Arsenal – Watford : 4-0 the match report as late as the bus…

By Walter Broeckx

The Prelude

As you may have read I went to the match with our supporters club from Belgium. A disastrous trip that resulted is us being late and missing a part of the match. Since then I have been writing angry letters to the bus company and wait for their reaction. But finally I got the time to do the match report itself. Apologies for the late report.

The Report

It took Watford almost one minute to touch the ball for the first time and then immediately they lost it again after that first touch. Arsenal moving the ball around and players moving well in the opening minutes. Alexis with a cross to Welbeck but a defender can head it away just in front of the latter.

A foul on Alexis but not given but Arsenal keep the ball and continue the attack. Iwobi with a cross to Alexis. Gomes can save his header but the ball comes back to him and he scores the rebound. GOAL 1-0 to The Arsenal after 4 minutes. Arsenal Belgium celebrate with gritted teeth in the bus still on Holloway Road.

Alexis with another cross but Monreal heads over. Alexis tries to reach Welbeck but Gomes first on the ball. Monreal being pushed but no foul for the ref, lucky Arsenal win the ball back quickly. Alexis with a ball to Welbeck who fluffs his shot when Özil was just on the overlap and in a better position.

Seconds later Welbeck to Iwobi who tries to beat Gomes with a curling effort to the top corner but the keeper with a great save. By now most Arsenal Belgium members are inside the stadium. From the corner Arsenal come again and a low cross from Özil to Welbeck whose shot is deflected just wide. Only 1-0 after 15 minutes, it could have been more.

Prodl pushes Welbeck in the back in the penalty area but as is in the laws: Arsenal players don’t get fouled in the penalty area. Deeney with the first ball between the posts for Watford with a soft header from a long way out, no problem for Ooooospina. All but one Arsenal Belgium members inside the stadium by now. Özil with a low cross, Welbeck tries to backheel it but it goes out from a defender and the shot from Coquelin is blocked by a defender. That could have gone in. Nyom tries to take out Özil and even Taylor gives the foul for the late challenge. Alexis with the free kick but an excellent save from Gomes.

Elneny bosses the midfield area together with Coquelin and Watford can’t even get an attack started and what goes past them is easily dealt with by the defenders. Arsenal completely dominant. On a rare occasion Ospina has to be quick off is line to smother a possible danger. Watford kick the ball out but get the throw in… Welcome to the PL Elneny. Still only 1-0 for Arsenal after half an hour.

Welbeck goes to the goal line but his cross is cut out by a defender. Unlike when a Watford defender is down the ref doens’t stop the play when Gabriel is down injured (from a kick from Coquelin?) now Arsenal has to kick the ball out themselves. Watford gives it back to Arsenal. Arsenal with a pause in their good football for a few minutes now and Watford now with a few attacks but Ooospina is just a spectator.

Coquelin with a good ball to Alexis who is in some space on the right flank, a good look up a cut back to the onrushing Iwobi who shoots the ball in the net. GOAL! 2-0 to the Arsenal after 38 minutes. Well deserved and a better reflection on what has happened on the pitch so far.

Bellerin with some lovely footwork when turning out a difficult situation… what a player…Özil with a backheel setting up another Arsenal attack… lovely football from Arsenal. Monreal being brought down on the edge of the penalty area but as usual the ref sees nothing wrong. Arsenal 2-0 in front at half time.

More of the same from the start of the second half. Arsenal moving the ball around and Watford running behind the ball but not getting it. Alexis and Bellerin combining on the right flank but the cross from Alexis is being head out to Bellerin who takes the shot and it takes a deflection from a defender and ends up against the back of the net. GOAL 3-0 to The Arsenal after 48 minutes.

Time to push on. Alexis combing in with Iwobi on the centre-right hand side of the penalty area. Alexis to Iwobi and Alexis offers himself again with a run on the outside, Iwobi cuts inside to his left foot and his shot beats the keeper but crashes against the crossbar…. unfortunately Özil his rebound bounces over the goal but it was difficult. This should have been another Arsenal goal.

A cross from Özil but the header from Welbeck is straight at Gomes. Finally then some danger in front of Ooospina and Monreal on the right spot to clear the header in front of the goal line. Arsenal now showboating all over the pitch with Özil showing all the passing tricks in the books much to the delight of the Arsenal supporters who shout olé for many a minute. Nyom then has enough of it and kicks Özil deliberately from behind and gets a yellow card.

Oooospina who had been without job the whole afternoon then has to stretch himself to stop a shot from Deeney on the turn and does so with a fine stop and he can even avoid the corner. He gets a well deserved round of applause from the Clock End for this fine save.

