Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

In many ways this game was a microcosm of many recent Arsenal seasons. There was much to admire. There were a lot of exciting moments, the club matched the leading club toe-to-toe for large parts and it would be hard to pick one side over the other. The defenders worked hard, certainly considering the free-scoring nature of the opposition. But ultimately, there were key mistakes at the back – in part resulting from unfortunate injuries – and when you look back, the Gunners had nought to show for all the effort and quality. To me that summarizes most of the ups and downs Gooners have been experiencing over the years.

Tactically, this was a predictably tight game. Both sides were probing away at every opportunity but there were few clear cut chances in the first half. City were causing trouble with their movement but they either lacked the final ball or Arsenal put enough pressure on the shot. Szczesny only had one really big save that was forced by a wonderful piece of skill by Balotelli.

At the other end, I thought Arsenal really struggled with their pre-assist pass. Walcott was getting into excellent spaces but the ball in-behind wasn’t played at the right time or never came at all. Gervinho did see a lot of the ball and space as Silva was on his flank but he couldn’t really create.

Arsenal’s best chance of the first half fell inadvertently to Ramsey after a Van Persie strike fell in his path. This move was created by a superb run out from the back by Koscielny that caught City unawares. Persie had an easy ball to put Gervinho behind in a wide position with Ramsey and Koscielny charging into the box. But De Kapitein went for a shot that was partially blocked by a defender. Ramsey was probably taken by surprise and his touch wasn’t very good. Toure was able to get a tackle in before Hart pounced on the loose ball.

The first half was a story of both sides having one big opportunity and a number of other highlights worthy moments. But on the whole the two defences were quite firm – although Arsenal’s style has an air of desperation about it at times – and the game was a tactical and technical battle in the congested midfield.

Early in the second half Arsenal had another defensive injury. Djourou was taken off and Miquel came on at left back. This forced Koscielny to the right and Vermaelen into the centre of defence.

The goal came eight minutes into the half after a counter-attack that resulted from one of the few poor passes from Gervinho. Arsenal’s defensive shape was poor and it allowed Nasri to pass it wide for Balotelli without any pressure on the pass or the run. The Gunners have been chasing hard in defence and got seven bodies back into the box. The Italian striker was able to get his shot away after shrugging off the attentions of Song. Szczesny could only palm it back into the centre of the six yard box. Arsenal had four defensive players around two relatively short attackers – Aguero and Silva. But it was ultimately a City player who got the vital touch with Silva tapping in, almost unchallenged.

If anyone wanted to play the blame game it would be easy to take one’s pick from a number of culprits. Gervinho’s pass was easily read and intercepted. Koscielny was nowhere near Balotelli who’d moved wide. Song could have put a better challenge to block the shot or forced Balotelli to his weaker foot. Szczesny – well I just imagine how fans would have reacted if that had been Almunia. Miquel was in a very poor position. Vermaelen just got caught between Aguero and Silva. Nit-picking is easy but I am not a big fan of criticising individuals harshly. There are basic problems at the back for Arsenal and the defence-by-crowd tactic will occasionally lead to such moments against a quality attack.

It became a completely different game after the goal. Arsenal really went for it with Walcott rasping the gloves of the Keeper within a minute of going behind. Then Van Persie put the ball in the net but was just off-side. At the other end City got a lot more space to run into but couldn’t add to their lead because of poor final ball (Nasri in particular), unlucky strikes (hit the post or just wide), and last gasp defending.

Arsenal had a number of good chances. Gervinho for once did produce a burst of speed to get past Richards and delivered a quality pass.  Van Persie was able to direct it towards goal but couldn’t generate any power. He was probably rushed by the lunging defender.

Vermaelen went close with two efforts from distance late in the game. There was also a penalty shout against Richards for handball. I have seen those given but, in fairness, would have been very disappointed if it was given at the other end. I haven’t seen any replays but it looked to have come off the head of a player just a couple of yards away and probably took the full-back by surprise.

At this level the margins are very small but once again Arsenal were on the short end.

Individual Performances:

Szczesny: Came out well when he had to, made a big save and a number of routine ones. For the goal, just ask yourself how Almunia or Fabianski would have been treated for palming the ball back into such a dangerous area.

Djourou: He was doing a decent job on the right in a nondescript sort of a way. It wasn’t about great tackles or scintillating attacking runs but his positioning was good and wasn’t letting much happen on the right.

