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It’s been a while

FRIENDS, WORK and family have all meant I’ve caught very little Arsenal of late.

Today’s game was watched on the laptop while cooking. So it was half watched.

I thought it we gave it a decent go, perhaps lacking that striker up front. Then our winner came. It was outrageously lucky. Perhaps luckiest of all was that we got it DESPITE taking a short corner with about four seconds of injury time left.

But in fairness the fact we put in a decent ball and that Theo Walcott of all people won the header was genuine testament to us not giving up.

The fact the Ox then appeared to scuff it onto an offisde Koscielny’s hand was pure fortune. But then when you’re a yard out with an open goal these things can happen.

19 Responses to “It’s been a while”

  1. Malaysian gunner says:

    Arsenal were lucky. The way they played against Burnley reminded of the times when they were regularly beaten by MU and Chelese in the epl and cl.All these two teams did was to let the gunners have the ball90% of the time.
    So when the ball is lost or intercepted,Ronaldo/the ugly British bulldog and Drogba would go on to score tons of goals.Imho,too much overplaying and overpassing.

  2. Elvis says:

    Yes, it was one of those exasperating Arsenal performances we have grown wearily accustomed to in the last five years. Dominant in possession, slow laborious build up play, overpassing, and lacking in imagination to penetrate a resolute defence. Jaded.

    I was hoping Arsenal had banished all that after the stellar displays against Chelsea and Basel. Burnley did not play in midweek so let’s put it down to tiredness eh? Credit to Burnley who defended very well.

    Perhaps in hindsight there was scope to rotate a bit; bring in Elneny, Gibbs and Ox for Cazorla, Monreal and Iwobi. Ozil was off his game and maybe could have been rested. It’s a pity Ramsey was still out injured as he could have deputised in his role. But who in their right mind would change the team that tore the opposition apart in the last two games?

    The goal was lucky, no doubt about it. You see them given, but mostly you see them disallowed. I would have been annoyed if it had been allowed to stand against us, especially as the last kick of the game. It was the kind of sickening last minute goal that Ferguson and Mourinho teams often score. Craig Pawson was just a few yards away though.

  3. MDP says:

    Very lucky indeed. From the replays it appears that Koscielny got the last touch with his foot before putting it in with his arms so not offside. However, it was a blatant hand ball all day long. I felt slightly embarrassed to the say the least, heads down, move on quickly.

    The game as Elvis says above was typical of what’s gone before – tedious, dull, tippy tappy football against a resolute, well organised defence. My issue is the fact we have no answers, no plan B, we just keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s unfortunate that Giroud was injured. We lacked width and you felt the only way to break them down was banging balls to a target man. I voiced my concerns about the wings before the start of the season, Theo worked hard and Iwobi is nothing short of impressive even on an off day but you feel more traditional wingers and a target man are needed on a day like this.

    Other than that I felt two players deserved additional praise for us. Mustafi was an absolute work horse and leader, something we’ve been lacking for a long time. I know we rode our luck a couple of times but I think we would have conceded many more chances in years gone by. Also, Alexis deserved more credit for his tireless running and attempts to break them down and he nearly did on a couple of occasions. I still have mixed feelings about him playing the no.9 as he always gets sucked deep but you can’t fault him for shear hard work and invention.

    Got to learn from this and get Giroud fit.

  4. PD says:

    I think lack of rotation definitely played it’s part. Arsene keeps telling us how strong this squad is so he should show some faith in some who aren’t guaranteed starters. It won’t be long before we hear of key players being in ‘the red zone’ ….as if there was nothing that could have done to avoid it.

    I don’t think the performance was that bad though. Burnley deserve great credit, their workrate was phenomenal….but we kept plugging away & we did look solid at the back. (Vokes’ header aside which was shocking defending from our player on the far side who kept him on, I couldn’t quite see who it was)

    The thing about Alexis at centre forward is we seem to be going week to week…..one week those who think he can do a job there say they’ve been proved right, the next those who say he can’t believe they have. Personally I’d be happier with Giroud back in the team. Was Lucas injured ? Doesn’t seem to have been confirmation but surely he would have been on the bench if fit.

    Either way…a huge 3 points. I don’t think we deserve to have as many points as we do right now but we’ll take it. Some very winnable games coming up too before we play the Totts.

  5. King Henry says:

    Is Mustafi the best centre back we have had since Sol Campbell? He and Koscielny together look very decent. And there’s Holding, Gabriel and Mertesacker in reserve. Arsenal are at last starting to look like a side with a proper, disciplined defence. Steve Bould must be looking on and thinking, “Oh yeah, I remember this.”

  6. King Henry says:

    ‘Friends, work, family and cooking.’ Pleased to read you’ve got a life, Playa.

