Arsenal 1-0 QPR. Lovely 3 points, thank you very much!

So we just about managed to beat QPR at the Emirates. a lot has been said by all and sundry about how dreadful we were, but do we or should we care? There have been so many matches we’ve played where we’had produced fantastic performances, which chances coming from multiple angles, but have either managed to draw or lose due to poor finishing or lack of concentration at the back. Obviously the ideal scenario would be great performances with wins at the end, but we do not live in an ideal world. Bearing that in mind, what is wrong with the occasional dodgy performance with 3 points at the end of it? We’ve had 2 avoidable losses in a row, and in my view, getting all 3 points was more important than the performance.

Anyways, with my thoughts out of the way, I’ll try to describe what happened. Not that there’ll be much in actual action to talk about…

Mannone

SAGNA – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Santos

Ramsey – Arteta – Cazorla – WILSHERE

Giroud – Podolski

Did you notice that!? Sagna AND Wilshere in the starting lineup! Amazing! It’s been how many years!? And if anything that’s worth celebrating!
Good start to the match, though, with Julio Ceasar coming to QPR’s rescue, even while having a few moments of his own. Fabulous crosses from Sagna down the right, one of such Ramsey only being able to head over the bar. Good linkup play from our two returnees, too. I guess they must have spent a whole lot of time playing together while trying to get match fit…
We really ought to have taken advantage of Ceasar’s early shakiness, because he only got better as the match went on! Cazorla really ought to have made it one nil to us early in the second half, after finding himself in acres of space on the penalty spot, but our little maestro could only blast high and wide. I didn’t get to watch the match as I was out and about, but twitter wasn’t too impressed with our performance. Not that we didn’t create any chances, but we didn’t create enough, what with us being a team that likes to have many bites at the cherry before scoring.
QPR were defending stoutly and it looked like a draw was on the cards, until a moment of inspiration, sorry madress, came over QPR defender, Stephane M’bia. He was fouled by Vermaelen, and despite having won the free-kick, he thought it’d be nice to have a swipe at Vermaelen in retaliation. Unnecessary. Straight red. Easy decision.
You do tend to worry though, when a team already playing defensively go down to 10 men that they’d be even harder to break down, as they pretty much just camp inside their own half. Something we had with find a way of dealing with. A combination of Ceasar saves and the ball not quite falling right for us made it seem like it be a hard-fought draw for QPR, but alas, we did manage to break the deadlock!
Arshavin, who’d earlier come on from Gervinho, received the ball from Arteta, on the left, and having beat the defender near the byline, swung the ball in for Giroud to meet with a good header. But his effort was saved by Ceasar, and a bit of pinball ensued, with an offside Arteta finally being able to tap it in, after hitting the bar. 1-0. We could have and almost made it two, or even three, but Ceasar was there. And then QPR almost equalised! A dazzling run by Jamie Mackee from just beyond the halfway line, beating Arteta, Santos and Vermaelen in quick succession, and it really looked like he’d score the equaliser, but his effort from just inside the 6-yard box was saved by Mannone. He should have taken a better shot though, but our gain, so no complaints.
And that was  it! 1-0 to us, 3 points to us, thank you very much! Was I happy? Damn well sure I was!  Getting the win was vital, and it didn’t really matter how it came. It could have been on own-goal for all I cared. Getting out of the cycle of defeat was crucial, as Arsene said in his post match comments. We got the win that we can now build on. And hello? Wilshere is back!!! Not expecting miracles from him of course, but he played really well yesterday, and he can only get better! Think on that for a minute… Barring any niggles, of course. Fingers crossed!
I wasn’t feeling optimistic after the two defeats, but I feel much better than I would have if we’d had a storming performance, but somehow allowed QPR to snatch a draw or something. I’ll take this. We have to build on it, of course. We’ve got the Capital One Cup mid-week and then Man United in the league. Let’s see how those go, but honestly guys, let’s not complain much about yesterday. A win’s a win, right?
And come on, Arsenal, let’s go on a good run now!
  • limet

    One must congratulate this pointless team for scoring an offside goal
    against a ten men QPR ! WELL DONE WELL DONE (APPLAUSE ALL AROUND) !I
    just cant wait to see a repeat at the slaughter house next week 8-2 is
    coming again ! ALL I KNOW IS THAT we ARE GOING TO be thumped AGAINST
    THE MIGHTY UNITED !

