Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: An utterly mental game of football

Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: An utterly mental game of football

I have a confession to make: I didn’t get to watch last night’s victory over Wolves.

When I arrived at The Oscar in Berlin I was greeted by the infuriating news that they did not have Sky Sports HD and that all the televisions would be playing the Manchester derby. Throw in a 45-minute bike ride in the cold to get there, some rather uncomfortable reflux and a drunken Irishman trying to pick a fight with me and it didn’t make for the greatest night ever.

The Manchester derby was a game to forget — nil-all games usually are — but there were two moments that lit up my night.

The first was the half-time scores from the other games being played. I looked at the screen, down, down, down… Wolves 0-1 Arsenal! Hooray! I high-fived my fellow Arsenal buddy and got myself a celebratory beer.

Fabianski made some brilliant saves

The second came at the end of the game when a text from my ever-loyal mother confirmed the news: Arsenal had beaten Wolves 2-0. What a great result, achieved after two difficult defeats and played under a fair amount of pressure.

On paper, 2-0 looked fairly comfortable. As I had left my computer at work I realised I would not be able to watch the highlights until today. I went to bed dreaming of a comfortable night for all involved, involving a calm defensive performance and perhaps a goal or two for Andrey Arshavin.

But switching on my computer this morning to watch the MOTD highlights I discovered out the truth: Wolves v Arsenal was positively mental!

Two goals of immense quality from Marouane Chamakh sandwiched an action-packed football game. Lukasz Fabianski starred with a brilliant goalkeeping display, Wolves had more shots and more possession (!), Cesc Fabregas lunged in with a very dangerous tackle and Johan Djourou almost scored! Unbelievable stuff.

Of course I cannot commen on the quality on our performance, to do so from a bunch of highlights would be extremely foolish. But 2-0 away to a Wolves side that have severely troubled both Manchester United and Chelsea is certainly a good result.

Throw in a favourable Manchester derby result and it was a brilliant night all-round for our boys.

I need a coffee…

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Wolves by leaving a comment.

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30 Responses to “Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: An utterly mental game of football”

  1. Andy
    November 11, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I am happy to see our aerial style of attack improve this game and that is why Song should not have rested. Fabianski made some brilliant saves and gave us 3 points. Well done, boys!

  2. Kyle
    November 11, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    It indeed was a great game of football. Much has been made of Cesc’s tackle, but it really wasn’t that bad; Henry’s on Arshavin was far worse.

    On another night we would’ve been 2 or 3 up at halftime, but for some profligacy. Then again, on another night Wolves may have nicked one right at the death. Step forward one Lukasz Fabianski. It was amazing to witness an Arsenal goalkeeping performance that had a positive impact on the match. Really excellent stuff from the Pole.

    I’m sure this result will go a great way to instilling the belief that, in testing environments, results can be fought for and achieved.

  3. dean
    November 11, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Unfortunately the staff at the hostelry in question were convinced the game kicked off at 8pm, despite protestations to the contrary. The news on Sky Sports that Arsenal were one up somehow persuaded them where anxious punters had failed. We were later shown a replay of the goal. Basically a quality cross from Sagna matched by the accurate header of Chamakh caught the Wolves’ defence cold.

    It was a game of many chances, although Arsenal had enough of the earlier ones to have made the second half far more comfortable than it was. The difference between this performance and the one on Sunday was marked. A great deal more determination. Although Lukasz Fabianski was an obvious contender for the visitors’ matchwinner, one player that symbolised the change in attitude was Tomas Rosicky, who played no part at the weekend. I felt his contribution was immense.

    As for the keeper, Sunday’s error was always going to happen at some point, it was how he reacted to it that would decide if pursuing with him was a fruitless exercise after a run of decent matches. He reacted well, pulling off some key saves in the face of the bombardment. I watched the game with the Highbury Spy who told me to mention that it was the defence that won the game for Arsenal. There is a certain truth to that, as Wolves asked some tough questions. With that amount of pressure, chances are an inevitability, and most fell to Kevin Doyle. Few clean sheets were as hard earned as this and there is an argument that Johan Djourou might be a better option than Laurent Koscielny to partner Squillaci until Thomas Vermaelen’s eventual return.

    Match of the Day made a big thing about Cesc Fabregas’ yellow card challenge while totally ignoring Karl Henry’s far worse studs up assault on Andrey Arshavin. At least Mick McCarthy made no issue of it, so no charge of hypocrisy can be labelled there.

