Arsenal were breath-taking – but it’s the three points that matter

Watford v Arsenal Review byDN

Arsenal finally fielded a fully fit team against Watford yesterday, even if we still didn’t have a recognised centre-forward in the side, but who needs one when we play like that without one!

Ozil and Sanchez both got on the scoresheet and we saw many glimpses of the Arsenal of old, and we still have Giroud plus the new arrivals to come in for the rest of the season. Even Theo Walcott looked to be returning to his old self at long last, and it is he that gave a detailed review of our performance through his eyes, which always give the fans an insight into their mindset.

The England man spoke about the differences from the first two performances after the game: “We played some very good football at but we didn’t really take our chances. Today, we did. It might have been a slightly quieter second half but we all worked tremendously well actually. We’re disappointed with the goal, but overall you’ve got to look at the three points. It was really important just to get the three points today. The performance, to be honest, didn’t really matter. We had a bit of everything today.

“The guys up front and everyone on the pitch all worked tremendously hard. We tend to play our best football when we win it very high up the field and we managed to do that. Especially in the first half, I think some of the football we played was just breathtaking to actually be part of. In the second half we always knew there was going to be a reaction from Watford and the next goal was obviously very important. They managed to get that and the defence will be very disappointed with that, like myself. But like I say, three points – that’s all that matters today.

“Overall you’ve got to look at the whole game itself and 3-1, but it could’ve been a lot more. It really could’ve been, especially in the first half like you say. But we all really worked hard defensively today. Leicester, keeping a clean sheet today, I felt that the whole team worked really hard. We wanted a reaction today, we’ve trained well throughout the whole week and hopefully now everyone can go to the international break and hopefully come back fit.”

So the Gunners have finally got three points in the bag but Walcott is aware that we still have some catching up to do on the teams that started the season at full throttle. “We don’t want to get carried away. It’s only three games in, but it’s a good stepping stone. We’ve got a long way to go yet. We know there’s going to be points won in games everywhere, but like I said, the international break has probably come at a bad time for us really. But I’m sure we will bounce back from it when we come back.”

This first international break after just three games of the season really annoys me. The players are still only getting fully fit, and suddenly they are flying all over the world. Then when they return they suddenly have to play two club games in four days including the high profile visit to Paris to face PSG. Then the pressure really starts and we will need ALL our players fit and well.

At least we have proven we haven’t lost our stylish play,even if it was only against Watford.



  1. the signs are very good after yesterday display plus 2 new signings,the squad when fully fit looks pretty good to me,COYG!!

  2. I don’t think injuries will derail us this season, as we are well stocked in every department..that is my own joy.

    When you think we still have Ramsey,Iwobi,Perez,Giroud,Mustafi,Gabriel and even Gnabry still yet to really get play,then competition for places will be crazy…

    And don’t forget Welbeck will be back around Dec/Jan…what we just need is proper rotation and avoid overplaying some…

    1. Yes, Capital one cup might not be for the kids with the squad we will have.
      Senior ones might play there to have game times.

    2. The squad depth is nothing new. Every team in the league has got a deep squad. Look at chelsea with fabregers , remy, Pedro , Moses on the bench. This are all attcking players. So we need a deep squad to rotate and also to have and impact durring games.

      Most importantly to deal with our injury crises. The problem with Arsenal Injuries is that they are hardly ever spread. they focus on one position and kill the team. LAST YEAR it was midfield with cazorla jack Coquelin and Ramsey out at thesame time. This time around it was CB. Its crazy sometimes.

  3. As annoying as the international break is, i think it has come at a good time for us… we ended the month off on a high after a horrendous start, that will bring some confidence back. Also, these two weeks will help our 2 new signings intergrate into the arsenal setup better and allow others like giroud to get fully fit. Players like ramsey and iwobi should be back after the international break so its all positive so far. We need to make sure we keep winning after the international break ?

    1. Agree. We ended on a high, and I’m hoping we can come back with the drive to climb back up the table after a slow start.

  4. It was good to get the win, and we were excellent going forward in the first half, especially Sanchez and Ozil worked really well together.
    But we also have to admit, we gave way too many chances to a mediocre team. It is our usual problem, our midfielders don’t do well enough defensively. Ox is often way out of position and lazy too. Walcott worked really hard, which is an improvement, but he really doesn’t “fill enough” physically. And Cazorla has the same problem defensively. This means that with Sanchez and Ozil allowed to concentrate on the offensive (which they should), we don’t have enough defensive cover in the line-up from yesterday. We will get punished for it every time by good teams and occasionally also by the lesser teams.

    1. I thought Cazorla was excellent defending yesterday, he really helped out with Bellerin. Theo done ok and the three of them had good cover over there.

      1. The problem was Ox not tracking back to help Nacho. Walcott did ok? are you kidding me? He worked his ass out there. yes he didn’t score a goal but nobody was working harder than him. The basic ingredients are there. There are no easy away games in this league. I am happy with the way our team performed.

