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Arsenal – WBA, what an enjoyable game

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By Walter Broeckx

Now did you enjoy this game today against WBA or not?  Well if this game couldn’t be enjoyed from an Arsenal point of view then you might as well give up and stop watching football at all. In fact this was so very much the Arsenal we knew from the last seasons that well…. did we miss Cesc and Nasri today?  At no point I felt that we lacked their contribution.

A great team performance once again. And as last week we won a high paced game with two attacking teams this time we have see another team bus being parked in front of the goals at the Emirates. I’m not that familiar with the WBA personal but did they play with an attacker? Well it certainly didn’t look like they had a striker in their team. It looked as if they had 10 defenders playing.

Even last season we sometimes struggled against such teams. has been said in the preview last year we lost again them and we also struggled against such teams. So after 5 minutes of watching a game of attack versus defence I wondered how the new Arsenal would cope with such a game.

We played the ball and at times it looked we played too slow but then suddenly we changed pace and side and after some 15 minutes you could see that the team had something of: Okay, we are playing against the bus today and this is how we will do it. Being patient, being strong, being calm, being aggressive when losing the ball. And we passed the ball until we found an opening, an great ball to Theo who ran to the keeper. The keeper did well to block the shot but with a striker on fire like Van Persie you just felt he would be there to put the rebound in the net.

Szczesny could have stayed in the dressing room up till then and in fact almost till the end of the game. He hardly had anything to do. We kept our composure and didn’t stop playing our own game after we took the lead. And when Song dropped the ball back in the box after a half cleared Arsenal corner it was Van Persie who played the ball back in front of the goal. And who other than The Verminator to side foot it calmly but firm in the net. I could see a lot of relieve and joy on his face after that. The Verminator is Back. 2-0 at half time and WBA didn’t have a shot on goal during the first half.

In the second half we controlled the game. WBA came a bit forward but still not very much. We didn’t commit ourselves blindly which could have made us vulnerable on a possible counter. No it was a game of controlling the ball and suddenly stepping up the throttle and made WBA suffer. In fact in the second half we missed a few chances before Arteta smashed in a great lay off from Van Persie to put the final score on the scoreboard.

And then it was time to let Szczesny earn his pay check this week. A good safe on a header in the 86th minute was the first time I noticed we had a keeper on the pitch.

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But maybe this was also because of the whole team was working very hard to keep WBA away from our goal. Not just the 3,5 defenders. But also the 3,5 midfielders worked very hard. And the 3 forwards also defended very well. I remember seeing Theo and Gervinho covering at right and left back when our backs had pushed forward. It was this combined team effort that made me the happy Gooner I am right now.

I’m not that kind of a Man of the Match type of person. I usually feel more for a Moment of the Match. And the moment of the match came with about the only chance WBA had in the whole game. We were 3-0 up and cruising to the end of the game. Tchoyi for once had found some space behind Koscielny and Vermaelen and raced in to the penalty area. Vermaelen was meters behind when he entered the penalty area. He steadied himself to shoot the ball with his left foot and then came Vermaelen and he threw himself in front of the ball. Tchoyi saw him coming and waited a split second before he took his shot in order to avoid the outstretched leg from Vermaelen. But Vermaelen threw himself while on the floor a bit further and made a great block and the ball went out for a throw.

It was the determination of our Verminator who was indicating with this action that he would not let the opponents score whatever the score line was at the time that was my moment of the match.

I admit I am a great supporter of my compatriot and after meeting him in person I know what for a nice and humble person he is outside the field so maybe I am a bit biased but I can tell you one thing: THE VERMINATOR IS BACK! And my God, how did we missed him the last season…. Another moment that I think: what could have been if he had stayed fit.

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36 comments to Arsenal – WBA, what an enjoyable game

  • Iniez

    And that sliding tackle our belgian brickwall made was amazing! Reminded me of sols 10 meter slide

  • Anne

    Another great victory for Arsenal. And another clean sheet, which made me very happy. I was forced to watch in Spanish, and I enjoyed hearing the announcers talk about “los golazos” (the really great goals) scored “por los artilleros” (by the Gunners) 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    I had to watch it in Romanian language. Romanian has some similarities with French and so I could use my knowledge of French to try to understand some words and phrases that reminded me of French. Well they certainly enjoyed our performance a lot that was for sure.

