Cazorla Is Mustard, Lambert For England And Other Things We Learned From Arsenal v Southampton

The Arsenal attack was impressive, and their defence was imperious. Here are the main talking points from yesterday's game at the Emirates...
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Arsenal really have remembered where the opposition goal is

After two 0-0 draws against Sunderland at home (disappointing) and Stoke away (respectable given recent meetings), Arsenal grabbed three points a fortnight ago vs. Liverpool with a well deserved 0-2 win. Against the Saints, under cobalt blue North London skies, would the yellow-shirted Saints prove to be a banana skin or a banana split? Tenuous fruit-based metaphors aside, the Saints did indeed split in front of 60,097 bathing in beautiful September sunshine.

Granted, the Gunners were gifted two fortunate own goals, but the link up play and clinical finishing off their attacking players certainly bodes well going forward. Lukas Podolski, a forward who this author can’t find a suitable past-Arsenal player comparison for, scored a thunderous free-kick and was heavily involved in much of Arsenal's great attacking play. Gervinho, the often lamented Ivorian who was handed a starting berth upfront, repayed Wenger's faith by bagging a brace, with Olivier Giroud sat on the sidelines. Theo Walcott came off the bench to bag a late goal (more on him later) ...

A very good day in attack for Arsenal and their fans and this sets the team up well for The Champions League encounter in Montpellier next week.

Bold in attack, Bould at the back 

The ‘Steve Bould Effect’ is well and truly underway at the club. Sightings of a back four with arms aloft, claiming for offside, took your author back to those 1990 days when he first started supporting the Gunners. Joyous. And Arsenal’s defending of set-pieces today was also extremely well handled. Rickie Lambert is a solid unit and one could imagine him causing an Arsenal defence pre-Bould’s first team arrival absolute chaos. Four games in, and one goal conceded. The real test will be of course against Montpellier and Manchester City this coming week, however.

azorla’s touch, passing and vision has shown Arsenal fans that he is exactly the player who should have arrived following Cesc Fabregas’ departure last summer.

Cazorla is the dog's nuts

Santi Cazorla is an absolutely incredible athlete and visionary footballer. He rarely wasted a touch, let alone a pass, and could have easily had a penalty given after a suspected foul in the box in injury time. Cazorla’s touch, passing and vision has shown Arsenal fans that he is exactly the player who should have arrived following Cesc Fabregas’ departure last summer. Juan Mata who?! A master-class today from the diminutive Spaniard.

 Is Rickie Lambert good enough for England?

Having married into a family of Gillingham fans, this author has had the pleasure of watching football at Priestfield of late and Rickie Lambert’s performance against the Gills in a 2010 visit confirmed to me the thought that he was indeed playing below his level, and that he should get a shot at the top table. Today, Lambert was kept admirably quiet by Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker, although he matched the giant German in a couple of physical encounters in the second half. He had a chance at 4-1 to make it 4-2 and a potential come-back, but he spurned the shot wide of the far post.  I believe Lambert is well worth a shot in a new Nike England kit.

Theo Walcott appears to be in no-man’s-land

Did Walcott's lack of celebration at 6-1 show us an ill-feeling towards his employers, or a sign of respect towards his ex-employers? His goal was very well taken, but he must have seen Gervinho start in the position many believes is his to be tried out in, and the quick number 27 put in a great, if somewhat ‘drifting across the pitch at times’ performance. Walcott may have seen Arsenal play so well today without him and be worried that he may not be the much needed player he at first believed, and may not get a move to a ‘step-up’ club either. Theo, if you’re reading, sign up lad. Arsenal works for you and you have stated working out very well at Arsenal. Just look at Andrei Arshavin’s fall from grace, let alone the careers of others who believed they were bigger than Arsenal (Alex Hleb...Emmanuel Adebayor...Nicklas Bendtner) and all of a sudden, £75,000 a week to stay at a very big club without damaging your England prospects doesn’t seem that bad at all.

I was going to leave the piece with a thought, hoping Oliver Giroud had followed many Arsenal striking greats by breaking his duck against Southampton FC, but he didn’t. What the heck? Is Giroud the hottest player Arsenal have ever fielded, even with our recent golden memories of Bobby, Camp Freddie and not so Petit..?

Next stop, Montpellier. Come on you Gunners!

More great Arsenal articles...

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott: Why Juventus Are Interested

An Interview With Arsene Wenger

Adrian: Falcao’s Fall Guy Would Fit Right In At Arsenal

David Bentley: Did A Lack Of Self Belief Undo The Arsenal & Spurs Star

Arsenal: Why Steve Bould Should Be Wenger’s Successor

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