We're going to try a new feature here at The Short Fuse this weekend. Most of you will be familiar with the 1966 Sergio Leone classic western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, in which Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, and Eli Wallach play a bounty hunter, a mercenary, and a bandit that get into all kinds of trouble involving all kinds of western-y things. [If you have not seen this film, run, don't walk, to your nearest Netflix and get on it, people.] After each Arsenal match, we're going to present a view of the proceedings broken down into one of each of the categories. Here's our first go-round featuring the match against West Ham United at Upton Park:
- Olivier Giroud scoring his first Premier League goal...and looking active and dangerous the whole game. Not only was his goal started and finished by him in a lovely move where he busted his butt to get a left toe on Lukas Podolski's low cross before Jussi Jääskeläinen could collect it, but he also had the vision and ability to place a magnificent through ball into the path of Theo Walcott for his fourth assist of the season and Arsenal's game-winner.
- Santi Cazorla's finish for Arsenal's third. One dribble, swivel the hips, and bang! back across his body, the ball with almost no spin whatsoever, flames behind it, dipping in past the far post as Jääskeläinen could only watch from his knees. Cazorla is really good, everybody.
- Mikel Arteta. Just for being basically the best midfielder in the league right now.
- Arsenal's defending in the first half. Not so good. It was better in the second half, but Kevin Nolan had two platinum-plated chances to score that he threw into the garbage. Andy Carroll was a menace all day in the air, but that's to be expected from a healthy Andy Carroll.
- Vito Mannone's kicking and distribution. Something he needs to work on.
- Mark Noble's dive. It was a dive; although Gervinho had no business going in like that, there was absolutely no contact, and Noble took two steps before throwing himself face first to the ground. It was a dive.
- Mohamed Diamé nutmegging Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey really let Diamé get past him way too easily, but he wasn't the only defender who went to sleep. Per Mertesacker was not quick enough to close down the Senegal man, and overplayed the cutback rather than getting between Diamé and the goal. But it never would have happened if Ramsey had done, well, anything. And all credit to Diamé, because it was a superior finish.
- Ricardo Vaz Tê leaving his left foot in on Vito Mannone. Yes, Mannone came diving in around his feet, but it wasn't that close, and he collected the ball. Vaz Tê had more than enough time to leap over the Italian, but he dragged his left foot on purpose, perhaps out of frustration, and clipped Mannone behind the ear before tumbling to the turf and dislocating his shoulder. Never should have happened, and an ugly incident for sure.
What do you think? Do you have any more Good, Bad, or Ugly moments to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!