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QPR and Everton, looking back at some good wins

By Walter Broeckx

Before the match some people might have said that we should beat QPR with our fingers in our nose (as the expression is in my mother language). Meaning it should be an easy win.  One you don’t have to make any effort, just turn up and you will get the 3 points.

But QPR is one of those grounds where things never look easy for Arsenal. Of course it is a derby and so you get that extra bit of the home team wanting to do better. That makes it more difficult than that a Northern team would come to their ground. Nothing as bad as local rivalry to lift the spirits for a good fight. I remember us losing at their ground in the past but also remembered hard fought victories. So you never know what to expect from such a match.

The conditions were in fact very favourable for an upset. QPR had played their last match on 21 February at Hull. And  since that day Arsenal had played 2 extra matches. One against Monaco and one against Everton. So QPR having 10 days to prepare for this match and Arsenal having 3 days. My fear was that we would run out of steam at the end.

But it turned out completely different. QPR started as a really fresh team and ran like mad all over the pitch and made it difficult for Arsenal to get the ball moving around in the way we can. But it wasn’t really academic football that QPR showed more the hoof it high and far and hope for the best. Our defenders were up to the task and Per and Gabriel were rather solid. The best chances for QPR came from shots from outside the penalty area. Some might call it chances but in fact it were just shots that Ospina had to deal with and he did this rather well. Talking about Ospina he is a bit smaller than Sczesny but he does seems to know when to come for a high cross and when to stay on his line.  Oh and Kos did really well when he had to come on apart from the QPR goal where he and Gibbs both ran away to cover and that gave Austin just the space he needed. One has to attack the attacker in such a situation.

Our full backs had to defend a lot in the first half but in the second half when Arsenal had turned the match around completely they could join the attack. Let me point out that Gibbs is getting back to his best it seems after being a bit rusty in his first match. And it was him with two assists in fact. It was after his touches that Giroud and Alexis could score. Certainly the first goal was amazing as he sprinted over the whole length of the pitch to do the overlap with Alexis and then Giroud could finish the attack.

His partner on the right hand side is living up to what I predicted he would be: a fantastic right flank player. Don’t call Bellerin a right back. He is more than that. Much more. He covers the right flank, runs up and down for the whole 90 minutes as if it is nothing. Yes he still is work in progress but can you imagine this boy in a few years time? What a prospect…. And he got his own song apparently? Can’t wait to hear it as I mostly watch with the sound muted I haven’t heard it yet.

Coquelin the man with the iron mask was again having a great match. Certainly in the first half his defensive work was a major part in keeping QPR away from our goal.  He is doing this task in a great way and he can also play the ball forward a bit and can dribble and fight himself at times out of difficult situations. One of the players that was catching my eye in the second half was Cazorla. At times it looked as if we had two Cazorla’s on the field. Helping out Coquelin and starting the Arsenal attacks with skilful dribbles around QPR players as if they were cones on the practice pitch. His twisting and turning is a pleasure for the eye.

Rosicky and Özil as the more advanced midfielders also played a great match. “Lazy” Özil was the 3rd player from Arsenal when it comes to ground covered. Behind Cazorla and Bellerin by the way.  His work rate is great and he would have scored a goal if it hadn’t been for a blatant foul on him by Henry that wasn’t seen by the ref. He then was also unlucky to see a shot of his weaker right foot being saved by Green and the goal post. It is amazing to see how people can still doubt such a wonderful player. Of course he can have a bad match but don’t all of us have bad days? Rosicky was also always around the ball most of the time giving a few nice chances to other players but nothing came from it (see foul on Özil).

Alexis and Giroud our two real forwards on the day had a mixed day. Working hard and each scoring a goal. Alexis should have scored a hattrick. He missed a few chances and certainly the one where he tried to lay it off to Özil when Giroud won the ball was a big miss for him. But he kept on working and trying and his goal was a  great reward for his never give up attitude. The same can be said about Giroud. Fighting against the big QPR defenders and coming back for each dead ball to help out the defence and then to score the first goal was again a good reward for another good match.

And to see Ramsey back on the field is always a joy for me. He didn’t seem to be having anything holding him back in his legs or in his head. Was immediately involved and busy working both in attack and helping out the defenders.

I think in the last week Wenger rotated smartly. Giving Per a res, now was the goal to give Koscielny a rest but that failed unfortunately.  Rotating Rosicky and Oxlade-Chamberlain, not being too quick to throw Ramsey in the field.

