Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: The Arshavin we have been waiting for

Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: The Arshavin we have been waiting for

It appeared Arsene Wenger had a clear plan in mind when he left Andrey Arshavin out of the squad that traveled to Braga midweek: to freshen up the enigmatic Russian and make him the key player in a bid to win at Villa Park.

Arshavin was absolutely outstanding for 90 minutes against Aston Villa, troubling them with a performance full of delightful spontaneity, rapier-style directness and — yes, I am going to say this about the often-lethargic Russian — never-say-die energy. He scored the first goal of the afternoon from the left with a superb piece of play before Wenger utilised him more centrally in the second half.

This was the Russian’s best performance of the season and on a day like today he looks unplayable, rolling off defenders, shifting the ball one way and the other just enough to unbalance an opponent and tearing off toward the opposition goal. While the marvelous opener was his pivotal contribution to the afternoon another moment, in which he left Robert Pires planted on his rear, will stay in the memory a little longer.

The French boys were happy to see Arshavin playing so well

Aston Villa went into this game holding on to a seven-match undefeated streak at home that included draws with Chelsea and Manchester United, while our boys were looking to bounce back from last weekend’s shocking North London Derby loss. Almost from the opening minute to the last of the first-half, we dominated the game.

Alex Song and Jack Wilshere bossed Villa’s novice pair of midfielders, Bacary Sagna found space to get forward and help out Samir Nasri and Arshavin delighted with his dribbling skills. Our domination was converted into a huge amount of half-chances with only Tomas Rosicky’s best effort, a outside-of-the-right-boot flick from just inside the edge of the penalty area, one you would expect to be put away.

But that all changed when a miscommunication between John Collins and Luke Young left Arshavin with space to exploit. He wasted no time in doing so, zipping forward, cutting inside and pinging in a wonderful low shot between three defenders that nestles just inside the post. It is the type of shot he so often attempts to squeeze out and was executed perfectly.

At a goal up we had some reward for an utterly dominant first-half performance, although we should have had more as Nasri missed an open goal and Chamakh had a header brilliantly saved by Friedel. No matter though as a couple of minutes later Nasri made amends, thrashing home a deflected volley from Arshavin’s corner.

No fan would have required pointing out that 2-0 was the same score as last week and as such, any thoughts of ending the match on top of the table would have been entirely premature. It simply had to be the case that the same thoughts were going through the minds of the boys in the change-room, so a fighting, committed start to the second-half was a necessity.

Yet while the performance that we all wanted in the opening stanza of the second half — with Wilshere, Rosicky and Arshavin keeping up the tempo — Villa still scored.

One half of Villa’s baby midfield duo, Ciaran Clark, got the goal, firing in an excellent volley from outside the area, but in truth it should never have stood. Firstly, a clearly-offside John Carew blocked Lukasz Fabianski’s line of sight, forcing him to shuffle his feet one yard the wrong way and inevitably fail to keep the shot out. Secondly, and far more concerning for Arsenal fans, Gael Clichy inexplicably dropped off from pressuring the attacker to mark up on a much less dangerous player. An unbelievably poor piece of defending, not his first this season, and with the more reliable Kieran Gibbs back again, surely now is the time for him to be given a run in the first team.

Fortunately a response to their goal came quickly as Rosicky put through Chamakh and the Frenchman prodded home. It was more a testament to the strength of our attack than any great show of character, yet nevertheless the two-goal margin was restored and with it came some breathing space.

Bobby was left on his backside by Arshavin

Despite the buffer the rest of the half became a far more difficult game than it ever should have been. Arshavin’s switch to the middle of the park worked well, allowing the Russian to attack from more dangerous positions, yet the game as whole was far too open for a team leading 3-1 away from home. The football was played at a frantic pace that suited Villa, as a desire for tempo was overemphasised to our detriment, and our ball retention as a team was rather poor.

In the end the tactics from the manager appeared to be “we can score more goals than you” and although this outlook eventually proved correct, it made for tense times at Villa Park. Indeed, the home side pulled another goal back, Clark taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner-kick to score a second, to set up a thrilling final twenty minutes.

