Match thoughts

Yesterday, in the 18th round of the Premier League Arsenal travelled to Upton Park. The team that is 2nd in the table met team that is firmly in the relegation zone. Only few of us predicted anything but a good result for the Arsenal. Yet everything was not rosy to start with.

The game was played in a fast tempo with the good guys dominating almost all the time, but the first half ended with no goals. One could see that the Gunners had a few more gears to go through, but didn’t. Fat Sam Allrdyce boys obeyed the orders, defended deep, fouled regularly and were fast on counter. Jarvis was given too much space and managed to create a few chances, which thanks to Dennis he didn’t utilize.

The second half could not start any worse for us. In the 46th minute Szczesny spilled the ball from Nolan’s long shot and Carlton Cole had no problems placing it in our net. The annoying bubbles song filled the stadium; Szczesny’s face said it all – he looked guilty as hell.

Wenger didn’t hear Rasp’s cries for substitution and only when Ramsey was injured, he called Podolski to action. That in my opinion was the turning point of the game and soon after that Walcott found the net; this time Adrian could have done better. Second goal came from Podolski’s wonder pass and Walcott’s header. 1:2, lovely!

The third goal, best in my opinion was from Giroud’s pass and thunder strike from Lulu. Now I could really relax, we bagged 3 points and climbed to the top of the tree again. We are top the League my friends.

It was a good game, we dominated, we won, what can you say. I was cheesed off with Giroud, who in not a world class finisher and probably will never be. I noted Ozil’s first and then Gibb’s faces drop, after their excellent passes were wasted by our handsome striker.

What did you think of the game? Did we miss Jack? Was Rambo’s injury a blessing in disguise? And how about Vermalean, will he stay on after Koscielny’s return to form?

Written by evonne

63 Responses to Match thoughts

  1. Morning all

    Everyone say thank you to evonne please for her written thoughts on yesterdays game.

    Thank you evonne 😉

  2. Manthan says:

    Thank you evonne for the post 🙂

    I agree Giourd has wasted many chances… But if we play Theo and Poldi on wings for next few games OG will come good.. He was in good form at start of season but recently his form has been dipped may be due to playing all the game continuously without any rest… He should start scoring again…

  3. Manthan says:

    Some one mentioned yesterday about Cazrola playing in wings doesn’t make him effective and I completely agree!!! But as Ozil play in middle its tough for him to get chance to play in middle…

  4. Timmy says:

    Good post Evonne, really nice post. Job well done by the team, we must not forget Oliver is not yet a finished product when it comes to taking chances. Gunners have been spoilt with lethal finishers recent past: Thierry, Eduardo, RVP. We have to give Giroud time. One thing we cannot take away from him is that he retains the ball and bring the team into play and harasses oppositions defense for the team and there are few strikers that can offer that. Also now that Theo and Poldi are back, we will concentrate less on his mistakes since the burden would have been shared. (Don’t forget fatigue also)

    PS. I’m sorry for responding to the article (From defence to attack) late. I’ve responded to the article now. Thank you.

  5. Reddawn says:

    Well done Evonne an excellent match report.
    It was good to see Podolski was hungry for the ball, also he looked fitter this time. It worries me that Wenger only made the change when Ramsey was injured. I would like to see Wenger a bit more pro -active with his substitutions to correct the balance of the team.

  6. evonne says:

    thank you all, very kind! keep going and I will write another one for tomorrow 🙂

  7. Räsp says:

    Thanks evonne, a very pol-ished match report 😛

    It’s uncanny how often enforced changes lead to a new dynamic in the team. Rambo has been incredible this season, but I can’t help thinking that on the evidence of his last 3 performances, a rest on the sidelines will do him good – as much as anything I think he was becoming mentally tired.

    This gives the opportunity to The Pod and Jack to step up – and maybe Gnabry too. Theo has already shown he has been chomping on the bit while unable to play.

    I agree that Santi in the middle is most effective and it seems that Ozil is quite comfortable playing on the right – so no problem?

    Ollie may need a rest, but what I think he needs more than that is to get back on the scoresheet so I’d play him against toon and let’s hope he bags a couple.

  8. LB says:

    Thank you Evonne.

    I try and tell myself that I am more mature, more adult, more grown up than to have the happiness of my week dictated by 22 men running round a field chasing a piece of inflated plastic.

    But I am not.

