Eintract Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Match Preview

We travel with a party of 19. Apparently 75 mins before kick off, it will be reduced to a match squad of 18.

Goalkeepers: Leno, Martinez,

Defenders: AMN, Luiz,Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Kolasinac,

Midfielders: ESR, Guendouzi, Willock, Torreira, Xhaka, Ceballos,

Strikers: Nelson, Aubameyang, Martinelli, Saka, Pepe.

If we had beaten Watford, I’d have expected the line up to have been:

I expect Saka will drop out. Had we beaten Watford, he might have stayed in and maybe Luiz drops out. Emery needs a win. With that in mind, he may start along the lines of:

I also have to say, I really have no idea what he’s going to do. I have come to the conclusion that Emery’s biggest failure as a manager is his inability to control his senior players. I think he has little or no respect from them because I’m not sure he knows how to earn it. I don’t think he is confident in his convictions. The reason I say this is because if you look at the 4 goals we’ve basically gifted in our last 2 games, they’ve been from mistakes by senior players. If they respected or “feared consequences” from their manager, they would be unlikely to continue to make them. If you are part of a squad that watches Granit Xhaka continually struggle yet play every game he’s fit for (and some not!!), you might think the same.

Frankfurt are no mugs. They reached the semis of the EL last season and lost on penalties to Chavs. They have lost a few players, certainly a couple of their last season standouts and have started with 2 wins and 2 losses. They play in an incredible atmosphere and we will find it intimidating. I’d have said it would be a harder assignment than Watford away. That sounds a little redundant now.

This is a huge game for Emery. He is in danger of losing the fans, his fans (of which I am still barely one but he is seriously testing my loyalty). I’m tired of saying it but if Xhaka plays, we will struggle. I hope if he plays, we win 3-0. I will stand corrected. What I hope more is that he plays Willock from the start, hopefully with Gwen, Dani and LT and we play like an away team in Europe against good opposition. We play 2 banks of 4 and make them break us down, then hit them on the counter. Then after we take the lead, or are holding them, we bring off 2 attacking players and put on an extra midfielder and Martinelli for the last 15-20 mins to snuff out their midfield and keep it tight. But that would make too much sense, be too simple. It wouldn’t involve outsmarting everyone (incl. your own players) and all it would need would be 100% commitment and a lot of hard work. I’m dreaming.

Then I woke up and realized he’ll probably play 3 up front, Xhaka in the center of midfield and we’ll probably be 2-0 down at half time. Truly I hope not. I guess we’ll see.

No prediction I’m afraid because the line up is as unpredictable as the result.



71 Responses to Eintract Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Match Preview

  1. RC78 says:

    I think Emery will play RN, Pepe, Ceballos, Willock, Guendouzi, Torreira and Chambers for sure and he has no choice concerning his full backs so expect to see

    Martinez – AMN, Mustafi, Chambers, Kola – Willock, Guendouzi, Torreira – Ceba – RN, Pepe

  2. RA says:

    A nice feisty Post, Mike, well done sir. 😁

    I pretty much agree with the views you have expressed, and like you, I am not too impressed by our coach Embers, based only on observations of the games where we capitulated late last season and now more recently.

    My own hopes for Embers to be ‘the man’ have been melting like an early frost in the morning sun, but maybe I have been a little harsh, as the team have yet to include 3 players [Belli Button, Holding yer Own and Tierney Over] who might make all the difference to a poor defence. Maybe?

    Xhaka is who we have, so we just have to get on with it, and there are many fans who still rate him highly, so perhaps Embers has some justification for playing him — if he didn’t, those who rate Xhaka would have his guts for garters. We have seen some of those zealots on here — they make interesting reading.

