Alfie's Angle: Thoughts on Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Southampton

Read the inimitable Alfie Powell as he shares his thoughts on Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Southampton

Alfie's Angle: Thoughts on Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Southampton

Read Alfie's Angle for his unique take on Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Southampton

Arsenal’s cruise to the top of the Premier League table has well and truly kicked off, as the fearsome and brave Gunners managed to abate the strikeforce of the titans of Southampton and secure a point at home.

I’m of course being a little facetious there and there’s no denying that Southampton are simply a very good team these days, but come on, this is Arsenal. We’re still allegedly one of the “big four” or six or whatever it is now. Eighteen?

For the first time in 794 minutes (that big sadly isn’t a joke), Arsenal scored from open play in the Premier League and despite going an obligatory man down in the second half, managed to hold on the a point as ex-Gunner Theo Walcott had previously slotted the ball passed Leno.

During halftime and the last 45 of the game, I decided it would be a good idea to make bullet points about what I saw. Now I think it would be fun if I presented them to you as I wrote them. Will it be fun? I hope so.

Halftime thoughts

Despite being our best player that half, Ceballos spent most of the time on his arse. Whether for fruitless slide tackles or diving, it’s pretty infuriating. He made a really good tackle on the edge of our box early on, but the twat could have scored instead of going to ground in their box like that.

Elneny has the positioning and spacial awareness of Stevie Wonder, but isn’t nearly as entertaining.

 

I told myself that I wasn’t going to drink on the weekdays leading up to Christmas but I’m getting through a good few beers right now.

Walcott’s animation after his goal was interesting. I’m not angry, just surprised.

Aubameyang pressed once in the 31st minute and that’s all he did for the whole half, except for a horrible pass to Saka that luckily found Pépé.

Our right back took two throw-ins that I saw and none of them were fouls. Bizarre.

I enjoyed it when the camera cut to Edu who, despite literally nothing happening in the game at that time, decided to start reacting to make it look like he was paying attention. The man is way in over his head, as is everyone in a position of authority at the club and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that extends to the floor manager of The Armoury shop.

McCarthy is arguably one of the least talented keepers in the league. There’s no excuse for not having more of a pop.

Second Half thoughts

This kickoff thing we do where a striker passes it back to a centre back who then boots it up the pitch is dreadful. Apart from that time where we kicked it out of play from a kickoff against Spurs, I can’t remember the last time we didn’t do it.

Still no new matches on Tinder.

Oh my god Arsenal got the ball in the goal while on purpose!!!!? My fantasy league team is saved...

Leno just did something weird. He caught the ball? I suppose I always just assumed his fists were fused closed.

I say this without a hint of irony; Andy Townsend has the charisma of an empty lighter.

Fuck sake. That’s f****** ridiculous. What are you doing Gabriel? Now some poor ****’s going to have to come off for Luiz and, thankfully, it’ll probably be Nketiah (I don’t like Nketiah all that much).

Ceballos will probably have a punch up with Willock next training session now. I’d have taken Elneny off but then again, I have very slightly less coaching experience than Arteta.

Taking Pépé off for Cedric is like selling your car so you can buy a shed to store your train sets in. They’re not even slightly similar and now you’re not going anywhere. I don’t know if Arteta’s hoping he’ll do a Walcott? The good news is that Willian can’t come on now.

Full-time thoughts

Leeds scored four goals tonight. At this rate it would take us a further 2,240 minutes to equal their tally.

Holding will never ever get the credit he deserves. I don’t have a clue what he does to get an England call-up when you look at the like of Keane and Stones finding themselves in the squad.

We’ve got a point at home and therefore it’s only sensible to conclude that Arsenal are going to win the league. North London is red. England is red.

In all seriousness, this game was obviously a lot better than the last few (many) and at this stage, a point is very handy.

Clearly something needs to be done about the growing red card numbers because now we’re without our best player of this season. I’d like to see Saliba given a go, but it’ll obviously be Luiz.

With that said, playing Saliba alongside Luiz would probably be the smartest way to integrate him into the team. I’m going to have a beer.

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