Not our best performance but Arsenal clinch all three points

Arsenal have taken all three points from their clash with Watford this afternoon, no thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gunners started brightly, working our way up the field at speed, and it didn’t take long before we had the ball in the net. Bukayo Saka’s goal was rightly ruled out for offside by VAR however. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had failed to take control of the ball, with his touch going away from the open goal, with the young Gunner Saka finishing off the move. Unfortunately Auba had been onside if he had only been the one to take control of the ball when he had the chance.

We struggled to get in behind the defence for a while after, with both sides seemingly cancelling each other out, while Danny Rose was playing with Spurs blood in his veins with a number of rash challenges going unpunished.

That man Rose was then punished for somewhat of a clothesline on Lacazette in the box, with Auba given the chance to put us ahead 10 minutes before the break. It just wasn’t his day however, as the Gabon international failed to convert, with his effort nice and high and rather central for the keeper to block it.

We went into the break knowing we should be ahead with a tense feeling, and we didn’t appear to come out after the break full of steam either.

We struggled largely to cause serious trouble to our rivals, but we did manage to get that all-important goal, although in controversial circumstance.

Danny Rose had played the ball out with their player down on the ground, but Lacazette opted not to give the ball back to the Hornets, and we ultimately scored from the action, with Ben White being dispossessed on the edge of the box, only for the loose ball to fall into the path of ESR, and he didn’t turn down the chance to send it home.

We then had the ball in the net once again after Bukayo Saka and substitute Martin Odegaard had carved out an opportunity in the box, only for an offside Auba to tap the ball in when it had already been destined to cross the line without his input.

The stats showed that our dominance was throughout, with us having at least two thirds of the possession for much of the 90 minutes, but it was definitely a day to forget for Aubameyang on a personal front, one which may be forgiven thanks to the final result.

On a positive note, Smith Rowe’s goal means that he is the youngest Arsenal midfielder to score in three consecutive matches, joining Jose Reyes and Nicolas Anelka as the only under-21 players to complete the feat.

Patrick

Tags arsenal v watford Watford

202 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    My MOTM is Smith-Rowe. He scored the winning goal and worked very hard to defend/ attack

    Maitland-Niles did a great job to win the ball from Sarr and White’s dribbling ability made it easier for Smith-Rowe. If Watford didn’t have Foster, they could’ve conceded more goals

    1. Skills1000 says:

      This game was one of a kind.
      In my opinion, Pepe and Lacazette should be taking penalties.

      Well done guys. Good job Arteta.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I think Lacazette won’t take penalty anymore because he is leaving

        1. Skills1000 says:

          Wow. We should give lacazette a 2 year contract. We gave Xhaka, Why not Lacazette.

          It is key we extend Lacazette deal. It is the best thing to do.

          We have top strikers above 30 still banging in goals. Lewandosky, Benzema, Zlatan.

          1. Reggie says:

            I think AMN was MOM for me, very strong and effective.

          2. gotanidea says:

            I bet Arsenal have offered him one year extension, but he might want three years as his last big contract. I agree that Lewandowski and Benzema are still the best CFs in the world, despite their ages

          3. Havyn says:

            He’s 30 so why 2yr contract and for how much. He’s paid 182k a week and we’ll be having another Ozil problem on our hands.

    2. jon fox says:

      ES-R clearly MotM and by a country mile! How AM-N got the award was a joke !

      I thought we missed PARTEY WHOM AM-N STOOD IN FOR AND BOY HOW IT SHOWED., as he was no better than just ok.

      And lets not forget that Auba cost us three goals; one bad miss, one penalty of a schoolboy standard and another needless touch that made it offside, when MO’s shot was going in and needed to be left alone

      1. gotanidea says:

        I believe Maitland-Niles got the award because he was the best defensive midfielder in the game. I thought he was excellent, but Smith-Rowe did a phenomenal defending work as a winger

        About Aubameyang, he had a bad day. At least he tried hard to press and to defend

      2. John Ibrahim says:

        so Auba has to go now?

  2. kev says:

    Auba had one of those games where he couldn’t use stats(goals) to cover up for his above average overall play. The funny thing is that this is how he’s mostly been since we signed him but difference then is he was racking up the goals to cover up for it. When I look at this season I believe AMN has been better than Lokonga who is just more likable. From the eye test alone AMN has been better. I’ve been wondering why he hasn’t been starting with Partey. It was a typical here and there performance against a small team sitting back. The international break will give the chance for some rest and hopefully the injured players will be back after the break.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I guess because Lokonga seems to have better passing range and accuracy. I also prefer Maitland-Niles because he is faster, but maybe his playing style is too similar to Partey and Arteta might want a DM to stays behind to protect Partey

      1. kev says:

        Partey can cover up for that passing range. Niles can do it too to an extent. If Niles is similar to Partey then I don’t really see how different Lokonga is to Partey. It is the discipline to play the role that matters and Niles can play as a DM or box to box.

    2. guy says:

      AMN was excellent today and has been good all season. What’s worked against him is his history. Until now he used to drift out of games, lose concentation and make sily mistakes. We all remember how poor he was at WBA.
      That inconsistancy has been why Arteta has been slow to trust him, whereas although on a good day AMN can look more impressive, Lokonga has never let us down, and is still improving.

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        @guy
        We don’t judge players how they were on their loan spells. Otherwise Matteo and Saliba would be in our staring 11…
        AMN, due to his being played in different positions has evolved into a total footballer.
        He’s showed that today.

