5 observations on the Arsenal decimation of Sunderland

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Well, a comfortable game, that turned uncomfortable… then it turned into a coma of comfort, like the sort of comfort you have on a Sunday after taking down a large Domino’s on a rampant hangover.

An important three points won, heading into the NLD. It wasn’t just the three points, it was taking them with ease that meant something. We took the lead through a lovely bit of 20 pass build-up play, Chamberlain used his explosive pace to ghost his full back, he turned in a Sanchez height cross that the Chilean nodded across goal. A real Arsenal of old spectacle.

The second half was a bit more dangerous, we let them back in with a bit of calamity defending from Mustafi, resulting in Petr Cech taking down Watmore ending in a Defoe converted penalty.

We didn’t cave in on ourselves, we launched a resurgence and it was great fun to watch. We need a bit of help though, that came from Giroud.

The Frenchman scored with his first touch, which came from a very dangerous low cross from the impressive Gibbs. His second came from an Ozil corner, the Germans first Premier League assist of the season would you believe? Giroud glanced his header over the keeper to make it three. It was great to have him back.

At that point, I’d have liked to have seen Sanchez taken off, he wasn’t, and he scored after a bit of a scramble in the box. So much for my insight there.

4-1. A decimation, 3 points and no injuries.

Things to think about:


Not his finest game, he looked a bit heavy legged. You have to remember he’s only 20 years old and he’s showing all the signs of being a serious name for us this season. He’ll have bad games though, you have to accept that.


The Welshman looked rusty, it was quite amusing his assist for Sanchez came from a duffed piece of skill. I’m interested to see how we use him this season. That all action hero role doesn’t really work for us, and he can’t play the same position he does for Wales. So where does he play? He’s in a weird situation, he’s not the best defensively, not the best attacking… but he has a bit of everything and more energy than most. I hope Wenger has a plan.


Great to have him back in the team. The pundits were saying before the game, Sanchez can do anything Giroud can. I disagree, no one holds the ball up like the Frenchman and Sanchez can’t bully players in the same way… it was great to see him score from his first two touches. I also liked his beard. It’s like a piece of Tracey Emin art… ‘I grow the criticism and pain into my facial hair’… so modern.


A lot of fans are talking about title contention. I’m holding off there. We’re always in a situation at this point of the season where we convince ourselves, ‘this is different’, reality is we’ve had an extremely pleasurable run of late. Swansea, Boro, Burnley and the worst Sunderland team of all time. We should be winning these games. It shouldn’t be a treat. The tough games are going to come thick and fast now. This is when we see what Arsenal 2016/17 is made of.

But… it looks good, but remember, November is coming…


Elneney had a super game today, Gibbs played really well and Chambo came up with the goods… AND our backup striker scored two goals. We have depth coming out of our ears. Finally.


They’re unbeaten so far this season (as of writing this), so we really do have a monster of a game coming up next week. We head there in great form, hopefully Theo and Santi are back for that game. A massive selection headache awaits… but I’ll take that over a lack of bodies and forced hands!

I am SO excited about this.

472 Responses to “5 observations on the Arsenal decimation of Sunderland”

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  1. Jonraid

    after all these unbeaten run, can someone tell me is it time to start watching them play again? I have barred myself from watching boring Arsenal for a few months now… Every time I watched them played last season, I got frustrated…

  2. karim

    Atkinson grew more and more nervous about Alexis constantly being on the floor until that play where the former let his ego do the talking and decided not to give the pen.

    Thing is Alexis didn’t dive once, they were all fouls !

  3. vicky

    Missed the game, judging from comments seems we dominated but failed to score until Giroud came on. Perhaps if Giroud was available, we would have won against Borough as well. He thrives against weak teams especially when he plays as a sub. It keeps him hungry as well.

  4. ozrus

    Jonraid, I would stick to playing 1st and 4th on legrove if I were you. You seem to be really good at it. Don’t worry about watching Arsenal. When you get bored with 1st and 4th you could play with your favorite toys or a dildo

  5. steve

    This season is a bit like the beginning of the 13/14 season were Arsenal had a terribly easy schedule and all the akb dickheads could say were: “we’re top of the league” and then the team collapsed when the fixture started to get tougher.

