Well that was a really rip-roaring christening for my first game ever in the lower tier at the Emirates. Watching the game from lower down and closer to the pitch makes the whole experience more visceral. Yes, you don’t see the patterns of play in quite the same way, but footballers don’t either. Gaps and angles, space and geometry are all in a flat plane for the boys with the boots on. I enjoyed it.
Chances at both ends, the best for Arsenal was Laca’s one on one with the keeper. Robbing the hesitant lump in the Watford defence, dinking the ball beautifully over the keeper but just failing to keep the ball between the posts. Watford also had some decent efforts but were either wide or came up against the helmet.
Anthony Taylor failed to give a clear penalty when Lacazette was fouled. No wonder players go down easily when it’s the falling over that refs give decisions for rather than the actual foul itself. Poor from Mr Shiny Head.
End to end and excitement throughout. Again Laca with several chances but none that easy. Watford not requiring large dollops of possession to create danger on the counter. You could see why they’ve been effective. Leno came on when the helmet’s hamstring pinged taking a goal kick. He proceeded to make a fine reaction save from Deeney diverting a dead ball, blocking a one on one and catching or punching everything that was launched at him.
Iwobi coming on for the ineffectual Ramsey turned the game on its head. Suddenly there was drive, pace and power down Arsenal’s right. Alex’s cross was diverted beyond Foster by Cathcart in the 81st minute and then Welbz on for Auba won the ball in midfield, Laca and Wobbly combined beautifully to slide the ball across for a perfect pink-booted Mesut sidefoot. What a wonderful couple on minutes it was!
A clean sheet – shared by both keepers, each contributed equally. Was it the Torreira effect? Are we looking more like the new incarnation of an Arsenal side capable of grinding out results by going up a gear or two? Or is it still much too early to tell? Either way it’s fun at the moment.
Cech/ Leno – good stuff again from the helmet matched by his German replacement….7/8
Bellerin – better defensively to go along with always being dangerous going forward….7
Mustafi – a little bit Keystone Coppish again….5
Holding – looked the senior partner, visibly gaining confidence with each minute on the pitch….8
Monreal – as effective as ever, such a shame he couldn’t quite reach Xhaka’s brilliant diagonal pass in the second half….7
Torreira – still settling in and becoming accustomed to the type of bruising Premiership encounters teams like Watford are capable of dishing out….7
Xhaka – Love watching his glorious left foot. As TA said, him and the Terrier are a match made in heaven in midfield….7
Ramsey – Slime has got into his head and he doesn’t seem to know what he’s meant to be doing in Emery’s new team….5
Ozil – Came to life in that last segment of the game, with Iwobi on the pitch he had someone to pass to all of a sudden, an extra mark for his perfectly executed goal….7
Aubameyang – wasted on the left again, we’re going to have to move to 3-5-2 to get him involved at the sharp end….6
Lacazette – full effort and commitment. Not sure why he couldn’t celebrate the own goal – we’d finally scored, Alexandre, be happy. Excellent contribution to superb second goal….7
Iwobi – Wobbly made all the difference – thrust, power and penetration – well played young man….8
Welbeck – a significant part to play in that clinching second goal….6
Well written Chas, thanks.
Agree with most except Bellerin.
The more I watched him the more I saw he was not interested in defending. The amount of sprints up the wings and than a casual meandering back to defense, an almost reluctance to head back.
I saw on a couple of occaisions where Xhaka or Torr had to play his position as he was disinterested in coming back.
i’m not a fan of this style of play
Happy shipmates this grey and overcast morning
That view must seem very very different to your usual, but believe me, there’s still a gulf of difference between where you were yesterday and where the manager sits
Front row and it really is 2D
Back you your post, and agree with pretty much everything. The exception being your conclusion that 3-5-2 is the way forwards
4-3-1-2 could being the front two closer together and allow Mesut to perform his best role
The question then becomes who, and what type of plkaer, slots in either side of Terry
‘and what type of plkaer”
a plkaer is a player according to Apple’s spell-guess-check which is worse than mine 🙂
very well written, thank you ch
it is fun indeed, isn’t it? And it wasn’t 2-3 previous seasons. It was very formidable of Wenger to stick by his protegees, but not fair on the other players and the fans. He wouldn’t have subed Ramsey. Emery did well, he read the game and changed it. Top marks for our manager.
I would give Leno 5, the lad makes me nervous, very nervous. Does he really know what he is doing, he looks a bundle of nerves and unpredictable moves. I hope you are wrong about Cech and he will be back next year. We won’t win anything with Leno. I think.
