Arsenal Reaching For The Blue Moon


Manchester City 1 – 1 Arsenal

1 – 0 Lescott (40)
1 – 1 Koscielny (82)

It speaks volumes for the performance when the final whistle leaves you at once elated and deflated. Before the kick-0ff, we were told that Arsenal’s improvement this season would be judged by yesterday afternoon’s result – not performance, result. On that basis alone, the strides taken by the squad were clearly seen. Chasing a one-goal deficit at the top six clubs was not something Arsenal were particularly good at last season. At Stamford Bridge, yes but in similar scenarios at Old Trafford, Eastlands and White Hart Lane, Arsenal were found wanting. A significant improvement.

No such shortfall yet this season. And a thoroughly well-deserved point it was. It was a performance which merited a result but too often in the past has failed to deliver. The disappointment comes in the manner of conceding City’s goal and in the absence of shooting boots, gilt-edged chances may lead to guilt-ridden consciences this morning: if only. A point not lost on the manager yesterday,

We had early chances and very late chances, especially Gervinho at the edge of the box where he missed the target

A touch harsh to just mention the Ivorian but understandable, more so with his spurned opportunity in the closing stages. This and City’s goal were the lessons which have to be learned going forward. Well, defending not going forward quite literally. It is, I suppose. Hell, you know what I meant.

Being an Arsenal supporter can be tough; even when things are going well, panic seems to be a moment away with each miscontrol – slight or heavy – or wayward pass treated as though it were the norm. That held true yesterday with the nerves of the opening stages not on the pitch but in those watching as a period of dominance brought no reward. Arsenal began brightly, taking the game to City rather than sitting deep and defending. A sign of confidence borne out by previous results.

That period contained chances, Gervinho and Podolski’s efforts were disappointing for differing reasons. Slipped through by Cazorla, Gervinho’s heavy touch let Joe Hart gather the ball comfortably rather than bending over to pick the ball out of the net. Ten minutes later, Podolski showed admirable concern for the England ‘keeper’s recurring backache by blazing over the bar following the hearty endeavours of Jenkinson. The sides traded possession, the final chances snuffed out by excellent defending by both sets of centre backs. Mertesacker was outstanding yesterday and the selection problem identified before the match, is one that the manager acknowledged. The speedier forwards are likely to see the German drop out of the side.

Inevitably, Arsenal’s control of the match faded and City took control. Having weathered the Arsenal storm, they took the lead from a set-piece. It was a disappointing goal on all levels. Mannone came for the ball and hesitated, losing any chance that he had of making contact. Such indecision is something which the Italian must eradicate from his game to make the move to the next level. He was rescued by his defenders at Anfield, this time he was punished.

To compound matters, Podolski was outjumped by Lescott, momentarily switching off; to try and beat the England international from a standing start was too much to ask. Criticism of the zonal marking system misses the point; players are not precluded from attacking the ball as it comes into their zone. Matters might have been worse but for the intervention of Mannone’s fingertips from Dzeko’s shot moments later. Arsenal were rocking but that did not last, ineffectual counter-punches landed before the interval. The second half began with City in the ascendancy as the visitors appeared to lose their way, energy levels dropping.

The change came with the introduction of Giroud and Walcott, reinvigorating the search for an equaliser. Mannone defied City at the other end, reinforcing his shot-stopping credentials whilst Cazorla forced Hart into action to preserve the hosts’ advantage. It proved to be short-term relief. From the corner, City were unable to clear and Koscielny controlled the ball, shifted it and thundered home. The goal was taken with the aplomb expected of a seasoned centre-forward.

Either side might have won the match in the final moments; Kompany’s overhead kick was dangerously parried to Aguero, who narrowly shot wide with Mannone stranded whilst Gervinho wasted a golden opportunity also. Overall, a point was probably a fair result but Arsenal will, you suspect, take more from the match than City. The effort the players put in was astonishing, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson in particular, both offered positives which must surely alter their critics opinions, dominating the Arsenal right. Equally Gibbs linked well on the left, the opposite sides of the pitch in defence are working relatively well together given their youthful exuberance and inexperience. Gibbs might have scored himself and perhaps justified Giroud’s decision to shoot at Anfield, when yesterday the youngster opted to pass the ball across the area when the better choice was surely to shoot.

