Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Wow! What a finish. What a feeling. Arsene, as usual, summed it up with an insightful nugget,

…the pleasure is even more intense when you win in the final minute of the game where you have given everything.

There is something about scoring the winner so, so late in the game. My guess is, and I’m no expert on human psychology, the mind prepares itself for a disappointment even if there is some hope. And as time goes by the hope dwindles like the dying embers of a fire while the disappointment looms like the engulfing cold darkness. Then, when the last gasp of breath – read a rampaging Verminator – rekindles the blazing fire, it’s as if life’s fought back with spirit, strength, sustained belief, and desire … the stuff of champions.

By now you must have read this was the fourth successive game the Gunners had won after conceding the lead – a Premier League record. Inspirational, and hopefully just the beginning of something magical.

However, amidst all the euphoria I must say there is also the point that Arsenal have conceded the opening goal in their last four League outings. It’s a dangerous game. There can be no doubts there are certain weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Looking at Newcastle’s approach, and they deserve credit for that, I got a feeling Alan Pardew sensed some of the defensive issues at Arsenal and came with a positive approach that few bring to the Emirates. While the Toon manager dropped one striker for a midfielder or sorts in Obertan, he did push his players high up the pitch, at least early on.

The first 20 odd minutes of the game were quite intriguing and not at all comfortable for Arsenal. The Magpies were looking to exploit the gap between Arsenal’s midfield and the back four, and were quite successful at that. Dembe Ba was a handful in the air and with his physical presence. Tiote and/or Cabaye were getting in between the lines to join Obertan. Ben Arfa offered some threat on the wing.

Their tactic was simple. Play it long to Ba, win the second ball, attack the back four in numbers. If they could isolate the defenders in a one-v-one they’d have a good chance of scoring given the quality of their attacking players. That’s exactly what happened. On one of the numerous occasions when they won the second ball, Arsenal had to defend against three players in front of the defence. This sucked the full-backs narrow and opened up an easy pass towards Ben Arfa. The Frenchman was skillful enough to create a yard for himself and buried it at the near post. Szczesny should probably have done better and the manager might ask Gibbs why he didn’t take the winger down the line, but defending open spaces against tricky players running with the ball is always difficult.

At the other end, Arsenal were getting some joy against Newcastle’s relatively high line. Walcott saw a lot of space and was a harassing Santon consistently. Pardew either made the mistake of not doubling up on him or just couldn’t find the balance between attack and defence. From the second minute on, when Theo played a delightful cross between the defence and the Keeper, the speedy winger looked like he was enjoying himself while making an impact on the game.

Van Persie, uncharacteristically it must be said, somehow managed to completely miss that cross. Minutes later another delightful chip from Song found the De Kapitein in the box but the ball, in his attempt to chest, fell onto his knee and ran away from him.

At the other end, Newcastle were pressing hard after kicking it long and it was building some pressure. Arsenal’s only outlet seemed to be on the Right but the visitors had it relatively well covered.

Even then, quick passing from Walcott, Sagna, and Rosicky put Theo into some space on the Right. His early cross came to Van Persie who made up for his earlier misses with a delightful trick. First he moved his body towards the ball to suck the defender that way, and then allowed the ball to roll past him to leave Williamson on the floor. The placement of his finish too was superb as it gave Krul no chance.

The time between the two goals was recorded at 40 seconds. It must have dented the visitors’ confidence as, for the remainder of the first half, Arsenal slowly but surely got a better grip on the game and pinned Newcastle back. The Gunners now saw a lot of the ball but the creative threat was limited to crosses from the Right and a couple of free-kicks.

Arsenal’s best chance of the remaining period fell to Theo from a corner but his attempt was scuffed and easily cleared. Newcastle didn’t provide any real tests to Szczesny either as they weren’t able to sustain the “pushing up, dropping deep” routine.

At half-time I took a quick peek at the stats on EPL Index. Predictably, as everything for Arsenal came down the Right, Theo had 34 touches to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 13 while Sagna clocked 51 to Gibbs’ 25.

This is an area where the Gunners need to improve i.e. use both flanks effectively, but it’s a complex discussion and deserves its own post.

Arsenal’s dominance continued in the second period. Newcastle were now not able to get as many bodies forward to attack the second ball by virtue of having to defend really deep. The visitors did have a number of opportunities to counter-attack but failed to find the final pass. Obertan was arguably their most wasteful player and helped out the Arsenal defence with his poor choices and touches. But in fairness, the others weren’t playing an extraordinary game either.

