A big chunk of our season is on the line today – Bate preview

First and foremost, please remember that kick off is 17:55pm UK time today. We wouldn’t want Micky rolling up at 7.30pm wondering what the team news is. 🙂

Last week in Belarus was dire, there’s no getting around it. A shapeless, ineffective Arsenal team, admittedly hampered by an appalling pitch surface, delivered a performance of virtually zero quality.

That game has been and gone – nothing can be done about it. If we play to our strengths tonight and score enough goals to get us through to the Round of 16, it will be consigned to the past as a deep and distant memory. Simple, isn’t it?

Invoking the spirit of Big Raddy in 1970

Team News

There has been a bit of a Mugabe media lockdown at Arsenal over the last week. Probably best, since any attempt to appease supporters with ‘we’ll strive to put it right’ platitudes would only be met with abuse. The only place to make amends is on the pitch.

The team news made public so far is that Aaron is fit and in full training. Big Sok is also nearing a return – whether it’s in the Europa or for Sunday’s Prem game against Southampton, we shall see.

Maybe Unai’s press  conference will tell us more.

Press conference update – Mesut has been training well this week (?) and Ainsley M-N missed Wednesday training with sickness. 

Rambo’s return will definitely help to cover that creative shortfall we saw in the away leg. Could Mesut find favour again and both of them play? Doubtful perhaps, but could work as long as both don’t attempt to play in the same position..

One thing is for certain, Lacazette will not be featuring due to the Bate lad running into his elbow, which leaves Aubameyang  as our main threat.

Possible team

………………………………. Cech

Licht (if no A.M-N) … Shirley … Kos … Nacho

……………………..Terrier ………….Granit


…………….. Micki ……… Auba …….. Wobbly

As far as possible game scenarios go, the only way extra time and penalties will happen is if we are 1-0 up at 90 minutes. If Bate score first, we will have to score three times to counter their away goal.

In fact, a Bate goal at any point in the match might give cause for concern (unless we’re over the hill and faraway by that stage). Perhaps dead balls are the most likely source for the Belarusians.

Having said that, this game isn’t really about how Bate play but more about the level of performance Arsenal can produce. As LBG said, three up at half-time and we’ll be laughing.

Your score predictions in the comments, please.



111 Responses to A big chunk of our season is on the line today – Bate preview

  1. chas says:

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Phew, thanks for the KO time alert Chas 🙂

    I suspect a very large bus will be easing it’s way towards North London as we speak

    If I were Arsenal, I’d put up a five mile exclusion zone around the stadium for all buses and make them walk

  3. RA says:

    Good Morn, Fellow Hopefuls,

    Thanks for that Chas, and you are a brick (compliment 😁) for reminding dear old Micky about the KO time.

    You forgot to tell him the game kicks off tomorrow, in Batty.

  4. RA says:

    Forgot to give my predicted result as requested.

    Improved defensive display = 0

    Attack? mmm = 2

    So, 0 : 2

    Hold on — I think I mean 2 : 0 to us.

    To be honest I do not have a clue.

  5. LB says:

    I paid 300 euros from a tout in Madrid to see that game, looking back I have got to say — money well spent.

    Thanks for the read Chas and thanks for the kick off time reminder.

  6. VP of Oz says:

    just checking in to see if the site is still being hacked (others call it wordpress issues) and yes it is
    continues to ask for my email, name, visa card number, mothers maiden name and inside leg measurements
    no conincidence that the hacking started around the time Arsenal went to Belarus

    very frustrating first world problems going on

    COYG! hoping Mesut plays

  7. Red Arnie says:

    wonderful, Chas. Thank you. 🙂 and thanks for the history, GN5. 🙂

    attack attack attack. COYG.

  8. VP of Oz says:

    oh wow
    I have to log in to the site to post my comment (using my laptop)
    then go onto my phone to see if its posted because it disappears somewhere.
    Even if i exit the site on the laptop and go back in, its still not showing up but it is showing up on my phone

    damn those belarussians

  9. RC78 says:

    Anything but a heavy victory would be a disaster for us…We need a strong team that can unlock and undo Bate’s resolve and defensive discipline…Play with strength, poise, pace and purpose…We will only be tested on counter and set-pieces so let us set up wisely…

    Leno – Mustafi, Kos, Monreal – IWOBI, LT, Xhaka, KOLA – Ramsey, Ozil (or Miky) – Auba

    3-4-3 for tonight with Iwobi as a wing-back (since there is a doubt for AMN, if AMN is fit then, Iwobi to make place for AMN)…

    OTHERWISE we set up in a 4-3-1-2 with
    Leno – Lichten, Mustafi, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, Xhaka, Kola – Ozil – Auba, Iwobi

    There you go….Any ot these teams should see Bate Borisov out…Emery won 3 Europa Leagues, let him deliver one more for us

  10. chas says:

    So it’s obviously something wrong with your laptop settings.

