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3 wins in a row, 3rd in the league; Wigan Pier 0 Arsenal 1

By Tony Attwood

In the week when a prominent member of the AAA announced that real supporters of Arsenal should be hoping that Arsenal drop out of the top four this season, we’ve actually moved in the opposite direction.

Of course the position is false in that most clubs (at the moment I am writing this) have a game to play, and Chelsea have two.  In a few days time the position will be reversed – with our Boxing Day game off, we will be the ones playing catchup.

But fortunately the real supporters, but which I mean those who don’t glory in the failure of Arsenal, will have a rather pleasant few days thinking of nine points out of nine.

And yes we were playing a team that regularly struggles – indeed I think every credit must go to Wigan, a team with very limited support, who manage to stay in the top league year after year.  And let’s not forget that defeat they imposed on us with the early goals at the Ems.

It is interesting that while we filled the away end, there were lots of spare seats  elsewhere.  I wonder why Wigan don’t make more of the ground available to away support.  I remember Wimbledon doing this.  OK it kills the atmosphere for the home team, but it brings in more money.

I felt Oxlade Chamberlain did very well, which was good given that Cazorla was  more quiet than recently.  And I also felt that Koscileny and Coquelin played well as subs – a couple of minutes from the end of normal time Coquelin did a superb defensive job and Kos did a good clearance in the few minutes that he was on the pitch.  (Interesting also that the AAA were saying that Kos is one of the great failures of Wenger’s purchasing policy.)

So, a good result, another bash at centre forward for Theo.  It may be about beating a lower team, but the fact is we won, and the team is looking better.

And this is a team in crisis apparently.  (Incidentally I don’t hear too many people saying that Newcastle are a team in crisis – and remember they are supposedly a top 4 challenging team).

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The books…

The sites…

 

 

41 comments to 3 wins in a row, 3rd in the league; Wigan Pier 0 Arsenal 1

  • WalterBroeckx

    Who said we can’t win ugly?
    This was all about taking the 3 points home today in difficult conditions on a difficult pitch.
    We just did that.
    The team wanted to fight for it and that is all we can ask.

    I had the impression the lawn man from Wigan was ill this week so he couldn’t cut the grass that looked very high. A side effect is that teams who like to play over the ground are a bit handicapped.

    I’ve heard Giroud has cought a virus and I wonder if the rest of the team also was having some kind of virus as they looked to run with heavy legs and with slow reaction times.

  • Great result today – ugly but who cares.

    That was a tough game – Wigan are no mugs against the bigger teams at the DW.

    That’s 3 wins in a row – if we can keep going and strengthen the team for our big January , who knows what we can do.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rosicky also sick as reported on arsenal.com

    I really do wonder if we had a virus in the team today

  • @Walter maybe but I think it was just the conditions, poor pitch and the fact Wigan always seem to raise their game against us.

    I thought our CBs were excellent and coped pretty well – 3 points is all that counts on days like this.

    I think Mertesacker has been brilliant this year – he’s settled into one of the best CB’s in the league and it is making a difference.

  • A lot of the country is suffering from Norovirus and Gastric Flu – in fact there is considerable concern about the speed at which these outbreaks are travelling.

    Both are extremely nasty bugs. In fact three of my grandchildren have suffered from a nasty virus for the past week, and now my eldest daughter is feeling the effects – and I went to see her today.

    If I suddenly get very quiet, you’ll know why.

  • The font

    There’s a new norovirus gastric flu combined makes you talk shite everybody on the AAA agenda has caught it

  • WalterBroeckx

    At my home we also have one casualty already… Imagine both of us getting sick at the same time Tony…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Meanwhile with some 10 mins to go Man C – reading 0-0. You know them. That team that was too weak so our 2-5 win was worth nothing according to some. And I just seen Dean missing a penalty for Reading also….
    Mind you City will still probably win it from a last minute goal from Dzeko.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dean in the picture at the final whistle is telling the story I have seen.
    But didn’t see the whole game to be honest

  • jake

    bah you were right about the last minute goal Walter you jinxed Reading . but it was from Barry poor old Reading

  • Mick

    Great day, spuds only manage a draw against Stoke.

  • And a quick check shows with all the clubs except Chelsea having played the same number of games, we are in a dreadful, awful, unacceptable third with under half the season gone.

