Lukasz Is Our King!

Greetings, salutations, and an Arsenalicious good morning to you all from a bright and sunny New York. Something about a midweek win makes the rest of that week just seem better. The sun is shinier, the air is crisper, food tastes better, beer tastes better, scotch tastes better, hangovers are less severe. Well maybe not that last bit, but they're easier to endure due to that glowing warmth inside that those three points give you.

I'll only comment on a few things about the win over Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday, as Sean's recap covered much of it. I think we all knew how important it was to get a win there coming off the back of a dire, simply poor home loss to Newcastle in which the vast majority of our players just didn't show up. I think we all also realised we wouldn't be able to go there this time as we did last year and storm all over Wolves, as they have spent a year up in the Premiership due largely to their falling prey to the Dark Side of the Sport. My main concern therefore, more than getting a win, was keeping hope alive that none of our players would end up injured due to Wolves physical (read: nasty, dirty, cheating, cheap-shotting, cockish) style of play.

Miraculously that occurred; we didn't lose anyone to injury. In fact, we'll have one MORE player this weekend than we did Wednesday as Kieran Gibbs returns for another shot at reinjuring himself. This wasn't for lack of trying on Wolves' part. Known-psychopath Karl Henry did his best to "do" Arshavin with a second half studs-up lunge over the ball at Dr. Drei's leg that, on another day, might have ended our diminutive Russian's season.

We did get the win, both goals coming from Marouane Chamakh in the first and last minute of the match (just over 90 minutes apart). But the hero of the day was indeed Lukasz Fabianski, who seems to have a bit of 'keeper Ron Weasley in him. As in, he was complete shit, couldn't do a thing right, yet (as Sean mentioned) once he finally got a bit of confidence in himself, all that latent talent that others saw in him was able to shine.

This was indeed his best performance in an Arsenal shirt, better than his outstanding match against Man City and worlds apart from his cock-up against Newcastle (which was at least in part due to a mental lapse from Koscielny). He was confident, bold, and saved our bacon for long stretches while our goal was besieged by Wolves. Clearly the man of the match, and after a spectacular last-minute save and throw that began the break leading to our second goal, his teammates let him know.

I don't feel the need to comment on Cesc's booking, other than to say shame on Match of the Day for bleating on about how Cesc should have been sent off, when it was clearly a yellow card offense (which is what he got), yet ignoring Henry's attempt to injure Arshavin, which wasn't even a tackle at all... And with Lee Dixon on the panel as well. That's to be expected from Hansen and the other Scots twat, but Dicko is generally a reasonable man, so it's disappointing to see him toeing the company line. And I'm really glad the Mick McCarthy was impressed by Cesc's maturity in apologizing to Ward (who was injured on the play) after the match. Wenger didn't mention Henry's maturity at all, because he wouldn't think to apologize, and because we all know his maturity doesn't merit plaudits from anyone.

Anyway, a brilliant win for us midweek, and hopefully some positive momentum to take into an away match on Sunday at Everton. The scouser blues have had their share of issues the first half of this season, and while we ran roughshod at Goodison on match Day 1 last season, this time will not, I assure you, be so easy. Everton exacted a small bit of revenge by holding us to a home draw last season, and while they won't have Landon Donovan to terrorize our left flank (nor will we have the comical inability to defend of Armand Traore in charge of its safety), they also won't have Jolean Lescott refusing to defend in a petulant demand for transfer to City.

Everton's early season form has been predictably patchy. They currently sit 12th in the table with 15 points in 12 played, and their last 3 matches have seen them win 1-0 over Stoke, followed by a 2-2 away draw to Blackpool and a 1-1 home draw to Bolton. As with most David Moyes sides, they have some good talent, some not so good, and some up-and-coming players that have struggled to find any consistent form. If recent years can predict a pattern, they'll likely start to find their feet in January and finish within the top eight teams.

As for what we bring to the blue side of Mersey, I don't know that the team we field will be much different from Wednesday. Yes, Gibbs has returned, and he may be on the bench, but I'd be shocked if Arsene put him on. I wouldn't be too surprised to see Theo or perhaps Nasri get a start on the right, although I feel Arshavin and Chamakh will hold their places up front. The midfield of Cesc, Jack and Song and the back five (Fabianski, Clichy, Djourou, Squillaci and Sagna) will all very likely remain in place.

It's still November, we're still in the thick of it, and after Wednesday's match (which, it must be said, was as exciting as the Manchester Derby was dull) there is hope. We managed to keep pace with a win mid-week, we will need another three points Sunday. It was said that matches like Wolves away are what wins titles, but that's not entirely true, is it? What wins titles is consistency. I keep waiting for us to hold that idea close to heart and learn from it. Let's see if we do so on Sunday morning.

9am EST kickoff on Sunday, Everton v Arsenal. COME ON YOU GUNNERS.

Keep it goonerish.