Arsenal match review – Great 1st half sees Gunners win at Watford

It was not as comfortable for the Arsenal players and us fans as it looked like being at halftime, but the Gunners did manage to get a vital first victory of the season in the Premier League and that is what really counts as we now head into the international break with some confidence restored.

That confidence had taken a hit over the last two weeks and that probably explains why we were under pressure in the second hald after Watford managed to score with some help from some lucky pinball type action in the box after Cech saved well. Up until then the home team were easily second best and Arsenal produced some fluent and incisive football.

It did not take long for the nerves to settle, as Alexis Sanchez was taken out to earn a penalty which Cazorla scored before 10 minutes had been played. Watford tried to get back into the game but Arsenal controlled the game well with Santi and Xhaka running things in the middle, Walcott stretching play with his pace and movement and Ozil producing some silky stuff.

The knockout blows came just before the break, with Walcott squaring for Sanchez to scramble a second and the Chilean providing a perfect and pinpoint cross for Ozil to run in and head a third.

We could have scored more in the second half with some better decision making and finishing but we showed some stell to stop a resurgent Watford from adding to their goal, with Cech making some good ssaves and Wilshere and Elneny coming on to shore up midfield.

Job done and some impressive play sees Arsenal get back on track.

Tags Alexis Cazorla Ozil Sanchez


    1. hard fought, well done arsenal
      now we can sit back an watch the window close an welcome our new signings!

    2. Holding if I may dare say will be better than stones with some experience and how good is the long balls from xahaka

      1. This is what I said before the Liverpool match: don’t put TWO 20-year old CB’s to play together. If there’s one senior CB with one youngster, they will do well.

        But Xhaka’s long balls, damn they were spot on every one of them! Hopefully he can add some menace and tackling on to his game. Great debut.

        1. Regarding Holding, anyone got some stats of his aerial duels today? Lad was a monster in the air!

          At 183 cm height, Mertesacker better take note how to jump!

          1. yes just checked…
            this stat has been confirmed

            at one point he jumped so high…r kelly appeared microphone in hand

            *courtesy of optastat

        2. Xhaka did some dirty work and some tackles, he doesn t need to “add” that, he’s got that too

    1. We always like maiking it tough for ourselves. Phew it was a stressful second half glad the defence stood still and we got the points. This points were vital for us

  1. Awsome we got 3 points!!! Now just confirm the 2 new guys as we wait for international break to end.

  2. Great first half. Second was quite garbage. Happy for the win though.

    Why we conceded? It was due to lack of defending by our wingers (OX and Theo). How on earth did OX stay on for so long? Beyond me. He was literally useless on the second half, killed our counter attacks and was too lazy to defend.

    Also, Wilshere looked not interested at all to be on the pitch after coming on.

    Monreal injured? Hopefully he will be back soon. If not, let’s get our money on Ricardo Rodriguez now that we are on a spending spree!

    1. i wish, he will rely on gibbs…
      gibbs an theo are exactly the same… have all the tools but no footballing brain

      only two players i would happily sell, rest require thought.
      ok maybe sanogo 😉

      1. Theo did well but i think wenger should use him will same to ox.this two cant last the whole 90 mins. Holding luks gud but not gud enough for starting 11 maybe for cameo appearances in the team. I think it will really benefit him if he is sent out loan(not now but hopefully jan when gabriel and mert are back) he luks a real gem

        1. @khangunners
          Holding had a stinker against Liverpool. But he bounced back from that really well I think. He’s focused, comfortable on the ball and fearless. Dude just relegated Mert to the bench…

          1. Yea he is gud. But after capturing mustafi his game time would reduce greatly also if gabriel returns then he would keep going down the pecking order not because of quality but experience. Thats why i think we need to asses how many games he would hve featured before jan if less we loan him out he has the potential to be a phenomenal cb for us

            1. We have a few competitions all season and Mertesacker will be back in a few months + he ll need time to get match fitness when back. No time to loan Holding. Thumbs down to you all day long

    2. lol You want to buy a LB? lol Just because nacho is Injured? Isn’t that why we had Gibbs. lol SO should we just spend for the sake of it? Holding was great and he didn’t cost 55 million.

      Wilshere and Elneny came to shore up the game. We don’t have to be pretty. Its and away game and we got the three points. I would like Elneny to be more discipline though as he is always on the front foot and pressing to high which could sometimes isolate Xhaka.

      1. There was talks of a new LB before the summer. And we were linked with Rodriguez as well. Monreal turns 31, Gibbs is.. well Gibbs. He hasn’t improved in the last 5 years.

        Besides, haven’t we often used Gibbs as a LW in the last 10 minutes of the match?

        1. it’s not an immediate need. Gibbs is still a good player, not spectacular, but good. And we still don’t know if Monreal is out long term. It looks like just a week or two, maybe he’ll even be ready after break. I know he had a rough game today, but it’s not something that happens reguarly. Usually he has Alexis helping him. Today it was Ox, who essentially never tracked back today. Poor Monreal had to deal with 3 players at one point.

          1. gibbs isnt good, he will always be a liability – he hasnt improved in the many years hes been here

            he an theo would save us 200,000 a week on wages
            and we would make around 35 mill from selling the pair of them

            julian draxler and ricardo rodriguez anyone?

            1. Muffy my friend you are a misunderstood soul. Great to get 3 points, should do much better at counterattack with the speed and the passing ability we have.

  3. > Impressive work by Walcott in the second half in the centre of the pitch
    > El-neny calmed things a lot when he came on
    > Great vision from Sanchez and Ozil for third goal
    > Game shows why a striker was absolutely necessary
    > The passing from Xhaka were a joy to watch

        1. is it true denislon found religion during a penalty shoot out?

          wherever he is il remember the good times…when he got when he left the club

    1. Mate move on … Walcott had a couple of decent crosses all game rest of time just a waste of a player … What makes me laugh is the talk of defences fearing his pace … They don’t as he doesn’t actually pose a goal threat which is what defenders really worry about …. Sell sell sell … Monreal and bellerin ok going forward but lack discipline at back … I still think a quality LB would strengthen team but will be happy to see mustafi and Perez starting … That said holding had a decent game and certainly looks more reliable than chambers

  4. We have the players and we have the bench as well. Bringing on a guy like Wilshere or Giroud is Luxury. Can I say hello to Granit Xhaka. That is £30 million well spent. he reminds me of Xabi alonso and I believe he can only get better.

    Can someone explain to me why Elneny is always going forward to press? people who call Elneny a DM are drunk. This guy is may be worst than Ramsey interms of decipline. He is always going forward to press no matter what.

    Sometimes stick to your position and keep the teams shape.

    1. @galen
      And when he does get a pass, he never tries to take on defenders, just passes either lateral or back…Dude seems a bit timid to me.

      1. @Lads

        He has been like this since he arrived.. I’m not sure what his role is..? Midfield utility player I guess..

        1. His role is a ball winner. His whole game is about tackling and intercepting, then keeping it tidy and simple by recycling the ball. He came on when Ozil went off, so Cazorla and Xhaka were still back when he defended from the front. And even then he raced back down the field to get behind the ball again. Kante was like that last season and got praised for it.

      2. agree. It’s reminiscent of Arteta who would play those useless short passes non-stop. I’m unsure of his role in the team. He doesn’t create much, and Cazorla can do a better job at setting a tempo.

      3. I think El Neny is a great player to have when we want to control the game. He never misses a pass! Okay, I exaggerated there. Where I think he needs to improve is the defensive side of his game. He seems to stand away from challenges a bit.

    2. Didn’t understand that sub. Coquelin would’ve made more sense. Elneny is not CDM, clearly a CM. Personally I only see him as a squad player IMO.

    3. And just like that you guys forgot about how great he was in the second half of last season. Ridiculous.

  5. Are y’all seeing what I am seeing? We are actually getting on the good sides of referees! Last week and now.

    King Mesut is back. Even though not fully fit. We were a lot threatening in attack today with his and Sanchez bright link up.

      1. Just hve a wish that him and sanchez extend there contracts. It will be very vital for our clubs what this two guys decide on there future

        1. it is vital, but the reality is ozil can play for any team in world football so why settle for a team that doesnt go after the big prizes.

          i want him here, but it bugs me that he isnt linked up to aguero or lewandowski just to see how good he could be.
          its like having a really sexy gf but never going beyond third base

          1. Haha yea but lets pray this season we really show hunger and character and convince the lads arsenal is the place to be.

          2. @muff,

            I know what you mean.

            But hey, give a chance to this Perez lad. He might surprise us.

            Like in a way when you get totally hammered and yet, end up waking up next to some tavern wench. But taking a closer look, she actually looks far more decent than you first feared..

            1. ive had some tavern wenches bro believe me.
              i didnt always ‘dive’

              can u imagine if perez is a hit- last year he was offered to championship clubs an they all said no….year later hes fighting for the premier league with arsenal

              what a story eh

    1. Haha thats because the last two games has been refed ny refs who are kind to us.just wait till we get mr penalty

  6. Great game, we finally performed! Alexis has to be on the wings, that’s where all his good movements came from. Glad he didn’t just stay stuck in the middle like the past two games. Ozil, being ozil, Xhaka was excellent, looks like a great signing. He still commits too early to tackles for me, but hopefully that cant be corrected. Monreal had a rough game, but Ox did him no favors. Chambo was patchy in attack as well. I’ll give credit to Theo today too. He did his job very well and put in some dangerous crosses, and got an assist. Not too worried about the goal we conceded since we’re about to sign Mustafi. We just needed to clear the ball better in that situation. Very positive game today, and Im glad Watford made us work for it in the 2nd half.

    1. I think we were just extremely unlucky on the goal conceded. Flipper ball bouncing around, Xhaka was just about to boot it but think it was Pereyra who beat him to it and scored.

    2. Agree with you most of the points except about the goal.
      It is an awful way to concede. They change formation to 4-4-2, we have to adapt immediately, Ox is no where near to help Monreal who got 2 on 1 by Watford RB and RW. When the ball is is our box, it is like 3 Watford and 4 Arsenal defenders. Lousy defending as a team, and even Mustafi sigining won’t prevent that kind of goal. If Adam or Vieira is still our captain, the OX should have an earful.

      1. True. The whole game Monreal was left to do everything alone and crosses wouldn’t stop coming from that side. Still, it was dealt with essentially and only the fact it bounced off another players back gave Watford a chance. Ox was very much the weak point today for sure.

      2. Yeah, OX and Jack both need a bit of slapping around.

        Maybe Joel Campbell’s dig hurt their fragile ego..

        1. Ox gets games, Campbell left because he doesn’t, so how is it a dig. If Campbell thinks he’s hard done by for not being an Arsenal starter he has another thing coming, teams need depth, Campbell shouldn’t be at Arsenal if he demands first team football in the first place. It’s teams depth that usually determine whether a team can be the best, so if Campbell feels he’s too big to owe us that much, well then goodbye and good luck.

  7. Blew them away in the first half some excellent stuff. We do suffer sometimes when this happens though, I don’t feel we can control a game in that way. That was reflected in our second half. We’re not a team at 100% in either personnel or sharpness, but some promising flashes. On a side note Sanchez had 2 touches in the box. The majority of his touches? On the wings. Wenger let Sanchez play his game. You’ve got Giroud and Perez now, and even welbeck when he’s fit again.

  8. Watford denied a penalty.
    Us given a not so clear penalty.
    I dont know about you but on another day this would have either been a draw or a loss despite the flattering scoreline.
    Especially if this match was played 2 years ago

  9. Good 3 points, thought it was a good work out for arsenal, Watford had a better second off but we could have long finish off the game, if we had taken our chances.

    Now let me comment on some other things, i think walcott had a good game, which could have been great if he scored, but the major disappointment was OX i think it was a perfect opportunity to pressure for a place in the starting line up regularly, i think Wenger as a manager has not asked enough of OX. He has the potential, but mind set seems to be easily affected. i think he was the one needed to be sent on loan, to get away from the comfort of arsenal for a season

    1. Ox made me angry today. Forgeting your role of tracking back? look at how hard Walcoot was working and Ox was unalble to track back and help the LB?

      I don’t know what his physical condition is. But tacticallly that was very poor. If we played a better team today they would have expoited all these weaknesses and double up on the LB.

      Ox must improve his tactical awareness.

  10. i like it when ozil smiles.

    makes me realise that if he did my missus…i wouldnt be upset…he was merely assisting with the relationship

  11. i get it, xhaka can pass very well but you guys seem to be glancing over the fact that he was severely lacking in the tackling department(2/2 interception for a dm ain’t good enough) compared to le coq.

    Walcott for me played very well, though he didn’t score and was the probably second hardest worker that match. You also seem to be glancing over the fact that ozil missed one or two chances to score ealier in the first half and was completely invisible during second half, i mean COMPLETELY. This however doesn’t mean i didn’t enjoy his goal though.

    1. Xhaka was class today. He held the team together and controlled the tempo. defensive midfielders doesn’t mean you should be on the floor every second. Xhaka is not coquelin and i hope you don’t expect him to be one. They are completely different players.

      U seem to forget that Ozil is not yet fit and could still get better fitness.

      Some fans wanted a better second half? what better second half? Jack and Elneny came on to make us more compact and to counter. And we did just that. The Objective is to win the game of football and not play like a bunch of fools and loose our lead.

      Just be happy with the victory. No easy away games.

    2. I thought Theo was awesome too. Put in a good shift. Coquelin is also vital as he showed in the first two games of the season.

  12. i dont expect him to be like coquelin, in fact i thought he would be replacement for cazorla at cm and maybe you’re right about ozil, players have different recovery rates from big competitions like euros.

  13. In conclusion:

    Ox ince again has a great pre season only to be wack when a game actually counts

    Walcott is still as wack as he was when he was 16 years old

    Everything else went well

  14. Great first half, piss poor second half and if it wasn’t for our defence this could have ended in an embarrassing way.
    Holding is the New Tony Adams, Xhaka is the new pass master and if he can improve on the defencive side to his game, then he can become a bigger legend than Patrick Vieira.

    I watched a ? load of Lucas perez footage and to be honest, I liked what I saw.
    He is officially an attacking midfielder who can play in the CF position, he has great dribbling skills, quick feet, a great first touch, good acceleration and absolutely deadly in one on one situations, even though he is useless with headers and Ariel duals, He will Make Ramsey look like a Sunday league player!

  15. Marco Rashford is a freaking super star!! Why don’t we have young players like that? We have a bunch of never fully developing to their potentials.

  16. Things are looking a lot more rosy than they did last week… I even quite like the fluorescent accents on the new third kit … Just hope Arsene isn’t test running it, in order to save on electricity at the Emirates….

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