Southampton Review: Welbeck In The Groove

Southampton 0 – 5 Arsenal

Get the bunting out of the cupboard, Maud, we’re off to Wembley. That’s what history tells us, anyway. The fourth victory over Southampton in the FA Cup and in the three previous meetings, we’ve gambolled up Wembley Way. OK, one of them was Millenium Way, but you get the drift.

In the end, Arsène’s touchline ban means nothing. Years ago, two old blokes in the stands with earpieces at the end of long cords meant one of two things: they were listening to Radio 2 to keep abreast of the Saturday afternoon action, or they were deaf. Now, it’s just Arsène and Borat keeping an eye on proceedings, and when your side goes 2-up inside the first quarter of the game, you can lean back and put your feet on the seat back in front of you.

To be honest, it was a canter to the extent that it was something of a surprise that he didn’t lead the away fans in a chorus of “She wore, she wore…” from the director’s box. Typical of the modern game, Wenger and his crew scooted up the steps well before the final whistle was blown; just to avoid the traffic, like. The reality is that touchline bans are likely to become a thing of the past. Clubs always run rings round the FA and even the horse has bolted on this occasion, they are unlatching the stable door already.

Danny’s Wel-back (chortle)

We found out yesterday that Arsenal’s squad depth is better than Liverpool’s and Southampton’s, two of the eighteen clubs below us in the Premier League. Danny Welbeck’s inclusion in the starting line-up was a breath of fresh air up front. Not that it was particularly stale beforehand, simply that he returned to the XI determined to make up for lost time. A motivated Welbeck vs. an under-pressure Olivier Giroud. It’s either going to end up going horribly wrong with neither giving the desired response, or we’re going to see a hatful of goals between now and the end of the season.

Two goals in seven minutes quelled any nerves. The first stemmed from a peach of a pass from Lucas. I suspect Danny Welbeck’s thought processes as the ‘keeper advanced was, “Wait from him to go to ground…wait for it…get the ball over him…yes…it’s going…oh sh*t, it’s hitting the bar…” before it brushed the underside and rolled down the net. The second relied on the Ox’s pass; inch-perfect and given the appropriate finish from Welbeck.

That was, I think, the most impressive aspect of yesterday’s performance; the passing from deep was impressive from Ox, Jeff, Lucas and Maitland-Niles. The three double-barrelled surnames played like six players in the midfield. All of them moved well, were sharp and the younger players adapted to the occasion. Maitland-Niles, in particular, is proving a genuine find in his adaptability will either be a curse or blessing in his career. At the moment, it’s getting him into the first-team squad, so he won’t be overly concerned about playing out of position.

Three-O Walcott (ho-ho)

Even after substitutions interrupted the flow of the game, Arsenal’s range of passing never faltered, even if some of the finishing left a lot to be desired. Lucas Perez probably dreams of passes like the one the Ox gave him; scores from them as well. He didn’t yesterday, but it didn’t matter; Theo had reminded everyone he was playing.

It’s a rare occasion that you score a hat-trick, only to find a team-mate grabbing the headlines. Yesterday was that moment for Theo. Not that he will mind, as his polite applause of the Southampton supporters still in the ground showed. Three striker’s goals from the England international. The first created by Welbeck showed a predatory instinct coupled with a burning desire to find the net. It came at a good time, just before the interval, effectively killing any hopes of a second-half comeback. 2 – 0 offers that hope; 3 – 0 crushed it. The iron hand in a velvet glove, such was the smoothness of our passing and movement.

Wenger summed it up in his press conference afterwards. “It was pleasant to watch,” he said, “because we had individual strong performances and collectively as well.” In particular, he agreed that the younger midfield players did “very well”. He didn’t argue that they were just like a new signing, sadly.

Theo’s trio got a passing mention, “He is a good finisher”,  but maybe Arsène feels that Danny needed to be told he’s “special” and Theo knows it already.

