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Strong rearguard display from Arsenal halts timid Marseille

by on October 20, 2011

Hello all. Sorry I haven’t been around at all, moving house [and country] so I haven’t had much spare time; Normal service should hopefully resume by the end of next week, just in time for the Chelsea match then.

A lot to talk about then, not least our win over Marseille!

Highlights | Wenger’s post-match interview

Mikel Arteta post-match | Ramsey post-match [ITV] | Ramsey post-match [Arsenal Player]

I won’t do an overly detailed match report, mainly because you can find a few different people dissecting the match. WeAreTheNorthBank had their say, as did Gunnerblog and Goonertalk. As always, ArsenalReport’s write-up is worth a read. I won’t bore you much, but a few quick thoughts.

A great defensive performance. The defence itself has never really been a problem, it’s often been the midfield failing to help out when required. The tactics yesterday involved sitting deeper and helped to nullify Marseille’s potent attack. Jenkinson has looked pretty good, considering his relative inexperience. That means we currently have one fit full-back. Something dawned on me yesterday, I like Santos. He’s clearly not fit and not fully with it at the moment, but I love the way he gets forward, allowing the inside forward to actually get in the box like a forward. I can see why we got him.

Koscielny, we all know what a brilliant defender he is, even if nobody else ever seems to notice. Mertesacker seems to fit in more with every minute he plays, I was glad Djourou came on and put in that cross as well. We’re a fickle bunch, he was one half of one of the best defensive partnerships of last season, yet the moment he loses form we’re on his back. Glad he shut a few people [myself included] up. The questions now hang around whether he can get minutes with Mertesacker, Djourou and Vermaelen. The answer is obviously no at the moment. While he’ll be able to keep Squillaci out of the side, Miquel will want minutes and there’ll be Kyle Bartley next season as well…

Song always seems to play better when he’s already on a booking. You just think that he only has to get rid of the silly fouls to improve his game, but credit where credit is due. He got a booking in the 3rd minute which worried me, but carried on superbly. Top stuff. Rosicky is looking good. For the first time since that 16 month lay-off, he actually looks like someone who can run a game, shame we didn’t see more of his spins. I was disappointed to see him go out wide when Ramsey came on, I think that’s been a reason for his poor form, but the signs are good for Tomas. Mikel Arteta is a slight man crush of mine as well. I love the guy, he keeps everything tidy and simple, but does the more complex stuff when he needs to and very rarely gets it wrong.

Theo and Andrei were poor. I was disappointed with Andrei, considering his recent interview and his cameo against Sunderland. Gervinho came on and set up Ramsey with a bad touch. I suppose that’s a well done. Ramsey came on and added a bit of drive, as he does. Obviously he score as well. Well done Aaron. Robin had a quiet game up top following his weekend shenanigans, but he did drop quite deep as we played a deeper game in general.

Overall, it’s a great result for confidence. I said to Ali on twitter [@AMMueller, if you follow me on twitter, you’ll know what I mean] that I would take 4 points from our two matches but would hope for 6. Well we got it. We’ve now won 5 from 6 and confidence looks like it’s on the up, Stoke at home isn’t usually that hard, but can be a banana skin for teams who don’t give it all. Hopefully we’ll get a good result against them and be able to rest most of the first eleven next Tuesday ahead of our trip to Stamford Bridge.

Thanks for reading, hopefully I’ll get back to regular blogging by this time next week. Nick says he’ll have a post up on Saturday morning and @AFC_93 has been writing about the youngsters. Expect a post on the upcoming match and a quick look at who impressed for the Reserves [not Squillaci!] sometime soon as well. Once again, thanks all.

As always, be sure to follow me on twitter @SavageGooner. One last thing, you can see compilations of Song’s and Koscielny’s performances by clicking on their respective names. I think with Koscielny’s you might need to click on the box which will take you to a new video. That’s just to avoid copyright. Anyway, that’s all for now. Bye all.

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes Through Harmony

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