    Well it could be just me liking what I saw very much 🙂

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Walter, since you are a Flemish speaker I presume (with a name like Broeckx) do you think RVP can understand Vermaelen when he speaks Flemish? I know the two languages come from the same root Dutch.
    I watched the game in German and it was a really good commentary. The German announcers know their game very well and love Arsenal, unlike their British counterparts. The words you heard most often when describing AFC were ¨super und Fantastisch¨. The announcer almost blew a gasket when Arteta scored off RVP’s pass. Its almost a shame we don’t play in the Bundesliga because they really appreciate us over there!

  • Mahdain

    a really great perfomance and no walter you are not being biased..the verminator IS back..goodness me the way he threw himself to block that attempt really made me love him more than i do(i dont know if thats really possible because i like him a lot) and i know some of you might i might have a man crush but goodness koscielny was fantastic once again…no nonsense from him once again..really proves wenger know`s more than any of our AAA know it all..he is slowly growing into one of the best defenders in the league and im certain he will be among of the best in the world in a few years..him and vermy meant business today..which is really great considering we have Per to exchange with them whenever necessary..we all know kos-verm is amazing,we have seen that kos-Per is fantastic and we all know that verm-per will be even more of a beast like 😛 ….says alot about the supposed notion that wenger doesnt have eyes for defenders

  • Shakabula Gooner

    @ Mahdain:
    Don’t worry, when Kosceilny’s contract renewal comes up and Arsenal’s back office is slow to wrap it up, you will hear those who never felt he would amount to anything moaning about how Wenger is putting the service of such a “world class” defender at risk…

  • WalterBroeckx

    You can be sure that Thomas and Robin understand each other perfectly.
    In fact the difference between Flemish and Dutch is much in pronouncing some syllables a bit different.
    But there is a linguistic unity between the language which is officially named Dutch. In the Benelux supporters club in which I am an active member we have Flemish and Dutch gooners and when we travel together we are united.
    Also the fact that Vermaelen spent a lot of his youth in Holland has changed his language a bit. Normally Vermaelen speaks Dutch with an “Antwerp tongue” but since living in Amsterdam for many years the way he speaks now is Dutch as they speak it in Holland. We in Flanders understand this very well.

    In fact when Thomas speaks for the Belgium TV we find it kind of funny that he speaks Dutch with this tongue.

  • Mandy Dodd

    the revival continues, reel em in boys!
    I would hope some of the aaa are starting to feel a little silly

    Erm….Wenger out!……any takers?………

  • Byo

    Since you brought up Nasri, I never felt we will miss him in the team- with his sometimes suspect attitude. Though I never criticized him when he played for us, he was a primadonna. I was clamoring for AW to take the $25M and let him go!

    One can tell that the team is composed of guys who genuinely want to work for each other-no sulking when one commits a howler, like Sczezy did on that goal kick. The goals(and the post-game)celebrations tells you a lot! The guys really do love playing together.

    Arsenal in crisis? What crisis?

  • meditation

    This is a great video of what encapsulates arsenal.Pass it around. It needs to be seen.

  • bjtgooner

    This was an excellent team performance and Walter as you indicate in the title, very enjoyable to watch. It will be interesting to see how the AAA and parts of the media try to minimise this result.

    It looks as if the players are gelling very nicely and the cohesion seems to improve with each match. I don’t think we want to dwell too much on former players, these guys are now playing well; they deserve 100% support.

  • slim

    “And then it was time to let Szczesny earn his pay check this week.” HAHA Walter brilliant!

  • John L

    is it just me or is the arsenal blog-o-sphere suspiciously quiet after another great performance. it would seem pride is a unsavory dish to swallow…..

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I could not get to see the match. Had to be content seeing some six minute highlight which was from BBC. Also the Sky team has made it in such a way that the retelecast will be done tomorrow morning at 10 AM IST. Most guys would have gone to work by then. Its an indirect way of deserting the fans and depriving Arsenal of Tv time. While Ten Sports which has got the CL coverage shows every Arsenal game live.

    Its really sad sad sad fact that Sky is really working anti Arsenal.

