Weekend Roundup: The Importance of Being Song & I'd Rather Be Lucky AND Good

Hello again to the Gooner faithful and to well-mannered enemies as well. I hope you all had a delightful weekend and enjoyed the football and the weather alike. I imagine the United supporters are feeling more injured than they ought, and the Chelsea fans a bit more chuffed than they ought. Of course the Chavs likely won't know I'm insulting them a bit, seeing as Chavs can't read.

In the most important match of the weekend that didn't feature a pack of bastards, Arsenal traveled to Molineux to take on Mick McCarthy and his lowly Wolverhampton Wolve-ish Wanderers of Anaheim. I arrived at Nevadas with a crippling hangover sustained in an impromptu party at my house on Friday, and began to drink in earnest. The squad was largely first choice, Eduardo added to the front three, Sagna rejoining the back four, with a surprise start for Aaron Ramsey in midfield; surprising in that it was not Diaby he replaced but holding midfielder extraordinaire, Alex Song. I must admit, my greatest fear going into this one was that Arsenal would shoot themselves in the collective foot as we have seen so many times by taking the points for granted, and with Arsene shuffling the lineup so this fear was exacerbated, although tolerable with Jack slinging me the sweet, sweet alcohol.

It looked as though my fears would be realized over the first 20 minutes or so of the match; Wolves players were all over, harrying the ball, moving well without it, and putting together some decent attacks. In fact, if Wolves had had a more polished finisher in the side, they might've scored on one or two occasions in the early going. The Gunner midfield looked toothless, as neither Ramsey nor Diaby looked capable/willing to dispossess Wolves or mind the back four; basically, no one was doing all of the things that Alex Song does so capably every match, and it showed. Without the young Cameroonian (is that the right word? Cameroonite? Camerooner? I like Camerooner) doing all of the vital little things, the 4-3-3 formation looked less flowing and more disastrous than it has.

While Ramsey at least looked decent in possession and appeared to hustle, Diaby did what has become, sadly, expected from his shifts in the side: gave the ball away cheaply, dribbled into cul-de-sacs, and disappeared in defense, where he was most needed. Anyone who still holds out hope that Abou can effectively replace Song when the latter leaves on ACN duty ought not hold their breath. Not surprisingly, when Diaby was felled by an injury (and god help me but I wasn't exactly weeping when it happened), Arsene gave the side the player it needed and subbed on Song. And lo and behold, just like that Arsenal's fortunes began to look up, the midfield and defense solidified, and the attack began to flow. Within a few minutes of Song's introduction, the deadlock was broken in the Gunners' favor, when a curling corner kick came to the onrushing Eduardo, who was muscled out by Wolves defender Ronald "Zubar" Zubar, who succeded in knocking the ball into his own net. Drinks flowed, Gooners cheered, beer was spilled and consumed in equal measure.

A few minutes later, Fabregas dug a ball out of our defensive half and slung a long pass to Ramsey, who with Eduardo was 2-on-1 with lone Wolves defender Jody Craddock. Ramsey passed to Eduardo on the left, who should have given it back to Ramsey, as the Welshman would have been 1-on-1 with the keeper. Instead, Eddie attempted to chip Wolves 'keeper Wayne Hennessey, who was hardly far enough off his line for it. As luck would have it, Eddie's chip was well done, but got a bit of help with a deflection off of Craddock's dome-piece that seemed to just flight the ball over Hennessey and into the net. A risky operation on Eduardo's part, but sometimes great skill creates its own great luck. In the first 20 minutes, prior to the introduction of Song (which freed up the superb Ramsey), I would've taken a 2-0 scoreline and been very happy.

Two-nil up, and I received a text from Gareth, watching I imagine at the Tollington, reading "One more goal and the game is over." I didn't have long to wait before this proved prophetic, and the third goal was vintage Arsenal. Sagna dispossessed his man in defense and clipped a ball to Cesc running up the right. Cesc dished it back to Sagna, and The Blonde-braided One slipped back outside as Cesc cut in. Bacary put a lovely cross into the box to Robin van Persie, who showed as deft a touch as you'll see this season as he laid it onto the foot of the onrushing Fabregas to finish. I really can't say enough about that goal, it was pure brilliance. 3-0 to the Arsenal, the drinks and the songs were flowing, and that was how we came to halftime.

There was more to come in the second half, although it was a bit more relaxed. Arsenal did string some more attacks together, one finally panning out. Arshavin powered a shot at goal from the left that was parried out for a corner by the much-troubled Hennessey. The ensuing corner was punched by the keeper to the top of the box, where a competent defensive team might've cleared it. Instead, Arshavin pounced on it and drilled a low shot into the left corner to score. 4-nil, and a celebratory round of vodka shots was ordered and consumed.