It was tense viewing through the final moments, particularly when Denilson and Gibbs replaced Nasri and Arshavin, but with the clock ticking deep into injury time it appeared as if just about enough had been done to secure the result. But then, a final flourish: Denilson’s shot deflected into the path of Chamakh, he crossed for Wilshere and the little Englishman nabbed his Premier League goal. With his head. Remarkable.

4-2. Game over. Arsenal on top of the Premier League table (for about a second, admittedly). What more can you say?

It’s clear that we still have huge problems with our defending and the consistent fear that Villa might steal something from this game without ever deserving too is a huge concern. But I don’t want to remember that today.

In a game that rattled along at a frantic and unrelentless pace almost from start to finish, perhaps due to the absence of certain Spanish playmaker who so often plays the role of metronome in our side, I want to remember the performance of Andrey Arshavin. We have been waiting a long time now to see the real Arshavin and at Villa Park, with victory vital and our captain absent, this was the Arshavin we had been waiting for.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 4-2 victory over Aston Villa by leaving a comment.

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45 Responses to “Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: The Arshavin we have been waiting for”

  1. MTY
    November 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Very important win today at Villa park though it looked at times that we were once again to collapse from a comfortable lead.
    MOTM = Arshavin, NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT!
    Arshavin came to life after weeks of mediocrity. Chamakh was excellent once again with an important goal & an assist to Jack.
    However, the major concern is that our defensive vulnerabilities are still there. It’s unexplainable why Clichy opted to switch to the player on the flank instead of blocking the apparent danger in front of him for their 1st goal.
    The center-half partnership looks very shaky. It’s always important for a new center-half to play along side with an established partner. Unfortunately the loss of TV5 is proving to be costly. Squillaci wasn’t meant to play this much of PL games when he 1st arrived. AW need to buy a quality defender come January. Absolute must on recent evidence.

  2. Andrew Weber
    November 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    @ MTY – Thanks for the comment dude, as always. The centre-half partership does indeed look shaky, but let’s not talk about buying players today. Let’s enjoy the win.

  3. Andrew Weber
    November 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    @ MTY – Actually, I reckon that’s a little harsh. Your comments are completely fair actually, sorry for being a nit-picker. Take it easy!

  4. Pran
    November 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    I thought Kos5 did a tremendous job where he had to cover up for a very shocking display by Squillaci.. I think Djorou should start because he seems to be much more efficient..

  5. La Gooner
    November 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Nice read as usual mate,
    Great victory, we just have to keep this going for a while…..

  6. LAGunner
    November 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Great win! I wonder when we’re going to see RVP again in the starting XI. Chamakh sure did look good today! I was pleased to see Wenger attempt to tighten up the defense rather than making attacking substitutions.

    Clichy is up against the ropes and the fact that Gibbs was subbed in today indicates to me that Wenger acknowledges that Clichy is up against the ropes and that Gibbs will be an important part of our defensive future sooner rather than later.

  7. Carlos
    November 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Cheers mate.

  8. gbenga
    November 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    it feels good that we played so well withot fabregas, n what a game for arshavin….. if he plays this way every time, then we could win the epl this season, defence was poor from set pieces…..

  9. shambogunner
    November 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Great result, much like away at Everton, I have to say I thought Wilshere was phenomenal, his workrate is second to none, going forward he puts himself everywhere to receive the ball and without hes snapping at opposition players heels and pouncing on loose ball, never shirks a challenge even a 50/50 with big Richard Dunne, when he raced back and dispossessed Carew clean and played the easy pass second half I was well impressed, the kid is a gerrard/cesc/scholes all in one and hats off to Liam Brady for bringing hi through and to Wenger for having the belief to play him…..keep it coming.
    Arsha was top notch aswel as the player of the season so far Nasri, but like I said it has to be followed up with a win, unlike the Everton result.
    Keep it up Fabianski, blameless the last few weeks and you can see he has presence now, Andy you were dead right his story has been fascinating….we will beat utd in december I have no doubt about that, its the games before and after that we have to address………….KEEP IT UP.

