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Arsenal’s first and third goals on the night were scored by Lukas Podolski who went some way to showing that the doubts about his overall play can be put to one side when he can finish in such style. His first came as he drifted into the area, latched on to a pass from Santi Cazorla and then fired the ball into the bottom corner. In the second half, Podolski was the quickest thinking man in the Emirates as he sprung the West Ham offside trap to receive Aaron Ramsey’s header before slamming into the roof of the net. It seems to have become the fashionable thing to slate our German international forward with people almost instinctively throwing around criticisms like “lack of movement” and “lazy” even when it isn’t the case. Podolski has had something of a difficult time of it this campaign. An explosive start was curtailed by a three-month injury set-back. He then struggled to find his place in what was a winning team before being shoehorned onto the left wing when the side went into freefall. While stats don’t tell the full story

The controlling of one’s emotions requires a certain level of emotional intelligence (intrapersonal intelligence), which is a subject I have written about before. This also helps one identify and assess the emotions of others too (interpersonal intelligence), thus giving a clearer and wider view of the general feelings regarding a certain situation. It may then seem obvious (as it did to me) that building one’s emotional intelligence is conducive to a much more contained and controlled approach to all aspects of life, but especially those which are dictated by emotion, such as supporting a football club. But emotional intelligence doesn’t come easy to everyone and some people really struggle with conscious emotional understanding. We’re all different human beings after all. At the same time, it’s clear to see which fans do have a higher level of emotional ‘understanding’ (which actually sounds better to me than ‘intelligence’) in the way they approach issues and debate, even simply when they are having a laugh or taking the piss.

It feels like you can speak to a person for hours, explaining to them that we choose not to take the route of a sugar daddy, we stuck to our principles and our aims have silently been lower than usual. We've had to wait and we're just now seeing the benefits of the situation, it would have taken any team 2-3 years (with the availability of players) to go from being a 4th competing squad to a sound title winning squad. You can come out of that conversation feeling nothing you say will get through, because when a set of bad results happen, people ignore the context of our situation and look at the last 9 years without a trophy as a succession of failure upon failure. They look at the last 9 years without a trophy as a failure, yet if we win the F.A. Cup this season, it will somehow, still be seen as failure by many due to our late performances in the league and so on.

One could put this down to changes in personal but for more than one player to make the same mistake over and over again, you have to wonder if they even bother looking into fixing the increasing number of things currently going wrong. Of course, once you establish defensive stability with a settled back four, it might be difficult for new players to come in and maintain that. Although, this is an argument that is countered by the fact Everton have, in recent weeks, been forced to field John Stones at the heart of their defence. Against Arsenal, the 19 year old with less than 20 Premier League appearances to his name looked far more assured and far more comfortable than any one of our own back four on the day. Stones has manfully stepped in for the injured Phil Jagielka in a way Thomas Vermaelen cannot seem to be able to do for Laurent Koscielny.

Finally we have Wilshere, the main reason I don’t think we will dip into the transfer market for a midfielder. Wilshere has been heralded, by some overeager fans and a hyperbolic media, as the future of Arsenal Football Club and the savior of English football. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree as he certainly has the potential to do it but also has a great number of flaws in his game. With a suspect injury record it is hard to place too much burden on a player of his fragile frame; in addition I think flaws in his current game include his decision making, reckless tackling and a propensity for giving away possession in key areas; but it is his raw, unrefined talent for picking the ball up, riding challenges and orchestrating attacks via intricate flicks and sublime pieces of control that make him such a mouthwatering prospect. Ozil is clearly our number 10 and Ramsey has nailed down the box to box position in midfield; I think if Wilshere is looking to play centrally, which a player of his ability should,


Our goal-scorer on the day was a revitalised Matthiu Flamini who got on the end of a Lukas Podolski low cross (see!) to hit home a well-deserved equaliser. Our tenacious Frenchman went some way to making amends after his gut-wrenching late own goal last Tuesday, not simply by scoring, but an-round action man like performance in the middle of the park. So much so, City's in-form and usually terrifying midfield beast Yaya Toure was uncharacteristically subdued. Seemingly taking it upon himself to play in a slightly more advanced role, Flamini helped Arsenal gain a foothold on a game that was in danger of running away from them before the break. Having already found himself in the box to score a rightly disallowed offside goal in the first half, he then encapsulated what was a far braver team

Equally disappointing by way of ‘response’ was the feeble showing going forward for much of the game. Aside from a 60 second blitz to temporarily turn the game in our favour, it was a poor display from a limp forward line that barely put the opposition defence under any serious pressure. Olivier Giroud may have scored (and of course, that is a good thing) but his overall performance was both infuriating yet predictable. Constantly out of position, continued failure to provide an outlet and being easily muscled off the ball are unfortunately all things we come to expect. Dare I even say that some people actually expect too much from the Frenchman. An average centre forward playing very much like you’d expect an average centre forward would do. When fans get angry and waste

  • 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