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West Bromwich Albion 1 Tomas Rosicky 2

By Tony Attwood

Well you wait all season for a Tomas Rosicky goal to come along and then you get two in one game, plus a header off his own line.

No Theo, No Jack, but the reborn Gervinho and Rosicky and three exceptionally valuable points and, what is it, six wins in the last seven league games or something along those lines.

What is interesting is that not for the first time we lost on possession, although only marginally, and we lost on shot (11 to 19 – although we had 6 on target to their five).  And we caught them offside six times.  So our game is changing, our style is changing, and we are winning more.

And indeed as was pointed out here in other articles,  West Brom are a solid team at home.  Not so good on the road, but their position in the upper echelons of the league is due to home form, nothing else.

So this should not be dismissed as anything at all.  What is was, was a game that at other times this season we could have lost, but now we won.

And of course we need to keep the run going – that is the key thing.  We still need slips from Chelsea and Tottenham, but even then, we need to win at the same time.  We have to win all the way through.

As I write this the top rated players on the Guardian readers poll were

Rosicky 8.9

Arteta 7.9

Koscielny 7.7

Gervinho 7.7

Cazorla 7.6

Monreal 7.5

Fabiansky 7.4

Ramsey 7.1

So now we have to wait for Tottenham v Everton and Chelsea v Sunderland.

I think we can forget Chelsea v Sunderland – or rather, if Chelsea don’t saunter past Sunderland then they’ll probably sack their manager on the spot.  But Tottenham have no Bale and their minds on Europe.

3 (3) Tottenham Hotspur 31 17 6 8 53 38 15 57
4 (5) Arsenal 31 16 8 7 61 34 27 56
5 (4) Chelsea 30 16 7 7 59 32 27 55
6 (6) Everton 30 13 12 5 47 35 12 51

Could even Everton be in the mix for the two remaining places in the Champions League?  They have won three league games in a row, but they are facing Tottenham, ourselves and Chelsea in the last eight games.

So if they really want at the least a Europa spot, then they have to keep going, and beating Tottenham would take them a very healthy step towards Europe. The other incentive for Everton is that Tottenham players did not look at their most effective in the game on Thursday against Basle and that could mean that they will settle for a draw, knowing that they are still above us.

For once we all want Everton to win, but then that’s how it goes.  Meanwhile if Sunderland did get a point against Chelsea I still wouldn’t shake their manager by the hand, but I might release just the slightest of smirks.

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63 comments to West Bromwich Albion 1 Tomas Rosicky 2

  • Will

    Can’t wait to see your report on Howard Webb.

  • Jakko

    Great win – but its time to put Szez back in goal ‘cos Flappyanski was flapping at every cross and its just a matter of time. We’ve been lucky that almost every shot against him in recent weeks have been off target. He’s a mistake waiting to happen!

  • STEVE VALLINS

    Great in depth match report did you see the game ?

  • Norm

    Will, those were my exact words too!

  • sperez

    Giroud is really average (too slow,can’t win or keep the ball) and his attitude was disgraceful today. Everyone else busted a gut but Giroud just strolled about the place. What a lazy player!
    Wenger should have replaced him as soon as Mert was sent off. And Podolski warming the bench…

  • Steve V / Norm – this is Untold, we don’t bother to do what everyone else is doing, but rather try to focus on what no one else is saying. There are already over 100 in depth reviews, but few of them focus on what happens next.

  • oooh i miss one sewer rat @rupert can you remind me i have forgotten that rats ID.

  • AL

    Didn’t watch the game but great result. Would like to see the sending off, suspect it wasn’t worthy of a red. Shall we just enjoy this without focussing on the negatives, for once please? Is it too much to ask?

  • Shard

    WBA 1, Tomas Rosicky 3!!! A goal line clearance is worth a goal 😀

  • AL

    Just seen the goals and well taken goals fromm Tomas. As for Per’s red it was rather harsh; Long was level with 3 Arsenal defenders meaning Per wasn’t exactly the last man in defence,& he didn’t have full control of the ball. Yes, there was a case for a penalty, but red card? Dont think so. But then again its one of those the refs always seem too eager to dish out to Arsenal players while they dont get called if committed by players such as Caragher, Vidic, Terry, etc….

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    Good comment, some people don’t even want to enjoy a win.

