Arsenal 4-1 Norwich: 4 Questions & Answers From Our Win Over The Canaries

By on October 20, 2013

Arsenal beat Norwich City 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts on the game.

Olivier_Giroud Arsenal

After England confirmed they would be jetting off to Rio next Summer with a midweek win over Poland, it was time to turn attention back on the Premier League. An in-form Arsenal side’s next challenge came in the form of a struggling Norwich team. Ramsey was benched while Cazorla and Sagna returned to action.

The game began with neither side threatening the oppositions goal but the Gunners looked very comfortable in possession. Arsenal’s patience paid off eventually though, as Wilshere started off and finished a series of sublime flicks to put the Gunners one up, just 18 minutes in.

Olivier Giroud looked to double the lead but his effort was no match for a confident looking Ruddy, who saved well at his near post. Norwich also created a good chance through Leroy Fer, the former Twente man drilling a shot at goal but Szczesny was equal to it.

More flair was showcased by the London side in the second period and they were rewarded when Özil scored a rare header to put Wenger’s men in the driving seat. Arsenal were playing brilliantly and looked completely in control until the normally reliable back-four were caught sleeping and punished by midfielder Howson. Game on!

That was until Aaron Ramsey practically put the game out of sight, after replacing Flamini, the Welshman weaved his way through a nervy Norwich defence and finished confidently, 3-1 Arsenal.

The win was sealed when the puppet-master Ozil pulled all the strings once again and found the net with a neat finish to make the final score 4-1. An impressive showing by Arsenal once again which stretches our unbeaten streak to 12 games.

As mentioned, a terrific result and here I will analyse any talking points from the game:

Q1) Is There a Place for Thomas?

In the opening matches of our Premier League campaign one area which has performed better than recent years is our consistent back-line and especially the central two. Mertesacker and Koscielny have looked formidable and have continued their excellent form from the second half of last season, but Gooners can be forgiven for contemplating whether or not there is a place for big Belgium Thomas Vermaelen. The centre-half is struggling to break up the Kos-Per combination and isn’t getting as much game time as he would like.

One positive Thomas can take is that we have a fair coach and Wenger likes to give everyone a chance. In my opinion, great performances or not Koscielny and Mertesacker will both need time to rest and we should be honoured to have a back-up of Vermaelen’s quality. He will get games, particularly in the Cups, and we all know how quickly football can change. But for now, he might have to be patient for his chance.

Q2) What’s our best Midfield?

Saturday was a prime example of the depth of talent Arsene Wenger has at his disposal in the middle of the park. Although this is primarily considered as a blessing, the wrong combination of midfield players could spell bad news.

Overall I believe we have three types of midfielders; ball playing experts [Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey], bold powerhouses [Diaby, Flamini, Frimpong] and our skillful dribblers [Özil, Cazorla, Rosicky]. The correct combination and mix of these types of players is crucial. Wenger seems to be favouring a solid base of Arteta and Flamini at present, with Rambo and Jack out wide, but this could all change with Cazorla back and Theo not far away. We need to make sure we strike the right balance.

Q3) Where’s all this confidence coming from?

In our past few games especially we have played with plenty of confidence, exhibiting creativity and adventure in the way we go about playing our football. Ramsey is amongst many who have transformed over the Summer, so what is the key to this success?

I believe this confidence and form comes from our unity and spirit at the end of last season which lifted us above rivals Spurs from a next-to-impossible position. An experience like this would boost any team’s confidence and it looks like it has done wonders for our current play.

Q4) Can Giroud remain first choice striker?

The Frenchman started the campaign off brilliantly but has lacked the cutting edge in front of goal of late, going four games without a goal. Most goals have come from midfield and although he played well against Norwich and set up two goals, Giroud needs to get himself on the score-sheet on a regular basis as well. His link-up is important to our team, but strikers are judged on goals.

He is no doubt the best striker we have in the squad but as well as facing possible competition from Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski when they return to fitness, Nicklas Bendtner looked sharp when he came on against the Canaries. If Bendtner can re-capture his good form, you never know, he may trouble Giroud for the striker spot.

Thanks for reading and I am happy to answer any questions you may have about our form in future articles.

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