Thursday 3rd February 2011

Correct me if I'm wrong but we've all sat at a bar in a pub using glasses, bottles, beer mats, condiments and whatever else comes to hand to try and explain the offside rule! Tuesday night I assumed I didn't have a clue and consequently it was the first time I have walked away from a game wondering if I needed to call someone at the FA and ask them to explain it to me.

Obviously there are a number of reasons why I am ecstatic with our result but the fact I can now talk about the first goal without being accused of sour grapes is definitely one of them.

Fortunately it appears I am not going mad as virtually every single person involved in our sport has said it should have been given offside. If the decision was correct it means every single time a through-ball is played to a player in an offside position, if it flicks off of any opposing player at any stage en route to its target, he is no longer deemed to be offside! We all know that simply should not be the case.

On the night that controversial decision could have proved incredibly costly. Even if Everton were arguably the better side in the first half, the fact remains they created absolutely nothing chance-wise and as a result we would have gone in at half time level.

With the benefit of hindsight if we could all choose a way to win a match it is when you are behind with time running out. Consequently the last 20 minutes or so were quite special.

The Meerkat's cool finish had us all looking at the clock and realising we had plenty of time to try and grab that all-important winner. In form and full of confidence there is no doubt he is a fine player. The way he was buzzing around having come on in the second half is what we remember in the opening stages of his Arsenal career. Hopefully it is a good sign for the weeks ahead.

With the noise reaching a crescendo Laurent smashed home his second crucial headed goal from a corner in recent weeks and London N5 went doolally.

We all knew it was going to be a tough game. Everton were one of the best sides to come to our place last season and having only lost one game in their last eight they arrived in a good vein of form.

When it looked like it simply wasn't going to be our night we dug deep once again and those three points looked particularly massive as we all headed home.

In a period where they have been a rarity this Saturday sees us take in an away game. Newcastle is a fine city and as a result a few of us are flying up with every intention of enjoying its hospitality.

Another three points would make it go particularly well of course.

As hard as it is where we are located miles from the pitch at St James Park... let's make some noise!


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3 Feb 2011