Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

I guess this was as easy a game as Arsenal will play all season. If it had been a non-Arsenal game I’d have stopped watching after 10 minutes or so. But because it was Arsenal I had to struggle through a shaky and hazy stream at the risk of enduring a headache later, which is now and I have a bad one.

I’m not sure if there is any point in analyzing a game like this so I’ll just mention some top of mind thoughts.

Arsenal could have scored a dozen goals in this one if the attackers, particularly Vela, had been clinical in front of goal and the officials hadn’t decided that this game will not have penalties.

Wigan will be in serious trouble come May if they don’t show a drastic improvement on what they did on the pitch in this game.

In the first half every big moment came through Van Persie who was on a different plane compared to everyone else. The Dutchman laid it on a plate for Bendtner and Vela who messed up the simplest of chances. Perhaps it was the weather.

The first goal came late in the first half from a good corner taken by Walcott.  None of the Arsenal players got a touch but their movement did enough to distract the Wigan Captain Alcaraz who turned it into his own net. I was impressed by Theo’s delivery from set-pieces.

After the first goal the game opened up a lot more and Arsenal created chance after chance in the second half. Van Persie and/or Wilshere were at the heart of most of the good moves. Vela’s movement was excellent but his finishing was just the opposite.

The second goal cushion was secured in the 67th minute. Van Persie slid it out to Vela whose cross found Bendtner at the back post. The Dane bundled it in, somehow.

Wigan tried to go forward but Arsenal did well collectively. On the other end chance upon chance was squandered and it saved the visitors from going back with a humiliating score line.

I don’t want to dwell on the missed chances or the lacklustre opening half hour. There were too many changes to the team and some players were clearly lacking match practice and confidence. This was a good result made even better by the spanking received by United. I think the home and away factor made a big difference in both games. Hopefully, we’ll get the second leg at home in the semi-final.

Individual Performances

Szczesny: Didn’t have much to do. Swept well and one good punch is all I can recall.

Eboue: Looked a bit casual and struggled against Moses. Not convinced he has the focus needed for this level. Almost gave a goal away with a terrible and careless back pass. Nothing worth noting in terms of attacking or defensive contribution.

Djourou: Read the game well and looked composed on the ball. Good physical presence. Covered the right side well behind Eboue.

Koscielny: Pretty much like Djourou. Excellent tackling.

Gibbs: Had some good moments on both ends of the pitch but also had a couple of wobbles at the back. Lacked match sharpness but looked promising.

On the whole the defence wasn’t really tested. They won’t find another team with such a weak and uncoordinated attack again this season.

Denilson: Had some weak moments on the ball but did well mostly. Stayed close to the defence for large parts of the game and kept the ball moving.

Wilshere: Pretty much like Denilson in the first half. Came up with some delightful balls in the second half after the game opened up.

Van Persie: Arsenal need him fit for the rest of the season, no doubt about that. Incredible vision and execution. Still not close to his best so will only get better with games. If RvP plays, I’ll be much more confident in the big games in December. Had an injury scare early in the second half!

Overall the midfield did alright but not as well as I’d have liked. We should have kept the ball better, moved it faster. They did a good job of supporting the defence and I won’t be surprised to hear that Arsene had a safety first policy.

Walcott: Had an on and off game. Good delivery on corners, not so good on crosses. Good movement but didn’t find enough space. Finishing lacked composure. Was double teamed by the defenders every time he started running with the ball.

Bendtner: Scored a goal but didn’t play anywhere close to his potential. Needs to do more on and off the ball.

Vela: If we leave the missed chances out the Mexican had an excellent game. Put in some good crosses, one led to the goal, another should have led to a penalty. His movement was excellent as was his positional sense and defensive contribution was decent. But he missed so many chances that it’s difficult to ignore them. Clearly lacks confidence and was probably thinking too much about impressing.

Subs: Nasri didn’t have to do much but missed a glorious chance, Eastmond did much better than he’s done recently. JET didn’t really know how to get involved.


18 Responses to Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. abishkar says:

    Didn’t see the first half but a real plus for me was to see vanPersie get a decent outing and pull some strings from deep. Sounds from what you are saying he had a good first half too ?

    I think Wenger pulling him and Wilshere out was a sign of 1. caution in the snow with upcoming games in mind and 2 . that vanPersie and Chamakh will at some point feature in a 4-4-2 with the dutch maestro in a “floating” role behind the Moroccan in some games when we are having a tough time breaking through the parked bus. We may even see it as soon as this weekend against Fulham. It’s exciting.

    Good win tonight, but we should not take anything for granted and treat whoever we get with respect and application.

  2. ryan says:

    what do you guys think about rvp playing in the cesc role (maybe a bit further forward/more free-flowing) while cesc is injured?

  3. JP says:

    Ryan I was thinking the same thing. Let him play Cesc’s role for now. We have to find a way to get our best players on the field. Chamack and Van Persie and Cesc when he comes back. Now that is something I wanna see!!! Soon!

  4. Nischit says:

    I must admit it was an easy game today. The only one who really stood out with a bad performace was emmanuel eboue. He was woeful in my opinion. Too casual like you mentioned, and just didnt seem to be mentally focused on the game. Wigan made arsenal look solid defensively, which is an indication of how poor they are in attack really. Djourou and Koscielny were barely tested.

