Arsenal proved they have Steel to go with Silk

We have seen some fantastic performances from Arsenal so far this season; taking apart Fenerbahce in the cauldron of their stadium in Istanbul, Giroud’s cherry on top of the north London derby and probably the best last week against Napoli. Those games highlighted the skill and creativity in the Gunners side, but that was not what was needed yesterday.

The West Brom manager Steve Clarke is no fool, and he would have realised it would be a bad idea to sit back and let Arsenal pick their way through his defence. His Baggies side are a good side as well, and were on a high after an away win at Manchester United. So his idea was to go toe-to-toe while also trying out the old adage that `Arsenal don’t like it up ’em`.

It very nearly worked as well. As soon as it was clear that the referee was going to let them be physical, especially on little Jack Wilshere, I feared the worst. Arsenal were not at their creative best either, so it looked a bit ominous when they took the lead at the end of the first half. The timing of the goal did not help either, but it certainly provided a test of character.

Arsenal passed the test; we scrapped and battled for every ball. Wilshere’s determination to influence the game was symbolic of the Arsenal performance and it was fitting that he smashed in the leveller. Flamini and Arteta never stopped trying and the defence stood up well to a powerful and relentless West Brom. That sort of performance could be just as important, especially in the big games, as the silky smooth attacking potency we saw against Napoli.

West Brom worry that Arsenal will hit form tomorrow!

The West Brom manager has warned his players that they may face a wounded animal tomorrow when they face an Arsenal side who have slipped to 10th place in the Premier league table. Steve Clarke is surprised at the position of the Gunners, especially after we got off to a good start, but he knows that the quality in the Arsenal team could raise it’s head at any time, and he knows that his team could bear the brunt of that at the Emirates tomorrow.

“The team hasn’t been firing as maybe people thought they would do, especially after the start they had.

“They’ve introduced a few new players this year, and it’s maybe just taken the team a little bit longer to find a rhythm than it did before.

“But nobody can question the record of Mr. Wenger. It’s a great record, he has done fantastically for the club and I’m sure they’ll stick with him.

“It’s a game that we have to be positive about and look forward to.

“Arsenal are probably not playing as well as they would like, and they’ve had some reverses so they’ll be fired up to try to turn their season around.”

West Brom are also finding their early form deserting them recently. They have gone off the boil after a brilliant start and have lost their last two games, so both teams will be looking for a morale boosting win. Arsene Wenger will have been hoping forward to selecting fit and rested players, but it seems he will have to do without Podolski, Walcott, Sagna and Koscielny tomorrow.

At least the midfield should be raring to go, and that was the driving force to our good form early in the season. Giroud has proved he can score if he is given chances, so I am hoping for a good victory tomorrow, although I doubt if I would actually bet on them unless it was a free bet no deposit deal!

I hope I am wrong but fully expect Wenger to start the match with Ramsey and Gervinho in place of Walcott and Podolski, and that would worry ANY Arsenal fan!