A seventh straight win moved us up a place in the table to fifth, as a late own goal and Mesut Ozil’s third strike of the season earned us a hard fought three points at home to Watford.

Read the report and see the goals here.

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Jorin

Good win.

But a solid 0 on 10 for the commentators. Jeez, it was horrible.

gooner1981

It’s quite astounding how partisan they can get, especially when it comes to Arsenal. Half the time I’m telling the c*nts to go f*ck themselves, and it is quite bewildering for my partner to hear me raging at my TV!

shaka

look at our own fans….. there are some holdover bitters who now have an agenda against Ozil… see how they post… having agenda’s is such a farce ….. we are spectators who should be enjoying the game.

arsepedant

These are not our own fans sometimes. Ram is troll from another club.

Atishay

Remember Deeney’s foul on Torreira (for which he should have been sent off)? He says “That’s poor from Torreira” and that he should have received a booking, and then the commentator actually says “Torreira could have been sent off for that as he’s already on a yellow”. Imagine being sent off for being fouled.

Ram

Mkhi not starting really baffles me.He is our only creator and we are still keeping him out! Ozil’s selfish ball hogging and taking up the centre stage is really hurting Auba.we have enough scorers.need creator.If he keeps doing what he is doing,Auba will soon follow rambo and jack.

Greg in Seattle

Ozil, selfish ball hog? Because of all of those speculative shots he takes? Because of all of the 1v1 dribbles he attempts? Because of his showboat persona? Mmm, yeah.

Why not

Alexis ahem

Corona X

I saw a hilarious stat yesterday:
“Since joining Manchester United in January, Sanchez has lost possession an incredible 347 times”
Soudns familiar!

Not to mention that he’s now gone 831 minutes without scoring for Man Utd.

arsepedant

Or that he’s been so bad he didn’t even make the bench against Wet Hams.

George

Ozil’s ball hogging? Good one. He had to drop to halfway to start getting the ball and then was able to move up only when Watford tired/dropped off. He (and Iwobi) were instrumental in the second half.

As for the goal, I’ll never complain when someone makes a run into the box – we need more of it. (Ramsey seems to have forgotten it’s his strength).

Samgunz

Maybe Ozil is the new Ramsey?

A Different George

First, we want players who want the ball. Second, one of Ozil’s main strengths is how quickly he gets rid of the ball once he has it–the flick around the corner, the return pass to the attacker making a run, even the cross-pitch long pass to the open overlapping fullback–all done before the defenders can adjust their positions. The best player in Europe at doing this.

Angelou

Well said. Ozil is a waste of space, get rid of him asap.

GoonerJust

This undoubtfully the most fluid attacking game under Emery, although we still have homeworks defensively. Three points with a clean sheet is always welcomed, thanks to Chatcart who make that beautiful goal that turned things around. Good job guys!

Samgunz

2 shots on target, most fluid what now?

PEA14

No one is bigger than the club. I said it before on Alexis. And I say the same now to Aaron.
Besides we have a certain Emile waiting in the wing

IceBerg10

You Know Ramsey was shite when even arseblog gives him a 4….

Raphael

We look much more fluid going forward with Ramsey off the pitch. He will be a superstar playing for villa in the championship.

Nick

Fan of Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey and most everything to do with rum and whiskey and Aaron Ramsey.

Des

Tony Gale would lose an iq test with a glass of water.

TeeCee

Presumably you mean a glass of naturally occurring water with actual pond life in it?

George

Ha. Shame we’ll probably never find out as he would try to drink it upside down.

TR7

I’ll take it! Last year, I think we may have lost or drawn a game like this.

Pea14

Last season we won all our games at home except those againt the top 6

jon

I fully agree. This season has so far played out exactly as the previous. Our play is very much as last season’s too, a rather slow build-up, void of ideas, our defenders too easily beeing overrun be long crosses.

The real tests will come in the next away games against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, both of which we lost last season.

The home games against Liverpool (3-3 last season) and Tottenham (2-0) will of course also bring more information about whether the team really has improved.