At the other end Özil with a corner and Giroud who had come on for Welbeck with the header but Gomes can stop. Campbell on for Alexis and Theo came on for Iwobi who both receive a storming round of applause for their match.

Özil to Campbell who plays it to Giroud with the outside of the foot but Giroud just can’t reach it and Gomes can save Watford. But it was just a delay of execution. Özil once again with a great long ball to Campbell who was in some space on the left flank, Campbell dribbles past Nyom and plays a low cross and Theo is on hand to put it over the line with his left foot. GOAL! 4-0 in the 90th minute.

A fine goal to round things off and to give the real difference in class between both sides on the day.

Our finishing seems to be better the last days. Welbeck, although he didn’t score, had a good match and was always running and creating space.  Iwobi…. well what can you say… 19 years old! Nineteen! Amazing how he has established himself in the team in such a short time. He plays as if he 29! Alexis was as lively and influential as we know he can be. Finally over his hamstring injury and with a free head? And what about cheap Elneny…

This was Arsenal at its best and they were a joy to watch. They surely made up for our travelling nightmare. Thanks for that guys!


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31 Replies to “Arsenal – Watford : 4-0 the match report as late as the bus…”

  1. I absolutely must agree about Iwobi and Elneny.

    When I read that Wenger was keeping Iwobi at Arsenal and not letting him be loaned – and then saw him endlessly on the bench, I wondered what was going on. And then just at the right moment Wenger releases him.

    If you consider this season we have got a goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder to play alongside Coquelin or instead of him, or going forward while he stays back, and an attacking midfielder who scores.

    But it will all be denied because

    a) goalkeepers are not outfield players so don’t count
    b) Elneny only cost £4.5m or something (he looks to me like a player costing at least five times that)
    c) Iwobi is just a kid and you don’t win things… and anyway we didn’t pay £££££££££ for him.

    That is 27% of the first team replaced this season. If you try and do much more than that in a season it all falls apart because the team become destabilised.

  2. Walter
    Sorry for your delays and missing the first goal, but glad you and especially the Mrs., made it! I agree with you and Tony about Iwobi, Elneny and Welbeck, hell of a shift. I’d like to ask both of you, since you were in attendance, if the crowd was louder than usual from the off. It seemed that way on the TV broadcast. Nice to hear the supporters get behind the boys before they score. Also, with all the railing about fouls, penalties and handballs am I the only one who took exception to the way Monreal was dragged down on the edge of the box in first half added time? Not even a foul called. Not shocking of course with the unPGMO, but disturbing. He was clattered off his feet with full possession and control of the ball. Off topic, I’m a bit disturbed that so many Untolders are leaping on allegations of drug use for Leicester’s success. That’s grasping at straws as they are unsubstantiated allegations. But you’d have to be a brick to ignore the calls and non-calls they get regardless of opponent. If we didn’t know better we might actually think the FA, the League and the unPGMO were complicit in their success. But that can’t happen in England, right?

  3. In my experience if something looks too good to be true it is normally a lie. Of course Leicester could be the exception to that generalisation but….

  4. Walter,

    Good luck with your letters to the coach company. If all else fails there must be others you can use in the future. It was good catching up with you and Carine after the game. I hope the journey home was uneventful.

  5. The weak links in the Arsenal attacking lines in the AFC vs WFC match that I watched on my Tele last Saturday are: 1. Welbeck was more of a passenger in the Arsenal forward line than to be a driver in the driving seat for Arsenal. He looked tired and unable to cope with the demands of the Arsenal forward line intensity attacks as he weakly fluffed his lines many times in the game.

    And 2. Monreal was unable to take-on his marker on the left side of the Watford defense line whenever he overlapped on several occasions. He can’t just be able to beat his marker that was closing him down for his left wing-back attacking threats. Monreal can’t beat his Watford defender that was marking him because he can’t scheme or wriggle past him like Bellerin can do when he overlappses. But Monreal can still perform his defensive duty very well at his leftback position for Arsenal.

    My winning starts for West Ham:
    My bench:
    I’ve done only 1 change to the new Boss’ prolific starts which is Walcott for Welbeck. I hope the Boss will accept.

