Prematch – Leicester vs Arsenal ………….

……………………… Rodgers vs Emery / Vardy vs AFC Defense…OR the game that could end our Top 4 hope.

This game is so interesting in so many ways. There is so much to play for and both teams are in opposite spirals. On one hand, Leicester has started the season very well and everyone is raving about Rodgers, Vardy and the overall team movement, shape and balance. On the other hand, Arsenal who has started the season relatively poorly and there is a lot of negativity about Emery, Xhaka and the overall lack of team movement, shape and balance.

To make things spicier, Rodgers is being touted by many pundits to replace Emery at AFC. Vardy was close to join us but decided to stay at Leicester.

To add to the drama, a loss against Leicester will all but end our Top 4 hopes while a win would not only give us hope to seriously challenge for a top 4 spot but would give a lifeline to Emery until the end of the year and will bring some positivity around our club.

Leicester main performers this year are:

Schmeichel – Ricardo, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison – Barnes – Vardy. So almost the whole squad except maybe Soyoncu and Barnes but again these two had stand out performances as well. That said, I think that we can basically find a way to bother them if we play behind Madisson and if we target Soyoncu. How to do that?

Emery is expected to play in a 3412 tomorrow and I can see him going with

Leno

Chambers  Sokratis   Luiz

Bellerin  Guendouzi  Torreira  Kolasinac

Ozil

Laca, Auba

 

If Ozil can play right behind Madisson and if Lacazette can target Soyuncu, we have a chance to create some opportunities to score BUT I would rather play with another line up where I would trust Willock and Pepe…I know I know but I think they could help us in being more effective in targeting the Leicester weaknesses, at least initially…

My line up:

Leno

Chambers  Sokratis  Luiz

Bellerin  Guendouzi  Torreira  Willock  Tierney

Pepe  Auba

Anyways – I am not holding my breath but I think that the players know that this is a must “not lose” game so they will put in a good fight…If we can manage a draw at half time, we can maybe scrap out a win but given the current team forms, I would say that Leicester will dispatch us 3-1. Goals from Perreira, Maddison and Vardy. For us, it will be Luiz.

AFC – please prove me wrong and win vs Leicester! COYG!

RC78

99 Responses to Prematch – Leicester vs Arsenal ………….

  1. VP of Oz says:

    Great Post RC and I agree with you, a win to Arsenal 3:1

  2. RA says:

    A very good Post Monsieur RC, 😜

    I really enjoyed reading that, and your views are refreshing.

    My one reservation, possibly because I am superstitious, is that I wish people would not say “this is a must win game” — or as you phrased it, “a must not lose game”.

    In past years (many long year ago now) I used to wake up on a Saturday and think, I wonder how many we would win by, no matter who the opposition were.

    Actually. there was a little tickle of concern, on occasion, if we were up against the damned Spurs or for a different reason, Manure, but ssshh that’s a secret.

    Anyway, it would be naïve to think that a club in such disarray as Arsenal can be backed to win against a rampant Leicester team. But of course I want them to, but I will not be surprised if we don’t. 😩

  3. Sue says:

    Good morning, RC… and what a very cold morning it is! Thank you for the pre match.
    Match day is finally upon us, and I’m nervous! Not quite as nervous as I was boarding that plane last week, but you get the gist!
    Our last 2 trips to the KP haven’t gone according to plan, but don’t they say 3rd time lucky?!
    Right now, I’ll say we’ll do well to come away with a draw.. but would love to be proved wrong! Plus, as Rocky’s probably placing a bet as we speak, it’d be nice if he won some cash, for a change 😂👍 COYG
    There’s always the grand slam of darts to watch instead, if things do go horribly pete tong…praying it won’t come to that though!
    One thing made me chuckle, was the heading to an Arsene article… “Wenger likens Hazard to overweight horse” 😂😂😂 I always thought he had a Nicki Minaj bum!!!

  4. RockyLives says:

    Excellent stuff RC.

    Your projected UE team is probably the one he’ll go with.

    I fancy us to sneak a win today: it often goes that way when the meta-narrative is pointing firmly in one direction (in-form Leicester to thrash struggling Arsenal).

