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Posted by Sam Limbert on 02/28/2012

Does it get much better than that? Apart from winning a trophy, I can't think of anything that could have been more enjoyable. Regardless of any pre-text or sub plot around the season, the North London Derby is always vital and the thought of losing is always unbearable. This match just had that extra edge on other derbies. It could even have been as drastic as Arsene Wenger being out of a job because of it had we lost.

Being critical and negative, it's easy and understandable to question why the team can't play like we did against Tottenham every week? However it's not a time to be critical. We just need to revel and enjoy the fact we pummelled our local rivals. If there was one game that the team were going to turn and give everything, we as fans would have chosen that game.

At 2-0 down, considering how abysmal the last two weeks had been, I expected the team to crumble and meekly surrender to a humiliating defeat. What followed was rousing, stunning and genuinely epic. Every player stood up to be counted and after going 2-0 down, no-one had a bad game. Everyone was fantastic and deserves a huge amount of credit. The challenge is to reproduce that level of performance regularly.

Even before going 2-0 down, we weren’t playing too badly, but being down and almost out made the team even more determined. There was an urgency and drive about the team that none of us had seen before. It was partially there in some of the big results we’ve had this season, such as winning 5-3 away at Chelsea, but what was running through the players on Sunday was something completely different. There seemed to be a ‘win at all costs’ mentality. Those with the cannon on their chest understood what the North London Derby meant to everyone. They fed off the noise of the crowd and hauled themselves back into the game.

This spirit was typified by Bacary Sagna. The team could have felt sorry for themselves at 2-0 down, but when Mikel Arteta’s cross came into the box, Sagna attacked the ball superbly. No-one was getting in his way and ball was going to end up in the net. I mentioned it when we came back against Aston Villa in the cup; it makes such a difference when players take responsibility and make things happen themselves. Every Arsenal player did that on Sunday. Sagna looked back to his best, and having two regular full backs in the team made such a difference.

We started off looking quite open, but after going 2-0 down, the defence tightened up and were fantastic. Thomas Vermaelen looked back to his best and was dominant in the air, Laurent Koscielny was excellent again and Kieran Gibbs put in a fantastic shift.

Initially, it seemed the Sagna header would just be something for us to build on in the second half, but to equalise before half time lifted the crowd and was the biggest momentum swinger in the match. The team performance was superb, but in big games, you often need some individual brilliance. Robin van Persie said before the game that contract discussions won’t happen until the summer, so there isn’t much point in debating if he will or won’t sign a new one. We just have to hope he does because he is the best striker in the Premier League, bar none. His equaliser was stunning and also showed how he took responsibility as the captain to get us back into the derby.

It would have been easy for the team to sit back at the start of the second half having levelled the match and just try and calm the game down. However the adrenalin was pumping, the crowd were buzzing, the stadium was alive and the team roared forward.

Tomas Rosicky, who along with Song and Arteta, bossed the midfield and scored a richly deserved goal. We know that Rosicky isn’t as good as Fabregas or Nasri in terms of technical ability, however what he lacks slightly in that aspect, he makes up for in direct running and commitment. His charge forward just after half time and run into the six yard box was brilliantly timed, and his finish was deft. We’ve missed goals from midfield this season, and if Rosicky can continue his form and contribute more goals for the rest of the season, we’ll have a great chance of staying in the top four.

Having taken the lead, I immediately thought we were going to throw the lead away somehow. My mind went back to the 4-4 against Spurs in 2008 and the 3-2 defeat at home last season. Mental strength is a phrase that is often overused by Arsene Wenger in his post-match interviews, but to not capitulate and go on to dominate the rest of the match as we did, really did show mental strength.

Theo Walcott was terrible in the first half. He looked so low on confidence. Had we not brought the game level, I think he’d have been substituted at half time. He stayed on, and his goals were extremely well taken. For the first goal, Walcott was on the edge of our penalty area when Rosicky played the ball over the top for van Persie to chase, yet Theo charged up in support and got on the end of the move. His control wasn’t great, but his finish was instinctive and superb.

