West Brom win shows Arsenal are beginning to gel

We are starting to gel.

After overcoming the doom and gloom of a terrible start to the season we’ve produced three good results in a row — starting with the thrilling 5-3 victory over Chelsea that ranks up there as one of the most entertaining games of Arsene Wenger’s fifteen years in charge.

As plaudits were thrown the captain’s way for  our defence received rather less adulation. Yet, arguably with more luck than skill, they responded with a clean sheet in a goalless  stalemate against Marseille to inch a step closer to Champions League qualification.

A fine week was capped off on Saturday with our most comprehensive performance and result of the season: a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

This was the first time this season, indeed, for as long as I can remember, that we have avoided breaking a sweat to knock off an opponent. It was also the first time that our team has looked like a real team.

If the Chelsea result showed that our pacey attacking unit, featuring the incomparable Robin van Persie supported by speedsters Gervinho and Theo Walcott, is undoubtedly working, the comprehensive dismantling of West Brom suggests the rest of the team are not far behind.

It was always going to take some time for our new boys to settle into the Arsenal way but the signs are there that they have.

Per Mertesacker has installed more calm in the side than many recognise, whilst Mikel Arteta’s assured control and passing has allowed Aaron Ramsey to regain form as our most attacking midfield player.

Then there is Andre Santos.

The common assertion regarding the Brazilian is that he can’t really defend. While that might technically correct his languid and unpredictable style, of which his purposeful forays forward are a major feature, are giving opposition wide-players a hell of a lot more to think about than in the days of Gael Clichy.

The irony with Santos’ style of play is that it fools the opposition into thinking he can be attacked, in turn opening up space for Gervinho and Co to exploit further up the pitch. Chelsea fell into that trap, getting change out of Santos on occasion, but they sacrificed their defensive stability as a result and conceded five.

On the other side of the back four Carl Jenkinson is making strides forward as well. He is growing in confidence, chooses his moments to attack intelligently and is an exceptionally hard-worker, particularly endearing qualities in a team that has in the past been susceptible to having too many lax moments.

While the defence is not yet perfect the gelling of our new players has put control back in our hands and that of the manager. Early in the season we were a team with no plan, no players and no confidence. Now we have a system again and it shows.

We will not win every game this season and we will not win the league. But little-by-little we are restoring our reputation as a heavyweight in the English game.

Given our position earlier on in the season that is something to be admired.

Spread the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.



  1. after guning chelsea for stamford bridge there is consistency in arsenal teambut wenger need to buy player in january because they need to consider injury .

  2. yeah finally this is the Arsenal we know. its crazy how we wanted wenger out but as of now things are fine and will be better.

  3. I never said Wenger out buddy, never have never will…speak for yourself like this. ‘funny how I wanted Wenger to leave Arsenal a month ago, but not anymore. Until we lose a couple of games’…
    Maybe you are a johnny come lately and maybe ur not, but you certainly sound like a fair weather fan at best…

  4. Up Gunners!
    Thanks 2 God dt our team are settling down perfectly well in d game & d critics have started eating there vommit.
    Prof. Gd works @ d moment more 2 b done.
    Yeah, And I pray God 2 see our players through d season (injury-free) Amen.
    BIG UPS!

  5. Thank God all d ill-luck players in our team r nearing d exit though not completely bt soon they wl stil leave.
    @ d end of d season we will all realise selling
    Fab. was a blessn in disguise.
    Mark my words!
    Gunners tl d last breath!!!
    Peace 2 da World

  6. There is time of unhappy and time of happy. I think, this is the time happy, we only need one strike like Podolski, midfielder like Hazard or Godtze and one defender. Prof. u are doing a good job right now, keep it up boys

  7. looking at the league table for pretty much the first time this season. we would need an unbelieveable run of form to get anywhere near top coz city ain’t gonna be dropping many but with the belief we now have (love szczesny, we must never let him go) i can’t see why 3rd isn’t a possibility. Pool look pretty ordinary, as do Chelski, the Magpies drop starts now, it’s just those pesky bloody Scumbags that look alright at the minute

  8. Andrew- Your analysis is right on, especially your observation of Santos.
    One thing most striking against Bolton was the way the team seemed so confident, and appeared to coast at times.

    @Adewale-your comments are so hard to read! And I really hope that “God” has better things to worry about.

  9. I was as critical of our start as the next man – and most importantly the procrastination in the transfer window that led to it but this team is starting to come together. He may not have the quality of tool in his box that he’s used to working with but the team are playing to a pattern again and, for that, Arsene deserves credit. For all the talent that left in the summer, it really does make a difference when the players with us now actually want to be here. Wenger used to wind me up no end banging on about our mythical team spirit. You know what, when you’ve genuinely got team spirit, you don’t have to bang on about it. Long may it last.

  10. Well done on Santos. I may rate him yet. Another excellent outing by our club, proving indeed that the team is coming together. After a long time, it felt good to watch. This club is not the nervy, scared XI we were all too used to seeing in so many matches.

    Whether the current run of form is too little too late, it is far too early to say, and while that sort of speculation is only natural, it dampens the genuine enjoyment of seeing these guys gain confidence and win matches.


  11. Hey guys. I’ve had a pretty busy few weeks, and it’s been quite hectic, but the Arsenal seem to be going from strength to strength in that time. I couldn’t watch the WBA game because the TV channels here decided Liverpool and Chelsea were the better bet. I saw the game today though and really that was a quite fantastic performance. Some of the passing was beautiful. Also pleasing was the total concentration and determination to win, score more goals, and keep a clean sheet. No let up, no slacking from anyone. The manner of the goals was pleasing as well. For all the focus on RVP, those were truly team goals.

    For the season ahead, these are good signs. A good platform to build on. Stupid Internationals though.. Just hope all our players come back fit.

  12. Fantastic support for RvP and Arsenal from another Dutch great. If you haven’t seen it, check it out:

    “Chelsea have become a big club and have massive ­financial resources.

    “Manchester City have ­become a big force and are richer than any other club.

    “Manchester United and ­Liverpool have American owners. The amount of money which is flowing to these clubs for transfers is unbelievable. Arsenal operate differently. I admire that.

    “And I still think Arsenal are the most beautiful club in ­England. At Man City and Chelsea, they will never have that class and style.

    “Arsenal have the most ­amazing stadium, they have a style of play, they have a ­beautiful shirt – in every way I consider Arsenal as the ­ultimate football club.

    “It is the club where Robin belongs.’’

    Van Basten went on: “Do I sound like an ­idealist? Maybe I do, but all those things ­Arsenal have to offer can play a part in the decision to stay there. The foundations are there.”

    Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsenal-striker-must-never-leave-the-ultimate-football-team-says-Marco-Van-Basten-article827666.html#ixzz1d3mClqzw
    Sign up for MirrorFootball’s Morning Spy newsletter Register here

  13. Hi Drew, Hi all,
    Good to hear from you shard I miss your battles with Kel.
    @ 1-nil I rate Santos right now. I liked Clichy and thought it was a mistake to let him leave but I have changed my mind.
    It was a good week for us again despite only gaining ground on Liverpool.
    But next round (after the international break) We have Norwich away and Newcastle have Man $ity up at Eastlands. Chelsea host Liverpool and S**** host Aston Villa. So, if we can hold our end up and get all 3 points against the Canaries we are almost sure to get help moving up the table as all the teams ahead of us cannot possibly win.
    First things first though let’s hope everybody (especially Robin,TV5 and the big Polish goalie who’s name I still cannot spell) all come back with no dings,dents or cracks.
    PS. Dutch, where be ya lad?

  14. Great stuff all round and great to see such determination and confidence in the side, theres competition for places and Wenger is using the squad very well and everyone has a part to play and is taking responsibility….I really didnt think I would see such a run of wins so soon but its a great sign that the team is developing into a threat again, and we have our fear factor back, opposition teams will not want to play us any time soon!

  15. Great play from VP and coy , its really frustrating to hear most analyst saying there is no Arsenal without VP. It must be pointed out that our captain is in the form of his life and has shown great abilities as a leader. Every team has main players and its upto to manager and the team to get the best out of them.Barcelona have Messi , Real madrid has Ronald , Man u has Roney………Its up to wenger to play his cards right and keep VP fit.

  16. Hey Left Coast,

    It makes me nervous to look ahead, but good breakdown on the matches after the int’l break. We still have a long climb, and City is due for a bad run hopefully soon.

    I’ll watch Santos with more interest now as well.



  17. I agree with you Spanish Fry , that our team has started to gel together,and it is being rewarded in terms of our captain goal spree.

    I hope our defense too gets it’s act together soon, but with a lot of help from arsene.Since arsene’s formation has a lot to do with it, as our new defense signings lacks playing time and pace .

    Attack is the best form of defense is a cause of concern with our defensive players,since this league possess some of the best speedsters as strikers to make it false and i have always felt our defense gets tired ,as a result exposed when supporting attack.

    Flexibility from arsene is important to allow our defense to excel.

    Also the team’s mental attitude has changed a lot from walk the ball in the goal to shoot at distance.

    arsene can provide genuine cover all over the park , except few positions and the second half of the season will be a true test to our squad strength and team chemistry.


    Given the team and the way they play now needs to be admired and the credit should go to Arsene and his boys.

    But future success or top four depends lot on how our manager acts to imbibe confidence in defense, and decent strengthening needed in second half.

    Anyway it is a joy to watch them play now and break teams at will.

  18. A little correction

    I still couldn’t take Coquelin out as i am impressed with his performances so far.