  10. Andrew Weber
    November 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    @ Shambo – Yay! All positive! You’re a gem.

  11. Ranjit
    November 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    What a game, it was redemption at last for us… phew it was tricky. In terms of going forward and keeping up the tempo we were good today and were playing like the home team away from home. But something is still missing, Rosicky should have scored and ended his woeful run of games without a goal, but there is time and hopefully he and the team (like today) will deliver. Cheers and and as usual a good analysis Andrew.

  12. Tony Waters
    November 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    The problem is that Man U will probably win 7-1

  13. Andrew Weber
    November 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    @ Tony – I predict Berbatov to score five.

  14. California Gooner
    November 27, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Arshivin was undoubtedly man of the match, but there several other very good performances as well. Song was immense, absolutely bossing the midfield. Rosicky, despite having lost his shooting boots, was a huge assist defensively, an outlet for pressure, and a creative spark. Chamakh, of course, did his thing, scoring a goal and creating another. And I don’t even thing the defense was bad. Clichy was everywhere… so his reasons for backing off on Clark’s goal are somewhat mysterious. My feeling is that individually the players are playing quite well, but that there are either lapses of concentration (Kosciencly is sooo assured when he’s good, but seems to make the odd mistake) or just a collective lack when dealing with certain situations. In other words, I think these players — even with no one new added to the mix– will get much better over the next 20 games. And yes, Andrew, this was the Andriy Arshavin, Superstar, that we signed.

  15. MTY
    November 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    3 points expected from the Fulham game next Saturday. No slip up at home after now.
    Then it’s the big one, away to manure. I would take a draw. In fact, I got a feeling that it will end 2-2.
    Our vulnerability at the back means we will continue to ship goals. What’s your status Verminator?

  16. GunnerBoss
    November 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    I’m proud to say that what I said last time was followed to the letter…I was confident there would be no deja vu comeback for Villa.
    1. We did not play a rigid 4-3-3 today.
    2. My speed analysis in the centre forward position went unheeded today. We went ahead with Chamakh and he scored, BUT what if he could be faster…that would be devastating and it would make him much more of a threat. Defenders would be scared-stiff of him(of anyone with SPEED actually). This is the dimension that we do not have right now in our game unfortunately(we need it badly). Did u guys see the thru pass Arshavin laid for Nasri that would have made it two?
    3. Song was made to stay back and he was often in the centre whenever they tried to counter.
    4. Even though they did not actually play like support strikers, Nasri and Rosicky combined very well and EXCHANGED PLACES regularly which was very beautiful to see. Arshavin came to the centre occasionally to support Chamakh, but this is where he is most deadly. I would prefer if he were there more often. But, what would be most beautiful to watch especially when FABs is not playing would be the trio of Arshavin, Rosicky and Nasri exchanging places. But, due to Arshavins defensive frailties, I guess he would only be able to swap in any of the front two Support striking (SS) places…, leaving Nasri and Rosicky free to rotate anyhow between SS and attacking midfield (AM) or advanced central midfield(ACM).
    5. It has to be noted also that even though Song occassionaly went forward today, I guess the DM that is more suited to that role is Wilshere(but he needs to learn to shoot) and he got a goal eventually. I guess both Song and Wilshere can do that job, but only one person at a time should be going forward. With Wilshere’s superior speed, I would prefer him besides I think he is the better dribbler.
    Kudos to Wenger and the team for noting my contributions…….

    Clichy was clearly the culprit for the first goal, he hesitated and thus allowed space for the shot even though Carew was clearly offside. Besides this, I guess everyone did a marvelous job today. Goal keeper has been really blameless in goal so far this season. Concentration levels were amazingly high..so i guess we are LEARNING.

  17. California Gooner
    November 28, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Good post GunnerBoss. I feel the same way about what real, TH14-like speed might do up front in games like this. That is what Walcott should offer. But having said that, i hardly want to put down Chamakh, who had yet another class performance.

  18. Darragh
    November 28, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Good win. Though we did look shaky at the back. I prefer the Djourou/Squillaci partnership I think. It just seems a lot more solid.