All in all, a very good point and one which quite rightly pleased the manager. It ought to please us as well.

’til Tomorrow.

180 thoughts on “Arsenal Reaching For The Blue Moon

  1. from yesterday’s post: @Miami Arsenal

    “Gerv could have played a simple ball to OG there!!! damn damn damn”

    the issue about African wingers is that they have a few skills set that they are very good at, thus they use those skills everytime in the hope that it will be enough to win the game. I wouldn’t blame Gerv too much for that miss, I’ll just hope that next time it is Cazorla in that situation, or any other better winger, so Giroud can get the silky layoff.

    but great match yesterday, I’m proud of the boys no matter how people rue the missed points yesterday (are we supposed to miss 2 points after a draw at the Etihad?)

    now to face my examination this evening…

  2. Philmar, the best goalies make mistakes, over all our goalie played well. You are also discounting the saves he made and the chances we missed.
    Being humans, even the best goalies make mistakes. But they make fewer mistakes. Mannone played well but his mistake cost us a goal and 2 points. He made a similar fluff in Liverpool but his defense bailed him out. I’m not saying Vito is a calamity – just that a more capable keeper would be a great thing.

  3. Actually, Evans tackles was far more reckless. 2 feet with studds up. Both players went in hard, Evans only got the worse of it. Either 2 reds, 2 yellows or warn them and continue.

  4. Double JD – 2-0? Are you sure? What about the INEVITABLE Hazard dive for the penalty/Lampard conversion combination? 🙂

    With respect to technology, I agree, I don’t anticipate much in the way of change.

    Football is a great game and arguably has the most to lose by way of a hashed introduction of technology.

    Cricket has ‘time’ (ie, natural gaps in the play) to experiment with what works and there is a degree of evolution in the application of technology in that arena. In tennis, it’s use is highly effective but extremely limited.

    But rugby seems to cope so maybe there’s hope yet.

    I suspect technology will only start to be looked at seriously when Barcelona lose the final of the CL through the kind of refereeing cock-up we are routinely witnessing in the EPL, or Spain lose the World Cup final etc etc.

    In the meantime, the integrity of the English Premier league, played as it is at 100 mph, takes a knock or two each week and the referees daily bear the brunt of everyone’s rage and the vile abuse of a vicious minority.

    It just doesn’t seem right.

  5. anicoll5 – didn’t think it was that bad as they kind of both went in at the same time, its more about consistency too.. did you see RVPs tackle towards the end, i thought that was a straight red, also Luiz’s was shocking..surprised he only got a yellow

  6. Philmar, actually, both instances were not similar. He went for the ball this time and got it wrong. I have seen that happen many times with more mature goalies. He is not the only reason why we did not win this match, quite unfair of you.

  7. Anicoll5, what did you think of Evans tackle? Given I could not careless either way, I tend to think if you show to the card to one you should have given it to both. I still recall Vieira being sent off for what the referee deemed was intent. I think Evans dodged one there. The interesting aspect of the game for me was an arguable penalty given to United, a sending off of a Liverpool player and a penalty not award to Liverpool for the contact on Suarez. Now, the latter made his usual theatrical movements when heading to the ground but it was still a penalty. I think Shelvey deserved his red but I likewise think Evans deserved the same sanction. All decisions in the end were made (unitentionally) in favour of United, again.

  8. ArsenalAndrew – Haha didn’t factor in the diving tbh, wouldn’t be surprised if they make a few stupid appeals for penalties, atleast they don’t have Drogba anymore, can’t think of any other non-arsenal player I enjoyed watching more than him.

    You’re right about the technology, just like FFP is being pushed through now seeing as the likes of Manu are finding it harder to compete in the transfer market. Until it affects someone with influence no one will do anything about it.

  9. Anicoll5 – it would have been interesting had both players rolled around in agony what the decision would have been. I’m not saying Evan’s wasn’t hurt but the point is either or both of them could have been injured yet only one player was punished.