As soon as he scored, he was like a different player. He was suddenly charging up and down the wing to win the ball and then his second goal was arguably better taken than his first one. The control was much better, and without thinking he dispatched the ball into the far corner. We have to keep Walcott’s confidence up, because whatever people think of him, he can be dangerous and can make a difference. The fans were understandably on his back in the first half, but his response was typical of the whole team on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger was a man under a significant amount of pressure at the weekend, but he got his team selection spot on. The midfield trio were fantastic, and outplayed Tottenham’s midfield two. The front three interlinked well with the midfield three, and were tearing holes in the Spurs defence, particularly in the second half. Considering this is meant to be the worst Arsenal team in years, and the best Tottenham team in years, just on the evidence of Sunday, North London is definitely still, and will continue to be, red.

The key selection choices for Wenger were on the wings. Most probably expected Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho to start, but Walcott and Benayoun both justified their selection. The manager clearly prepared the team well, and got them in the right mind set for the derby. When 2-0 up, Spurs fans were chanting ‘Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay’. If he’s going to get his team to play like that every week, we might actually agree with Spurs fans on something. It was so refreshing to hear ‘One Arsene Wenger’ ring round the Emirates near the end of the match.

That leads me on to the atmosphere at the ground. The stadium was absolutely buzzing. All the fans rallied round and the majority stayed positive even when 2-0 down. As soon as Bacary Sagna scored, the stadium exploded and the fans were going to do everything possible to help turn the match around. It was truly fantastic, and was proof of how fans can help the team in important games. When things are going badly, everyone at the club should deserve criticism. When we stuff five past Spurs, everyone deserves credit, and the fans are part of that. I think the atmosphere was even better than it was against Barcelona last season. It was epic. After Sunday, for one of the first times since leaving Highbury, the Emirates is beginning to really feel like home.

I can’t emphasise enough how well everyone played, and how much desire and character came pouring out of the team. It was a day that made everyone proud to be a Gooner. The players really understood what it meant to the fans, and everyone came together in a glorious goal scoring barmy Sunday afternoon. I was really pleased to see Carl Jenkinson come on. He’s a true Gooner who has made it into the first team, and he’ll have loved every minute of his substitute appearance.

Obviously we still face a massive challenge to stay in the top four, but if that win doesn’t give the team confidence, nothing will. Play like that every week, and we’ll have no problem in reaching the Champions League. Instead of worrying about the rest of the season, let’s spend this week with a massive smile and make sure that we ask Spurs fans for the time at five to every hour. North London is red.


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Comments

Posted by Mike on 02/28/2012

Top Gooner blog without a doubt.
Wenger's job is talked about in a careless manner-but probably that has something to do with the nature of manager's job security-but Arsene is no ordinary manager! Arsene job has never been on the line, more so after Stan took over. Stan believes in what Arsene believes in-the Arsenal way-a philosophy of sustainability and a culture of responsible business practice. Case and point is Stan owned Denver Nuggets, they have George Karl as the coach, and he has stuck with him through thick and thin, through player departures, and his battles with cancer.
The team faces daunting challenges, but it will be refreshing to face them without the chatter of Wenger's job security. The team losses should be taken without the accompanying threats of self-imposed emergencies or crisis.

Posted by GoonerBear on 02/28/2012

My thoughts exactly!

Posted by Moshimoshi on 02/28/2012

It was brilliant stuff from the Gunners to come back from 0-2 down to win 5-2!! The confidence should remain when we meet Milan in the 2nd leg and thrash them 5-0 and advance to the next phrase.

Was a good thing Djourou didnt make it to the bench though. Always expect the unexpected when watching him play.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/28/2012

"considering this is meant to be the worst Arsenal team in years, and the best Tottenham team in years, just on the evidence of Sunday, North London is definitely still, and will continue to be, red"

:)

suck it spurs

Posted by louis on 02/28/2012

excellent article sam, can't tell ya how proud i am of our gunners that day. keep this up we can win just anyone!

Posted by david fitch on 02/28/2012

Well written can feel the pride coming off the paper to win is always good but to beat Spurs is something to cherish.But must now look to the next game because if Arsenal loose that game everything the team got out of this win will be lost and they will have to start all over again so they need a win or a draw so they can keep building their confidence,they also picked up two more injuries the list keeps on growing.The liverpool game will be differcult because they have a solid defense at home and have a big man up front so can expect a lot of crosses coming in both of these Arsenal have struggled with in the past.This will also test the goalkeeper has shown to be suspect when he comes off his line so they will need to put in another performance like they did on Sunday.