  6. Tony
    a) signing of Cech was universally acclaimed as one of, if not the best signing of the season , except for UA contributors( most of them anyways), who didn’t think we needed an upgrade. A bit strange one to brag about something this site generally was against, oh well.
    b)Elneny looks a good signing. Too bad he wasn’t signed in the Summer when most Arsenal fans were asking for another player to cover for Coquelin in case he got injured.
    A case of too little too late as far as this season is concerned. We lost the chance for the title when Coquelin went down, which because of his all out tackling style of play was easily predictable.
    c)I haven’t seen a single comment anywhere not praising Iwobi and Wenger for bringing young players through, which had always been one of his strengths.

    I do , however, admire your steadfast and resilient approach to what you call ‘supporting the club and the manager’, even if it means inventing and creating straw men to make a point.

    Arsenal fans generally don’t care how much a player costs, but rather whether he can do the job.

    By your logic, most Arsenal fans should be crying out for Wallcot to start every game since he’s one of the top earners – they don’t.

    If anyone, it’s Arsene who seems to favor players with higher wages regardless of form or application, over players who bust their behind and are on form( Campbell ).

  7. dnftt

    An attempt tonight on 5live to discuss ‘referees’ tonight. One to file alongside the Bleebs repeated (as in more then once) attack upon AFC for not being friendly enough to Special Agents. (Yes it’s true, truth can be stranger then fiction – if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then you can safely bet you’re last IOU that there was indeed some uproar back when AFC didn’t sign Pato, an uproar from the funny papers and bottom drawlers and associated hangers on)

    A gentle airbrushing from Aunty Bleeb of anything of concern to football fans. As logged upon not just this but as Al linked in, quite a few other sites too. Hard not to really. Omertà?
    I bet that most football fans must be chuffed that the Bleeb has been giving licence fee payers tax towards the likes of Mr. Barton. Perhaps Omertà is the wrong word?

  8. Does not matter what you do people because if people cannot see things for themselves that’s their hard luck. Even when this team is winning someone has to have a downer and that is the sad state of Arsenal FC supporters and why we are talked about so much.
    From what I have read going right across the net more and more people are starting to ask the same questions about Leicester City and the PGMO about all the calls going their way and the amount of penalties given to them. It’s not just on this site but a lot of others. Somethings do not ring true and this is one of them. I wait patiently to see where this all ends and hope against hope that finally truth will prevail .

  9. Something is going on and from the feedback that I’m getting other supporters are not going to let this just go by. Allegations have been made that the BBC’s insiders on a certain programs at the start of this season put a lot of money on Leicester to win the PL at odds of some say 50000/1. I can say with certainty that a lot of the Media offices today are stating to ask questions and supporters of other PL clubs have been ringing up also.( all I will say is I have a close relative in journalism).

  10. Tom – I’d like some of what you’re smoking (accept I don’t smoke).

    Most Untolders accept that Wenger knows best….so you’re talking out of your preverbial. Wenger buys at the right time to complement his team. Everyone who thinks they know better have not assembled this team.

    The only reason Arsenal are not a distance ahead of the rest is the PGMO cheating that is so blatant, it makes the jury system & English law worthless.

  11. Lord Moynihan – ‘there is no sports specific law to deal with doping.’

    There is no Law to deal with dopes (eg Piers Morgan) either!! 😉

  12. Lord Moynihan – ‘there is no sports specific law to deal with doping or fraud.’

  13. Tom,
    You seem to be making things up in your head…

    Ospina showed that Cech wasn’t a necessity and that was mentioned on here. He always has been a quality player (as mentioned on here many time) and everyone is surprised that the Chavs sold him to us. He’s definately a benefit to the team but we wouldn’t have been in the relegation battle if we hadn’t got him.

    The salary of the player isn’t the part the simpletons think about, it’s the purchase price. Apparently we should have bought Benteke and anyone else costing over 30m, because if they don’t cost that at least then we’re told they’re useless and that we’re deluded…

  14. Good to see that the Prodl barge on Welbeck was treated in the same was the Janssen barge on Jagielka was. At least there’s some consistency of poor officials for a change (although the Barca/RMad ref was rubbish as well).

  15. Sorry for repeating this but had to get it verbatim.

    Lord Moynihan – ‘there is no sports specific legislation to deal with fraud in sport.’

    Thats what is needed to deal with PGMO.

  16. Report worth waiting for Walter. I loved the bit about showboating and the crowd shouting ole. That’s one of the reasons we love our Arsenal!

  17. Andy Mack
    So what you are saying is Arsene Wenger blew £10M in transfer fees and additional £22M over four years on a player with no resale value which Arsenal didn’t need.
    It sounds to me like a terrible mismanagement of finite resources by Arsene Wenger. Wouldn’t you say.

    Just out of curiosity, what player is an absolute necessity at Arsenal according to you?

