Arsenal 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion: That's more like it

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Post by Jay29 Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Another big game, another occasion to bring out the hyperbole.

Injuries to Walcott and Podolski (who managed to get on the bench at least) meant that Gervinho (Mad) and Chamberlain (Neutral) received an opportunity to improve upon their current form. All the usual starters came back in after the mid-week game in Greece.

First half

As far as first halves go, this was one of the better performances from Arsenal in a while. It wasn't jaw dropping or inspiring, but we certainly looked more lively and more solid than we have done.

Offensively, there was a simple but significant change in midfield: Jack Wilshere played in the advanced midfield role instead of Santi Cazorla. Wilshere was a real positive influence, taking the ball forward at every chance and drifting past West Brom's midfielders with ease. With West Brom struggling to cope, more space seemed to appear for Cazorla to exlpoit.

Chamberlain also was a positive influence on our attack, being direct with his running and end product. It was similar to how Walcott had played this season so far. With these factors combined, Arsenal did create opportunities to score: Gervinho had a decent attempt just inside the box, Wilshere came agonisingly close to scoring a tap-in after a good move and Cazorla volleyed over when he got on the end of a good Chamberlain cross.

The only goal of the half, though, came as a result of a dive from Cazorla. There's no excusing it, really, and nobody wants to see it.

Nonetheless, Arteta stepped up and scored the penalty.

Second half

West Brom were a non-entity in the first half and they really weren't much better this half. They looked to play on the counter and score from set-pieces, but their midfield was dominated and they really couldn't get any transitions going at all.

Arsenal helped themselves by keeping a good solid backline. Vermaelen actually stayed back in defence, and it made the difference as far as our defending was concerned. Had we he bombed forward as usual, it could have opened up more space for West Brom to counter into. So it was a good thing that he curbed that tendency of his.

Without being troubled at our end, we were free to attack and create chances at the other. The best fell to Gervinho, who failed to get any solid contact on it at all. Just another bid of Gervinho comedy/frustration to add to the collection.

Our second goal came from another penalty. This one actually was a penalty, but their may have been a foul in the build-up that should have gone West Brom's way. Again, though, Artea stepped up and dispatched the penalty with ease to all but seal the points for Arsenal. Podolski should have made it 3-0, but somehow shot way over the bar. Less said about that the better.

Genuinely good performance

All in all, this was a good performance. It wasn't perfect, nor was it as good as it could be, but it was much improved from the dross we had witnessed in the last few games.

West Brom were poor and we did get fortunate with some key refereeing decisions, but I think we would have won the game regardless had we been sharper in front of goal. Gervinho had two good chances, Podolski had a guilt-edged chance, Cazorla had a couple, Wilshere had a couple, Chamberlain had one... it's obviously an area we're still struggling in, but at least we had created the chances in the first place.

It goes without saying that we now need to kick on from this. We're up to 6th now (albeit with Spurs, Everton and West Ham playing tomorrow) and a good run of form will see us back into the top four. It's tight in this part of the table and if we find some consistency we can get into the top four no problem.

Player ratings

Wojciech Szczesny - 6. Nothing to do, bar one routine save in the second half. Much welcomed clean sheet.

Per Mertesacker - 6.

Thomas Vermaelen - 6.

Bacary Sagna - 6.

Kieran Gibbs - 6.

Mikel Arteta - 8. Better display overall and took both penalties well. Seems to have benefited from the rest in mid-week.

Santi Cazorla - 7. A better performance from him. Another who has benefited from a break.

Jack Wilshere - 8. Best performance this season. Excelled in a move advanced role and looked more like the Wilshere we're used to seeing.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7. Probably his first good game this season.

Gervinho - 6. Missed chances aside, Gervinho actually had a decent game. He moved well off the ball and actually made decisions in vital areas instead of dwelling on the ball like usual. Even if they weren't the right decisions or the end product wasn't great, he looks a much better playing when being decisive.

Olivier Giroud - 6. A little disappointing, but I wonder if his second half performance was hindered by that knock he picked up in the first.


Last edited by GoonerJay29 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RealGunner Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:00 pm

Wilshere with a monsterous performance. What a player and not even fully 100% :bow:

Gervais had a good game Thumbs up

Oxlade was excellent too. Arteta 2nd best player for me.

Defence really solid.

santi's penalty No
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:01 pm

Better game.. But need a better Response..

