Preston v Arsenal review – Gunners survive scare in late win

You would think that Arsenal would have learned their lesson after struggling so much in the last Premier League game at Bournemouth because of a poor start, but it was pretty much a carbon copy from the Gunners in the first half today.

The home side Preston North End had clearly watched our last game as they closed us down in packs just as the Cherries had and they soon got the reward of an early goal. THey had a lucky bounce in the build up but our defending was very poor.

The only good thing about the first half, to be fair, is that we were only one behind as Preston wasted a couple of great chances and kept putting us in trouble. Wenger was livid and must have read the riot act because it was like watching a different team after the restart.

Ramsey scored a cracker almost straight away and Arsenal laid siege to their goal for a while. A second did not come though and the game became much closer and more hard fought and there were chances at both ends. Our quality did finally tell with Giroud and Lucas Perez combining brilliantly for the Frenchman to finish with minutes left on the clock.

That was not what we expected from Arsenal but it was another good fightback and the main thing is we got the job done.



    1. Lol ? What fight? It was a walk in the park for Preston.
      We were so rubbish that their young keeper and forward Robinson spent most of the first half laughing at how ? we were.

      Wenger needs to remember where he hid his cheque book, me thinks.

  1. Another shocker of a performance, and against…who? Got the win though, and Giroud scores yet another important goal. Is Ramsey even Championship quality?

  2. Theme with giroud should be, Floated balls in the box. Giroud is a beast at knocking them down for the other teammates. Buzzing for Welbzz.. COYG.

  3. That sad feeling when you realize Ramsey – Xhaka is our only midfield for the next 4-5 matches.

    Well Wenger knows better right?

    1. @JMcLovin
      They were invisible defensively. PNE ruled the midfield with ease. Why is it, that some of our forwards find it too much of a chore to defend?

      1. @NYGunner

        You mean our wingers? Because Giroud actually defends, like a lot! But Perez, Iwobi and OX seem to be allergic to defending.. And despite all of this our midfield, especially Xhaka, looked extremely nervous in the first half. No idea why..

        1. @JMcLovin
          Yep…I felt sorry for Monreal and Maitland-Niles. Especially Niles. He was gettin skinned left and right, but he tried. Seems as if Xhaka doesn’t know how to read the play, at all. He constantly gets caught flatfooted.

          1. The more worrying question is what was the Ox doing? Given the exposure/experience that he has how can he moan about playing time and screw up whenever he has a chance to show what he is capable of. He and Ramsey were shocking. Don’t let the goal cloud his performance, tonight was probably one of the worst midfield displays by Arsenal.

            Right at 92nd minute Mustafi sends a pass to Ramsey; he has all the time in the world to control it and keep possession but guess what he does – he tries an audacious flick and ends up giving the ball back straight to the opposition. What kind of maturity, desire or professionalism is he showing? he should be ripped for that. A better team and that can start a counter. we can blame the boss how much you want but one thing is clear Ramsey and Xhaka cannot function together- both are careless. God save us through the next few features.

          2. For me, Maitland-Niles seems like he needs to be sent out on loan or sold because he seems so far from the quality that is needed for a right back. Throughout the game he was beaten by the PNE opponent despite chasing them down to the by-line because he wouldn’t put his foot in and make a challenge.

            1. He had a bad night. With experience he will start to communicate more with his defence. Tonight he seemed like a lonely boy on the ropes. I remember Bellerin in his first PL game was skinned but look where he is now. Niles need time and more exposure and ofcourse more work but a lot many players should be sold before him based on today’s performance.

  4. Jesus Christ! We made it look like a CL Final game. Shambolic! And to top things off Wenger now gets an excuse to start Ramsey in every remaining game. To think that more than half of this squad will be facing Bayern. Don’t even want to think about it. I’m not too confident about taking max points at Swansea now. Wenger must surely vacate his position at the end of this season. DREADFUL PERFORMANCE!!!

    1. No excuses needed for Ramsey starting. He’s our only CM left with Xhaka!!

      Elneny, Coquelin out for the month, Santi done for the remainder of the season.

      1. I would rather try Iwobi alongside Xhaka, with Ozil Perez Walcott and Sanchez up top for the remainder of the season.

        1. @Lord Banter
          Iwobi? You must be kidding.He’s “allergic” to defending or tracking back in any form. I’d rather try Maitland-Niles as a makeshift DM.

          1. Maitland-Niles didn’t do himself any favors today..

            We would urgently need a new central midfielder. But I don’t think we will get one.

            1. @JMcLovin
              Wasn’t all his fault. He had very little help on the right. And thats where PNE kept targeting.

  5. Olivier once again!

    Just keep doing that week in week out and you will of get some haters off your back

    I’m happy this didn’t end in a draw, that would have been an extra match…which will drain the players the more
    Welbeck looked sharp by the way!

