Arsenal run riot while Big Sam looks destined for the drop

Arsenal have done what Liverpool couldn’t by beating West Bromwich Albion… Comfortably!

The Gunners are definitely back to their best, and wasted no time in taking a firm grip on the game.

Arsenal made their intentions clear early on as they dominated possession, was positive on the ball, and they didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock.

The goal came from an unlikely source, but what an amazing strike it was. Kieran Tierney was the man to to break free down the left flank, playing the ball round the first challenger, before cutting in to his right, just inside the box to fire home.

It wasn’t long before some neat team play saw Emile Smith Rowe through in on goal, and he did the unselfish thing by teeing up Bukayo Saka to tap home.

They managed to survive at 2-0 going into the break, with just one half-chance from a corner to take note of in the opening exchanges.

The second-half was much of the same, albeit with Hector Bellerin having to come off for Ainsley Maitland-Niles early on.

Alexandre Lacazette scored our third, with a bit of pinball inside the box which could have gone in the net three times. The initial strike would have been an own goal, but that struck the post, before falling to Emile Smith Rowe to force the save, but the Frenchman made no mistake given the chance.

Less than five minutes later he scored again, taking his tally to five goals in his last four matches, having scored in each of the last three before this one. This effort was made by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down the left, who crosses into the middle for Laca to tap home on the stretch.

I thought we was going to make it five and match Leeds score from a few days back when Auba found himself through running down on the goalkeeper, but his luck hasn’t quite turned around just yet.

Sam Allardyce now has a goal difference of -12 from his opening four matches, with a 1-1 draw with Liverpool to take credit for surrounded by losses, and his record of never having been relegated is definitely at stake here.

More importantly, Arsenal definitely look back in the running for a place in Europe, with just three points separating us from sixth.

Are Arsenal back?

Patrick

Tags West Brom

152 Comments

  1. Fantastic efforts from almost all Gunners, except Aubameyang. His confidence seems really low, because he missed three great chances

    Luckily we still have a few relatively easy games in January and I hope Aubameyang could rebuild his confidence in those games. But Lacazette must stay at the CF position, because he clicks very well with the youngsters

    1. Fair to Aubameyang, he worked his socks off in the first half but dropped in the second where he had the guts to question our MOTM in Tierney after tierney’s only mistake passing the ball behind him. Auba’s positioning was off, we could and should have scored alot more goals even with everyone trying to help him out, he struggled a bit. Willian also put in a good shift when he came on, surprisingly, yes some mistakes but did really well. However, I hope this doesn’t mean Arteta has to start him in the next game. I expected to see a martinelli instead of a willock but fair Arteta, we were winning already by a margin of 4.Onwards and upwards. I hope Auba finds his scoring boots soon, I feel bad for him. Also Bellerin and xhaka did well, I don’t know how Gabriel is going to win his spot back from Mari who has been solid with holding. Oh Saka, my sweet boy. Tierney, what a player. ESR my God. I’ve given Arteta alot of stick in recent weeks but he’s been doing so well recently with his starting line ups which was the major thing I had an issue with, not because we were losing. Well done to all the lads. COYG

      1. Aubameyang tried hard, but he didn’t react fast enough when he got the three big chances. He was a consistent goalscorer though, so it’s only a matter of time before he gets his confidence back

    2. This is beyond confidence man, I see a division in that team. meanwhile if I were the coach I woukd play Martinelly and bring Auba from the bench.

      1. we pay 32 yo Auba heaps of money to start from the bench

        he will probably leave the club if he doesnt get first team football

        1. On today’s performance, would that be a serious loss?. Any forward thinking manager would already be thinking beyond this season and looking around for possible replacements. Arteta must have seen enough of Eddie N.to know that it ain’t going to be him.

    3. Auba has just recovered from injury and gone through a bad patch…

      its normal that his confidence is low

  2. Aubz played well, he just needs one off his backside. He is contributing and getting in the right places. No complaints from me.