  • limet

    please for the love of God dont embarrass the fans and forfeit the game 2-0 – it will save a lot of face

  • Berth

    I understand your sarcasm; but yes we may not have won convincingly but that does not mean we won’t put a good shift against united.

    The united game we may loose but we could also win if we get the formation right. Knowing Wenger we might end up loosing not because we don’t have the team to match united but because Wenger always has a mental block which transfers to the team whenever we play united. Am tempted to say we may draw but am not confident.

  • limet

    are you insane? We could barely make a whimper against the likes of norwich, schalke and qpr…and you have the audacity to say we are going to put in a ‘good shift’ against UTD? You and the manager are deluded to say the least. RVP and co must be licking their lips to absoltely thump santos down that side….just hope for a miracle and we lose by only 2 or 3 .. this is going to be a hiding.

  • sevin

    @limet: i understand your point but we dominated that game: Our ‘big chances’:

    Santos to Giroud, slight deflection, nearly a goal: 7th minute

    Wilshere shot 18th minute, spilled by Cesar

    Giroud long range shot 30th minute, spilled by Cesar

    Mertesacker header, 50th minute, palmed away by Cesar

    Cazorla wide open miss 77th minute

    Giroud header, 84th minute, Arteta second bite, Arteta goal. Is that one? Or three big chances?

    Cazorla curler, 88th minute

    QPR Big Chances:

    Granero 89th minute

    Mackie 91st minute

    Sorry, Arsenal dominated that game.

  • limet

    @secin,berth: We are in sixt place at the moment. Shall we have an open top bus ride round Islington this afternoon?

    Anything less than Utd scoring 4 will be looked on by Wenger as a
    victory.Thats where we are now.A scrappy win against the bottom club
    after the previous two defeats tills you we are nothing more than
    average.Best thing to happen yesterday was Forehead getting injured we
    can only hope Santos and Ramsey get injured before OT

    Sadly, I believe we are living through “Groundhog Season”. Exactly
    the same thing happens before, during and after each season and nothing
    positive is ever done about it. The difference is that Groundhog Day was
    a comedy, but I didn’t see too many people laughing at the Emirates on
    Wednesday night.

    Of course, if the Groundhog Season comes to pass
    we will still finish fourth in the League (which of course now
    represents a trophy – yeah, right!), lose in the last 16 of the
    Champions League, slip out at quarter-final stage in the Capital One
    Cup, and depart the FA Cup when the pressure of maintaining all this
    success just gets too much. At the last home game of the season we will
    urge Arsène to spend some f***ing money and try to work out which of the
    forlorn heroes on the lap of honour will not be returning. It’s quite
    easy. It’s usually the most valuable players, you know – the ones Ivan
    Gazidis and Wenger assure us will not be sold under any circumstances.

    Following
    this, our season tickets will come up for renewal just as we sign an
    interesting (but reasonably priced) international forward to make us all
    think the purse strings are being loosened.

    No chance! We will be
    linked with hundreds of players but fail to provide the back-up we need
    in goal, at left-back and upfront. We will sign a couple of
    international attacking midfield players because we will sadly have
    about five seriously injured players being treated in the medical room
    (often the same ones who are treated every season) and then, just when
    we look well set for the season with an impressive squad, we will cave
    in to the pressure to sell Cazorla and Koscielny and then bemoan the
    fact that there is not enough time to sign replacements because the
    transfer window has gone crazy. Arsène will assure us he will be working
    until midnight on 31st August to reinforce the squad but will depart
    for a cup of cocoa and a read of L’Equipe at 5.30 pm as Sky Sports
    search in vain for him.

    In January, despite pressing injury
    problems and the need to improve the squad, we will wait until the end
    of the month (because the transfer window has gone crazy) and on January
    31st re-sign Robert Pires in the great tradition of re-signing an
    Invincible every winter transfer window. Nevertheless, when Diaby and
    Rosicky return, they will be like “new signings” and recruiting an
    experienced back-up keeper will “kill” Fabianski, so we won’t do it.
    Fabianski will then be pronounced out injured for the rest of the
    season. During the rest of the season, we will hear from Gazidis about
    the imminent demise of the mega-rich clubs and then Chelsea will pay
    themselves £350 million to name Stamford Bridge “the Blue Kremlin”.

    Just
    before Christmas, Iniesta, Xavi and a rota of Barça players will
    proclaim Cazorla as having Barca DNA. In retaliation, we will sign a 15
    year-old left back from their academy at La Masia. Up yours Barça! And
    so on and so on. You know the rest. You have lived it for the last seven
    seasons and it shows no signs of being any different. Except that this
    season, despite the kneejerk reactions that Bouldy would sort the
    defence, Diaby would finally assume the mantle of Patrick Vieira, and
    Giroud and Podolski would be brilliant replacements for Van Payslip,
    recent performances have plumbed a depth that we have never seen before.
    One year, the one element of Groundhog Day that will unwind is that the
    team won’t be good enough to get fourth place, and Wenger will have to
    assure us that the Europa League is like winning a trophy.

    This is
    a bitter refrain but, sadly, I think it’s a fair one. That forensic
    analysis from Swiss Ramble shows that the reason we have a cash mountain
    is (despite the fact that our much-vaunted financial model doesn’t
    work, and because we pay fairly ineffective commercial staff
    mega-salaries and mediocre players salaries they couldn’t get anywhere
    else in world football… and because our kit and stadium naming deals
    look pathetic in comparison with our competitors’)… we have a
    solution. We sell our best players to turn a profit and keep Silent Stan
    happy.

    Ah, Silent Stan! I wonder if one of the big questions all
    Gooners want to ask is why he finds the need to wear that ridiculous
    “syrup” in public? As a very bald man myself, I think it tells us a huge
    amount about his insecurities. Come on Stan, do yourself a favour and
    come out as a slaphead—and while you are about it maybe you could reveal
    what your plans are for the Club in which you have invested not a penny
    since becoming the major shareholder. How good of you, by the way, to
    come over to London to see the team play twice in a week! Possibly this
    has more to do with the presence of the St Louis Rams in London than any
    newfound interest in Soccer (as he is bound to call it).

    Peter
    Hill-Wood gets very little right but I think his first reaction to
    Kroenke was perfect. Stan, we don’t want “your sort” over here. By your
    sort we mean a uninterested absentee landlord whose sole interest in
    Arsenal is financial and who has no interest in sacrificing income for
    playing success.

    While you’re at it, Stan, maybe you could take
    Gazidis with you. People ask what he has done to earn £2.15 million?
    Protect his Master’s back is what he has done, and ensure that all is
    serene at Ashburton Grove. In fact it’s so serene that it repeats itself
    every year.

    So what can alter this state of affairs that so
    infuriates us? Perhaps the realisation that fans want more than
    participation in the Champions League. They want to believe they can win
    it rather than being comprehensively outplayed by a decent but far from
    outstanding German side at home in the qualifying rounds. Perhaps also
    they’d like Wenger to go into a season with a proper, balanced squad
    with no holes and one that doesn’t immediately go down injured so it has
    almost a whole team in the treatment room six league games into the
    season.

    We want different, but different-better not
    different-worse. We want to believe that Arsenal care enough to pay more
    than £16 million for a player and set their horizons at the stars. For
    fans, football is about fantasy, not profit. And, exciting though some
    fans think Arsenal’s football is, we don’t want another Groundhog
    season. A great club and great supporters deserve much better.

  • sevin

    @52850c37934c2c7b60ac7ab2b02495d8:disqus – we’ve had some very bad recent results,
    we’ve had a bad summer: sold our best player (just like last season),
    sold the player who was our 2nd best in the previous season (again, just like last summer)
    we’ve also apparently (I did some research, trawled the stats and couldn’t believe it but…) not won anything since 2005

    these are depressing things.
    Here’s a big picture attempt at positivity:
    We are at the end of a cycle in several ways:

    In
    2007 we had a similar commercial income to ManUre – they have flown
    away from us since. We had to frontload all of our deals to build the
    stadium – made perfect sense at the time, now those deals are expiring.

    In
    2008 we nearly won the league – then, due to expiring contracts lost
    Hleb + Flamini (we also lost Greedybarndoor and Kolo a year later but
    those were great deals). Wenger responded to this with a new, more
    equitable, wage structure. Rather than losing the players he was
    building up he got everyone tied down longterm. Instead of jealousy from
    the lower earners everybody would be on similar wages. Now those deals
    are expiring – we have stated we are returning to a more tiered wage
    structure. Our squad next season will be unrecognisable from 10/11, not
    having so many long serving players is a pity but necessary to change
    the wage structure (Bendtner, Arshavin, Na$ri, VanStapleCunt, Cesc,
    Denilson, Eboue, Clichy, Song, Traore, JET, Chamakh, Nordveit, Vela,
    Lansbury, Eastmond, Flappy, Almunia all in that team photo none will be
    in the 13/14 version).

    FFP is conceptually very popular in the
    Prem, it now looks likely they will enforce their own rules to combat
    wage inflation, could be as early as next season. Prem needs 14 out of
    20 votes to push that through. It will happen and there will be a
    competition between Prem and UEFA – they will both want to be seen to
    make their rules work.

    Our youth team cycle: we have the first
    generation of Hales end graduates coming through: Jack Wilshere is
    already the best England player of his generation hopefully Gibbs maybe
    Frimpong and even Afobe can be major squad players for us saving money
    in the transfer market. LeCoq and Jenks joined later but can also be
    very useful (Miyaichi/Campbell?). In the generation below I’m already
    impressed by Gnabry.

    This is the reason those 4 cycles make me feel positive about our prospects:
    New sponsorship deals should increase our budget by £25M-£30M a season.

    Shipping
    out our stack of (mostly non-playing) £50k-£60pw earners: Denilson,
    Chamakh, Bendtner, Squillaci, Arshavin is now inevitable as their
    contracts expire. They will be replaced by cheaper homegrown players
    (Wenger suggested we’ll aim for 60-80% at the AGM).

    We are in an
    excellent position vis a vis FPP: everybody benefits from new TV deals
    but we have an easy to cut baseline wage bill and more potential for
    commercial growth than anyone else.

    Two things that are generally true:
    – Winning things materially increases revenues.
    – Dropping out of CL is an enormous revenue hit.
    Are
    exponentially multiplied by the new sponsorship deals – we need to be
    negotiating from as strong as position as possible, we have brought in a
    very expensive commercial team to do it.

    The next two transfer
    windows are the only opportunities to influence those negotiations –
    either through big name stars or simply a stronger squad that makes
    winning a trophy more likely.

  • erwin

    I went yesterday. Train to Victoria was on time and a pleasant journey,
    well as pleasant as one can expect. Got to the underground only to find
    that my Oyster card top up had failed, looked at the queue and it was a
    mle long, ok not a mile but at least a hundred people. Walked outside
    and hailed a cab, £30 later I’m on the HR
    Few beers in Phibbers and then time to head to the stadium via the
    offey, sadly queued up to be told that they coudnt sell me a bottle of
    Brandy as it came in a glass bottle
    No worries, the shop under the arches would sort me and they did,
    thank fuck some people In this country seize the opportunity. Into the
    ground, cup of coffee quickly loaded with the afore mentioned contraband
    and all was right with the world. Block 30 wasn’t the liveliest but I
    have sat in worse, thanks to the tourist that asked me to take his
    picture, I’m sure he has a new view on life, that’s assuming his
    eyesight has come back. Thanks to the steward for turning a blind eye to
    me drinking contraband. I had a good day but the football was shit,
    Arsenal didn’t let me down.

  • Only_Arsenal

    @limet, please save yourself of all these rants. It is not over until the referee blow the final whistle, or are you going to cheat your way to victory the same way you did against Chelsea?

  • Berth

    Am not insane, am only trying to be objective and positive. If we don’t have hope that’s when the spirit dies.