Wigan Preview: Gervinho Talks The Talk – Time To Walk The Walk

Arsenal head to the DW Stadium this afternoon ready to show their critics have far this season has turned around. The big test, we were told, is how they react to defeat. That happened on Tuesday and today is the answer. The squad remains intact with no new injuries, Diaby out for another week which is sooner than Ryo will return whilst Tomas Rosicky is on his way back to fitness but has yet to reach his final destination. It is, largely, as you were.

Which is fine by me. The tweaks after last weekend’s performance will happen with most of those concerned having had a week’s rest, training aside. One man who did not was Gervinho. Speaking to The Guardian , the Ivorian is another who says that which you expect to hear but adds a tougher realism to his words,

Ivory Coast is like Arsenal. We have not won a tournament since 1992 so that’s a number of years. We’ve got good players and it’s very similar to the situation at Arsenal. Every time we approach a tournament, we say we are going to win it and then we miss out.

To be honest, the ACN is a double-edged sword for Arsenal. We have seen what can happen to players if a tournament does not go as expected, today’s visit to Wigan brings back memories of 2008s visit and a ploughed field with an unfit Kolo Toure. That, of course, is not the norm; key players missing during a busy time of the season is never good. And an entirely selfish view as well, parochial. Yes and a known risk. Wenger will have weighed the loss of his key player for a month to the other eight in a season. And thus far you would have to say that the risk is worth it.

And he is hungry for silverware. His desire to win is a refreshing change to last season’s players talking of the same thing, more believable:

We’re going to try and win everything. All of England expects Arsenal to win something and so do the fans. The league, the Champions League, the FA Cup … we can win it all. Everything is possible. The most important thing is to win a trophy or two by the end of the season and that’s what I want. I really got the taste for winning titles at Lille.

Perhaps he is more believable because he is not tarnished by the same failures as last season. Perhaps it is because he is not saying the right thing looking at you whilst conniving an exit when you have turned away. Maybe it is simply that he has won something at club level. At least he has recognised the levels of expectation placed on his shoulder and having been at the club since the Summer, he might well be aware of the disappointments that are vocalised when things do not go to plan.

His words this morning suggest a new steel to those of Johan Djourou,

I think that people write us off but as an Arsenal player I am still fighting for it. I know my team-mates are as well. We need to get into a good position, take it game by game and anything is possible – the season doesn’t finish until May. There’s a long way to go

It is hard to articulate but there is a feeling that this set of players – the combination of characters, leadership and events – has forged a toughness that the previous groups lacked. More and more, last season’s failure finds its focus drawn to the mental attitude of those who wanted away.

Back to Gervinho. The directness of his play, the unpredictability – let’s be honest, not all of his team-mates know what he is going to do so how can an opponent – have added a different dimension to Arsenal’s attacking play. Yet the goals are not there. The opportunities have but the finishes whether by ill-fortune or bad timing, have not. Like other wider players before him – and no doubt after as well – the Ivorian has not yet provided an outlet for goals. This is key and not unique to him.

Arsenal are not a one-man team and others do chip in with goals, just not often enough. With the form Robin van Persie is in, that is not surprising. Reliance upon an in-form player is not unique to Arsenal but there is a pattern over recent seasons of talented players not scoring their share of the goals and in tight games, that is often crucial; for example last weekend’s point against Fulham. A decent enough performance but with van Persie shackled, Walcott, Arshavin, Arteta or Gervinho needed to come up with something and it did not happen. This highlights the need for that little bit extra; a ten-to-fifteen goal a season player to augment those who don’t make double-figures and van Persie’s total. For me, Gervinho looks likeliest to be that man. If Theo can manage that as well, it is as potent an attacking force as anywhere else in the division.

Arsène is not planning on adding to his forward line to cover the ACN though. Quite why anyone is surprised by the public backing of his squad is beyond me. What is the manager going to say? “Yes, we will sign because Chamakh, Park and Arshavin despite being good players have all suddenly become sh*t“? That anyone would expect him to say that he is after a striker baffles me and leaves me utterly humourless. And more to the point, if you read the context he was only talking of forwards, not of other positions before anyone takes that route.

So to this afternoon. Wigan are horribly out of form, having lost their last four home games and not won on their own turf since August’s 2-0 victory over Queen’s Park Rangers. Last weekend’s victory at Sunderland will have bouyed them and Arsenal cannot afford to be lacklustre. These are players used to battling for relegation; at least Roberto Martinez has avoided the trap that many at the wrong end of the table fall into and his charges play the ball not the man.

Arsenal’s record at Wigan is not brilliant in recent years; 1 win in their last 4 visits. That win was the last time that the goalkeeper was not Lukasz Fabianski; will Szczesny fare better in Cheshire? I expect the line-up to be:

Szczesny; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Ramsey, Song, Arteta; Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on December 3, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 382 Comments.

  1. Posted on behalf of Fungunner

    ACLF-ers, have you ever wondered:

    What it is like to be a youth player trying to make it at a Premier League club?

    How distant are you from the manager?

    Do you ever get to chat to the superstars? And do they remember what it was like when they were in the youth team, playing to empty seats, or out on unglamourous loan?

    What is it like seeing fellow youth players forge ahead, or fall away?

    How do you cope when injuries strike, or your form goes and you can’t get it back?

    How do you feel about your agent – is he your best friend or just another person you have to try to impress?

    How does being with a big club affect your relationship with your mates from school who might be unemployed, or doing ordinary jobs?

    And what’s it like to be let go?

    If you have wondered anything like this, now’s your chance to find out. I’m going to be interviewing an ex-Man City youth team goalkeeper who is now a first-team player in a Norwegian side. He was at City for two years before being sent on loan and finally being released. So send any questions you have to me at fungunner@hotmail.co.uk by Friday December 9th. Thanks.

    And if all this sounds familiar, it’s because I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago and the main question was – can we know more about the player? Well, now you do.

  2. Did i beat Big Brova?

  3. Damn you Big Brova, i was already preparing my thank you speech for coming First. Oh well, off to read the post

  4. I think you have the line up correct – it’s beginning to look like our first team now. But I would be happy to see Johan continue at RB I feel he offers something there, and may have accidentally found his best position.
    The problem is how do you drop Kosser who is one of the best players at the club right now? If he was a forward the papers would be telling us that Man City were lining up a £50 000 000 0000 bid for January.

  5. “the unpredictability – let’s be honest, not all of his team-mates know what he is going to do so how can an opponent”, that line made laugh out loud literally.

    Gervinho always creates space and gets himself in good positions, its only a matter of time before the goals start coming.

  6. JD has been brilliant in the his last two or three games in right back and LKozzer is on form in the center.
    If i was the coach i would let per sit this one out and play kozzer and JD as there on an excellent form.