        1. That’s why I said he done ok, because he put a shift in defensively. Walcott is not a defender, even though he has defensive duties. Going forward I think Walcott wasted a couple of good chances, and he wasn’t making his advantage count. Overall it is better from Walcott, but I have seen him play very well off the last shoulder and yesterday was a game for that occasion with their three defenders and gaps out wide.

    2. @AndersS
      Watford are not a “mediocre” side. They’ve proven that they can beat any side out there on their day. Our problem was and still is, we drop off after scoring and invite teams to have a go at us. We should be shutting down teams instead of backing off and giving them the space to get back in the game. We need to be “ruthless” and continue putting pressure on them til the final whistle…

      1. @ NY Gunner..

        Very well said, that was the same Watford Chelsea struggled to beat…sometimes, we need to credit our team too,IMO,it was a comfortable win for us,one shouldn’t expect Watford to surrender without a fight…

        Having said that, it is true we always drop off after scoring a couple of goals and when we get some chances our attackers tends to deliberately waste those chances…as we saw from Walcott,Ox and Sanchez yesterday when they tried to lob the GK….we need to be more ruthless…

      2. Well, I don’t think Watford is more than at best a middle of the table team, and I think our weakness is very clear. We were great going forward, but our defensive organisation has to get a lot better, if we are to challenge for anything. Comparisons are of course difficult, but Chelsea allowed Burnley 6 shots on goal yesterday (0 on target), and Burnley never looked like scoring. Man U allowed Hull 8 shots (2 on target), and only 1 chance was a clear goal opportunity. We allowed Watford 14 shots ( 6on target) + we nearly scored an own goal.
        I just feel this is the main difference, and why we haven’t really competed for the title n years.

      3. i think why we dropped off and loss the tempo of the game was due to several factors

        – Arsenal wanted to play a counter attack which would have actually worked if sanchez , walcott and ox had finish the chances better or made better decisions

        – Some players still have not got up to speed yet in terms of fitness and game readiness

        – some players were lazy and shagging off with their defensive duties thinking the game was won already

        – and Watford made changes that we did not react to quickly enough

        My biggest complaint is arsenal must develop that killing instinct, beat teams when they are down, do not ease off the gas, this will allow us to put fear in the minds of our next opponents, but our attitude at this time tell teams we can be beaten even if we score first.

        But good 3 points a lot of room for improvements

  5. I think the second half went the way it did because at half time these boys went in and basically thought the hard work was over and a job well done. It would have been better for Arsene to make changes at the start of the second half. I remember even the Invincibles era you would hear pundits speak about this. Once you lower you’re drive thinking it’s over, they’d mention how difficult it is to get back to that mentality they had before kick off. It looked that way to me yesterday.

  6. Yesterday’s performance was good but we need to do more defensively and in our mental concentration. However, when everyone returns fully fit hopefully after the international break we will be stocked in every position, meaning there will be stiff competition for starting shirts, which is exactly what we need to keep everyone on top of their game. And with that attitude in the team we can consistently produce results that will enable us challenge strongly for the EPL this season.

  7. The problem is that people wanted us to play exciting football in the second half. Jack and Elneny came on to keep us tight and kill the game. we did exactly that. No easy games. But i Know some fans will always complain.
    Watford also gave a veruy good reaction in the second half. Which was expected so we should also give credit to watford. This are in ternational football players and not some sunday league boys.

  8. Breathtaking – is a bit much. But inter-play between Sanchez and Ozil was exciting to watch

    Sanchez looked back to his best- but only because he ignored his instructions to play a striker and picked the ball up wide or deeper

    Hope that’s last time we play Sanchez as our only striker. With new players coming we have a team genuinely capable of title aspirations


    1. Very true, that was a very gr8 goal, all the defenders switched off thinking the striker is on the wing so nothing could be done, then boom!! Goal

  9. Fantastic game, first win of the season, El Sancho back in form and Mesut back in the team. #YAGUNNERSYA.

    We have a big squad now, hopefully we will go all the way. On a side note, I think this window is a good time to get rid of deadwood.


  10. Great performance from the team…any update on monreal? It’ll be a shame to loose him for the PSG game as they are very potent on the wings. I believe Gibbs can handle the Southampton game

    1. he is not injured and he is not going on international games. so he will be fine. Gibbs is a good player and should be respected

  11. Can a team which scores 3 goals in the first half and none in the second half Win the Champions League against stiffer competition and the League title? Especially if they concede a goal in the second half too.

    I think teams which win trophies are mature and professional enough to not get complacent and believe they have won the game after scoring 3 goals.

    Also last season there was a stage Spurs were going to finish second because of their superior goal difference.

    This team should have played the second half like players who are paid to play at their best for 90 mins and not just 45 mins.

    This game could have ended as a draw or a loss, we’ve seen it happen many times.

    Good to have the 3 points, but poor attitude in the second half spoilt the game.

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