Wilshere: We saw the old Arsenal tonight


After the 5-2 win over Reading, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were tasked with facing Sky Sports’ prat-with-a-mic Geoff Shreeves. Here’s what the boys had to say on the win, getting over the defeat at Bradford and their respective contract talks.

Wilshere on getting over Bradford…

“It was a disappointing result in the week and we knew we had to come here and be strong against a strong Reading team who we knew would be up for it. We showed great character tonight and Theo and Santi were different class and the boys round them helped as well.

“We saw the old Arsenal tonight in some patches. We still have to tighten up defensively, we gave a few sloppy goals away. We had Theo up front and Chamberlain on the wing; it was great. We need to continue [playing the old way] going forward.”

Wilshere on criticism of this season’s performances…

“We don’t take any notice [of the criticism]. As players we’re naturally disappointed if we go out to Bradford, it’s natural to be disappointed when you lose to a lower league side. We had to bounce back and we’ve a tough game next week away at Wigan. We need to get three points there and slowly climb up the league and push on.”

Wilshere on Walcott’s contract talks…

“I’ve been working all year [on getting Walcott] to sign, but that’s between Theo, his representatives and the boss. Hopefully we can sign him up, he showed tonight that he can play up front and he can play there in the future.”

Walcott on the recent criticism…

“We don’t really take notice of the outside [criticism], we’re a big family, we know our qualities, we know we haven’t been good enough in recent weeks but we showed people the true Arsenal. The goals we conceded were disappointing but going forward we looked very strong and now we’ve got a busy schedule.”

Walcott on playing up front…

“I enjoy playing up front; it’s just having some more opportunities. I had that today and I thought I did very well and like Jack said the players around me made my job easier. They play with such quality and can spot a ball which makes my job easy.”

Walcott on his contract talks…

“Talks are on going and like I’ve said before it’s going to be a slow process. It takes a long time but I’m sure something will happen soon.” [Must be noted he didn’t say this with the enthusiasm of a man who necessarily believed what he was saying… plus the idea that something takes a long time but is going to happen to soon perplexes us].

Arsene Wenger on the performance

The target was to win in a convincing way. At 4-0 we had bit of a wobbly period, but overall it was important to go out and play and give the right answer on the pitch tonight. I don’t want to talk too much, we need now to go from strength to strength.

On why he played Walcott through the middle

Training sessions, he’s shown ability to play in this position, the timing of his movement is good and there are encouraging signs there.

On the last week

Difficult, because obviously you prefer for things to go well, but interesting because you see who are the characters, who is strong, and inside the club we are united.


  1. We all pray we can keep the momentum this high, though we still need to work it out more defensively because of the manner in which we conceded the two goals was absurd, but all the same, we got the important 3 points and hope our season starts from here, anyone noticed we played better with Gervinho and Ramsey on the bench???

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    • I think he’s actually better of as CF, he’s got the extra pace to get him by and the quick snap finishing touch. On the wing he lacks that explosive ability to surprise like the ox.
      At least we know if he fucks off now that it had absolutely jack to do with playing as the front man.

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      • hate to say it but Walcott will be gone in Jan, if he wanted to sign, it would have been done and dusted along time ago, It’s another awh schucks you guys , would love to still be in the the team but i can make another 60 grand a week on the bench at ……insert rich club here. Prepare for more disappointment !
        On a lighter note there is still a lot of talent in the team and we have had much bigger losses in the last few years than him.
        PS would still loved if he stayed!

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  2. There were a few moments tonight that took me back to 03/04. I’m working tomorrow at 7 but I shall stay out tonight in honour of the arsenal.

    There’s only one Arsene Wenger!

    (To the barmaid: Stella and a jeagermister please)

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    • We should make an Arsenal drink. Maybe call it the Wenger, or even the Chapman? Or perhaps even “Gunner Drink It Slow”? Idk, i’m shooting out ideas like Cazorla shot at the ball yesterday.

      Any ideas for names and what should be in it? Could be THAT one celebration drink we all have after a win.

      Arseblog – promote the idea!! 😛

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  3. It was only Reading. Was at the Grove when we did something similar to Southampton. In the words of the Wolf – lets not all start sucking each others dicks just yet.

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    • Credit to Reading, their players kept going til the end even though they were overwhelmed. Anyone who comes on here with negative comments after this result should find something else to occupy themselves as they are truly pathetic if they cannot enjoy this evenings performance.

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  4. Jack took a couple of crunchers today, one to his little gunner too. My biggest worry for the next few weeks is keeping that lad fit, and if refs keep letting opponents crunch into Jack without any repercussion, I fear for the boy.

