5 things we learned from Arsenal vs Bournemouth

by .

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Goooooooood morning kids! And adults. And the trolls.

Welcome to another match report from me.

So yesterday was the chance to pick ourselves up and jump back into the title race.

Pregame, we had strong results from Spurs, a point from United and Chelsea (mwhaha!) and some other teams continuing to progress on the sly (like Palace).

So it was all on us to take down a Bournemouth team that have pulled off shock results against United and Chelsea already. Eddie Howe is a very good young English coach and he’s doing wonders with a pretty limited budget and team.

It was banana skin on toast yesterday. I really thought we could drop our level, play the victims and lose some points.

I was wrong.

I didn’t count on Arsene having a reshuffle of the pack (finally). He brought in Chambers at DM (HOORAY), he slipped Chamberlain in for Campbell (oooohhhhh) and he swapped out Koscielny for Gabriel (HOOORAY).

What was the result?

A high energy performance!

(HOOORAY!)

Really, it was kind of the Mesut Ozil show. He ripped them to shreds creating 9 clearcut chances. He didn’t even look like breaking sweat (by the way, Arsenal fans online, give it a rest with the, ‘you should have listened to me when I said he’d be incredible’ malarkey… every, single, game. We get it. Mesut it grateful and your tweets from 1986 predicting this moment make you the sage of sages)

We took the lead when he flew a speculative ball into the box, Gabriel was the only man following in and his header into the top corner gave us the deserved lead.

We struggled to convert all the chances we were being given by Mesut which gave me the jitters.

In the second half we picked up our much needed second goal, Mesut started the move again finding Giroud by eluding 4 players, the Frenchman nonchalantly flicked the ball back to the German on the one two, he cooly slotted home sauntering off with that weird celebration he does with his fingers (thanking the 462,000 Arsenal tweeters who were RIGHT about his superpowers).

We shut down after that not seeking to risk out clean sheet (and Petr Cech’s Premier League record).

No injuries. No drama. Just points.

So what did we learn?

Giroud:

Lot of angst over the Frenchman’s performance and I feel some of it is a little unfair. This happens most years, he starts off really well, then he hits breaking point, his performances drop and he gets injured. He’s carried our frontline for a long time and he’s had very few breaks in-between. I think he’s a tireless workhorse and I think he needs a few games off to recharge.

Bigger issue is that even when he’s fit he’s not quite what we need, but we’ll have to worry about that next summer.

Ozil:

He has too much class for our frontline. He’s in dream like form at the moment, but we don’t have the players to finish off what he’s providing. This is up to Arsene to address in the summer because we’re currently wasting the talent we have. Imagine if there was a Robin on the end of those chances? It’d be crazy.

Imagine, if those fans that made Mesut the player he is today via Twitter, could conjure up a solution?

Rotation:

Whenever I talk about rotation, fans message back and say… ‘well, if we rotated and we lost, you’d be annoyed’… sure, great well thought out response. The plan would usually be to rotate and win. The issue then isn’t the rotation, it’s on the motivation of the second string. Yesterday showed that in the right games, rotation works. My argument is that Bournemouth were far more dangerous that Sunderland and Aston Villa before them. We need to take our moments when to rest players. We need to have more belief in the fringe players and we need to make sure we always have energy on the park. Southampton is what happens when you ignore players needs.

Chambers:

He had a pretty good game. He looks more at ease on the ball than Flamini and his range of passing looked good just in front of the back four. I also think his background as a defender will put him on a good footing to develop. Is he ready for Barca? Probably not, but he’s ready to play more games for us and he’s ready to transition Flamini into retirement? I’d say so.

Title Race:

You’re out of it. You’re in it. It’s so messed up this year, you might as well not talk about the impact one result will have.

It’s all about focus. The team that decides it wants to focus will be king.

It’s exciting though. Money isn’t the dark overlord anymore, great news. The top is closer to the bottom. Great coaching is the hero.

Hooray indeed.

