van Persie Leads As Arsenal Waltz To Victory Over Wigan

Arsenal 3 – 0 Wigan Athletic

1 – 0 van Persie (21)
2 – 0 van Persie (59)
3 – 0 van Persie (85)

Caldwell Sent Off (70)

Wigan Athletic continued their appalling record at Arsenal, overwhelmed from the kick-off by an Arsenal side determined to continue their title challenge. Robin van Persie grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick but the Dutchman should have joined the exclusive club of players who have scored five goals in a game, denied by the post and an indulgent penalty miss.

van Persie had to settle for the first hat-trick of his Arsenal career, something that is long overdue. The Dutchman was not the only star; there were eleven on the pitch with concentration and application key to a fluid performance.

Arsenal’s passing was crisp and even, few moments of over-intricacy in the area, the majority of chances requiring Al Habsi in the Wigan to produce another good display. The Omani international is keen to add his name to the list of goalkeepers who raise their game when they come to the Emirates.

With Manchester City succumbing at Villa Park, Arsenal established themselves in second place, two points behind Manchester United although that gap  will surely increase to five as the game in hand the current leaders have is played at Bloomfield Road this week.

Arsenal started at a terrific pace, one which was maintained for the ninety minutes without ever really extending the hosts. Before ten minutes was passed, Al Habsi had denied Nasri and van Persie with good saves. When the goalkeeper was not involved, his defenders were blocking shots as if their careers depended upon it.

Fabregas was denied on two occasions by Caldwell and Gohouri. Rome’s Spanish Steps may be a much-admired tourist attraction but London yesterday witnessed the footballing equivalent with Cesc back to his best form. Weaving through the Wigan defence, he got to within striking distance before Caldwell Jr sent the ball behind for a corner.

The breakthrough during this procession of missed opportunities. Alex Song observed in a recent interview that he was more confident in attack. His pass to van Persie confirmed that, the Dutchman thumping home his shot.

Cesc would wage his own war on the Wigan goal for the rest of the first half. It was to no avail as Al Habsi made a great save following Sagna’s excellent run and cross whilst defensive interventions once more stopped the Arsenal captain in his tracks.

The second half was more of the same but at a lower tempo. Perhaps minds were straying to midweek; perhaps a more considered approach was needed to ensure that superiority turned to goals.

Nasri and Walcott both teased early in the half before van Persie struck once more. Cesc placed a sumptuous pass into the Dutchman’s path, his volleyed finish giving the Spaniard’s efforts their deserved reward. The platform for a larger victory was now complete.

Ten minutes later, it seemed that the first van Persie Arsenal treble would be completed. Fabregas burst into the area, latching onto Song’s pass. As Al Habsi advanced, Caldwell Sr closed on the Arsenal captain and hauled him to the floor. The penalty and subsequent red card were easy decisions for the referee to make.

This is Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal though, nothing which can be easy is made so, van Persie hoisted his penalty into the stands as his manager buried his head in his hands. The Dutchman was given chance to make amends soon afterwards, his curled effort struck the outside of the post having evaded the outstretched limbs of Al Habsi. van Persie, it seemed, was as fond of doubles as his English predecessors.

His luck changed with five minutes to go. Theo Walcott provided cover as a human shield in the penalty area, delayed and then deferred to van Persie. This time the Dutchman did not disappoint, the finish emphatic.

It was the expected victory over a struggling side. Tinged with some disappointment that only three goals were registered, the performance deserved more, especially in the first half. However, three points was the more immediate concern with goal difference not materially affected despite Birmingham’s capitulation at Old Trafford.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on January 23, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 88 Comments.

  1. It doesn’t need saying really but if we continue to play like this then we will, without doubt, win the Title.

    The requirement now is to be able to put out a side for every match that can deliver the same balance and application. No reason why not, the players are there.

    Then of course there is the threat of injuries. Still. We should be used to those and ride any problems with ease!

