Vorm was in vorm, but we’ve got Jack. Reflections on Swansea

By Walter Broeckx

Looking back to the Swansea game

On a cold freezing night Arsenal brought us warmth.

If I would be pretentious I would say that Wenger read our article and the comments last night. I wrote: “Also against MU they played a very decent game. MU played a high pressing game on the day and I thought it brought them in trouble a bit.  MU sitting mostly deep 5 players in defence and with 3-4 players chasing the ball and Van Persie lurking around. Swansea had some problems with that but they also had their chances to win the game.”

But well I think Wenger had figured that out before the game himself. I thought one of the reasons we didn’t play well in the league against them was because we didn’t pressurize them enough and let them play their game.

But no such thing yesterday evening. I think because of the cold the players had only one option: run, run, run and run more to keep themselves warm.

I think we saw a different shape of the team, with only 2.5 strikers and 3.5 midfielders.  Giroud playing the front man with Theo lurking around him. Cazorla playing a bit more on the left hand side of the field but more in midfield than in the attack. Jack Wilshere playing in a more advanced position. And Diaby and Coquelin playing more as the holding players.

The defence was more what was expected with the Pole in goal.

To start with the defence: they hardly gave anything away. Apart from one header from Bartley that hit the crossbar they could smother out almost all the danger. Szczesny had hardly anything to do all night long. I hope he didn’t catch a cold out there.

Per and TV did their job in defence. Sagna and Gibbs were outstanding both in their defensive work and in their attacking work. It was a joy to watch Gibbs once again delivering a great performance on the left wing.

During the first half I saw a statistic flashing on my laptop saying Swansea had the most possession. I really do think that they also count as possession the time when the ball is out of play. So when Arsenal take a shot on goal that goes wide and the keeper takes a minute to bring the ball back in the game it counts as one minute of possession for Swansea. Because well it didn’t feel that way at all.

The first half was not completely perfect but you could see and feel that the team was willing to die for going to the next round. Luckily they didn’t have to go that far. Arsenal had the most chances but we seemed a bit afraid to shoot at times and tried to play in another player and then the chance was lost most of the time. But Vorm was the busiest of the two keepers that is for sure.

The second half was in fact one long siege of the Swansea goal. I think I remember Swansea saving 3 balls off the line, Arsenal hitting the post and then we have that small matter called Vorm. He really is an excellent goalkeeper. In fact he is rather short for a modern age goalkeeper with his only 1m83 (6ft apparently). The Dutch keeper showed his skills and as said when he was beaten he got some help from his defenders covering on the goal line.

As we are Untold I will know give you a small lesson in Dutch (which other Arsenal website gives you that?). Because the name Vorm has a meaning in Dutch. So after seeing him play like he did yesterday I thought to myself: “Mijne God, Vorm is weer in vorm”. No need to use google translate or whatever translator you use. In English it would have been: ‘My God, Vorm is in great shape again”. So when you see Vorm having a great game it is no real surprise because in Dutch his name is what is used as the word ‘shape” and as in English it is also could be expressed as “he is having a really great game.”

Back to the game. It was strange that each chance that fell for Giroud was a ball that ended up for his weaker right foot. He gave it a try a few times but it just ended up in the arms of Vorm each time.  After us missing all those chances you started fearing that this might not be our day. Swansea aiming for the penalties and hoping that their penalty stopper (Vorm) would be in “vorm” again.  With us having 26 shots in goal it brought back bad memories of us playing at Bradford and having 28 shots and only one goal and then losing with penalties.

But one man decided that this time it would be different.  But we must praise also the team work before that goal. Gibbs seeing that he could intercept a ball in the centre circle (as a left back!) with his vision and speed. Passing it on to Cazorla who turned and saw the defenders backing away. Playing the ball for Giroud who did what a central striker should do: pass it to an onrushing midfielder.

My first reaction when Giroud laid off the ball for Wilshere was: why didn’t he play that on the ground. Well Giroud took the best option as now the ball came in front of Jack’s left foot and he volleyed the ball superbly past the Swansea keeper.

I now could go lyrical about Jack and his performance. I have seen words on the internet saying : Jack is world class, top class, top-top-top class. Well I don’t want to play that song.