        1. kev says:

          Guendouzi is so overrated by a lot. Bennacer that we lost and again rejected a chance to bring back was better yet you don’t’ see much about him.

          1. NY_Gunner says:

            @kev
            You haven’t been watching Matteo play, it seems…

            1. kev says:

              I’ve seen him though not consistently. Still overrated

              1. NY_Gunner says:

                @kev
                Admit bias, instead of denying the kids talent.

                1. kev says:

                  No bias. I always said this when he was here

      2. kev says:

        Yes but in the few times AMN has played this season he has looked better overall than Lokonga. He is also always in and out of the team which is a big problem for his style of play and also affects his consistency. Lokonga was bypassed a lot in midfield earlier in the season. He has recently improved.

    3. Davi says:

      Lokonga is a much better passer, has a bit of vision. AMN has just about everything else but needs to show concentration and consistency (needs a run of games as well, otherwise how can he show that?)
      I think they’re similarly talented players overall with fairly complimentary skillsets. Could both be major players for arsenal in the future

  3. Eddie says:

    AMN MOTM for me.
    Did a fantastic job in that Midfield.
    Saka is slowly getting back to his best.
    Auba today pisses me off, doing nonsense and smiling afterwards.
    He knew he was clearly offside, yet he went for the ball when he saw it was going straight for the post, and then he starts laughing.
    Had a very poor game, losing that penalty.
    Lokonga did a great job alongside AMN.
    Defense is immense, 7 clean sheets out of 10 games is huge improvement.
    Thank the heavens Arteta brought in these guys instead of those Kia’s agent Edu kept on bringing into those clubs.
    Raul gave Cedric and Mari the contract when they were initially loans.
    Happy for ESR and the whole team.
    Onwards, the huge test now is Liverpool at Anfield, an Herculean task.
    Now I have to deal with the useless Int break for two weeks, Dear God!
    All in all, big positive for the young team, despite missing a penalty, having a goal ruled off.
    They came with the win.
    I have no more complaints about the game.

    1. Kedar says:

      Aubameyang cost us 3 goals
      Score line would have been much better
      1st when Saka was offside.. Aubameyang missed 1st touch and that’s why Saka put that away but he was offside…
      2nd when he missed penalty..
      And 3rd one was pathetically touch the ball
      Score line would have been 4-0 amd we would have had +3 GD

      1. Wale says:

        Arsenal fans have started again, never satisfied…. AMN played one full match today, he is already better than lokonga?, the person that make our midfield to be calm and didn’t allow counter attack from our opponent with good pass range…. Auba lost penalty and so what? We won ( thanks to smith Rowe) and got our deserved 3points, while our rival drew and lost( Leicester, tot, Everton and man utd) and some fans are here again nagging some players, is it easy to disallow early goal, missed penalty and come back to claim the 3 points. If it is that easy, ask Chelsea against Burnley.
        This is premier league, there is no any small club here, any 3 point you grab be happy with it whether you play well or not… Chelsea won Brentford with just a goal and they jubiliated as if they won the league in which Brentford played them hands down, their fans didn’t complain about how sloppy they were instead they said best team sometimes win with luck….
        Thanks gunners for the 3 important Pont….

    2. kori says:

      @Eddie. you cant fault auba. that’s what strikers do, they will always try to put the ball in the net whether on side or offside. however he did have a poor game but the good thing is that we won.

      1. Davi says:

        If he’d been sharper he would have left it in case he was offside. I think he was desperate to score at that point because he’d missed the penalty.
        That we can win a PL game with Auba playing so badly is kind of a positive tbh

    3. Emeka Frederick says:

      AMN is MOTM for everyone today.

      1. Blaze says:

        @Emeka
        For you
        Can’t play for any decent team for me.
        Average performance, couldn’t dominate but for awful Watford.
        No one deserves it based on today, but if I’m to chose I’ll go for Saka

      2. jon fox says:

        Speak for yourself only. Not for me. ESR by miles was my MotM.

  4. Declan says:

    Very close MOM for me, ESR, White and AMN.

  5. DaJuhi says:

    What was the reason Auba was given full 90 minutes? He almost cost us the game ffs.

    It took us 11 games to get a neutral GD. What are the chances its back to negative in 2 weeks time?

    Happy with win but definitely not about performance.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Maybe because he is the captain and one of the most influential players because of his age/ career at Arsenal. Replacing him will only ruin the team’s harmony

      1. Davi says:

        Would have liked to see Laca given some time as the main CF at the end. He’s been doing a lot of donkey work to improve the team so I thought he’d earned that chance to get a goal for himself.

        1. gotanidea says:

          I’d like to see it too, but it can only happen if Aubameyang is injured

        2. guy says:

          If we play him as a CF we lose that midfield bite and that wonderful link-up play. We have others who can play CF, but nobody who can play that slightly withdrawn role. He’s critical to our success where he is, and I wouldn’t want to lose that.
          I certainly think that Auba should be dropped, but suspect that while our locker is full of strikers, all three (Nketiah, GM and Balogun) are either not ready or more suited to a support/wide striker role. I think it’s as likely we buy a CS as a midfielder in the next window, and I would love it if we had a decent offer for Auba.

