Bellerin and Campbell Star As Arsenal Ease Into The Fourth Round


Arsenal 3 – 1 Sunderland

0 – 1 Lens  (17)
1 – 1 Campbell (26)
2 – 1 Ramsey (72)

3 – 1 Giroud (76)

When the two sides met in a month ago, goals from Campbell, Giroud and Ramsey claimed the points. The same trio ensured that Arsenal progressed to the FA Cup fourth round. Even gifting Sunderland the lead couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm which greeted some of the individual performances; even Jeff made a cameo. Smiles all round, culminating in Theo’s back-bumping celebration with a supporter.

Bruce Springsteen may have pulled Courtney Cox from the audience but the young man enjoyed his moment on the rain-sodden turf with the England international far more.

There weren’t when Laurel & Hardy reincarnated on the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area. Gibbs pass to Koscielny was poorly judged but the French international knows in those situations that any doubts should see the ball in Row Z. Instead, in trying to play his way out of trouble, he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet quickly enough and Lens finished past Cech.

Step forward the man who it is widely agreed, had his best match for Arsenal: Joel Campbell. Within ten minutes, he had lost his marker to find space near the penalty spot and guided Theo Walcott’s cross into the net. A goal capped his performance, with the warm applause that greeted his departure a genuine recognition of his afternoon’s work.

Arsène was quick to laud the Costa Rican as this season’s Francis Coquelin, performing better than anyone expected and having had a run in the side, playing with confidence. There’s a long way to go before that is the case and with players returning from injury, this may yet prove to be a load of flannel aimed at keeping his player happy and feeling the love.

Alex Iwobi has further to travel developmentally but thrust into the limelight yesterday, he seemed perfectly at ease with filling the sizeable hole left in Mesut Özil’s absence. His passing was crisp and he settled into the rhythm of the game. Perhaps it helped being a home game. It certainly helped that the team performance was altogether vastly improved from the miserable October night at Hillsborough.

The major change to the team came in central midfield, Chambers and Oxlade-Chamberlain came in and were a qualified success. No-one argues that Ox has been indifferent this season, capable of a mesmirising dribble as losing the ball leading to the punishment of a goal.

Yesterday was a better afternoon for the England international with his passing and movement more confident. He was denied by the woodwork as Arsenal chased the lead their increasing dominance deserved but is surely pleased with his overall contribution?

Chambers is learning his role and expecting him to control the midfield is unrealistic. As Arsenal grew into the game so did yesterday’s pairing. By the time Mikel Arteta arrived midway through the second half, Sunderland’s chippy counter-attacks were mostly neutered with the woodwork rattled by Fletcher’s header being their only real opening.

But when we needed someone to step forward, our superhero arrived. Hector Bellerin has his detractors but yesterday he showed the attacking aspect of his game is a vital attribute for the team. He’s not bad defensively either but two assists is the sort of return we seek from wide players not full backs. Two assists of genuine quality, embroidering the afternoon with the finest paces laced across the Sunderland back four; almost identikit in their delivery, they received the same end with the net bulging and Arsenal through.

Wenger didn’t deny that his form may see Mathieu Debuchy leave this transfer window. The manager couldn’t readily name a better right back in the Premier League – nor can I at this moment in time – but didn’t state outright that Bellerin is the best. “There is”, Wenger thought, “more to come” from the 20 year-old. Some aspects of his defensive game need working on but in attack yesterday, he was vibrant and lively, pivotal in breaking down what was beginning to become an obdurate Sunderland back four.

Allardyce thought the goals cheap to concede but that misses the exquisite exchange between Campbell and Bellerin to create the initial space for the cross for the opener. Minutes later and the Spaniard was tempted into attack with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s deft pass. He could hardly decline the opportunity to stretch his legs.

A comfortable win in the end, a less nervous and inconsistent performance than the league meeting between the two sides. That was something of a surprise given the number of changes Arsène made. To be honest, it was a surprise that Özil didn’t even feature on the bench; a very welcome one, I hasten to add but the manager normally likes an insurance policy in case the afternoon goes awry.