    In the context of Arsenal’s season, what is important is that this performance was not a flash in the pan. It demonstrated the qualities required to win enough games to challenge for honours. Ideally, the team will build on this and incorporate the spirit demonstrated at Molineux into their performances on a regular basis, starting with Everton on Sunday. Mick McCarthy claimed that Wolves were the better side, although in fairness, I’d call it about even over the 90 minutes. Wolves certainly had more of the ball. But the Gunners were resolute and stood firm. I was not optimistic we’d see this side of them before the game, although knew that we’d need to if anything were to be taken from the fixture. The players have shown they can do it, so let’s see them go on a run of tricky games and continue displaying the fortitude of last night.

    One suspects the players had a rocket up the backside after the Newcastle defeat and this display was a reaction. They shouldn’t really need that to be motivated if they have serious aspirations to win titles. More of the same at Goodison please.

  4. behailu melku
    November 11, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    wilsher is always my best

  5. theusualsuspect
    November 11, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Happy with the result tonight. Specially happy with the fact we were able to hold on a one goal lead for 90 min!!!

    This is one thing I rarely see these days watching our team. We held on well, even when under pression. I don’t think we were more composed defensively than any other day, but I think the team compensated with good commitment.

    Wilshere has played enough, and needs a little break IMO. He’s still very young and I think Wenger took him out because he realised that young Jack is starting to reach his limit physically. He has taken many knocks since the start of the season, as he’s gets in on many challenges. A few weeks of rest would do him good I think.

    Fab is still not at his best but certainly better than vs Newcastle. Still provides the assist for Chamack’s second goal.

    Flappy probably had one of his best game ever by his low standards. If he can restrain his usual blunder to once every two months for that would be a nice start to his long path for the No.1 jersey.

  6. billi
    November 11, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    great great title, thought you haven’t seen the match at the whole your global comment is the best …….. :mrgreen:

  7. Steve
    November 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    That was a great description of the game, as it turned out. It certainly was a test mentally, as well as physically, for the team. To see if they could keep playing the whole 90 minutes, at a place where it is difficult to play and their team tested the top teams as well.
    Thought the whole team did really well in the face of all that, as well as the “crowd” getting “involved”. Started to get on the nerves after a while and the chants got “old’ quickly.
    Picking two highlights out of a good team effort, Clichy’s header in front of Ebanks-Blake near the end. Then the Fabianski save, not only stopping the ball dead diving down to his left, then having the presence of mind(in what would have been a moment to savour for him) to throw the ball out to set up the second goal. But didn’t he enjoy it when the whistle went? Had three equally happy mates be the first to come over to enjoy it with him, Squillaci, Djourou and Clichy.
    Great to see.

  8. James Le Beak
    November 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Fabianski saved us 2 points with an absolutely brilliant save in the 93rd minute. He was excellent for the whole game. Man of the match.

    Wolves were all over us, closing down space and attacking in numbers. I have to give it to them, they gave us a very tough night.

    Henry really is a serial offender. Nasty tackle on Arsharvin. Should have had yellow at least.

    Cesc looked frustrated for much of the game. He definitely hasn’t found his form or his sharpness. His tackle on Ward was symptomatic of his frustration – It was late and looked a little bit spiteful. It would have been a harsh red though.

    Once again, Wolves can feel unlucky not to have taken anything from the game. They definitely don’t deserve to be in the bottom 3. I’m relieved we managed to get 3 points.

  9. MTY
    November 11, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    very important win against a highly spirited Wolves side. Credit to Fabianski for keeping us in the came on several occasions but what made his saves look quite vital is our own chunk of wasted chances at the other end. Specially AA23 early on and Cesc, Squillaci/DJ in the second half.
    Unless we convert such opportunities, we will definitely continue to struggle against all teams. Chamakh’s first goal proved that this guy has got a great aerial ability…what’s missing is constant stream of decent delivery from both flanks. I can’t understand why Clichy & Sagna don’t work on this part of their game???

  10. Blackbox
    November 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Fabianski, Sagna and Rosicky rocked my world yesterday. Let’s do Everton for good measure……

  11. Deogratias
    November 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I wish arsenal had no injuries,would have been 10 points clear.Congs

  12. Aman
    November 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    its good signs if fabregas seems to be getting frustrated with himself when he is not upto the mark, which only means he is not far from his best, which is vital he now needs to play in each and every game to get back his match fitness and sharpness, and chamkh is he gonna give RVP a run for the starting place, i have a strong feeling since RVP dint play at all in the game he might feature against everton.

