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Arsenal 2 Cardiff 0: Full-backs to the job


Was only about five times better than the Chelsea game. Yes, it was that bad. The second was infinitely better. We went at full pelt right from the off, kept going and eventually got what was a deserved reward against a well organised Cardiff.

Flamini looked fairly redundant (particularly next to Arteta) in a game like this and quite early on I forecast his being replaced by Rosicky. And so it materialised. Up front we were reminded that the idea of Podolski as a lone striker may perhaps sound more apettising than it is. Granted, he’s still finding his fitness, but I’m unsure he can be the focal point that a lone forward needs to be.

I realised Wilshere had actually had a decent game. Not everything worked but he tried a lot and a fair bit came off.

Is a superb backup left-back. It was no surprise that it was his intelligent cross for the goal. It was Sagna’s sheer desire to make the ball that really made the difference. I highlighted his contribution against Newcastle. Today, again, he played an important role.

Even before the goal he was chasing well and intelligently stopping Cardiff’s timewasting keeper from wasting even more time by jockeying him sensibly when he had the ball in his hands.

Remains that we’re doing very well but that as things currently stand, Chelsea and City look more suited to last the pace.

20 Responses to “Arsenal 2 Cardiff 0: Full-backs to the job”

  1. Sajit says:

    Fair points reg. Chelsea and City. City look far more focussed and less likely of dropping silly points.

    I rate our squad but I just feel we are short in quantity and injuries will take its toll eventually.

    No complaints till then though.

  2. slc gunner says:

    Bendtner made the difference. Podolski is too passive when he plays in the middle. He doesn’t make things happen. It was noticeable how we started crossing the ball once NB came on – there was someone to aim for in the box. He did seem to duck almost for an earlier chance, but credit where credit is due. He’s putting himself about. His affect seems to be that of a more mature man as well. Not that I wouldn’t welcome an additional striker, but that player needs to as good pr better than Giroud.
    Saturday will be interesting if both Giroud and NB are out. I would go with Walcott through the middle and maybe bring in Rosicky or Gnabry.
    Jack was good today – good to see. I thought Cazorla was also closer to his best and influential in much of the food stuff.
    Sagna: please sign!

  3. Volks says:

    An Arteta-Flamini partnership isn’t ideal for an all-attack game.
    Podolski, sadly, isn’t the pivotal Giroud we’ve build our game on. We need to adapt to the situation when Giroud isn’t playing.
    Players look fatigued. Luckily, we have a 9-day break after 4th.

  4. Wallace says:

    great little flick from Wilshere for Theo’s goal.

    i’m with slc on the striker conundrum. if it’s a serious outlay for someone like Benteke/Costa/Dzeko then great, but if it’s a quick fix then i’d rather go with what we have. the injuries to Giroud & Bendtner are short term, and Bendtner is a capable deputy when he’s focused, which he seems to be. with the quality of our midfield i think we can get away with the man up top not being a world class finisher.

  5. Obidude says:

    In comparing Giroud to Bentner i prefer the later because of his qualities, he wins alot of ball in the air, more mobile & can do some dribbles pass a defender and much more better than Giroud. If given more time i see bentner doing better than Giroud

  6. Obidude says:

    Thanks to the injuries to the strikers at these moment of window transfer and time we have easy run of fixtures. I just hope it will spur on wenger to shop for a striker immediately

  7. Reginald says:

    Podolski plays well on the wing or as a strike partner. Playing him as a central striker is not the best use of his talents. I thought this was pretty obvious in the West Ham match.

  8. kola Oju says:

    I think the boys are doing well and deserves commendation for getting 10 out of 12 points during the busy festive period.We are short in numbers but fine quality wise.AW should sign a top striker to keep Giroud on his toes.We need another centre back and a versatile right back.We also need to get Diary back earlier than the scheduled March return as we have some important games in February.Gunners for life!

  9. Boss Hanif says:

    I was thinking of Drogba at this time.
    AW should think of him.

