A Boxing Day trip to the seaside ……. Bournemouth pre-match

Football on Boxing Day is such an amazing tradition isn’t it. I can imagine, in the days before televised games, whole families striding through the streets of N5 towards Highbury. And because Amazon Prime have bought these games, they’re mostly on at 3pm today. Great if you can organise your Christmas around football, a bit of a pain if you can’t.

This is such a landmark game, the first under the stewardship of Mikel Arteta. I am thrilled with his appointment, I love how serious he is, how he sounds like he has a definite plan. We have been a rudderless ship for far too long.

I hope the players respond to him because he loves our club and we need to see our players playing like they love our club too. Playing like they’re proud to have pulled on the shirt.

What comes now is the future ……… no doubt there will be the usual rollercoaster because that is the nature of football. If the highs are high, I can cope with a few lows along the way.

In this first game will he stick with the talented young players that we have seen progress to the first team or will he give the experienced players (possibly) a chance to redeem themselves.

Some of our experienced players have looked so down in the dumps recently, can he work a bit of magic and inspire them? Over the last few weeks they’ve looked like they’ve forgotten how to play football.

I shall be pleased to see some good football from our team. I watched, with football envy, when Man City zipped the ball around us a couple of weeks ago. That used to be us. Chelsea played some great football against the totts at the weekend.

I’m not expecting a miracle but I’m hoping for a change of style. Something to cheer, even if we don’t win.

I like Bournemouth, they play good football. We should have smashed them when they came to The Emirates because they leave a lot of space for everyone to play. But smashing teams is not what we do these days.

I’m not going to pick a team, but you can all have a stab in the comments.

Enjoy your day.


p.s. Rasp and I started out blogging, many years ago, on a site called Goonerholic and sadly the owner, Dave Faber, lost his battle with illness and passed away this Christmas. He was an excellent man, a true Gooner and, personally, I shall miss his Friday night music fests on Twitter.

RIP Dave


76 Responses to A Boxing Day trip to the seaside ……. Bournemouth pre-match

  1. If you missed yesterdays post you need to check out Rocky’s wonderful gift to us ……….. you can read it again here https://wp.me/pNcrc-clI

  2. But don’t forget to come back ……………..

  3. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Peaches

    Very sad news about Dave from Goonerholic. He was a fairly regular guest on Arseblog’s podcast and sounded like a lovely bloke who was Arsenal to the core.

    Onto today’s game. I agree with all you say – starting to look like we have a plan is more important than getting the right result.

    I certainly don’t expect miracles (despite the season) because this team and many of these players are in a hole at the moment and it will take time to climb out.

    Here’s a stab at Mikel’s first starting line-up…

    Bellerin Luiz Sokratis Saka
    Xhaka Willock
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    I wouldn’t be the tiniest bit surprised if the actual team has 5 or 6 differences from that.

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches … you’ve caught the mood perfectly.

    Very sad about Goonerholic, he was always moderate and supportive of Arsenal whatever perceived strife others were ranting about. Let’s hope our boys can do it for him today … but if they don’t I’m sure he’d just look forward to the next game as we all should.

  5. Rasp says:

    My expectations for the game are a glimpse of what we can look forward to in the future.

    I saw a club video of Ozil having to shoulder barge a rugby style pad held by one of the training staff – he must have hated it. But that tells me that Mikel is sending a clear message to him – I want you be more involved in all aspects of the game. One rule for every player = maximum effort.

  6. RockyLives says:

    I hope Mikel turns out to be a real disciplinarian.

    When George Graham arrived as manager at Arsenal in the late 1980s many remembered him as a classy but somewhat laid back player (hence the nickname “Stroller”) and a bit of a playboy.

    But he turned out to be a real stickler for discipline, even down to insisting that players were dressed smartly off the pitch.

    He was able to impose this style partly by promoting a crop of talented youngsters (Merson, Davis, Rocastle, Thomas, Adams etc) who were probably much more willing to go along with his ideas than some of the older salts.

