Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea

A fairly poor match all round, and an especially frustrating one to watch as an Arsenal fan. Both teams were lacking that spark, but Arsenal deserved to win the match. just. While Chelsea had 4 shots on target and 2 of those going in, from appauling set-piece defending, and keeping in particular for the second. Wenger has said that the defending was “unacceptable” so at least he’s not making as many excuses as he has done. Mertesacker’s absence was clearly an area on his part in hindsight, after Koscielny had what we call, a shocker.

Exortionate prices for a poor, and passionless performance is what is unacceptable. The Arsenal players, most of them at least, just didn’t look up for it, they lacked the drive and urgency that was necessary to come back into the match despite the poor defending. Gibbs was practically the only player out there playing the way they should be in a game of that importance. It was as if they thought they couldn’t lose having not lost so far this season, as if they expected a goal to come out of nowhere for them as it has done. Hopefully this will be a wake up call.

Amazed at some of the decisions too. Particulary the substitution of Podolski, rather than Gervinho, who take it from me was very bad and received a lot of abuse from the fans in the crowd. Everyone was calling for him to come off, everyone.

Nothing else to say, a poor performance all round and I am truly gutted that we lost in that fashion. The fact we could and should have won if we’d played our best just rubs salt in the wounds. Something needs to happen to stop this year in year out?

We sit in seventh place behind Man City, Man United, Spurs (eugh), and Chelsea who are all in the top 5 after what we thought had been a good start for us. On the bright side, we’ve probably had the tougher games out of the lot, and when those top 5 play each other they’ll all take points off each other and things will swing back our way, so let’s not give up just yet.

Til next time.

Arsenal 6-1 Coventry

Arsenal ran riot in the second half at the time Emirates Stadium tonight. After a slow start, Giroud got his first goal for the club at last to get us off the mark. Wenger says he expects Olivier’s confidence to grow in the future and for Champions League games too now.

Arshavin took a tumble and was awarded the penalty which Giroud… missed. But it was a good save in all fairness to the Frenchman. Chamberlain then did add a second with a long range shot to make it 2-0 after another Arshavin move, he played an integral part in both goals, before scoring one himself from just inside the area.

Walcott made it 5-1 with a beautiful finish – laying forward his argument over the contract an position situation – before he celebrated with a wave of the finger. The number 1 celebration? The last number 14 did this too. But there’s no surprises there. 4-0.

Coventry did pull one back, a mere consolation goal, yet disappointing to concede. No sooner had they finished celebrating, Coquelin headed home to make it 5-1, and who else to get the assist but Andrey Arshavin. Great night for him, his statistics speak volumes despite his mistakes and the stick he gets. He unquestionably has class, just lacks form and consistency – even within the same game.

Theo then added another which he also finished sweetly. 6-1 and good night. Full time at the Emirates and it didn’t come a moment too soon for the Coventry players.

Shortly after we were drawn away at Reading for the last 16, while United got Chelsea, which can only be beneficial. We are undoubtedly fighting in four fronts. For now at least.

Twelve goals in our last two home games. Role on Chelsea.

Eastmond to move to Colchester

Craig Eastmond is set to join Colchester, on yet another loan deal.

Craig Eastmond, at 21-years old, is set for another loan spell. His 3rd in 2 years. Millwall, Wycombe and now Colchester. He’s a versatile player and has been around a while after coming up through the youth academy, making 10 appearances in the first team but the last of those was 2 seasons ago now.

Colchester are without a win in League One, and for an Arsenal player on loan it doesn’t suggest much promise. For example Henri Lansbury, went on loan to 2 Championship sides, Norwich and West Ham, both times those teams were promoted to the Premier League. Yet he was still not good enough for Arsenal’s first team, although many thought he deserved more of a chance. Furthermore, Eastmond’s ‘versatility’ is down to him attempting to learn numerous positions to find his best and give him the greatest chance with his football career, which he remains hopeful will be at Arsenal.

But is it too late for our young Craig? Hold onto him for longer and hope he finds his feet? Or get him off the wage-book?

Theo Makes Public Plea for Opportunity.

Theo Walcott states his desire to remain at Arsenal and emulate his childhood idol, Thierry Henry, by following in his footsteps as a Striker and Arsenal Legend.

After starting just one of the first six games in all competitions this year, Theo Walcott has explained his frustration at a lack of playing time and the failure of a new contract to be agreed. His one and only start was against Sunderland, the first game of the season back on the 13th August when there was little speculation he could leave, and a new contract seemed imminent. A poor performance during that match did nothing for his cause but I highly doubt his absence since then is purely football-related. From then his contract situation spiralled out of control and he ended up staying but with less than a year left. It was reported there was a short-term agreement between Walcott and Wenger, which was thought to mean he would sign a contract but just not at that point. Wenger claimed he knew ‘nothing about it’ and it was as simple as ‘Theo will be staying’ but knowing Mr.Wenger his denial of information is nothing new.

After speaking to multiple journalist from different media organisations at the Mars Just Play event, essentially repeating  the same thing to them all, we now know his side of the story. Walcott stated that ‘it has never been about money. It has always been a football decision for me.’ claiming he had opportunities to leave in the summer, but didn’t take them because it is simply not about the money. He has also reaffirmed his position. “I want to stay, I want to play for Arsenal, I want to try and win things.” And he seems very sincere about it all, unlike players of the past who don’t hesitate to jump ship as soon as they can.