  3. Sue says:

    Nice one, Mike 👍
    I’m disappointed about Ozil being ‘rested’ we’ve barely seen him this season! I can understand Sokratis not travelling, as he’s more than likely preoccupied with WWE 😂 But Mesut!! I was expecting Unai to come out with the ‘it’s
    too hot’ excuse, or i was even waiting for him to say that Mesut is scared of birds (as their mascot is an eagle called Attila) what does Mesut have to do to get a run in the team!!
    Having said that & whinged.. i am looking forward to tuning in. Glad to see Holding back.. and i don’t know whether to laugh or cry at Shkodran travelling… i can’t help but think if he starts along with Luiz & Xhaka.. we’re 3-0 down straight away 😂😂 Come on Arsenal, prove me wrong!!

  4. VP says:

    looking forward to Mustafi playing. It will take the pressure off the other scapegoats


  5. fatgingergooner says:

    Average players make more mistakes than good players and get found out at the highest level. That’s what separates the winners and losers. I just don’t buy into the idea though that individual errors are being caused by a lack of respect for the manager. Luiz has made errors and poor decisions all his career, wether under Mourinho, Emery or anyone else. Xhaka was no better or worse under Wenger. They are what they are….capable of making poor judgements. To cut out the errors we need better players. It’s no more complicated than that. However, what is Emery’s job is to understand his sides weaknesses and find a way to lessen those errors knowing that he has players who will commit them. So he can either drop them (should he drop Auba every time he misses a sitter??), or find a way of playing that lessens their impact (3 at the back/move Luiz higher up/ put a more defensive midfielder next to Xhaka/stop asking non-ball playing defenders to try to pass out from defence etc). That is where he is failing at the moment I think.

  6. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Mike

    Unfortunately I can’t see much of a rest for Auba any time soon and Frankfurt away is no time to rest him with Laca being injured.

    The back 3 is a viable alternative but I see no reason not to go with a 4-3-3 still. With young wing forwards like Nelson, Saka and Martinelli we need to put them in when required. Use them or lose them really.

    All this about them not being ready I don’t agree with. They may not be fully developed and still have areas to improve but that won’t happen unless we give them game time alongside senior players. Serge Gnabry anyone? I think he was always somewhat “unready” for us but somehow he became fairly quickly ready when he left us, enough to be a regular first team player for Bayern Munich and the German national team.

    Chambers coming in as CD who has decent ball distribution would be good. Once again the key for me is to have that more positionally disciplined deep CM with decent ball distribution and I only see Luiz. Maybe it could be the other way round with Chambers as RC suggests but I think I would prefer to try Chambers at CD and Luiz at HM initially.

    We all know that this squad needs some additions to really get to a higher level but we have pretty decent options. Good enough options to be playing better than we have and not be dominated by teams like Watford. It’s just that UE hasn’t exploited what he has to its best and has been putting out players and line ups that don’t get the best out of the squad. I am hoping he will go for something a bit different tonight.

    AMN, Mustaffi, Chambers, Kola
    Ceballos, Torreira
    Pepe, Auba, Nelson

    That would do it for me. Of course we all worry about Mustaffi but maybe he will show better form with more defensive cover in front of him. Has Holding traveled? If so could we see him with Chambers?

  7. Thank you Mike.

    I was saying to Rasp earlier how shocking it is that some of us feel so bad after the draw on Sunday. After all it was a draw not a loss.

    I’m guilty of feeling bad myself but I do know that the season is a long time and I have to hope that if the defensive errors carry on that we can be rampant and aggressive up front and score as many as we can as often as possible.

    Let that begin tonight, fingers crossed.