Mertesacker: His pace was a handicap for the side and allowed the hosts to get in behind on occasion as the German dropped back to make up for his lack of speed. Did get into very good positions and again got some crucial touches in and around the box.

Koscielny: Had a good game in the centre and adapted well when shifted to the right. His run down the middle to set up Arsenal’s best chance was excellent. Won a number of duels but his positioning can be questioned for the goal as it was neither here nor there.

Vermaelen: Wasn’t getting forward as often as regular full-backs do but had a strong game at left-back and in the centre. Had good success in individual duels and tackles while also making the joint highest interceptions – 6. Shots at the end were very good but not effective. A close second for MotM in my reckoning.

Miquel: Looked a bit nervy early on. Made a very good tackle on Silva inside the box. Positioning for the goal was suspect at best. Tough game for the youngster but Arsene might need more from him if the injury situation doesn’t improve considerably.

Given the basic issues in defence, I was happy with the effort of the defenders. They didn’t allow too many clear strikes on goal, and did much better than other defences in England have against this attack, but in such games one is often enough.

Song: Had an erratic game. Was cautioned early on and some would consider him lucky to be on the pitch at the end. I thought the ref handled his indiscretions/mistimed tackles well. Showed a lot of strength on occasions and did a great deal of chasing to help the defence. But duelling rate was poor and lost many individual battles.

Arteta: MotM in my opinion. Handled the pressure intelligently and kept the game ticking, easily making the most passes. Won back possession more often than the others and also had the joint highest interceptions.

Ramsey: I don’t want to be harsh but his performance was the most disappointing. Couldn’t beat opponents in physical battles or for pace. Squandered the best chance although, in fairness, it happened too fast. Was slow on the ball and missed a number of pre-assist opportunities.

I thought Arsenal’s advantage in midfield was negated by Ramsey’s performance or lack of it. Song and Arteta worked had in defence and in attack but weren’t able to make an impact in the final third. Read somewhere that the dynamic duo will now be suspended for the Villa game but not sure about the details.

Walcott: Was largely anonymous but that was partly due to a lack of service. He was also isolated to an extent as most of Arsenal’s play was building down the left. Theo often got a ball only when he was in a crowd. Had a relatively better second half. Saw more of the ball and produced a thunderous strike.

RvP: Wasn’t as good when judged by his exceptional standards but it was another hard working effort from De Kapitein. Decision making on the ball was slow/poor when he dropped deep. Probably didn’t see some of the runs that Walcott was making.

Gervinho: Had the best pass accuracy but at least two of his three misplaced passes led to counter-attacks including the goal. Was often indecisive when in space. Apart from Ramsey, he was the second most disappointing player on the pitch for Arsenal. Did create one excellent chance but much more was needed as he saw so much of the ball.

The attacking players got a fair bit of space but Arsenal seemed to lack the level of understanding needed to create and finish chances at this extraordinary tempo. A degree of functionality might have helped as too often the Gunners ran out of ideas when they got to the penalty box. This forced them to pause for a thought and it was enough for the hosts to get their defensive shape and bodies back.

Subs: A number of Arshavin’s touches were just awful and I say that as fan who tries to find positives. The ball was rarely played in the vicinity of Chamakh. To an extent Arsenal lacked quality on the bench as I don’t believe Benayoun or Park would have offered much more.

Arsenal could have been within six points of the top but as things stand they are closer to Stoke in 8th than Tottenham in 3rd. The top two are virtually out of sight. The thing with such a poor start is that even when the leaders drop a few points it will be hard to catch up because the Gunners are going to have some tough games like this one. It was a respectable effort but a result that puts Arsenal in a spot of bother with only fourth appearing as a possible target.


65 Responses to Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. maneves says:

    A very poor assessment of Walcott’s performance imo. Was very ineffective in the wide areas and also didnt help to keep the ball when he tried drifting in the central areas to create space away frm Zabaleta. His substitution jst sums it up as the most disappointing player in the Arsenal team. Unfortunately his replacement was even more disappointing. I think Song would have had a better game hadn’t not been for the early yellow card….seemed too cautious with his individual battle with Balotelli in the penalty box dat lead to the goal. Gervinho to me the only attacking player dat provided much for RVP was let down by his decision making at times.