    1. Well said. Far too much negative 🐂💩 has been said today about Aubamayang. Can’t we just celebrate a great win without slagging off some of our players during every game!

        1. Ditto Declan, will we ever have an article with no one slagging any of our players off?
          I do owe an apology to Kieren for calling him an idiot – my apologies, let’s just enjoy the football brain of ESR etc.

          1. It’s getting a little boring now Sue, don’t you think?🤔
            Still, I’ll take your advice and “pass” 😊

    2. I think he’s been getting into some really good positions and once he starts scoring again – will be back to his old goal machine self.

      I wish more of our fans especially on online forums support the player who has been shouldering the goal scoring burden at the club since the day he joined.

    3. Im an Auba fan but he is not worth his place in the team at the moment. Does he need a rest? Does he need dropping for Martinelli? I dont know but he was behind most of the team again today as far as performance.

  3. The young guns are on fire..

    Saka is improving everyday. His goal is a team goal. Very well taken.

    Esr is so smooth on the ball. Always finding space and making himself avaliable for a pass. The control and assist to saka goal is so good..

    Tierney. What a goal. Good buy.

    Lacazette is scoring again…

    Aubameyang isn’t scoring anymore but glad others are scoring. He needs to come to the party. His body language too isn’t great. Hope he finds his mojo back ASAP.

    I m just happy with the young lads.

  4. well done lacazette. he has the same determination that the young players have and tahts how we get out of this rut. Auba I feel for with his drought, but he’s also captain and has to check his body language and attitude. I’m really sick of the weak captains we keep appointing and Auba needs to do better and be the example. if we had a leader earlier in the season maybe things would not have gotten as bad as they did. Onto positives tho. Really, everything that Saka, ESR, Tierney did. They’ve been the few great players all season and stepped up again today. Well done! Leno was also solid in his shot stopping and hope that continues. Great last 3 game boys. It was essential and we need to keep it up and keep trying to save the season.

  5. Yes. A fantastic game. If Money city beats Chelsea tomorrow, we will be 3 points behind Chelsea. we should maintain the momentum. Good job

  6. Rampant gooners!
    4 goals!
    Double figures on target!
    Clean sheet!
    Loved Tierney, Saka and ESR…
    With all that snow we’re walking in a gooner wonderland! Nice one, boys!

    The perfect night – Gerwyn Price into the final of the darts and my beloved team battering the Baggies! 😍🥳

  7. Looking at Tierney he needs a good nights sleep. A great guy and everything that Arsenal need as. Character

        1. A n interview with Arteta a week or so back when he described some in the team as victims or (winners) as I can’t now remember the exact word he used to describe a gritty individual
          We kind of know the players like Tierney who don’t give up and others who wimpishly surrender

          1. More like victims and fighters! Those who will look for anything and anyone to blame and those who are willing to fight for the greater good.

  8. Really can’t see the Arteta out guys agains..
    Common sense would tell you that when the team kept playing well and kept losing, it was mostly because we failed to convert our chances.
    Willian played from his best position today.
    Hope to see Laca-ESR-Saka combo more

    1. Eddie Arteta brought that upon himself. Majority of the fans know we are better than the sh””t, boring and sideways and backwards passing he had us play prior to Chelsea game.

    2. Eddie, People calling for Arteta’s head had every right to do so considering the crappy performance in the 1st half of the season. The fortune of the team changed after he dropped the usual underperformers and adjustments with the tactics too. We see less of sideway passing and the movement have greatly improved, and the players seems to play with greater freedom. Hope this runs continues.

      1. Did Arteta make that decision by himself or was it the team ‘shout’ meeting that made him change his mind?

        1. SueP. We might never know the answer to that, but just like a player sometimes need a punch in the mouth as a wake-up call, so is the manager. Of course not a literal punch, but sometimes you need a push to get you out of you own way.

      2. Here here! and they were right to call for his head. If he pulls it round from now on nobody was wrong, we were playing some 💩 football.

