Arsenal 3 – 1 Plymouth

I know Dev enjoys writing a thorough post-match analysis normally but this evening you will have to make do with my briefer summary. The first half was relatively exciting. Plymouth brought their whole town's population to the Emirates and were making all the noise. It was Arsenal making most of the chances, however. Good efforts came from Van Persie, Bendtner and Eboue; they should have scored but had their shots well saved. Eboue also did well to find Gallas whose shot on target was saved yet again.

Plymouth had a few chances from set-pieces but our defence was rarely troubled - Gallas and particularly Djourou both had excellent games. Djourou is impressing more and more as time passes and you can't see Kolo coming back into the team easily as a result of this. I wonder whether this might persuade him to think that his future lays at another team.

We scored nice and early in the second half. A 49th minute corner from Nasri found Van Persie in the middle of the box and he stooped low to head high into the roof of the net. RVP was the provider for the second goal which came just 2 minutes later. A clever turn and cross found Bendtner in the middle for a tap-in, although the goal has since been credited as an own goal. I couldn't see it from where I was sitting so we'll just have to take people's word for it that it was an OG. No, I am not Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal then did what they do best - invite teams back into the game from a two-goal lead. In the 53rd minute a Plymouth free-kick eventually found Gray on the edge of our area, who crossed the ball for a comfortable tap-in for Duguid. I love how I talk about these players like I have any idea who they are. The truth is that it doesn't matter who they are - we keep letting 'them' score these soft goals (Villa, Liverpool, Boro are recent games that spring to mind) and it has got to stop.

It took until the 84th minute to make the game safe. Nasri chipped a delightful through-ball for RVP whose inital lob was saved, but he managed to score from the rebound. That was that. Other incidents from the game include a three-week injury to Silvestre. Kieran Gibbs came on in his place in the first half and was excellent. Arsenal have a knack of grooming top-class left backs (C*le, Clichy etc) and Gibbs looks to be another. Vela came on for Eboue for the last 20 minutes and looked sharp too.

I think it is important to put things into context here. Overall we were good today. We will not forget this was against Championship opposition. We still need to improve overall and we still need to buy. However you can only play what is in front of you and today that was Plymouth. We played well and now progress into the next round of the FA Cup, our most realistic hope of silverware this season, and something Arsene is evidently taking more seriously this season than last. Let us hope for a favourable draw in the next round.

In terms of transfers, things are being kept on the d-lo at the club as usual. Arteta and Arshavin were mentioned during a press-conference in the week but the replies sought after by the press were not received. I'm still hoping to see Arteta join us but Arsene's response to this potential transfer was very vague. I'll leave it to WOA's readers to continue the debate(s) about who will be coming and going...

Have a good evening.]]>

  • Cappz

    Carlos Vela is the answer to all our attacking problems. He is so attacking and dangerous, it’s exciting.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[He's definitely not the answer to all of our problems.

    And I don't understand Wenger's persistance to play him at LM. He's only getting a few minutes and we were in a decent position in the game when he was introduced. I was hoping to see him at RM, cutting across. He's got an eye for goal and its harder for a left footed player to score from LM. It's much easier from RM. How Wenger finds that so hard to understand is beyond me. Vela was constantly losing the ball in the final third. I'm convinced he would have found it easier at RM. But the point I'm trying to make here is that we have a strange inability to try different formations within a game. Wenger seems very reluctant to change it up during a game. Sometimes it's absolutely necessary, but he still decides against it. I really think he needs to change a small part of his attitude. He should make those small changes in formation during a game. Mix it up. It'll give the opponents a hard time too, since they'll have to adapt.]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[All-in-all a decent game... Still unsure how 8,000 or so Plymouth supporters made it feel like an away game 4 us!
    Our defense was pretty gud...the Gallas/Djourou partnership was good, Sagna gave his all as usual and Gibbs' defensive game is improving.]]>

  • Fabrez

    (Sry bout my comment in parts. Doin it on my mobile lol) Our midfield worked hard and gave an ok performance. Arsene says Bendtner is capable down the wings! What? He aint even that good up front! :S VP was class…wud love 2 c that more often!