Posted by J on 02/28/2012

"Theo Walcott was terrible in the first half. He looked so low on confidence. Had we not brought the game level, I think he’d have been substituted at half time."

Walcott didn't bring the game level, nor score before half time.

Posted by Maverick on 02/28/2012

Was looking forward to this weeks blog!!! And as always was worth it!

Posted by DaveC on 02/28/2012

Excellent summary, Sam ! Nothing top this performance, especially when Spurs felt they were a much better team than us this season before the start of this match and they got hammered.
I think we just about getting everything spot on except for the first 30 minutes of defending error. This is probably the result of TV and Koscienly not being playing together in the central defends partnership role for quite a while, but after that, we we're excellent !

Our team spirit was excellent, we pressurized Spurs right from the start and up front. The energy and the commitment of tackles from the team were fantastic, I thought I was watching a different Arsenal team from the normal weak minded one.

Apart from all the great qualities we've shown on Sunday, one of the major difference that I saw differs from our normal game was that we were willing to flood players into the 18 yard box and attacking the goal area when we have the ball in the wing. We need to continue this mind-set in future !!

Posted by Mario Pardo on 02/28/2012

This is a glorious day...Yes Yes Yes Yeeees Yeeeeeeessss....i almoust lose my voice because of that performance...i have mi heart inflated...

Saludos desde Bogota, Colombia. Gooner a la distancia, pero con todo el corazón.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/28/2012

great article sam. lucky for us djourou was not on the pitch. it was unfortunate to see ramsey left out but AW did not have much of a choice as he has not been on form the past few games. this confidence needs to be maintained and we can still finish above spurs at the end of the season.

Sam, which players do you feel need to be brought in for next season(hopefully still playing champions league football)?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think it depends on where we finish. It's difficult to name names, but another striker to back up RvP will be needed, as well as another midfielder if we continue to struggle with injuries in there.

Posted by Ethan on 02/28/2012

Can't agree more, Sam.It's a day when everyone gets a breather.You make absolute sense when you ask why can't we play like that everyday.
It's stupid to drop 9 points at the start of the year because we don't have fit full-backs.We can spend but we won't.These points are nothing to the management.Profits are more critical.
That will be my only negative for this comment.
AW policy would work only when the players themselves develop into star players.We had a glimpse of that last Sunday.To me,Rosicky played his best game in Arsenal jersey so far.Walcott, though not consistent, reminded us he could be Henry if he is as decisive as he was.He could win important games like these for us.Truly,everyone shone and it feels good to be gooner.
I don't ask for much.If all remaining home games against the top clubs ended this way,I am happy without any trophy.This includes Milan.We may not win the draw but we will win at home with heads up.

Posted by SAM YEOH on 02/28/2012

is a disaster result as far as i concern as Arsenal Fan, AW sure will take this particular match as his benchmark as a massive success 2011 season. All 20 teams EPL even with relegation team sure will face with good match and bad match., But for a champion, we don't see only particular match which beyond Arsenal standard.

Posted by Billy on 02/28/2012

Hi Sam, it's always a pleasure reading your blog, on good days as well as bad. I have a few observations after the derby win and would like to know your take on them. First of all, do you think Arsenal plays at a much faster tempo when Rosicky instead of Ramsey was in the side? Secondly, Le Boss instructed Walcott to move in-field after we went 2 goals down, do you think Theo is better employed as a central striker? Lastly, we had scored 12 goals in our last 2 home matches, do you foresee us putting 5 or more past AC Milan next week?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Rosicky did add some extra urgency to the midfield, although Ramsey still has the ability to do that. Rosicky's experience is definitely coming through now as he can judge when in a game to drive forward and step the tempo up. The intensity of the game and the atmosphere also added to the tempo of the game.
Walcott was still mostly playing on the right at 2-0 down, and when the game became stretched, we saw him at his best. As soon as the game is tight, it's harder for Walcott to make an impact so he's still better slightly wider where there should be more space for him to run into.
Honestly, I still doubt we'll put enough goals past AC Milan, but in the last two homes games we've scored seven and five, so you never know!