The Gunners, for their part, created a number of quality chances all through the half. Rosicky forced a save with a bullet header from a sizzling Walcott cross (a couple of weeks ago some people would have laughed at the thought of such an event occuring), the Ox fired a blistering volley over from outside the box, Arteta’s goal-bound shot from the edge of the box was then deflected away for a corner, Van Persie then got in front of the centre back but could only direct his Right-footed shot straight at Krul, and so on.

Midway through the half the possession for that period read 75-25 for Arsenal. In the 67th minute Rosicky missed a glorious chance after his tenacious tackling and eagerness to be the first to the ball had put Theo in a great position to cut-back. In the 79th minute Gibbs pounced on a dawdling Simpson near the Left goal-line. His cut-back came to RvP who again missed a good chance, this time with his Right.

The game was becoming edgy and frustrating. There were some physical challenges in the centre of the park and that suited Newcastle just fine.

In the 83rd minute. Gervinho missed a gilt-edge chance at the back post as the free-kick somehow reached him. Ramsey’s strike was then deflected back for a corner before Vermaelen forced a big save with a header. In injury time Walcott shot was blocked by Coloccini’s shoulder.

Despite the five added minutes, it felt as if the Gunners had run out of chances when Newcastle managed to push forward and kept the ball in the Arsenal half for a couple of minutes.

In the last minute of time added on though, which probably resulted from Krul’s time wasting in the first place, the script had its final twist. Arsenal broke forward in numbers. Van Persie seemed to have miscontrolled the ball on the centre-line but Song was there to tidy up. He spread it out to Theo who ran at the defender and produced a quality ball under pressure. Imagine the reaction if that cross had been wayward! It was still a tad higher than Van Persie or Ramsey would have wanted but fell invitingly to Vermaelen who’d made his umpteenth burst forward in a purposeful manner.

Newcastle came with some interesting ideas and executed them efficiently for a quarter of the game but in the end Arsenal’s class shone through. On another day it might have been a more comfortable win but this one was special in its own way.

Individual Performances:

Szczesny: Obviously questions have to be asked about the near post goal but other than that it was a quality effort from the youngster. He was more composed on the ball, his distribution was better – particularly the kicks out to the Right, and his catching was calming.

Sagna: Superb effort on the Right in attack and defence. Newcastle created very little from his side. Had the second most touches and was a constant source for bringing the ball out. Linked beautifully with Theo. Crossing was on and off.

Koscielny: His positioning and decision making was quite good, especially when he had to deal with one-v-ones on the break. Regularly won the ball back, including team high 4 interceptions, and also made the second highest passes enabling better control on the game.

Vermaelen: Made a number of galloping forays into the Newcastle half and justly picked up his reward. Sound positional play and committed duelling. Pretty close to Koscielny in passing quality.

Gibbs: Was exposed early on in the game against Ben Arfa but did well apart from the goal. Was like a panther at the other end, always looking to pounce on the loose ball. Had the best ground duel success rate(5/7) to go with 100 percent tackles success (2/2). But he didn’t have sufficient understanding with AOC and wasn’t as involved as Sagna.

I thought the defenders did well under pressure when Newcastle got bodies forward. After that it was more about control and attacking contributions while snuffing out the few counter-attacks.

Song: He wasn’t as close to the back four as I’d have liked at the start but improved his positioning later in the game. That allowed him to challenge for the second ball more effectively. Curbed his attacking instincts for most parts but still produced a sumptuous ball over the top for RvP and a cross from the by-line late in the game for Vermaelen.

Rosicky: He wasn’t as involved as the other midfielders – completed 34/40 passes as against Song 54/64, or Arteta 83/88; touches 55 compared to 75 (Song) and a whopping 110 (Arteta) – but he brought greater drive and penetration to the side. Of course he played fewer minutes and that made a difference but he should have dropped deeper in the opening 25 min when Newcastle were pushing up, he only attempted 7 (compared to 22 (Song) and 29 (Arteta), even Theo attempted 14 in that period) passes in that period. Good pre-assist for the first goal and an excellent header that tested Krul. Should have done better with his chance midway through the second half. Won 4 of his 5 tackles and 9 of 16 ground duels in a battling performance.

Arteta: Another monstrous effort from the Spaniard. Most touches, most passes, best passing accuracy, second highest number of chances created, 100 percent tackles success (4/4), second highest interceptions (3), and second highest ground duel success rate (7/11). Another super-efficient balancing display that made everyone around him perform better.