    Have you tried dumping any dodgy cookies and then flushing your cache, Alan Titchmarsh style?

  11. RC78 says:

    PSG to rotate team against Nimes and Caen as fear grows about Mbappe and Di Maria burn out before critical clash vs Man Utd…

    Dagba, Kimpembe, Rimane, Nsoki, Kurzawa, Nkunku, Diaby, Choupo-Moting to be given more time on the pitch

    while Paredes will be slowly eased into the team…

    Foreseen team against Nimes:
    Areola – Kehrer, Kimpembe, Nsoki, Kurzawa – Verratti, Paredes, Nkunku, Draxler, Choupo, Diaby

    Foreseen team against Caen:
    Buffon – Kehrer, T. Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat – D. Alves, Marquinhos, Paredes – Draxler, Di Maria – Mbappe

    Foreseen team against Dijon:
    Buffon – Kehrer, T. Silva, Kimpembe, Kurzawa – D. Alves, Marquinhos, Verratti – Draxler, Mbappe, Diaby

  12. chas says:


    Remember that at the Emirates there is no drinking in the upper tier.
    (or lower, come to that)

  13. RA says:


    I have borrowed my friends laptop and it is having the same problem. (that one has an Add Blocker)

    No problem with other WP sites.

    I cannot close and accept the cookies banner on the bottom of the screen.

  14. RA says:

    You are probably right that it is a change in the WP update software, because so many problems for so many bloggers cannot be random.

    It is really handy having you as a IT Solver miracle worker. 🙂

  15. chas says:

    Must be a laptop problem then.
    Apart from Micky’s, of course, which is working fine.

  16. chas says:


    Why not set up a gravatar or wordpress account like Micky’s. Obviously choose something other than a rinky dink panther as your avatar.
    And Bob’s your uncle, you’ll be plain sailing like him.

  17. chas says:


    Which other WordPress sites do you comment on and do you post multiple comments on them?

  18. RA says:

    Yes – I think we should punish all laptops — that will make them wake up and pull up their socks. Bastards!

    The problem at this end is not a virus – unless it is a super undiscoverable one – different virus checkers have given a thumbs up to safari.

    I thought you and LBG were having problems too, at least with your ‘phones.

    The common link is Word Press. I suggested shutting down Word Press and rebooting it. If there is a corrupt file there that would fix it.

    Anyway, I am spending too much time trying to communicate, so I will leave it for a while. 🙂

  19. RA says:

    I will be back, Chas, and try to see if there is any other solutions.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    4-2 – last minute winner by Xhaka or Kola.

  21. chas says:


    But if I have problems on my phone but not on my PC (where everything works perfectly), then the fault can’t lie with WordPress alone, but with how my phone interacts with WordPress, surely?

  22. chas says:

    Same as VP has a phone which displays his comments and a laptop which doesn’t therefore it’s the laptop which has something set differently.

  23. LBG says:

    This morning’s post suggests, as we all know,the Batty boys are not very interesting. Ant and I will be keeping our seats warm, even if there could be a shortage of body warmth nearby.
    Do hope Fred could do that with a pint, he would go up massively in my estimation! Wobbly at full back, AND Xhaka playing. Give me strength, or a lot of cider!
    So…..how are feeling this morning WordPress…..?

  24. chas says:

    You could even set up your own full WordPress account like Fred and view Arsenal Arsenal through the ‘Reader’ facility which enables you to reply to comments.


  25. LBG says:

    Ahhh……you’ve forgiven me

  26. LBG says:

    Perhaps not……..bastard!

  27. VP of phone says:

    Testing posting a comment using my phone which I dislike using as its usually much worse than the laptop

    Let’s see how this goes

    Ugh! Same same (have to log In) but worse cause the screen so small

  28. VP of laptop says:

    so funny, then I get on my laptop to check my above phone post that I cant see on the phone

    I guess I have to alternate depending on which one I post on
    I now need both laptop and phone to see comments

  29. allezkev says:

    Win on penalties…

  30. VP of Oz says:

    thats it from me

    very excited for the morning game
    I expect a high scoring game to make amends and to slay those hackers
    4:0 to the Arsenal

  31. RC78 says:

    If our game plan is to create chances, the following players must start based on stats only (dribbles, key passes, assists…):

    Leno – AMN, Kos (or Mustafi), Monreal, Kola – Ramsey, Xhaka, Guendouzi – Ozil, Iwobi (or Mikhy) – Auba

    Do you think it is solid/robust enough to contain and hurt Bate?

