Two ‘L’ and Back

Could we lose twice in a week to teams beginning with L? Has it ever happened before?

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Going away to a team who are the current Champions is always going to be difficult – I know they are “only” Leicester and we smashed them twice last season. Let’s be honest – we are under pressure. A potential loss would see us in a Spurs position after just two games.

But we won’t lose, will we?

I was delighted that both Ranieri and LCFC won the title, it lifted the spirits as one of the nice guys and a humble team consistency overcame the odds. It was brilliant and no shame to finish second by a mere 10 points.

This season will  be different or will it. The same media morons who predicted the Foxes would collapse under the pressure of leading from the front are predicting them finishing mid-table. Why? It is the same team bar one MF who has been replaced. They are a bloody good side.

We both lost last w/e and both need to kickstart the season, Leicester will view this game as winnable. Our defensive frailties against Vardy and Mahrez (does anyone think we really tried to sign Mahrez? Really?) could once again cost us dear.

I rarely make a prediction because I invariably put a bok on the team – so I won’t today but I am hopeful. Why? Because Arsenal have fantastic players. The injury to Ramsey gives space for the little Spanish genius and as we are away Xhaka is likely to start. They make an excellent midfield. As you know, I am not a Coquelin fan and hope Elneny gets the DM role alongside Xhaka. That is one powerful midfield, full of attacking possibilities.

We scored three last weekend and the attack appeared potent. Theo’s goal will do his confidence wonders – he took it brilliantly as did the Ox.

And what of the elephant in the room, the centre of defence? Well …. they just have to do better. If players want to have a career at one of the top clubs in the world they HAVE to step up. No excuses. We need young players to develop into future stars, they get few opportunities and therefore must make the most of them. Chambers must improve and the experienced players around him HAVE to help. Monreal was rubbish for 20 minutes last w/e, so was Coquelin; they cost us the game. No point looking at an inexperienced 21 y.o to blame.

And what of Cech.? I like him but others have major concerns. I felt he should have saved at least one of Liverpool’s goals.

Sanchez is SO important. In the absence of the Pass Master Ozil, his quality is paramount to our success. He looked hungry last week but understandably  faded. If he hits 30 minutes of form this afternoon, we can win.

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73 Responses to Two ‘L’ and Back

  1. GunnerN5 says:

    A very positive pre-match Raddy – it lifts my spirits.

    I have a feeling that AW will risk one of Koscielny, Ozil or Giroud – most likely Kos, but all 3 will be back for the Watford game.

    I’m nervous but we always seem to play better away from “home”.

  2. chas mobile says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Let’s hope everyone steps up this tea-time.
    We’re looking forward to going back to the pub we found last year. Everards Sunchaser – yum.

  3. Eddie says:

    thanks BR, nice to see you back in form 🙂

    yep, Leicester are not a pushover team, they showed some steel – both physical and mental strenght to take the title, and I cannot see any reason for them going mid table this year.

    Hard game ahead of us tonight. I wasn’t delighted for them to win the league last season, as far as I was concerned it was ours to take. Same goes for today – 3 points are ours, pee off Foxes

  4. Eddie says:

    Amongst other things to see in Leicester there is the New Walk Museum, Leicester Cathedral, National Space centre, the Curve Theatre, but The Vine brothers are looking for a pub

  5. chas mobile says:

    Vines, not Vine.

    Oh and we’re not looking for it as we know where it is already.

  6. Eddie says:

    I am sorrrry !!
    I did type Vines actually but I misread ‘we are looking forward’ for ‘we are looking for’. Must be the chain saw dulled my senses

  7. LB says:

    Yay, a pre-match.

    I haven’t seen any re-plays from last week so I am curious to know what Coquelin was at fault for as I didn’t notice at the time?

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheers Erik
    We’re miles better than Leicester as we proved last term. Should thrash them

    Chas
    Love the plum wine updates. Keep ’em coming

    One question, you’re in selected boozer when you see team sheet. Ollie starts. What do you do? Bother going, or flush the tickets down the bog and properly sort out that thirst?

  9. LB says:

    If we have the same defence it could get even worse than last weekend. I don’t think Wenger is going to risk it.

