Welcome to Talking Heads.
Before and after every first-team fixture, our co-commentator and Arsenal bloggers have their say on the game.
Arsenal travelled to Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League on Saturday and our Talking Heads for this game were studio guest Martin Hayes and Sian Ranscombe from A Girl Who Loves The Gunners.
Martin Hayes Studio guestMARTIN HAYES, STUDIO GUEST
In the end it was another much-needed three points. The result was much more convincing but we did enough on the day to get the win and beat a very poor QPR side. It puts the pressure back onto Spurs and Chelsea. At the moment, it's results more than performances but it's all about getting in that top four at the end of the season. Let's win the last two and see what happens around us.
I think if we win our three games, we'll finish in the top four. If we don't finish in the top four, we'll only have ourselves to blame.
It's always nice to have the points in the bag rather than the games in hand. It keeps the pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham. Chelsea have got a major distraction. Cup finals are a massive distraction. It doesn't matter who you are or what level you play at, when you get to a cup final, you don't want to miss out on that.
With the squad they have, QPR shouldn't have been relegated. You have to question the attitude and the appetite of those players. They've looked like they've been playing with their sandals on all season. I can't see them being any different at the weekend. You have to feel sorry for the club and the supporters because the players have let them down. Hopefully we can take advantage of that.
I think we'll win 2-0.
SIAN RANSCOMBE, A GIRL WHO LOVES THE GUNNERS
It seems all our games of late must each be a microcosm of the run-in in general - doing just enough and somehow managing to hold on. We can’t complain when we manage it, but it still makes for extremely uncomfortable viewing. Theo’s very inconsiderately early goal was unfortunately one I missed - in fact when I got a text saying “Wooooo” I thought Southampton had equalised in the Spurs game. Alas, it was just us somehow finding the net ahead of an afternoon of frustration against a newly-relegated team who grew into the game far more than they should have been allowed to. Our inability to ‘put the game to bed’ (I HATE THAT PHRASE) transferred over from the Manchester United game, the Fulham game, the Everton game… our games evidently just hate bed.
Podolski once again struggled to make much of an impact, and Theo, goal aside, has had better games. If we’re having problems up one end of the pitch, though, we’re doing pretty well up the other. Nacho Monreal had a difficult game against Townsend but Mertesacker and Koscielny were brilliant once again. Arsene Wenger’s decision to bench Szczesny for a few games continues to look to have been the right one as well. People complain that we’ve not had a goalkeeper win us points in recent seasons, but his performance was as vital as Theo’s goal yesterday.
As long as we’re doing just enough to put ourselves ahead, it’s really more important that we’re keeping clean sheets than scoring four or five. My blood pressure wholeheartedly disagrees.
It’s been said a thousand times before, but we’re at the stage of the season where nothing matters but points, and as many points as possible. A point against the newly-crowned champions wasn’t a bad result at all, but given neither Chelsea nor Tottenham are giving us any elbow room whatsoever, it can be considered two points dropped and places an even greater emphasis on the next three games.
QPR have of course already been relegated and have technically nothing to play for now but pride - then again we had little to play for but pride against Bayern Munich and ended up being about the only team in the past 75 years to have scored in their stadium: pride counts, OK. We of course lost stupidly at Loftus Road last season as well, which oddly enough makes me more confident than had we trounced them... Arsenal, what do you do to a girl?
What really frustrated on Sunday was our inability to make the most of any of our chances. It’s arguably been a problem all year, but without Olivier Giroud heading up the attack, both Podolski and Walcott struggled. All three of the games will be hard from now until the end of the season, but this should be the easiest of the three, so we need a strong performance from whatever our front three may be. We’ve been really impressive in the middle of the defence of late, so if we can find a bit of fluidity up front, I hope we will see a performance worthy of a team looking to impress in Europe next year.
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