Ten Thoughts: Arsenal 3-0 AFC Bournemouth

It's been a sadly common occurrence over the last few many seasons where we've been badly in need of a functional, workmanlike, drama-free win. It's been a sadly uncommon occurrence over the last few many seasons that we've actually gotten it. Today, thankfully, we did.

1. Wouldn't you know it - today we had a left back at left back, a right back at right back, center-halves at center-half, etc and so on. Funny what you can accomplish when people are playing in their actual positions!

2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the Reverse Midas Touch and I love it - because I'm a simple and petty man. 0-9 against in his last two games...stellar.

3. As mentioned, this was a largely easy three points other than the odd moment here or there. Part of that was an uncharacteristic fluency in our game, given that it's the first one back from an international break. Part of it, though, was down to how aggressively awful the Cherries were.

I mean, everyone on the planet knows to play ten center-backs against us and hit us on the break. It's left cliche behind miles ago. Bournemouth looked like they were trying to play football against us some and they failed miserably at it. Sure, they defended in numbers at times - usually when we were playing keep-ball - but it wasn't systematic and they didn't have the required commitment.

One wonders if this is the season where they find themselves in serious relegation trouble. It'd be a shame, in one sense. I'd much rather have a team that tries to play a little around rather than the West Broms of the world.

4. Still, as bad as they were, all it would have taken was a period of time where they held us off before some of the worst of the crowd would start howling. Danny Welbeck was not here to mess around today though, and his goal six minutes into the match was exactly what we needed to settle those post-Liverpool nerves.

It was so so so easy, too. Sead Kolasinac, who had a storming game again today, had the run of the left wing. I don't know who was supposed to be marking him, or who was attending to Welbeck on the back post, for that matter. Kolasinac's cross was true (taking notes, Ox?), and Danny easily nodded it in past the stranded Asmir Begovic.

Come to think of it, it looked like every one of the more annoying goals that we concede during the course of an average season. Man, it's nice to have it be some other mob's problem for once.

5. Speaking of, we've had our comedy moments over the last few seasons, but Nathan Ake's fresh-air swipe when attempting to clear out a pass from Mesut Ozil arguably puts the lot to shame. I'd lose my mind if a U-10 player did that, let alone a guy who just moved clubs for 20 million GBP (inflated prices in the TV deal transfer market or otherwise). The German will get an assist out of it - not that it will shut up the more knowledge-deficient of our constituents - but how an allegedly professional defender does that is beyond me. Can't imagine why Chelsea wanted to get rid.

Either way, we're not having this conversation were it not for a gorgeous finish from Alexandre Lacazette once he was presented with the opportunity. He had a preposterous amount of both time and space, but we've seen some of our lot gifted those chances and either sending it into the Van Allen Belt or shoveling it tamely at a grateful goalkeeper. Not going to name names here, but one guy that springs directly to mind rhymes with "Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain." Take another look at the highlight of the goal, though. Lacazette is a cold-eyed killer in the Serbian gangster style. Hell, if he keeps going like this, maybe he'll get killed by Viggo Mortensen in a movie, too. No rush, no fuss, just takes a second to collect himself and bends his shot in a perfect parabola over and around Begovic's dive. You can stuff your poetry or paintings, that was the real art stuff right there.

6. Speaking of, once again, I admit my mistake in ever doubting that Lacazette could make the step up from Ligue 1. Much like the Dutch league, you have to keep in mind the utterly rotten opposition that they see outside of the top teams (in this vein, you'll note Monaco got tonked 4-0 by Nice today).

Lacazette, though, clearly has skills that translate. Composure and a deft strike of the ball will go far, regardless of geography. That first one especially, that's the key. Go back and look at a bunch of horrid misses from some of our guys and note what the common denominator is in most of them.

7. Having gone through most of their cover version of Arsenal's Greatest Defensive Error Hits, what with the open back-post header and the horrendous individual mistake, the Cherries decided to go with Miss an Easy Chance and Get Done on the Counter as their second-half encore. Hell of a show - frankly, I like the cover version better.

Petr Cech, other than one fantastic save towards the end of the match (thanks to his top-class footwork, not bad for a supposed old guy), had little to do throughout this one. But, had Jermain Defoe managed to find the back of the net instead of the woodwork on one of the few defensive lapses of the day from our boys, maybe this one may have been different. Instead, he missed, we went right up the other end, and that was it. Aaron Ramsey, who along with Granit Xhaka was much improved in the center of the park today, created the chance with one of his best passes in ages. All Danny had to do was run onto it and finish.

I'm still not sure that Welbeck is good enough to play game in, game out for us...but if he keeps this up I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. Your move, Mr. Welbeck.

8. Frankly, this probably should have been the proverbial cricket score by the end. I've long held the belief that Begovic is one of the more overrated goalkeepers of this recent vintage, but fair play to him, he was outstanding today. One save in particular that stands out was his recovery on a horrid backpass played back to him, where he first had to clear it out and then had to dive at full stretch to make the save when his clearance deflected off of one of our guys.

He had a few others, too. The talk in the past linking him to us was never anything serious, thankfully...and there's a reason why he never got off the bench at Chelsea. This is about his level, but he is capable of the odd performance like this one. Thankfully, we beat him enough times for it not to matter.

9. I just read that Eddie Howe called his team "wasteful, negative and slow" in the post-match media scrum. Shit, Eddie, tell us how you really feel.

Where's the lie, though?

10. So, Chelsea away next in the league, albeit with a minor diversion in the west of Germany on Thursday.

I was saying in the pub today how utterly alien it feels to be in the Europa this season, though it's tempered somewhat by how fantastically pedestrian our group is. I kind of feel cheated in a way. If we have to be in the Europa, I wanted us to have that little head-rush that comes with exploring new places and new things.

Shit, why couldn't we have gotten someone cool like Athletic Bilbao and their Basque player-only policy? Why couldn't we have played someone exotic like, I dunno, FK Vardar? Sounds like a Star Wars villain, if you ask me. Nice is in this thing, going up against Mario Balotelli would have been a fucking hoot. Or, what about Konyaspor? I mean, I fancy myself a football Renaissance Man - I watch a LOT of games from a LOT of places - but if you told me that they were in the Turkish Seventh Division, hell, I may have believed you.

What we got was a decent Bundesliga team you can see 10 times a year on Fox Sports, the 1991 European Champions and Ukraine's representative in the Champions League five times, all of a recent vintage. How bloody boring. Just a bunch of teams banally playing a little bit below their station.

That crunch tie against Skenderbeu Korce will have to wait until next season, I guess.

Anyway. Right...the Chavs.

I don't know what to think about them. We turned them over easily enough in the Charity Shield but they did bring in a few new faces right at the end of the window. Stamford Bridge, despite our best ditties about its' structural integrity, has never been a land of milk and roses for us, either. I'd be just fine with a point out of that, thank you very much. I reckon they wouldn't be, though.

Either way, join us at the Barleycorn for that one. Your humble match reporter - along with much of the rest of our Board of Directors - will be there selling Arsenal NYC season memberships (you can check out the benefits of the same here). It'll be rad!