Will tired legs tell in the battle for top 4?

by & filed under News Review.

So it’s a super Saturday lined up for Arsenal today. We’re heading to the midlands to take on a strong West Brom team. The three points are essential and this game can certainly be bundled into the ‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen’ pot. Last year it took the worst goalkeeping performance I’ve ever witnessed to turn West Brom over… hopefully we’ll make lighter work of the fixture today.

Our team is pretty fit considering the stage of the season we’re sitting in and the shape of our squad in years gone by. I’m hoping the front three goes unaltered today. Cazorla should stay out left with Giroud down the middle flanked by an in form Gervinho (fingers crossed). That should cause plenty of problems, especially as we’ve had a whole week off with plenty of time to practice together.

The midfield doesn’t need to change either. Rosicky, Arteta and Ramsey can sometimes be a touch crab like, but if the Czech turns up today and keeps things moving at a high tempo, then we should be fine. The discipline of Ramsey and Arteta gives the back four more protection than they get when Diaby or Jack play.

The only change that might happen in the backline could be the return of Monreal. I always feel more comfortable with him in the starting line up. His positioning is much better and his instinct for knowing the right time to go forward is better.

This should be 3 points today. There are no excuses. We need to fly out the traps and press WBA. The Reading game was played with confidence and creativity. If we can take that away from home today, the result should be favourable.

Chelsea and Spurs both play tomorrow and both have ties that are relatively tough. Chelsea have Sunderland which is only potentially challenging because of the circumstances of a new managerial appointment. Spurs face Everton which is problematic because they’re in form and in the mix for top four. They’ll be tired and depleted as well. Hey, even Steve ‘the mouth’ Bould agrees…

“Being in Europe can be a factor”

“It’s extremely tough, the travel. It can affect and I think sometimes, if a negative result comes along within that time span, it can affect your season. It’s going to be tough.”

So chatty these days…

This weekend is going to be an interesting one… if we win today, we’ll have made progress on someone.

Have a great day! See you in the comments.

429 Responses to “Will tired legs tell in the battle for top 4?”

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  1. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    Would of been 2-0 up and cruising

    Ramsey should of hit it with his left

    wot a plonker.

  2. Keyser

    Webb’s itching to send one of us off anyway, going to get edgy in thes econd half, West Brom far more energetic around midfield, Arteta and Rosicky struggling to cope could really have done with that Ramsey chance.

  3. Joppa Road

    FFS. Stick that in and it’s game over AND a great goal. No awareness though. Thinks he can walk it in.

    On the plus side Gervinho has looked OK as has Monreal. Very average game.

  4. Keyser

    Joppa – Why are you being rude ? Did you miss the Stuart Taylor challenge last week, either both refs missed it, or they’ve started to consider incidental contact.

  5. BillikenGooner

    On the plus side, maybe the yellow will get Ramsey replaced earlier in the 2nd for Chamberlain.

  6. Cesc Appeal

    Ramsey, oh dear….tbf though I thought other than the horrificness of his miss he’s had a decent game…Giroud other than the lay off for said miss has been utter garbage.

    Need to pick it up, sounds stupid cause he scored but I thought Rosicky was dreadful, lots of wasted balls, poor touches.

    I’d be thinking about Chambo in that position, seen with Ramsey how playing someone in their actual position can make them play better, Chambo is a CAM play him as such.

    Provides pace, strength and stamina in the middle of the park and shoots from distance.

    As the half drags on sub Giroud and put Poldy as striker, sub Rosicky and put Oxo in the middle.

  7. Jeff

    We are playing OK’ish; in fact better than average I would say but that familiar feeling of “going off the boil” as the game continues is upon us once again. Ramsey and Rosicky just look depressed. Obviously 1:0 is not enough, we need another goal and I have a feeling West Brom will try to capitalise in the second half on our ever decreasing desire to win.

    However having said all of that, I think the general game plan is a good one i.e. pressing high up the field and defending rather better than usual. It goes without saying that we need another goal and the earlier it comes in the second half the better it will be. The game is far from over.

  8. Joppa Road

    Keyser. I am talking about the Kos incident that just happened. The Taylor one was a clear penalty. I thought this one was too. Silly challenge from Kos.

