4 things we learned from Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal

by admin on February 12, 2013

Ramsey did very well as a makeshift rightback

1. Sagna is not a bad centreback

“Not bad” is probably not doing him justice. What a performance, probably man of the match for me. With Vermaelen and Koscielny out we needed someone to step up at the centre of defence and it wasn’t going to be Sebastien Squillaci. The fact that he was played out of position and got his head to the ball that many times and made that many interceptions really shows his quality. We were under a lot of pressure at the end of the game and Sagna dealt with it well. He hasn’t been as consistent this season as he would like, but this performance will give him a lot of confidence.

2. Ramsey is not a back rightback

While we are on the topic of players being player out of position, Ramsey was forced into this. Jenkinson made a couple of clumsy challenges and got himself sent off, and someone had to slot into right back, and it wasn’t going to be Sagna. Ramsey came to the fore and looked very comfortable.

A lot of Arsenal fans have criticised Ramsey over the years. Its true since his injury he hasn’t been playing to his potential, but you can’t fault his effort. He runs like a workhorse and gives 100%. Its worth noting that he has hardly been played in his preferred position down the middle. It is hard to perform at your best when you aren’t even being played in the position you want.

Its funny that we have players in our squad, who are supposed to be specialist centre backs like Squillaci, or specialist fullbacks like Santos, but we have players in the squad who are able to cover even better while being played out of position.

3. Szczesny is immense

His best performance of the season. Made an excellent one on one save, and a fingertip save from a close range header, both of which could have easily gone in. Dealt with their late charge very well, was commanding with his catches and punches as he took charge of his box. Definitely contributed to the three points.

4. Cutting edge is still a problem

Sunderland were surprisingly poor. Thought they’d be a better unit at home and challenge us more. Even when we went down to 10 men, there always looked to be acres of space in midfield for us to exploit. Apart from the late charge they had in the end you wouldn’t know that we were down to 10 men. Our lack of cutting edge however, made the match an unnecessary heart attack. There were plenty of chances, 19 shots with 8 of them on target. Giroud and Cazorla in particular had easy chances to kill the game late on but didn’t. A champion team will always kill the game, it is as damaging on the scoreboard as it is psychological. Once you go ahead 2-0, the dynamic of a game changes. While we were winning 1-0 and were dominating, it was only 1-0, and so long the score stayed like that, the other team believed they could get back into it. It would have been nice to kill the game earlier, we really deserved that second goal.

In the end the plaudits must go to our goalkeeper and makeshift defenders for not allowing Sunderland to score an equaliser. We were probably one more goal away from an ideal away performance, but the signs are encouraging ahead of a crucial FA Cup tie against Blackburn on Saturday.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Javan odero February 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

That was a fantastic perfomance from keeper and sagna.Aante sagna due to his recent form more so this season,congras szesney. Let us keep up strengthening our defense and sharpening striking mode’ with that we are able to end 7years trophy drought with FA and knocking out Buyern

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vince richardson February 13, 2013 at 2:46 am

As Sunderland fan I cannot disagree with any of that.Only thing I would add is Wenger made a bit of a boo boo not taking Jenkison off at half time.He was on a yellow and had had a final warning from the ref.Martin O Neill took Cattermole off for that same reason.With 11 men you would have cruised the game,but instead you had an unecessary nail biting finish to endure.
But hats off,you played some great football and showed resilience.

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Goonr February 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Who was he to put on in place of jenks? Sagna wasn’t an option so he had to take the risk.

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Rayed Mamun March 15, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks mate, its actually refreshing to have others on the blog with genuine footballing opinion, instead of just “trolling”. I really respect Martin O’Neill as a coach.

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Daniel March 19, 2013 at 8:43 am

Bad news 2 me. Wenger has onli succeeded in makin trrsafens more difficult in Arsenal by agreeing 2 pay Walcott 100K per wk. Now, bigger or better players coming 2 Arsenal (dat is if there are ani coming at all) will demand higher pay considerin their qualities n Walcott’s. Dis is d beginnin of d end of Wenger’s financial policies, but if itz gonna hlp d team win trophies then I don’t care hw much’s spent.

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