It was a great performance and I don’t worry or concern myself with the state of Southampton’s XI. Arsenal into the fifth round draw was the objective and for once, we achieved that with consummate ease.

There’s a new post on Dad’s Jukebox later today. A trip down Memory Lane with a difference.

’til Tomorrow.

65 thoughts on “Southampton Review: Welbeck In The Groove

  1. drazy005 says:

    Booooooom…..
    Ok Ok . should be ashames of myself but come on guys I couldn’t resist the feeling of happiness!!!

  2. Wavey says:

    Morning,

    Great performances all round yesterday. Interesting that the Ox was providing the kind of passes that we are expecting from Xhaka. It seems that those are the kind of deliveries that players like Welbeck and Perez thrive on. Southampton did give us the space to play like that, but it will be interesting to see if we are able to mix up our play in future games. If the Ox is able to flourish in that role, he and Xhaka could likely end up vying for the spot as deep-lying playmaker.

  3. Dukey says:

    Ox in the center… More of that please monsieur Wenger. One of our much improved players this season as I’m sure Damon would agree..

  4. Orson Kaert says:

    I’m still basking in the rosy glow engendered by a consummate, anxiety free Cup tie away win.

    I can imagine Walcotts early thoughts on Welbeck’s brace, “Hmm he’s looking good, I’d better get a few goals as well”. “Hat trick, that’ll do nicely”.

  5. Darius says:

    Morning all.

    I enjoyed the game and it was refreshing to see our double barrelled midfield run the show.

  6. Adam Singh says:

    Thanks YW. I’m not normally one to take too much notice of formations, but it looked liked we played more of a 4 3 3 and the balance in midfield of power, defensive and creativity was spot on. Given we’ve struggled to find the right balance in the league at times, various combinations of Xhaka, Ramsey, Elneny and Le Coq hasn’t really worked, I think there is a strong case for trying Ox in midfield now. Hell, why not all three of them. I really though they were brilliant.

  7. consolsbob says:

    That was an impressive performance. True the Saints were poor but I am always happy to see us bully teams that underperform. After all, it has happened to us all too frequently.

    More of the same please.

  8. Wavey says:

    Watford are also struggling against lower league opposition at the moment.

  9. Pete the Thirst says:

    A great victory.

    Welbeck looked sharp. Maitland… Looked much better in midfield than right back.

    Roll on the 5th round draw!

  10. Bill says:

    Greetings from snowy colorado. First chance to get up here this season and so far its one of the best snow seasons in this century. Fingers crossed for some fresh powder

    I have to admit that I did not see any of the game or have a chance to read the comments from yesterday but clearly we had an awesome game. We only had slightly more then 50% of ball possession and scored 5 goals and kept a clean sheet. It can’t get much better. I predicted doom and gloom and a repeat of the league cup game if we rotated heavily and I certainly got that one wrong. Full credit to C for his prediction that Welbeck and Theo would both play well. Hopefully we will get a good draw for the next couple of rounds and may be we can win the FA cup. Obviously Alexis will play in all of the high leverage games but It will be very interesting to see how Arsene uses Welbeck Walcott and Giroud. I hope he won’t continue to use Iwobe as a forward and there will probably not be many minutes left over for Ox and Perez upfront outside of any other cup games.

  11. Wavey says:

    I hadn’t seen the Savage/Sutton row over Wenger’s ban until now. Much as I think Savage is a twat, he is spot on and Sutton is a complete tosser. How Sutton thinks Wenger’s push was the same as DiCanio’s push is beyond me. 12 match ban? What a cock!

    Watched the highlights again and the quality of Ox’s passing was amazing. That’s not just having a good game, that’s a lad who has a real eye for a pass. If his deliveries are that good, I’m surprised we haven’t played him there more regularly. I’d be tempted to play him in the middle alongside Coquelin against Watford.

