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Just five words as we beat Wigan 3-0

“Al Habsi saves”  – “Robin scores”

Repeat the former seven times and the latter three times, and you have covered what transpired at the Emirates yesterday. While it does not quite tell the whole story, it accurately captures Arsenal’s dominance on the day…

We could have had six in the first half alone – Robin, Cesc, and Samir all had excellent chances to score, but Al Habsi kept us out with a string of fine saves. We finally made the breakthrough on 21 minutes, when Song fed Robin, who swept home to open our account. Cesc, Theo, and Samir all had opportunities to add to the lead, but were unable to convert. We went into the break only 1-0 up, but considering that Wigan did not have a single first half shot (they finished with three total, none of which forced Szczesny to do anything), there was also a sense that a single goal might be all we need…

Martinez made a couple of attacking changes at the interval, bringing on McArthur (for Diame), and Di Santo (for Stam – no, not Jaap), in the hopes of generating some offensive momentum. The one-way traffic towards the Wigan goal quickly resumed, Theo bursting into the area and shooting not far wide. We did not have to wait that long for the second (thirteen minutes after the restart), as Cesc sent a pretty chip over the Wigan back line, and Robin got the ball first, finishing smartly past Al Habsi. Jack then shot wide from our next attack, before Caldwell was shown a straight red for pulling Cesc back in the Wigan penalty area. Robin stepped up for the spot kick – and hat trick – but got too much on the ball, sending it over the crossbar. Six minutes later, he hit the post with a low shot.

Our first sub came on 75 minutes, with Arshavin replacing Samir. Martinez made his final roll of the dice when Boyce replaced the ineffective N’zogbia three minutes later. Robin finally got his hat trick five minutes from time after Theo set him up in the area. Once the third goal went in, Arsene immediately made his final two changes, bringing Chamakh and Denilson on for Robin and Cesc, respectively.

The heavy lifting was done, so the final few minutes amounted to little more than a run-out; nevertheless, as both Chamakh and Denilson will likely appear often during the next few months, giving them a few more minutes to maintain sharpness and match fitness is a good idea. I imagine Arsene may have wanted to bring both players on earlier, but not until we attained a three-goal cushion – I would have played it the same. Arshavin got roughly 18 minutes to try and work himself out of his current rut, and while he didn’t score (I hoped he would), perhaps he was able to work on a few other things, and hopefully felt a little better about things following the final whistle…

Nobody can say we weren’t incisive enough – from 24 shots on goal, ten either forced Al Habsi to save or forced him to pick the ball out of his net. Many of the shots we took were good ones, as well. Robin could have had double his tally, and Cesc and Samir both could have had at least a brace themselves. We have had our share of games where we didn’t score enough, our finishing was wayward, and we didn’t give the keeper enough to do – this was not one of them. Al Habsi was inspired form this afternoon and had an excellent game for his side.

With that said, Wigan were poor…There really isn’t any other way to put it – they offered no attacking threat, and we pulled them apart again and again. Much of it is due to how well our entire team played midfield in particular. I honestly think they came here to play football, as they often do, but we did not give them any chances to build anything, and kept their defence under constant pressure. Wigan are where they are – second from bottom in the table – because they have generally played poorly. As I understand, they really struggle away from DW; but they did win at White Hart Lane a few weeks into the season, so they are not an automatic three points. Today, I think they showed a lack of confidence against us, but I think our team deserves a lot of credit for jumping on them immediately, and keeping our proverbial “boot on their throat” for the entire 90-plus minutes.

Should Wigan depart the Premiership at the end of this season, I must be honest and say I shan’t miss them. That is entirely because they have become a rather significant thorn in our side; nothing against them personally, but some of worst recent moments have come against them. That is a credit to them. We are both still in the FA Cup, but they have a much more difficult 4th round tie (away at the Reebok) than we do – on paper. Even if we both progress, there is a better than even chance our paths will not cross. So, more likely than not, we are quits with Wigan for this season. Good luck to Roberto Martinez and his side on staying in the Prem.

A couple of very encouraging things I noticed as our team plastered the Latics all over the Ems pitch. Firstly, we did not appear to get frustrated as Al Habsi shut the door time and time again. I am sure some of our players – Robin and Cesc in particular – were thinking “You gotta be kidding me!” as Wigan’s keeper kept us out. But that frustration did not manifest itself in any petulance, any “enough of this – I’ll go at it alone”, or any detrimental-to-the-team antics. We kept with the task at hand, understanding that we needed at least three goals, and seemingly believing they would inevitably come, which they did.

The other encouraging thing I saw was ninety plus minutes of concentration and application. When the other team cannot get anything going offensively – when all the play is in their half – it is very easy for sides to switch off. And – as we know all too well – it only takes a momentary lapse in concentration for bad things to happen. There was none of that today – everyone worked hard, stayed alert, and allowed Wigan absolutely nothing. When Arsene says this side is maturing, he can point to these things to underline his words.

But, a maturing and improving side is not necessarily the finished article. We will not dominate every match like this, and we will be hit with adversity in the future. How we respond to those moments will determine what we accomplish. For a start, we can expect no favors from Paul Jewell and Ipswich Town in the League Cup semi-final second leg. We only have a single goal to overturn, so things can be a lot worse – but I doubt that Ipswich will be in the mood to tamely surrender the initiative.

