A match report from Tim, @foreverheady
Saw the game (as live) very late in the day due to a disjointed and complicated Saturday, and would put it down as one of the odder matches I’ve seen. Almost total control in the first half never really looked like leading anywhere and a curious sense of detachment from just about everyone. At half time I really couldn’t tell whether we would win 2-0 or lose 1-0 as both scenarios seemed equally likely. In the end it was neither, but what a strange second half: more Arsenal pressure, more frustration and then a wonder goal showing what a magnificent signing Welbeck was – talk about a farsighted solution to a short term problem, Dat guy Welbz showing Dat guy Arsene still has few if any peers when it comes to deadline day transfer deals.
But then the legs ran out (and why wouldn’t they after International action, Man U and Dortmund in the very recent past) so the last 15 minutes which should have been comfortable ended up with us struggling to get hold of the ball and ticking the clock down with ease. But handsome is as handsome does and a decent and important 3 points that might not have been that pretty at the time but which will no doubt be worth their weight in disappointed banners come season’s end.
Martinez again looked solid and he has a size about him that could well turn into a commanding presence, and it was good to see Kos back in action. Poor old Nacho, limping off after a knock that was hard to spot, and even poorer Gibbs whose brief rest turned into no rest at all and perhaps another worrying injury to boot. The Flamster was OK and did his marshalling job sensibly, while Aaron again showed signs of a steady return to form that I suspect won’t come totally to fruition until he plays alongside Ozil once more – at times he and Alexis couldn’t get out of each other’s way, which didn’t really help: both will benefit from the return of the space-maker. And so it was left to Santi to provide his class and recent doubters wrong with a twinkle-toed display of impish magic that was an utter delight all day long. His new shirt seems to be fitting a little less snugly now than it did back in the early Autumn and you sense that he has decided that it is up to him to take responsibility for the team’s success.
The early start yesterday didn’t help after Wednesday night’s exertions, but at least provides more recuperation than Southampton will get as they have City to negotiate this afternoon ( let’s hope for a hard-fought draw there) before travelling up to us in midweek. So a day of rest for our players today, and although the matches now come thick and fast at least they do so for everyone and I just have an inkling that yesterday was the day when the luck began to turn in our favour.
And now Andrew has some comment on the halfwits with a banner @arsenalandrew
I can hardly bring myself to dignify the cause of the banner wankers by commenting on it.
Suffice to say, whilst they clearly relish the Arsenal spotlight, now that the wider footballing world is laughing at our residual embarrassment, maybe they’ll curb their ill-judged activities. Unlikely though as they must derive great encouragement from their association with all that is most hideous within the Goonersphere with the likes of Piers, Payton and Pedro as ugly bedfellows and the worst of the so-called Arsenal old-skool braying along in noticeably thuggishly aggressive fashion.
When a cause has to fall back on the underlying suggestion of threat, violence and intimidation, as evidenced on the more colourful Twitter exchanges, then you know it’s a flakey one.
But as I say, they do appear to be making inroads with their protests as not only are the majority of Arsenal fans pointing at them now, but so too the rest of the football world, whilst collectively enjoying a good old laugh.
Whilst on the one hand I slightly fear being tarnished by association, on the other, my confidence in the club enables me to thoroughly enjoy the ill-judged entertainment they bring as their preposterous behaviour gains ever greater exposure and they inevitably start to soak up the reputationally-ruinous ridicule.
They see themselves as robustly challenging the club but are much more widely recognised as the spoilt brats that they are; punch-drunk on self-entitlement, blind to their club’s successes and its undeniable progress and clearly oblivious to its massive long-term future potential.
Has anyone ever previously seen fans protest in the wake of CL qualification and a decent away win in the league? Most clubs and their fans would give their proverbial right arm to be playing in Europe next year.
Apart from having little in the way of convincing argument, some Goners, at least, have no sense of timing.
To display such a banner in front of a winning side as they walk towards you to thank you for your support is as rude and as paradoxical a situation as one can possibly imagine. And when some subsequently complain of the ‘outing’ of the banner-wanker’s identity well, you’ve gotta laugh, haven’t you.
Of COURSE you should be allowed embarrass yourself, in public, in complete anonymity.
Well done, lads, nice one.
G–p @ 9:41 am – The question is should you “believe your lying eyes”?
The MSM which the Guardian represents, to paraphrase Mark Twain, is simply a cesspool of Lies, Damn Lies and Propoganda.
GP: Last night was most inconvenient for so many. The pundits were expecting a result from Southampton, so the late goal came as a disappointment as the Arsenal in decline story wasn’t going to work. The “Arsenal lack a clinical finisher due to Arsene’s dithering in the transfer market unlike Chelsea” is also redundant due to the goal scorer yesterday. No strength of character and defensively weak doesn’t really hold water either given three clean sheets in a row, and late goals proving superior fitness is an inconvenience too. But perhaps most of all the Man of the Match going to the Saints goalkeeper was the most toxic denial of their agenda. Still, when it is The Arsenal, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Poldi: He may not get as many games as he’d like but that still doesn’t curb his spirit:
Gotta love the guy – hopefully he’ll get to start one of the next two games.
LikeLiked by 1 person
These journos have to get their copy in much quicker these days – no time for reflection. And if you’re sitting there willing Southampton to win, the disappointment is bound to show in the article.
It’s interesting that he doesn’t mention the enormous performance Forster put on to keep us out and he clearly hasn’t had time to see the stats. Plus BTSport gave Forster MoM award – that in itself speaks volumes.