Posted by usa2014 on 02/28/2012

Great day to be an Arsenal supporter. At 2-0 down I almost left my house to go on a run. When RvP hit the post before the Sagna goal I was sure it was going to be 'one of those days' but Sagna's goal and his reaction lifted the team, manager, and the fans. RvP's goal was stunning, not a surprise. Rosicky worked his arse off, and deservedly got on the scoresheet. And to top it all off, two wonderful goals from Arsenal's most inconsistent player, Walcott. Overall a great day, but questions of consistency and defense will have to wait to be answered. At least the team and fans can feel good about going into a very difficult trip to Anfield on Saturday.

Posted by BigSam Nnaji on 02/28/2012

Wat a game. Excellent post as usual Sam. Credit to tiny spurs- they've been awesome all season but their body language could suggest they're out of steam. Maybe we might even finish above them. We are the Arsenal.

Posted by Samuel Angol on 02/28/2012

Greetings from Orlando, Florida! Sunday's win was one of Arsenal's best in a very long time. I was very upset when Adebayor tucked away the penalty for Tottenham's second -- I thought for sure we were going to lose. The team's response left me gobsmacked. I thought full-backs Sagna and Gibbs played fantastically. I agree the turning point was when Van Persie scored that brilliant equalizer. It meant that we started the second half with the wind at our backs, and with the Emirates faithful in full voice, we went out and finished the job. It does make one feel that had we not had so many key personnel missing over the course of the season, we'd be closer to the top of the table. Let's hope we can reproduce a similar performance against Liverpool on Saturday. Long live Arsenal FC!!!

Posted by Kenneth on 02/28/2012

I agreed that the team played well for 70 mins. However, we still look very shaky at the back. For so many seasons, a good result is followed by another terrible outing. So till we get a good result against Liverpool, let's be caution and hope for the best.

Posted by Uba on 02/28/2012

Ha ha ha ha!Nice one Sam,Spuds fans,eat your heart out!

Posted by Guna on 02/28/2012

This is why we support Arsenal, days like this make it all worth it. Loved watching twitchy stewing in his own crapulence on the sideline lol.

Posted by Keith on 02/28/2012

I hope this is not a one-off that we played so well. It resembles the style we were so used to, fast pace on the attack and pressurise the opponents when we lose the ball.

This is the kind of committment the players owed the fans. At the end of the day, nothing beats coming from 2 goals down and scored 5 past our fiercest rival. Hope this ignites our fire and the team goes on to finish 3rd in the League. C'mon, the new Gunners...

Posted by makun olayinka on 02/28/2012

i nevered thought arsenal could won that derby but a great game by the team but if they perform same thing against the AC MILAN and LIVER POOL team that will be great! Wenger should invest on his team not by money but by the qualities he introduce into the squad.

Posted by henri on 02/28/2012

I actually smiled when i was reading this post, I am even going to watch the match again! Kudos to the players, the match should have shown Hazard where he should go! I hope fans can also get off Walcott's back, he is our 2nd top scorer and number 2 on the assists, after the one and only

Posted by abmev on 02/28/2012

Key elements to victory:

1. Grit, determination, unity, and a never say die attitude. These qualities have been lacking in many games this season.

2. Starting the intelligent Benayoun and the direct, hard running and in form Rosicky in the middle. Note well - no Ramsey for this high tempo game.

3. The availability of specialist wingbacks - Sagna and Gibbs (and later Jenkinson).

4. A quality pitch to play the Arsenal brand of football properly.

Reproduce this form and Champions League football [and an extra 45 millions pounds] is well within reach!

Posted by Wong Jun Hao on 02/28/2012

One of arsenal's best performaces against spurs for a long Long time

Posted by KENNETH on 02/28/2012

what a way to silient your critics. can arsenal always play like this all season. what will it take to keep them playing like this? fanatasic football. kudos to every body involved with the team.

Posted by Colin on 02/28/2012

I have always believe that walcott will be good when he is super sub. As when the oppositions are tiring down, his pace can win him goals during crucial counter.

As said, wenger should continue to stick with his defenders and Djorou should be sold at the end of the season. We need quality defenders.

1-2 more midfields additions will be good as to phase off the old guards.Enough said, we still prefer wenger to start spending and not let 1 match to decide we are better off. We the fans dun buy that.