It was the opportunity for others to shine and I don’t think he will be disappointed in any of them. Jeff even came on to saté the appetite of the cult which has sprung up around him. All that was missing was the controversial refereeing decision, the dubious penalty award that are synonymous with these matches. It didn’t come but should have; referee Atkinson waved played on and wafted around whilst The Emirates and Olivier Giroud in particular, wondered how the hell a spot kick wasn’t being taken.

It didn’t matter in the end and we move on toward Wednesday night and Anfield.

’til Tomorrow.

48 thoughts on “Bellerin and Campbell Star As Arsenal Ease Into The Fourth Round

  1. earflow says:

    Enjoyed reading that Yogi. I saw that Ozil was in the stadium looking pleased.

  2. Phil says:

    Good write up YW.
    After a slow start, it was a convincing win in the end.
    Nice effort by Iwobi.
    He’s no Ozil, but he isn’t expected to be.
    Certainly enough to encourage.

  3. Orson Kaert says:

    Good morning, I’ve seen only the very brief highlights on MotD so have no idea what the penalty shouts was about, can you enlighten me please Yogi?

    Thanks for the write-up by the way.

    Shame about Ospina suffering a “slight groin strain”, a leetle beet convenient perhaps?

  4. Brevity says:

    Nice column YW thank you.
    The Slob leaving his gum on our turf the only discordant note. We should make him pick it up next week when he’s back for the spuds.
    The squad stepped up this time which is very encouraging. On to Anfield and the Victoria Ground or whatever the shithole is called now. 4/6 points would be title form.

  5. Jonny says:

    If Campbell continues in this vein I will be a very happy man.

    Bellerin’s perfectly weighted pass for the third goal was simply exquisite – Bergkamp would have been happy with that delivery.

    Great stuff.

  6. HenryB says:

    Well done, Yogi, 🙂

    I only saw the MOTD highlights so thanks for the match review. The snippets I heard on the radio were damning with faint praise, but from what I saw, other than the comedy capers between Gibbs and Kozzer, the team played well overall.

    From comments on the blogs, not just here, I got the impression that Ox, too, was suffering from being damned with faint praise – and yet from what little I saw he showed his real class.

    A shot that rebounded off the post, an exquisite pass off the outside of his right foot to Belli Button haring pell-mell down the wing, and presaged a great goal from his precise cross, and the more controlled passing that he has not shown for a while.

    As I said, I only saw a micro version of the game, and made me feel confident he will come good for Arsenal.

    Not wishing to argue with C, but the criticism of the Ox contrasts oddly with the benign comments made about Theo, who is a ‘hit and hope merchant’ when shooting – brilliant or dire – even he does not know, and even his cross to Campbell resulting in a nicely taken goal, was hit on the turn after a dribble – but watching carefully on the recording, it is clear that he did not look up first to ‘pick’ his pass, just hit it and hoped.

    It is not a big issue with me, just an observation of the differences in the way the Ox is perceived, in contrast to the way Theo is seen. Interesting.

  7. Jonny says:

    Looks as though were are head-to-head then, C.

    Have to admit Steeler’s offence is frightening stuff – not a game I’m relishing the prospect of.

  8. Bill says:

    Great review yogi.

    When I saw the starting line up and we conceded the early goal I was not optimistic. However we got the job done which is all that matters.

  9. dukey says:

    Great to see Bellerin and the Ox play well. they were just starting to become the new whipping boys by the high maintenance gooner faithful.

  10. Birdkamp says:

    That was great yesterday – we could have scored five or six. And after putting Campbell down he made a real difference.

    Can’t think of a bad performance actually – maybe their goal was avoidable.

    I really love the way we’re putting wingers and attackers in deep midfield in the youth teams – Maitland-Niles in the last couple of years and now Iwobi. Might be something to do with Jonker and co in the set-up, because I know they’ve been doing this kind of thing in the Netherlands for at least two decades.