The midfield was again caught in a no man’s land for the first quarter of the game but they did much better after the equalizer. Once again Arteta attempted and completed more passes than the best two opposing players combined (Tiote and Cabaye 72/86 between them). Rosicky continues to regain some of his best form with his turns, vision, incision, and scoring attempts.

Theo: MotM in my book. Terrorized the left-back from the word go. Produced a number of quality crosses, created 5 chances including the assist and should also get the pre-assist for the second goal, was a lot more involved than usual with 37 attempted passes (29 completed). Could probably have done better with his shooting.

RvP: An off day by his standards. Intelligent and clinical for the goal but missed a number of chances as well. Work rate was top notch as ever and also made defensive contributions by getting his head to some set-piece deliveries.

Oxlade-Chamberlain: Wasn’t able to influence the game for large parts. Had a good run or two and a couple of shots that went off target but not much more. Is in a tactically developing phase and will have to learn to integrate himself into the team game. Right now he looks more like an individual who is always looking to either dribble, run, or shoot. Given that Ronaldo and Nani took over two years to reach their peak and considering his age, it’s excusable, but can prove costly in certain games.

The front three were a mixed bag. Theo was sensational. RvP was good by normal standards. AOC was learning on the job. More will be needed in the coming games, especially from the left.

Subs: Gervinho’s game will be remembered for that miss. Ramsey was efficient in the minutes he got on the pitch.

Arsene: Has to find a way to use the left side better and must ensure the defence gets better cover. Kick long -> push bodies forward should not put the back four under so much pressure. Szczesny’s balls out to the Right hinted towards some sort of premeditated or trained tactic against the high line. Future games will show if that is indeed the case. Once again full marks on motivation and commitment.

For those who might have missed it, I want to end with a link to this post from Saturday. It is an attempt to look at this season’s efforts of Spurs and Arsenal in a balanced and objective manner, with some details on Scott Parker’s performances, and a discussion on how the narratives have been so different for both sides.


62 Responses to Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. jason says:

    I agree with most of what you’ve writing , but have to say ( even though he has great stats) Arteta’s game does slow us down . That with his inability to find that killer pass is a real concern . One can only imagine the effect Wilshere would of had ,had he been fit and playing !

    • santori says:

      or Diaby.

    • richie says:

      Check your stats Jason Arteta speeds things up for us. Ramsey slows thigs down, by holding on to the ball too long. Arteta isn’t playing as our playmaker Rosicky is the creative hub, even Song has made several killer forward passes. Arteta’s strengths are his intercepts with his great positioning, and when we are in possession he keeps the ball moving at speed, with simple passes, and constantly remains available to his team mates. I think your missing his contribution looking for him to make those great defence splitting passes “a la Cesc”. Against the toon for the first time Cesc wasn’t missed! Rosicky played Cesc. Arteta plays more the Gilberto/Makelele role breaking up the oppositions play. Arteta isn’t Cesc’s replacement.

  2. Phil K says:

    I would be interested to hear what Arsenal fans would have said if Joey Barton had of spent the entire game trying to goad and antagonize the Arsenal goalkeeper like the disgusting behaviour of Van Persie last night.
    The spat was totally out of character for Krul. Totally IN character for Van Persie.
    Oh, but it’s different when an Arsenal player does this kind of thing, isn’t it ? Disgusting inexplicable and idiotic behaviour is….er…well, it hasn’t happened. The Arsenal players sent off in the games v Newcastle were sweet and innocent. Never reds.
    BOLLOCKS.
    And Van Persie deserved a red last night.

    • Mayank says:

      Phil,

      This is what ur manger said:

      Pardew admitted that much of the time added on may have come as the result of his goalkeeper Tim Krul taking his time over goal kicks, something which upset the home fans and prompted an angry altercation with fellow Holland international Van Persie.
      “The goalie’s going to take his time, we’re away from home, but maybe he took a bit too long on one two, and it is frustrating for home fans,” he said.

    • Stav says:

      Mr T Wat of Newcastle…

    • Bradster says:

      Hey Dr Phil, I don’t think i’ve ever seen a red card given for banter maybe you’re thinking cricket.
      If you watched the game it’s actually Krul that ran 40m up the pitch to RVP after the goal and that’s when all the handbag non sense started.
      If Webb just spoke to Krul to speed up the kicks and caution him when it carried on then RVP wouldn’t need to get involved.

      I also thought this is an Arsenal website, must be sour grapes that your team is too small to have it’s off supporter site.