    I doubt it’s possible to be a GG type of disciplinarian in the modern game, with players who are worth tens of millions after just a season or two at the top flight.

    But if Mikel can create a culture where the expectations are high and players are called out for not meeting them, then that’s something to build on.

    His first real test will come after today’s game. Regardless of the result, Mikel will no doubt see some things he likes about our performance and some he doesn’t.

    So far in training I’m sure the players have all been making the right noises and buying in to his ideas.

    But after this game, how will they react when Mikel starts pointing out how certain individuals have not shown the requisite effort, discipline or ability? Maybe that’s when the sulks will start.

    Luckily, like Graham back in the ’80s, Mikel has a very talented group of up-and-coming youngsters to fall back on in Guendouzi, Saka, Martinelli, Willock, Nelson, AMN, Smith-Rowe et al.

  7. Sue says:

    Good morning gooners.. hope all had a great day yesterday! (364 days to go… 😂)….Nice one, Peaches, btw!

    Looking forward to getting home from work, for the all day football feast! Thankfully I’ll miss the spuds 👍
    Bournemouth haven’t had a shot on target in their last 2 home games. Callum Wilson hasn’t scored in his last 10…hmmm…. one to watch is Harry Wilson (note to Xhaka.. please don’t lunge on him just outside the box!!)
    I think we’ll see Pepe today, other than that haven’t got a scooby 😂
    Come on Arteta.. let’s kick off in style and bag those 3 points!! COYG
    Happy Birthday to Rambo 👍
    Sad news, Peaches.

  8. RockyLives says:

    Come on Brighton.

  9. Sue says:

    I hope my favourite (😜) Wichitan had a great day yesterday! 🥳

  10. Sue says:

    I was wrong – no Pepe 😂 9 right – nice one, Rocky 👍

  11. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Peaches. Sad news about Dave. 3 points would be most welcome, and I am hoping that we will start to see the beginnings of the new style of football under Arteta. I dont expect it to be perfect at this stage but I hope to see something quicker, sharper and incisive with more aggression in our play

  12. LB says:

    Well with all the build up to the selection, I expected at least Messi in there, possibly Ronaldo. lol

  13. RockyLives says:

    Well this is going to be interesting.

    I think we’re all agreed we shouldn’t expect too much too soon…

    …and yet…

    Come on !

  14. Nothing special in the team selection so ……. fingers crossed really

  15. RockyLives says:

    Laca and Auba back together again.

  16. Rasp says:

    Ozil playing well so far. Two precision passes, we just need our strikers to regain their confidence

  17. Oh dear ……. come on Arsenal!!!!

  18. Rasp says:

    Same players, same luck, more effort, crossing and shooting poor … but I can see improvement in the passing and getting the ball forward

  19. LBG says:

    Lack of confidence shows most clearly in shots wildly off target, Nelson and Saka unable to get even a reasonable cross in, and, Mikel, now we a goal down, which players have their heads up, are driving their teammates on with MORE effort and determination.
    Torreira’s performance high point for me. Taking the ball, instead of Xhaka from back four and Gk.
    Saka is not a full back, use the Academy, Mikel,( Bola or Medley). Maitland- Niles is not a full back.
    Pepe on for Nelson. Guendouzi on for Xhaka for me.

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Everything looks improved apart from the end product which has been woeful. I’d be tempted to have someone a bit more experienced in place of Nelson as I don’t think he’s ready for the first team. Doesn’t look good enough yet imo.

  21. Sue says:

    Typical how we concede after all the possession/chances we had! That bloody playing out from the back 😠🙈
    Haven’t been impressed with Nelson, he needs to come off.
    Huge second half. They haven’t lost this season after scoring first… Come on Arsenal…

  22. RockyLives says:

    Encouraging signs there. We played better attacking football in that first 30 mins than we have done in the few games.

    Some lack of quality in crossing and in decision making in the box have cost us but I’m feeling somewhat encouraged.

  23. Aaron says:

    Thank you peaches for a bittersweet intro!