    In the end you’ll get players like Iwobi – guys with serious pace that are also aware and able to pick a pass. Not saying he’s going to make it and so on – just that this is the prototype you want. It points to joined-up thinking after a few years of what looked like inertia in the youth system.

  11. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Nice, comfy afternoon with encouraging performances from the young English chaps & a couple of blistering moments from a star in the making.

    The next three games are probably going to be pivotal in any Championship tilt so to go into them with some form has to be a bonus.

  12. C says:

    Before reading the posts, I’m on a bit of a sports high after Arsenal played like they did yesterday(led by Campbell, Bellerin and Iwobi) and thrn my Steelers pulled off a brilliant comeback after we looked dead in the water( thanks Bengals for playing your part) .

    Next up for my Steelers is jonny’s Broncos.

  13. C says:


    That was an incredible game, I mean I waa literally cursing our team for losing to the Bengals then was screaming yelling and partying through the night with family and friends.

  14. C says:


    Guess we are mate.

    For as frightening as the Steelers offence is, the Broncos defense is just as intimidating but certainly it will be fun.

  15. C says:

    Very goos summation Yogi and not much more I can add.

    Theo was better than I think people give him credit for.

    The one thing that was unexpected was the struggles of Kos and Gabriel for the most part.

  16. Phil says:

    The Bengals blew it, that’s for sure.
    Proves, it isn’t over, until it’s over.
    Profound, I know.
    Think you will need Big Ben playing to knock off the Broncos.

  17. C says:

    No doubt the Bengals blew it but I thank them for it.
    Without Big Ben we are dead in the water for sure.

  18. austinpaul says:

    Great review nd Team performance yestagay YW, d youngsters were absolutely impresiive,I hope AW will give dem more games so. Dey can mature into d team; do we all now understand why Wenger is nt buying many outside stars as many fans clamour for? If he does, wat will hapen to dis youngstars? Ur guess is as gud as mine! No space for dem of course!!! Shallom Gunners!

  19. C says:


    Theo picked up a ball and slotted Giroud through late in the match and the defenders clear as day took his legs out from behind with the ref staring straight at it. It was about as clear a penalty as you will get.

  20. C says:


    I agree with you, Afobe is one that got away. We will certainly get to see him throught the 2nd half of the season and I think between him and King they might have enough goals in them to keep Bournemouth up.

  21. C says:

    Gibbs did well yesterday as well, I have been critical of not only his defending but his attacking and final ball and while his final ball still left much to be desired, it was better and his defending was much much bettter.

  22. C says:

    This young lad Gray that Leicester just signed for only 3M I think looks to certainly be a player in the making.

  23. C says:

    Okazaki scores for them and he was aplayer that was flying for them early in the season, got hurt and is now finding his form again and only brings quality depth behind Mahrez or Vardy but also can play as a 3rd with them.

  24. Orson Kaert says:

    C and Luke, thanks for penalty info. It certainly looked like one to me, what was the score at the time?

  25. C says:

    Our young Adelaide, seemingly gliding across the pitch as though it takes more effort to breathe than run with the ball at his feet on a futbol pitch. He really does have all the physical presence of a midfielde: tall, languid, strong, deceptive pace with those long strides and though it wasn’t on full display, his touch and close control are both mature and exquisite.

    There was one sequence where he won the ball on the right flank and broke but what was most impressive is that even at a young age and running at pace, he had his head up constantly looking for somebody ahead of him to play the ball to. How many times have over the years seen young players take off at pace and not pick their head up because they simply can’t and don’t have the close control.

    More so than ever I think Iwobi and Adelaide are two players that can honestly be good squad players almost now though they would have some inconsistencies from time to time.

  26. C says:

    The ref just awarded Spuds a penalty that was a TERRIBLE decision, Dyer is actually turning to run after the ball after Rose put it by him.

    For about as bad as the no decision was in our match, it was equally as bad for the ref giving it in the Spuds match.