    JD Kozzer TV Santos

    I have actually missed watching Santos play, he gives me so much joy when he is on the ball

  7. Jeff, he offers us height and pace and looks really good coming forward. That’s why I like JD at RB. Kosser’s recovery speed and all round covering is incredible though. Nice to have selection headaches with three first team defenders out isn’t it? What a squad.

  8. if Wenger wants to buy a striker in this January, i would like him to buy somebody versatile that can play across the line so that the player wont have to wait for a VP injury or VP resting before he gets games. Podolski comes to mind but he didn’t do so well at Bayern so i have my doubts.

  9. steww,
    yes it is really nice having a selection headache there, we would also be having a headache in midfield when Wilshere returns. JW, Arteta, Diaby, Song, Ramsey, Rosicky, Diaby, good times ahead perhaps.

    you did change your avatar, is that you on the pic???

  10. Ha , Yogi took away Big brovar’s first

  11. morning everyone,
    I’m of the opinion that there will be four or five players rotated in for this game. from what i saw on tuesday, our b-team can take care of business at wigan. let’s face it, we have to rotate so that players are match fit before we send players to the ANC, and the injuries will come. as sure as clockwork. we have been very lucky not to have suffered until now but we have to plan contingency routes when they do come. hope to see a little of park today and tombs if ready to go.
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!
    COYG……!!!!!

  12. is diaby injured again?

  13. Yes Jeff, been playing with Gravatar. That was taken during a radio show I used to co present before I killed the other presenter. He used to make me cross.

  14. Adedokun Yusuf Babatunde

    I expect arsenal to win this game but we still need to sign Podolski

  15. Per should be benched for real,many goals we have conceded when he plays are his blunder,he has the height but cant jump for a header and he misses all crosses into our box,and he is slow,I would let him sit out on this one,we need a win,and Per is a risk,jst like Squillaci

  16. Mizzou is there any point in criticizing your players?
    be careful mate before the ACLF police get ya

  17. “many goals we have conceded when he plays are his blunder,”
    Facts please?

  18. In certain circumstances such as today, that is permissible Jeff.

  19. Per is ok, and getting better every game. he will be an ARSENAL stalwart for a few years. don’t be to harsh on him. as in quite a few other players in the team the beding in proces is on going. when this team completely gels, and with their different mental attitude this year, the sky is the.limit…..

  20. No arguement with your team selection Yogi.
    The ‘unpredictability’ of Gervinho is perhaps due to there being three of him 🙂
    I do hope the Ox is on the bench today and gets a chance to play, against Shitty he looked very good and was prepared to have a pop at goal.

    On the transfer issues, AW has already stated he will not be looking to sign a forward in the January window…… sneaky fucking frenchman, he is covering his back so the likes of ‘car dealer ‘arry’ and the Ity Mancini don’t hijack his targets.

    It’s good to have some back up to squad, the back four without Sagna and Gibbs is still looking good… what a difference to last season.

    And here’s hoping George the P has not been too upset by yesterdays discussion about the ‘sneaky little Russian’. Come back George, it’s only words, and biased opinions. 🙂

  21. but why not rotate in this game and in the last cl game?? it as good an opportunity as any. they have to be match fit to play, and to get that they need to play in these kind of matches.

  22. victory al d way 4 d gunnars.backing Gervinho to score 2day.

  23. this not a game to rotate having drawn our last game we need the three points howerver our best eleven may not be our fittest eleven kos is our best defender at the moment but has played alot of minutes so may get rest today who’d be a manager ?

  24. Gud post , i tink dats d best line up dat we can offer nw, nd i beliv other wingers wil step up there games nd get us goal we need 2 win d match nd nt always depending on van persie alone 2 do it

  25. I really hope Wenger inserts some of the young bloods into this match (Ox, Coq, Frimpong, Miquel). Wigan is the type of lower table opponent that are not likely to punish every mistake made by a youngster. Arsene talks constantly about it being a long season and the need to rotate in players but never does. Based on our past history, I think we are due for one of our key starters getting injured due to fatigue.

  26. strongest line up possible goonerkam..
    we cant take wigan lightly..weve sent an understrength team to play wigan two times on the spin and not taken the points..
    we dropped points v fulham, no messing about today..most of them havent played since last weekend so theyve had a rest, theres really no need for another..we can do that v olymiacos..

  27. @Frank chikezie

    Spot the deliberate mistake……. a comma!

  28. Rotation my backside, we need the three points today and need to play our strongest team, which at the moment imo is the one YW posted. Koscielny at right-back knocks Djourou into a cocked hat any day of the week and I can’t see how you can put Djourou even close Jeff and steww. Everyone can be rested for the Olympiacos game, I was surprised to see Koscielny playing on Tuesday as he’s integral to the first team until Sagna and/or Jenkinson come back at least.

  29. Spot on JonJon and i reckon Wenger is in agreement. His comments about focusing on the league now that 1 cup is gone and we have already topped the group in champs league.
    3 points is all that matters today.

  30. thats just it DG..

    the whole rotation arguement is based on the 3 games a week..
    our hard work in the CL has paid off so we can field who we want in the last game..change the whole squad if we like..
    for the next few weeks in the PL, until the xmas period, we can field our strongest team…wigan, everton, city…we can field our best 11 no probs barring injury..theres a whole week between games…

    the rotation can start when we have 4 games over xmas and new year..

  31. I want the strongest team on the pitch today. The kids will get their chance in a juicy tie in the CL so no need to jeopardise our chances against Wigan.

  32. id have some of them on the bench though evil..

    if we are 3 or 4 up with half hour to go it gives us a chance to bring of a few of the key guys off and give the likes of ox frimp and le coq a good run out..

    although in that situation i think wenger would prefer to give chamakh and arshavin a good half hour instead…

  33. Actually, the last time we won at Wigan, Fabianski was the keeper. A 4-1 win in 08/09. The day Song scored that brilliant goal where he dribbled past 4 players

  34. The carling cup was on Tuesday, Kos would have had enough time to recover as he didnt start against fulham

    Scz
    JD TV Kos Brazil
    Song Arteta Ramsey
    the front 3

    I’m not saying per is a bad defender as he brings organization and leadership but Kos and TV are our best CB, take a look at any match they started at the center.
    In our First two games against Newcastle and Pool, they were the brightest spots in our team (Till Kos got off injured against pool)

  35. JD has won me over with his performances in RB in the last couple of games tho, should be able to try and push Jenkinson for the RB spot. Competition for the RB spot, brilliant.

    Sagna who??
    lol just joking but they have made us not miss Sagna much, Sagna should be proud of them

  36. Not much commenting going on today, so i went over to le-grove( i shouldn’t have) and saw some of the comments made by Suga3 there, that dude should be banned from commenting, fuck freedom of speech

  37. “the rotation can start when we have 4 games over xmas and new year..”

    So the players that will be used for rotation,will not kick a ball in anger until Xmas.Then when they come in and are rusty,you will say our squad players are not good enough!
    I think that is rather foolhardy.