A very well balanced team that could mix fight, determination and then added the skill to finish the job. More of this please.

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The books

11 comments to QPR and Everton, looking back at some good wins

  • blargh

    My impression is that players are being eased into play in a much better way this season compared to some seasons ago. I think that is down to the depth of the squad we have now, a lot of good players all over the pitch.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Things that stood out for me:

    Before our first goal, my clear thought was that nobody was playing badly in fact rather good but we were not putting away our chances.
    The foul on Ozil…even the commentators said that that was a red card offense and a penalty.
    Alexis’ breakaway miss…too much time to think?…too unselfish?
    QPR goal…I saw Gabriel waving his arm to Gibbs to take Austin but Gibbs saw the fullback outside and went there instead…was that a communication thing from a non-English speaker or a communication thing between players new to playing together? or both?
    After the QPR goal I was intrigued to see whether we would become nervy but it never materialized. The team played out the game confidently and comfortably.
    Ozil seemed quiet in the first half because we were rarely stringing enough passes together to work the ball to him higher up the pitch. As QPR tired and our passing improved I heard his name called with increasing frequency.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    On closer examination the error on the QPR goal was between Koscielny and Gibbs…meh

  • Usama

    GoingGoingGooner, yes you right there. Both of them looked reluctant to close him down, allowing Austin free space for a shot from edge of box.

    Anyhow, we have Michael Oliver as the referee on Monday against Man UTD. He has already been in charge of our 2 North london derbies, 2 games against liverpool and this is going to be the 2nd or 3rd game against Man Utd with him over the last 2 years. And he always has very very very strong bias against Arsenal, giving so many phantom fouls and allowing opposition to foul/kick our players freely without punishment.

  • goonersince72

    Good analysis Walter! The 6 points from these 2 games allow Arsenal to stay in 3rd. A 2nd or 3rd place finish with a successful defence of the FA Cup would be a nice season’s result. As Arsene Wenger stated, we’re not contending for the League, but judging from the maturation of some of players and the quality he’s brought in,next season the Arsenal should contend in earnest. I was concerned that the side for QPR was too attack minded with both Gibbs and Bellerin (your boy; right again)on the flanks and three in the middle that need the ball – Cazorla, Rosisky & Ozil. But the whole team defended and the Boss got it right, as he usually does. And thanks for the quick turn-around on the QPR game analysis.

  • Pat

    Very enjoyable description of our players’ great play.

    My favourite photo on Arsenal.com – Giroud picking up Rosicky like a baby!

  • Jerry

    Good analysis as usual Walter! It was a tough 2 games but Arsenal were able to get the hard earned points!

    @Tony, I emailed you an article about “lazy” Ozil to consider for publication. Please let me know your feedback either way if you get a chance, so I can improve for future consideration. I know you’re probably busy, so if you’re not able to, it’s ok I completely understand.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Jerry, check your mail please

  • Jerry

    Hi Walter,

    Thanks for the quick response. I just checked my email now. Thanks again for writing great articles and working on this great site with Tony!

  • Micheal Ram

    A win is always good. Bellerin reminds me of young Cafu. Cazorla and Coquelin are getting better at complementing each other. Ozil is building a very good understanding with Cazorla, Alexis and Giroud. Unfortunate for Gab, but it will be always a lesson for newcomers. Imagine when he bulked himself up next season. If Coquelin is a French terrier, then Gabriel is a Brazilian pitbull.

  • Micheal Ram

    Just for fun sake. Getting all the negativity out of the team and Untold. If our players characteristics are compared to dogs’ pedigree, what breed would they be?

    Ospina – ?
    Szech – ?

    Per – Great Dane
    Kos – Doberman
    Gab – Pitbull
    Gibbs – Greyhound
    Monreal – ?
    Bellerin – Jack Russell
    Chambers – ?
    Debuchy – ?

    Coquelin – Rottweiler
    Cazorla – German Shepherd
    Flamini – my imagination running wild
    Rosicky – Golden Retriever
    Ozil – Border Collie
    Arteta – Beagle
    Ramsey – Husky
    Wilshere – Which dog breed can smoke?
    Ox – Mastiff
    Diaby – ?

    Giroud – Collie
    Alexis – YorkShire terrier
    Welbeck – Boxer
    Walcott – Saluki

    Did I miss anyone?