  27. C says:

    Arsene he hopes to announce a deal in teh next 24 to 48 hours, does that mean somebody is leaving or coming? Hopefully its Elneny or Rabiot coming.

  28. Ras says:

    Good evening everybody. A comprehensive win yesterday. I think there will be just 1 player coming in this window with El Neny. Elneny impending arrival has been spoken about for nearly a week in the dailies.

    I would eat my hat if another signing was made. We wait and see

  29. Nigerian_gunner says:

    I honestly feel like am on top on f the moon whenever I watch arsenal play with such flair and panache, yesterday’s match brought memories of the invisible team, those crop of players where simply a delight to watch, I remember a specific game against Liverpool, Henry was simply out of this world, he single handedly destroyed the Liverpool team, his pace, close control n shooting accuracy was just a wonder, also the middlesbrough game that we where loosing 3 _ 1 at half time but came back to win 5 _ 3. Those where games I would never forget…
    Finally I continually have this vision of per (BFG) n arteta lifting the title together, just like captain RAI N dunga did for Brazil when they won the world cup in Korea/Japan 2002.. That
    Would definitely be the happiest day of my life

  30. Wavey says:


    In the post match interview AW says that he is expecting players back from injury soon and will maybe sign one player in the window. Amazing how he keeps changing his mind. We’ve gone from two to maybe one in a week, so I wonder if there is a problem with Elneny’s work permit. “Maybe one” might mean that we haven’t got anyone else in the pipeline if the permit isn’t granted and we decide not to get Elneny. There was a comment in the post match interview indicating that we would be a bit short if we had the injury list that we have without anyone coming back. It’s either another game, or he is of the view that we don’t really need to buy someone.

  31. C says:


    What I find interesting is these rumors of Rabiot coming, he is a player that at 20 is very much ready talent wise and physically is ready. I do wonder if Rabiot is in the works should Elneny not be able to get a work permit. Maybe Rabiot coming in now with Elneny signed but staying at Basel until the summer. Interesting times but more than likely Elneny comes and I personally think he slots in next to Ramsey moving Flamini to the bench.

  32. santori says:

    Rabiot is considerably more expensive than Elneny.

    I do think there maybe a “if then” sort of scenario between Elneny and Rabiot.

    Rabiot is tested on a slightly higher level than Elneny but may be as much as 10m more. PLus ego-wise, he may be a lot more impatient than Elneny.

    The other thing to consider is Rabiot will be cup tied.

    With Arteta available, we have back up to Flamini.

    any addition in midfield will more likely back up any eventuality should Ramsey or Ozil get knocked. if Ozil is out, Ramsey will push forward into his slot. Elneny (or for the matter Ox) may slot in beside Flamini or Arterta. We need an engine to work hard in midfield particularly with Arteta and Flamini being slightly less dynamic than Coquelin. In mid-long term Elneny can then develop to replace Arteta (and Flamini can be kept as useful experienced utility)

    Also an eye will be kept on Rosicky’s availability and of course return date to Santi and Coquelin.

    Which may be reason why wenger does not want to bring in someone who is impatient to feature plus cost more at this point. Its not necessary that either of Elneny nor Rabiot will slip into groove seemlessly and likely they will need at least a month to transition with team.

    so we are looking at timetables to players returning versus price and if player may end up disruptive instead of helpful.

    If Elneny’s work permit issues cannot be resolve, then Wenger may well have little choice but to pay the higher prices and acommodate Rabiot (or some other player)

  33. santori says:


    Like Coquelin, many felt he was not worth keeping. Most have no idea how to judge development potential rather they treat the transfer market as if it was FIFA16.

    There are plenty of intangibles that may not necessarily bear out within a given set of statistics.

    This is where the gaffer earns his money.

    Dick Law was derided by many more simplistic minds for wasting his time chasing around for Campbell’s signature in the Costa Rican jungle.

    Bellerin, Coquelin, Campbell, how much do they cost combine?

    Yet they have been our most effective players.