    Other than that, the commentators kept harping on and on about Santi, saying he bossed the game. Understandable, given his hat trick, but I thought Ox was just superb tonight. He didn’t score, but his aggression and speed really opened things up in the middle for Santi and gave the latter the space to find the 3 goals that he did. I like the combination of Theo up front, Santi just behind him, and Ox and Podolski on either side.

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  5. True it was only Reading but if you can’t enjoy a win when it happens then why bother at all?

    Well done gunners. More of the same please

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  6. ” Must be noted he didn’t say this with the enthusiasm of a man who necessarily believed what he was saying… plus the idea that something takes a long time but is going to happen to soon perplexes us”. it HAS taken a long time, think past tense and not just present tense!!!!

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  7. Mannone to Theo, “I didn’t even bring my gloves bruv!”

    Don’t plaigirise keith the gooners twitter ! You’ll only look silly.

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  8. . For a championship winning side they were amazingly mediocre, keep on with this and knock those spuds of their beach balls for fourth place; then make sure torres plays each time for chelseas and finish third.

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  9. Anyone else think someone clipped the Ox around the ear and told him to start running at the full back with pace again? Love seeing him play like that!

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    • I just think the ox got a bit carried away with all the hype the england stardom and all the crap abput him being a midfielder. he is a young fit lad who can run all day long so let him. I would now like to see us recall ryo when gervinho fucks off and let him fly at people down the left on occassions when poldi needs a rest. imagine the pace of ryo tho and the ox runnkng at those tired old legs of manchester and west london.

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  10. Moments like this are far inbetween at arsenal (soton-spurs-reading) try and enjoy, we played much better and that’s reason enough. it was only reading you say??(that which nearly tore united a new one)……. makes this even more awesome!!!!

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  11. Jack Wilshere’s attitude towards everything Arsenal is so so refreshing. Eats, sleeps, breathes the club and I for one can’t wait to see that mans name on the dotted line until 2018.

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  12. Just read an article on my local sports network.. Arsenal set to sign zambian international sunzu..? Any truth in that..? He’s apparently a defender.. He claims he spoke to arsene..and talks are in an advanced stage.. He also states he is being flown to london not for trials but contract negotiatons apparently.. Anyone else know anything..?

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    • Yeah, he’s on the way. He confirmed it himself earlier on today. They been saying he’s the brightest talent in Zambia for a while now, and if you’ve been following African football for the last few years now, you’d probably agree that he’s the brightest young talent in the continen right now

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  13. Delighted with the three points. Reading were poor but you can only play whats infront of you. Thought Theo did alright up front. Pleased Poldi got a goal and two assists. We done the Ox more of the same on saturday please. No Gervinho for ninety minutes and a Santi hat-trick ho ho ho.

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  14. Makes me wonder what Theo was doing all this time in training for Gervinho to have been picked ahead of him as a striker for most of the season!!

    And finally regardless of everyone’s apprehensions about Theo’s quality we surely have to do all we can to ensure he extends his contract! When Theo doesn’t play we don’t score, it’s no coincidence!

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  15. I’m not an Arsenal fan but I really want Theo to stay at the Emirates. Hopefully Wenger giving in to his demands and playing him as a striker will have eased the tension and leads to him signing a new contract.

    On the other hand I hope that his decent performance and goal doesn’t make him think he is ready to lead the line. Otherwise he could make the mistake of going to Chelsea where there is no way he will play up front. Regularly at least. Sure, he may replace Daniel Sturridge, but what if they buy Falcao!? He’ll end up on the wing

    The best chance we have of witnessing Walcott turn into the world class striker he believes he will be is if he stays at Arsenal

    My case to Theo – sign da ting! http://thefansbase.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/theo-walcott-in-no-position-to-demand-central-role/

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  16. A hatrick for Cazorla. A midfielder, got Into the right places today. Gervinho on the other hand wouldn’t have hit a barn door with a machine gun!. His head rested on that reading bench was quite a view. The bench and him go well together.

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  17. It is my birthday today in australia! first time in years that the gooners have played on my birthday. Great way to wake up with a santi hat trick and great all round play. 3 points is the only present i really wanted.

    Love the goooners.

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  18. anyone know anything about the handbags between Sagna and Verm? I’m not wanting to stir shit up but I missed it and am genuinely curious.

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  19. The SLIGHTEST bit of pressure and we concede two goals….one of the worst sides in Premier League history have scored 7 goals against us in two games…
    This result could paper over cracks that we all know are still there. Lets get four or five wins on the spin, buy big in January and get on with it!

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  20. Fantastic result for The Arsenal this evening, although with the match time here in the states and no replay from ESPN after most of us are home from work, I cannot wait to watch the match on DVR when returning home Thursday from my work travels.

    It seems the decision to move Theo central has paid off and nearly as important was that Podolski from the commentary seemed lively and very involved. Proper perspective however….just as important as coming back from Bradford is taking such a result and going from strength to strength as Arsene mentioned. This result means less if we do not take 3 points from Wigan, that now has to be the focus.

