Arsenal 3-1 Watford. Something wicked this way comes

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Hero

Hero

Football’s popularity is down, in part, to its appeal to the irascible, irrational portion of the human psyche.

All sports have this appeal, however none reflect so earnestly the short-tempered, short-sighted instincts of our species. Instincts which no amount of learning, yoga or mindfulness can shake off.

Put simply, you rarely see people get as excited about a table tennis match as they do about hearing Robbie Savage say something dumb.

That is why football fans can appear so fair-weather. One minute the sky is falling in. The next we’re talking about challenging for the title.

After a summer and start to the season that felt like the club was going to collapse under the weight of its own incompetence, yesterday’s performance, along with two new signings all but confirmed, have made it seem like anything is possible once again.

Let’s be under no illusions, Arsenal have started this season badly. This is partly to do with signings, but also a lack of preparedness when it comes to fitness and tactics. Even though we scored 3 against Liverpool, in our first two games the team never looked like it knew what it was supposed to be doing.

This could be to do with bedding in, but when you have a manager who constantly talks up the destabilising effect new players can have on a settled squad, and your one signing isn’t even in the starting XI, that’s a nonsense.

We only get 38 rolls of the dice to win the league. To forfeit two of them because we still haven’t cracked how to do pre-season following a major tournament, is unacceptable.

Yesterday, however, the penny dropped for the manager and the team. Granit Xhaka finally started in midfield in place of the limited Coquelin who was left to chew cardboard on the bench. The return of both Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil alongside the man from Granit meant our midfield had enough technique and positional awareness to dominate the game. It also meant our front three, and particularly Alexis Sanchez, had the service it needed to make an impact.

Arsenal rolled onto the pitch yesterday in their abominable “third kit” which is the visual equivalent of some glow sticks stuck to a piece of Velcro.

Despite the team being dressed like bright yellow bellends, things got off to a great start. Our makeshift striker, Alexis Sanchez, won a penalty early on after his diagonal run was picked out by Ozil, confusing the defender so much he tried to RKO him (from out of nowhere!!!). Little Cazorla’s penalty was comfortable enough.

Arsenal’s second resulted from some excellent approach play between Sanchez and Ozil. The ball was pinged out to Walcott on the right whose cross into the danger area was of the highest quality. Sanchez’s finish had a touch of the shins about it, but every goal’s a goal etc.

Sanchez was critical in Arsenal’s third as well. Drifting out to the left, the Chilean spotted Ozil as he glided through Watford’s defence like a Thomson’s gazelle and pinged the ball onto his head perfectly. A goal that was so well crafted, a bit of pee came out.

Incidentally, while it is great that Ozil and Sanchez have such a great understanding, they do really really like passing to each other. Kind of like when you were young and you would only pass to your mates, their bromance is as much an acknowledgment of their own abilities as it is a nod to the rest of the teams’ deficiencies.

The second half was less enjoyable. Watford pulled one back after the eggiest of goalmouth scrambles, Cech had to make a fair few saves and Watford brought on a lad called ‘Success’ in a desperate act of nominative determinism.

Wilshere, Gibbs and Elneny, all came on to steady the ship and we were able to play out the game with little incident.

Conclusions:

It’s taken three games and a few shifts in personnel but the team is finally clicking.

Though it’s about to change, the back four looks settled. Koscielny is obviously the main man but Holding is looking like a great signing. What I like about him is his ability on the ball. In one passage of play yesterday, he brought the ball out from the back and picked Ozil out with a 50 yard pass which instantly led to a chance. Ball playing centrebacks are so important to a team like ours. I just hope his career trajectory is more like LK’s than big Cal’s who looks like he’s due a loan spell.

Speaking of being good on the ball, Xhaka was excellent yesterday. Like a peak Arteta in terms of his positioning and distribution, but with added energy and power and proper hamstrings. Sitting in front of the defence, the guy ran the show. As someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, it will take a few weeks for teams to realise they need to mark him out of the game which should free up Ozil. Win win.

The final person I want to mention is Walcott whose confidence has been in the toilet for about 10 months. He looks like he’s getting back to somewhere near his best. He had energy and aggression and his assist for the second was pretty special. If he could learn to time his runs from the wing à la Pires and Ljungberg there’s no reason why he couldn’t make the right wing position his own again and start contributing with more goals.

Arsene all but confirmed the Mustafi and Perez signings post-match. James did a pretty comprehensive review of them yesterday so I won’t add much other than to say; Mustafi sounds like an excellent signing. I know nothing about Perez but he is the plan B (or possibly C) I’ve been moaning about us not having for years so at least we did have a back up.

There’s still some time left in the transfer window and I’m wondering if it might not be worth trying to pick up a few more players; James Rodriguez or Joe Hart?

Though it was completely shit to live through, it’s difficult to look at the players we have signed in this window and not agree that it has been a success, albeit a delayed one.

