Robin Van Who? | Arsenal smash six past sorry Saints | Keeper confidence crisis

by & filed under Match report.

Morning Grovers! How much can one man get wrong in a post? I thought Koscielny would play, I thought Ramsey would get a start and I thought Giroud would play central!

Turns out my thoughts were wrong. I’d like to blame the beer, but a good drinker never blames his can.

So onto the game. Coquelin’s moaning did him the world of good as he made his first appearance of the season. Diaby was ‘rested’. When Wenger says rested, what he doesn’t follow it up with is rested from injury. Up front we played Gervinho centrally and back into the side was Chesney.

The game is going to be pretty simple to report on. We dominated. We destroyed. We conceded a very disappointing first goal of the season.

Podolski was the creator for the first… kind of. He played a nicely weighted pass into Gibbs out wide on the left, the Englishman shot across goal, the Southampton keeper parried and luckily for us Jos Hooiveld was on hand to tap in.

When new teams come to the Premier League and go a goal down so early on in a game, it can end up turning into a massive thumping. We really did find our rhythmn today. Southampton were chasing shadows for the most part as Arsenal carved out chances all over the park.

Gervinho had a chance to put us further ahead but fluffed his lines, Per Mertesacker came close to scoring with his head but the keeper saved well.

Then our 2nd came. A freekick was won outside the Southampton box after Coquelin was fouled. Cazorla, Arteta and Podolski lined up for the freekick. The German elected for the smash over the wall and hit the sweet spot. What a freekick… and boy didn’t he love celebrating it?

Gervinho took the third goal, timing his run to perfection to get on the receiving end of an absolutely class pass from Arteta. He powered into the box and drilled the ball inside the keepers near post. Gervinho as a striker? Who knew!

The fourth came from an Gervinho pass to Podolski, the German ripped a shot at goal and it was again deflected into the back of the net by a Saints player. I had to double take… had Arsenal been taking lessons from Frank Lampard in lucky goals?

The second half was a little less frenetic than the first. The boys knew they’d won and they slowed down. I wonder whether the coach tells them to slip into second gear when they’re 4 in front? Conserve energy and all that… Anyway, one player who totally switched off was Chesney. A cross was floated into the back stick, he went for  it, dropped it and allowed Fox to fire home into an empty net. Not a great way to concede your first goal. However, at least it was an individual mistake rather than a collective problem. Our keeper was pretty poor the whole game if I’m honest. I wonder if those high profile mistakes he made at the Euros are bothering him still? His kicking was atrocious at times. Most of Southampton’s chances came from his poor passing.

We still had some more goals left in reserve. Ramsey came on for Coquelin. He and Cazorla combined nicely, he powered into the box and held onto the ball for far too long, he toe poked the ball past the keeper, it hit the post but Gervinho was on had to finish from a yard. I’m pretty sure he took three touches to get it over the line. But he finished. The final goal came from Theo Walcott when he slotted past the keeper in a crowded box.

All in all. A superb day. One of the last sunny ones for a while I sense. The atmosphere was fantastic as well. Plenty of singing in my block which was unusual!

So to conclude footballistically?

It’s tough to really give any insight into a game we totally dominated. The team are finding a rhythm now, our best players are finding form and some of the players who needed to step up to the plate are finally doing so. I thought Gervinho through the middle was an experiment that worked out. He’s far from cultured as a striker but he knows how to go round players, he’s very fast and he sometimes knows where the net is. I still think he lacks that decisive edge that is going to make him a really top, top player… but that could come.

I thought the back four were solid today bar the error. Having a midfield that supports you is new thing at Arsenal and it’s paying dividends. I thought Coquelin had a very solid game today. He’ll learn plenty from Arteta. You don’t realise how big he is until you see him in the flesh. He looks a far more promising prospect than Denilson ever did. Like I said earlier in the summer, he’s only a  year younger than M’Vila. If he can have a good season this year, it’ll vindicate binning Song and not replacing him.

Cazorla looks like the signing of the summer. What an absolute dream of a player he is. He can play with both feet, his movement off the ball is as good as his movement on the ball and his range of passing gets me excited in a totally inappropriate way. There were a flurry of passes in the first half that he was at the heart of… mesmerising stuff. It actually opened my eyes to how good a player Podolski is. I thought he was quite an industrial footballer, but he actually has great technique and a superb touch. He showed some deft touches when showboating with Cazorla.

All in all, positive vibes all round. Our starting 11 is up there with the best in the league. If we can keep key players fit this year, I still think we’ll be in the mixing pot. It’s a massive if obviously, but this team and squad is getting stronger by the week.

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Catch you in the comments!



314 Responses to “Robin Van Who? | Arsenal smash six past sorry Saints | Keeper confidence crisis”

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  1. tenerife gooner

    Live with a German lady ,think i understand the German mentality resonably well.Could not understand why Poldolski played regularly for Germany,now i understand.First time i saw Pires told my mates back in Devon,by the season end I’am going to be seriously in love with him.Got the same feeling with Poldolski.

