Jonny Forumer: Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal

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Jonny Forumer: Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal

Sunderland

Ready to Go

So I’m ready to leave Ready to Go, right, when I hear this bloke called Julio say:

When we took the lead we should of defo been looking to get Meyler on the pitch to sit infront of the back four, 15 mins left lets just shut up shop. Campbell off Meyler on would of been the right thing to do IMO.

I’m thinking, "Hello, is this dissent against Martin O’Neill I hear?" But he’s done such sterling work propelling Sunderland up the table and putting them in with a shout of a European spot. Is this the thanks he gets? I gathered my thoughts and prepared to admonish Julio, before rentaghost piped up sympathetically with…

There will be plenty more for the general whingers to get stuck intio under MoN. Hes a great manager but when we lose games fans wont like the fact that we concede a lot of possession. A lot of people have had a rerally good whinge about the formation yersterday but it did nullify Oxlade – Chamberlain and Walcott and got us into a position to win the game.

I have to admit at the time I would have brought on Meyler as well – for campbell but taking Campbell off actually lost us the game as they started to get freedom down their left that they hadnt had before.

All of a sudden I’m thinking, "Sounds fair enough – I shouldn’t have been so quick to jump down Julio‘s throat. Criticism should be fair game even during the good times." So I stuck about and got talking to a lad called Randy Savage, who bought me a drink, sat me down, looked around the room and whispered conspiratorially in my shell-like…

The tactics restricted Arsenal to what I would call low percentage shots and few clear sights of goal, so to that end they worked. Unfortunately, one of those low percentage shots went in and the lads just backed off a little bit too far due to tiredness.

It should also be said Arshavin has been poor for a few seasons and he was shown onto his right foot, yet still somehow come up with a beauty of a cross. I would have had Meyler on at some point to shore things up and use his energy to press Arsenal (in the right areas), but it’s done now.

Things have been brilliant under MO’N so far and I’m loathe to criticise for perhaps a mistake yesterday.

SurreyMackem then pulls up a chair, slams the palms of his hands down on the table in order to draw attention to himself, clears his throat and bellows in that impressive baritone of his:

Considering we played extra time on wednesday MON should have used all three subs to get fresh legs on the pitch. Exactly who to bring on/off was his decision that is what he paid for but he didn’t. His only excuse is that he didn’t have the likes of Bendtner, Catermole and Vaughan to choose from.

He only made one substition when Frazier went down injured but IMHO he made the wrong choice unless he wanted to win at all cost. If that was the case then he needed a bit of luck and he didn’t get it.

A fair and knowledgeable bunch, the denizens of Ready to Go.

Sunderland-Mad

Head spinning from a few too many Double Maxim Brown Ales, I stagger off to Sunderland-Mad and do a series of double takes as a similar strand of discussion envelopes my senses. FIVES_ALIVE for one is charging around the room telling anyone who’ll listen:

“We should have won and had plenty of chances. Nailed on handball ignored which could well have opened the scoring. Our goal was a huge slice of luck, hope he isnt to badly injured, but it looked it. Saying that, the amount of times…on any other day, we would have got 4. Their 1st was just as lucky, and the 2nd was a mental lack of concentration.

FOr me, MON got this one wrong. Campbell on the wing looked hopeless, not his fault he tried to do as he was asked. But on 70/75 mins Sess should have been subbed. He was a passenger and knackered losing the ball nearly every time he got it. Meyler would have been fresh legs and hustled, something Sess was no longer giving.

Then Ji at the end???…Thought we were worth all 3 points, would have settled for the draw…but a loss?…that one bites.”

After being told a number of times to keep the bleeding racket down, FIVES_ALIVE is eventually confronted by ritchiep, who looks him up and down, smiles wryly and says:

It’s true that Campbell was less effective out wide. However, in the first half, they out-hassled us for nearly every ball. Too many times we passed back and sideways until either one of the CBs or Mignolet had to hoof if forward, where, inevitably, Sessegnon lost out. Also the back four and midfield lost shape too quickly and easily. That wasn’t tactics, that was lack of movement and an opposition who wanted it more than we did.

In the second half we generally tightened up, stopped messing about with the ball at the back and pushed on at them a lot more, until we ran out of energy. Campbell being the prime example. It was telling that Henry outran him not long before the goal.

Not a lot to criticise for the first goal, but the second was poor by O’Shea and Turner, neither even attacked or jumped for the ball. We nearly got away with it though. I’m disappointed at the result, we were worth a point at least. But the performance was OK for me.

And that’s when it all kicked off.

Thierry Henry scored the winner for Arsenal against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light
Henry... On cue (Img: Richard Moross)

Arsenal

Arsenal Mania

So I wander into Arsenal Mania, right, and what do I hear but praise – yes, actual, heartfelt praise – for one Andrey Arshavin! Furthermore, a lot of people stood around shariqdhanani nodding sagely as he announced from his podium:

‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ … Well wenger was spot on when he put arshavin on. Our little russian came through. Tbh, i wanted arshavin to come on because walcott was offering nothing and we needed a moment of magic to steal the match. It is a big gamble putting arshavin in because you never know what you are going to get from him but it is atleast better putting arshavin on than watching walcott put in nothing balls in the box for longer.

