Saint Mikel prepare to banish the demon cockerels
Today is Mikel Arteta’s first North London Derby as manager of Arsenal, and it’s a chance for him (and the club) to lay down a marker.
One of the down sides of our travails in recent seasons has been seeing the noisy neighbours have periods of being more competitive than us.
They even got to a Champions League final, for goodness sake (although it’s perhaps best not to contemplate what strange and satanic sacrifices were enacted in the bowels of N17 to bring that about).
As anyone connected with Arsenal knows, them being ahead of us is not the natural way of things.
When God* created the world He assigned a role to every living thing. As the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful‘ has it: “God made them high and lowly/and ordered their estate.”
Part of that ordering was that Totteringham Hotspurs are meant to spend the vast majority of their time in our shadow.
But God is merciful, so he allowed that once in a very rare while he would let them slither into the light, if only so they could understand what they are missing the rest of the time.
They’ve just had their period in the light, now it’s time for Saint Mikel of N5 to banish them back to the wastelands.
If we can win today, there is a good chance that this game will be seen as a pivotal moment when the Arsenal began the march back to greatness (that greatness to include establishing a new era of domination over the Spuds).
Here’s the team Saint Mikel will most likely start with:
Bellerin – Mustafi – Luiz – Kolasinac – Tierney
Xhaka – Ceballos
Saka – Lacazette – Aubameyang.
The only room for doubt is whether Auba will start down the middle (I don’t think so, because we will need Lacazette’s hold-up ability for periods in this game) and whether Saka or Pepe gets the starting nod. I see us going with Saka and keeping Pepe as an impact sub.
Here’s to us being flushed with success at the Armitage Shanks Arena this afternoon.
*Insert god of your preference.
I don’t see the point in keeping a £72 million player on the bench, he has been getting better with each game and this would be an ideal game for him to shine
Thanks Rocky, whoever wins this game should finish the season above the other so this is a RFMWG!
Ok – so 10/11
I’m not unhappy with Pepe starting ahead of Saka.
Both excellent players and Pepe’s ability to do the unexpected may be what made Arteta prefer him for this one.
Also… any FKs around the Spuds’ penalty area…
How do you continue to do this?
Clever title and write up. Too true for real life, life stranger than fiction?
10-11 pretty dang good, wanted Eddie in there too.
Have enough fire power in the cannons to get this over the line today.
Boom, Boom, Boom, a goal each from the front three and very satisfying W for the weekend would be my desire!
10/11 still good.
Isn’t Eddie banned for the next 3 games Aaron?
Well done Rocky, thank you for the pre-match and other posts this week that I haven’t been around for.
Looking forward to us giving a good account of ourselves and hoping that controversy is at a minimum ……. that’s wishful thinking where that lot are concerned 😡
Bring it on …… love beating spuds. Great team selection Mikel and Rocky.
Come on you Gunners
I just have to put it out there that football in July really sucks
Yes, just wanted his ability to close down and score in the side, but AFC has strong players up front to get this job done.
Big question is – can we keep Kane quiet?
peaches, even if we beat the spuds and what’s his name?
Not a chance, love it!
Pepe has to do better when he loses the ball. At least try and look as if he’s trying to close them down.
Well done, Rocky, thank you.
A rather tricky start to the game. One of our can’t pass to a team mate days so far.
But Lacazette has shut me up!!! 0 ; 1 😁
Xhaka with the recovery and what a shot. Laca!
Oh we do like to give away cheap goals 🙈🙈🙈🙈
Will be positive, we got one now two more!
Decision making on the ball, Pepe/Xhaka unnecessary flicks and tricks losing the ball, lack of belief from Kola going forward. Making an average Spurs team look better. Leadership needed.p
On the other hand Tierney and Bel playing better today, Pepe and Auba went very close, and how about that save from Emi, just wow!
Make those adjustments Saint Mikel, and let’s get them in the second half.
Saka to be the hero?
Man, how many years is it going to take to beat what’s his name? 5 10 20?