    @Kampala

    Let him hibernate, its a much more objective site without pollution from the sewer rat.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Al, sorry but it was a clear penalty and red from what I saw. Not quite as blatant as the one last week on Giroud but we would have been furious if it weren’t given better not to have made the challenge and trusted Fab to save the shot or if not at least we would still have had a full team. Mind you the move started with a non given foul on Giroud in their half so we can be cross about that!
    If Chelsea can’t beat Sunderland tomorrow Roman will probably have words and Benitez will be likely to disappear rather than loose his job but Everton could just take points off Spurs. If we keep winning we will end up in third place at worst and I haven’t yet given up on second.
    COYG

  • The font

    We do not need a slip up from spuds or chelsea if we win all our games we will take at least fourth coyg

  • arse_or_brain

    tony if we win all our remaining games we are guaranteed fourth as chelski and the spuds play each other

  • arse_or_brain

    how can people rate gerv so low inbreds

  • Mick

    I have just heard the Guardian reporter on the radio, he gave us no credit whatsoever. If I hadn’t known the score I would have thought we had lost the game.

  • nachiketa

    i think that Gervinho and koiscielny were right up there today with Rosicky… also i Agree that Giroud was too lethargic and He doesnt seem to be able to keep the ball and let our midfield join the attack.. he always loses it in such a situation and that as a lone striker has to be his Primary Goal along with scoring goals.. so fails on that count.. too slow and ponderous and clumsy on the ball(in these situations atleast) also i am scared as hell now that Mert will miss Crucial games in the All important Run in.. MERTESACKER & KOSCIELNY have been our best pair this season and the last.. Vermaelen and Koscielny together can be DISASTROUS…( I hope Im wrong, I pray Im Wrong, AND I will BE proved wrong)

  • nachiketa

    And that was as clear a penalty and a sending off as any in my book..

  • Fabianski played a blinder today. Webb was dishing out cards left right and centre, I felt throughout the whole game one of our players was going off. We were excellent up until the sending off and created loads. After that we hung on, and defended well enough not to concede another goal, or penalty such was the mood Webb-Of-Lies was in.

    For those slagging off Giroud, He is not the most effective on the counter, but his defensive contribution through out was excellent. Often the leniency of the ref will determine how good a game giroud has as he fights for every ball, much like the way Van Persie used to fly his elbows around (the same can be said for Van Nistelrooy)

    Great Win, 3 Points in the bag = D

  • Shard

    I agree with Geezer about Giroud. He’s always giving fantastic effort. His hold up play does need a little work. But that’s for the off season. Not just Giroud, all of our players were pushed around today, and this was seldom punished. Monreal was also semi-kicked/stamped on, and that was deliberate I felt. However, it seems we are tired of having to play the victim. We gave it as good as we got. Went in hard into tackles, gave their big lump a big lump on the cheek, we played smart with Arteta’s foul and Per lying down on the ball, and none of it (even from the WBA side) ever crossed over into dangerous play. That was a performance to be proud of.

    As for Fabianski, he did have a few shaky moments but also made some important saves, and generally handled the ball well. The main point was that he didn’t let his mistakes bother him, which was always his weakness. Seems like he’s fixed that. Will he be given a new contract? Does he deserve one? We’ll see. It’s too early to say.

  • Yassin

    yes giroud wasnt the best 2day, nd it wasnt his day, but dont come here and say he is lazy, iii believe yyou are lazy to watch the game and then come and speak utter bull***t.
    Giroud is holding all strikers role on his shoulder and he shoildnt, he is a Target man who can do some flicks, that is why we need somebody to do what some people here commented is a role of a striker ( good point from him ), ppoppodoldki as an example?!
    We shall support him to avoid a new Ramsey/Gervinho situation, he nd vermaelen…

  • Gord

    I am getting annoyed at Google News. I tell it to display articles with either Arsenal or Gunners as the search term, and then tell it to display the result sorted by date. I only get to see 6 articles about the game today. Restricting the hits to the last day as well, shows more articles. Are there other news search engines which are not so annoying?

    As mentioned in http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/28344/comment-page-1#comment-601069 apparently today was the first time Rosicky has scored more than once for Arsenal. It is possible the BBC comment, is restricted to EPL play.

    It was nice to see them win. And I am cheering for Everton and Sunderland tomorrow.

  • Momoh Abdul-Razaq McSionel

    The bad thing is that Arsene Wenger only sees his fellow French as good enough,even when everyone else see the players differently.After Per’s red,Giroud had no business being on the field while Podolski was on the bench.Electing to play safe met bringing in someone who could win the ball back and score half chances,every Arsenal fan know who could do the job between the two gentlemen.Happy we won though!