    It’s like all those games where we play a team that “hasn’t scored away from home in 540 hours” and promptly bangs one in against us, or a team that hasn’t had a clean sheet in X games until we turn up…

    I suppose there’s no pleasure to be taken from the fact that we are now in the weaker half of those sorts of equations.

    Still, it will be 2-1 to the Mighty Arse I say. Goals from Auba and Terrier.

    Time to get that bet on (sorry Sue).

  5. Sue says:

    Loving Soccer AM today, not only because of Mr Bullard, but big old Dave Seaman is a guest! Those 2 together – brilliant 😂😂👌

  6. JM says:

    I hope our team can get a good result in this away match against Leicester, although if we should give away 25 to 30 (or more) chances (as regularly in recent times against many of our previous opponents) to them at our goal, we could be humiliated (like what they did to Southampton, 9-0).

    My starting team: Leno, Bellerin, Chambers, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolašinac, Torreira, Guendouzi, Özil, Lacazette, Aubameyang(C)

    Bench: Emiliano, Tierney, Holding, Willock, Pépé, Saka, Martinelli

  7. Sue says:

    So, the Chavs are 2nd now ☹ Abraham just can’t stop scoring. Wilf did nothing. My nightmare weekend is on…….
    I know we haven’t played yet, gulp, but Chelsea have let in more goals than us.. only by 2.. but still 😜

  8. RC78 says:

    Hey Sue – what a change of fortune for Chelsea! Credit to Lamps who is trusting Zouma, Tomori, Pulisic and Abraha. The team is playing fun football and won the last six. Knowing that they have a good GK, Azpi, Kante, Jorginho and Willian as the experienced bunch… They can create a surprise and finish top 3

  9. Sue says:

    Hi RC.. And we’re 9 points adrift of them now…
    Sky wondered if the top 4 would be decided today.. I’d say IF we lose.. that mountain we already have to climb, will be even bigger…..

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sue they may have let in more….but goals for is where I find us most embarrassing. Averaging 1.5 goals a game. The top 4 are averaging over 2.5 goals a game.

    I’d taken conceding 15 if we’d scored 25. And there to my mind lies the main problem, defence matters a lot less if you can put the opposition under threat.

    RCs line ups above attempt to give more fluidity to the attacking play, but until we become less one dimensional I don’t see it happening.

    The thing that hurts more with Chelsea is that despite some players being bought for relatively big money so many are youngsters and from their youth system.

    You don’t exactly look at their squad on paper and think it should be better than our first XI but results suggest otherwise.

    Let’s hope for three points today….remember when we used to be flat track bullies? Ok we wouldn’t beat top 4 but we beat everyone else 99.9% of the time, and at least had fun seeing lots of lovely goals.

    Come on Arsenal some swagger today please!

  11. Sue says:

    GIE.. I only highlighted that because I was surprised. There has been so much said about how poor we are, their defence hasn’t even been mentioned. But I guess the reason for that is because of what you brought up – goals scored! And they at least see games out.
    We’ve only scored 16, which is considerably less compared to all the other teams above us.
    So, struggling at both ends!

  12. Team ……

  13. RockyLives says:

    Decent looking team… but then again I think that every week.

  14. RockyLives says:

    More dropped points for the Spudders 😀

  15. Aaron says:

    Is that a typo?
    Another different team set up. F me.
    Bel and Hold not fit, look lethargic, as they should.
    Kola and Mesut means no defense,

    Guen will get a workout that is for sure, chasing ghosts.

    Will watch with one eye open..

    Results sort of going the Arsenal way, but then again anyone with 15 points is within striking distance, that is almost the entire table….

  16. LB says:

    This team my be the answer but the idea that it will just hit the ground running without glitches it hopeful to say the least.

    I just hope that the Lemmings see that Emery understands that the clock is broken and is trying to find a solution.

  17. Aaron says:

    LB,
    Agreed, but how about just for once play your best 11 a few times in a row. But, Emery does not know 17 months in, does he?

  18. LB says:

    Why Kolasinac and not Tierney?

