Arsenal and the Watford Vicarage Garden Party

Metro train

Good morning Positivistas far and near,

Grey and quiet at 9.00 on Sunday morning in Norfolk. Another week and those leaves will be down.

A formidably straightforward task this morning in reviewing an entirely straightforward away win at Vicarage Road. Like any sane Arsenal fan I travelled, in my mind’s eye admittedly, up the line to Watford through Metroland, with a degree of caution as to what might await against a home side whose first eight games in the PL this time have earned them respect and a few well won points. I anticipated a vigorous work out and a win by the odd goal. With the unexpected win by the red Mancs at Goodison my irritation edged up a notch before kick off.

Within three minutes my apprehension had been quelled as we took control of the ball, and the game, and the contest settled into the pattern that it would more or less follow for the next 90 minutes. We probed Watford, sharp movement and intelligent use of the ball, they defended in numbers and sensibly. They had their plan, which consisted of hanging on to the point they started with, and we had ours that consisted of depriving them of the pleasure. Commendably there was no rough stuff from the home side and only the occasional bit of deceitful theatre. Mr Jones I thought had pleasant afternoon with little to do.

We made a number of decent chances first half that on another day would have seen us go in 2 or 3 ahead at half time. One sticks in my mind but I shall name no names but he made up for it after half time. The others were a split second of timing off or a the ball a half a yard beyond an outstretched foot. Gomes did well, albeit with a bit of panicked scurrying.

Watford were not entirely supine and Deeney and Ighalo posed us some problems. Cech made his one save of the evening and Kosc and Hector had to tidy up but that was about that as far as I recall. Nothing wrong with Kosc’s hamstrings apparently. I am sure Watford are good enough to stay up but they really need to sign a world class striker etcetera etcetera

Oranges sucked Jones got us underway for the second half and I sensed a little more vim in our approach, an extra sharpness of movement, though that may have been wishful thinking on my part.

The hour bell rang and suddenly Watford’s roof fell in. What we had been threatening to do all afternoon we finally did, Alexis, Giroo and finally Aaron put away what were effectively three consecutive chances. Whether the home side had run out of energy at the hour I don’t know. There was an interesting remark by Redknapp (I think) who spotted Capoue had stopped running for our first goal, the will to resist he had managed thus far having apparently run out of his laceholes.

The remaining 20 minutes or so both sides went through the motions. Watford’s crowd did their best to keep the players spirits up, we had one eye on Tuesday. Ozil and Sanchez hooked, Olivier could have had a second but it was Gomes’ lucky day. The Ox looked a little frustrated, for his brief cameo, the boy was trying too hard I thought. Relax son, relax.

No injuries I heard of, Arsene may be weighing up Per’s experience against Gabriel’s speed for Tuesday. No doubt hindsight will determine the correctness of his choice.

So as we trudge back to Watford High Street with three points collected, we are back on to Citeh’s shoulder. “Thank you very much, enjoyed ourselves”. “Oh do come again” “We certainly shall”.

On a final point I was incredulous to read on the Arse.com report of the game the following;

“Until the hour mark this game looked like it could go either way.”

As a famous American football owner once said “WHAT are they smoking down there ? “

42 comments on “Arsenal and the Watford Vicarage Garden Party

  1. Its hard not to be happy, but I see some people are managing it well. Poor souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Worth waiting for A5,
    I suppose at 0-0 any game can go either way and back again. Watford are both physical an fast so if you cant score early you are going to have to match them with attrition.
    Bit by bit the individual battles were slowly won and as the game went on we looked more and more confident. As with these games the first goal is all important and there is a stat somewhere about ARSENAL winning over twenty games or so when they have scored first. Had the hornets scored first three points would of been difficult.
    All in all this was a very good performance under the circumstances of coming back from the interlull and going away to a side with a good defensive record and with no intention of playing like a home side against us.
    The last two performances have been very good but in entirely different ways so although we are playing argubly the best side in europe Tuesday there is still lots to feel confident about.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The old fart’s thoughts…
    The difference between the start of the ManU game and this one was somewhat mystifying. Some lovely touches and passing but all so slow that anybody might think that all our internationals were clapped out and that we were saving energy for a big mid week game? I mean what could be bigger than playing for your country? OK, don’t answer that.

    But it did allow Watford to put some pressure on but whilst there were a few nearish things, they never managed to really break down our defensive wall and we went to half time at 0-0. Only a glaring miss from Rambo prevented our taking the lead though.

    To be honest I found the first half a bit boring but it did allow for quick changes on the box to check both the rugby and cricket scores which seemed a great deal more interesting.