The best thing we can do is start and play similar to this, while not expecting an easy ride, and expecting to have to be patient to make the breakthrough. If we do that, we can make our own luck and should be able to progress to our first Cup final since our inaugural season here at the Ems. We and Arsene, have unfinished business in this cup, and we should view it as a good springboard toward more prestigious trophies in the very near future.

So no giddines, no drooling over this performance, no shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful we are at our best. Talk is cheap – and some of our players are very good at talking themselves up. Now is the time to deliver…

Written by Oliver

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225 comments on “Just five words as we beat Wigan 3-0

  1. Morning all…

    I’m drooling and giddy, we beat what we faced on the day and i’m happy :lol:

  2. brilliant oliver..

    ‘concentration and application’
    we made look wigan look poor…not many teams have a chance when we play like that…

  3. rico..
    as fans we have the obligation to say it as it is..
    when we are shit we have the right to be sad
    when we are at our best we have the right to drool…
    this is why we love football..an emotion unmatched in any other sport

  4. I echo the ‘brilliant’ jj

    i have just watched the game again and Le Tiss is right, Chesney would feel embarrassed for being paid his wage yesterday afternoon :)

    We were so so strong all over the park but for Al Habsi we would have had a record scoreline but three will do for me :)

  5. we cant score ten every game rico…
    but one day, one day we will absolutely smash someone…
    gks seem to have their best days at the emirates..
    what we need to do is sell almunia to a pl team and wait until they come here..
    that will be day we hit records… ;)

  6. you won’t catch me arguing with that jj, i thought we were strong, ok, we could have taken more of our chances but they will come on another day when the keeper isn’t on form…

    robin’s third was all about walcott – he wouldn’t have shielded the ball in such a way a few months ago would he?

  7. I know some will say, what happens if we get to the end of the season and get pipped by the mancs on goal difference – my view is it shouldn’t come down to that…

    all we have to do is keep on getting three points, do that from now on and the title is ours ;)

  8. Morning guys.

    Great right up Oliver, I do take exception to one point, that we were incisive. If we were, 24 shots on goal would have resulted in more goals and I think I have come up with the reason.

    No one except Robin hits the ball hard when shooting. They all try and slide the ball into the net. Now, as a former striker I know that the best way to score is to pass the ball into the net but pace with pace and we don’t.

    Now, moan over. We utterly dominated that game and it was not so much that Wigan were poor, more that we played to our potential. Ask yourself, how many Wigan passes were intercepted by our midfield or defenders? How many times were their midfield closed down so it forced a mistake?

    Can that be laid at the feet or poor play by Wigan or excellent play by Arsenal?

  9. Wonder how long it will be before we get linked with Carrick, he’s been told he can leave in the summer….

  10. rico
    thats what i was pointing out last night on the theo debate we had
    theo had a couple of moments where he had me tearing my hair out…at the same time he set up good chances for both rvp and cesc which forced the keeper to save and the third was all about theo..
    robin even admitted it…
    he played his part even if he didnt score himself..
    and as long as we are winning 3-0 i dont care what he didnt do…

  11. Morning Will, i’d say excellent play by us….

  12. that’s what i was getting at too – and like agag said, had cesc converted his chance, theo would have got it right – it’s all if’s and but’s but i think it’s picking holes when we don’t really need to be..

    The team was solid and did what was needed, that’s what will carry the momentum through the season, starting again on tuesday….

  13. morning will my good man
    still want your clinical striker i see?? ;)

    i agree though we were fucking excellent werent we…
    lots of games at home now all winnable…

    keep this up and we will overtake utd in late feb early march..injuries permitting

  14. If we look at the maths, you will see what I mean.

    24 shots.
    10 on target (under 50% of shots)
    3 goals (under only 30% converted)

    Imagine having a striker that could convert 50% of his chances.

  15. Will, you are a hard man to please ;)

    I see where you are coming from but sadly we can only imagine that striker as we haven’t got one, in saying that, what is the breakdown for those chances?

    I bet most of them are chances ‘missed’ by a midfield player…

  16. where would he play though will???

  17. Interesting
    We were very good yesterday, but lets not kid ourselves- Wigan were DREADFUL.
    We have been criticised in the past for lacking a ‘plan b'; well they didn’t even have a ‘plan a’.
    They wasted time from the first minute, in fact, they wasted time when they were behind – i’ve never seen a team do that before.
    If it had been a boxing match, the towel would have been in before the first goal; the only player from the wigan team who comes through that with any dignity is al-habsi, who was tremendous.

    Lets not get carried away chaps – we’ll haev a sterner test on Tuesday, when we face a team with an enormous amount of desire, even if not as much skill.

  18. AA is linked with a move to the chavs….. i reckon this could hold some truth, only because or the russian at the top….

  19. one game at a time shedzy

  20. Morning all. AW has now found a first team that really clicks. The central 3, although rotation is enivitable must stay together as much as possible. They work so hard for eachother with Jack a link between sing and Cesc, allowing the skipper to get forward.

    Someone is in line for absolute tonking from this team.

    Looking at our remaining fixtures we have, by far and away a much easier run in (on paper) with only the mancs and the spuds from the top 5 to play. Utds game in hand is against the chavs, any favourable result there and we are right in there.

  21. JJ, As a striker I am guessing. I am not saying we are poor but three goals from 24 shots. What does that say to you?

    Shedzy, when does it become a great performance and not a poor one?