    This has got to be about Ozil.

    Kolasinac used to be very effective on the attacking left and then it all dried up. Why? It was Ozil that we supplying the passes for Big Kol to run onto.

    I suppose this is part of if you want to get the best out of Ozil you have to build the team around him.

  19. LB says:

    Aaron

    It is a common cry: Emery doesn’t know his best 11.

    To which I say wh:y the hell should he?

    We buy the best attacking right wing that there is out there and he plays like shite. Is that Emery’s fault? Will another manager get more out of him? Yes, because Pepe would have continued to acclimatise.

    Still doesn’t know his best 11

    Holding, Tierney and Bellerin have all been injured, again how on earth is anyone supposed to know Arsenal’s best 11.

    I could go on and on.

    Come away from the edge of the cliff it is dangerous.

  20. Aaron says:

    This is Emery tinkering to death, he ostracized Ozil long ago. You think he will go to the end of the earth for him?
    Me thinks not.

  21. RockyLives says:

    LB
    Makes sense to me.

    I also think that wing back suits Kola much better than fullback.

  22. Aaron says:

    Here is my prediction: Arsenal concede and maybe score one..
    Stats do not lie…..

  23. LB says:

    Aaron

    Ozil is still for sale, nothing has changed.

  24. LB says:

    Aaron

    Normally may heart says we are going to win and my head says be cautious but who in their right mind would bet on Arsenal winning today?

    Hmmmm, might be time for a bet…………..

    OK, game time, laters.

  25. RA says:

    OK, Sue,

    I saw the pre-match with Emery and did not understand a word.

    Your translation is needed, please. 😁

  26. RA says:

    Some good stuff there, LB.

  27. Sue says:

    I’m completely in the dark too, RA… although that could have something to do with being behind the sofa 🙈😄

  28. RockyLives says:

    Me LB! I’ve bet on the good guys to win.

  29. Is there room behind the sofa?

  30. RockyLives says:

    Earlier I predicted Auba and Terrier to score for us. But now I fancy Laca to get one.

    We’ll just have to score 3 😀

  31. Sue says:

    Of course, Peaches 😁

  32. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC

    The team looks the most balanced for a while. Let’s see now

  33. Rasp says:

    How are we playing? … I’m not near a screen at the moment

  34. RockyLives says:

    Already at least three attempts on goal including a couple on target, so we’re doing better than we did on Wednesday.

  35. RockyLives says:

    Rasp

    Leicester very confident and look dangerous. We’re standing up pretty well and had the best chance of the game (missed by Laca).

    Mind you, we’re lucky not to have been punished with a penalty when Gwen tugged back one of their players in the box. VAR looked at it and mystifyingly said ‘no’.

    Overall we look better organized than I’ve seen us for a while.

  36. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky …. cause for optimism …. it sounds like Laca is getting into good positions

  37. RockyLives says:

    Our attempts to play out from the back are causing a few palpitations though. No change there.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Our inability to play out from the back almost gifted the Tigers a goal just there.

  39. RA says:

    Rasper, you have to be aware the Rock has a bet on the game. 😁

    From what I have seen, we could be 3 or 4 down.

  40. Whispers …… why are we going backwards so often shhh

  41. RockyLives says:

    Redders

    Could be 3 or 4 down… if not for the excellent commitment of our defenders who deserve credit.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Peaches

    That’s the biggest worry – too often we pass square and then backwards even when in the Leicester half, usually putting ourselves in trouble.

    There’s no need to – we have troubled Leicester when we’ve gone at them.

  43. Rocky

    If there was no-one to pass to I wouldn’t complain but all three of Auba, Laca and Ozil are in front ☹️

  44. We have created some lovely chances ….. does the heart good to see those.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Positives:
    Better shape and organisation than we’ve seen recently.
    Committed effort and good work rate by all players.
    We’ve looked very dangerous on the counter and put together some slick attacking moves (with Ozil involved in most of the good moments).
    We had the best chance of the game (Laca should have scored).