          1. Thank you Sue, i want Arteta to be a success but regardless i thought our football was awful, he had nothing in his locker to back him up but if he gets it right, then fantastic but we are still a way from that. But we all hope he is the next coming.

          2. You’re right – it was awful! Have really enjoyed our last 3 games. Amazing what putting trust in the youngsters does, hey?!
            We have some bigger tests coming up, let’s hope we carry on this decent form…

          3. Yes Sue but he needed a bit of covid luck on that score to help him. Lets hope it makes him wiser, i dont want to see the old guard getting back in cheaply.

          4. So would i Sue, it was a mistake to keep relying on players who should have been performing better and were not. The young kids need to be trusted a little more.

      3. No they don’t. As a supporter you support. It is easy to calls heads in times of trouble but a more mature, rational supporter to realise this is an extremely difficult job, he has been in the job just 1 year and he needs time to address the squad balance – which fans have pinpointed themselves

      4. The sideway passing style was due to Arteta sticking with players that lack initiatives, courage and hide from the ball, rather than tactics.

    3. Arteta is learning on the job and the bes t decision he took was to throw the stubbornness out the window.
      He allows the boys play freely
      He backed the young guns
      ..
      Converting saka to the right the best decision ever…just like when our noisy neighbors converted one bale guy then( like I care).

      Tierney holds down the left , saka the right with bellerin adding a lil spice we good. Saka also helps defensively unlike pepe…
      ESR has ended the ozil debate,quick passes , positioning and movement, this aids our attacks to be quicker than before. Adding partey to ESR,xhaka would be magical.

      Rob holding and Mari partnership solid rock , Gabriel’s good but mari is it, so so solid…holding plays better with him

      Just like hw klopp discovered the mane firmino salah firepower…its safe to say arteta has seen the light finally….

    4. Arteta have been changing his game strategy and kudos to him. the lame old passing without attacking have disappeared in the last 3 matches and it have worked wonders. keeping playing like this and he have my backing. go back to the lame old pass pass pass without attacking and he will have to go. Smith Rowe have made this team tick. 3 matches 3 win. arteta was playing without proper playmaker ,with esr we have that and so much more.

    5. Common sense would tell you that when a manager takes Arsenal to 15th in the table, fans would want him out.

      I don’t think the team “kept playing well” when we kept losing. We played badly in most games we lost.

    6. Arteta out for me but it can wait till the end if the season since we became midtable rather than a fighting relegation team.

    7. @Eddie, even now Arteta should be getting the least of praises. He did not select this winning combination, he was forced to select this team because of injury and covid protocol. How many of us believe that if Willian was available against Chelsea, Arteta would still have selected ESR? That does show his inexperience (either to judge talent or overcome pressure). God only knows what is happening with Saliba.

      1. You’re spot on, Arteta is a top top football brain ( i see him being a top manager in fews years cuz he knowa hw to win trophies) but experience matters in life especially when dealing with experienced players.
        He knew the young guns were amazing talents,as shown time and the again in the Europa league but he was kinda scared of unsettling the older players( and losing the dressing room) or losing with the young guns and facing backlash for the failed experiment…

        But most successful managers had to take the risk and discard senior players at some point.
        Guardiola – ronaldinho,deco etc for messi iniesta …yaya toure nasri for gundogan kdb

        Thank God for the injuries, illness that forced his hand as at some point he was clueless while solution was staring him in the face all along.

        I pray something happens too for balogun to get his run of games (the goals scored by the lad ain’t a joke, he could be our haaland our next big striker after wright,anelka,henry (potential aubameyang replacement) while nketiah would still become a top holdup striker cuz he’s strong for those games where we have to grind out wins )

        We have 4 top young stars unlike our rivals with one or two (the greenwoods,mount,foden,Jones)

        Arteta should kno that football is all about youthful energy and hunger these days that’s why teams likeBayern,Dortmund,Leipzig, Leverkusen, ac milan,ajax are flying even real Madrid and barca are joining the trend .

        Goodluck to balogun, nelson,saliba, azeez, macey, patino, Moller…pray their chances come too.