  22. rico i have a juicy about thats why your 52
    as we all know transfers have a knock on effect for other transfers…like domino effect if you like
    bruce has 25mil to spend and a few days ago i heard that bruce enquired about one of ours cos he needs a striker and we have about 12….
    then last night i read on a gossip coloumn that sunderland have enquired for nikki and are willing to match the 15 wenger slapped on him
    could be something could be nothing but for 15mil id carry nikki to sunderland on my back
    i think will would help me too ;)

  23. shedzy, only because we didn’t give them time to settle, we made them look poor becasue we were so good :)

  24. JJ, I would do it for you. Nik B is not top of the league standard.

  25. lol will i walked right into that one lmao

  26. jj, i wrote that about Nikki yesterday, see you do not read my comments ;) ;)

    I’ll help you carry him :)

  27. No No No. Wenger has said he will not get another CB in unless one of the two remaining get an injury.

  28. morning Rocastle –

    you are spot on, that first eleven are the best in the league – and wenger cannot tinker with it too much anymore, otherwise its upsets the rythm, however, no doubt we will see 8/9 changes on tuesday…

  29. lol rico i walked into another.. ;)

  30. Will, no no no, he’s still looking :)

    jj :P: you sure did

  31. i dont think we will, rico
    i think the 8-9 changes will come v hudds
    i think wenger will go with pretty much same team as leeds on tues..

  32. will,
    wenger creates smokescreens when it comes to transfers dont believe a word that man says..not one..

    i think we are negotiating for cahill…whether we get him or not is a different matter but somethings definatley happening

  33. i hope you are right jj and i’d favour that too. i forgot it’s Hudders up at home on Saturday…..

    I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth anymore either but i still think we will get a CH…

  34. If true though, it shows extreme short-sighteddness (if that is a word). Yes, they might not get an injury in the window but what about the game straight out of it?

    We just don’t know when TV is coming back.

  35. Thats why i dont think he’ll take a risk Will…

  36. Amazing, SSN are not even bothering too show our goals now.

  37. to be honest will im not worried at the minute wether he does or doesnt..
    with the fixtures coming up i think we’ll get away with waiting until deadline day
    il worry about it then..
    both sagna and song can play CB and the way they are playing they will do a job
    im just worried if thats what wengers thinking it could come back to bite us cos although i can cope with eboue on the right i dont think we can cope with denilson in the midfield..unless wenger uses diaby..which will make me worried also ;)

    until then i refuse to worry about worrying to be worried ;)

  38. they are probabaly putting a compilation together of our misses..
    and then saying we need a new GK..
    clever sods they are at ssn..

  39. The more players who come back, the less I worry about Denilson.

    When they are all back, we will have Cesc, Nasri, Jack, Song, Rambo, Diaby and AA ahead of him.

  40. agreed will
    denilson for the ‘wonderful’ player he is, wont get into the subs

  41. I may have to go to London Colney and show our attackers how to shoot with pace.

  42. will, talking of clinicals
    my man lukaku is on talking his way out of anderlecth
    i hope its to us i know wenger has chased him but city are now in the hunt :(

  43. Morning guys Theo van Nasregas do it again what a combination happy days

  44. I’m having internet probs folks – keeps disconnecting :( :( so if i disappear again….

  45. JJ what will cost Lukaku

  46. Morning Erick – happy days indeed…

    Will, who did you play for??

  47. Sorry Rico here its normal for net trouble

  48. It’s so frustrating isn’t it Erick, couldn’t even call BT as there was no page for them to take over… Just had to re start my router…..

    well, unplug and switch back on again ;)

  49. Morning Rico yesterday was a busy day didn’t catch the game but saw the highlights Rvp didn’t just score he blazed then in lol

  50. Especially when your doing important stuff like chatting the Arsenal lol

  51. howdy erick
    lukaku is only 17..and has only had one full season..
    anderlecth are not a big team in all due respect so i can see the lad being available for around 10-15mil ish
    but the problems are with citeh they will just offer 30mil and give hive 100k a week and we cant compete with that..
    if lukaku goes elsewhere..then kabacar from fiorentina is a good option also..
    same age…same type of player…

  52. Spot on Erick, Will is right too, he certainly lets them fly, Al Habsi would have broken his wrists had he got near his shots ;)

    chatting the arsenal, is there anything more important ;)

  53. He sounds like a taxi company jj, kabacar :)

    imagine soccer am, ‘Taxi for Kabacar’ :lol:

  54. lololololol
    rico i must admit i seen that link a fortnight ago and you were third
    i forgot to tell you

  55. JJ 10mil is a great price but damn Citeh but hope the kids Dad is a wise man Citeh are not yet a top club and money aint everything Rico footie is very very very important

  56. Not seen it before jj, i think its based on amount of comments so its down to all of us that the articles are there :)

  57. this is the thing
    we cant afford the likes of torres and villa and dzecko
    cos those tossers will just spunk their money on them and we cant compete with that..
    what we have to do is buy the wonderkids..the 17-18 year olds who look like they are 25
    they are getable..as long as citeh dont get involved we have a chance but something needs to be done they cant keep spending like this they are just buying players for the sake of it so nobody else can get them and its ruining their careers
    chelsea had a phase where they did the same
    they bought all the best prospects like SWP and scotty parker so nobody else could have them and they stcuk them on the bench and ruined them
    its not on…

  58. but, if citeh are buying everyone, no-one else can so they are keeping players away from our rivals. They can only play eleven and they will ruin the kids as they won’t play them so it’s a win win for us really…

    However, I think most saw that happen at the Chavs, I don’t think tehse young players will be to keen to follow in the footsteps of SWP, Parker, Bridge and anyone else who they bought….