While it would have been nice to finish with another clean sheet, and while some will be moaning about how we always concede, Craddock's late goal to pull one back for Wolves was well-earned. He slipped from the Belgianator's sights, and hammered home a nearly unstoppable header from close range, so well done to him. I'll not say that this is symptomatic of our lack of defensive focus, as I find it hard to believe one's focus would remain the same while 4-0 up on relegation-bound Wolves as it would be when slightly ahead of or even with a top club. 4-1 is a good result away from home, even against a side the calibre of Wolves.

Watch More Football Highlights at MySoccerPlace.net

And now a recap of the rest of the action this weekend:

Aston Villa v Bolton
PREDICTION: Villa 3-1 Bolton; REALITY: Villa 5-1 Bolton
Well, at least Bolton got a goal. This one was pure domination. However... I mean, come on, it WAS Bolton...

Blackburn v Portsmouth
PREDICTION: Really? I have to pick this? My prediction is they both suck; REALITY: Blackburn 3-1 Portsmouth... And yes, they did both suck.

Man City v Burnley
PREDICTION: Citeh 3-0 Burnley; REALITY: Citeh 3-3 Burnley
GOOD ON YOU, CLARETS!!! Everyone loves an underdog, and everyone especially loves an underdog that steals points from those sky-blue, pie-eating fucktards. Better still, the first rumblings of discontent from Shitty Fans have begun with regards to Adebuywhore's lazy loping around the pitch. You get what you paid for, suckers...

Tottenham v Sunderland
PREDICTION: Scum 1-1 Sunderland; REALITY: Scum 2-0 Sunderland
Surprising result, as I thought Sunderland started the brighter, but were simply outplayed down the stretch. Would have been lovely if Bent had come back to score against Spuds at Shite Hart Lane, though.

Hull City v Stoke City
PREDICTION: Hull 0-1 Stoke; REALITY: Hull 2-1 Stoke
Shocking, this... can we PLEASE just get Hull and their cockbag manager relegated already? Stupid Stoke, can't do anything right...

West Ham v Everton
PREDICTION: West Ham 1-1 Everton; REALITY: West Ham 1-2 Everton
Well it was never going to be easy for Generalissimo Gianfranco Zola's men, but being at home I thought they could've pulled this one out. They'll look to regroup after the Internazzzzzzzz...

Wigan v Fulham
PREDICTION: Wigan 1-2 Fulham; REALITY: Wigan 1-1 Fulham
Woy Hodgson's side is pretty good at preventing other sides from scoring, and less good at the scoring part themselves. That sort of lends itself to draws.

Chelsea v Man Utd
PREDICTION: Chavs 1-1 Uniturd; REALITY: Chavs 1-0 Uniturd
More on this in a bit...

Liverpool v Birmingham
PREDICTION: Liverpool 4-0 Birmingham; REALITY: Liverpool 2-2 Birmingham
And the countdown to Rafa's departure for Spain begins... now.

The "Match of the Week," Chelsea v Man U, turned out to be a real snoozefest, and very little of the match was good, open football. Defensive and plodding, the sides were only separated by a headed goal from John "Coke Classic" Terry... Wes Brown claimed, not without reason, in retrospect, that Drogba fouled him during the play, meaning the goal should've been waved off. The always rational Wayne Rooney was booked for his well-reasoned and thought out dissent for the ref's decision, shockingly. Still, Chavski got the lone goal and United never really looked threatening. Additionally, Drogba's pitiful playacting saw him earlier given a deserved yellow card, after minimal contact saw him flopping on the ground like he was simulating an epileptic fit or a fish drowning. Absolutely pathetic... is there a single quality about the cunt that's even a little redeeming? I can't think of one.

United fans are going to want to jump off a bridge, and Chelsea fans are going to crown themselves champions already. Both would be wrong. Man U isn't THAT BAD and Chelsea isn't THAT GOOD. There was very little separating the sides. Chelsea have a 5-point gap open at the top, with Arsenal second on goal difference, and holding a match in hand. Against Bolton. So really only 2 points back. 'Cause it's Bolton, you see.

Anyway, we're staring down the barrel of another International Break, and I've got ZERO interest in that, other than Arsenal players coming back healthy, so Gooners, cross your fingers, toes, arms, legs and whatever else you can without seriously injuring yourself that our boys all come back unharmed and ready to rain darkness down on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. No Weekend Preview coming up until next Friday, so enjoy the week, weekend and subsequent week, and if you find yourself going mad without Arsenal, just relax, breathe deeply, and chant this mantra: Arsene Knows...

Until next time, you stay classy, Gooner nation...

- B, a Gooner