The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Ozil, Arteta, Sanogo, Giroud and Vermaelen All Play Part In Huge Cup Win.

Joel laments conceding and, more so, not being in the embrace.

Morning, folks.

Feels glorious, doesn’t it. That sweeping euphoria of knowing that Arsenal have not let you down and that we will be front and centre when Wembley hosts the semi-finals. Whatever you may think about games other than the final taking place at the national stadium, being able to say, “Arsenal are going to Wembley” has an undeniably mellifluous ring to it.

Yesterday was a great performance when one was needed. Before kick off and up until we took an unassailable 3-1 lead, I couldn’t relax. My stomach churned, I paced and thought of nothing other than the fact there was a game. I often write about that sensation. At times it must come across as complaint when it is anything but. Feeling so on edge, so worried, is a beautiful thing; it means Arsenal are playing in a match that’s important.

And the FA Cup is important. It may have lost some of its prestige and gloss in recent years when held in comparison to certain European competitions, but the traditionalist in me still loves it above all others. During the game you could see both supporters and players alike felt the same way.

If you read this blog you’ll know I don’t like to write a blow-for-blow account on the game’s incidents. I kinda feel it’s a bit pointless as, by now, you’ll all have seen the game and know exactly what occured. Instead, I prefer to talk of the players who directly contributed the most or caught my eye during the game. Yesterday there were quite a few examples so I shall single them out one by one.

Mesut Ozil

  • We all know the guy is brilliant. His form may have dropped a little in recent weeks and he’s been on the receiving end of some hugely unfair criticism. Against Everton he was magnificent. He didn’t just provide guile and intelligence in attack, he also showed a willingness to scrap for loose balls and track back with his defensive responsibilities. Someone of his stature can inspire others by doing something so simple. With a great finish and an assist to his name, comfortably my MOTM.

Thomas Vermaelen

  • Looked a little shaky at times – that air kick –  but on the whole slipped into the position left vacant by Koscielny’s injury and put in a good performance. I do love Thomas. The emergence of Mertesacker and Koscielny as the Club’s first choice partnership can’t have been easy for him, but like the consummate professional he is, he’s never complained and always comes in and performs when needed.

Yaya Sanogo

  • Looked a little lost and out of his depth at times, but there’s something about him I really like. The young Frenchman has started 3 games for Arsenal and they’ve hardly been small games against ‘lesser’ opponents. He may be raw and some distance from the finished article, but to focus on those elements takes away from the fact he has come in, done his best and never let the team down doing so. Given time to progress and develop, he could be a real asset for Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta

  • If, like me, you’re a staunch advocate of Flamini, touchy people on the Internet will assume this means you despise Mikel and everything he stands for. Not true at all. Whilst I have my preferences, I do hold Arteta in high regard and always have. The composure he showed to dispatch the penalty not once but twice to give Arsenal the lead was a wonderful insight into how his experience is vital.

Olivier Giroud

  • He can be an anathema to some because of his lack of the ostentatious. However, his work rate and team ethic is very, very good and it shouldn’t go unmentioned that his intelligence of movement regularly creates space for both himself and others. He came on for Sanogo and offered a more effective outlet at a time when the game was still in the balance. I still maintain he needs another striker at the club to both share the workload and offer competition, but his 2 goals yesterday show how valuable he is when on his game – his second being the finish to a wonderful team move.

All things taken into consideration, a wonderful day has had by all associated with Arsenal. There is still a way to go before glory is secured, but we are definitely in with a shout. 2 games stand between us and some of that delicious and elusive silverware and at I’d fancy us to beat anyone in a one-off match on neutral territory. The draw takes place later today and we have no reason to fear anyone. Bring it on.

That’s all for today, folks. I shall point you in the direction of the comments and bid you farewell as it’s time for me to go and enjoy some breakfast. Don’t be shy, drop me a line with your thoughts about the game and the performances.

I shall return tomorrow at the usual time with more. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match reviews
  • dadgooner says:

    As a Gooner, imagine ur WORSE footballing weekend……. go on……. now do the impossible…..imagine being a spurzzz fan yesterday. #FOYS

    March 9, 2014 at 9:08 am
  • dadgooner says:

    Pacing??? Were u sat in Diamond Club Level???

    March 9, 2014 at 9:09 am
  • Aj says:

    Can’t disagree with any of your selections but I would include The Ox in there too. He too made a couple of mistakes but his commitment to rectifying them was exemplary and his creative play was outstanding. For me, he ran Ozil a close second for MOTM.

    March 9, 2014 at 9:27 am
    • LeBigMac says:

      Absolutely agree 100%
      There wasn’t a blade of grass the Ox didn’t cover and when he lost the ball to Barkley(?) with an errant pass, he immediately chased back and won the ball back.
      It is the desire we require from our players and that desire can win anything.
      Charlton in the semi’s would be a great day out, even better in the final…..
      COYG

      March 9, 2014 at 9:40 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @Aj: Agreed. There isn’t much of a case for leaving him out!

      March 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm
  • osahi says:

    Great game. I agree with the contibution of the players you mentioned. Arsenal can be devastatingly effective and win games scoring within minutes between goals. Two beautiful team goals verifies this. I love Oxlade-Chamberlain, his game has improved, he’s intelligent on the ball and is a continuous threat in attack. When he loses the ball, he wins it back and that’s the kind of responsibility required of a great player. He has a lot more to offer this season and I’d like to see him start more often

    March 9, 2014 at 10:07 am
  • Damien Coyle says:

    Did anyone realise that Jack wasn’t playing? I love JW but didn’t miss him at all yesterday.
    Alex OC was awesome, his work rate and determination to win the ball back is what Arsenal need over the next 8 games. From now until May…every game is a cup final.
    Delighted that Ozil got a goal, will do his confidence no end of good, he looked replenished. I’m convinced he will turn out like Bobby Pires :)
    Altogether now…she wore….she wore…she wore a yellow ribbon

    March 9, 2014 at 10:26 am
  • Muaiyed says:

    Do you think we have enough players to get us through these coming huge games?

    March 9, 2014 at 11:27 am
  • Idog says:

    Remember when we had Stepanovs, when we had Djourou, when we had Senderos and loads of others, remember when we kept on conceeding from high balls knocked into our penalty box (Bolton too many times), remember when our talisman captain Thomas V kept on making stupid mistakes (QPR) and then….remember the BFG knocking back the high balls, eliminating the aerial threat of any tall attacker, uniquely passing, calmly out of defense to one of our own players and then, you realize that he is often an automatic MOTM as without him we don’t have the ability to express ourselves. I love the BFG and while all the players you mention played well, especially Ozil, the big man played better.

    March 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm
  • Andreas says:

    For god’s sake. What does Sanogo haveto do with a team that wants to race for the league title? The guy is completely lost and he offers nothing as an offender.

    March 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm
  • fazjac_debra says:

    Nice blog, agree with it. It was a fabulous day at the Emirates. I thought the Flame worked very hard yesterday too, not as obvious but he stopped some serious shot on goal.

    March 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

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