  9. Keyser

    Joppa – Watch it again later, either Webb missed it or it’s just incidental contact, he doesn’t catch him when he kicks through, it’s because his leg drops back on him and he falls over.

    Fuck it anyway, the Stuart Taylor one you could argue that Giroud’s shot wasn’t impacted and again just incidental contact.

  10. Ines

    We’ll win this. And possibly 6 from 7 next, enough to knock Chelsea out of the top four, which is fine. Nevertheless, I used to wonder how the hell we are able to finish in the top four season after season, and than it hit me : we are out of every competition by the March so , apart from the league, we have nothing to play for in this period of the season, which leaves us with lots of energy and desire to fight for CL place. I just wonder, is this part of Wenger’s tactics and masterplan of constantly playing in CL. Not that I’m complaining.

  11. Joppa Road

    It was dangerous though Keyser. If it had of been given we wouldn’t of really been arguing too much. The Taylor one was as blatant as they come.

    I thought that Ramsey had been fouled when he missed. Watched it again and he just missed it. FFS.

  12. Arsene's Nurse

    Joppa – He’s worth £25m, his dad said so, so it must be true. That puts him out of our league. :p

  13. Samir

    Under performers performing for once!
    Fabianski, Gervinho, Koss, Ramsey, Rosicky

    All make a very solid and balanced team…

  14. Arsene's Nurse

    Rosicky!!!! Get in. He is on fire today, I really wish he was able to play like this for the rest of his career.

  15. Pedro

    I can’t believe it’s taken so long for Rosicky to get a run in the side this year…

    Fabianski has looked dodgy…

  16. Arsene's Nurse

    I just hope that Le Twat doesn’t rush Wilshere and Wally back next week when this current team is on a bit of a winning streak.

    It’s been a good solid team performance today. We’ve dominated WBA.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    our defenders just don’t learn, Sagna and Mert caught out three minutes ago by the same ball…happens again, red card, pen, 2-1…we have the stupidest defenders in the league

  18. Johnty79

    Hate to say I told you so but 2.2 is coming. I can’t see the game but I bet koz is shitting his pants playing against lukuku…..my knowledge is in challenged.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    Make some changes Wenger!! Fresh legs in the middle!

    Should have been Giroud come off for Chambo and stick him in the middle leave Gervinho as lone striker to just run

  20. Arsene's Nurse

    Well I put the kibosh on this game with that comment saying we dominated them. lol. Why have we become completely complacent and collapsed at the back? Self inflicted again. This why we always need to score 3 in order to feel a modicum of security.

  21. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger and Bould need to be on their feet screaming at this lot! Yes we’re a man short but we are shooting ourselves in the foot at every turn

  22. Cesc Appeal

    Coq and Ox should have come on, Gibbs doesn’t make sense…how Giroud is still on this pitch, not a clue

  23. Cesc Appeal

    Giroud is actually properly getting on my tits now, lazy sack of shit…10 men down everyone should be busting a gut! he’s strolling about the place, casually sticking a foot in

  24. SPiTZBLiTZ

    You lot are the most miserable bunch of fuckwits I have ever had the displeasure of coming across on a blog, not one of you idiots are gooners, were winning 2-1 until WBA score shut the fuck up with your predictions, I think you want them to score just so you can be right for once in your pathetic little lifes.

    Bunch of plastic gooners!

  25. Al

    Howard Webb has done as much as possible to screw us over today.

    And it is so so painful watching Giroud play.

  26. gazzap

    YES YES YES!!!. Massive three points there. Doesn’t matter how they come. could have been 10-0 – it would still be 3 points. we move on. Man Utd win a lot of games like this, so don’t get too worked up about how we did it.

  27. Joppa Road

    Trouble is, and you can call me miserable all you like. This just means more of the fkin AVERAGE same and that Wenger is vindicated in thinking 4th is a trophy.


  28. Will Graham

    That’s it. I’ve had enough of Giroud. Not good at finishing, not good at holding the ball up, not particularly good at heading, and incredibly slow. His performance today was disgusting and anyone who doesn’t think so is deluded. Should be fined 2 weeks for shooting at the end there instead of taking it to the corner.

