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6 Things We Learned From The Reading Game

Arsenal beat Reading 5-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Santi Cazorla. Here are some observations and things we learned from the game by Arsenal fanLloyd the Gooner

Lukas Podolski

Reading were awful! Not the worst Premier league team we’ve seen maybe but certainly a contender. Therefore anything we did learn has to be treated with caution.

1. Szczesny dominant

Starting at the back – the big Pole at last commanded his six yard box in the air. Apart from one rash attempted punch in the second half he was comfortable. Two catches under real pressure were exactly what we have been waiting for.

2. Shaky defence

The defence was hardly tested. However they still managed to look shaky most of the time and frankly comic for both of the Reading goals. Mertesacker’s performances are so inconsistent. He ranges from absolutely hopeless – how slow was he yesterday? – to dominant – Man City away. Can we really build a defence around him without knowing which Per is going to turn up?

Vermaelen is really struggling at the moment. Even against Reading he looked uncertain. Hopefully it is simply poor form but it’s dragging on now. Time to shape up Tommy.

3. Gibbs improving

The full backs did ok I suppose at the Madejski. Ok Gibbo was utterly at fault for one of the goals conceded but overall, given the opposition was so poor, the game was another step along the road to producing a class left back. As for Bac I fear the worst. I think he is going. He has that Alex Hleb look about him to me. He is a warrior but even he looked like a warrior- lite to me last night. Watch this space!

4. We need a defensive midfielder

The midfield had nothing up against them at all. Hence they all played well. Jack is not back to anything like his best yet. But he is big hearted and will get there sooner than most would.

Cazorla? You have to perform like that every three days from now on mate. And Arteta showed again why he isn’t a holding player. If, in the January ‘window’, we make no attempt to buy in that position then the club’s decision-makers are seriously deluded as to what is required.

5. Ox starting to show what he can do

‘The Ox’ was lively enough and is just beginning to show something. For the second half of the season…again watch this space!
Podolski may have got lucky in the German international caps raffle (over a 100 times!?) but at Reading his contribution whilst not great in quantity had real quality. The ball for the hat-trick goal looked easy but often do we see them over or under hit. His goal was top class too.

6. Theo is a ‘Michael Owen’

Now what of Theo? The great Arsenal enigma! Well I have said previously he is a Michael Owen …and he is. Arsene doesn’t play a pair up front however so can he play there on his own? Well he made a start but it was Reading. And as for Gorkss, he was an opponent made for him. That said Theo did all he could and his goal was pure Wrighty!

What we learned? We have some bricks to build with. We can beat teams that allow us to play. We desperately need to get rid of the deadwood. We MUST buy a holding midfielder or two and hope Tommy and Jack get back to what they can be. Above all hope that the medics discover the miracle potion that keeps Abou Diaby fit!!

What were your thoughts on the win at Reading? Get involved in the comments section below.



  1. davi

    December 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    “And Arteta showed again why he isn’t a holding player”

    Huh? He had a great game! The past few weeks he’s looked a bit tired and as a result hasn’t controlled the midfield area as he used to, but he is a top holding midfielder and he showed that yesterday. I agree that we need to pair him with a more powerful CM, as we did last year with Song, but that’s only to take some of the physical strain, which has clearly been taking a toll on Mikel recently, NOT to take his place as the main holding midfielder necessarily. Arteta proved last season that he IS (or can be) a holding midfielder. Anyone who thought Song was the main DM needs to get their eyes checked. Mikel was the most central and deepest-lying midfielder in every game he played and rarely joined in with the attack.

  2. Abeo

    December 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    The Bad

    Arsenal’s slip in concentration after going up 4-0. It’s arguably natural for athletes to slow down a bit when a lead such as that one is on the board, but there is nothing more frustrating for fans than watching a big lead slowly slip away due to casual errors. Gibbs’ awful pass towards (not exactly “to”) Jack Wilshere, Podolski standing about five yards behind his defensive line…these are easily corrected mistakes that Arsenal have to iron out.

  3. Abeo

    December 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    “Mertesacker’s performances are so inconsistent. He ranges from absolutely hopeless – how slow was he yesterday?” What is the basis for this comment? One cannot fault Per for the goals. See another bloggers view above which I agree with

  4. Toye

    December 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Arsenal plays well without ramsey but poor each tym he starts. Wenger should stop starting him.

    • Goonerboyo

      December 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Ramsey for skipper Toye, I keep telling him then you will see his worth

  5. Goonerboyo

    December 18, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    1. We should pay teams like Reading every week.
    2. Or we should play against 10 men every week.
    3. We need to sell all the deadwood.
    4. Play Arteta further forward and buy a genuine
    Defensive midfielder.
    5. Entrust the future of the club to a new strategic manager and chef executive.
    6. Review and renew the coaching set up from top to bottom.

  6. Pst Joseph

    December 19, 2012 at 2:03 am

    U were partiar, ratin all english players above others Cazola was a master piece.

  7. LOL

    December 19, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Wow lol mertesacker is copping a lot of slack for mistakes he didnt make, if anything he has been the most consistent defender this season.

  8. kennedy

    December 20, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Arsene needs to be consisted in his team selection and team tactics if arsenal needs to recover. As much as the team needs to address the persistent mistakes, wenger too has his deal to handle.

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