Arsenal’s Jack Out Of The Box And Into The Net

Arsenal 1 – 0 Swansea City

1 – 0 Wilshere (86)

It turned out to be an eye-opening day for Arsenal. A win that confirmed Arsenal’s place as the outstanding team of the season – elevated from the very good squad to an outstanding group of players – and the realisation for even his most ardent admirer, that Arsène Wenger has ruined Arsenal Football Club so much that Pep Guardiola does not even want to take over when the Frenchman leaves.

But we’ll Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive and that goodness that 2013 is proving to be the year of Our Lord, Jack Wilshere, along with his faithful helper, Abou Diaby, who even with one leg, proved to be the new signing that we all hoped he would be. To top it off, news broke of a £30m bid for an unnamed player from an unnamed club; does anybody genuinely believe this is the case with such scant details. I say details when there are no details whatsoever. Feverish speculation that followed on from the erroneous confirmation that Theo Walcott has signed a new deal. Yes, a great day for the supporters.

Into the third paragraph of the post and we’ll bring everyone back to reality. Pep Guardiola was never in the frame for the Arsenal job, there isn’t one available at this moment in time. If Arsène is to leave, I suspect it will all be done quickly with a replacement already to be named. Or at least that’s how it ought to be done, no prolonged farewell procession around the Premier League grounds, a final goodbye on the final home game of the season with something another time. Only the arrogance of the English media presumed Guardiola would be coming to a club on these shores.

And last night’s deserved victory over Swansea was nothing more than a good day at the office. If it builds confidence for future matches, that is ideal but in no way does a hard-working first half followed by an elevated second half performance, confirm any return to form. It was a good performance and a level or two above their opponents, acknowledged by Michael Laudrup post-match. But it most definitely is not a sign that demons have been conquered. A potential Wenger replacement and former child prodigy himself, the Dane’s observations about Jack Wilshere were probably correct. He is a very good player with the tag of “World Class” being bestowed on him by football people if he reproduces such form next season, at which point we’ll probably be drawn into another transfer saga. We’re a bit ahead of everyone at Arsenal in honouring him as such now but who cares?

As with Sunday afternoon, the youngster was at the heart of everything which was good about the performance last night. There has been a consistency in his return to form since injury, one which has done little to quell the level of expectancy placed upon his shoulders. And there is little sign that he is doing anything other than relishing the pressure. His goal was a cracking finish from Olivier Giroud’s lay-off, keeping the ball down and shooting with pace and power on the run. It was a lesson to youngsters, is I believe the received wisdom. To score was nothing less than he deserved, Wilshere had been involved in everything, prompting Arsenal whilst showing no lack of willingness to stifle Swansea.

His was the best of several good performances. Sagna seemed to have shaken the cobwebs off whilst Diaby improved as his match fitness returned. Coquelin completed the midfield triumverate with a solid performance although I am not sure that the manager will be persuaded it was enough for a place against Chelsea. I also thought Giroud did well, his only failing being not hitting the net. Culpable as he was on some occasions, there was little he could when defenders and goalkeeper put themselves in the way on other occasions.

The main talking point surrounded Theo Walcott. Whilst he too failed to score, praise should be forthcoming for the positioning and the runs he made. His miss having been fouled is a difficult call for the referee. Having quickly signalled the advantage to allow the Arsenal striker to get his shot, the decision became contentious only when the ball drifted wide of the post. Little wonder that Walcott questioned the official as to why not penalty had been awarded. The shove no matter how small could be construed as contributing to the miss although my own suspicion is that Theo was looking to blame something. Clattenburg could – and should – have taken further action against Flores (I think). Playing the advantage does not absolve the official from taking retrospective action, unlike the FA who cannot do anything with the referee deemed to have seen the incident.

Swansea will point to the woodwork saving Arsenal in the first half, Bartley once more the beneficiary of some lax marking but on the whole Szczesny did not have much to do, a signal of Arsenal’s superiority. The visitors though were afflicted by some of their host’s failings; when they had the ball, they were an entirely different proposition to the team which did not do enough without possession. They are traits which Arsenal display often enough. How much of that is their style of play is unknown, masked by the superiority of the Arsenal’s second half performance.

It is a win to be enjoyed but the unbridled gloating that accompanied it, was out of proportion. If this is the building block to the second half of the season charge the club needs to embark upon, it can be considered a season-changing win. We won’t know that for a few games yet.

’til Tomorrow.

 

 

 

472 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Jack Out Of The Box And Into The Net

  1. Bill says:

    Zimpaul.