    Things were due for a change. And they did to the extent that our first goal was a mystery up until the replay came through. I was so intent on looking at the ref to give us a deserved penalty as Oz was brought down that I totally missed Alexis’s tap in.

    By then Oz, Santi, Rambo and Alexis were really turning it on well supported on the flanks by Hector and Nacho and Watford were looking a bit ragged around the edges. Unfortunately Theo was off the boil and to prove that scoring actually was easy, Olly came on for him and with virtually his first touch, he put Oz’s pass away to increase our lead.

    It was one way traffic now and having already smashed the live goals record conceded by Watford at Vicarage Road this season, we added a bit more salt to their wounds when Hector, who had a fine game after a somewhat shaky start, burst through and presented Rambo with his first (allowed) goal of the season.

    Overall an easy win …let’s hope for the same on Tuesday. Keep the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Was it really that simple? Must admit I didn’t have any doubts pre-kickoff but Watford certainly gave it everything for 60 minutes.
    Let’s not be too hard on Aaron for that so-called simple chance – many good players have got underneath passes like that. He’s saving it for Bayern.

    gf60. Good to read that I wasn’t the only one who missed the first goal. Maybe it’s an age thing. Speaking of which, as I’ve got on in years I’ve taken a liking to Francis Bacon’s little saying about an old person being someone 15 years older than him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks!

    Those were the first goals conceded from open play at home this season for the Hornets.
    The first ten minutes from the Arsenal saw a flurry of chances or half-chances before the home team had a better spell. The team or squad has been starting (as in the first ten) matches well.


  6. Spot on A5. As the game went on, as you rightly say, we chipped away at their defence till their “roof fell in”. Lots of level-headed guys out their and our class shown through. Quite comfortably 3 points – which was the expectation – in the end.

    Which is why I was so surprised this morning reading in the media how “flattering the scoreline” to Arsenal because we were outplayed. And that Alexis Sánchez is somehow “too good for Arsenal” and needs to go to a bigger club. Newsflash to them: he DID upgrade from Barça to Arsenal. While the Moron is being praised for his ruthlessness in benching the Haz-been. As AA said in his brilliant post the other day, “the media struggle to assess and digest what’s right in front of them”.

    Thanks for the level-headed PA guys who call it like we see it, no pandering for clicks.


  7. One stunning incident yesterday it occurred to me I had failed to mention but requires a highlight.

    Theo used his head to nearly stick away a chance, his HEAD

    His effort required a tidy save from Gomes and, needless to say, Alan Smith gave his expert opinion on where he would have directed the ball.

    Theo heading the ball though …. makes you think !


  8. Thoroughly professional performance. A few outlets went further than arsecom suggesting we were lucky to be level at half time. Really? Maybe we were a little tired or even conserving a bit of energy in the first half, but apart from a couple minor scares that happen for most teams in most matches, we just looked in control, and maybe able to move up a gear at any point required. But I do like the way we can often anihilate teams in a relatively short space of time in some games.
    A stubborn opponent who might well take points off our rivals, but a good day for our players , the ones who get most of the plaudits as well as some relatively unsung heroes

    Liked by 1 person

  9. While I am not surprised, it is still amazing that much of the media gets away with writing abject untruths such as Watford had the better of the first half. Being a team of lesser quality (I am not being arrogant just factual) their plan was to be physical, aggressive and intense and hopefully spring an opportunistic first goal. To GF60’s point, they were unlike Man United who thought they could take the game to us and had their pants pulled down within 20 minutes. No better example of Watford’s endeavour was Capoue, who was a total bust at Spurs but looked like a world class DM for 60 mins. In response Arsenal had to be smart, attack with patient build-ups, maintain our shape and be vigilant in limiting their opportunism while looking for the 1st goal ourselves. A5 tried hard to evade the obvious but Ramsey had a glorious opportunity to connect at the back post and I remember Gomes having to make at least two important saves in the first half. How under god’s green earth media can get away with describing Watford as shading the first half, only an expert at Orwellian thinking can explain

    As our reporter in chief has succinctly described, inevitably Watford ran out of energy as their adrenaline ran low and our slick passing and combination play took its toll physically and mentally. I would just like to point out that in the 2nd half not only did Ozil run riot but Santi was able to join the attack and help create more chances. That first goal by Alexis, he had the pre-assist to Ozil, a simple pass into the feet of German who imo was fouled in the box as the ball squirted into the Chilean’s path. Game, Set…..#3 was the Match. (Correction made)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ‘Coll

    There was a better chance for Wallcott from Bellerin’s brilliant cross against Stoke early in that game too. On that day he went on to score the much harder chance from Özil’s inch perfect pass over the top.
    Is it coming? Are we going to see a headed Walcott goal? It could happen!