I want to stay, I want to play for Arsenal, I want to try and win things.

“The main factors for me now are I want to start playing up front. That is all it is, really.” But since when did players start deciding where and when they play? Wenger is the boss, and as an Arsenal player, you do what the boss tells you to do. Simple as that. No man is bigger than the club. On the other hand, his frustration is understandable. Starting out as a promising forward for Southampton, he joined Arsenal, who used his pace to their advantage. Many times it has been said by Walcott and Wenger himself, that the end goal was for Theo to be an Arsenal Striker. Wenger promised one day that this would be the case, but unfortunately that day is yet to come. Theo’s slow development has put pay to his very limited chances, and he has never showed the potential of the man he wishes to emulate; Thierry Henry. “I remember when Thierry Henry joined at 22 and the legend he was. Hopefully I can be the legend he was as well in that upfront position.” But until he sorts out his close control, taking on players (like Chambo), final ball, and finishing, he has a long way to go.

I remember when Thierry Henry joined at 22 and the legend he was. Hopefully I can be the legend he was as well in that upfront position.

Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

Man City succumbed to the pressure that Arsenal put them under in the last 15 minutes of the match, with a goal from Laurent Koscielny in the 82nd minute cancelling out the opposing No.6, Joleon Lescott, who headed home 5 minutes from half-time.

Arsenal flew out of the blocks without a sign of doubt about them, as they have done for much of this season so far. Chances came the way of the Gunners, who were unable to convert a handful of opportunities; most notably Gervinho’s one-on-one, where a heavy touch allowed Joe Hart to gratefully grasp the ball in his hands. A nicely weighted ball from Arteta over the top of the City defence to Gibbs could have also resulted in a goal, but for Gibbs and Podolski not being on the same wavelength.

Nonetheless Arsenal continued to press high up the pitch, playing stunning one-touch football at an outstanding pace that the Man City players could do nothing but stand and admire as the Arsenal players drifted in, out, between, round and through them. However we were to rue missed chances when Lescott rose above Podolski in the box to head Silva’s corner into the top corner of the far post. Arsenal took criticism due to their poor defending and ball-watching, with blame laid mostly upon the system Arsenal had adpoted. Zonal-marking. Which allows the attacking players to build up a momentum while the defenders stand pretty much still and wait for attackers to converge, while watching them and the ball and their position. It’s a system that works for some teams, against some teams, but it’s certainly not full-proof as we’ve seen today. But yet still having played City away, 5 league games in and we’ve conceded just the 2 goals. Not quite at a stage for complaining I don’t think. Especially after the chaos we’ve seen from set-pieces the last few years. The system has worked other than this particular time, and I personally feel that Podolski was particularly at fault and should take a lot of the responsibility after showing a total lack of commitment. On the other hand, Mannone showed a fair too much commitment and took himself out of play by coming for it and missing it by miles. Arteta disappeared from the post as well. Yes Mikel, we saw you.

Speaking of whom, Podolski and Arteta were two players who had pretty poor-average games today by the standards we’ve seen thus far, so that was disappointing in such an important, pivotal game. Additionally, Diaby was poor, and looked lazy in my opinion – something Viera and Toure are not – heed that Abou, and a certain Gervinho, well, he had an absolute shocker didn’t he. It’s beyond me why he was even on the pitch come the 90 minute mark. No amount of calling to the TV for Chamberlain or anyone to replace him reaped any success, if only it had, perhaps someone else would have taken one of the glorious chances that had to keep falling his way.

A long battling second-half with a very, VERY solid performance from the defence again, kept us in the game, and as luck would have it, we got what we deserved at a bare minimum. Little came our way for a majority of the second half it felt, but with the determination and passion shown in a way a goal seemed quite inevitable. Especially when Walcott, Giroud, and ironically Tevez came on (although not for us unfortunately). These substitutions shifted the dynamics of the game, and the Arsenal comeback was officially on. Passion with a new-born belief was displayed, something that Diaby and Podolski (who were taken off) hadn’t been showing. Cazorla had a powerful, long-range drive which required Hart to be on his toes, but he matched it and we saw a corner given our way. Santi ran over to take the corner and delivered it neatly into the penalty area. A poor clearance from Lescott saw it fall at Koscielny’s feet, and quicker than you could say ‘unbeaten’ it was 1-1.

More chances fell our way later on, Gervinho with a tidy bit of skill to open up some pace, but for a horrific shot to sail into Row Z. But this was only after a lucky double-escape when Kompany tried an outrageous over-head kick, which Mannone was equal to, and then Koscielny’s poor clearance to Aguero whose shot scrapped the outer side of the post. Champions need luck though don’t they? Perhaps this is the start of a very special season. Scored 9 Conceded 2 Won 2 Draw 3 Unbeaten.

I’d like to draw upon some excellent performances too, Gibbs and Jenkinson were outstanding up and down the flanks for 90 minutes. Jenkinson working so hard, and to great effect. Mertesacker with some inch-perfect tackles and interceptions and Koscielny also undeniably superb today (but for the poor clearance to Aguero). Sometimes defenders don’t get the credit they deserve, so I’m here to say well done lads. Cazorla was also on top form again, a magnificent array of passes and dribbles second-to-none.

Those are my opinions, but what did you think? Vote for your Man of the Match below.