  10. sunny cj says:

    we are really playing well for now..i mean since the league started , but we need a striker like Suarez or Diego …if Wenger can buy any of them…Arsenal will win the league…Suarez is yet to play in Champions League..He is the only solution to Our Arsenal problem…Diego is a fine finisher…but He won’t play Champions League for Arsenal ..Because He have played with A.Madrid ..Please Wenger get a striker of these qualitie…if you can get that Arsenal will win the league and if possible Champions League as well….Thank’s.

  11. Adewale Ikotun says:

    I think what we need most is a striker of proven quality, not just any striker. A good central defender will also be good. AW please act fast.

  12. Adewale Ikotun says:

    Please, no more mediocre performance this Jan. and Feb. as this is the period we lose more concentration. COYG !

  13. Yune says:

    Good analysis, i’m not sure on whether we need a defender seeing we’ve the Verminator on bench and has been really good when given a chance. One thing for sure is we need one of two, either a good winger who can score goals or a good stricker to assist Giroud/Bendntner.

  14. Stylah says:

    WE dont need another centreback. we have the best central defensive partnership i the league and Tommy V is a more than ready understudy. Sagna can even do a great job there which brings me to the next point…we need a rightback.

  15. PD says:

    A typo surely Goodplaya. I’m sure what you meant to say was Arteta looked fairly redundant (particularly next to Flamini) in a game like this haha

    Honestly, my head is destroyed by Arsene’s stubbornness on this issue. Flamini goes back to being an automatic first choice or we can write our title chances off. If we have to play both then why isn’t Arteta pushed forward where we can be an asset rather than a liability ??? Utter madness continuing to pick him ahead of Flamini.

    Such a shame we have the Totts tomorrow. A handy draw against a lower division team was what was needed after Christmas.

  16. Elvis says:

    Mmm, we got a couple of handy draws against lower division teams last season I recall.

    PD, I think Arteta and Flamini can play together and give extra defensive cover against the better teams, but when the opposition is limited like on Wednesday Arteta can play further forward and direct his excellent passing into the final third – which is what he was good at when he played for Everton.

  17. PD says:

    I get that Elvis, but my point is when you’re throwing caution to the wind (as we did) if you’re only having one player doing the defending for the front 6 he’s got to be able to run & tackle. Arteta can do neither. Watch the two decent half-chances Cardiff had at 0-0 – the blame for both can be attached directly to him. Similarly, when chasing the game at 1-0 at West Ham, they (despite being awful) had three great chances to kill us off – watch them again & ask what he did (as our sole defender for the front 6) to stop them. The answer is nothing. (and that’s not even mentioning the fact that he gifted them their goal & gave them their only dangerous moment in the first half with an utterly pointless tackle right on the edge of our box)
    We got away with bad decision-making from Arsene in both instances : we can’t keep expecting to.

    If it has to be both playing, then fine. If it’s one, it’s got to be Flamini. And at the minute, it isn’t. It has got to change. And quickly.

  18. PD says:

    As for the handy cup draws, I think Arsene finally woke up after those last year & the days of his teams turning up lazily expecting poor opposition to roll over are gone thankfully. I don’t think there’s any way a handy cup draw would lead to an upset with this team this season…..

  19. PD says:

    You know, I’m even boring myself at this stage ! I can’t talk about this any more. For me, it’s very simple : no Wenger team has won (or even competed for) the league without a nasty,aggressieve,bullying presence in midfield. I’ve seen no evidence that this could change. Flamini is the only option in this squad for that role. He doesn’t play; we don’t have our strongest team on the field. It’s that simple for me. And my last word on it !

    Anyway enough of that……I don’t care who plays today – let’s just beat that horrible shower & remind them of their place in the order of things. COYG !!

  20. Chima says:

    We require a good right back so Sagna can move into central defence. Then a skillful centre forward not just anyone because Giroud has done so well but would have done much more if he is skillfull and quick like RVP and Suarez. We cannot get Suarez so let’s look for non cup tied players from the lower leagues in England. Then as a quick fix, why can’t we go for Campbell of Cadiff, Berahimo of W est Brom, Berbatov of Fulham, jelavic of Everton etc. Overall I doubt AW will buy knowing he has some players coming from the academy and some loanees. We just need to do everything possible to win a silverware this season and the future will be better for us because if we do not, a cycle of issues would be triggered again.

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