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October 2016
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Watford – Arsenal : 1-3

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal team that started: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis.

On the beach: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Giroud


So a first start for Özil this season after the euro’s. A midfield combination of Xhaka, Santi and Özil for the first time.  Giroud on the bench as not declared completely fit by Wenger.


Not much happening in the opening minutes. Watford camping in front of their own penalty area from the start and Arsenal moving the ball around trying to find openings but not really finding them. Özil with a great cross to Alexis and the Watford defender jumped in his back and elbowed him at the back of his head. After a short moment of hesitation ref Friend pointed to the spot and gave the penalty. The defender not even near the ball so correct decision. Santi to take and GOAL!!!! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 9 minutes. The keeper going for a corner and Santi just putting it in the middle.


Prodl then going in the book for bringing Theo down who stole the ball away from him and might have been away. Arsenal bossing the match further but not getting to clear chances. Xhaka with a lovely cross ball to Santi but no further danger from this attack. An attack from Arsenal on the left flank ends up with the ball in front of Theo who shoots from an impossible angle but the Watford keeper punches it away. Watford on the counter and Kos deflecting a cross but Cech alert and punching it clear.  Then Deeny almost at the end of a cross but his effort goes well wide.


Watford finally going forward now and pushing Arsenal back a bit mostly by battling a bit harder on the ball. Arsenal a bit under pressure when they can’t really get the ball away out of their own penalty area but the ref calls a foul on a defender in the end.  Xhaka with a great ball to Alexis but the Chilean can’t control the ball and then adjudged to have fouled Prodl in the end. Kabasele for Watford at the end of a corner but he heads it wide. Arsenal with a great attack on the left and after a 1-2 between Alexis and Özil the first has a shot but the keeper can save it with his foot.


An excellent decision from the assistant when Amrabat pulls the shirt of Koscielny and gives the foul against the attacker.  Alexis and Özil again combining and this time the German sees his shot saved by the Watford keeper.  Arsenal again with a great attack starting with Alexis on the flank giving it to Özil who feeds it in the path of Bellerin who puts it wide to Theo. Theo puts in an inviting cross in front of the goal and Alexis at the end of it. GOAL!!!! 0-2 to the Arsenal after 40 minutes. A moment of hesitation though as Alexis didn’t make full contact with the ball and the ball was taking a long time before going over the line. But a quick look at the goal line technology clock confirming the goal. Replay showed it was well over the goal line the defender hooked it away.


Arsenal continue to push forward but a cross from Bellerin can’t find an Arsenal player at the end.  Then Walcott with a shot after a long ball to him but again the Watford keeper with a good save.  But no holding Arsenal as in the extra time Xhaka again with a quality ball to The Ox. He played it to Alexis on the left flank, he waited a second, saw Özil making the run in the middle, an excellent cross to the German world champion and he headed it in. GOAL!!!! 0-3 to The Arsenal after 45 minutes. That was of course the half time score.


Arsenal with a great attack after good work from Walcott but nobody at the end of this cross. Should have been given offside by the way so lucky nothing came from it. Wouldn’t want to score an invalid goal. Arsenal with the dangerous attacks in the opening minutes of the second half. Bellerin with a great run on the flank but Alexis couldnet get on the end of his low cross.  Capoue with a shot from outside the penalty area but comfortable save from Cech. Watford then finding an opening on the flank and as the cross cannot be cleared the ball bounces around in the Arsenal penalty area and in the end Pereyra can push it over the line. 1-3 after 57 minutes.


Deeny getting a yellow card for a late challenge on Monreal coming in with his foot high against the foot of Monreal. Özil feeding it to Theo but his lob goes over the Watford goal. Lots of small fouls for the moment so not free flowing football.  Arsenal on the counter after a free kick for Watford Bellerin gives it to The Ox his lob also goes over the Watford goal.  Watford at the other end after a shot a good save from Cech who follows it up with two double saves.