  59. oops, sorry jj, should have F5….

  60. Rico, loads of local teams to where I lived, I did play a few seasons of semi-pro when I was 17/18 but then messed up both knees.

    Seriously, watch on Tuesday how soft most of our shots are and the fact they are aimed directly at the centre of the goal.

  61. JJ I think the financial news ones implemented Aw will look like a genius not that he is not

  62. Sorry meant the new financial rules . SORRY Will sad what injury can do to a player

  63. I reckon Ipswich will pack the bus

  64. great minds rico
    thing with lukaku is he admitted that chelsea are his team he supports…
    but he wont neccesarily go to them..
    which means
    1..he wants to go to a team that winning trophies
    2…he wants to go to a team that offers him the most cash
    3..he wants to go to a team where he can be properly nutured and reach the dizzy heights his potential suggests he will

    i hope its three but you never know with footballers, most are in it for the money..

  65. erick
    AW is a genius he saw the homegrown rule and financial rule years ago, we are about 7-8 years ahead of other teams in this department its why i see us dominating the PL in a few years time..
    these rules will cripple citeh and chelsea but it wont be for another 3-4 years until they really start to suffer so until then citeh especially can do what they like…

  66. Will – i understand where you are coming from re the strength in our shots – also, if we were to hit them harder, how many would the keepers spill?

  67. im looking forward to tues..
    im nervous for reasons will has suggested but i think wenger will take it a bit more serious
    especially with hudds on sunday
    AW could field a stronger team than most expect..
    it wont be a first team but it could be close
    we are playing catch up we are one goal down i think wenger will go with a few more big guns
    3 changes for ipswich whole team change hudds

  68. Jj I saw a special report on Espn thats why Chelsea are not buying at the moment they are preparing themselves great Vision from Aw

  69. Erick, i think if they had more than a one goal advantage they would but they will know if we play like yesterday we can score at anytime – i’m hoping they go for a quick goal and leave themselves wide open…

    But, if we start with the same ‘application and concentration’ as yesterday we should be ok…

    Big team selection by wenger…. has to be the same as yesterday – no nikki, no denilson, no chamakh, not from the start….

  70. Will, so would you have ‘made it’ but for your injuries?

  71. Jj Am only worried because Aw will rotate and what we have seen of the subs bench does not fill you with confidence

  72. jj, i seriously worry about you these day ‘wenger a genius’ – are you sure you are the same jj ;) ;)

  73. that worries me too Erick…. rotation is not for tuesday…

  74. Away goal rule can bite you in the butt Rico I want a strong squad but am sure Nikky, AA, Chamaka and Denilson will play

  75. Don’t we know only too well Erick, Bridge’s in the CL, Roberts (i think) for B’burn… all very late in the game….

    can’t afford to take it easy but can’t wait for tuesday to come….

  76. rico
    im the same JJ as i was in 03
    i was confident that year and look what we did??
    i havent been confident since ive always been critical and look what happend?? ;)
    this year im feeling it again
    i cant explain it rico..but ive just got that feeling again
    and jj’s always right ;)

  77. Where is Agag, Rico miss that girl lol

  78. I have noticed that the new generation of players are money orientated whereas years ago it was for the love of the game.

    Who said that Chelsea took players to stop others from getting them? So true, Chelsea took SWP so we could not get him and the idiot went for the money so screw him, he got what he deserved.

  79. Ipswich won yesterday 3-2 :( least it looked like they played all their first eleven…

  80. :lol: jj, i think many of us think this is our best chance…

    The barca matches are so important, not whether we win, but the manner in which we play and how, if we go out, we react….

    Erick, agag was here yesterday…

  81. Will, reap what you sow is my view for any player who moves for money and it goes wrong… just look at a few of ours who have done the same…

    serves them jolly well right ….

  82. I have really good feelings about this season and maybe that is why I am so critical, I actually believe this year.

    Don’t think we can win all 4 but 3 would be nice.

  83. Great to hear Rico. Will but we have to match or just be close to what others pay everyone wants a little more but being greedy is unacceptable

  84. I said that this Morning will but I don’t want to Jinx the team

  85. Ok, here is a big big question – if we had to ‘give up’ one of the four, which would you choose….

  86. Mine would be the Champions League…

  87. Rico have you been drinking lol CL is the only trophy we have not won and its the big one

  88. we differ so far…

  89. thing with SWP is that we never held talks with him
    wenger offered 12 and they were about to accept..
    chelsea came in last minute and offered 22…
    city told us to go away
    swp only had one choice its not like he rejected us it was city that rejected us cos chelsea doubled our offer…
    i suppose swp could have said no i want to go to arsenal but city would never accept a bid half the price of what they were offered by the chavs…
    he would have had to stay at city..and he wanted a big club
    chelsea becuase of roman and his stinking millions were his only option..either that or stay at shitty..who were shit then…

  90. Ha ha Erick, no honest, you know i only drink milkshakes these days :)

  91. If we would win three out of four? Lose the CC but I want the record. Man Utd go on about the treble and it being better than being unbeaten. I want the quad and being unbeaten records.

    Also, if we could get the most goals scored in a season record, it would be nice.