Let’s hope Wenger can prove that when the playing field is levelled, his ways are the best ways.

447 Responses to “5 things we learned from Arsenal vs Bournemouth”

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  1. Nasri's Mouth

    Orbinho‏@Orbinho
    Points difference to last season’s equivalent fixtures

    Arsenal +2
    Man City -3
    Man Utd -4
    Liverpool 0
    Spurs +6
    Chelsea -18

    Good news is that if it continues, we finish above ManC

    Bad news is that we’d finished below Spurs…

  2. somerandomperson

    @NM Spurs are a real threat for the title . Their form seems sustainable. It is not built on one or 2 players on super form. Like we have with Ozil or with Leicester with Mahrez and Vardy. They seem to have a young deep squad with great defense.

  3. Wallace

    NM

    “Bad news is that we’d finished below Spurs…”

    as someone pointed out yesterday, how can Spurs finish 1st if they have to finish behind Arsenal?

  4. Marc

    You’ve all missed the cosmological constant of the Spud’s bottling it every time things look good. We’re accused of it – they’re worse.

  5. daz

    @NM Spurs are a real threat for the title . Their form seems sustainable. It is not built on one or 2 players on super form. Like we have with Ozil or with Leicester with Mahrez and Vardy. They seem to have a young deep squad with great defense

    yeah true, but you may have said we were totally reliant on sanchez being in form yet we have done well without him

  6. Berg

    I meant in terms of energy. If you watch kante he rarely overdoes it unlike Sanchez who you forgive for the moments of brilliance

  7. somerandomperson

    @daz Sanchez was really really bad except for the 3-4 matches where he scored all his goals . With Cazorla out we do not remotely have any replacement for Ozil.

    If Ozil is injured team has to go through a massive transformation to create chances.

  8. Carts

    LOL @ booing Sterling.

    I tell you what, I’d attribute that blame to Rodgers, Carragher and every other wanker that piped up when he respectfully said he didn’t want to play under Rodgers at Liverpool.

  9. Carts

    I think Barkley’s next destination is either of the Manchester teams. Everton are far too inconsistent for Barkley, long term. Same goes for Lukaku – I can see him at Utd or PSG

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    @Carts

    Yeah, the incessant ‘Sterling needs to stay at Liverpool to improve/learn/show loyalty’ speeches were really OTT.

    Of course, they all thought it was a great idea for him to leave QPR rather than improve/learn/show loyalty there

  11. tunnygriffboy

    Bizarre season

    However. Top of the league at the half way mark at the end of the year. We would probably all have taken that at the beginning of the season but it hasn’t been plain sailing

    We’ve had periods of good form with some excellent performances. Then all of a sudden we chuck in some mediocre and awful performances dropping points. We have managed to bounce back from these most of the time

    We’ve done this with once again having a chronic injury list. We’ve lost 4 games but all the other sides in and around us have been dropping points as well. Mental.

    If we can stay within 3 or 4 points of the leaders come the beginning of March we should be getting the majority of our players back. We are then capable of going on a good run of fixtures to the end of the season. Key will be getting through the fixtures to March.

    The title race is wide open this beserk season. We are in it and we should go for it (are you listening Arsene ? Get your cheque book out !)

    PS : The caveat is Mesut and Alexis staying fit for the majority of the season and Coquelin coming back when he’s supposed to come back.

  12. daz

    Just had a look at the form guide, only villa and man utd haven’t won a game in the last 6 matches, God it feels good to say that

  13. Sam

    Haters want us to believe Wanyama is the best midfielder, Lol!!!
    Shaqiri, the bayern reject now Mark Hughes player is better than our strikers.

    Fok off

  14. Nasri's Mouth

    Twitter has just reminded me that the African Cup of Nations is starting soon.

    So that’ll be Bony, Toure and possibly Iheanacho out for a while.