And so one, very good victory, and a couple of signings and now anything seems possible. I still think this season will be a fight between Pep and that snivelling sack of shit at Old Trafford for the title, but we need to see progress in terms of our PL points total, in Europe and, crucially, in our style of play before Simeone and Griezemann join us next season.

Right that’s it from me. You can follow me on Twitter @aldo_doel

Enjoy your bank holiday!

1,133 Responses to “Arsenal 3-1 Watford. Something wicked this way comes”

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  1. luke

    Anyone think there’s any chance of a late swoop for Griezmann? Sid Lowe insinuated that he was looking completely distraught after Athletico drew their second game of the season. I have no hope…

  2. Dissenter

    Luke,
    The tabloid reports thave it that we made an offer for Griezmann before the Euros. He declined the offer then.
    He plays in a wonderful city, for a great manager and is on a mega salary {about 250k pound sterling weekly]

    He will end up in PSG/City/Barca/Chelsea.
    He’s out of our salary range because we would rather pay average joes like Theo 140k weekly.

  3. Redtruth

    WengerEagle July 8 2014
    “ffs.Our CB pairing is as good as anyone’s, Szczesny in goal is in the main a very reliable GK and on his best days absolutely outstanding despite needing his arrogance slapped out of him every now and again.
    Ramsey and Ozil are as good a B2B and CAM as you’ll find in the league and Walcott/Ox/Cazorla are all well capable of being a part of a Champions League challenging team.”
    “Alexis Sanchez coming in is pure quality and then we also need a CDM and a RB (Debuchy).Stop over-exaggerating. We’re far from a poor side.”

    What an embarrassment ..lol lol

  4. STV

    “Sid Lowe insinuated that he was looking completely distraught after Athletico drew their second game of the season. ”

    He really was.. However there wasn’t any indication that he was thinking abt Arsenal transfer in that.. I think he was distraught because they lost the ground in the title race..

  5. Carts

    No chance in us getting The Griez. To bring him in would mean permanent sales of Giroud and Theo!

    What’s this comedy about Chelsea looking at being Luiz back?! Banter

  6. luke

    Yeah I figured the Griez would be a pipe dream even more so after signing lucas perez. Just figured – Wenger being the reactionary he is – might pick up that phone and try again after seeing Antoine say that Athletico would fight relegation if something doesnt change.

  7. Carts

    If Chelsea actually bring him back lol

    Luiz is actually a shit defender. So they’re going to have Luiz and Terry at CB?

    At least go for Marquinhos or someone.

    Shits gone absolutely barmy

  8. Dissenter

    Wilshere has only had 4,325 minutes over the past 5 seasons.
    Per opta: in 2010-11 there were 35 appearances by Wilshere; in 2011-12 there no appearances; in 2012-13 there were 25 appearances; in 2013-14 there were 24 appearances; in 2014-15 there were 14 appearances; in 2015-16 there were just three appearances.

    This lad is really overrated. He’s being judged by dated statistics. It’s like trying to build a Tesla-S with the plan of a Ford-T. He’s still being judged with 2010 stats, talk about living on yesterday’s potential.

  9. Redtruth

    WengerEagle
    “Come on mate, it’s one thing to say that he’s better than Welbeck but Depay looks a bit special”

    WTF..am i missing something…..lol

  10. Dissenter

    Sam,
    “Mustafa knows We have the best Ramadhan party at ArsenalWelcome Welcome”

    Some of the crap you post about our muslim players are borderline bigoted at the very least.

    WTF is wrong with you dude?

  11. Galaxygooner

    Who wants to bet?
    I predict that Wilshere will be benched after a few games.
    The guy is as limited in the midfield as Theo is in the striker’s position.

  12. Carts

    Sorry if this is a silly questions, but what is rationale behind making a transfer undisclosed? Is it to save embarrassment or something?

    Funny how Perez’s price was revealed but Mustafi isn’t

  13. Barking Arsene

    Wilshire is a fantastic player but that counts for nothing if you can’t stay fit.

    He wont ever realise his potential unless he can shake off the injuries. Constantly “coming back” and never getting a decent run of games.

    Loan move is smart – even better would be selling him with a buy back clause just in case….

  14. Carts

    Mystic

    Mourinho has zero interest in doing business with Wenger.

    Memphis will prob go on loan either way. Man, how shit does he look these days

  15. Sam

    “Some of the crap you post about our muslim players are borderline bigoted at the very least.”

    Gone are the days of harmless jokes

    political correctness they call it

    Sad!!

  16. mysticleaves

    carts

    yea well…the cech deal was hard for him yo take. I bet he signed it in his contract.

    “sell any player to Arsene Wenger and I leave” lol

  17. N5

    Political correctness is a term coined by bigots to justify their hate.

    Hate or don’t, but don’t hide behind “political correctness”.

  18. Joe

    Mourinho has zero interest in doing business with Wenger

    Why would you want to help a supposed direct competitor

    Only a complete cunt would do that.

    It would be like selling a RVP to United

    Or a nasri to man city

    Oh…. Shit….

  19. Joe

    Where were United when they sold mata to them. Go check and get back to me

    And likewise with us and diarra.

    And it’s not like diarra is the same influence player as a RVP or Nasri

  20. mysticleaves

    where were arsenal when they sold rvp and nasri?

    it’s not Like we were talking about players we were talking coaches.

  21. Joe

    We were talking direct competitors

    Selling RVP
    To United won them the title

    Don’t you yhink we would have had a much better chance to win the title with RVP that season with Santi , podolski and RVP and Giroud

    Well we really can’t be considered a big club if we sell these players

    Oh shit

  22. mysticleaves

    did le grove not see that Ryan Mason has signed for hull city or they just don’t care cos he’s a spud?

    I thought that player was onto something big but to end at hull is a bit of a. anti climax. can’t see a brighter future for him.

  23. Sam

    End of Ramadhan is actually a joyous moment for muslims
    this guy probably doesn’t know thats why he found my comments offensive

    It looks like someone needs a turkish girlfriend

  24. Sam

    I liked Memphis Depay before he signed for the cunts

    We could take a gamble, why not?
    the little boy inside him saying Manchester is sh!t and London is the place to be

  25. Joe

    The CL winning Luiz? That one. Think
    Conte might know if he can work with him

    Probably more chance of Luiz succeeding as a CB under Conte than mustafi under Wenger

    How many has zouma won?

  26. sam

    “Probably more chance of Luiz succeeding as a CB under Conte than mustafi under Wenger ”

    He’s called Joe the spuddy cunt for a reason

    he talks alot of sh!t

  27. Joe

    Hey Sam.

    You boy Wilshere supports west ham.

    What you think of that

    And do you really think Wenger is a better defensive manager than conte haha

  28. izzo

    Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Watford sounds about right for Wilshere. He’s found his level. Next manage will be selling him on next season along with Ramsey, the Ox and Walcott.

  29. N5

    That’s my point really Joe. All these really good managers buying him and for loads too. But I’ve never seen him have a good game. I wonder what it is about him that they like.

  30. Daz

    “Wasn’t it blanc who bought him. A top class defender himself And now conte wants him. Says something we don’t know”

    Joe conte has been trying to get Koulibaly all summer and has failed to do so, now he has turned to luiz, panic buy they are desperate

  31. Daz

    “Wonder why they didn’t bid for mustafi if so desperate”

    They wanted Koulibaly, we got mustafi before they had given up on Koulibaly now they are panicking

  32. Joe

    Red

    Vela has scored just as much as Perez for socieadad. 12,14 and 16 goal seasons

    Should have just kept vela 🙂 or turned him into griezmann when they offered us your swap

  33. N5

    I know Stones is the most in UK but I’m not sure if he beats Luis in Europe, was he £50m or £60m?

    Did anyone read Perez interview on the .com? he said that Arsenal inquired about him right at the beginning of the window but then they played the transfer game yadda yadda! do we believe that was his words or was someone filling in the blanks for him? because it all sounded very Wengerish to me.

  34. N5

    Yeah I thought so too Joe. It’s sad because when I read it I was thinking yeah right. I wonder how many people believed it and thought “Oh Wenger did always have a plan! I knew he was great”.

    Here is the part I meant.

    Arsenal:“It seems to have all happened quite quickly. How did it play out for you?”

    Perez: Well, there was some contact when the transfer window opened. As always in football, clubs have to evaluate what they need, but they showed interest when they got in contact. Things happened more quickly towards the end of the window so it could be made official.

  35. N5

    Why is CESC in capitals? are you shouting his name or getting him confused with CSKA?

    Also the irony of you writing a comment about “no-brainers”. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  36. Dissenter

    Slimani ismogingbfrom Porto to Everton fora £35 million club record fee. It’s been crazy window because he just moved to Porto from Granada for only £5 million in 2014.

    English clubs better invest in good scouting quickly.

  37. Dissenter

    Typical of Wilshere to choose the easier London option so he can pursue his London nightclub career.

    He’s been mollycoddled way too much by Wenger.

  38. sam

    Cesc looks good on Chelsea bench
    He keeps reminding himself the best club he ever played for and he was treated like family. Since he left he’s treated like a cunt wherever he goes.

    yeah thats what he is, a cunt
    Unwanted cunt should fok off to play Turkish football

  39. Emiratesstroller

    What I find interesting is that PSG our first opponents in CL sold yesterday Luiz without replacing him.

    This summer this club has made relatively modest investment in Krychowiak and Jese who are hardly mega stars. They accepted a £20 million loss on Luiz after just 2 years and significantly have only three experienced centre backs.

    It suggests to me that perhaps PSG are having financial difficulties and their
    Qatari owners are no longer willing to pump money into the club.