Good result at Norwich. That said, we looked pretty toothless until the penalty, and the final result flattered us. Gervinho was back to his indifferent worst. And for 80 minutes we had no pace, no penetration and little creativity.
On the bright side, the “soft” penalty decision has brought all the Spurs hypocrites out into the open. Here is a Gary Lineker tweet: “Hugely controversial decision at The Emirates. Linesman gives a dubious penalty from afar following a corner that never was. Arteta 1-1.” Erm what was the controversy exactl? Sure the corner decision was wrong. But what was dubious about the penalty. (Here, by the way, is the incident in question.)
Kamara clearly has a handful of Giroud’s shirt in the penalty box. That is a foul, hence a clear penalty. Oh perhaps Lineker thinks it is controversial and dubious because the linesman did his job well, saw the shirt pull, and signaled to the referee it was a penalty. Or maybe Lineker thinks it controversial because the referee, having been informed by the linesman about a shirt-pull that he could not see, acted properly, and gave the penalty. Or maybe Lineker just thinks that any penalty given to Arsenal is controversial. So much for BBC impartiality. Unlike Lineker, who is either biased or stupid, or both, Proud Fan at the Spurs Unofficial Supporter’s site makes the correct judgement: “In my opinion it was a stupid foul, not like Giroud would have scored from there, no doubt Arsenal got lucky but pulling someone’s shirt from behind is a foul all day long. They got lucky because a stupid foul got them in the game when they looked like they had no hope not because they got a penalty, the penalty was a penalty imo. I agree it was never a corner though but then in the lead up to Norwich’s goal Kamara clearly fouls Ramsey and the Snodgrass trip was also not clear cut. But I think Norwich got what they deserved, they played with 3 DM’s. I have no sympathy for them.” Spot on. I couldn’t help in indulging a little Schadenfreude, when all of a sudden a team who were set up for a draw, or at best to nick a goal from a set piece, and who set about systematically wasting time as soon as they had scored, found themselves behind with too little time to equalize. It turned out that they had been wasting their own time (as well as ours, of course). Funny that. But then things can change quickly in football.
A top three spot is now within our grasp. However, we should not count our chickens. Everton away will be a hard game. If we win that and win a Fulham, I’ll be very happy, but a bit surprised. And even if we secure Champions League qualification again, that is no grounds for complacency. It is not a trophy. We are miles behind the top two teams. We are not even competing for the trophies at present. We are several top class players short of a competitive Premiership and Champion’s League team. As Wenger once said himself, and somtimes appears to have forgotten: “It is not about having lots of money in the Bank, but the best team on the pitch.” Or then again, for Gazidis Korenke, Hill-Wood, and everyone else with an equity stake in the Arsenal PLC, maybe it is.