Thursday, October 4, 2012
Sometimes we forget that not all games fall into the 'great' category. For me, when this is the case it is absolutely paramount that we make sure we win them.
On a typical autumnal evening we all knew how important the three points were, not just because it puts us in such a strong position in our group but also to bounce back after Saturday's disappointment.
For me, this was also obvious to the players on the night and as a result we looked a little nervy at times.
While dominating possession, clear-cut chances in the first half were minimal, indeed before we took the lead the best chance fell to our visitors. Go in front we did though with Gerv continuing his fine run in front of goal.
Come half-time, however, we were back to square one. All goals in football are avoidable. Could we have done more to prevent the cross coming in? Arguably. Could we have done more to get to the cross first? Possibly. From an attacking point of view however, it was a superb ball in and a fine header. Sometimes you have to look at that when considering being critical.
To be honest, despite us being far from our best in the first half I was still extremely confident during the break that we would go on to win the game.
My confidence proved to be justified as Lukas calmed the nerves after a good run from Gerv and, although it took until injury time for Aaron to score the best goal of the game and finally put it to bed, we were always very much in control and were rarely threatened at the back.
The perfect start to our latest European adventure then and a good result to take into our next tough fixture away at West Ham.
Always a noisy atmosphere in yet another London derby, Sam Allardyce's teams have often given us a tough, tough game down the years.
That alone is enough to suggest we will need to be at our very best to take all three points.
See you in the away end.
FrankCopyright 2013 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 4 Oct 2012