Middlesborough v Arsenal review – Gunners win but still a shambles

Arsenal obviously needed to pick up some Premier League points, even if you are like me and feel that our top four hopes are already over, but with all the negativity around the club and the team being on the worst away run and the worst league position since Arsene Wenger took over, we also needed Arsenal to get back to something like the way we can play.

Well the Gunners got one of those away to Middlesborough tonight, with a 2-1 victory over the relegation bound Boro, but our performance at the Riverside could hardly be called convincing or confidence building by any means, and I doubt very much whether any of the recent complaints from the fans or the questions from the football media will have gone away.

THere were two moments of real quality from Arsenal tonight, with Alexis Sanchez stepping up with a fantastic free kick to open the scoring shortly before the break. The Chilean also produced a great ball which Ramsey chested down perfectly for Ozil to finish with a lovely crisp right foot drive.

Apart from that, however, there was a lot of dross from the Gunners all over the pitch. We looked vulnerable at the back, nervous and uncertain in possession and pretty aimless in attack. The boss had made six changes to the starting XI and also the system, using a back thre of Gabriel, Koscielny and Holding, but it made little difference to our overall performance. THe way we failed to push on after the restart and let them score an easy leveller was criminal.

Arsenal did win though and we can only hope that the team pushes on and does the same again at the weekend against Man City in the FA cup. Judging on this performance I will not be putting any money on it. Would you?



  1. Kiko says:

    I hope that kid cherishes the shirt Alexis handed to him.

  2. Muffdiver says:

    Horrendous performance

    Shouts out to the soon to depart saviour of our past few years alexis sanchez

    Wengers lost the players.
    Don’t care where we end up he’s done

    1. eazyarsenal says:

      wrong ozil was our saviour last season with 19 assists whilst sanchez was poor and injured.
      Sanchez was also not motm

      1. Ddog says:

        Sanchez was average apart from the goal. Gave the ball away a lot, almost cost us a goal. The team worked hard tonight though. The won. Credit is due

        1. gmv8 says:

          He was probably better than average, but yes their goal was started by him losing it in midfield, which he did a lot, but that was in a dangerous position, and finished by the awful defending. I am thinking that the 3-4-3 formation will suit Mustafi better as well – it would mean that there should be no need for him to bomb forward, leaving it open at the back, and the communication between him and Kos is better than Gab. Bellerin could then move up, which would suit him better, and having Mertesacker shouldn’t be so problematic, as he will not need so much speed.

    2. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Yippee…..we won…..
      Expecting to hear from vlad , krish, midkemma and the Likes today

      *slimy secretions from periwinkle shells as AKBs emerge*

  3. Noel says:

    Omg did we win a game. For sure we will win the league now with Chelsea losing.

    Jokes apart, we look crap and I mean real crap.

  4. SoOpa AeoN says:

    A win is a win but this one is somewhat useless
    How a relegation team whom haven’t scored a goal in a long while manage to put one past us…..goes on to show how shambolic we have become.

    Didn’t i say something bout Negredo few days ago?

  5. Uzi Ozil says:

    Ozil won a sliding tackle today. Wow…

    1. Grey says:

      Ozil is a changed player all of a sudden. I am enjoying watching this new Ozil

  6. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Did you know that was a DRAW without an Alexis free kick?


    Something to think bout…..

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      yea go ahead and thumb down what you don’t understand…….. But you have to thank our stars a free kick was given(unlike other days when the ref tries to act funny) and Alexis was the taker
      What could have happened otherwise , you know not

  7. tweety says:

    a win is always a win. but the players lack confidence. for me it seems that the team is afraid to play and look nervous. aw should have made changes before not leaving it for the last two minutes. there were players who were not giving their utmost. maybe this result will give some more energy and trust next Sunday. gooner = forever

  8. BeastPanda says:

    Attacking wise I think second half we created a lot of chances. Piss poor finishing though by ox and giroud… Defence wise though absolutely shambles… Every single time they crossed the ball they got to the end of it. And we are talking Boro here not a top side… I did not like the no sub till 88th minute players could barely run after 80th minute. I have no idea why 6FT+ defenders of us always dodge under crosses still trying to find a reason…

  9. Robert says:

    Rubbish performance he has to go

  10. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Play this Krap against a half decent team and see the outcome…..


    1. AFC says:

      Dont know why people are thumbing you down when you are so right.I said a day or 2 ago that only boro and sunderland will get a goal or 2 against arsenal but for the rest of the teams that are still to play arsenal they will get goals galore.

  11. gotanidea says:

    Finally after twelve years, Wenger is willing to change that predictable 4-2-3-1 to 3-5-2 formation. Maybe he has been reading my posts about the three central defender formation 😀 ? I’m glad that he finally wants to do an experiment, which could be a good basis for the next season. Arsenal was dominating and fully deserved this win.

    Actually I didn’t expect anything, since this is a new tactic. The win is just a bonus to the good game. Arsenal was quite entertaining. Chamberlain was a really good wingback. The midfielders and the defenders were quite solid. And Giroud fought hard in the front. Hopefully they keep using the three central defender formation and its variants for this season, no matter what the result would be.