    Though, I’m beginning to become convinced that Arsene doesn’t know how to use substitutes properly! He seems too reactive in his substituting rather than proactive. Chamakh should have come off rather than Nasri or Arshavin. I always find Wenger waits far to long before introducing players into the game – sometimes when its too late. Look at some of the bizarre substituting he has done over recent weeks!

  19. Hey Nonny Mouse
    November 28, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    Nice review, Andrew. Good to hear from you again wink:

    Chamackh did brilliantly to score his goal because Friedel closed him down very well and there was just the tightest of spaces to squeeze the ball through. Apart from his goals and assists I really like his attitude. He’s always got his head down getting on with the game, getting into spaces, making runs, causes trouble.
    Villa’s first goal was a joke. Should never have stood. How can you have a player, especially a big chap like Carew, standing right in front of the keeper like that? Come on, ref? That goal put the wind up us and we were never quite the same after but still played well.

    There was a lot of creativity in midfield which was good to see as Fabregas’ exit now looks inevitable to me.
    Aside from that, like most, I think we need to buy a world class keeper and world class defender.

  20. Hazmi
    November 28, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Well done gunners. What a relief to see these young guy performing. I agree that we should enjoy the winning moment. But we still have a long season to go. Football now require a lot of preparation. As you see from gunners history they seem to flop towards the end of season. We need a good defender. While we are relief by the result, MU is enjoying their scoring result. We tend be comfort when leading the game while our opponent can make a comeback. Bare in mind we still have mountain to clim in our defence. Clichy have to concentrate more, Chamakh have to improve on speed and there rest of the defense have to be reorganise in order to prepare for the month of december. in order to succeed..The excuse of young player is long gone.if we think they cannot perform why not change them with experience player. This is towards a club success and business potential. Please do something Arsene. For once bring it to more higher level of football standard.

  21. John jay pittman
    November 28, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    Their first goal should not even be considered, blame to the officials only. Quick response the difference between last week and this. Too much emphasis on goal scoring as opposed to assisting. Arshavin has been assisting very well for several weeks and even checking back pn defense; his goal today was well deserved but not unanticipated. Song and Sagna back in side kept pressure on. Chances pen a minute in first 15 showed urgency. All good, and, if not for gift first goal, we could have won 7-1. Chamakh doubters and Arshavin quibblers should just shut the front door!

  22. Hirzi Iskandar
    November 28, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Nice game !

  23. GunnerBoss
    November 28, 2010 at 4:13 am #

    @Andy – Excellent analysis again…U know we’ve seen this over the years and it no more looks new to us…the new guys must definitely be amazed/dazed with ur writing. This is the reason why i only read/blog here.
    @Everyone – I would want to state here again that i do not criticize our players, let anyone remind me of the last player i criticized here(Diaby & Denilson maybe)? We all know we have very good players….Even when people were castigating Arshavin, I wrote here on this blog that this guy is a gem and we should rather utilize him properly instead.
    I only want Chamakh to work on his SPEED for goodness sakes, he is clearly too slow. I agree that we can cope/use him for now, but we all know what we need, don’t we? I hope RVP starts getting matches because from what we know, he is definitely our best player in front.
    I spoke about this speed issue here even when Chamakh was doing well, but I knew he could do better and because we were winning then, people felt it was unfair. Now, enter the spuds and we were left thinking what if we took our chances better? Look what people were writing about him….to make matters worse it was even during the “Why we love” series.

    It is clear that this league is up for our grabs, and we need to be scoring/threathening to ease the pressure on the rest of the team. Right now, we do not have that CF threat. I dare repeat it, WE DO NOT HAVE THE CF THREAT NOW.

    What really bothers me is the Champs league, because on a very serious note, i think it is far easier to win that(with Tactical blows/knockout) than even the EPL. The EPL is very tough, but the spuds just beat Inter…defending champs(would we have beat them now? I remember the 5-1 away(SPEED & Henry were key) even though we lost 3-0 home). If we get our tactics right, we can do this again…..I guess this rather explains all my previous comparisons of our team with that of Barcelona(who lost to the tactical superiority of Mourinho in last years semi’s) whom I feel play our kind of football. We were almost there some seasons ago beating Magreed and finally loosing the finals cos of a stupid sending off and Henry FAILING to wrap up that game when it was 1-0 (I dont know if i’ll ever forgive him for that).