    The lofted clip from Coquelin to Ramsey was just as good as Ramsey’s diagonal across to Walcott. What a move!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “walking the ball into the net, too many passes, yadda yadda yadda…”

    Pinging the ball with two first time passes two thirds the way up the pitch to create a half-chance. Özil clipping balls over the top. scoring on the counter etc.
    Yup. We can see that the criticism made of the Arsenal’s football (during yesterday’s game by the Murdoch plundits) bears little relation to the actual football on the pitch.

    “Too many passes, too slow” say Newscorp. Alan Shearer on Aunty Bleeb says “classic arsenal” playing on the counter from one end of the pitch to the other in seconds.
    I wish the petty plundits would make their minds up when it comes to the Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sunday supplement was even funnier as they dismissed ARSENAL’s season in seconds and also said we hadn’t had a decent back four since the inherited GG one completely ignoring not only the invincibles but also the numerous other seasons in which our defence has been rated near the top. Obviously goals conceded is a stat worth ignoring

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So when do we become title contenders? Half-way thru the season with a 10 point lead? Our own fans are the ones waiting for the bandwagon to be overloaded before piling on. None so blind as those who cannot see. Only injuries can stop us as far as I can see. Stride for stride with City til the last 5 games.


  14. To be fair Shotts I see no reason I would want to be marked as a title contender.

    Firstly, it would be the opinion of the pundits who I have no time for. I don’t care what their view is positive or negative about Arsenal’s title prospects. Once an idiot, always an idiot.

    Second It does no harm to trot along quietly in second or third, not too far off the leader, waiting for a stumble ora head to head contest to seize the initiative in the final straight.

    Manchester bookmakers have a dire history of paying out early and wrongly – long may it continue.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Andrew – I’m also a Lester Piggott lover!


  16. Just had a look at the Marseille game because there were rumours he was going to start. Not even on the bench it seems.
    Oh dear…


  17. I’m talking about Abou of course.


  18. Great point A5. But being objective, which is the total opposite of most of the mainstream media, it is stupid to ignore Arsenal’s consistency and progressive improvements in quality of player year-on-year.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Once again A5 you sum up the proceedings with an adroit and apposite accuracy. Hurrah!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Such misleading reportage such as that described by AorB from the Sunday Supplement is nothing new.

    We had “au revoir Wengargggghh” from Gary Linekar.

    They ring the jingo bells, and they ring them hard. It’s all they know. Fuck the footy on the pitch, go cares about that?

    Does anyone want the approval of or from these ****s, begging yer pardon?

    I don’t. The club doesn’t need it. Who needs the approval from people who consistently say that the best way to solve any club or teams problems is to line the pockets of their special agent pals? That would be strange.

    The club does get the approval from the silent majority. The parents of the likes of Ramsey and Chamberlain, the entire nation of Chile haha! Etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I see what you did there Steww (wink, wink)
    A5…an adroit and apposite accuracy!
    Great summary of yesterday’s game. I, for one, did enjoy the ride. More of the same please.


  22. We are playing alliteration bingo Dibs !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Andrew, Stop making me google words.


  24. Our friend Mel is a bona fide twitter hero:

    Liked by 1 person

  25. from TBN

    Profoundly unsuccessful man accepts nothing but the best from football team he supports

    The unemployed Randolph just cannot understand why his football team don’t work to their best abilities.
    The unemployed Randolph just cannot understand why his football team don’t work to their best abilities.
    Rising from his slumber shortly after midday and sipping on hours-old and tepid coffee, local layabout and general failure Mark Randolph revealed that he doesn’t, nor will he ever, accept anything but the best from the football team he supports.

    “I just don’t understand how they don’t want to be the best that can possibly be. It’s very hard to fathom,” said the 31 year who has been fired from his last three jobs due to lateness, adding that it’s almost as if people don’t care whether they have a legacy to show for their life’s work.

    “It’s down to pride. Pride of doing what you’re paid to do and achieving as much as you possibly can in the jersey. I guess some people just don’t have it,” added Randolph as he pondered whether to have a nap mere minutes after waking up.

    “These guys have a great opportunity and they’re just wasting it. You’d just love to give them a shake to make them realise what they’re doing, or not doing in this case.”