Posted by Sam, Jakarta on 02/28/2012

This time I must say this is an A plus article for it includes everything I have in mind. Such Sunday match was the reason why I began to love Arsenal many years ago when Bergkamp was in the squad...He was a great goal scorer or shall I say scorer of many great goals? RVP's and Rosicky's goals remind me of Bergkamp's goals.

This time I don't think we won because we were lucky! LOL. I must admit we had cutting edge in abundance!

Bravo Arsenal!

Posted by jogu on 02/28/2012

Brilliant! It was worth every minute of watching. Could we please play that way for the rest of the season, please Gunners?

Posted by Anonymous on 02/28/2012

I have been a hearty gunner WHATEVER the case. I haven't posted a comment in quite a long time. Well, for obvious reasons, the last two weeks before Sunday have been dreadful. Simple.

Speaking of the current situation, if Arsenal continue to play and dominate the way they did against a 'good' Spurs team, it's gonna be an "easy and i mean easy" race for third. I just couldn't believe how spot on the Gunners were in the Derby after conceding two. (if you remember, last season, nothing would go our way i.e. the passing, finishing, coordination etc. when we were losing and especially playing against a good team.) Whereas this season, THERE IS desire and passion in this current Arsenal side.

I swear to God if we DO play like that, we WILL beat AC Milan 5-0. Period. Jokes aside.

ARSENAL, ALL THE WAY!!

Thanks for the article Sam.

Posted by Cliff Holdorff on 02/28/2012

Let's rub it into Spurs fans faces as much as possible but please keep it civil guys. In Wenger we trust.

RVP is arguably the deadliest striker in the world at the moment so why is he playing for arsenal and not madrid/barca/milan/bayern? Because Wenger found him first.

Imagine what our squad would be if certain players didn't go looking for fatter paychecks (nasri, flamini, toure, and theoretically mata). Hopefully Goetze and Hazard love football more than money.

Posted by george on 02/28/2012

thats the real gunners spirit keepit up and we'll be the best

Posted by kelvin Nigeria on 02/28/2012

Thanks sam F̶̲̅Õ̳͡я̅ dis masterpiece,though I didn't watch d match,but the result was overehelming,didn't believe it when I heard d result....Arsenal should pls maintain this form and 3 place can be attainable

Posted by Yusuf Sam on 02/28/2012

Spot on Sam! AW got his mid field selection spot on. Playing Rosicky in that hole was just perfect. That's where I expected Arshavin to used. AW should try him during pre-season when he returns from loan. AW was too depended on Ramsey, he should be allowed to rest and be given 10-15 minutes until he shows consistency.

What's your take on Djourou and Squillaci? As for me, I think they are surplus to requirement in Arsenal. We need class center backs that can compete with Varmalaen and Koscielny.

Thanks once again for this article Sam!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Djourou and Squillaci are clearly nowhere near as good as Vermaelen or Koscielny, so I think at least one of them will go in the summer, with another one possibly coming in.

Posted by ion on 02/28/2012

Sam, good writeup!!! I love the way you cheer up the Arsenal fans win or otherwise.

Walcott can be an excellent player if he keeps his confidence and keeps running. He also needs to add some defensive qualities by harrying the opposing midfield. He did that a couple of time on Sunday.

Ramsey should not be starter in the Arsenal midfield for now. He usually has lots of the ball but is also usually aimless going forward. No comments on Djourou.

We have really missed the fullbacks and they provided the additional attacking wit. I cannot decide my man of the match between Rosicky and Song but I definitely know the man of the season - RVP!!!

Posted by Jordon on 02/28/2012

After watching the Gunners smoke those damn Spurs on Sunday, I thought about all those teams that after games like that, come out match after match for the rest of the season and play with that same kind of resiliency. I was sitting in section 30 near the players tunnel and when I saw Robin bend the ball the way he did, I thought to myself if our
Boys could just get 1 more goal, I was going lose my voice for a month. Try timing that by 3!But like I was saying earlier, now that Arsenal are most likely done in the Champions League and are out of the F.A. Cup, THEY MUST turn their attention to what remains in the Premier League season and play all out to secure for themselves one of last 2 spots for next years Champions League and go into the Summer Transfer Period to go out and GET EDEN HAZARD!PLEASE ARSENE!!! I BEG OF YOU!!!If we get Eden, the club would finally put itself to getting back to the Champions League final for the first time since the 2006 Final.

Arsenal 4 Life!