  2. Cesc was crazy good yesterday. Van Persie, I just love him! Manchester united in front of us is ruining my buzz.

  3. Do you guys think we will need to win all our games in the league to win the title?

  4. In a word, no. Manu will drop more than another 6 points by the end of the season.

  5. I was musing on that very point, goonerwife. I think we have to win all of our remaining home games – eight – and three or four of the away games. Going unbeaten to the end of the season would be nice, but I think we could possibly afford to lose one or two of the away games, as we have alreadyn banked a lot of away points. In the short term, we need to go on a winning run.

  6. Really good match description – a great performance, wasn’t it?! Was that Bergkampf’s hand I saw on van Persie’s shoulder at one point? My only concern was how many chances we failed to convert – not from a churlish perspective, just that by not putting the game to bed nice ‘n early, we were having to play at a higher level, and at a faster tempo for far longer than really should have been the case given our domination.

    Felt sorry for Wigan – I can’t recall seeing fewer away supporters at the Ems – they barely exceeded the number of chances Wigan had to score.

    My already excellent mood was even further improved by the irony of Villa’s first big buy in years proving the undoing of City in the evening kick off; City really don’t look so great to me. And Manure’s win, despite the goal tally, was more workmanlike than a genuine flair performance … still, they did convert their chances. So, to the League Cup …

  7. I do think Blackpool could take points from ManU. If they did, I expect we would reel them in by March, if not sooner, if we keep plating as we are and keep Fit.

  8. I meant by the end of March.

  9. Naaa Goonerwife, Man U have 17 games to go and have:

    Chelsea home and away (they will most likely lose 1)
    Liverpool away
    Everton home
    Man City home
    Villa home
    Wolves away
    US away!

    Bloody hell I cant remember the last time Van Persie missed a penalty….was it man city 2006? He got too excited at the prospect of his first hat-trick bless him. Anyway we are beginning to look ominous.

    Birmingham bent over disgracefully a la Blackburn but how many more of those can United bank on?

  10. agree with cbob
    utds fixtures suggest they will drop more points than us..
    late feb/march is the key period..the period where i think we will over take them
    nothing is guaranteed but i am 90% sure we are winnig something this year..

  11. Here is my prediction – the first match manure lose will lead to their falling apart, much as happened when the invincibles lost. Their entire shtick is that they cannot lose at the moment, even if they play badly. Once that goes, all they have is the quality of their performances, which has not been great.

    We don’t need to win all our matches – no way…

  12. Robin and Cesc most caught the eye, but I also think Song and Wilshere deserve a lot of credit for providing such a solid platform throughout. Rodallega and N’Zogbia were simply never in the game as a result.

    But in truth we had 11 heroes on the pitch.Well, 10 and a goalkeeper who probably ought to have taken the day off instead, so unoccupied was he.

  13. I have to say that we’ve quietly but effectively regained our home form. I now make that 3 really good performances in the league on our own turf. Against Chelsea we were outstanding, against City we were very, very good but didn’t quite get the result our play merited and against Wigan we were quite unbelievable especially in the first half. I’ve watched the first half again and it is just amazing that we could be so utterly dominant against a team that, whilst not great, are not exactly rubbish either. Wigan simply couldn’t cope with our pace, skill, passing and movement. If we can avoid injuries, especially to Djourou, then we could have a very, very good season indeed. I have to say that I was quite excited at the start of the season but never in my wildest dreams did I imgine that we’d be seeing this level of football at this time… I was thinking that next season would be the one to see us really fly but I could well be very, very wrong.

  14. Got to agree with everyone and say that I can’t see United remaining unbeaten all season long, stranger things have happened but I think that it’s unlikely that they’d remain unbeaten…. and I especially think that what Nando said is very pertinent… how ManU deal with their first loss will be interesting to see… once that aura of not having lost goes they are going to need a lot of mental strength to face their next match no matter who it’s against….

  15. @ Nando
    Good point. Let’s hope the pleasure of inflicting that first defeat falls to us…although if some other club gets there first, I won’t be complaining!

  16. I’m looking forward to the next time the “B” team is put out. I see signs of key players in that side getting into form, gaining confidence etc. If that proves to be the case, then although the balance of the side might still be an issue, it would make rotation for the CC and the FAC easier. For example, if we beat Ipswich (not counting chickens because I don’t want to jinx us!), AW wouldn’t feel he had to play the A team in the CC final AND against Barcelona either side of it.