          1. Davi says:

            I agree – I just meant for the last 15 minutes or so with Odegaard replacing Auba instead of him on this occasion

    2. Kev82 says:

      We play like that at Anfield it’ll be 2022 before we haul back the negative goal difference lol

      1. Lenohappy says:

        🤣🤣🤣🤣

  6. RSH says:

    How many times have we let this game get away from us? I have to credit arteta and I am seeing a mentality change within this club FINALLY. I’m seeing players willing to fight, embrace the ugly parts of the game and get the points. Watford didn’t have a sniff besides for one error from us. Also, let’s remember this game really should’ve been a comfortable win. Even tho auba was no help today, other players stepped up. It’s different players every week I feel too. AMN today immense, same with white, and saka had some awesome deliveries. Well done to arsenal and arteta today.

  7. Highbury Hero says:

    That is more like it. They keep going this way it might become a habit like it was before. Now let’s get into top 4 and the table will be looking pretty to look at again.

    Happy with the way we are going but with reservations.

  8. Hill says:

    Taveres is a treasure; Tierney may find it hard to regain his place in the starting 11

    1. gotanidea says:

      I wish Tierney regains his confidence, to cut inside like Tavares. The last time he did it was at West Brom stadium, in January

    2. instrooments says:

      Exactly hill…after his debut I knew it was a matter of time before he owns that position…the team is so balanced right now. Esp with Laca and Tavares coming in…..

      The Liverpool game would be pretty close than people expect… finishing chances might be the difference on the day…..so proud of the lads

    3. kingandroidx says:

      I had same thought. But thru out d game, I realize Tierney passing inside opponent box is better than Taveres and Taveres defend skill is better than Tierney.

    4. Longbenark says:

      I think Tavares can play midfield in a 4-3-3 , he’s got energy, speed and direction.

  9. Quantic Dream says:

    A good win! I must say I really don’t trust Lokonga. AMN should partner Partey in the next match IMO.

    1. Longbenark says:

      Lokonga is light weight, Maitland-Niles should partner Partey against Liverpool in my opinion.

  10. Dan kit says:

    Typical Arteta set up so no surprise with the dire football ,but got the 3 points so suppose that will keep some fans happy .
    I nearly switched it off after 60 mins it was like torture having to watch that .
    Anyway Onwards and upwards .

    1. Kev82 says:

      It was a hard watch Dan. Auba was atrocious! God only knows why he was kept on for the entire game I would have preferred Nketiah up there. Dreading the Anfield game.

      1. kori says:

        in my opinion it was a hard fought game. we are not going to have many games which we dominate from start to finish. and arsenal is just regaining their confidence. the all important stat that matter is that we have the 3 points.

    2. gotanidea says:

      You call six shots on target out of eleven shots and 61% ball possession a dire football? You’re not objective

      1. Dan kit says:

        Oh goodness 6 shots on target 😂
        That’s where your standards obviously drop below mine then GAI .
        It’s great that that kind of football gets you out of your seat buddy I’m happy for you .
        Maybe if we get 7 shots on target and 62 % possession next game it might get me out of my own seat .

        1. Alanball08 says:

          Mr kit

          For once in.your life be happy we got the 3 points amd we are moving up the table
          I get it you dont want MA as our manages . You have made clear on here 1000s of times with your comments
          Your negativity and comments are at times hard to digest

          1. Dan kit says:

            Well dont read them then @Alan keep on scrolling buddy .
            I gave my opinion and said I did t like what I watched ,now how is that being negative, that is me telling it as I saw it .
            Now what’s your problem with that ,I did t enjoy the game get over it and move along .

            1. Alanball08 says:

              Dan I have read your rants over the months and even agreed with some at times but if you don’t like the manager and you don’t like the way we play even when we win then I suggest to you switch your team or switch off and don’t watch us so you don’t have to write about your negative thoughts buddy
              Come back when we lose and when MA is sacked I am sure you will enjoy that buddy

        2. RSH says:

          six shots on target is standard, thats not low at all. Not every game can be 20 shots, 10 on target. see stats of a typical EPL match, it will hover around 6 or even lower for one side. Also, this was essentially a 3-0 win that Mikel set up. Auba took a goal away from Odegaard and missed a pen. If we won 3-0 that comfortable. But obviously that did not happen, and we were still able to hold it together for the win. There we good quality chances created today. I think it’s inaccurate to compare it to the earlier poor games this season.

        3. gotanidea says:

          Aside from that, we pinned Watford down in their half, limited their shot-on-goal to one shot only and made several golden chances

          We used to dominate the games in similar manner during Wenger’s time, so your derogatory statement about standards is ridiculous

          1. Dan kit says:

            What the hell as Wengers time here got to do with my standards that I expect from this Arsenal team .
            Like instead of just writing for the sake Of it ,think before you press send
            And
            Let’s not talk about ridiculous statements shall we GNI .

            1. gotanidea says:

              Standards must be set based on our prime era, which is during Wenger’s time. If you set your standards based on the ones we have never achieved at Arsenal, it means your standards are absurd

        4. jon fox says:

          Dan kit “your standards” are way unrealistic and when they are not met, you post negatively. Negativity is your natural state IMO.

    3. guy says:

      Dire football? Not sure what game you were watching…

      1. Dan kit says:

        Obviously a different game to you @Guy

    4. Bob says:

      Hilariously bad analysis.

      1. Dan kit says:

        My opinion Bobby
        Not sure why some of you get so defensive when someone sees a game different to others .
        How anyone can say they enjoyed that game is beyond me ,but maybe my standards haven’t dropped to yours just yet .