    Not bad, but King ran 50 meters without being stopped, 50 meters!
    The players still do not stop that yet, and 3 ball watchers as their guy scored an ugly goal. Knew when Chambers could not play we would be in trouble.

    Hopefully Arteta makes a few changes and the Arsenal can get one back!

  24. RockyLives says:

    It was disappointing that their goal came from yet another inept attempt to play out from the GK when being heavily pressed.

    The sooner we ditch that approach the better.

  25. RA says:

    Hi People, 😁

    A strange half, but much better generally, unfortunately Saka, Nelson and Maitland Niles , or make defensive errors, and are all at sea, and the attack have missed chances galore – let’s face it – playing out from the back always gives the oppo a nice goal chance — and they took it.

    Lack a-day. 😩

    Rocky’s poem was very nice, indeed.

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Just one gooner was stirring – it was Rocky the mouse.
    In one hand a lamp, the other a quill
    “I’ll write a poem, I’m determined I will,
    “It just needs a tweak” he said with a squeak,

    — Sue, Clement Moore, Rocky’s muse kicked the bucket in the mid 1800s — that must make him about 160 y.o. by your reckoning!! 😁

  26. RA says:

    I have just heard the commentary guy say the ref has had a good game, so far, despite there being more shirt pulling and pushing on the Arsenal players than you would see at a rugby match, Sheesh!

  27. Rasp says:

    We need 30 minutes of urgency. Bournemouth defending as though their lives depend on it.

  28. Sue says:

    Could this be just one of those days?! Sigh…..

  29. Rasp says:

    Get in ….. yesssssss

  30. Rasp says:

    Mikel constantly standing out in the rain to encourage the players … his hair is so thick you can’t even tell it’s wet 😂

  31. RA says:

    Lovely approach work in the 1st half ends with a botched shot — a rather fortuitous passing bout in the second half, ends with an instinctive goal — football, don’t you love it? 😁

  32. RockyLives says:

    I thought it was a botched shot from Nelson as well, but on second look I think it was a really good pass.

  33. RA says:

    If Xhaka passes the bloody ball sideways or back to the GK one more time I will squeem and squeem — you see if I don’t!! 😡😡

  34. fred1266 says:

    Sue how come we is the only side that doesn’t get a new manager bounce

  35. Rasp says:

    Mustafi has only just come on and already he’s moaning at the ref. He’d do well just to remain switched on and concentrate on his own game.

  36. We’ve squandered some great opportunities to score in this game ……. that’s an improvement in itself, some great runs but poor decision making. I wonder why Pepe didn’t start? He’s so obviously a proper footballer

  37. Sue says:

    Bournemouth’s No.29 is a giant.. is he RA in disguise?! Nah, he looks too young 😂😂😜

  38. Sue says:

    It’s bloody frustrating, Fred!!!

  39. RockyLives says:

    Encouraging signs plus some of the same old issues.

    Two away games, two draws – could be a lot worse.

    I’m sure Mikel has plenty of food for thought.

  40. Rasp says:

    I got exactly what I expected. It was an improved performance. Ozil was more than worth his place in the side. Some of the old bad habits crept back in occasionally, but I’m sure MA will address those in the coming days

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Even Özil looked interested, so that’s a good sign. I think if Lacazette was on form we’d have won that by 2 or 3. Nelson was much better 2nd half in fairness to him but I’d still prefer Pepe starting.

    We looked a lot more urgent in our play and seemed to play much better through midfield than we have in months. I thought Torreira was fantastic. Decent point but should’ve won.

  42. RA says:

    Bit difficult to categorise that game.

    Promising team display, and I see that getting better, but some individuals, were just not sharp enough in attack, and a game we could have easily won 3 : 1 just faded lamely away.

    Still, I think the Arteteta effect was there.