  • Fabrez

    Vela looked dangerous for the time he was on…so positives to take from the game. Wrt our youth policy, players like Cesc won’t b at a Club that is content with moderate success. We r gonna have trouble attracting experienced players & can lose some too!

  • zaheer

    What do you guys think about the N’Zogbia link?

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[He's a good player. Likes to make attacking runs and beat his man. That quality lacks in most of our players and the attacking players don't do it well enough, consistently enough.

    But I can't see us signing him, unless its meant to replace Silvestre as the no.2 LB. I'm not sure Nzogbia would want to play as anything but an attacking player. And at the moment we've got enough bodies there. I could only imagine him being signed if one of the midfielders (Eboue) was sold etc. He's definitely better than Eboue but somehow I still don't fancy him as an Arsenal player. I think there are better players out there, I'd rather have.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog Kieran Delaney

    < ![CDATA[Got home yesterday and despaired - Bendtner is the worst player I've seen in an Arsenal shirt for as long as I've been going to the Arse.

    I also don't understand the playing Vela on the wing thing - I suspect it's because of his - but he's a striker for heavens sake!!

    As for Gibbs, the last three times I've seen him play he's been at fault for an oppositions goal - no different here. He's just not defensive minded enough for left back. He has excellent place and control and likes to get forward, but unlike Cashley and Clichey he has no defensive prowess to speak of. His pace helps him out sometimes but from my limited view it certainly looked like he let his player go.

    The last thing we need is new defensive players who can't head the ball either, the current back four struggle with set pieces as it is.

    Other than those few quibbles the Arsenal really stepped up to the plate and dug deep. We looked and felt like we believed and Van Persie surprised me by actually doing a relatively good job as captain.

    Excellent all round!

    (And on the subject of transfers Arsenal appear to have been linked with Alonso again! When will the speculation end!)]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog Kieran Delaney

    < ![CDATA[Oh and Aaron Ramsey. Why the fuck doesn't Wenger play him week in week out he was awesome! Brilliance!

    Did catch me think a few times yesterday, why buy anyone, why not just play the young lad alongside Cesc?! Either way I'm bouyed by his performance it was great.]]>

  • AJ

    Just to throw this into the mix, apparently Wenger wants to buy Arshavin but the board (who have always said they would back him with large transfer budgets) are saying no and won’t give him that much money, who knows whats going on. As for us being linked with Alonso, liverpool won’t sell him now and to be honest who in their right frame of mind would want to leave the league leaders at this point in time for a club who are most proberbly going to be battling it out for fourth.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I'm not looking forward to us signing Arshavin for some reason.

    I don't think he's all that special. I remember during the Euros, Murinho was point blank as usual, and said that he wouldn't want players who turn it on for one day and go missing the next, talking about Arshavin.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Didn't see the game yestereday but am very pleased with the result. Glad we managed to win convinsingly too, albeit against a lower league team. RVP is becoming an very important player for us, probably our most reliable goal-scoring outlet.

    The away visit to Cardiff should be an interesting return for Aaron Ramsey too, hope he's given the chance to play and, more importantly, play well. It wont be an easy game, but a win is certainly within reach for Arsenal.

    As for who Arsene may sign this month, hopefully it'll be someone thats good enough to play for our club right now, as opposed to a player who has to be developed and given time. But something tells me that at best we'll sign 1, maybe2 players and that it, Arsene will probably keep faith with the current crop of players.

    Didn't Wenger say he's hoping to integrate Amaury Bischoff into the first team midfield in the latter-half of the season, once he overcomes his injury problems? Not seen or heard much about him apart for a few reserve game performances. Be interesting to see what he can do.]]>

  • http://yahoomail.com herry

    hey wat abt coquelin