Sanogo the difference, last game for Pod & other post FA cup thoughts

Post FA CUP Final observations by Gerry.

Good morning all. And what a fine day it is to be free of the … ‘not having won a trophy in X number of years’tag. Such relief. Congrats to all the team, who played as a team when they needed to. Job done … The hard way, of course?


I have spent the last hour reading all the comments, and I went with that flow too. I missed the equalizer (dog), but managed to see it out to he end. Annoyingly, the high pressure that brings us all the fine weather also gives me an occasional weak signal, thus rendering my recording a bit of a waste. Luckily, switching channels to watch it ‘live’ resulted in an upturn in our fortune on the pitch as well.

Just a few observations:

Starting with Geoff’s point in previous post (@01.39). Having a player close to Giroud makes him look a far better player with that extra yard or two of extra space. And that is saying something when it is a raw kid like Sanogo who still has so much to improve upon, can do that? Imagine what somebody with experience would do?

Sanogo. So, so very unlucky not to have broken his scoring duck by now. A wrongly disallowed goal in an earlier game. Finger tip touch in this with Giro-esque twist-turn-and shoot that might well have gone in off the post in this, along with other half-chances. If he can get his feet to do what his brain tells them to do, he will be something special. At the moment his first touch is clumsy to say the least. He has that long leg Diaby-like stick ability in tight situations, and can often come away with the ball when he has no right to it. But for all his flaws and limitations, he was the player we needed in this game, for his pace, effort, movement, and that occasional successful stickabilty that led to the winning goal. If they give out points for pre, pre, assists, then his part in that goal will be seen time and time again, with endless replays on the television, as a very special moment. I hope he will come good in years to come, and does not get drowned out by the clamour for that big signing.

Podolski. He suffers when he cannot start his play from the halfway line, imo. Guilty for the first goal for walking away before the danger was cleared. Not even playing the guy he was leaving off-side because Gibbs remained at his post on the goal line. But that is what you get when you play a forwards who is not naturally defensive minded? In the end his forward threat his lost from his starting position. Even young Yaya above, never shirked the defensive duty when needed, and had the pace of youth to get back up in attack.
Thank you Poldi for all your great goals, but I think you have probably played your last game in an Arsenal shirt?

Ozil. Criticism will come his way, but unfairly imo. The one thing Ozil needs is movement round him. Until Sanogo came on there was very little. Thus his passing game was made redundant. You can praise Hull’s tactics for much of this. They had a man on Arteta to keep him back. They were quick to pounce on Giroud when anything came his way, fairly and unfairly, it got the same result. Ramsey was kept back deeper because of the numbers they had in midfield, and Podolski rarely had a chance to run with it either. Luckily, as has been mentioned in comments above, he is a team player, and he will keep going for the team throughout the whole 120 minutes.

Cazorla. Worked his magic on the free kick. perhaps the goalie was at fault for not entirely trusting his ‘wall’ to do its job, as when he saw who had taken the kick, he took a half step to his right. which meant he was caught out by both the pace and accuracy of Santi’s shot. Where 9 times out of 10 going to where the keeper is, they will get saved. This one was one that didn’t. That apart, Santi worked hard against a disciplined defence, and few opportunities. occasionally his free roaming meant he was crowding out the space that Ramsey might run into, but overall a solid game, without too many decisive moments.

Arteta. I thought he had one of his better games, given the limitation of his pace, or the lack of. He was the main outlet ball out of defence, when played short, and was there to for Gibbs, as he was closed down quickly early on. However, he is another who will find game-time in short supply if the TW goes our way? Suggest he spends time getting his coaching badges?

Gibbs – Roundly criticised for missing the sitter, but that does not take away from his overall contribution. Nor should it be forgotten that he got in that position to miss the sitter, which, by rights, should have been a Poldi/Ramsey/Cazorla option? And let’s not forget his clearance off the line that saved us from going 3-0 down. He made numerous, and often unused runs down the left. Had a couple of half chances to feed a pass into the box, but failed for one reason or another. Where he excelled was being the last defender back on our set pieces. And also, when Fab went ‘Flappy’ near the end of the 120 minutes, he made another 30 yard dash to cover the open goal shot that ended up going wide. Should he ever get an injury free season, and all the experience that goes with it, he will be every bit as good, if not better, than Ca$hly got to be, and unlike him, he is a Gunner for life.