    I also feel that Arsene cannot let such a result cloud his judgement as to whether the squad needs strengthening during the window (including moving some of the players out that we need to move out).

    Hopefully the performance is a harbinger of things to come over the festive period with possibly Theo and Giroud now becoming a strike force tandem. After that period however, fixtures against the likes of City, Chelsea and Sp*rs would seem to require reinforcements if we want to finish in the top 3.

    But until then focus and commitment are the utmost requirements starting with Wigan.

    Come on you Gunners!

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    • That’s precisely why we lost the Capital One Cup quarterfinals. The two-leg semifinal fixtures would have been awfully inconvenient in January.

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    • @NCGunner- do yourself a favor friend, and mute it. Well, check in occasionally for the awesome chants and songs. Full voice tonight came through clear. Darke and McManamanananananan found a lot to criticize yet again. Despite being called “excellent”. And we get to hear them mock AFC on the weekend!

      Darke was a great announcer who has fallen victim to hanging with a bad crowd.

      If you get the YES network from here in NY on your cable (the satellite does) then you get 2 day delay replays with AFC’s own announcers. Even when ESPN carries the contest.

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  21. Why is it taking so long to sign the contract theo? Either you don’t want to stay, therefore negotiations are finished and going any further is pointless, or you want to stay but are a greedy little bastard and arsenal aren’t giving in to your demands. Put us out of our misery!!

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  22. Delighted to see the win and I thought the team played much better tonight even if reading where very bad. But I fear we’re just papering over the cracks and a good team would of come st us a little better and maybe scored 4… Thing is we won’t buy big in jan we’ll buy someone like huntelar or take Henry on loan and go on with the same old. Wenger hasn’t changed his ways in 8 years he’s not going to start now. He’s stubborn and becoming more so, I hope I’m wrong…

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  23. I feel that when the team moves and weaves, the run of play is tilted heavily in our favor- and that includes against top 10 opponents. I noticed our movement grind down in the 2nd half and sure enough, we conceded. We talk about unlocking defenses, intermittent excellence, and choking off opposing rallies. Those can be achieved were we to be engaged for the full 90. I feel like I’m stating the obvious, and that I’m missing something that Mr Wenger and staff sees. If fitness slows the pressure and movement down, then rotate players more often. If you lack the depth to cycle fresh legs, invest in them or play more youth.

    This game was comfortable and we all like comfortable. It should continue to be at the weekend if the team keeps in motion and prevents the defense from marking.

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  24. @Mooro: And Podolski scored a great gooal….. Sounds better. Great win for Arsenal. My wanted me to miss this. I’ll apologise with a grin. Thanks to Santi and co

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  25. When wenger has a lot options dat can ease the play.?why is he playing Ramsey&Forehead(GERVINHO)all the time…great show 4rm d boys last 9te!

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  26. How annying is wengers comment in this article about now playing Theo up front because of signs in training. (Catch up with the times wenger Theo has been telling us for a very long time that he is proving himself in training as a striker and also that he wants to play up front, backed up by the fact he is scoring loads of goals from a wider position showing what he is capable of in front of goal).. so why only now does wenger say what theo AND all of us have been saying. Duh. If Wenger wasnt so stubborn to prove himself right then things would happen more quickly and effectively. BTW did anyone notice how wenger said .. – Its up the the players to prove ME right [after the Bradford match]… lol goes to show his mentality. Better late than never i suppose. COYG

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  27. Hope Wenger stays with Podolski, Theo and Ox and Saint Santi playing just behind them and doesn’t revert to Giroud (slow and static, good sub IMO as is far better with his head than feet) and Ramsey vs Wigan.
    Can Pod play again on sat? This was his first 90 mins I think?
    So great to see pace, movement, crosses coming in with players in the box.

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    • I wouldn’t be so hard on Giroud mate. I agree with some of the observations made by others in the aftermath of the performance. While of course Giroud does not have the pace of Walcott, nor does nearly anyone, I think slow and static and not good with his feet is a bit harsh. I believe that technically Giroud is very much a talent, however, I think in integrating with the squad, we became lazy in chucking direct balls up field forcing him to rely on only size and strength to hold up the play.

      I believe if the movement and possession shown last night by the players around and behind the striker continues, Giroud will have more chances to show his technical ability. I dearly hope we sign Walcott, and he and Giroud can platoon in the striker role. Further, another striker which is definitely needed in the transfer window, allows Arsene much more flexibility…..much like United have with Welbeck who plays either centrally or can shift to the wing at times. Then we have the flexibility with Walcott to play in his natural position of winger and play centrally as well……this would be ideal for the squad I believe.


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