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:







      Tonight against Boro….we are uphill…..up next city LoL

    2. Verstellung says:

      Been hoping for the three at back as well

  12. John0711 says:

    Plus points
    We won
    Ox had a decent game
    Sanchez even when he’s not playing well still affects the game
    Holding looks better than Gabriel and Mustafi
    It was good to see ozil, Sanchez and Monreal attitude to the win

    And the Ox interview after was spot on

  13. John0711 says:

    Oh and I cannot think of a worse CM we’ve ever had than Xhaka

    1. ks-gunner says:

      rlly, you are overreacting a lot

    2. luvdaguns says:

      he is bad, flat out bad

    3. DayR97 says:


  14. Galen Sona says:

    Disapointed with Arsenal fans , not just on this forum but on most other forums. yes we are not at our best and our season has been a failure.

    But anyone wanting the team to lose , so that they can say we told you so, is not an Arsenal fan. I don’t care if you were born At Arsenal and your great grand parents were Arsenal fans.

    We have people wanting the team to lose every game and they are a disgrace to this club. yes i want us to do better , but i will never want us to Draw or lose so that a manager can go or players can be sold.

    We already know that we need improvemnets in the summer. We don’t have to hope opposition teams beat us so that the changes come. Its very shameful really. Arsenal for ever.

    Good victory boys, you faught hard.

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Yea……you are the saint(pretender)…..we are the sinners(crusaders)

      And we are willing to make sacrifices for the greater cause….
      One day when we have a better Arsenal under a New manager, i hope you bury your head in the sand.

    2. khangunners says:

      I think a fan is a fan you cant judge one or rate more than the other. And those fans its understandable coz they fear that if we win all games wenger will stay for two more years! So lets stop with this judging as blame falls on all fans those who are wengers lovers and cant even see that his time is up…..

    3. ThirdManJW says:

      @Galen Sona

      Other than Arsenal having a horrendous season (which has been coming for years), meaning the loss of a lot games, how else could change happen then? You’ve acknowledged we need change, so you’re obviously aware of the problems, but consistent mediocrity just keeps Wenger in charge for longer, and the board satisfied, whilst the fans continue to suffer.

      Like many other Arsenal fans, I hate having to protest, and wanting my team to lose, but extreme measures are needed when no other options are available. Consistent mediocrity, with zero progression for such a long period of time, has ripped out the soul of this club, and has now forced the fan into this position.

      I’m surprised that after all this time, you cannot see that we have needed a miserable season to force change for the good. And in fact, you’ve been proven wrong. Because for the first in around a decade, Wenger changed the formation, and for the first time ever, Wenger went for three at the back. That ONLY happened because of the poor season we’re having, and because of the fans. So change is starting to happen.

    4. ks-gunner says:

      We have become miserable, can you blame those fans though? Wenger and co are up for looking up to continue with their bs, and some players have given up arleady, so for who and what are fans actually rooting for?

      1. ks-gunner says:

        win our lose, at this moment it makes no diff whatsoever anyway, or am i wrong? even if dont reach cl, wenger will come up and compare us to the past failures of manure and chelsea, and most of the fans are going to take the exuses and keep being the sheep a like fans we have been till now

  15. khangunners says:

    Those three points were crucial atleast i can sleep tonight and just think about thaf beauty from sanchez. The game we were not in the game but its understandable considering the lack of form we hve.

    1. Grey says:

      That was a Beauty from Sanchez and judging from his action after match one can safely say the guy is happy playing for Arsenal..

  16. Goonerboy says:

    Is it just me but Alexis looked so happy….
    Never expected him to celebrate like that…

    But the performance wasn’t a vintage Arsenal as confidence has hit rock bottom…wish the boys good luck against City nxtwk

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Yeah, I’d like to say it made me optimistic about his future but it doesn’t.

      The players had words which Oxlade talked about, he talked about them taking responsibility. Alexis looked to me that he is the unofficial captain. There was a moment in the game at 1-2, when we had four or five forward and Alexis had the ball 40 yards out, he told them to calm down and decided not to give any of them the ball. A player like Alexis would usually drive forward, I thought it was very mature of him, even though it almost backfired as he lost the ball and Boro got a corner.

      Then the scenes at the end was great to see, if we had more of that togetherness all season long and during games I think things would look better.

  17. jack says:

    I’m not an Arsenal fan BUT backed them tonight to win as I ‘thought’ they would have been stung by the fans criticism last week – However, tbh, as a neutral, they looked like they were not playing for the shirt. Koschelny, Ox (particularly) and Cech apart, they are either not good enough or not trying (I lost count of the no of times that Sanchez gave the ball away and he didn’t even look at AW when he went off – he wants out 100%) – City will tear you apart next week I’m afraid.
    With Spurs and Chelsea playing the way they are, it’s probable;y just as well.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Who do you support.