  • dan

    Well watching City Nasri doesn’t look like the player he did at Arsenal. Cesc has fitted into the Barca system but our greedy friend (Nasri) may be looking the fool because he hardly gets a game.



  • sahil

    Great performance by the team yesterday. Wonder what excuses the AAA will give now?

  • walter

    Was it just me but it looked as if the BBC on MOTD have done their best to make it look as if WBA gave us a real game?
    They showed almost every instance WBA came even near in to our penalty box and between the start of the second half and our third goal we had some 4 or 5 good chances to score more goals but almost none were shown..?
    And the best chance (my moment of the match) was not shown… because it would not fit the bill about Arsenal needing a “decent central defender”????

    Who needs Cahill, Samba,Jagielka or whoever when you have TV, Kos and Per. We just need to keep them fit and with the rotation we can have now…. Hell even with a Djourou like last season we have 4 great defenders…

  • One 3- nil win over poor poor West Brom does not a season make.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If you cannot enjoy 9 wins out of the last 11 games (or something like that) then you will never enjoy anything, arse for ever.
    Maybe our win against “poor poor” Chelsea also doesn’t make a season?
    A real supporter does enjoys it.

  • Mahdain

    @arseforever are you even a real arsenal fan? how can you not enjoy it when our team is in great form? you must be one of the wenger out supporters who now try to find anything bad to say about the team now that wenger has made them look foolish once again

  • bjtgooner

    @ arse for ever

    Last season we failed to win the equivalent match against WBA, so lets enjoy this win.

    Especially look at they way this team is pulling together.

    Further, we still have class players to return from injury and in addition a developing group of nearly ready very talented young players – so there is a lot to look forward to.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Who needs Cahill, Samba,Jagielka…indeed, great to see Kos coming on so well. And we know all about the quality of Per and Verm. And Jenks, apparently a 93% successful pass rate yesterday, many of those were crosses, not bad for what some sections of the AAA dismissed as a cheap signing from Charlton who would never make it. And where does he get that energy from, well I can tell you, it is in his genes, his dad was an athlete and ran with Seb Coe. And then there is the desire of a genuine Gooner.
    As for the AAA, I have always seem them as a bit of a broad church but I, for my sins have been looking around a few of their sites recently. Some of the editorials are praising the team and certain players but worrying about RVP injuries, guess we all share that one to a degree but some are more prone to enjoy his current form rather than worring. As , at least these days, the team themselves are beyond reproach, there is flak heading towards the board, who else. There are still the gripes about stadium announcements and the one swallow does not a summer make kind of stuff. Some are even reduced to moaning about rude bookings staff and the club being taken away from the fans by an assortment of people collectively described only as Yanks
    But as has been posted, most of the more extreme elements of the AAA are very quite at the moment, maybe at least starting to think about the large serving of humble pie which may soon be coming their way, or maybe they are just festering in darkened rooms plotting their response should things go wrong, or at least go wrong in their own, special terms

  • Gooneraside

    What a lovely game to watch. After too many sloppy passes in the last few games, the boys played yesterday with class stringing many together (almost made me consider Barca to be Arsenal Lite 🙂 ) and played West Brom off the park.
    @meditation – great link, but who was that number 4 they kept showing? Did he used to play for us? (Please don’t take this comment seriously, it’s meant as a joke – I never forget our past heroes).

  • Mahesh

    Well, I don’t think we are playing good. I mean, come on, what kind of ‘one man’ team has three different scorers for three goals! We are being highly inefficient here, we should allow only one player to score, that way we will have a much better chance of at least that player getting “golden boot”. Given RVP’s recent goal record, we should just let him score – let’s build a case for “Golden boot” for RVP!
    And this Verminator guy… when will he understand that he is not supposed to block every shot – The goalkeeper is there for a reason! Please let the poor guy (keeper) earn his ‘paycheck’!
    And what’s with our right back?? He should know that he is just a right back – he is just supposed to hoof the ball forward whenever it gets near him – like all those good right backs with decent English spine! I mean, come onnnn… whats with more than 90% passing success?? He should just let midfielders do that, its not his job. His job will be much better completed if he just makes a success rate of below 09% (most of the balls hoofed over the line!).
    This team is not playing according to ‘The Plan’. If you do not believe me, just read any of the news websites – we are not supposed to have these many players. In fact we are a 1-man team, so we just need One Man to go out on to the field. Rest should ‘rest’ on bench along with keeper. ‘The One’ man is sufficient – and that is the plan we should follow!