    • Metalhead says:

      Why should Van Persie get a red card? He didn’t kick/stamp/punch/head butt(and God knows what else?) for no apparent reason, like Joey Barton does and then pretend as if he is the Pope’s relative. Tim Krul was time wasting and RVP just let him know about it. Do you even know what was said, for you to dub it as “Disgusting inexplicable and idiotic” If you do know what was said then please share the transcripts…. I’d like to judge whether or not Van Persie was “Disgusting inexplicable and idiotic” like you said or forever hold your peace!!

      • santori says:

        Goading is perfectly legit.

        and I thought RVP did a good job if a bit carried away at the end.

        But that’s what you want to see of your captain sometimes, a bit of fight in them. Viera did the same,

        Kru(e)l on Newcastle maybe but the keeper was much too sensitive.:D

  3. iweeezy says:

    i do agree we are playing a dangerous game as everyday wont be a sunday but hey!! am loving every moment of it..!!

  4. jarell says:

    You mad, Bro?

  5. Verm is king says:

    Sign jan vertoghen asap and see the best of the lion of flanders. We re comimg for u yids. Coygs.

  6. Chinedu says:

    We have all this with vermaleen,with vertonghen,it will be double!!

    • santori says:

      Vermaelen’s passing was poor first half but made up for it later with the goal.

      All this statistics don’t mean much if not put into context.

      Similarly, it’s not how many passes you completed in midfield but how good the passes were that counts.

      I feel one can get too obsessed with stats and that it doesn’t proove anything.

      You can have a lower percentage of complete passes but if your passes completed were very effective, it counts for more than if you had a higher number of ping pong passes going nowhere.

      • richie says:

        There’s no getting away from it “Stats” are facts its all in the interpretation. The league tables are the seasons facts/stats. We as a club have played fantastic football in seasons past and not won the league. Teams have played crap football all season and ended up with the silver ware. But we all agree the league table doesn’t lie, because the “Stats” don’t lie. As I explained above Arteta might not make the eye catching killer defence splitting passes but we as a team play far better because he keeps the ball moving with simple passes and because he’s always available to his team mates as an outlet. The ping pong pulls players and teams out of shape which allows the forward run and killer pass to be made.

  7. Dianjuh says:

    Like I said in your march preview, THREE POINTS is all we need, whether we do it the hard way or the easy way. But after the game I couldn’t actually point out how we did it. Its a Blackburn cam Liverpool cam AC Milan way… all good parts involved. I cant begin to imagine what this team will look when (if) Vertoghen, Gotze/Hazard & podolski join us (RVP pens a new deal ofcourse)???? Desi, you tell me!

    Keep up boys. Roll on Everton….we are goin to show Spurs how games at goodison are won!!!! COYG!

    And as always, DESI you are my favourite.

    • santori says:

      Yes but a tad worrying.

      Wonder if we could make things easier for ourselves in games to come.

      These last few games were too close for comfort.

      That said, good spirit to grab the points.

  8. iweeezy says:

    oh n would someone mind telling me what coyg means?? thanx

  9. John says:

    I think V perise should have known better…. we got the win and that should have been enough justice for the time wasting by Krul. But this is something we are going to have to accept from most away teams.

    Desi excellent as always totally agree space between midfield and defence was shocking for their goal Song and Arteta were very slow in getting back. I think there were two Newcastle players on the edge waiting for the pull back if needed with no one near them. If we were playing a better team we cant allow them to score a goal before we tune in.

    Also think Arteta has be a very good buy and yes he keeps things ticking but I too believe he is facing sideways or backwards on most passes made would love to see more going forward.

    Good game from Theo glad to see it abit annoyed at Gervinho came on as a sub didntb real show alot of desire to get in the thick of it. If your on teh bench and come on for 30 minutes you should be busting a gut to help get the ball back and try make things happen … very bad miss.

    Anyway another 3 points onwards and upwards please God.

    • santori says:

      Not sure what your annoyed with gervinho for.

      Chamberlain was equally ineffective.

      Gervinho did get into one excellent scoring position and got Gibbs more involved in the game.

      That said he needs to :

      1) Improve on his shooting (maybe take lessons from Henry in the summer). Appaling finishing.

      2) Gain a stone in weight. He must be the smallest African aside froom Peter Odemwinge.:P

  10. arsewhiz says:

    Its easy to forget that we now play with one proper winger and one ball playing winger! That used to be benayoun and is now aoc! Naturally, play will come from the pure winger, with the ball playing winger just aiding possession and creativity! That may explain why walcott was more visible than aoc!