    Desi, on an interesting note, what did you think of the formation today? 4-4-1-1 with denilson n wilshere quite deep. A throwback to the invincible days. I think it worked well, especially in attack. Ok, we didn’t have the best day in attack, but you could clearly see van persie’s presence up front as the link man made a huge difference. I’m not saying it was our best attacking performance, but it was probably our most balanced performance this season. If we’d been more clinical, or rather, had vela been more clinical, we’d have a few more goals to show for it. I just wonder how much it had to with wigan being quite appalling

  5. Nischit says:

    Also, I think you’re being harsh on denilson. I think he had a great game today, and he did his job well

  6. puppyguts says:

    awesome display 2nite discounting the first 3o mins, van persie was delivering som incredible moves. vela did him self no favours 2nite, i can’t see him getting much game time if VP stays fit.

    on a side note, JET looks so powerful and only hes only 19, this guy is gonna be huge for us

  7. santori says:

    1) Suffering from jittery streaming myself. Watched part of the match on fast forward and not by choice.:P

    2)got the other half of me birthday prsent. United got well spanked today and are out of one competition.

    3) RVP…interesting match. I’ve always thought Van Persie is more a hybrod between an out and out striker and a playmaker. That Wenger played him just behind Bendy in a 4-4-1-1 might play to his best attributes.

    4) Gaffer got it right today. Much better. Perhapd its Pat Rice’s new sunglassed (is he trying to llok like a thug) over the weekend but Wenger had them set up to easily switch between 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1 which I think will suit us best this season with our current composition.

    5) RVP in a floating role in the hole (ala Bergkamp) may have implications for Fab. As mentioned, I think Fab is best deployed next to Song (with Wilshere as Fab’s alternate).

    6)Good to see Nasri come on and slot right into RVP’s position. Again, this is potentially Nasri’s best position as he will be adept at drifting left or right swapping with the widemen or just powering trhough the middle with his new found ‘pace’.

    7)Kos and Djourou. Adimitedly this was a Wigan side shorn of quality and ideas but I thought both Cbacks held solid today.

    8) Walcott. Some bad habits creeping in. Walcott has to keep playing (if anything) as an impact sub to keep sharp.

    9) Vela. I don’t think he lacks confidence at all. he is of the habit of perfroming some outrageous back heels. Good vision. I just think he’s not hungry enough. He’s obviously a player of prodiguous talent and I just wish someone would give him a right kick up the royal behind. Perhaps Pat rice in shades will do us the honour?

    10)Thought we pressed well as a team when without the ball. Hope the lads keep up this sort of effort. We’ll need it this weekend against Fulham.

    Now off to have a drink 🙂

    • Mark says:

      For a minute there I thought you wanted to give Walcott the cools “8)”

      Vela can be so frustrating at times. He has pace, skills, and these moments of pure brilliance.. If he could just become a little more consistent, we’d get to see a lot more of him.

      Also, it was good fun to see the team at the top of the table get properly hammered 4-0 by the bottom ranked team 🙂 Jabba’s a happy man tonight.

      • santori says:

        Yeah…dunno why the ‘8’ turned into a happy face…

        On Vela back heels….didn’t put away two glorious opportunities courtesy of RVp’s heel. Still had some very decent assists and amazing vision.

  8. Indian Gunner says:

    Even though RVP did well in cesc’role,we cleared lacked our normal style of game…Arsene should have started rosicky or nasri in that role….

    Also we can send few of our players to wigan on loan…JET,Vela and eastmond can get the much needed first team premier league experience in wigan….

  9. Tim says:

    I think you’re right not to dwell too much on the performance. We know Bendtner isn’t quite first team material yet, and it was no surprise that Vela struggles to look convincing when it’s 0-0 (but is fantastic when it’s 3-0), so little new there.

    The result (and no injuries) was all that mattered last night, and in tricky conditions the boys delivered. Roll on tonight’s draw!

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/12/01/on-a-cold-itz-night-arsenal-march-on-with-escape-from-alcaraz/

  10. Jeansy says:

    Bit tough on Nasari’s miss =) he did everything right and just had the ball cleared off the line.

    Eboue has gone backwards in my opinion, hasn’t looked like himself for awhile and is starting to be a liability at times.

    Thought Gibbs was excellent, Clichy watch out.

    Those couple of touchs by Van Persie were awesome. Lets hope he stays fit, he deserves a decent run.

    JET looks like a beast! I think he will be very good in time.

    Cmon the Gunners!

  11. Miranda says:

    Have always believed in Djourou so I’m really pleased that finally, after years of injuries, he looks like he’s becoming a great defender.

    Szczesny: he may not have had much to do but his distribution is excellent, far better than Fabianski’s, and that’s with virtually no experience of the first team. If he was playing regularly, think how good he might be by the end of the season.

    I’ve only watched the highlights but read somewhere that Bendtner refused even to look at Wenger, let alone shake his hand, when he came off – true? – so it seems that that relationship isn’t too good right now. A moan too far by Bendtner, I’d guess.

    Assuming Bendtner is leaving if he gets a good offer – apparantly we’re open to them – and assuming it’s true that Vela may be going on loan to Valencia or Sevilla, what to make of Wenger’s annoucement that he’s not buying anyone in the Jan window? Wish I didn’t believe him. Wish I didn’t think he was totally delusional about our injury situation. I mean, Van P has now played about eighty minutes; ten more minutes and he’ll be crocked again, just like every season so far. Sigh.

  12. Fan of wenger says:

    Eboue gave a lacklustre performance. I could not remember a single good moment in the game from his play. Denilson was also not at his best. He gave away the balls to opponents so easily. And desi your last point on Vela was spot on. I too had the same opinion.

  13. […] Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis I guess this was as easy a game as Arsenal will play all season. If it had been a non-Arsenal game I’d have stopped […] […]

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