Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Praise The Arsenal And Pass The Ammunition

4 - 1

Wenger Stadium

13th December 2014 17:30 pm

Attendance: 59,949


So our 5th win in the last 6 outings but like the other 4 wins it will only gain a fraction of the attention and comment that the defeat in that sequence attracted. Many Arsenal supporters expect only to win and when we do it can be ignored as simply doing the job we are supposed to do. It's surprisingly difficult to praise an Arsenal performance now.

Maybe as one poster observed on another match thread that's just the way it works, you complain about the negatives, a bad meal in a restaurant, poor service, shoddy goods but you rarely comment on positives. Then again why not praise a good meal or express your appreciation of good service? If the positive aspects are only taken for granted and the negatives oblige condemnation then that would be a poor philosophy to apply elsewhere - to parenting for example. If you only ever tell a child what he or she has done wrong and never praise the things they have done well chances are you'll end up with a pretty insecure loner with low self esteem. Personally I'd go overboard on the positivity and tell them they're the greatest being ever and there's nothing they can't do if they really want to. They'll work out for themselves later what they can or can't do or will and won't do but at least there's a fair chance they'll have the confidence to go figure it out. Maybe that's all too Jerry Springerish for a football forum. So how'd the game go?

We were brilliant!!! We gave Chelsea's conquerors a proper schooling in how to play football!!! OK maybe I'm still in overboard mode but we were pretty good. The starting line up was much as predicted with Cazorla, Flamini and Ox in midfield, Welbeck and Sanchez wide with Giroud up front. What I'm told is our 9th different defensive permutation this season had Debuchy at centre back alongside BFG and Bellerin and Gibbs on the flanks. They did pretty well. Praise is due! Debuchy won all of his tackles (he only made 2) and 67% of his aerial duels of which he made 9. That's not bad for a slightly under 5' 10" centre back is it? Maybe our perceptions of centre backs as 6 foot plus muscle bound hulks are no longer consistent with football in its modern form? Whether it is or not he did good. Less successful aerially was Bellerin which may not be too surprising against Ameobi but when the ball was on the deck young Hector didn't miss a tackle. So the defence did well then but they did well because the team did well. We won more tackles than Newcastle, were more successful in what the stats sites call aerial duels, beat the opposition most of the time we took them on, intercepted with consummate ease all over the park and almost as importantly scored with every attempt on target that wasn't blocked. You know what we're a good side - sometimes! Or maybe it was just down to Wenger's tactical superiority?

Ox and Cazorla had good games in central midfield with Sanchez providing more of a creative midfield spark than as the deadly forward he seems to be. I'm beginning to appreciate the difficulty Barcelona had playing Alexis. He could be Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa almost anything across the forward/ attacking midfield lines. Anymore injuries to our defence and I'm not sure I'd be all that concerned about playing him at full back! Ok overboard again there then but his cross for Giroud's opener was that of a masterly winger and the ball he rolled into Cazorla for the second had the touch of Zidane or even better - Ozil!.

If I could borrow Russell Brand's cutting dismissal of a politician this week then Giroud might have been seen as a 'pound shop' Henry (or should that be Alan Smith) but it was perhaps easier to understand what he brings to our game in this match. He does have a physical presence that Sanogo or Welbeck can't quite match yet and he does control and protect the ball very well with a good eye for a deft one two in and around the box, along with a good touch for a big man to borrow a footballing cliché as well. His first goal was a product of physical domination and his second a deft flick with the outside of his foot reprising a trick he pulled off last season - against Spurs I think? Praise is due! With Welbeck playing off him and Alexis more midfield it was a 4-4-2 variant that was effective.

Cazorla has been excellent in many of our recent games. Playing in central midfield and allowed a fair amount of freedom he has probed and pressed and passed and in this game he won all of his aerial duels. It was only the one but it was against Coloccini who has an 8" height advantage so maybe if we praise him for it, it will encourage him to compete with equal success in his next game?

