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If there were any positives to take then it would be the performances of certain players in the back line. Koscileny and Mertesacker were manful in the face of something of an onslaught. Both completed numerous clearances and interceptions, showing exactly why they have received so many plaudits this season. Behind them, Wojciech Szczesny was Arsenal’s man of the match after pulling off a string of key saves in both halves to preserve the point. The Pole in goal recovered well having been largely at fault the opening goal after allowing Fonte’s header to beat him at his near post. Again, it’s a sign of his growing maturity that he doesn’t allow mistakes to affect his performances.

After Arsenal predictably dominated the opening exchanges, chances of on a upset looked less and less likely with each passing moment and the match was over as a contest as quickly as the half hour mark as the Gunners were soon two goals to the good thanks to Lukas Podolski's brace. His first came as he latched on to a delightful Mesut Ozil pass before taking the ball around Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal and sliding home with his left foot. The German made it two after stealing in at the far post to head in from close range following Per Mertesacker's flicked header from a corner kick. 'Poldi' could have even had a third soon after but his right-footed effort from the edge of the box went skyward, denying him what would have been a 'perfect Hat trick'.

He doesn't play as a centre forward for Schalke obviously but he has appeared as a number 10, in some instances he is pushed higher up the pitch and you can get a sneaky peak at what he might be able to offer for the short but most probably long term. He is 6ft2in and technically fantastic. Look at this clip. He has so many players around him and finds his man. He gets the ball back and is charged down by four players but has the technique to turn them and still have the vision to slip in one of his players. It is hard to gage how much stronger he will get but his game is based on superb technique. That short snippet really reminds me of Robin van Persie.

Inevitably I expect The Arsenal to fall short of the title this year. I am not certain of it, however, I begrudgingly expect it. Whether this is our fault for not spending enough or the oil clubs for spending so much it’s uncompetitive, is not important. That is an argument Gooners have been having since Cesc left for Barca. All I know is if we do fall short Arsene will be questioned by the experts of the game Savage, Shearer, Owen et al for his ‘fear of spending on international superstars’. And how happy will MOTD be? The two Alans will be very proud of themselves. The brave decision made at the start of the season picking two of Europe’s most expensive squads, to win the most squad dependant competition in the country, will prove just how much they understand the modern game.

Carzola responded with a fantastic man of the match display against Fulham. In an otherwise tepid first half, the former Malaga playmaker was Arsenal's one ray of light, running at the opposition defence, completing a number of key passes and attempting to take the odd shot now and again. This standout individual display was punctuated in one moment where, given about as much space as you'd find in a toilet cubicle, Carzola used his lightening quick feet to weave his way between about three mesmerised Fulham players who had to resort to bringing him down on the edge of the box conceding a foul. The free kick came to nothing but that wasn't to deny Santi. In the second half, he scored the two goals that settled the match as a contest and rammed

Yet despite the development of players such as Nasri, Clichy, Fabregas, and more recently Gibbs, Ramsey and Wilshere there have been numerous players who have failed to make the grade. Denilson, Lansbury and Coquelin have all come through and failed to live up to their potential. Whilst obviously talent and temperament are high on the list of desired attributes, one feels that with the right guidance and support some of these players may have made it or at least attained a higher level of football

It would be insane to hold them to the same standards as the rest of the league. It’s like hauling a bloke off the street and pitting him against their sumo wrestler. OK, so the sumo wrestler might essentially be brain-dead, but he’s still a man mountain who has spent the last ten years reaching optimum weight to win contests with minimum effort. He’s a fatty and there’s no shifting him because he’s bedded into the very floor. Manchester City are a different proposition, in that they play football that doesn’t punish the viewer, aren’t run by complete idiots and don’t have a coach who considers the eye gouge a management tool. There’s a subtler evil afoot, and it’s masked by a beautiful exterior. They’re like a glorious Hollywood film funded by a tobacco multinational which then

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more