  6. Bamford10

    Agree, Paulinho, that we still have too many half-players and too few complete players. At the moment, though, our defense is solid enough and we’re getting enough from our mix of half players to say that we can compete for the title. We’re not favorites, but I’d give us a 1-in-5 or a 1-in-6 chance, which is worlds better than anything we’ve seen in some time.

  7. Alexanderhenry


    I think we are definitely contenders this season. There is one quite obvious reason for this which you touched on: depth.

    We had injuries today and in the past that would that have thrown us into disarray, with players being played out of position, youth players blooded far too early, players carrying injuries being forced back too soon and Giroud playing 1000 games in a row.

    Not so today. Everyone who deputised looked calm, capable and match fit.
    Also, having ramsay back has got to be a good thing. In a first choice arsenal XI I’m not sure where he fits in either, but who cares.

    I admit I am often guilty of over optimism where arsenal are concerned, but so far I’m drifting away from cautious optimism and into the realm of quiet confidence.

    Long way to go of course.

  8. Rambo Ramsey

    Don’t want to be a downer but the way we allow opposition to easily and quickly translate from defense to attack worries me. Coquelin gets caught so high up the pitch that he’s nowhere to be seen during these transitions nowadays. Mustafi’s passing is class but defensive errors are starting to creep in his game.

  9. Bamford10

    I like what Giroud brought to the game, but I still don’t think he should start — except maybe against teams that are going to park the bus. I think Alexis through the center gives us more movement and better all-around play. Giroud should come in in the 70th or in the kind of games I mentioned above.

  10. Bamford10


    ” having ramsay back has got to be a good thing”

    Yeah, no one skies shots over the bar quite like Ramsey. And we always need someone with a God-awful haircut / style.

  11. Pedro

    Alex, real depth… last season, it was Rocky and Arteta, now we have Elneny and Chamberlain coming in and making things happen.

  12. ozrus

    Ramsey setup Gibbs for a one on one (albeit inadvertently) and was directly involved in the forth goal. He missed the shot at the end, so what? He’s an exciting player

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rambo, its just systematic of being a naturally offensive team mate. But what you mentioned with Coquelin being high up is due to how Wenger likes to build the play through his CBs which I don’t agree with

  14. Batistuta

    Gibbs and El Neny were brilliant today

    Sensible rotation has to be the main thing especially for the likes of Iwobi

    Can we have Ospina in the EPL and Cech in the champions league pls

  15. Jim Lahey

    Look lets all be honest, we’re not going to win the league, its not happening. But this is the best squad we have had since we left Highbury. We’re not playing great football, but we’re still picking up points.

    Lets just enjoy it for now.

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    lol I don’t think anyone has proclaimed that we’re gonna win the league. At most people have said that we have the ability to challenge which is about right. Whether that translates into coming first remains to be seen. You really get the sense that some don’t want other fans to enjoy victories. Again, begs the question as to why you support Arsenal.

  17. Mark S

    It’s amazing what competition for places does. Giroud and Ramsey wanted to show what they could do, because they know that they’re not guaranteed anything. The match commentators talked about how Giroud would come back in for Iwobi eventually, but then they talked about why would Arsenal change things when they’re winning? It’s nice to have a squad….not just 11 players and a prayer.

  18. Rambo Ramsey

    ROP, yeah Mustafi takes up positions near the centre of the pitch at times! Ofc him and Coq pushing up helps win back the ball and keep up the attacking momentum but the risks of getting caught? Better teams might punish us.

  19. jwl

    “He’ll have bad games though, you have to accept that.”

    I sold Walcott yesterday and bought Iwobi for weekend so I am not delighted his bad game had to be today.

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rambo, for sure. Even Wenger has admitted its quite a risky strategy which is why it makes even more sense to have quick defenders. All our defenders are rapid bar Per so it’s something we get away with the most of the time. It’s also why the manager prioritises good ball retention which is why you wanna have the ball as high up the pitch as possible so even if it does turnover, you’ve got enough time to rectify it

  21. Romford Ozil Pele

    And you factor in what it gives us going forward. We score so many more goals compared to last season. Think we’re averaging 3 per game away from home right now so it’s a case of give and take.