  29. MuddyGooner

    Can’t believe Howard Webb let the game go into the 7th minute of injury.
    Was he that desperate to see us drop points ? We’re miles behind his team.
    It shameful, knowing that we’re a man down and he still drags it on longer than neccessary.

  30. Arsene's Nurse

    Good to have seen that through. A win is a win. I’m assuming we lose Mertersacker for 3 games now. That could be awkward.

  31. Cesc Appeal

    I’ve said for a few weeks Podolski should be played as ST, and I stick with the more than ever.

    I’ll never forgive Giroud for that performance today.

    10 men down, clinging to a slender lead, backs against the wall that’s when you find out who you can count on.

    Everyone busted a gut, Giroud strolled about as he always does, lost the ball every time it came near him, had no footballing sense, big guy like him should be getting it and holding it, drawing the foul…lazy, lazy player, wandered around looking lost like he normally does.

    Chuffed we got the three points, well done to everyone today, aside from Giroud, never been fond of him – but when he went down WHILST WE WERE DEFENDING, then got treatment when he WASNT HURT and had to GO OFF…that was the straw

  32. Jeff

    If Chelsea draw tomorrow even though we will have the same points and goal difference, our total goals scored is greater therefore we will remain fourth and Chelsea will stay fifth.

  33. Cesc Appeal



    I hate people who come on here and do that.

    Be like me walking into some random house and going ‘you’re all a bunch of twats, you’re all pathetic’…then sitting down and trying to start a convo with them.

  34. Wengers Plastic Bottle


    I agree with you on that one

    First few minutes Giround received a ball near the corner flag simple thing was to hold or pass it. He bloody loses ball too easy.

  35. Joppa Road

    Agree with Cesc.

    Not at all keen on Giroud.

    Why isn’t Pod being played centrally? Fck me I would rather see Ox played central.

  36. MuddyGooner

    Doesn’t Mert only miss one game, as he got sent off for bringing down last man ? It’s 3 match ban for violent conduct, not this.

  37. Al

    I am praying we play Podolski against Norwich because Giroud is just not a threat. You can see that the opposition defence do no fear him one bit so they play a little higher as he doesn’t have the pace or skill to get behind them.

    Look how the West Brom CBs handled him today, easily taking the ball of him.

    Praise for Ramsey who was excellent today especialy in the first half, he completely run the midfield.
    Also praise for Gervinho who also played really well , constant threat and menace about his play today

  38. Pedro

    Joppa, still miserable?

    Even though we won?

    Still found an angle to make it a bad thing we’ve taken the three points?

  39. Toli83

    Agree on Giroud. Benteke anyone?

    Beat West Brom away missing Jack and Theo, decent result.

    Sunderland need a result tomorrow after today’s games, Di Canio’s first game. I fancy them to get something.

  40. Al

    Cesc Appeal April 6, 2013 15:55:25
    How about Giroud taking a shot on the last minute from a crazy angle rather then head to the corner flag to kill the game.

    THat really pissed me off. Also when he lost the ball stretching for it and he just stood there in his pose for like 5 seconds while west brom broke on us, that really really pissed me off

  41. Joppa Road

    Pedro, it’s clear you are happy with 4th and see it has huge progress, where as I watch today’s game and think this team is so fkin average it’s unreal and I would prefer change and a new approach.

    How can you enjoy that? Nowhere near good enough for a club I believe to be one of the biggest in the world. Pedro, you measure progress differently from me. Not good enough by a long long way. Wenger being vindicated as 4th being a trophy does us not favours long term.

    I am 100% right as usual.

  42. Jeff

    A better team than West Brom might have turned us over in the last 20 minutes when we were a man down but some last ditch defending and an above average performance from Fabianski saw us come out of it with three points. Good to see. The season’s gone anyway now so we have only a place to play for. It’s going to be another long, long summer of waiting, wishing, hoping but penny to a pound I don’t think we will see much change in the current philosophy.

    Fourth is fourth and with or without Van Persie it seems fourth is the only thing we can realistically aim for. It’s disappointing but it is what it is.

  43. Al

    Man that Lukaku is one hell of a player.
    Extremely powerful, Fast and has tricks on top of that. Hopefully Chelsea screw up and lose him because he is not a big enough name for them to start

  44. Cesc Appeal


    I just don’t see what he does.

    He reminds me of Berba except that he’s fucking useless and Berba isn’t.

    He’s annoying to watch, exaggerates misses, always, always goes down and needs treatment when he’s hardly been touched.

    Poldy, 9/10 will finish a chance if you give it to him, got strength, not bad pace, not great but…with Giroud he NEEDS 9 chances to convert ONE.

    I’d play what we did today, but with Poldy as ST, ease JW back into it, no point in rushing him if we’re getting results and use Walcott as an impact sub late on…sub off either Caz/Rocky and you leave a top line of Theo, Poldy and Forehead which has tonnes of pace and the German and Theo can finish.

    I’d be shipping Giroud off this summer, maybe see if you can con Fiorentina into a cash plus player deal for Jovetic…doubtful though.

    ‘Soooooooo, you get Stevan Jovetic, world class, great striker, we get £10 Million and a male model?.’

    ‘Err, no he’s a striker.’

    *chokes* ‘Jesus Christ! He’s a footballer?? Were you high at the time or something??? No, no, no, no…no no no…no thank you. I’d rather you just insult my grandmother and sleep with my wife than EVER offer me that deal again.’

  45. tippitappi

    a win is a win is a win but if that board and the french tosser think we’ve turned the corner on that performancce then nothing will change , forget being a man down for most of the second half they were hanging on more like a side near the bottom trying to get their first win of the season on the road . Flaps had another good one but WTF that rubbish excuse of a goal keeping coach we have can’t he even relay that in the last minutes you play keep ball not punt it into touch like a fucking rugby player the twat should not need to be told anyway still a win is a win come on you gunners

  46. Bacaryisgod

    Joppa, you trophy whore….

    No-one is satisfied with 4th, but shame on me if I’m cheering for 4th over 5th place. Anyone who thinks coming 5th will help Wenger leave is living in fantasy land. The only difference 5th will make is a negative one (hurting our future champions league seedings, keeping and recruiting the better players etc.)

  47. enkben

    Giroud was very tired, he isn’t lazy
    , Wenger should hav taken him off. But hey, we won. Who knows wat would have happened if he was taken off. Great win btw

  48. Relieable sauce


    I agree with you, scraping a win against an average team & all the mugs lap it up like we’ve made the champions league final.
    No, just an invitation to experience the same shit next season.

  49. Al

    Joppa Road April 6, 2013 16:06:29

    How can any Arsenal fan out there enjoy what you watched today? Not good enough.
    You need to cheer up because we was pretty great in the first half and second half till the sending off.
    Does that mean we are happy about the way the season or the club has been handled…NO.
    However, today was a great performance till it became a bit sketchy with the red card

  50. Joppa Road

    No Bacary.

    I believe Arsenal to be a HUGE club with HUGE support and HUGE potential. What I’ve seen over the last few seasons on the pitch and the players who have come in is nothing short of a disgrace.

    We used to have Henry and Bergkamp, now we have Giroud and Gervinho. It’s not good enough and I don’t accept 4th or 3rd as a trophy. 1st place has to be the goal. We have massive resources a billionaire who can’t get on the board and I have to watch the pathetic excuse that as been this season.

    No, I’m not buying into it. What we have seen ALL season long is nowhere near good enough for a club like Arsenal. Scrapping it out for 4th. You ain’t selling me that and then coming back to me and saying “Look, we finished higher than Spurs”.

    Not fkin good fkin good enough by a long long way.

  51. Al

    Relieable sauce April 6, 2013 16:13:58


    I agree with you, scraping a win against an average team & all the mugs lap it up like we’ve made the champions league final.
    No, just an invitation to experience the same shit next season.
    So we obviously can’t enjoy it when our team loses because we are Arsenal Fans….BUT on top of that…NOW you expect us to not enjoy it when our team wins away against a tricky team, when we play a large chunk of the 2nd half with 10 men and the boys put in a battling performance.


  52. Pedro

    Joppa, hold on a minute… it was a really tough game earlier… Now, after beating them… It’s not good enough?


    Not that I’m surprised. People said you’d be like that before the game.