Our midfield did good.. But no team is going to get points without a good attack.. There comes our luck.. 2 penalties...
West Brom didnt press much after the initial 20 minutes which made things easy for our midfield.. We managed to create some decent chances.. But our finishing was terrible.. Wasted to many silly chances.. And our crossing was poor.. Sagna, Gibbs and Gervinho were the culprits.. Ox was brilliant today, full of energy and put some very good crosses...

Sczeny - 7 nothing much to do.. Solid when called upon..
Sagna - 5.5 thought he was poor today.. May be not fully fit.. Some terrible crossing..
Gibbs - 6 poor blind crosses again and again.. Defensively didnt have much work..
Metskr - 7 good interceptions and tackles.. Was really angry with the referee for some poor decisions on him..
Vermelen - 7 looks like he is back with couple of solid performances in the last 2 games..
Arteta - 7 well taken penalties.. Had an easier day defensively..
Wilshere - 7 mom.. Made runs into the box.. Main creative force..
Cazorla - 6 average game.. Some good interlink play.. And the dive..?
Ox - 7 great day for him.. Energetic.. Good crossing.. May be his best match this season..
Gervinho - 4 terrible..:facepalm: How can he waste such chances.. And along with that spoils our attack with poor decision making and crosses.. He shouldnt play for Arsenal again.. We would be better benefited playing some 16 year old kid..
Giroud - 6 didnt get much chances today.. Though the was not fully fit after that knock..
Coquelin - 6 looked good.. Some good tackling..
Podolski - only thing he offers is finishing and he does this..:facepalm:

overall.. A happy 3 points eventhough not so convincing.. The goals were penalties.. But we clearly dominated the game and there was no chance for them..


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Post by Amar Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:01 pm

That's more like it indeed.

Solid performance, just what we needed. Apart from two chances from Drogba and Brunt, we were in control of the game

Wilshere was magnificent,, he was flying around the pitch..MOTM for me, with Vermaelen second.

Just need to build some consistency now...


Last edited by Amar on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Sina Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:01 pm

3 delicious points +clean sheet Arsenal 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion: That's more like it Mike110

Jack will be GOAT :bow:
bac didnt look fit
defence solid overall
tempo of passing a bit higher than recent matches
pressured more efectively and they were like bricking it and we won the ball higher up
west brom nothing but midtable

overall improved performance


Last edited by Sina on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:08 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by BeArsenal Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:02 pm

Missed the game Sad apparently wilshere/ox/TV and arteta had a good game?

Glad to see a win!
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Post by Rev Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:07 pm

Our midfield was mesmerising BeArsenal.

It was just one of those days when everything goes right.
Our finishing was sub-par but the penalties bailed us out in the end.

Happy for Arteta, he looked a bit tired mentally in these last few weeks but he came back strong as ever.

Wilshere and our whole defense MOTM for me. Everyone looked focused and determined. That's what we need atm. cheers


Last edited by Rev on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by furiouswindbottom Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:15 pm

When you're not playing well you need to fight. That's what any team with ambition must do.

Very happy. We still don't look quite right, but make the effort and you'll get the reward.

The effort from everyone is the reason I am happy. You need to fight to get results at times.

Szczesney: 7
Sagna: 6
Merty: 6
TV: 7
Gibbs: 6 At times looked frustrated with Gervinho's 50p head.
Arteta:8 MOTM for me. Wilshere was very good, but Arteta was all over the pitch and won tackles all over the place.
Wilshere: 8 (That's more like it)
Gervais: 6.5 Frustrating at times but he really went for it. Defensively he was very good. Going forward was a bit of both.
OX: 7 Much better
Cazorla: 6.5 He dived. I don't like it. But if any Brom fans whinge about diving...look at Rosenberg's dive. Ridiculous. Laughing
Giroud: 4.5 Surprisingly poor. In everything he did.

Subs:

Coquelin: 6
Rosicky: N/A
Podolski: N/A


Last edited by furiouswindbottom on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by urbaNRoots Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 pm

Happy with the result.

Wilshere was MOTM for me even though Santi, Mikel and Vermaelen had a great game. Wilshere looks like truly coming back. I liked him even more when Wenger moved him to AM in the last 10 minutes, looked extremely good.

Santi should never dive again and Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to step it up.
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Post by furiouswindbottom Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:34 pm

Anyone spot the slight change in formation?

Looked like a 4-1-4-1 to me.

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Post by Jay29 Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:36 pm

Wilshere played a more advanced role, with Cazorla either alongside him or behind him. It looked more like a 4-3-3 than a 4-2-3-1. Wilshere really revelled in the extra freedom and Cazorla looked better than he has been with the responsibility of creating shared with someone else.

