a swing of the boot on the line from a Wolves defender just about seeing the ball go past the post. The Meerkat then smashed the foot of the post and left us wondering if our early goal would prove enough.
In the post-match interviews Mick McCarthy claimed his side thoroughly deserved to win the match. Sorry Mick but did you not see all the chances detailed above?
Fab in goal had nothing more than a palmed clearance from a dangerous cross to deal with in the first half and it wasn't until midway through the second that we found ourselves under pressure. Admittedly in this stage of the game we were seriously under the cosh but in a side to the game we are often criticised for, we defended admirably.
Fab also did everything well in this period when called upon. In particular in injury time with his quite superb, almost match winning, save that saw us break up the other end and Marouane put the game to bed.
Our hosts put us under a lot of pressure for probably a quarter or maybe a third of the game. But deserved to win it? I think not.
Cesc's tackle was much discussed on the radio on the way home and having seen TV replays there is no doubt it was a foul. Although it was obviously a genuine attempt to try and block the defender's clearance on another day it might have seen red. But that's football, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes is does not.
The Wolves fans' reaction both inside the ground and on the radio post match was obviously down to the fact they feel they have been hard done in previous matches. BBC's John Motson mentioned an equally 'debatable' challenge made by Karl Henry on Andrey Arshavin during the match that went totally unpunished. Unfortunately our understandable bias towards our own teams mean our host fans will have overlooked that!
Overall then a cracking game in a hot atmosphere and most importantly of all, a great result.
With that one out the way it's off to Goodison, another extremely tough place to get a result. A similar attitude to Wednesday and we'll be alright.
Come on you yellows!
FrankCopyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 Nov 2010