  92. Y the CL Rico?

  93. jj – thats just wahat cheeses me off in football, it’s usually about the money and not whats best for the player…

    this oxlade-chamberlain outcome will be interesting as southampton want whats best for the player, the agent wants whats best for the player, the player obviously wants the same….

    all that points to us but will money again prove to be the issue for southampton if another club offers more than us…

  94. to be honest i wrote the CL first
    but i want it so i changed it but i see where ricos coming from
    its the hardest..barca will take a shit load out of us that could fuck up our chances in the league
    to beat barca would be amazing but it could take too much out of us…
    but i want it.. and i want the PL
    we are in the semis already of the CC its winnable theres no point giving up now so FA cup for me…

  95. Because i honestly cannot see us beating Barca over two legs so i’d rather throw it now – then go and win the three domestic competitions. Of course the clause in my deal would be that no english or spanish club win the CL either ;)

  96. rico i agree
    it will be interesting to see what happens with that lad and if southampton do what they say they are going to do they are a credit to football…and its a victory for football…

  97. If the boy wants to learn, there is only one club he should come to.

  98. ditto jj, that’s why we got theo and ramsey too i am sure….

    i think we will get OxC too…. i hope so

  99. I really feel we can beat Barca and that would mean we have a great chance of winning it but I understand where you guys are coming from but If we can take a two goal lead to nou camp

  100. Will, absolutely, but will money or football win – i’m quite looking forward to the outcome…

    whats the old saying, could be one giant step for…. footbal ;)

  101. southampton have already said that they value oxo highly and want whats best for him…
    they said they will consider all offers but will only let him go to team that will nuture him properly and not shove him on the bench or in the reserves for 10years and ruin him..
    southapton could reject city no matter what they offer and say yes to us…
    but miney does talk if city offered 30 it would be hard to turn down if we only offer 7…it depends on suothampton and if they really do care about the lad…

  102. Talking of Milkshake where is the GG man?

  103. i guess it also depends a lot on who we have fit when the fixture comes around Erick, if we have everyone fit then we have a good chance but a niggle to one or two key players….

  104. Matt Law of the Express Via twitter said OXO is a done deal for us and he stuck by it am hope its true

  105. we’ll find in in the next eight days :)

    The GG man was on he a few days ago Erick, another one suffering with internet problems i think :(

  106. Oxo – that’s a lot easier…

    I saw that Matt Law article too Erick, i actually hope we get him…

  107. Rico if we play the same team that played yesterday it would be a match but Song and Jack have to be really tight with both on/off the ball movement

  108. Rico the goon blog is unsure another apparently done deal is Hazard Rico via Arseblog me think

  109. I’d still worry about Villa and Messi Erick, i may have to catch a flight and go nobble them ;)

  110. i think we can beat barca
    arsenal first 11 can whoop anyone..
    we just need to stay injury free…
    arsenes found his best team and hes doing his best to keep them fit but the barca game will take maximum effort…
    maximimum..unless we catch them on an off day and totally take them to bits 1st leg…

  111. that’s just it jj, a couple of injuries and we start looking at the bench…. that’s when my belief fades a little….

  112. I dont like to put a dampner on yesterdays performance, but they were no Man Utd, lets face it we could have scored loads, and we didnt, and their keeper never had a blinder. Every shot was straight at him, i wouldnt have said any of the balls he saved ever looked like they were going in. I am all in favour of bigging us up, but lets face it, we hit far to many half hit shots and we dont exactly make the keepers work that hard. They were a nothing team on the day. Granted we played the ball great but our finnishing in general is pretty appalling, 3 goals when it could have been a dozen, is not good figures when you think of the chances

  113. Erick, i’m not so sure on the hazard one, just yet ;)

  114. the bench is actually quite strong though rico
    contrary to beleif we have a strong squad
    AA, rosicky, chamakh, gibbs, even nikki can be a handful when he decides to run and put himself about
    none of them are shit they are good players, AA and sicky are great players with plenty of experience its just a few of them are struggling for form at the minute
    if AA and chamakh could hit a few goals and rosicky as well maybe in the cc and fa cup games it could be the catalyst..
    we just gotta keep our fingers crossed and have a little belief…
    if AA hits a hatrick tues or sunday it could be a turning point…the only posistion im worried about really is songs but if diaby can get his act together then who knows…..

  115. Sorry all Good day all, good post Oly
    We also need to score our penalties its 12 yrds with super players what the hell is happening

  116. Jon Jon AA hit three goals, the only thing he does in threes, is give the ball away

  117. we have to believe steve ;)
    im a poet lol
    we know what he can do we just need him to get it back
    and for the record weve scored just as many goals as the mancs in the league this year
    48 each weve scored more if you include all comps so your right we aint no manu..were better
    and utd are relying on ‘certain teams’ bending over for them..berba hits 3,4,5 and then doesnt score again for another 10 games
    we are outplaying ours and weve got three players in double figures already with another three not far behind
    end of the season we will have 6 players in double figures
    thats not appalling ;)

  118. I see you agree with me Steve, 3 goals from 24 shots is not good and we hit the ball at the centre and far to softly.

    Think about 50%’s

    50% of 24 is 12. 50% of 12 is 6.

    How many goals should we of had?

  119. jj, our bench has to be strong, our players are all overweight ;) ;)

    just jesting :)

  120. Jon Jon,you know what i mean, it must get up your nose as well, Walcott passing sideways when his clear through holding a defender off and not going for goal himself, we need a bit more hunger in front of goal, how much longer do i have to watch AA give the ball away, i say half a season is enough.And I meant Wigan was no Utd not us

  121. I’m not over fussed about AA as it will come back soon, its Nik and denilson that worry me, should we need them….

  122. why do we keep discussing how many we missed, we won, we didn’t drop points did we….

