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Team News: Southampton vs Arsenal

Arsene`s first task of 2013 is not signing a new striker, nor convincing Theo Walcott to put pen to paper on a new contract, but to wrestle 3 points away from Southampton at St Mary`s.

The Gunners are on a nice little run of four consecutive victories since the 2-0 loss to Swansea, bagging a mammoth 15 goals conceding only 5 in the process.

January is a bit of a tough month for us with games against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool, meaning a victory this evening is of paramount importance if we`re to keep up with the boys at the top, especially considering as Manchester`s City and United logged wins this afternoon not to mention our closest rivals (both geographically and in the battle for top four) gained 3 points at home to Reading.

So as we set out on what will be one of the busiest months of the season both, let`s hope we get off to a good start and build some momentum.

Let`s check out the starting line up for the game.

Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott.

Arsenal subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 1 2013

Time: 5:12PM

Your Comments

Unchanged team. I think we're gunna kick a little arse today. Oh yes.
Why don't I share that optimism? We will win, but it is going to be hard-won.
We have started well, but when you don't get a goal to silence the crowd having started so well, you put things in the balance, as can be seen. We need to play the ball on the ground instead of expecting Theo to win the high balls we've been playing. Composure is what we need to do the easy things and basically, play the simple passes. Theo is isolated and can't win against the defenders of his old team. The Ox isn't having it easy with Shaw either. I thought it will be hard and we may have to rely on our fitness to win this.
What shambolic defending. 1-0. Sagna can't clear a simple ball away from danger area. Second time his clearance has cost us dear.
Need Santi involved much higher up the pitch. Got out of jail with that OG, got to make the most of it.
Gotta bring Giroud on for Podolski at half-time, Podolski is not even on the pitch for us. Luckily we have a two-option team now. Move Chamberlain to the left, Walcott to the right.
Arsenales F.C
Hilarious defending by Arsenal. Poldi. Sagna..Vermaelen. Kos.
Why do this team stop competing for the ball in midfield after 5 minutes? Do they get bored?
Wyn Mills
1-1. We just have to get our act together second half and get goals. While we should take any goal on offer, our goal against a Southampton side that started shakily should be more accomplished than an OG. We have not registered a shot on goal, despite early dominance and dropped balls by the keeper. Theo needs support and fast. Only trouble is take off Poldi and Gibbs will be swamped. Take off the Ox and we could lose out on width.
Im convinced our defence orchestrated the Southampton goal. Theres no way in hell any defence could possibly be that calamitous.
Wyn Mills
Their keeper looks shaky on catches, Podolski is anonymous on the left. I would really throw Giroud in there straight away. I would probably bring him on at half-time, definitely before 60 minutes.
Arsenales F.C
Good crosses into the box will demolish Southampton. I agree, Giroud in the box with Walcott out wide.
Wyn Mills
Gervinho (don't slate me here) should do well in a game like this, if he has gotten his confidence back. Giroud is a more likely sub though. I would like to see a role for Rosicky as well.
Theo has got a goal in him, but a physical Stoke team that never scores more than 2 goals scored 3 against a Southampton side that hasn't been conceding much recently.
Arsenales F.C
Passing and crossing has been really very sloppy.
Wyn Mills
What on earth has happened to Sagna? He looks as clumsy as Gervinho.
Wyn Mills
We can't get out of our defence. This is an examination of our credentials to any claims of a top 4 status. Is it how good the home side is or an indication of how far we have dropped off the top? Hope it's the former which means our rivals will get a similar reception.
Naija - You don't share my optimism because I'm a hopelessly deluded moron who has a refusal to accept that we're s*** now.
Gervinho....still his old self. I won't take the Ox off for that lump of inconsistent ....
I'd hoped for an ugly 3 pts - got only the ugly part. Defensively abysmal, no confidence at all, both Sagna and Gibbs had less than average games for the 2nd time. Southampton deserved to win, so we were lucky to come away with a point. That game was crying out for Rosicky to come on as a sub, quicken the pace because our mid field was slow, ponderous.
That ends our winning run and doesn't do the players' confidence much good, going into the FA cup game and rest of the season. Sagna wasn't himself today and I thought Vermaelen and Kos did some things well today. Shame that our ex-Saints' players have not lived up to the usual curse of the ex-player returning. We had little to offer going forward.
Feck me, what a total waste of time. Can't help but think it's our style of play and tactics that are costing us, not only the players. Pass pass pass pass pass pass pass. Go feckin nowhere. Barca and City can do that coz they have the players and workrate in the case of the former. You see how United play and they absolutely go for the jugular when they need a goal or a win. We pass the ball 10 times for the sake of it.
Hahaha.. I swear.. if you cannot see the funny side in that Arsenal display you forgotten how to enjoy life. Some of the stuff on display by Sagna, Gervinho and Theo was hilarious
We have players who cant be arsed to move a few yards to intercept a pass or pressure an opponent. Thats the difference between us and the teams who will be fighting for honours.
Wyn Mills
We put zero pressure to win the ball back. And when was the alst time someone put in an attempt to block a shot. Szcz gets no protecton..but thats all being serious. Im going to concentrate on the comic relief that is Gervinho. :) Love the guy.
Shouldn't Szczesny be saving that shot for their goal?
Yep, I was laughing the whole match. Keystone Cops on Ice came to mind. Or was it Tippy Tappy Happy Feet? one shot on target? With the dodgy keeper they had? Jeeez.
Wyn Mills
Gervinho can feck right off to the African Cup and stop wasting a place on our bench.
Wyn Mills
No pressure on the ball whatsoever. It's like Wenger saw our poor display against Newcastle in the first half and thought "lets try that again and see if it works this time". Jack Cork at RB was excellent, he's quickly becoming a standout candidate for our DM role, but we really need one in January and he really needs to be tested over a season. With Luke Shaw as well, it'd also start to feel like we were just robbing Southampton - might as well buy Gareth Bale and call ourselves "the new Saints". I'd love it if we broke the bank and got Fellaini, but that's impossible for us.
Arsenales F.C
Hi gooners, lol.... COYS.... what that you say your 5 points down so far, you were rubbish today, played off the park by Southampton, you think walcott wants to play for you lot, lol
Well it's 5 now, 2 if we win our game in hand. 5... 2... Why does that sound familiar?
Arsenales F.C
For the life of me I can't understand this tactic of 'standing off your opponent' and allowing him to turn and pass where he wants. Is it a form of midfield zonal marking?
Wyn Mills
Add that to the fact that without Mertesacker we look terrible defensively. We were lucky they only scored one. Vermaelen and Koscielny are good individually, but the defence looks very unorganised without Mertesacker; getting bullied by forwards, no interceptions, no organisation, sloppy passes. It would be fine if we had a DM, but without one they get exposed too easily.
Arsenales F.C
Well as a Saints fan I am glad that you weren't on song today. I was pleased with Cork at right back and young Shaw did well today as well. I like the way you always try to play football but felt you needed to mix it up more as the game went on. Good luck for the rest of the season.
SFC Forever
Same to you guys. I'm sure you'll stay up and only get better as the season goes along. You guys would be the English Barca by now if you kept all the players you produce.
Arsenales F.C

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