    5. Eddie says:

      You watched that, saw a disallowed goal, Auba missing a penalty, and another second half goal disallowed and you say that was dire and pin it on the manager’s set up?
      Some of you will never let go of your agenda against the manager

      1. Dan kit says:

        No agenda Eddie just say it as I see it
        Better than being really cringe with the overhype nonsense wouldnt you say buddy

    6. instrooments says:

      Am surprised Dan with the dire football comment… Watford were outclassed all-round…. we are currently a different beast in the league, soon people would acknowledge how dominant the team has become…. arteta has hit a gold mine finally, y’all just watchout and be amazed by our results this season

    7. kev says:

      Our football isn’t pretty but its not dire either. Its the lack of control and playing in phases which is the problem

    8. Lenohappy says:

      Dan I won’t call that dire football, we had 6 shots on target, we had a penalty and a disallowed goal, Watford only had one shot on target so I will take the positive in the match. I believe we can get something from anfield.

      1. Dan kit says:

        Well atleast you wasn’t rude in your response @Leno .
        I’m not sure why having 6 shots on target against Watford is anything to write home about TBH.
        I’ll always say it as I see it ,I did it with our last 2 managers and I’ll do the same thing with Arteta .

    9. SueP says:

      I wouldn’t describe it as dire, Dan kit, but I agree that it was flat. But I will happily take a win however it comes along and 5th place is better than 20th.

      1. Reggie says:

        The football was dire today, mainly because of Watfords tactics and not Arsenals. Watford just fouled and broke the rythm. The fact Auba was so liable for not taking gilt edge chance meant Watford didn’t need to do anything other until later in the game after we scored.

        1. guy says:

          Good analysis Reggie.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Hang on Reggie said the football was dire ,but you say good analysis @guy 😂

            1. guy says:

              He blamed it on Watford’s tactics, DK. I saw it for what it was – we had to stand up for ourselves and I thought we did that really well. A dire game in that respect but we dealt with it how we had to. Thoroughly enjoyed us not allowing a team to kick us of the pitch. And I certainly wasn’t considering turning it off…

        2. SueP says:

          Fair point!

    10. Adeyemii says:

      Some fans in justarsenal only see negatives in any arsenal match, the number one person is @Kev. This is a match we won with total three points. You don’t expect all matches to be easy, if Chelsea were able to get three points against Burnley yesterday they ll be more than happy. Point to note, even if we play eleven messi all time the team ll still struggling in some matches that’s football

      1. Reggie says:

        Adeyemil, i actually thought it was a good performance in the main now but it was on a knife edge, that if we had drawn or lost even, it would and could be looked at differently.

        1. SueP says:

          On the money Reggie

          1. Reggie says:

            Sue P, i was pleased with the deserved win but there was lots of things that went on that could have changed the result and what is now a great win could have been a real bummer, so to speak and probably set us back as far as progress. BUT we won and it was great!!!!!

            1. guy says:

              We didn’t actually play well, skill wise, but it was the appetite of the players – that was the reason I enjoyed it – so nice to see us kicking them back for a change!
              Look at the comments on Auba after a win – I can’t imagine what we would be saying if we hadn’t!

  11. Uzi Ozil says:

    I was worried with the way the game was going..

    Var on Saka goal rightly so…
    Aubameyang missed Pk…
    Ode would have made it two if not for Aubamenyang touch (offside)
    Missed chances….

    But glad we got the require points and clean sheet too..

    1. R says:

      Don’t forget it was Auba who passed to Saka in an offside position, when he could have shot.

      So basically Auba missed a clear chance, missed a penalty and prevented a goal for us today.

      1. Kedar says:

        I don’t think it was pass from Aubameyang…
        It was missed touch and that’s why ball dropped into the path of Saka

        1. R says:

          Kedar, exactly.

          As I said missed opportunity … it was bad first touch from Aubameyang which turned into pass.

          He could have controlled better or shot at sight, he did neither of those.

  12. Reggie says:

    First the negative, i dont think i have ever seen a player take away so much from a team as Aubameyang did today. The last 15 mins was a worry, it was Watford and we should be controlling them. If Watford had have got anything out of that game, it would have been a disaster. On the plus though, AMN and Lakonga were sensational together, Tavares must be the buy of the season and Lacca was fantastic. It was only 1-0 with a controversial goal but in a lot of ways it was so much more than that and a vital win. We are back in where we should be and from now the season starts with proper games coming up to gauge our true progress. But Aubameyang needs locking in a room with a TV and made to look at that performance, it was a shocker at best and embarrassing at worst.

    1. Kev82 says:

      Well said Reggie 👍

    2. instrooments says:

      Spot on Reggie…150m well spent… funny how early season it looked like wasted funds….wat a transfer window..all 5 players have greatly improved the first eleven….. kudos to arteta and edu👏👏

      I just wonder how it would turned out, if Abraham came in too, probably would have been the striker of the season too, who knows

      1. Reggie says:

        Ramsdale, Lakonga and Tavares are steals, White is starting to look good, Tomiasu is ok ish but Odergaard a waste. But overall money well spent.

        1. babasola says:

          What Crap ?