  38. What can Suga3 possibly be moaning about at the moment?

  39. An unfortunate result in the Carling cup but what a performance. I think all Gooners have everything crossed for RVP to stay fit for every competition this season but i agree with Yogi the form of Theo and Gervinho is a contributing factor and the confidence of the whole team. Confidence and beleif in this team is high and what the new additons since they have gelled have brought is expereince and calmness on the pitch.The JJB has been the source of much heartache…no chance this time……..”We are going to win the league”….RVP to bag a brace again…Chamberlain on the bench.

  40. @PG, NEED U ASK?

    do u think it takes much for persons like suga3 to find something to moan about?

    Just the fact our games starts a 3 pm (whihc everybody would find normal and would be happy with) instead of the 530pm of last week can surely provide a reason?!

  41. PG,
    That your avatar really suits you, i had put an arshavin face on you because of it, anytime you post a comment i imagine arshavin saying it…….lol

  42. Adedokun Yusuf Babatunde | December 3, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I expect arsenal to win this game but we still need to sign Podolski

    seriously, such talk need to stop.

  43. The week off will do the front line and midfielders a deserved break.

    Wigan is struggling and will be fighting relegation all season. I do like Martinez, their manager.

    As far as the line up, no surprises. There will be high expectations from those rested against City……to show something today.

  44. Just watching the Newcastle Chelsea game and looking at Petr Cech and thinking, if you gave him a couple of big, round black ears he would be a good impression of Micky Mouse 🙂

  45. PG @ 12.31 pm

    Totally agree. That is the manager’s dilemna at the moment. Because of the bad start we are still playing catch up so he needs to play his in-form players at the moment. If we can make up some ground and some of those above us start dropping points, it will give him more room to manoeuvre and he can risk playing some players who need games to rebuild form and/or confidence.

  46. Back to chasing Shearer’s record. RVP to score!

  47. Passenal,Its a problem.If you rotate and win ,everything is fine ,but……………

  48. I love it when we can’t decide what are Arsene’s best options because you just know that as a top class manager this is where he will thrive. These are the decisions that he must love making, easing in the CC players, dropping players for rest or motivation, finding a player can do a job because of injury.
    So much better than just patching up and sending out the walking wounded.

  49. Mata is the only diamond in the dirt for Chelsea, shame he is playing for the wrong team.

    Whatever happened to Kalou, is he still on this earth?? Its a shame when i remember Wenger wanted him, Wenger clearly saw some talent there as i do also

  50. Just watching the Newcastle game – cowardly refereeing to not send off Luiz. Inexplicable to give only a yellow.

    When Chelsea took their penalty there must have been 6 or7 players running into the box before the ball was kicked. It’s the same with almost every penalty I see these days, like the 7 second rule, it’s become a law that the referees have given up even trying to enforce.

    Today’s game is huge for Arsenal – we cannot allow the last 2 games to become larger than a stutter, an aberration in our otherwise excellent form. A draw or loss here and some doubts could resurface.

  51. Limestonegunner

    I agree with PG and Passenal. But I do think you could play one or two changes or be prepared to bring players on for a half hour. But three points is key as we are under pressure in the league, which is the priority right now.

  52. I do understand your point about not letting a hiccup become a slump but really every game is huge isn’t it? And paradoxically every game is just one game as the OT match proves emphatically. Stamford Bridge didn’t make us world beaters and defeat today wouldn’t make us losers.
    Having said all that I can’t even talk the day after a defeat so yes it is huge for me.

  53. I still can’t stand Smudger’s commentary – he’s by nature a little sardonic – never sounds as though he loves the game. Maybe it’s just his voice.

  54. i really think wenger will take henry for that period of jan, feb…. girvinho will show the goods trust that

  55. Yes Stew that was exactly my point – as winning can become a habit so can losing. A win here bolsters confidence for players and fans alike. It’s no coincidence people like Suga came crawling out of the woodwork this week.

  56. LG, when you are only leading by 2 goals to 1, it’s a risk to change things with 30 minutes to go when you could lose momentum. We have lost many points from winning positions last season, so I can understand the manager’s more cautious approach.

  57. Writing off an OT drubbing with an entirely different squad is way easier for me than a loss or even a draw at lowly unambitious Wigan.

  58. Jonny,why are you talking about losing?

  59. My wish list for today’s game is for a 4 or 5-0 victory with RVP only scoring 1 or two of those. I would like to see Ramsey, Walcott, and Gervinho bag some goals to get that part of their game going…COYG!

  60. Kulem, Henry would be a good replacement for Gervinho while his at the acn.

  61. Lol. I’m not George but I never take anything for granted – especially in a sport that is routinely won by a solitary goal.

  62. And for added grist to the mill

    “Arsenal have dropped five points from winning positions in the last 10 minutes of their last two visits to Wigan”

    Nonetheless, I expect a comfortable victory today.

  63. Balls!! Newcastle have been so unlucky!

  64. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, but the change doesn’t have only to be for attacking players. Chances also for defensive midfielders and defenders who aren’t playing can be brought in. For example, Frimpong/Coquelin or if Djourou is right back and Per is on the bench, Per could come in with Kos moving to right for defensive purposes. Same for Santos as Vermaelen could move to LB, maybe not for half an hour but in the final 15 or 20. On attack, I think Ramsey starts to get tired more frequently than some others from 75 minutes on and this affects his defensive work. Rosicky, for example, can come on or Benayoun. When Diaby is fit, likewise. We have a versatile squad and even getting 15 or 20 minutes helps keep players sharp. As long as Per, Vermaelen, and Kos have each developed a good understanding with one another, these changes can occasionally be made, but I’d probably be inclined to make midfield changes or direct replacements of fullbacks with Kos and Vermaelen from the bench when holding a narrow lead rather than altering the CB pairing during the game.

  65. Me thinks that Newcastle top four gag is over.

  66. Limestonegunner

    Too bad about this Newcastle-Chelsea result. A draw would really have been fair and of help to us. Chelsea have had a stumble but we haven’t managed to catch them.

    I am hoping that we get a win and start scoring more goals to help our goal difference, as this may be crucial a the end this season.

  67. Thia time last week I was walking to the pub before the Fulham game.

    Happy days.

  68. hopefully there will be some link somewhere for a livestream..

  69. anyone seen a line up?

  70. I am really hoping our squad comes out firing on all cylinders today. It would be nice to have a comfortable victory thrown in the mix right now.

  71. LG – I think a Newcastle win would have been fairer. Woodwork twice, a goal line clearance and – most crucially – Chelsea should have been down to 10 men from early in the game.

    Chelsea looked rather porous. Again.

  72. kos on the right, vermaelen and per in the middle, arteta ramsey song, walcott, rvp, gerv

  73. Limestonegunner

    And such subs can also help keep starters fresh and fit by not playing them too much in the “red zone”. This might allow us to start these players more frequently overall. The main thing, of course, is getting wins.

