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West Brom 1 Arsenal 1: A good point against flying opposition

YESTERDAY was one of those unfortunate days that you kind of hope the fixture list gods will throw the way of Chelsea or Man City or anyone else other than us. West Brom are a decent side, but there will be good times to play them this season and there will be bad times.

Yesterday was a bad time. Buoyed by the previous week’s victory at Old Trafford, I thought they were outstanding and that the point we left with was not a bad point at all.

Whereas on Tuesday our midfield without a winger worked a treat, yesterday we looked slow, narrow and sluggish going forward. If you saw the game, you won’t need me to tell you that for a long while, Jack Wilshere struggled massively. He looks, if we’re honest, way, way, way off his best at the moment, though of course as the Ramsey situation has taught us, injuries can take a long while to recover fully from.

Yesterday’s refereeing seemed at times curious to say the least, though I’m not sure either side were particularly more sinned against. Penalties wise (and I write this not having sat through any multi-angle analysis in the TV studios), I thought the only one that was definitely a foul was the push by Gibbs on their winger as he ran through, though whether it was in the box was another issue. Almost all the others could have been given but equally not giving them was acceptable too. The one that really good refereeing would have given would have been the first Wilshere one: the reason his shot wasn’t frankly very good was that his legs had been taken away from him as he went to shoot. It was a penalty, though you could easily see why it wasn’t given.

Chances wise, we had a couple, though we’d be naive to think that we were anything other than lucky not to go 2-0 down early in the second half. After that, we deserve credit for fighting back and getting the draw. The finish for the goal itself was more Ramsey than Wilshere. It wasn’t the most brilliant shot in the world, but it was taken early and it was low and it certainly wouldn’t have gone in had we just tippy tappied around the edge of the box for a little while longer.

In a sense if our winning run had to end, drawing away to a team in brilliant form was probably the way for it to go. Certainly better than losing 3-0 at home to West Ham.

9 Responses to “West Brom 1 Arsenal 1: A good point against flying opposition”

  1. Wallace says:

    i missed yesterday but think recently Jack has shown glimpses of his ‘burst’ returning. being out on the wing can’t be much fun for him, but the more he plays…it won’t be long before he’s back to his best. was disappointed Gnabry didn’t get a chance to build on the promise of his last game.

  2. skillz says:

    i think we struggled creatively. A whole lot of tippy tappy without much incisive head way..i would have liked to see Ozil more involved around their final third like he was on Tuesday but credit to the baggies they are flying at the moment like you rightly pointed out and defended well..Giroud still in my opinion needs to work on his composure when chances present themselves.. Id like to see him display some icy cool countenance for a change instead of looking to blast both ball and keeper into orbit…if he sorts that bit of his game out he’ll be literally unplayable…this team is showing some spine and i really beleive we can suprise afew doubters if we can hold on to this momentum…Cant wait to have Carzola back on the left, wilshere back in the middle…lets tone down the expirmental shufffling around…

  3. Rufusstan says:

    I’d agree that was the last time we wanted to play West Brom at their place, and I was happy with the draw because it was the first time since Bayern I had the real feeling of: ‘you know we could lose this’.

    There has to be consolation in that they are a decent team, and will do worse to other sides there during the season.

    On the refereeing, above all individual incidents, my worry was that Mason was letting things go to the point where someone was going to get injured. Letting the game play on after Jack getting something (finger? poke?) in the eye was unacceptable. It was not in the same class as in the Swansea game in midweek, where the ref played on when Michu was bleeding all over the pitch from a head injury, but it is the same principle.

    The penalties came out of Mason’s attitude. I agree we were lucky with the Gibbs one in hindsight, I just detest the idea of that being a penalty. Its the same with all of the touch the striker they go down types.

    Equally I agree with the late foul on Jack in the 48th minute, what is more astounding is that it has gone almost without comment (unlike the Koscielny one on MOTD last night).

    Something worth having another look at was the second Wilshere one in the 77th minute. At the time the reaction was a mix of: ‘definite penalty’ to ‘he got the ball’. To me it looked like a scissor tackle from behind, which not only meant the penalty, but a card (Orange?).