    Minuses:
    Sloppy passing, putting ourselves in trouble by giving the ball away too easily.
    Playing out from the back repeatedly putting us in trouble until we hoof it upfield.
    Moments where we seem to be in control around the half way line, then inexplicably pass sideways and backwards, which in turn invites the pacey Leicester forwards to hound us and force us into mistakes.

    At least we look competitive.

  46. Sue says:

    That wasn’t a bad half, palpitations, high blood pressure and all 😄 Guendouzi had me worried though……

  47. This is funny

  48. GoonerB says:

    I far prefer this line up and balance and think we already look better for it but as LB says it cant be expected to click into full gear immediately.

    I think with 3 ball playing CB’s one of them can either position slightly further forward and all should have licence to bring it out.

    Aaron I think you intimated earlier that this line up didn’t do it for you. What is the line up that you feel is strongest?

  49. GoonerB says:

    At least we are looking half decent

  50. LBG says:

    What is the point of Kolasinac?

  51. LBG says:

    Looking back at comments Rocky’s summation for me was spot on. Would add hurried final pass from forwards lost several good chances…and again.

  52. RockyLives says:

    I’d be tempted to bring on Pepe for Laca for the last 20

  53. RockyLives says:

    Bloody Vardy again.

    Good goal by Leicester although Gwen was ball watching.

  54. LBG says:

    And inevitably……

  55. RockyLives says:

    Come on Arsenal – we can score here

  56. RC78 says:

    What a goal. Holding, Douzi, Luiz, Torreira and Chambers at fault. Bellerin totally absent. Was like watching a good old Arsenal goal with the slick passing

  57. RC78 says:

    That said, second half is better than the first
    Some poor passing in the final third

  58. LBG says:

    Totteringham fans calling for Poch to be sacked! It could be worse, perhaps!

  59. RockyLives says:

    RC
    Think you’re being a bit harsh.

    Credit where it’s a due for a really slick goal.

    The one player I’d point a finger at a little is Gwen who let the Leicester player run in behind him

  60. RockyLives says:

    Leicester making defensive substitutions – we can still get something from this game. Plenty of time.

  61. RC78 says:

    Holding should not play on the left side of the central defense. He makes the same mistakes again and again. Let him play at the base of it

  62. LB says:

    Oh dear………….

  63. RockyLives says:

    Oh dear. 0-2.
    A shame, because we were doing OK in this one.

  64. Aaron says:

    It was coming…

    GoonerB- people in the positions they are supposed to be playing.
    That means real defenders, midfielders and forwards in the correct spots, and play them together, all the time, until they need load management.

    Healthy bodies until our best come back to full fitness.

  65. RockyLives says:

    Pepe’s on – we’ll get a point with two goals from free kicks 😀

  66. RC78 says:

    And again.. Where is Bellerin?

    Misssjnf the Perrsiea and Luiz goal and I was spot on…

  67. Sue says:

    9 points behind them now. Bye bye top 4??

  68. LB says:

    Luckily I didn’t have time to get to the Bookies……

  69. RC78 says:

    Take Bellerin out, put Chambers on the right
    Bring in Pepe.
    Take Ozil out and bring in Martinelli.
    Laca to play deeper

  70. RockyLives says:

    Leicester are good to watch, it pains me to say.

  71. RC78 says:

    Willock in is a good idea but Douzi should have gone off

  72. RC78 says:

    It’s embarrassing now with the Ole 😭😭😭

  73. GoonerB says:

    Aaron, will comment on this individual game later and the wider context, but who did you feel was played out of position in our starting line up today?

    Also I would still like to hear what you think our best line up is

  74. RockyLives says:

    Right, going off to sulk now 😢

  75. RC78 says:

    Lack of attacking precision and defensive awareness but an improved performance especially in parts of the second half

    Man of the match – Gray and Ndidi

    Leno – 5
    Bellerin – 4
    Chambers – 5
    Luiz – 5
    Holdinf – 4
    Kola – 5
    LT – 5
    Douzi – 4
    Ozil – 5
    Laca – 5
    Auba – 5

  76. GoonerB

    If you fancy you can write your comments into a match report …… please 💋

  77. Sue says:

    I’m so disappointed… thought we did alright in the first half. Second half was like we had run out of ideas and gave up!
    Like Smudger said – We’re going nowhere fast ☹

  78. fatgingergooner says:

    Why persist with this? It’s going nowhere.

  79. GoonerB says:

    Ok will do Peaches

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    If ever there was a glimpse into what could’ve been it’s Vardy and Rodgers putting Emery out of a job.

  81. Sue says:

    Huge shout out to the travelling gooners! Even at 2-0, you could still hear them shouting We love you Arsenal! 👏👏👏 Amazing support! I’d have been slumped in my seat, blubbering!! 😄

  82. Jjgsol says:

    Another shambles.

    Leicester were so much better than us all over the pitch.

    This playing out from the back is becoming an embarrassment.

    How much longer is this nonsense going to go on for?

  83. Sue says:

    Where’s Fred?

  84. LBG says:

    ” How much longer is this nonsense going to go on for?” Sums it up for me.
    Which player is showing clear understanding of where he is supposed to be playing in ” Emery’s system(s)? Which player is showing confidence in their own ability and spreading it amongst their fellow teammates.Which player can be trusted in possession of the ball? Which player can be trusted to position himself correctly when the opposition are on the attack?

    No confidence, thoroughly confused, all playing way below par and…………..can he correct any of it?

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    He’s just not qualified for this job. Nothing personal, nothing about him as an individual, but the best he’s done in a job is EL football and we are striving for CL football in a very difficult league. Time to move on and fine someone who can do what we ask. The players look lost, the tactics are confusing, and the results are poor. We wasted years waiting for Wenger to re-find his old magic, let’s not make the same mistake with someone who’s never had that magic to begin with.

  86. LB says:

    I’m going cycling………………..

  87. LBG says:

    Having pushed LB into a cycle ride…..and an impossibly poor nights sleep……my final thoughts for a while on the blog, following a comment from my young, Liverpool supporting nephew. “Uncle Jon, your Club is in crisis!”

    We now have a potentially great player for the future, Guendouzi copying the Xhaka school of defending, rugby tackles on Zaha or blatant pull backs on opposition with immediate show of ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ ( you are on camera, young man!).
    Callum Chambers, the player of the season for another Club last year, IN A DIFFERENT POSITION, having been put in the sh** by his own team, believing he can dribble his way ( twice) through the entire opposition without losing the ball.
    Lacazette who has now no ability to receive the ball with his back to a defender….and bring it under control.
    Did Aubang play last night? Oh yes he was there for the toss, and managed to give the ball back to the opposition a few times just when we looked like scoring!
    Kolasinac who if he received the ball wide once, controlled it, stopped, turned inside and then passed back…….he did it every single time for ninety minutes.
    Torreira, who continually presses forward into the opposition half (because Dick wants him to be a box to box player!) without being close enough to actually win back the ball, and leaving the midfield with wide open spaces for their midfield to run in to.
    Holding and Luiz lost to the art of positioning, marking runners in space, and simply clearing the ball under pressure.
    Oh, and Mesut, also lost, to the hustling and bustling of a team who said simply, ” give him no space or time and he wont have an influence.”
    …..I thought Hector and Leno didn’t have a bad game!
    See you all, perhaps in the New Year. Dont believe all the negative thoughts are doing me or anyone else any good. Happy Christmas!

  88. RockyLives says:

    Thanks LBG… but can I make one small point before you disappear into the mist.

    We’re heading into an Interlull (during which things may or may not happen regarding the future of our club).

    But the lack of football means we’ll be able to talk about things other than the immediate team problems.

    So I would politely ask you to stick around and engage with those bits of chat and comment that don’t involve painful soul searching.

    You wouldn’t want to miss my upcoming posts about the best books ever written about Arsenal, would you? 😀

  89. GoonerB says:

    Save your thoughts guys, just sent in a post…..and LBG and LB, you are obliged to comment….or else 🙂

  90. fred1266 says:

    Am here sue just depressed like everyone else

  91. On it …… back in a bit …..

  92. fred1266 says:

    Kolasinac there only to make sue smile LB

  93. New Post everyone ………………….

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