    Right now there is just no choice but to play RvP as much as we can, given our position in the league. But in other positions there are many more players close in quality and tactical options available.

  74. YW gets starting line up correct.

  75. I know this has nothing to do with today’s game, but it just occurred to me how excited I am going to be when lil’ Jack Willy is back in the fray. He will bring a drive from midfield that will change games…can’t wait!

  76. Limestonegunner

    Krull saved a penalty and had some other extraordinary saves. Both teams had similar amount of possession, took about the same number of shots and had great chances but Chelsea was able to finish. Hitting the woodwork is a bit of bad luck and a bit of quality lacking in finishing, and Ba and Ameobi aren’t quite as clinical as Drogba. So I would see it as pretty even. But maybe at home Newcastle would have been expected to finish more of those chances.

  77. The assertions by some that we don’t need a new striker would be more acceptable if Wenger had more faith in the alternatives. As you say LG, right now we have no choice but to play RVP.

    I guess we are so used to him getting injured that we carry an instinctive fear of it happening again. It’s such a joy watching him play unencumbered by fitness issues.

  78. What a fcuking surprise, first team start.

  79. Vice – ‘little Jack Willy’?? That sounds very wrong dude. Very wrong.

  80. LSG @ 2:45 pm
    ” Right now there is just no choice but to play RvP as much as we can, given our position in the league. But in other positions there are many more players close in quality and tactical options available. ”

    Totally agree.

    Arsenal need to make this match a cake walk. Jump out to early (big) lead and allow some on the bench (forward and midfielders) to gain minutes with the 1st team.

  81. Block4 – personally I think that’s the right decision.

  82. Okay, so streaming links anyone??

  83. Jonny, it was meant sarcastically with all the talk about rotation. I’m surprised people still go on about it all the time, Wenger is pretty conservative with his selections generally.

  84. Limestonegunner

    What is the state of the pitch? Looks a little lumpy but not as bad as when Steve Bruce was manager.

  85. Limestonegunner

    The Ox on the bench; you can celebrate Jonny!

  86. Limestonegunner

    Ramsey looks very serious during the tribute to Speed. Hope he has a great game today.

  87. I’m going back in time and listening to it on the radio. 🙂

  88. What happened to the white socks?

  89. LG – I’ll celebrate if he doesn’t stay there!

  90. I miss the hoopy socks.

  91. Nice full house today.

    @ YW
    “Perhaps it is because he is not saying the right thing looking at you whilst conniving an exit when you have turned away.”

    ha ha – Miaow!

    “More and more, last season’s failure finds its focus drawn to the mental attitude of those who wanted away.”
    Hard to disagree, even if it was unconscious on their part.

    And ta for the plug.

    ***
    Wigan. Crap pitch. Surprise surprise.

    Come on Arsenal!

  92. Limestonegunner

    Like the hoopy socks, too. Commentators mentioned that the pitch is but better the last couple of years. Seems like it was famously bad, as I remembered and AW mentioned in his press conference.

  93. Limestonegunner

    Clattenburg pulled down from behind!

  94. Phew.

  95. Oooh!

  96. Unlucky rambo. He’s due a goal.

  97. Sounds like they are having a proper go.

  98. Limestonegunner

    Not a great corner to give away, there. Need to settle down.

  99. Are you on the run from the law, steww?

  100. Santos shouldn’t have put all that muscle on – see how hard the ball came back off his chest?

  101. FG – in which country?

  102. @ steww
    ha ha ha
    What a colourful life you must have led.

  103. @FG but seriously. No. I have led a blameless life of abstinence and virtue.
    *cough*

  104. Come on, boys!

  105. @ steww
    I can well believe it
    *equally credible cough*

  106. we need to settle, abit edgy

  107. Good post YW

    I think AOC looked dangerous against $hiite-y, maybe not the finished item, but you have to add him in with players who look likely to support vP if he gets a game. Theo is also going ok.

    Also, who knows what Santos is going to do, I am not sure he does until a split second before…although there is good indication that the team is beginning to read him.

    All in all, the squad looks to have depth in all areas except the scoring department which is the hardest area to get right…maybe we have it, but we are putting them in the bank.

  108. Anyway back to the game. We are starting to get on the ball and trying to dictate the pace, they are obviously looking for the long one over the top. Interesting battle ahead. I have to drive to Stamshaw at half time so Alan Fucking Green it is. Hopefully we’ll be 6 – 0 up by then and I can relax.

  109. AVB confirms Alex and Anelka are available for transfer? I’d have a cheeky bid for the latter.

  110. wow already been 15 mins, game is flying past us

  111. oooooooooooooooh!

  112. Ooooh. Close. Slowly starting to tighten our grip.

  113. Startin to pick up the pace, but wigan doing a very good job closing the space

  114. Cahill sent off for Bolton with Spurs already 1-0 up. Perry Groves says it “was never a sending off in a million years.” Proper Gooner is Perry.

  115. FG – in which country?” Priceless.

  116. Classic. Just because he touched the ball after hacking Ramsay down he thinks it’s ok. They should have to pass a written exam on the rules.

  117. So Tottenham gets a free pass – Gary Cahill sent off – useless.

  118. I was half-expecting another assist of the season from Song there.

  119. Wigan are playing a 10-0 system when they don’t have the ball.

  120. links anyone

  121. Go on my son. Mr. Arteta – WOW

  122. Arteta!!!!!!!!!

    Who says we’re a one-man team?!

  123. yes,mikel

  124. What a goal!

  125. Arteta for espana 2012!

  126. FUCK MY OLD BOOTS

  127. Great strike from us

  128. why don#t we shoot from distance.Oh wait 🙂

  129. come on, let’s score from a corner…

  130. Lovely strike…goals from midfield anyone?

  131. You called it Fun Gunner!

  132. One man team my arse – Get in there my son.

  133. The Verminator makes my dreams come true!

  134. Arteta!!!!!!!

  135. Vermaelen is a goal scoring machine!

  136. why don’t we ever score from corners? Oh wait 🙂

  137. the verminatooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  138. 2-0 – just the ticket.

  139. Verminator strikes!

  140. 2-0 FUCK YEAH

  141. HOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO Merry fucking christmas!

  142. I hope you realise that’s 2 (TWO) goals from a corner so far this season.

  143. TV for President of the Belgian republic!

  144. So we are back to being Arsenal FC and not Van Persie FC anymore?

  145. george..you seem to be forgetting the cl game..as well as sub appearances..
    so they will kick a ball before xmas..

    and theres nothing wrong with the squad, in certain positions, otherwise i would have said play the same team from now until may..and not what i actually said which was rotate when you need to.. wasnt it??

    i never remember wenger saying ‘oh, theres nothing wrong with henry today hes in form and fresh, but il rotate him anyway cos i dont want alliadiere to get rusty’,…nah…he played henry..