I want us to whisper it. I want us not to say it at all in fact. I want Gooners all over the world when they meet or are on the internet and talk about Jack it should be in this way:

Gooner 1: Seen Jack?! (face expression expressing world class)

Gooner 2: nods yes. ((face expression expressing world class)

Please that is all we should do folks. Just imagine that the money teams might find out about him. Just imagine that Real Madrid or Barcelona find out about him. Just keep it quiet. Let’s keep this one for ourselves.

I have been a great Jack Wilshere fan since I saw him playing the reserves on my laptop when Arsenal used to broadcast the reserve games when he was 16 years old. And after the last years I had sworn to myself to never ever again to have a crush on an Arsenal player. My supporter’s heart has been broken a few times. But slowly I feel I am losing the battle. I think by the end of the season I will have given in I fear.

What a player we have in Jack. We’ve got the Jack, Jack, Jack (AC/DC fans will be able to sing this along with me- not that it has any link with the meaning in the song ). Ssssssst Walter, don’t say it loud.


The books…

The sites…


22 Replies to “Vorm was in vorm, but we’ve got Jack. Reflections on Swansea”

  1. “Just imagine that Real Madrid or Barcelona find out about him. Just keep it quiet. Let’s keep this one for ourselves.”
    And perhaps we should keep it quiet from Stan Kroenke. : )

  2. Forget about keeping JW out of the spotlight. He IS world class, and right now.

    Last night’s performance by JW was truly amazing and so refreshing to see. I can’t remember when I last saw a player so positive and so dangerous in our team – this kid is unique. A unique running style, an unbelievable turn of pace, power, composure, fight. If he starts to finish like he did last night on a regular basis then my god we have more than a world class player, we have a player in the class of those that are remembered for generations.

    Said before he has the potential to be one of the all time great English players. I believe it more than ever last night.

    So as not to be too positive, and risk losing my AAA status ;), I also have to say the Giroud is NO answer to RVP. We need a new striker and now. Very glad to hear that Cavani is on the cards…

  3. Walter, he’s a little gem, and for now he’s our little gem. I look forward to seeing him develop further and like you, I hope he doesn’t break our hearts in years to come. He’s actually better than he was before he was injured, I think – more mature and more of a leader.

    @ bob
    I would imagine SK knows all about Jack. What nefarious plans do you fear he has for JW?

  4. Tying Wilshere up for another 5 yrs is the single most important piece of business Arsenal have done for years.If Kroenke ever tries to flog him,it will be the end for him at this club.Jack is one of our own and we love him.

  5. The funny thing watching the game last night and seeing all the comments as the first half went on, I got this increasing feeling that I was watching a different game from everyone else.

    Everything I was reading was about a Swansea team having the bulk of the possession, and increasingly taking control of the game.

    What I saw was Swansea trapped in their own half, only able to make 2-3 breakouts in the first 45. The rest of the time they were limited to long balls which either led to offsides or direct turnovers.

    Maybe it was just me, but I know I was not surprised by the events of the second half, unlike a lot of the commentators.

  6. Yeah, that static about Swansea havin more possession also had me saying what! But the team performed very well last night, the scoreline doesn’t give a true reflection of what went on. Yes, their defenders put in blocks with their keeper beaten, I can remember a shot from Diaby that was going in, the Vermaelen free kick and Theo’s shot. Those were certain goals. We could have won this by 5 goals or more easily, and I dont think thats an exaggeration. Of course this didn’t happen as their keeper was also in inspired form(or is it Vorm:))
    I thought all our midfielders put in a very good performance and was real fluid, and so was the defence. Walcott & Giroud also created enough chances – which is always a good thing when a striker is having chances – to have bagged a hattrick each.
    Jack was brilliant, and to think someone on these boards suggested not so long ago that we should sell him and get Thiago Alcantara! No offence to Thiago, he’s a good player without a doubt, but to write Jack off bordered on lunacy.

  7. Re Wilshere I think the genie is already out of the bottle!
    Nice report which picks out the change in shape which upset Swansea’s rhythm but they were also knackered. Sadly Giroud is no RVP and Theo is no Thierry. But it was a good night!

