It’s not everyday that after a live Arsenal game I stay to listen to what for the most part is a bunch of overrated pundits talking about a game which they never experienced themselves at the highest level (by that I mean playing for one of the top teams), however Saturday’s fixture, Walcott’s hat-trick and Chamberlain’s first League goal were all just too good not to watch again. . . and then again on MOTD and MOTD 2, or even here for those who missed it. A seven goal thriller to run off those mince pies and mulled wine was just what was needed as we make a b-line for the January sales. David Villa, Adrian Lopez and Demba Ba may be leading the line next year (I jest) but Walcott is slowly proving he is a man for the future. Plenty to discuss and a new Gooner joins us in the shape of my old man, Dave, who has been supporting the Arsenal since the days of Pat Rice in a shirt and Ray Kennedy. At this rate we will be here till next year, so let’s get going!
Well boys, you have to say Saturday’s game was somewhat of a goal fest and a long way away (6 goals in fact) from many of our predictions. Newcastle were indeed jaded from their excursions in midweek and Arsenal were, well. . . very generous after their gift-giving over Christmas. All the talk has duly fallen on our Lewis Hamilton lookalike, Theo ‘sign da ting’ Walcott. To score three, set up one and yet still frustrate me on the day was rather impressive work and he is looking more and more like a Wiltord / Wright figure everyday (will the Henry comparisons please stop). If he does stay – unlike his brother Hamilton who is jumping ship at McLaren – he could complete the list of strikers starting with the letter ‘W’ to have had great success at the club. In fact, they could almost start their own website! Apologies if you work that one out. . .
Still, no time to bask in our result as a poor one against Southampton will set us right back to square one and we will have to listen to Spurs fans gloating until they capitulate at the end of the season. I would like to avoid that if possible this year. The Saints were also involved in their own 6-goal thriller with Stoke, yes that’s right STOKE! So how do you see this game panning out? Can we maintain our League form into the New Year and while you are both at it, have you heard any transfer rumours through the grapevine / over a bottle of wine ? Thoughts on a text please. . .
Well hello there Tom and welcome everyone to our final blog of 2012. Arsenal remain in 7th heaven after sweeping past Newcastle, albeit via a late rally which Newcastle couldn’t handle. Walcott’s performance was a real highlight as well as a late cameo from that man Olly Giroud! Theo’s third goal was sublime, almost Messi-esque. Now there is a more height-related comparison!
The performance from the Arsenal was still a bit lethargic though at times, and like Wenger’s coat, lacked any real zip in their play! There is still not enough urgency and we looked quite lacklustre off the ball which allowed Newcastle time to play and bang in three past us without having to try too hard. What we do have in attack though with Walcott and the OX’s pace, is direct running. We did always look a threat going forward even if we didn’t have the ball for large parts! Is that a sacrifice we will have to make?
Onto the next game at Saints on New years day! Both Walcott and the OX will be relishing this one at their old stomping ground! They’ve given City and Utd good games this season and no doubt will make it difficult for us too. Defensively though, and like most of the newly promoted clubs, they are just not strong enough in that area and seem quiet naive at times. I’m sure this will allow our front 3 plenty of joy, which could result in another goal fest!
Transfer wise, Wenger seems pretty sheepish about Ba so maybe that one is a no-go and with Chelsea in the mix you fancy him to end up there eventually. Is he really what we need? For me, we need a new centre midfielder, someone who can add some height and break the play up (Diaby anyone. . . ?) and perhaps someone who can play upfront or out wide that can provide some real quality. Rumours are circulating that David Villa would only want to play for Arsenal, but then how many times have we heard this off players in other Leagues? I expect few deals from Wenger who might just buy himself a new coat instead!
Well it’s a pleasure to finally be invited on BackPageBanter, especially as things are a bit more positive at present. Another good win on Saturday, although a not totally convincing first half performance and some dodgy defending throughout means we shouldn’t get too carried away. That said, I feel more anxious about the January transfer window than the game against the Saints, as all the players we get linked with start to be snapped up by the bigger spending clubs. Will Diaby and Rosicky be the new signings the manager has been talking about? New Year’s Resolutions must be to spend some of that war chest, get Thierry Walcott to sign on the dotted line, sort out the zonal marking issues Mr Bould and buy Arsene a coat that fits!
Well some interesting things to think over, and before we sign off I just wanted to mention the man in the picture above. Although his first League goal was slightly overshadowed by another Englishman, I am still very excited by his potential. Yes he is young and his decision-making is not always the best, but his power, pace and attitude are qualities which could take him to the top of the game. He was an important one to tie down on a new deal for me and I expect much from him in the New Year. I also fancy him to grab a goal tomorrow, so watch this space. . .
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