  43. Sue says:

    Chelsea lost – not all bad then 😂😂

  44. RA says:

    No, no, Sue — I am young and beautiful — you mean Rocky — he is ancient — he knew Clement Moore – that makes him 160 y.o. at least — although MickyDidIt said he was handsome, but that doesn’t count, does it? 😛

  45. RockyLives says:

    Ah… on third view it wasn’t a pass to Auba for our goal – it was a lucky deflection 😳

  46. RockyLives says:

    Quite right Redders. I am the Rock of Ages. And old Clement Moore was quite the party animal in his day.

  47. Sue says:

    Young AND beautiful??!! 😂

  48. Aaron says:

    2 points on the road is an improvement!

    Still look like conceding goals, but maybe only 2 chances instead of 5.

    Pepe looked bright from the start, yet Nelson had a much better second half.

    Possession was the name of the game, and the Arsenal actually kept it, however it seemed like the opposition sat back and tried to counter much of the time.

    Small changes, and a positive outlook going forward.

  49. Sue says:

    With hair like that, surely it’s only a matter of time before Arteta’s in a L’oreal advert – Because I’m worth it 😆

  50. RA says:

    Oh, Sue, that is outrageous, like an arrow in the proximity of the jaxi, but you are right, I would be more at home at the Ugly Bug Ball. 😩

    You am correct, Rocker of Ages, that ‘pass’ from Nelson (?) was a ricochet off the defender’s shin — all carefully calibrated, naturally.

    We are the Arsenal, and such skill is synonymous with the precision expected of everyone, even the tea lady.

  51. LBG says:

    Well Mikel,
    Agree with positive first 20min assessment, but more questions than answers!
    Perforce, too many player out of position or “playing” at all. No full backs against a quick frontline, who always attack wide or inside fullbacks. Why does the coaching team not trust Mavrapanos? Why did Ozil move (or was moved) from central between the lines where he was doing damage, and should have assisted three goals if we had anyone who could shoot? Why was Guendouzi not playing since you have rightly changed Torreira’s role.and what is the point of Xhaka?
    I hope the positives are continued and were not simply because of the room Bournemouth gave us. Hopefully a a good time to play Chelski. Please make our Sunday a smiling one, sir, then get some big strong CBs and DMF leaders in for us in the window. Thanks!

  52. RA says:

    Having read the comment backlog, I saw a couple of questions that I do not wish to ignore as that would be rude.

    1st – I am taking a leap of faith here, but as I am the only one here from Wichita, that I am aware of — and I can say, yes, I had a frenetic but enjoyable Yule Tide thank you Sue.
    I hope you did too. 😁

    2nd – and this is related to the above, Rocket, I spent a lot of time flying to visit family both in NY and Frankfurt, and it seemed that no sooner had I arrived at each destination than I was on my way back! But enjoyable none the less. 🥺

  53. Sue says:

    Matty Longstaff 👍👍👍👍

  54. GoonerB says:

    Disappointing not to get the three points but lots to be positive about as most others have pointed out. What did we expect in a few days though?

    It was most important to see us implement a different style of play. All the players look like they had bought into Mikels vision. We will become a more efficient oiled machine over the next few weeks and start to claim those 3 points in games like this.

  55. kelsey says:

    A belated Merry Xmas and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.
    Arteta needs time and backing from the Board and at least 4 players have to go even in January, which is no easy task, and at least a couple brought in..
    We need cover at wing backs and it’s harsh to be critical of the kids.

    The Xahaka comment surprised me as he has agreed personal terms with Hertha Berlin.

    Emery was too soft and several players walked over him,player power in essense.

    When considering the combined cost of Auba,Lacazette and Pepe the return in goals is poor but Pepe needs to be bolloxed and given more game time and I believe Laca is still not 100% fit.Hopefullt Auba won’t be sold at a profit but I won’t back on it.

  56. Mikel A says:

    Well LBG, if you do not get XhakA by now then you are not worth responding too.



  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    I quite enjoyed that, one big reason the midfield of Xhaka and Torreira were not over committing that cake from wide men. Also there was a definite aim to find Ozil and have men running for him instant ltd no slowly slowly wait for support. That meant we started brightly and with some better finishing would have been a couple up in quick time.