    That was a game-changer and clearly the decision, though honestly taken by the ref, favoured Manure. This was further compounded by the award of yet another generous penalty to United.

    Two huge advantages for the same side and an outcome that was patently unfair to Liverpool and all of Manure’s rivals ESPECIALLY given the fact that we have the means to avoid this happening.

    Had it been the other way around Sir Alex would have still been screaming blue murder even now …

  10. ArsenalAndrew…”This was further compounded by the award of yet another generous penalty to United.”

    The fourth penalty awarded in 5 games thus far this season, interestingly the 1st scored.

  11. Fascinating game. Stand out for me was Jenkinson because his development has happened so stunningly. Very courageous battler with pace, stamina, and a blistering low cross and quite accurate high one.

    I agree with Cbob at the outset that it looks like we set up more tactically, which I thought was interesting. I think Giroud offered us something different and might have made hay with some more time and was a bit surprised he didn’t start. Then again, Gervinho and Podolski had the chances to sew this up.

    We were playing with 3rd choice keeper, back up RB, and a new partnership in the back line. We did a tremendous job away against the champions, but it is a bit disappointing we didn’t put them to the sword. Excellent work to come back again after going a goal behind.

  12. One almost wonders whether having bitten off the FFP hot potato the will exists to open up another arena of reform by promoting the use of technology at anything other than a snail’s pace?

    Paul N – agree re: ‘blame’ for the goal. It was a classic ‘team’ error – Gibbs not getting a shout to avoid giving away the corner, the goalie’s hesitation on the cross and the evident failure (in this instance) of the zonal marking system.

    To simply pick on the ‘keeper is a disproportionate response to a single set-piece play that I’m sure even now Mr Bould will be addressing.

    It’s not as if they have been doing too badly, so far.

    Even Bill’s said so.

  13. Miami – I think Manure have had a lot of luck so far this season.

    At some point that could start to run out …

  14. He is not the only reason why we did not win this match, quite unfair of you.
    WTF? I never said he was the ONLY reason we did not win. Quite unfair of you. I just said that with better goalkeeping we could have won. Just like with better finishing we could have won.
    I just feel that having a backup keeper like Friedel would over the course of the season prove to be money well spent.

  15. In real time I thought Evans was as equally culpable as Shelvey – when looked at again with the infinite slo mo on Sky post match Evans took the ball with the outside of his right boot, not the sole or the studs of the boot.

    Shelvey, arriving a tenth of a second too late, took out Evans left leg at shin level.

    Halsey called it 100% – and even with no 14 camera angle slo mo

    As for Luiz’ yellow Purrrrrleeease – not often – in fact not ever in my life as far as I know – have I agreed with Pulis. Yet again though his spineless manager tries to excuse the violent arsehole.

  16. You can add Arteta not staying on the post and putting in some kind of effort to keep Lescott’s header on to the list of “guilty” men Andrew

    Shades of last season at Stamford Bridge

  17. Mannone wasn’t the only reason the goal was scored, to true… but as a keeper when you commit to go for the ball you have to get to it or bad can things happen. Mannone failed to get up high enough to get his fist/hand to the ball.

  18. So we have conceded 2 goals in 5 games and the “system” we are using ,is bad.?
    I that right?

  19. AA, I think most people would agree with you that indeed United have been very lucky this season. I don’t think referee’s are biased but like I mentioned the other day it would be nice to have a comment from them regarding key decisions in any match. Chelsea benefited from a generous call against Southampton that ensured that Southampton came away with nothing (an awful offside). I do sincerely hope that “luck” does indeed balance out, because if it doesn’t it just adds to the theory about biase in the league.

    I have always felt Man United were given the benefit of the doubt in almost all cases because for the longest time they were the flag ship of the premiership.

    4 penalties in 5 games is an extremely high number, only 1 turned out to be the deciding factor. Do referee’s really think United are the only team in the prem to get tackled, or maybe tackled in the opposition box. I probably have some sour grapes here but having watched a number of teams play and seeing decisions made to not award penalties due to the ref apparently not wanting to ‘influence’ the game, I find it amazing that United seem to benefit from game changing judgment calls.