  32. chas says:

    Have you tried deleting the Arsenal Arsenal cookies from both devices?

  33. Malaysian gunner says:

    Bate will park the bus. If Arsenal keep passing and passing they will play into Bate’s hands. A quick counter and the gunners will be 1 down.
    Wi th Emery chasing the game,it could be 2 thereby ending Arsenals hopes of winning and getting cl soccer.
    However if the gunners can vary the strategy and shoot on sight it might help.Otherwise with the typical gunner strategy of endless passing,it will be the end.

  34. John Mathews legend says:

    3-1, with some prime squeeky bum time along the way.

  35. LB says:


    Lets not confuse the endless passing of last season and before with the endless passing of this season: this season’s endless passing does not go on for quite so long…………

  36. chas says:

    And we create less chances at the end of it!

  37. John Mathews legend says:

    My earlier comment worked fine, for this one I had to fill in my email address and name.

  38. chas says:

    So we’ve had
    3-1 (twice)
    and winning on penalties

    Think I’ll go 3-0

  39. chas says:


    Did your name and email appear in a drop down menu as you were typing or when you highlighted the input box by touching it?

  40. fred1266 says:

    were we sitting today guys lol

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    A post of your usual high quality Chas, thank you.

    What a dramatic turn around in 12 months, last year we had an away win and 4 away goals going into the home game, now we are faced with the surreal possibility of being shunted out of the competition by Bate! Simply unbelievable.

    I still believe that the team will show it’s character and give us a resounding victory and reason to keep faith in them.

  42. John Mathews legend says:

    As soon as I click on the ‘leave your comment’ box the drop down menu shows. Then, I only have to write the first letter of my email address and it proposes it. Same with my user name.

  43. John Mathews legend says:

    Drop down menu appeared as soon as I clicked on the input box.
    Then when I typed the first letter of my email address it proposed it as it has it in memory there, same with my name. For info, this is the second time I reply to your question, as the first reply seems to have been lost somewhere after I posted…..

  44. John Mathews legend says:

    Now you have both replies!

  45. chas says:

    Thanks JML

  46. chas says:

    Apologies everyone.

    I’m just playing with having the latest comments at the top rather than bottom to see if it makes any difference.

  47. chas says:

    It doesn’t!

  48. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, we’ll win 3 or 4 nil …,.. no question about it ….

  49. chas says:

    I’ve just trashed 2 comments but can still see them in my browser.
    The whole things a bit shite

  50. RA says:

    Hi Chas,

    In answer to your question earlier, I use, only occasionally, 7 a.m kickoff; George Bird; Untold Arsenal; Positively Arsenal and BergKampesque (TA is on a sabbatical currently) — all of whom use WordPress (I think)

    There may be others but I do not really notice what software is used — all the above work without a problem.

    When TA comes on here you could ask him about settings, maybe?

  51. RA says:

    Actually — my 3:37, just now went off like a shot, and turned up immediately on screen.

    The ‘Cookies’ close and accept banner has also gone for the moment.

    Email/name still needs inputting.

    Anyway, I can manage — but it does reduce the ‘spontaneity’ of the chat. 😀

  52. RA says:

    Talking about continuous — my 3:40 thinks it is a greyhound – instantaneous!

    This one should be about 3:43 — let’s see.

  53. RA says:

    Nope – the ‘3:43-ish’ has disappeared and cursor froze at top of the page again.

    This might push it through — and take its place in limbo. 🥺

  54. RA says:

    And there they both are.

    Weird – but???????

    For those who use Mac’s, there is an option on Safari preferences to turn on a menu option called ‘Develop’ — click on it, and when it shows in the menu bar click on it and it will show a long drop down list.

    Select ‘caches’ and it will wipe out the unnecessary caches.

    Then go to Safari ‘preferences’ select ‘Privacy’ – then click on ‘manage website data’ – click on it, and a menu will pop up showing all cookies, including one for Word Press.

    Select the WP cookie from the list and click on ‘remove’ – this will do just that.

    Come out of Safari and go to Arsenal Arsenal and the cookie banner will show asking you to ‘accept and close’ and this might clean the process up.

    My AA comments have been better since I did it – except for the ’email/name’ which is irritating but manageable.

  55. RA says:

    I think Rasper is behind this — he wants his AA back — he’s bored of fish and guitars.

    You going to the game tonight with Ant and LBG?

    If so – all this is irrelevant. Give my best to Ant — if we do not win we will all blame him!! 🤨

  56. RA says:


  57. RA says:

    There is another consideration.

    Being on here on my own – the comments (mostly) have whipped thru — see the above time-line.

    When more peeps are on commenting, maybe WP cannot handle the increased load.

    WP settings?

    Definitely gone now.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, it’s all about the footie today …. incidentally I’m having no problem putting up comments …. karma? 😂

  59. RA says:

    Push!! 😳

  60. RA says:

    That’s because you are a good boy, Rasper.

    I’m apparently sometimes good and sometimes very bad! 😋

  61. chas says:

    No, not going to the game, RA.

    Rasp is logged into WP so his commenting will be going through a completely different chain to yours.

  62. Ants says:

    I’m still looking for Fred in the crowd in the Debuchy clip! Please take a screen shot and arrow to help us Freddie poos?

  63. Ant says:

  64. Rasp says:

    I could kick myself …. I was going to predict Ozil would start 🤪 …. we need goals … makes perfect sense

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Aubameyang.

    Subs: Leno, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Torreira, Suarez, Nketiah

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ll assume from that line up the sun shines in Islington and the pitch is in perfect condition 🙂

    Mesuuuuut ya

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Unfair. You could look out of your window, stick your finger in the air for a temperature test and predict a Mesut start 🙂

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Love the team.

  69. fred1266 says:

    I predict the same score last time we played them at the Emirates

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, bit surprised no Terry starting, still, it’s lovely and attacking

  71. fred1266 says:

    Lichtsteiner with the opening goal

  72. fred1266 says:

    Mesut does my eyes deceive me

  73. chas says:

  74. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I didn’t realise the magic powers of my digit had reached the West Country

  75. mickydidit89 says:


    It’s very much Mesut weather down here too.

  76. Rasp says:

    I’ve got him down for 1 goal and 2 assists Micky

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    If that’s with a bookie, you’ll be a rich man!

  78. Rasp says:

    All going according to plan …..

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    take that 🙂

  80. fred1266 says:

    (Olivier Giroud what a legend)

  81. Rasp says:

    Ouzi and Iwobi are on top form

  82. RA says:

    The lads look good going forward — but in defence — not so sure.

  83. RA says:

    I agree Rasper, and I think Mesut is showing his class too.

  84. RA says:

    It’s much better from Arsenal, so far, compared with the Batty Bashing, but that would not be hard to do.

  85. Rasp says:

    Indeed RA … Ouzi is running the show … he’s looking like a £60m player

  86. RA says:

    I prefer Auba in the centre — he looks lost out on the wing.

  87. RA says:

    I am not a betting/gambling man, Chas, but if I put 10p on a ‘cert’, it would have been you to go to the game today. 😎

  88. RA says:

    Did you read the rumour, Rasp, that in an effort to raise money for the summer transfer window, Arsenal are allegedly talking to other clubs about selling him for £60m.

    If that happens I would seriously consider walking away from Arsenal.

  89. fred1266 says:

    Selling who for 60 RA

  90. Rasp says:

    He could be worth £120m in a couple of years if he keeps on improving at this rate Redders …. free header for Mustafi …. but he buried it in style

  91. fred1266 says:

    Why he playing in defence clearly he a before attacker that defender get in mustafi

  92. Red Arnie says:

    Unai Emery, take a bow. What a celebration, what a game. 🙂 COYG.

  93. RA says:


    Rasper and I were talking about Guendouzi.

    The rumour, and that’s all it is, alleges we (the club) would be prepared to sell him for £60m so they can buy two or three cheaper players in defence.

    I would have scoffed 15 years ago — but with an owner like Kroenke? — he could do it.

  94. Rasp says:

    From what I’ve read recently Sanllehi (sp?) is the hatchet man

  95. RA says:

    Hi Ant,

    You are probably at the bar by now — we were hoping to hear how the man (men with LBG) at the ground see how its going from the ground?

  96. RA says:

    Douzi is so good at this young age, you are correct, Rasper, a lot of teams would be competing for him (Bayern, Real, Barca, City etc) in the next few years — we must hang on to him — or else.

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Just googled your Ouzi rumour, and the word is PSG
    I’d really like him to stay, but, if he feels that DNA pulling shit, I’d take the 50M profit
    Hate having players who’d rather be somewhere else
    Hopefully, he’d rather stay

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooo, I say, there’s a soft centre to my chocolate pudding. Very pleasantly surprised

    Come on you Gunners

  99. fred1266 says:

  100. RA says:

    Well pleased with that. 😳

  101. RA says:

    I also love Unai’s histrionics on the touchline. 😋

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Job done
    When is the draw?

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn, must go

  104. allezkev says:

    3-0, clean sheet, only black mark is a possible injury to Koscielny.

  105. chas says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: