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1) A league victory at long last, did you see any improvements in our performance? If so what were they?

@1GoldPlTrophy - Well, we won. The biggest improvement that I saw was probably mental; there appeared to be a massive determination not to lose today. I would say we looked marginally more dangerous going forward than we have for a while.

@EccentricFella - Well, improvements were there, but that might have something to do with the quality of the opposition. Our passing looked better, our defensive organisation too. The players felt more on the same page than the previous games. However, against a team that conceded 8 goals last weekend, that improvement might not mean much.

@Welsh_Gooner - I have to say the last few weeks have not been very pleasant.  The performance on Wednesday was woeful but alcohol and 2 last minute goals made it a fantastic trip. Not much more to sing about today to be fair, but I was delighted to see a defensive improvement.  For me, defensive stability is the base for any performance and I thought all 5 of the defenders that featured performed well.  There were some better exchanges between the forward players in patches but unfortunately, none seemed to end with us being able to cut open the Sunderland back line.

@woodysirish - not really, though having Arteta back does seem to link defence to mid to forwards better, but some players looked like they didn't want the ball. Confidence a big issue. Good point is Alexis growing with every game.

2) Who was your Arsenal man of the match and why?

@1GoldPlTrophy - I’m giving it to Alexis, because he ran himself into the ground, scored the two goals and just looked dangerous every time he came forward. Special mention to Monreal though; doing well in an unfamiliar role

@EccentricFella - Alexis Sanchez of course. And not because of the two goals he scored. He is a livewire, his energy and passion are something all our players can learn from. No opposition is small for him, no match unimportant. He is equally motivated for every game, and besides being a tremendously talented player, he's also the hardest working one in the team.

@Welsh_Gooner - I was tempted to say Per, but that would be unfair because the reason we won was down to one man's energy and determination.  Alexis Sanchez is World Class (my definition being they'd get into a World Squad of 25) and he is so perfectly suited to the Premier League. I actually saw an increased work rate from some of our players today and I think that is down to Alexis Sanchez leading by example.  The media and Sunderland fans will probably be harsh on Wes Brown and Don Vito, but Alexis Sanchez accelerating at you at that pace will scare the best of defenders.  When the free flowing football isn't working, the result will usually come if you get your head down, work hard and grind it out, and luckily for us Alexis has it all.

@woodysirish - Can only be Alexis sanchez really, two goals apart his workrate is a joy.

3) Which Arsenal players were not at their best today?

@1GoldPlTrophy - Santi lacked composure today and didn’t seem his normal, clever self. He’s a player who has the skill to get himself out of almost any tight situation, so for him to sky those two shots was disappointing

@EccentricFella - Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Santi was not his usual dependable self, but I can understand him having an off day. What's more worrying is that Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have stagnated. He hasn't progressed much in the last couple of years and although it might be way too early, might not make it at the top. Constant niggling injuries have not helped either. Hopefully, he stays fit and goes on to fulfill his potential. That Milan game showed that he definitely has the ability.

@Welsh_Gooner - There's no point in me commenting on Arteta and Flamini, their best isn't good enough anyway.  I have been really disappointed with The Ox lately and I was again today. Granted, it was not easy to find space in a compact Sunderland team but he should be offering us more than what he did today.

@woodysirish - Ox is all over the place of late, treats the ball like a hot potato if he hasn't got space to run into he ties himself in knots, and gives it away.
Ramsey still think he's in last year's form, though he's actually in this year's terrible form. Trying ridiculous stuff, that undoubtedly worked last year, as they do when you go through a purple patch like that.

4) Theo Walcott was sat on the bench today for the first time, when he returns who would you drop to the bench?

@1GoldPlTrophy - Santi or Ox for me. Both great players who can contribute huge amounts, but more because they’re both looking like they need a bit of a break at the moment.

@EccentricFella - Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for the reasons stated above. Theo, Danny and Alexis are potentially a mouth-watering trio. And the Ox hasn't really made the place his own, despite getting a few chances this season.

@Welsh_Gooner - Given my last answer, you will not be surprised to see me suggest that The Ox should be dropped to the bench. I am very excited to see Theo back, I have said for years he'd be my first name on the team sheet (especially at Home) and I hope it will improve our ability to attack with pace.

@woodysirish - Without question it's the Ox that has to make way for Theo

5) Do you think this victory will be a turning point for the team?

@1GoldPlTrophy - Hopefully. We’ve got Burnley and Anderlecht up next so it could be a chance to rack up some goals, which would hopefully inspire some confidence. Have said for months Theo coming back will be vital, and it could be brilliant timing.

@EccentricFella - I honestly hope it is, but Sunderland aren't exactly Barcelona. However, this is definitely something we can build upon. We have now played 2 difficult away games in 4 days and come away with 3 points in each case. We can get the job done playing ugly. That's something that will give the players a measure of self-belief.

@Welsh_Gooner - Not necessarily, I think we will need to grind out some more results in the upcoming weeks.  As we get players back I expect our attacking performances to improve and hopefully we will hit a rich vein of form. I still fancy us to put a challenge together, let's not forget we were running away with it much further into last season than Chelsea are now.  Don't write us off yet, let's get behind the team and see where we are at Christmas, I think we will be sitting in 3rd place for the festive season.

@woodysirish - Hard to say, as injuries mount and confidence doesn't seem to be rising. Though with Alexis getting more comfortable and Theo coming back along with Giroud, a weeks rent now, then who knows.

6) Where would you take Alexis Sanchez on a first date to show how much you appreciated him?

@1GoldPlTrophy - Wes Browns house. He clearly loves handing out presents 

@EccentricFella - I would take him to Venice and serenade him with Billy Joel hits which I will personally translate to Chilean, having spent months to learn the language. Just for you Alexis, just for you.

@Welsh_Gooner - I would take Alexis Sanchez to Barry Island (Barrybados), let him ride on the donkeys (rather than play and train with them).  I would take him on the log flume and in the evening treat him to a trip to bingo on Dave's Coaches - crackin'.

@woodysirish - I'd take Alexis straight to bed, after already ordering buckets of fried chicken and go immediately for the wraparound BJ ;-)

7) Any other thoughts?

@1GoldPlTrophy - When Jack isn’t playing, our ball retention is so much worse, in my opinion. Yes he can play the odd stupid pass, but what player in his spot doesn’t?

@EccentricFella - We need physical presence at the back. Nacho is decent, but he is getting bullied. May be time to shift Chambers back to the CB and give young Hector Bellerin a run at right back? Bellerin hasn't done to shabbily in the few games he has played, if he is poor, we can always go back to the current back 4.

@Welsh_Gooner - Woj continues to give me heart problems week in, week out.  There were a couple of situations today where I thought it was totally outrageous that he chose to come out of his box and clear when it would have been routine for his defenders.  He just comes across as a bit of an egotistical idiot to me.  I am a fan of most of his work, and is support him being at The Arsenal, but one of those will cost us very soon.

One last thing, don't listen to the odd few who are deeply exaggerating fights in Brussels.  Yes, there were fights but you put a load of Brits in a pub for 12 hours and you'd always get the same thing.  Most of the time, it is people who cannot go away without fighting so go looking for it.  It is ludicrous to say that fights are because somebody is 'Wenger In' or 'Wenger Out', most people go to have a good drink, in good a good city with great people.

@woodysirish - It can only get better, so hopefully we click, soon.

Follow the guys on Twitter @1GoldPlTrophy, @EccentricFella, @Welsh_Gooner & @woodysirish

  • 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