My rant is about the ref because Anthony Taylor was very worthy of a rant. What a piss-poor apology for a ref he is, without doubt the weakest ref in the Premiership. 6-yard walls for free kicks that took ten minutes to build, Cazorla freely trampled on a regular basis, no concept of advantage, even less concept of how and when to deploy yellow cards, the red wasn't even his idea - he got a message from his lino. This was an abject performance from the man in the yellow shirt with the yellow streak up its back. Sometimes 'you don't know what you're doing chants' are misguided, but not today.
Before the game I'd have taken any sort of win, during the game I'd have taken any sort of win and after the game I was delighted that we'd won. Being pleased with a victory would appear to be a lost art for many Arsenal fans though judging by tonight's internet rantings. The Twatterarti are still out in force and the forums are full of moaners. Must be the rareity of a three o'clock kick off that's set them off.
We were a long way from being brilliant but there were a few signs that we were at least better than fairly pathetic which had been the case in our previous two outings. Battling till the end and deserving the win wasn't outstanding or sufficient cause to open Champagne. But at least it was a move in the right direction for which I'm grateful. Jack looked knackered after 10 minutes but if he can survive the knocks, and he had a fair number today which made me hold my breath till he got up again. He's back though and will get sharper, and when he does he'll be like the much required breath of fresh air. Good also to see Theo back for a brief showing, whatever anyone thinks of him we've missed his pace. Sagna reminded us that he's a class act without ever really looking comfortable in his first game of the season, I thought he did well to last the ninety minutes although having said that he's a long way off 100% fit. Playing two unfit players was a big gamble I wasn't sure about, but it paid off. Just. Santos is still a worry, he didn't play anyone onside today but had he done so the lino wouldn't have noticed anyway.
No match should pass by without mention of Cazorla who is just such a clever ball player and absolutely remarkably two-footed. He's a delight to watch and currently about the only player to give real value for the money. So we had one two-footed player, five left-footed players and five right-footed players starting today. It should have been a perfectly balanced team but our forwards are still lacking something. Namely the desire to shoot.
Feel sorry for Gervinho who looks to have a bad injury and sorrier still that it leaves us with even fewer options unless we can get the Ox fit again. That said today's silver lining was the AA man's fabulous cross, I'm not his biggest fan but credit where credit is due.
I do so hope that Hughes yet again loses his job this season, how he still actually has a job is a mystery, but the bigger question has to be why does anyone ever hire him as a manager in the first place?
(Read more from Brian at The Highbury Library)