    Aguero’s hamstrings nervously twanging at the thought

  15. Dissenter

    Nasri’s mouth,
    “Twitter has just reminded me that the African Cup of Nations is starting soon.So that’ll be Bony, Toure and possibly Iheanacho out for a while. Aguero’s hamstrings nervously twanging at the thought”

    That’s an excellent point, problem is we lose Elniny as well and Egypt have a penchant for doing well at the AFCON.
    City will be devastated,

  16. gazzap

    to be fair Chambers did have a very good game and look slicker on the ball than Flamini and better than I thought he was. I guess he needs to do it 3 or 4 times before we can say that’s what he can do. A one off when the adrenaline is pumping is not the same thing as doing it week in week out.
    But I definitely want to see more of him in that role. way better than when he played right back, and centre back. I wonder how much of this is down to training with players like Ozil every day.

  17. Paddywhack

    How come most of our on loan players did not feature in games for lower division clubs. Could it be that they are not good enough. Then why does AW think they will ever be good enough for Arsenal. An example Wellington not good enough for Bolton!!!

  18. Sam

    RedTroll,

    Mohamed Elneny is unknown cheap player, true
    But who’s lighting up the premiership today? cheap n unknown players.
    Mahrez, Kante, Ighalo, Vardy, etc….
    While your so called World class stars can’t hit a cow backside with a banjo.
    Wenger’s only being careful n following the current trend

  19. tunnygriffboy

    No, there’s no AFCON this year. It’s just qualifiers in 2016 on International breaks. I was seriously thinking that we’d signed him just to see him b.gger off straight away.

  20. tunnygriffboy

    gazzup

    Ok for Chambers to do it at home v Bournemouth. It’s just the sort of game he should be rotated in for. Possibly Newcastle or Sunderland in the cup. Not to be thrown in the deep end at Anfield.

  21. Nasri's Mouth

    tunnygriffboy: Ok for Chambers to do it at home v Bournemouth. It’s just the sort of game he should be rotated in for.

    I was curious to see how he played and was generally pleased. I’d say from that performance we need to give him some more chances.

    I liked his positioning and his range of passing. Massively early days of course

  22. Nasri's Mouth

    If we actually do sign Elneny by the 1st of Jan, that’ll be 10 days from when he was first linked.

    That’s got to be the quickest for a long time

  23. Dissenter

    El Niny wont be signed before January 4th. I believe UK embassies are closed on January 1st so he cannot process his Visa until Monday, Jan 4th.

    He’s got to be very good because we must have scouted him again and again. Gd knows how much vetting has been done on him.

  24. Nasri's Mouth

    @somerandonperson

    Well we were linked to him before he went to Malaga the previous season, but even the summer we signed him, there were rumours 2-3 weeks before he put pen to paper

  25. kwik fit

    Guys what can we say about Wenger cos we are top going into the new year. However, having said that, we been here before.

  26. gnarleygeorge9

    Self imposed media ban was lifted pre Bournemouth fixture, & in time to experience being Top of the League going into 2016. I like it 🙂

  27. steve

    “Guys what can we say about Wenger cos we are top going into the new year. However, having said that, we been here before.”

    Top going into the year in a very poor Premier League season.

  28. kwik fit

    RSPC

    We have been thereabouts for the last years. We should all know whats going to happen. Before Wenger I was optimistic now 😉

  29. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Kwik
    Meet the man once in 87

    Was working for a small post house owner was a mate of his an we were doing the vid

    Nice fella

    Lovely treacles around

  30. london gunner

    Dissenter

    Is elneny your brother or are you his agent?

    Your fetish for him is rather bizarre as I doubt you even knew his name before we were linked with him.

    Oh he must be very good because he has been scouted areyou high?

    Santos was scouted as well as was squillachi and cygan

  31. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Met Terence Trent Darby
    Years ago had to film him at the church crouch end
    Fokker turned up four hours late
    Poxy set
    Nice make up tart with him tho …

  32. GuNZ

    Well, well, end of year top of the pile albeit by goal difference. Good on Leicester for keeping it up. Even better on us for managing to keep it together thus far.