    In essence, if we dont get our acts right when/before the key(elimination) matches start coming in, we might end up trophyless again or maybe just with the EPL. So, for all of us “fans of Arsenal” who see nothing wrong when we know we could do better and fail to acknowledge it…..when we loose should not be the best time to vent…I hope I make sense here…….

  24. patosky
    November 28, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Gentlemen look at villa’s first goal carefully especially the position of all the players in arsenal box 18 before criticizing clichy. I think he had little or no fault for the goal… He simply intended to defend against the more dangerous player. Rushing out would have leave the other player free and closer to the goalkeeper….

  25. jet
    November 28, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    but clichy was closest to clark, he should not be leaving him to cover someone else. i think clichy was at fault, but the others did not close fast enough once he left. there was not killer or even survival instinct there. these defenders need to rule the box, they constantly give up too much space and time and therefor are constantly giving up goals.

    it’s pathetic that we have to hold our breath at 2-0, knowing what might happen. i’m happy for the win, but the defending has become pathetic. i don’t know that vermaelen will be the savior of the defense, but it surely won’t hurt to have him back. he can’t do any worse.

  26. GunnerBoss
    November 28, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    @Patosky – The CBs were looking at the offside guy, the head master-Carew. Carew was clearly in between them and in the process getting both their attention. Clichy is clearly at fault…..no one is blaming him, but he is clearly at fault for being where he was in the first place and confusing the CBs. Did you watch the match because i’m answering from the goal replays I saw and remember. He tried to faint the player who in turn used his faint against him and did not run where clichy wanted instead he took the shot.
    The keeper would have caught it, but was blocked from seeing clearly by Carew.

  27. Ianinja
    November 28, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Crap, I missed the game again. Thanks for the review Andrew.

  28. GunnerBoss
    November 28, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    @Jet – We all hope Vermaelen could come and do better…from what I see, we can not be so sure. I mean, what really did those CBs do wrong today?

    People are saying we need a new goalie already, what is FABs doing wrong? He is hardly to be blamed for any of the goals we ship in. Its amazing that Clichy’s positioning has cost us at least two games now. He is quite experienced and I wish he could do better, but of course the rotation strategy(Gibbs) can not hurt him…It will only make him think, return fresh and hopefully, concentrate more. I remember what the fear of Eduardo did to Adebarwhore. It made him go on fire clearly. We are so lucky that we have strength in depth right now in this team. Imagine the midfielders(especially Song to everyone’s bewilderment) are always going forward to help the striking department. Is it because they have no faith in their abilities or what?

    Finally, what we REALLY need in this team now is a good STRIKER. We should stop blaming this or blaming that. Manure scored 7 today and who will fault anyone in that team for conceeding one goal? Look, just fuck you all…I’m really angry.
    I’ve made my point and this is the real issue here….lets stop the buck passing

  29. Ashgun
    November 28, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    wilshere seems 2 have learnt something from his loan spell… how to head a ball like kevin davies

  30. GunnerBoss
    November 28, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    @JJPittman – comment 11.45pm, Nov 17 states that Arshavin cannot play in the midfield because he cannot defend else I would have said that Nasri, Rosicky and Arshavin could be rotating(SS and midfield…AM,ACM) places….I explained this earlier, is this why you felt it was criticism? Is it because I said defensive frailties, you now thought it to be criticism? Or am I getting you wrong? I hope I’m getting u wrong.
    Chamakh is the weak link in this team, i dont hate him….he can be coming on as a sub or when someone has an injury…but as main striker is not working for me when better players are on the bench. What happens in the Champs league next year? Remember Walcott vs Barcelona…besides RVP knows how to shoot far better with technique and accuracy as well. I dont wanna talk about this guy anymore, so people should stop saying Chamakh haters or this or that…..I’m not the one that brought him here. Boys like Vela cannot improve because of this no playing time situation. If we loose Vela, we loose big time.