  22. Dissenter

    The officiating was terrible today but we’ve benefited from dodgy refereeing twice this season to win games we had no business winning.
    Away at Burnley and home to Southampton.
    Mr Atkinson was horrible but has he ever been good.

  23. jwl

    Arsenal points/game Wenger era:

    Mar 2.18
    Oct 2.15
    Sept 2.14
    Apr 2.09
    Dec 1.99
    Feb 1.97
    May 1.95
    Jan 1.89
    Aug 1.88
    Nov 1.59

  24. Alexanderhenry

    This season will be an epic struggle. I fancy us to stay in all competitions into the later stages.
    For that you need a big squad and it looks like we might have that squad for once.

    That’s why Ramsay being back is a good thing. He has lost his way a bit over the past two seasons, but he’s had a horrible series of injuries that have hampered his progress more than anything else.

    In case you’ve all forgotten, he was sensational in 2013/14.
    He can recapture that form.

  25. Rambo Ramsey

    Was sure City would come unstuck against Pulis-ball. Shame. Not surprised though to see Aguero back in his element after struggling against decent teams the last few weeks.

  26. Jim Lahey

    @Alex –

    At the moment it certainly is a nice problem to have!

    I feel at the moment we are are a it weak on the wings. Iwobi sure needs a rest, the guy looks a bit burned out.

    This is easy the best squad we have had since we left Highbury. However I still feel we are 2 players short of a title winning side.

  27. Mark S

    So Man United were going to win the title….

    It’s early but they’re 8 points off of the leaders right now. Again…it’s early, but it isn’t like the “Special One” has made them world beaters.

  28. Jim Lahey

    Who doesn’t love seeing United in a shambles?!

    Growing up Spurs were never the enemy to me, they barely existed in my world. The enemy was always United. In a school of 700 with one other Arsenal supporter United were all that mattered. To see what they have become now is beyond amazing!

  29. Wallace

    “Arsene Wenger has won the same amount of games in his last 10 matches as Jose Mourinho has in his last 42.”

    – bigsport

  30. Alexanderhenry


    City are favourites, no question, but they are not convincing at the moment anyway. After them it’s a toss up between us, spurs, liverpool and perhaps man utd.

    I agree, on the wings we are a bit weak. If the ox could be more consistent it would help. Also, don’t forget wellbeck. He’s not a winger but could be effective played wide.

  31. Jim Lahey

    @Hillwood –

    “Is Wenger the only manager you have known?”

    I was 9 when Wenger joined the club, but I sure remember the last few Graham years… I was an Arsenal fan at birth.. I didn’t have a choice!

  32. Jim Lahey

    @Alex –

    At the start of last season I thought Ox would push on, the guy really looked up for it. But he has a problem that a lot of good footballers have that stops them from being great. He never gets his head up to see what is going on around him.

    He has pace, power.. but just can’t see the play around him.

  33. Jim Lahey

    @Hillwood –

    It also has to do with being from Ireland where support was 50/50 between United and Liverpool.

    I remember there was one other Arsenal fan, even when we went unbeaten. There was also one Spurs fan and one Everton fan. The rest was United and Liverpool, so Spurs never really mattered to me.

  34. Jim Lahey

    @Hillwood –

    Now they are, which is odd considering we haven’t won the league in a decade. The Arsenal Supporters Club in Dublin is the biggest outside of London and I must say they do throw a good event!

    But traditionally it has always been either Liverpool or United. But as I said, neither were ever an option for me! It was either support Arsenal or find a new family!!

    It wasn’t until I moved to London I actually truly got a sense of the rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs.

  35. BT

    Having Giroud back is a great option to have but sincerley hope Wenger does not start him, he is far more effective coming on as a sub later on in the game especially as a plan B. We look far more effective starting with Sanchez with his pressing and pace up front. Also think Iwobi needs to be dropped/ rested.

  36. tom

    Strong showing from Arsenal today.

    Very convincing display against a hard working but badly equipped Sunderland.

    Great to see Giroud come on and win the game but I’m pretty convinced we would have won regardless.

    The whole team played well collectively and there were some great individual performances.

    Unlike Pedro and others , I thought Iwobi had a fine game.

    He was involved in plenty of action with Gibbs and Sanchez and also tracked back effectively.

    If you rate him low due to two wayward shots, you miss the point.

    Wenger has pushed him for end product and he made an effort to respond.

    Goals will come for him. Its only a matter of time.

    Lastly, big shout for Arsene Wenger who managed his team impeccably on the day.

    We head into November’s deep water with the wind in our sails.

  37. El Tel

    Your Comment Here

    70’s Arsenal Irish players

    Pat Jennings
    Pat Rice
    Sammy Nelson
    Chippy Brady
    Frank Stapleton
    David O’Leary

    John Devine, I think.

    Anyone name any more?

  38. Wallace

    Interviewer – “Congratulations, a very satisfying afternoon’s work?”

    Guardiola – “Yeah, but the Premier League….my friends is tough!”

  39. Samesong

    Unlike Pedro and others , I thought Iwobi had a fine game.

    No he didn’t which at his age is understandable. Iwobi would probably tell you himself it wasn’t one of his better games. He looked leggy.

  40. Wallace


    it’ll be interesting to see if he can turn it around. right now he’s teetering on the edge of repeating his last season at Chelsea. moaning about not having the talent at the right ages, but they’ve spent half a billion in the last few seasons, they can’t be that short of quality.

  41. Alexanderhenry


    Man utd are in serious trouble. Mourihno’s right, they have to win, but that has a lot to do with the fact that they have the largest debt in football. They literally can’t afford to be out of the CL for example.
    People point to their vast global support, but if they don’t produce on the pitch that support will fade along with much of their commercial revenue.

    It’s looking possible that they might finish out of the top four again this season with one of the most expensive squads ever assembled, including the most expensive player . Also, if they don’t start winning very soon there’s every indication that mourihno will do what he did last season at chelsea.

    The Glazers have panicked since fergie left. Their solution to every problem is to throw money at it but the more they spend the worse the team seems to get.

    They’re like the opposite of arsenal in other words. We’ve been comatose and they’ve been having prolonged heart attacks.

  42. Wallace

    Utd post-Fergie have reverted back, almost seamlessly, to Utd pre-Fergie. the biggest spenders, but results not quite commensurate with the outlay.

  43. Marc

    I generally don’t agree with Alexander but you have to look at ManU at the moment and wonder at what point the shambles of the last 3 seasons will start to have an impact. Chevrolet paid out serious money and haven’t seen CL football yet, I know we have some serious and real overseas supporters but a lot of the “ManU global” fan base will soon start to disappear after any serious lack of performance.

    Liverpool were the dominant team for however long and have gone over 25 years since winning the league, no one thought ManU’s slip would be so serious.

  44. Redtruth

    Last time i checked Man Utd were the FA Cup holders…

    It’s funny how some vehemently scold Man Utd yet have no appetite to do likewise with Arsenal which suggests expectations are greater at Man Utd than with Arsenal…..

  45. Marc

    Funny how Red didn’t count the FA cup as a serious competition while we were holders for two successive seasons, the minute ManU win it it’s something to revere.


  46. Redtruth

    It’s time for Pedro to wrap up this blog and call it a day.

    The claim was to offer an alternative critique analysis of Wenger with the core thrust being that of regime change.

    If true, then Pedro has utterly failed to deliver and should do the honourable thing and step down as Wenger remains firmly in place almost 10 years after legrove’s inception.

  47. Red&White4life

    Time to stop (for the moment at least lol) the L’oLreal bashing, he was superb today.
    I almost had an attack when I saw Alexis having pain at the back of his thigh…
    Cesc’s stupid mistakes are becoming more an more anoying.
    Not sure at all that Ospina would have made the one we’ve seen today…


    Otherwise, I’m in the same state of mind than Pedro: I enjoy the start of our season, it seems that we have found the right balance, and we have finally some depth in our squad, and our beautiful football is back – ze Arsenal way!!.

    But, as Pedro said, november is coming, and that is always a big source of concern… On game at a time fellas.


  48. Redtruth

    Arsenal have racked up points by playing the bottom 3 sides of the league now lets see if they can lose their flat track bully tag by accumulating points against top 4 sides…

  49. Alexanderhenry

    ‘It’s time for Pedro to wrap up this blog and call it a day.’

    Poor redruth.. things just aren’t going the way you hoped they would.
    Now you’re all upset.

    I think it’s time for you to ‘wrap it up’. Being an arsenal fan that is.

  50. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Lol suggests this is a joke of a site…’

    No, it suggests you are about twelve years old mate.

  51. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Your agenda is stale like this blog…’

    Marc’s agenda like mine, is to support arsenal football club.

    What’s yours?

  52. Danny

    A lot of fans are talking about title contention. I’m holding off there.
    When will Arsenal fans wake up and realize we are not in the title race. Wenger has no interest in winning league, for him a top 4 is a trophy as it has been for the last 10 years. His got it all worked out with how many points is required etc.
    The only way we could maybe win the league is up to the players, how much they want it and of course whether or not players like Mustafi, Sanchez etc don’t get injured.

  53. Marc


    There are things on this site that irritate me – you’re too Wenger pro, Joe would see Arsenal burn to get rid of Wenger, Bamford (has been much better of late) throws his toy’s out of the pram when people disagree with him etc etc etc.

    The thing that pisses me off the most is Pedro’s lack of balls in banning Redtruth (or any of the names he has run under before) I’ll accept other opinions, agree with some ague with others but Pedro for fuck sake man up.

  54. Alexanderhenry


    Don’t know about banning people but Redruth intrigues me. I can’t believe he is actually an arsenal fan. If he is, it raises quite a fascinating, philosophical debate about what it is to be a football fan.

    He appears to despise arsenal and wants the team to fail. He derives no pleasure from anything that occurs on or off the pitch. He doesn’t like any of the players, the manager of course, the stadium, our style of play, the fans or any of us. He wants arsenal to get relegated and just a few days ago described arsenal as a ‘joke of a club’. If arsenal win he dismisses it as ‘meaningless’. He openly mocks arsenal and refuses to give any credit for the two doubles, six FA cups and unbeaten season. I have spurs supporter friends who are more complimentary about arsenal than he is.

    Even bamford is happy when arsenal win as all arsenal fans should be. Despite how he is, that makes him a valid arsenal fan. Redruth is a sort of anti arsenal arsenal fan. So, does he actually qualify as a fan?
    I actually hope he stays because if we win the league this year I’ll be fascinated to read what he posts.

  55. Joe

    “Arsene Wenger has won the same amount of games in his last 10 matches as Jose Mourinho has in his last 42.”– bigsport

    Yet Jose won a title just 52 matches ago won the PL

    Would you like to count how many matches it’s been since wenger won the league ??

  56. Alexanderhenry


    There is only one ‘agenda’ real arsenal fans have. That’s for arsenal to win.
    There is no other agenda.

  57. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Would you like to count how many matches it’s been since wenger won the league ??’

    No, but I’m sure you would. If you include non PL matches it’ll take quite some time to work it out Joe.

    Off you go then.

  58. Redtruth

    “There is only one ‘agenda’ real arsenal fans have. That’s for arsenal to win.
    There is no other agenda”

    Then.lets work together and rid us of the menace that is Wenger…

  59. Alexanderhenry


    Really? Wow, I’m shocked. I tried to get him to admit that pires and overmars were good signings… got nowhere.

  60. Red&White4life

    “Away kit is horrid.
    Wrong color.”

    @tom, maybe you didn’t already noticed, but most of the aways kits are often like that – wrong colors.

  61. Leedsgunner

    Arguably Özil could have got himself a brace today had he considered where he was going to shoot rather than rushing his shot.

    Against Ludogrets I would think about resting Özil Sanchez and Iwobi. Let’s play Giroud, Oxlade and the Jeff. I would our standard eleven rested themselves completely.

    Anyone catch the WBA highlights? Keep your eyes on Leko. A delightful young footballer. I want him in our shirt!

    Great win boys!!