    I had a Swede girlfriend once. She was a great root. Certainly beet the rest of them. A real turnip for the books. Oh fuck, someone shoot me . . . . .

  33. kwik fit

    RSPC

    Only time at somerset house was a liam Gallagher concert. Really enjoyed it was bogeying the whole night. Liam loved it 😉

  34. Dissenter

    London,
    I am just giddy that we are bring someone in finally.
    We are down to bare bones and are playing Chambers in the midfield.

  35. Mick Kartun

    Petr Cech insists he wouldn’t have joined Arsenal if he didn’t think they could win Premier League @mirror.

    Time will tell in the end of May if he was right or we’ll see same old same movie before. God Bless You Cech.

  36. Bamford10

    London

    Two things: one, two years ago I said Barkley was the most talented English midfielder since Gascoigne, and Keyser suggested I didn’t know my head from my ass. God, he was annoying. Two, I love that you’ve made a study of De Bruyne’s passing. For me he’s one of the 2-3 best passers in the world, maybe the best.

  37. peanuts&monkeys

    If you are honest, you will admit arsenal doesn’t deserve to be on top of table. Arsenal are there coz other teams have been dropping points. And now, when United, Chelsea and Spurs have started peaking Arsene’s pack of donkeys will not be any good to us fans. Arsenal will be 5th in table by Feb 1st week.

  38. peanuts&monkeys

    Game against Bournemouth threw at Arsenal more matters to worry upon than cheer. (1) inishing since the City game has been piss poor.(2) in spite of us having an assist machine at the form of his life arsenal has not scored 3 goals in more than 2 matches this season.

    Who the fuck will finish?????

  39. underrated Coq

    Perfect 0-0 scrap between our two title rivals. Speaking of whom, I noticed the stat that City have scored only 8 goals in 9 away matches in the PL and they’re without an away win since September. Next up: Watford, potentially more points dropped.

  40. qna

    I am happy that we are doing our business early and bringing in a central midfielder straight away. Cant fault the club for that. I dont think anyone can claim to know that this guy Elneny is just what we need to win the title, but at the same time, nobody knows he wont be a successful player.

    One of the big issues I have always had with wenger buying “squad” players like Elneny must be considered at this stage (as opposed to Ozil, Sanchez, Cech), is that if they dont work out, then they block a spot in our squad roster for the next several years. Consider, Chamack, Forehead, Welbeck, Santos – all players I was against at the time. If he works out, like Coquelin did when we brought him back from loan (like a new signing), then its great, but more often than not, its a mistake.

    Having said that – in this particular case, I think its not a bad option to bring in a 23 yo who clearly has bags of potential into the squad, noting the age of our current central midfield. There is still certainly room for another top tier central midfielder who can come into our starting 11, and hopefully Elneny will give that future player much competition – best case, Elneny is that player allowing Wenger to bring in a further squad player.

    Cazorla is a player that to me looks like he is running out of legs. A fantastic player, he needs to be replaced at some stage – and I think that is likely to be sooner than later. He could still contribute from the bench as Rosicky has done for the latter part of his career.

    You could potentially bring in both Elneny and Sampa in January and still bring in an established first team central midfielder in the summer.

    In: Elneny, Sampa, Pogba 🙂
    Outs: Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini

    Cazorla a firecracker to come off the bench and make the difference

  41. Al

    They striker solution is so obvious. Lukaku.

    Everything you want from a striker and is value as he has years ahead of him.

    You just know he wants to play for us also. Give Everton £40m and we walk this league with him up top.

  42. shad

    @qna,

    Cazorla will return to Spain where he will be guaranteed more minutes than be a bench warmer at Arsenal. Some clubs have already made cat calls at him; Atletico, Villareal, Atletic.B, probably Malaga..

  43. underrated Coq

    ” You just know he wants to play for us also. Give Everton £40m and we walk this league with him up top. ”

    Why do people make statements like this? You’d think they’re talking about Messi, Ronaldo- lite.