          Presently Tavares is the one catching our fancy
          But Tomiyasi is a great buy
          Odegaard is wonderful

          Sincerely, Lokonga is our least performing buy at the moment
          For Me Its:

          1. Ben White
          2. Ramsdale
          3. Tavares
          4. Tomiyasu
          5. Lokonga

    3. guy says:

      Spot on Reggie – I have to agree with GAI’s theory that the only reason Auba still get’s a spot is because MA doesn’t want to disturb the team morale ATM by dropping the skipper. He was truly awful (although at least he ran a lot) and his smile when he intercepted Ode’s shot and got the goal disallowed was quite frankly discraceful.
      Loved the grit and backbone of the other 10 though.

      1. Reggie says:

        Odergaards shot wasn’t going in but it was still embarrassing that he should be so unaware what was going on around him.

        1. guy says:

          I reckon is was going in off the inside of the post. Just watched it again on MOTD.

    4. SueP says:

      Definitely agree Reggie

    5. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 👍 👍 Aubeyang for such an experienced forward appears to play himself offside to often. He appears to have lost the art of playing off the shoulder of the last defender.

      1. Reggie says:

        Ozzie, i am an Auba fan but today was the most innept, lapsidasical performance i have ever seen by a professional in all of my life. He was actually an hinderance to the team and sunk to levels i have never seen before from a player. He was awful!!!!

  13. guy says:

    I disagree – I thought it WAS a good performace. A 4-0 (oops thanks Auba, I mean a 1-0) drubbing. Sorry if I offend but Auba was GARBAGE!
    A really good performance let down only by the final score. Saka back to his best, ESR, Laca and ALL of the defence were superb! We played with grit, style and although outmuscled in midfield we never surendered control. The final ball and Auba were the only reasons it wasn’t a landslide.
    A special shout out to AMN. He was better than Lokonga today and although he’s not Partey I can no longer call him a “weak link”.
    What I enjoyed was that Watford tried to bully us but, even without Partey or Xhaka, we gave as good as we got and they couldn’t do it. We pressed throughout and kept playing football.
    A collector’s piece at last – a Ramsdale error.
    Auba apart, I was very impressed with every man jack out there.

    1. Lord Mortivor says:

      Well said guy👍

      1. Reggie says:

        Guy, i think what we have now is braver players, Tavares, Gabriel, Lakonga, Partey (AMN) Lacca, Esr ans Saka dont back down.

        1. Davi says:

          Exactly – braver with and without the ball. You can throw Tomi and ramsdale in your list as well

    2. Dan kit says:

      A good performance?im not sure what game you was watching…

      See what I did there guy

      1. jon fox says:

        I saw what you did. You used schoolboy bad grammar! “You was”? You were, is correct!

  14. PJ-SA says:

    Gabriel MOTM for me,totally dominant.

    Terrible game from us but happy with the 3 points. I think Partey carries us a bit more than we realise!

  15. Declan says:

    Do Hammers need to lose by 7 for us to go 4th? Sorry too many JDs to work it out🤪

  16. Dee says:

    How can this help Dean Smith

  17. Marty says:

    Good battling performance. Can someone explain why Rose wasn’t sent off after his assault on Laca. He led with his arm and knew exactly what he was doing. I thought that’s what VAR was for. Let’s hope Auba has got that game out of his system, he was awful.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Probably cz it wasn’t that bad and Laca milks any contact way too much.

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        @PJ-SA
        You obviously had blinders on. That was a rugby hit.

        1. PJ-SA says:

          You’ve obviously never played rugby

          1. NY_Gunner says:

            @PJ-SA
            Don’t have to play rugby to know what a rugby hit looks like dude…Get outta ya feelins, go sit down somewhere and shake it off.

      2. Ozziegunner says:

        Took Lacazette around the head with a “coat-hanger”; a red card in Rugby.

  18. Sean Williams says:

    At Man City whoever does not perform does not play, gets dropped. Aubameyang has to learn he can only get in the team if he performs. Poor, poor performance from him. Not a captains performance. He needs a rest.

    1. guy says:

      A very, very long one, Sean!

    2. RSH says:

      who should start ahead do you think? Simple fact is that Arteta does not rate Martinelli and wouldnt start him there. Eddie, no way is better than even an out of form Auba. Not many options, so not surprised we are linked with striker in January. We may need one for 2nd half of the season, because I dont think we are going to get the old Auba back unfortunately.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Trouble is if he doesn’t play Martinelli how can he judge him? ESR & Saka responded by playing games so MA should give Martinelli a proper chance.

  19. Bello Mubaraq says:

    Did anyone not notice how BenWhite was heading upfront? I asked myself, how could he dribble like that…. He was equally MOTM alongside ESR and SAKA.

  20. Balkestud says:

    If Auba had half of Kane’s intelligence he could be the best striker in the world…surely there is someone on the team who is a better penalty taker

    1. RSH says:

      looking at the stats, auba has been more intelligent than kane this season 😄

      1. guy says:

        Nice, RSH!

  21. Tomorrow says:

    2 disallowed goals, a goal line clearance and a missed pen. Today had all the markings for a boggy match.
    But unlike Chelsea against Burnley, Arsenal saw this one out.

    The matches we are playing are games we can still improve, expected with a young team but at the same account we are picking up points.

    Biggest jump in the league by any team this weekend.

    Biggest test will come after the international break. Looking forward to seeing such up coming matches to see how we fair.

    Must add, today was a game in the past we would of conceded and drawn, even lost it.

    So I hope some find positives in the development stage of ours which shows…we are difficult to beat.