  31. Andrew Weber
    November 28, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    @ GunnerBoss – I think you’ve made your point about the striker, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it 🙂

    You mention that the thing Chamakh lacks is the speed to break the line, but I would argue (1) he has just about enough speed to do this on occasion (goal yesterday, goal v Wolves, red card v Blackpool etc) and (2) his primary role in this team is not to “break the line”, but to link with the play and allow nippy players (ie Walcott, Arshavin) to get in behind him. Playing the way we do it is clear that the centre-forward is there mostly to provide a pivot for the attackers around them and hold the ball up under pressure. Chamakh does this unbelievably well — the fact that he is getting goals too is a massive bonus.

    People criticise Chamakh’s lack of instinct for goal but in many ways this was why he was brought into the team. Many times when a cross or pass is fired into his feet his first instinct is to lay off an oppourtunity for a teammate and it is their job to get to areas where he can provide this. Often he looks strange when no other player provides him support, but this is precisely the reason. He is a team player, a link-man and I really cannot understand — given the fact that (1) his stats this season have been impressive (2) unlike virtually every Arsenal player on our books he appears durable and not injury-prone (this is so important) and (3) he has fit into our system perfectly — people criticise him.

    Another thing, on the suggestion of picking up another Henry or getting another Henry, is there any point holding out for this outcome? He was a supreme athlete and unbelievable footballer and they don’t come along very often. Is there anyone like him in world football that you could possibly see joining Arsenal?

  32. John
    November 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    First off that was both an excellent response to the two disappointing previous results.

    Once again the defence has come in for some criticism but once again the line up was changed, Djourou being dropped in favour of Koscielny.

    Wenger must now play the same defence… Fabiansky, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny and Clichy, as a unit.

    They must be allowed time to gel and develop understanding, and confidence in each other. The constant swapping of players for no good apparent reason must stop. Only when Vermaelen is fully fit should consideration be given to changing the defence unless injury or suspension force such a move.

    Wenger is in danger of becoming the new “Tinkerman”.

  33. deamon
    November 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    QUOTE – Enough is enough now. Wenger has to go. He has quite clearly lost the dressing room in the same way that George Graham did 15 years ago. What he has done to the club is shameful and embarrassing. I don’t know how the board have got the gall to charge us the prices we pay to watch what I can only describe as utter c**p…….. there’s talking up your team and then there’s talking bollocks. This really is the nadir for him. He has destroyed everything he ever built and it is a sad end to what has been a brilliant time for him at Arsenal. – UNQUOTE

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion – but what a totally childish rant. Yes we all know we’re playing very moderately and yes the team are not giving their best either performance-wise or with regards to the sometimes pitiful application they’ve show recently. But in case you hadn’t noticed we are still only two points off the top of the Premiership and one win away from the knock-out stages of the Champions League. So I fail to see how that can be described as AW ‘destroying everything he ever built’. Comments, such as those above, can only have been written by someone with no appreciation of reality, which is sadly the case with many Gooners of late. Shameful and embarrassing is being in the Shammer’s position – miles adrift at the bottom. Shameful and embarrassing is our p*ss-poor home support when the team are doing anything other than winning. Does Elliott expect Wenger to talk his team down or what? Let’s face it, every manager, at every press conference talks out of their arse, but then what do you expect?

    Most Arsenal fans, I imagine, thought that the teams Wenger put out against WBA, Newcastle, Tottenham, Shakhtar and Braga were all good enough to win those particular matches and that indeed they both could and should have won all those games. It wasn’t Wenger out there on the pitch f**king it up – it was the players. If you insist upon joining all the sheep currently indulging in demented rants have a go at the players not the man who has been so badly let down by them.

    Like many Arsenal fans right now Elliott is reacting like a typical spoilt brat who screams his head off because he doesn’t get his own way and thinks a temper tantrum is the obvious answer. If you think the prices are too high then f**k off somewhere else or don’t go to games. Simples. And if you absolutely feel you must partake of the pathetic blame culture then slag the players off, or at least those who deserve it. Typically Jack was about the only player who went across to applaud our away fans in Braga. This in itself took bottle from an eighteen-year-old, despite being one of the few to have given his all. Many fans responded that night by abusing him. What a bunch of f**kwits! That for me just about sums up the gross ignorance of many Arsenal fans right now.