Posted by Roberto on 02/28/2012

Great work I had to wake up at 5am to watch it! Greeting from a Mexican Gunner. VIVA GUUUUUUNNNERS!

Posted by trhendricks19^^@yahoo.com on 02/28/2012

Great match: Makes the whole week go down better, grumpy boss and all.

Go Gunners!

Posted by Noel on 02/28/2012

truely pleased for Rosicky to get his first goal in two years, and what a time to score it as well! hope it lifts a burden off his mind and means many more to come.

and did anyone see sznecesy hugging the ball boy in ecstasy (not sure if it's after the 4th, 5th goal or at the final whistle). he may be 21 but he truly bleeds red and white like a veteran! im glad that wenger didnt buy a GK when everyone was calling him to two summers ago. what a fool i was?

Posted by jephthah on 02/28/2012

words can't just describe the joy my dear arsenal brought 2 me since sunday,i'll savour dis moment 4 a long time 2 come. come on all gooners, lets keep d flag flying

Posted by Snipes on 02/28/2012

Great job Arsenal. i hope they can do this next week - we really do need that 4th posisition.

Posted by tyler on 02/28/2012

did anyone else notice how Walcott came out of nowhere to score the first goal? One second he is lightly jogging from our own box, and then after one long to RVP at the other end of the field, all of a sudden Walcott is blazin by the defense. He's fast.

Posted by Titansgunners12thman on 02/28/2012

Great win. A morale booster if there ever was one. The defense showed it's fragile nature at first, but we bossed the game so much so that after Ade's PK I don't remember them getting any shots on goal. Rosicky should keep Ramsey's position. He is natural to the attacking mid position and it shows that when a player gets to play where he is comforatable, he can show you some good things. I originally thought that the lineup was wrong. How Benayoun got the start is a decision that I was aggrieved about. I thought Wenger had gone batty. But his tireless running was very effective. He needs more minutes.
This doesn't change the fact that we need reinforcements, and a loss to Liverpool puts us back where we started the week. I'm not absolving Wenger for this up and down season, but for the minute he gets a reprieve. Ditto for Theo. Show that second half performance week in and week out.
Go Gunners!

Posted by mustafa on 02/28/2012

As usual, great article Sam. This is one of the best results since the demolition of Inter in San Siro. Play like that next Tuesday and AC Milan are history in the CL

Posted by Daniel on 02/28/2012

A die hard Gunner here all the way from Cali, Colombia...what a great blog as usual thanks Sam. Hey Sam I got a concern, given the fact that Liverpool dont pressure high up as spurs, or chelsea do leaving less space on the flangs and their defense being really tight at home, do you think Wenger should reverse to a 4-4-2? or if keeps the 4-3-3 who should start each side of RVP(forehead, benayoun, the ox, or the unpredictable Walcott)?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we'll stick to 4-3-3. After their performances at the weekend, it'll be hard to drop Walcott and Benayoun. They deserve to start against Liverpool.

Posted by Michael on 02/28/2012

Fantastic game I must say,we need to do everything possible to keep Van persie,was so happy for rosicky been out of the team for so long and never wanted to leave.

Posted by zebra on 02/29/2012

excellent! thanks Sam!

this was a great performance indeed. magical, like our game against chelsea. the whole team was in on it and pushing together. Sagna recovered and was fierce!

we have a young team, but in this game, we were relying on our veterans. i think we need to continue to look to them (rvp, bennayoun, rosicky, vermaelen, arteta) and not necessarily our young sparks. Ox is exceptional but leaving him out for most of the game proved worth it.

walcott cannot be expected to score our first goal. he needs the pressure off of him and when it's a more open game, he will rise up and become a presence.

lastly, i think that fabregas should not have been our captain. he established a weak mentality for the team and rvp is slowly changing that and inspiring us.

bennayoun should start against his old team! and yes, one result is not enough, but it should establish confidence in our side to keep climbing. and put five in against milan!

Sam, was Bale's penalty correctly called?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. The Bale penalty was appropriate given it was the Oscars on the same day. Bale a clear winner of the best actor with that dive.

