Rosicky the show stealer | Mertesacker banned | Over to Spurs and Chelsea

by & filed under Match report.

Arsenal headed to the Hawthorns knowing just this… 3 points was the only acceptable outcome. The game was a strong test, but due to the nature of our season, it was time to let class shine through and start winning the games we’re supposed to be winning.

The sun was shining for the first time in 6 months and Arsene Wenger made very few changes to his side. It was mainly an experience thing. Monreal started the game… Gibbs was relegated to the bench.

The opening phase of the game was a touch shaky, WBA had the slick passing and they were the team who looked hungry for the 3 points. Our keeper flapped at a few high balls in the box which was unnerving. Rosicky came to the rescue when he cleared a high glanced header off the line. We really were under siege.

Rosicky was involved in the action but for the wrong reasons when he fouled on the edge of our box. Fabianski looked like he’d left and acre of space open for the strike, the shot was fired through the wall, thankfully he got down to it and held well.

We started to find our stride after about ten minutes. Gervinho was the man causing the problems with his unpredictable runs. His first challenge of purpose came on the left, he weaved into the box, cut himself some space and chipped the ball to the back post… Rosicky powered his run and nipped in to nod home. I’m convinced that was a shot that was stolen as a cross from the Czech. One up though.

Gervinho continued to cause problems firing a hard low shot at Foster which he saved, Rambo also tried from distance. The Welshman was involved in arguably the slickest move of the match when he found himself on the end of a delicious interchange between Giroud and Cazorla… he somehow conspired to shank it wide of the post.

There were feint shouts for a WBA penalty when Laurent made a challenge on the edge of the area. It didn’t stand out as much of a shout to me and no one seemed too fussed after the game.

The second half was a little spicier. Rosicky kicked it off with a goal that demonstrated everything I love about his attitude. He picked up a Ramsey pass from out wide, teed it up, smashed his shot at Foster, it was parried, he followed in and buried the second. Two up was exactly where we needed to be.

West Brom were trying to make he most of our dislike for high balls over the top, the diagonal nature of them seemed to cause our defence a few problems. Mertesacker found himself in trouble on 70 mins when he lost Shane Long to a high ball, he controlled the ball, Mertesacker chopped across him and conceded a penalty and a two match ban with a straight red. Morrison scored the penalty, firing it straight down he middle, squeezing it just under Lukas.

From there on in it was backs against the wall for us. Lukaku missed an absolute sitter… and there were more from plenty of WBA players queuing up to have a pop. We held strong though. We played through 6mins 30 of injury time to take the all important glorious 3 points… and it’s onwards and upwards.

Concluding points…

We’ve finally found our stride this season and the momentum is with us. This is all the more impressive because we lost to Spurs. The boys and the manager have clearly dug deep and things are looking more solid than they have all year. The defence, bar the Mertesacker error looked relatively solid yesterday. From the snippets we’ve heard in the press of late, it sounds like extra focus is being give to the practice of defending as a unit, but more importantly as a team.

The really interesting change for me has been the midfield. We’re Jackless, just like we were at the start of the year, and guess what, we’re a lot more solid like we were at the start of the year. Ramsey, Rosicky and Arteta have all clicked. The football might not always be as scintillating as it could be, but the passing is efficient and the defensive duties are not shirked.

I’m not saying Jack is an issue, but I’m sure it’s not coincidence that our two super consistent patches have been without him in midfield. I think Jack suffers from not really knowing his favoured position. Arsenal suffer because he’s a great player and we have to work that our in real time.

A word for Rosicky. I complained he wasn’t being played earlier in the year, I think we can now see why. I think he’s an excellent team player, his quick passing and general speed of thought really helps the team flow. He’s once again helping us during the crunch of the season, maybe Wenger rests him first half of the year for a reason?

I also think a special mention needs to made about Aaron Ramsey. He’s playing his favoured position and he’s thriving, he has a long way to go to convince people he’s the one to take us to the next level… but for me, he’s working hard, improving and adding some real value to our midfield.