    • Dhruv says:

      I dont think we can shut down attacks from one flank and use it only for creativity. That would not be correct. AOC is still learning and I dont know what the fuck happened to Gervinho. But Wenger has to make both flanks potent.

      • santori says:

        We need both flanks to be truly effective. One flank has a corresponding result on the other.

        There is nothing wrong with Gervinho. In fact, I thought he should have started ahead of Chamberlain.

        BUT I do think we are in need of one more wideman this summer and preferably someone with a bit more guile/techinical skills to add variation to our wing play.

        This particularly as Chamberlain could be deployed centrally and Ryo is still very young (Ditto Ox)

  11. Tim says:

    Funny how no one’s questioning our mental strength now! Like Milan last week, this has to be a real confidence boost for the team, who must now feel like no situation is too big for them.

    Although the winner came late, our overall play was actually pretty good last night. And with Spurs now just one point away, we have all the motivation we need. Let’s hope the boys can keep it going to the end!

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2012/03/12/thomas-the-verminator-terminates-toon/

  12. JoeSoap says:

    Bitter Newcastle fan here….Arsenal had the better side on the night, played better football and were able to pass the ball around with more accuracy. Have to agree with above re vPersie he is somewhat of a tw*t when it comes to wind-ups and think the ref was out of order adding 5 minutes…final point if Newcastle had a decent 2nd centre half [not Williamson] I suspect the result may have been entirely different.

    • Dhruv says:

      You are wrong mate, Arsenal have always been better side than Newcastle. Don’t get high hopes just because you got a few favorable results, those were aberrations, okay!

      Arsenal are a much bigger club than Newcastle, you can check the records and all. This win was a bit tight for our liking but things have been put in order now. So how does Mr. Pardew after getting beaten by Arsene’s team? Next year, there would be more of the same, only a little more emphatic.

      • JoeSoap says:

        Yeah,yeah…blahblahblah. It really doesn’t take much to get some of you goons running off at the mouth does it? Three weeks ago you were all crying into your beer about how you wanted Arsene out, and snivelling on about lack of investment. The fact is the supposed big 4 in EPL of which you’re meant to be one have been shown to be very very average compared to the rest of Europe and given your history that’s not looking likely to change sometime soon! The reality is the so called ‘smaller’ clubs in the EPL have given the big guns quite a few scares with much less investment & resources and don’t be surprised if your current little run of luck comes to an end against Everton

      • Dhruv says:

        @JoeSoap,

        You scored a goal in the 94th minute of a match, with about 30 seconds to go where for all your supposed superiority, you were unable to dominate.
        ===============
        Lol…you did not do even that! A draw would have been very unfair on Arsenal. We deserved that one, no denying.

        Well its time that you write something about your team also, all you have mentioned is how we play! You have players who are not good enough, so what is the point in this arguement. We have been the better side all along and you have accepted it.

      • santori says:

        I think the differnace lay in the fact that for Newcastle, a draw would have meant victory for them. They were muted but for their goal.

        I didn’t even think Demba Ba was anywhere near a handful all game.

        That said, they defended dogedly and questions must be asked as to why we struggled to get more joy out of the game.

        We simply made it difficult for ourselves again and things could have easily been very different had lady luck not been playing 5 minutes extra for us.

    • Metalhead says:

      @JoeSoap,, You said “don’t be surprised if your current little run of luck comes to an end against Everton

      Lol look who’s talking about luck.!!!!!!! Now amuse me even more by saying Newcastle deserve to finish in the top 4…you poor disillusioned Toon fan!!!!!!

      • JoeSoap says:

        No I won’t say we deserve to finish in the top 4 because unlike the “top 4” I don’t think my club have an unalienable right to finish anywhere, we all get what we deserve as a right depending upon how we perform. Disillusionment is a frailty we left behind long ago, to be replaced by reality….you should try it sometime it’s quite refreshing! You scored a goal in the 94th minute of a match, with about 30 seconds to go where for all your supposed superiority, you were unable to dominate. You had V Persie, Gervinho, Rosicky [who ‘s shot was so bad from 10 yards out that it went out for a throw] all missing from close range, so I wouldn’t exactly say you weren’t fortunate…….would you? However you will be very fortunate if you’ve still got vPersie next season….then who’ll score your goals? Oh that’s right you’ve got Vermaelen!!!!! …Jeez and some people call Toon fans deluded!…..WoW

      • santori says:

        I think Joesoap has a fair point.

