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Arsenal 2-3 West Brom: Role Reversals On Display At Emirates

Emirates Stadium, Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion , Premier League 25/09/2010  Jerome Thomas of WBA in action with Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

If you watched the Arsenal against West Bromwich Albion game on Saturday, you would have sworn that the team playing in navy blue and white stripes was Arsenal and that the team in red and white were the Baggies.

The Albion played a beautiful passing the game and featured far more creativity than Arsenal. Chris Brunt and Jerome Thomas were central characters in many of Albion’s moves. And Peter Odemwingie again showed how clinical he is in front of goal. The Nigerian has to be one of the buys of the season thus far. To me, he reminded me a lot of another Arsenal comparison, Theo Walcott.

Arsenal were lucky not be losing 4-0 at home in this game. They were fortunate that the penalty that Brunt took wasn’t more clinical. And the final scoreline of 2-3 to West Brom really wasn’t an accurate reflection of the entire 90 minutes. A 2-4 scoreline to the Baggies would have been far more accurate.

Even Arsenal’s attempts at goal on Saturday looked scrappy. It was West Brom who were more creative in front of goal, while Arsenal (except for the Arshavin attempts that twice the hit the post) seemed to only create half chances. The only exception was Samir Nasri who seems to be a one-man Arsenal team right now. Take him out and Arsenal begin to look quite poor at times.

Last but not least, Manuel Almunia again showed how much of a liability he is for the Gunners. He saved a penalty but he was guilty of two horrible mistakes in the game that led to West Brom scoring. Without those mistakes, it would have been a much closer match. Watching Almunia, I pictured Shay Given and wondered what Given would do in those same circumstances. Not surprisingly, I pictured Given not making any of those mistakes.

Congratulations Roberto Di Matteo West Bromwich Albion on a performance that shows that newly-promoted sides can play football the right way to stay in the Premier League.

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  1. Arsenal Fan

    September 27, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I just watched the match on dvr (recording). Outside of Almunia being a big part of the points dropped, it seems to me that arrogance is the issue. The 11 Wenger fielded could have been picked out a hat from what I could tell (and of course because they are Arsenal players they should win in Wenger’s view). But the Wenger style/system is predicated on playmakers through the midfield. So instead of starting Rosicky and/or Wilshere, he fields Diaby (not so fresh from injury) and Eboue who’s played 30 minutes the whole season. Absolute piss for 55 minutes until the subs. Although, I do think Arsenal had far more chances, so I don’t agree that it should have been 4-2.

  2. stuart

    September 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I’m an Albion fan too, but have huge repect for what Wenger has achieved. Love his brand of football and principled approach. I am not being wise after the event, but I had money on Albion to win.
    The spine of the Arsenal team was missing and I thought they might underestimate the Baggies who are a lot better than the first match aginst Chelsea would suggest.
    The truth is that Albion have made some shrewd signings and are a much improved proposition this time .Arsenal’s performance should be viewed in that light. On this occasion i think Arsene failed to do his homework and watch recent Baggies performances.
    Maybe he has been in the job too long and couldn’t be bothered. I suggest that he won’t make that mistake again this season.

  3. Hugh

    September 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    As an Albion fan I couldn’t believe the side Wenger sent out against us yesterday. I understood that there were doubts about the fitness of Eboue and Diaby on Friday, so I was amazed to see them in your midfield along with Song. Neither Eboue or Diaby to me were anywhere near 100% fit for yesterday and it showed. Your manager gambled against us by playing these two in order to save Wilshere and Rosicky for next Tuesday night.

  4. Ibrahim

    September 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

    was not our day. One of the comments was very clever; bringing young players (2-3) is very good in this type of matches.Iit is at home, and they will show great detemination and work rate. We missed that a little bit yesterday.

    Fabrigas could have made the difference in the first half already, Im sure of that. I said before and I say it now, we are not the same without him.

    Nasri and Whilshere were the only two players who did their job correct. Nasri did very well, In other circumstances he could have been the man of the match for us for his performance.

    Chelsea can have a bad day too. They were also bad yesterday. United can not win when they travell, they prove that today too. I believe a win next week for us will bring the optimism back. It is still early to make judjments. I know a lot of fans have a lot of doubts about our team, but I m convinced we are more than capable of winnig the game next week and even winning the leagues.

  5. Badger

    September 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Shay Given IS an Arsenal player ,Warren Barton told me so.

    But EVERYONE beats/puts six past West brom/Wigan……..

    • Wigan Baggie

      September 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

      What a stupid comment on the previous post. That is exactly why WBA won this game….Arrogance from an Arsenal point of view. Thought you could turn up an win convincingly. WBA wont finish in the top six but will comfortably avoid relegation. Arsenal will be in or around the top 4. Just give a little respect and credit where due.

      • Badger

        September 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

        Think about it.But not too hard.

  6. RVPFan

    September 26, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Gaffer, coming from Arsenal fan of 20 years, I agree with you 100%. We were poor, lacked creativity, spirit, desire and were totally outplayed by West Brom. They fully deserved to win. And as you said the scoreline should have been 4-2.

    They must have watched the films and operated the same way as Barcelona game last season. That’s pretty much what happened here as well. Seeing Barcelona game opened my eyes out that the players are simply not good enough, no matter how persistent Wenger is. It’s almost as if Wenger has played a make-belief game where even if the players are technically not good, they are made to believe that they “are” just because they play for Arsenal. And he does that with supporters as well. These players have one huge problem, “ARROGANCE”. They think the opponents would simply sit back and let them pass the ball around, and if the opponent refuses to do that and passes around just like they do, they run around like headless chickens. Every team in the league should play game like West Brom against us.

    When Fabregas is back, throw Diaby and Song. Why are they even playing when they cannot tackle, cannot win the ball, no brains and no sense of where to be in the field. Play with Wilshere and Denilson. I am still not sure what goes in that Wenger’s head when he simply refuses to go with any other player than Diaby. Denilson is better, without a shadow of doubt and Wilshere can do a better job passing around and tackling.

    I still haven’t been sold on Chamakh. For instance he runs around all over, and I know he is trying, I have seen him hold the ball and pass around, but other than that, he does not seem to be an out and out striker. I would like to see him play with Van Persie and Fabregas as a striker up front and see what he can do.

    Overall, another disgusting performance. Having watched the tackling of De Jong and Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany in Man City game, It just made this Arsenal performance even more disastrous.

  7. Toby Bentley

    September 26, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Almunia made THREE mistakes not two. He conceded the penalty too, don’t forget.

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