    Never mind ‘walk the League’, there’s no guarantee we’d even win the title with Lukaku. For all we know, he may well be the next Michu, Benteke, Bony and a host of other strikers who looked imperious at mid-table clubs.

    And 40 million? Yeah, that makes sense. 42 million for Ozil, 35 million for Sanchez, 40 million for Romelu fucking Lukaku.

  44. Wallace

    excited to see what Elneny can bring to the side/squad. if he can complement Ramsey that would be ideal.

    but still think we’re struggling if Wilshere’s not back until mid-Feb at the earliest. even if Chambers builds on his promising debut, and Elneny adapts quickly, I still think we’re a bit short of genuine quality in that area with Cazorla & Wilshere out.

  45. Samesong

    And 40 million? Yeah, that makes sense. 42 million for Ozil, 35 million for Sanchez, 40 million for Romelu fucking Lukaku

    I agree with you UC but the guy’s entitled to his opinion.

  46. Al

    Underrated coq

    Number 1 if you have followed the whole of lukaku career you would know his talent so the comparisons to Michu, bony or beneteke is nonsense. He has been a legit talent and consistently proved it in the league since being in loan at west brom.

    Number 2 you need to be realistic about what he will cost. They bought him for £28m so if you think he will be cheap just because we bought those players for that price you are slightly delusional

    Number 3 are major issue is in the striker role and has been for a while. He is a simple solution

  47. Wallace

    people moaning about the quality of the league, but I’m loving it. seeing that Watford have got Man City at home on Saturday and knowing they’re probably going to give them a hell of a game is great for the league.

  48. Al

    Samesong

    You can’t go off stats always.

    First off look at the age difference and secondly look who has been servicing Giroud at his time at Arsenal.

    Also the most important just watch their overall game.

    Clear difference in quality.

  49. Vince

    AL. Absolutely agree with you. For me, Lukaku is like a sum of Walcott and Giroud. He’s played nearly 4 years and has been relatively consistent. I’ll definitely take him.

  50. Samesong

    Al

    The question is for 40M is there not better in the market?

    Aubeymang maybe?

    Lukaku is good but is he much of an upgrade at the moment granted his age on Giroud and Walcott who I don’t particularly rate highly by the way.

  51. peanuts&monkeys

    Someone wrote here yesterday ‘Wenger and Arsenal doesn’t want to win the league. Doesn’t have the gall to launch a killer attack for winning the PL. For them being in 4th is a safe bet Y-o-Y. Fucking loser club’

    I tell you guys there is nothing more correct assessment than that of ArsenaLoser club. If it was otherwise, which fucking moron would have let Javier Hernandez pass beneath his fucking red nose to Germany???

  52. peanuts&monkeys

    Arsene Wenger and his lackeys at the Loser club cannot handle the pressure of trying to win. He has not been able to dope the players well enough to make them WANT to WIN.

    ArsenaLoser club will lose no time to give the fight up. They will soon be 5th in the table, well within Feb 10th.

  53. Pierre

    No way is lukaku capable of the touch giroud showed for ozil’s goal against Bournemouth. Also, giroud makes intelligent runs off the ball to create space for his team mates whereas lukaku plays for himself. In saying that , lukaku can look unplayable at times and would be an asset to any team .

  54. peanuts&monkeys

    To make Arsenal win with this team setup, we need Mourinho. He is a winner and knows how to win from here.

    Sack the old haggard. get Mourinho in!!! We want the league this time. Wenger Out!!!

  55. Savage

    “we need Mourinho. He is a winner and knows how to win from here”

    Erm… Maybe if you only keep him for two seasons. The guy only does one night stands before leaving her with herpes.

  56. Carts

    @ NM

    Yeah it really was embarrassing and tiresome. Now for the likes of Leicester to chime in make little to no sense!

    @ Dissenter

    “He’s got to be very good because we must have scouted him again and again. Gd knows how much vetting has been done on him.”