  17. I think wenger knows it also – notice his comments that manure could certainly go undefeated. The more the media hypes up the chances of an undefeated season, the harder the fall when it fails to happen. An arsenal loss would hurt – a manure loss would devastate.

    I also think you will notice manure playing more tentatively to avoid such a result – notice their play at spurs – they really were only there for a point.

  18. i have high hopes and confidence that it will be us that ends the utd unbeaten love fest…sweet revenge i say

    i also like the theory that utd will go unbeaten this season, but will draw too many and we will take the title

    it would be rather ironic that utd stay unbeaten but we still win the league…theres no point being unbeaten if you dont win anything..that would be perfect

    we went unbeatable with a purpose, theres a big difference between being unbeaten and being invincble….

  19. Yes, Nando – and once it sets in, that cautious mindset is hard to shake off.

    Sorry, everyone – think I got my dates wrong about Barca and CC final. AS you were…

  20. I flirted with that scenario, Jonjon, but its fatal flaw is that it entails us drawing with Manure. We can’t have that, can we? They can have draws for all the rest of the season, but we have to beat them at home.

  21. lol fungunner no we sure cant…
    either scenario will do..either scenario will piss the mancs right off
    im caught in two minds with that one..but as long as it involves us winning the league i dont mind which one happens
    ones thing for sure though
    utd are scared they know theyve got it tough this year
    arsenal are a different animal to previous years, we are back to our best, if not better and they know it….they cant win away and we can..with ease..home form coming good also…
    bring it…..

  22. Come on you Spammers. They have to beat Birmingham Charlatans if Arsenal win their CC SF. If they don’t, it could be a clogged up CC Final. Probably with our good friend Walton as the referee again. Just by coincidence.

    A funny report upon Talkspittle about their favourite sport, Gr*ttyballs, (Rugby Union/Non-associated Football) this morning. Don’t ask why I was listening:
    The average career is much shorter now, by years & years, because of injuries. Every squad has too many players out with injuries. The average player is not the same size or weight as twenty years ago. They players need (padded) protection, or something, they said, even though it is ‘girly’, and not very gr*tty. Brain cells could help? Perhaps less (legal) stimulants that might have been brewed in an old abandoned industrial facility from the former DDR might be a good idea?

    These impersonators of Alan Partdridge (truth is indeed stanger then fiction) seem to be unwilling to consider such coverage of the sport that constitutes the bulk of their time and earnings.

    Fuck’em all.
    The Arsenal No.10 & No.14 (and the rest) are looking good.

  23. Great match report by the way YW!

    I keep repeating myself but this starting XI is ready to tear anyone to shreads.

    The sadeist in me always has a glance at Le Grove’s summary and what would you know? Apparantley our recent good form is a direct result of Arsene taking advice of their blogger George, who has skilfully pointed out that is staying back like he’s told (despite the fact that he put van Persie through for the first goal, made the pass that won the penalty and scored against Chelsea) and that Arsene has listened to him about dropping Fabianski (despite 2 of the clean sheets and the win over chelsea were registered with Fabianski in goal). As Arsenal fans, we shoud thank George for lending Arsene his genius insight. But Arsene did disobey his orders by putting the worst midfielder the world has ever seen on in the 86th minute. This displeases George no end, something we simply can’t afford if we are to win anything this season.

  24. *Song staying back

  25. I know it has been said before but spare me the opportunity. Some of our football yesterday was sublime. I think Darius said it was better than sex. Me, it was next to sex. We just simply ripped Wigan apart with some mazy football. How the game remained 1-0 at half time, 18 hrs later I still can’t believe it.
    Over the past four years many of us, against the doom-sayers and the buy-brigade have stood four square behind Arsene’s policy and vision and dear god I see success is imminent I can almost touch it.

  26. deano | January 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    Just fuck them. Muppet does a much better job.

  27. another scenario is utd stay unbeaten in the PL but draw too many and we take the title
    then we beat barca and get utd in the CL and we beat them in that..
    and we beat them in the fa cup..on pens…. lol
    hows that…?? 😉

  28. I would play the ‘stronger’ XI on Tuesday night, perhaps bringing in AA for Nasri, Gibbs for Clichy, Denilson for Wilshere.