  123. Hi Will,
    Whats the point of having a winger faster than most and when he gets there he passes it back.whats all that about

  124. Hi rico, we have weaknesses, not going on a witch hunt but when they play it upsets the rhythm, when we play all together were crap

  125. of course it gets up my nose
    it frustrates the shit out of me when it takes us 40 shots to score 1 but when the scoreline finishes 3-0 i cant really complain

  126. I’m off for a bit – i’m happy with a 3-0 victory and no-one’s going to change that for me today ;) ;)

  127. i just want to enjoy this weekend
    spurs and citeh lost and we have a semi final on tues with a chance to rest all our first team on sunday
    then a load of winable games at home before we play barca…
    its an exciting time i feel we need to focus on the positives and worry about the negatives when they happen..
    rvp is now on fire..if we get a run of 10-15 games out of him you cant tell me he wont hit 10-15goals in that period playing the way he is…

  128. Afternoon all.3 goals from 24 shots isn’t pretty but it shows we never gave up.in some games we are quite clinical.in the first 3 CL games we scored 14 goals from 28 shots on target which is an accuracy of 50%.its still the same players.i myself have lauded nasri/diaby here because most of the time they aim for the corners.cesc is the main culprit of hitting the balls central.i know they’ll improve.i however acknowledge the quality of our play was outstanding since we did to wigan what we have done to city/chavs this season.city like wigan had no shot on target despite one being 3rd in the league and the other in the relegation zone.

  129. ive gotta dash too il be back on later..

  130. Hi KT, will be back in a bit, see you soon jj, be good…

  131. Hi KTR7
    Good point, i just like seeing that ball in the net,with all the possession we have it should be in there more, that’s all

  132. Steve i get your point.i was so angry when we failed to score more but that shows just how well we are playing at the moment that we deserve cricket scores.Aw will have noted this and am sure he’ll have a word with the players.

  133. Hi KT, glad you are back. :-)

    Barca are sweeping all before them it seems. Busturds! Except it is good that it puts one in the eye for Moanhio. :-)

    Great write up Oliver. :-)

    Hi Steve, :-)

    I bought 5 papers today (thought it was 6)!

    I loved the game yesterday and the scoreline too, but as I said before, I am a greedy so and so and want to win 10:0 when we should, with all that possession.
    Goal difference could make all the difference at the end.

  134. The problem with not converting is, it gives the other team confidence, suddenly we let one on from a corner or free kick and bang, we are scrabbling around for the win.

    If we create 10 chances in the first half, I want 3 or 4 goals from those chance. Football is all about confidence and the aura. If we start battering teams we build a confidence and an aura and we all know what that unbeatable aura produces don’t we.

  135. I think we all agree we need to be clinical.Despite us wasting chances i must say i was impressed by our patience.last season/earlier this season we would’ve panicked and gone gung ho in attack and we would’ve been countered and that game would’ve been wrecked.despite us missing chances we still gave it a real go without losing our shape.you must applaud that.the boss however needs to take them to shooting practice.nasri aims for the corners most of the time and as a result he has 14 goals with a shot/goal accuracy of 30%.last season higuain had an accuracy of 52% and if you watch him play he rarely hits it in the middle.CR7 blasts the ball and as a result he ends up missing easy chances.last season he had an accuracy of 29%.messi too is quite clinical these days.

  136. Yes we do, i’d have loved a 8/9 -0 win but hey, we women want everything in life :)

    Afternoo peoples…..

  137. what is rvp’s ratio KT out of interest?

  138. For arguments sake let us compare the 2 of the best scorers around.as of 2 weeks ago messi had 18 goals in 70 shots(38 on target).CR7 had 22 goals in 125 shots(49 on target).this stats show you that messi is clearly more effecient in front of goal.if you focus on shooting techniques of the two you’ll note that ronaldo more often than not will blast the ball even in point blank range.messi on the other hand will either chip an on rushing goalie or place the ball in the corner and thus a higher accuracy.blasting the ball may whisk past a goalie but as a result its difficult to direct the ball on target and thats why ronaldo has so many shots off target.Rvp hits the woodwork so much because at times he generates so much power to beat the goalie-it does but as a result the ball ends wide or off the bar while just a simple placed finish in the corner would’ve been more effecient.

  139. Rico last season rvp had 31% accuracy.bendtner had an accuracy of 33%.

  140. KT, I think that was what happened with RVP;s penalty. Huge power, less control.

    Thierry could also give it welly but when necessary he could finesse it more.

    I would not like to be the goalie facing an RVP penalty tho! :-)

  141. There is a problem if you place the ball to softly KT. I fully understand and agree that the ball has to be passed into the net but not so softly the keep gets a chance to get the ball.

  142. You would think that blasting the ball would make it more accurate as it has less time to move in the air…

    I am amazed that Nik was more accurate though KT but stats dont lie with things like that…

    You any idea re this season so far?

  143. RA, I just think rvp hit his penalty all wrong, poss in desperation for his hatrick, he certainl;y blasted his third into the roof of the net though….

  144. Will, i think there is a time and a place for both, sometimes though our players get their times and places confused – a couple of games ago 2/3 of our players had chances on goal but totally fluffed it straight to the keeper….

    i’m with what jj said earlier though and i think it makes so much sense, its so frustrating to see so many easy chances go begging when we are 0-0 or lsing, but when you get to the end of the game and we win 3-0, you have to be happy…

    the mancs scored 5 yesterday, they could have had double figures but at the end of the day they got the same as us, 3 points….

