Norwich 1-2 Arsenal: Our fab front ‘free

Norwich 1-2 Arsenal: Our fab front ‘free

I know Robin van Persie scored his 456th goal in 432 games and it’s easy to label us a one-man team, particularly in an attacking sense, but Saturday’s come-from-behind victory showed once again that this clearly isn’t the case.

We all know what the giant brain head man Gervinho is capable of and he had a typically bright, energetic game down the left — but what to make of Theo Walcott’s resurgence? There has always been an unrecognised consistency to the Englishman as a contributor, only injury has interrupted regular goal-scoring and goal-providing contributions from being fully appreciated, but Walcott has undoubtedly taken his game up another notch in recent weeks.

It seems that since the moment that little Theo popped up off the turf at Stamford Bridge, gave the proverbial F-YOU to the Chelsea defence and slammed the ball past Petr Cech his confidence has soared. He’s ripping apart mediocre left-backs with consummate ease at the moment and that has added an exciting third element to an already well-functioning attack.

The departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri forced a re-think in Arsene Wenger’s approach and the move towards van Persie being supported by two speedsters on the flanks has been a success. It’s taken some time to bed in but the win over Norwich, which saw our front three create a bucket-load of chances between them, showed that things have clicked.

It’s just as well too because Per Mertesacker’s mistake showed we still have problems to iron out at the other end of the pitch. To be fair to the big German though, his mistake was more a product of over-confidence (and the small matter of a fairly blatant foul being committed) rather than one of incompetence, and his experience allowed him to move on from the incident without a hitch.

In an interesting move Wenger chose to play Laurent Koscielny at right-back to accommodate for Mertesacker’s return to the centre of the defence. It will be interesting to see whether he keeps the Frenchman there against Dortmund in mid-week, a game that Mertesacker will surely start, or whether Johan Djourou will get a run-out.

It’s rather a good time to be an Arsenal fan though, isn’t it? Five wins from five in the Premier League, a resurgence that has seen us rise from 17th on the table (gahhh!) to equal 4th (yay!) in a couple of months and some good football being played to boot. Expectations have been checked and it’s making for some wonderful evenings of football.

On another topic, you’ve probably noticed that my contributions to the blog have been mediocre and inconsistent of late, a product of my return to Australia and a hefty workload I now have as a result of becoming a full-time freelancer. You’re also probably a little peeved by the prevalence of the weekly betting articles that are helping me earn a little bit of money on the blog.

I’ll go into it in more detail later in the week, but I want to assure you that I’m making moves to rectify this situation, including bringing in somebody to permanently help me out with the content and community management on the blog. That should mean the content goes up, the betting articles are a little less dominant, and everybody is happier.

Cheers all, speak with you in the comments.

Spread the love of RVP, Theo and The Brain by leaving a comment.

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23 Responses to “Norwich 1-2 Arsenal: Our fab front ‘free”

  1. Darragh
    November 21, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    “We all know what the giant brain head man Gervinho is capable of and he had a typically bright, energetic game down the left ”

    …except put the ball in tje back of the net – he missed a few sitters! Gevinho should spend less time using the power of his brain to communicate silently with his team mates and coordinate their movements, and more time using the excess brain power to regulate his finishing. 🙂

    Walcott was great. He’ been really good the last few weeks. I’m guessing with Gevinho playing quality stuff. Walcott needs to up the ante. I also noted that this was the first game in a while in which Arshavin didn’t feature in some way.

    Santos once again caught napping a few times in first half, but played better in the second.

    I find it funny that a year ago we were crying out for centre backs. At the conclusion of this game we had FOUR centre backs on the pitch!!

  2. billi
    November 21, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    it is pity that you have less time to write, but if I compare my time in web since I am working to the time without work . . well, it’s a miracle that I haven’t starved since, I even can’t see many games now, but I must tell you, my nephew is on the way to your Emirates, they start tomorrow night with the bus and he will watch you . . . on Wednesday !! it will be tense I guess . . .

  3. Wisy
    November 21, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Front three did the good jobs as usual. bravo.

  4. Danny
    November 21, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I did enjoy the game on Saturday. But I still feel we have not yet gelled well to get up into the top three. We need a poacher/ fox to support RVP in January. But so far all is well for now. I can’t fail to say, most team apart from the Money City are strangling including MAN-ure. I can’t wait to be in the top four.

  5. Shard
    November 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I think Theo’s contribution has long been underplayed (after being hyped early on) and despite some inconsistencies, he is a very important player for us. He’s still only 22!! The cynic in me says that his upturn in form is because he’s putting himself in the shop window. But even if that’s the case, Arsenal are reaping the benefits of that at the moment. The front three are gelling well, and Gervinho’s running and unpredictability is a bonus. He will start to score a few more too in time.

    I actually think the defense is looking good too. What I liked was that after Per made that mistake, Koscielny came up to him and told him to let it go, and the German responded well and had a good dame after that.