  19. Leftcoastgooner, his name that polish goalie is szczesny ,anyway bad day that the office just when you try to help to dug out your colleagues they dig deeper and further away from been help. Espn soccernet had on fergie marvellous 25 years,not forgetting the amount of luck on his side and the 12 man the referee at old trafford on his side,got to hand it to him he knows how to find,manage and disperse of players,wish I could say the same for mr wenger for last half of a decade, I not going to rant about wenger and the dissapointments but I ask for fans not to put down all their cards in favour of arsenal performances as history looks bleak as wenger hasn’t taken us over to the trophy cabinet exploration for a while.

  20. @the Flying dutchmen
    Hey Dutch, sorry to hear your’e having a tough go of it. Hang in there everything changes in time.
    It’s true we haven’t won a thing since Captain Vieira’s last kick of the ball in Arsenal colors but at least the team is improving and seems at least to be more combatitive and self possessed than the last two or three years so who knows we may get something yet.
    Hope the southern Hemisphere spring cheers you a bit and oh yeah, Fuck sir Alex and his evil hench-referees. I don’t give a pinch of owl’s dung for ManU(re) and I don’t care who knows it. In fact the more the better. Later dude.

  21. My it has gone quiet about these parts…
    Everyone must be interlulling.

  22. So far this week as been going alright, for our players that playing internationally,koscienly game was little scrappy which could of landed him a straight red,but he deserves his place even though usa didn’t attack that much, still doubt his abilities when playing the barc,man’s and the physical teams,capt rosicky also had a decent game, I was hoping poland could at least draw with italy, scszeny couldn’t save them from conceding two goals,damn berlosconi’s. the“man on fire” van persie miss key chances to putting the game out of reach and ended up in a draw,he might just get lighten up with german game coming soon. Gervinho was in my city pe yesterday but wasn’t that interested and really not that worth to see, but cheap fifty rand. I don’t know if ramsey scored in that 4- 0 win but it will do him some confidences,still holding my breathe that the boys will come home injury free,I didn’t enjoy the england win,the game remind me of mourinho style,well if you want to win against spain that’s how you do it,but don’t expect any congrats from the anti football society,walcott wasn’t up to it too.

  23. @The Flyingdutchmen
    Hey Dutch, Didn’t care for the English win v, “The Armada”?
    It was boring. Oh well still awhile until club footy starts again.
    I got Brasil (minha terra) against Egypt on right now. No goals yet but as a sporting spectacle both teams are playing wide open and going for it. It’s a true internatonal friendly but teams always try their best against Brasil. I guess you kind of have to it would be easy to get embarressed if one had a bad day.
    Well, back to the interlull. Later dude.

  24. Leftcoastgooner,egypt have nothing to play for! no africa cup so there will throw down all their cards and brasil is something of yesterday,neva question whether santos is playing. Tonight france and neighbours belguim will lock horns vermeulen vs koscienly so worth a peep,maybe a quick look at england vs sweden,maybe a capello draw is on da cards.

  25. hello all…hey leftcoastgooner..i just got back from cali…and it was awesome..went to the frisco angels halloween party on the 28th and was a big winner in the raffles, bought 10 tickets and won 3 times.. then wenty straight to maggie mcgarrys to watch our beloved gunners DESTROY chelsea !!!!! what could be better ??? i am so pleased to see the boys getting back to form and playing at the high level expected at arsenal. too bad we have so,much ground to make up after our slow start, but i don’t fear any team in the league right now the way we are playing. i just hope the boys can stay healthy and then get jack and bacary back sometime in feb. or march. i don’t see any “must make” moves that have to be made in january…i think these boys are starting to gel just fine now…

  26. Hey Iggy,
    Glad to hear your trip was a good one.Frisco Angels that must have been a blast! Glad you got back safe. Yep, lots of ground to make up but it’s still just November and we’ll have to get it back the way we’ve been doing it. One game at a time.
    With Newcastle@Man$ity,Liverpool@Chelsea, and Aston Villa@Spurs if we can beat Norwich City this week mathematically we have to gain ground on somebody because all of the teams ahead of us cannot possibly win. So it is imperative that we just continue to do our part. One more thing. Newcastle,now in the 4th and final Champion’s League spot are in 3 competitions with virtually no second XI. At some point when the FA cup gets going they will have to play a weak bench or put the same team out there every 3 to 4 days until they are eliminated. So Arsenal’s depth will come into advantage over them at some point. (theoretically)

  27. so the int**** break is over and we’re back to normal, no injuries to mention about arsenal
    (I hope i don’t jinx them) lets press on and try to get as far as we can. I must admit the team has improved so lets build on the last couple of week ehh!!

  28. Kieron Gibbs is out for at least a month following hernia surgery.
    Who will be cover for Santos at left back? The injury bug bites us again.

  29. Arsenal the only team that keep surprising people all the time. Am happy we re in a very strong position now.

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