EPL – Episode 2: AFC 4 – Leicester 2: Boom go the Gooners!!

Having taken the plunge on an article back in March analysing our run-in, I have decided in the
absence of a match report to-date, to try again.

So here goes:
Comfortable start to the match but gave up a very good chance early on which Ramsdale did
very well to smother. We looked lively and played some great football. These days it seems so
much more likely that we’ll score, I’m thinking 0-2 at Nurnberg and the rest of the pre-season,
then Palace. We needed a little inspiration. We got a lot !!! My son texted me and said that he
was just thinking Jesus was playing well but hopefully would be able to “step up” !! Then he
scores THAT goal !!

The second goal was sweet because of the Vardy assist and the fact our “fox in the box” was
there to score. Half time came with us still playing great football although we gave up a couple
more chances and the Vardy ‘penalty” was a beautiful thing. AR got a little lucky because many
times that would be given, but it wasn’t a penalty.

The own goal was unfortunate again AR rushing out. I have to say I think that’s his style and as our defenders get more used to it, I think it will cause less problems. I still prefer it to the rooted to the line style of our former (very good to be fair to him) keeper. AR is better.

Thanks to their keeper for returning the favour, then we conceded a soft one which exposed our left sided defending and was not good from Ramsdale. So panic stations and hunker down to defend the win right? No Sir(s and Ma’am’s). Martinelli won the ball back in midfield and combined with Jesus to score a delicious goal that knocked the stuffing out of the Foxes. Boom !!!!! 4-2 to The Arsenal
!!

Ramsdale 6

White 7 Saliba 7 Gabriel 7 Zinchenko 6

Partey 7 Xhaka 7

Saka 7 Odegaard 8 Martinelli 9

Jesus 10

So what to make of it? My March article was a “prediction” of how we’d finish and what we
needed to do to get C/L (Top 4). I had us getting 15 points from 12 games, 3 wins, 6 draws and 3
losses. We ended up with 6 wins and 6 losses. My hope was to turn draws into wins at mid
table teams and not lose to rivals. We did that adequately but lost to Brighton at home and at
Palace, Southampton and Newcastle, unfortunately turning “expected draws” (a draw vs
Brighton wouldn’t have been the end of the world at the time) into losses. In every game it
came down to one thing – No goals scored early enough (or at mostly at all !!) in the game to
make a difference to our opposition’s tactics and set up.

I get the feeling we have belief that we will score. Mitigating factors will be:
Better/harder opposition, Inevitable mistakes/bad luck/bad refereeing, Miserable winter
conditions, Injuries and suspensions.

What it won’t be is lack of belief, quitting or soft center. I really think we’re on the right track. I
actually believe Europa League is perfect for us also this season, remember the old saying “be
careful what you wish for !!” Lets’ see how Spuddies and Chavs fare. What I do know is there’s
only two teams with 100% records in the PL. Soft start right, easy wins? Yep, Fulham away then
Palace at home – too easy. Oh wait – that’s not us !! Hope you get my point. We will have a lot
harder tests coming soon but I love the way we’ve started. Let’s just take it from there.

A fine post by Mike M

15 Responses to EPL – Episode 2: AFC 4 – Leicester 2: Boom go the Gooners!!

  1. RC78 says:

    Heya – huge apologies to Mike M who did send a pre-match for our home debut but I missed it…Enjoy Mike M’s fine post and I ll try to post more regularly as well! COYG!

    Bellerin asked for a contract resiliation by the way…

  2. Maxwell says:

    Mike M. You’re a star! Excellent report. I might disagree with one score – notwithstanding his dodgy defending on the second goal, I thought otherwise he was sensational. Time and again he carved the Foxes open, and he popped up all down the left flank, and often at the heart of midfield when Xhaka streaked (!) off down the left. At least an “8” from me.

    It’s entirely justifiable making Jesus Motm, but for me he’s closely challenged by Martinelli. What IS this guy’s ceiling? Our front three/four/five are going to have defenders all over the country putting in for transfers!

  3. Maxwell says:

    Sorry. Forgot to mention WHO I thought sensational, although it might be self-evident – Zinchenko.

