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That is what I should have been writing, that is what I would have been writing had the laws of the game been applied correctly. If Arsenal would have gone into half time 11vs11, that would have still left a sour taste in the mouth but for Arsenal to go into the half a man down is astonishing. Gabriel played some part in the dismissal, it wouldn't be right to ignore that. Had he kept his cool as Koscielny had then we would not have had a player sent off, even if the flick of the foot was far less aggressive than Costa's left and right combination minutes earlier. But I agree that we need to remain in control, especially when big calls like this go against us so frequently. On that subject, I have read a lot of confused opinions. Some of the same folk are saying that we need a player like Costa,

It is usually around the Christmas mark when Arsène flips open his book of rotation so to see both full backs come in as well as Ospina behind then and Mikel Arteta in the defensive midfield position was somewhat of a surprise to me. Now before I go on any further with this I want to say that I fully understand the managers reasoning behind the changes. Playing away from home on a Wednesday in Croatia only to face Chelsea away from home on Saturday lunchtime is about as

Whether or not our chances were directly down to Theo's movement, the team looked very creative and inventive. I enjoyed watching Alexis Sanchez, he seemed far more rounded in his performance. His mixture of beating his man and finding the pass seemed far more balanced than usual. His driving runs inside from the left caused Stoke problems for the entire match

Like in the last two matches against Chelsea, the game would be decided by the first team that could find that bit of magic first and capitalise on it. At the Emirates last season neither team could find the breakthrough and the game at Stamford Bridge was won as soon as Hazard weaved his way through the Arsenal defence before being halted by a trailing Koscielny leg. Apparently the same player was on the pitch at Wembley, although there isn't a great deal of proof of that.

The atmosphere at the Emirates was far better than I would have imagined before we got there. It was better than plenty of actual home matches. Maybe that was down to the occasion, perhaps the vibes around the game were all positive, who knows. Whatever it was, it made the occasion so much more enjoyable. I don't know how viable it is but I'd be up for watching more games on the big screen at the Emirates, perhaps the big televised away matches but I don't

First Alexis Sanchez made a similar run to the one he made at Wembley against Reading but then checked his run when he saw Özil shift to his left a bit more instead of playing the pass, now Theo Walcott thought he could be in and made a similar dart into the same area that Alexis went into just ahead of him, it was Alexis moving back into his left position that fooled the West Brom players and left Theo on his own on the right edge of the box. Özil gave it to Wilshere who knocked it on to Cazorla and the Spaniard slipped Walcott in who had been screaming for the ball. Walcott took a touch to get it out of his feet and whipped a shot across the keeper into the top corner of the goal.

With the benefit of hindsight I would have liked to have seen Alexis move centrally as a partner to Giroud, moving someone else on the left and Walcott on the right late on in the game. Chances were not coming frequently enough with our passing alone and it felt like we needed someone to create his own shot in the penalty area, unfortunately Alexis could not do that on the left flank and nobody else in the team has those gifts in tight areas. In the end we were restricted to long range shots from Özil and Cazorla (I really hate wasted long range shots killing moves) as well as half chances from Gibbs, Özil and Giroud

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more