Arsenal 2-0 Napoli: What We Learned

Paul Gilham

Hey, these guys might be pretty good!

I had my roommate record a replay of this game on our DVR, because I was expecting that I'd be able to watch it and then have a bunch of important and interesting things to say about it. As it turned out, I was rendered more or less inert. There's not much I can say that Arsenal didn't already say on the field. Here are the notes that I took:

Giroud is awesome

Rosickyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy (tho you can tell he's rusty)

luv u Flamini

just. i don't know. transcendent. this game wasn't underrated

See? I was reduced to sub-English. That's how good it was.

I also livetweeted the game as I watched it two days later, which is really stretching the definition of "livetweet." I'm now going to force you to experience it as I did. Join me.

For about the first twenty minutes - half hour if you're not feeling uncharitable - Arsenal were untouchable. Napoli couldn't get the ball off them, and they were basically doing tricks and juggling on the field. It was almost mean, but in a really enjoyable way.

Yeah. It was pretty much that bad. Arsenal toyed with Napoli for the first stages of the game, and put two goals in almost as if it was homework. Honestly, for the entirety of the game, they looked bored. Almost like they were above this, like they didn't really feel like bothering with the game. It's not that there wasn't intensity or effort - more that the level of effort needed was such that you couldn't really see it, like watching a really good distance runner. It never looks like they're going that fast, but then you look at the clock and that guy in the front is cranking out 4-minute miles after 18 miles in the marathon and oh god how can they do that?

He really is. I forget this sometimes, but the man can play. I'm really pleased he's back. He's not an all-world player, but he adds a dynamism to the midfield that sometimes goes missing.

feels like these are connected somehow hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

This is simple enough, but honestly he did the job of about eight men. The move that made me say this came off the right wing, where he brought down a long pass before running past two defenders, through the box and along the end line past another, to pass to Rosicky as he was taken down. There wasn't a goal, but it showed the full range of Giroud's abilities. He does so much. He gets less credit than he should. He is capable of being Arsenal's no. 9, without a doubt - and more than capable, really.

The defense was great. Napoli simply could not get the ball in positions favorable to scoring, or passing, or standing upright. The best they could do was shooting from about 30 yards, and the scoreline shows how effective that was.

Honestly though, does anyone know how I can get Lorenzo Insigne out of my house? He keeps muttering something about "koscielny" and I do not know what to do.

I meant that literally. I honestly had to pause my recording and think about my past, present, and future, the choices I'd made in my life, the things I've done to and for others. He is so good, and I'm pretty much out of emotions to feel about it at this point. All parts of his game are on point. Passing, positioning, movement, tackling, scoring. There's nothing we could reasonably ask for from him that we aren't already getting. He was cheered off the field, a standing ovation. As he should be.

oh yeah remember that other guy

We spent a whole lot of money on Mesut Ozil. He's super good. Nobody should have expected anything different, but he's meshing with the team much more quickly than I thought he would. And he's still not at his best. Neither are several people lining up beside him. That's the crazy thing - there's room for this team to grow.

There's room for this team to grow.


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