After 68 minutes Özil goes off and Jack Wilshere comes on. The Ox also goes off and Elneny comes in his place. Xhaka almost sends Alexis away but the Watford keeper first on the ball far out of his goal. Ighalo at the other end with a overhead kick but it goes over. Monreal gets injured when Ighalo came down and clipped his ankle. Gibbs came on in his place after 74 minutes. Amrabat gets booked for dissent when he is replaced. Probably saying a bit too much when going off.


Elneny with a 1-2 with a floored Walcott but the attack runs dead after a promising start with a possible 3 attackers against 2 defenders in favour of Arsenal. Behrami scuffs his shot for Watford. Behrami then gets in the book when he loses the ball to Walcott and has to foul him to prevent an Arsenal attack. Alexis steals the ball but he can’t find a teammate and decides to go for the lob but this time the Watford keeper can catch the lob. Let me tell you that Theo was really working his socks off both in attack and helping out in defence. Holebas goes in the book for a kick out of frustration in the closing minutes.

Ref gives 5 minutes of extra time. I don’t know where they came from to be honest as I couldn’t recall any real injury time. Wilshere goes in the book to please the Watford fans it seems. Kos I don’t know if you touched the ball with your hand but please don’t go to a ball like that in the closing minutes of a match. Not even when 1-3 up.


Watford trying to get another goal but apart from hopeful crosses not really dangerous situations in front of Cech goal. Jack being clever and running the ball to the corner flag and draw a foul close to the Watford goal.


We have seen a match with two faces. The first face was the brilliant Arsenal with maestro Özil pulling the strings. When after one hour Özil ran out of steam we saw the battling Arsenal. Xhaka was very impressive in the battling role behind the more attacking midfielders and showing a great pass in his feet.


A first win for Arsenal and so the PL can really start and we take on next week…. oh blimey… it’s nick the players and get them injured time again…. FFS…




41 comments to Watford – Arsenal : 1-3

  • Mick

    Blow me Walter, the speed of this report is a record.
    Are you writing the report as the match is progressing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    yes I am Mick. In the heat of the match…. I beat even Arsenal and I think they have some more professional writers than us freetimers… 😉

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Man of many talents is our Walter!

  • Gord

    The math report, Walter? You’re taking a dig at my counting comment too? 🙂

    I’m not sure what network TSN was broadcasting, but at one point the babblers were babbling that Deeney had been called into the referee’s room at half time for some kind of discussion.

    I believe after this babbling took place, there was a lot of back and forth play (on the far side) that Bellerin was involved in. And foul, foul, foul. No yellow for persistent infringement?

    But, I guess at the end of the game, Watford got their lead in the yellows department, with Wilshere deciding he wanted one as well.

    I thought Elneny did a great job in front of the back 4 when he came on. And that back leg trick by Holding to cut out a cross at the goal line was very neat. Nice play by the youngster. Koscielny was a rock! Gibbs looked a little rusty, mostly in trying to block the player instead of getting the ball away.

    Being the math report, what else can I do?

    Is 7 a lucky number? It appears so in base 10 anyway.

    0.142857 142857 …
    0.2857 142857 142857 …
    0.42857 142857 142857 …
    0.57 142857 142857 …
    0.7 142857 142857 …
    0.857 142857 142857 ….

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Congratulations also to the U18 team who had an equally comprehensive 3-0 win away at Brighton this morning. Two wins and a draw puts them top of their table.

  • Zedsaunt

    Something of the clodhoppers to Watford. The rustic kick into the ankle, the shin. It’s a pity because when they get some steam up they have some stamina so it was never easy sailing second half.

    Mr Wenger has said on many occasions he choses intelligent players. He could also have said he chooses players with the technique to fuel their intelligence, and that game was a beauty just to see how much time and space their technique gave them. They had the wherewithal whatever Watford came up with.

    The first half was a half to remember. The sweep of that third goal is football as football.

    A great write up Walter.