    Also, well said Bac

  53. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    Arsenal players are not above criticism

    Was Giroud tired from the first 5 mins of the game?

    we played ok today and to put a positive on we didn’t cave in so proud of the boys on that.

    Great teams defend from the front and I hardly saw that from our poster boy.

  54. enkben

    We struggled against a so called average team with 10 men and still won. I don’t get why some re still bashin de team and fans who enjoyed de win. I predicted some will do this this morning

  55. kwik fit

    Its not the players we boo, its ‘the Wenger’. The guy who refuses to do what is needed to make us compete with the big guys. ….Just Wenger gets the boo’s.

  56. Joppa Road

    Pedro, I’ve made my points, interpret them how you like. The bottom line is that I am 100% right. It really is that simple.

  57. Relieable sauce


    I didn’t say you can’t enjoy it, do whatever you want but lets not make it out to be something it isn’t.
    Personally i will enjoy the day the club gets shot of Wenger & shows ambition that is befitting of Arsenal football club.

  58. scott q

    Heart pounding stuff the last 20 mins I think you’ll agree!
    Great performance up until the sending off,but we did well to hang on.
    Happy for rosicky especially as i had been slagging him of for being unable to hit a barn door from 2 feet away, always glad to be proved wrong ,
    Onwards and upwards 2 home games next with the downside being vermaelan will be starting,who I think has been pretty poor for more than a season now anyway 3 points,just!!

  59. gazzap

    No one knows whether Giroud has a stiff calf or something. Therefore the Arsenal staff not spotting Giroud having some kind of small problem is their fault and not his. For all I know he could have been simply lazy but sitting at home here we just don’t know, so you can’t slate the player. All you can hope is that in the next game wenger brings in a totally fresh and top class striker – Podolski.

  60. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    I don’t get it majority of people want Wenger out.

    Which I do Also

    but here and now I want my team to win regardless of who I’m slating in the team

    Surely you want your team to win though

    last five minutes we held on

    I suppose the Negative Arsenal Fan wanted West Brom to score so SAD!

  61. enkben

    According to joppa road, we hav very average players but we still shouldn’t be happy when we qualify for champs league with ‘completely average players’.

  62. tom

    I thought I heard we were only the third team to win at Hawthorns this season.
    This was an excellent result. Dominant till the red. Held out after.

    Giroud wasn’t great today but he did his job.

  63. Bacaryisgod

    You are 100% right, Joppa. Guess I’m going to have to insist on 1st place instead of rooting for us to finish 3rd or 4th. At this late stage of the season anything less than the title is unacceptable. Or you could see a little further than your own backside and join Arsenal supporters pushing for another season in the Champions League.

    Seriously, do you think missing the Champions League makes us a bigger or smaller club?

  64. Joppa Road

    Kwik Fit…Gambon compares himself to a religious leader. I have no belief in any religion – to me it’s all made up nonsense. If Gambon wants to compare himself to made up nonsense then that’s up to him

    Me, I am 100% right when I say Arsenal are a huge club – one of the biggest in the world. Have huge support. Are performing woefully on the pitch and now fans think finishing around the same place as Spurs is some kind of trophy and victory. Not for me. We should be competing at the top top end on the pitch. Bringing in Giroud, Gerv etc isn’t good enough.

    Enjoy today all you like but it’s a hollow victory in so many ways. Why? Because long term it means nothing apart from more of the same. When is this sleeping giant going to woken up?

  65. timao

    Arsenal is a huge club Joppa and for my money that is largely down to Wenger’s influence. You can say what you like but the move from Highbury had been talked about for years before Wenger came along. He was the one with the gumption to make it happen and who has taken endless maulings from the fanbase because there’s been a slump in performance. But the two things are connected.

    Oligarchs and sheiks have helped to extend our period of adjustment but the dust is slowly clearing finally. And one fact that no-one can dispute is Arsenal is now a massive club. It’s time to put doubt aside and recognise Wenger should be given the support he needs as long as he wants it and he will take the club right back to the top.

  66. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    No one knows whether Giroud has a stiff calf or something. Therefore the Arsenal staff not spotting Giroud having some kind of small problem is their fault and not his.

    Well by Giroud not being honest and waving to the bench to come off is pretty selfish then. The guy gets paid a fortune to perform not to run around injured.