Koscielny. Kos had a typical Kos-type game. Sound in defence .. for the most part. Always a threat in our set pieces. Scored with his feet! And then nearly threw all the praise away with a blunder at the death. Still our best 50% pairing though.

Mertersacker. Poor old Per. An absolute rock for 119 minutes, then slips, and it could have ended in disaster for him. Slow to get up? Well apart from being a big guy at the tail end of a highly disciplined performance, he had a right to expect Sanga or even Kos to be covering as he was up against ‘fresh legs’ Aluko? Fortune favoured him with the latter’s misplaced shot, after Fab made a fruitless attempt to save the day. Let that not take away from an otherwise strong leader’s game.
Fortunately, he will not be departing any time soon!

Sagna. Oh Bacary. Yes you could leave on this high note? But you could also stay? Hard to find a fault in an otherwise tireless game. Few opportunities to get decent crosses in, but put in a real shift, as always. If economics decides it, he will be hard to replace. perhaps never, in like for like.
If common sense prevails. and team unity, loyalty, and a true class player are properly rewarded, Bacs will get what he really wants?

Fabianski. Deserved his place in the side, and fully deserves his medal. At fault for either goal? Not really. The first was a well worked routine that came back into the box at pace. For the second he was somewhat let down by the defending(Poldi), that allowed his initial save to come off the past and bounce to the scorer. In commentary it was suggested that diving into the goal meant he was in no position to save the second attempt? That is a bit harsh, give the angle he was going for the ball. As it was he only narrowly missed injuring himself, so another foot or two to the right and he almost certainly would have clattered the post, and that could have been far more costly? He did make another really good save that got a slight deflection of a heel(Arteta?) down to his right which made the difference between a finger tip touch or a full hand to it, but he still turned it around the post. Like Per, he was lucky late on, but overall another sound game.

Subs Wilshere and Rosicky had the same effect that the Hull subs did, by giving energy and focus to an otherwise tiring attack. And it made the difference for us, but not quite for them. Coming on for the last 20minutes of normal time might have been the obvious time, but we may well have lost our eventual goal scorer? Playing from the start is another question entirely, and one I do not intend answering.

Written by: Gerry.

39 thoughts on “Sanogo the difference, last game for Pod & other post FA cup thoughts

  • Super stuff and agreed with a lot. 🙂

    I am fully with you on Gibbs and Sanogo. Gibbs does not hide and gives his all and what a prospect he is for us. There is something about Sanogo.. things happen when he is on the pitch. He reminds me a bit of the young, yet unspoilt Adebayor. There is a spring in his step and he really wants to battle for every ball, and when Ollie is tired this is very welcome. It would have been great if he had scored a goal, but it will come.

    I dont agree with you on Arteta who was particularly uninvolved in the first half. I expect a lot more from our deepest laying DM, but that is just me. I also feel the lack of movement is too easy an excuse for Ozil’s lack of contributions during most of the game. I want him to own the centre of midfield more but have come to the conclusion that he is best suited for the wing with freedom to roam anywhere (the Cazorla role) going forward.

    Agreed on Cazorla and I reckon the goallie expected a left footed – right top corner free-kick from Pod, which made him veer the wrong way for a very costly half a second.

    It would be great if we could keep Sagna but let’s just accept he will be going somewhere else to earn much more money. We will miss him though – a very fine warrior.

    Also agreed on Mertesacker, Fab, Koz and Pod.

    As a team we performed really, really well, after a typical rubbish start in big games this season. How we conceded twice in such a short period is still beyond me and we really have to work on this for next season.

    But that is something to talk about all summer! hahaha 😉

  • Hi

    Per my last post, I’ll note briefly again..