    Meanwhile the solution espouse by many is to spend on expensive players like say “world class” Hazard or Matic?

    It comes as no surprise that Wenger is enjoying a spate of players fulfilling their ambition.

    It is not without design that Wenger reconstructed the team adding experience in every position for 5 seasons starting with Arteta, when he realised the Denilson generation was flawed. In that the restructure was complicated by 2 key departures for 4 seasons +
    similar age
    It is also no surprise that Wenger has accumulated a number of players around 23yrs. Its about this time that players either realised their potential or not. Witness Walcott and Ramsey before at when they started scoring bucket loads.

    Then Coquelin Campbell. Welbeck, Ox, maybe Elneny if added are all similar age.Bellerin bucks the trend and is an exception (or shall we say exceptional)

    There is no reason to think either that these players cannot get better. There will be improvements.

    Recent seasons Wenger has added careful and considered marquee additions in panic buy (at 42.3m) Ozil, Alexis and Cech.

    More than any, Alexis has rubbed off on Campbell and Ox in particular. To see someone as successful as Alexis put in the sort of effort he does has inspired the younger players and motivated them to work harder.

    You only have to look at Gnabry at the moment (of course he is still young) to see how much competition there is to carving a spot in the team as fifth choice wide player. Akpom, the Jeff, Iwobi

    Whatever you can say about Ox hit and miss, you can see he is putting in effort. Where Campbell is at the moment better with decision making (The World Cup and the loans were a considerable help), Ox brings a different attribute with his close control and direct running which although with faults, brings a useful dynamic to the team.

    Wenger has design the team to have an inbuilt development potential. The supply side from the academy for many recent seasons experiencing competition from oil rich teams has also been revised and we are starting to see some measure of quality again coming through on that end.

    Anyone who thinks that Arsenal and Wenger have no coherent plan in the market msut surely not understand what they are watching.

    Whether Wenger has pulled the trigger quick enough on some of his potential decisions in market is another thing. Last season he was slow to implement what he knew was a gap at Cback and we suffered with Chambers as surrogate unprepared for an unfamiliar role at Centre back. Wenger added Gabriel in January but it has only been this season that we are starting to see the fruits of the Brasilian’s potential where he fairly needed half a season to settle.

    Similarly, anyone brought in now in midfield will strictly be immediate emergency cover and we should not expect them to fully get in sync till at least another 2 months down.

    Meanwhile when called upon, the likes of the much derided Flamini, Per, Giroud have all delivered.

    It is time for some people to re=examine their assessments and also realise they truly do not know quite as much as Wenger. In market, he is simply still one of the best.

  34. C says:

    On the back of the FA cup result, Arsene says that Nacho’s deal is almost done and he is set to pen to paper on a new deal. That is absolutely brilliant news as he has been arguably not only the best and most consistent LB in the PL but defender in general.

    Moving forward I have to applaud Arsene on our defender situation when you realize that we have: Kos, Gabriel, Mert, Nacho, Bellerin, Gibbs, Chambers and Debuchy (until he leaves) in the fold.

  35. santori says:


    I mention before that Wenger hedged his bets last season when Sagna left.

    His main concern was to ensure our dominant position at Rback was kept.

    He therefore brought in an experience hand in Debuchy who was at that point keeping Sagna out of the French squad.

    He also added Chambers, a natural Rb for Soton and who may return to the position (in light of likely new signing in midfield and Debuchy’s possible exit)

    Finally the writingw as on the wall for anyone but the spend obssessed in Bellerin coming through from academy.

    There was of course question marks whether Bellerin would fulfill his potential

    But you cannot fault the gaffer for covering his bases there.

    meanwhile there were the usual emotional calls for the much more limited Jenkinson to be recalled. I said it then that as much as we should like Jenko for wearing his heart on his sleeves for us, he was a much more limited player and the media celebrated crosses he put in were frankly put in blind.

