Welcome back football. City v Arsenal prematch.

I hope everyone has faired as well as can be expected during the past few weeks while the battle against Covid-19 has raged. Nice to be back to have a chat.

The return of football has been debated long and hard and without going all political on the subject, I’m still not sure it’s the right thing to do but we start off the ‘rest of the season’ with a trip to Manchester City this evening.

When part 1 of the season ended we were about to get heavily beaten by a City team that had thus far underwhelmed ……. underwhelmed so badly that Liverpool were/are 25 points ahead. We rejoin the season with Liverpool able to be crowned Champions if they win on Sunday, if we beat City tonight.

‘If we beat City tonight’ …. I can’t believe I just wrote that!!! I don’t really care when Liverpool claim the title but I do care that we get off to a good start and get out of this silly mid-table rut that we seem to find ourselves in.

On to tonight ……. Pep v Arteta. Master v Pupil. I’m sure Arteta will have played out every scenario in his head. Has he been able to drum some defensive nouse into the players that need to keep alert? Not mentioning any names but defending has to have been the most worrying part of our game up to this point. Out scoring the opposition every game is just fantasy – fun but fantasy nonetheless.

We are, I was reminded yesterday, the only team unbeaten in 2020 …… a very good reason to be optimistic.

Thinking about who might play in this first game makes my head spin. How will Arteta use Saka if Tierney is now fit? Which three out of Pepe, Auba, Laca and Martinelli will start? Does Ozil still have a place in the team? Will the youngsters – Willock and, Reiss Nelson feature?

Playing in an empty stadium will be weird, but obviously weirder for the home team. Does that give us a small advantage this evening? Will we be able to hear Arteta’s instructions or the players shouting at each other? A whole new experience awaits.

I shall leave putting a team together to you guys in comments.

Welcome back football, looking forward to watching you enormously.



79 Responses to Welcome back football. City v Arsenal prematch.

  1. Sue says:

    Nice one, Peaches and a good morning to you!! It’s been a while!
    Was up with the lark – the excitement of tonight 🤪 the fake crowd noise and Le Coq’s dolls in the stands is too much for me 😀
    We’re not expected to win, so anything else is a bonus…although you never know, Mikel may spring a surprise.. about time Auba scored against this lot!!

    Can’t wait to hear Martin Tyler screech “And it’s live” 😄 COYG

  2. Morning again Sue

    Won’t it be wonderful to see the team taking to the pitch!!!

    I have to admit to overdosing on 89(several times) and the match and then Fever Pitch, it seemed like we were winning that title for a whole month. And then all the other May anniversaries ………… titles, FA Cups ….. it was rather good 🙂

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks Peaches. Great to have football back I guess. I’m one of those who doesn’t want everything to return to the way it was before and if that means our enjoyment of the beautiful game will return a little way towards how it was before money meant everything then that will be a plus.

    I’m sure we have the right man in charge with Mikel. We will learn a lot about individual players when we see their level of commitment on the pitch.

    COYRRG ….

  4. Sue says:

    It will indeed…. we’ve waited 102 days for this!!
    Football overload is upon us… and I’m buzzing, quite happily not leave my living room for the next 9ish weeks 😃

  5. Le Coq Monster says:

    That will be West Ham , Sue, all clubs contemplating the use of cardboard cut out fans, whereas West Ham would miss a trick in not using their owners advantage in the adult entertainment business, a stadium full of Blow Up Dolls!……………………it will give a new meaning to …………”I`m forever blowing Bubbles!”……………………..I can even show their crowd in Emojis! hahaha

  6. Sue says:

    😂😂 Le Coq…. Brighton are asking their fans to send in photos, to print out on cardboard cutouts, to place in their stands, at a charge of £20…. if we follow suit, will you be sending one in of your abs, Le Coq?! Arsenal will have to pay you £20 for the pleasure 😆😆

  7. LBG says:

    Thanks for the effort to raise us from a lockdown slumber, Peaches.
    2-1 to the Arse. Saka and Aubang. Tierney to start and show the nous and talent we saw before his injury. Noone expects anything except ” the same old Arsenal”. Time to show us a ” new Arsenal”, Mikel, that lifts us up the table, grabs a Champions League place and sweeps the misery of 2020 away with a new broom.