  2. sam

    Nice to see coquelin given a start, he’s in good hands with arteta around. no need for a big bulky bulldog DM who’ll get sent off 5 times a season. arteta uses skill to get the ball, no scary tackles.

  3. Moe

    So apparently wenger left giroud on the bench as the guy was under increasing pressure to score. As a general vibe, most fans seem to be not too worried about him tbh.maybe it’s because we have the husband/wife from another life attacking duo of cazorla and podolski in the team as well, or that he seems to have enough footballing DNA(not barca DNA! tho:-)) to warrant some confidence he’ll come good.even the fans calling him chamack mkII must subconsciously think so as their abuse is relatively tame for gooners (we made eboue cry!) We just want him to score for his own confidence so he can get on and not remain stuck in a mental rut of sorts.bring banners saying we know he’ll score, create a song chant saying he the best thing since sliced bendtner, whatever, anything to nudge him over this hill before it’s too late mentally or we the fans are the ones that will eventually suffer.

  4. Iffy da Goon

    If all Arsenal fans have something to thank Wenger for then all united fans should give their wives and daughters to fergie. You talk like he’s not getting paid almost 10m a year to do his job…and one he’s not very good at if i might add

  5. Guntastique

    OK let us give the self-claimed anti-fan Gambon a break will ya…

    Gambon is a fanatic gooner from Gambia…Gambia gooner…thus Gambon name…

  6. Jeff

    Whatever we say and whatever we call ourselves with reference to AW, it was nevertheless a scintillating performance and a magnificent result. It is not beyond expectation that Wenger should have managed to bring together a collection of players that can do that. After all he has done it before, however distant in the past that might be.

    Some of the close proximity passing was second to none. The defending was also of high quality and had a technique and purpose about it. In the four competitive matches I have seen under the direction of Steve Bould, we have to acknowledge that there is no longer that “nervous vulnerability” about our defence which any team could and often would catch out and hand the opposition a one-on-one with the keeper. I am very happy with the defence.

    During the summer, nearly all of us here were calling for a more credible keeper to challenge Czeczny who seems to be the weakest link at the moment but it’s not beyond possibility that he will once again find some sort of form, especially as Manone acquitted himself really well in the chances he got.

    Four games in, we could not have expected a much better start. The thing that left a very bad taste in the mouth during the transfers was the leaving of Van Persie to Man U. Anyway as I said before, Podolski went a long way yesterday in easing the pain associated with that and the memory of Van Persie began to fade away a little faster.

    Well done team, well done AW (not only for bringing in the new players but getting rid of most of the ones we don’t need) and special credit to Steve Bould. We have a long season ahead as we compete for all possible trophies and it would be nice to see this momentum continue to the end. Expectation has now shot up and I hope it is not misplaced.

  7. sam


    Thats insult to all african gooners.
    the only african person who called for the head of arsene wenger is paul kagame.
    i will agree if you said a sadistic rwandan genocidal killer is posting here using the name of gambon.
    no decent african gooner will speak about arsenal like gambon,

  8. wenker-wanger

    steady on!!!!! one great result against a very poor saints side is hardly worthy of this accolade. Even the spuds easily beat a slow and poor reading side.
    However there is much to be quietly optimistic about. The defense under bouldy looks infinitely more organised than when wenger assembled random misfits into a back four and hoped they would sort it out for themselves.
    Arteta is a solid quality player and cazorla is a fabulous player, the ox will become a great player and TV5 is inspirational.
    We are short of a quality striker(giroud is a squad back up ) and maybe a top quality keeper.(unless chesney gets his act together or mannone is given a run of 10 games or more).
    Tougher tests await, but i get the feeling that these players have the ability to express themselves with urgency and not to lose the impetus and aggression by sticking to the wenger tippy-tappy format. Its good news!

  9. Michael Fournier

    KlausPoppeSeptember 16, 2012 14:43:11
    I agree Arteta is a great footballer had he excelled at Barca as a youngster or had stayed on Spain when he was young and not wasted time at Rangers you never know what his career would have been. (baring his one year at Real Sociedad) he has finally landed at a club that plays football even at Everton he stood out as a talented player. Being from spain he has a tough competition to make the first 11 of his national team most other countries he would be.

    To all of you STILL complaining about the transfer market as if THAT is the only way to win is to BUY a team let me remind you that teams with much lower salaries then Arsenal have won the CL. and league tiles. There is such a thing as working with a squad of talented but not super stars and building a winning team. It has been done.

    Personally I think club football would be better if all leagues required that 80% of the squad had to be local players (Even Arsenal would have trouble with that at the moment) then no matter how much money you had you would be limited and forced to develop local talent and build a team with hard work and tactics. And When your club won it would be a real local victory not a victory won by a bunch of mercenaries with no tie to the club other then a pay check.