WallyT

Long crosses, I think the team has really improved in dealing with crosses and set pieces. Bar the game against Cardiff, where Mustafi as has been the case all season consistently lost concentration, I think playing on the front foot for longer periods and conceding less chances from through balls is the only improvement needed

jon

I agree that the defense is a tiny notch better. But the perpetual problem on the right, where Bellerin is too far up field to interact and Mustafi watches the ball without noticing the platoon of opponents running in behind his back, is not fixed. Our mid-fielders have become better, however, to pursue the opponent’s attackers.

A Different George

We only dropped 10 points at home all season, same as Man United. Only Man City (dropped 7) were better.

Nick

Can’t wait to hear the excuses offered on behalf of Ramsey. Please spare me the nonsense about how running your socks off and having a so-called “good engine” somehow equates with being good at football. I don’t give a monkey’s that he had an excellent half-season a few seasons ago, and he suffered a horror injury eight years ago. He’s utterly overrated, a legend in his own mind, and doesn’t deserve a place in the first time irrespective of his contract status. Good riddance, mate.

Goons

Two fa cup winning goals.

Calm down, mate

Nick

You’re right. Let’s build a team around him based on past glory. He’s definitely shown in this season’s performances that, on merit, he deserves a new, bumper contract. He’s been brilliant. We don’t have any other needs either. We just need more Roy of the Rovers stuff from him. Thanks again for the reminder about the cups. That’s going to be useful for the club going forward.

RunningRayRunningDownTheWing

Oh Bless your cotton socks, Nick! You are one spoilt little. twat aren’t you? Turn that Ramsay frown upside down and enjoy the win, mate! That is all.

gooner1981

Is pace the only reason why Mustafi might keep his place ahead of Holding? His propensity to make errors every single game is very alarming. Holding looks assured defending, and passing out from the back. Looks to have put on some muscle as well, and he’s really looking the real deal now. Bellerin is steadily improving his game as well. Don’t know if it was the way they planted their feet before or better core strength now, but it’s nice to no longer see our players bouncing off opposition players, or being brushed aside to the ground so easily anymore.

Tony Adams nose

except Ozil, he goes down very easy

Xxxrob

When Sokratis is fit, I would be partnering him with Holding and hooking Mustafi. Mustafi passing puts us under pressure, his pushing people in the the back for dumb fouls puts us under pressure, he goes to ground and commits himself too easily, gets turned inside out at least once a game.

Fabulous

Definitely frustrating to watch Mustafi. At one point in the game he got turned (again) by Gray or Deeney I can’t quite recall, and instead of chasing back he’s arguing with the linesman for an offside call. The bloody guy just turned you how the flying f**k can he be offside?? Luckily Holding was there to cover for him. Absolute madness. He really needs to be dropped for either of Sokratis or Koscielny. The bigger worry for me is Mustafi is in the prime age to lead our defense (Holding and Chambers young, Papa and alps getting old) for the… Read more »

Fabulous

Kos*, not alps. Stupid autocorrect

arsepedant

Thought you were talking about Lichtsteiner, who’s from Switzerland!

Bob

Thought Xhaka ran our midfield today, Bellerin looks better, Iwobi looks much much better, holding looks better. I’m feeling pretty positive about what we’re beginning to see to be honest. Even if it’s not pretty we seem to be able to grind out a result and players are improving.

DamoDinkum

Xhaka is looking like an absolute boss with Torreira next to him

A Different George

The double pivot–Busquets and Xabi Alonso for Spain. Okay, not nearly as good, but same idea.

meneam

Very good win…Worried about about our right defensive channel, Mustafi seems to be the least intelligent player ever exists and bellerin always second best for every one on one or physical duel. Iowbi surely deserves a start over ramsey. Holding deserves a run of games

PleaseExplainJohn

I never ever thought that it would be easier for Ramsey and Welbeck to secure game time under a new coach than Mikhi. Blows my mind. Ramsey was terrible today.