  146. Vermaelen….on fire…2 goals in 2…one man team indeed.

  147. @ pg
    ha ha – you’re on a roll!

    Let’s please hold steady and give them no hope.

  148. What a fucking genius. Go on Mikel

  149. Gary Birtles has gone mental. That was excellent header by the Verminator.

  150. PG – I’d say Arteta’s goal, if anything, validates the complaint that we don’t have a pop from distance a little more often.

    Vermy is so valuable to this team.

  151. nearly another from a corner…Wigan look visibly shaken now…go for the juggular!

  152. I guess in total we have scored more goals from corners this season than in all of last year?

  153. Boy how we missed him last year

  154. @Kenyan gunner | December 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm
    “TV for President of the Belgian republic!”

    Are you starting a revolution in Belgium Kg?

  155. Van Persie so close….ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

  156. Birtles is on my Sky feed. excellent armchair general. Wants Wigan to commit more men forward.

  157. Loomer – you said it. That was perhaps the biggest factor last season – though we we had plenty to choose from.

  158. Limestonegunner

    Now we are pouring it on. Delightful! Didn’t look to me like we were playing all that well at the outset, a bit sluggish, but two quick goals from “not RvP”, and we are cutting them open with our movement and passing now.

    Let’s keep up the pressure. Then if we do keep this margin around 70 mins you can give others a run out.

  159. those corners are really adding firepower to our armoury aint they..

    a long shot and a corner and we are two nil up..

    now to put the game to bed..get to 4 before the hour mark and get the subs on..

  160. Yes Shotta…he has been wailing on about it from the fifth minute…lol.

  161. I dare Martinez to commit men more forward.

  162. After all the drama about Santos – I must say he looks like he’s settling really well and will be a great asset to this team

  163. Limestonegunner

    That’s 3 for the Verminator. Is he second in the team now after RvP?

  164. Limestonegunner

    Korikihage, a few days ago you mentioned that we didn’t need to be concerned as Vermaelen could score the goals up top!! Well, he has an excellent games to goals ratio at this point!

  165. Deeply worried about RVP. he just can’t seem to score these days.

  166. Ideally we could put another one or two in by the 60th minute and get RVP off for another striker to hopefully gain some confidence.

  167. I mean more men forward.

  168. Chamakh or Park could use the time on the pitch

  169. Why does ramsey look like he’s gonna fall over any minute all da time?

    Anyone else noticed that

  170. It does look like we’re getting better at our delivery into the box on set-pieces.

  171. Anelka and Alex have handed in transfer requests!

  172. We need another goal to put this game to bed. 2 nil is not a done deal – The team need to keep this game very professional

  173. I just mentioned to the Doris that we’re 2-0 up and she said not to get complacent. That’s someone with no real interest in football, even she knows our reputation for throwing games away.

  174. anelkas banged in a transfer request…
    any takers??

  175. Chelmsford are 1 up in the cup against Macclesfield!

    Note: I live in Chelmsford.

  176. Yeah that was a huge loss for us, Jonny. I reckon we’d have lifted some of those shiny things everyone bangs on about with him in the side.

  177. And “connectivity issues” preventing numpties from sending in daft emails to the Arsenal commentators. So great first half all round.

    ***
    @LSG
    Do you feel a bit more confident now about our ability to cope without RvP? I’m sure he’s contributing in other ways as per usual and any side would miss him, but this must ease your worries somewhat?

  178. Bit of a shaky start, but finished out the half completely dominant in every way…well done so far.

  179. The best thing we can do is come out firing in the second half and pick up a quick third goal to completely demoralize them and make it an easy game from there on out…

  180. Chelmsford is just a dormitory for London commuters

  181. Tom91AFCTom

    Vermaelen has now scored 10 PL goals in just over 50 games, that’s the same amount as “World Class Modric” has scored in 100 games

  182. Very satisfied with the half. Wigan didn’t have as much as a sniff at our goal and we look like we could easily score another 2, 3 or 4 goals in the second half.

  183. LG,

    i seem less crazy now, huh?

  184. Well how about them armchair managers who “demanded” that Arsene shouldn’t play his 1st XI. They make it look so easy even though they are working hard.

  185. My goodness Block 4. Why are you moaning right now?

  186. If our 2 goal margin holds in this match, Arsenal move into 6h – above Newcastle.

    Arsenal need more involvement from Theo and Ramsey in the 2nd half.

  187. 3G’s really needs to score a goal..he’s not looking happy.

  188. I am getting a bit worried about Gervinho, though. I hope the misses won’t affect his confidence. He is doing everything right, it’s just that his finish needs a bit more work.

  189. Block4 – is Dukes still open…?!

  190. Darius | December 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Great stat.

    ***
    This would be the perfect time for 3Gs to get a goal.

  191. i hope ramsey scores a goal. i know he will dedicate it to gary speed.

  192. @FunGunner – doesn’t do it for me but delighted to see Arteta on the sheet.

  193. I am delighted to see someone on the squad have a decent crack from outside the box that actually goes in…seems like it has been quite a while since we had one of those goals…well done Arteta…

  194. @Supercod, I believe Dukes is still open, I’ve never been myself as I’ve only lived here a few years and I’m a bit old for that sort of thing. 🙂

    @Loomer, what have I said that makes you think I’m moaning???

  195. Forget another striker..why fear when TV is here..If he maintains his goal scoring record RVP will have serious competition for the golden boot..

    Im loving it..

    Cmon Arsenaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  196. “Well how about them armchair managers who “demanded” that Arsene shouldn’t play his 1st XI.” And who were they? I didn’t see anyone “demand” anything.

  197. Also, Chelsea accepted Alex’s transfer request? Are they nuts? He is by far the best defender in that team.

  198. Loomer | December 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    My goodness Block 4. Why are you moaning right now?
    *******
    You’d moan if you had to live in Chelmsford

  199. Hope we get a few today…should cement 5th at the end of this weekend…not bad for a team tipped for relegation a couple of months back eh…

  200. A goal or two for RVP wouldn’t be bad. Let’s finish them off!

  201. Stat: According to the radio, that’s the 180th corner in the Premier League since we scored from one. What would you say we get, about 10 per game? 18 games, poor, really poor.

  202. MDG – not a fan of the Essex heartlands then…?!

  203. Still only 1-0 to Sp*rs v 10-man Bolton, please hold on and nick one, Bolton.

  204. Supercod – that’s why I ran away to the US! Only joking – I lived in Witham, Kelvedon, Feering, Southminster and worked all over Mid- and North Essex for over 30 years, and sort of knew it like the back of my hand, especially Colchester. It was Ok until Hackney and Haringay moved into the county.

  205. stone cold fuckin pen…wtf!

  206. Poor call indeed from the ref. Blatent penalty right in front of the ref

  207. The penalty embargo vs Arsenal must be back. That was stonewall.

  208. the ref could not have had a better view of that

  209. Shocking decision, especially consindering how good of a game Clattenburg had. Guess he must be afraid that people are going to start to think that he is biased towards us.