        OTOH, I don’t see anything wrong with RVP mouthing off. It’s not his fault the keeper has such thin skin.

      • richie says:

        Next year if our goals don’t come from our captain who will still be an Arsenal player next season. Then maybe Podolski our new German Pole – Polish Kraut if you prefer will be our top goal scorer

    • Metalhead says:

      ROFL ..you are turning out to be quite amusing!!!

      On one hand you say “You had V Persie, Gervinho, Rosicky [who ‘s shot was so bad from 10 yards out that it went out for a throw] all missing from close range” and then in the same breath you say that is not unlucky. How can fluffing a chance like that not be considered as bad luck ? You are disillusioned… I rest my case

  13. Jeff says:

    Lost of words over Rosicky recent performance.. unbelievable,my MOM considering he only played for 75mins.. he looked even better than the rosicky of old (hleb-flamini-cesc era).

    • JJ Pittman says:

      Nice when a player lives up to his epithet! Little Mozart not only better than old Arsenal era you cite, but also better than his Borussia Dortmund days. Love his quick turns and peripheral vision in distributing the ball.
      Goes to prove the old saw about form temporary, but class permanent. He is a great teammate and sure he is helping the younger guys in training.
      100% agree he would have been MoM had he stayed on.

      • santori says:

        Excellent again.

        Vintage bearing fruit he is.

        Simply love the way he has become more competitive and is able/willing to turn and go at the defenders.

        I noticed last season that he had brought a bit more grit to his play and suggested that he should have played as part of our 2 man DM set up against Barca.

        But this is an entirely different level he has elevated his game too. Think the manager made the right choice in extending him a season or two.

        he will be extremely benefitial if current form persist and will buy us a bit of time to further develop Ramsey or bring up some of the younger talent(s) in Eisfeld etc.

      • richie says:

        Eisfeld won’t be ready for a long time. Our Japanese loan student will be ready long before our German buy. Rosicky has started to do what he did best from the middle, but at 31 he’s in need of an immediate understudy. Maybe thats Wiltshire or Miyaich but I don’t think its Ramsey as he doesn’t seem technical enough for that role. I see Ramsey more in the Gerrard Lampalard mould.

  14. Dhruv says:

    Great win, 3 points in bag and 1 behind Spuds. Everyone played very well except perhaps Gervinho. Regular fullbacks have made a difference to the side’s results as they are contributing to the attack and we seem to score more than what we did in their abscence.

    Gibbs is performing well but next time probably start Santos or Jenks on the left to see whether he can form a more potent understanding with the likes of AOC, Gervinho, or Benayoun.

    • santori says:

      I think too much is being made of Gervinho and he will soon become the latest ‘scapegoat’

      I saw nothing wrong with his play in the few minutes he was on.

      Chamberlain was as effective albeit over a longer period.

      The fact was the Walcott stood out because he had a good game.

      Hopefully, we can get left wing ticking again.

      But I do think we still need one more option out wide, someone who has better guile and technical ability.

  15. Rejoice says:

    First, congrats to a team that was completely lambasted and written off by both our fans and the ever biased British media. They were “absolutely” sure Arsenal would not come near the top four. Some even said we would be relegated.
    Now we have been “relegated” to finish most probably in the top three. How naive to use August “crisis” to see our relegation in May in football of all things.
    Of all that was said about us in August, the one that made the most sense is the one that said Arsenal should be judged in May, not August. August is never a good yardstick to use in judging May in football.

    Second, Desi, could you please remove the picture of one Cesc Fabregas on this page. I thought he’s a Barca player and this is an Arsenal page.

    • santori says:

      The media U turn is hilarious to say the least.

      They are beginning to turn on resurgent Liverpool now, the team that could do no wrong, who bought sensibly by spending wads of dosh on mediocre British midfielders.:D

  16. richie says:

    I thought Theo had a great game, but for 75mins Rosicky was everywhere and some of his offensive through balls were sublime! This game showed our No.7 at his best, even better than the Thomas Rosicky of old! Our 31 year old with a newly signed contract in his pocket rose like a phoenix to conduct the Arsenal midfield and orchestrate wave after wave of attacks. Little Mozart led by example tracking back, tackling back as well as playing assists for his team mates that under normal circumstances would’ve resulted in a goal, on top of which he got forward into the oppositions box and really should’ve scored the goal that his efforts deserved. For once Cesc wasn’t missed his massive shoes were filled.