    I realize we are just fans and what we think does not make a bit of difference. However, if we always search for the positives and try to ignore the negative then we will never admit the problems and they never get fixed. I have nothing at all against you being positive all the time if thats what you like. However, for me, the reason I blog and discuss these things is I want to come up with the right answer whether its positive or negative.

  2. Paul N says:

    Moe, Fergie has not had to deal with an ever changing squad. When the Arsenal was stable, we kicked United’s backside on the regular.

  3. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Of course, PG, and by the same token “some people” might say that there are those on here, who have been just overtly offensive. I am of course, not saying you are but some might.

  4. Paul N says:

    Had the wantaway players stayed the course, we would have been the best team in football. I fully believe that.

  5. Moe says:

    Bill

    Haha Trust me Bill im as far from rose tinted glasses as can be.

  6. Paul N says:

    There is nothing like continuity in a squad. Look at Barca, yes they add players (very expensive ones) but they have a core, with a core it makes it easier for new players to fit in. What Arsenal have had for two seasons is 2 new cores.

  7. ArsenalAndrew says:

    Surprised to see you hanging round these parts Yogi; thought you’d be away by now, upping your game … 🙂

  8. anicoll5 says:

    Or alternatively if Auntie had a pair of bollox

  9. Jonny says:

    Hey there Andrew. Long time no speak.

    What’s new? 🙂

  10. Paul N says:

    Yeh Yogi, and it’s not like they have set the world on fire elsewhere, they were stars at Arsenal and are now squad players…but one obviously.

  11. Bill says:

    Moe

    OK. Unfortunately, Man for man I think this is Fergies best team in quite a while. We have several good players and jack W has potential to be great but for the most part we are lacking a couple of great players. We need a game changer or 2. You build great teams around superstar players and the rest have to be very good players who know their roles. We don’t have any great players right now.

  12. Moe says:

    Paul N
    January 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm
    Moe, Fergie has not had to deal with an ever changing squad. When the Arsenal was stable, we kicked United’s backside on the regular.

    I’d agree with that.

  13. anicoll5 says:

    No wonder Ferguson looks happy

    His worst side in 20 years romping away with it

    Doubles all round at Castle Glazer

  14. anicoll5 says:

    I wonder if he plays another 3-4 seasons Scholes might get the knack of tackling ?

  15. shotta says:

    PaulN @ 10:18pm
    What some people also fail to comprehend is how difficult it has been to rebuild this team to the 2009-10 levels with the loss of Fabregas primarily and Nasri in one year followed by Van Traitor one year later. All wanted to go and I for one do not believe we could have retained them but that has been done over repeatedly. While we remained in the top three last year and struggling at 6th currently, it is a far cry from the current debacle at Aston Villa who four years ago gave us a fight for top four. Since 2009 they have lost Barry, Milner and Young in successive years, all top English players, who led them to three successive 6th place finishes. Last year they skirted relegation, have gone through 3 managers and despite the energy and ability of Paul Lambert they may very well see the drop in May. Despite our difficulties and the distinct possibility of not making top four at least we can confidently predict a competitive fight to the end of season. Bollocks to those who can’t.

  16. pedantic george aka Blackburngeorge says:

    Overt,yes that’s me.Offensive? some might say,I would say retaliatory.Of course some might see it as something else.

  17. Moe says:

    Bill

    True, superstar players cost money though. Big money. We don’t spend big money.

    Or superstar players are developed, who’s up to wait for another 5 years, hands up high where i can see em

    Or like we used, we pick an obscure player from the back end of nowhere and he becomes a star. But our scouting has been found out.

    So wat now? 🙁

  18. Paul N says:

    I feel you Shotta.

    lol @ “Van Traitor”

  19. ArsenalAndrew says:

    This and that, Jonny – studio’s finished, you’ll have to swing by one of these days!

    YW – ah well, it’s a long season after all.

    Still, that is a top, top, top smiley!!

  20. pedantic george aka Blackburngeorge says:

    Two years ago we had the best two player in the league .Now we don’t.
    That takes quite some adjusting .And if they are not replaced by equal class(which is almost impossible) the adjustment period will be an extended one.

  21. Paul N says:

    Shotta and George, and we could go back further to Flamini, Ade and Hleb. That team had massive potential but the players did not buy into it for whatever reason.

  22. Moe says:

    Correct me if i’m wrong but it seems to me we are always in transition.

    Does the attitude of players we sold stink that bad, that they force a move or demand one?

    Are we bad judge of character?

  23. ArsenalAndrew says:

    In other news I see Interpol and FIFA are running a two day forum on the dangers of match-fixing, said to be worth the equivalent of a Coca-Cola sized company in value and breadth of operation.

