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A London derby like so many others

HOW many times over the years have I watched a London derby like this? Fast, frenetic, fulsome home support. And, in the end, the right result. Under grey, grey skies it all felt a lot more like October than August.

It was a good result I thought. One we had to get because 0 or 1 point from 6 would have been a disaster but a good win nonetheless and one where we merited it on the basis that we got it if that makes any sense.

All that said, I’m not sure I learned a great deal about us that I didn’t already know. We witnessed Arsene again wrestle with where to play his midfielders, with Ramsey, a central midfielder, playing on the right while Oxlade and Walcott sat on the bench. It’s not a new issue for the manager.

I was a little perturbed by the goal we conceded. Lauren Koscielny got modest criticism from the TV pundits for the way he turned his back on the ball. I thought it pretty woeful frankly from a player who is ordinarily not afraid to throw himself in harm’s way. Cech, for the second game running, found himself beaten by a low effort from outside the box. On this occasion the blame was only the defender’s. Late on Mertersacker did throw himself excellently to block a shot.

It was a terrific header by Sanchez and I’m not so sure it wasn’t creeping in. Given the defender was attempting to prevent a goal (as opposed to simply clear a ball), I’m not so sure it shouldn’t be Sanchez’s.

At 1-1 it felt like a real bellwether test. You didn’t know which way it was going to go but you felt if it didn’t go our way it boded badly for the season.


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