Report: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle (inc goal)


Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Flamini, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Chambers, Campbell, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide

Arsenal struggled in the rain and had Petr Cech to thank as they extended their lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates this afternoon.

There were three changes from the team that beat Bournemouth with Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Flamini coming back into the side in place of Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel and Calum Chambers.

The Gunners started brightly with Hector Bellerin twice finding space down the right, and the Spaniard really should have done better with a cross for Oxlade-Chamberlain that the England man could do little with but screw the ball wide.

Bellerin continued to have success down that side as the rain began to pour, while at the other end Petr Cech saved a glancing Wijnaldum header and the subsequent follow-up from Jack Colback. Perez shot wide in the 25th minute, the game from an Arsenal point of view had gone very flat, and the most interesting thing was how Oxlade-Chamberlain stayed out of referee Anthony Taylor’s notebook for a couple of challenges that seemed worthy of a yellow card.

Colback picked up a yellow for a cynical foul on Giroud, and the Frenchman saw a shot blocked wide after good work from the Ox to set him up inside the Newcastle area. Mitrovic was presented with a good chance by a Bellerin mistake, and the forward had an overhead kick saved by Cech.

The Arsenal keeper had to be alert to prevent Wijnaldum putting the visitors ahead after he was presented with a sight of goal from a Ramsey mis-control in the box. Certainly Newcastle looked the brightest, but the teams went in level at the break, putting an end to what was a pretty dismal break.

At the break my Internet went down, and from what I could gather on Twitter Newcastle could have been ahead in the opening minutes of the second period. They may have hit the post. I don’t really know.

Then my internet came back and I continued to enjoy the feast of football that was being served to us. Of course, I kid. The conditions were as awful as the Arsenal performance, with little on the bench to spark life into Arsene Wenger’s team.

There was another chance for Newcastle when Mbemba thumped a header over the bar from close range, before the Arsenal manager made his first change, bringing on Joel Campbell for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 68th minute.

He was about to send on Alex Iwobi to try and find a goal but before he could do that Laurent Koscielny put the Gunners ahead. Arsenal won a corner, it came over, Giroud headed it on, and Koscielny got behind the defender to poke home from close range. 1-0.

A scrappy goal, but a very welcome one all the same. A Nacho Monreal cross sat up invitingly for Walcott but he couldn’t keep his shot down, while at the other end Mitrovic headed over from close range, and Wijnaldum also nodded over without testing Cech.

Ramsey had the chance to make the game safe, doing brilliantly to create a chance with just the keeper to beat, but he curled his shot wide – much to the frustration of Joel Campbell who was outside him for a tap-in had he made the pass.

Ozil hit the side netting, and in the final minutes Cech had to make a save from de Jong to ensure the three points were won. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t much fun, but it was a great win on a day when we didn’t play very well.

The lead at the top of the table is now 2 points as Leicester drew.



  1. A great resilient win! In terms of the performance though, what an ugly way to start the New Year. Nothing on the wings to pick out. No midfield steel to bomb forward with or retain the ball under pressure. The absolute worst performance I’ve seen from Oxlade-chamberlain. Walcott was invisible. The midfield didn’t have any respite because the wingers didn’t give them any! Ozil was frustrated and rightly so. Ramsey ran his legs off after a groin strain (hope there’s nothing serious there). We need a winger for the right side big time! Koscienly bailed us out once again. The King of anticipation has to be the Man of the match!

    Oh and for the people that will say “who is available” “squad harmony” blah blah blah, hope you watched the game and saw how much we need someone other than Alexis to run at the opposition. There are options in sofiane feghouli(out of contract in june), el-sharaawy

    Don’t get me started about Anthony taylor or the Absolute POS commentator on directv+

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    • Not the prettiest three points ever earned, but win nonetheless. Some of our boys are knackered, fingers crossed Alexis can come back in couple of weeks.

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      • Pretty much sums it up.