    • Santori says:

      Absolutely have to agree here. But for the shot, Walcott was largely impotent. Desi, you like to highlight Gervinho’s loss of possession but Walcott’s were equally if not more glaring. Poor performance.

  2. FoolishgooNer says:

    Well said! Like you Desi I never like to criticise young players, but Ramsey is either out position or not good enough for a regular starts. I don’t blame him for the lost but player on his position needs to have something special. Such as pace, ball control, powerful shot (TV5s Shot) and strenght. He is no Song (weak) he is no Wilshere/Arshavin (vission and control) He is no Arteta (knows what his role to perfection). I will say it besides the injuries our biggest problem is playing Ramsey and Arteta together. They do not compliment each other, it is like playing two Shaq Oneals in a NBA basketball game… Both huge but slow! I wonder why Arsene and staff refuse to play Arshavin centrally atleast till Wilshere is ready…!!!!!! Rather than that I’m proud of the team play specially with all the injuries. Cheers… three points from Villla will erase,calm nerves. Lost to Villa will set another panic buys.,,,

    • VanTheManPersie says:

      i had a feelign that ramsey’s perfromance would be key in this game and a few guys were discussing of playign le coq instead of him. I think only rosicky could have helped but his work rate wouldnt have been enuf even when fully fit. I think arsneal lack that little bit of something and it will always be a case of near misses with the current crop.
      Also i alwasy felt we woudl need a goal from sowmehre else in thsi game ..somewhere other than RVP and frankly gervinho and walcott and ramsey wouldnt be able to pull them off on a conistent basis. Forget the chelsea game.

      The essence of the fomration means your front 4 of the “diamond” all shoudl be capable of scoring which is nto happening. Yeah question marks on the defense for the goal but did we really expect to get away 0-0? The current system will not work if midfileder’s dont score. Ramsey was also guilty of beign slow to release passes. Dont want to be harsh on him but he’s not ready..
      and yes i had heard song will miss the next game if carded. DIdnt knwo about arteta..thats a big blow…arteta at the moment is irreplaceable just liek RVP. Tough trip the next one without much rest

      • Santori says:

        Arsharvin has not been effective of late but I wonder if he may add an edge for us in that slot just behind RVP, provided the Arteta/Song axis holds back a little when he is played.

      • Jeffry says:

        Ramsey is not close to Jack.. Diaby could even have a greater impact.. the fact that Ramsey’s always in the starting XI with his performances so far is absolutely shocking to me.. good in terms of stamina but too slow and weak to steal the ball.. slow in decision making.. untidy passing.. it’s probably harsh.. but let’s be honest.. it’s too easy for the opponents to steal the ball from RAmbo…

  3. keeming says:

    “one of the few poor passes from Gervinho” ….ahahha what match were you watching? One of the MANY poor passes would be closer to the truth. I wonder how does a player survive at this level with such a poor first touch and passing range. Admittedly he was one of our better attacking force with his headless-chicken direct running. This is what we have come to.

    In the end, the result showed that we are just that bit short. We were ALWAYS that bit short. Under a manager that refuse to pay the market rate for quality, we will always be that bit short.

    Not a dig at Wenger. Its his choice and philosophy to settle for top 4 instead of challenging for titles. So top 4 it shall be.

    • desigunner says:

      Gervinho misplaced 3 passes in open play. Out of 45. And three crosses, something most players don’t have high accuracy figures for. Overall his pass accuracy was among the best for the Gunners, if not the highest.

      Funnily enough, I first wrote “many” passes because that was the impression I had in mind. Then I looked at the facts because I know there are many occasions when one only remembers a few moments but they don’t represent the whole game.

      I have mentioned this far too often but will do it again – hastily jumping to conclusions based on very limited memories that are at the top of the mind is a pointless exercise. Sharing such opinions is a waste of everyone’s time. Unfortunately, those are the kinds of opinions we hear/read most often. I consciously try hard to avoid them but even then it doesn’t always work. Nevertheless, it’s worth the effort. Try it sometime.

      • Santori says:

        Have to agree with Desi. I thought Gervinho was one of our livelier performers today.

      • dy says:

        nothing wrong with Gervinho ‘s performance, even if a bit off at this game or another, just needs him to be more decisive in front of goal. That part will come.

