Rumours abound that Mesut hasn’t travelled which, considering he was announced as back in full training and appeared in a photo of Wednesday morning’s training (below), are quite frankly, ludicrous. Is it some sort of bizarre Mexican standoff – who blinks first, Emery or Ozil? Quite ridiculous.
Ramsey has a slight problem with his knee also, so misses out ( 🙂 ) – probably aggravated when he sunk to his knees celebrating the signing of his gigantic pre-contract agreement with Juve.
Granit has travelled, as has Auba, whereas the only youngster in the squad appears to be Eddie.
It’s difficult to imagine the Borisov arena, jammed to the rafters with 13,000 people, being too intimidating an atmosphere. There’ll be no goat-slaughtering in the centre circle or ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners but, then again, if the home team score first, we’ll need to keep faith in the team’s mental strength.
A good result in Belarus will make next week’s return at the Emirates all the easier. We have no game in between as it’s FA Cup weekend, so there isn’t really any reason not to play a strong team.
Having said that, it might still be prudent to leave Auba on the bench wrapped up in his sleeping bag as he was poorly last week. The team functions better with two more versatile wide attackers anyway. Perhaps Denis Suarez might get a full starting debut, though Micki and Alex Iwobi will also want to start after their minor successes against Huddersfield.
The defence looks so much stronger with Kos as the first name on the teamsheet. with Kola and Ainsley as wingbacks – why not?
In midfield why not have Xhaka and Torreira as the double pivot and allow Curly a role further forward to allow more interchange with Iwobi/Micki/Suarez (perm 2 from 3).
The Bate Borisov manager is Alyaksey Baha. He has worked his way up the coaching ranks at the club since 2011, finally becoming head coach in June 2018.
Sightseeing in Barysaw
Winning the Europa Cup still seems our most likely route to next season’s Champions League but winning a cup competition always needs a fair amount of good fortune.
Still, if we can’t get through the Round of 32, we certainly don’t deserve CL qualification by the backdoor.
chas (BR is on manoeuvres)
Confirmatiom Ozil didn’t fly
As it’s still early, can I have permission to take the piss out of the expression “double pivot” 🙂
Haha, of course.
I thought I’d have to put something in to make it look like I knew the vaguest smidgeon about football.
Perhaps I was overrreaching?
I’m really struggling to come with any enthusiasm to watch this evening, and earlier I was trying to unearth any good reasons. One was to see Mavro and clearly, like Mesut, this is beneath him 🙂
Razor gets to Belarus.
What does he do?
Go out on the lash.
The 5.55pm kick off is a plus point.
At least it gets it out of the way before Emmerdale!
No Chas, I’m not letting this go so easily. Let’s talk about the double pivot and other wanky expressions 🙂
Mind you, good effort with overreaching 🙂
“You’re playing tomorrow night, lad, Mesut’s binge-watching ‘Stranger Things'”
Perhaps instead of three at the back between the wingbacks, we have a quadro pivot where Kos, Nacho, Terrier and Granit cover each other in a fluid cattenachio?
Oooo, that’s good 🙂
Unai showing Mesut the team sheet
ha ha ha, although I suspect that would more likely be Mesut’s reaction to being INcluded in a trip to play Bate Borisov 🙂
Yep, you’re right.
Not sure about his headband but full marks to his PR team for this tweet!
Chas I don’t think you should let The Micky take the micky over your ‘double pivots’ — we all know that in your usual languidly eclectic English you were simply referring to the twin Pivot brothers.
Yahhhh, football that we might be able to win.
So Hector is a beans on toast man……….hmmm, not the usual Spanish fare.
Hector is vegan so no jamon, huevos, cheese, butter or milk.
