1) Nice to bounce back with a victory today. What did you make of the performance?
@1tsNico - Not the most glamorous win we've witness this season but the nerves were understandable after the Monaco debacle. But a win is a win and we'll always take 3 points over an outstanding play and 0 points (see Man Utd game)
@mantomanmarking - Nice to continue with winning ways domestically (having erased the Tottenham fixture from existence). An astute performance, despite it not overly needing to be one. Ended up being a nothing-match for long parts of the game, with both teams sitting deep and no urgency to go forward. But, when it comes to March, every win is an ever more important one - especially being Arsenal.
@Phil_Brown87 - I think it was a smart, if uninspired victory. Usually after a defeat we play a fragile game. I think today we deliberately invited pressure to give us the defensive resolve and strength of mind to develop confidence in our attack. I thought we could have put it out of sight with sharper passing, but I’m very happy with the game and especially climbing back to the third.
@santiklaus - I thought it was a little timid at times, but solid regardless. It was very nice to see us keep a clean sheet. Ospina made life for Szczesny a little more difficult after today.
2) Do you think our midweek performance/result had an affect on our game today?
@1tsNico - Yes, it had a change on the team sheet anyways. We were a bit like a teenage player making his debut,cautious,trying to excite but to afraid of what the boss would say
@mantomanmarking - Almost entirely. Wenger himself acknowledged the awareness and defensive solidarity from the match - which, I guess, needed to be done. Typically Arsenal to be played to ruin by the exact same mistake over and over. Needed a game where not a single opportunity of that nature was at hand.
@Phil_Brown87 - Undeniably yes! I think the first 20 minutes felt like we played within ourselves to ensure we didn’t concede. I have no problem with this; so long as we soak up pressure we’re always likely to score. As I said above I think it was quite smart, if a little boring, and I’d be surprised if this wasn’t a conscious plan to give us confidence to grow into the game. I also think reacting to Monaco (H) inspired Özil and Giroud who played brilliantly today. Great reaction!
@santiklaus - I definitely think it did, I think the main goal today was to ensure we didn't fall behind allowing Everton to absorb pressure for the rest of the match.
3) Which Arsenal player stood out for you today in a positive light?
@1tsNico - I think Gabriel has put his mark (see what I did there) on the pitch. One moment when he lost focus and lost that "youngster" Lukaku, but after that he was outstanding. Which for a defender just joining the Premier League is pretty tough. Remember that Koscielny had a mare in the first games he start
@mantomanmarking - Maybe because it was his first league start, and Mertesacker's awful form of late, eyes were eagerly watching Gabriel. Up and down performance, but a few outstanding last-gasp covering tackles - which was nice to see an Arsenal player covering a team-mates error, and not desperately their own.
@Phil_Brown87 - Not sure I can pick one out. Can I have a few? Coq was brilliant in the middle of the park (heading a ball with a broken nose… Jesus, man!) Giroud played his part well, two assist Özil was sharp, Gabriel showed us what he is all about, and Ospina was simply brilliant.
Special mention for Gabriel. He seems a lion and doesn’t back down. Most players would loose confidence after gifting the opposition a 1-on-1 with the keeper but he grew and grew. I think him and Kos look good together and having two quick defenders who defend on the front foot is a great step forward.
@santiklaus - Gabriel. His challenge on Lukaku was perfect, he even got to play the ball back into play right afterwards, I think there will be more to come from him.
4) Who wasn't quite on it, in your opinion?
@1tsNico - Sanchez and The OX,they ran and tried a lot ,but didn't really happened. To see that WhoScored gave The OX MOTM is a bit strange.
On a sarcasm note :of course Özil was a flop in everyone's eyes (media eyes that is) having only two assists.
@mantomanmarking - Sanchez. In sodden form lately, looks lost on the pitch. Typically dispossessed a criminal amount of times, but seems to be lacking his enthusiastic stride he had earlier in the season.