    • VanTheManPersie says:

      Rosicky has always been my fav arsenal player since he arrived along with RVP. Even more than fabregas, cause when he arrived, he could do everything including score and tackle better than fab. I always thought Wenger shouldnt have moved him out left in favour fo fabregas (who was his fav). But we favoured the possesion game and cesc was key to that. Rozza was a better version of pavel nedved as he could even run at pace, hence was moderately successful out left.
      Who knows he might not have had such injuries if not playing on the wings.
      People saying he’s better than before, have not seen him play centrally for dortmund. This guy is no where near his best days as his passes are still off nowadays not to mention his shooting. Just goes to show how good he actually was at that time.

      Every player thrives in the position they prefer.

      Great win lads, but we cant keep giving the first goal away. Next game against everton will be even tougher as its away and Moyes’ boys are never easy.

      Vermaelen reminded me of Vidic and Arsenal of united with the manner fo the goal. Ball into the box , ppl running at the back post. When chasing the game, getting quality balls into the box is the key which arsenal havent done very often.

      We were still slow out of the blocks inspite of playing at home and after a good week’s rest so that cannot be allowed to happen.
      Ramsey looked a yard faster when he came on and produced some good balls and 1/2 dissapointign ones but showed good signs.

      Dont dish arteta for not getting enough balls forward, just look at the turn and burst through two players ending with a great through ball to theo duirng the final 10 min. He’s doing what he’s told byt he manager so people should back off. If he tries and turn like rozza, and gives the ball away in front of the defense, what then? So the back pass (safe pass) is fine by me. Every team needs some players to play the pecentage game and arteta is our man. Leave the fancy stuff to RVP,Theo, left wingers, Rozza.

      There are no easy games at this stage of the season as teams are fighting for survival,Europa spots, u name it. Also every manager by now knows what hsi best team/shape is. Hence expect most games to be close. United have been scrapping 1-0s and 2-1s for years (with the help of rileys,webbs, of course)winning championships. Its time we did the same.

      • JJ Pittman says:

        BvB my favorite Budesliga team and no doubt Little Mozart was better in the middle over a longer period there, and saw him many times there. Maybe a little hyperbole on my part, but he’s 31 now and left them 5 years ago. Still has that quick burst of speed which is much more valuable in the middle.
        Most important is his positive contribution in training and the locker room.
        Arteta also outstanding in midfield. Will be interesting to hear his reception at Goodison. Have great respect for Toffees and Moyse. Hope to take advantage of their having to play 3 matches in 8 days, while we work out!

  17. cupsui says:

    Desi i think wenger is finding a way to work the left side better…
    its called lukas podolski!!
    I think the Ox will develop in the middle and on the right, but he can be handy on the left it just looks like he hasn’t played there a lot and is getting used to cutting in. He wasn’t bad by any stretch it was just that arsenal was having so much success down the right. Much more effective in the 2nd.
    Theo had another great game i agree 100% he was MOTM…well done lad, is that enough to shut the detractors up that continually slander him for every bad cross? He has had a good season…how many assists now?

    I’m also loving the song, arteta, rosicky combo…its just so well balanced and they control the game so well.
    Rambo seems like he can be a real impact player off the bench too which is mighty handy…
    what a result…just couldn’t believe it…a few days after i saw the mighty stadium first hand for the first time!! Inspired!!
    Thanks as always desi

    • santori says:

      We could do with more penetration from midfield.

      Jack and Diaby are sorely missed and could provide the more direct running that Rosicky is making for us at the moment.

      As much as the results have been good, we still have some ways to go before we can say we are being effective.

      It concerns me that we did not create more chances and that we still do not carry enough threat from range.

      One thing that was good to see was Ramsey taking a shot from outside the D.

      Considering the amount of possession we enjoy in these sort of games, our supporting mids should be encourage to have a pop now and again when opportunity presents itself.

      At very least, it will loosen up the congested defense ahead of them allowing for more space to pick passes through.

      • richie says:

        Rambo might’ve shot from outside the D but AOC’s shot from the middle was closer to the target.

  18. 9jagunnerdoc says:

    Hold on Desi, Rosicky might not have completed many passes, but he sure was making things happen in the centre, moving the ball forward with pace and winning same against opponents. He was 2nd best player imo.

    Phil K, you must have a big problem, why are you scouting arsenal blogs posting about your jailbird idol who’s gonna be playing in The Championship next season. Either that or you must really love Arsenal and are in denial.

    • santori says:

      Absolutely right.

      I don’t quite agree with this statistic obsession.

