Arsenal 4 – 0 Wigan…. The Verminator Strikes…

Arsenal 4 – 0 Wigan

Firstly, major apologies for the lack of Match Day Prview and Match Day Live this weekend… With three of my closest friends holding important events on Friday and Saturday, it was virtually impossible to get any access to the net and as a result, missed out on our usual match day discussions… I did however manage to make it down to the game – for what was a great day out at the Emirates…

Time for a match report! Okay, let’s start off with the team that started today:


Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Song – Diaby

Eboue – Cesc – Eduardo

Van Persie

Rosicky and Bendtner were on the bench along with the usual suspects Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs, Silvestre and substitute goal keeper Szczesny.

We continued with our 4-3-3 formation, which we look like we’re adapting too well. There was a good feeling around the ground pre-game, with the only disappointment being the lack of Wigan fans… with only a couple of hundred turning up and the result showed why the support didn’t come from the away team.

You could tell from the kick off that we were determined to put on a show, and we started on fire. Cesc playing in Clichy behind their right back and if their defender hadn’t cut it out, it would have been 1-0 to the home team. You could sense a goal was coming soon and the continual fouling by Wigan allowed us to have several free kicks around the edge of the area. Van Persie came very very close and he really is due a free kick soon. We were definitely the better team and really dominated the proceedings… Eboue nearly had the ball in the back of the net but hand balled in the process to earn himself a yellow card.

Wigan were very physical and the persistent fouls on Cesc, the sandwich of Van Persie, an elbow on Gallas just three highlights into the 18 or 19 fouls they had throughout the game.

The first goal came through a set piece – something that we’re getting much better at this season, as Van Persie curled an excellent corner into the box and who was there? None other than our new Summer signing Thomas Vermaelen. What a signing. He rose beyond his size suggests above two Wigan players to glance the ball into the net. Excellent stuff.

Shortly after, some excellent play from Van Persie saw Eboue in one on one with the keeper, and it was agonizingly close to 2-0. But the half ended with a spell of pressure from Wigan as they tried to get an equaliser before half time. Our play was a little bit sketchy defensively, and a few corners and goal mouth scrambles did have me a little worried.

But we were always creating chances and we went straight down the other end and some brilliant play from Eduardo showed Van Persie in but saved by the keeper. A crazy moment later saw Van Persie and Eduardo both free in the box, both onside and both unmarked. Van Persie was the man in possession and it seemed easy to score than to miss. But with his back to goal, Van Persie elected to shoot on the swivel and instead of a quick pass to Eduardo to finish, the ball
went wide.

At half time, at 1-0, we knew we had to score another – we hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the Premiership this season.

The second goal came when top scorer Vermalen wondered forward exchanging headers with Song and then passes with Eboue before a pinpoint shot from outside of the area, top left hand corner, absolutely brilliant goal… 2-0 to the Arsenal. 2 quickly turned into 3 as Wigan crumbled and some good play from Clichy, come in from the left to claim a loose ball set up Eduardo who on the second attempt scored a goal, although Emmanuel Eboue also claimed it which is yet to be decided.

At this point, it was awesome football. Alex Song showing some very good dribbling skills with a mesmerizing run going past 4 players but hitting the post. Chances were coming in the bucket load and Eduardo could have had another one had Kirkland not been so astute. Eduardo and Eboue were taken off and Rosicky and Bendtner had a little run out (Ramsey for Diaby also happened earlier on) and Wigan looked like they wanted one back with a goal being disallowed for offside.

And just to top it all off, Cesc Fabregas managed to get a goal on the stroke of full time, when Bendtner crossed accurately and Cesc finished well, maybe with a cheeky back heel? It was hard to tell.

The manager was pleased about the performance and especially that of Vermaelen and had this to say:

“I am quite crazy but perhaps not enough [for that]. What is good since the beginning of the season is that we have scored goals. We scored four today but we could have scored more. Even in the away games  – Man United and Man City – we could have scored more. That shows we have the potential. I thought [Vermaelen] he could adapt quickly but not as quickly as that. Let’s be honest. It is good for the confidence of the team that we did not concede today. It is little bit of the price to pay for our style of play. We had maybe 10 chances today and gave two away. But I think we’ll be more and more solid when we get used to the way we want to play.”

Arsene also took time out to mention the progress of Emmanuel Eboue:

“He did what you have to do. Shut up, play and do well. Let people talk but shut-up yourself. This is a job where you have to respond mentally. The supporters are behind him because he plays well and with the right spirit. “He is a sensitive boy and an extrovert. He plays as a defender but he is a creative spirit in my opinion. That is why I used in midfield because he has good acceleration and a good dribble. I believe he was a bit too nervous at the start but age will help. He will get less excited and his vision will get better in the final third. He shows that now already.”

Well done to the lads for coming through with a good performance post a few unlucky games – time for the kids to have a run out now as we move over to the Carling Cup this Tues.

  • Berth

    Arsenal – good stuff yesterday. But playing Diaby and Song in the same midfield is not always the best ( they are slow), there are other options, like playing Ramsey.

  • zohaib

    If VanPersie has another one of those games, I’m afraid I’m going to go bald very soon. It was extremely frustrating watching him squander every single opportunity he got. We know he can finish, so I’m guessing he’s just going through another rough patch. Let’s hope he can re-discover his form soon, because we can’t afford to be wasting so many chances. We’re already 6 points off the leaders…

    Diaby needs to improve. He loses the ball too much and is a bit too slow. Once he starts running, his long strides take him away from opponents but either he needs to do something about his acceleration or be smart enough to not loose the ball so often.