  • Stroller

    Not the most fluid of performances today but it was hard won with 10 men for the last quarter, and given Albion’s home record not to be sniffed at.

    It seems that unless we win by a mile some players have to get picked on for their performances. Giroud today was on his own up against two centre backs for the whole game and while he’s not the quickest, he put in a solid shift and got very little out of Webb. And his set up for Ramsey at the end of the first half was top class and should have resulted in a goal.

  • Arvind

    @Gord: They used to have it stacked as separate links but now they’ve grouped it horizontally. So all the major papers are on the first row (as images)… effectively those are the one’s which will be different. The rest are all copies of the reports.

    That does not answer your question but I just read all the paper reports and firmly steel myself (it’s easy these days) from clicking on bleacherreport, caughtoffside, justarsenal and other rubbish.

    I then watch the byte size highlights on Arsenal.com (which are free) and then watch the post match interviews of both managers on SkySports and BBC. That gives me reasonable coverage of things.

  • Arvind

    Where’s doublegooner btw? The one who had insight into dressing room goings on..and how a player was poisoning the atmosphere within. Care to tell us yet? : )

  • Gord

    @Arvind

    Thanks. It is just desire for profit that makes my search so useless.

    And maybe some other site will be less interested in commercial possibilities oflinks, in the future?

  • elkieno

    Didn’t read article yet, got much with to before baby wakes up, too late!
    When we got the 2nd at about 2:30am last night, she (baby) woke up and yelled out something just after we scored! I have a Gooner girl at only 1 years old!!!
    I watched the reading v saints early kuck off game and noticed the commentators were debating on a foul that should have been a penalty (not a pen) anyway one guy says ‘clear penalty he trips him and uses his arm’. On the replay he didn’t use his arm and didn’t trip him! Then he says ‘oh the bloke (hooivan) does bad challenges so it was a pen. After many repays he changes his mind but still claims that cos he has done some bad challenges before, he is right to initially say it was a penalty.
    Terrible reasoning and I hope the refs don’t think thus way, but proly do with us, although don’t think we have anyone with a history like that, except fabianski. I thought he was good today, didn’t find my self yelling at the tele like in days gone.
    Anyway, she up now so that’s me until 4:30ish..
    Sunderland to win and toffees too, of a draw for spuds, what’s preferred?

  • Arvind

    OFF TOPIC: Who are the commentators on Arsenal Player byte size highlights? The 2nd commentator.. who says ‘Great ball initially by Mikel Arteta..’ .. I like the guy. It sounds very much like Gary Neville : D … but on Arsenal player? Either way.. I like that guy. Anyone know?

  • You Must Be Joking

    @gord

    I’ve noticed it too, but I suspect it’s not so much google as the news organizations restricting google’s access to their content. It’s only going to get worse as paywalls get more prevalent.

    It was terrific to see the team win at the Hawthorns. When they develop the attitude that they need to beat all 12 men on the other side, they will be champions again. Because that’s the way the game is played in the EPL.

    Webb’s worst call (or non-call) was Long’s stomp on Monreal’s chest. At least a yellow. Absolutely disgraceful (both Long and Webb). I despise watching games controlled by Webb, regardless of who’s playing.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Couldnt watch the game. Power cut….Had to depend on ArseBlogs live blog thing through mobile phone. And he sounded like we were not given a fair game by the ref and he was not even talking (against) the red to PER. Was it that one sided (refereeing). If it was then a very good win for us.

    Oh yes, this place smells like heaven (literally) when we win games. Looks like the naysayers are on a big vacation.

  • STEVE VALLINS

    Tony when i posted it was just a headed title being funny ha ha i always go to this site first.
    You Walter and the rest of the writers do a wonderfull job

  • AL

    Just from this season alone, first it was Ramsey, then Gervinho, followed by Diaby, Santi a little bit, Santos, Vermalean, Diaby again, Scezsney, now Giroud(and Fabianski?). Why? We are never going to have all 11 players being on form all at once, all the time. That should be common sense. Most of the above have played out of their natural positons too, possibly explaining the slight ‘dip’ in form. I find it a little disconcerting some of our fans seem to want to come here to lay into our own players, while at the same time seemingly keen to defend shambolic refereeing and bad tackles from opposing players. To be honest its not too bad today(& to borrow Arsenal 13’s phrase, its smelling like heaven:)), but we don’t really need that sort of criticism all the time, after every match.

