If the three games played so far are anything to go by, then it means the title of our post after the Crystal Palace win will hold water yet again this season. “The Hard Way, The Arsenal Way”.  We might not be pretty on the eye but we have played 3 games this season and got results that you really can’t be too ashamed of.

The rhetoric before the game was that it was going to be a test and a real test it proved to be. A test of Arsenal’s abilities to respond to yet again to going behind, for some odd reason immediately the second goal went in I reminisced about the FA Cup final win against Hull. We came back to win from 2 goals in a finals but the team we were up against yesterday were a much better side than Hull.

Roberto Martinez has really got them going, personally didn’t think anything good could still come out of Gareth Barry but you have got to give credit to Roberto for Barry’s command of the pitch. His pass for the first goal we conceded was the pass of the game for me. Wilshere didn’t have any room in the midfield to operate and it wasn’t a surprise that he picked up a card for his frustration led 2nd half tackle on Barry.

We got beaten 3-0 at this ground at the tail end of last season and judging by our first half performance it seemed it was headed for a scoreline of a similar nature and another reason to question the tactical prowess or lack of from Arsene Wenger. Everyone gets out done one time or the other, but to use the same tactics twice against us and it worked just re-emphasizes the fact that Wenger never really pays attention to the opposition. Martinez continued with his sticking Lukaku to the right and yet again he hurt us.

The damage would have been more if not for the sheer intelligence of Per Mertesacker when Lukaku had another opportunity clear on goal. Per knew he wasn’t going to win a race with Lukaku and when the striker made his way down the right flank, Per just jogged towards the defence and waited for him to drift in, with Lukaku having all the space on either side of the tall German to shoot, Per was so perfectly positioned that the ball simply bounced of him.

It’s this kind of intelligence that Calum Chambers would need to learn, and can only learn from playing games. Faced with the same incident, same player running down our right, Calumn decided to go all in with a flying tackle close to the half way line. Lukaku had earlier committed a foul on Per, and immediately he went past Calum it was definitely going to be a clear goal scoring opportunity and Everton made certain to score from it. Calum is a lovely player and he will get better, I hope the manager trusts him enough to give him games so should we ever have to rely on him when any of our first choice center backs are out, we have a player ready to fill the role and not trying to find his feet in front of 60,000 people in the stands.

We have a lot of players still trying to find their feet already as it is. Ozil just returned, Wilshere seems to be trying too many flicks, Sanchez isn’t at the level he should be at yet, Santi Cazorla had his first good game for Arsenal this season and Giroud is just coming back to fitness.  Sadly it seems we have lost him again to injury and he just proved how important he is to our squad with his performance yesterday.

Regular readers of my posts know I feel Giroud has his place at Arsenal. As frustrating as he might seem, his stats are not as bad as he is made out to seem.  See players currently going around for the range we got Giroud for in today’s market, are they really better than Giroud?

Player Amount Signed 2012-2013 Season 2013-2014 Season
Giroud £12m 17 goals, 10 assists 22 goals, 10 assists
Shane Long £12m 10 goals, 4 assists 7 goals, 3 assists
Mario Balotelli £16m 15 goals, 3 assists 18goals, 8 assists


Giroud does double figures in goals and assists, should we need a striker that can seriously better Giroud then we need to be spending within the region of 40-60 million for the Ageuro, Cavani, Falcao, Costa, Lewandoski bracket of players and there really isn’t much of them around. The Ibrahimovic and Suarez range is not even up for debate.

The focus should be to get the best out of everyone and making sure goal scoring responsibility is shared around the team.  @Goonerdave66 wrote an excellent piece on all of this last season and you can read it here. “Arsenal fans still demanding the non-existent 30 goal a season Striker” .

Ramsey has already weighed in with 2 goals this season already, should Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Campbell, Podolski and Sanogo all set themselves a goal scoring target of at least 10 goals this season, added to a guaranteed scoring rate from Theo Walcott, Giroud and Sanchez we would be in a very nice position I believe.

It’s Besiktas next on Wednesday and we do not have any option but to win. I think we have enough to win and we will. Injury seems to be pilling up already; hopefully they are more short term than long term. We have had our fair dose of the latter over the years.  Have a great week friends. The world is always a better place when Arsenal wins.

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