  145. Rico,

    RVP has a wonderful “wand” of a left foot, and if he had hit it a foot lower it would have broken the net.

    You are right tho’ body position can adversely affect the result.

    His half volley from Cesc’s exquisite pass was mouth watering. He has everything. Physique, skill, shooting power, great ability to see the pass, and he plays for us! :-)

  146. Anyone notice something about the second goal yesterday?

  147. Oh, gone on then Will. :-) What?

  148. If I say Platt to Bergkamp, do you notice anything?

  149. I just think that rvp needs to find the balance between placing and blasting.to be fair he has improved on that aspect.eduardo was perfect at that.i’ll never forget the everton game when we were outplayed but eduardo produced two perfect finishes to turn the game.i’ll always remember him for that.

  150. Bergkamp scored Will ;)

    RA, i was saying earlier, had their keeper got his hands to that, he would have broken his wrist …

  151. Will, stop being a tease. :-)

    KT, you are right, but I was at the end where he scored that goal against us in the C/L qualifiers this season.#

    Quality player!

  152. KT, i miss the old Eduardo, he was that clinical striker and poacher we miss so much….

  153. RA about yesterday,water under the bridge.i normally have a short fuse so don’t worry.i tried to steer away from HH all day but it seemed everything i googled had H in it.furthermore i couldn’t deny the birthday girl the perfect week by flaring up the house…

  154. KT, have you started your CL preview for Barca ;) Its not far off….

  155. Did that goal not remind you of the Platt chip to Bergkamp where he juggled it and scored?

  156. KT – you been googling the Hammers again or ‘Arry ;)

  157. arry’s hotspuds…

  158. You are OK by me KT. :-)

    There are at least 10,000 ahead of you that I would fall out with first. :-)

    I am going to watch Real tonight, and I would like to hear your stats, tactical analysis, and general view of the game tomorrow. :-)

  159. Actually Will, now you mention it the positions of the respective players was similar.

    On the other hand RVP’s half volley was instinctive, thunderous and instantaneous, whereas Bergy’s technically sublime touch was ice cool and calculated.

    They were both brilliant! Well spotted! :-)

  160. Udinese have just torn apart inter 3-1 in leonardo’s first loss.long time Arsenal targets Zapata and inler played very well with the former scoring with a sweet left foot strike.alexis sanchez though wowed the crowd.he is going to be a great player the chilean.he is quite similar to Hazard but is likely to join the mancs if he leaves italy.

  161. RA there are fewer better players at volleying the ball than rvp.he is surely a cracking player to have.he is more explosive perhaps a bit too much for his bones.Bergkamp on the other hand was more like a time traveller-he did everything at his own pace with such ease.its like he calculated everything he did.i’ll always have fond memories of the iceman.how dare he score that goal at Newcastle a few years back?…

  162. You guys think we have sorted the deal for Hazard in the summer? And what about the AA to the chavs rumour?

  163. I am not sure why no one has mentioned how cesc tore the wigan defender into two with 2 cryuff turns!if he had scored it would’ve been a great goal.

  164. KT,

    It is a pity that our stupid immigration laws stop us recruiting young players from South America like Sanchez, Wellington, Galindo etc, despite them having guaranteed jobs at terrific salaries, whereas Spain, Italy, Holland etc have no problems.

    AW speaks highly of Hazard but says in today’s paper that he is not sure when he will be ready for transfer. Therefore expect ManU or Real to sneak in and pinch him!

  165. Speaking of skill i love how wilshere before receiving the ball dummies his marker before perfoming a quick turn and accelerating away.he did that several times yesterday.

  166. KT, i saw that, the BBC comentator raved about it, it was pure class…..

  167. Rico,

    HH was mentioned in despatches by Fanscast for your “One trfr confirmed will it open up etc”

    Did you see it? The link was via the sidebar “Theo’s stats show …..”

  168. RA, jj and i were talking about Hazard the other day and think a deal may have already been done – no evidence other than the way wenger talks so openly about how he would fit in so well at afc… very unlike our wiley old fox ;)

  169. RA it is a shame.ronaldinho was due to join us but was denied a work permit while denilson got one.i find the department of immigration to be very strange indeed…

  170. Our Jack has always had that quality since he was a kid, well …. an even younger kid.

    He just shimmies and without touching the ball latches on to it, and as you say KT dummies, accelerates away or lays it off. Class! :-)

  171. Exactly, KT.

  172. Come on RA keep up, i put that link up earlier ;) ;) There were two, the other was Denilson out etc etc :)

  173. What i don’t love about our Little Jack is that he keeps getting nicked……

  174. Hope you are right Rico.

    The report I was quoting was in Paris Match, I think, so there could be the usual mis-translation of French / English articles via sports hacks.

    Perhaps it is dependent on Cesc’s future.

  175. If jack improves his game in the final third he’ll be as another site puts it-parlour with bells and whistles…i see iniesta in that kid!

  176. Rico, you jammy little HH wallah! :-) Two articles? I missed the second one.

    Speaking of jammy, I have got to go and heat up some soup. Not hungry but I have been told to behave. :-)

    Night Rico, KT, Will.

    Tomorrow.

