Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Arsenal's All Saints' Day Party

2 - 0

St Mary's

1st January 2014 3 pm

Attendance: 31,492


There wasn't much between Arsenal and Southampton today which is an admission that shouldn't be too reassuring despite Southampton's bright start to the season. Once again we were obliged to not just tinker with the line up but field a permutation which looked experimental.

I'm not sure how many times Chambers and Coquelin had been paired together as a central midfield partnership but I'm guessing not that often before this week's training session. Nevertheless up until they scored we'd had slightly the better of the play with Forster having to make 4 saves albeit mainly shots from distance. Southampton though, throughout the game in fact, fashioned more chances inside the box than we did. Though overall goal attempts were more or less equal in number the Saints created 10 inside the penalty area to our 5. This may have been the consequence of fielding a front line that prefers to run into the box rather than establish a presence for others to play off but we went with what we had and on the day it just wasn't enough. Not because we failed to control the ball or were denied possession or were shut out entirely but while we threw in plenty of crosses, over reliant on them really, comparatively few found their targets - if there were any.

It's perhaps to Southampton's credit that they pushed our attack into areas which didn't suit the forward resources we had and suited their defensive resources perfectly. Having gifted them the first goal we became increasingly more reliant on speculative crosses throughout the rest of the game as we failed to find any truly penetrative attack. We were left with what Cazorla and Sanchez might create as individuals and Southampton were too settled and too well drilled to allow such prayers to be answered.

Having failed to cover the line when Szczesny vacated it for the first goal the second was probably even more of a gift. I guess Szczesny elected to try to clear the ball for the second fearing it might have been seen as a back pass. Perhaps he was just unlucky that his clearance found its way to Tadic but the feeling is that it was poor decision making between defenders and keeper. Either way while it might have made the game more comfortable for Southampton we didn't really look as though we were going to create a meaningful chance. The second goal allowed them to sit back and play long obliging our midfield to run back chasing theirs.

Some will doubtless be looking to the transfer window to add resources but while we need more quality in particular areas adding more resources won't solve this season's struggle to field a stable and consistent side. In the short term it may just exacerbate the problem. Whatever we achieve this season will be down to the players we already have. We just have to have them available.

The bare stats for this game might give the impression of a close encounter as the number of chances, attempts on target, corners won, possession all tell a story of effort and industry - but not of effectiveness. On the day Southampton were more effective and this game was won by the team that made the fewest mistakes.

Star Player

Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain - hardly a faultless performance but didn't hide and had more touches, dribbles and, from midfield, more passes than anyone else.

Date:Thursday January 1 2015
Time: 11:37PM


I know we were hamstrung with our selection, but I would of not taken cazorla out of the middle 3. He has been brilliant there and probably our best player for the last 6-8 weeks. I would of had coq-ros-cazorla with maybe campbell wide. Anyway, pretty limp defending from us. Kos didn't look 100% to me. As for scz, bad day at the office.
02/01/2015 01:24:00
We are now behind the spuds in the table, and I have a bad feeling that we will stay behind them. Pochettino had a rough start but now has them playing like a team, and he did something Wenger has never done - beat Mourinho. Spuds now have a belief (and good goalkeeper) that we don't. That is entirely the result of a good manager, which we haven't had for five years or more. Sacking Wenger now is not an option - he has proved time and again that he can get us to the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. But we have to evaluate at the end of the season - is he the man who can win the Europa League we will be in next season?
02/01/2015 04:01:00
It was a poor performance, a nothing performance and that's what we got from it.

Wenger can no longer motivate the team, he needs to go. We are on target for a end of season points tally of 62. That's 17 less than last season after a net spend of 60odd million during the summer.

Clueless, leaderless and directionless.

Galway Gooner
02/01/2015 09:27:00
Are we happy just qualifying for the Champions League or do we really want to win it? Thats the question the board need to ask themselves.
Wyn Mills
02/01/2015 09:46:00
Our aim is to 100% focus on qualifying for a tournament that we have 0% chance of winning.

It's a losers mentality.

Galway Gooner
02/01/2015 09:49:00
I hope than fan who ran up to the bench yesterday was telling Wenger to get off his arse and shout some instructions!
Wyn Mills
02/01/2015 09:53:00
In order to stand a chance of winning the CL you first have to qualify for it. At least 80% of the teams in the PL have no chance of winning the PL but that doesn't make the competition not worth them competing in. I think Bouldy managed to shout some instructions Wyn - some pretty straightforward ones to the fool who approached bench.
02/01/2015 10:07:00
Amos we are further away from having a chance of winning the CL then we were 10 years ago.

The "fool" who approached the bench at least showed some passion, maybe he adopted the wrong approach but give me that approach over sitting on the bench for 90 minutes without actually doing anything.

Bouldy, for all his passion as a player, has been a pretty useless assistant manager.

Galway Gooner
02/01/2015 10:14:00
Compare wenger and mourinho yesterday in the face of defeat. Who was showing more passion? Dont you think this matters to the team? There was arguably more activity from our bench when 'the fool' ran up than during the rest of the match.
Wyn Mills
02/01/2015 10:25:00
Our 8m a year manager didn't want to leave the dugout at Stoke because of the "welcome" he was getting from the Stoke fans.

Hardly the actions of a man who'd inspire fight in his team now is it.

Galway Gooner
02/01/2015 10:27:00
Page 1/7
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7

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
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

The Vital Football Members League