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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Arsenal v. West Brom

Our crack editorial team casts a critical eye at Arsenal and picks out what went well, what went not-so-well, and what flat out stank against West Brom.

Michael Steele

Have you ever built a piece of Ikea furniture, or otherwise attempted some sort of DIY project where there is a clearly defined end state, or a picture where you know exactly what it's supposed to look like? And when you've finished your project, does what you end up with not really resemble what the picture looks like, but is notionally the same thing as it's supposed to be? And at that point do you shrug, go "eh, it's good enough" and start stacking books on it anyway, even though it doesn't look like it would hold the weight of an anorexic baby bird?

That's kinda how I feel after yesterday's match. Three points was the goal, and the goal was achieved, It was a mess. Let's dive in, shall we?

THE GOOD: Three more points! Also, Fabianski played a really good game, particularly after the Mertesacker sending off (about which more later). Koscielny and Arteta also had rock-solid games. Arsenal mostly looked pretty good going forward, and Gervinho had another confidence-booster of a game; a few more of those and he's going to be damn good.

THE BAD: One of the most notable successes in urban open space reclamation and park design has been New York City's High Line. It's a stretch of abandoned old elevated train tracks between Gansevoort St and 30th St in Chelsea, and it's really done wonders for the neighborhood. Arsenal are apparently trying to pay homage to the people who drove the development of the High Line from concept to reality; they played a very high line yesterday, and unlike the park, which is amazingly cool (it goes under a hotel!), Arsenal's high line (which they've used before, to varying degrees of success) is horrible, awkward, ugly, and doesn't work. Please stop. Also, for some reason Olivier Giroud had a fairly off day, so he gets...honorable? mention here as well.

THE UGLY: Oh, Per. All you had to do was not chop down Shane Long like he was a dying tree. All you had to do was...oh, never mind. You did it, you got an early shower, and you deserved it. That was truly ugly.

So there 'tis. Arsenal are still in the hunt for the mystical, magical unicorn that is a Champions League qualifying place. But this whole "barely win" thing will get stressful.