  4. sam says:

    same old arsenal! predictable line up, no plan b with ineffective subs.
    fans are wishing we bring some new signings but getting rid of ineffective players is the most important. deadwoods are the reason why we will never see the likes of chamberlain,miyaichi and park since le stubborn will always pick them ahead of everyone. whats the point of signing podolski is arshavin and chamakh are still around. arsene is the only one who thinks walcott is better winger than chamberlain, just like he used to think that almunia is a world class keeper.

    • Alex says:

      walcott IS better than Chamberlain at this stage. Have you already forgotten that for a while now he has been one of our most dangerous outlets? he had several fantastic performances such as the one against Chelsea and a few since and before then.

      I agree that Chamakh and Arshavin don’t offer much, but Walcott is in a different league!

      • Santori says:

        Walcott is better than Chamberlain but he is still better with the ball when given space.

        Considering that we were sitting deeper against City, this made sense but in congestion, Walcott still lacks craft. Bit surprise we didn’t see Benny come on.

      • Zgunner says:

        Walcott is more developed that Chamberlain at the moment as a player… but Chamberlain is the sort of surprise wild card Wenger could play his opponents with.. also building Chamberlain’s faith in his ability to make an impact.

        Chamberlain is better with his feet than Walcott; he is also a stronger player.

  5. sam says:

    you believed me now desi?
    just like i said that this game is too big for ramsey and man city players will eat him for breakfast. coquelin or frimpong could have freed song and arteta to play in ramsey position.
    chamberlain,gervinho and van persie up front.
    well, we lost the already

    • Devil says:

      If you get to see the match again, watch Rambo, he’s every where. He’s had part in most attacks. He’s got in good positions. He loses his marker. He held his own. But yes, his finishing was not good. And he got unlucky when well call it “Penalty” not given.

  6. HexyDre says:

    Gotta agree with you on Ramsey, I’ve observed for a while now that we need a more creative player in that role. With Ramsey as our main creative midfielder, we will suffer if nothing is created by the wingers. He’s slow on the ball, and I don’t think he can beat any defender one on one. No bueno! I’ll be the one to advocate spending unless we absolutely have to, but it looks like Wenger pull out the big bucks for a faster creative attacking midfielder. I like Aaron but he doesn’t cut it for me.
    We lost today’s game, not for lack of effort, but lack of quality. A season or two ago, this would have been the reverse.
    That said, If we play with such intensity every game, we will make top 4 this season. I would say we should forget the title chase, but then, we are still in the first part of the season and impossible is nothing.
    Come on you gunners!!

    • arv says:

      “I like Aaron but he doesn’t cut it for me.
      We lost today’s game, not for lack of effort, but lack of quality. A season or two ago, this would have been the reverse”

      Spot on!

      I also like AR, and I dare say before the injury he was a faster player than he is now. He has the stamina, and gets in the box, but we need pace and creativity.

      I like Arteta. HE battles. with everton I thought he was more an attacking winger but here he likes to drop deep and defend more. OVerall, with AR and MA, we do lack a super creative mid.

      • Devil says:

        Well last season we got caught out on the break because of Super Creative Cesc. We have gone our old ways where we’d attack most from flanks and less through middle. Our midfield has solidity and they do create at least 6 opportunities a game. That is not a bad ratio.

  7. I thought Arsenal played quite well. I thought that Song getting booked really early in the game (10 minutes) did play a part in that he could have played better with out the yellow. I dont really see any point in playing Walcott he dont provide much. And how Dowd didnt give the penalty? he was standing right infront, i bet if it was the other way around he would have given $ity a peno.

    • cupsui says:

      agree song booking cost us so early on. it was a bit harsh too. Would have been a harsh pen on Man city as his arm was by his side and he did play for it at all. Walcott has been amazing of late but yes was poor tonight. I would rather see the ox come on than arsharvin right now…or benayoun. Arshavin has completely lost it…so sad

  8. cupsui says:

    I’ll first say it was a cracking game…one of the best of the season…Better in footballing terms than the chelsea game obviously not in terms of result. So players both sides must get credit.
    I thought the defenders were good except for Djourou…Desi if you watch the game again focus a bit on him and watch how often he dwells on the ball only to give it away in the 1st half. He was shocking. His positioning and defending were better but he gave it away far too often. Koscienly was outstanding in the middle we went in 0-0 because of his quality and Woj in goals.
    I htink you’re very harsh on Woj for his save from Balotelli that lead to the goal it was a sharp save and he had little chance but too block it in front. He is least to blame for the goal. Koz shoulda been wider…song…hmmm what was he doing just let him turn inside and blast. TV5 shoulda got more on the clearance and Miquel shoulda been on silva. But…they scored.
    Walcott was a bit disappointing esp. considering his form. Gervinho i thought was very good but he got little help and yes did still make a few bad decisions.
    Arsharvin…absolutely shocking…what has happened to him?! he won’t even run at defenders anymore?!
    Overall its a disappointing result but against a tough team that has spent hundreds of millions…and is destroying football.
    Great to see Nasri play so poorly again. He is a hog with a massive ego…enjoy the bench samir!

    • arv says:

      Our Defense tends to be scared to make a tackle when in the box or just outside it. It appeared that we just had all our defenders converge on the man with the ball, stick a leg out and hope that he loses the ball. IT worked mostly but leaves other players open for a quick pass.

  9. sam says:

    @stavros
    yes we played well but we could have done better if wenger made the right selection or at least manage the team properly.
    if AVB can get rid of anelka and alex why are we still hanging on to arshavin and chamakh.
    ramsey performance is not the main reason we lost, its the substitution with the exception of miquel. the strikers that came on only made things worse for the team.

    • BarDel says:

      I dont think chamakh got any service. Arshavin was just horrible. Clearly his head isn’t in the game anymore and we should look to offload him in January.

      Otherwise I dont think the performance was that bad… The mid field let us down today.

      • Santori says:

        There are other more atrocious players we have to get rod of first before we do away with Chamakh or AA. Denilson comes to mind as does Squillaci. But getting rid of players isn’t that simple.;)

  10. Timi Moody says:

    What a game Des ! And wonderful summary of this! Key dissapointments are
    – This happens every single season! Play so well against the big clubs and just come short , despite the great effore
    – Ashavin is just not interested and for me spoilt the whole shape of team when he came in, At the point he came in we were in the ascendecy and needed a major threat τ̲̅ȍ put city under real pressure
    – Shame we missed SAGNA & SANTOS in this game !!! No dismerits τ̲̅ȍ those who played , but we rili missed their positive wing play

    The merits tho not many,
    – TV5 , what a player !!! Its important he stays fit and plays the whole season
    – The team spirit within squad is stil very high and this is not some set of ‘young’ boys who wil bottle season cos of this loss , i expect em τ̲̅ȍ pick up themseleves and starting from Villa on wed , pick up a new run

  11. Messi's dad says:

    Fairly analysed Desi.

    Regarding Ramsey, I don’t think he’s reached Wilshere’s level yet. He’s got obvious talent to me and he’s got the eye for a through ball, but he needs to work a coupla things, most of all when to do his fanciful tricks, and when not to.

    E.g. I was extremely irritated with him for a period after Man City’s goal, when Ramsey tried 3/4 consecutive no-look backheels in tight spots which put his teammates in trouble. Each time, we lost possession and wasted valuable time trying to get the ball back.

    I hope Wenger has a word with him about efficiency in possession, and that carelessly squandering possession when you are behind only puts needless pressure on your defence.

    • arv says:

      The backheals are always irritating when they do not work. However, with the way City was tracking back, a quick succesful move like the backheel was probably a way to unlock the defense or at least get past one defender. City was pretty good ad scripting our moves in the final third, so I welcome any sort of creativity. I dare say, if one of those backheals resulted in a goal, we would be cheering AR.

      • Messi's dad says:

        agree that successful backheels are a delight to watch, especially in the opponents defensive area. but for some of AR’s backheels, arguably they were not the right choice.

        I think at least 2 the attempts were when we just managed to “breakout” from sustained Man City pressure, somewhere from around the halfway line to well within our half, and in those cases resulted in immediate Man City pressure back on our defence.

        backheels on those occasions did not look like the calm thing to do (akin to Theo’s frequent shot attempts from spectacular angles).

    • Santori says:

      This is the prob at the moment. So much relies on Tamsey as a creTive force just behind RVp. Particularly in a game like this where Song and Arteta have their hands full and must play more conservatively.

      For that reason, I believe someone like AA would have been better just ahead of the midfield 2 and in the hole behind RVP.

