I don't know about you but I enjoyed that big time. Did you noticed a difference in how we approached the game compared to pre Bayern Munich?
@ZineAFC - Not really, the players went out with the same passion and drive they had during the first 35 minutes against Bayern. It’s good to see they don’t differentiate between the importance of the two games.
@luckietwit -There was noticeably less tension in the air for today and that went for fans and players alike. Whether this was conscious or not, the fact that we were playing an easier game for the first time in several outings gave the whole thing a feel of being a bit of an exhibition match – by the Gunners, at least. In terms of how the team was set up, the big change was obviously the absence of Ozil and whether that gave the rest of the team greater freedom to try different things only others better qualified than me can say. I’m not one of those knocking Ozil btw, but sometimes a break can work both ways – for the player and teammates alike and not necessarily be a bad thing.
@BenCole - I didnt think we approached it much differently to the Bayern game, we pressed high up the pitch and started quickly. That has been a refreshing change to what we have seen in previous home league games, where we have been cautious and waited till the 2nd half. Like the Bayern game the tempo was very high and i was happy to see our midfielders try to get beyond the sole striker and stretch the game. It was a stark contrast to our final 3rd play vs United which was very dissapointing. And hopefully this will be the blueprint for the rest of the season
Do you think a performance like that is enough to push the Bayern defeat out of our system?
@ZineAFC - I don’t think the Bayern defeat would have had any long term effect on the players. This crop is mentally tougher than any of the Arsenal squads of the last 9 years. Dropped points today would have been tragic but I don’t believe the midweek loss would have played a factor in it at all.
@luckietwit - I think any win engenders confidence; to win at a stroll against a team that is normally a tough nut to break down won’t have done anyone any harm. Quite possibly the relative ease of the win will have done the fans as much good as the squad, in terms of recovering from the Robben effect, at least.
@BenCole - Yes i do, i was very happy to see us being able to rotate after such an intense game vs Bayern and I was more worried about the physical state of our players rather than the mental state of them. I thought the circumstances of the loss midweek along with the fact that I believe mentally this squad is stronger then recent ones who have folded after huge losses in the CL. But as always its important to get back to winning ways and to do it so convincivly we give us any lost confidence back for the tough schedule coming up.
Given the amount of changes made to the side today are you pleased in how the team performed?
@ZineAFC - Of course, there has been a bit of chatter about how we lack any real creativity without Ozil in the side and this match put them to bed. It’s nice to see we can still rely on players like Podolski & Rosicky to come into the side and provide a bit of energy after being benched for a while
@luckietwit - I wouldn’t want to over-egg the cake – I thought it was clearly a convincing win for Arsenal but we were self-evidently playing a team with one eye on the cup final next weekend. We seemed to win most of the headers, tackles etc as Sunderland sought to avoid injuries and bookings. That aside, we still look as we have looked all season – a very fine squad with many capable of stepping up when asked.
@BenCole - Yes especially as it will boost the confidence of our squad players. Who i thought all had decent games, especially Tomas Rosicky, who in my opinion has rarely disappointed when playing this season. Was also nice to see us so sound defensivly while having both our 2nd choice fullbacks playing who have recently had few great performances. Furthermore I was pleased to see Podolski start a league game, and despite him not scoring his link up play was excellent and I hope he gets more chances in the league. I feel that it would be a mistake for us to let him leave in the summer.
Oliver Giroud returned to the side today and grabbed a brace, did he look suitably refreshed or do you think it was down to the opposition on the day?
@ZineAFC - Giroud’s always made a habit of scoring against the mid-table EPL teams and below but it shouldn’t be held against him. He certainly looked busy out there today, sometimes trying a bit too hard. With Sanogo clipping at his heels it may have given him the extra kick in the behind he needed.
@luckietwit - In the context of Sunderland’s predicament, it was the perfect game for Olivier to return in. That said, how often do games played against teams facing relegation turn out to be amongst the toughest of the season. We started so well that an already cagey Sunderland were running for the hills with damage limitation rapidly becoming the order of the day. I think Giroud played a significant part of that and his goals would have helped blow away the cobwebs if there were any there in the first place.
@BenCole - I was delighted to see Giroud get back into scoring form. He seems to score goals in short bursts and i hope it is a start of another run of scoring form. I feel that the recent criticism of him has been way too harsh and unlike in recent games he didnt look leggy at all. So Arsene's trust in Sanogo can really benefit Giroud. As he will be rotated out of the side when tired or out of form, and with Giroud's performance being swayed so much by his confidence it will be nice to see him taken out of the fire while not being at his best.
Who were your stand out players and why?
@ZineAFC - It’s hard not to say Olivier Giroud after providing two goals and an assist. It was particularly nice to see him react well to the personal issues he’s had in the past week. Honorable mentions would be Koscielny and Arteta.
@luckietwit - Dennis Bergkamp, for being Dennis.
Of the ones actually on the pitch during the game I thought Kos was he usual monstrous self, Rosicky was, well, Rosicky with another midfield masterclass and a goal for the archives and Giroud was emphatically back up to speed despite his recent ‘form’ off the field.
@BenCole - Giroud, Rosicky, Sagna
Giroud showed today have valuable and underrated his link up play is, and how he looks a lot better player when refreshed and having midfield runners.
Seems to be a trend of us playing our best football while Rosicky is on the pitch, he is excellent at keeping us playing at a high tempo and knowing when to pass and when to take on a defender. He deserved his goal today and despite there being fair critcism of his lack of goals, the number of pre-assists he gets isnt a fluke and he got another yesterday for our first.
Although Sunderland didnt offer much going forward it was still a tough task for Sagna as he played in 3 positions along the back 4 on Saturday and he didn't look uncomfortable at LB or at CB, I really hope we break the bank to keep him as he is the ultimate professional and deserves us to show him some loyalty. Especially where now we are seeing how versatile he is.
Cheers for reading and thank you @arsenalvision for giving me the opportunity
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