  34. J
    November 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    good result but the worry for me is the gunners keep leaking goals…have a read of Arsenal’s Defensive Disaster: Should Wenger Now Start Havard Nordtveit?
    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/arsenals-defensive-disaster-should-wenger-now-start-havard-nordtveit/

  35. baxter
    November 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    It is of no surprise to me that we have gone away and won at Villa without the hapless Eboue and Denilson starting the match although it was rather disappointing to see Denilson come on for the last 10 minutes or so. Chamakh continues to be a huge influence for us and appears to be making pundits or should I say critics stand up and listen, for once Shearer had something good to say on MOTD. Arshavin has finally realised the season has started and what a good display from him. Nasri who for me is the player of the season so far for us put in yet another great performance ,Wishere is improving but is still to raw for my liking. The defence behind Song are still looking a bit suspect bit if we take away the ridiculous first off side goal where Carew was clocking the keeper I think we cannot complain that much. That said I am not sure what Djourou has to do to get a run in the side but for a brief moment we were top of the league and it felt good so lets hope we can move on and start turning away form into home form.

  36. JJ Pittman
    November 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    @gunner boss: must have me wrong about Arshavin. Have been a huge fan since he was with Zenit. He has been criticized for not checking back in the past, but great efforts lately. With the ball and running at people he is one of the best, and assists should count as much as goals, especially the way we play. The goal yesterday made him look great, but he has been good for weeks. I have liked the way Chamakh plays on top, and do feel he wastes opportunities when he plays outside, but again, that’s the way we rotate up front and midfield. He’ll I’m just happy to be cheering a winner after 2 horrible losses.

  37. shambogunner
    November 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Wow, whats goin on today?
    Gunnerboss you are quite right my man, we do need a STRIKER we currently have no strikers in this squad, we have link men who can score goals, the closest we have is Bentdner who wanders aimlessly and lacks the instinct to get on the end of a move, generally.
    RvP and Chamakh are not ruthless goalscorers either, Henry was a great goalscorer, a scorer of great goals and he could get the 6yard dirty tap in when you needed it. Andys right though you could go 20 years waiting to see his like again in an Arsenal jersey, maybe 50…..but were not looking for another Henry, hes just a blueprint, were looking for someone with a knack for goalscoring and there are plenty of those out there.
    Lisandro Lopez, Diego Forlan, Luiz Fabiano, Etoo, Klose, Torres, Villa, Defoe, Benzema, Anelka, Ibrahimovic, Hulk, Suarez, Cordoba (benfica)…………all players that were available the last 4 years if we had been willing to meet the asking price…….I would love to have robbed Defoe from Portsmouth before he re-joined spurs, I think hed score by the lorry load in this team. Your looking for International quality, your looking for a coup, a player that every team was after but your team got him………when have we ever done that??
    Anyway we have to move on with the crew we have and theres certainly nothing wrong with the depth in the squad, Chelsea drew today so if we can win our next couple of games before we face Utd we can go top outright when we beat them 3-1 in their place….

  38. MTY
    November 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Chelsea are in disarray….they don’t have a big squad this season & currently they are missing some of their key players through injuries. Their on-field problems seem to exacerbated by the constant muddling of Abramovich in team affairs. You can only feel sorry for Carlo…great player in his time & now a great manager, but somehow ended up at the wrong club where the decision makers know little about football.
    I don’t think they will be serious title challengers this season. It will either be a stroll in the park for Manure till May or we’ll show determination and character to push all the way with them & win it in the end.
    The question is, do we have what it takes to achieve this goal (based on recent evidence)?
    Will AW go out & buy in January the needed reinforcements at the back?

  39. Terry
    November 29, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    Great attacking performance nearly undone again by moments of near calmity due to our continuing inability to hold on to the ball at key moments and our inability to defend effectively against set pieces. Heard a lot about our problems getting to the second ball from set pieces but that’s not the problem it’s the first ball! How many times did Dunne win the ball in the air and create havoc? And it seems to be mainly from free kicks outside the box. Corners seem more straightforward. We need to stop giving away stupid free kicks near the half way line as this seems to be our achilles heel. That’s the midfield’s responsibility – Denilson, Song, Wilshire and Rosicky have all been to blame at different times. Great to see Arshavin back on form and Nasri continues to be our stand out player this season.

  40. GunnerBoss
    November 29, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    @Andy – I see your points.
    I just want him to train on his speed(do we call up Usain Bolt?) and maybe snap shooting (how can a striker be afraid to shoot?)….Does he think we laugh at him if the ball goes three stories high? As I said earlier what can we do when others are not fit? We just have to play him. But if a striker really wants to pass the ball so a midfielder can strike it in his stead then the team has a problem……that is not a very good tactic….

    @Darragh – Yes the subs were really really late in coming in. Some players were sweating blood for goodness sakes.

    @Nonny mouse – Fabregas is going nowhere…..It wont be because the people that replaced him yesterday did well so we can let him leave…NO. I would prefer if he leaves on his own accord than if we feel we could do much better without him.

    @Shambo – I’m saying this thing straight up and this is the truth….Those that watch our matches know what I’m saying is true. If he atleast gets us a penalty in every game, hell who would complain? On a serious note, this guy just has to start sprinting and shooting. I’m done with him….pls tell him he can do more….I’m only afraid for the big matches when the defenders will give him no space. I love you Chamakh….Go Chamakh, Go Chamakh, Go

  41. Nairobi-Gunner
    November 29, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Cheers mate, nice post after a super perfomance.

  42. Aman
    November 29, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Great post one thing i do not understand all people here are ranting that chamakh should improve his speed, i am sorry but this is something which cannot be trained, you just have to be born with natural speed, i do not think anything can be really done abt that, no defender fears him i would laugh and think thats good, because how he has been so far this season they really should..

  43. Andrew Weber
    November 29, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    @ Gunner Boss – He’s fast enough, I don’t understand this. Training someone to be significantly faster is very difficult once they reach a certain age and I think it’s fairly obvious that every football team would be doing this with all of their players anyway. Regarding his shooting, I don’t think he’s “afraid” to shoot, it’s just that his first thought is to pass. That is what his mindset seems to be and that is what makes him such a valuable link man.

  44. Femi Jacobs
    November 29, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Well done though. But what i desire from Arsenal is the ability to keep firing when winning. At two zero, i was expecting that we increase the tally but realise that they were qualizing. My breath was in my hands.

    Wenger shouldnt take be taking long to make change particularly when the opponent make two changes and we are having pressure. Our boys need to win and then score more goals to top. Chelsea will be playing everton next week; lets see what happen.

    More importantly, Man U is keeping their unbeaten record, we need to pay them back in their own coin. They spoiled our unbeaten record and we need to do same by beating them in their home. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee. Do this for me. Am praying for you and if need be join fasting. lol

  45. delano
    November 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Dont mind United will be paid in the same currency they did to us. After all we have the best away record.We just have to sit behind and get them on the counter attacks because it is obvious that they will use the same trick. But if Wenger tactically fucks it up we may loose.Any back to the game, i heavily criticized Chamak in the past for correct reasons. i know he scored but what if we played two strikers with persie on dont you think we could wreck havoc. They both bring differnt specialities to the game. Why does wenger take long to sub when the opposition team does so. I bet we won that game because Villa were not at their best but on another day it would have ended into a draw. Tactically while leading a game by two goals does no harm introducing a pacy WALCOTT so that the team plays on counter attacks as the boy looks more precise than chamak. Just see what Lenon did to L.pool in a split of a second.If we fail to win any trophy this season blame Wenger. We need Persie starting games and may be thats when the emirates jinx will die away.We shall need him at his usual best at Old Trafford. I wonder why some people are fascinated with Barca / Madrid game. I look at it as a boring league with no competiion and surprises at all . Let it watch itself tonite.

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