  8. FunGunner,
    Well, pal, I think Linz has it about exactly right. I can’t improve on his insight.

    But since you want a little night cap, I’ll give you a pissing contest, just for ha ha’s. I’d have to say, based on previous form, that your non-nefarious hero-owner will be on the side of selling off JW when the next quick 25M can be made. Or perhaps a tidy profit in the summer transfer window. Nothing “nefarious,” buddy. No, it’ll be a coolly-calculated piece of asset-stripping with no like-for-like available so that we’ll just have to bring in another person; because there’ll be a long list of names in the midfield that you can toss out like a laundry list is a cure. Like this time, amigo. I mean all JW would have to do is say over the summer is that he admires iniesta or xavi alonso, and our jack will be out-of-here as fast as your bean counter pals can snort “christmas bonus”. Of course that would be too far fetched, now, wouldn’t it. But, based on form, a whisper from your agent-pal will make it done, lickety split; and you’ll then endorse it as a sensible choice.

    There, enough red meat for you? Oh, and since you’ve disturbed my nap, I’ll just have to note that while your quick to provoke me on the Wilshere controversy, I am called to note your non-participation in the commentary on Walter’s courageous calling-out of the Golem, Mike Dean, for enabling some truly nefarious activity against AFC. You want “nefarious,” mate, that’s nefarious. Why not trouble yourself with that serious problem that stalks the pitch. But then again, as Fun gunner, that might spoil the jack-the-lad party that you think has now redeemed the midfield and saved the season from the two summers of blunder. I would only hope so; fervently so. But I don’t think for a moment that your owner-hero gives a fig about jack wilshere. Surely, fun guy, your agent-pal, if he exists, might tell you otherwise, next time you do sushi in The City.

  9. dan,
    yep, vorm’s a keeper. what a catch! wish we’d have a one-two competitive tandem. with him and szez we’d be set for decades.

  10. @Walter thanks for such a nice piece.
    Woosh what a nice environment, i was not expecting this anytime this season. The wizard’s of doom are asleep or what! GOD save us from evil Amen

  11. @ Al
    What did you think of Coquelin’s performance? I thought he did really well, especially in the first half. He is a great all-rounder, I think.

    @ dan
    Vorm was sensational. But I don’t think we could keep both him and Chesney happy. Swansea are a great side, fun to watch and since we are out of the COC, I really hope they get past Chelski and win the thing.

  12. Hope with young Jack , the other English starlets as well as the youngsters from the acedemy ,we have a core to build a great team for the future .
    Do hope too that the senior players stay loyal and guide them till they are able take over .A smooth transition is what we require and what has so far been lacking ,with the sale/desertion of the mercenaries.

  13. @FunGunner
    I thought Coquelin was absolutely amazing; seemed well composed for a first start in ages, went forward when he needed to, made the right passes and I don’t seem to remember him ever losing the ball. I definitely would want to see more of him this season. Without a doubt our mid was our strongest dept in that game.

    Another thing I think contributed to a good performance was that Swansea are a good footballing side who come to play without all the dirty/underhand tactics and that suited us. City aren’t famous for breaking other players’ legs but the way some of their players targeted Jack must have taken a few by surprise. They did more to disrupt our flow in that game than play their game, and dean being in charge it certainly didn’t help our cause.

  14. thundertinygooner

    In saying that Swansea were knackered, I’m afraid you’ve fallen prey to the media’s agenda of excusing away every Arsenal victory. Swansea had 4 days rest to our 3. And it was Arsenal who had spent 80mins playing with 10 men in the last match. No excuse for them being more tired than us. We played well, were largely focused and just wanted the victory more than they did.

  15. @ Al
    January 18, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Al, we are of one mind on both points.

    @ Shard
    January 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Spot on.

    @ bob
    Just seen your reply to me. I’m not following you around, not interested in a pissing contest or in making everything personal. I haven’t invented anything or anyone and I’m not a guy.

  16. “I have been a great Jack Wilshere fan since I saw him playing the reserves on my laptop”

    How small was he?

    How big is your laptop?

    These things are Untold!

  17. LOL Matt Clarke 🙂

    I think not giving the reserve games any more on arsenal.com was a sad thing.
    They used to give the complete games and I think some of them live (home games? ) memories….

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