  6. Perez has been contributing through goals and assits in most of his starts. Someone got the stats?

    1. Quickly checked:

      12 appearances, 11 direct contributions (5 goals, 6 assists). And he also scored 1 and assisted another on his only La Liga game this season.

  7. I’m happy for this win, but this was an awful performance by a supposedly Premiere League and European Champions League title challenger team. Albeit the match was an FA Cup match, an elite club with an experienced manager that has been managing the same team for more than twenty years should be able to produce world class performance and should be able to dominate a lower division English team.

    I think Arsenal really needs a playmaker/ midfield general. Previously we had Cazorla and Sanchez that can dictate the tempo and control the game in the central positions, unfortunately they were not available. The next big purchase should be this kind of player, someone that has an exceptional ball control, passing ability, creative, confident and good vision.

    If Arsenal keeps playing like this, Bayern Munich will demolish us in the European Champions League. I hope Wenger and his staffs can learn from their rivals and make changes as soon as possible. I feel that the 4-2-3-1 tactic has got too predictable for the opponents.

  8. Liverpool home : loss
    Leicester away: pathetic performance ,lucky draw
    soton home : lucky penalty and a win
    psg away: cavani saves us
    burnley away: handball /offside goal another lucky 3 points
    Boro home:cech saves us from losing
    spurs home :lacklustre performance against a weakened spurs side
    Man utd away: pathetic and lucky point
    league cup loss
    Psg home: ordinary performance
    Everton away: pathetic
    city away:pathetic
    wba home: another lacklustre performance
    bornemouth away: absent for 70 mom’s and a lucky draw.

    1. It’s a miracle we are not mid-table.. Because I remember all of those matches, and you are right.

      Our only total 90 minutes of football was against Chelsea, months ago.

      1. Finally someone said it. Apart from the Chelsea match I fail to remember a truly memorable performance. I just don’t understand why we can’t control a match for 90 minutes.

        The mid field situation is starting to worry me. All teams must be looking at this and licking their lips. We need to find a solution soon because right now it’s like Knife through butter everytime the opposition has the ball.

        Are there no cheap players available because none of our players seem to be returning soon.

        A few observations:

        (1) Perez is fantastic but if he plays anywhere other than striker he needs to defend to be in the team

        (2) Iwobi must play in the no 10 position whenever we rest Ozil. He is the heir to the throne unless of course Sanchez wants it.

        (3) We need to get Walcott back.

        (4)Welbeck needs to play. he may be rusty now but he can only get better and with him and Sanchez our work rate is only going to get better

        (5) Keep faith in Mustafi- he has been horrible in the last 2 games but he is coming back from injury.

        (6) The defensive midfield needs to stand up. This has to be Ramsey’s last big chance and he should be told that in no uncertain terms. If he cannot get us through this then he better find a new club who can afford his carelessness. We don’t need his attacking qualities. We need him to sit and defend for his life. All we are asking from him is to play like possessed for the next 10 games.
        The message needs to go across to Xhaka as well. You cannot keep losing the ball.

        If our midfield does not buck up we are going to get skinned by the better teams !!

        (7) Finally its the end of the road for Ox. Sell him

        (8) Don’t understand why we are giving Cazorla and Mert new contracts. I love Cazorla but his injuries are starting to affect us. We need Pjanic. Mert is a worse case. His presence will only slow down Holding. He is the fifth defender and ideally should be let go and his wages be put towards Sanchez

    2. I can’t stand this type of comments. What sort of fan are you?
      When Chelsea, Utd, City and even Arsenal won the league, did they all win their games with a 3-goal cushion? Didn’t they sometimes struggle, score ugly goals or settle for a draw?
      Plenty of pundits are highlighting Arsenal is now winning or drawing matches they would have lost in the past years. Why, as a so-called fan, wouldn’t you say the same?
      You can list all those struggling performances, omitting of course big wins against Chelsea and West Ham, top finish in our CL group with no defeat, and 8-point gap to Chelsea which is still not killing our chances (with still a game on hand against all teams in front of us).
      PL is the most competitive championship. Remind yourself this, and support your team for god’s sake!

  9. we won and that what it matters. we won ugly but you need it in cup competitions. ramsey, the ox, iwobi, Monreal and Gabriel surely are not pemier league players. what about aw. the same pattern of play week in week out pls resign in peace = always a gooner

      1. XHAKA, RAMSEY where in the world is CAMPBELL….sorry to say XHAKA so far looks like a waste of money, how much longer we need to wait for RAMSEY to have another good season??

  10. 6 goals and 5 assists in 12 games for arsenal. Not bad Perez….Hope he plays more. I think his intelligence would be great alongside Sanchéz

  11. Shocking performance. Nobody deserve MOTM because nobody had a good game. Ramsey involved in both goals but still poor today. We won’t be picking up the points we should be playing like that. The fact we should’ve been 3-0 down to Preston while playing mostly first team is embarrassing.

