Result: Arsenal 0 – Sunderland 0
Date: 18/08/12
Attendance: 60,078

Santi Cazorla

Used under creative commons courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald

So a slightly disappointing start to the 2012-2013 season I think it’s fair to say. What is strange is that a 0-0 draw against Sunderland would normally fill me with anger and would pose a lot of questions.

Not this one…I feel extremely optimistic, not only about the game, but the next game, the season, the future!

There is no doubt how much we dominated, 70% possession tells you all you need to know, oh and 23 shots to 3 for Sunderland is another stat that sums up the match better than I could!

There were shades of brilliance in the first half, most notably when Cazorla broke free in midfield and ran energetically at the cowering defence, allowing him space to unleash a powerful swerving effort that Mignolet saved well.

Walcott nearly found new boy Podolski with a trademark run and cut back, the angle was against Lukas who could only hit wide, again I think most fans will find this play extremely encouraging.  Unfortunately from that moment Walcott went into his shell a tad and struggled to make an impact on the game. It would be unfair to criticise Theo with the inexperienced Jenkinson behind him, who had a solid game it has to be said. There is no doubt that Walcott can be more influential with Sagna behind him.

Gervinho made multiple runs and gave the defenders a lot to worry about, cutting back for a Cazorla shot after a rapid counter attack.

The second half was another tight affair with Sunderland sitting deep and absorbing a lot of pressure. Although we kept the ball well, the players were not under much pressure, and had almost too much time, with the tempo slower than Arsene Wenger would like, as stated post match.

It was becoming clear that a moment of magic was needed to break the deadlock. The question who is the star man to provide that magic?

We didn’t need to wait long for the answer, the moment of the match, a fantastic cross defence run from Giroud, the likes Messi would be proud of, and a delightfully weighted pass from Cazorla, splitting the Sunderland defence, the likes that Xavi would be proud of. Unfortunately unlike Messi, Giroud hit wide.

Before you start shouting at me for comparing our players to that of Barcelona’s just take a moment to accept that we have some real quality in the squad, players that, given more games together will develop fantastic partnerships and relationships on the field. To almost produce brilliance, (bar the finish), in their first competitive match is a fantastic sign.

So as you know the game ended 0-0 with the Giroud shot undoubtedly the chance of the match. And yes I felt disappointed, anyone would, but a strange feeling of immense optimism washed over me after disgesting the performance. There are far more positives to take from the game than negatives. Cazorla looks incredible on the ball, I feel really good about his potential link up with Giroud, I feel that should be the number one pairing. The two of them together could pick up a lot of goals/assists.

Directly after the game Arsenal confirmed our belief that Song was off to Barcelona. Again, nothing but optimism. Another player who didn’t want to wear the shirt…£15m for that is a good sell. We now know Sahin is almost a done deal and multiple reports suggest one more arrival, with the news this evening, that Yann M’Vila will not play for Rennes again. Arsenal bound? I hope so.

Who impressed you the most?

[wpsqt name=”Arsenal V Sunderland” type=”survey”]




  1. Byarugaba Denis 19 August, 2012 at 21:28 Reply

    Carzola very impressive. I think he’ much better than Fabregas….we have a prayer to boost about. But there’s need for M’villa in the squard.

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