        1. I think Nketiah is better as a poacher. If he can pair up with someone with the capabilities of a Ollie Giroud for example, he cqn score multiple goals.

  9. Saka, Tierney, ESR and Martinelli and you think I won’t support Arsenal? The future is worth looking up to.

  10. Laca must be first choice striker.
    If Auba needs to be dropped for a few games then so be it. His head isn’t right – he needs to sort himself out.

    1. Lacazette has shown by his effort, now converted into goals, his contribution and importance to the team.
      Aubameyang will not be captain material while his backside points to the ground; however his class as a goal scorer will soon come out of hibernation.

  11. Great win! COYG!
    Maybe Old willie on for little Chilli doesnt work as well as it sounds😂😂
    Though Willian was ok in this game.

  12. Crystal palace have been a thorn In our flesh over the last couple of seasons..We have to really get in their faces this time and grab another win..

      1. Agree Kstix, really pleased he was back – replied to your question regarding the club versus player by the way-but wonderful to see ESR fulfilling his early promise and the chances being created once again.

    1. I’m glad Arteta has finally dropped the remote and allow the players to play the game they know how to play. For me winning is cherry on top of the cake. This is best I have seen us play in awhile and better than the game against Chelsea. Keep up guys. What a player is the little chilly and to Laca class is permanent.

  13. Got to say i dont think we will come up against a poorer team than WBA this season, they are relegated in real terms. But a massive shout to Lacca, Saka and Tierney and to a lesser extent ESR and Ceballos they between them were really excellent. Its noce to see Lacca coming back to form, he was brilliant and up with him were Tierney and Saka. ESR is showing glimpses of class and i hope he gets a run in the team because he could be our creative and workmanlike player we need. Cant fault anyone tonight but i think Auba has to find form very soon for when we have real tests.

    1. Maybe give some credit REggie when it’s deserved mate .rather than make excuses for your constant put down of Arteta in the last couple of weeks .
      We played well dont try and down play it

      1. 👏👏👏👏👏
        Well Dan kit
        We are not always in agreement but there has been an incredibly lukewarm response to the recent results.. as if Arteta had nothing to do with it at all

  14. good games guys, I don’t expect Willock and The William to be in this team..they bring nothing to the team…Up GUNNERS

  15. Saka has great future
    Tierney should be captain
    Laca really good with the young guns running around him
    Auba will work it out
    Ceballos should be a starter

      1. Oh exactly Beast mode
        I’ve had to take weeks of negativity already so believe me I’m in a happy mode at the moment…

          1. Sue, what we were asking MA to do, was play someone who can create and the covid situation/injury situation did just that.
            I honestly think that there were only a few who were openly calling for his head, the rest of those showing impatience, just wanted to see some actual positive football – as you say, it had to improve and it has!!!!

          2. Yes, thankfully we appear to have turned a corner! 3 games.. 9 points, 2 clean sheets, 8 goals scored… great team performances. Isn’t that all we ever want? At one point I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever see this again 😄 So happy we have, Ken!

          3. Wonder why SueP passed Sue?
            It seems three wins wipe out the awful football we witnessed against the likes of Villa, Wolves etc etc 🤔
            Still, we are now looking like a team that can create going forward, to think that ESR was there all the time 😊

          4. Pass, Ken 😄 ESR – better late than never, hey?! He has been fantastic!
            We have the most clean sheets away from home – 5 – along with Villa…it’s an Arsenal thing 😉
            12 shots on target, apparently that’s the most since AW left.. things are looking good!!

          5. SueP I would be sad to see you leave JA but also would not be surprised by it, try and just take a break for a few games, come back refreshed 👊 I’m probably going to do the same lol

          6. Come on SueP! Personally I wouldn’t like to see Jon Fox done with JA let alone you!

            Because of the bad results (very bad indeed) it is understandable that some would question Mikel’s ability to take the club forward (in complete agreement with what Sue and Ken have said)

            But see after just three wins and most have already changed their stance. This shows that they really don’t have a problem with the manager but they have problem with the results. (Except Mohsan and co who can’t even bother to congratulate our change in fortune, and I believe these are the ones you meant in another of your posts)

            In the end everyone want the team to do better and after the turnaround we should all be in the same page.

