There are two ways of looking at this victory. The first and most practical one is that three points have been secured. However the perspective that this was not a victory as much as it was a gift is equally valid. That being said, Arsenal is a club in desperate need of cashing in those gift cards.
The fact that our peers were mauling the opposition does not help and if both Manchester clubs keep up this pace then cue the Sevilla style grumblings about a "joke" of a league. What we have in our club is a shortage of confidence. Very few wins in the last 15 matches (just the third) and now a goalscoring crisis has created a fragile eggshell mind. We are also looking at an Arsenal that has enormous difficulties adding to their tally which always makes for nervy second halves when the push back occurs. It is not pretty and if three goals in 4 matches is any indication then Wenger's brand of attacking football is in serious jeopardy. Arsenal were a shadow of their fluid and fluent selves.
But here is the thing. Winning ugly, winning lucky is also part of it. Utd have had their share of manna from heaven winning games when they looked like they were barely registering a pulse. Lets look at some of the more positive aspects of this match.
There were no self inflicted wounds for the first time in a long time. No red card, no own goal, no defensive howler that caused an Obafemi Martins killer stroke. Small potatoes you might say but these are the characterizations of recent Arsenal outings. It has become a dominant trope. In fact, Michael Vorm was Almuniaesque in his moment of madness. A mistake of epic proportions and it was not the Gunners for once! Surely, Hades lurking around the club has been banished to the underworld with a prod to his chest. Luck was still on Arsenal's side when the final whistle blew after Danny Graham came within a whisker of sending fans into purgatory once again. Instead what we have is a debate. We can live with that.
Mikel Arteta had some deft touches in the first half and his nose for a through pass created a couple of scoring opportunities but they were left unconverted. Andrei Arshavin had a fine match proving that the path to goal is not always the shortest line. Of course, this being Arshavin he was promptly upbraided for his lackadaisical tracking by Frimpong following which he was subbed off. Per Mertesacker was solid in his debut except for the moment where he was bailed out by Wojciech Szczesny's brilliant save denying Graham in his first scoring chance. The Polish goalie kept up his eye catching form. Marouane Chamakh with two weeks of timely nutrition sustaining him actually saw the sight of goal. Who thinks its time for a Marouane Fellaini type of makeover instead of the greasy slicked down look that's a drag on his goal stats?
Arsenal climb to 11th with their first win of this season. With that monkey of their back they can look towards finishing September on a positive note. There is that gaping -7 goal differential that needs some serious work. Now, they regroup for the Champions League this Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund with its stable of Arsenal like talent in Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gündogan, and Shinji Kagawa. The Bundesliga side are having a few problems of their own getting off to a less than assured start to their season.