  177. RA, i’m hoping if we win a trophy this year, cesc will re-think… i doubt it but i hope… but i don’t think hazard would be his replacement, i think he’s being lined up to replace AA who will be off in the summer….

    mind you, if its about money then yes, i see where you are coming from…

  178. Rico the chavs couldn’t even land pienaar despite submitting a bid of 3mil to the spuds 2.5mil!maybe ‘arry’s was tax free but still…

  179. KT, lansbury is our Parlour – i really hope he gets his chance and doesn’t get sold off… in fact, JET and Lansbury are next seasons Jack :)

  180. Ta ta RA, enjoy the soup and see you soon…

  181. KT, but it’s about Russia this time, it could hold some truth and dont forget he’s free in the summer….

  182. GG should hang his head in shame for saying the olympic hotspuds have a better attack than ours.we have scored 16 more goals.they have overachieved and as a result their key players are feeling the strain.welsh messi has been suffering from back injury for sometime now.VDV’s hammy is feeling the heat.the amount of chances they are creating are drying up and they all fall to that barge pole that is crouch.the wheels should start coming off right about…now!

  183. Rico i remember AA said if he leaves us it will be to Zenit.his contract runs till 2012 not this summer.

  184. Spot on KT and he says they are more attractive to watch… what an idiot, take vdv out of their side and what do they have??

  185. Ah, oops, i thought it was this summer, and re zenit, that would explain the stories about offering him a return..

  186. I think Hazard is coming as I think either AA or Rosicknote will be off in the summer.

  187. I also love the fact that our starting midfield has been years in the making as part of ‘project youth’.cesc has been here since he was 16,song 17 and jack 9.our ethos are surely ingrained in them.they understand our system and style of play more than a £30 mil player would.you can see the chemistry they have and how happy they are.Aw’s vision is not far from fruition and when it comes he’ll never be forgotten.santiago Bernabeu did the same for madrid and they named the stadium after him.i can see a statue of Aw if that happens being built.who knows,maybe after the Emirates tag ends the grove will be known as Arsène wenger?

  188. Theo aswell KT, denilson and diaby…..

  189. Rico re:barca post.i know almost all there is to know about the stains.to write such a post i’ll need some inspiration to express my emotions properly which happens a few days before the match.i promise you pencil me in for the Emirates and camp nou ties…

  190. For all the talk of attacking play of the spuds they are not as good as the media puts it.their players rarely interchange positions and thats why they rarely threatened the mancs.bale has a mean cross on him but what is the use if crouch is the target?they have no variation in play whatsoever.their direct British style is a nightmare to European teams,even Milan will suffer but in the PL defenders are built to cope with such teams.

  191. I have an idea for an entry if that is ok?

    Also, I am looking forward to some of the next generation to come through.

  192. Thank you KT, bring them on i say……

  193. Will, what idea?? come on, spill…

  194. Chuks, Afobe etc – they’ll be in the picture next season i think, bit part and loans but they will be knocking on the door…..

  195. I can’t say Rico, but once I have written it, I will send it to you.

  196. Will give the birthday girl her wish…spill!

  197. When I write it and yes, I am evil.

  198. I can’t believe i was on the verge of quitting this blog!im ashamed not only of entertaining the idea but printing it out.im just fine here.

  199. Madrid have looked out of sorts so far at home to Mallorca.nil nil at HT.

  200. Will, thats good news, looking forward to your email :)

  201. KT, i am so glad you didn’t – it wouldn’t have just been me who missed you – like you said, its water under the bridge and i am so pleased….
    :)

  202. KT, did you see the stuff about jose upsetting the board and could be on his way out….

  203. Jose really isn’t a good manager, just a good spender.

  204. Will thats why i want Aw to receive the coach of the decade award with red nose and mou on stage…

  205. Will, i used to think that until someone pointed out what he did at Porto….

  206. I always ask, could Jose win things with a limited budget at Wigan?

  207. Porto, the Man Utd of the Portuguese league.

  208. Good question, no i’d say…. but i bet wenger could ;)

  209. Sadly what Aw is doing will only be fully recognised after he has left…

  210. Of course he could Rico, it would take a decade but he would win major comps with them.

  211. KT, after listening to his i/v on saturday, i dont think wenger is going anywhere for a long time yet…..

    Will, but not many clubs would give AW that kind of time….

    There are three right now – Man utd, Everton with Moyes and us – who else has had a manager for more than 3/5 seasons? In the PL i mean….

  212. I don’t think there are any too be honest.

  213. I’m off for the day guys, wild at heart is my favourite sunday viewing and it starts real soon…

    catch up soon, thanks for another good day on here….

    Nighty night….

  214. thats my point Will, clubs these days won’t give managers a real change to build – makes us realise how lucky we are in that respect, i’d hate us to be a club that changed it’s manager every six months – the rewards are very soon to be reaped…..

    i’m gone now

  215. evening..
    glad your back ktr.. ;)

    on hazard…i reckon arsenes got a deal done and he will come in the summer..he doesnt want to take him now becuase he has admitted we have too many players and we know he likes to stick to strict wage bill…
    there is no room for hazard now financially but in the summer there will be a couple of departures and hazard will come in
    he also said that he doesnt want to upset lilles rythm..lille are top of the french ligue i think at the minute they need hazard to finish the job the moral principle gentlemen in wenger will not disrupt that as lille winning the league will be an amazing achievement considering the teams they have to compete with..
    on jack..that turn of his is world class..he creates 10 yards of space with it before he even touches the ball he reminds me of a young gazza..i just hope his personal life doesnt go the same way but if anyone can sort it its wenger…

  216. morning guys/gals

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