  8. Le Coq Monster says:

    This is true, Sue!🤪
    I may send in a photo of my Parrott instead! 🦜………………he`s unfortunately dumb, probably why he was cheep…..sorry cheap………no problem though as I am a trained ventrilliquist and when I shop in Tesco`s in my Parrott smugglers I get away with murder with my remarks to fit looking women……………..I apologise sincerely to them and blame the wife for his crude mouth! 😆

  9. Pete the Thirst says:

    Nice post Peaches. Football: what’s that?

  10. LBG – loving the positivity 😁

  11. RC78 says:

    Hope all is well for all of you and loved ones!
    Finally football is back although in a diluted fan-less version 😦

    I think Arteta will try to protect our back 4 and may just play a flat 451 or a 4141 with the following line up:

    Leno – Bellerin, Mari, Luiz, Tierney – AMN, Ceba, Torreira, Xhaka, Saka – Auba

    I think the break was not good for us as we were rebuilding our momentum and finding our feet playing under Arteta but it is what it is and if we get a draw tonight, I d be pleased. A victory would be miraculous so I am keeping my expectations low hoping to be surprised 🙂

  12. Le Coq Monster says:

    I must admit that I did not want this season to resume, I wanted very unbiasedly that it would have been null and voided with Liverfool not winning PL and last seasons standings used for CL qualification and with Man C being banned from CL it would have meant Arsenal getting CL , also, using desperate times for desperate measures extreme rules, Totnumb would be relegated for being a scum filled shit hole.

    It is what it is though, so tonight I expect a tight fought game with Arsenal coming from a 1-0 deficit on 89 mins to win 8-1 in injury time with the Manc cardboard cut out fans walking out in disgust whilst the away travelling Arsenal cardboard cut out fans go menta running on the pitch!……………….I honestly believe our cardboard cut out fans are the best in the league!

  13. Sue says:

    How could I forget the parrot, Le Coq 😂

  14. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Peaches. A bit tight till later on time-wise today but great to see many familiar faces in the comments. Hope to chinwag a bit more later.

  15. Le Coq Monster says:

    I have not got any means to watch the game tonight and it doesn`t seem like any Arsenal games are free to air. I shall instead watch series 5 of Sons of Anarchy with my cardboard cut out wife, much the same as the real one but without the abuse, it reminds me of when she gives me the silent treatment!…………she thinks she is getting at me with the silent treatment, but let me tell you this ladies, the silent treatment you give us only means one thing to us men………………peace and quiet!

    You need to understand the mind of a man, we keep it simple!……………….bit like when the wife got me a two hour video called The art of foreplay……………………..fcuk that I thought and just fast forwarded past the boring bits to the last two minutes……………………. which actually seemed to go on forever! 😆

  16. RA says:

    Hi Peaches, darling.

    I thought you had ‘done a runner’ – but no — here you are, spot on time for the re-start of the end of the world season, and with a very apposite Post, which has lured some of the crème de la crème of the AA blogging fraternity as well as that famous humourist from Cornwall!!

    And hello to all you good folk!! 😛

  17. RA says:

    Hi LB,

    I am impressed with your reciting some of the alphabet — just to help — the next letter is ….. oh, bugger, I cannot remember — it might be Zee. 🥺

  18. LB says:

    Hi RA

    Nice to read one of your comments indicating that all is well, I am pleased.

  19. LB says:

    And my original comment was………..

    Well, hello there my fellow Arsenal supporters, yes your favourite pain in the arse is still here, glad to see so many are still with us, I would like to hear from RA, I am a little worried.

    But back to happy things, can’t see both Tierney and Saka playing, happy if they do but unsigned contracts being what they are I think Saka will continue at LB for a while, we shall see….

    All good fun, can’t wait.

  20. Le Coq Monster says:

    I can see the season ending with the mass genocide of Cardboard Cut Out fans!……………………or will they be recycled into semi-detached homes for the tramps of N17

    Cardboard Cut Out Fans Lives Matter!

  21. RockyLives says:

    Well done Peaches.

    It almost feels like the start of a new season, where anything is possible and everyone can be optimistic.

