Reading v Arsenal. Everyone’s opinion, the teams, the result

By Tony Attwood

It has been a week for everyone and his dog to have their say.

Collapse and decline are the main talking points in the press, and the AAA are lapping it up.  But Jack Wilshere has bucked the trend with a lot of positive talk, and even George Graham has come in, talking in support of Wenger.

He made a few errors did George, saying that Vieira and Anelka were bought for moderate prices (Vieira cost £3.5m and Anelka £250,000 which turned out to be dirt cheap, not moderate) but we can forgive the old boy that because he was generally supportive.

Bob Wilson also took a swipe at S. Robson, who now plies his trade with ESPN, and I suspect both ex-player and Micky Mouse TV are happy with each other.   Bob particularly commented on reports that Mr Wenger was a control freak.  Since Bob was goalkeeper coach for many years and Robson merely sat in a critics chair for Arsenal TV, I suspect Bob knows more than Robson.  Robson’s criticisms sound increasingly like a man bitter that his career has got this low.

Anyway, to the game Theo is back and so is Giroud.  Which by and large has to be excellent news for everyone.  It might mean we could see a front line of

Oxlade-Chamberlain   Giroud   Walcott

In the defence Koscielny is back, but presumably we’ll see the same defence as before:

Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mert., Sagna

with Koscielny on the beach.

Returning to Jack for a moment, he has said he’ll sign a new deal which is more good news.  During that interview he also said, of the Reading league cup game, “It was very hard watching that first half.  First of all because I really wanted to play in it. It was just a few days after my first game back, against QPR, so the manager rested me. I was watching it with my mate and at 4-1 I said: ‘Listen, we could do this.’ He laughed at me but I said: ‘You watch, we can win this’.

“To be fair, we showed great character in the end. The youngsters [this is old man Jack talking] all did really well – I think Thomas Eisfeld changed the game when he came on, he was brilliant. As was Olivier Giroud.”

Kieran Gibbs also supported the manager in a similar way: “I don’t think many people in England had really heard of Thomas Vermaelen before he arrived and yet he became an instant fan favourite at the club. The manager has an eye for noticing the potential in promising players.”
In the midfield all will be much the same
Wilshere, Arteta
with Jack at liberty to run forward and play like Dennis Bergkamp in terms of through passes.
On the beach we will have Mannone, Gnabry, Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Ramsey, Rosicky, Coquelin, Arshavin, Podolski, Gervinho – well at least some of them.
We currently have three players with four goals: Walcott, Giroud, and Podolski.  In this game we’ll see Walcott move ahead as our top striker and then hopefully sign a new contract.
The bad news is that all the omens point our way, and when that happens something usually goes wrong.   We’ve beaten Reading every time we’ve met them, and Reading have only won one of their last 10 league games.
But on the other hand we haven’t won any of our last six away games.   I just hate it when all the omens go our way.
We’ll outpass them certainly, and as long as you keep the sound of ESPN chatter turned down, I suspect you’ll enjoy this one.


The books…

The sites…

49 Replies to “Reading v Arsenal. Everyone’s opinion, the teams, the result”

  1. Its incredible that we share an uncomfortable feeling when all things point our way, and all pundits say we will win.Just nervous, I guess.

  2. And Bob Wilson also said that using tiredness as as excuse for poor performances was ridiculous. As I’m sure you know.

    Anyway Reading are a defensive nightmare, we should easily put two or three goals past them, as long as we don’t concede five down the other end.

  3. Anything other than a convincing win tonight and Wenger should do the decent thing and resign. But on a £7.5M a year contract I won’t hold my breath.

  4. Tony,
    To call ESPN, ” Mickey Mouse TV” may be an acceptable jibe, but remember the broadcaster handily provides a few Arsenal matches each season, to those fans who cannot easily attend games due to advancing years or living outside the UK.
    Even watching with the mute button firmly pressed, is better than missing a game completely.

  5. Well it should be an entertaining night at the mad jet ski stadium tonight, Im looking forward to a water logged pitch and all players travelling around on jet ski’s, Reading have hired a oil tanker and will moor the bugger in their penalty area, Arsenal have responded by deploying the German air defence frigate FBG Mertesacker I’m told this will be a first on sky sports. Apparently they have a banana boat on standby for any injured player?

    God I’d pay handsomely to watch that?

  6. hmm…is there no way we can tell ESPN that their commentators are full of shit/biased/ill-informed and everything else that they shouldn’t be as commentators?

    You see putting it on mute also shuts out the noisy crowd and that in a way kills the fun!

  7. @ nicky…

    ESPN has acquired rights to cover the FA cup matches in Asia. AND as you said its better than not coverage at all.

