Another home game but this time in the EPL. A match against a team that is only one point behind us…A win against will create a gap between us and them (and also Tottenham 🙂 ) of 4 points and it will also see us on the podium…So there is a lot to play for today in front of our crowd.
Bournemouth are no pushover. They play decent football and they have some good footballers like Calum Wilson, Diego Rico, Harry Wilson, Joshua King, Nathan Ake, Ryan Fraser and to a certain extent also Ibe and Solanke. Their form has been on and off with good wins and also big losses, mostly because of their inconsistant and weaker defensive efforts. Will they park the bus against us? Not sure. They tend to play a 442 and I expect them to play a 442 tomorrow but maybe Solanke will play a bit deeper…
So how to beat them? They like to counter-attack and they like set-pieces. They are fast on attacking transitions but struggle sometimes defensively so if I were Emery, I d make sure to put pressure on their defense and I d also block the wings…Again, the predicted line-up and my preferred line-up:
Emery’s line up:
Chambers Sokratis Luiz Kolasinac
Guendouzi Xhaka Torreira
Pepe Aubameyang Saka
My line up:
Chambers Sokratis Luiz
AMN Guendouzi Torreira Willock Kola
I think my line up will just annoy the hell out of Bournemouth while maximizing Auba and Pepe’s offensive threat and Willock and Douzi’s attacking runs.
Anyways, this game is a MUST win especially at home. We need to capitalize on Tottenham’s poor form, Leicester loss and last season, we didn’t and this is how we missed out on Top 4. If we are to compete for the Top 4, we have to win at home especially when our rivals lose.
Let us do this and COYG! My predicted score: 3-2 with Auba, Pepe on the scoresheet together with Luiz. We will concede a goal to Solanke and Wilson (Calum).
Thanks for the pre-match RC78.
I like watching Bournemouth play ….. but not today. Today I’m looking forward to seeing if Emery has found a way to bring Pepe into the game. I like your 4-4-2 lineup, that could be the way of putting balls through for Pepe to run onto. But then we wouldn’t get to see Saka and I love how this young man plays.
Like at Southampton we had never won but we did so let’s create history and bring back the 3 points!!!!
Under dogs sometime bite the arse of the favourite!!! Come on boscombe!!!! David slew goliaths!!
St George beat the dragon!!!!
Nice one, RC 👍
This will be a good game, full of attacking football (unless Unai has other ideas!) With the Wilson boys (Callum & Hazza) Luiz & Stone Cold will have their hands full.. and I just hope Xhaka doesn’t lunge just outside the box, as we all know Hazza is a dead ball specialist 👌
One thing’s for certain – we will add to our tally of yellow cards, with Martin Atkinson refereeing! And remember, one more for Granit & he has a ban (no high-fiving from Unai!)
I’m at work till 1, so am not going today and I noticed it’s not being shown on Sky, so hesgoal on my phone, it is then!! I hope all who venture to the Ems, enjoy the game and have plenty to cheer about… you never know, we may be awarded a 95th minute penalty… don’t be stupid, Sue.. this ain’t Anfield (jammy b@$%£@!s) 🙄
Hi Peaches, I think I messed up… It was supposed to be a 352 with AMN on the right and Kola on the left and just Auba and Pepe upfront
Ahhh, that makes more sense, I was looking at your preferred team and I couldn’t for the life of me work out where you were coming from?
It’s hard to see past your suggestion of Emery’s team choice.
Thanks for the read though RC.
Mark- welcome to a nice blog.
Never won at Southampton in your history!!!!
You Gooners are so entitled, always thinking you’ll roll over clubs with less money.
David slew goliaths!!!!!
St George beat the dragon!!!!!
Brighton beat the Spuds 3-0
How are you doing? Well I trust. Good to see you on da blog — are you en route to the Ems? 😜
Doh — sorry Ant, I had started my previous comment before I saw your pic – about to partake of a little snack!! 🥺
Is Chas with you? Say Hi to him and tell him it’s about time he got his ass back here!!! 😎
Last season I championed a back 3 because I felt we had no alternative but with the new players and youngsters coming through I was hoping for a strong 4-3-3, or variation on it, to emerge this year.
I feel a cohesive 4-3-3 is stronger than a 3-5-2 in the long run but have come round to your back 3 suggestion but really fir the wrong reasons, I.e we have deficiencies that do not allow us to develop the side in this line up.
That is what is a tad disappointing that we dont seem to be developing the 1st 11 that well at the moment. Really the extra CD in the back 3 is to cover the lack of balance, defensively, in the midfield. We need the extra CD because our defence will have to face more attacks due to the lack of protection in front
Maybe it is what it is at the moment and we will have to be more pragmatic and turn to a back 3.
BTW, I quite like it when oppo fans come on for serious discussion but what is up with Trevir Cherry? Someone has really upset him in his house today. The post even stated an expected close match and most of the comments have been complimentary to Bournemouth but somehow he arrived at “entitled”.
Go and read it again pal.
I actually think we have excellent midfielders both now and to move forwards without that UE hasn’t found the right balance and combination yet.
RC, I saw you mentioned that ESR may not have a role to play with us. Not sure if you meant right now or long term? Longer term we should definitely be keeping him.
He reminds me a bit of a younger less polished De-Bruyne in his play. Chelsea once had one of them but Maureen pulled the plug and made an early judgement that he wouldn’t be good enough. I wonder what Chelsea fans now think of that judgement call?
Darn it, I’m just getting on the train, not sure I can edit the post from my phone RC ……. sorry
Hi peaches no worry
Oooooh …… I changed it RC, it’s now a 3-5-2
I fully endorsed RA 11:26am comment
Still no Mesut ☹
TYVM for the PM RC.
I’m nervous already … I hope we can go into a transition stage team wise where we slowly assimilate all that’s good about our cup teams into the first team … but for that to happen the odd bi name will have to be benched.
Our players individually are better than theirs … we’re still looking for our best team whereas they seem to have settled on theirs … but even so … we should win.
City had better win too 🤞
No surprise in the squad except Ceballos
Am not so hopeful when I see Xhaka and Sok in the squad so let s hope for the best and cross fingers! COYG
Mesut and ESR need to leave for their own sake. I think Ozil would do well at Psg coz we re lacking that type of players so am hoping Tuchel and Draxler woo him over to L1
RC.. I guess ESR is being rested, because of the concussion he suffered? But what is the excuse for Ozil??
If Mesut does go to PSG, and I can’t say I blame him, if he does, as this situation is ridiculous! I will enjoy watching them even more 😉
Luiz on the scoreshert… Now Pepe s turn… Before wilson…
We have to score or we will regret it. We re all over them
So far so good
Phew! Tense at times…
3 points in the bag… but at the Etihad – argh I want to cry…. Liverpool clear by 8 points? 💩💩 absolutely gutted
Take the 3 points, but that was insipid.
The only team that looked like scoring in the second half was bournemouth.
Two shots in second half, at home. Now, Auba off the post was nice and all that, but seriously,
I do not know what I am watching at times. The Arsenal only strung together 3-5 passes with continuity a few times in the entire game.
At least we did not concede, don’t know how , but onward and upward.
$h*ty, gotta love that.
So ……. that was poor but I had a couple of beers to numb the pain of the second half. If anyone wants to write anything about it ……, it will be gratefully received.
Always love watching United lose! Was really nice seeing the Longstaff brothers hugging on the pitch after the game 😊 Bruce has finally done it, on his 23rd attempt! If only we’d done it on Monday….. ha the Mancs are 12th now and we’re 3rd 👊
I’ll do a few words…
Thank you Rocky, did you watch it sober 😉
I watched it hungover after a very enjoyable but very late night at a college reunion. Bunch of blokes I haven’t seen for nearly 40 years in some cases.
I think my thoughts would be that I am delighted with the 3 points but………….???????
We are fortunate that some of our usual rivals are having a tough period, but I don’t think that should console us too much in thinking that this makes everything ok, and there is nothing to worry about. The big question is are we winning games ugly while not currently playing well, or are we just getting away with it and scraping results?
The former tends to indicate a temporary lapse of form but still finding the ability to get the result, and can be a kind of positive that shows resilience before normal, more consistent, higher performance levels are resumed. Ina generally good side this is normally seen in a period of heavy fixture congestion or with an injury depleted squad.
The latter tends to indicate a degree of fortune in getting the results, but without any obvious indication of an upturn in performance levels it will not last and will come back and bite us eventually.
I have got to start by pointing out that if you were unsure about how popular David Luiz was amongst his fellow Arsenal players, then doubt no more, because the heart felt enthusiasm in which the rest of the team celebrated with him for what turned out to be the winning goal of the game tells you all you need to know — they think the world of him.
Not the most easy of games on the eye but only three points would have allowed us to continue to mock our tragic neighbours after their three nil drubbing at the hands of the mighty Brighton and so with the points safely in the bag, continue we can and continue we will.
There were important signs of improvement though most notably in the defence all of which, except possibly of David Luiz, are playing for their places: Tierney is breathing down Kolasinac’s neck, Bellerin down Chambers’ and Holdinho down Sakratis’. There was a greater composure best demonstrated by the clean sheet; that is not to say there weren’t the usual scary moments of course there were but overall better and that goes for Xhaka playing slightly ahead of them — he didn’t even get a yellow card, small miracles.
A clear pattern is starting to develop in Emery’s team selection demonstrated by RC78 guessing ten of the eleven in the starting line up. The one wrong was Ceballos for Torreira, what seems to be happening here is if Emery expects the opponents to come onto us then he will play Torreira (think manu) however, if he wants to take the game to the opponents as he did against Bournemouth then Ceballos gets the nod.
Further, the most uplifting observation as to Emery’s decision making is the clear emergence of meritocratic system. Pepe not cutting it, on comes Martinelli and no one I am sure would begrudge the young Brazilian his half hour after his performance in the week. This of course comes after the rewarding of Chambers for his recent efforts and Saka ahead of Nelson for what must be impressive training ground performances.
I dread the think how Ozil trains or maybe that should be how Ozil trains through Emery’s minds eye…………….
Back to Ceballos for a moment, it should now be starting to become clear where his strengths and weaknesses lay; he was rightly deployed ahead of Torreira in a tight first half in which he excelled but when the game opened up in the second half he was easily getting bypassed and so Emery’s solution was rightly to swap him for the more athletic Willock.
I think I wrote this with the thought in my mind that Emery is getting questioned about whether he knows his best eleven or whether there is a plan, to me it is clear as daylight, and I fully expect us to take a huge leap forward in the not too distant future when Emery finally has access to a full and fully fit compliment of players.
David Luiz became a hero today. His defensive play was very clever.
Like LB I was interested by the reaction to Luiz’s goal, but what do we learn from that? He is popular in the dressing room? The negative part of me wonders why a senior pro should get such a celebration otherwise, it’s not like the team would be willing a centre back to score. So was the celebration because he is a good laugh or because he is a respected pro? Hopefully the latter, because Eboue was the class clown and we all know how that ended up.
As for the game I can’t comment, again interested by LBs thoughts on meritocracy being the reason Emery is giving these youngsters chances and then sticking with them. But if this is true there are some players who I am sure we all question getting into the starting line up.
I’m all for rewarding players who achieve but I am also against making players so upset they give up (is this what has happened to Ozil?).
In summing up LB you say you expect us to make a huge leap forward with a full complement of players I hope you are right. Always will respect the views of fans who go to games as you can see so much more of the shape and get a better sense of how the players are approaching the game than a TV camera can.
My concern is that the style is currently very laboured and over coached. And with a season under the belt to still see issues in getting his system in action gives further worry that the players cannot learn/adjust or the message is too complex. Or perhaps what we are seeing is what Unai wants. If so then we will have to see whether it delivers results.
I agree that by next summer, Emery will have a squad that meets his requirements but I also think that he can do better especially away from home.
As mentioned, he s also not a stupid coach and saw that Saka and Chambers were in a good period and he s givem them their chance and now I think that Martinelli also felt good replacing Pepe…
So I think the pressure is on really especially on certain players like Ozil, Torreira, Nelson, AMN and soon Pepe to perform at the highest standard consistently.
I don’t believe we are seeing what Emery wants, we were only firing on two cylinders on both wings today, both Saka and Pepe were ineffectual which made attacking for Aubamayang on his own difficult bordering on impossible.
Now if the not too distant future we will have those wings fully functioning and that is why I am suggesting that we will see a great leap forward.
It is going to happen, after Christmas we will have wings and we are going to fly……..
Oooh that’s quite good.
Yes RC I agree, we are now clearly seeing, for the first time, competition for places and players are rising to the challenge.
We have a New Post ……………….