    I am a boy at heart and always will be, my happiness is dictated by Arsenal’s results and today I am as happy as a sandboy.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    LB, happy as a sandboy? Hmm, sandboys were notorious for spending their income, gained from selling baskets of sand to householders, on strong drink. Happy was a euphemism for drunk, surely that’s not the case with you. 😀

    Thanks for the write up evonne, very well done.

    I think my poor attempt at irony may have caused confusion over the “lovable little Scouser” quote. My real opinion of him is totally unprintable.

  10. LB says:

    Morning Norfolk

    I opted for the sandboy over the pig in shit.


  11. Manthan says:

    I was so excited for Theo’s first goal that I broke one beer bottle and one beer glass due to excitement 😀 😀

  12. Chas says:

    Thanks for the report, Evonne.

    I was in the pub yesterday afternoon with no game on. I sneaked a look on here just after half time and my stress levels immediately rose. From then on I just checked the score on BBC and was much happier. Is watching Arse games on TV bad for your health?

    Anyway today I’m as happy as Lukas Podolski. 😆

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Good morning all from Frozen in Ontario.

    Nice straight forward recap Evonne.

    I was, as always, very nervous while watching the game, I can never fully relax and seem to fear the worst, I guess being a long term Arsenal supporter does that to you.

    Once again the football we played was superb to watch with the odd pass going astray and one to two too many quick flicks missing their targets. Whenever we dominate, which is often, and cannot score us fans are conditioned to expect a negative outcome.

    Sure enough when West Ham scored all of our negative
    expectations were fulfilled, who would have thought that an injury to Ramsey would have a positive egffect on our day but it sure did. Moving Santi to the center and introducing Posolski changed the whole game dynamic. Santi mastered minded our midfield and Podolski gave us the speed, power, guile and shooting ability that swung the game in our favour.

    My nerves settled down after Walcott’ second goal and disapeared after Podolski put the game away.

    We are still not the finished article but hope still remains strong.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Timmy nice to you commenting. Please write another article real soon, your last article was the most insightful I have ever read about Arsenal’s and Arsene’s methodology. Thank you.

  15. kelsey says:

    Well done Evonne, nice and concise.

    Lulu 😉

    When we played Everton with seconds remaining Giroud launched a pile driver which nearly won us the game.I would like to see more of that, but for all his strength and hold up play and not being selfish,he just isn’t a clinical striker with head or foot. As long as others are benefiting from his play and we score,that’s fine but when he alone has a chance his conversion rate and composure is not up to standard.he might improve but imowe need better.
    Another thing is that whoever we play we seem to regularly get caught out on the counter attack, something we were once famous for ourselves.
    We could and should have had the game wrapped up by half time but kudos to the lads for stepping up after going one nil down.
    Playing Santi more centrally makes sense and he is the only player lethal with both feet and not that bad with his head.Add the fire power of Podolski and then tippy tappy is not always required.

    Top of the league who would have thought that in August.

  16. weedonald says:

    Charming writeup Evonne. Giroud is not a clinical finisher like Henry was and Kelsey said it all. Ramsey needs time off, which he will now get and Vermselen has not yet won back his placebut Wenger is benefiting from this resurgence to rest Kos as well. Jack will come back and perform up to his potential, because AW will kick his ass discretely in order to help him mature.

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    Thanks Evonne!

    Peaches, I’m up to my eyeballs in p*ss n sh*t, and that’s just the wife! 🙂

    The Ramsey injury will make team selection very interesting in the next few weeks.

    Newcastle away

    Arteta Flamini Wilshere
    Walcott Giroud Cazorla

    Manager less Cardiff home

    Özil Flamini Cazorla
    Walcott Giroud Podolski

    I wonder if Wenger has the balls to start the Cardiff game with so many attacking players?

  18. RockyLives says:

    Thank you Evonne – a fine, rational, dare I say scientific match report 😀

    It was a curiously nervy game to watch. We created a lot of chances but didn’t quite seem to click in the first half. Quite a few moves breaking down with sloppy final passes or wrong options chosen.

    Then their goal at the start of the second half… As GN5 says, there was a real sense of negative déjà vu. Aside from Szcz’s mistake it was the fact that the WHam break game from us (in the person of Theo) fluffing yet another promising attack with a careless pass.

    But the response after that is what offers hope for the remainder of the season.

    Yes, Ramsey going off, Santi moving central and the Pod coming on changed the dynamic, but that’s fine. It shows that (a) we now have real strength in depth and (b) the team has the character required to succeed.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks evonne. Nice work

    A chap who has not been oft mentioned but had an outstanding game was Keiron Gibbs. He gave us an attacking option when Santi went infield and more importantly is on the same wavelength as his older colleagues.