  18. Menace
    I don’t believe you for one minute re the smoking thing.
    Anyone who thinks Southampton should’ve had two penalties against Leicester City ,must surely be on something, and it must be something way stronger than anything I could ever supply you with 🙂

  19. It has been rumoured that we have a game on Saturday. And we do. We get screwed by Pawson this week.

    Saturday 9 April 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Aston Villa – Bournemouth Martin Atkinson _M Mullarkey S Child _ M Dean
    15:00 Crystal Palace – Norwich _Michael Oliver _ G Beswick _ S Bennett D Bond
    17:30 Man City – West Brom _ _ _Mike Jones _ _ _ A Garratt _ I Hussin _R East
    15:00 Southampton – Newcastle _ Robert Madley _ _M Perry _ _ J Brooks _G Ward
    15:00 Swansea – Chelsea _ _ _ _ Andre Marriner _ S Ledger _ _D Bryan _ K Johnson
    15:00 Watford – Everton _ _ _ _ Kevin Friend _ _ S Long _ _ _A Fox _ _ S Duncan
    12:45 West Ham – Arsenal _ _ _ _Craig Pawson _ _ L Betts _ _ D Cann _ _J Moss
    Sunday 10 April 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    16:00 Liverpool – Stoke _ _ _ _ Mark Clattenburg S Beck _ _ _R West _ _K Friend
    16:00 Spurs – Man Utd _ _ _ _ _ Mike Dean _ _ _ _S Burt _ _ _E Smart _ J Moss
    13:30 Sunderland – Leicester _ _Anthony Taylor _ J Collin _ _P Kirkup _L Mason
    Wednesday 13 April 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    20:00 Crystal Palace – Everton _Robert Madley _ _M Perry _ _ H Lennard P Tierney

  20. Well done Tom so the Southampton Manager must be on something? He was adamant that the Leicester defender should have had a red card & a penalty should have been awarded for both handballs.

  21. Menace
    Is this the same Southampton manager who was vilified on this site , and rightfully so, for getting in Wenger’s face in the tunnel after Arsene had complained to the game official for having a poor game?

    So Koeman is now this paragon of virtue when assessing referees performance?

    Hm, I wander what’s change 🙂

  22. Tom,
    Your view of the validity/non-validity of the two non-awarded penalties in the Leicester v Soton game is just that – your view. Fair enough.
    How did you view the non-penalty when we played them? i.e. when the Ox crossed the ball and the LCFC defender handled it?
    3 really clear views all going LCFCs way
    One needs to see all of them in context i.e. the number of penalties not awarded against LCFC since their ‘miraculous’ phoenix-like rise in the PL since a point last spring when Howard Webb took over; and the statistics re: yellow/ red cards for and against them and each opponent; fouls awarded / let pass; the number of dbeatable decisions going their way again…and again…and again etc.
    The stats are there, they are not part of some wild conspiracy theory. Then look at where the money if going; and I am NOT talking Daily Mail-type headlines about transfer fees and wage bills.
    This is about heavy, heavy gambling.

  23. Tom – this is the same one. His reaction to Wenger was wrong but his assessment of PGMO cheating is spot on. You unfortunately think you are the only one with a correct view just like the PGMO 96% or whatever. Perhaps you have a job with them as their specsaver rep.

  24. Menace its comments like this which makes anything you ramble on about irrelevant-
    “The only reason Arsenal are not a distance ahead of the rest is the PGMO cheating that is so blatant, it makes the jury system & English law worthless.”
    Have you been on the kingfisher again or something stronger.
    Please just post that comment on any other site of your choosing and see the reaction.. The men in white coats woiuld take you away if they could find you!!

  25. The continual harping on about the refereeing standard actually devalues the site. We are all aware that we as a club rarely get the rub of the green and that bewildering decisions go against on a regular basis but laying the blame at this subject just enables the press and supporters of other to ignore many of the good things that the contributors write about. Arsenal is not perfect and there are things to discuss , if more time was given to alternate solutions without bitchiness just perhaps the investigatory articles would gain a wider ( national )audience

  26. Ando
    Here’s my view on the Southampton penalty shout in the Leicester game.
    Simpson is running at speed and the ball hits his elbow, which is in a natural position, tucked away close to his torso.

    Where was he suppose to keep his elbow while running almost at full speed, behind his back? Perhaps you can try doing that next time you get a chance and tell us how that went for you.