By the end of the game there was a chorus of "there's only Arsene Wenger" which for some is probably just as well as if there were two the second would probably be appointed by the board as his replacement and I'm not sure that would please everyone. But whatever comes next today was an opportunity to feel good about Arsenal Football Club so let's find something to praise about this performance in the sure and certain knowledge that there'll be something to fume about before too long.

Star Player

Santi Cazorla

Date:Saturday December 13 2014
Time: 11:42PM


Like a really good meal that game was the tops. But like any good meal it only lasts so long and Doom Sayers will be back. Just hope the Ox is okay; another player injured would be the pits.
14/12/2014 00:15:00
its amazing how upset back to back 4-1 wins has seemed to make so many who claim to be Arsenal supporters. I also notice that the goalposts has been moved by many of these upset people, only winning the league will do is their latest stance. But they tell us they are not glory hunters, they are real fans.
14/12/2014 00:43:00
That was the best league performance I have watched and most enjoyable this season. Our attacks felt a lot quicker than they have been in a while. I really like Giroud, gives us a presence and holds the ball up really well allowing others to get forward. The defending was a lot better to, I said before that Debuchy would be good as a CB and so it proved. I think that we should pair him and merts with chambers RB from now on while Kos is out. Hopefully those last two results give us the confidence to keep evolving.
14/12/2014 08:33:00
I think its too early to proclaim Debuchy a success at CB. We pressed the opposition so efficiently in that game that he was rarely exposed. And Newcastle's goal illustrated the weaknesses that still exist in our defensive shape. But that aside everything that was absent in the Stoke game was on display here. Crisp passing, flank play, closing down the opposition. It was a quite wonderful performance. Compliments to the chef.
Wyn Mills
14/12/2014 08:41:00
Lovely write-up, Amos. I'm so glad to see you have been seen the light as to the virtues of OG.

@alwaysgunner and eduardo66, totally agree!

Definitely our best performance in the PL so far. We've played as well as that in the CL, and for a half, or 25 mins in the league. What was delightful for me was that this happened despite the injuries and the improvised look of the side - we still came up trumps. Regarding Debuchy, isn't it funny how things work out? Keeping Sagna was plan A, when he refused a contract we went to plan B - Debuchy - which has turned out better for us. He has many of the same qualities but is younger and shows every sign of being a good option for CB cover. Who knew? (paul_ownz, apparently. :)) And if we ever play 3 at the back, Bellerin has that right wingback slot nailed on.

14/12/2014 10:13:00
I'm enjoying the link up play between Welbeck and Giroud, wasn't sure they could work together but they both have a nice ability to bump passes off around the box and both have the physical presence to get to the edge of the box in the first place without being unduly affected by packed defences. Both have a nice mix of strength and guile.
Little Dutch
14/12/2014 10:20:00
Really good performance, better than the Aston Villa game for me. Hope we can bring that game to liverpool next week. maybe a burn out draw today against Man U!? Chambers will be back and play CB, should start to string a good run of form together now.
14/12/2014 13:23:00
Wow, will Liverpool play this badly on sunday? Made United look half decent.
14/12/2014 15:10:00
Giroud is swapping places with Welbeck and Sanchez a lot. Very fluid attack. All three with a great workrate as well.
14/12/2014 16:24:00
Perhaps a silver lining in the terrible injury situation we've been in is the chance other players are getting to excel. I thought Bellerin acquitted himself credibly and may be a perfect understudy for the right back position. What about Welbeck? I have been impressed with the technical skills and the short transition to the way we play. Although this will not be end of the debate, the positive 'chant' for Wenger by the silent 'majority' countered the perception of a shift in fan support for the manager.
15/12/2014 00:01:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Arsenal
Write For Vital Arsenal
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

EL - AC Milan MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Sub - Chambers20%
Sub - Elneny0%
Sub - Kolasinac0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Vital Football Comment