  4. Mike M says:

    Thanks RC.
    Maxwell, I rated Zinch as a left back and I’m probably being a little wary of the “hype” surrounding him right now. I concede I could have been a little harsh and I hope he proves the hype correct. For me, he’s obviously hugely talented and makes our team/squad so much stronger but I’m kinda waiting to see where he fits in. Hopefully not as an orthodox LB.

  5. Cyburton Gooner says:

    As the article is about the Foxes game, shouldn’t the heading say “Boom, Boom” 😉 (Giving away my age)

  6. RA says:

    Excellent Post Mike M.

    RC what does “resiliation” mean regarding Bellibuttons contract? Termination? Free transfer?

  7. Mike M says:

    CG, yes indeed !! Basil would have been proud – my bad!

  8. LB says:

    Does anyone have a view on Zinchenko’s reaction to Leicester’s second goal? What do you make of it, what was he upset about?

  9. RC78 says:

    I think our next star in the making is Martinelli…Arteta is super impressed apparently and I find Martinelli more effective in his dribbles, passing and shooting so far this season (very early I know)….Saka seems slightly subdued compared to Jesus and Martinelli but I think he will hit form soon. Our captain (Ode) and ex-captain (Xhaka) are doing the job but nothing to shout about so far and same goes for Partey. If possible, I d get one more midfielder that can play 6/8. As for our defense, White is going have to up his game to challenge Saliba-Gabriel and Zinchenko is definitely adding to our game going forward but is also not at his best when defending…Ramsdale is his usual self: great at shot stopping, decent command of the area and passing but he still makes the odd erratic choice at times…

    Outgoings:
    – Runaarsson loaned out to Turkey
    – Bellerin asked for contract termination (sorry I used the French term)
    – Pepe edging closer to Nice on a loan (without purchase option apparently)
    – AMN also keen to leave but may be retained if another player in midfield does not join
    – Reiss Nelson may stay for now

    Ramsdale – Tomy, Saliba, Gabs, Zinchenko – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Jesus

    Turner – Cedric, White, Holding, Tierney – El Neny, Lokonga – Marquinhos, Vieira, ESR – Nketiah

    + RN and eventually AMN

  10. LB says:

    Really good évaluation RC

  11. Mike M says:

    LB, didn’t notice it but I’d imagine it was Gabriel’s failure to go out to Maddison quicker since he was an obvious and visible runner on the overlap. Also that maybe Xhaka was too high up the field to go with him, although I stress again, I don’t think that’s XG’s main role any more. Which makes us vulnerable on our left side if we don’t have a “proper” left back.

  12. LBG says:

    LB
    Don’t know if Zinchenko felt it, but for myself, don’t think Aaron should be beaten at that angle at the near post.

  13. allezkev says:

    Saw some brief highlights of the U21’s playing Swansea in the reserve league cup, mainly to see a bit of Vieira, who looked very tidy and Smith Rowe who also looked very good, but I also notice Miguel Azeez playing at the base of the midfield and doing a more that useful U21 version of the Thomas Partey role.

    An internal solution perhaps?

  14. pbarany says:

    Cheers, RC.
    For just a thought experiment, what if we try to play in a 3-3-3-1 formation with the B team? Like Bayern Munich played under Guardiola or even what van Gaal perfected with Ajax…
    Since both Tomi and Tierney are experienced playing at the side of a back 3, we can form a line-up packed with passing talent:

    Turner
    Tomiyasu – Holding – Tierney
    AMN – ASL – ESR
    Marquinhos – Vieira – Nelson
    Nketiah

  15. pbarany says:

    Cedric could play RM instead of Ainsley, and Elneny could replace Lokonga at holding midfield to add more defensive stability, but it was too tempting to add all 3-letter players to the same midfield and reducing the total age by 15 years. 🙂

    They could play the midfield in a diamond-shape like 1995 Ajax or 1992 Bacelona (see Rijkaard – R. de Boer – Davids – Litmanen and/or Koeman – Guardiola – Bakero – Laudrup in the diamond) or could play trios on both flanks and the center (see Alaba-Bernat-Ribery & Boateng-Schweinsteiger-Götze & Raphinha-Alonso-Robben) for 2015 Bayern.

    Any excitement?

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