            Unlike some who quit the site because it is not how they want it to be, you are a likable person who respect others opinions. To go into comments and not see your views because you quit the site will be very sad indeed.

          7. Please dont leave, SueP. I mean the contributors are what make the site enjoyable, and differences of opinion are what bring real perspective for someone like me with little experience. Its always nice to see someone as dedicated to MA as you, I mean it brought my faith back in him.

        1. The scary thing for me is what happens when saka or Tierney are injured. It is likely during this season they will be. Saka has already had several knocks in the last few weeks… Take Saka and Tierney away and the goals may dry up again… fingers crossed we can manage if they do..

  16. Excellent performance. Been a while since we created so many chances in a game. Well done lads!

    Saka and Smith Rowe were impressive again.

    Laca’s hold up play is great and links up well with teammates making forward runs. He brings others into play. Really happy for him to get 2 goals today.

    Tierney is my MOTM.

    Now let’s keep the winning run going

  17. Auba is now back up for Martinelli. I was watching Saka I thought I was watching Messi.Any time ball comes to him something dangerous must happen in the opposition side. What a player

  18. I expected Auba to be replaced but don’t know why. He seems uninterested and bad body language, which is detrimental to the team

  19. having 14 shots on target is what our players have always wanted, no coach will be happy with such because not all teams will allow you space on the ball this has been our major problem, and until we are able to manage these and become clinical even when we create less chances, it will be difficult going forward.
    there are games we cant afford to go all attack, in such games we will need to sacrifice cam for an extra defensive player, chances created will be minimal and our attack ability to convert from lhalf chance will define our season.

    3games, 3wins, great, hopefully we get our house in order before the honeymoon is over. i always knew MA is experimenting and when the jigsaw are complete, we will be happy, hope he find permanent solution

  20. great win today. the team dominated from start to finish. everyone did their fair share and managed the game comfortable.

  21. Big shout for Saka and Tierney they are starting to look like superstars.
    Martinelli,Reece Nelson,Saliba,Partey,Gabriel and more,the squad is taking shape.
    As Arteta has stated there are players that need to go this years and the certs to go are Kalasniac,Ozil,Mustafi,Guendouzi,Socrates,Luis there’s six outta a squad of twenty five almost 25% a saving of £800,000 per week in wages or 40 million a year.
    That is a major step forward and when it happens Afc will certainly look far healthier.

    1. Stan. Guendouzi is going nowhere he is right at Hertha Berlin on loan and when he comes back he’ll be a star watch the space. Guendouzi on that #COYG

      1. @ stoner spot on…guendouzi is on fire at Hertha Berlin…watched his super goal yesterday…that’s another star on our hands…
        We will rule EPL for a long time very soon….others are buying youths at ridiculous fees, we are making a core of talented ones

    1. One thing about Laca, even when he refuses to score or was not scoring, nobody fault his work rate. So u have to have someone like that in ur team.

  22. Esr was good so far and i think is a promising player in future.Lacazette was sharp having scored brace congratulations.

  23. I would would have loved to see Miguel Azeez and Ben Cottrell come on. I think Willock is out of his depth, I say loan him out next season. Tierney, ESR and Saka is on fire🔥🔥🔥.

  24. Exciting to think where this team can go once Partey is back and Aubamayang starts banging them in again.

      1. I always say we aren’t as bad as we think we are when we lose and we aren’t as good as we think we are when we win.

        But overall the glass is half full because if the way we are winning – energy, creativity and youth.

        I find it sad though that when we inevitably lose a few games on the trot and underperform that the knives will be out for Arteta and many on here (present company included) will be mocked as “Arteta fanboys’

        Plus la change, plus la meme chose

        Thanks for asking SueP, keep the faith

  25. Arteta’s starting line-up was another strong positive today. Starting with both Auba and Lacazette, keeping faith in Smith- Rowe,and pairing Ceballos with Xhaka was the right way to go. This combination could really click as long as the manager has a plan B for when things aren’t working out.