    When Koeman made his claim , he stated : If the ball doesn’t hit his( Simpson’s) elbow, it’s a goal. A clear penalty and a red card”

    Clearly Koeman has some trouble with human anatomy, seeing as elbows are generally attached to arms, and these in turn are attached to shoulders, which in turn are attached to torsos.

    From every angle I’ve seen the play, if Simson’s elbow wasn’t there , the ball would’ve hit him squarely in his upper body – no penalty

    Btw, this was the view of every ref and pundit I could find who saw the play.
    I highly doubt they are all corrupt or have a hidden agenda.

    The second incident was a little less straight forward.
    Huth’s both arms are away from his body by some distance, although it would be harsh to say they are in an unnatural position. Mind you there is nothing in the rule book that says players must tuck their arms behind their backs when blocking shots to avoid penalties, although some do it out of caution. The ball comes from a short distance and hits his left hand. I’ve seen them given , but since the Clattenburg’s fiasco hand ball call against Sterling in the Tottenham game, referees have been shy to give penalties for hand balls.

    So now let’s look at all Leicester penalty incidents as a whole.
    I’ve watched all Leicester city game this season and I’ll be the first one to admit that they haven’t lost a game due to a bad referee decision yet.

    Combine this with some other calls that clearly went their way and there is the perception of conspiracy to make them the league winners.

    There’s only one problem with that. Has there ever been a league winner that wasn’t accused of winning it due to favorable referees’ decisions?

    Now let’s move on to Arsenal. Clearly we haven’t got the rub of the green this season, or the last , or the one before.

    This isn’t just my view, it’s also the view of this site and more importantly the view of some other independent sites I’ve come across as well.

    No one can say Arsenal won any games this season due to referee mistake. The closest I could find to us benefiting from a bad call was Giroud being inches offside in the buildup to his Liverpool goal in the 3:3 draw at Anfield.

    So we Arsenal fans know this , or at least , should know it by now that we don’t get the calls. More importantly Arsene Wenger should now this as well. More to the point ,if I’m Arsene Wenger , I start each and every season thinking the refs are gonna cost me 5 points or so, so how do I compensate and make up for their bias or incompetence.

    Has he done that ? No, is the answer.
    Every season we are short of a player or two and every season what most predict might happen, happens.

    So in short, yes, it bothers me that Leicester get more favorable calls than us, almost as much as it bothers me that we have an owner who states publicly he doesn’t care about winning, and the manager who admits he doesn’t care what the fans think.

    But we have one thing to fall back on when all else fails. We will always have the most cash in the bank in all of football, and that is what seems to matter at Arsenal these days.

  27. Tom how do you go into a season planning on not getting decisions? He plans to score goals and not concede goals, the fact that refs disallow our goals and allow their goals, or do not give us penalties and give them penalties kind of males this difficult, pr are you sinply suggesting that Arsene should send out a perfect team to play perfectly and score lots of goals without conceding any allowing the ref or assistant absolutely no options of awarding not awarding goals, could, penalties etc… if so I have to agree as being perfect is obviously the way forward and I can’t believe somebody hasn’t already thought of it…

  28. ob1977
    Wenger can’t do much about the refs but he can surely do something about not having unreliable players in his squad. Players like Rosicky, who due to his age and injury history should’ve never been extended another year.

    Not when you monitor a player like Kante for two years( Wenger’s own admission), who is becoming the leagu’s mvp and would’ve ensured the void left by Coquelin’s absence when he got injured, would’ve been filled properly.

    I don’t believe for a second the manager with Wenger’s eye for talent didn’t see enough in Kante. Not wanting to spend the transfer fee money was the difference for sure. It was cheaper to offer Rosicky, who didn’t even want to be here, another year at £80K per week instead of paying £5m for Kante and have a dilemma when to play him.

    It’s all about the bottom line with this club.

  29. Oh Tom you are so good. I think Aston Villa could do with your brilliant theories about football. They perhaps do not have the PGMO on their backs but need some of your post trauma logic. It is so good looking at incidents after they have happened & then pontificating. You could make a lot of money selling your system to idiots. Your maths is also excellent as you compare a salary to a buying price without considering the the salary of the purchase. Most impotantly the money you want spent is not from your bank account. It is so easy to spend what you haven’t worked for.

  30. Menace
    What part of toms post is rubbish??
    What have aston villa got to do with thinks??The only comparison they have with us is that both have an american owner that just wants to take from the club and see’s it as a business and not a football club.And whats “its so easy to spend what you havent worked for mean”.The club is making a fortune and we are still shopping in poundland!!!I suppose whilst Wenger is still making the club money he sleeps easier when he picks up his 8.5m pay check.

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