  20. ArsenalAndrew

    Check the highlights on Arsenal Player, the really funny clip is watching Per’s reaction to Gervinho’s miss at the end. Can almost imagine him yelling the German equivalent of c*nt.

    What was strange about yesterday’s line up is that it meant our full backs were playing as wingers, but Podolski and Ramsey covered so well behind them that we were never really exposed because of our full backs being so far up the field. It did mean that Poldolski never really played far enough up the field though.

    Looking forward to being huddled in the stands on Wednesday night when we stuff Coventry.

  21. What annoys me most about the snide little wankers that made twitter comments about Halsey is that they take attention away from the main point. The focus is on what horrible little individuals they are rather than on the fact that there were some shocking refereeing decisions in that game which were (as usual) in favour of Manure.

  22. Wavey, having read Football365 this morning they seem to think he made the right call in his decisions. Oh, they admit it was a penalty on Suarez but because he over reacts to everything it made the decision easy not to award it. Interesting that last part, do we think the same about Bale in the press?

  23. Miami .You would almost think what some people have been saying about United having an advantage is true.
    No,I am sure them getting all the penalties they get and us getting none ,is just a blip.
    It will even out ,no danger (as Harry might say)

  24. Even Gary Neville thought that both players should’ve been booked and it all left at that. A yellow for both would’ve been right.

  25. Speaking of cards, I would love to know what the referee was thinking in not booking Kompany for his blatant halting of Ramseytinho’s progress past him. It was a professional foul, to stop the player getting by him, so a foul and a booking.

  26. @Miami
    I think the ref was intent on keeping the cards in his pocket as much as possible. Not sure if that really suits us.

  27. Miami

    Having looked at the Shelvey tackle a few times now the intial contact was boot against boot which would suggest that if Shelvey went high then Evans did as well.
    For the Valencia penalty there seemed to be accidental contact on his heel initially and then a hand on his back, by the time the leg came across him (which I’m not sure made contact) he was already on his way down. Unfortunately it was easy for the ref to give.

  28. Miami

    On cards what was more surprising was how a ref can ever give Garcia’s foul on Jenks as just a yellow. A player making so cynical a foul should surely receive a straight red.

  29. Wavey, I thought about that rugby tackle as well but I can see it more as a yellow than a red to be honest. The point is however that it was indeed a professional foul to impede the player which is exactly what Kompany did (althought obviously not as brazened). I get that the referee didn’t want to influence the game, but you also have to apply the rules of the game. If the player were the last defender then obviously he had to go but that wasn’t the case here.

    I happen to think that the Shelvey incident was probably bound to happen because Halsey left earlier marginal tackles unpunished. The Evra tackle on Sterling was a foul and booking but he chose to not ‘influence’ the game early.

  30. No MA, Henderson can’t play against us.

    Although Mannone didn’t make the ball, at least he made a decision and stuck to it – better than being indecisive.

    And remember, he is arguably our 3rd choice keeper, so not a bad option to have.

  31. Wavey, interesting to note that Garcia chose to jump on his back rather tackle from behind. The latter could well have been seen as professional and dangerous thus resulting in a straight red, whereas the jumping on his back came across as professional but comical.

  32. If United are getting so many penalty calls then what about the cards and fouls going their way in general? every call went their way yesterday, In that regard one has to question the ref.

    This is why I hate when people just talk about United as winners and fighers and all that, because i doubt they woul have won as much without the refs being generous to them.

  33. You could be right Paul, but then the question is why do referee’s feel compelled to make those decisions. I cannot believe that all referee’s a privately United fans.

  34. Shotta,

    Are you Gervinho?

    Your profile picture seems so for sure. But you have had it for 3 years now, what a visionary eh? 😛

    Thanks YW for another excellent balanced post. I can’t even believe the level of balance in your write ups every day, it is neither rosy nor very critical. It is perfect, the way it should be. What is the secret?

  35. Great performance from everyone yesterday. I felt we could have won that game, but I’ll take a tie for an away game at City.