PleaseExplainJohn

Credit to Welbeck. He has done everything to justify his inclusion in the team.

jon

Mhiki is enigmatic. He made several unpressed passes to the opposition when he came on in the Brentford game, only to better himself with some exellent advances, shots and passes. On the balance, I would agree that he is our second most creative player, after Özil, and creativity is sorely needed in the Arsenal attack.

Currently, Iwobi seems in better form than Ramsey, and should be played ahead of him. But if you also wants to fit in Mhiki, you would have to omit Lacazette or Özil. I would keep both in the starting 11.

Devlin

It’s a shame about Ramsey. I saw the most complete midfielder in him a few years ago. He has really let the goalscoring get to his head because he hasn’t put enough thought into developing other aspects of his to. He has become a striker who starts for a deeper position, than a midfielder. I don’t see him ever altering him mindset, not at this age or level of ego. He went from being a player everyone would want in their side, to a player that no one is sure of, when it comes to his best position. I have… Read more »

Nick

How dare you criticize Welsh Jesus. He’s been brilliant, don’t you know?

PB70

Nick, Devlin’s well thought out post is why the many thumbs up, even by those of us who like Ramsey. You just rant and sound quite insane. Tiresome.

Chidi

Blogs we need a sarcasm font…. ASAP

Hurensohn

When you watch videos of Lampard or early scholes they would ‘arrive’ late in the box and get on the end of stuff. It’s hard for defenders to mark and midfielders to track. Ramsey seems to make early runs into the box then just stand there.

He got those assists the other day but one was a pass to Lacazette who had a lot left to do and the other was a slip that he improvised well but would have cost us the chance if the assistant was even half switched on.

Cechmate

Was a very close game with Watford throwing everything at us including an ugly pumpkin (Deeney), a Christmas cart (cathcart for his OG gift) and a Success that was unsuccessful. We endured their pressing and physical abuse to see through it and once they started tiring we started controlling. I like how we saw the last 10mins out – instead of sitting deep and inviting pressure, we kept the ball and killed the momentum, which is a marked difference from yesteryears. While I understand why people like Monreal’s performance, today was an average day for him, IMO. I thought he… Read more »

Gunnerlocutor

“Horrible from start to finish.” Blogs is a patient man but he is done pulling punches when it comes to Mustafi. I’m with him.

George

Well pleased with that. Mustafi is a moron and I can’t wait to see the back of him. He’s not yet at Gallas-levels for me, but he’s close. I thought Iwobi turned the game, fair play to him. A. Taylor’s refusal to give the penalty is why, unfortunately, players go down. Weak and cowardly decision from him. Agreed on Gale – he’s been doing that shit for years. Should have been taken out back and shot a long time ago. A bit of Deeney would be good for us? Riiiiight. The only bit of Deeney we want is someone stamping… Read more »

onenil

Q. The striker is back to goal edge of your area. He has little support and you have team mates covering. What should you do?
A. Push him over!
Thank you Mr Mustafi please take a seat on the bench.

George

Yup, I want Holding and Sokratis when he’s fit.

MrSymes

Welbeck’s tackle and layoff for the second goal were – amusingly – better than anything Deeney did in the entire match.

And 10/10 for Ozil’s troll-passing in injury time.

MrSymes

Okay just seen MOTD and maybe it was an interception rather than a tackle. But he certainly tackled me heart.

Xxxrob

To be fair, Deeney played pretty well and usually does against us. He had a few nice through passes that created dangerous situations. I’m all for banging the arsenal drum but fairs fair lol

MrSymes

Oh you’re right, Deeney did play well. He’s a good player and Watford’s a team I rate a lot. Deeney just didn’t do anything as incisive as that moment. And while he absolutely has a point about his England call-up comments, it shows that a player like Welbeck has (for his faults) a level of skill that a player like Deeney doesn’t, and it’s that level of ability that a national manager goes for I guess. I mean Grant Holt scored loads for Norwich, Danny Graham for Swansea; there’s always players like that. Doesn’t mean they’d make sense in the… Read more »

Goonerink

Welbeck scored 9 goals for england in qualifying, some of which were game winning/changing.

it enrages me when people questioned his inclusion over giving a random striker a chance, he earned his place in that squad.