    Has Mikel been working with the players during all these long weeks? Or have they all been ‘social distancing’ at home (ie playing Fifa on their Playstations)?

    If it’s the former, we may have a chance of causing an upset.

    City have nothing to play for and I suspect most of their players will have switched off at least a little bit.

    Whether our lot have the motivation to fight for Top 4 (or to at least finish above the Spudders)… well, we’ll find out tonight.

  22. RA says:

    Le Coq’d Leg,

    Do not despair (?) — there are about 30 games of the remaining 92 games that will be shown ‘free’ on BBC 1, Channel 5, and some of the Sky channels like “Sky One” and a non-sporting one called “Pick” on channel 159.

    [So I heard] 😜

    But I do not know which – except – on Friday, Norwich v S/Hampton on Sky One (Channel 106), and on Saturday 8 pm, Bournemouth v Crystal Palace on BBC 1 – and on Sunday, Evertonv ‘Pool on Pick (Ch 159) at 6:30pm. There you go.

    At your service!! 😳

  23. RA says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I bet you are looking forward to tonight’s game – and how the team is set up! 👍

    First off, I’ve got to get back and grab my favourite armchair for viewing!!

  24. Sue says:

    Ahhh the beautiful game is back!!! 🙂 Come on Villa

  25. RA says:

    LB, re your 3:24,

    Thank you for your concern after my late appearance – I’m fine thank you, and I appreciate your message. 😁 👍

  26. RA says:

    I told you not to call me that publicly, Sue-py. 🙄

    Now I am going to be late for t’start!!

  27. Sue says:

    How was that not a goal for SU??!!

  28. Sue says:

    Mari and Mustafi…… No Ozil……

  29. Ooooops forgot all about Eddie 😳

  30. Rasp says:

    I’m happy with that team sheet. Good to see Tierney starting. Nketia starting, his form in the warm up game was impressive … must mean Martinelli is the super sub.

  31. LB says:

    Right then, here we go.

    Hats off to those who thought Tierney and Saka would start.

  32. RC78 says:

    @LB 😛

    I am hoping that Douzi and WIllock have a great game today. I am surprised about Luiz and Ceballos being on the bench and I am also hoping that Auba will play in the middle.

    I am not certain about the formation with this line-up…Any thoughts?

  33. fred1266 says:

    Yea I confused about formation

  34. fred1266 says:

    Excited to see Tierney

    They saying 451 formation

  35. fred1266 says:

    Am glad the watch malfunctioned fpl points was nice

  36. Rasp says:

    Not a bad start by the men in black

  37. RC78 says:

    Here is the formation after Xhaka injury – it is a 4141
    Leno – Bello, Mustafi, Mari, Tierney – Douzi – Saka, Ceba, Willock, Auba – Nketiah

  38. RC78 says:

    Fred so it is a 451, indeed

    Nketiah having a good game so far

  39. Sue says:

    Bloody hell dropping like flies….

  40. RockyLives says:

    Great – two subs already. You’ve got to wonder about our warm up and conditioning

  41. fred1266 says:

    Nice same old injury prone arsenal

  42. fred1266 says:

    Sue flies don’t even drop so fast

  43. Sue says:

    They do if they’re in my house, Fred 😆

  44. RockyLives says:

    Thank goodness for Leno

  45. Ooooh Mustafi, I didn’t know you could do that …… left Sterling standing 😂

  46. Rasp says:

    The good news we look quick and dangerous up front … Lenos long balls have been good, hopefully Saka will beat the off side trap more often

  47. Sue says:

    Another goal drought ended…

  48. Rasp says:

    Oh well, I guess the scene is set for Martinelli now ….

  49. Aaron says:

    Thank you for the pregame peaches.

    So, Xhaka high ankle sprain, and Mari possible ruptured achilles, sounds about right for Arsenal.

    Getting our money for Luiz I see.

    Could not stand the day we got him, seriously.

    Started well, but two injuries messed with the flow and now $h*tTy tearing us apart with sublime passing. Could be 4-0 up.

    Sneak a goal would be appreciated.

    Hope everyone is well and safe in their families and life.

  50. Aaron says:

    Spoke to soon, Mikel saw that and that is why he was on the bench.