    A. The early goals, well the second we were on heels but hmm. The first … Well, they got a corner and sometimes shit happens. They made the most but it wasn’t a talent goal

    B. Re midfield, this was Hull’s tactic and main hope. Clog it, stuff it, press it, trip it, just ugly it out. And frankly, a good choice for what they faced. Without pace wide it wasn’t going to be easy. Almost worked too. Add An early goal and cup final energy and anything can happen…

    In this arm wrestle war of attrition (not beauty) class and fatigue showed and the right side win, even without e penalty shouts (deserved)..

    For those who say Arsenal should have forced their game on Hull! Well, it’s always easier to play negative or make a game negative than positive. See: Maureen, Chelsea, bus (parked). Thus, again, without some pace, it was gonna be a hard but to crack two layers of thee down the middle of the pitch. Hence, all the wide and backward passes looking to pull back and find any kind of hole… By 60 mins they were showing and I knew it was just time.. Barring bad luck…

    Just my 2p…

    Cheers — jgc

  • following the live parade – and interesting inside scoop on the first goal scored by Santiago –

    AW told Santiago to aim for that right corner as their goalie was weaker on the left hand side , who says AW doesn’t do tactics ehhhh

  • those are top notch observations @ Gerry – brilliant thanks !

    can’t disagree with anything you wrote and yes, the ref was a plonker – I hope he never gets to do a final again – very incompetent ref this geezer but it could have been worse had it been one Anthony Taylor, ha

  • Hi TA, so you did use it as an in-fill then. My thoughts just grew as I wrote, so it just got a bit long.

    Anyway, we can differ on points here and there as they are just person views. For example, when you say you expect more from our DM, I think we all do, which is why he is at the top of most fans list? But what we have is a player who has taken on that role, but does not have the extra bits that a good DM would have. He has not got a great long pass. He is not a ‘beast’ in the tackle. Nor is he blessed with pace. Given those as a starting point is where we divide. You look at him as our DM. I look at him as Arteta.
    I just thought he put in a full shift at doing what he could, and for the full 120 minutes.

    With Ozil, again I get your point of view. For our £40m+ signing you want him to be THE creative hub under any circumstances? My thought on that is, we bought Ozil for what he can do. For what you want, perhaps we should have bought someone else?
    Not really that simple I concede. But I think he needs players to be on his same wavelength to shine. his major strength is passing, not just to where players are, but where they could be. he is not a great dribbler where he can open up a space which then others can seize an opportunity to follow him. He will be our greatest asset if we get to the next level of our development. at the moment it is hit and miss if our mobile players like Ramsey, or the future Ox are not available.

    The economics with Sagna are simple. To get near to a wage that might keep him, say £100k, costs about £5m per year. A 3 year contract, £15, and little resale value, unless added to the coaching staff? To buy a player, may cost £25m, plus lower wages, but if young enough, still saleable for £15-£20m?

    From Sagna’s point of view. If he signs on for £10m – a bargain for a player of his quality – gets a wage at nearer £8m a year he is set up for life after football.

    If it is only a positional change he wants? We could offer him that. Promote Jenks, bring along the the flying Spaniard, at £5m per year.

    On the other hand, do a deal with Man City and get our DM in the shape of Nastasic?

    Just the point on our start. yes we conceded goals we shouldn’t concde, but the gig plus point is that we stuck to the game plan I outlined beforehand, and did not panic. Another step forward i think.

    I also missed Ramsey off my player by player list, apart from mentions elsewhere.

    Ramsey. Had too much defending to do early on, but tried hard throughout to push for openings. He has had better games, but none will end so sweetly as this. I just hope he can play as an attacking MF, rather than the B2B player next season, at least some of the time?

  • love the new banner – look at both Poldi and AW ahahahahahahaaahaha

  • loving it loving it loving it –

    when was the last time Arsenal last won a trophy ? less than a day ago ahahahhaahhahahaha

    ok, I got some inside info –

    who is the Gunnersaurus ? ? ? TIM SHERWROOD.

  • Great response Gerry, and all agreed re different angles. I have enormous respect for Arteta and will never slack him off for his courage and fight for the club. Also agreed re Ozil – I love the guy and what he offers us and it is up to Wenger to get the right players in to get the best out of him. And we are not that far off really.