    We can rotate even more for the Huddersfield game.

  29. How rubbish are we? Only beating Wigan 3 nil?

    Mcleish’s team selection for Birmingham’s game with ManU was very strange. Like he was almost trying to scupper his own team’s chances of a result? Weird that how fergie’s most loyal lap dogs McLeish and fat sam have put out teams at OT in no state to get a result and getting whooped in the process.

    United will lose 4 games before the end of the season and draw a fair few too. They have got to play us, Liverpool at home, the chavs twice and citeh at OT. They are also pretty average away from home so I expect them to drop points against any premier league team now till the end of the season. Starting with a 2-1 loss at blackpool on Tuesday.

    As for Arsenal, if we can get the results at home to go with our fantastic away form, then there’s no reason we cannot win the league.

  30. ole
    i agree..i think wenger will go with a pretty strong line up v ipswich..we are playing catchup and this cup is winnable i dont see him taking ‘risks’
    hudds offers the chance to rest the whole team i think ppl will be suprised by how strong the team is tues….

  31. Clichy has quietly made considerable leaps performance-wise. His athletic defending style (stealing the ball ahead of the attacker’s feet) is ahead of Koscielny (who is terrific at it) in my opinion..I don’t see Gibbs replacing him in the nearest future..I like the competition though

  32. Everything that Arsha tries is not coming off, including short simple passes. We need him firing to win 4 trophies this season.

  33. MacCleesh’s studied capitulation made me think of this for some reason…

  34. Can someone tell Goonerholic something is wrong with the link to his blog. For weeks now I can’t go directly to his site or link from NewsNow. I have been using both Chrome and IE with the same results. Sometimes Google redirects my browser to a cached file but usually one day old. I know many of you on ACLF either read and/or post over there.

  35. Ferdinand tweeted this about Fabregas
    “I swear Cesc just cut a man in half with them #silks!! Cesc is letting off here on MOTD!! Moving people like a removal man!”

  36. Shotta

    Click on the link in my blogroll – works fine.


  37. Yowzas we are hitting form at just the right time – no goals conceded in the league this year, nasri, song, Cesc, RVP, theo all on form….

    Manure’s away form is terrible – only two wins…if we win all our home games and continue our away form we’ll be in with a great shout

  38. I think we’ll be OK against Ipswich provided Bendtner is not played in the middle of our front 3. For me he is very, very ineffective there. He is not as mobile and skilful as Van P but he tends to move around as if he is which means that he often comes deep for the ball and subsequently loses it or he just plays a nothing pass. He’d be a much effective player if he played that role the way Chamack plays it… the problem is that he hasn’t got Chamack’s workrate nor does he hold the ball up as well as Chamack but on the plus side he is much more ready to take a shot so at least we’d have someone ready and willing to have shot when the ball comes to him in and around the box . Bendtner needs to calm down and rationally assess his strengths and weaknesses as a player IMHO… that’s probably the only he’s going to hit the heights that he and his dad keep talking about…

  39. On another day we could have struggled to score, their keeper could have had a good day, and people would have said it’s further proof that the only way to play Arsenal is to park the bus.

    RVP was having none of that.

    So I’ll hold it up as another example of how stupid it often is to go into a topflight game with no ambition of winning, no ambition of attacking, forcing the initiative.

    When it doesn’t work you look like a very poor team.

  40. the penalty taking is a slight concern….

  41. Limestonegunner

    I think Bendtner can play in the centre of our front three. He did it fairly well in the latter stages of last season–getting important goals, late strikes and keeping us challenging for longer than we would have otherwise. I don’t think he plays that well on the right side unless RvP is the front man. I agree, Joshua, that he isn’t as effective as RvP or Chamakh in that role however, which is why he is third choice there. In fact, I think he is trying to play that centre role more like RvP and Chamakh and coming too deep rather than in his own style as he did last year.

    If RvP is going to be rested against the Tractor Boys, I’d start with Chamakh and leave Bendtner on the bench. I’d prefer RvP start though–his form is fantastic and this is an important game. If we are up 3-0, then we can substitute him and play either Bendtner (moving in from the right) or Chamakh off the bench.