        Side note, did anyone else see Fabianski almost score the equalizer from a corner against United on the last play of the game? That would have been somethin’…

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        • That would have been an icing in more ways than one – not only what it would have meant to that lot from Manchester but it would also have meant Swansea would have had a chance to match a classless club!

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    • Anthony Taylor is consistently utter shite in every game. I bet even Newcastle fans are pissed at him.
      Unlike Mike Dean, that cunt’s shit is mostly aimed at us.

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      • I don’t know how Anthony Taylor remains employed. He was dreadful today, for both teams. Let’s face it – we were lucky Oxlade-Chamberlain was still on the pitch at thirty minutes, he should have had two yellows. Throw-ins were constantly given the wrong way. Corners were goal kicks and goal kicks were corners. Obvious fouls were missed and soft ones were given. Even my grandmother could do a better job reffing than Taylor, and she’s dead.

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    • Why doesn’t anyone mention Pato? Was one of my favourites way back when.
      On another note I honestly feel premier league as a whole needs more superstars in all the big clubs.

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    • and if you are talking about MSNBC commentary, they said we played badly and won the points.
      And that’s how champions are made.
      And we got lucky with the referee today which is true.

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  2. There’s winning ugly, but winning this way gives ugly a bad name. Do we care? Not one iota, 3 points and onwards and upwards.

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    • Ramsey absolutely should have tee’d up Campbell. If you opt not to make that pass you better be hitting the target, or already have a comfortable lead. That was a poor decision that thankfully didn’t cost us

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  3. I’d take a win like this all day if it means that we will lift the premier league trophy come the end of the season. But gotta admit that we had many chances to kill the game off in the last 5-10 minutes.
    Flamini’s karate move though – and his reaction afterwards = Priceless

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    • Flam’s New Year resolution not starting well but I seriously believe he was happy to take the bloke out with only ten minutes remaining thinking “I haven’t had a card all year”…”and this bloke could score in the last ten”…Whattaguy!

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    • different game if we could have gotten an early goal from the pressure.

      not a great performance all around, but theres something about this team that even when we’re playing poorly I think we are ready to push on and get the points.

      kos and cech were just not going to accept a defeat.

      when you have this many players vying for player of the year for us you know its a great season.

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  4. Who was the bald bloke that ran onto the pitch in the second half and started playing with his whistle, and why was he not apprehended by security?

    Also, that save was massive.

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  5. My god I nearly burst a blood vessel before the goal. That’s the most shouty at Arsenal I’ve been since Hull in the cup final.

    Special shout out goes to Flamini, keeping the banter well and truly alive by being terrible at football.

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  6. Well done Arsenal. Did just enough to get the 3 points and with a lot of help from lady luck as well. Onwards and upwards!

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    • Ramsey and Ozil need to play much closer together. I honestly thought Ramsey was terrible in the first half, playing too far back in the midfield. We’d lose the ball and all of a sudden he and Flamini are running backwards trying to keep up with Newcastle’s front four, who are decent.

      Second half was marginally less shit. And there was a goal! Great assist from Giroud as well.

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  7. Anyone else reminded of the home match against Cardiff a couple years ago? Important three points and outright top of the league!

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  8. Phewwww!………that was close! but, a win is a win and 3 more points towards the title, well played lads,

    i.m.o., this is one of the games that cech saved us 3 points.

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  9. A great resilient win! In terms of the performance though, what an ugly way to start the New Year. Nothing on the wings to pick out. No midfield steel to bomb forward with or retain the ball under pressure. The absolute worst performance I’ve seen from Oxlade-chamberlain. Walcott was invisible. The midfield didn’t have any respite because the wingers didn’t give them any! Ozil was frustrated and rightly so. Ramsey ran his legs off after a groin strain (hope there’s nothing serious there). We need a winger for the right side big time! Koscienly bailed us out once again. The King of anticipation has to be the Man of the match!

    Oh and for the people that will say “who is available” “squad harmony” blah blah blah, hope you watched the game and saw how much we need someone other than Alexis to run at the opposition. There are options in sofiane feghouli(out of contract in june), el-sharaawy

    Don’t get me started about Anthony taylor or the Absolute bleep commentator on directv+

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    • I think wenger is trying to rotate the squad as best as he can. He obviously will be needed much more with Liverpool and stoke coming up. Y’all the same people that’ll bitch about Squad rotation and running players to the ground if he did that

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  10. The team weren’t great but that chance at the end epitomizes everything wrong about Ramsey for me. Selfishly doesn’t pass to Campbell when if he had it would have been game over. Ozil talks about how he doesn’t need goals for his ego while Ramsey is the complete opposite. If Arsenal hadn’t won and I was Wenger I would have dropped Ramsey for Elneny (if he ever joins) a team trying to win the league doesn’t need selfish players like that.

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    • Well said sir. He runs about a lot but technically he is not good enough I’m afraid. And his ego is enormous. Hopefully wenger sees it and this elneny will replace Ramsey.

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    • Ironically, the bit before he took the shot also shows everything right about Ramsey; made a great run, dribbled past his man, just couldn’t get the finish right. But I agree that he should have passed it to Campbell.

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      • Point taken, should have said that play epitomises everything that annoys me about Ramsey. He has undoubted quality and some of the stuff he does is brilliant. But too often he over complicates or lets his massive ego take charge with no consideration for the team, something you cant do when youre trying to win the league.

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        • I agree with you. I didn’t feel particularly good when he decided to take the shot on even though Campbell was in a better position.

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  11. A good result to start off the new year. But a hard fought one…

    3 points is all that counts. Onwards and upwards. COYG!

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  12. This kind of result hepls us to make us champions.
    Not a spectacular team performance but all that matters at this point of time is three points.

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  13. Once again Cech does it 1v1. Truly a top top top class signing. Also loved Gibbs and Campbell when they came on. On a side note I am very disappointed with the Ox. Somebody should teach the lad how to shield the ball. Also he always looks like he is an inch away in all his movements.

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  14. Is there anyone left who is yet to be convinced that Petr Cech is going to be one of the main reasons we win the league this year?

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  15. I’ve got bags of time for Rambo but not when he is playing for himself and always trying to get his nam in the headlines. He has to learn to do what is best for the team, be it squaring it for a tap in to a player in a better position or not deciding to take a quick free kick when we are trying to win the game first and foremost. Love the man but think he really needs to cut that side of his game out. Also, Joel looked very good when he came on today, love the way he puts himself abaaaaht

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    • If you’re talking about the chance at the end, it was a simple finish that he screwed wide. This talk of Ramsey being selfish it bollocks. Just because he’s not Ozil doesn’t make him selfish

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    • Agreed on both the points. Campbell should be starting over Ox on current form. He is better than him at everything atm, even though Ox might have greater potential. The way Ox goes to sleep while tracking back never happens when Joel is on the pitch.

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  16. I love that he runs his socks off and never hides from the ball but Ramsey really can be selfish in positions like that towards the end.
    Still concerned by The Ox’s performances but would have rather he’d stayed on instead of Walcott who had one of those days again.
    As much as I like Mertesacker who is far better than he gets credit for I wouldn’t mind seeing Gabriel alongside Koscielny in the next game. My concern with Mertesacker is that Koscielny comes inside too far in order to compensate for the lack of pace and thus chances like Wijnaldum’s are created because he vacates his position too much.

    3 points though and top of the league so you can ignore what I’ve just said if you like.

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  17. The Good:
    3 points (and our current closest rival dropping points)
    Campbell was bright when he came on.

    The Bad:
    Body snatchers have replaced the Ox with a third-rate copy of himself. Should not be starting ahead of Campbell. Terrible.
    Monreal’s worst game of the season, repeatedly robbed and beaten.
    Aaron Ramsey still hasn’t re-discovered the shooting boots he found two years ago. His conversion rate on big chances inside the box must be the worst going around. His runs off and on the ball create the chances, but he MUST finish them more often.
    Ramsey-Flamini’s limitations as a midfield partnership exposed again.

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  18. A terrific win.
    Joel Campbell is just miles better than chamberlain at the moment.He has got to be starting for me.Chamberlain has really got to step it up with crossing and passing for all the potential that he has got.
    Sign some players already Arsene.
    The bench is simply lacking.At least a couple of quality signings required to lift up the team.

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  19. Everyone seemed to be playing with a NYE hangover (although NYE was 2 days ago!). 3 points thanks to Chech! Easily the best goalkeeper in the prem this year. What a signing! Other than that I’m really concerned about the Ox’s drop in form. Hope he improves but for now I think Campbell deserves to start ahead of him. In the short time Campbell was on he did more than the Ox did in either half. He was excellent in defensive duties, good on the ball, created a chance and would have scored if it wasn’t for Ramsey’s selfishness.
    I agree with the commentators that this could be the title wining game. I know it’s a long way out and I don’t want to jinx it, but these are the scrappy opportunities Arsenal need to take to win it all. COYG!!!

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  20. terrific win.
    Joel Campbell is just miles better than chamberlain at the moment.He has got to be starting for me.Chamberlain has really got to step it up with his crossing and passing for all the potential that he has got.
    Sign some players already Arsene.
    The bench is simply lacking.At least a couple of quality signings required to lift the team up.

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  21. Whatever else happened, that goal was superb. Giroud showed great determination and presence of mind, and Kos finished perfectly after outhustling the defender.

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  22. what’s the deal with leaving before the match ends? i understand the travelling issues but c’mon, half stadium empty while still playing? on saturday afternoon? just being curious, we don’t do that were i live.

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  23. Great win. Fantastic three points.

    From a longer-term viewpoint I’m a bit concerned. It’s the third bad performance against below-average opposition in a row. Clearly Giroud and the central midfielders are exhausted due to injuries curtailing rotation opportunities. Understandable.

    Kos dug really deep to drive the team forward in the second half and deserves the glory despite his shaky defensive moments in the first 70 minutes. Cech was/is as massive as we all hoped he’d be when we signed him.

    Exactly the kind of game and opposition where Ox and Walcott should be dominating the other team’s full-backs and tearing the defense open. They should be seizing the chance in Sanchez’s absence, rather than making some of us pine for Welbeck, let alone the Chilean. They’re also the two players with the least reason to be suffering fatigue. I know this will get abuse and baseless responses that feo will score a billion goals next game.

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    • Spot on mate. I said Theo and Ox needed to “step up” on the “Teams News” bit and they didn’t…but I still thnk we will be champions!

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    • Ox and Walcott need to up their passing and tracking back/positioning game to at least Campbells level to have any hope of being 1st 11 when players come back. Welbeck, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla all look like better options.

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  24. Im not a fan of everyone in the stands getting impatient and booing backwards passes already at 55mins… it creates more anxiety and does not help in anyway at all.

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  25. Ox. Ah, Ox. Whatever will we do with you.

    Strikes me (I may be wrong – it has happened, once. 39 years ago) that Ox is a very instinctive player. He looked all right from time to time when he pinned his ears back, hared towards goal, but when it came to decision-making and creating when he had time on the ball he looked like a Carling Cup Kid. Not instinctive in the same way as Theo (much better dribbling and body control/feinting, and emanating an aura of *cockiness?* *confidence*? in contrast to Walcott’s FUCKING CHRIST THEO THEY’RE ALL WATCHING US RUN RUN AND OH LOOK HOORAY YOU SCORED), but still the kind of player whose efforts to sophisticate his game are interfering with his talent.

    It’s all right, he seems like a good chap, and I’m sure he’ll come good eventually, but it seems to me he really needs to get together with Arsene or someone and figure out what kind of player he is, what kind of player he wants to be. It’s ironic: the breadth of his skill-set means he could end up being a jack of all trades/spare parts if he doesn’t find his niche soon.

    Zidane didn’t need great pace, nor Totti great strength, not L. Toni velvet skill, but Ox has all of these and I think his efforts to cram them all equally into a single package are leaving him plodding and indecisive at the moment.

    Love the man, just my opinion – and his talent is surely such that it will shine through eventually. But – prediction – I think he’ll continue to frustrate for a while longer. A year or two maybe. Hope not, but I don’t think the Ox’s issues are those that’ll sort themselves out automatically.

    Be interested to hear your thoughts! Anyway, great win, the Stuff of Champions! I love Ozil, he is my Goldfinch

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    • Agreed but I think Theo has the same problems when given time to make decisions.

      I can’t see Ox and Theo surviving here and Campbell may take one of their places very soon.

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    • Thumbs up you sir for two good comments on both OX and Theo. Makes a change to the comments on here berating OX from dribbling time to time. He’s talent is unquestionable has it in spades and I think when he gets everything together we can have our very on Sanchez because there style of play is so similar! Campbell however is ahead at the moment in my opinion because of the defensive shift he puts in every game though he always looks tired at 30mins as he wears himself out. He will come I’m sure of it and Wenger has always said he birth lies in the middle of the pitch so I see him being in wengers plan for sure.

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  26. Campbell is miles ahead 9f chambo at the moment, which is more a compliment to the former rather than a criticism of the latter

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    • I thought Chambers was very “excellently good” when he came on, did lots of good stuff, passing tackling and holding the ball.

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  27. It’s worth mentioning at this point that Newcastle beat Spurs at White Hart lane and Liverpool at St James’ last month because 1) it shows they can win games against clubs higher in the league and 2) it’s hilarious.

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  28. Really another in a trend of worrisome displays. Tough stretch coming up at Liverpool, at Stoke and home to Chelsea and need to get Sanchez back out there starting with Liverpool. Great grit to hang on and win, but we are heading in the wrong direction with our level of play. Cech really saved us this match and really other than Ozil nobody up front looked to have any energy. Never seen Ozil press so much defensively (while of course Giroud stands there watching complaining that nobody passed him the ball or a foul should have been called) and when he had the ball kept looking for movement, but there was so little of it. Chamberlin continues to not impress given his opportunities and Walcott out left really is not working (save for the one goal a couple of matches ago).

    We almost lost the three points at the end with that last shot Cech stopped when the ball should have been taken to the corner with a minute left instead of trying to score again. Drives me crazy how many times late in matches we can be smart with the ball with a one goal lead, yet try to score when it’s not a good option (sometimes it is, but often we are trying to score as if we are the team trailing when all we need to do is to keep the ball).

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  29. Tetchy performance but you are going to get games like this and stuff of champions is when you find it in the locker despite lack of fluency to win it.

    According to the media at least (unless its Arsenal)

    Another clean sheet for Cech and undefeated for Flammini again at the Emirates.

    Campbell and Ox are vying for a spot. Campbell’s protection of the ball and decision making versus the Ox’s raw pace and talent slightly edging it.

    Ramsey putting in another shift.

    Even the Invincibles had plenty of draws and close games. Good thing this season is we have limited the draws (whilst bad is the implosions and losses). but avoiding those draws are is going to be key. We could slip to more implosions but we must win the games that may otherwise end in stalemate.

    We need to bank points now.

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  30. After the Bournemouth game I said Wenger should have stuck with the same team. When I saw the lineup I knew we were going to struggle. I thought Flamini was poor and so was Monreal and Kosci. Ox has to step up now. He looked really average today. Saying that I think that was a big 3 points today. Sometimes you have to grind out results when you’re playing shit. Hopefully City drop points against Watford. CYG!

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  31. The weather was rainy but clearly seen both teams wanted a win today
    Just gd arsenal fc won as the team stretch away at top of prem nacho to can do well. Coyg

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  32. Ramsey is breeding disharmony within the team not passing to team mates in better position. He is becoming selfish and wants to hug all the limelight himself. Why couldn’t he pass to Campbell for a simple tap in ? If you want your mates to pass to you I suggest you do the same. What if Newcastle had broken forward to equalise. I am really frustrated with this selfish kid who wants passes made to him, which he gets but can’t put away ala man city but won’t do the same for his team mates. I know we got 3points and that’s good but the sooner this selfishness is eradicated from his game the better. COYG

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    • Ramsey did really well carving out that chance- he had already beat two players and just had the goalie to beat; he had the momentum, anyone would have fancied him to score. a pass would have increased the likelihood of a goal but i don’t think he did wrong by opting to shoot. if he scores no one would be talking shit about him, only reason everyone is mad at him is because he didn’t.

      people calling him a glory seeker is very unfair. he’s only a glory seeker when his passes or attempts at goal don’t work. when they work he receives praise. Ramsey’s a fantastic talent: one of those rare players who make the game beautiful to watch with a mix of skill and drive and flair and crunching tackles. these players are hard to find nowadays and Arsenal fans greatly underappreciate him. the only two people more skillful than him on the team are Sanchez and Ozil.

      plus I don’t think that failure to pass is “breeding disharmony within the team”. that’s a bit too over the top, don’t you think..

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  33. Can someone tell Ramsey that assist for a goal win games as much as scoring them that why henry was that important in the team then any other player in any team he played in Ramsey needs to learn that, it good to score but sometimes a pass for a goal kill the game off than try to score and miss and keep the opponent in the game that chance against Newcastle there was three players there that will have tap it in and that game over

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  34. We’re shite.

    That’s why we are top of the table.

    If we win it, it’s because other teams don’t want to win.

    Never mind last season when Chelsea ran away with it cos we shot ourselves in the foot early on, City were having their customary title hangover and United were a team in ‘reconstruction’. Never mind United, Spurs are still in the mix with City this season despite the implosion of relegation contenders Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp’s mediocre revolution at Liverpool.

    We’re rubbish and we don’t want to win the title.

    We have no recognisable “world Class” strikers so we’re not going to score goals.

    We have no Alexis.

    We have no Coqzorla and play Rammini instead who will never get us a clean sheet. They won’t survive the likes of City or a crunch game against Olympiakos because they are rubbish.

    We implode against Soton and the likes. It’s a miracle we’re top of the table.

    Never mind the improvement in the league because of TV money distribution and teams like Stoke able to field Affelay-Shaqiri-Kirkic. Perhaps that could be a reason to anyone other than mediocre players who end up as footy pundits.

    Yeah, we’re pretty much rubbish.;)

    and oh 42 points.

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  35. Poor performance going forward…But Resilient, dogged and ugly against a physically superior side. 3points onto the next.

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  36. We still have Sanchez, coq, welbz, wilshere and cazorla to come back, makes me feel good. I like how we won and went two clear at the top, yet all the talk is of manure winning and of citeh coming back from 1 down- against Watford ffs, and how that’s a statement or some nonsense. I guess we aren’t as good because we failed to go behind before we won..

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  37. Is simple. We need Sanchez back and for him to stay fit. And we need another DM choice. Ozil could then get a rest now and game and play Rambo in the advanced role where his glory seeking carries less risk at the other end. If those 2 things happen we have enough to carry a title barge through Jan/Feb in my view.

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  38. It’s games like this that we really miss Jack. Someone to drop and shoulder and beat a man, commit defenders in the final third and make a difference, when the usual plans of spreading the play wide and getting in behind stop working for us

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  39. I have this theory that Arsenal don’t play well in bad weather. I haven’t any stats to prove it, but game after game I keep on coming back to it.

    I’ve no idea why this should be, but they seem not to have the energy to work hard, don’t have the concentration to make their passes count, don’t win the half-and-half balls…

    Am I just imagining this?

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  40. love it when the pundits and media blatantly ignore us- eases pressure away from, places it on other teams and allows us to continue to be quietly brilliant (today wasn’t brilliant though- we were resiliently lucky)

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  41. Winning ugly, sign of a potential champion?

    Why did the boss benched Campbell for Ox? I thought Campbell has been brilliant lately, the boss does not really like him I suppose 🙁

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