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The transformation was incredible
granted, they played poorly and didn't really test our defence (with the odd exception) but the whole attitude, body language, increased confidence or whatever was tangible. Walcott was playing like he used to 10 years ago. Iwobi did very well, still not convinced about his end product but he is certainly worth a run in the side in that position. I am a Gylfi fan, and his goal showed what an asset he is, but there's no doubt we looked less pedestrian through the middle without him.
Most pleasing thing for me was that we played proper attacking football - the failed tactic of pushing it out wide and then hoping somebody gets on the end of a cross has hopefully been binned.
Next test is whether we can defend set pieces properly. I've no problem with the zonal marking system as long as Silva can get it to work.
It's only one game but, taking away the result, it was our best performance of the season and the football at times was excellent. Everyone seemed to know their jobs and there was a noticeable difference in approach which probably was a result of the change in personnel perticularly in the centre of midfield with both Gomes and Davies always looking for the forward option and prepared to take the ball on in tight areas.
I liked Iwobi playing off the striker and the front 4 all linked well, a part of play that has been lacking during the early part of the season but again a result of moving the ball forward quicker which allowed them to operate with that little bit more space when it came off.
The most surprising stat was that in a game we dominated we only just shaded possession. But on reflection it was because we didnt revert to keeping the ball for keeping the balls sake across the back four in sideways in midfield.
I was pleased Gylfi came on and scored and what an option to have on the bench.
Wherever or not it is the best 11, the changes prove we have good options and the starting 11 will know they need to keep that level of performance up to keep hold of the shirt.
Saturdays win was important but all the more pleasing given the display.