    Eboue did well apart from his finishing. Although the one time he managed to cross it in front of goal, Eduardo wasn’t there. If only Eboue didn’t dive and had better finishing, boy would he be a handy player. With his pace and ability to get past people, he has something we lack in our attack at the moment, as players of the same ability, in Walcott and Arshavin, are out injured.

    And I’m wondering when Nasri, Vela and Walcott are getting back to playing. Anybody have any clue ? …

  • vj

    zohaib theyre supposedto be days away, part from nasri who still has a long way. I think your being a bit harsh on the team they were a bit cautious today, keen not to go behind early on like we did against standard and man city. I have always felt this with our style of play that we always need the first goal for that boost. It always takes pressure of everyone which is always for the best. Diaby and song were decent, song made good tackles diaby made some dribbles and passses, although i agree that we have lacked some width in our play. Im sure when we start playing walcott and rosicky, vela we will be even more dangerous going forward. as for van persie he’s still trying to adapt. Last season he was the only creative player with so many people injured and the way he played in jan to feb was incredible, so lets give him a couple more games, its not like we are lacking in goals at the moment!!!

  • zohaib

    I’m not trying to be harsh or negative. I’m just trying to state some concerns. Why I’m doing it at this time is because we’ve won the game comfortably and everybody will be commenting on how well we played and how satisified they are etc. I’m trying to think out of the box here. Trying to address the concerns as usual. Trying to find ways to improve further. Everybody moans when we lose but so long as we’re winning everybody thinks it’s okay. But that’s not how I think.

    Just giving my views.

  • Rong Jun

    Congrats to the gunners…
    Just saw the comment from henry on greedybayor on soccernet.


    i actually agree with zohaib 100%. RVP drove me crazy, he was inches with the free kick and I was actually thinkin he didnt really want to score lol. I guess after our last 2 games we finally won one so Im pleased about that, but overall good performance

  • harry

    I hope I’m not making a mountain out of a mole hill here but I’m worried about our little darling Cesc Fabregas.

    I hate to say it but I’ve watched him in recent games and he doesn’t seem right. His body language and the way he is playing suggests that he either has things on his mind or he is just short of confidence.

    It’s obvious he loves Arsenal, he has said he is more than happy here plenty of times, but perhaps there is something just niggling away at the back of his mind.

    It’s hard to criticise Cesc because he is the skipper and the face of Arsenal football club but I think that maybe he has had his head turned slightly. I reckon in the summer, when on international duty, Fabregas was tapped up yet again.

    Now I don’t think that Cesc has to publicly declare that he is staying at Arsenal again, he does enough already, but I think he needs to have a serious thinking session with himself. If he is having doubts about being at Arsenal then he seriously needs to weigh up his options.

    I’d imagine that the idea of playing for Barcelona is very attractive, especially for a young Catalan like himself. It’s like Arsenal wanting to sign me or you as a youngster. Would a move to Barca be a good one for him in the next couple of years? I don’t think so.

    However good Fabregas is, I think he would struggle to get into the Barcelona side at the moment. In my opinion Barca have the best midfield partnership in the world. Of course Barca are the cream of Spain and Europe but I don’t think Fabregas would be happy getting splinters in his arse from the bench.

    Of course there would be hysteria in Barca at the capture of Fabregas but how long would that last? At Arsenal he is loved by Gooners and will be forever. He is the lynchpin at Arsenal, numero uno, and pretty much has the side built around him. At Barca he would be just one of the boys.

    I understand he is ambitious, I know he wants to win things. He can at Arsenal but firstly he needs to shake off this “hang-over” and begin to show us the Fabregas we all know because if Fabregas is buzzing so is this Arsenal team. And a buzzing Arsenal are untouchable.

  • Missing a donkey

    I’m with you on that one Harry. Has shades of King Henry in the last season. Distracted is probably a good description. Maybe the goal on Saturday will improve things. Ghosted in for that one. It maybe that he had hoped for a few more signings in the transfer window. We lack a bit of steel in both midfield & at CB and gulie upfront besides Arshavin. It could be a long season.

  • Missing a donkey

    I’m with Harry on this one. Shades of King Henry in his last season… a bit distracted. Tho he ghosted in for a nice one on saturday. might improve his form, but I doubt it. Could he be disapointed that the transfer window was not used a bit more? The lack of a big name midfielder and striker may be on his mind. CB is also a bit exposed and another Vermalen would have helped. Maybe if there was a few new signings in his christmas stocking he might cheer up. (no celebration after the goal you might have noticed). Hope it’s not too late by then.

  • zohaib

    He didnt celebrate bcuz he was injured. he could barely run. he was limping for a few minutes after he got a kick. i dont think theres much in it at all. the way u guys describe it. he’s just a little tired. just got back from one injury n now looks like he’s got another …

  • Debs

    That’s exactly what I thought, Zohaib. And besides, it wasn’t like he scored the winner, or something, we were already 3nil up, and the match was almost over. Also, he did celebrate Vermaelen’s goal like he usually does, so nothing to worry about, imo.

  • zohaib

    Yup yups Debs.