TxGooner

Blogs (and all): How would you prefer we use Aubameyang? 2 strikers w/ Laca? Rotating the 2 depending on opponent?

texasgooner

What do people think of a diamond formation with Torreira behind Xhaka and Ramsey and Ozil at the 10? Would allow us to play 2 up front.

Hi-Jay

Adrian Clarke mentioned it too; I don’t know if Emery will use it though.

santori

Too narrow. Reliant on fullbacks to have to come up to make width which slows down the counter.

Drop Ramsey. Play Iwobi. Better balance for us and more protection for the fullbacks as well.

Canuck Gunner

I agree with this entirely, but it doesn’t address the question about Auba and Laca. Auba is nowhere near as effective on the wing. Perhaps a diamond midfield with 2 striker is the best way to get them both on the field, but concerned about defending the wings and the attack may be too narrow.
Problems for Emery to sort out, but I guess having two top strikers isn’t a bad problem to have.

Amusa

Which drug was Tony Gale on?
Co-commentator makes a comment that Arsenal fans don’t like Deeney, Gale says it’s because they don’t have a player like him in their team and he could fit easily in our team.
We have fucking Aubameyang and Lacca as our startiing strikers you Muppet.

Goonerink

and we signed 4 players whom seem not to take any shit this window in Stephan, Lucas, Matteo and Sokratis.

Mpls

200/10 for Southgate saying about Deeney “we don’t play that way” in the kind of way a chap in a waistcoat might say such a thing.

JoolzyBergkamp

Not missing Alexis.

santori

Depends though, not missing Alexis who gives the ball away, certainly Alexis of United incarnation. BUT could still do with a player who can instigate and take players on. Iwobi is the closest we have to this and we should be using him to create better balance than we have at the moment. Otherwise we carry too many players who have to pass and play through the lines rather than who can take the defenders on. Ramsey situation is a perfect opportunity for us to address this in January. Meanwhile one of Ozil or Ramsey for similar role behind the… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

“until he extends”??? Have you been living under a rock the last week?

Cechmate

Quite the opposite – Alexis has gone missing!

WCGooner

I like Ramsey, but i’d take him out and play 4-4-2 with Mikhi or Iwobi.

Mitch

Did anyone hear the commentator call Leno “Jay Leno” in the 86th minute?

A Different George

I am actually waiting for Stephen Colbert to get his chance in midfield.

hosehead

Tony Gale angrily stating Torreria should be yellow carded for getting clattered by Deeney On the byline. Gale’s man-crush on Deeney is creepy.

santori

Ref was daft. Still way better than that cretin Mike Dean but really he was obtuse. Yellow card on Mustafi for complaining about not getting a corner but nothing for Deeney for that cynical late challenge on Torreira (which should have meant a deserved red) And Hughs got away with one too many fouls. BUT kudos to the team for stepping up and facing the aggression. This was a difficult team in form and one of the fitter sides this season. Media won’t give us our dues but we have deserved every bit the position we are in as contenders… Read more »

Nameless gunner

What abt the penalty we didn’t get?

Mattias

Loved Torreira ramming Deeney! Full frontal collision. 60 kilos vs 145 ?

santori

Put his elbow into him too.

If you are in a fight in a phone booth (or outside), you want the Uruguayan.

santori

Good overall performance against an inform and physically robust team. 1) Cech – Was up to task putting himself in harms way. Unfortunate for injury. Done nothing to suggest Leno is a better option but its now the younger man’s chance and he’s taking it. 2) Bellerin – Good game by Hector today. Got the balance between going forward and defensive caution correct. One great interception on a goal bound shot (even if they were penalised for a push) 3) Mustafi – Overall decent again and aggressive with headers which was needed against Watford. ONe issue where he should have… Read more »

Goonerink

you say all teams press unless you park the bus…
…very insightful knowledge into the 2 basic schools of defensive tactics.

though i am personally struggling to think of ANY other kind.. surely its either sit deep and absorb the pressure or try and win the ball back up the pitch.

