It will be all smiles for Arsenal fans as the gunners rarely had to get out of first gear to register a comprehensive victory over the baggies with a 3-0 scoreline as predicted by us at allArsenal.com. Goals from in-form striker Robin van Persie, solid centre-back Thomas Vermaelen and Spaniard Mikel Arteta sealed all three points for Arsenal and for the first time this season, the gunners will be able to go into the international break without wondering what has been going wrong.
With defensive concerns being the main issue going into this season, it must be said today both Koscielny and Vermaelen played brilliantly in the centre of defence. Wenger did expect Odemwingie to play and hence played the two quicker defenders, but nevertheless they stood firm and stopped everything that was thrown at them by West Brom. It is a great feeling knowing that Wenger now has decent defensive options if a centre-back were to get injured or aerial prowess is needed over pace with Mertesacker available.
At the other end of the pitch, with Robin van Persie in the freakish form he is right now it was obvious that there would be goals today. Scored a good poachers goal for his first, and assisted the other two along with good movement and distribution. Definitely worthy of the man of the match award. With both Arteta and Ramsey behind him and beginning to find both assists and goals, as well as immaculate distribution by Arteta, things are definitely looking up for the gunners.
While there is still room for improvement, to go into the international break for the first time this season with Arsenal on the up is a great feeling! Next up for the gunners in a fortnight is Norwich who narrowly lost 3-2 to Villa this weekend. Hopefully those players on international duty put in some good performances and avoid injury to give Arsenal every chance of continuing their great form!
on the victory…
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Overall it was a controlled performance where we had complete domination of the game. It was a good pace in the first half – in the second it was a little bit off – but we were never really in trouble. We are getting stronger and overall it is a positive afternoon. We scored five goals last week, three goals today and didn’t concede.
on a positive goal difference…
Yes. We put ourselves with a good handicap with the 8-2 [defeat] at Manchester United! It’s good but I was not used to seeing that before. It was a shock every time I saw minus in front of our goal difference. We know that can make a difference at the end of the season. Not only is it the first time we have had a positive goal difference but if you look at the teams above us there is not much difference – they are plus two or four maybe. That is catchable.
on the most satisfying aspect of the victory…
The spirit of the squad was right from the first to the last minute. We worked well together. I was always positive with the team because of course we were in a very bad position – but you felt the desire to do well. Now that we are doing better it is still there.
The team wants to improve, to work hard and get better and better. That is the most satisfying thing today. In the dressing room at half time you feel that they don’t switch off at 2-0. That was not always the case.
on Koscielny and Vermaelen’s partnership…
I expected [Peter] Odemwingie to play so I opted for two centre-backs who are quick. In the end he didn’t play but they worked very well together.
on Van Persie…
At the moment it is difficult to stop him. He was not only a goalscorer but a provider today, that’s what I like with the strikers. The only thing I know is that he is world class. When I was a kid, in Germany they had three rankings: national class, international class and world class. World class we always knew four or five players but I would put him into that calibre.
on being the best striker in the world…
There is some quality there. But of course [Lionel] Messi will win again. He is the best player in the world and deservedly so because he won everything. Let’s not put too much pressure on Robin and let him enjoy a full season. I think we can make a better assessment at the end of the season.
on Vermaelen’s finishing…
He should have got a second goal with the header! I like centre-backs who score goals, but I also like in my team that everybody is scoring goals.
on Jenkinson’s performance…
Today he had a very interesting game with the quality of his defending and the quality of his crossing. The pace of his improvement is very interesting. His energy levels are absolutely amazing.
Jenkinson Koscielny Vermaelen Santos
Walcott Van Persie (c) Gervinho
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.0: Had little to do for the entire game, but put in good saves when needed in the last ten minutes with a header from Steven Reid the best opportunity for the baggies.
Carl Jenkinson | 8.0: A great confidence boost for the youngster after putting in numerous dangerous crosses down the flank and playing solid defensively. Great overall performance
Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: The Frecnhman continues his great run of form after putting in a solid defensive display. Made great interceptions and blocks. Would have loved to have seen him get on goal after he had a huge surging run forward in the second half.
Thomas Vermaelen | 9.0: Flawless. Aerial prowess, aggressive, great distribution, tactical fouling, interceptions, tackles. How much he brings to defence is immense and couple this with his ability to score and surely you have world-class defender. Coolly dispatched Arsenal’s second to round-off an excellent performance and also put in a vital block on Tchoyi’s shot late in the match.
Andre Santos | 6.0: In some ways this performance highlights some of the criticism he has been getting in recent weeks. Poor positioning lead to dangerous circumstances for Arsenal. Will need to rectify these issues, but as always he was confident in possession and on attack.
Alex Song | 7.0: Did his primary job very well screening the defensive line with his physical presence. Put in a great deep ball for Van Persie to tee up Vermaelen for Arsenal’s second.
Mikel Arteta | 8.0: Put simply his distribution today was virtually immaculate and also managed to put in some threatening balls as well. Superb finish to round-off a typical Arsenal move and give Foster no chance.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.0: The Welshman is continuing to improve. Put in a great ball for Theo in behind the defence which lead to Arsenal’s first goal and showed a neat range of passing and skill throughout the match.
Theo Walcott | 6.0: Was anonymous at times and when he did get the ball often was let down by his final ball or inability to beat his defender. Did improve in the second, but was substituted in 78th minute with Arshavin.
Gervinho | 6.5: A quiet night for the tricky Ivorian, but at times did well to link with players in the box. Improved in the second, but like Theo was substituted in the 72nd minute with Arshavin
Robin van Persie| 9.0: An impressive display by the Dutchman. Scored a goal and provided two assists to be involved in all three of Arsenal’s goals. Continuing his freakish run of form!
- Notable Substitutions