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At last, Theo finds his hunger

From Goodplaya at the Emirates

THIS was fantastic value for a Category C game. Enthralling stuff, even if the excitement was partly the product of our failings.

It has taken 10 years but, finally, Theo Walcott has real hunger. Frankly, I’ve never been that interested in the debate over where he plays. To me it is blindingly obvious that he is a goal scoring right-winger who has failed to fulfil his potential because he never really, truly goes for it. We’re seeing something different now: he’s hunting the goals.

The two he got in this game were a case in point, both of them turned home from within the six yard box. Yes, both followed defensive errors, but if you’re not there and sniffing for an error, you can’t exploit them. Yes, he missed a few but they weren’t bad finishes. The last one was the worst but we had the perfect view along the line to see that the ball did sit up right at the very last.

On the red card, I simply can’t complain. A completely deliberate foul is, ultimately, cheating and if such cynical play is to be punished with a red card then I’m all for it.

I should add the football was nice. Really nice. Very easy on the eye and Ozil’s strike was one to savour.

Good stuff.

85 Responses to “At last, Theo finds his hunger”

  1. PD says:

    Well, that was rubbish. Sensible selection though to be fair, just well beaten on the night. We move on. The good news is West Ham rested only 4/5 & two key players for them went off injured. Fingers crossed for Liverpool/MU semi & two games where they kick lumps out of each other !
    If we win Saturday, tonight will soon be forgotten……

  2. slc gunner says:

    I didn’t see it, but glad that the 2nd 11 got a run-out. Mostly the same 11 that easily won their 1st 2 games (albeit against championship opposition), so I don’t think it is a major stain on our strength in depth. I agree that Saturday is far more important. The League Cup (Milk Cup, Littlewoods Cup, Carling Cup and several others that i can’t remember) has been a useful experiment in recent years and I think we should continue with a 2nd team policy

  3. slc gunner says:

    Can we please pay Alexis Sanchez what he is looking for and what he is worth. Have we had a better player since Henry? Or Bergkamp if you prefer.

  4. Elvis says:

    No we haven’t. Sanchez is the best player we’ve had since the Invincibles and perhaps the only player we have now who would get into that team. I agree – shell out whatever it costs to keep him.

  5. PD says:

    I don’t think it will be decided by money. It’ll be decided by how likely he thinks it is that we will win big trophies. It’s a joy watching him right now….but I will be so incredibly annoyed if I see him play this midweek. It would be madness to bring him. Leave him at home & unleash him on Stoke next week.

    Ox now has 6 goals & Theo 9. By early December. Joel Campbell scored 4 last season. Food for thought for his fan club?

    Some great results today…Liverpool are the new Arsensl it appears. Magical going forward & a shambles defensively.

  6. King Henry says:

    Alexis Sanchez is at the top of his game at the moment. I agree with Elvis, pay him whatever it takes to keep him at the club and leave concerns about the end of year accounts afterwards. At the end of the day, players go where the pay packet is most lucrative.

  7. slc gunner says:

    Wasn’t expecting that, but I’ll take it. The list of 2nd placed teams is still strong, but definitely better odds of avoiding one of the giants now. Well played Perez. The 1st 2 were hard to miss but you have to be in the right place at the right time. Quite a good deal of rotation as well even if the spine was retained.

  8. PD says:

    A very pleasant surprise.
    Good to see players rotated but Kos/Alexis would have been top of my list. I really hope neither of them get injured.
    There’s some good options now…. if Bellerin is fit for the weekend, assuming same first 11 as v West Ham other than Bellerin in for Gabriel……then the bench could be Gabriel,Gibbs, Elneny, Rambo, Iwobi & Giroud ….Perez may not even make the 18 man squad after scoring a hat trick !

    Gibbs is really giving Monreal a fight now. Long overdue. As I said before, I think he had the same hard look at himself during the summer that Theo did. He’s a completely different player this season.

  9. PD says:

    Well that rounded off an excellent week, so many positives. Was getting worried about Iwobi’s lack of end product, hopefully he can bang in a few more now.
    Two tough away games now before Christmas, though neither look as they tough as they would have a few weeks ago with both Everton & City looking a bit of a mess at the moment. Would be huge to get 6 points.

  10. Elvis says:

    Groundhog Day. Bayern Munich – again. This time though, we’re a bit better than we were last time we met them, and they’ve slightly declined.

  11. PD says:

    Agreed Elvis….and to be honest you could have said exactly the same things if we’d come 2nd in the group & got Barca…..

  12. slc gunner says:

    Bayern Bloody Bayern. It could have been worse…Madrid.

  13. PD says:

    Financial gap closed, a squad full of men with the right maturity as per the manager…..and yet if we lose tomorrow we’re 9 pts off the top at Christmas & fighting for top 4 again. Genuinely don’t know what Arsene can say if that’s the case that would make any sense.
    It’s do or die for him now surely.

  14. MDP says:

    Complete and utter toss! I’ve had enough of watching these gutless performances. Nothing more to say about our mentality. Mustafi has been sorely missed as he encompasses all the qualities missing in games like this and has been one of the highlights this season. Depressing!

  15. PD says:

    Dear Alexis. Please don’t stay. You deserve better than Arsenal.