    His crossing could be better but I really think he is becoming the best FB in the league. Much is made of Zabaleta and Baines but neither has Gibbs athleticism or stature.

    AW is developing a gem

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Looking at the game again, I thought it was all too easy in the first half. Plenty of possession, no real threat from the Hammer’s attack, chances being created, and spurned but hey, there’s plenty of time, we’ll get a goal in a minute.

    It took the wake-up call of going behind to spur the Gunners into some urgency, the pace quickened and we scored, from then on it was quite straight forward as West Ham attacked with more numbers and so left themselves open at the back.

    Undoubtedly Ramsey’s injury was a turning point as Cazorla moved in from the wing and Podolski came on to provide genuine width on the left.

    Why are modern ‘keepers so reluctant to catch balls, they seem only too happy to punch and flap rather than gathering.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    NG. I guess we will have to wait for GIE to discover why keepers choose to punch.

    Perhaps the new plasticised (is there such a word?) balls with their movement in the air make catching more difficult.

    Watching GK’s flying through the air only to punch the ball away is just not the same as seeing a proper GK catch it.

  22. Bayonne Jean says:

    To answer the questions:

    a) On the match, always felt that Gunners would prevail, as all it would take was a first goal by the Arsenal and the rest would take care of itself. The only thing I was hoping for was that Arsenal would get a late penalty before Giroud went off, so that AW would give him the kick. I know that there is a hierarchy in place (Arteta, Ozil, Giroud) but that would be an ideal spot for Giroud to get back on the score sheet.
    b) You always miss a player of Jack’s caliber, but he’s been off the boil, so the break was probably a good thing for him. Same will hold for Ramsey. Were it up to me, I’d wait until Cardiff to put him in the side, since he’ll be chomping at the bit to get back in, and away at Newcastle is the kind of place where he could be a victim of being wound up by the opposition.
    c) Injuries are never a blessing. I was concerned, though, that after a no substitute match vs. Chelsea, AW was going to attempt to christen this side “The Inexhaustables”. Crucially, the injury prompted the move of Santi to the middle, and that’s where he needs to be to make the Ozil/Santi pairing work to its maximum. Ozil is a “quiet” superstar who could work effectively from either flank, and he’s a better option defensively than Santi.
    d) No, no, no; Koscielny/BFG is the best pairing in the league. But it is comforting to know that Vermaelen is capable of stepping in, though a Koscielny/Vermaelen pairing would be less assuring.

  23. evonne says:

    Bayone Jean – agree on all points.

    Little Boy (LB) 🙂

    Raddy – absolutely, the little boy Kieron is becoming a powerful man, pleasure to watch him

    Thanks everybody! Off to finish the turkey

  24. RockyLives says:

    Well if goalkeepers are going to plasticise their balls before a match they deserve everything they get….

  25. evonne says:

    Malky has been sacked, terrible. That Michael Jackson lookalike owner will be sorry, very sorry; he had a good manager and wiped his arse with Mackay’s contract.

    Did I tell you guys that fat Sam is the 13th best paid football manager in the world? I heard that a few days ago and still cannot get over it. Only in football men can become multi millionaires for being total failures

    And finally to those of Arsenal supporters who want a new boss – look at ManU and see what happens when a good manager is replaced

  26. JanMan says:

    Evonne. Thanks for taking the time to write the post. Is it just me or does it seem like a breath of fresh air to have Poldi back. The minute he came on he inspired the team and it looked as though everyone upped a gear! Have to agree with the comments from Kelsey in reference to Giroud, he is a great team player but perhaps should be a little more greedy at times and take some chances for himself. Bring on Newcastle!!!

  27. chas says:

    Instead of snow can we have leaves and bits of litter blowing across the site?
    It would be far more representative of the weather.
    The wind has been especially bad this Xmas. 🙂

  28. evonne says:

    great idea georgeous 🙂 leaves and branches, please Rasp

  29. It is true the wind has been bad this Xmas………I had a ruby in the Golden Eye Indian restaurant in Bath on Xmas day !.

  30. Sorry, snow is the only thing on offer ……. shall I take it off now then? Someone must have some snow somewhere 😉

  31. Just watched the highlights on Arsenalplayer ………….. there were an awful lot of chances in that first half, I hope Olly manages a couple of goals soon. He is so handsome 😆

    The passing looked really crisp and fast ……… did we just not have the space to do that against Chelsea?