On the walcott issue, he is not effective against teams that sit deep defensively. Walcott had no space to run into and therefore, he could not offer anything. Walcott does not have trickery, he is not flexible to constantly switch his movements when on the ball and his dribbling isnt that good either. In these kinds of games, walcott will never offer anything. Walcott is more effective against teams that try to take us head on i.e the likes of manu, man city, etc. In this kinds of games, we need players in midfield and attack who are technically great.

Ramsey played great today as he looked very sharp. Henry is a legend! Oh and i hope merte is okay but it looks like he will be out for atleast a month! Good thing we have gibbs back, hope he stays healthy!

Sunderland’s pitch is absolutely woeful. I cannot believe this was a premiership pitch. Disgusted! This is why this victory is so sweet. Seems like we will be in the top four for the whole week atleast.

Yes, diplomacy was out in full force at Arsenal Mania this morning, never more so than when mistaT, wearing a benevolent smile despite shaking the rain off his overcoat, burst through the saloon doors and crooned over a gentle bossa nova rhythm:

Great win, not a great game. Thought Sunderland really had us at times and in particular we looked poor for the start of the 2nd half. They were taking it to us and for a good ten minutes or so we were pinned back…credit to them, they’re looking good and on the rise. McClean seems a talent and you have to respect what MON has done, class manager.

But: Loved the come back win – credit to Arshavin as he does have the quality to produce regardless of playing time. Really is a super sub at this point and the kind of player who is great to have around to chase games, but never again as a starter.

Congrats to Ramsey…been hard on him and it was nice to see him bang one in. Sagna with a strong game, Walcott looked **** and the rest of the team did what they need to.

Big big big win….tied for 4th and its on!

The prevailing mood of contentedness at times gave way to boyish excitement that Thierry Henry had once again scored the winner, but the celebrations were temporarily cut short when brady_style gets a bit lairy and splutters:

Arteta, in my opinion, was not good today. Too often he took the simple option, too often he went sideways and it was rare to see him run forward after passing the ball. He always seemed to be within five metres of Song, thus offering very little as an outlet.

As a senior player he has to try and influence the game more. It’s easy for teams to close us down if our midfielders decide to stand still and not run forward. All in all, it wasn’t a good day at the office for any of our midfielders in my opinion.

But halfvolley‘s all like "what" and "shut up":

Arteta had a good game. He did his job and realised the limitations the pitch would put on him. He knows you can’t be hitting 40yd incisive precision passes on a potato field. Sadly the same can’t be said for Song, who played his passes like he was at The Grove.

Merked.

Gooners World

Over on Gooners World, friedslice was being a right old miseryguts, slumped in his rocking chair while grimacing and slurring irritably to anyone who would listen:

All I seen against sunderland was the same old story, a lacklustre performance where we well and trully scraped through by the skin of our teeth, just like we have in most of our wins this season.

hopefully that with the big win v blackburn can spark us, but if we play like we did on the weekend (just as we have most of this season) then we’ll be dropping plenty more points before the end of the season.

it’s been relatively the same performances all year round, sometimes that’s enough to scrape us past shit teams but sometimes it also costs us points against shit teams. who knows how the season will end, our form won’t change, it’s just whether we get lucky and chelsea continue to drop points.

we were still just as poor on the weekend as we have been most of the season and from here on in we won’t even have Henry to save us.

Arsenal~Fanatic looked around the room, his hand raised slightly as if to say "I’ll take this one", and said, attempting with his tone of voice to mask the fact that he was basically humouring the old curmudgeon…

Even Man-city would have taken a 1-2 Win over Sunderland in their own backyard on a disgrace of a pitch. Every player played his heart out and the tenacity we showed to comeback after going a goal-down was nothing short of outstanding. Sunderland are in good form, especially at home and to say they would have let themselves rolled over easily without any resistance is stupidity. There is no easy game in premier league . you have to work really hard to gain every point. For me this was one of the best results of the season for me , cos we would have easily thrown in the towel after going a goal down in the past but we dug deep to net three points. As i have said several times, for me three points is all that matter. We are not Barcelona/Madrid to be expecting to win every game by 2-3 goals.

Suddenly, a car crashed through the wall. There was a good thirty seconds’ worth of stunned silence before Leody stepped out from the driver’s seat, looked sheepishly around, unfurled a piece of paper, cleared his throat and announced:

Sunderland had the best record in the league over the last 10 games going into this last weekend. A 2-1 win in their house is nothing to shrug off, no matter how ‘lackluster’ we looked. And I’m usually one of the most negative. I’m still not confident, because I’ve seen the bipolar nature of this squad’s form over the last few years, but I’m not going to discount what they were able to do Saturday.

That’s how it happened. Honest, guv.

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