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This ain’t no Disco man!!!

December 23, 2012

With many parts of the Country being flooded by torrential rain . Arsenal and their Army of supporters were up early due to 12.45 kick-off and travelled to the North West, Greater Manchester town of Wigan.  Maybe due to the match being televised it survived being called off due to the weather.

A cold/rainy winters day up north, what Arsenal would turn up!

The team was : Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski. Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Arsene kept faith with the side that beat Reading 5-2. I love that score, so in case any Spuds supporters happen to read this, I’ll say it again (5-2). With our match against the Spammers called off due to the those fine, upstanding citizens from the London Underground union, Arsenal have a whole week after this match to recover, maybe that was in Arsene’s thinking. Giroud and Rosicky were missing due to both being ill.

Wigan took up a more defensive approach to the game, though you wouldn’t have thought so after 90 mins. The first half was typical of how Arsenal have played this season. the whole side looked disjointed for me. We made a few chances but nothing great. Early chance for Oxo that was well saved by Al Habsi, couple of tame efforts from Podolski well wide or high. Theo not getting much service, but also not really looking for the ball. The best chance for Theo was on the half-hour side stepping his marked yet his shot was blocked.

Then came the moment when Jack made a superb tackle and yet somehow it warranted a booking from the referee. The home crowd went mad, not that there were many of them. You’d think Jack had just sawed the Wigan players legs off beneath the knees, not make a perfectly timed tackle. This even had the commentator ranting about what colour card the ref was going show. Replays clearly showed it was a superb tackle. Maybe knowing they have the aid of replays these commentators really should wait before making pratts of themselves. The most annoying thing of the first half was the wankfest about how Wigan were playing by Niall Quinn. Just how many times do you have to repeat yourself Niall?

Podolski, Chamberlain and Theo were poor in first half, so I suppose with eight v eleven we did as well as could be expected. Mind you Sagna was not exactly setting the world on fire.

Wigan had done a number on us. Fought like tigers the whole half, got in amongst us put shots and crosses in as often as they could, but caused few problems A half best forgotten for Arsenal and easy to forget. Apparently 22 crosses were made, mostly by Wigan and only two completed.

Second half. Maybe some strong words in the dressing room, like “Oxo put your kit on you can play this half” cause suddenly from the start of the half Oxo looked interested. Oxo had a good run and cross followed by a another good pull back to set up Theo, whose shot was well saved by Al Habsi. Mind you Theo should have scored and gave the keeper no chance to make the save. Free kick for Arsenal, taken by Podolski, straight into wall, sums his performance up.

Gibbs slides the ball into Theo who gets in front of Beausejour  a tangle of legs and the defender pushes Theo to the ground. PENALTY ref!!!! Yes!!  It’s given. The task of putting Arsenal 1-0 up is left to Arteta. Scorer of two pens against WBA and a last-minute penalty miss against Fulham. Cool! Calm! Wet! Yet hair still perfectly in place, up stepped the Spaniard, put the ball to his right and it’s 1-0 to the Arsenal!!!!

Right that’s it!!!  Arsenal 1-0 up, time to pack up shop.  Theo’s free kick over the bar was just about the only shot Arsenal had after the penalty. Time to just sit back, hand out the invites for Wigan to come forward. Pass, pass, pass give the ball away. Put pressure on ourselves by trying to play out of defence which was just handing back play to Wigan. When we did finally play the long ball out of defence, no one was able to hold it up, so it came straight back. I like passing football, but at times you need to just clear the ball and you need someone who can fight when it comes clear and keep hold of the ball.

Pressure building from Wigan. Arsenal were giving the ball away far too cheaply. As Arsenal invited the Wigan pressure the defence battled well, last-ditch tackles and all that. When Wigan did get through Szczesny was superb to keep them out. One great stop from Kone. I suppose what summed it up for me was in one Wigan attack we had three chances to clear and yet the could not, the last being a half-hearted attempt to clear by Sagna, who just flipped at the ball and gave it straight back to Wigan on the edge of the area.

Arteta, Cazorla and Jack were fighting for the cause all done well. Gibbs did well though still the odd lapse in positioning. Also his crossing at times left a lot to be desired though he did supply a good pass for Theo for the penalty. The BFG and TV5 also did well, though got lucky at times. Still on a cold, rainy day up North, to come away with three points is all you need. It’s that strange anomaly that surrounds Arsenal, where we can win 5-2 at Reading and “it’s only Reading” and yet Man City struggle to score against the very same side five days later at home for 91 mins and yet when they scrape a 1-0 victory “That’s what champions are made of” No! That’s what the English media is made of.

Not the greatest performance you will ever see Not the slickest football there will ever be.  So with Spuds only drawing at home to Stoke RFC Arsenal go into Christmas third in table on +GD and with two more holiday games to come, home to the Barcodes and following the BSM marching to see the Saints things could be looking good at the start of 2013. However a word of warning, this is ARSENAL!!! The ride is always bumpy and ain’t no disco man!!!

Last season TH14 came back in January. The atmosphere inside the Emirates changed and it was brilliant at almost every game till the end of the season, helped propel us to third in table. The crowd mood changed and the support started to get behind the team. Hoping for some of that from now on.

This crazy situation that had morphed where Arsenal supporters now fall into three categories AKB, WOB or somewhere in the middle is causing problems. It’s in our own interests to get behind the team and back them. Cut out the petty squabbling. Opinions are fine, every has them, everyone entitled to them. Opinions can be debated, but once the abuse comes in it’s all a gets a bit childish. Who wants to argue with someone calling you a c**t or calling the players/manager c**ts or alike.  I was once told when you resort to abuse you’re losing the argument.

Guy/s wants to hold up a banner about Arsene, then that’s his/their choice, let him/them get on with it, time will tell how right or wrong he/they will be. It’s like marching to the ground if that’s what some supporters want to do and there is enough of them and they feel strongly about it, then let them do what they want. I don’t agree with either, but not going to make too much fuss about stopping them.

I saw a tweet yesterday that summed it up for me “Some people who are being negative need 2 take a look at themselves, be honest about what their motives are & cheer up!”

You make your choices and form your opinions. The problem is once you have your opinion and put it out there on social networking, it’s hard to take it back. If things change you’ll end up looking pretty silly. Then it’s like no matter what you have to stand your ground. I do wonder if people at times when people form opinions if they are actually forming their own, or just sheep following people who have 1000’s of twitter followers, twitter media journalist or heads of protest of fans groups.

Thus rather than look silly would they rather stand their ground – see Arsenal lose, fail and the manager get sacked so they can “see I told you so” rather than just suck it up.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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