    Also Cazorla was excellent ………… as was Theo and Lulu 🙂

  32. Raddy – are you still about? Am I looking for a volunteer for the Newcastle pre-match or Cardiff?

  33. Re Chelsea – I just remembered that the weather was appalling, that could be the answer.

  34. evonne says:

    Peaches – answer to what?

  35. I thought the passing looked really crisp and fast and wondered why it wasn’t so against the chavs but then I remembered the weather.

  36. evonne says:

    aha, yes, you are probably right, the pitch was water logged

  37. jnyc says:

    Nice post Evonne !
    Some things I would like to mention. Santi was playing great even before he moved from the wing.

    You all know I love Arsene, and hate to criticize, but I really wish we could sub earlier in all matches. For the players to have more time to affect the game. Warming up at 70 minutes and getting on at 73 leaves little time to make a difference. And Even when we have a lead, I’d like to see ozil, ollie, ramsey,, and others be rested earlier. Rather than just the last 10 or 5 minutes.
    And Gibbs was good, but with such little time between matches, why not use Monreal and flams on Thursday, , to have a fresher arteta and gibbs for Newcastle.
    Last observation, TV was good, , but when we were down, he was way forward in their box more than is probably wise. I love him for trying to make something happen, but we all remember how things have fallen apart in the past. I noted on one of their breaks, tommy, as quick as he is, just doesn’t have kozzers phenomenal recovery speed. We can’t afford to go back to that lack of discipline, we are challenging for a title.

  38. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Evonne, picking up the scraps as well, on behalf of us lazy sod. Well done, you!! Thanks a lot. Lovely report as well, and the turkey sounds nice!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    On the game itself, I did not see it, but pretty good discussion here on AA. Thanks Evonne, thanks everyone. Plenty of positives to take. But first on to the only negative and the only neither-positive-nor-negative.

    Negative first. The Rambo injury. How costly is this going to be? Luckily, Theo and Poldi are in force, Arteta/Flamster steady, Santi appears to be coming on fire, Ozil good if not flamboyant, Jack on standby. All in all, perhaps a good rest for Rambo, not so good for Arsenal, but perhaps we will survive. 😀 😀

    The neither-positive-nor-negative. The Szcz blooper. Been there done that. Happens to everyone once in a while. Thankfully this happened on a day when it did not matter so much. Lessons learnt. On with the show. 😀 😀 😀

    The positives, and plenty of them as well. Back to Top of the League, Theo rediscovers his scoring form, lovely return by Poldi, the lovely show by Gibbs. Plenty to enjoy and celebrate.

    On Giroud, I personally think we are probably being a bit too harsh. His hold-up play is fantastic. His link-up with all the others is good. Ozil, Santi, Theo, Rambo, TR7, the lot really. And the lay-off for the Poldi goal was amazing. Even if he is not in great scoring form, Ollie is a fantastic member of the team. On with the show!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  39. arnie says:

    On the positives, forgot to mention Santi’s game. Fantastic. It seems Santi will take up Rambo’s position while Aaron is injured. 😀 😀 😀

  40. LB says:

    A word on Ollie

    Good looking or not the man needs three chances to score one goal. Prior to Everton, on our so called easy start, he was getting his three chances and the goals were coming but since then he has finally been found out. He had a golden chance against Chelsea and fluffed it, the same against West Ham.

    Who was it who called him the French Andy Carrol without the pony tail, then Andy Carrol had that cut off, so then what do we have left.

    OK this is a bit bitchy, on a plus side, most people haven’t noticed that he has been one of the most influential figures in our defensive turn around. The work load handsome Ollie puts in is way more than any other player of his position does throughout Europe.

    Wenger likes players to do their share, recently even Ozil has been doing a bit. I like to imagine Wenger pulling him aside and explaining “De–fending” to Mesut and I especially try and imagine the look that would have almost certainly have been on Ozil’s face.

    Defending, de—-fending, picture Wenger trying to tell him that he has to do the washing up by hand because the dishwasher has broken. De—–fending, they never taught us that at Real Madrid.

    Personally, every time I see him try and make a tackle I think to myself — please don’t do that, you are increasing your chances of getting injured by a number that I prefer not to think about.

    Back to Giroud, I did think that he calmed down when Podolski came on, it was a bit like “phew”, the onus is no longer solely on me.