We have to put things in perspective… we’re taking points from teams we should be taking points from. That’s great news and progress from where we’ve been. The major test will come from United at home. Oh how I dream of 3 points from that game.

Anyway, keep them crossed for Di Canio and Moyes today!

427 Responses to “Rosicky the show stealer | Mertesacker banned | Over to Spurs and Chelsea”

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  1. Samir

    I live in Newcastle…Go to quite a few games…Have friends that support The Toon.

    NO WAY do we want Papis Cisse. None of the fans think he’s any good…He misses so many easy chances, is always offside and a terrible passer…

    NOT what we need at all.

    Jovetic all the way.

  2. patthegooner

    Not sure if my Maths and fixtures are right, but if Man Ure beat Man Shitty tomorrow night


    We beat Norwich and Fulham, we will go 2nd for at least 24 hours before Shitty play their next PL fixture.

    Also we then play Fulham away on the Saturday, and if we win that, we will be 7 clear of the Spuds who face Man Shitty the day after.

    Dizzy Heights but we need to aim for it.

  3. GoonerHart

    ok i’m looking and if we beat norwich and everton we will be 2nd probably on goal difference is united win, city play wigan, if wigan get a result from city even a draw and we win against fulham we can be 2-3 points above city, and 7 infront of spurs before they play city and if spurs win if we are going for “dizzying heights” then it may be best for spurs to win but overall a draw is best

  4. GoonerHart

    ok we haven’t been great this season but if we can knick 2nd somehow then that would be awesome and if we do, we do deserve it as we will of been the 2nd most consistent team in the league over 38 games and will of achieved more than just the top 4 trophy…we will also look a better proposition for new players!

  5. Dannyboy

    Joppa, don’t you think the set looks fucking incredible? Hope Barrett retains in the pre show, you put that bet on?

  6. Byo

    It is amazing that one suddenly becomes an expert about Cisse and his suitability for Arsenal because they have a few toon friends and have been to a few toon games! Wow!

  7. Dannyboy

    Joppa, this angle with Swagger and Del Rio is apparently hugely controversial in America, exactly what McMahon wanted I imagine… He called him an illegal immigrant and a criminal the other week, imagine the uproar you would have over here about something like that haha!

  8. Joppa Road

    Didn’t put bet on and that link doesn’t work. I can’t find a pre-show stream. No bets for me but that is a nailed on Barrett win!

  9. Dannyboy

    I can’t see you having much luck finding a stream for the full show either mate, likely that WWE will have them shut down pretty quickly

  10. Dannyboy

    it’s only a click of a button away from being on your TV mate, it’ll be worth the 18 quid outlay, you still have time to win it back on an accumulator! πŸ˜‰

  11. Dannyboy

    Also, Skybet go 7/1 on Rock winning now, massive odds considering there is definitely a twist in store at some point!

  12. Joppa Road

    The Metlife stadium holds 82,000. The first mania I watched was Wrestlemania 3. Indoor record 93,000 turned up for that.

    Makes me laugh. We all know The Honky Tonk man (my fav ever wrestler) is the great Intercontinental Champion of all time. (And longest holder).

    Shake, rattle and roll on that.

  13. Dannyboy

    Joppa, don’t ask me who that Oompa Loompa was just then, because I have not got a clue! I wish I hadn’t looked at her though!

  14. Dannyboy

    haha Honky Tonk Man was a bit before my time, but he made a re-appearance at the 20th Raw Anniversary and cracked some jobber over the head with a Guitar, could tell he hit him far harder than he was supposed to, because he didn’t move for about 5 minutes! classic.

  15. Dannyboy

    Look no further than William Regal for the greatest IC champion for me though, true legend and its a disgrace he never got given the big belt during his career (although admittedly that was his own fault after he got off his tits and pissed on an air stewardess)

  16. Dannyboy

    Same Joppa, unfortunately he’s getting buried tonight though, Vince loves his big muscular behemoths these days!

  17. Dannyboy

    Think it’s very very likely that The Shield wins that 6 man via one of the opposition revealing itself as the leader of The Shield,,, I’m hoping its Orton as he is a great heel, but a terrible face, however it will probably be Big Show..

  18. Joppa Road

    Orton has been so badly wasted by te WWE. OK, game on. I said Barrett was bet of the night. Let’s see.

  19. Dannyboy

    wow, don’t even think that went 5 minutes. Pathetic booking. Can only hope they’re moving Barrett up the roster!

  20. Dannyboy

    Aye. relieved I left that match off my accumulator! Surprised Kofi hasn’t got a match tonight, he is a solid crowd pleaser!

  21. Dannyboy

    Lucky to get 0 for that match, very poor, Miz had no offence whatsoever then suddenly locks on a very poor Figure Four and wins. Shocking booking in my opinion. The ordering of the bookings will be telling, if the tag match is on before the world title match, then Ziggler is definitely cashing in the MITB after Del Rio retains!

  22. Jamal

    Triple H is obviously gonna win, Hell No to beat Ziggler and Langston, Big show and co to beat the Shield, Undertaker to go 21, Del rio to beat Swagger, Ryback to beat Mark Henry.

    The toughest one is The Rock v Cena, got a feeling Cena’s gonna win !

  23. Joppa Road

    Del Rio a Heavy Weight Champion? I mean when I was growing up that was the most prestigious belt. Surely someone like Orton should have that belt?

  24. Joppa Road

    Big Show and Co are a really good price to win that match. I think Shield will win. I am hoping the Rock wins as well as Henry, Hell No and Lesnar.

  25. Dannyboy

    Agree with all those Jamal, Cena will win via a heel turn I think/hope. If he wins clean then the whole pay per view will be a disappointment.

    They gave the belt to Del Rio after Big Show initially refused to re-sign his contract.

  26. Dannyboy

    Hope it holds out for the whole 4 hours for you Joppa! If not, I’ll keep you up to date with live commentary (providing I don’t fall asleep during a replay of HHH’s promo…)

  27. Inter YourGran

    They take betting on wrestling now? πŸ˜† aren’t all the matches pre determined anyway?

    The only ever controversial decision i remember in the wwf was the shawn michaels v brett hart fight when mcmahon screwed the hitman out of the title leading to his retirement.

    How the fuck is the undertaker still wrestling? That guy has been in it since the late 80’s… I’m half expecting the legion of doom and sergeant slaughter to dust off the gear.

    Also, is the rock fighting john cena? The rock and steve austin are pinnacles of fan favourites and the rock has also lost twice at wrestlemania. The rock will/should win this one since he’s come back, which i find bizarre considering he’s carved out a somewhat decent film career.

  28. Inter YourGran

    Hunter Hurst Helmsley…. For a pretty showman, he’s had some of the best storylines and match ups in the last decade.

    WWE these days is surely a strictly over 45’s club.. The undertaker’s got to be at least 60 ffs.

  29. Joppa Road

    The can’t stay away Inter…..they love it. UFC world champ/film star, what they crave is the WWE!

  30. Zen Warrior

    What a load of fuckin mugs yooz lot are..!! It ain’t fuckin real…. It’s just for kids, and thick as shit yanks..!!

  31. Dannyboy

    they all want Vinces money, he’s not stupid, he knows if those big names will draw in an extra 10m revenue, he’s more than happy to pay them huge appearance fees.
    Surprised this is the opening match, expect a heel turn from one of the 3.

  32. Inter YourGran

    Zen – back in the day of ultimate warrior, hulk hogan & koko b.ware i was a massive fan. I barely watch it nowadays, but my nephew’s a massive Randy Orton fan and i don’t mind watching the rare raw or smackdown with him. Everyone knows it’s fake and the matches these days lack any drama, but still..

    The formats changed a lot now too, but it’s funny as fuck seeing all these old timers in lycra throw each other about.

    Joppa – yeah they love it, because they get Β£$Β£$… Β£18 quid to watch ppv’s now? πŸ˜† i remember they were all free at 1am on sundays once upon a time…

  33. Dannyboy

    I’d give it 5/10 a few decent spots, the Big Show spear taking every fucker out was dangerous. wanted him to go full heel and whip out a Shield t-shirt.

    Not sure on the song but it’s a good one! They always have decent tracks at Mania.

  34. Dannyboy

    Here comes 1 of 2 matches that could potentially throw off my accumulator, alot of money must have come in for Henry to win as he’s in to 1/2 favourite, was 4/1 a week ago!

  35. Dannyboy

    Can’t see Ryback losing this one, simply because Vince likes him alot and if he wants to build him as a credible force, he has to book him to win at PPV’s, he’s lost all of his past PPV matches so he surely wins here.

  36. Joppa Road

    Cheers Cesc…

    Go henry – shame he missed that suplex off the ropes though. Would of been a great move.

  37. Dannyboy

    You can tell Ryback is winning this one. They always have the face beaten down for 10 minutes, then get a burst of life and win.

  38. angeausarsenal

    FFS grow up!!
    Anything you two idiots say from now on should be prefaced with a warning that says I am a dopey fuck that believes that Wrestlemania is real.

  39. Dannyboy

    Big shock that one Joppa, solid match though, 6/10. Strange how Vince keeps booking Ryback to lose on the big stages, how can he be taken seriously as a World/WWE Champ in 6 months time, when he’s lost to the whole roster?

  40. Dannyboy

    If by real you mean it exists, then yes it clearly does exist.

    If by real you mean they are genuine angles with people actually fighting each other, then no it’s not ‘real’ but 99.9% of things in TV aren’t ‘real’ in that case.

  41. Joppa Road

    When Ryback burst on the scene, I thought wow, this guy is mean. To me he was unbeatable and the future. Now you can ridicule him. Strange what Vince has done there as you can’t ever get that sense of awe back.

  42. Dannyboy

    Sure Ziggler won’t worry too much, he’ll have a World Heavyweight Title on his shoulder in a couple hours.

  43. Dannyboy

    7/10 for me, always love to see the homage to Benoit with the flying headbutt. Sometimes does the crossface too!

  44. Joppa Road

    I’ll go to 6/10. No more though. Nothing outstanding as yet. I was trying to think of a recent great match. Was a few years back Batista v Cena where he put him through the car roof.

  45. Dannyboy

    More to come tonight my friend. Expect solid 7/10’s from HHH/Lesnar and Rock/Cena.

    Expecting at least an 8/10 from Punk/Taker though, Punk will carry him through most of the match I reckon!

  46. Dannyboy

    This is the reason why Lethal Bizzle is top fella!

    Lethal Bizzle
    Big E Langston looks like Frimpong on steroids #Wrestlemania29

  47. Joppa Road

    Never worked out the attraction of Jericho but he is well loved by Vince. Who the fck is this Fandango!??

  48. Dannyboy

    Jericho has always been one of the best on the mic, think the reason he’s been so successful is he’s one of very few superstars who can get a reaction from the fans whether he is a face, or a heel.

    Fandango is a repackaged jobber who used to be some weirdo character called Jonny Curtis, went away and came back as this ballroom dancer guy. He gets great heat from the crowd for being a weird dancer dude. Expect him to win his debut match.

  49. Dannyboy

    haha ffs thats twice Jericho has taken one of those kicks to the face, and twice he’s been busted open!

  50. Dannyboy

    good booking Vince, when someone can get that much heat before they’ve even had their debut match, you can tell they will make a decent career. Weak match though 4/10.

  51. Dannyboy

    Fandango was 1/6. They aint no mugs you know! My accumulators are out though, I went with Ryback to win in both. I know that’ll be the only call I get wrong all night.

  52. Joppa Road

    That move was always called the small package when I used to watch. 5/10 for me. When are the fireworks coming!

  53. Dannyboy

    since Kane and Bryan won, the odds on Del Rio winning have gone from 1/3 to 1/10.

    Seems obvious that he will retain the title, get jumped after the match, then Ziggler will cash in MITB.

  54. Dannyboy

    I really wish Vince would stop being a cunt for just one night and show the clip of Benoit and Eddie’s embrace after Wrestlemania 20 something when they both won the big titles. Wouldn’t even have to mention Benoits name, but it’s just criminal that that moment has been completely deleted from history…

  55. Dannyboy

    haha it’s a 4 hour show Joppa. they need some filler segments! Diddy is gonna sing the Wrestlemania official song.

  56. Joppa Road

    Oh right, I see what you are saying. I found and watched that Lesnar v Benoit match you said to. Benoit looked mean. Is he the guy who went on to murder is wife?

  57. Joppa Road

    I think Swagger will win and it will be him who gets jumped as they can’t have him as the title holder. Ziggler become good?

  58. Dannyboy

    Could happen! Either way Ziggler is definitely leaving Mania as champion.

    Yeah Benoit was the guy who allegedly killed his family and then himself. To this day I still doubt the story though, far too many loose ends left untied for it to be proven.

    His wifes ex husband had promised he would kill Benoit one day for stealing her off him. They found a lot of empty beer cans in the house, but no Alcohol in the systems of any of the bodies, very strange, read up on it if you get the time mate, very weird the whole handling of the situation. Think it cost McMahon a lot of fans too the way he just completely deleted Benoit from the history books.

  59. Dannyboy

    Well that was completely shit aswell. 3/10. Why the fuck didn’t Ziggler cash in? Swear they have 5 year olds writing the storylines these days…

  60. Dannyboy

    Would love Punk to end the streak but it just ain’t happening mate. The streak will either never end, or will end whenever he decides its his last Mania. Probably against Cena…

  61. Dannyboy

    Haha they always conveniently forget things like that though. Nice tribute to Paul Bearer at the end!

  62. Dannyboy

    There’s still a shit mixed tag team match to come, no idea why they’ve left it till so late!

    You kidding right?! HHH is the most selfish cunt in the history of the company, and is also the main booker, no chance he will have booked himself to lose haha!

  63. Dannyboy

    Joppa, what would you say if I told you, that after signing off his $5 million paycheck for this match, Lesnar then gets to go home to his massive house, and shag Sable?

    Life just aint fair.

  64. Dannyboy

    So boring and predictable… Why does he even need to wrestle anymore? No reason for him not to retire and the selfish prick still pushes his own career instead of whats best for the company. Cunt.

  65. Joppa Road

    I’ve got to say, whilst things might be healthy from a money point of view, decisions are being are no way best for wrestling. I mean ffs, tonight has been all gimmicks. Very little wrestling.

  66. Dannyboy

    They’ve taken a match off the card? Strange. I hope to god they save this event by turning Cena heel. If he wins by his usual Superman Invincible bullshit, then this will have been a disastrous PPV, whatever way they try and spin it!

    They always turn the crowd noise down for Punk and Cena, because they both get completely the wrong reaction from the fans, they all love Punk, even when he is laughing at Paul Bearer dying he still couldn’t get any heat, and Cena is hated just for being Cena.

  67. Joppa Road

    have you ever seen anything like it. They couldn’t of believed the hatred for Cena out there. So fkim American.

  68. Dannyboy

    You hear the boo’s at the end? Pathetic. Literally 1000 times they could have had Cena crack him on the back of the head with the belt and turn heel…

    But no, same old tired SuperCena fucking bullshit. Honestly the worst PPV ever, I feel sick that I paid Β£18 for that.

  69. jlp

    Holy fucking shit.
    Massive sign after 6 years of daily visits that it may be time to pledge a new blog allegiance.