    It didn’t appear on MOTD (unsurprisingly), but after having another look at it on the .com this morning Mulumbu slides in two-footed, left (leading) foot nicks the ball off Jack’s right boot, then his trailing leg seems to complete the clamp around Jack’s right ankle and brings him down.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and I’d be happy to see an explanation why, but it looks like a challenge that is an automatic card for good reason. It was only clear from the back, but that meant Mason had a perfect view and did nothing.

  4. Boldson says:

    To me, slow & STEADY who a race. Our team was a little static on sunday game & could see wilshere was’nt in his best form, slowing down d team a bit but one could take solace in d fact dat westbrom’s confidence are super charged at d moment 4rm d winning at man u. Kudos 2 my team only that they need to up their game. Gooners 4 life.

  5. Elvis says:

    A fair result.

    We didn’t create enough to win it. West Brom created slightly more, but Anelka’s woeful finishing meant they didn’t deserve to win it either.

    Hard to pick an individual stand out performance. The whole team were ever so slightly under par and lacked the fluency and drive of Tuesday night.

    West Brom had three days longer to recover from their last match and that made up the difference in class between the two sides.

    But, as Goodplaya hilariously reminds us, it’s nice that Tottenham’s own draining midweek encounter with FC Spartna Hzjndl Mnklenjklenlist in the EuroDisney Vase left them with nothing in the tank to avoid a home thrashing by West Ham.

  6. slc gunner says:

    on the penalties:
    I thought Gibbs pushed Sessegnon ( why does he always play well against Arsenal), but it was clearly outside the box. Pushed is an overstatement here.
    The early 2nd half chance for Jack was a penalty…would have been a free kick anywhere else on the pitch.
    The later 2nd half chance for Jack: wasn’t a penalty even if the follow through did take Jack out. Maybe I’m old school here, but ball before the man is not a penalty.
    Koscielny’s “barge” wasn’t a penalty either. He’s allowed to jump. That said, he needs to be careful given his already dodgy record with penalties this season.
    Some other thoughts: although the 3 attacking midfielders worked well on Tuesday, it didn’t yesterday. Maybe because WBA took up a different shape than Napoli. Regardless, it’s not going to work all of the time. And more importantly, at some stage Arsene needs to pick between Flamini and Arteta. I can understand not wanting to drop the captain, but it’s something he’s going to have to do. I think there will be decent number of games for both. Flamini is the guy for tough away days in the league and should play more overall. He gives us better balance. Also, Ramsey has been excelling with Flamini behind him, and it’s important that he be alloed to play in his best position.
    As for Jack: he came back from injury last season (in the Oct/Nov timeframe). I remember it took him 5-10 games to find his best form. I suspect it will be the same again. We need to be patient.
    Finally: that was a hell of save in the 1st half by Szczesny.

  7. Wallace says:

    I was surprised he went with Flamini & Arteta. both Wilshere & Ramsey(alongside F/A) offer far more going forward from that position without really weakening us defensively. maybe it was more a case of Wenger being a little too cautious knowing a draw still left us top going into the break. outside of really tough away games i’d be surprised and disappointed if he went with those two in tandem again.

  8. PD says:

    Good point given how the game went.
    Tuesday gave the impression that we can play without proper wide players but it’s not something that will work very often. Gnabry should have started with Ramsey back in the middle & Arteta on the bench.

    Agree with slc : Chesney’s save was simply world class.

    Big decision coming up re: Flamini. We may need him to take a tactical yellow v Norwich to ensure he serves his inevitable one-game ban before Liverpool & Man Utd. Arteta can replace him at Palace & then get Flamini back in for the two games that may well show whether our challenge is realistic or not. I just can’t see us beating either of them without him.

    Strange to say given we’re on such a good run but the international break is good timing. Two weeks to get a few bodies near fitness will do us no harm. We especially need one of our senior wide players back soon.

  9. skillz says:

    Well, well the last 10mins of that Norwich game was sheer eye candy…even Bendtner threatned to get in on the act…lovely stuff..My freind PD, the agitator-in-chief of a DM for eons on this forum would not have liked what he saw when Flamini exited the game.. ‘cos all of a sudden we reverted back to the ”Bad Arsenal” of last season. Timid and Vulnerable..Norwich sensed this and really tried to capitalize but alas the gulf in quality was telling…great going forward we are, but Arteta showed that in the absence of Flamini, at best he can only be a deep lying ochestrator of play from defence to attack.. Not a DM!

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