    I don’t mind the betting articles Andrew, but I don’t understand the odds given that way in decimals. Not that I understand the fractions very well either. I guess betting isn’t my thing. But it’s worth knowing what the market is saying all the same. So no need to worry about it, but of course more write ups would be very welcome. Good luck with everything mate.

  6. unchained
    November 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    It is early days. Let us not rush to grab our balls.

  7. Leftcoastgooner
    November 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Morning Drew,morning all.
    Good to hear from you Andrew I hope you bring in enough ducats on the blog to make it worth your while to keep it going. Money is a must in most realms of life and if you can glean a few bucks while doing something that interest you all the better.
    Just finished watching the game. A decent enough outing barring the first goal. I like old Per-tree though despite the cock-up. He’s calm,mentally solid and, positionally plays very well. Yes he’s slow on the turn but Squillaci is faster who would you prefer?
    The front three were indeed fab. Now if we could just add the finishing touch to more of the chances created we might have something special here.
    Unchained is right though, there is still a long way to go. But that does leaves open the question of exactly who’s balls we should rush to grab.(hyuk,hyuk)

  8. 1NilToTheArsenal
    November 22, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    As Shard pointed out Mertesacker actually played pretty well after the goal – he managed to settle down and not let it get into his head. Up front, Norwich were totally confounded by the pace and cleverness of Gervinho and Walcott – only the Arsenal could have such total dominance with only a 2-1 scoreline. Still, it’s three points in the bag and who’s going to complain about that?
    Still stuck in 7th place, but we definitely look threatening now. Keep your heads lads, stay the course, and good things will surely come. I love this club, really, I do. Now let’s kick some Ruhr Valley butt!

    1NTTA

  9. Jonno the bro of The Man
    November 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Great article!

  10. the flyindutchmen
    November 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    The gentle giant per although gave away a goal that was never to be had a decent game. Per was actually hoping to gold plated his name in that centre back position not expecting the unexpected,losing out to koscienly coming 3rd choice cb,vermaelen returning also losing out in the first 11 of the german squad,so things looks rather gloomie for per for now. Questions still on how will the players will perform like squllaci,park,chamakh,djourou and others during the league cup against man city,they definitely need a work out before that clash.

  11. Terry
    November 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    I have been critical of Walcott over the last year or so but I agree he has looked much better in the last few games. And although Gervinho’s finishing was poor on Saturday you can’t fault him for his effort and his pace is causing defences all kinds of problems. He just seems to lack composure at the critical moment. RVP? Take the $100 m in January from Man$ity and buy eight 16 year old starlets in the making.

    Oh, that’s a joke btw. Whatever he wants he should get right now! It is hard not to go into every game praying he doesn’t get crocked though…

    For me Ramsay is really improving in confidence every game and Arteta and Song are showing signs of quiet reliability. Nothing flashy just hard graft and composure. You just get the sense that we are less prone to collective fuck ups than we have been for a while now. I could be being overly optimistic though!

    And I am beginning to really like Santos. He is not quick but his timing of tackles and his eye for when to join the attack is refreshing.

  12. voley_gun
    November 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Thanks Andrew for a superb analysis and giving accolades to Gervinho and Walcott.

    With them van persie operates with wings and eventually the goals.

  13. Ooh2BeAGooner
    November 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Any chance we see arshavin take the central mid role in the second half here against Dortmund?

  14. leftcoastgooner
    November 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Nervey first 10 minutes but after that the team got settled in and looked good.
    I wonder how much losing Bender and Gotze in the fist 20 minutes of the game will hurt Dortmund. Not just the loss of their best player and one of their starting XI but also the fact that they only have one change left for the game?
    @O2B I think if they should score first Arshavin might come on but if it stays a draw Le Boss will keep the best defending side out there he can.(I have been wrong before though)
    Oh well,back to the second half.

  15. Opus
    November 24, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    Great win and i am very happy. Song to me was the MOM.

  16. Terry
    November 24, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Agree with opus. Song was immense. Kos and TV were great too and Santos is making LB his own. Can play the 2nd eleven in game six and watch the other three EPL teams sweat it out and hopefully go into the Europa league!

  17. leftcoastgooner
    November 24, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    The headlines will be all about Robin scoring two more goals but Arteta and Song and later in the game Benayoun did an immense amount of unheralded work which changed the tempo of the game and gave us dominance in possession.
    Also Santos showed skill on the ball that at times gave us what amounted to another midfielder. Kos,Ram,Per,Theo,TV5 and Brainhead all contributed.
    A really good all around team effort.
    Next up Fulham,can we go 6 on the trot?
    COYG!!!!