Posted by Arsenal4eva on 02/29/2012

I think what the game on sunday really shows that AW does not need to make wholesale changes to the team, rather an experienced keeper/keepercoach not to replace scjezny but to show him how to deal with crosses and dealing with backpasses while under pressure. I think both djouro n squilacci must go n must be replaced with quality defenders that can pass the ball from the bak. Howeva, if they can only sell 1, then djouro must be the first to leave. Andre santos hasn't convinced me with his defensive capabilities n thats why i think gibbs should be first choice. We definitely need anada attacking miedfielda with drive, determination, quality and intelligence(HINT HINT: WESLY SCHneida). Coming to walcott, i think he should be made a super sub. This is bcos he's played well mostly in the second half or late in the first half wen the game is stretchd and/or the opponents are tired. There has been very very few games where walcott has performd in the 1st half. Gervinho should rather start and be replaced with walcott in the 2nd half. Unless if walcott plays upfront with RVP behind him because walcot's goals show us that he can finish off chances. I think that'll also make us a bit unpredicatble to opponents. And we certainly need a quality striker 2 support RVP. Whats your take sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. It's not really the time to discuss transfers too much as we can't do anything about them until the summer, and we've got bigger things to worry about. Walcott is most effective when others are tired, but he can be good from the start if he runs at the full back and pins them back. I'm still not sure he'd work in a front two at the moment.

Posted by Mike on 02/29/2012

I'm an LFC fan, but an Arsenal sympathizer. when they went 2-0 down after Gareth Bale's swan dive (it was like watching a classic Gerrard one), I was almost scared for the halftime reaction of the fans. Then Sagna scored and I was like "oh thank god, that was gonna be harsh, but have something to build on. Then they leveled it and I felt a little better.

Arsenal has been very unlucky w/ injuries and especially to Jack Wilshere, although waiting so long to sell Fabregas was absolutely criminal, but I think they didn't expect more setbacks for Wilshere. sell him in June and prepare better. Nasri was ok to sell, I couldn't believe how much City paid for him and I would have taken that all day.

Tottenham had a weird game, like when they came to Anfield, all of a sudden they were getting ripped apart, the difference is your players scored their shots. I had a feeling that would happen to Tottenham too, especially since Arsenal were due a result against them

Posted by Arsenal Army on 02/29/2012

This week I have 2 emotional conflict.1st-I lost $500 in BET 365 which I bet Arsenal lose and I can feel AW slap on my face.2nd-This big win just enough to recover the money that I lost.
As I said last week,only the midfielders can change the game for Gunners.The defenders just enough to hold themselves not becoming worst even first 30 mins,they were not convincing and as for forwards,they will score if they get the ball right from midfielders.
Today I want to focus,why midfielders? 2nd half,they are more aggressive and almost win all 50-50 ball challenge.They not allowed the opponent midfielders move with the ball.They keep 100% pressure and the opponent don't have enough time to make a move.
They didn't allowed space in the middle.Our 3 midfielders all around the field with full energy and switch place within each other like they able to communicate very well.
Their passing flow so smooth,brilliant and very confident just like Barca always do.They not even scared to move forward. ...

Posted by Arsenal Army on 02/29/2012

cont...
There are time where they were together with the strikers when the ball inside penalty area or at least they were standby just outside the box if the ball loose.
The ball just couldn't get away from them. Rosicky always challenge the ball and win it with brilliant, Song passes are getting more deadly weapon for us and I think his pass can get better as Fabregas.
When we have this kinds of attitude, courage, confident, enthusiasm and willingness on our midfielders, the overall game just change and favor to us.
The defenders less pressure and more prepared for whatever attacking moves might be from the opponent. They start to back up the midfielders better.
The strikers always on the mood to go forward as they know the midfielders win the ball and look for them for next pass.They are not likely to step back to chase the ball and cause lost momentum.
Everything is perfect when the midfielders getting better.We do need good midfielders.AW,pls buy.Next issue is ...Can we consistent?

Posted by I.Nace on 03/01/2012

Hi Sam and Gooners!
That is a performance!A men performance that any supporter expects from a team.Even at 0:2 dow, we were creating chances & mostly fighting for the bal.I would have been upset to loos, but not angr,because we(players),fought back like they are supposed to, like men.Spurs is 3rd deservedly,but from the game I saw sunday,I believe we have a better team than them(alas not consistent though).I saw the best of Brittish spirit & continental tactics.If your team, a team loses when playing like that,it's not good, but at leastgo down with a fight,like Cardiff v Liverpool. Rosicky,a very good game after a long time(maybe 2 years).He & the rest have to continue like this or they will remain kids and not be trusted.Hey,they are humans too,but privileged ones(like Wenger says); well paid, followed by thousands, if not millions of eyes & their opinions as well,and they(players) have to take responsibility and live up to that status they've chosen & given to.