    OK, when Chelsea play their games in hand we’ll be fourth, but that is not a bad springboard, and certainly not what was predicted, nor what the AAA want.

  • Actually just in terms of what the country is suffering from, there is major flooding across much of the country. Many of the lower league matches were postponed today. Don’t know what it is like in Belgium Walter, but its horrible here.

  • americangooner

    one nil to the arsenal.
    santi was quiet so was poldi. given that they share the highest goal/assist between them, its no surprise when one is subdued the other is too. but credit to AOC for stepping up the game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Very wet Tony, very wet. And some danger of some flooding also over here. But we have had worse

  • bjtgooner

    I think a wee dram is called for tonight, first time for a while we are ahead of the Spuds – even if it is only on goal difference.

    It was a difficult match and pitch today and a poor ref, but the team stuck at it and fought hard for the win. Lets enjoy the moment and then look forward to the next game.

  • With the next two games vs Newcastle at home and Southampton away we have a good chance to get to 36 points after 20 games – one game at a time though.

    I think any Gooner would have taken our position given our form to date.

  • Adam

    On current form Arsenal will do well to maintain their league position. But we remain hopeful. weird how we have the same points as last year 30 points. I hope for a big turnaround but can’t see it this season. At the same stage the most points we’ve had was 47, Yet we still did not win the league 2007. Man utd again, not a good side but are siting pretty.

  • nicky

    Glad to read about this virus because I worried about our performance today, particularly in the second half. We were continually outmuscled off the ball, and a yard slower than Wigan.
    The referee completely failed to control the home side’s physical intimidation. No less than 17 fouls and only one yellow card.

  • nicky

    @Jayramfootball,
    I appear to fail to see much of the apparent good that is in Mertesacker. To me, he seems to slow things up whenever he gets the ball. He never advances with it even if there is space in front of him. And he always appears to pass it to the nearest colleague regardless of others in better positions.
    I want to praise him though and hope that others will tell me I’m nitpicking.

  • Stuart

    Nicky,
    I know what you say about Per, only today me and my pals were saying how when he has the ball, its as though he has a hot coal and has to get rid of it. I argued maybe it is a sense of urgency, something we do lack, who knows?

    One thing is for sure, what he lacks in pace is made up for in intelligence and reading the next move

  • @ Nicky and Stuart

    It is not Mertesackers job to spring attacks. He plays it to Arteta, Wilshere or Cazorla and simply. As it stands I think he gives the ball away less than any other player in the PL – in all positions. His passes nearly always find there target.

    His key strength is in reading the game and being in the right place at the right time – this is a skill that is often overlooked because he very rarely needs to hustle to make a challenge. Maybe only once or twice a game. Contrast that to Vermaelen and Koscielny – very mobile but so often caught out of position.

    In my view Mertesacker is one of the best CB’s in the league at the moment, and its not a surprise that it has become Merts + one other at the back for Arsenal. For me its between him and Cazorla for our player of the season so far.

  • nicky

    @Jayramfootball,
    Point taken. I’ll try to watch what you say in future.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I do agree with Jayram on his comment on Per Mertesacker.
    He is not the fancy defender who will run around and attempt a dribble. He is what I would call a 100% defender. He knows what he can and more importantly he knows what he cannot do. So a no nonsense defender who will just defend. Also rarely loses the ball by playing the ball to more skilful players.
    And most of all he is very experienced and very calm.

    It shows I’m a fan I think 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    Agree about Per Mertesacker, he also brings a lot of extra experience to our back line. As you point out Walter, he is very calm & this can only help the players around him.

    On a different subject, I know Miyaichi is injured just now, but Wigan do not seem to have used him very much this season – any idea why? I would have thought a player with extra pace and ball control would have helped them a lot.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just watching MOTD that match commentator in the WHU-Everton game is the most stupid match commentator I have ever heard…..

  • WalterBroeckx

    These fools in the studio obviously also don’t know the rules but that is not really a surprise to me….

  • elkieno

    Very nervy game indeed, football or supporting Arsenal is not for the faint of heart!
    I knew as soon as I saw the pitch, rain and all round miserable weather, I knew it would be a low scoring game and very raw if that makes sense?
    Almost every other game ended in only a lone goal or draw. This shows what kind of weather they had to put up with. This was also a game that we would normally lose or draw in the last 10min, but we held on firm and saw the game out, this made me very proud indeed. For our foreign players this is the test that they have been told about (Stoke also) and sums up perfectly wat a cold, wet night playing against a northern team can be like – although stoke us much harder I feel, lucky we have played them already…
    On to the next one, COYG!!!