    Chambers is IMO potentially a more cultured player for RB than Jenkinson who may be more suited to the hurly burly of West Ham. Chambers plays with his head up, is more technical and doesn’t tend to panic. His development has been curtailed by Wenger being fooled into believing through a good pre-season in position that Chambers could play Cback. It cost us.

    Chambers has ability to eventually play in midfield but there is enough talent there and coming through (Bielik, Zelalem) and it makes sense imo to revert him to a more familiar role and get on with his development. I like Chambers, he never seems perturbed and think he can be a different sort of option to Bellerin at Rback. The writing was on the wall for Debuchy when Chamberswas preferred to him as a screen in front of Bellerin in several recent games.

    If anything, we need to start looking at potential succession at Lback with the excellent Monreal hitting 30 and Gibbs not quite hitting the promised heights plus his injury issues.

    But the squad is in excellent shape and it comes as no coincidence that we have displayed a better ability than ,most pundits thought us capable of in weathering our injuries. Our depth is stronger than they think.


  36. C says:


    Fair enough on Elneny and Rabiot but make no mistake, Rabiot’s impantience is down to him being behind Motta, Veratti and Matudi in midfield plus at times Ibra playing as a ACM with thr return of Lucas on the flanks. Rabiot I think slots in with our style of play were Elneny would IMHO take less time than most think to transition because his work rate and tenacity are 2 of the strongest parts to his game and in the PL those are two qualities that most don’t walk into the PL having. Not comparing them quality wise but when you look at the more defensive midfielders that have adapted quickly to PL life in the likes of Wanyama, Matic, Schneiderlin, Kante, or even the lower table players like Sanchez of Villa or Capoue(prior to his injury and now given a chance at Watford), they all brought that work rate and tenacity defensively in their own styles that transitions well no matter the league.

    The only thing that will slow the transition of a player like Rabiot will be the PL pace and possibly the physicality though he is a big, strong physical boy himself. The physicality will be interesting to see from Elneny but by all accounts and reports he has a bit of what we Americans call “wiry strength”; which if your not familiar means though he isn’t the biggest or even the most imposing physical presencem he is strong.

    I’m not saying that either would walk in and immediately boss the PL but I also don’t want you or for that matter most to think they will come to the PL and take months to acclimate themselves. Hopefully Gooners everywhere will not hit the panic button the moment they have one or even two bad matches.

  37. Phil says:

    Gabriel took next to no time to adapt.
    His games in the previous season were exceptional.
    He slots in comfortably for either Kos or BFG.
    Chambers is not a RB, in my view as he can’t cope with pacy wingers.
    I don’t play FIFA, just my opinion.

  38. Papa Bear says:

    Great 4-4-2 formation against Sunderland.

    Hope more of that flexibility to tactics to cope with our hectic fixtures waiting.

  39. Wavey says:

    Elneny would also be cup tied as Basel were in the group phase of the CL and are in the Europa.

    Why such an aversion to spending money when we have it? If Rabiot is the better player on paper and is available why do we need to get someone cheaper in just because they are cheaper? I accept that the price of a player has no bearing on whether or not they fit in to the team, but the answer isn’t just to buy the cheaper player just in case they don’t work out? So we should always look for the cheap option as that would mean we wouldn’t lose as much if they don’t settle in? That really doesn’t make any sense.

    I’m wondering if the tune is changed on Jenks if he returns and ends up being able to compete with Belleron for RB? Suddenly it will be part of AW’s plan and I’m sure the “limited” tag will be dropped.

    Finally, can you stop insulting other contributors who don’t agree with you. You don’t have the answers any more than the rest of us, so coming out with your “I told you so” comments whilst calling the rest of us idiots seems to be childish. If you were 10 years old maybe that would make more sense, but I’m sure you’re not.

  40. Damon says:

    The only benefit of the rough runs of form are that the Santori “I told you so” monologues become less frequent for a bit

  41. Luke says:

    Good morning.

    (C on January 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm)

    The draw between the Spuds and Leceister adds another match to both these teams in the top 4 and that is not a bad thing at all.


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