Sweet Caroline!

I’m on holiday (bad timing, some may say, with two home Premier League games in a week), but hey; I’m sitting in a beach front cafe in the West Indies and you’re not!


What that did mean, however, is that I struggled for a feed for the Newcastle game and only found one ten minutes before half-time. As it turns out, following the @Arseblog Live Blog as I was, it would appear that having no feed was a blessing in disguise.

So following a very slow start - against a rather poor side - during which Arsenal Twitter were wondering if the players were still metaphorically in Dubai - Arsenal finally started to click into gear in those ten or so minutes leading up to half-time.

Whether it was the team selection - which nobody could have predicted - or just the need to get to grips with a low block, a big centre-forward and swift wingers looking to hit you on the break when the onus is absolutely on you to make the running I don’t know. But it’s something that must be addressed; top sides are capable of hitting the ground running from the first minute. Arsenal could certainly have been behind after half an hour.

But from then on there was only going to be one winner. Even before the goals came, they looked inevitable as Arsenal’s superior class took over. And this despite giving up two very decent chances to the opposition.

We saw excellent performances all over the pitch, and I will single out Saka, Caballos and Pépé for extra praise. Although - and I have said this before - the quality of the opposition has to be borne in mind.

And so to Mesut Ozil. Now here’s a thought; he had a particularly influential game, and that may be down to having Ceballos behind him instead of either of the more defensive duo of Torreira and Guendouzi in tandem with Xhaka. Ceballos is the nearest we have had to Santi Cazorla (and Cesc before him), and I wonder if it’s his extra ability to create space for himself with a sharp turn that helped Ozil exploit the space that he invariably finds? Food for thought; but alongside that this may not work against stronger opposition.

Four lovely goals. A clean sheet. Goals and assists for Pepe and substitute Lacazette. Another goal for Aubameyang. Another assist - with gratuitous nutmeg - from Saka. And of course the 35-pass move that led to Ozil’s goal. A perfect day and result.

Now Arsenal must exploit the relatively easy run of fixtures they have for the next month. The Manchester City ban opens up a wealth of possibilities.

I’m still waiting for somebody to beat Liverpool, by the way... the anxiety is growing.

Right, I’m back off to the pool. See you next week.

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