Ooops, pissed again 🙂
RA on the sauce this morning as well I see 🙂
Great post as always. I would also play a strong team and get the job done so that next week is rubber stamping only…
Leno – Lichten, Sok, Kos – AMN, Xhaka, Torreira, Monreal – Suarez, Iwobi – Laca
Kola, Miky and Auba available to heat things up a notch if needed
Happy Valentines Day
What did you two get your partners?
Big Sok didn’t travel
What are Hector’s farts like? Is there a Spanish influence.
COYG….Bat ter them!
Plenty of paprika with a hint of saffron.
dildo rather than hideous cards or stiff red roses, yuk
Valentine’s day is for those soft in the head.
hell knows what is happening with Mesut, but not playing him in key games is plain wrong. i am not bothered about tonight, should be a walkover, even in a hostile environment. mind you, I thought Huddersfield was a doddle
I guess Hector has a designer kitchen so he can have his deluxe beans on toast.
I think the WAG’s of those in your 9:47 need brown paper bags.
Chas, you shouldn’t let Micky get away with his attempt to belittle you – I think an apt punishment would be to banish him to Belarus.
The 2018 Belarusian Premier League was from March 30th, to December 2nd 2018. Bate Borisov won the league for the 13th consecutive season.
So the Bate players cannot be in peak condition which is good for Arsenal as we need every advantage we can get.
hi GN5 🙂
Yep double pivot seems to be his favourite word rich now
Technically speaking ‘double pivot’ is not a word – it is double that. 🤠
Sound like double trouble
Quadro pivot we inventing words now
You invent new words every chuffin day!
Noted RA lol
Also happy valentines to everyone at AA
Oh dear I see that Mustafi is playing – all we can hope is that he keeps out of trouble and passes to his own team mates. But that is a wish and a hope.
Thank you, Chas. 🙂 Brilliant stuff. Plenty of checkles.
So Raddy is off to watch Malmo defeat the maiti Chavs. 🙂
Getting a bit nervy. COYGs.
Poor pitch, early chances not taken, confidence of home team improving, slow build up in last twenty mins, (Xhaka). Come on you Gunners, please.
This must be a bad joke. What a shambolic mess!!
hmmm. really bad defending all throgh on the left. Monreal has been poor
This is complete and utter tosh
Thanks Chas for stepping in
The Arsenal are not winning Europa.
NO one wants to dribble drive and create except Iwobi or Guen. This display is garbage, but then again the there is no true world class provider on the pitch either.
Happy with that result as I expect us to beat them by at least 3 goals on a proper pitch.
Awful performance though.
I think that Ue has to be congratulated. He has reduced a reasonably good team to mind-numbing mediocrity in a matter of less than 6 months, losing to a team that has not played a competitive match for weeks.
We just witnessed the worst (at least most embarrassing) defeat in our history.
Unai Emery needs to have a week of self reflection and figure out just how he turned the Arsenal into the biggest joke in England.
That was complete and utter crap against a team that cost 10 million quid.
How the fuck was that even possible – I guess only Emery knows.
Are we at the ‘Emery Out Brigade’ v ‘Unai Knows Brigade’ discussions yet!? 😂
How long before the ‘Mourinho In’ calls!?
I think he’s doing a decent job. This is not a very good bunch of players. The balance of the squad is all wrong and the defence needs a total upheaval. It was always going to take time but the worry is that without the proper investment this might be as good as it gets regardless of who’s in charge. The team needs some cash spending on it. A lot of cash!
‘We just witnessed the worst (at least most embarrassing) defeat in our history.’
I know the defeat has just happened but even this seems a bit over the top.
Then please tell me a worse loss?
The same basic group of players managed to win the FA cup 3 times in 4 years n opt so many years ago,
To say this is just a defect in the squad is simply to support the Wobs.
What you can say is that it is a good squad of players, who are unable to cope with the style of play that UE wants. That is more like it.
Then the question is, is that the style of play the fans want or that will achieve anything?
For my part, the answer to both questions is a resounding, no.
Yes, he needs time, but perhaps he may conclude that he is simply going in the wrong direction.