    Do you think the same principles were applies when we scouted the dog shit out of Sanogo?

  57. Savage

    “Do you think the same principles were applies when we scouted the dog shit out of Sanogo?”

    Doesn’t work the same with kids, particular with an injury history.

    ps. Sanogo was the leading scorer in a star-studded French team that won the U19 world cup. In case you didn’t know, which you obviously did.

  58. Carts

    “No way is lukaku capable of the touch giroud showed for ozil’s goal against Bournemouth. Also, giroud makes intelligent runs off the ball to create space for his team mates whereas lukaku plays for himself. In saying that , lukaku can look unplayable at times and would be an asset to any team .”

    Lukaku – 22

    Giroud – 29

    So let me get this right, you want to highlight the “touch” that Giroud played to Ozil as so kind of important factor; and his runs that create space? yeah that’s all cool but for the most part no very important!

    Giroud plays that way cos he lack certain qualities in other areas. On the grand scheme of things for £12m we’ve done well with Giroud. And if anything, we’re probably quids in with him.

    Lukaku – being 7 years younger – and already recognising his saint, could well morph into a Drogba-like figure in two years.

    Power
    Physicality
    Pace
    Aerial ability
    maybe not as clinical;

    For £40m, he’d be a steal and no reason why he couldn’t lead the front line for 10 years!

  59. Savage

    “For £40m, he’d be a steal”

    No, he’d be market rate for EPL inflated rates.

    Lukaku is a solid EPL-level striker, but he’s not top bracket like Alexis. What he’s doing now reminds me a lot of Yakubu.

  60. Red&White4life

    What I say may sound crazy, but – I’m talking of the 2 players at their actuel level – between benteke and L’oLreal, sorry but I chose handsom lol

  61. Carts

    “ps. Sanogo was the leading scorer in a star-studded French team that won the U19 world cup. In case you didn’t know, which you obviously did.”

    My bad; you right, bro 🙁

  62. Carts

    Behave yourself, ffs. And apply logic….or better yet EPL logic.

    Chelsea paid £24m for a 26 yr old Drogba in 2004.

    That is £33m in today’s market. Is he considered a steal?

    So Rooney for £28m in 2003, is that considered a steal, today? I think so.

    Disclaimer: Same can’t be said for his £300k wage though.

    If adjust £28m based on inflation it’ll be £39m today. There’s no point reminding us how inflated football is cos let’s face it, there’s no way around it.

    No for £40m, at 22, based on his ceiling I consider that a steal!

  63. Wallace

    for all his size and power Lukaku rarely gives our CBs many problems. does seem like he’s stepping up a bit this year, but still not sure he’s going to be top level. if we’re raiding Everton I’d take Barkley over him every time.

  64. Savage

    “based on his ceiling”

    That’s conjecture. The same conjecture that brought Sanogo in.

    I’m happy with 40mil being the market price, makes sense. Which makes 12mil for Giroud a steal, and even more so for 32mil on Alexis.

  65. Rambo Ramsey

    Carts, weird logic and flawed too maybe? a tad early to make comparisons to the Rooneys and the Drogbas of the world. not saying Lukaku won’t reach them levels but its also possible he might not. we see every year EPL clubs spending over the odds with the same logic. Liverpool especially.how often have you seen them getting their worth?

  66. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger says ‘we will be busy’ as ‘we’re short, especially in midfield.’

    Hopefully this means more than just Elneny next month, he must know he isn’t going to have a better chance of winning the title before leaving, should just throw everything at it.

  67. Pierre

    If, according to so many, that Everton have quality players (lukaku, Barkley, stones, baines etc) that would improve the arsenal team, then why are they so far off the pace in the title race…. Could it be that we have a decent manager who knows how to get the best out of players….

  68. Phd007

    A manager who knows how to get good players to settle for top 4 every season without fail..

    Not a manager, who knows how to get good players to play over&beyond their potential, in order to win major honours. .