Tuesday, November 2, 2009

Although we should be used to it by now, Christmas is already being rammed down our throats by both retailers and their TV advertising. Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy everything that surrounds the festive period including the turkey, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes and, most poignant after the weekend's events I feel, a nice pile of sage 'n' onion! :-)

I was going to write my thoughts yesterday, however I was in a bit of pain... not anything to worry about I might add, just nursing a few 'jostle' injuries, most of them picked up in the pandemonium that followed Cesc's goal!

Don't you just love it when voices from our opposing teams 'big themselves up' as matchday approaches?! Obviously we don't know for sure what exactly was said and can only go on what is printed in the newspapers and even then it was only because someone was reading a 'red top' opposite me in the cafe pre-match that I had any indication as to how feelings were running, but I always feel when certain comments are being made, it is only setting yourself up for a huge fall.

For me the atmosphere in the streets as I walked to the ground lacked a little tension but was graced with a huge air of confidence. Maybe on the other hand, that was just how I was feeling. Any PMT in fact, didn't really appear for me until just before kick-off.

Before battle commenced our next opponents in the Carling Cup were decided and last out of the 'hat' sees us with a trip to Manchester City to look forward to next month. A tough game but as I've said with this competition before, who knows what will happen?!

The first 40 minutes on Saturday were a little cagey although for me any huge criticism or disappointment perhaps demonstrates the number of chances we are used to creating. Rarely in a derby match are there a huge amount of opportunities and initially Saturday was no different. Even then, there were three clear-cut openings before we scored and they all fell to us, disappointing finishing and one great save preventing us from going a goal up earlier than we actually did. Our visitors had offered little more than occasional bouts of possession in midfield and had created absolutely nothing.

Our opener seemed to come out of nothing, a quick Bacary cross and RVP looking alert yet again saw his near-post strike go under the keeper and into the net. Cue a couldron of noise and happy faces.

Still dusting ourselves down and getting our breath back having grabbed that crucial opener, Cesc had danced round two tackles and was through! I remember screaming, "Bury it son!!" but that is about it. From then it was just a mass of limbs in a writhing body/total carnage-type situation!

A spectacular way to finish the half and believe you me, both on and off the pitch we needed a breather!

After last week it was totally natural for all of us to fear that a goal from our visitors could change the game and incredibly pretty much Spurs' only shot on goal in the whole match came from a free-kick in an almost identical position as West Ham's opener at Upton Park.

Manuel kept it out and for the remainder of the match it was a case of how many rather than if. RVP grabbed our all-important third to kill the game off after an excellent piece of refereeing on this occasion and the fact a normally ever so reliant Eddy missed two one-on-ones probably sums up our dominance.

Don't get me wrong, we have played better this season, in fact for me we've played better and lost but we were so so much better than our opponents on Saturday it was a joy to behold.

How many of you Gooners out there had a sore head come Sunday morning?! I'm sure you agree however, it was one well worth enduring!

Alkmaar come to the home of football tomorrow for a night that, if things go well, we can qualify for theknockout stages with two games to spare. We don't need reminding after our trip to Holland however, any complacency and we could be punished.

Twirl those scarves and make some noise, let's make sure that 'feel good' factor continues!

Frank

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