    It is almost impossible to try and predict the team but here goes.

    ——————–Czech

    Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal

    —————–Coquelin

    ———-Xhaka————Cazorla

    Walcott———Sanchez———–Iwobi

    If it were me I would have Campbell instead of Iwobi and Holding instead of Chambers.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry AA’ ers, I started the post and got called away until now. No last para. No summing up. No slating the opposition. I feel like Koscielny – unprepared for the season and only functioning at 70%.

    Thank you chas for publishing the post.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I would agree with the back 8 but would play a frontline of Ox, Theo and Sanchez.

    Is Iwobi fit?

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy,

    The last report I read on Iwobi was that he had a thigh problem and would be out until after the International game – same as Ramsey.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Iwobi out for three to four weeks, and so is Rambo. I predict the following line up to start (although it is very hard to get 11/11 right):

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    The slapping has had a positive effect, Raddy. 🙂

    Thanks for a spicy match preview and let’s hope the boys will do us proud.

  15. LB says:

    Doh, pay attention LB

    Yes, of course Iwobi is out.

    I agree with TA except that I think Xhaka will start ahead of Elneny.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Burnley two up against L’pool.

    It should have been us!

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    That would work for me too, LB. I reckon we need the Egyptian commander of space and time, but I would also like to see Xhaka adding the extra creativity to Santi’s. Question is, can we really afford to leave Elneny out?

  18. LB says:

    With the addition of Koscielny and the extra defensive security that comes with him I believe that Wenger can afford the bit more creativity that Xhaka brings to the table over Elneny.

    Xhaka and Elneny works for me today as well.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m not sure if he is fit (he’s been in training sessions) but if he is I would like to see Wilshere play a part.

  20. LB says:

    Can’t see Cazorla playing the whole 90 so my guess would be there is a good chance that we will see Jack at some point.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Koscielny returns

    Arsène Wenger calls upon Laurent Koscielny for the first time this season, and hands him the captain’s armband, as Arsenal face Leicester in the first away game of the campaign.

    Summer signing Granit Xhaka also starts and he’ll be joined in midfield by Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.

    Alexis once again leads the line, with Theo Walcott on the right flank and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting on the left.

    Rob Holding gets the nod to start alongside Koscielny in the centre of defence, with Calum Chambers on the bench.

    Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud are both named among the substitutes.

    Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis

    Arsenal subs: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Elneny, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source
    20 Aug 2016

  22. LB says:

    That is a shame Chelsea and Tottenham scoring late goals but if we had had a new manager whose arrival had injected a new enthusiasm throughout the club then we could have lost to Burnley as well.

  23. LB says:

    Good team Arsene. Keeping Holding there instead of Chambers is a big call but the right one in my opinion. I notice Giroud has made the bench.

  24. LB says:

    Opps I just noticed another name………….Ozil.

    I got goose bumps writing that.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    AW has played all of his cards today and it’s good to see, we all worry but the team he has chosen looks strong.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Kos, Coq and Xhaka looks a solid group to surround Holding with. I guess Chambers has fallen out of favour. I think the lad needs a loan period but difficult with all the injuries we have.

    Happy to see Cazorla in the 10 role and his link up with Sanchez is vital if we are to get Walcott and Ox in behind their defence. I just hope Cazorla doesn’t drop too deep and isolate Sanchez.

    On a seperate note, I notice Wenger has been talking about Sanchez as a ST aswell as mentioning the likes of Akpom and Sanogo. It’s starting to look like we won’t buy a ST. I don’t mind that, as I do like Giroud, but if the alternate game plan is going to be Sanchez up top then I’d still like us to buy another wide attacking player like Draxler.

  27. Hello everyone, is there room on the couch for me? I’m gonna push in anyway 😉

  28. One of our travelling supporters Sir A Hussein is at the game and will send a match report.

    Now you can all breath a sigh of relief and say hello 😉

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    Savage and Hoddle bleating on about us not crossing the ball. It’s not the 90’s lads. Try watching some technical football.

  30. Eddie says:

    hello peaches 🙂

    it is good to see that our mob are not taking the Leicester challenge lightly. Some solid defending today.

  31. Eddie says:

    lovely away shirts, I really like them

  32. Love the work Koscielny does

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    Sanchez dropping deep and making numbers out wide would be perfect if he was playing in and around a striker, but when he’s the one who’s supposed to be in the box then I’d prefer him to stay closer to the opposition CB’s. I guess the idea is for Walcott and Ox to come inside and run beyond when Sanchez drops deep, but Leicester are quite deep so proving difficult. Giroud could play a big part if he comes on.

  34. Hi Eddie, any trees left in your garden 😉

  35. Eddie says:

    Penalty?

    I don’t think so. Koz didn’t touch Drinkwater and got the ball

  36. Eddie says:

    plenty of trees but I only have 1 foot now 🙂

  37. I’m with Clattenberg and you Eddie 🙂

  38. Thanks Raddy for the pre-match, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

    Koscielny. Now there’s a proper captain.

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    We don’t need a CB, we just need Kos to play 50+ games a season! In fairness Holding hasn’t looked out of place next to him. Really like solidity of Coq and Xhaka but Coq needs to be careful and not get another booking. Ox looks our most dangerous but need to get Theo in the game. He usually does sod all though other than score or assist so maybe that will come in the 2nd half. Solid half but need better movement up front.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Vardy shows what penetrating directness can bring to a forward line it’s something we sadly lack, except perhaps with Ox.

  41. Still so slow once we’re moving forward 😦

  42. Oooooh Mesut and Jack on

  43. ………. and Giroud. Right come on now, let’s go Gunners

  44. Eddie says:

    can Walcott kick the ball towards the goal with any power?

  45. Aaarrrggghhhh so frustrating!!!! Great half of football though

  46. Eddie says:

    what a brilliant sub it was from Ranieri putting on that fast little Musa? changed the game

  47. Rubbish – one point from two games!!!!!!

  48. LB says:

    Well done Sir A Hussain.

    I could have just about written it but it would not have been long and it would not have been pretty.

  49. All the more red wine for you this evening LB

  50. IanRealGunner says:

    More solid than last week. Good performance from Rob Holding, showing what an experienced player alongside can do to a young centre-half. Onwards and upwards. Oh and Robbie Savage…what a tool on commentary!!!!!

  51. We showed why Cazorla is so important in a deeper role. Our transition from defence to attack was poor and we missed his accuracy in that role. Unfortunately as a number 10 he couldn’t get in the game. If I was Wenger I would only use Sanchez as a CF if I have Ramsey or Özil as 10 because it has to be someone who has the legs to get up alongside and go beyond Sanchez. I thought once Giroud came on and occupied the CB’s we looked far more dangerous and had our final decisions been better we could’ve nicked it. On the other hand we were lucky not to concede 2 penalties so I think I am happy with the draw.

    I think Wenger got his tactics wrong as he set us up to counter when actually we could’ve controlled the ball and played as the home team. We never had anyone to occupy their CB’s first half and it made it too easy for them. I will let him off though as he probably didn’t want to play Giroud and Özil for 90 minutes so it restricted his options.

    I enjoyed the game though and thought we did OK. We were switched on for the full game and could’ve scored near the end. Onwards and upwards from here.

  52. wally says:

    Ramsey is not a 10. His passing, his vision is nowhere near good enough for that role. Relying him to pick a pass? Really?

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    Yeah, he’s terrible for his country in that position.

  54. Eddie says:

    if not for Marc Clatterburg we would have lost that game
    Bellerin a definite penalty, Coquelin should get a second yellow and be sent off

    Very lucky Arsenal. Great start to the season

    Get out Wenger!!

  55. Eddie says:

    I can’t believe that Ibrahimovitch, Pogba and Mourinho are in one team. Now that is one ambitious club.

    I would hate Mourinho managing Arsenal, horrible character, but I wish we could match ManU’s ambition.

    Can you imagine if we were to play ManU next week? They would take us apart. Not because all of a sudden they are brilliant, but because we are poor. Ibrahimovitch could easily deal with our defence and score a few.

  56. Eddie says:

    what a pathetic excuse!!! he is beginning to make me feel sick, old scrooge.