Losing 8-2 at United and 6-0 at Chelsea were more humiliating than what happened tonight.
4-0 at Southampton is up there.
Losing anywhere in Europe is not that embarrassing, and to be honest it’s to be expected from time to time with this bunch of players. We are bang average.
My response to the loss is not emotional, I’ve watched in person or on TV close to 3,000 games and I cannot remember losing to a team so far below our level. Their season ended 6 weeks ago so they lacked peak condition and games but we still lost.
It was unbelievably embarrassing.
I agree Jigsol, the current squad is basically AW’s with the addition of UE’s players – so it should be better not worse – AW with his squad won 4-2 in Belarus – we didn’t even score a goal.
FGG you are groping to justify your comment the two very sad losses you show are against EPL teams the 8-2 loss to United was when our squad was savaged by injuries.
It’s not really a good squad of players though, and only half are left from those FA Cup wins. We are top heavy with all our money and best players being in attack whilst we patch up the defence with old players like Lichsteiner and terrible purchases like Mustafi. It needs a complete overhaul. Changing manager will not achieve much with this group. Emery needs his own players to put into practice what he’s asking, if indeed, as you say, the current players can’t do it.
No groping here, i believe the games I mentioned were far more embarrassing than losing 1-0 away in freezing conditions on a terrible pitch with a poor Arsenal line up.
I like your 7.48 Slim, a bit of optimism eases the pain.
It maybe more or less the same AW squad but the same players are not available; that’s to say, when the collective quality of Sanchez, Ozil, Ramsey and incredibly importantly Bellerin are not there then gravity takes over and things go south.
I never realised how important Bellerin was until he got injured; we have nothing down the right which means that it is so easy for opposition to cover the one threat we have down the left.
No one, probably Emery most of all, expected Lichsteiner to have to play the amount of games he has.
I don’t agree that he is was a bad signing, things could have been a whole lot worse if we didn’t have him to call upon; I mean, he had to play LB when AM-N got injured in the first game.
He was experienced back up for very little outlay.
Well, that chased everyone off so I shall do the same.
I’ve been really disappointed with AMN this season so far. A lot of very average performances with a lack of quality or urgency. I’m not actually 100% convinced by Bellerin, but his absence is exaggerated by the lack of cover. I have the same worry with Torreira. Is he actually good or is it that he just looks good because we’ve lacked a tenacious midfielder for so long and the rest of our midfield is slow? I hope he’s actually good!
worst performance I have seen in a long time. but yes, we will thrash them on a better pitch. but still, that was dreadful
manure were EPL Champs that year, rooney scored a hat trick, Jenks was sent off, De Gea turned a rvp penalty around the post.
chavs were 3rd that year, 4 off $h*tTy, with Hazard, Sala and eto- Gibbs sent off. chavs went semi’s in CL without Cech or Terry, and next year won the EPL.
Those were solid teams the Arsenal played.
Are you saying that Bate Borisov is the same caliber?
This was a horrid performance no matter how one spins it, slices it, or whatever. With GN5 on this one.
It’s not about comparing BATE with other teams. It’s about it being ‘the worst result in Arsenal’s history’. I don’t believe that it is.
Winterslag was a corker, and what about losing 5-2 at home to Spartak?
That reminds me of the PAOK Thessaloniki loss which was made worse by the fact we had a proper side. We also went out over the 2 legs. I doubt that will happen next week but who knows!
Having given the game a swerve, I’m feeling pretty damn smug this morning I can tell you
Oh, and very relaxed indeed. Spent yesterday experimenting with family and friends with CBD products (hemp, like cannabis without the good stuff)
If I had cancer, ms, epilepsy, parkinsons, dementia, tumors, arthritis, anxiety, depression or pretty much any other illness, then I don’t now, so generally feeling quite bright
Written in 10 minutes just after the game, so probably not worth much apart from to turn a page.