    I’m a little worried Webb might have had it on his mind that he would red card one of our players if the opportunity arose; possibly to help manure when they visit, but he got his maths horribly wrong as Per will be back by then? Or to help spuds by weakening our run in by disturbing our stability at the back? Let’s face it, everyone from these refs, the media, etc, are hankering to see spuds finish above us. That could easily have been a penalty and a yellow. I also suspect(without wishing this on us of course) its’ not our last sending off this season(possible games are v Fulham[this is highly likely as Fulham always seem to get a little help to get past us] Man U, or Wigan).

  • Gf60

    @Gord Just go to Newsnow Arsenal.. http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Arsenal/All+Sources?search=&type=&searchheadlines=&Page=2

    @elkieno I frequently think UA’s ref reports do the same!

    I think I’m the only gooner around that thought Webb had a decent game. I only swore at him once (Nacho’s weal from Long)

  • americangooner

    great win against a side that is very good in their home ground. the last ten minutes or so was quite nerve wreaking with arsenal having a very little possession. we seemed to take very few forward play might be due to 10 men plus 3 other players being yellow carded. but overall arsenal did what was required to win the game.

  • jax

    I see the blog Nazis (Godwin alert!) were out nice and early today. Really sick!

  • Anatra

    Off course you don’t take Giroud off when you’re down to ten men and have to defend for 20 minutes! West Brom were bound to come at us strong in that last part of the game, and they’ve got some tall guys that can be very dangerous in the box. Giroud needed to stay on the pitch because of his height. I think the subs were spot on.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anatra,
    what I was thinking also. He is our biggest outfield player after Per who was off so we needed someone like him on the field to help defending corners.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Per will only get a one match ban for his red card. It was and will not be valued as violent conduct (3 match ban) but for denying a goal scoring chance and than it is only a one match ban.

    So no BFG when I come over next week.

  • soglorious

    …Even if Arsenal wins all Τ̣̣ђё trophies in Τ̣̣ђё world for a season, some people will still complain. We won a game where few had won yet Ɣ☺ΰ still complain about Τ̣̣ђё coach, players whatever. Try and be a little bit reasonable if just for once. COYG.

  • bob

    Arvind,
    I think the guy is Adrian Clarke (our former player). He also does “The Breakdown,” the post-match analysis a couple of days later (on Arsenal Player). So unlike that twat-scold-wrecker Robson, this guy can be critical or praising and accurately equally so (with visual supports), and all of with a constructive and positive feeling and desire for the team’s coming good at the business end. His in-the-moment call of the breath-taking Arteta-Gervinho-Rosicky connection and Rosicky’s diving finish is really excited, spontaneous, appreciative and appropriate. He makes the word “fantastic” not sound over-used, and that’s no small thing. It’s also my candidate for our goal of the season.

  • Strus

    I swore at Webb when:
    Olsson catched Giroud arm and he gave nothing
    Giroud was pushed to the ground near the end and he gave nothing
    nacho was deliberatery stopmed(watch Long’s footwork- he made shure to stomp) and .. nothing!
    How on earth WBA only made 7 fouls?? There were 7 calls, but how many fouls were not called?
    Monreal was pushed by Long several times, Koscielny too

  • jbh

    Question for Refs. Two penalty claims. Koscielny on their striker? But at the edge of the penalty box and the ball played away from goal by their striker. The media replay dozens of times suggesting it is a penalty.
    Versus Ramsey in on goal from sharp passing from Cazorla and Giroud. Their defender tackles him from behind and Ramsey goes down, and the ball goes wide. NO comment from the media as per usual. But is this not a penalty for tackling from behind (not sure how much contact on him due to absence of replays from other angles).
    thanks

  • Stuart

    Second,
    Doublegooner talks shit, you won’t be hearing from him/her in positive times

  • Asif

    Great win! Just calms the nerves a bit…but the last 20 mins were killing…and then Webb decided to give some Rednose time…he played 6 mins when it should have been 5…so he did do everything possible to screw us…but then it wasn’t his day either…

  • Stuart

    That was meant to say Arvind, not second. Damn predictive

  • Asif

    btw…all the sewer rats have disappeared…

  • Rufusstan

    Funny thing about the last 26 minutes was just like at Sunderland. At no point I thought we would drop points.