    Another clean sheet, White MOTM

    1. guy says:

      I couldn’t pick one out, Tom – he was superb (I hope he starts getting the credit he deserves now), but so was Tomi, so was Laca, so was ESR, so was Tavares – I could go on. See what I mean!
      OK – off to look at the league table now…

      1. Reggie says:

        AMN has to be MOM.

      2. Tomorrow says:

        True. I pick White because he commanded the defence today (while in recent weeks Gabriel has been credited) and hes forward runs was refreshing to see,
        mainly because he can read the game so well to appreciate when its needed (rather then just going forward when we are bored) and this led to our goal

        Alot if 8 rating today from players, ANM, Laca (winning another pen), tomi…

        It really could/ should have been 4 – 0 but maybe the hype from that would of been a disparity to the fact we are still not at our peak!

        Enjoy the table review. Hopefully Liverpool loss and another invincible attempt stopped in its track.lol

  22. Kedar says:

    Liverpool is trailing…
    I wish they would loose today..
    If they loose then they will no longer finish the season as invincible and will dropped to 4th spot just 2 points ahead of us..
    And if we beat them at Anfield( which is unlikely though) then we can overtake them

  23. Dunchirado says:

    Chelsea drew with a very similar
    performance yesterday.So happy we won

  24. Argooner says:

    Lay off Auba. It just wasn’t his day, nothing more. Sometimes one or two players might not have the best performances, but as long as they’re putting in a shift there’s no need to jump on them. The team is winning together and that’s the most important thing.

    1. Sue says:

      Well said 👍

    2. guy says:

      There’s a difference between criticising his performance and him as a person Argooner.
      Everybody agrees he is really trying hard, whereas previously he took stick for his attitude and demeanor on the pitch. He arguably lost us three goals today because he was soo poor. We can’t keep selecting a player just because he tries hard – that’s not how football works.
      Probably the “don’t change a winning team” argument and the fact he wears the captain’s armband are the only things keeping him his place right now.

      1. Argooner says:

        That’s my point. Any player can have a bad day art the office, but he made some good runs and worked hard for the team. He made a couple of mistakes and highlighting them and vilifying him for them is unnecessary. He was perhaps over eager to make up for his errors, but how many times have his goals got us results? Calling for him to be dropped is reactionary and short sighted, perhaps a fairer assessment would be that he should be taken off of penalty duty.
        By the way, I’m not convinced the Odegaard shot was as clear-cut a goal as many think, to meet looked like it was heading towards post and then who knows whether it would have gone in or not. This, however, is just another example of the fanbase looking for someone to criticize needlessly, as Xhaka is inured and Odegaard didn’t start.

        1. guy says:

          In most games he is the only out and out striker we have AG – so he SHOULD be scoring most of the goals. I don’t think you can say he scored most of them because he’s an irreplaceable player. A lot were tap-ins, rebounds, penalties. He WAS a great player, before he signed his latest contract. But you can’t live off past glories forever. If you just want someone who runs around enthusiastically for £13 MILLION POUNDS A YEAR, heck I’m your man, although I can’t do the backflips.
          If you read all of the comments a lot of the critics today are pro-Auba people. If you read most match reviews ANY player who has a poor game takes flack. And if they do it often or for long enough and they’re the highest paid player at the club they turn their fans into critics. Just ask Ozil.

          1. Argooner says:

            I appreciate that its probably just hyperbole but the “I could do what Auba does” thing is so cliched. The team is doing well, Auba has been doing well, he just didn’t have the best game today.

    3. WelshRamsey says:

      Agreed, he’s had an off game today but hes still been in some scoring form for us along our 10 game unbeaten run. Someone commented further above about auba needing intelligence like kane. The kane who’s been a disaster this season. Some fans just want to complain for the sake of it

  25. instrooments says:

    Am so proud of the lads and the hard-fought victory today…

    This weekend hasn’t been easy for any of the traditional top 6 teams… just man city and arsenal got 3points currently, Liverpool losing already…

    AMN my MOM 👍

  26. Grandad says:

    We made heavy weather of it, but three more points are very welcome. Auba had a game to forget but I thought Saka showed signs of regaining form.The substitution of Lacca coincided with a drop off in our control.Panic set in and errors of judgement by Gabriel and Ramsdale could have proved costly.In my opinion Ben White was our top player.

    1. Reggie says:

      It happened in the last game, when Odergaard was brought on for Lacca as well. We are a workmanlike team now and certain players mess that up completely.

      1. guy says:

        You know I like Ode, Reggie, and I really want it to work out for him here, but you are absolutely right. I actually get nervous now when I see him getting up from the bench!

        1. Reggie says:

          Guy, i just think he doesn’t fit the style we are now playing. Im not a fan but i do appreciate he is technically good, is that enough?

          1. guy says:

            Yup. He doesn’t come close to fitting our system. He’s another player that would be sensational in Italian football.

  27. Dunchirado says:

    Beautiful!
    Some games are won like that!
    Ladies and Gentlemen relegation candidates Arsenal are 3 points ahead of title pretenders United!

  28. Jakes Mradu says:

    ANM played in the position he likes………strip Auba of captaincy..he was playing better before he became captain……..

  29. PJ-SA says:

    Put Ben White next to Partey and bring Saliba back to partner Gabriel….would be quite interesting.

    Disclaimer This is why i don’t coach

    1. Reggie says:

      Why!!!!!! Lakonga and today AMN are strong and able to win the midfield battles. I have a feeling Saliba isn’t coming back anyway.