    Arteta arm in arm with Nelson as they came off the pitch, interesting to me, shouldn’t forget Arteta would have been aware of the qualities of some of the kids in his time at the club, and so potentially has plans for them.

    Final third will come we have the quality up there.

  58. LB says:

    Torreira was my MOTM, very good today.

  59. LB says:

    Thinking about it, I only have positive things to say so I should probably keep them to myself.

  60. Sue says:

    I agree with you, LB.. Torreira was excellent!

    Oh come on Leicester… you are my only hope 😩

  61. Aaron says:

    That is a hopeless consideration.
    May the pool run out of gas away soon after all these games and lose a few!

  62. Sue says:

    4-0??!!! 🥺
    I can’t see it happening, Aaron…

  63. Nipped to the cinema after the game so didn’t get the chance to ask if anyone wanted to write something about the game for tomorrow?

  64. I think Martinelli was a big miss today, he would have thrown everything at some of those chances and also might have been better positioned to convert.

  65. LB says:

    Totally agree, Peaches.

  66. fred1266 says:

    Granit Xhaka has reached an agreement with Hertha Berlin and informed Arsenal he wants to join the Bundesliga club, according to the player’s agent.

    Xhaka’s future at Emirates Stadium has been in doubt since the midfielder reacted angrily to being replaced during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.

    The former Borussia Monchengladbach star cupped his ears to the home fans, who mockingly cheered his substitution during the Premier League fixture, then removed his shirt before walking straight down the tunnel.

    After being stripped of the captaincy by former boss Unai Emery, a January exit appeared likely. Yet new head coach Mikel Arteta has made clear of his admiration for the Switzerland international, revealing how he had suggested that Manchester City should sign him in 2016.

    Xhaka, who joined the Gunners from Monchengladbach, started in the 1-1 draw away at Bournemouth on Boxing Day – Arteta’s first game since taking charge.

    However, Jose Noguera claims the 27-year-old has a deal in a place with Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha in the hope of completing a transfer in the January window.

    “Look, I will say it frankly and honestly – we are in agreement with Hertha and would like to go to Berlin,” Noguera told Blick.

    “That’s what we said to Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.”


    📸 #BOUARS

    As told by @m8arteta 🎢

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
    1:25 PM – Dec 26, 2019
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    779 people are talking about this

  67. oz gunner says:

    shit situation for Arsenal – Xhaka transfer. He threw the toys out of the pram and now his manager has selected 1 club…we’ll be lucky to get 30 million for him (15 million loss). He’s clearly a heart on his sleeve type and seems stubborn AF so not the type you’d expect to stick around once his mind has been made. Keeping him to his contract will just cause unrest with the supporters and locker room which obviously isn’t desirable given a new manager has come in and we need to rebuild.

    tldr: Xhaka is a spoilt brat and he can feck off.

  68. Sue says:

    Hmm that’s interesting, Fred. Seeing as Arteta has stated he’s a big fan and wanted him at City!

  69. Sue says:

    13 points clear at the top 😫
    17 wins and only 1 draw 😫
    We all know where the trophy will end up in May 😫
    And I believe they will smash our invincible record 😭

  70. LBG says:

    Mikel A.
    Thank you for your response. ” Heart on his sleeve, brain in his shit- shovelling back passes”! Summed up on calling to receive a throw on and then allowing Fraser to take the ball off his toe, then a half hearted challenge on the byeline allowing a dangerous cross.
    Hope you “understand” him, but that he disappears to Berlin asap.

  71. RockyLives says:

    I’ll do a report Peaches – it might help snap me out of my three day eating and drinking binge.

  72. allezkev says:

    I didn’t know that Xhaka’s agent had the final say on Arsenal’s transfer policy, but it’s good of him to let us all know…

  73. RockyLives says:

    Report in Drafts Peaches/Rasp

  74. Thanks Rocky ….. I’ll sort it Rasp

  75. New Post everyone ………………

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