  7. MDP says:

    Bit early to fully judge Mustafi with only a handful of games under his belt but the Kos/Mustafi partnership unquestionably looks exciting and extremely promising. There’s certainly the potential to be the best partnership since Sol and Kolo and it’s a joy to see a bit more leadership and backbone in the side.

    I still put Adams, Bould, Keown and Sol on a pedestal as centre halves go. Kolo and Kos come close and maybe Mustafi in time. When you think of some of the duds from Gallas to Silvestre or the likeable characters from Vermalen to Mert, it’s a long time since I’ve been this excited, just hope it continues.

  8. trev says:

    Yeah, Stepanovs, Silvestre, Gallas, Squillaci, Cygan… Arsene has bought some pretty awful centre backs in his time. It looks at the moment though that his eye is unerring.

  9. PD says:

    I think I’d be a little wary of saying Arsene’s eye is unerring yet. Mustafi has started really well & Holding looks promising….but let’s be honest : the reason we had to buy two centre halves this summer is because Arsene’s last two centre half purchases cost almost 30m between them (and that was before transfer fees went completely crazy) & both have – to date at least – been nowhere near good enough.

  10. Elvis says:

    Theo being Theo again for England. Let’s hope he snaps out of it once back in an Arsenal shirt.

  11. MDP says:

    My thoughts exactly Elvis. Don’t like knocking the guy but his flaws were exposed yet again.

  12. PD says:

    Let’s give him a chance…..he can be ‘old Theo’ for England every game as long as he keeps it up for us. England are a shambles to be fair…

    Really hope we see a bit of rotation this week. We’re not going to get a better 3 games in a week for the rest of the season. For example, if we can’t beat Ludogorets at home without resting 3/4 players, I’d be horrified.

  13. King Henry says:

    Hmmm, resting players against Champions League minnows – isn’t that what we tried against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos last season? *cough* That went well, lol.

  14. MDP says:

    PD, is that really you? Give him a chanceā€¦ where’s the ruthless PD gone? ;-) I hope he does prove me wrong, I really do.

    As for squad rotation, I think there is room for it this week with players like Alexis travelling back from two fixtures in Chile. Not the greatest preparation for Swansea. I suspect we may get to see Perez if he’s fit at some point this week.

    Where do people see Arron Ramsey fitting in now he’s on the cusp of a return? I see 3 positions he could play. To see him at his best you would say he’s either got to displace Cazorla alongside the DM or Ozil behind the striker. The third place on the right wing is his least effective but Wenger seems to plump for it just to get him onto the pitch. Is a Ramsey more effective on the right when Theo or The Ox are having an off day? I personally don’t see why Arron couldn’t get some game time in place of Cazorla or Ozil even if he’s not first choice as things stand. Arron is good enough to offer something different and more energetic and direct than Ozil in a game like Burnley. Perhaps with Cazorla hitting 31 and rumblings of a summer move on the cards, could Arron look to make that position his own this season? For sure, it’s impossible not to pick Cazorla and Ozil but I rate Arron extremely highly and his summer exploits for Wales proved just how effective he can be in the centre. This will be interesting, I have a hunch that he may have to be patient for a central spot and end up displacing Walcott on the right in the coming months.

    Got to build on the last five games. Keep that solidity at the back and keep up the momentum. These are the type of fixtures we tend to drop needless points. I’m hoping that can be a thing of the past.

  15. PD says:

    We’re all surprised at how good Theo has been this season to date for Arsenal. Do I think he’ll be able to keep it up ? Honestly, probably not….but I really hope I’m wrong. I just think him playing poorly for England is irrelevant. If he has 3/4 ‘old Theo’ games for Arsenal, then I’ll be back on his case !

    As for rotation…..there’s a whole host of reasons why last season’s disasters shouldn’t matter when deciding whether to rotate next week.

  16. MDP says:

    Well done Theo! Maybe it’s time I cut you some slack. Happy to leapfrog Spurs and be on same points as City.

  17. PD says:

    Theo the goal machine ! Who cares how crap he is for England….

    Badly need to shake it up for midweek. There’s a few weary legs in that 11.
    We’re getting the results but it was another shaky performance, even before the sending off. (which was really harsh imo)

  18. Elvis says:

    The red card didn’t altogether surprise me. Yellow seemed too lenient given the actual injury caused to (the excellent) Barrow and the fact it cut such a promising counter attack down dead. On the other hand it was not anything like a last man situation and therefore red seemed a tad harsh. “Dark yellow” indeed.

    The only thing that mattered was getting three points when the two teams above us dropped two each having absolutely dominated games they would be expected to win.

    That said, had Theo put one of his three golden chances for a hat trick in the net we would be top today on goals scored.

    No complaints from me though. Arsenal have turned round an underwhelming start and now look like a proper team. Six wins on the trot is not too shabby and with struggling Boro and Sunderland up next there is every chance that sequence could stretch longer.

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