      As it stands though, I don’t think the Russian’s confidence is at an all te high and in some ways, this is the result of time spent on the bench. Again, I simply don’t think The little tank is as effective out wide anymore where as he could yet have a role behind the striker where us unpredictability could actually play havoc against the opponents.

  12. T2T says:

    We’ve now played all the other top teams (ManC, ManU, Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle) away except L’pool…
    The result could’ve gone either way. I have seen lots of penalties given for the handball. It was a good game and I’m not too disappointed. Let’s hope the team except Djourou came away unscratched. We are capable of putting a good run together again.

    • Santori says:

      I think we can still grab 4th by the new year provided we keep chipping away and a result or two go out way just above us.

  13. Messi's dad says:

    Overall disappointed with the result, but I think the team played well, and am proud that we went toe-to-toe with Man City. We have the basic solidity there, we just need to work harder on the creative side until Wilshere comes back. (That’s where I think perhaps Theo, who was anonymous in the first half, should’ve come off earlier.)

    Despite the loss (albeit with a fair bit of luck/poor Man City finishing), I am convinced there is not a huge gap between the teams. I cannot help harping on a stale issue, but for a team with such fabulous attacking talent (world class: Silva and Aguero, plus international class: Nasri and Balotelli, etc ??), it’s just terrible that they are out of the Champions league.

  14. Roachy says:

    Agree on the Penalty call….Dowd paniced and failed to give the obvious hand to ball decision. That was at the 78th minute so the game would of been interesting at 1-1.

    Walcott need to be subbed at 1/2 time and the Ox should of been on the bench to replace him. The Ox gave Zaboletta a torrid time at the carling cup. Walcott really struggled to win the mind game.

    Miquel was caught ball watching for the goal. He lost track of Silva who was 2-3 metres in front and on side!

    IMO Vermaelen, Koscielny, Szcznesy, Arteta, Song and Gervinho (even Djourou for a half) were ok actually…Fair enough they made mastakes but overall they were good.

    Cant wait for Wilshere Sagna and Gibbs to Return.

    The Ox needs to be on the bench. This pushes walcott to do more!!!

  15. arv says:

    Desi and friends,

    I am happy for one reason. Effort!

    Our winning steak is over, but the team fought and battled. Sure Ramsey is slow, he has stamina but no pace. I also wonder about the need for a creative mid, im not sure he has it YET.

    Song was shackled early by Phat Phil. I hate that ref, it appeared he was smiling so often and chit chatting with Man City players throughout the game. On 2 occasions, we could have had a penalty shout.

    Gervinho is a God send at this point. He always beats his first man, has stamina, good pace and hold the ball well. Without him, really we would really suffer creatively.

    Djorou has to go. HE is weak mentally physically. A minute after the restart he has to be subbed. HE is not what we need on this team. Especially with our injury record.

    I want Santos and Sagna back to see how much we improve. DJ has to go.

    Walcott had an awful game all round.

    Overall im happy with the effort and hustle. The team fought and really deserved a point at least from this.

    • FoolishgooNer says:

      Yes JD poor guy… He comes off the field odd times! Makes the team nervous. He starts and gets subs out in 5 minutes, today shortly after restart. For such a big man he is often holding shoulder/groining or something atleast Diaby stays out completely. I know I’m been wack job but I’m frustrated. We got to get
      max points till January, Arsene need not to wait for singings do it right away. Otherwise promote the kids and let them swim or sink. Rosicky needed to play this game not Ramsey he offers much more when fit. Was he even on the bench? We now lost 5 games! Blackburn, Liverpool at home hurts… Droped points at home fulham was ok…. How do you make up those points by taking max points from villa on the road plus beating big guns at home… Man U, Man City, Chelsea and the spuds. Those are 12 points that will show wether we deserve to play Champs league next year. We should have Wilshere, Sanga for most of those games, hoping for couple impact signings in January and the rest of the squad be good enough to get 90% of the remaining points! Is that unrealistic? Call me foolish then…

      • arv says:

        Not only does he make the team nervous, he makes all the fans nervous as well. I cannot stand that guy. HE is easily the weakest mentally and physically along with Diaby. Diaby needs to go as well. We need strong, fit players who are strong and have fight in them. Clone Song, Arteta, and WIlshere…that is what we need.

    • Santori says:

      Considering Djourou is playing out of position, I thought he did quite well actually.

