Professor Arsene Wenger's Grand Plan?
To say that my faith was reaffirmed after two victories away at Goodison and Parkhead would be a supreme understatement. Like most passionate Arsenal fans, the victories were the sort of fluid football that can should be celebrated.
At the center of it all, of course, was the Professor Arsene Wenger.
There are times when I find Wenger's laconic, ambiguous statements to the media infuriating, and I'll find myself yearning sometimes for someone a bit more frank, particularly during transfer season. The fact that we're consistently linked to seemingly every player by the media doesn't help the matter, since Wenger will never be specific.
But I realized that these last two fixtures were Wenger's reassurance, that a 6-1 clinic at Everton and a rather lucky, but still classy, victory over Celtic may be enough to convince fans that any more transfer activity would be superfluous.
Thomas Vermaelen certainly looks like a brilliant move—rarely has there been a more adroit debut. Gallas seems stable enough to marshal the defense for the moment.
Wenger's divine theory of football has always been fascinating to watch—a rare philosophy that's beauty is apparent to even a football neophyte. Each pass feels like the beginning of the next team wonder-goal.
Two away fixtures, two venues that were emptying well before the final whistle. Each disappointed supporter probably muttering the same old attacks.
They're too young to endure. The boiling pot of the EPL will burn them alive.
There were knocks the first game, but Denilson and Fabregas toughed it out to run the midfield in Glasgow. The hard challenges didn't seem to deter any Gunner, and they popped up to make a few hard challenges themselves.
The cameras kept managing to find Wenger's face, and occasionally there could be seen the slightest vindicated smile—the sign of an assured puppeteer. Perhaps, after the last F.A. Cup victory and the completion of the Emirates, Wenger knew that there'd be a few lean years, but that 2009 would see the return of dominance.
Imminent journeys to Old Trafford and to the City of Manchester Stadium will offer further answers, but right now it seems that Wenger has the jump on every one.
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