  18. billi
    November 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m not happy with this result, my dortmund heart came over me . . . but my conclusion was that Arsenal finally really have learned their lessons . . . 😎 😉

  19. delano
    November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Great Dortmond in. On the Liverpool game Vs City i think the best result for gunners should be a draw. That will help us close the gap before christmass. I hop the ghosts of black November don’t come back to haunt us as we seem plain sailing this November. I predict a high scoring game for both teams and arsenal winning it at the death. Fulham are a good team by all standards.The best City will achieve is a draw but if they in then we gain ground against the other top 4 contenders.

  20. shambogunner
    November 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Well that was coming to be fair, weve been great the last few weeks but I think we were a bit tired this evening and our dependancy on the stronger characters found us out a bit when we needed someone to stand up and give that bit extra to make the difference.
    Iv been especially impressed with Walcott though, hes really starting to show a confidence and self belief when in control of the ball and showed great desire to win the ball back, on occasion, tonight, also he assisted for the goal. Ramsey tried hard but ran out of steam, same as song really.
    Now for the negatives from the game.
    Its no secret weve been over reliant on the attacking prowess of RvP, any outside football fan will tell you that, but what is also true, and touched upon regularly by Andy, is that alot of his goals have come from Walcott and Gervinho, not just their assists but the way they take defenders away with their pace leaving him the room to work his magic. Tonight Gervinho got a well earned break, Arsene Wenger can be forgiven for believing that giving Andre Arshavin his first league start in a while after repeated underwhelming (notice Im being very kind there) performances may ignite a bit of fight in the russian and we may see a player grabbing his opportunity and staking a claim for what was his position. What Wenger got was more of the same. Christiano Ronaldo pantomime theatrics without half the Christiano Ronaldo ability….honestly when he loses the ball and continues to walk carelessly against the direction of the play it makes me wanna go into the tv after him and clout him, why should Song and Djourou and co have to pick up his slack so that when they win it back hes still in an advanced position from not tracking back in the first place! Diva isnt the word, they show more energy, and yet Wenger left him on til the 80th min, shocking.
    Arteta was woeful, thats all Im saying on that, I lost count the amount of times he passed it to marked men.
    Now for the big one. Maroune Chamakh.
    Maroune Chamakh who is on the big contract from signing for free.
    Maroune Chamakh who has watched, fully fit, from the sidelines RvPs exhibition of striking and endeavor for the last two months.
    Maroune Chamakh who should be itching for a game, if not to prove himself to the fans, if not to prove himself to Wenger, if not to prove to any onterestedparties that he may be worth signing, but to prove to HIMSELF that he has something to offer THIS team in THIS league. And what did he offer in the 15 or so minutes he had to showcase, not even a bead of sweatin my opinion.
    This further reinforces the need for one or two really strong characters around the team, we thought we got rid of alot of the coasters in the summer but I think its painfully obvious Arshavin and Chamakh are two players on borrowed time….lack of ability I can surely forgive, but lack of commitment and drive and a willingness to pick up the slack of your team mates who have being carrying the team for weeks, I cannot.
    No wonder Wenger is so frustrated….I ask anyone on here to tell me how could you possibly motivate Arshavin or Chamakh?

  21. gunna shah
    November 27, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    It was coming,and thankfully it was a draw,@ shambo,you right men,Arshavin didn´t bring anything to the team and should have been hooked early,after that good showing in the carling cup,i for one was itching to see him play,but now,i think its better he sticks to the subs bench till january,well,nobody is gonna say something about Diaby? Was nice to see him back,and his passing brought an urgency to the game,and backed fulham up their half the whole time,good to have him back.Now on to man shity and the carling cup,wonder who le boss is going to start in this one?

  22. GunnerBoss
    November 27, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Assist master dropped so he doesn’t get an assist or so RVP doesn’t score first? I mean what was Wenger up to? Tired man. Okay, but what happens before the hour mark(must we never sub before then), just when i started complaining about the game being lull, they scored(Okay after defender blocked RVP’s shot on the line, just thot was not gonna be his day).

    VERDICT: We are over reliant on RVP
    COMPLACENT by not starting Gervinho or bringing him on on time
    What happened to Kos at right back? Needed a rest or we did not feel like winning this one?
    Wenger is forgetting the team is still mediocre without some people
    Lucky to get a HOME draw
    Just tired.

  23. the flyindutchmen
    November 28, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    Gunnerboss# I believe wenger was getting them ready for tuesday game, djourou,chamakh,diaby,benayoun & arshavin,but still they should of done more especially since playing at home &the need to play catch up 12 points a drift,just like manu who should of taken all three points becoz newcastle defending was the worst that I have seen, but I been asking le boss about the b squad that will playing against man city taking that many of them need a game or two to warm up becoz we gunnar would want our team to be absolutely ready at the emirates on tuesday,it was really a day for london teams spurs & chelsea who cash in with wins, while we drew with London fulham parking they cheap bus at the goal poles, I am starting to get anxious has to how good is spurs this season, we need consistent performs to to make mayhem with the top four pulling away.

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