  • Usama Zaka

    A good performance by the team overall, sharp and composed. Special mention to Kevin Friend who looked to have had a very good game.

  • colario

    All credit to Watford, they never gave up.

  • Leon

    I didn’t see the game, just listened on radio, but there was a lot of criticism of Friend. Did you see anything to justify this?

  • BarryL

    Top report Walter. I followed the game on Arsenal Player, and as you report a number of players are showing signs of good form:-

    – Alexis now back in the groove and causing all sorts of problems
    – Ozil the master, just hope it was lack of fitness and not injury that had him subbed
    – Theo, who seems to be transformed and trying 150%, just needs to improve his chance conversion
    – Holding show good maturity playing alongside Kos
    – Cech, a calm presence and a great shot stopper
    – and Xhaka controlling the centre of midfield and working well with Santi

    And a strong bench allowing AW to make tactical changes to prevent Watford building on their early second half goal, and we battled it out as a team.
    Looking forward to the rest of the season

  • Andy L

    I have just seen an interview with Troy Deeney complaining about the Referee for not , I repeat NOT , allowing Watford to get stuck into Arsenal. I am speechless as I witnessed the usual rough house tactics that you expect from a lower table side. Thankfully we rose above it.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh….come on Gunners.

    Sic commentary…when Watford score a goal…’come back is on for Watford’.. whaaaaattt!!!!

    Eff them.

    What a win. Come.on Gunners

  • GoingGoingGooner

    my commentators mentioned that there was a ‘hint’ of controversy on the penalty. Tough to agree with their comments. The defender jumped onto Alexis and hit him with a pretty vicious forearm shiver. There was no attempt at playing the ball.

    As for favouring Arsenal…meh. Deeney was extremely loudly critical of the refs walking off at halftime and was called into the referee’s room at half time for a talking to but WAS NOT given a yellow. His yellow could have been a yellow/red. The crowd were upset when their right winger pulled Koscielny’s shirt and was sanctioned for it by the assistant referee. We were lucky that the linesman was where he was because I couldn’t see the infraction when it happened live.

  • Dec

    In the post match interview, Arsene confirmed the two players bought on Friday.
    Gotta stop this mad spending !!!!!! 🙂

  • Menace

    Love it all. Gord there was no dig just a very clever Walter missing the ‘c’ from match.

    Watching the Hull v manure match & can’t help comment on the high foot by Ibrahimovic that hits a Hull defender on the back of a shoulder. There are some areas that the officials are missing particularly in favour of manure. Consistency & standards not yet at a professional level. FIFA infection still not cleansed.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done the boys. A good win. Up the Gunners !

  • Gord

    Thanks Andrew, congratulations to the U18.

    On the website, Chambers and Holding called up for England U21 vs Norway. They could be a lot of experience working in the back together.

  • Gord

    I thought my smiley covered that Menace. It was more likely a typo than anything else.

    Not that I don’t make any typos, or change my sentence halfway through.

  • Alex Dieuzeide

    Very good win! COYG!
    And Dec was faster… Yep, Arsène confirmed for Pérez and Mustafi. Here (France) I just could read this
    So, now we can: Welcome Lucas! And Welcome Skodran!

  • bjtgooner

    A nice win with some lovely football – well done the team. Hope Monreal is ok – he took a nasty foul or two.

    Overall a much better performance against a very feisty Watford team, but lets build on this!

  • Alex Dieuzeide

    Sorry, should have translate the article a bit : “Lucas Pérez and Shkodran Mustafi will go to Arsenal, as we were telling you (link). Arsène Wenger declared: «They both had medical chek up but we nedd to fill up the documents». The Gunners will spend about 60 millions euros to get the two players in.

  • Polo

    Welcome to Arsenal, Lucas Perez and Mustafi.

  • Gord

    There was “news” blurb talking about Hull and Middlesbrough wanting to take Chambers on loan. If Chambers and Holding are to become the centreback pairing of the England U21 (and possibly Arsenal in the future), I think it is probably best that Chambers stay in England.

