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1) Thoroughly enjoyable evening at the Emirates tonight. Do you put the result down to how poor the opposition were or the quality of our game?

@goonerfanatic49 - There's no denying that the way Galatasary set themselves up made things easier for us, particularly in the first half. The 3 central defenders appeared to lack communication failing to track Welbeck on several occasions. That being said, we have seen this Arsenal side come up against seemingly incompetent opposition in the past and fail to take advantage. The Sp*rs game was case in point. Having dominated possession we didn't create enough chances to win the game. Tonight, however, we were far better going forward with incredible pace across the front three and the ability to get in behind. It was exciting to watch and Galatasary found it very difficult to keep with us for the majority of the first period. There have been many fans bemoaning the recent injuries that we've suffered, and with good reason. However, there is an argument to be made that the injuries in the midfield (one of Jack/Ramsey) could prove to be a blessing in disguise (for the very short term!). Not to suggest that we don't miss Ramsey but, given his most recent form and Wenger's determination to play Jack and Aaron together, I felt we were forced to utilize a formation that suits our qualities. Ozil and Santi interchanged fantastically tonight and Alexis looked a constant threat. Perhaps one of the problems we've had hasn't necessarily been the change to 4-1-4-1 that we've adopted, but the current lack of understanding the side has when Ramsey and Wilshere play through the middle. It's too early to draw any conclusions, with only Villa and Galatasary games has current examples.

@LA1886 - Both! You can only beat what you're up against. Galatasaray looked really poor and didn't make life too difficult for us but I'd like to think our sharp movement and passing made them look worse than they actually were.

@living_the_lie - You have to look at how poor Galatasary were, especially in the first half but I thought we went at them from the start and our pace and movement were too much in the end.

@theiconic14 - To be quite pessimistic, I think it was more down to poor opposition more than us being particularly brilliant. Galatasaray were horrific with a very questionable line up which played into hands providing space for our quick attack. However there were some promising signs of developing relationships between key players.

2) Which players in the red and white stood out for you and why?

@goonerfanatic49 - Welbeck is the obvious standout performer of the night. To get his first ever professional hat trick and to do it on a Champions League night is no mean feat. His work rate was phenomenal tonight and his ability to run in behind is an asset we lacked when Giroud is in the side (and Walcott out). There have been several similarities drawn between the King and "dat guy" tonight. I'd suggest we don't get too ahead of ourselves, but its not hard to see why. I don't see Danny reaching quite that height, however you can't but be excited after a performance like tonight's. That run from the halfway line so late in the game showed some of the qualities this Arsenal side has missed going forward in the last couple of seasons.

Additionally, I thought Alexis and Ozil were terrific tonight (despite what certain commentators will have you believe). Alexis performance, in particular, forces you to beg the question as to why he didn't start on Saturday night. His vision and execution for the first goal was delightful and his finish composed. Ozil looked great once again, continuing on from his Villa and Spurs performances. A shout out to Oxlade Chamberlain as well who worked extremely hard and drove excellently with the ball tonight.

@LA1886 - Welbeck, of course. His movement, touch, finishing were all great - the third goal was wonderful. Gibbs and Chambers were very good; the latter is so impressive at such a young age. Alexis is always lively - he's a constant threat and so much fun to watch.

@living_the_lie - Welbeck! His movement and running with the ball were unplayable at times. Stretched their whole defence all night! Honorary mention to The Ox and Chambers again - the latter looks so assured in defence and offered support in attack.

@theiconic14 - Welbeck and Alexis obviously.  However to avoid the obvious I think Cazorla deserves praise for playing in a role he is unaccustomed to with reasonably good discipline. Ozil was also pretty impressive as he once again linked play well in the final third.

3) Was there anything that disappointed you about the team or individuals tonight?

@goonerfanatic49 - I think it's hard to not be disappointed by the sending off. It was a rash decision from Woj and a needless one at that. However, in all credit to Ospina and the rest of the team we didn't look like conceding after the penalty. It was good to see a solid defensive performance, just a shame to not have the clean sheet it warranted.

@LA1886 - The red card? It would've been nice to have kept a clean sheet. Otherwise it was a thoroughly professional performance.

@living_the_lie - The sending off. Szczesny sometimes lacks the composure and concentration that stands him and the worlds best keepers apart in my opinion.

@theiconic14 - We were pretty open at times but hardly surprising given our midfield line up with as a Cazorla-Flamini partnership is far from ideal set up. However overall difficult to be particularly disappointed, Szczesny aside, as even when down to 10 we were comfortable.

4) Can we build on this for the weekend?