    At press time, Randolph was delaying applying for jobs his mother had suggested to him by choosing to furiously criticise the “bunch of lazy bastards” on an online forum instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thanks Andy, thanks one and all. A nice little team coming together I think.
    Injuries, decisions and form will no doubt have their say. And when they do the pundits will either say we were lucky to win or that we never had the depth to do so. but I know what I will believe.


  27. A stellar review, as usual, A5. And great comments as well. I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy this win, ignoring all the pundits – I can’t watch those guys over here, anyway (lucky me).

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Good write up Andrew, always interesting to read the views of one who was actually there.

    Caught first half on the radio, sounded roughly ‘even Stevens’ but the second half, viewed through the beer goggles supplied by the local watering hole, we looked pretty much dominant, Watford having allowed a gap (ho ho) to open up by running themselves ragged in the first half.

    As a certain @kmwood02 observed on Twitter shortly after the game, that this keeps happening is unlikely to be a coincidence …


  29. I worry about the Arsenal supporting mugs who wrote the team off at half time.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Routine win…….enjoyable write Andrew….thanks


  31. Well summed up Andrew,anyone else think we’re the fittest side in the PL? (I don’t mean fit in the Shotts thinks those 2 ladies in my tweet are), Watford were chasing shadows at the end there.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Impossible Mel. Two things we all know, Arsene doesn’t do tactics and he sure as hell can’t do fitness.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Yet another clean sheet, Arsenal’s goals conceded is a league equalling lowest at 7 from 9 games.
    Shame that fact can’t be used, as it busts a few myths about our team, and coaching methods.


  34. Is it fair to say that the Bavarians are playing like the best team in Europe at the moment? Bunga Bunga Barca’s tax heavy squad what with the top heavy bungtastic signings, the odd injury, getting fleeced by The Arsenal (poor Vermaelan that original ankle injury looks like it took too high a price, he was playing well before he pulled up this season) etc. it just isn’t as big a squad.

    And the Arsenal have been hitting the heights this season on the pitch since the trip to WHL (and before) with some serious football in that second half. An interlull and a warm up at Watford following the high against Utd, the Gunners could be a tough opponent for Munchen tomorrow night. First goal not as crucial as last time with no away goals.

    I haven’t seen City of late so I can’t compare to them. Let’s save those comparisons for the City game. At the least this petro club has a real football manager and I give thanks for small mercies. Just imagine where Gazprom would be now if they’d not replaced Lukaku, Mata, De Bruyne with a collection of Mendezian mules? Trying to retain a third PL in a row most likely *shudders*
    I don’t know about you lot but as seems likely I’m praying Mourinho stays on for longer at Gazprom. Fingers crossed, laces tied.

    Apart from the visit from City, officials allowing, tomorrow we will witness the highest level football match in London this season.

    Koscielny vs. Lewandowski?

    Holy moly. What a game it’s going to be.


  35. Koscielny vs. Lewandowski doesn’t scare me, fh.
    Lewandowski vs. Per on the other hand …


  36. Well, the only time Poland have beaten Germany in recent times was:


    After the BFG, the stand out defender from the recent Utd game, after he retired from the national team.

    Having written the above Gabriel will probably start with the BFG rotated/rested for the next PL game haha!


  37. Not long now before the Bavarians are in town.

    I shall tune the strings of my football Stradavarius tonight with some rare old quality from the Liberty.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Cor this is grim

    Very average when they have the ball, it appears to be a contest to get rid of it asap.

    Flinging themselves on the pitch and/ or squaring up to one another with little or no reason when they lose it.

    Oddly the referee has issued his first card after 41 mins – patient patient man.

    My guess is even Arsene won’t manage the 2nd half


  39. Just watched the last 30 minutes or so of tonight’s game in “The Best League in the World” TM. Does that mean that other leagues have worse teams than those two?


  40. Swansea turn into Real Madrid when we come calling, the blighters.

    AFC’s next 5 league games -which take us up to the end of November:
    Swansea (a)
    W.B.A. (a)
    Narrich (a for everyone except Anioll5)

    Let’s hope the boys go for it tomorrow night – they might as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Well well well. I’ve just returned from camping in Joshua Tree and I’m pleased to see we got an excellent result which is the cherry on top of a cracking weekend. Watford have been a tough nut to crack as Fins pointed out so it’s great to see we netted thrice. Stoked for the game tomorrow I’m feeling pretty optimistic we can get something if we keep it tight and don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. I think Ozil is going to be well up for this one


  42. Ospina is out injured is he? What’s he got the old brown bottle flu? (Smiley)


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