Come on let’s get the equalizer…
F****** horseshoe. If anyone is happy with that way of playing…..well speechless!
Pretty obvious which area needs sorting…
Still baffles me how wrong we’ve got it at CB in the last 15 years. Some atrocious signings.
Much rather have Arsenals squad and manager right now regardless of the result.
Same old same old… if Kola doesn’t make that idiotic mistake right after we’ve gone ahead it’s a totally different game.
I don’t know if there’s a stat for teams who’ve given up the most points from unforced defensive errors, but we must be close to being top of that league
Going to use a quote that I read, “we are a team of poverty!
AFC needs investment at the back and in the center this summer or it is going to be a very long decade of mediocrity.
£35m on Mustafi…..
We gave Kolasinac £120k a week when we signed him as a free transfer…..
Please be realistic.
There will be no.money to spend on players.
New players need a year or more to bed in, so filling the team with new signings is counterproductive.
I feel that the keep on ignoring ozil who is the only player we have who can provide the important final passes is crucial to why we are so ineffective up front.
Impotentcy up front puts additional pressure on the defence and we saw what happened today which was because the midfield was careless and ineffective.
The end of this season cannot come fast enough for me.
Watching is painful.
I find myself constantly trying to find things to do to take me away from the screen.
A little fun and how most probably felt at the kolA back pass.
Scared, no one to lead, completely incompetent in four defensive positions, and, of course, in one position in centre of midfield.
That’s it for me, since justification from anyone here would leave me not only on the wrong page, but the wrong chapter and possibly book.
Best wishes to arsenalarsenal creators and contributors who have put so much effort into the site.
jjgsol, yes we DO, if we sell some players for some $, we do have a few, and rebuild, today, this summer, right NOW!
LBG, I completely understand with those sentiments..
fgg, mind boggling isn’t it??
Why on earth would anyone expect that loss to be justified.
I’ll take some comfort from the fact that performance, while not good enough, was not disastrous.
As usual it was individual errors by error-prone players that cost us.
But the system was OK and, to their credit, the Totts defended very well.
In fact that was the difference- they defended almost without mistake for the whole game (Laca’s goal was a piece of individual brilliance; the only time they switched off was for the Auba chance where he hit the bar).
We defended well for most of the match, but made a handful of errors almost all of which led directly to Spuds chances.
They defended better.
Aaron, who has any money to pay for any of our players?
The only one who might bring in money would be Auba, but you can be rest assured that no one is going to pay much for a player that they can sign for nothing next year.
Much as we would like to think that we are living in a dream world, Covid and all, I am afraid we are not.
This is the reality and Arteta will have to make do with what we have, which is not too bad subject to ironing out the inconsistencies and cutting out the mistakes.
As a rule, you play your best players, not necessarily the players who kowtow.
Tactics need to change if all they can think of is “the horseshoe”.
Well we did dominate, but we just reverted to type in defence.
The 3 amigos at the back just aren’t good enough. Never have been. How Holding or Sokratis can’t get into that line up is a mystery.
There were good performances from Martinez, Bellerin, Tierney, Ceballos & Lacazette.
Despite the obvious defensive errors we didn’t create a great deal. Our most creative player, Saka, started on the bench, which was a mistake imo.
We are where we are for a reason.
Would you object to this excellent Comment being used as a Post?
That’s OK, Rocky, if it would help.
Brilliant- thanks Redders
Can someone waltz on down to Ozil’s house and drag his lazy arse down to training and start whipping him? Surely we can do something. I can’t remember a player being such a waste of space. Zero desire, happy to collect a cheque and do nothing. If he hasn’t been seen since the lockdown he’s probably in shit physical condition – surely there is grounds to terminate his contract and get him off the books.
Imagine a player pulling this sort of shenanigans 20/30/40 years ago at Arsenal…Jesus. Book him for the pre-season trip and unload on him like in ‘full metal jacket’ – when he cries there will be no bruises and Arteta can deny it all.