  13. Lil Weezy
    November 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    unbelievable goalkeeping on the Arsenal end..
    here’ s a question to the community? Could Alumnia made all those saves??I think wolves would have won 2-1 with Alumnia in net.. MOM is Fabiansky for me, not Chamack!

  14. theicehammer
    November 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Your boys held on to the 0/1 well but i was surprised to see how the wolves dominated the game in shoots and posession. I suppose the 3 points are the most important stats of the night, especially as Arsnl have capitalised on the slip up by Untd.
    Up de ammers

  15. theicehammer
    November 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    @andrew, could you tell me why do i have to enter my details (name e-mail etc) after every comment. It never use to be like that. Is there a conspiracy against the claret and blue. Please help. Up de ammers

  16. Vince
    November 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    What a game of intense football,all the players were complementing each other,they all gave 110 percent.These are kind of games we have 2 win 2 challenge 4 the league season which test yo mental strength because wolves were all over us,en what a brilliant goal keeping 4rm fabianskie made some brilliant saves,and rosicky brilliant I thought they gonna bring in walcott coz they were lot of room 2 run with the ball,bt brilliant game of football,good result ahead of sunday’s game,go Gunners!

  17. Byo
    November 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I definitely do not want to see leg-breaking tackles in football. But until other teams know that Arsenal are not going to just take it and whinge, they will keep kicking us off the pitch. Fab had to serve that kind of notice yesterday, I’m pleased.

  18. MTY
    November 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Bad news on Mirror! TV5 could be out for season. That’s a huge blow.
    We sold Toure & kept Gallas last season, which in hindsight was quite wrong. Toure was immense the other night in the Mancs derby while Agent Gallas was the star of some comical defending for Spuds on Tuesday night.
    Toure & Kosch would have been a great pairing. That said, DJ is also showing signs of good progress. His challenges are well timed & he’s got good physical presence. Let’s hope our defense won’t be our Achilles heel this season as it proved to be in the last few seasons.

  19. radads
    November 11, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    we owe that game to fabianski!!! Cesc isnt fit yet.. and a bit high tempered, nervous, always fighting with referee……. its very disturbing to watch!!!! the boys were fantastic thou!!!!
    Im still wondering why Theo, Rvp, and Nasri hasnt been put on as subs… while arsha looked very tired at some point of the game?????? Punishment for the Newcasttle game .. failling to score???

  20. kel
    November 12, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    First of all didn’t see the game BUT 3 points none the less, on the road
    Frankly, i don’t care how we win, Ugly or not win is win SO congrats to the guys.
    BUT i just saw Newcastle Vs Rovers and i still can’t see how we lost to this team because there absolutely no good no Football quality what so ever.
    I hope wenger has his tactics primed for everton cause this will be a real dog fight …………

  21. Terry
    November 12, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    If Vermeulen is out for the season then a bid for Cahill (as I read in one of the other football sites) would be a good move. And he would not be cuptied for the Champions League. I reckon the Wolves game was about the hardest game we have had all season. They dominated us for periods like no other team – even Chelsea – has managed to do. Newcastle in reality fluked it against us – we were below par but still hit the woodwork twice and their keeper pulled off a couple of outstanding saves. Apart from their goal did they really create much? Didn’t watch the West Brom game so can’t comment there but I have not seen us look so uncomfortable against anyone like we did against Wolves. Everton away will also be tough but they are not in great form and I think we will win if the players are up for it.

  22. mrokoi
    November 12, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    Fabianski made a supersave in the last minute. He showed a lot of improvement from match to match…

  23. Hey Nonny Mouse
    November 12, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    I’d just like to remind all the Wenger haters (quiet as they usually are after we win) that Marouane Chamakh cost us nothing. No-thing. Zilch. Nada. Free. Now, only a quarter way through the season, how many teams would already be queueing up to grab him if he was for sale? You can slice it anyway you like but it comes down to the same thing – Le Boss has done it again. The lad’s been fantastic in this his very first Premier League season. Our top scorer. Virtually unheard of in the UK before the transfer. You have to be a very bitter man if you don’t accept that it already looks like yet another incredible coup for Arsene Wenger. And he’s so refreshing to watch. We haven’t had a centre forward like him since Alan Smith. He keeps his head down, gets on with the game and he don’t take no guff. Hats off to you Marouane and in Arsene we trust.