  16. Devil says:

    About the first goal, it wasn’t Koz’s fault nor TV’s. They all tried to play offside and well on top. But Per dropped just a bit deep and played Mario onside. Song couldn’t put up a heavy challenge because had he done that and got it wrong, he’d have given a penalty as well as another yellow card and he would have been off. Mario’s shot was fierce and it was his power due to which the ball rebounded and thats where we got unlucky. The only person who could have stopped it was Ignasi but he lost his man.

    • Santori says:

      This is all hindsight. There was just as much chance that the goal could have been saved or blocked. Conversely, there were other opportunities which may have resulted in goals against us. The same could be said with our own chances on the other end.

      It was a slim margin today and the result could have gone either wAy.

      For that reason, I do believe we are more competitive now and if we put this behind us, that we have every ability to take 4th before the new year.

      • Devil says:

        Agreed, but for me Song held up Mario long enough for every one to get in good position. And that should not have been conceded. Well M a bit pissed because I thought we had it in us to win this one. We should have and we lost. Broke my heart. But hopefully we’ll have lot to cheer at Villa Park.

  17. dele says:

    arshavin still the best for me just play him as the top of the midfield and see what a difference he would make. We all seem to forget that in all his career only mr wenger plays arshavin outwide and for what to give the likes of ramsey a chance to play. Mr wenger should use round pegs in round holes and lets unleash arshavin.

  18. arv says:

    are you serious dele? AA has gone down so much to a point where he is seriously hurting the team. HE throws everthing off, and seems uniterested and unfit most of the time. HE has to go along with CHamakh and we need to get some good replacements. A creative player and a forward who is direct and can score.

    AA is history for me. He needs to be sold in Jan.

    This game did need TR to spell AR or to start.

    • Santori says:

      I think Chamakh will go but in the summer more probably.

      OTOH we do nor need to wait till then to get in a better striker. We simply need alternatives ( City had 3-4 strikers to call on, all carrying some threat)

      I like the idea of Leandro Damiao who has good technical skills in addition to speed, strength, and consistency. Most importantly, compared to Neymar, he is somewhat under the radar, therefore possible business for us.

  19. AbachaGhana says:

    Desi, i am not happy with ur assessment when we lose a match at all.. You alway seem to make it look like an end when we lose a match. For God’s sake every team in the world get hard times and lose on bad days.. There is still long way to go than mentioning 8th for arsenal just because we lost 4 the 1st time in 9 matches.. THE DOWNFALL OF A MAN IS NOT THE END OF HIS LIFE ok Desi?.,.. Gunnerz till thy kingdom come

  20. goonerbegood says:

    I feel we are not far off from this league ,or winning titles this season. .. we have a very good chance , as in this league we have seen that anything is possible, things change quickly…

    it is time for our manager to sit back and reflect on how to improve the squad from this stage. … we lost the game cos of quality in some vital areas which cost us..

    these group of players now i feel they can win a trophy this season.. the team is strong as a unit but is lacking dimension to their game. . this is why i propose the manger not give up yet , we have been blessed by the arrival of arteta , metz,santos, having song , v persie , ramsey, vermahlen kos, walcot , secezny, gervinho

    i feel we need 3, more players coming in january will see us win a trophy and i believe it seriously, but not just a any kind of player, players whom have experince and can make an impact on the pitch , look at what the influence of arteta, metz ,santos has inspired.

  21. ignatzuk says:

    My 2p on Walcott…

    Expected more from him in the first half but he was crowded out and his team-mates didn’t find him.

    In the second he started to look more dangerous. After their goal, play became stretched and that’s why he looked angry coming off. I would have left him on, as it was turning into a game where we needed his pace and finishing.

    So overall he didn’t shine but he wasn’t really given the chance to.

  22. ignatzuk says:

    Oh, and another thing…

    …I feel sorry for Villa.

  23. IncredibleG says:

    I have never seen opinion on 1 match so divided! I think you are right, Desi, to avoid criticising individuals. We play as a team and we lost as a team. It’s a cliche but a relevant one.

    Ramsey looks tired but I don’t think we should be too harsh on him because he has played in all but 1 league game and 6 european ties so far this season. I haven’t reviewed the game yet but at the time I felt that Song was working hard with the yellow handicap.