  • Sammy The Snake

    What a coincidence, TV5 returning to clean sheets. You got love the man!

  • dan

    Cahill, Samba,Jagielka any one notice these teams losing week in week out?

    Cahill the heart of Bolton’s defense couldn’t keep a clean sheet in a Daz ad!

  • Anne

    @Bjtgooner & Mandy Dodd:

    I agree that the AAA and the media are being rather quiet. In fact, ever since Chelsea, I’m having a hard time finding material for a new media watch! 🙂 Sure, there are still some articles out there, but it’s much more subdued than normal, and I feel like I would be stretching to attack them too much. So, anyone have any ideas? I really hate the idea of doing an article commenting on their improvement, because I feel like that would jinx it all or something 🙂

  • Anne

    Oh, and I also want to say that I was very impressed with Jenkinson’s performance. I remember how the media was slagging him off after the ManU match, so that’s another thing that they can eat their words on.

  • Mandy Dodd

    See your dilemma Anne!
    I am quite intrigued to monitor our refs as our performances seem to be improving, unfortunately I can see things start to go seriously against us on that front.
    Long may the AAA be quietened! But as you recently posted, they have not finished yet. I believe we have recently seen a major attempt by persons unknown to destablise the club by turning the fans. And unfortunately, with some of the AAA, they seem to have succeeded. Such an entity will not go away quietly.
    On the subject of refs, yet another ref assisted win for the Spurs today – now what is going on there?

  • bjtgooner


    Like you I am trying to anticipate just where the next AAA/media attack will be targeted. As others have noted a sour BBC Match of the Day last night minimalised the Arsenal supremacy in yesterday’s match and having criticised our defending for months failed to comment on the improvement.

    Sky commentary returned to the RVP contract theme briefly. They also debated RVP being the only world class player remaining in the team, although they mentioned Wilshere as a future possibility. I think this is disingenuous as we have a number of players throughout the team who are very likely to become world class, however, the line spun by Sky may be a pointer to how we will be attacked over the next time period – until we are weakened by injuries and/or bad decisions.

  • Iniez


    May I suggest you look at this article from the daily mail They drift in and out of being negative and being neutral but what caught my attention was the two opening paragraphs, and also that match analysis near the bottom. I don’t understand why everyone is trying to play down our game against brom. People seem to be fighting our steady ascension with any excuses they can find, just biding their time and waiting til we slip up so they can throw that big “I told you so” in our faces. Maybe that’s their strategy. Letting that negativity linger until something they have something bigger to use

  • Ed

    that was one of the most straight-forward wins for arsenal and long may it continue.

    I probably should be careful what i wish for… but i enjoyed the 5-3 win against chelsea more! Im sure arsenal will put us thru a bit more excitement before the end of the season 🙂

    i also want to add to what a few people have already said – very impressed with our full backs.

    jenkinson has come on impressively, he has much more confidence to join the attack, has more pace than i gve him credit for, and isnt afraid to use his left foot. he also has a wicked cross and we just need to get more people in the box when he does whip them in.

    theres been some (mostly non arsenal fans) slating Santos for his performances. sometimes his positioning isnt the best, but one-on-one, i didnt see anyone beat him in the last 2 or 3 games – even the chelsea goal, Mata had to cut back and cross it in rather than take santos on. he loves attacking and needs to make better decisions when to attack and defend, but im glad he takes the game to opponents, which i never saw in gibbs. there were some who said he was slow… that is BS! hes not walcott, but hes no slouch.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Santos is starting to do what a few of us predicted. Namely, make the opposition worry about what he will do if they leave space for him to run into. He fits our way of playing so much better than Clichy, it’s actually rather sad in a way.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Thanks Walter for the clarification about Flemish and Dutch. While I was in Europe we stayed with friends in Holland and we spoke some very bad Dutch, mostly mixed with German and French. they are fluent English speakers as well, thank God!
    the Dutch Football system, like the German one is formidable and one can easily see why they produce such prodigious talents year in and year out. their playing facilities were fantastic, even for a small Club in Dordrecht where we stayed.