    To be honest I was worried when Le Prof made the changes. I thought he would sub Ramsey (by the way had an excellet game) and Gorv, not because they didn’t play well, but to give us a little bit of push. Podi on the left Walcott on the right and Giroud the target man. Plus I felt Arteta would be overwhelmed in midfield without Diaby, but obviously Wenger knows better after all.

    I also think players look very hungry since there is no guarantee of places in the team. Kosh didn’t seem like that was his first game, did he? Ramsey seems to benefit from sitting on the bench and hoping for a chance. Now, Walcott is a whole differnt story, is he leaving in January?

  36. Jonny,

    On 50:50’s. I have come to the conclusion that this old skool term just isn’t good enough, and can’t use it myself anymore. If a professional batsmen in cricket can turn a drive into a flick whilst facing Steyn or someone faster, then a professional footballer is either late, or not late 🙂

    There are degrees of lateness, but I’ve made a helpful table for Arsenal fans.

    Late: e.g. Gallas on that Hull player in his last season. Lots of noise from the Arsenal haterz but it was just a late tackle. A foul. A non-harsh yellow card. Fairly simple.

    Very Late. e.g. When Snjeider met Diaby. Six months out some ligament troubles for the Dutch playmaker. A Pre-season friendly, not the smartest challenge from Abou, bless him.

    Too late e.g. Plenty of examples, no need for me to mention any!

  37. I disagree Evil – the measure against both of them had to be red rather than yellow – dictated by the two-footed studs up challenge by Evans.

  38. Agreed Fins – it’s a bit of a flabby term but generally I don’t take it to literally mean that both closing parties have an exactly equal chance of getting there. Though I agree, by literal translation, 50-50 infers this. I believe – perhaps wrongly – it used more to describe the situation where there is a lose ball with two parties baring down from different (often opposite) directions.

    That’s what I mean when I use it anyway! And, though the term is inadequate, for the reasons you adeptly describe I know not of an alternative.

    I’ll leave you/the hive mind for suggestions. 🙂

  39. Great perfoance in the main yesterday and its telling we are not entirely happy about ONLY getting a draw! This team has something about it. I have felt it since the start of the season, like George’s wallet, i cant quite put my finger on it. But there is something going on.

    From where we were, it did seem that City had the better of the latter stages of the 1st half, although we always seemed pretty comfortable. I have seen Aguero’s chance and although he was close to our goal, the chance was still very tricky and it was covered by mannone, who i felt had a very good game.

    He came for the corner and missed but still that header was right in the top corner and there’s no telling he could have even reached it, IF he had stayed on his line. If we are going to find fault, then the fault could be with the defender not the keeper.

    I think mannone has done really well and as I said at the time, i think he was unlucky not to start vs Southampton. I bet Szczesny wishes he had! 🙂

  40. Player reaction very often plays a large part in a red or no red decision from a ref. Evan`s theatrics plus the words of family man Ryan Giggs & the omni present Rio put Halsey under huge pressure. Should he reinforce Fergie`s pre-match comments or send Shelvey off ? I happen to think they should both have gone but Uncle Fester paid the price for getting to his feet unaided.

  41. Good evening y’all
    we were fucking good yesterday..
    we should have beat the fuckers really.. we werent totally dominant, mancini changed it up at half time and it kinda stopped us in our tracks for a bit in the 2nd half but we deserved the points..
    poor ol crazy legs can cause as many bloody problems as he gives..
    i’ll take a draw though..

    bring on chelsea and jenks was my man of the match, closely followed by BFG..


  42. If Gervinho could finish, he would be world class.But then he would have cost us £30 million and not £10 mill.

    Still cannot forgive the ignorant Arsenal fans who were on the case with Ramsey and Jenkinson last season. One recovering from a career threatening injury, the other a novice who had been playing non league football. These fans should go and support Tottenham, they don’t deserve AFC.

  43. Sriram (@Sriram_Gunner) @ 4:53pm
    The question is “Gervino, are you shotta?” LMLO (Laughing My Locks Off).

    BTW: The miss by Gervs at the end pretty much sums me up as a player in my youth. I was poor.

  44. Gervinho being in the last year of his lille contract had a lot to do with him being 10mil more than anything but he does need to be a little more composed

  45. Hazard said Gervinho was the best player he has seen.
    Now,why would I know more than him?

  46. One can see Gervinho going a similar direction as Theo has in the eyes of many of the impatient.

    The point with both players is that they raise expectations and inevitably disappoint unless they are scoring several times each game.

    I would imagine Gerv is a nightmare for all defences everywhere and whilst we can say he needs to score more, the fact remains he is getting himself into highly dangerous positions throughout all the games in which he plays. I’m pretty sure it’ll take the most minor of adjustments for him to become a free scoring contributor, and one as capable of providing assists of the highest quality as well as taking the chances himself. Certainly playing him in a more central position has proved full of promise.

  47. Gervinho has had 2 absolutely fantastic games and now one where he got in the right positions but didn’t finish as we expected. Why are we having a discussion about his quality? He’ll probably run rings around a fallen-over Terry before finishing it past Cech like it’s Sunday League Footie on the weekend.

  48. different players andrew.
    one of them can control a football..

    ones a winger trying to be a finisher and ones a finisher trying to be a winger

  49. Apparently Master Walcott wants to be an Arsenal legend….but not from the wings.
    go figure…

    Gerv just needs serious work on his shooting. He’s good with the short leg-stroke goals. It might take a while

  50. i would play theo centrally now..
    previously we needed our central forward to be a false 9..tippy tappy and all that..
    but he fucked off to play for the red mancs

    our games changing, the tippy tap in the final third is dying out and we are becoming more direct..

    to be honest, we dont need a ball player in the middle, the midfielders do most of that now, we just need someone who can shoot.

    gervinhos a winger, girouds a target man and id have said podolski and theo are the finishers

    podolski however is good enough to play wide and not fucking cry about it..

    if theo wants to play central id play him central but he’ll have to score bucket loads of goals to merit playing there over the better footballers and if he doesnt just sell him in jan.

    we should have just sold him in the summer but hey ho..

  51. Absolutely no shock in Theo wanting to play up front, hell he has been banging on that drum for a fair while now. I just cannot see him playing up front with Arsenal in a fluid 3. I think to be honest OG suffers from it as well given the only crossing is pretty much coming from Jenks. I guess if you were sub out Gerv in the middle with Theo that is fine, but I could see his pace best exploited by playing off the shoulder of the last defender in a 2 front 4-4-2 formation. That said, any team facing him would know to sit deeper and then you have nullified almost all of his ability to be effective.

  52. Though I’m still not all jizzed out on yesterday,
    I’m trying to look forward
    forgive my partialities but it feels almost a travesty AW has not let AA play in the sand with the new boys..
    we all know he knows how to put the ball in the net…
    so, since all-out defending is not his strength..throw him on for 30 mins please, Arsene?
    or 20?

  53. By the way, did anyone else get a kick out of watching Clichy banging crosses into Row Z yesterday? I’d take Gibbs any day.

  54. Interesting timing for Walcott to stake his claim for a CF spot again. He knows AW is not just going to play him as a CF in a Prem match and being thrown on as CF for 10 to 15 mins at the end of a match isn’t going to do it for him either. But it does no harm to restate your desire to be a striker in the run up to a League Cup game when the Boss has a limited number of strikers available anyway.

  55. Manchester City have been poor in defence this season – Kompany has surprised me with his idiotic defending, where has backed out, and not shown the same commitment as he did last season. That’s not to take anything away from Arsenal. A great performance, overall. BFG is world class, Koscielny will be considered world class if he continues with his performances until January/February. Ramsey looks back to his best. Cazorla is the best player in the league. Like I said to you lot a while ago, Cazorla is a better player than Silva, he is more direct and wants to get things over and done with. The only reason he hasn’t been in the press a lot is because his club record doesn’t stand out (not stats). A gem of a player. All that’s lacking is a quality striker to lead the line. I genuinely believe Giroud will come good, but already his heads dropped.

  56. How many of you would agree with me that Mike Dean had an excellent game yeaterday……bearing in mind his usual treatment of our Club in the past.

  57. @Wavey i dont get it though. AW has already stated time and time again that he sees Walcotts future as a striker. But AW being AW knows when Walcott is ready. And Wallcott should know after is it 6 years? at arsenal that very few if any managers out there are as good as AW in finding the right time for the right spot for any player.
    Walcott should also know that being under AW he will develop into a great striker though thing take time. Look at RvP when did he get his chance up alone? that was last year no? And he had been in the club for 8 years? besides, what other club will use Walcott as a striker?
    The whole situation is weird, im sure we are having a nother player up our sleeve and will sell walcott if we get this other person in January. I dont see any other reason for not signing him up immediatly.
    Its important to remember that AW can be a ruthless bastard when he wants to. The way he just flogged Song. Im not sure Song saw that coming. And I’m not sure Walcott is seeing this coming neither.
    Atm it looks like AW are fed up with moaners and players trying to dictate what the club should or should not do. For the first time in a looong while we are a club without any huge egos. RvP was the last huge ego out the door.

    and yeh we play with brazilian fullbacks atm! they are so attackminded while our midfield covers for them! i love it!!!

  58. Getty @ 5:15 pm,

    “Now, Walcott is a whole differnt story, is he leaving in January?”

    It’s a difficult (impossible) question for the supporter to do any thing other than speculate about. However, things are looking better according to this report of the SS:

    “Wenger converted Henry from a winger to Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer and Walcott, who inherited the Frenchman’s number 14 jersey, told ESPN on Monday: “I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me.

    “I’ve played on the right wing and had the opportunity to play up front a bit more so I think it’s about time.”

    Talks over extending the 23-year-old’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, reached crisis point last month when he rejected a new five-year deal worth £75,000 a week.

    It was reported Walcott was holding out for £100,000 a week, but he said: “That speculation on the money side of it has never been me. That’s not me. I’m not the sort of person who’s influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football.

    “Hopefully, something can be sorted out. I’ll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there.”

    He added: “It’s a slow process. My last contract took over six months to happen. Hopefully, it can be sorted out. I’ve never said I wanted to go, I’ve always wanted to stay.”

    However, the England star refused to rule out leaving Arsenal completely.

    “It’s one of those things that happens in the game,” he said.

    “If it comes to it, if the club had to sell me, I’d be disappointed but, like I said, hopefully something can be sorted.”

    As I speculated, it doesn’t seem to be about the money alone and (as with most serious contracts) negotiations need time. Fingers crossed, he stays and blossoms with us.

  59. “Hopefully, something can be sorted out. I’ll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there.”

    It’s the ‘us’ in that sentence that is the unknown quantity. None of us know whether Walcott’s ‘team’ are following his strict instructions, trying to turn his head, advising him, listening to him, influencing him or what. I for one believe him and if it wasn’t true I believe Arsene would have got rid.
    As good as the Song, Theo, RVP triumvirate were for us last go around they were only good enough for third and Arsene wants more than that and if he can manage without any or all of them and still improve as it appears he has then so be it.

  60. City were better than us in the second half but never dominant, not by any stretch – but despite media hysteria this result doesn’t hold any significance over the rest of our season, we put in a similar display last season away at City and were unlucky to lose – it didn’t mean we were fighting with them at the end of the season. I think Mancini is overrated and despite his embarrassment of riches hasn’t figured out a way to play Arsenal successfully, I know they won 1-0 last year but as said above it was more luck than good judgement on his part.

    What we can tell from our first 5 games, plus the Montpellier clash is that we have buckets of quality strung through-out the squad, the team look united and we’ve shown the same grit and determination we had last year to come from behind in two tough away fixtures (both against champions of their respective leagues). What this means come the back end of the season is anyone’s guess but I have to giggle at people writing Arsenal off for any trophies at this point, they’re going off of seasons past and not using their eyes to see what we are right now.

  61. We were better than City in every aspect all through the match and the one thing we lacked was cutting edge in front of goal , which I suspect might be a problem for us this season . In defence and midfield we are top of the league at the moment and its brilliant . But we need a scoring frontman and a more experienced goalkeeper if we want to win a title

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