@goonerfanatic49 - Of course, a win such as tonight's will be a big confidence boost. We showed a lot of the attacking potential that we, as Arsenal fans, have been waiting to see. However, we must also temper that excitement somewhat for the Chelsea game on Sunday afternoon. We were a strong force at home last season but it was our fixtures away to top opposition where we really struggled. Sunday will be a big test to see just how far this team has come.

Our biggest issue last season was our inability to adjust tactically against stronger opposition. With the pace we have I see no reason why we shouldn't start with a more counter attacking brand of football against Chelsea.

@LA1886 - Certainly! The attacking threat we posed was encouraging. Chelsea are so well drilled at the back that they can be difficult to trouble but if we move the ball that quickly and make similar darting runs off the back four there's no reason we can't cause them problems. After a slightly deflating result last weekend tonight's performance should be great for morale.

@living_the_lie - Yes. I think we need Wilshere back in there and make sure we keep The Ox, Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck up top. The front four will cause Chelsea problems and we need Wilsheres dynamism in midfield.

@theiconic14 - Definitely, it will provide lots of confidence for a team which needs it having struggled for wins recently. However tactically it didn't provide a framework for success against Chelsea as they are so efficient at counter attacking and we were too open.

5) What did you make of the Szczesny sending off?

@goonerfanatic49 - As I mentioned earlier, it was disappointing because it changed the mindset of the game slightly and was a pretty needless challenge given the scoreline. By the letter of the law its a penalty and a red. No qualms there, although there is an argument to be made that a yellow and penalty should suffice under such conditions. Especially when you see that Melo challenge not get punished appropriately.

In some ways I can understand Szczesny's desire to come out and attempt to claim the ball. If you watch it back I think Woj had enough time to grab or push the ball out. However, if he's going to do so he has to come out with his arms outstretched. I was bemused by his decision to keep his arms in to his chest. He should be making himself as big as possible in that situation, especially if you're going to commit yourself. It was a poor piece of goalkeeping, which on another night could have proved to be costly.

@LA1886 - As I alluded to earlier it was frustrating to lose the clean sheet. I think Szczesny is a really good goalkeeper, one that could be great, but he has a tendency to be rash; it's not the first time he's made a rick akin to this one and it's probably the biggest thing he has to cut out of his game.

@living_the_lie - As mentioned above, I thought it was a case of a lack of composure. Lets hope he learns from it...he probably won't.

@theiconic14 - It was a dive but also a definitely a red car and penalty. Another poor decision from Szczesny and this isn't the first time he has been too aggressive coming off his line. He hasn't had a great start to the season.

6) How would you approach the Chelsea game if you were teleported into the managers seat for the weekend?

@goonerfanatic49 - Now wouldn't that be something! I really have no tactical expertise but you would be concerned by the way in which we've approached big away games over the last 12 months or so. It will be intriguing to see if Wenger sets up any differently than he has previously. Personally I would love to see the same side as tonight. Our main focus has to be to keep a solid defensive structure and not concede early on. If we can stay in the game I think our quick front three could cause Chelsea some problems. It will be a very difficult game and not one I'm expecting too much from (the wounds are still feel fresh in my mind!). I'm intrigued to see how Wenger sets the side up.

@LA1886 - Tentatively. Tell Flamini to stay put in front of the back four to stay on his feet. Chambers and Gibbs must be careful - maximum of one forward at a time, I'd say (situation dependant). Go at Chelsea from the off, attempt to unsettle them, and have Özil floating around to feed Alexis/Welbeck. Lastly, I'd probably walk up to the away dugout and punch Mourinho.

@living_the_lie - Kick Fabregas and Costa and the rest should fall into place!

@theiconic14 - I would probably bring Wilshere back in for Cazorla and put him next to Flamini as he is defensively better if only marginally. Otherwise in terms of approach I would try to sit deep to try and not be as open as we were last year and look to counter attack more. Chelsea will then rely on Fabregas, on the most part, to break us down and we are pretty good at defending deep.  We have the players to do it but Chelsea can deal with pretty much every problem thrown at them, I am not hopeful.

7) Any other thoughts?

@goonerfanatic49 - It was vital we got a win tonight and we I think we did so in some style. The draw to Sp*rs and the lackluster recent performances were a worry. I've remained relatively confident that, with the forward players we have, the side will eventually become a strong attacking force. The fear is how long that takes. This month, and in particular the Chelsea game, will be a test to see whether this side have truly begun to click. Its going to be an exciting month (international break aside) and hopefully for the right reasons!'

@LA1886 - What a nice way to celebrate (if you are that way inclined) the 18th anniversary of the arrival of the boss! A promising performance and our European campaign back on track.

@living_the_lie - How the shit did Melo not get arrested, put in prison and denied parole for that tackle on Sanchez??

Follow the guys on Twitter for more Gooner chat.






  • 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