  210. MDG – I was a Harlow boy for my sins for about 8 years…..a fellow sufferer…!!

  211. If we didn’t have bad luck we’d have no luck at all.

  212. Nasri scored.

  213. The way wigan are going about their tackles, im scared someone is gonna get injured
    Hope not tho

  214. It’s not that bad for someone in middle age! I’m glad I lived in London in my 20s and 30s though 🙂

  215. Come on boys, stay strong.

  216. How is that a fuckin yellow…the ref must have gotten word in his ear that he has to let Wigan back in the game.

  217. 3Gs!!

    is this his first PL goal?

  218. Gervinho cant score to save his life,Oh wait

  219. That was fuckin beautiful from RVP and Song to set that up…Gervinho with the goal…good stuff!

  220. Now we can afford to sub a few players who are near the “red zone”. Great stuff today.

  221. Get RVP off soon…let Park have a go…

  222. Another assist by Robin Vantastic. Goal for 3 Gs. Cue hand wringing that RVP hasn’t scored.

  223. That damn chocolate leg – Van Persie, sort it out.

  224. @ pg
    ha ha – it’s one of those games, isn’t it?

  225. Gervinho couldnt miss from there…weve got Gervinho…away fans amazing as always. COYG 3 more.

  226. Oh no, have a bad feeling today isnt gonna be his day.

    Come on RVP

  227. So if it stays like this, we have gained a couple of places today.

  228. FG, one place certainly, Liverpool play on Monday.

  229. Oh, damn. forgot.

  230. This 1st XI just fills me with confidence.

  231. WELL, for now we are 5th. pool may yet draw or lose and we will remain 5th!

  232. @ shotta
    hear hear.
    And the second 11 basically outplayed Man City’s second XI.

  233. Aaron really wants to score one for Speed. I hope he can do it ..

  234. indeed shotta and Sagna & Jackie arent even out there today!

  235. Sorry George but I don’t see any room for you know who.

  236. @ team spirit | December 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    WELL, for now we are 5th. pool may yet draw or lose and we will remain 5th!

    That’s the spirit, girl – mustn’t give them the points before they’ve earned them. They’re away to Fulham as well, and they are hard to score against.

  237. Chelmsford have been pegged back 😦 It would be nice to see the local side get a big day out in the third round.

  238. statattack– Arsenal ended a run of 179 corners without a goal from a corner in the Premier League when Vermaelen scored

  239. Swansea are doing well.

  240. Only about 30 mins late Deise, the lines are slow in the south west are they? 😉

  241. Clattenberg has simply gone from good to bad because of his inconsistency. It took our players to demand action for this Walcott tackle.

  242. Ooops, that should have read south east!

  243. Deise – extraordinary stat!

    BTW saw your post about ASIWFA. Great band. I assume, based on liking this, you MUST be a 65DOS fan?

  244. Oh george, look! AA coming on!

  245. oops ! – who posted that already? i didnt see it 🙂 its the south east block4

  246. Robin van Perfect strikes again.

    Theooooooooooooooooooooo!

  247. The Prince cannot be kept from the scoresheet. It’s the royal decree.

  248. What radio station is the commentary on?

    4-0. Go on RVP!

  249. Excellent assist by Walcott. One more for RVP’s chocolate leg.

  250. Oh Theo, where’s your football brain?

  251. Theo.no football brain,Oh wait

  252. Theo could have scored but he knows how bad we need Shearer’s record!

  253. @ Evil
    ha ha – it’s one of those days when everyone is proving their critics wrong.

  254. 40 – Robin Van Persie has scored or assisted 40 Premier League goals in 2011 – 14 more than any other player in the division. Unstoppable.

  255. Three subs in one go. When has that ever happened?

  256. Very unselfish from Theo…Game over and another one for RVP…Man city we are coming to get u.

  257. 65DOS ? not listened to em jonny, that shall be my task for today

    RVP !!!1 yes

  258. Panic over VP’s scored

  259. am just glad our goal diff is gaining respectability… come on guys, more goals please

  260. very professional performance so far…..

    we respected wigan by fielding our best team…we opened them up with a long shot and a set piece and then let the tippy tap flow…some fantastic goals today

    now for the clean sheet…and a goal for arshavin

  261. How are we set up with these changes?

  262. Sorry Deise, I realised my mistake myself 🙂 I have dismissed the young lads to the other room for the remainder of the match now so I can concentrate!

  263. @ Spy | December 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    “Panic over VP’s scored”
    ha ha

  264. Anyone know if you refresh the page on a iPhone without scrolling up to the top of the page?

  265. a goal and an assist for AA is defo in the pipeline!

  266. As good as it gets steam rolled Wigan, feel sorry for Martinez as a coach he deserves better

  267. MOTM today is hands down RVP. 1 goal 2 assists.

  268. I’m surprised van Persie wasn’t subbed as Wenger keeps on telling us he’s near an injury. And Chamakh could surely have done with some minutes on the field as there are goals to be had here.

  269. Such a shame the Jewish Iniesta missed out there.

  270. am glad for blackburn, i think they really needed that win and at home for that matter.

    but the 2 defenders who were to save us do not seem to be doing much to help their teams prevent goals! Samba and Cahill

  271. Is it greedy to want a fifth? What the hell. I want a fifth.

  272. after this game, i will back Martinez to will all his remaining games in December..

  273. Deise ASIWYFA are, to a very large extent, borne out of 65DaysOfStatic who shaped the world of mathrock before them. They are IMHO not in the same league as 65DOS who are comfortably the best live band I’ve ever seen. Taster –

    And they usually close with this startlingly beautiful number –

  274. The BFG sounds like he’s done well – is that fair, those who are watching?

  275. Gary Birtles is a total neanderthal. He has been demanding that someone from Wigan clatter up players because we are passing it around them. Feigns indignation because Diame gets a yellow card. The man needs to be put in a museum, not behind a microphone.

  276. Top class slide tackle by Arshavin.

  277. All over, quality win and the biggest Premier League winners of the day so far too 🙂

  278. 4 goals, 4 scorers .. where are the goals going to come from?

  279. @ shotta
    ha ha
    So many geniuses, so few managerial posts, eh?

  280. If RVP stays fit he will demolish some records. 18 goals this season. 18?!!

    32 in the calendar year.

    Madness.

  281. so pool need to win with more than 3 goals to overtake us in 5th! Very nice

  282. pretty sweet, jonny, i shall investigate further

  283. Gloating operates from both ends of The Arsenal fan base. Classy.

  284. What a performance..brilliant..

    Arsenal after a terrible start are now 5th in table but..

    Football pundit: I cant see them finishing in the champions league places (we are almost already there idiot)

    Football pundit: Liverpool are really pushing on this season..daglish has done a marvellous job (they are 6th FFS behind us, despite our shocking start)

    Why???Why?????Why????

