Tuesday 8th December 2010
With around 20 minutes to go on Saturday the atmosphere seemed to be graced with a degree of disappointment. Come the final whistle and the walk back to our transport and the feeling on a freezing cold day had a nice warm glow about it!
With two of our nearest rivals concededing late goals along with our own winner, whatever has happened so far in this strange old season we find ourselves sitting here currently top of the league. That really can't be that bad now can it?!
Of course in the way our home matches have gone so far this season, it was never going to be one of those comfortable victories. Personally however, I never felt it would be, simply because despite their current lowly league position our visitors had only lost the same number of games as us before Saturday.
As has been the case many times this season we could and should have had the game totally wrapped up inside the first half an hour. As it was we had the brilliantly in-form Sami Nasri's effort to show for our efforts, a goal that our total dominance deserved at the very least.
Leading by just the one goal always keeps the opposition in the game, whoever you are playing, and be it a breakaway, a refereeing decision going against you, an individual or collective mistake or as with Saturday an unfortunate clash of heads, football is cruel enough to make your dominance count for nothing.
Consequently we went into half time scratching our heads a little. Personally I am always confident we can go on and win any game that is level at half-time, our record on that fact speaks for itself. This season however, we seem to have found ourselves needing to dig in for a result in the second half far more often than ever before.
Having lost three at home already, you could definitely sense the nerves in the second half, both on and off the pitch and I feel Fulham could feel it too.
Sami's quite awesome second and ultimately our winner certainly helped to ease that particular emotion, even though it seemed an age before that whistle finally went. Three massive and welcome points. Top of the league for at least a week... a fine Saturday night feeling.
Wednesday sees our next massive game as we take on Partizan Belgrade for the right to progress through to the Champions League knockout stages. Of course after the results in our first three games we all expected to already be through by now but the fact remains we have a massive job to do tomorrow night.
It should create almost a 'cup tie' feel to the evening, especially as it is coupled with that special atmosphere night games come with.
We need to do everything we can to be that 12th man, so sing up!
FrankCopyright 2015 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 7 Dec 2010