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Team News: Aston Villa v Arsenal

We could have gone with Koscielny at right back if Squillaci were to have been picked at centre back but he only makes the bench.

Coquelin has played at right back before and for a time was being schooled in that role but has reverted to his preferred central midfield position over the last couple of seasons.

The transition from central midfield to full back has been made successfully in the past with Flamini doing a great job as stand in left back. Hopefully Coquelin will be as effective:

Team in full: Szczesny, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Frimpong, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie.

Subs: Almunia, Squillaci, Benayoun, Arshavin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 21 2011

Time: 7:13PM

Your Comments

Is anyone able to watch this game anywhere currently (in the UK)?
0-1 to the Arse-a-nal van pizzle penalty!!!
@Gooner_Vin on a stream..
Gooner_Vin, we're not allowed to post streaming links, but what I will say is this. Those who hunt deer may go to; those who hunt for a bounty may go to I hear that those who hunt for live scores have a website of their own....
I'm hearing it live on audio, seems like Villa is dominating the 2nd half ! What is going on?
HAPPY HANUKKAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, all 3 points! Awesome.
Yoooossssssiiiiiiiiii - I was only saying the other day that all our summer signings had had an impact, though Yossi's was minimal so far. Well this is massive, make no mistake!
Very pleased for Beanyoun. I hope he and Rosicky get some more playing time in the coming weeks - we moved the ball so much more quickly when they came on. Vital 3 points.
The lads something of a disappointing game today, save for Kos, Sczcessny, RvP, Vermaleen and Arteta. The substitutions were timely and did the business. At some point in the 2nd half, we lost complete control making so many mis-timed passes and tackles; maybe, the introduction of Coquelin at RB and Frimpong in the middle may have affected the balance and given the whole team a lot more to do protecting them. Well, it was 3 points in the bag and we are joint 4th till tomorrow.
ArsenalRob - thanks, got it! Well all's well that ends well! Absolutely delighted with that, thought we weren't going to get there. Yossi deserves more playing time, even before this goal. Now let's go and win our next 2 home games and it'll have been a very good Xmas. Spurs to draw or lose tomorrow, please.
Phew! We really needed that winner from YOSSI 3pts in the Bag! Brilliant just Brilliant Ver Hard fought out game Well Done The Arsenal!
Naija - didn't see the game, but the game against City only 3 days prior must have taken a lot out of us?
I thought the ref got the yellow card to RvP very wrong. How could that be deemed a dive (simulation)?
We did look tired, to be fair, Gooner_Vin, but you only have to look at City v Stoke and Fulham V United to ask the question: why is it we get tired and our rivals don't? Besides, we have brought on Coquelin and Frimpong who should be fresh. I worry for Frimpong's development, on tonight's performance; maybe, a loan to another EPL side will help him as it did for Wilshere. He did his job but had this knack for trying the intricate pass only to find the opponent when the simple pass to the nearest man would do and losing the ball when least desired.
Santa was giving out Christmas presents at Fulham tonight; I hope he still on the beat when Arsenal come calling on New year's day.
Strange game - i think that second half is the best i've seen Villa play all season, Banan and Albrighton were very good, and apart from one mistake we defended well enough. I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now i'd like to see more of Rosicky and i was happy to see him come on today to make a pretty much instant impact on the game. I'd like to see more of Yossi too. I feel Wenger maybe too worries to disrupt the current "comfort" found in the seemingly starting XI.
We did look tired and the balance seemed to have gone. theo played a good game and TV plus Mert Coquelin seemed to be lacking physical strength in the position of RB . IMO RVP should have had a penalty he was fouled but he grows and grows in statue every game. When (think) Agbonlahor was tackled by Frimp and winded RVP held up to game by holding onto the ball and waited till AG confirmed he was okay. Top sportsmanship. Ye t when stupid Hutton fouled RVP the same consideration was not shown. RVP is turning into one hell of a captain. A gritty win but a win. (Would have loved to see the Ox given a go).
There were three games shown live in Canada on three different channels but the Villa v Arsenal game was not one of them so I had to wait five hours to see it. This five hour gap gave me time to read what others thought before seeing the game. Coquelin struggled defensively but actually offered a bit going forward. Mertesacker swept up everything that came his way and yet some bloggers blamed him for the Villa goal which was TV's fault. Frimpong was out of his depth, he was awful. Rosicky played like a man who should be keeping Ramsey on the bench. The substitutions were perfect and I think both Gervinho and Ramsey need a rest. Maybe Rosicky and Yossi have earned a start based on their sub appearances today. There was one sequence of play when Rosicky lost the ball and then chased back and won the ball back with a hard but fair challenge- he showed us how it's done. At this point in time, TR is much better than AR. It's not about player development, it's about winning games. TR contributed to today's win, AR did not, he was poor.
@ elbondo, agree with everything you said. With Frimpong & Coqulin on, we were playing 9 against 11.
Hard fought wins are always welcome and the team continues to grow in belief, composure and resolve. While our paucity of fit full backs is a situation one hopes will get resolved when Sagna gets fit early next month, if Arshavin leaves we definitely need another attacking mid who can play behind the striker or on the flanks. While this team has a lot of quality going forward and we are contributing more goals and assists from the flanks than before, we are definitely short of one top quality playmaker who can feed RvP, Gervinho and Walcott consistently, dribble well and maintain possession under pressure. While Wilshere and Diaby can both audition for that role soon, some external options could be looked at too. One top player of this profile can take this team to the next level of achivement.
Agree with you, all the way, Delta. Top marks, @ elbondo. I was one of those who thought Mert just did okay, but on seeing a repeat of the game, I reviewed that position. He was just immense, along with Koscielny. I have always thought AR plays like a man on 'relief duty'; like he can't wait for the substantive personnel to return and take over the responsibilities. However, he does have potential to influence games more than he presently does and needs to give expression to that potential.
Ramsey just seems to be lacking the little something to make him a really good player. He also needs to be a bit stronger. To me, Ramsey and Arteta are a too similar player, i'd like to see Ramsey and Arteta fighting for the same posistion whilst Wilshere and Rosicky take the more creative roll. I don't disagree that the goal was Verms fault but i think Mertesacker could've done more, it was a bravery situation where he had to put his body on the line.

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