  51. RC78 says:

    oh Luiz…maybe not a bad idea to dig your way to Lisbon…

    We really need to get a world class CB this summer or at least a reliable one because between Sokratis, Mustafi, Luiz, we re not really blessed…The jury is still out on Mari and Chambers and as for Holding, he needs to get his sharpness back so now all our hope are on Saliba and the kid is good but he cannot shore up our defence by himself…

    So we need to invest for sure:
    The beasts: Koulibaly, Skriniar, De Vrij, Gimenez, Ruben Dias?
    The vetted and tested: Verthongen, Thiago Silva?
    The no non-sense: Tarkowski, Mings?
    The up and coming: Upamecano, Konate, Mukiele, Torres?

    Leno – Bello, Koulibaly, Saliba, Tierney ?

  52. Sue says:

    So disappointing….

  53. RC78 says:

    Good night all…I missed watching football so much but for all the excitement, AFC performance from 35 to 50th minute crushed it 😦

  54. RockyLives says:

    This is irrelevant to the performance and result and I have absolutely no quibble with that idiot Luiz being sent off for putting a hand on the shoulder, but how come the City defender who put both hands on Eddie’s shoulders in the first half (when that defender was last man) got away scot free?

  55. Sue says:

    The officiating hasn’t improved….

  56. jjgsol says:

    Rocky lives, the answer to your question is simple. Anthony Taylor is the ref. That says it all.

    I have switched off. I prefer no football to this rubbish.

  57. RockyLives says:

    I haven’t switched off Jig, but I’m reading the newspaper with the footy on in the background

  58. I thought the same thing Rocky when it happened.

    Big chance for Maitland-Niles

  59. RockyLives says:

    Oh – was it AMN, not Eddie?

  60. RC78 says:

    And when your GK is shining in a game, it is not a good sign 😦

  61. Aaron says:

    $h*tTy start a 19 yo center back who looks calm and collected, not even noticing his playing.

    But the Arsenal pay big time money luiZ and little money leftover for Mari, for a defense that looks like what? rauL should be given his walking shoes.


  62. RockyLives says:

    Ok – who’s up for snatching a draw against the odds? Let’s nick one to make them nervous…

  63. Rocky – I meant chance for AMN coming on to play in midfield 🙈

  64. RC78 says:

    I feel like the club did a massive mistake in letting Minslat leave.
    I think he could have worked well with a person like Edu…

  65. RockyLives says:

    Got it Peaches (can you tell I’m not really paying attention? 😥).

    God I wish this game would just finish.

  66. Aaron says:

    Anyone really feel like AFC can finish the season higher than 10th?

    Man, I was just hoping we would not resume the season, at least the club could have some time to fix problem areas. But nooo, it is all laid bare for us to see.

  67. LBG says:

    Sorry for my positivity before the game. One question did Aubameyang play?

  68. oz gunner says:

    Can they please take away the games again :/

  69. Le Coq Monster says:

    Were the cardboard cut outs playing?

  70. Did Lacazette? 🙈

  71. RC78 says:

    Leno – 7
    Bello – 5
    Mustafi – 5
    Mari – N/A
    Luiz – 1
    Douzi – 5
    Xhaka – N/A
    Ceba – 4
    Willock – 3
    Saka – 4
    Nketiah – 5.5
    Auba – 4

    Other subs – no ratings

    It is never a good sign when your GK is shining throughout the game. We started the game on a decent note and then Luiz came on and it was all over…Some question marks on playing with Saka on the right and Auba on the left so not 100% happy with Arteta either. To make matters worse, we may have lost Mari and Xhaka for the next few games and Garcia also got hit hard. There is not much to say on this lacklustre performance from our favourite team.

    Anyways, the big positives for the night were:
    1. EPL Football is back
    2. The players’ solidarity related to the BLM movement
    3. We blogged away tonight 🙂

    Keep safe and healthy everyone

  72. I’m not sure football was really what I was missing in my life 🙄🙄🙄

  73. Sue says:

    Can we have another 102 days off? 😆

  74. Thank you LB, I’ve pinched your comment for tomorrow’s post ……. just need a solemn title 😳

  75. fred1266 says:

    Edu who brought in luiz hmm

  76. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………….

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