Chamakhyoungpark

Thank you for posting such a detailed analysis of each player every week.

santori

Don’t know how you think Mustafi is horrible from start to finish. Made a good number of clearances particularly headers. One sloppy pass in first half but so did HOlding, Torreira and Lacazette within first 15 min period. Conceded some freekicks challenging but GUendouzi conceded one recently which led to a goal and never received such low marks. Torreira as well. And what do you expect him to do, not challenge? He turned over a number of balls off the opponents challenging and heading it back into our attack. If he missed one high up, you would say he over… Read more »

A Different George

I am not sure Mustafi’s mistakes are more common than anyone else’s. He gave up a stupid, needless free kick that could have really hurt us. But it did not hurt us, we won, and kept a clean sheet. I have seen Monreal, a player I really like, give up stupid, needless penalties and not get thrashed in the same way. There are a lot of mistakes made in a match, few of them decisive. If you have decided a player is awful, you will notice each of those mistakes and point out the possible consequences. If you like a… Read more »

MrSymes

All reasonable. I’ve long thought that watching football is inherently a process of confirmation bias, where the best you can do is limit those biases by trying to consider each moment in and of itself (so not ignoring stuff just because it contravenes your previously held narrative – Blogs is generally good at this and it’s why I’m here) and the worst you can do is enjoy your own opinions to the point that you perceive no new or contrary information and just get lost in your own stories about players or teams. We’re all somewhere in between and no… Read more »

DBMÖ10

I vehemently abhore playing acting and exaggeration on the pitch , but how the fuck is that not a penalty ? It seems I can sympathize a bit with the roll over lads after this , you won’t get anything by being honest.

Danny

Still can’t see all the players on mobile. Should be simple css tweak???

Araj Raza

Don’t know if this will happen but really looking forward to at least seeing Lacazette in the wider role and Aubameyang up front (even if just to see how it works).
At the very least it will help Ozil’s game a lot having a fast forward that is always looking to break in behind.

jon

Holding was not bad, but he is treated too nicely here, I think. He lost the sprint against Isaac Success flat-out, which should have been a goal for them.

WallyT

Yeah, a sprint even the best would lose. Success is quite pacy and robust but he didn’t call for offfside did he? He kept chasing and chasing

A Different George

Of course most centre halfs would lose a sprint with Success. But an experienced defender would never have been in that position; it was, plain and simple, terrible defending–but it did not matter in the end. And that was my point: no one focuses on mistakes that make no difference to the result if you like the player. If you dislike him, it proves he is shit and we were lucky that the opponent missed a sitter (or the keeper made a great save, etc.).

A Different George

Holding is often treated too nicely because people–including me–like his spirit and attitude. I’ve said this before: if you go back and look at the FA Cup final against Chelsea, we all remember how he wound up Diego Costa, and nothing could be better than that. But he made a lot of mistakes and, if not for an absolutely inspired game by Mertesacker to cover for those mistakes, that is what we would be remembering.

I think he will become a very good centre-half but, right now, he is not there.

RosaLegend

When Mustafi picks up a yellow not for a tackle, you know he’ll have a rough day. Overal a strange one, especially for the midfield. Iwobi really revitalized that. And Monreal is amazingly consistent although he’s playing all the time. Keep this train rolling Unai!

Wild bill

Four games until we play Liverpool. Really need to sort this high line out as I don’t think they’ll miss the chances where we step up without pressure on the ball. Everton and Watford cut through us with alarming ease.

WallyT

Just don’t really understand why Ozil is being played out of position to accommodate Ramsey, he’s been below party all season. Mustafi, don’t get me started, Holding, arguably our best performer today. Really can’t understand why this guy looks total rubbish sometimes, maybe he just needed some real competition with the assurance that selection will be totally based on merit. Yes, under wenger he played but, no matter how well or bad he plays, he was never thought of as a starter. Now, at least he thinks he can compete and that’s just all he needs.

Afobaba

An improvement in the defense line two clean sheet in the league

Tim Brennan

Tony gale is such a twat

Tayo

Toreira is showing that he’s a good addition to the squad.