This artice is an addendum to this piece written earlier in the week.
…And get better things suddenly and splendidly did at Udinese where the young Gunners scored a famous victory without Samir Nasri and without Cesc Fabrebas.
Surviving both a 1-0 deficit and a somewhat unfortunate penalty, superbly saved by their young Polish keeper, Wojciech Szczesny. A keeper who has splendidly and rapidly matured and whose confidence is as notable as his reflexes.
All this moreover without the creative and incisive presence of Jack Wilshere. Yes, there is still a hole to plug in central defence, where awareness was lacking when Antonio Di Natale cleverly headed his goal; there is no obvious partner for Thomas Vermaelen.
But Theo Walcott, perpetually the butt of surely unjust criticism, was always a menace and took his winner so well – I still prefer him on the wing than in the middle – while Gervinho has surely proved an inspired acquisition.
How easily he went round his defender to set up the winning goal. Ill judged and ill natured criticism by Tony Adams, now in remote exile in Azerbaijan, of Wenger was surely ridiculous.
On Tuesday Wenger boarded Arsenal’s private charter plane to Italy only to be greeted by an in-flight magazine interview with Tony Adams.
There, at the top of one page, his former captain said of Wenger: “I respect Arsene a great deal but coaching isn’t his strong point.”
If Wenger can’t coach and can’t motivate as Adams claimed, who was doing it all in Udine? And if one of those controversial officials behind the goal gave that penalty against the Gunners, why didn’t his equivalent at the other end signal the clear use of an elbow on Walcott?
Whatever happens now, both at home and in Europe, Wenger has surely made his vociferous critics look asinine. The return of Robin Van Persie to the attack, meanwhile, was crucial.