      It never tells the entire story.

    • richie says:

      Rosicky was my MOTM by a country mile! Theo had a great game but for 75mins Little Mozart was everywhere and he pulled the strings and conducted the middle like he did way back when he first came to us. The Phoenix re-rises!

  19. alan b'stard M P says:

    Wenger would be better off with players in the right positions. He plays some out of their chosen positions.

    Bizarre

    • santori says:

      There is no such thing as a ‘right’ position.

      If it works, it works.

      If Henry works in the middle as oppose to his ‘right’ position on RW, then I say go for it.

      You’re bizarre.;)

      • santori says:

        To add to that, if you ever watch an entire match, you will come to realise that there is a lot of fluidity to the way we play positionally during a game.

        Walcott and Chambo or Gervinho will switch flanks. The midfield trio take turns going forward (albeit there is a bias toward Rosicky further forward and Song further back)

        So what is ‘right’ position?

    • richie says:

      Its called an injury “list” because its more than one! When you don’t have a recognised full back available there is no choice but to play someone else in that position. If you have central midfielders but no wide players, then it makes sense to play a central player wide. Then there’s the case of Arsene Wenger converting players from one position to another. Kolo Toure came to Arsenal as a central midfielder and AW made him into a very successful central defender. Next up Petit came to us as a centre back but was converted to midfield. Likewise Song was a central defender converted by Arsene to midfield. How about RvP who came to Arsenal as a winger and is now most definately a striker? Is there any need for me to continue? Mr B’stard MP what you find Bizarre many would call Brilliant!!

  20. VanTheManPersie says:

    Just wanted to add theo is finally getting some joy downt he right. Its not liek was nto tryign before, but confidence is always a huge factor, just look at gervinho. Two goals against spurs can do that to any arsenal player. I think he has been like Muhammad Ali lately, knocking out two full backs in two consecutive games with both santon and mesbah forced to be substituted. There is nothing more humiliating than being subed at HT. Just ask Djourou after nani gave him a torrid time.

    Also we need to stop demanding for vertonghen,hazard and the likes till the end of the season. If anything, lets just keep everyone who played last first and then think about additions. Even tho soem ppl love to hate song,theo,gervinho, even arteta , lets just keep one team for a long period of time and add the personal neede of course. Every team needs continuity, how many player shave left united? they still have berbatov lying around. forget the rest. Great teams are built on continuity and we cant keep losing our players. Keep RVP yes. But keep everyone of our first choice squad. By all means offload Denilson,Almunia and the likes. But conc on keeping rvp,theo,song and then sign others by all means. The diff on the left wing as much of AOC inexperience as it is about familiarity. Sagna/theo combination has been built over seasons left/right. Remember udinese and sagna’s throughball fromt he left?. There are pairs all over the pitch like theo/sagna…theo/RVP and it comes after playign together for long time. Lets keep our best players and lets talk about transfers att he end of the season. still 10 big games to go

  21. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    Well done Rejoice n others. What are the newcastle fans thinking, that 5 minutes added time is too much? They should ask man u fans n even d liverpool fans d last time they drew 1-1 at d emirates. Arsenal had suffered draws n defeats countlessly for a similar reasons. So, they think arsenal won as a result of much added time, they should know this is 1/78 for arsenal. They should leave complaining to Wenger alone, at least he is d one known for that. Everton will be tired n warned out after playing tottenham weekend, they will now play liverpool outstanding today n fa cup match coming weekend. We are already resting for d match. They are in form but we are flying right now. Bring everton on n d aston villa b4 qpr n d month will end on high. Who said Walcott dont have football brain? Who said Wenger has lost d plot? Well done Desi; Newcastle will be nothing without Demba Ba goals of 46. A 9ja Arsenal Fan. Bad network = late response.

    • santori says:

      Although for once, I’d like to see us score first and extend the lead, maybe not concede.

      These last minute snatch and grab finishes are rather risky.

      We need to be in more complete control of the game for the remaining matches.

    • richie says:

      Risky to my bloody heart is what it is!

  22. santori says:

    Part of the reason why I feel Walcott has been effective is Sagna’s return.

    the other half I feel is because he is engaging the defender and running at him.

    There are signs that he is also becoming a bit more nuanced to his approach but as they say, stick to what you do best.

    OTOH, splendid crosses from Theo.

  23. Chikezie Chinke says:

    Well all I can say is a good match and a good win. Ride on boys and go for it, more to come.
    UP GUNNERS!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s