  12. Bill says:

    I need your thoughts and prayers and all of the positive mental energy you can muster for Lucky. He is a horse my wife rescued 4 months ago and fell in love with because he really is a sweet boy. When we got him he was in worse shape then almost any horse we had seen. It turns out he has almost no teeth and he can’t graze on grass or eat hay and despite trying lots of supplements he only gained a little weight at first and then hit a plateau and now is losing again. Our vet called yesterday and his liver enzymes are off the charts and he probably has irreversible liver damage and his behavior is becoming more erratic and he is developing hepatic encephalopathy. We may have to fly back home to see him and making the decision to euthanize him is looking more and more unavoidable. We have only had to make that decision one other time when one of the horses had a stroke and went blind and was injuring herself. Nothing hurts then losing a horse because the goal was to save his life and not end it. Say a prayer for Lucky.

  13. -DFS says:

    If I am still basking in the afterglow (as Orson), I have no idea how fulfilled the players featured yesterday must feel – I presume over the moon and then some.

    If that was not a clear indication Arsenal can bring players in and out of the starting eleven with ease I do not know what is. Yes, for a key game, the best eleven is employed (as in form not perception) but for any regular game facing lesser opposition we should constantly be moving squad members in and out of the starting eleven.

    It eases the mental and physical weekly burdens whilst providing belief to a wider range of players they are a key component to squad success.

    To individuals-

    Rob Holding- not a demanding game but in part that was because the kid looks so assured. Regardless of whether Mustafi or Koscielny are fit – why not chalk Holding into every 4th or 5th game, period, the stress and load is eased back for the two key CBs – he grows game by game. I have no idea why anyone would believe this impractical or unfeasible.

    Ditto anyone else I am going to mention.

    Maitland-Niles (hustle) and Reine-Adelaide (pure silk) blew me away yesterday – they looked like first team players. Surely some regular outings should come on the back of this? The thing that made me laugh yesterday is we are all familiar with the two and their potential. But I could imagine a thousand comments around the ground from the home fans asking how in hell’s name we had pulled two such accomplished youngsters out of thin air.

    Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – by some margin, best play in a long time. No presumption The Ox will suddenly produce consistently, but, perhaps a run of game in the midfield would strip some of the anxiety away. Why not give it a go?

    Danny Welbeck – I love me some Danny. Versatile, pacey, stretches defense and creates. His role through the end of season should be significant.

    Lucas Perez yesterday produced a masterclass in the role of supportive, creative squad player (see Danny Welbeck). This is why I love such players as much (if not more) than the ‘stars’. If anyone missed Perez’s contribution…

    Perez provided the sublime assist for the first Welbeck goal.

    He then found The Ox who immediately struck the long range pass for Welbeck’s second. He then passed to Welbeck who laid the ball on for Walcotts first.

    Finally, he struck the 50 yard pass out of defense to Sanchez who simply cued up Walcott for his third. Perez played a key role in four of our goals.

    That Perez has spent mot of the season, outside of a minor injury benched, has been highly questionable. Following this performance, whatever the dubious personal bias to date, Wenger will be left with little option but to feature Perez with regularity – that’s nothing but good.

  14. wilberforce says:

    Great performance can’t really add to what DFS said.

    I do sadly feel that Ox, Perez and Danny will be benched for the next game. For me thode 3 need to start but I can see Wenger picking Ramsey ahead of the Ox. This is why I can’t see us winning the league as he is unable to pick the best team and set up.

  15. Orson Kaert says:

    The next game is on Tuesday at home to Watford who, incidentally, are playing a cup tie at this very moment. That will come too soon for Welbeck who is only just returning from injury. The same could apply to Walcott, who played the whole game, again returning from injury.

    Much as I would like to see one of the younger players instead of Ramsey, I can’t see Wenger picking either Maitland-Niles or Reine-Adelaide for a second game in such quick succession.

  16. michael says:

    What a pleasure to watch a game I thought would be a disaster. Wholesale rotation has in the past looked like the players had only just met….I was wrong, completely.
    The Ox, well what a performance, but to single out any player really is unfair to others, a dominant display, more of the same please.