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Post by Sina Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:41 pm

let me tell you one interesting stat Razz
West Brom's final third pass accuracy was worst of all teams today with 46%

Arsenal 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion: That's more like it Screen92

good job lads

Albion done with ref decisions?nah give credit where its due media you lazy bunch


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Post by Jay29 Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:43 pm

The ref did make some bad decisions, but West Brom were so poor all game.

Done with the first post. Thumbs up

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Post by MJ Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:54 pm

This picture says everything that needs to be said about Jack today. BOSS.

Arsenal 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion: That's more like it 155913_415326345207616_1045817155_n

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Post by RealGunner Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Excellent analysis. Agreed about Gervais, Should have scored
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Post by REWB Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

wilshere :bow: our only hope for a brighter future
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Post by mani88 Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Our performance was very good, but finishing is something that is still missing. That Podolski miss was really unbelievable, (no need to talk about Gervinho). Penalties bailed us out today. Still a lot of work to do.

Wilshere :bow:

Wenger for putting Wilshere in more advanced position than Cazorla Thumbs up
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Post by Rev Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:23 pm

MJGunner wrote:This picture says everything that needs to be said about Jack today. BOSS.

Arsenal 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion: That's more like it 155913_415326345207616_1045817155_n

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

My new avatar. Never thought he would come back so strong. :bow:

Anyway.... this left me in stitches Laughing

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Post by Jay29 Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:41 pm

Mikel Arteta (according to WhoScored):

Passes: 73
Pass accuracy: 86%
Long balls: 6
Successful long balls: 5
Key passes: 1
Touches: 93
Aerials won: 50%
Tackles: 6
Interceptions: 2


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Post by Wilson37 Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:43 pm

and about Cazorlas dive.. dont know how it happened.. earlier we saw couple of occasions when Gervinho did it.. cant approve it even in whatever desperate situation we are atm...
This is unacceptable from the new players.. We are Arsenal not Mancheaters United.. We never used to do that...
hope he gets the stick from Wenger...
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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:55 pm

A good game, was not happy with Carzola this is the second time he dives to get a penalty he did it last week.

I wish we had score 1 or 2 more goals but I take it. We really need a striker that fits our system, I hope we can sign a top striker in January.

Jack the lion heart. :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Post by furiouswindbottom Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:21 pm

Excellent analysis again Jay. Well done.

I don't know if you guys get 'Fanzone' where you live, but I got really annoyed with them tonight.

They (Leroy Rosenior, Don Hutchinson and Gary O'Rielly) were going mental claiming Santi should be banned for 3 games.

I actually agree with 3 game bans for diving, but funnily enough....I don't remember them ranting so much about Ashley Young, Suarez, Rooney, Welbeck, Torres or Bale.

Arsenal players don't dive. You know why? Wenger hates it.

I was too drunk to call them and my internet connection was rubbish during the show, but after Rosenior said ''Wenger should have a word''...I really wanted to go mental and say...''Yeah, he will. Like he did with Theo after his one and only dive. Like he did with Eduardo, whom UEFA changed the rules for and banned for two games. Never happened before or since. Santi won't dive again. But Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez and Young will. And they won't stop. Because guys like you are too afraid to have a go at Man U players. More importantly, you won't have a go at Ferguson. He is obviously aware of these dives and his silence means he encourages it.''

It's Ferguson who needs the ban!

Maybe I'll try and 'talk to them' this week.
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Post by julias Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:56 pm

julias wrote:Off to the emirates today and I have never watched Arsenal lose a game a run which stretches for the best part of 13-14 odd years, 15-20 games.

Lets hope my run continues COYG...

Very Happy

and my run continues, good game at the emirates Wilshere bossed 100%, the fans were on Gervinho's back so badly I fear another Eboue....

We never really looked threatened and I thought attacking wise we looked a lot better when Rosicky came on. Hopefully this isn't another false dawn...
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Post by REWB Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:20 pm

i love watching wilshere, rosicky and cazorla play when on form.
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Post by SamuelJayC Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:02 pm

Cazorla 8 at least. Was majestic.

Great performance alround. We actually defended well! Sagna back makes a difference with his experience.

Cazorla-Arteta-Wilshere showed it CAN work, just needs to get used to eachother.

Gervinho, Chamberlain impressive. Giroud quiet but not great service and seemed to suffer back problem.

Bring on Bradford! bounce
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