|13 Nov||3:00 PM||P||Everton (A)||2||1||Win|
That's much more like it, ain't it? Smarting from a frankly diabolical performance against Newcastle last weekend, it is fair to say that the boys have, again, come back to life. And so they should be proud, with outstanding back-to-back away victories in the space of four days.
It all begs the question, just why can we not turn up with the same amount of grit, the same commitment to the cause in supposedly "easier" home matches? Well, the manager just as befuddled, has promised to look into it, to be more "direct" and more "punchy" as we attempt to make the Emirates into a fortress again. And try he must, with the north London derby looming very large on the horizon now, and with home form often decisive in any title race.
For now, though, we must praise the side for bouncing back in style, claiming maximum points from tough trips up north, all whilst all of our title rivals dropped points one way or another in the week and this weekend. Sweet!
Arsène Wenger will be delighted the way things have gone, not least as we did not play half as well as we can. Then again, we played badly last weekend and lost, which goes to show just what difference attitude and character does to you.
To tell you the truth, the matches at Wolves, and to a bigger extent, Everton, had me worried. I envisaged a battle, a struggle, and four points was the most optimistic punt I went for. Well we got a battle, and at times, it was a struggle, but we are now sitting pretty higher than where we started the weekend in second spot (thanks in part, of course, to the marvellous efforts of Aston Villa and more particularly Sunderland).
So, what do these two wins tell us about our title prospects for the season?
I mentioned last week following the Newcastle debacle how, although we've got the talent to win it, we will get nowhere near it should we continue to disrespect the opposition as we did last weekend. Of course, the last two matches were a totally different story, and it goes to show that we can mix it in the heat of a physical affair, keeping our calm on a grandstand finish if we have to, as was the case following Tim Cahill's scrambled finish with minutes to go yesterday. That, the only blip on an otherwise splendid few days for the Club, having been so close to keeping yet another clean sheet on the road.
And now up to second place, closer than we have ever been to leaders Chelsea this season. We were in desperate to bounce back this week and bounce back we did. And although some will have been reasonably confident that we would indeed get a maximum return from Wolves and Everton, I think it is fair to say that Sunderland's shock thrashing away at the Champions was not what many of us had had in mind.
As it happens, the Teesiders were magnificent, with good ole Cashley even helping out with the assists, and the gap is unexpectedly, welcomingly should I add, cut to a mere two points.
And with the chance to climb to the top of the league before Chelsea and United take to the field next weekend, and with bragging rights well and truly up for grabs, let's not mess it up against the Spuds! More of the same please!
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