  30. Sue says:

    I bloody love ESR!! Foster had an excellent game and I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever score!! Well done, Emile 👏
    White was superb also…
    3 more points, moving on up..

    Just one thing, is Danny Rose on steroids or Krispy Kremes??!!!

    1. gotanidea says:

      I think Rose is adopting Troy Deeney’s diet 😛

      1. Laurie says:

        We have 2 strikes and neither of them has scored 20 + goals in the past 2/ 3 seasons , they are going to cost us points. Back in the summer i did say to get rid of both.

        1. gotanidea says:

          I’m sure many fans here would like to sell our senior CFs in the summer, yet there was no decent offer for them

          If one of them can dominate the opposition’s CBs as Lukaku does, they don’t have to score 20+ goals. As long as they can be our main pivot in the front line, like Kane, Benzema and Firmino

      2. NY_Gunner says:

        @gai
        Harsh…😂😂😂😂

      3. Sue says:

        You’re not wrong, gai 🤣

      4. Mac says:

        Classic love yr work gai

    2. Davi says:

      Haha whatever it is it’s not working for him

    3. Reggie says:

      Sue Foster has always been an excellent keeper, his save from Tavares header was outstanding.

      1. Sue says:

        Very true, Reggie 👍

    4. guy says:

      Agree Sue – possibly the two players I enjoy watching on the ball the most are White and ESR.
      I keep having to do a double take to make sure it really IS White who’s slaloming up the pitch. Very little mention here that he created the ESR chance – another superb finish btw!

      1. Sue says:

        He makes it look so easy, guy. A joy to watch! Money well spent

    5. NY_Gunner says:

      @Sue
      😂😂😂😂

  31. henson mba says:

    well done ESR. well done AMN. Auba is forgiven because we won. Arteta should be more ruthless in his substitutions. I wonder why Auba should be left on the pitch for that long? why must he take that penalty when a better penalty taker is on the pitch? Anyways, we have our three points. congratulations gunners. we move ahead, ahead.

  32. Sue says:

    Get in there you Hammers – it’s official, they’ve joined the title race 🥳🥳🥳

    1. guy says:

      And they thoroughly desrved it. What do you reckon, Sue? Have Hammers softened them up for us or just made them angry?

      1. Sue says:

        Angry, guy!! A few teams have shown us they are human after all… why can’t we?!

        1. Reggie says:

          The Hammers are a real team and anyone who thought they wouldn’t give Liverpool a game today doesn’t understand football.

          1. Sue says:

            Happy Invincibles day, Reggie 🤩

            1. Reggie says:

              Yes, its alway nice when that happens Sue.

  33. Laurie says:

    We are only 6 points from top who would have thought that would be the case after our bad start.

  34. Sue says:

    West Ham – blowing bubbles
    Liverpool – bubble burst – you love to see it!!

    1. Angus says:

      Who would of thought we’d be going into the Liverpool game knowing a win would take us above them at the start of the year. 3 off 2nd now too. 🙂

      1. Sue says:

        Wow, Angus just wow!!! 👍

        1. Reggie says:

          Yes thats all we have to do, BEAT THEM!!!!!!

    2. LtDan says:

      Let’s see Jamie Carragher bullshit his way out of this glorious Liverpool loss

      1. Sue says:

        😂 Can’t wait

  35. Adajim says:

    This is why I once said I’ll take result over performance any day.
    6 point behind the leader and even if we got beaten at anfied worst position is 7th going into Newcastle game.
    By all reason too 4 is achievable if we manage to keep our players fit.
    Besides, West Ham and Brighton have shown us Liverpool isn’t invisible, who knows we could avoid defeat at anfied

    1. guy says:

      Interesting test of our impressive new defence, huh Ada? Strange season so far – everybody is losing games they shouldn’t and if it continues we are right in the thick of it. That makes our unbeaten run look all the more impressive, as do our draws with Palace and Brighton looking at the teams they have got results against since.

      1. Adajim says:

        Spot on.
        With the calibre of coaches in epl and more influxes, this season might be weirder than last season, Villa and Norwich just sack their coach , who knows we might have one more top manager coming in.
        Conte,Tuchel, Klop, Pepe, Rafa and host of others, every game is a much win henceforth, a point might be too much an extravagant.
        So results is paramount.
        And on the back 5, I honestly hope we have no more injury, I’ll like to see how they perform against Liverpool deadly attack.
        Though I believe if we are gonna loose the Liverpool game it will be down to our attackers not turning up rather than defensive errors

        1. guy says:

          We’ve been fortunate with defensive injuries (and I include Tierney in that!) this season, which is very unlike our normal luck.
          Actually its going to be a really good test throughout the teams – Salah etc vs our defence, Partey etc vs their midfield, and ESR/Saka/Auba against VVD and his pals. Let’s hope Auba has one of his ever-diminishing good games! And we get to see how our press compares with theirs, how valuable Ramsdale’s long passing can be, etc…
          Exciting, and two weeks to discuss it!

  36. SueP says:

    A West Ham draw would have suited me better or a loss come to that

    1. Laurie says:

      When the teams above us drop points we have to be in a position to take advantage

    2. guy says:

      I wanted a draw too, SueP. But at least ‘Pool’s unbeaten run was ended.

