Victory through Mexican Harmony!

Ok it wasn’t pretty, but to be frank what we witnessed at the Emirates was about confidence, with both teams being short on this precious commodity. The game was not a connoisseur’s item by any means. Those still wishing to knock Arsene Wenger and his players will have had lots of ammunition. The first half was literally forgettable and hardly an advert for the premier league. The main highlights
being the Crouch headers and Nugent’s attempt for Pompey and Adebayor ‘s counter which was robbed by some excellent defending by ex-Gunner Sol Campbell and possible Arsenal target Sylvain Distin, when he had rounded the keeper and from only 12 yards out, he had the open goal at his mercy, until a supremely brave and well timed tackle from behind from Sol Campbell deflected the ball away from what seemed like a certain goal.
Half Time: Arsenal 0 Portsmouth 0
So it was really the second half performance that gives me hope for the future. Even the crowd made some noise at a time when we needed it. There were some improved performances from Diaby in his central position. Denilson  was invisible at times but at least he applied much needed no nonsense basic football in his defensive midfield role. Arsene Wenger made positive substitutions in the second half and bought on Carlos Vela and young Welshman Aaron Ramsey. However  it was the brave header from William Gallas with only nine minutes to go that ensured that Arsenal would have at least one victory to recall from the Christmas campaign.
Bendtner and Adebayor created very little until a formation change saw Nasri playing in the hole behind Adebayor, with Bendtner going out wide left. Eboue and Sagna combined well and Clichy was his usual energetic self. The excellent cameos from Aaron Ramsey and Carlos Vela together with the increased tempo of the Arsenal game in the second half put the 4-5-1 of Pompey onto the back foot. Tony Adams had set out his stall well and played a high defensive line. Arsene Wenger acknowledged that the “Beautiful Game” had not yet returned, and was appreciative of Gallas’s contribution. He was also positive about the crowd support that helped the team protect their three points.
Arsenal were rescued by the enthusiasm of our Mexican wunderkid, who always gives 110% when he dons an Arsenal shirt. A lesson that I wish some of the lazy senior players I shall not mention would take on board. Arsene still has to strengthen in the key departments of Goal keeping, central defence and a holding midfielder, but what Carlos Vela has proven is that if he is given the chance, then he can have an impact upon the game. So look and learn Arsene, he ‘s better than Cantona as my song goes. Let me say that Aaron Ramsey also looked good as he snapped into tackles. Ok his pass distribution was a little erratic at times, but again he did the job that he was given and provided that much needed solidity in midfield.
What really impressed me at the end was the way by which Arsenal players sensibly ran down the clock with three minutes of additional play imposed by Alan Wiley. There were moments of high drama as Pompey pressed for the equaliser and raised their tempo, but somehow the low hard driven crosses into the Arsenal box managed to find an Arsenal boot to lash the ball away to relative safety. This shaky victory builds on the point away from home at Villa park and whilst it will not satisfy the Gooners who have made knocking The Arsenal into a spectator sport, I will take this any day. The news of Tottenham’s defeat to bottom placed West Bromich Albion and the fact the Chelsea drew the Fulham derby more than made up for the drab football on display in the first half.
Full time: Arsenal 1 Portsmouth 0 (Gallas 81’)
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy, Eboue (Vela 66), Denilson, Diaby (Ramsey 75), Nasri, Adebayor, Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Toure, Van Persie, Wilshere, Gibbs.
Portsmouth: James, Wilson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Nugent (Defoe 88), Diop (Pamarot 90), Davis, Hughes (Mvuemba 50), Kranjcar, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Little, Kanu.
So what ever camp you belong to, the Arsene Wenger loyalists or the Anti Wenger faction, there was an outbreak of unity, as our motto says Victory through Harmony!
Well done lads, now bring on the FA Cup fixture!
Fabregas the King.

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