Arsenal vs Norwich: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Paul Gilham

Featuring lots of hawt Arsenal goal action

There was a whole lot of good about yesterday's game. Winning, for example, which Arsenal have now done for the 20th time in 24 games. Retaining top spot in the Premier League, though that's far less important than gaining points. As Arsene Wenger says, we'll know a lot more about this Arsenal side after November, where we have tough games against Champions League contenders Liverpool and Southampton and a tough away game against midtable hopefuls Manchester United.

The Good

  • All of Arsenal's goals were outstanding, but the first one was breathtaking. Seriously, it's extremely hard to describe that goal without swearing. The pace, the rhythm of the passing, and the speed of thought and technical quality were all outstanding components. While it was happening, I was as motionless as John Ruddy and the rest of Norwich's defence. And the best part is that it was all intentional. All of it--Giroud's flick, Wilshere's backheel flick, and the finish. Jesus.
  • The other goals were a bit good too. Mesut Özil bust a gut to catch up to Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, who were set free by a wonderful pass between the lines by Aaron Ramsey. I honestly thought Özil had crossed for Giroud--that's how good the Frenchman's pass was. The third one was brilliant close control by Aaron Ramsey, who later added a Zidane/Cruyff turn to get away from Johnny Howson. He's the perfect example of what confidence can do to a young player, and now has 9 goals this season. Oh, and the pass for Özil's second goal was great thinking too. As was Rosicky's cross. Round of applause, team.
  • Also, we scored 4 exceptional goals while not playing at our best. There were periods where Arsenal's passing was a tad sloppy. Even when dropping deep, they'll want to control the ball better. I can only think that when Arteta becomes sharper, Cazorla gets sharper and the remaining three absentees come back, it'll get better.
  • Nicklas Bendtner showed some nice touches and looked sharp on his return to the Emirates. I think we all wanted him to score when set up by Aaron Ramsey. If he's half-decent that'll be a load off of Arsene Wenger's mind.

The Bad

  • Minutes 30-60, or 30-75, where Arsenal weren't deep. There are going to be moments where Arsenal drop--it's a smallish squad, and they're coming off of international break. Plus, it means Arsenal can focus more on shape, and hit teams on the counter, as they did for the second goal. However, Arsenal were a bit too passive yesterday, and a better side might punish them. Again, controlling the ball during these times, as they did against Napoli, will be crucial.
  • The goal Arsenal conceded might've been Per Mertesacker's first mistake this season, and it wasn't awful. He can do better, though, as can Kieran Gibbs, who was a little late getting back on Howson. Better next time, fellas.

The Ugly

  • Mathieu Flamini's collision, which resulted in him getting concussion. You don't need to charge everywhere, Mathieu, you mad bastard. The health of your brain is important.
  • Grant Holt. I don't care if he plays for Wigan, he's a bad, bad person. Petty? Yes. Do I care? No.
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