  37. Sean Williams says:

    So today I got it wrong. When I saw AMN was alongside Lokonga my heart dropped and I thought AMN was a poor choice….but credit where credit is due, AMN was the main man and Lokonga didn’t do it. Auba was not good but the two mates ESR and Saka made me happy. What a breath of fresh air. The defence, White in particular, are growing as a unit that is for sure. In the past we had good cause to be cautious as supporters we’d fall at an easy hurdle, but if we can put a performance together and give Liverpool a game, then I’ll start being confident about the team. Odegaard is not the answer in the midfield though and we need a quality forward, but 9 games unbeaten gives a good feeling.

    1. Reggie says:

      Sean, i can understand that but i thought that Lakonga who is a real athlete could work well with AMN and today, it worked. I think Lakonga is the common denominator here, i think he is a tremendous athlete and makes it easy to play with him. But AMN was great today, yes it was Watford but still credit where it is due.

  38. Prof.Wenger says:

    A good game with the most important thing 3 pts, that’s what all we need!

    Thanks MA and all the players

  39. SueP says:

    Hopefully we will be Laurie
    I support Arsenal and no other.

  40. LtDan says:

    Given we’ve played Spurs and Leicester and won. I was more reticent about the outcome and performance against Watford. They had nothing to lose in this game and could go for broke. I know Auba missed a pen, we had a goal disallowed but….. What I was happy with is not so much that we didn’t clinically and technically took Watford apart, but we matched them in guile and determination. Two seasons ago, we would’ve caved under the physical demands of such a game. Nowadays, we’re willing to put the effort in, as well as the studs, elbows, knees etc. Troy Deany said a while back that we didn’t have the cajones, as in fighting dirty. Yes we do ! The reason that it was only one nil is that Watford wanted to make this a game of attrition…..and to their credit they did. However, we were equal to their neanderthal football and got the win. Some commentators on here might use the stats of the game in a negative way. To me, the only stat is….we got three points and Watford got zilch. Okay, we didn’t do it like city would’ve but we’re not City……. we’re Arsenal.

    Liverpool will be a test as our next high profile game. But if we put in a bit more of the physical effort and spirited performance than today, worst case scenario would be a draw. Liverpool, Chelsea and City rely on other teams being awestruck by them. We shouldn’t be, we should make them know they’ve been in a fight with lowly Arsenal. F@#k Salah, Mané and the rest……kick the arse out of them if we have to. Don’t just capitulate because of their rep.

    I don’t care about Chelsea, City, Liverpool and the rep they’ve acquired. We don’t have to (just because the sychophantic punditry says) have to succumb. If we gotta do what we do do ruthlessly and dirty, so be it !

    I thought today was a good example of getting down n dirty. Okay, we pick up some yellow cards along the way. If that what it takes to overcome the likes of Chelsea, City etc…..the so be it.

    In short, despite some dreadful decision making by individuals of our team today, we fought and got the result we wanted !

    1. Sue says:

      Well said 👍

    2. Laurie says:

      & LTDAn
      MY THOUGHTS completely.

  41. Ozziegunner says:

    Positive is that Arsenal now has a goal threat from midfield, in ESR (3 goals in 3 games), Saka and Odegaard.

  42. Joe. S says:

    Good point Ozzie, It’s been missing for a long time. With the players available and the way Arteta likes to play Auba, Pepe and Laca are not going to be prolific. We just have to get used to this type of win. There has been some nonsense spouted above. One good game and AMN is suddenly redeemed. Forget all the rotten passes and horrible positional play over past three years. Today he looked good because Watford were rarely dangerous. Wait and see what happens when he comes up against better players. Also some have proposed Tierney in the midfield. Get a reality check. My worry is that if things don’t go well at Anfield we’ll have an outcry about how badly we missed Xhaka etc paving the way for his oncoming return. The reality is that Arsenal are creative midfielder away from being truly top class and yes it is time to think beyond Aubamayang.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Joe. S, I disagree with you on AMN, because he has performed well under pressure (eg finals of FA Cup away from midfield) and in his games in midfield this season has not let the team down. It is a good thing for Arsenal now that there is competition for places, with players like Tavares and AMN stepping up when given the opportunity.
      Lokonga and AMN did well against a strong experienced Watford midfield, without Partey and Xhaka, which shows that the squad is stronger. AMN was arguably man of the match.

      1. Joe. S says:

        Fair enough, Ozgunner. He played well yesterday, but would rather have Party walk back into the team at this stage. Three or four outstanding performances I the next series of games would convince me however that AMN deserves to be a starter. I still think though that this is a position that still needs to be addressed because Arsenal need someone there with a wider range of passing skills than AMN or Xhaka.

  43. jw says:

    Well, a hard won victory, but a good one all the same!!!!

    I totally agree about Auba. His play could almost be construed as intentional sabotage, he was that bad.

    I think I would try to keep Lacazette and sell Auba.

    However, American sportsmen (Baseball, Basketball and Football), try VERY hard in the season when seeking a new contract, but some of them seem to tail-off once they have it, just like Ozil and Auba.

    My only other worry was that Ramsdale appeared to not have taken his Valium before the game, nearly giving away an equaliser.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      @jw
      Yap! That was a brain-fart from Ramsdale! Reminded me of Szczesny’s wild runs from goals. Hope it was a one-off thing.

  44. tony aquilina says:

    i really liked your article, especially that at least for another year we keep the invincible record and its nice to play ugly and win the points, keep it up

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs