1) Firstly, shall we high five after that performance? Also would you say that was our best display of the season so far or was it more down to the opposition?
@danbibliotheque - I'd say our best performance this season is still the city game, but to see the guys coming back from injury having a huge impact is great for the team.
@dredagga Defo high 5, merciless display from the boys. It was certainly our most assured and dominant performance
@joes_96 - Definitely, although I would argue our best display of the season was City away, for the manner in which we bossed the champions in their own home. However, today's game was certainly our best offensive performance of the season, particularly in the second half where our counter attacks were of great fluidity. Yes Villa were very poor, but it was nice to see us comfortably batter them.
@thedanielcowan - Let's chest bump instead. I think the second half was one of our most accomplished attacking displays and of course a lot of that is down to the opposition but that can be said for all games. For example, we played the same way against City as we did Chelsea but Hazard was able to dazzle us to win a penalty which made it harder to win whereas we got the first goal against City which made it easier to win. Certainly we looked extremely confident against Villa today and that is reflected in the result.
2) Who was your man of the match and why?
@danbibliotheque - Francis Coquelin, a rock in the middle of the park. With suffer from Scott Parker syndrome (a real thing), as the holding man rarely gets enough credit for the shift he put in.
@dredagga MOTM has to be Coq because he is keeping the whole of midfield compact and tidy which just allows the team to attack, love the Coq
@joes_96 - In what was an excellent team performance, I thought that Giroud, Cazorla and Bellerin all stood out. However I'm going to give man of the match to Ozil. His exquisite touch for Giroud's opener, followed by his excellent run and subsequent finish and simply for his general play; I thought he was comfortably the best player on the pitch.
@thedanielcowan - It's hard to choose as everyone was fantastic but I think I have to choose Özil. Even without that assist which should be x-rated as the dirtiest and kinkiest kind of football porn ever (trust a German to produce porn like that) I think he had an outstanding game. He interchanged positions with Theo and Santi with consummate ease and exceled in each role. Far too often he is lazily accused by the media - and some of our fans who are foolish enough to believe them and ironic enough to lecture you on "watching players" when you point out his statistics - of not working hard enough and not putting in a shift. The action-man performances of Alexis this season have delighted the media because they love a player who can put himself about which Alexis tempers with great skill and effectiveness but they have 'highlighted' how 'lazy' Özil is. I don't agree with these torpid assessments as if you truly watch Mesut you see he puts in a real shift for what is in essence a number 10. Today he worked hard again and looked majestic. The best part is he isn't even fit yet!
3) With Alexis, Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain missing for this game, have you seen anything that would make you drop any of those going forward if the choice was yours?
@danbibliotheque - I'd ease Theo back in, defensively he's not the hardest worker, The Ox is growing with each game and I can see him nabbing that spot.
@dredagga - No need to drop any attackers but this really serves as proof that if Wenger has the confidence he says he has in this squad he needs to rotate and stop letting our so called (and rightly so) best players get burnt out and broken
@joes_96 - I think today is our strongest line-up, barring Alexis instead of Walcott. With the likes of Ozil, Cazorla and Giroud being in such excellent form, it would be foolish to drop them. At least it's a nice headache for Arsene to have, and the ability to bring real quality off the bench makes a nice change.
@thedanielcowan - It's a tough choice and I'm glad that a) I don't have to make it and b) Wenger does. It's a fantastic problem to have. I think Rosicky was unlucky to miss out today but clearly Wenger knew what he was doing. I thought it was risky to start Walcott and Özil as they both battle back to full fitness but the manager proved himself right. Moving forward a lot of players are going to be unlucky to miss out but that's a problem we've been crying to have for years.
4) Is there anything a new defensive midfielder would have given us in recent weeks that Francis Coquelin hasn't?
@danbibliotheque - Coquelin is proving himself with each game. He doesn't need to do anything other than defend and distribute when he's surrounded by the wealth of creative player that we have.
@dredagga - Who knows, it depends on who and what DM but at this stage in the season id rather have a man that knows the league and his team mates and has something to prove and not because of a transfer fee
@joes_96 - Simply, no. He has been fantastic since his reintegration back into the team. On top of his obvious defensive work, I love watching him on the ball; manoeuvring himself out of tight areas and playing sharp, accurate balls into the forwards. He is only 24, so if he continues this form and improves on it then there may be no need to pursue a defensive midfielder in the summer after all.
@thedanielcowan - A bigger wage bill and smaller transfer fund! Seriously though, Coquelin has been fantastic and is growing with every game. He's a much more refined and elegant version of Mathieu Flamini. He can smash into people with the best of them and point and shout like a dad with anger problems at an under 10s football match but he is also a tidy ball-winner, decent passer and quick thinker. If he continues on his current trajectory he will render the need to splash on a new defensive minded midfielder obsolete. At the moment we still need one more but come the summer he could have proven himself the answer with Bielik his able deputy and Arteta the experience head to lend a hand where needed. Which means curtains for Flamini.
5) If the season started tomorrow with the squad we have in place and playing the way they are, what would our chances be of finishing above Chelsea?
@danbibliotheque - The injuries through the early season certainly haven't helped. I'd like to see how we fair against bigger teams, I know we beat city, but that was one game, we need to grow consistency.
@dredagga - Our chances would be as good as anyone's, we're getting the goals,we're not losing, we're getting the clean sheets ,we're confident and we have a guy called Sanchez
@joes_96 - I think it's too early to say that we would finish above them; further displays like City away are required in order to show it wasn't just a one off. However, the team is definitely on the up, looking solid at the back and dangerous in attack. Combine this with players coming back from injury then we have a healthy looking squad that is ready to compete for the title.
@thedanielcowan - I think our chances would be good to frigging excellent. Chelsea showed against City how hard it is even for the 'New Invincibles' (I'm still crying with laughter at this) to cope with the loss of a few first choice players. Arsenal have muddled along for half the season with 3 of our main attacking threats out, a makeshift back four in most games and an ever changing midfield. The gap is 11 points at the moment which isn't really that large when you consider the problems we've had and how Chelsea have been portrayed by the media. We have so many attacking options that we would be able to go toe to toe with Chelsea in the scoring department with even just 70% of our options available at any one time. Our issue this season has been keeping our defence fit. Rotation has killed us but with the signing of Gabriel, the emergence of Bellerin and the continued improvement of Chambers we have options there too.
6) How are you feeling about the NLD? Confident?
@danbibliotheque - I can see us grabbing a win, but Spurs can't be underestimated, they're looking a lot better now than in the last few seasons. Still, with (hopefully) Alexis back, it's ours to lose.
@dredagga - Very confident, the back 4 has pace for days (bar the BFG) , with the big Coq in front backing them up and OSPINAAAAA with his no nonsense policy how can you not be
@joes_96 - Yes, although I think the first goal is crucial. If we manage to get it then with the form we're in and the current confidence of the players, I can see us going on and winning comfortably. If they score first then it will be interesting to see how we respond; bearing in mind the team hasn't experienced many setbacks recently. Regardless, I predict 2-0 to the Arsenal.
@thedanielcowan - Always confident. Usually until kick off but I think we'll be far too strong for them. They have some players in great form in Erikssen and Kane but I fancy us to limit them the way we did City. If we can keep City quiet it would be a travesty to go down to the spuds.
7) Any other thoughts?
@danbibliotheque - Although the injuries to our midfield and Debuchy are bad for those individuals, it's great to see Bellerin and Coquelin getting a chance to shine. Both of them have grabbed at the opportunity and are looking like great prospects.
@dredagga - yeh Akpom looks like he might be quite dangerous. If he signs the ting and keeps working like he did today i think he could well be the first quality striker coming through the Arsenal ranks for years. Also big shout out to Arsenal Vision love the podcast
@joes_96 - Giroud has been fantastic since returning from injury. His movement has become much more decisive and he is becoming more clinical in front of goal. He has had his critics (me included), however his recent form certainly shouldn't go unnoticed.
@thedanielcowan - We're playing well, confidence is growing and most of our players are coming back to fitness. Keep getting behind the team and we could make the league quite respectable this season and retain the FA Cup. If we do that it would have been a successful season and another step in the right direction.
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