  16. slc gunner says:

    Timid. A lot of what we have always been accused of, and no evidence that much has changed. That is not a great city side, certainly not one that I think can win the league. Not a patch on the Barca and Bayern sides that Pep managed. Very depressing. 1st half was ok, but that 2nd half may been the worst performance I’ve seen in a long time. And we’ve had a few nightmares over the years.

  17. slc gunner says:

    Arsene, please stop embarrassing yourself by suggesting both goals were offside. Both were perfectly legit goals.

  18. King Henry says:

    Over for another season. If you can’t even keep the ball for five seconds you don’t deserve to be considered as a contender. Chelsea to win it by Easter. Depressing.

  19. PD says:

    slc, not only not a great CIty side : a not great City side missing their best defender in Kompany (their only good defender ?), their best midfielder in Gundogan (with Fernandinho also out maybe their two best midfielders ) & their best (only ?) striker in Aguero.

    Questions questions questions……
    Are we any closer to winning the league now than we were 3 years ago having spent 200m (is it even more ?) on transfers & God knows how much else on renewing (i.e. increasing) contracts for the squad ?
    Why are we always ‘dropping physically in the 2nd half’ ?
    300k a week for Ozil – really ? REALLY ?????
    Why on earth would Alexis stay ?
    Is there anyone at the club who will stand up & say maybe we need to do something different ?
    Perez….why did we sign him again ???

    Still…all to play for – 4th place trophy on the cards again eh ???

  20. PD says:

    One last question….we have 6 very winnable games coming up before we play Chelsea again. If we win them all & they drop points in the meantime, technically we’d be back in it by the time we go there. If that happens, would anyone seriously expect us to go there and perform ?

  21. MDP says:

    I looked at those fixtures PD and they are all very winnable for this side. so, yes, it is possible we could close the gap before travelling to Stamford Bridge.

    The only way I can see Arsenal doing anything more than that this season and winning the more pivotal pressure games is if some of the other players follow the lead of Alexis and Mustafi in looking like they have some backbone and fight in them. These are the only 2 players in the entire squad who give us that. Kos, Cech and Cazorla maybe get off the hook because they are so good and consistent yet maybe lack that agression and leadership. I hoped for more from Xhaka as he came with the label of leader and fighter. Could anyone else show us a bit more fight and grit? It’s going to take a few surprises if anything materialises this season. I’d send in Adams and Keown to tear a strip off of them.

  22. Elvis says:

    Hmm. We’ve been here before haven’t we?

  23. PD says:

    Happy Christmas Goodplaya & all my fellow posters. It’s not a very Merry Arsenal Christmas but we’re used to that ! Hope all your personal ones are better.

    Thanks again Goodplaya for keeping this one of the only Arsenal sites (if not THE only) where reasoned, intelligent debate greatly outnumbers childish squabbling. (On both the pro & anti Arsene sides)
    I hope you don’t mind us all having taken your site over for our own debates in the absence of more regular posts from yourself !

  24. Elvis says:

    It looks like our esteemed blogger has lost the will to live.

  25. King Henry says:

    Seen so many games like the West Brom at the Emirates. 11 cloggers behind the ball tearing into tippy tappy fannying about in front of them only to be denied by a late, late goal. A 1-0 snooze fest. Meanwhile all four English first teamers are crocked. Just fancy that…

  26. Delve 348 says:

    Arsenal top five goals in Wengr era (no particular order).
    Giroud v Crystal Palace
    Wilshere v Norwich
    Henry v Man United (flick up and over Barthez)
    Bergkamp v Newcastle
    Arshavin v Barcelona?

  27. Elvis says:

    Sanchez v Villa at Wembley. Ian Wright up and over the defender and volleyed into the net v Everton. Bergkamp v Bayer Leverkusen was pretty tasty as well. Thierry Henry half the length of the pitch v Spurs. There must be a RVP goal in there too but I’ve erased most of his Arsenal career from my memory so I can’t remember one.

  28. Terry Furnivall says:

    What has happened to Goodplaya-last post I can see is October ??

  29. King Henry says:

    Coquelin out for a month two days after Elneny goes off to the Africa Cup of Nations for a month. That went well.

  30. PD says:

    Simply can’t get my head around so many Gooners being happy the Totts won last night. Mind-boggling to me. Our chances of being champions are practically zero, because of last night we’re now 5th. Time to be real. If we get to the end of the season in the top 4 that’ll be pretty bloody good given where we are & the teams around us…..and please please be ahead of the Totts & Mourinho. That’ll do for me.
    After that….more of the same next season I would imagine….

  31. PD says:

    Here’s a question : Elneny was off to Africa, Palace was his last game, Arsene was complaining about having to play again 2 days later. ……so why did Coquelin come on for the last 20 minutes v Palace to replace Elneny ?
    Is it fair to ask if Coq’s injury was partly down to this bizarre decision ?

  32. PD says:

    Throw us a bone here Goodplaya. I had to resort to reading arseblog news today….oh the horror of it. So many Arsenal fans, so little intellect. Thoroughly depressing.

  33. Delve 348 says:

    Know what you mean about Arseblog. I haven’t been there for 10 months. Phil Collins and bloody rainbow laces. Zzz.

  34. N7 says:

    Hey ‘playa hope you’re ok pal – haven’t seen much for a while.

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