@Phil_Brown87 - Sadly, Sanchez. To me it seems as if he has lost his swagger. He’ll get it back, I’m sure and I’m sure its down to tiredness. I’m just glad that we aren’t a one man team. When Sanchez wasn’t producing Cazorla stepped up; we’re blessed in depth in the attacking third.
@santiklaus - I'm not saying Alexis had a poor match, but he doesn't seem like himself at the moment.
5) What do you make of Theo Walcott being left on the bench in recent weeks?
@1tsNico - Not really moved by that, I think he still needs to get that lethal focus, that focus he gets when is due to extended a contract. I know I am mean, he had an impact in recent games scoring, not denying that , but I think he's overwhelmed by the options we got now and he needs to sort himself out to get a place in the team
@mantomanmarking - Perhaps he's now surplus to requirements at Arsenal? No chance at him displacing Alexis, despite out of form, is unequivocally our best right-sided player by a long, long shot. You'd have to suggest, at least hope, it's a fitness caution (protecting him). Could be off in the summer, but would that be the worst thing?
@Phil_Brown87 - Honestly I’m ambivalent. He is almost guaranteed to score, but isn’t exactly a great team player. I thought we might have seen him or Welbeck start but I’m delighted to see the Ox back. I see him as a synthesis of Alexis tenacity and Walcott’s pace and directness. Back to Walcott, however, and I do wonder what his role in the team is. Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) made a point somewhere that the quality of the squad has risen so much that guaranteed starters (Poldi, Walcott, Wilshire etc.) are no longer the focal points of the team, but more on the periphery, and I’m glad that's the case. There is no room for sentiment. If we’re going to compete to win and Welbeck offers more in defence and team play I’d rather he starts. That said, I’d like to see him up top as the CF in some games when we don’t need to protect the ball so much - he was in inspired form before his ACL.
@santiklaus - I have been a bit surprised, he's finishing hasn't been great since his return but everyone knows what a threat he can be, I really hope Arsène gives him more chances.
6) How are you feeling about our trip to Old Trafford? (even if the QPR game is up next)
@1tsNico - We'll loose. Plain and simple. Those utterly abysmal diving pieces of longballs will win even if we play the game of our life. Its a complex that we'll get with them or with a Mourinho side
@mantomanmarking - Awful. When was the last time Arsenal won at Old Trafford? 2006. Let alone not being able to beat Manchester United under Moyes, or yet under Van Gaal - the most vulnerable and weak they've been in years. It's that Arsenal mentality - the fact that we do not have a big game one.
@Phil_Brown87 - Scared. Possibly the worst draw we could have got. That said we did it at the Etihad, United don’t have an effective attacking line up, and we tend to be quite good at defending against long balls. Giroud, Alexis, Özil and the Ox up top and I think we’d win it playing defensive counter attacking football. #COYG!
@santiklaus - Confident. Partially thanks to Monaco. I'd like to think the players will realize that this underwhelming performances in important matches has to stop and what better way than knocking them out at Old Trafford.
7) Are you confident of us staying in third place?
@1tsNico - If we'll manage to get points with the teams fighting for the top 4 we can even aim for 2. IF...
@mantomanmarking - Yes. But only because I think other teams (particularly Manchester United) will continue to flop against weaker opposition, and while we can't beat the big teams, we have the easiest run of them left. We'll sweep up points from the lower teams, even if the performances aren't great, and ride that through.
@Phil_Brown87 - No. I think we’ll get second.
@santiklaus - Not so much, I could see us battling for fourth until the end of the season.
8) Any other thoughts?
@1tsNico - Take car. Go to Monaco. Kill As Monaco 4-0. - grab the Champions League quarters, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.
@Phil_Brown87 - Get behind the team, show some support! Arsenal have one of the best pedigrees in the UK, some of the best players, the best stadium and a great (if tired) manager. We’re lucky to have such good club to support. Yes we might all want things to be better but showing unity is the way forward. Sing from the first to the last minute and represent the badge #COYG