  42. Limestonegunner

    Romford, I don’t see penalty taking as any kind of worry. RvP took a wonderful one a few games ago. It was for a hattrick this time and perhaps he got a bit excited–he’s our best penalty taker, I think. Wenger said he is always his first choice for that role in his press conference after the game (where again he was very witty and humorous–the last several press conferences he has really been in form too! The whole team is functioning at top level).

  43. Limestone,

    I just don’t think that Bendtner is very good in the middle of the front 3… to be honest I’d play him in a much more orthodox front 2 as I think he is much more suited to playing that way. Last season against Barcelona away, for example, he was really ineffective in holding the ball up and if we’re playing with a front 3 it is crucial that the ball is retained by the point man. Against Ipswich we just couldn’t really develop any fluidity because Bendtner kept losing the ball, as a result we couldn’t build any real momentum to our attacking. Personally I prefer Bendtner on the right of the attacking three as he does less harm there IMHO and he does track back and work hard when he plays there. In the middle I just don’t think that he has figured out a way to play there that is in line with his set of skills. It’s just my opinion based on what I’ve seen from him plying there both this season and last.

  44. I thought the return of RVP was class personified supported admirably by the whole team. I certainly think Arsenal had to work harder for their victory. Wigan were dire but at least the tried to defend and Al Habsi and the post were phenomenal. Birmingham just rolled over at United.Those calling for Arsenal to increase their chance to conversion rate , football game is little more complicated than that. Otherwise Barca would win every game they play10 – 0.Personally I think the title will be won in the treatment room…and Djorou, Song,RVP, Nasri,Cesc,Walcott staying fit for the rest of the season.

  45. I was grinning like an idiot at the pub last night. No matter what happened no-one could wipe the grin off my face!! Oooh to be a Gooner!! Met up with some U Shited fans and we all agreed it is looking more and more likely that the season will come down to when we play them at the Emirates. I take great joy in saying that for the first time in about 3 years they are really nervous about going there. Gone was their usual arrogant belief that they would show up, take the points and go home again. Meh!! As for becoming the new “Invincibles”? Don’t make me laugh!! Not 1 of them believed it for a second!! They still have their local Derby and both games against the Chavs. I believe it will be the Chavs who will go all out to win as if they lose tw0 more games to one of the top teams then I can see them losing their place in Europe which would be a disaster for them and yet absolutely hilarious for us!! 🙂 On present form I would love to play the Mancs now, we would destroy them. I think Sagna has more goals than Shrek from open play this year and that to me says it all really. Although it would be really funny if Blackpool beat them on Tuesday, they are capable of it so who knows!!

  46. Irishgray,

    I’m praying for the improbable: a Blackpool win on Tuesday. They play football the right way and deserve better fortune – despite their manager’s tendency to support British regardless!

  47. Great performance yesterday. I said it yesterday but this is the best form we have seen on both sides of the pitch since the first part of 07/08 season. Hopefully we can maintain this thru the end of the season. I am not sure we have to win all of our games the rest of the year because ManU will probably drop some points but I really think we have to assume that we have to win the rest of our games since we have no control over what happens to the Manc’s other then the game we play against them. We need to win this ourselves and not hope for others to help us.

    Really pleased to see the marriage of beautiful football and strong defense. A long time coming but certainly wonderful to behold. Hopefully its more then just a run of good form. Inevitably there will be a few lower scoring games before years end and we need to keep the solidarity at the back to get 3 points in those games. The red Manc’s are going to park the bus when they come to the Emirates and they do it better then anyone. In current form perhaps we can put 2 or 3 past them but can not count on that. We need keep a clean sheet in the Manc game and in the mid week CC game.

  48. Does anyone have an idea when the copa del rey final would be? It could potentially be a barca v madrid final, and if it’s sandwiched between the second leg of the CL tie it could play into our hands.