  • Gooner Murphy

    MOTD, THE FOOLS THE FOOLS THE FOOLS, enough said me thinks.

  • rupert cook

    One nil to the Arsenal. That has a familiar ring to it. Only heard snippets of commentary on the game and it sounded like we hung on desperately at the end. Of course that’s probably bias commentary ;).

    It’s reassuring to think that we can hang onto a lead and keep a clean sheet against a tough team. Wigan maybe near the bottom but they’re no pushovers.

  • JohnW

    I liked the result really. I thought Chamberlain should have been left on the pitch, and substituted Carzola for Coquelin. Couldn’t miss commentators bashing Per for his lack of pace, I wonder whether they ask themselves why despite all the options we have (even at the national team), managers still pick him. I could take results like this any day as opposed to playing very well and in the end losing the game or drawing it.

  • elkieno

    @JohnW: agreed they went to town after Per had to run back when we were caught out in early stages. Such an important non-tackle he made too, he does lack pace but he pushed him wide and kept him there to at least make it a bit harder, wasnt an easy shot though, so lucky he missed. After that Per was great, but they did hammer him for his slowness, retards…

  • @elkieno

    The pundits entrenched themselves from day one with Mertesacker. Before he had even kicked a ball in the PL they called him slow and useless – despite all his international caps. Much like the ‘Walcott has no football brain’ mantra that they instilled into the public, they coined the ‘turns like an oil tanker’ phrase for Per.

    It would be too much of a climb down now to admit just how good Per has been, so every slight error will be seized upon to justify their early claims.

    It happens too with Walcott, despite him making some of the most intelligent runs off the ball of any footballer in the PL.

  • Mandy Dodd

    some great points on Per

  • Gouresh

    3 points in the bag and thats what matters at this time considering the fixture schedules. but i for 1 was not happy with the performance. agreed the rain, pitch etc, but we were very slow, our mid-field taking 1 touch too many. WIgan were very impressve with their work rate and high pressing. Our mid-field should have been more savy. Teo is played as a central striker & he has taken that word quite literally. He was very static in his position and that made the Wigan central defence’s job easy. he if had made the runs down the channels, mayb our mid-field would have passed to him, opening the defence., allowing space for Santi Poldi to move in. Were we saving energy for the Newcastle game? don’t know. Hopefully AW and Bouldy uncle have picked this up. Like i said, 3 points in the bag and we won ugly.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @nicky……

    Were you testing jayaram.

  • @Gouresh you are spot on. Three points but we need to be more leathal,Walcot is not the box striker he needs to move up and down split left and right to create or make space for others. but i think Arsene see’s it and if he stays he might become a deadly stiker. I could’nt think of the ball he jumped in the middle of the goal he should have touched that and we could be home and dry. Chalsea is on song so we need to up our games and they are coming in think and hard. Liverfall,man$ity,stoke ,sunderland ,chel$ea ,spunks danm we need to be ready.

  • Pau"the Gooner"

    I was driving during the match and listenend to 5 Live.They had Paul Jewell doing the commentry.What a disgrace.He was so pro wigan and very,very anti Arsenal.At one time he said that it was the worst Arsenal team he had seen.The media have nothing to report this weekend!SHAME.

  • Asif

    Walter/Tony – request you to please provide your thoughts on what are the chances of getting some of our boys back in the team…I know its ultimately difficult to predict what Arsene has on his mind…but the likes of Ryo, Joel, Benik…for that matter Eisfield…what are their chances!!! What you have in the AAA press is a link up with every possible striker who fits the Arsenal profile being linked to us…

    And ofcourse great 3 points…except that the last 10 mins or so were unbearable and I had my heart in my mouth and yes we would rather score from open play than from penalties because even that is unnerving!!!

    BTW it seems we have paid out installments to the PGMOL this time…regular supply of penalties…ain’t it? 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice ,Walter ,we all love our family as we do this club ,but the club does not talk back nor diss you!

    Merry Christmas to you ,Walter ,and your family ,to Tony and all the guys and gals of Untold Arsenal .