  • Sorry Dylan if this post clashes with your thoughts on the match. When I began it was just going to be a few jottings about the individual players .. but it grew as I was writing.

    Look forward to your report as usual.

  • Thank you for the fine report Gerry

    I adimt to have been very moved yestreday, and I dont just mean in the customary groin area.

    Fortunate to have attended many finals, yesterday was my favourate.

    It wasnt total vindication of Arsenes management, footballing philosophy, or the future. What it was however was a rare view Arsene Wenger the man who has spent near on two decades of his life acting as guardian for the Club he loves.

    Arsene and the players deserve all the credit. They trust him and he trusts them, no mean feat in a a footballing world were players are millionaires and up there own arse.

    Why do I respect and love Arsene Wenger? Look at yesterdays aftermarth and you will have your answer.

    I trust Arsene to build on this. He was asked yesterday about next seasons title chances and his response was that the Prem is ultra competive with Clubs that spend a huge amount of money and other clubs that spend incredible amounts of money, this making it very difficult, but “we will try our best”

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring”

  • We all know how Hull supporters must be feeling, but even better, can you imagine how sick the Spuds must be feeling ?……they will be feeling suicidal for weeks !. Then there`s the anger they must be feeling after seeing Jack`s……..”What do you think of Tottenham ?”….chant !.

    Yes !…..natural born doomer I may be, but I did say weeks ago, that I wanted the FAC more than a 4th spot !…..was I the only one to say that ?…..not sure if I had any replies to that !. Luckily enough, we have both…….or should that be a semi-both, as we have the small matter of a qualification tie first !………and unless Arsene gets the cobwebs off his cheque book…..we`re doooooomed !. hahaha

  • I must say, that having seen Arsene look happy on other trophy winning occasions , yesterday he looked a relieved man, like a weight had been taken off his shoulders !. I really felt for the bastard !. hahaha

  • No problem at all Gerry. My post is more about the game and yours is about specific players so it’ll be a fantastic pairing of posts. 😉

  • Proper Proud of the players for fighting for the cup yesterday, I was shell shocked by 8 mins, i just could not believe we were 2 down. The first goal for Hull was very jammy, the volley was heading towards the corner flag til Chester luckerly put it right in the corner, just out of Fabs reach.
    It was there heart, desire and mental strength that won the final.
    Most of all i am delighted for mr Wenger This FA cup win turns him from being a media dart board to a record breaker with most FA cup wins etc Proud of our club for standing by him even though for me it was clearly the right thing to do,
    Wenger and the players have been saying its a spring board for the players to believe in them selves , i also think it will make Wenger that bit more hungry to push on and make more history with Arsenal , i really hope so and think he will 🙂

    Great weekend, thank you Arsenal!

  • Aaron Ramsey what a player!
    Ozil did ok for me this season, i expect him to be more prepared for the PL next season. The reason i say that is people had written Rambo of a couple of seasons ago, just shows much they can improve when settled
    Oh and Sanogo, i am gutted he did not score this season, but i rate him highly and believe he will be a big player for us. He will also be like Ramsey, once he starts scoring he won’t be able to stop.

  • hahaha, you crack me up Cornwall. Before the game i would have settled for the missionary 2-0 but coming from behind made my day. hahaha

    hahaha, Trust..Lust, whats the difference TA? Any women foolish enough to have trusted me has always ended up lusted.

    Even those who didnt want it, so dont tell the police. hahaha

  • The Sagna issue is a funny one . The man has been great for us, honoured his contract , given solid performances I can’t even remember a bad mistake this season. Yet by honouring his contract he has left us struggling to secure him , to me the best way would be give him a signing on fee of £4,000,000 or up to £5,000,000. That is about a years wage to him and a similar type of deal we offered van Judas. Does Sagna really want to from Arsenal hero to Judas -2 joining Manc oil FC .

    On the other hand I wonder has Sagna just peaked ? His position is maybe the most demanding physically , though I think he still has 2-3 more years to go at his best .

    Either way please don’t join Manc oil FC , does he not look at van judas know and think what a prick he looks.??
    Anyway I hope he stays.

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