Posted by SAM YEOH on 03/02/2012

My Dear Gooners Pal,
This like after rainy day,the above all those compliment is just a self entertain. Do you still remember that we STILL in 7 long years drought for trophy. Do you asking yourself that why Arsenal WON'T make any improvement even with those long failure period.
The reason is that Arsenal full of those like you FAN.Just A game of winning and feel high sky proud.Do you see Chelsea, MU, Barcelona or Real Madrid Fan posted those compliment even with 3 or 5 games winner.? because this is their standard.They are expecting for more than this which is AS A CHAMPION. I posted last 2 days, this spurs result just make Arsenal a more miserable years ahead.. They know that just win for few Crucial high profile games will make you all satisfy. Anyway, Please be ready to feel despair in this coming May as usual.

VISION GOONER

Posted by Uuro on 03/02/2012

TAKE ON A BIG BIG FIGHT TO LIVERPOOL, AND AC MILAN ESPECIALLY. SURPRISE LEGIONS OF ARSENAL FANS WORLDWIDE TO OVERCOME 4-0 DEFICIT BY 5 GOALS OF HOW YOUR TEAM DISMANTLED SPURS BY THE SAME MARGIN. IT 'CAN BE' DONE. NOTHNG IS IMPOSSIBLE. IF ELIZABETH CAN CONCEIVE A BABY IN AN ADVANCED AGE AS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE WHO HAPPENED TO BE MOTHER MARY'S OLDER COUSIN. AS THE BIBLE IS THE TRUTH, THEN THE SAME ANALOGY CAN BE APPLIED IN THE MORDERN ERA.

EMPHASIS THIS -"LEARN THE SUN TZE, ART OF WAR. IT APPLIED TO WHATEVER BATTLE U ARE IN SPORTS, GAMES AND DEBATING TOPICS. KNOW YOUR ENEMY WELL BEFORE BATTLE AND VICTORY WILL BE YOURS A THOUSANDS TIMES ... "

I hope u are listening to us, arsene wenger. One day, we all love to call u Sir Arsene Wenger to add another dream medal knighted by the Queen. We had called u The Professor bestowed by France. Trust me, u will never never go wrong if u follow my very quotes just above ..

Posted by Saif on 03/03/2012

Great read,Sam & right on the money!i've a few questions:
1.since Benayun played so well on the lt. side,do you think playing Gerv will disturb the winning composition?
2.since Rosicky is more creative,technical & experienced than Ramsey,should he not be 1st choice?i mean Rosicky seems to read the game better & his runs & passes are purposeful & usually fruitful whereas Ramsey's are mostly aimless &
futile!may be it's time he got some tuition from Rosicky!
3.is there any truth in "Podolski already agreed terms with Arsenal"?if so does it mean RVP has decided to leave?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Benayoun was good against Tottenham, but I think Gervinho still has an important part to play in the rest of the season and can offer the team more pace going forward than Benayoun. Rosicky has been excellent in the last few games, so deserves his chance. Ramsey will have to work hard when he returns from injury. Not sure on the truth of the Podolski rumours, but I'm sure he won't be signed as a replacement for RvP. Wenger will want them both in the same team.

Posted by Kukogho on 03/05/2012

If Arsenal players all played as good as you write, we would win all the trophies in the offing. This is a great piece....just like all your pieces.

I'm a gunner fan from Nigeria. Been one since 2002 and I'll die a gunner with the Cannon on my coffin!

Posted by Uuro on 03/06/2012

I really dread the future injury list after the milan game 2nd leg. It was such a painful pandol to take...coz after this, a fight for the 3rd place is important to save less matches for next season's UCL. Very much prefer to have players to have ample of rest and able to focus easily on the next match. Hope they played well. Once they make a careless mistake, it wastes another breath of effort gone nought. U don't see bara don't make a lot of mistakes like that like going the ball of play for throw-in. That's the masterclass itself ..

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About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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