    Bill, I don’t do prayers but sincerely hope your horse comes through, your mrs is a bit of a saint with her rescuing them, a shame that its necessary.

  17. Bill says:

    DFS

    Your hyper rotation worked yesterday but over the years we have had an occasional game like the one yesterday more times then we can count on all of yours and mine and yogi’s fingers and toes and it’s very rarely been repeatable. Ox has played more then 1000 minutes this season and more then 10,000 minutes in the last 5 years and we have almost no evidence to suggest that he will repeat what he did yesterday. I remember the incredible excitement we had without our teams in the Carling Cup years.

  18. -DFS says:

    Wilberforce and Orson –

    Yes, in all likelihood Wenger will drop the majority of who featured yesterday – Arsene will be Arsene.

    I know I grind on rotation, but some miss that by definition I am (positively) not advocating for example, Perez gets a start the next 6 games.

    All I pose is, via the quality of depth we have at our disposal to rotate a few players for virtually any given game. Gibbs for Monreal. Perez for The Ox (if played forward). Holding for Kos or Mustafi etc. etc. etc.

    Yesterday, Maitland-Niles (tackles) and Reine-Adelaide (dribbles) stats-wise were phenomenal, as was Perez (through balls).

    We should be able to intimidate the hell out of any number of teams if we lead the charge in utliizing depth- we can endlessly shape shift if we want to.

    If nothing else, this throws opponents. When faced with a less familiar team, the natural inclination of the opposition is to stand off a little and wait to see how we play. If we take the game to them as yesterday, were up a goal (or two) before they have the measure of what they are facing.

  19. Bill says:

    You can’t help but get excited by a result like yesterday but over the years running out a completely changed team like the one yesterday against a good team has been unsuccessful a lot more often then not

  20. Wavey says:

    Watford have looked poor all game and have now conceded. Could be another PL scalp.

  21. -DFS says:

    Bill –

    Actually, not really my ‘hyper rotation’ at all.

    I advocate a couple of players every game, not wholesale (10 player) changes.

    The advantage management had yesterday, was they knew well in advance several key Southampton players were injured and Puel was opting for youth. All we had to do was match like for like and our depth of talent would out.

    By the by, my personal praise for The Ox was measured…”no presumption The Ox will produce consistently but….”

  22. Bill says:

    DFS.

    Look back at the teams that have been used this season. Alexis and Kos have played most games but we only have 3 outfield players in the top 100 in terms of league minutes played this season. Perez has not gotten as many minutes as everyone wanted but other then that the reality is that we do rotate a lot.

    Alexis needs to play in the high leverage games but and Theo and welbeck certainly put themselves back into the rotation and will challenge Giroud for minutes upfront. Xhaka elneny and Le coq have rotated a lot. Etc etc etc.

  23. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    We also haven’t seen Ox in that role very often. Not going over the top, but the quality of the deliveries he was providing yesterday were not a fluke. He clearly has it in him to deliver that level of quality and he was doing it time after time. He may not get as much space to do that against other teams, but he will surely get some chances in each game from the deeper position.
    We have seen him do well in spells with his running, but I really didn’t know he had that ability to deliver quality balls in him. The odd cross has looked good in the past, but yesterday it was ball after ball.

  24. Wavey says:

    A good time to play Watford? As long as we don’t go in with the view that they are cannon fodder.

  25. Bill says:

    Thanks Wavey. He won’t last very long if he can’t eat much and he will suffer. Horses are very big animals and an encephalopathic horse can is dangerous to the humans who take care of him. I can make myself be careful but my wife is the one who spends more time with them when I am at work and she can’t control herself. She will go into his stall and love on him no matter what.

  26. Orsen Kaert says:

    Wavey,

    That’s up to the manager, it’s his job to set the tone of the teams performance.

    Too often we’ve heard him talk about starting quickly and taking control, but it seems the team don’t hear the same words.