    Yesterday, Spurs-WB game….the commentators were going on about how two penalties robbed WB of a deserved 1 point from the Emirates…

    AND that Robson. People think he knows every thing about the ins and outs of ARSENAL….@#$^%$. He knows nothing…..just swinging his sword in the dark with his eyes shut.

  8. Sean Gooner,

    I don’t think Wenger should resign as most of our struggles are not of his making. I agree that the club do make it appear that he is the one pulling all the strings, well actually, they tell us nothing except smoke screens etc and again Wenger has to go along with it. Wenger is obviously producing results within the parameters set by the board otherwise they would have ousted him already, it’s just a shame their primary objective is not football related (or so it seems)

  9. @Nicky

    I think I’m correct in saying ESPN have no premier league football in the UK next season.
    I believe it is BT who won the bid for the ones sky didn’t get and seem to have a big proportion of the ‘A’ games too. So we can all get rid of the nonsense that is ESPN for at least the next 3 years at least. By which time Robson will be well and truely finished ( I hope).

  10. I pray they win tonight.You know is fostrating especially to the coach,when u are trying your best and and the players can not hold on to a lead or not playing to coach’s instructions.
    Tonight,God in heaven will see arsenal through.

  11. I had a good laugh when the ESPN commentator described the spuds as a team who ‘loves to pass the ball around’ and that he was excited to ‘see a proper game of football’.

  12. Good riddance to ESPN then. We only watch now, sound off. What a shame for all those big-noting ‘experts’. Ha – Waddle (subtitles please, or maybe an education for Chrissie), Keegan, Savage, Burley, Champion. They are all fervent in their hatred of Arsenal. I’m not in total favour of Sky domination, but at least they deploy more than 2 cameras. No loss.

  13. however good or bad the game is the hands of a team coach. Wenger could not compete with the modern football and it affects a few bad games this year, which resulted in empty title. however arsenal is not a small team which is sad as the other team is always striving to avoid relegation, the arsenal is a great team that has a name in the world, with huge assets, many fans around the world, and the arsenal also did little to pay transfer in recent years. much more competitive squad arsenal Wenger unfortunately only poor in giving tactics, also less able to increase mentality of players, and also did not want to risk buying a sloppy player, but players like that are typical of the mentality of steel players. Wenger obtaining and maintaining the ability of good players but often injured, it’s very harmful. despite it all arsenal boards are also guilty of not understanding the football, and how could not love arsenal,and let arsenal with such deplorable conditions. thanks for his memory was invincible and all of Wenger, but I have to say .. Wenger’s time away from the arsenal. do or do nothing .. in order to achieve success we have to go through the misery. so enough misery and we have to recruit a new coach next season, and hopefully not pep, because it will make the game very boring. somehow also a football team without a title is not a football team ..

  14. Although Arsenal haven’t played well recently, they are nowhere near as bad as some have suggested. Man City captain Vincent Kompany said recently “Arsenal are the best team we have played so far this season”.

    Hopefully Arsenal can regain there decent early season away form tonight. Form that saw us perform well and beat Liverpool, Montpelier and West Ham, whilst also earning good results at Stoke and Kompany’s Man City.

    Those cleaver bookmaker fellows still have Arsenal favourites to finish in the top four this season (behind the big three). They clearly haven’t lost their sense of perspective on all things Arsenal, its not in their interests, despite the daily barrage of abuse the club/manager has been receiving lately.

    Team news……OX-Walcott-Poldoski front three.

    Arsenal to restore some balance.

  15. For a change the boys are playing with some purpose. Its a joy to watch. Santos hattrick was great to watch.

  16. A very stylish win and a very good performance, apart from a couple of silly mistakes. Overall a very satisfying result and a valuable three points.

  17. Very enjoyable play from Arsenal.

    Great passing. Great movement. Great goals.

    Back to number five in the premiership.

    A hat trick for Santi.

    Not dead yet then?

  18. I wonder if our performance for the first 60 minutes is what supporters meant with the chant of “We want our Arsenal back”? Our best performance going forward for a very long time. Fast incisive and clinical. Now all the players have to do is to repeat it next game. A joy to watch tonight well done. COYG

  19. It felt as if we scored 7 goals… The Reading goals were stupid errors and some bad luck with Kieran misplacing the ball but if Jack wouldn’t have slipped no harm would have been done.
    We were a bit asleep at that time with being maybe too much in control.

    best man on the pitch… the Reading keeper Frederici. He stopped us from scoring 10 goals today.

