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Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: A dive but we were the better side

ARSENAL 2 WEST BROM 0
FROM GOODPLAYA AT THE EMIRATES

I THOUGHT WE’D WIN…
For two reasons. One because irrespective of how well we played I couldn’t perceive a scenario where at the very least our application wouldn’t be miles better than last week’s. And two because for all their great position in the league, West Brom were coming off two defeats. And so it proved: the Baggies lacked conviction and while we undoubtedly played better to an extent, we were simply far more at it today.

OF COURSE THE FIRST PENALTY PLAYED A MASSIVE ROLE…
What can you say? He’s expected contact, it hasn’t come and it’s an almighty dive. I have a few thoughts. The first is that I don’t like it. The second is that if Cazorla is a frequent diver, he’s usually a lot more subtle about it. The third is that a video replay would have cleared up the incident in a much shorter space of time than that taken up by the whole hoo-ha and faffing that we did see after the award. And the fourth is that I’d have no objection in seeing Cazorla retrospectively punished, so long as all the other divers are.

BUT REALLY…
I do think that we deserved to win and I say that as someone who hasn’t exactly overdone the praise this season.

THE MERTERSACKER HANDBALL…
Looks like a foul by their guy in my opinion. A hand in the back that is sufficient to throw a turning, jumping defender off balance. Besides the fact it looks like it, I also don’t really conceive a scenario whereby he would have handled it for any other reason.

PLAYER WISE…
I suppose I’d pick out Wilshere and Oxlade really. The former impressed with a couple of lovely low centre of gravitytastic runs and the usual delightful shimmies and shifting of the ball. The latter put in a few terrific crosses, hit the bar and won the second penalty.

ARTETA AS PENALTY TAKER…
Is not something I like. I know he scored both today, but he missed the previous one and neither of today’s were particularly well placed. Yes, there is credit to be had for sending the keeper the wrong way but a really good penalty taker is able to put it precisely enough in the corner that really it shouldn’t matter what the keeper does. I’m not sure Arteta can.

WE CARRY ON…
For me the Bradford game is a big one – winning a domestic cup would do the manager no harm at all.

——

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12 Responses to “Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: A dive but we were the better side”

  1. Brian Downer says:

    There was contact. We heard it from the stands and you can see Reid’s foot flex back in the replay as it glances of Cazorla’s shin pad. Enough contact to knock him off his feet? Of course not, but why do we have to redefine diving for Arsenal players? How many times have we heard that players are entitled to go down if they feel contact? Why doesn’t that apply to our team?

  2. Ogban says:

    The performance was mightily encouraging. A wide departure from games of othe recent past

  3. slc gunner says:

    Brian Downer: I’ve seen the replays and I can’t see the contact. Not sure what you could have heard. I don’t think Cazorla is a serial diver, I applauded him a few weeks ago for staying on his feet for one of the goals against Spurs. But this was a dive. I think he should be suspended. I don’t think a one-game suspension is sufficient to deter divers. i think 3 games would be appropriate.
    Otherwise, I thought we played well for the first time in weeks. It is worrying that we have only scored 3 goals in 4 games, 2 of which are penalties, and 1 the result of a deflection. While Gervinho was lively and generally played one of his better games, his finishing still leaves something to be desired, and he can’t head a ball to save his life.
    On the other hand, the middle 3 played well, Jack in particular showed a return to something like the form he was known for prior to the injury. Great to see, long may it continue.
    Let’s go and win at Bradford!

  4. Smith says:

    If you look at the way Arteta takes penalties his usually only hits it down the middle once the keeper moves. Go back and watch his penalties for everton he’s more than capable of hitting the corner

  5. Daves Raves says:

    I think people are looking in the wrong place. Cazorla received a painful ankle tap, have a good look at video.

    And yes Smith’s right you should have a good look at Arteta’s penalty against Everton and you’ll also see the goalie dive against West Brom

  6. PD says:

    I too would have no problem with Santi getting a suspension but it’s the sheer hypocrisy of the media that gets me. He’s foreign, he plays for Arsenal so everyone up in arms. ….and yet they were queuing up to defend Bale last week despite the fact he’s at it every single week.

    3 pts & a clean sheet. It’s a step forward. Have to build on it now.
    Bradford is huge. I think a defeat to a League Two side could well be Arsene’s ‘tipping point’ and make his position untenable. We need to take this game seriously. If we go there with the right attitude, we’ll win. It’s that simple.

    On another note, are Djorou & Miquel both injured ? They’re not listed on arsenal.com as injured but I asssume they must be otherwise there’s no way Squallici would be on the bench….

  7. PD says:

    Doesn’t matter how bad he is, Squillaci doesn’t deserve to have his name spelt as badly as I did it earlier….

  8. Wallace says:

    footballistically Wilshere’s gravitytastic surges forward were the highlight. be interesting to see what kind of side he plays against Bradford. i’d think maybe Jenkinson, Meade, Coquelin and Chamakh might come into the side, but can see all the first team travelling. just in case…

  9. West Upper says:

    It was a much better performance than against Swansea although WBA were anonymous. I thought everyone (even Gervinho despite the misses) played well – apart from Girou who was really piss poor – hopefully for him just a blip.

    MOM for me was Jack – this is the first time since his return that he really looked like the player he was before the injury. Also encouraging signs that he is starting to gel well with Santi.

    If Wenger bought a couple of good players in January (another striker FFS!) it still might be possible to retrieve something from this season.

  10. Stevie Morrow is God says:

    Playa – To pick up on your third point, the two penalties were definitely instances were the ref should be able to go to a video judge for confirmation. For me if a player goes down in the box the game should be stopped. Its either a foul (penalty) or a dive (free kick and yellow card). This would reducing diving more than retrospective bans. Like in rugby, the ref can refer to the video judge, get a decision and restart the game. Its within the ref’s discretion when he goes to the video replay. Its stupid that football does not make use of video technology and the multiple cameras at grounds.

  11. PD says:

    Writing this at halftime in Bradford. Whatever happens in the 2nd half, nothing will change what happened in the first. That was a complete disgrace. A near-strength team outplayed by a League Two side. Mental strength ? Great desire ? Sorry Arsene, but please stop peddling this nonsense.
    Your team is just not good enough, does not care enough, is not professional enough & is going absolutely nowhere.

    If we don’t pull it back in the 2nd half, for the love of God, just walk away.

  12. PD says:

    Dear God, I really didn’t expect that to happen – even at half-time ! Incredible.

    Arsene, we need your resignation before lunchtime tomorrow. Please.

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