  27. Bill says:

    Almost none of our first 11 has played hardly any minutes in the league cup or FA cup games. The idea that we don’t rotate and we over use players just does not meet a reality test.

    See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully we can play well against Watford and find some way to much 3 points off of Chelsea.

  28. Orsen Kaert says:

    Bill,

    It’s very sad, and maybe easy for me to say from a distance, but when the prognosis is so bad surely the only humane option is to have the horse put down.

    Bill, you and your wife will have ample time to get over the loss, but Lucky will spend what ever time he has left in bewilderment and pain.

  29. C says:

    Bill,

    I certainly send my thoughts and prayers to your family my friend. I know you have spoken about you and your wife’s love of horses on several occassions.

  30. Wavey says:

    Missed two penalties in the dying minutes as well.

  31. C says:

    Orson Kaert,

    The interesting thing is that Arsene made reference in his post match quotes about Adelaide, Maitland-Niles and Iwobi providing cover for Xhaka being out. Now I know some will say that it was recency effect, but typically Arsene talks about bringing them along slowly. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see one of them play in that role in one of the next 3 matches.

  32. C says:

    For me the biggest take away outside of front 3 who were simply of a different class yesterday was how confident and disciplined the midfield 3 of Ox, Maitland-Niles and Adelaide were. Maitland-Niles showed why he is so highly thought of in midfield, seemingly covering for everybody(at times even in our own box) while still having the most touches and passes while rarely ever being out of position. That Ox reminded me of the one we saw against Milan and certainly something to build on for his confidence. Adelaide might have some of the best feet at Arsenal and that is no exaggeration, watch how even when pressured he simply shifted the ball created time and space then either brushed aside the midfielder and glided past him. Yes Southampton were a changed side but Claise and Hojberg are quality players that have done it at CL clubs and looked outclassed by our young French midfielder.

    Well done boys well done and more of the same please.

  33. C says:

    Wavey,

    I wouldn’t write off Watford, they have signed Niang and Zarate and I think both will go straight into the team on the flanks. Both are more than capable of being difference makers and changing Watford for the better.

  34. Orsen Kaert says:

    The one big difference, as far as I’m concerned, was that the midfield trio of The Ox, Maitland-Niles and Reine Adelaide were able to get the ball forward quickly as they were free of Ramsey’s stifling presence. It’s his multiple touches and lateral or reverse passes that slow everything down. It seems obvious that his speed of thought just does not match up to that of his younger team-mates.

  35. C says:

    Just like that Payet is off to Marseille for 25m

    O yea and Federer wins the Aussie! First player in tennis history to win 3 Championships 5 times. What a player!

  36. HenryB says:

    Bill,

    I have just caught up with the comments and am really sorry to hear of your poor horse’s chronic liver problems. I have had horse’s of my own, but none have suffered from hepatic encephalopathy
    which seems a horrific disease, and probably caused by the previous owners, whoever they might have been.
    It will be terrible for you and your wife, and it is always difficult to make the decision to euthanize any animal (I have been there and it is a dreadful feeling) but any such decision must be made in the best interests of the animal, and it’s quality of life.

    When the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood and they are wrecking the brain – there is only one decision.
    You have my best wishes — just keep your chin up, as you made the last months of the horse’s life so much better for rescuing him.

  37. Wavey says:

    C,

    Hoping for a subdued Watford following their FA Cup defeat. The new boys won’t have had much chance to settle in to the team either. They may add something else, but they won’t have had much time to develop a rapport with new team mates.

  38. Orsen Kaert says:

    Wavey,

    It’s indicative of Arsenal’s penchant for flattering to deceive that we are worrying about a lesser side signing couple of relatively untested players and the chances of them seriously affecting our chances of beating them.

    While not taking anything for granted we should have the class to overcome them….but you never can tell.

  39. C says:

    Wavey,

    You are so very right, but we also know that we have seen clubs and boosted by transfers. I hope for a subdued Watford but wouldn’t be surprised to see the other option.

  40. C says:

    I’m still buzzing from the performance though. Who would have thought that even after his lay-off, Theo is still 2nd on the team with 14 goals in all competitions only behind Sanchez’s 17 and 4 more than Giroud’s 10.

    As somebody noted,Perez didn’t score a goal but my God he is a player. Clever and quick thinking, while showing an eye for goal but equally of a pass. He is certainly making it hard to keep him from being on the pitch more and more.

  41. King2 says:

    wilberforce,

    Wilberforce
    And I suppose you can! Must have missed that world renowned coach called Wilberforce. Perpetual doom mongers like you wallow in negativity. You always think you know best, in your dreams. We all have differing opinions about players,but we also have the sense and humility to realise the Manager knows his players and their potential than we do.

  42. C says:

    Elneny has been ruled out of Egypt’s match tonight with an injury which spells the end of Egypt’s ACN more than likely. Not sure the injury or how long just that he has been ruled out.

  43. Wavey says:

    Orsen Kaert,

    Goes back to general concerns about the consistency of the team. We can be on a roll and still drop a clanger against a team we probably should be beating. It’s not unique to Arsenal, but we do seem to be a lot better at it than some.

  44. Wavey says:

    League goals:

    Sanchez 15
    Walcott 8
    Giroud 7

    Certainly not a bad return so far with nearly half the season left.

  45. Wavey says:

    C,

    We’ve scored 50 goals in the League so far this season, which isn’t too shabby at all. Chelsea set such a pace after losing to us that they have made everyone else look poor. We could well be looking at one of our highest scoring seasons in the league for some time, especially if Welbeck and Perez start to chip in.
    I suppose it doesn’t make much difference if you aren’t actually winning the league though.

  46. Aaron says:

    Bill,

    Will do mate!

    My sister and her husband take in down but not out horses and animals too.

    Big hearts you and the Mrs. have.

  47. Wavey says:

    Palace have scored more goals (30) than everyone up to 12th place, but have conceded 41.

  48. Orson Kaert says:

    ….and the giant killing goes on, Sutton United 1 – 0 Leeds United

  49. andy1886 says:

    King2,

    Full credit to Bouldy for a great job was Arsene was sidelined 😉

    Bill, fingers crossed but I know that you’ll do whatever is best for Lucky. We are involved with our local greyhound rescue centre and it’s always terribly sad when you lose one no matter how hard you try.

  50. andy1886 says:

    Watford out and Sutton beat Leeds 🙂

  51. C says:

    ,

    Yup, we have scored more, we just have to keep on winning. I do think that this performance is something to build on though simply because we got to see Welbeck, Perez and Theo make such a difference and it provides us with that bit more than jus Sanchez and GIroud (when on a purple patch). It gives us options especially in the front 3. Sanchez/Welbeck/Theo would be tremendous if Welbeck can find consistency in his goal scoring but I also would love to see Perez/Sanchz/Theo because that 3 has goals in them and with Sanchez and Perez you have players that are always up for the fight and with that would help push the team. Giroud will always have a place because we know he can get goals in bursts and I think more so than ever this team is set up for him to be a super impact sub . The options for goals are there, we just need to continue winning and hope that Chelsea slip up over the course of the 2nd half of the season.

  52. Wavey says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Missed that one. Some interesting names in the draw for tomorrow night. I hope the non-league clubs get big names away. The money from ties like that could set them up for a long time.

  53. -DFS says:

    Bill –

    Sorry but I think you just (wilfully) miss the point again and again.

    I do not particularly care what minutes Sanchez or Koscielny have played – I don’t think the average PL team is any yardstick to measure Arsenal against.

    All I promote is if you can lessen the load on any player by rotating him in and out of the team by varying degrees, lessening injuries and fatigue – what is the downside?

    If we were rotating players with calamitous results, you might have a point.

    But our flaw is not rotation but the mental game, the lack of preparation, not the lack of talent at out disposal.

  54. -DFS says:

    Several posters made some key points yesterday.

    Whatever the reasons (I am sure numerous) we took the field in a buoyant and focused mood. If that simple foundation was built into every game we’d be a handful on a regular basis for any opponent. Not exactly high concept, but something beyond our grasp?

    The second thing which struck was several players exhibited a relaxed confidence. I asked myself why throughout the game and came to a simple conclusion.

    We are all aware players are given little in terms of tactics or even pre-game talk. While we are not privy to specifics we do know the thrust is simply to go out and create in an organic manner.

    That to large degree goes out the window with ten players rotated – three youngsters and others used in unfamiliar positions- a more defined preparation is demanded.

    I would bet each player was given a more detailed than usual briefing of his responsibilities, the role he would play, who he would rely on and who to link with. The team understood what they were tasked with, the overall intent remained intact. Everyone was on the front foot looking to break, knowing a player would be up field looking in turn to receive the pass.

    Perhaps it was happenstance but those were my takeaways.

    If, from the first whistle we are ‘in the moment’, if we play with a greater specificity concerning roles and link play, it would pay huge dividends.

  55. Wavey says:

    -DFS,

    It’s an interesting thought. In the past we have seen the kids come out for a League Cup and play more experienced teams off the pitch. I’d generally thought they were up for it and therefore playing their hearts out. Maybe they were also a bit more prepared and therefore knew what their jobs were from the kick off.
    Players like Alexis and Ozil can be told to just go out and do their stuff, as players like Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Van Persie could before them. Players like Ox, Iwobi and the like may need more direction. For a game like yesterday’s where young players were brought in and players like Ox were played in specific roles there would have been more specific instructions. Maybe that gives those players the direction they need to play at a high tempo right from the off.

  56. Damon says:

    Dukey:
    Ox in the center… More of that please monsieur Wenger. One of our much improved players this season as I’m sure Damon would agree..

    I’d say he had a stand out game yesterday. Nothing more

    When he puts together seven games out of ten like that without any calamitous howlers in the other three, then we can talk about him being much improved from last season

  57. Arsetralian says:

    King2,

    Haha true
    If AFC win it is the players we picked
    If AFC win well we need another manager who of course would have recruited, trained and picked those players to play even more efficiently
    If AFC lose…change change now goddam it

    I see the similarly patient LFC fans demand Top 4 otherwise Klopp should be fired

    The more things change…the more they stay the same. Or some such Latin or French

    I do appreciate some like YW clearly have wanted change for years and that is fair enough. I respect that but please I have not read ONE positive comment about the manager from the miserablists (copyright Finnish I believe)

    Don’t worry we know you still want change but it won’t kill you

  58. -DFS says:

    Wavey –

    Just speculating to a degree, but it’s what struck me. We looked organized yet relaxed. I pose the relaxed air of the players sprang from possessing a clear (perhaps even basic) idea of what we were trying to accomplish.

    You do have a point concerning youthful exhuberance, naturally.

    However, you also touched on a player that thrived in the game, Oxlade Chamberlain. He as well as Perez (even Walcott playing out of defense etc) all seemed to have been tasked with executing through balls and longer passes, creating the breakaway opportunity …and players were primed to meet the pass (cue Welbeck, later Sanchez etc).

    On Saturday, there was good fortune in all that ‘clicked’. But, whichever way (happenstance or not), I hope there is a really deep dive by everyone to analyze the specifics of what made us tick, because there was excellence in terms of individual and team performance on view.

    I’m still buzzing.

  59. Wavey says:

    Damon,

    Interesting that the match commentators on the channel I watched (think it was Fox) were highlighting that Ox is having his best season for Arsenal. He has already scored as many goals as his previous best. On that and assists this season is much improved on previous ones.

    I must admit, I hadn’t really picked up on it either.

  60. Wavey says:

    -DFS,

    It did appear that they came out with more purpose. Let’s hope we similarly put Watford to the sword.

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