  285. One man team I tell ya..One man team 😀

  286. I would like to remind everyone that I was first to predict “top 4 by Xmas”

  287. Was biting my nails there at the end hoping a Wigan player didn’t ruin Van Persie. Shotta, that Birtles moron doesn’t belong in a museum, he belongs in a zoo. A person that thinks it’s right to harm opponents just for passing it around doesn’t deserve to be walking around with other human beings.

    One week off now for the first team. All the other English teams have to play full squads in order to qualify. What a turn of events, eh?

    We were a bit slow at the start, but once we got our goals the team just saw things through elegantly. Good win and thank god we don’t have to go to that dreadful place in the dead of winter.

  288. @ Anirudh | December 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    “Why???Why?????Why????”

    Because they’re idiots! ha ha

  289. Anirudh Who was the pundit?

  290. Something about this team. Its as if they know they will win.

  291. nicw rest for most of the boys in midweek please mr wenger

  292. Does anyone find it strange that all of Theo Walcott’s 8 assist this calendar year have been to Robin Van persi.

  293. @ Gainsbourg69 | December 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Agree. I understand the feeling, we felt like that the first time we played Barca at home (the 2-2 draw) but you can’t just give way to petulance and kick people. Surely that’s part of being a professional, respecting the safety of your fellow players.

  294. not really darius as its mostly RVP in the box with theo and 3G buzzin about him like flies, id hazzard a guess that its the same for 3G

  295. It’s actually scaring me a bit that things now seem to be to going to plan for once.

  296. @ PG

    Any sky/espn/bbc pundit in general…sometimes even people like alan smith, thats the worst part for me

    Oh and I challenge the top4 by Xmas, I have been saying it for quite a while too 😀

    @FG

    Yeah I know..but “why are they so” is the deeply philosophical question 😀

  297. Courtesy of twitter:
    Vermaelen has a better goal-to-game ratio than every single Liverpool player. Vermi-fucking-nator!!!

  298. TV! TV! TV!

  299. Deise – what will surprise most people is that last season, Walcott scored more goals, had more assists and played less games than Eden Hazard. And they wonder why Wenger continues to pick him.

  300. Robin! Robin! Robin!

    Theo! Theo! Theo!

    3Gs! 3Gs…

    I can’t be arsed to go through the entire squad, but you get my drift.

  301. Courtesy of Twt again:
    Thomas Vermaelen; Minutes played 543, Goals scored 3, Assist’s 1 Stewart Dowining; Minutes played 1038, Goals scored 0, Assist’s 0.

  302. Are you watching, Are you watching, Are you watching Doomer Shite? Are you watching Doomer Shite?

  303. @ Darius

    Brilliant Stats mate..

  304. i was aware of that Darius and i feel Theo is playing even better this season – more consistent than last season

  305. I am so looking forward to Tuesday’s side taking on Olimpiacos next Tuesday. It would be so good to finish the group stage with another victory or even undefeated. I hope rosicky is fit, though.

  306. ARSENAL – O SOLE MIO 😀

  307. @ FG

    Me too..looking forward to Rosicky Arshavin and Yossi, playing together in midfield

  308. @ darius, no… that is what happens when a team gel and team mates can read what their mates are up to or can do

  309. Martin O’neill at Sunderland? Why do teams keep on recycling these shit managers? Try something new for once, geez. Stop giving dirty, little twats like O’neill and that ginger bastard McLeish management jobs already.

  310. Twitter: “Szczesny went to the Arsenal fans at the final whistle on his own and started singing “We’re by far the greatest team” to them.

  311. Anirudh I said it first.Dont argue. 🙂

  312. Szcz is a proper mad gooner, love the crazy bastard

  313. “Deise – what will surprise most people is that last season, Walcott scored more goals, had more assists and played less games than Eden Hazard. And they wonder why Wenger continues to pick him”

    I have always disagreed with those who lost patience with Theo and all of the other imbecilic comments from all corners. Nonetheless the comparison with Hazard is not needed to make the point. Walcott has a couple of year’s on Hazard now – Hazard is not the yardstick by which he should be judged.

    Walcott has been a consistent servant for Arsenal and has plenty yet to come. It’s been delightful watching him progress.

    Hazard, IMO is likely to be something else altogether.

  314. Chesney is a true gooner. Love it.

    Now come on Aston Villa and take some points off the Manky Mancs.

  315. “Hazard, IMO is likely to be something else altogether”

    Yes Jonny,I suggest he will be a consistent servant for Real Madrid and has plenty yet to come.

  316. Now that Gerv has got a goal i reckon we will see a scoring streak from him. Arteta might have found his shooting boots too. Now just get Rambo to chip in with a few and we are laughin

  317. Anyone else notice how long Mikel Arteta’s arms are? That’s a fighter, that is, in boxing parlance. (And not just about ‘reach’) ~ Win or lose, we have a TEAM again.. but please will someone beat the Oily bastards.

  318. Limestonegunner

    Exactly what we needed. A big victory that helps our goal difference nicely. Hope we can reel off a few like this this month.

  319. Games for the rest of December – Everton(H), City(A), Villa(A), Wolves(H), and QPR(H)

    Id take home wins and away draws from that sequence. Maybe a smash and grab win away to Villa!

  320. CONGRATULATIONS GUNNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  321. goal differential, coming down… HAHAHA

  322. DeiseGooner We will spank Villla away.

  323. Great game, we controlled the game through and through, got the goals and kept a clean sheet. Nothing more can be asked of the team, now they deserve a week’s rest. Time for the others to have a run out in the CL.

    COYG! Delighted with how we were patient and passed the ball about, like a lurking monster waiting to kill.

  324. i always felt that arteta was playing within a bit of himself. but i think today, he managed to express himself a little bit more, and that is a joy to watch. he is a fighter. the way he tracked back and helped with the defending. and the classy way he spreaded the passes. not to mention the goal from out of nothing, nicely placed into the far side. my motm.

  325. korihikage- I agree, Arteta was my MOTM too and I said shoot when he took the shot for the first goal. Excellent work rate, he must not have lost possession more than once. Benayoun should have scored in the end from an exquisite Arteta chip.

  326. The commentators were piss poor, i reckon its the same people that comment on Sky, congratulating wigan for a foul because we were passing it around.
    They kept blasting Wigan and Giving no credit to us, ffs the dude called Le Coq Chamberlain, shows they don’t even know whose playing. Kept on rambling bout WIgans tactics

    Why Why Why????

  327. Some idiot was commentating, he was having a go at Martinez, for not playing a 4-4-2, all game long. And when we were going on with our ole’s, he was asking for a challenge from Wigan. I am sure he would have had a smile on his face when Diame lunged in the tackle and got himself a yellow.

    Today’s penalty decision did not have any consequence but I worry about when it will!