  24. engr ayodele
    November 12, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    What a brilliant result. We are starting to see the men in our boys. FABIANSKI was my man of the match despite CHAMACK’s impressive brace. Kudos.

  25. GunnerBoss
    November 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    @Nonny – Chamakh is too slow, he is the slowest forward we have ever had…..but he seemed up for it on wednesday and was really running, he even took a shot on goal as well. I commended him on this same blog.
    Song was slow as well at some point(3 years ago), when he picked up speed was when his career improved. But, when everyone was shouting about a new DM on this blog, I said that this was going to be his season(last season), boy did he prove me right. I was always hammering on the forwards. He has done quite well coming on a free and actually playing for what he is not worth, but………………

    I think he can do better, let him start shooting atleast. Walcott certainly can in the centre forward position, but we all know Wenger wants to ease him there gently rather than fix him there and bench the beloved Chamakh even when we know pace in the middle could win us a particular match.

    Am i making a point? Are u really an Arsenal fan? Cant u see that Ade(Gaud I hate that guy) is far better than Chamakh? Where’s the centre forward threat now? We cant counter with him cos Clichy would’ve certainly reached the penalty box before him. Is this the reason we now play high up? We are just managing this guy, after-all he came on a free. So, people cant really criticize him like that…..after all he’s getting defenders sent off and winning us penalties.

    But, the truth is he does not have SPEED. How does this now disturb you? U should be more concerned with people attacking Arshavin. That’s someone that has really sacrificed a lot for us…when he came he was ranked 14 in the world. Where is he now? Played out of place…….more?

  26. GunnerBoss
    November 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    @Nonny – I actually thought u meant Chamakh haters.

    I’m clearly not a Wenger hater, neither a Chamakh hater as shown above, but I just felt i should clear the air there…….

  27. Hey Nonny Mouse
    November 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    @GunnerBoss – I don’t quite get it. What are you saying? Chamakh is good but he’s too slow, Is that it? He scores goals but he’s too slow? He wins penalties but he’s too slow? He ties up the opposition defenders but he’s too slow? He can head the ball better than anyone else in the squad but he’s to slow? He can hold the ball up front but he’s too slow? He saved us 20 million quid but he’s too slow? Am I getting it?

    ‘Where’s the centre forward threat now?’ – you asked. Um…did you happen to notice 37 seconds into our last match a certain forward racing up the middle of the park, getting between 2 defenders and nutting the ball into the back of the Wolves net? I don’t know but it looked kind of threatning to me…

  28. Dan Brookes
    November 13, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    GunnerBoss, you are the first person I’ve seen on both the internet and in real life who has labelled Chamakh as slow, and to say he’s the slowest striker we’ve had is bordering on ludicrous. Even Martin Keown – one of the fastest defenders we’ve ever had – acknowledges his pace, and I’d bet my bottom dollar he’s quicker than Eduardo, Vela and probably Bendtner. Who cares if Clichy gets to the byline first, Theo is probably the only player in the squad who could match Clichy for pace, and the Frenchman wouldn’t be able to stick a decent cross on Chamakh’s head even if he’d been standing on the penalty spot all day. He’s conjuring goals, assists and he’s giving us a bit more aerial power. More of that please.

    Don’t whinge about Chamakh. Of course being free doesn’t mean he’s immune to criticism, but he’s a goal-scoring centre forward and he’s performing well. I think the more confidence he gets, the more audacious and brilliant he’ll become. Throw in some Champions League experience and an entire career as a centre-forward and you’re criticisms of him look laughable.

  29. Ianinja
    November 13, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Don’t see anything wrong with Chamakh, definitely not fast as Henry if you want to compare but slow isn’t the right word to use.

    Although he could try to add more to his game by practising his shooting more. Saw Torres goal against Wigan and it reminded me of what Henry use to do. Brush off the defender and shoot after 2 touches from the edge of the box.

    I think it’s not unreasonable to demand more from our only functioning striker. It has always been the Arsenal way to excel and improve. Henry/Pires/Cole improved upon establishing themselves in Arsenal.

    Chamakh can be a Dzeko if he starts training his shooting more. Why be content with yourself when you have the potential to be better, at least that’s what I always thought Arsene’s and Arsenal philosophy is.

  30. Jack-A-Rack
    November 14, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    This game was a good game. Marouane Chamakh played well and so did Arsenal. They could play better and prevent the opposing team from coming close to scoring as Wolves were close to making a come back. It was nice to see Denilson as i haven’t seen him in a long time.

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