  8. Sue says:

    Hi Peaches… Sunday felt like a loss to me (as did the spud game).. to not be playing particularly well & surprisingly find ourselves 2-0 to the good… then it all went pear shaped…… 2nd game running, we’ve gifted 2 goals! Has that ever happened before?
    I do wonder if, later down the line, will we rue those dropped points??
    As you say, there’s a long way to go yet.. i always thought November was normally our worst month, so was waiting for our form to dip then…. not 5 games in 😂😂
    Tonight is huge.. not going to be easy.. and i don’t like it when we’re under a little pressure, as it doesn’t always go the way we want it to…
    With a bit of luck tonight, Auba will be his usual self.. Pepe will find the back of the net.. we may even see Martinelli!! Could well be a great game.. but on the other hand…. 😂😂 COYG

  9. RC78 says:

    Fgg – I fully agree. Our players are prone to errors but somehow the coach has yet to find a system that gives us a bit more defensive solidity and reduces the likely hood of errors. I think he needs to go with 3 at the back and Chambers or Luiz as DM. At least we can give it a try. We want top 4 and it will be inexcusable to finish below Man Utd and Chelsea this year

  10. fred1266 says:

  11. Rasp says:

    Thanks Mike, I share your disillusionment after the defensive car crash on Sunday. It will take a couple of convincing error-free performances for me to start believing that the players and the manager have learnt anything from that game.

    Simple question: before the new rule the defenders had to stand outside the box to receive a goal kick. That seemed to work reasonably well and made the opposition drop deeper.

    Now our centre backs stand either side of the keeper and the opposition collects on the edge of our box preparing to rush our CBs as soon as the ball is live.

    Here’s a suggestion from a fool who knows nothing – why not revert to the previous system that worked better with the players we have until we can bring ball playing CBs into the team.

  12. Sue says:

    Ah christ – Xhaka, Luiz & Mustafi all start 🤪🤪
    Pumped to see Saka & ESR though 👊

  13. Sue says:

    Where’s Rob????

  14. Rasp says:

    Frankfurt are a decent side … that team looks a tad too experimental to me.

  15. GoonerB says:

    It reads 4-2-3-1 to me with Xhaka and orreira the 2 deeper players, ESR (left), Willock central (kind of number 10) and Saka to the right. Its different but I don’t know what kind of different

  16. Rasp says:

    One disastrous attempt to play out from the back and now Martinez is kicking it long … all we need to do now is compete for the ball when he does that

  17. RA says:

    I am enjoying this. As you requested, Rasper, we are playing quickly out of the back, and the ball is being thrown or kicked upfield.

    We need to be a bit more aggressive in meeting it, and then boom!!

    Hartson is saying Chambers is slow — well we specialise in that — but actually I think he is playing OK.

  18. RA says:

    We could be 3 : 0 up now!!

  19. Rasp says:

    Chambers and smith Rowe are doing fine … Auba and Torreira are the ones who have given the ball away.

  20. fred1266 says:

    OG willock assist

  21. Mike M says:

    1-0 !!!!!!!!! Happy wth this so far. Xhaka is having a very good game.

  22. fred1266 says:

    Saka looking good to me

  23. Rasp says:

    Yes Xhaka shines in European games

  24. Mike M says:

    Saka looks really good, I agree Fred. If that was Pepe, we’d all be drooling. Martinez has also been very good. Credit where it’s due. No-one is having a bad game. I’m enjoying it. Discussion if we continue along this path will be how good/bad are this team. I honestly think they’re pretty good. At least mid PL level. We just look like we’re working harder. 4-4-2 tactics look good too. I love Joe Willock.
    Go Gooners !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Mike M says:

    Saka has drifted out of the game a little. Hope we can get him more involved again

  26. Sue says:

    Frankfurt have had their chances!!
    Come on Pepe!!

  27. Rasp says:

    Really impressed with Chambers and Martinez

  28. RA says:

    I enjoyed this game from the start, and I am still enjoying it.

    OK, we mare sometimes fragile, but all the team have played with spirit and effort, whatever what might happen in the last 15 mins.

  29. Mike M says:

    1-0 up away from home and we bring on basically 2 attackers? Hope Dani can defend !! Chambers is having a superb game. He’s completely exposed now. ESR was at least tracking back. Hope we get a second. Will vindicate the tactics.

  30. RA says:

    Agreed, Rasper, and I would prefer Martinez as the #1 GK if I had a choice.

  31. Sue says:

    WHAT A GOAL!!!

  32. Mike M says:

    Saka !!!!!!!!!!! Are you Pepe in disguise !!!!!!!!!!

  33. fred1266 says:

    Aubameyang could have given pepe that one

  34. fred1266 says:

    Since preseason I told you all saka should be starting

  35. Sue says:

    The first English team to win there 👊
    Boom 3-0!!!
    Why can’t John Hartson commentate on all of our games?!!!!

  36. Sue says:

    Saka MOTM…. bravo, young man 👏

  37. Rasp says:

    Amazing composure from Saka … he just passed the ball into the net … a star is born?

  38. Rasp says:

    Surely Chambers deserves a starting berth … and fair play to Mustafi … he played well

  39. Mike M says:

    Chambers – played 2 excellent 2. Can’t ask for more. Saka, Showing Pepe the way !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent win !!!!

  40. Mike M says:

    @ Sue – Not going to put any negatives on a great win but at this stage, where do you see Ozil fitting in? At least the body language and effort was there to be seen from everyone today. Not so sure about Mesut. Discussion for another day ??

  41. Mike M says:

    Also going to give Xhaka credit. He was switched on today. Why can’t he play that way all the time??

  42. fatgingergooner says:

    Who cares how many shots we concede and how poor our passing at the back is? Winning games will quickly make you forget about it!!! A clean sheet and 3 good goals. Happy days. Chambers and Saka excellent, just a shame Pepe didn’t get his goal.

    Attack, attack, attack should be our only tactic.

  43. Wow, 3-0 to the good guys!!!!! Loved Saka’s goal, been a big admirer of his for a couple of years since he played in a Cariboa cup game. Hope he plays next Tuesday.

  44. Anyone want to write some words and player ratings for tomorrow?

  45. Sue says:

    Mike.. that’s a tough one! I honestly don’t know… i don’t understand, for a start, why he wasn’t in the squad.. but if I’m totally honest, we didn’t miss him, did we??
    I really don’t know what’s going to happen with him.
    Xhaka, Luiz & Mustafi proved me wrong, Mike!!! 🤣🤣 i can’t believe it!! 3 goals scored & a clean sheet!! Really looking forward to going on Sunday now!! Oh how our moods change from week to week… 🤣🤣

  46. John Mathews legend says:

    Enjoyed it from start to finish. I just liked the mix between hungry kids and some veterans (Not that many really) A few shaky moments but ALL the defenders did well.
    MOTM Saka for me, with Martinez a close second.He was in command of his area, and his distribution was pretty good (I think he got the ‘no f*cking about’ instruction and played it well)
    Chambers had a good game, but so did Mustaphi and Luiz.
    Tactics were good, but this was nothing like a PL game.
    Granit shows up in these European games, was great tonight.

  47. allezkev says:

    Listened to the game on the radio.
    Emery made some brave selections on the back of last weekend so good for him, he deserved some luck.
    Great result at a ground where I don’t think an English club has ever won before?
    Sounded as if Martinez had an impressive game…

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    Martinez 27
    Leno 27
    Tierney 22
    Bellerin 24
    Chambers 24
    Holding 23
    Saliba 18
    Mavropanos 21
    AMN 22
    Torreira 23
    Geundouzi 20
    Willock 20
    Smith-Rowe 19
    Saka 18
    Martinelli 18
    Nelson 19
    Pepe 24

    Look at the ages of that lot!!! I also love the fact that 7 of them are English and a lot are home grown.

    I think next time we have a poor performance or result, we need to consider the age of this team and the potential that it has. We all want to win now, but the bigger picture is so exciting and we shouldn’t forget that.

  49. fred1266 says:

    Fat that make no sense cause poor performance has been buy the senior players

  50. Mike M says:

    @ Fred. I think that’s FGG’s point. If it weren’t for some fundamental errors by senior players, we could be flying by now. In the mean time, the youth in the squad give us much hope for the future. If the elders would step it up a bit, maybe we could have a good season. But if not, the future looks good.

  51. fred1266 says:

    Ok I thought he was trying to say if we had a bad game again we should remember they are still a young team

  52. fatgingergooner says:


    My point was more that there is a lot to get excited about in this squad regardless of all the negativity. Also, that despite the errors and mishaps from some of our older players, the squad is actually starting to look like one that could have a bright future. There is a changing of the guard going on in the background which started with the back room, moved onto the manager, and is now making its way into the squad.

    Basically Fred, It’s not all bad!!! 😂

  53. Mike M says:

    Johnny Matthews. It’s an interesting discussion point. How/good bad are EF and how much difference is there between this game and the PL. After enjoying the win for a day or two, we should discuss that and get some opinions don’t you think?

  54. Sue says:

    I don’t believe it – Jenko is going to miss Tuesday’s game, through injury!!! How unlucky is he??!!

  55. John Mathews legend says:

    Hi Mike. I’ll never be much of a tactics analysist..just go on on feelings for the most part, and only ocasionally comment here (and don’t anywhere else) Eintracht are a pretty good team, and if they hadn’t left their shooting boots at home, the result could have been different.
    I really enjoyed the game, and that’s what I hope for any time I watch the Arsenal.
    I think we get slightly more time on the ball in our EL matches than we get in the PL,and that shows in our results and performances, and in the perfomances of some of our players.
    So yes, I agree, an interesting discussion point. I would also suggest that there is quite obviously a difference between EL and CL opposition….

  56. Sue says:

    Bellerin & Tierney will play for the U23’s tomorrow!! Brilliant!!!

  57. Aaron says:

    A win is a win, but is it?
    Paper mache over the cracks.

    From Sky Sports…Take a look if you dare…


  58. fatgingergooner says:


    We all seem to love staring at cracks, but there are actually other parts of our squad worth looking at too, and it was Saka and Martinez who averted my eyes yesterday. Maybe we will see some more positives if we just stop looking at cracks…!? 😂🤷‍♂️

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    Btw, If anyone was still unsure as to why Iwobi was sold….I think Saka let us know the answer last night.

  60. Sue says:

    Damn right, FGG… what a beast!!

  61. RC78 says:

    I am not sure age is so much a factor as before as you have world class young talents like Donnaruma, Bisaaka, De Ligt, Varane, Hernandez, De Jong, Sancho, Mbappe, Rashford…

    I think it s a lot about the coach, the systems and the exposure/experience.

    Some of our players have been playing a lot like AMN, Bellerin, Chambers, Guendouzi, Torreira, Pepe and now Willock, RN and Saka are getting time.

    The result was great yesterday but we conceded 24 shots I think and if it weren’t for Martinez and their clumsyness in front of goal, I think a draw or a loss would have been in the cards.

    I was so happy for Martinez and Chambers and one has to recognize that Xhaka played well. I am keen to see Martinez, Chambers, Torreira and Willock in the first XI soon just to put some pressure on the usual starters.

    Game on Sunday is a must win and I predict that Pepe will score and that Ceballos will be starting.


  62. Anyone want to put up some Player Ratings and I’ll turn them into a post for today?

  63. RockyLives says:

    “I hope if he (Xhaka) plays, we win 3-0”.

    Are you psychic?

    I’m glad I’ve been too busy to have written the Post I was planning about how the likes of Willock and Nelson need to be dropped from big games and maybe considered for loans because they’re not ready yet.

    Willock was outstanding against EF, including in the areas I had criticized him for previously (physicality, decision making).

    Other good performances came from Chambo, Xhaka, Mustafi and Kola – and what about Saka! Wow.

    I have a question: did Martinez display better decision making than Leno when it came to ball distribution? It seemed so to me. Or was it that EF pressed less effectively than our EPL opponents typically do? In particular I liked Martinez’s quick throws which launched several attacks – reminiscent of Lehmann who used the long throw out to great effect. John Hartson (co-commentating) said our back-up GK was knocking on a first team place with that performance and it’s hard to disagree.

    Over all that was a fun night although we have not given up our habit of letting the opposition have lots and lots of chances, so I’m not sure how much progress it shows.

  64. RockyLives says:

    Peaches I can do some ratings…

  65. Thanks Rocky ……. can you publish them yourself?

  66. RockyLives says:

    Player Ratings (please feel free to be disputatious):

    Excellent decision-making and distribution throughout; prepared to go long when necessary and made some excellent saves. If I was Leno I’d be worried. 8.5 MoTM

    John Hartson (co-commentating) kept blaming him for EF’s success down our right flank but I was not aware of Chambo being burned by their attackers. However he did occasionally get drawn further infield which perhaps gave EF more space down their left, so maybe that’s what Hartson was referring to. That said, I thought he was excellent on the ball and in his defensive effort generally. 7.5

    The fans’ favourite fall guy stood up and was counted last night. I’ve been as frustrated as the next supporter with his mistakes but I also hate to see an Arsenal player taking such stick so I was pleased he performed well. 7.5

    Understated performance but did fine. 7

    Good going forward and plenty of effort defending. Solid night for Kola. 7

    Defence Overall
    Individually the performances were solid but we gave up a lot of chances and a more clinical team would have punished us. Is this to do with our tactics (too much space between MF and Defence as Martin Keown suggested)? Or just because it was a very open end-to-end game? 6

    One of his better games in recent times. He controlled much of our play and passed extremely well. 7.5

    The little terrier was busy all over the pitch and should have scored with an early chance, but his impact seemed less than I would have expected and he and Xhaka have to take some responsibility for the amount of chances we gave to EF. 6

    Excellent game from the youngster. His running, his passing, his ability to go past players, his awareness, his physical strength, his eye for goal… I can’t believe that just a few days ago I was suggesting he’s not ready for the big time. He proved me wrong last night and has a really bright future. 8

    Good game time under the belt for ESR. He was not as impactful as the other youngsters (Willock and Saka) but had a decent outing. 6.5

    Midfield Overall
    Neither team was really able to take control of MF (which helped make for a very entertaining game). But any defensive issues in our MF were more than compensated for by the way we attacked with purpose, pace and skill, particularly on the break. 7

    Got his usual goal, could have had a couple more, ran tirelessly and never allowed the EF defenders a chance to relax. One of the best strikers in world football. 7.5

    I did not get to see any of our pre-season games so this was really my first look at Saka. Wow. What a great little player. You realise how long it’s been since we’ve had attacking wide players who can take people on and beat them. His decision making will improve as time goes on but it was not shoddy last night. And the goal was like he was possessed by the spirit of TH14. Very exciting prospect. 8

    Attack Overall
    We could have bagged 5 or 6 but I’m not going to complain after a three nil away in Europe. The attackers worked very well together and with the attacking midfielders. Some of the moves were sweet on the eye. 7.5

    Pepe (for Smith-Rowe, 60 mins)
    Had a few good moments but didn’t really get into the game and was overshadowed by Saka. Auba could have set him up for a tap-in first goal for Arsenal but when a striker is one-on-one with the ‘keeper you can’t blame him for tucking it away himself. I’m not worried. Pepe’s time will come. 6

    Ceballos (for Willock, 72 mins)
    Looked composed on the ball and slotted in well. 6.5

    Maitland-Niles (for Kolasinac, 80 mins)
    Did fine as we closed out the game in the final minutes. 6.5

  67. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Peaches – just saw your note. I’ll give it a go…

  68. I can do it if you’re struggling

  69. RockyLives says:

    New Post

  70. fred1266 says:

    Rocky what u smoking over there lol saka was man of the match by a mile

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