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A few thoughts on the West Bromwich Albion match

November 30, 2014

Morning. Arsenal travelled to WBA having made their worse start to a league season since I was twenty-five years old and let me tell you, that’s a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. 🙂 Arsene Wenger made a few changes to the side leaving Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench. Welbeck was passed fit, but being played wide as Giroud also starting and Sanchez were also in the eleven. Koscielny was a welcome return and Nacho moved to left back, which also meant Gibbs would sit the game out on the bench. Lots of gloom on Twitter with Welbeck being moved out wide.  As usual I prefer to wait till the games over to find fault, if any with team selection. Arsenal played plenty of football in the first half,  but once again missed too many chances, made up of the wrong ball, to many passes when not needed, missing chances that they should do better with and shots that could best be described as back passes to the keeper, just like against United last week.  Sanchez and Cazorla had a shots straight at Foster and when Foster lost out to Giroud the Arsenal forward managed only to put the ball right across the face of the goal from a tight angle and not one Arsenal player was there to take advantage. Aaron Ramsey was then put in by Cazorla yet he screwed his shot wide when again the Aaron of last season would have scored. Then another injury – this time for Monreal as he went off to be replaced by Gibbs. Arsenal  got a free kick that Sanchez hit straight into the wall and then, with the ball still alive , Ramsey put a lovely ball through to Welbeck who hit his shot right at the Foster. Good save or bad finish?? Then it was Cazorla’s turn again to bring a save out of Foster. Half time comes, it’s 0-0 and Arsenal should be leading but are guilty of wasting too many chances and we’ve been here before. Second half A WBA break sees Berahino flagged offside by the assistant and Arsenal get lucky, maybe a bit of luck we deserve for once. A mad scramble in WBA area then sees Ramsey and Cazorla both having chances and not taking them. Then Gibbs crossed about two feet off the ground and saw the ball just sail over Cazorla’s’s head. Cazorla then had a great run down the left-wing, leaving his marker for dead and got to the bye line where he put in a perfect cross right onto Welbeck’s  head – one-nil – Arsenal are in front. Berahino hits the bar with a header – close! With time running out and WBA pressing for an equaliser Arsenal have a chance of a couple of breakaways, yet on both occasions Ramsey made the wrong choice and Sanchez did not look happy. Arsenal see the last few minutes out, the referee blows the final whistle, Arsenal win and get a valuable three points. Get in!!! That’ll do for me. Arsenal had forty shots in the last two league matches against United and WBA yet only scored TWO goals. Now it’s great that we won the match and 1-0 to the Arsenal has a ring about it but this was another match where missed chances could have cost us dear. The team is still not firing on all cylinders.  Let’s accept the victory, but also keep it real that we are still not near where we should be. WBA are clearly not playing well and beatable but we made very hard work of a match we should have won by a bigger margin. Arsenal have quite a lot of very good players and injuries are not helping right now, but things are simply not clicking. Normally Arsenal’s passing game over the Arsene years has been one of our strengths yet this season and last, if we’re honest is not working correctly and how many times do we give the ball away to our opponents. This was always a big fear for our opponents, in that, they knew we would have the ball for long periods of time and they would have to work hard to get the ball back. However, this and last season we’re giving our opponents the ball back far too cheaply, thus, in turn, giving them hope and chances. All the cogs in the wheel need to start working, getting our passing back up to speed, getting from front to back a lot quicker and not taking fifty passes to do this. Having Koscielny back made the defence look a far better and safer. The guy’s a total boss and there can be no doubt Mertesacker benefits from his presence. Chambers had a really good game, Flamini did not do anything  special, he just did what he job entailed, which for me meant he had a very good game. Giroud also did well, some good hold up play and nice touches though he will look cumbersome at times. Sanchez as always was everywhere and a threat, oh I do enjoy watching him play. Martinez did not look out-of-place, though he did not have a great deal to do, what he did was good. I though Ramsey was better, slowly getting his game back together so let’s not knock the lad for the sake of it. I also thought Welbeck played well in the match. Gibbs is also starting to become the player I think we all knew he could be, look bigger, stronger and much more confident. All in all a very welcome three points for Arsenal in the current climate surrounding the club and hopefully this victory with the win v Dortmund the team will gain encouragement and to push on in our next seven games up till the New Year. Finally, there was lots a chatter on twitter about the banner held up by fans in the Arsenal end after the match finished. Some will like it, some will not, but surely it’s everybody’s right to air their view and if this is what the people who held it up are thinking then let them get on with it.  By holding it up after a victory does show that even after a win, these fans are not fickle and sticking by what they feel and have felt for sometime. It clearly worked as last night and today the media have picked up on the banner and highlighting that some fans want Arsene to leave. In all my years supporting Arsenal though I have never known anything like what I am seeing and hearing now from our supporters arguing with each other. We all support the same club, we all have differing opinions but we all want the same thing, Arsenal to challenge and win things, so while our opinions may differ and there is plenty of debate to be had, why is there so much abuse being thrown around? There are some people who I feel have an opinion and then cannot deviate from that opinion once it’s out there, so it looks to me like all that happens is a hole is simply being dug deeper and deeper, in turn getting angrier and angrier and then abusive, which in most cases resorting to abuse is tantamount to losing an argument.  If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, no shame in admitting it. It what makes you grow and I can also have my eyes opened by other people opinions. I’m not going to abuse people (our manager) well part from Adrian Chile’s and ITV crew and a few football experts 🙂 Happy days @harlowgooner  

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