  26. Hard to argue with the unfettered optimism, but let’s not lose our heads…I’m encouraged by our recent form, but we can’t get too caught up in the euphoria that comes with winning a few on the trot, especially considering the atmosphere at the club prior to the Chelski performance…if we don’t stay the course and continue to apply the necessary pressure on the club, there’s a good chance the powers that be will become complacent again and not do what is necessary to ensure our long-term success…so although I’m ecstatic to get another 3 points, especially in the manner in which we did so, maintaining some sense of perspective is imperative…wouldn’t it be f***ing amazing if we actually made some moves from a position of strength, instead of a position of desperation…in the past, whenever we’ve acted out of desperation our decision-making has been less than stellar…time to change the narrative

  27. Four goals, clean sheet, no injuries, Partey, Martinelli and Gabriel to be available, following three straight wins something to be positive about.

  28. Okay the last 3 wins have been good but Brighton and Westbrom were already considered “strugglers” seeing that they were doing even worse than us.. Chelsea as well had been on patchy form.

    If we get 10 points out of 15 from Palace, Newcastle, Southampton, Man U & Woves I will believe a revolution has started and jump on the positivity band wagon. For now I cannot get pumped from smashing relegation fodder.

    1. So true QD…if we can manufacture a minimum of 10 or 11 out of a possible 15 points, I think we can reverse some of the damage that incurred both internally and on the pitch during that incredibly poor run of games…of course this would be quite an astonishing turnaround considering our showing so far, but a little confidence boost coupled with some bad apples being shown the door and a creative addition, could really help restore some faith in the “process”

  29. What has happened to turn our fortunes around? I believe this has been mainly an accidental situation. When some senior regular players were sidelined we were inevitably forced to bring on Smith Rowe and Martinelli whose forward movement and speed were very instrumental in the Chelsea game. After such a stellar performance it was very difficult to drop those players for the next game and now it is a point of no return. However many voices had been calling for Willian to be dropped before all this. Also, injuries have now abated with long term absentees Pablo Mari, Emile Smith Rowe and Martinelli now fit to play. From now it is going to be difficult for any player to take playing time for granted which is very good. Similarly some players like Laca and Bellerin have regained form perhaps due to the lively players around them. In all this Arteta is the beneficiary and it is good he has learnt his lesson. Some of our fans who love bashing and caricaturising our players have also had their own lesson! We all know, and knew all along, that our players were not useless but some factors had impaired them.

    1. Well spoken David,
      I feel the manager finally has his first team, I hope so too.

      The last challenge would how to reintegrate martinelli, partey and Gabriel into the team without upsetting the balance and cohesion within this new eleven….
      for martinelli I’m really bothered as auba is captain and won’t be dropped….I pray for wisdom on arteta

      1. Excellent posts from David (as usual) and Instrooments.

        Enforced changes they most certainly were, but MA has grabbed the situation with both hands!!
        The interesting decisions will be Gabriel and Partey – along with Saliba, Guendouzi and Ozil.

  30. Hurray!!!!, this is what we have been shouting and saying since all these while that Arteta should change the formation and some old players…. These young lads had 100% record in Europe, first in the league this season and one of the best in arsenal team, then while benching them for unserious old folks who plays for money only and not for the club…. Thank God for covid(although not happy that there is covid) that makes arteta to rethink and change his tactics….
    I love all the young guns even including Willock, please arteta, don’t let us loose saliba, as he is a quality young player, please sell Louis, mustafi, sokratis, chambers…..
    Arsenal should also sign another creative player that will support Smith Rowe…

    1. I think Luiz should be kept as he is a good leader, and a potential coach at Arsenal. Also I have a slight soft spot for chambers and think he might be a good squad player. The rest I agree wholeheartedly!

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