    I cannot explain why, but last season I would have been sure we would fold. Yesterday; not at all.

    Better still, we seem to be in top form with all the ‘not good enough’ squad players. Who’d a thunk it?

  • Norm

    Tony, no problems, I know what an excellent site this, but I was responding to Will at the start of the thread. And, yes, I am still looking forward to your stats analysis of Manure’s 12th man!

  • bob

    Asif,
    As AW said in the press conference, he couldn’t quite explain/understand some of the referee’s “decisions.” So, indirectly and quietly, AW has clearly signalled that the Webmaster has dished out the refshite. And fuck Webb; he’s now losing out to The Dean in the race to be next in line for role of Queen Bee at the Hives of Riley (…that blessed day when Micky R finally steps down, and walks off hand-in-hand with Don Fungus into Football Valhalla (to the adoring chants of the nuremburg revelers at Old Toilet).

  • bob

    off topic:
    For any still interested in the UA DiCanio/fascism debate, you might have a look at this piece from today’s Guardian on DiCanio’s T-shirt display at the Mussolini museum in his birthplace in Italia — “The town of 6,500, tucked into hills covered by vineyards and fruit trees in Emilia Romagna, draws 100,000 pilgrims a year to Mussolini’s tomb, where the visitors’ book is crammed with exhortations to the dead dictator to “rise again and save Italy”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/06/mussolini-pilgrims-di-canio

  • AL

    Thanks for the clarification about the ban Walter. Been watching/following football for over 3 decades now and wasn’t even aware of this rule. Embarrassing.

  • Sav from Australia

    From Arsenal.com:

    “on how long it took before he was allowed to bring on Vermaelen after the red card…

    AW:
    There were many things that I did not understand today, many decisions. But we had to take that on the chin and win the game. We couldn’t bring him on. I don’t know why.”

    I noticed it was a while before Vermaelen came on, after the red card of Mertersacker. 4th official/referee shenanigans perhaps?

  • Mahdain

    @Sav seeing that it was Dean Jr. as the 4th official i wouldnt be suprised if he did that on purpose to try and weaken us even more after the card for westbrom to capitalise. Sadly for him and Webb it wasnt their day…..

  • bob

    Mahdain,
    As I didn’t see the match and notice, please help to clarify:
    What do you mean by Dean Junior? That is, was The Dean’s son the 4th official? or were you thinking about Darren the super-agent, son of David Dein? Both Dean & Dein, of course, are our wreckers.

  • Mahdain

    @bob i meant Lee Probert. He is quickly developing into a new Mike Dean for us. I honestly cant recall the last time we won a match under him and if you remember correctly he was the star of that fulham away horror show last season and hence the nickname Dean Jr.

  • AL

    Mahdain, yes he’s quickly morphing into dean if not worse. Don’t know if anything happened in that match to warrant injury time of 7 full minutes. Was there a lengthy stoppage at any time during the second half?

  • AL

    Everton almost managed the unthinkable, lets hope they don’t play so well against us. Don’t like di Canio & wouldn’t mind if Sunderland went down this season, but if they’re going to win any match at all this season please let it be today’s.

  • Ong Bing

    Damn, Sigurdsson score the equalizer. But still good for us.

    Btw, good win for us last night, but last 20 minutes is not good for my heart. But I am not complaint.

    Hoping Chel$ki drop point too tonight.

  • AL

    Its looking like its going to be a perfect weekend; all our top 4 rivals dropping points(if Sunderland can hold that is), and ‘arry kissing the prem goodbye today if they go down at Wigan. Doesn’t usually get better than this.

  • Yassin

    then one simple question, WHY DOES SUNDERLAND PLAY ALL THEIR HEART OUT AGAINST US, AND PLAY THAT LAZY AGAINST OTHERS,NO HEART, NO DETERMINATION EVEN WHEN 1 GOAL DOWN, not only sunderland but most teams, just need to understand why?

  • Arvind

    Thanks bob. Are there 2 bob’s? The logo by the side is different : D.. but yes I do love Adrian Clarke if that’s who it is.

  • Pete

    I recall the commentators stating that Arsenal have dropped fewer points from winning positions than any other team this season. Food for thought after all the abuse we have been given over recent seasons for capitulating?

    Thought we rode our luck for the last 20 – it is amazing how all the analysis is coloured by the result. But payback time for earlier games where we utterly dominated but didn’t get the result (e.g. Blackburn).