    When it comes to Arshavin, I can only feel sorry for him. When he gets a run of games he gets the numbers but doesn’t put on the show of workrate that people expect from every single player in the world, no matter their style, and the fans dislike him for it. He moves to the bench because we have new young players ready to take over and it is seen as an indictment and then we bring him off the bench for at most 30 minutes every couple of weeks and we complain that he lacks the sharpness he used to show(the sharpness we used to ignore because he didn’t “work”). Either that or we expect him to be the driving force in a team of weaker or younger players who don’t know each other. We treat older heads poorly at Arsenal, giving them nothing and expecting them to remain on their game.

  24. desiyabooboo says:

    you ask what the reaction would have been if almunia or flappy had pushed the ball out into a dangerous area after a stunning save like that shezza made …………. absolute shock from me if they actually managed to save a shot like that in the first place .

  25. Jeffry says:

    RAMSEY just couldn’t keep the ball well.. look at how easy it was for Toure cs to steal the ball from him.. It’s just way too easy.. the same didn’t happen with MIkel arteta & Alex song as they controlled the ball very well.. Arteta had a very good game indeed.. COME ON WENGER.. we need to change the starting 11 every now and then.. particularly in the midfield.. Give others a chance.. Rosicky n Benayoun could do us good, i believe..

  26. Kushagra India says:

    What if he was Almunia…mate u r comparing Apples and oranges..theres a big reason that Almunia was recently loaned to the championship……or Fabianski is 3rd choice for Poland .Pls get rid of this obsession it decreases the quality of the otherwise good post…

  27. Kushagra India says:

    nd one of the reasons for Ramseys poor performance was that he played a bit too deep….

    • Jeffry says:

      I dont think Ramsey played a little too deep.. in fact,he played in a more advanced position than Arteta and Song… Ramsey’s just OK at best,we need a better one.. just like Spurs with VdV n Modric.. we need a stronger player to play alongside Arteta..

  28. Long Island Gunner says:

    First off – all credit to AW and the team for bringing the spectacle of the game into focus. On the reverse fixture at the Ems last year who remembers Mancini playing with 11 behind the ball? Hell, Tevez (when he was the City flavor of the month) was defending in the City 6 yard box in the run of play. I remember one of the commentators pointing it out – and obviously was Wenger annoyed that they came to destroy the match instead of compete in it. With the tables turned, AW stuck to his principles and went for it with gusto.

    We were lucky not to have shipped 3 against but similarly unluck not to have scored 2.

    My take-aways. We need to gfet healthy in the back for the next match against a top 6 team – Miguel is not ready quite yet.

    Ramsey is a good MF – but not a game-changer nor a threat to score from a position that needs those characteristics; Jack – come back soon.

    Theo has improved but ioss still playing as a youth against men in too many instances. His influence on the game cannot be a function of the “service” he gets. You need to influence the game more so go find the ball and don’t rely on / blame others.

    AA is in Squilacci land after this match. Absolutely poor. That performance could not get you 10 minutes in the Fulham team – nevermind a club like AFC.

    Sczezzer, TV5, Merte, Kosc – solid backbone for a back 5. Song is the real deal and Arteta will be / is the best signing of the 11-12 BPL season

  29. sweeper says:

    Ramsey shud play cm not cam, he’s not a playmaker, he’s more of a possesion player. Arteta should play cam. Ramsey is very good though, he just doesn’t have a wilshere or fabregas to play alongside him.
    As for gervinho, what have u guys been watching all this time, he’d terrible! No awareness, poor decision making, and he definately can’t dribble, half the time he’s dribbling himself, tackling himself. people say he’s “direct”, I say he doesn’t know what he’s doing ALL the time. All those who disagree, just watch any other world class team n look how whatever their wingers do they know what they are trying to do n do it with conviction. Gervinho doesn’t belong at arsenal , he doesn’t make the cut. He can be a striker for a mid table team, not an arsenal winger, we play only one strikers so the wingers part in build up play has to be spot on

  30. ranveer says:

    Gervinho is tutti! arshavin may be off form but his mistakes are made trying to do something that is positive for play n if it worked it wide put someone clear on goal. Gervinho is the total opposite, doesn’t know what’s going on most of the time, doesn’t know how to link up with the rest of the team, he makes mistakes doing things that don’t really do anything for play. Clearly he’s a singer in the sense that he just ‘wings it’

  31. ranveer says:

    Lol he’s a winger, he just wings it

  32. Absamad says:

    any way, arsenal tried but could’nt make it

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