Oh grow up, Eddie, and stop talking about goal keepers 🙂
Leno made one superb save, but the real question should be, why didn’t we score more, well at least score the two way earlier 🙂
I’m not moaning as I thoroughly enjoyed the game but the question should be: How come they got through our midfield so easily
I have a really nasty feeling everyone is watching golf
Don’t agree about Bellerin sauntering back, not caring about defending. If you look at the times this was happening you will notice that he had just bust a gut to get into a position to augment the attack. It is Torreira’s job to cover him in these situations.
Good read Chas, thanks for that.
Golf doesn’t kick off until 11am.
Dying to know what you meant by the “chosen few” yesterday
I enjoyed the game too and are still enjoying Ozil’s goal on MotD as we speak, great goal.
But this is it micky, we are having fun now. Anticipation (as opposed to constipation), joy, fear, camaraderie rather than fighting each other…everything i love about footy. The difference is humongous. I was genuinely losing interest in the game and now I feel rejuvenated.
Torreira is tiny isn’t he? That was the one thing I noticed while sitting in row7 and comparing him to the Watford lumps.
From my view which wasn’t great admittedly I felt we were pedestrian in the first half and I didn’t think the combinations up top were working, after the changes Ozil came much deeper to get on the ball and move it which helped.
Thought Holding had a good game.
Couldn’t quite understand why Cech always seemed to aim at Laca and Hector when going long.
Because we’re so often “pedestrian” in the first half, then consistently make early subs 2nd 45 and immediately up the tempo and win, do you think this is part of the Emery plan or simply him reacting to a repeating pattern (which could be ingrained from the Arsene era)
I do realise your judgement may be clouded by
a. being a goal keeper, and
b. being a Lib Dem 🙂 🙂 (I was enjoying your lovely family pics and it announced your terrible news)
exile – forgot to comment on the fab photos – they are fab :
Mmmm, think I’d have a better conversation with my strimmer 🙂
Gang Of Youths just played the opener for the NRL Grand Final
Go the Melbourne Storm!!!
Excellent chas. Thank you.
As you say, Watford showed why they are doing so well this season, I was impressed by their attacking intent and their defence.
Holding was very good and AWTH should be dropped if the Greek Bloke can play.
Ramsey was poor.
St Pancras always surprises me how beautiful it is. You’d have thought I’d be used to it by now.
Easy answer Micky
‘The Chosen Few’
Those who are lucky enough to support Arsenal.
It is a wonderful finish from Cathcart.
Chas in the lower tier yea rite
A couple more from the lower tier
Plenty of water
Great work chas, I’ve also enjoyed sitting in the lower tier ….. you feel (and are) so much closer to the play.
Holding was my motm … he made some excellent blocks, won pretty much every header and was calm and confident. We will see if UE has the steel he wants to create within his players … for me its simple, Iwobi over Ramsey and Holding over Mustafii when Sokratis is fit.
It was a typical Arsenal performance for this season … . but every game we learn a bit more about the players and the system, and winning ugly is still 3 points. You can see how much the players want it by the goal celebrations. I’m very happy with the way we’re coping with the new regime.
What a weekend! Les Bleus sont champions du monde et les Arsenal est magnifique! ( With apologies to RC).
Arsene looks so happy now that he’s left Arsenal.
Just scouting around the net and discovered that Ronaldo was earning €42m a year at RM ! That is almost €800k a week.
No wonder RM sold him.
The thing about that Ronaldo wage is that the general consensus seems to be that Juventus will recoup it, I mean, no one is saying that Juve have over spent, how they intend to achieve that is beyond my comprehension.
Some one is going to say through merchandising but that is too simplistic.
I need RA to make sense of this all.
well done IP
Arsene Wenger is far too happy; he should be watching our defense and suffering with the rest of us.
You don’t get time off from being a gooner Arsene.
Blackpool at home in the Caraboo cup. Tidy.
Apologies for not been about recently. It’s not a big deal, but disillusioned with the dystopian nature of modern football and society in general I have made the commitment to become the best alcoholic possible. I don’t think people realise how difficult been a top class pisshead is? Im finding it hard to get tanked up everyday. I was recently thrown out of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after the discovery I was the only person without a hangover and ignoring a road side fag butt.
Forgive me, but if I may, I would like to comment about that Arsene photo. The great man looks tanned and fuller in face. This usually means the discovery of a new and thrilling pastime, like 18rh century English literature or a bird that’s up for it.
However if you look closely, Arsenes smile is slightly skewed to the left? This tends to indicate that he is hiding something connected to his present envoirement. This surely has nothing to with Lauren? Arsenes still relieved he replaced Nelson Vivas. No, I believe that it is the feel of been back in the dressing room. The man has football in his blood and I would not be surprised to see him return to management very soon.
then and now
hm..,,poor company for ip
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