    1. And giroud has frustrated all of us at some point in his Arsenal career but have to admit he’s a very useful player to have. Again he finds the net

  12. They may not be WC quality but they are good enough for the PL. Leicester won it last year with a much worse side but with much better tactics and motivation instead. This is what we are missing with Wenger as manager plus maybe a player like Cazorla who can break up defences. Till this changes we can’t expect much unfortunately…

  13. I couldn’t believe the post match interviews when Gerioud and Ramsey said they didn’t expect Preston to play as hard as they did. Were they expecting Preston to say ‘this is Arsenal we should lie down here.’ What was the attitude of thon in apt manager we have to this game. Surely you would drive into the players that this isn’t going to be easy and prepare to be pushed to the limits. I don’t have to get 2 million a year to know that.
    Wenger is a clown.

    1. I also couldn’t understand when being interviewed they said maybe subconsciously we took it too easy. It’s Wenger’s job to prepare the team and to drum it into the players that it certainly won’t be easy, did they think Preston were just going to roll over and let us stroll around .

  14. The best thing for me in the game today is seeing WELBECK, otherwise everyone was crap, but we are through to the next round.

    Lets look at some points

    Ramsay/xhaka pairing horrible, both players want to go forward, neither has the leg speed to cover when they misplace a pass, wenger has to find that midfield that is more defensive with good pace.

    Mustafi/Gabriel neither showed leadership to dominate defensively, both making regular errors, playng offside traps at various times that could have cost us the game, giving up possession too easily in dangerous areas , defensivly the need more work in training

    Monreal/Niles were very sloppy in possession and defending against the opponent, niles is learning the position and will improve if given match time, monreal as a senior payer should be showing leader ship.

    Ox/Iwobi needs to know when to dribble and when to pass, both showed glimpses of ability, but just can not seem to put it together, very disappointed with iwobi and is defensive duties. In terms of Ox i feel he needs to get in his head “i can do this”, with Iwobi you see the potential, the strength and craft but industry is lacking.

    Peres/Giroud kept fighting, kept working, i need to see giroud demanding more crosses, telling them where he wants it, in the case of perez he needs to do the defensive work too and use his right foot.

    I said we do not need that creative midfielder to drive the team forward and more direct but i actually think we do

    1. Agreed I wonder how much of the defensive frailities is due to the defenders and how much is because the midfield is not giving them any protection but I guess both need to improve.

      Specially for the midfield because if they cannot keep possession our attackers suffer.

      Defensive duties are collective duties and looking at Arsenal I don’t see the players doing that. for this I would blame wenger. He has to strike it into every players head that they have to defend- starting from Giroud to Xhaka. I think that is where we are fundamentally different than Chelsea. They defend in packs and as soon as they win it pour forward together. Of late we loose the ball and a minute later we are defending for our lives with players all over the place. the lesser said about Xhaka the better but this is a great opportunity for him and Ramsey to step up and grab the midfield positions. The way it is currently going I don’t see them playing together once any of our midfielder’s are back

  15. I am sure Sanchez was right to shout at Ramsey. PNE bossed our midfield even though they were playing with 2 strikers. Xhaka’s ball retention…I will not comment! And it looks like Wenger and many of our players wanted a draw! We scored an equalizer and realxed

  16. Another game of two halves. First half was quite embarrassing to be honest – and this is a very worrying trend. A quality team would have been out of sight before the half-time whistle.

    We played much better in the 2nd half and got the crucial goals.

    A few points:

    – We might never have lost with Mustafi in the team, but I felt he was careless with his passing forward today.

    – Iwobi atleast did try to get involved and shower his quality with the assist for the first goal.

    – Ramsey might not be everyone’s cup of tea when he’s not in form, but I felt after the last game, that he is showing signs he will rediscover his goal-scoring form & confidence soon.

    – Giroud.

    1. Ramsey in the present team has to defend.We have enough goal scorers and in good enough form. All he needs to do is do his defensive duties solidly and that is where I feel he is selfish. U look at his play for 90 minutes and its clear that he plays more for himself rather than what the team needs and i would not want such a player anywhere close to my team !

    1. Not sure why you’ve been thumbed down, it’s perfectly true, and they are one of the founder members of the Football League, no one has a greater history than them. I’d love to see them in the Premier League, a proper old team, and have had some real legends of the game playing for them.

  17. Just watching 11 minutes highlights was an shocking experience. We could have easily gone down 3-0 in the first half.

    Players admitting they had to change their attitude because Championship side were much stronger than they expected.

    The coach having blamed tough fixtures for their poor performances.

    What are they talking about? I can’t believe I heard these comments from professionals. And this is not the first time, either. Better show some respect to the opponents, and to the fans.

    1. Spot on, if their attitude was that this game was going to be easy because Preston are only a championship side then I blame Wenger and the coaching staff. I can’t believe any team ,especially one as fragile as we are at the moment, would go into any game with that attitude.

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