    So that’s Mike Dean buggered then.

  24. anicoll5 says:

    Flamini – one season out of three wonder
    Hleb – shoooooooooooooot

    Ade ? Oh FFs

    Have you ever thought of not making excuses for the players we have Paul ?

  25. Goonerkam says:

    Sweet lord YAHWEH
    I go to the ARSENAL page on BBC online and who’s ugliest mug looking back at me?
    The red manc granny shagging bum Rooney. That’s who.
    But oh no the media ain’t biased and the refs, well each one is a prince and king in their own right and no one disrespects the arsenal and all call are by the book and people just doing their job and that’s that.
    When the hell is the disrespect going to stop. I’ll tell you when. Not soon enough. Not as long as some of us so called gooners are ok with it and even take the enemies side on issues.
    Great win against the SWANSEA team. Should have been at least 5-1. Oh well.
    Onwards. And FORWARDS.
    UP THE. GUNNNSSSSSSS!!!!!!

  26. Paul N says:

    Anicoll, no, not really. Though that comment has nothing to do with the current players, so I don’t know what you are talking about.

  27. Paul N says:

    Can you please explain how you link what I said to the current players, or have you ben looking for a chance to take a snide dig?

  28. Frank says:

    Yes, Goonerkam, and yet again SkySports do a piece on the evils of diving and their footage is of Suarez and Santi Cazorla.

  29. Paul N says:

    And yes, the team that featured those 3 players played some of the best football we have ever seen from Arsenal.

  30. Jonny says:

    Excellent work fella, well done on that. Good start to the year, I reckon.

  31. ArsenalAndrew says:

    Can only be a matter of time, Dups …

  32. Frank says:

    Oh their is a lot of smug, toe-curling, snideness around,Paul N.

    Great idea for an Arsenal supporting site…ensure that the positives and negatives balance. Cancel each other out. What do you get? Head swivelling, fence sitting, know-all lumps of jelly. What do you want? Great support. Is they what you get? Absolutely fucking no.

  33. Frank says:

    Hello, Andrew. The idea of a ‘top,top,top smiley’ makes me want to kill someone.

  34. JonJon says:

    rvp and cesc are the ones we miss..

    everyone else have been replaced..

    saying that, on the fergie issue..ronaldo and tevez both fucked off and left him and it mattered none..
    the debts the glaziers put on him mattered none either..
    utds team has changed alot over the years as well but he just deals with it..

    it pains me to say it but the blokes just a top manager with no weaknesses whatsoever he won about 10 trophies in 5 years in scotland and concquered europe with aberdeen for fuck sake he could go manage a bunch of chimps and turn into them winners..

  35. JonJon says:

    que daggers out and everyone attack JJ

  36. JonJon says:

    which i wouldnt mind becuase even george has ignored me today while he battles with yogi and im feeling left out and its pissing me off 😉

  37. SV says:

    Jack Wilshere! Jack Wilshere!

    He’s playing for us, playing for us!

    Jack Wilshere! Jack Wilshere!

    He’s playing, playing for us!

  38. Yogi's Warrior says:

    FIFA & Interpol investigating match-fixing? I reckon Interpol are investigating FIFA and using match-fixing as a cover.

    Mike Dean Is Innocent!!

    Free Mr Mike Dean
    Free free
    Free free free Mr Mike Dean
    Free Mr Mike Dean
    21 years as a referee
    Whistle signals he thinks you’re a cheat
    His body abused, but his eyes can still see
    His decision so right because he’s infallible y’see

    Free Mr Mike Dean

    Visited the grounds of the Premier League
    One man in a large army of referees
    You’re so blind, you think he cannot see
    You’re so deaf that you cannot hear his whistle

    Free Mr Mike Dean

    21 years as a referee
    You’re so blind, you think he cannot see
    You’re so deaf that you cannot hear his whistle
    You’re so dumb that you think he is a freak

    Free Mr Mike Dean

  39. Paul N says:

    JJ, we have missed continuity, it is more than RVP and Cesc.

  40. SV says:

    It’s not even the result, it’s the performance that makes me happy.

    Moving Cazorla to the left was spot on. He still has a freedom to cut inside, but avoids congested areas of midfield where he can not compete physically.

    Will Jack continue playing behind the striker? Interesting. It would be a brave exciting formation, albeit not without reservations. Jack is still young and is learning his trade. But he is one of those for whom learning by doing is natural.

    The combination of Diaby and Cocolin looks solid. Will both of them start on Sunday?

