Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal take on Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Adrian Clarke and Andrew Mangan of Arseblog.

Read on for their post-match comments and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

It didn't matter how Arsenal got the three points on Saturday, all that matters is that they got them. Fourth place is back in their hands now and long may that continue. This game certainly won't win awards for its quality, although the last 15 minutes more than make up for that from an Arsenal perspective. Thierry Henry continues to delight with a wonderful farewell to the Premier League. Could he have written it any better? And what of the contributions of Aaron Ramsey and Andrey Arshavin off the bench? Ramsey will have been delighted with his goal, while the winner was crafted entirely by the Russian's delightful cross. It's the perfect result ahead of that daunting trip to Milan, a test Arsenal will now be relishing. 

What better cure for a four-match streak without a league win than a resounding 7-1 victory? Arsenal will head to the Stadium of Light full of confidence, which they are certainly going to need against a galvanised Sunderland outfit. Martin O'Neill's impact has been immediate and the players that should have been performing under Steve Bruce now look capable of causing problems for any side. Stephane Sessegnon is currently everybody's fantasy football favourite at the moment, which is hardly surprising given his contributions in front of goal over the past few weeks. Sunderland will have plenty in their lockers to test Arsenal's mettle but I still feel it will be Arsène Wenger's side walking away with all three points on Saturday.

Adrian Clarke

It wasn’t pretty but Arsenal eventually grabbed the win they deserved at the Stadium of Light thanks to their greater will to win and a perfect Premier League send-off from Thierry Henry. Martin O’Neill’s men may have been bang in form but they showed the Gunners enormous respect by setting up with 11 men behind the ball and it was clear that their main intention was to deny Arsenal’s forwards any space in behind their back four. A drab affair ensued but after Sunderland unexpectedly opened the scoring when profiting from Per Mertesacker’s injury the Gunners raised their game and thanks to three excellent contributions by subs Aaron Ramsey, Andrey Arshavin and Henry the scoreline turned around spectacularly. With Arsenal now up to fourth they travel to Milan this week in fine spirits.

This isn’t a great time to be playing in-form Sunderland on their home patch but on the back of that magnificent 7-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers the Black Cats might be thinking the same about the timing of Arsenal’s visit to the Stadium of Light. From a Gunners perspective, the starting XI will need to be ready to roll up their sleeves and expect a physical battle. If they aren't 100 per cent tuned in all over the pitch, it could be a difficult afternoon for them because Sunderland will be passionate, committed, organised and well-balanced. I’m sure that Arsène Wenger will be wary of the threat posed by Stephane Sessegnon too. He’s not the most consistent Premier League performer but the way he drops off and runs at defenders could cause one or two nervy moments. He must be shackled closely. On paper, the Gunners have a far superior team and I’m optimistic that Arsenal will show an improvement in their away form in this clash. But to gain three, or even one point, I sense that they are going to have to play pretty well.


Blog - Arseblog

I think we all knew Sunderland was going to be tough, but playing against a well-drilled team who worked hard on a terrible pitch frustrated us for 75 minutes. Losing Per Mertesacker to injury and falling behind in one fell swoop might have proved much more costly, but Aaron Ramsey's introduction proved a clever change by the manager. I've always felt he was capable of scoring more so fingers crossed this can spark more from him. As for the winner, well, it's another great moment. I was happy to see Arshavin contribute the assist and whoever Thierry Henry's script writer is, he's doing a brilliant job. A last-minute winner on what is likely to be his last ever Premier League appearance was something special. Overall the team showed great spirit to come from behind in difficult circumstances, and those three points were absolutely crucial.

Sunderland away will provide a big test for an Arsenal side buoyed by the Blackburn win, but still with something to prove after a very difficult January. Martin O'Neill has done a fine job since taking over there but having played 120 minutes in midweek they might find it tough going, especially as the game wears on. I hope we've got the ability to exploit that and the pace of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular could prove crucial. Robin van Persie again proved that if he gets the service the goals will come. We've been a bit wasteful in front of goal recently but hopefully that Blackburn game has opened the floodgates a bit. Although we've got two big cup ties to come, this game is hugely important too and three points are vital to keep up the chase for a top-four finish.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
13 Feb 2012