  328. oh yeah, exquisite was the word to describe that chip. shows how classy a player he is.

    my regret is that we didnt win bigger (yeah yeah greedy. but this was a team all set to be slaughtered) and that ramsey didnt score. i know he would have wanted to score one for gary speed. and that would be a very very moving gesture as well.

  329. Onwards and upwards .
    I’m almost certain that after Tomorrow, Liverpool wont change our position on the table
    The crisis team is now 5th.

    FORWARD

  330. Wish there was a stadium noise only option for tv viewers. Can’t remember when a commentator actually added anything positive.

  331. I hope Villa play like this when we go there.

  332. I hope Villa show some spirit and nick something against United. I guess Liverpool won’t catch us from now on.

    Spuds are looking very strong. If it wasn’t them playing that kind of football, we would have admired it. But there will be a slump somewhere soon! I hope!

  333. Great result! Bring on Olympiakos

  334. 4-0 !
    We march on…
    ‘Tis a long season gooners
    Next up Moyes’ men
    Against our fully rested 1st team.
    Can’t wait
    RASERS!

  335. Someone asked me how the hell we’re going to catch Man City.

    I responded – well, for one, we’re going to take 6 points away from them. And they’ll draw at least 4 times before the end of the season.

  336. After Tuesday – every club in England and in the Europa league started believing that Man City is not invincible. The Napoli manager said after match day 1 that he loves makeing rich idiots look even more stupid (*I paraphrase for dramatic effect of course*).

    Man City’s defence is shaky and they find it impossible to keep many clean sheets. Our second string Carling cup team gave their so called 2nd team (mind you, they fielded players worth £150m in transfer fees) a run for their money, literally.

  337. So is Man United a one goal team?

    I mean, if we’re going to call Arsenal a one man team, let’s call the Manure for what they are.

  338. Wenger: I still don’t know whether Vermaelen came in to replace Toure or Adebayor

    Priceless.

  339. So Robin Van Persie reckons Andre Santos rminds him of Roberto Carlos? No wonder he’s nicknamed him ‘Brazil’.

    I like what Andre Santos said to his team mates about settling into Arsenal, and true to form, he’s actually delivered

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-santos-reminds-me-of-roberto-carlos-

  340. In Arsene we rust!!!!

  341. Is there a better set of defenders in the PL?

    TV, Kos, Per (excellent today!), Sagna, Santos (he has great body positioning when defending 1 v 1) Then we have Djourou and Squillaci (both excellent against City), Gibbs, Jenks and Miguel.

    Wenger is really to be trusted. People complained about buying a defender that had no PL experience. I would prefer no other PL defender to Kos at this point.

    We have the type of defenders that can handle the likes of Barcelona and Bolton and we will only get better!

    I love it!

  342. Wellington makes the Levante bench. Hope he gets a little time.

  343. exactly what i was thinking george, maybe they dont want to hear any of yogi’s tunes!!

    nah there is absolutely nowt to moan about, a clean sheet so we cant moan at our dodgy german. goals from all over….im struggling here…

  344. Duke ,I suppose we can moan about having nothing to moan about.

  345. only 4 out of 11 players scored! thats nit even up to 50%
    thats good enough for moaning me thinks, lol

  346. poor lardy arse lampard got into a huff after being taken off and then walked head first into a post in the dugout ha ha ha ha ha

  347. Bradys right foot

    VanGervcott was excellant today

  348. why am i optimistic for this season (personally i still think we can go for the title. but realistically, 2nd place is more than possible)

    -spurs are playing at their maximum. once they slip up, it’s all downhill from there.

    -newcastle will be a team that troubles the top teams, but they are going down from now. they played with a lot of spirit, but spirit can only get you so far.

    -chelsea are going through a ‘transitional period’

    -liverpool, for all their brilliance as raved by the bloody outstanding media, will only be level on points with us if they win their game against fulham…and that, after our worst ever start in decades. so why should we see them as a serious threat? their recent results against city and chelsea at most classify them as ‘title deciders’

    -united…well if they run out of luck, they are not a very fantastic side. and this season is the first time i feel as if they really don’t look as lucky as previous seasons.

    – we had many new players coming in. we were gelling in the past few months. today is the first time we can say we won big. and i feel that it is partly because wigan were that hapless(but lets not forget what we achieved in our last 2 visits to wigan), and because our efforts in the past few months have finally bore fruit. i think today, we can see that we are a little bit closer to where we imagine ourselves to be.

    and i feel that when you have sagna and wilshere coming back, and the team continuing to gel, you can expect that the team has another 30% or so to give. so we are not at our peak yet. whereas when you look at spurs, city, pool… you feel as if thats the maximum they can give.

    and that, is why i am confident.

  349. I tell you, the media has something against the gunners. No matter how well we do, they will always have something negative to say about the team or that the other team screwed up. The gunners are going to show them this year.

  350. Have people seen this analysis of the match? Was quite noticeable during the game how much of the ball Vermaelen had.

    http://arsenalgameblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/wigan-0-arsenal-4-tactically-vermaelen.html

    It’s also apparent that Mertesacker is an old-school defender and not currently as comfortable on the ball. Looks like he’s improving on that aspect though and he won quite a few contests in the air against their number 18 (Sammon??)

    One striker required in Jan and I’ll be pretty optimistic for the rest of the season.

  351. A quote from this fan vid of the Szcz leading the singing – ‘hes such a legend’

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/?gg_video=fan-footage-wigan-0-arsenal-4-post-match-celebrations

  352. Socrates R.I.P.

  353. & one more Socrates video!

  354. Here is some Arsenal action. Gervinho’s goal against Wigan:

  355. I just watched Gervinho’s goal from yesterday – everyone except for Santos touched the ball (the Szcz included) at least once in that 30 odd pass buildup!

  356. With ‘the Arsenal is a one man team’ question.

    Looks like the team can step up…….we were just putting them in the bank.

    Oh Yeah

  357. Brilliant team perfoemance by the lads yesterday, although I just to sat how fucking amazing Koscielny was at RB, almost as good was the pie after the game!

    Socrates was a cool dude man, sad day. RIP

  358. LOOOOOOOOOOL

    Thanks D!

  359. Lazy Sunday……a lot of positives from our play yesterday; the team is evolving very nicely.

    Maybe I’m in the minority……but I found it ‘concerning’ that up 0-3 at the 61st minute mark AND WIGAN BEING NO REAL THREAT TO SCORE…..it was not until we were 4 up at the 79th minute mark before substitutions were made.

    There is a big difference in coming on with 30 minutes to play vs. 12 minutes. This was a match, that you’re throughly in control, to give support players valuable playing time.

    Then we have RvP, who our manager claims was close (or near) the fabled ‘red zone’……and he’s left to play through full time.

    Ok, I’ve gotten this off my chest…….I’m sure there are others who saw the manager’s decisions defendable.

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