      1. jack says:

        Fulham – but tonight I was supporting Arsenal big time, as I said, they were poor, against a poor team. If it wasn’t for the 2 bad close range misses into Cech’s hands they would have lost 3-2. Alexis looked disinterested and I think that the immense ‘joy’ and the shirt giving at the end was all for the cameras – he’s not stupid. He got taken off after 88 mins and eve knowing the immense pressure the manager is under, wouldn’t even touch his hand when he ran past him.

  18. ArseOverTit says:

    Average at best kind of performance. Some players raised their game to avoid an uncomfortable coach boarding but no cracks are papered over.

    That was relegation battling MB.


  19. isaaclys says:

    Alexis keeping us in top 7 again. Good lord since when are we only aiming for a top 7 finish now. Our defense is looking awful atm. I did rate Monreal but the lad has passed his prime and gibbs is not ready to fill his shoes yet.
    On a side note positive vibes were shown by Alexis at the end of the match, acknowledging the away fans and giving credits to the players, which is a bit surprising to me since he’d usually get a bit emotionally after he’s subbed.
    Not a great game but we got the job done. 3 points in the bag.

    1. isaaclys says:


    2. SoOpa AeoN says:

      *Heaven opens and an EPL trophy falls on us*

  20. jisig says:

    Must you people talk about Sanchez? Yes he’s one of the best we have, but he always get praises esecially on this gullible forum even when the whole team doesn’t perform. This is making him to feel like a god. He is just a one season greats like any other player. To me the team plays and won.

  21. ks-gunner says:

    In Alexis i trust. To me at this moment Arsenal is a one man team alone. If there is a future for us, it must be with Alexis around. Without him there is no hope whatsoever.

    Wenger needs to go and a new manager needs to have the quality to work with

  22. Proper Gooner says:

    Yes a Galen there are some right knobs masquerading as gooners around this site and other sites too. Agree Wenger out but wanting the team to loose is disgraceful.

  23. Break-on-through says:

    Shambles is a bit strong Bob. I liked that the effort was there and I especially liked the way Alexis and others reacted after the game.

    I’d say the three players that stood out most were Alexis Oxlade and Ramsey, a good industrious display from the two Brits and Alexis’s class shone threw with decisive moments. Big goal from Ozil which was nice and am glad for him. I agree with what Neville and Carragher said in studio, we were never gonna be at our best, the effort from players was good.

  24. luvdaguns says:

    the two players that scored are all but gone, 6th place won’t attract flies, unless a strong manager is brought in, next year will be poor…

  25. muff d says:

    just seen ox’s interview
    excellent to hear

    love you ox

  26. Eddie Dandy says:

    Wenger will say the win was all down to him for changing the formation of the team. BULL XXX
    Arsenal were lucky tonight and Wenger knows it. You can see it the players have stopped playing for Wenger. Why can’t the board see this and move on with someone new with fresh ideas. Because if Wenger is still at Arsenal next season and given £ 200m to spend he won’t spend half of this and Arsenal will become a top ten team our new Cup.Wenger must go.

  27. Grey says:

    The former King of Assists now into Slide-Tackling? The guy has improved defensively, keep up the spirit Ozil.

  28. HA559 says:


    I don’t think we will ever see this attacking lineup, which is a shame as I was looking forward to it from start of season.

    There is no link between defence and attack, mostly because midfielders don’t play many passes forward (even short ones) and also because there is no real defensive midfielder who is making crunching tackles. Cquelin comes on in 90 minutes bounces of a Boro player, next minute he thinks he is Hnery on the left wing…that is our DMF?

  29. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Ive never felt so miserable after a WIN

    A couple of years ago we were just two signings from a PL winning team
    A DM and another Top Forward

    Now we need:
    1. Top DM
    2. Top Forward (either CF or winger)
    3. Top LB
    4. Another reliable CB
    5. Reliable backup RB

    And let go of several average players

  30. HA559 says:

    We will need to pack our midfield vs City otherwise they will over run us easily.

  31. ger burke says:

    give wenger that contract extension before he changes his mind. he is god,nobody works miracles quite like wenger. . lets wait for the impending announcement, hahahahahaha.

  32. Ronny says:

    Would love to know what SANCHEZ said to ozil at the end of the game that made ozil laugh.
    It was a bit of a bizarre and surprising reaction from Sanchez after the game considering his gesturing during. Guess the guy just loves to win also be the moto, (not for me).
    On his goal it was vital and struck well but not a beauty as some people say. It wasn’t out of reach of a better and unsighted keeper.
    As for the 2nd goal I’m delighted to see someone other than ozil and SANCHEZ be involved with a goal namely Ramsey.

  33. We only have 2 to 3 player that can compete in the top flight and that’s the more reason why we are always battered by Teams with real dept. The board is really affecting the this Arsenal team because they are all after their pocket and not the progress of the Team. We played against a relegation battling team and I don’t think we should be happy to force out a win cos we are more respected than them cos we av been in this league for years and the manager knows better how to play the league better. My own say to this is that we need not only talented players in each department but players that have the hunger for trophy but not just to win a match. We play at times as if we have no goal or objectives and that’s so pathetic wasting money to watch a team playing like a cripple. We need a good Driector who has the passion for this club to progress and I believe we will be where we want to be..COYG!!!

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