  49. 1NilToTheArsenal

    Absolutely loved it. We can look sooo good at times. We have by far the most entertaining and exciting product in the Premier League.
    RvP – 3 touches, 3 goals.
    Cesc – a surgeon in mid-field, totally dissected Wigan. Perfectly weighted balls to RvP for the 2nd to and Walcott to set up the 3rd. Reminded me of how he came on in the World Cup final and jump-started Spain by that perfect pass to Iniesta for the goal. Enjoy the moment – it’s great to be a Gooner this weekend.

  50. the second leg is on tuesday march 08

  51. Colney Blog

    Copa del Rey final is early May / late April – no joy there.


  52. me and some mates were in the pup chatting absolute bollocks about football and we filmed it, im gunner ask sky if they can put that on right after the sunday supplement.

  53. pub even.

  54. Limestonegunner

    Didn’t Barca lose a copa game? Are they even still in that competition? If so it seems like they’ve become a smallish club in only half the competitions we are!

  55. thanks YW.

  56. One more question, when is the next round of international games?

  57. why is Roberto Martinez going on and on about Cesc’s penalty kick? There was clear contact and for him to claim Cesc conned the referee is out of order. Is he trying to take pressure of his team with those comments? I have a lot of respect for Martinez but i think he’s out of order with his comments.

  58. Oh my god, international games. Now I am starting to soil my pants. I just checked and they are supposed to take place in the last week of March. Could be bad, eh?

  59. I just checked our fixtures for march.

    05 Sat Barclays Premier League (H) Sunderland
    08 Tue UEFA Champions League (A) FC Barcelona
    12 Sat The FA Cup (N) Quarter-Final
    19 Sat Barclays Premier League (A) W.B.A.

  60. then on April 2 we host Blackburn

  61. Limestonegunner

    RvP’s second goal was such pure class–Wenger was really raving about how good it was. It is a shame that it isn’t getting more attention, discussion, celebration in football circles. I don’t think I have seen one as good this season. It reminded me of how deadly the Fabregas-van Persie combination can be. Last year before RvP was injured there was a similar long pass (this time to the right side of the box) that RvP brought down with an exquisite touch at the tip of his toe (on his left foot, I think) and in perfect stride smashed in with his other foot. I don’t remember the opponents, but I do recall Wenger talking about how supremely good the goal was and how only RvP and a couple other strikers in the world could score such a technically brilliant goal and few could deliver such a perfect pass. This one might have been even better.

  62. Fulham Limestonegunner….was unbelievable. Rightfully number 1 on this video with terrible music.

  63. ive been mulling over this for a while but does anyone think our injuries are not as bad this year becuase of the GPS system gazidis said we were going to be using at the start of this season??
    coincidence??? or has it really helped???

  64. Limestonegunner

    Cheers, Deano–a pleasure to be able to watch that again! Which do you think was better? It’s a tough one, I know…

  65. Limestonegunner

    Deano, agreed, awful track!

  66. Limestonegunner

    JonJon, could be that the GPS system has helped. Apparently it cut down on injuries something like 20% at other clubs once they started using it. We have, however, had quite a few injuries, when you think about it: Nasri had an operation in September, RvP, Fabregas, Diaby, Walcott, Vermaelen have all missed significant time this season. But many of these injuries either occurred or were exacerbated on international duty.

    My hope is that we avoid more significant ones to RvP, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, Song, Sagna and Djourou. That core can win us the title if they play most of our remaining league games.

  67. Didn’t Diaby make the same pass for Robin two or three seasons ago at Everton? With the same result. I vaguely recall it was when when we had Denilson and Song in midfield, and we were having a run of draws. We were a goal down and Diaby and RvP got us a point with virtually the last kick of the game.

  68. I am sure the GPS thing is working – the improvement has been so dramatic. Let’s hear it for the physios and medical team, they got enough grief when we had problems, give them credit now.
    Also a factor is that we have so far escaped the statutory leg-break.

  69. Although we have had the statutory mystery injury, the mystery lasted four months rather than the best part of two years.