    Benitez is not exactly an inspiring figure, but he can come up with tactical tricks against Arsenal. I think he will play deep and on the counters, so Theo may have to stay on the flank.

    Can we have a game with solid defensive performance? If we do, we’ll get a result.

  41. Goonerkam says:

    hay everyone
    Glad the vigilance is good and strong against force of change for changes sake , more power to you,
    FRANK good evening sir. There were some here who where adamant both red cards in the shitty game where proper and 100% warranted , what has been their reaction since the FA overturned quickly overturned one of those 100% warranted red cards.
    Is MOSHE BASHING still going on.
    With support like this who needs enemies……

  42. Paul N says:

    I see your point hough, it is easier to big up Fergie like that, if you say 2 for 2.

  43. Jonny says:

    Good stuff SV. Agre about Cazorla.

    Coq’s composure and execution of the volley was unapplauded.

    Here is hoping.

    Diaby adds so much.

  44. Goonerkam says:

    Thanks KOSHER BASHING,,
    not Moshe,

  45. JonJon says:

    yogi
    you think ? 🙂

    paul i agree continuity has been a problem but that continuity, or lack of has been a result of a bigger problem..

  46. JonJon says:

    😆 wheres he gone?

    banned him again?

  47. Sav from Australia says:

    @ZimPaul January 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Was reading yesterday’s comments and I say, sir that is a quote I will be quoting you on. One of the deepest insights I have ever read anywhere.

  48. Goonerkam says:

    Seriously though YW, koshelney and the rest of the ARSENAL crew are getting the short end of the stick from the media,refs and the FA most of the time,
    They are expected to play the game one hand tied behind the back,
    Calls you rightly point out should be called all the time are mostly called against our guys and we cannot let them feel they are alone in this and don’t have our backing.
    Look at JACK . he was mauled against shitty. Just like JUAN ANTONIO REYES years ago. Not even a warning. He commits one infraction to defend himself and right away he is carded.
    All I have is respect and sympathy for our guys. Talk about a mountain to climb.

  49. Goonerkam says:

    Koser is banned again. Hopefully only for one game. 🙂

  50. Limestonegunner says:

    Shotta, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I am not saying he should start there ahead of both Theo and OG as a matter of course but rather that he is an option to try in certain cases or as backup to OG, even. For me, his versatility and ability to play there is an argument against going out for a striker in this market and rather to make the case for other possible priorities or solutions. I think one game hardly tells the tale and that you somewhat understate his experience and success in that position, in any case.

  51. Phil says:

    “I just accept what the management team do” Interesting philosophy. Could be why there is angst in the comments sometimes Frank. Not everybody thinks that way, thank goodness.
    But challenging the management doesnt make you any less a supporter of the club.

  52. ZimPaul says:

    Perhaps YW would like to draw attention to David Dein’s comments yesterday. Is he vying for a return to the fold? Is he wanting to get a slice of the action he senses is coming? Or is he just pissed off that Wenger’s bashers could honestly be that stupid?

  53. Dgob says:

    All,

    I doubt any one us would call Sky Sports a particularly supportive organ concerning AFC. Nor might any (most) of us view Ed Chamberlin as our greatest fan. Yet, if even the blind can see:

    “The Emirates is not a particularly happy place at the moment and you could sense the stadium was on edge even before kick off. The mood and the tension is clearly affecting the players”
    Ed Chamberlin?

    Surely sheer bloody-minded self-interest should speak to any of us who have acquired the mental dexterity to walk and chew gum at the same time!? We (and this is the full ‘we’ associated with AFC) can do better!

    Be the change you want to see: Ghandi

  54. Dgob says:

    Zimpaul @ 7:04 am,

    I suspect you know the answer!

  55. Frank says:

    The negativity in the stadium is palpable, dgob

  56. Frank says:

    Thank goodness people like you are around, Phil. People who can tell people like me where the management team are going wrong.

  57. Frank says:

    With all this talk of strikers, will Wellington or Campbell not be available at some stage?

  58. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Of course he is ZP. Let’s not forget though, he was the architect of the modern Arsenal – introducing KSE and AU to the club whilst his son facilitated the departure of our prized assets.

  59. Dgob says:

    Frank,

    I know. That led to me becoming involved in a confrontation and ultimately me and my family no longer holding season tickets. Miss the football but not the crowd.

    Incidentally, Arsene has now noted that:

    “I feel sympathy for every manager until the day I play against him. Then the sympathy goes and comes back after the game.

    “We are all in the same position. We know we are in a fragile job and that the confidence is very important.

    “It’s a job where you have to take care of your own team.

    “But the confidence of the crowd in the team plays a big part.

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