    With Hull still having no manager, I don’t think that is even a consideration. You don’t know what kind of guidance or experience he would get. Karanka at Middlesbrough was a central defender (mostly in Spain) before turning to management. Koeman at Everton might be another good influence on Chambers.

    If Chambers and Holding weren’t to become a pair for the England U21, I think a loan to a Spanish team might be a good thing.

    But what do I know? Tony might have a good idea. Or Walter. Or any of a dozen other Untolders.

  • Polo

    ManU is struggling to crack the Hull defence.

  • Gord

    Wenger’s interview on mentions an indecipherable muffled noise on Wenger’s content about the Euros and our first game.

    I will guess it could be deciphered, but it may not be appropriate for Arsenal to do so.

    I am going to guess it was something like a muppet putting his hand in front of his mouth and saying bullsh*t. Did anyone hear this?

  • Menace

    Polo – they have got away with high foot ‘red cards’ twice. Ibrahimovic & Pogba. Will the FA look at this nasty fouls that Moss ignores. One Law for Drogba & his ilk another for the little guys.

  • Leon

    What’s happened to Weird Al? He was always here on matchdays bitching about the referees and almost wrist slashing if we lost. Can’t afford to lose valuable community
    characters. 😂

  • Pat

    Having read Walter’s report and the one in (as well as people’s comments above) it sounds as if we were really great in the first half and dug in in the second. So pleased to hear about Theo’s performance too. In the photos he looks lean and fit.

    Exciting times!

  • Pat

    Al’s not weird.

  • Zuruvi

    Yes we had a good game today. We scored 3 but could easily have scored 6.

    When watford got their goal I got a bit worried. I feared if they score again we could be in trouble despite our dominance.

    Hopefully when Perez (or Giroud) are in the team we will score more of the chances we create.

    A 4th or 5th goal would have been great.

    I’m glad we are now above Liverpool on the log. The next step is to overtake the Spuds.

    My day was really spoilt when Rashford scored that last minute winner for Man Utd against Hull this evening.
    In as much as I hate Man Utd (and Mourinho), I must admit that their attacking force is very, very strong. That boy Mikyhatarin (spelling?) is quite an exciting player. I just wonder why Mourinho prefers Rooney to him.

    I can’t wait to see Perez in action. I don’t remember watching him although I have watched Deportivo several times. It’s difficult to remember names of players in the smaller Spanish and Italian teams. What I realise every time i watch the smaller Spanish teams is that there are many talented players who we don’t know in Spain.

    Regrettably it’s now over to the international break and to Sam Allardice.
    I hope Fat Sam doesn’t convince any of our players that the Allardice “scientific” football method is the best type of football.

  • Andy Mack

    I see that Huth and Morgan are allowed to do some tag team wrestling for their 2nd goal. Both clearly holding down their markers down whilst jumping for the ball.
    So no change there with the official handling of Leicester games 😀

  • Gord

    In monitoring news headlines in Google News since the games ended on Aug 27, the media is not even whispering that there might be anything less than the very best from 😈 Mike Riley and his band of incompetent officials.

  • para

    A good needed win, some good play, even though Watford were tough physically. We took some knocks but still emerged with a good 3 points. Thats what we need.

  • 4th at worst this year. Deffo, that’ll do nicely.

  • Leon

    Oh dear! I seem to have upset someone. I AM sorry to hear that.

  • Leon glad to see I’m not the only sane one

  • Leon glad to see I’m not the only sane one . Nice win Goon ref is always good when we win weird that

  • Sorry still a bit pissed this am normal service will resume shortly

  • Jammy J

    Give it a rest Leon. You are by far one of the most annoying/clueless regular contributors on here.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very impressive performance first half, we will have that level to look forward to for longer once players up to speed.
    Even a bit of praise in the media, once they got over yesterday’s Media Darling Derby.