  70. limestone/fungunner
    personally im sure its helped…in previous seasons we have had the core of our players out for long periods all at the same time and when they come back the ‘niggles’ hamper their full fitness
    this season we have had our share of injuries as you rightly pointed out limestone but we seem to be recovering better and getting match sharp quicker and they arent all out at the same time…
    it was normally really bad we were having periods where 8-9 of our players were absent all at the same time and it seemed to take an age to get them match sharp again…it doesnt apppear to be the case this season..
    so i follow fungunner in the praise of our medical staff..
    as for there really a better striker in the league right now?? world class isnt the bracket its more like universal class…lets hope he stays fit…
    fit and on form he cannot be stopped by anyone…fingers and toes crossed…

  71. How is GPS utilised in football to prevent injuries? Anyone?

  72. CMM
    if i remember correctly, the GPS system is tracked by a satellite that monitors the players’ movements and records how fast they are running. More information here.

  73. As some one with very limited football intelligence, I used to wonder why song gets praised in this blog..Watched the last game with the objective of observing song closely…man he totally made N’Zogbia toothless and the same time doing offensive duty also..massive player in the making if he continues like this

  74. YW,

    Wholly agree. Three points won (with 3 goals, a clean sheet and a spectacular performance) is the main thing despite another of Ferguson’s “allie’s” capitulating in spectacular fashion.

    Roll on Ipswich and a settling of accounts.


  75. I hope Wenger plays the same starting 11 from saturday’s game, and then rotates against Huddersfield.

  76. @ colneyblog
    Thanks a lot for the info and the link.

  77. Classic stuff from the Arsenal blogosphere…

    On the rumours that Arsenal sent scouts to Scotland this weekend to watch Majid Bhougerra play for Rangers…

    “…wenger mustremember that we are playing barc next month.”

    Will someone PLEASE remind the manager about our next Champions League tie!

  78. Sadly this was the first game I’ve missed since christmas – so thanks for the great write up, a good Monday morning read.

    I second the main opinion regards injuries, or rather lack of them, will be the major factor in our title race. However I think its very optimistic to say things are now fixed and better, its only been a month or so with Walcott, Cese, RVP, Bendtner and Diaby returning from time out, while TV is still a big miss. We need lady luck to shine on our squad for the next 4 months and silverware will flow!

    Interestingly United also seem to be doing okay on the injury front, Rio in and out and Valencia the big miss, but all in all they have been quite lucky again. (I’m kind of ruling out Hargreaves, think we’ve all written him off including Fergie!)

    Whereas Chelsea have suffered the same bad luck with key injuries we have in the last 3 campaigns – makes you wonder how things could have been if this player or that player hadn’t got injured in past seasons?

    Really looking forward to Ipswich – but I am prepared for another nail bitter…ANYONE KNOW IF AWAY GOALS COUNT, they seem to change their minds each season???

  79. Wowsers, it’s a slow day today. The utter antithesis to the superluminal weekend. Since we’re not talking about football (cause no-one seems to be talking),I think it high time we forced a 4 day working week onto business and the rest of society. We either reduce the week to 6 days or we have a 3 day weekend, either way the work-life balance would become as it should – and I’d be much happyier and maybe more productive. And all that raving woud probably benefit the economy like crazy.

    And then when they finally do away with prohibition, which has a success-rate of, let’s see, 0% the economy will be further boosted by taxing all those intoxicating substances!

    Vote for me people, we’ll be leading the world by next year!

  80. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    ‘Twas a spectacular display of footballing superiority. A truly one-sided onslaught, which I haven’t the likes of, all season in the Premiership. If we can maintain such illustrious standards over the next 4/5 games, I tell you, even the much lauded ‘Barca’ will be quaking in their boots. SERIOUSLY!!!

    Successive clean sheets too. Wow! That’s got to be an omen. Long may it continue.

    The squad needs rotating for the next couple of games, to prevent injuries to our injury-prone key players – whom we’ll require to be 100% for the critical, fast approaching February 16 game.

  81. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    If Man Utd lose 2 games & draw 5 of their remaining 17 matches (which is highly probable), the chance of us lifting the Premiership trophy will greatly improved. So long as we win all and draw only 3 of our last 16. I can see Utd dropping a few valuable points along the way.

  82. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    We have Squillaci & Diaby available for Ipswich & Huddersfield games. And by end of February, we should have Vermaelen, Frimpong and Ramsey (all things being well).

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