    Wenger: ‘We must ensure that our 600 members of staff are paid’

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    I’ve come to the conclusion that Arsene is a nice guy, just a bit thick

    Last summer we needed a striker. He bought an aging goalkeeper in a helmet

    This summer, we needed a striker. He bought a second division defender

    Like Cech and Holding but Worldy strikers they ain’t
    We must be strong and focus on the positives ie plum wine and sliding cats 😀

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha ha
    Did he really say that recently about paying the staff?

  59. Eddie says:

    he fecking did!!

    A bit thick? he is the shrewdest thing on 2 legs. He will be in his job for as long as he fills Kroenke’s money bags, no more than that is required.

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    United are looking strong this season, although so far they’ve been nothing more than clinical. They will obviously improve though. We haven’t played anything like our starting XI yet so I will judge us at the end of the season rather than after 2 difficult games. Looking forward to seeing the likes of Pogba and Zlatan in the PL and seeing how our lot can compete with them.

    The game yesterday could’ve gone either way, but no doubt we were lucky not to concede a couple of pens. Leicester got about 13 pens last season to our 2 (I think those were the numbers) so maybe things will even out this year. Although Leicester have already had 1 in the first game. Numbers like that suggest they are a set of diving bastards! 😂

  61. LB says:

    “We must be strong and focus on the positives ie plum wine and sliding cats.”

    Sometimes this blog is so good………………

  62. Eddie says:

    I don’t even know that has anything to do with him! He should not be concerned with anything but players on the pitch!!

  63. Eddie says:

  64. Eddie says:

    fattie – I don’t like Leicester. They are divers and opportunists. They have already started adding points by drawing at difficult games. Sneaky northeners.

    I am so angry I am going to use Rasp’s chain saw and cut ALL the fecking conifers in my reach

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Has anyone seen the film The Big Short? It’s based on a true story about how a Wall Street guru in America predicted the collapse of the housing market and bet against it. Everyone thought he was nuts. Wenger very much reminds me of this guy. Everyone seems to think he’s tight fisted for refusing to spend more than the club can afford (based on real world numbers) whilst all the other clubs blow wads and wads of money that is seemingly infinite (football numbers). Time will tell wether he was right or wrong, but one thing we all know is that the money in football is not infinite.

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    There is no doubt Wenger worries an awful lot about things that other managers don’t give two shits about! Like you say Eddie, is it really his responsibility to make sure the club stays afloat? Surely the board can just give him a budget for transfers and aslong as he sticks close to that then he doesn’t need to worry about anything else other than the team.

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    Am I right in thinking there was something said recently about how the loan for the stadium was agreed based on Wenger being at the club for at least 5 years after? Before the stadium move Wenger just seemed to concentrate on the players and team affairs, but since the move you do get the impression that he’s taken on a whole lot more responsibility and seen it as his project. The line between manager and chairman has become very blurred, which is understandable given that he’s pretty much been left in charge of the club, but he needs to take a step back now and just concentrate on the team. Probably too late now though.

  68. Morning all

    Just sorting the post from Sir A, be back in a bit

  69. Eddie says:

    fattie – all you said is right, except that some managers blow money as if it was infinite. At Arsenal Wenger is the middle man – Kroenke blows the club’s money as if it was infinite. Have a look at his ranch, that could pay for a couple of decent players

  70. Eddie says:

    before chas and raddy come along and call me an intelligent stupid woman I am going to dive. I have no idea why we are not buying top quality players, I might be barking up the wrong tree (ie Wenger), I might be talking through my elbow. But I know that something is very peculiar. For several seasons now we are 2-3 players short in key positions and we don’t buy them. That is the part I cannot get my head round, hence the half cooked theories and boiling anger aimed at Wenger.

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    Eddie,

    I agree that we’ve needed a couple of players for seemingly forever and have not gone out and got them. Why? I dont know either. What I do know though is that things aren’t anywhere near as bad as people would have us believe and certainly are not bad enough to be carrying around the levels of anger and frustration I see from fans.

  72. Phew, that was mega ……………..

    We have a New Post …………………………..

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