    I fully expect Arsenal to look to sign a new striker in the transfer window but I don’t expect them to be successful.

    Anyway, that’s enough waffle from me.

  41. arnie says:

    LB: Good stuff. 😦 I am listening, but yet to be convinced. 😀 😀

  42. evonne says:

    cheers arnie. Match was good all right, turkey wasn’t.

    Ok Little Boy LB, I agree with you about our handsome Frenchie being a workhorse (Rocky’s phrase), but would you rather – an outright striker like ratty Suarez or defending forward like Ollie? We know that R$P won the league for United last season. And I am not sure if we can win the EPL this season with OG, are you confident?

  43. LB says:


    I am afraid to say that I would drive Ollie to Liverpool myself as part exchange if that was what was needed to secure the deal.

  44. evonne says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 me too 🙂

  45. arnie says:

    not me, unfortunately …. 😦

  46. evonne says:

    and we would have to drive over DidIt’s dead body on the way to Anfield

  47. arnie says:

    Forgot to mention my personal highlight for the game. Fat Sam Walrus did not manage to raise himself off his couch even when Carlton Cole scored!!!!! Classic!!! Hilarious! 😀 😀 😀

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all.

    Thanks for the post Evonne, I can’t agree with you on Ollie because I think there is a difference in expectation.

    Some time ago TotalArsenal wrote a post saying the team played better with Chamakh than it did with BSR. The basic thought being BSR on the pitch led to players trying to assist him to score and his sole aim on the pitch being to be imposition to score.

    Giroud plays a similar back to goal role that Chamakh tried to, the difference being Ollie is prepared to put his body where it hurts for the cause and can find the net too.

    Whilst it would be nice to see Ollie be a bit more pacey the cross from Gibbs you mention should have been finished by Theo. Watch a replay (I’m about to on MotD) but Ollie is on the 18 yard box, Theo is already on the yard box and moved to the penalty spot, Ollie bust a gut to try and get close to finishing it, Theo if he had made the right movement could have been there quicker.

    On a similar token I reckon Ollie would have got pelters for missing the chance Ozil did when he hit it at the keepers legs.

    But as I said yesterday I am becoming a bit of an apologist for Giroud, but it’s because I think we the fans don’t see why he can’t be on the end of every cross, he is normally recovering from having been the link to get the ball wide or to hold possession.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Gibbs, Santi, Theo and Poldi all deserve the praise they’ve been getting, but I would like to give a bit of recognition to our No 8.

    I thought Arteta had a very fine game.

  50. Do we think Nick has done enough to earn a move in January? If AW hasn’t got a target in sight then Nick will have to stay, no?

  51. Excellent point GiE about Giroud starting a move and then busting a gut to get on the end of the final part.

  52. arnie says:

    GiE: Agree. In my opinion, Ollie is a foot-soldiers of this team, the likes of whom do not get much kudos for the successes and most of the flak for the failures. Yes, we need brilliant players, perhaps a brilliant striker, but we also need our foot soldiers.

    Rocky: Arteta likewise. I watched only the highlights, and Arteta was involved in every move, attack or defence. Another of our foot soldiers. 😀 😀 😀

  53. mickydidit89 says:


    Talent is what you got, and if Rasp had been a bit sharper and created you your own Match Thoughts banner, I think he could have nabbed you for life, we’d all be off the hook forever.
    Could have stuck up that pic he has in his office of a 16 yr old Evonne, butt naked save for her “Polska Forever” knickers.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Didit

    Interesting mental image to start the day 😀

  55. LB says:

    Maybe they would just have the Polish flag on them, hmmmmm, not sure?

  56. evonne says:

    Why 16 year old Evonne? What is wrong with a 54 year old grandma in her bloomers 🙂

  57. evonne says:

    Raddy – mailed you a present

    DidIt – did you see LBs offer of driving your Ollie to Pool?

    GiE – I just love it your analysis of situtations; absolutely biased and never failing to cheer me up 🙂

  58. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ramsey is waiting on the results of a scan on his thigh injury, he’ll be out for four weeks if it’s only a strain, six to eight if it’s a tear.

  59. evonne says:

    NG – oh no!! Good job Santi is in top form

  60. Morning all

    just sorting the post ……………

  61. Raddy – are you still there? I kind of remember you saying that I’ll need to find someone to do a pre-match ……. which game?

  62. mickydidit89 says:


    Yes I did see the LB comment, and I’d be in the back seat holding Ollie down 🙂

  63. ………………….New Post ……………………

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