    25 shots on goal today in 90 mins and 5 goals is not really good finishing (do I sound like an AAA now LOL 🙂 )

    But I think the whole team was very strong today and very committed and focused (apart from some 5 or 10 mins)

  20. A fine display overall. If only more teams played as openly as Reading we’d be winning more games.

  21. oh will.never be an AAA… all.they are talking about on other sites how Wenger should listen to their briliant genius tactics and let ramsey and gervinho out… how we conceded 2 gools and we.need a CB….
    they dont come here when we win, thank god

  22. Was I seeing things or was Sagna angry after the final whistle went. Anyone know what caused him to go into one?

  23. yippee.
    thank you arsenal my best birthday pressie well i’ll go back to my second best now a nice single malt whisky dreading tomorrow morning

  24. Mick,
    I also have seen it.
    I think it is because Taylor was the ref that allowed him to get his leg broken the second time around last season against Norwich.
    Today again Taylor was trying his best to be something between Dean, Dowd and Webb. Did you see Wilshere getting a yellow card for coming in with his side towards a high foot aimed at his chest?
    I think Sagna wanted to have a word with the ref about such things.
    I thought the ref was rather poor at first sight. And usually this is correct

  25. Thank you.A very nice evening.Just to say that Gary Neville is the best around.He is no fool.That Stuart Robson is a total arse.I heard him on the radio last week and it was the worst attack on AW i have ever heard.He actually said”Aw has got to the point that all he wants to do is pick up his pay cheque”.A nasty,evil tosser!

  26. @Adam, thank you. I can’t even praise Arsenal without being abused. I think people just see my name and don’t even read what I write.

  27. ESPN are not only terrible but they commentate from a studio in Miami somewhere, far, far from the game it self. You can tell when someone scores, on Sky you can hear the crown roar and sing, but on ESPN you can hear anything, they turn the volume down when someone scores so they can talk.
    I remember a Celtic game and in the background you could see the fans all standing holding their scarves singing, but you couldn’t hear a thing from ESPN.
    Anyway, great victory for us today, some silly mistakes but a good win. When they got 2 back we didn’t panic and scored another to see out the game. Good stuff and more of the same please!

  28. Gary Neville’s pre match analysis of Arsenal was very good. Really fascinating insight into how he feared Arsenal when he was playing Manu and interesting comparison between our attacking prowess then compared to now.

  29. Rupert and Paul,

    Agree that Gary Neville is a quality analyst, he reads the game very well.

  30. I think the value about last night’s game was not so much about the win…..Reading are likely candidates for relegation. Rather it was the way in which the 5 goals were worked and finished. Plus the fact that all our men WANTED the ball, something that has been lacking recently.

  31. Nice win, just what the doctor ordered.
    Incredible – BBC match stats claim possession was 50 – 50 over 90 min. Real stats suggest 33 – 67. Half time was 30 – 70.
    manure scraped a 3 – 4 win at the same place, and it was no big deal.
    I read a comment that said “Only Arsenal can win 2 – 5 away from home and be criticized for it…”
    How true.
    Now, on to Wigan! I hope agent 008 (aka Miyaichi) has given us the required intel and we’re getting ready to exploit their weaknesses.

  32. Walter,

    I thought the ref was pretty decent in the first half (though I seem to remember a dodgy offside or two), but showed significant bias in the second half. Particularly on Sanga’s side of the pitch…he took a couple of tackles that should have resulted in bookings.

    And since when does “you might keep possession” equal “advantage”? That happened quite a few times last night.

  33. The second goal came from an error that I was delighted to see. An Arsenal player (Podolski, I think) was sprinting back to cover a runner, and his momentum brought him beyond the offside trap for just long enough for the pass to be played. The back line had played the offside trap perfectly. It was good to see players putting in real effort in stopping Reading’s good spell, even if it went wrong. It was a good sign, I thought.

  34. I also noticed that whenever the 1st choice starting 11 get 5+ days of rest between games, they play well and win. If they get 3 or less, we get the shoddy performances we’ve seen sometimes. The second string players need to step up their game in the next few weeks, it’s going to be hectic.

  35. The team showed last night what they are capable of, both individually and collectively. To be fair this wasn’t a one-off this season. Liverpool, Southampton and Spuds games all come into this category. It is the lapses like Bradford that get all the attention, and this reinforces the point that it is really down to the players themselves to maintain their performance levels.

    And yes, Gary Neville’s pre-match analysis was good. But so were his half-time and after-match summaries which recognised the performance and gave no encouragement to the critics and Wenger-out brigade.

  36. re: A. Stewart at 3:54 pm
    @ Stuart.. “Wenger has to go along with it.”


    Well because they are his employers, his boss. They tell him what he can / can’t do, he reports to them, they pay his wages and any organisation will portray an image of harmony (regardless of what happens in the background).

    If your boss tells you ‘this is what we are doing’ and even after privately objecting they stand by their decision, then surely that is what you would do wouldn’t you?

  37. A big improvement last night was the fact that they all looked like they were enjoying their football.

Comments are closed.