Illegitímae non carborundum – don’t let the bastards grind you down.
Bring on the orcs.
Reading David Hytner describing an Arsenal match in the Guardian is like listening to George Osborne describing the state of the economy.
We’d be better off with Nicholas Hytner watching the football and Ozzy Osbourne running the economy.
Somebody write something !
I was thinking of attempting to write (always a scary prospect) something but I can’t do anything till later tonight
LikeLiked by 2 people
another absolutley amazing missed couple of pens by the officials last night and the deliberate rack down the back of Alexis legs when he was getting away was worthy of something off rollerball not football. The pretence that our officals are not biased can only really be held by madmen.
The team on the other hand although not clicking entirely were excellent and thoroughly professional. Of course since our win southampton are a really crap side with a million injuries and 1-0 really is a bad result but anyway I thought we played well.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Excellent Fins – I just listened to a great clip from a radio Five Live phone in last night after the game with an “Arsenal fan” on the line demanding the appointment of Sam Allardyccio to the big job at the Emirates.
Fair play to the pundits who were not sure if the bloke was a wind-up (nor am I tbf )
Can you imagine the kerfuffle if Arsene had used up his three substitutes with 15 minutes of the game to go then an Arsenal player had twanged his hamstring and we had been down to ten men, and lost ?
Yeah – I expect you can
LikeLiked by 1 person
I do not give a toss about anyone with an agenda!
Last night I watched the opening salvoes of the game with a sense of excitement and truth to tell, also a niggling little concern at the back of my mind that if the Gods did not smile kindly upon the Arsenal, it would allow tiresome and well worn criticism, written by tiresome and well critics and pundits to be taken out and aired, once again.
The game started with high expectations from both the crowd at the Ems and no doubt the watching fans, and in my case also a certain trepidation.
As it happened, the first half progressed in what I would call an orderly manner with a militarily rhythmic pace with Arsenal pressing as expected, with Southampton quickly accepting the defensive role of ‘Bus Parkers’ determined not to let us pass.
As the time ticked by with some good, if fleetingly sporadic, attacking play from the boys, it seemed that a quiet restlessness from some of the fans started to communicate itself to the team, which resulted in them trying even harder to please by scoring the opening goal but only succeeded in trying perhaps a little too hard, only resulting in pushing the goal scoring opportunities further away, like a sealion nosing a beach ball in a placid aquarium.
What became clear was that the defensive duties taken on by the whole team, with young Chambers and Kosser putting in an especially industrious stint, and easily handling one of the highest goal scoring teams in the Premier League this season, so far.
The second half action increased in its speed and energy, especially with the replacement of a downcast Oxo by Giro around the 65th minute. And I was a little disappointed too, as I think the Ox is really starting to show his paces in recent games.
Suffice to say, the boss is looking ahead and thinking Oxo is still young and his appearance need to be paced to avoid burnout. He is and was right.
But boy, oh boy, did Giro show what a special CF he is becoming, and his invigorating and never say die style of play turned up the pressure on the Saints and made them struggle even more. Their goalie Forster put in a tremendous performance, and he needed to. Let’s face it, if he had been even slightly under par, the Arsenal would have run out easy winners much earlier in the piece, and also even he would have to admit there was something fortuitous with one or two of his saves.
I am not trying to denigrate his efforts, as that would be curmudgeonly, but on another day, another time, even his heroics would not have been enough.
And so it transpired. Not prepared to give in and accept a point against the third placed team, the Gunners kept at it and in the 89th minute, an all out attack against a resolute defence resulted in Rambo who had a hard working but unproductive game by his standards, switched a beautifully weighted and incise pass to our man Sanchez, and as quick as a wink from a happy tart the ball was in the net.
MoTM for me was probably Forster, which underlined the dominance and the overwhelming balance of play in Arsenal’s favour, but Chambers and Santi could just as easily have deserved that award — however, Sanchez, who had laboured mightily without reward throughout the match, did what all great players do when the chips are down – he drew the ball to himself like a powerful magnet and he ended a brave rearguard defense by S’Hampton, and yet another clean sheet by the Gunners saw them marching on.
LikeLiked by 4 people
difficult to pick out a MOTM from our side as i thought we played better as a tream than we did as individuals. For me Santi and sanchez wernt up to their normal standards (yeah I know they are both outstanding and produce moments of brilliance but MOTM is surely about overall game) Koss was boss, flam efficient, Aaron tireless and Martinez was faultless. You could probably make a case for each player.
There’s your game write up, HenryB’s superb summary!
I second Georgaki–the next post is Henry B’s match report!
I, I third that motion! *coughs*
Excellent report HenryB
“And I was a little disappointed too, as I think the Ox is really starting to show his paces in recent games. Suffice to say, the boss is looking ahead and thinking Oxo is still young and his appearance need to be paced to avoid burnout.”
I was not surprised or disappointed that he came off. He was electrifying in the first half, but he dipped significantly second half and was really quiet. Given that he was an injury doubt pre-match, I was not at all surprised that he came off. I was more surprised at the sporadic booing, especially given that people were singing for Giroud to come on earlier. Who did they expect to go off? As patchy as Ramsey’s performance was, in the absence of Arteta he could not come off. Welbeck, Santi and Sanchez were all less than their best as well, but none of them were having a particular stinker. If I had to choose a MoTM, I would probably go for Kos – I agree with the boss, we really missed him and he showed why in this game.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Post up Henry B’s match report George!
LikeLiked by 1 person
http://wp.me/p37nXa-18o Is the new post