1) Firstly what did you make of our last game at Ashburton grove this season?
@dirtynewton - I thought it definitely had an end of season feel to it . We looked good in spells but were also in cruise mode for long spells . The players all looked quite relaxed which is a good thing with the final coming up .
@MatthewBoulden - Well it was certainly an enjoyable experience going in to the game knowing that outside of a desire to claim the three points I need not suffer a heart attack over fourth place on the table should West Bromich Albion do the unlikely. It seems like both squads were feeling similarly relaxed given the tempo both teams were playing at throughout much of the game. Though the Arsenal did construct some descent passing moves and goalscoring opportunities with no pressure or fear on their shoulders.
@theindiedave - Surreal, to be honest. Not used to watching our game completely laid back knowing what's to be done already is. Mood, while not electric, was upbeat with 4th (I know, I know) sealed and Wembleyyyyy to look forward to in a couple weeks.
2) Did anyone stand out for you in a positive sense?
@dirtynewton - I don't know if anybody really stood out today but I thought Giroud had a decent enough game and Cazorla too . Although he didnt really stand out as such today Koscielny never fails to impress me.
@MatthewBoulden - Quite predictably, although you never know I may be bucking popular opinion somehow, I felt like Mesut Özil was one of our best performers today. While you expect someone of his quality and transfer price to affect the outcome of games, the consistency with which he can control the tempo of the game and hit inch perfect passes just shows why the German is valued how he is at more than two Santi Cazorla's. Sometimes you do not appreciate what you have until it is gone, and the German sure is making a positive impact since his return to fitness.
@theindiedave - Santi was in the mood today; was everywhere and always lovely to see him dancin about the pitch gracefully, looking like he wouldn't leave footprints on snow.
Mesut seems like a man reborn after his injury layoff. Was sublime last week and was pleasant on the eyes today as well with passes and through balls caressed with an I Love You note attached to almost every one of his passes.
3) Do you think the result at Goodison park yesterday had any sort of impact on today's game? If so how?
@dirtynewton - I think it definitely did . We played within ourselves for most of the match and you could see that the sense of urgency wasn't there .
@MatthewBoulden - In spite of Arsene Wenger's insistence that the club try to just focus on its own fixtures and results, it would be impossible to say that the result at Goodison Park did not affect the squad. Paradoxically, the situations facing Arsenal probably had both a positive and negative effect on the game; free from pressure Arsenal could play without fear but had no pressure to play at the usual intensity associated with the Premier League.
@theindiedave - Definitely. Job done, fates sealed, pressure's off. Team selection might not have showed it but I'm sure the boss must have told them to get out there, be careful and enjoy themselves. There wasn't the sharpness and urgency we'd need but Ollie's early(ish) goal set the tone for the game. West Brom's lack of ambition helped as well.
4) In your opinion, did we miss Aaron Ramsey? (now I've said that, it seems a silly question)
@dirtynewton - Weve missed Aaron in every game he hasnt played this season , the way were set up now we need midfielders who are going to get up with Giroud or make runs off him/past him . We had quite a bit of joy down the left flank and with Ramsey's runs into the box he might have got on the end of something and killed the game off .
@MatthewBoulden - Unmistakably the Welshman brings something to the midfield trio, double-pivot, or whatever you wish to call it, that others find hard to replicate. Thankfully his absence today was not felt too greatly and the speculated knock he has to his thigh muscle (according to my matchday commentary) should hopefully be right by Norwich or the FA Cup, if it turns out true and Arsene Wenger was not just taking precautionary measures.
@theindiedave - Not quite, I don't think. Lad's probably busy on a golf tour and Instagramming pictures but you could argue he deserves the break. Would've rested him (maybe given him 20 minutes) after yesterday's result anyway. Arteta looked a little clumsy today, I thought, always better with Aaron beside him. Could have used him, didn't need him.
5) What disappointed you the most in the game?
@dirtynewton - From an Arsenal point of view I thought our finishing wasnt great today and we should have had a couple more really . As for the game in general what really dissapointed me most was WBA !! For a side so close to relegation places they didnt have much urgency about their game , I would have thought they would have been into us from the start but they werent and they didnt cause us any problems really .
@MatthewBoulden - It was hardly the most entertaining match, and sometimes I miss the days where we would thump smaller clubs coming to the Grove by a proverbial cricket score. However, it takes two squads to play football, meaning West Bromich Albion hardly helped contribute to an all action entertainment extravaganza.
@theindiedave - May seem selfish now but maybe Yaya could've been handed a start and Diaby a few minutes after being in the team sheet for the first time in 15 months. The air around The Grove reeking of Bacary's imminent departure was hard to breathe in as well.
6) Any other thoughts?
@dirtynewton - Although today wasnt his best I like Podolski in the line up . Hes always a goal threat , hes got a great final ball and hes one of the few that really gets up to support Giroud especially when Ramsey isnt playing . It also looked to me that it was definitely Sagna's last home game which is a shame as hes been excellent for us .
@MatthewBoulden - I am slightly surprised Flamini did not manage to pop up on the scoresheet given how involved he was at times in the attacking third for the Arsenal. He may not be able to replicate everything Aaron Ramsey can bring to the starting eleven, but he does bring bundles of energy in midfield when allowed to charge around everywhere. While it was kind of surprising Bacary Sagna was not substituted so that he may received a standing ovation before the end of the match. However, the Boss seems to be stubbornly clinging to some hope he may yet trick him in to signing, the old autograph trick anyone?
@theindiedave - WHAT DID SHE WEAR?
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