8 Comments

Will It Be A Cup Of Cheer?

Arsenal head to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City in the Carabao Cup. The winner will go on to play either Lincoln City or Liverpool next week in the quarter-finals.

Good day one all.

With two wins from their two Premier League games, both Arsenal and Leicester have met early expectations. In matches this past weekend though, the Gunners left it late to shake off a plucky West Ham side, while the Foxes came from behind in victory over Burnley.

Attention now shift to the domestic cup with the chance to continue that positive momentum ahead of testing league fixtures for both sides this weekend. However, escaping defeat at Leicester is not something Arsenal have done a lot of in recent years; having lost each of our last three trips up there in all competitions.

Even so, we have progressed past the third-round of this competition in 1 of the last 17 seasons. Mikel Arteta already won two trophies in his nine months in charge, but it remains to be seen just how seriously he will take this match, especially with a trip to Liverpool a matter of days away.

Likewise, Brendan Rodgers’ side got a difficult jaunt of their own to Man City. So if him and Mikel ring in the changes as expected, this could come down to which side got the better squad depth and how well they gel together with playing time in such short supply.

Team news

Eddie Nketiah is likely to profit from rotation, and join Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pépé in a front three.

One would assume Mesut Özil is a possible option in behind, but he hasn’t had a look in post-lockdown and that is unlikely to change.

We still got so many defenders still in the treatment room, that David Luiz could be the only one coming in. Cédric is carrying an injury and it’s unlikely Kieran Tierney, who was withdrawn 10 minutes before West Ham to mess with that particular gameplan, will be risked ahead of the Anfield trip.

In goal, new boy Runar Alex Runarsson could be in line for a swift debut.

Prediction

On paper, a bit of tricky encounter for the Gunners, considering three straight defeats from our last three trips to the KP. However, with mass rotation anticipated both sides, it should be expected for our depth to carry us through. COYG!

— @LaboGoon

38 Comments

Pretending To Be Happy After Arsenal Struggle To Defeat West Ham

Podcast: Blackburn George, the Arseblagger and yours truly, Shotta fail in our attempt at being sincerely happy after Arsenal struggle to defeat a very poor West Ham in our recent EPL game. Arsenal demonstrated a striking lack of creativity; while having far superior possession were out-shot 14:7 by a technically inferior team.

While happy for the 3 points and the performance of Saka and Xhaka in particular, we are alarmed at the lack of creativity on the pitch. Yet the club gives absolutely no explanation for the non-selection of Ozil unlike the complete satisfaction Arteta had in his performance prior to the COVID-19 suspension last season. Furthermore we are disgusted at the continuing spin and machination by the club as it disregards the interests of current and former players showing ultimately they have no care for us as fans.

No apology; we currently find very few things at the club to be happy about.

Important: Show your support for this podcast by subscribing wherever you listen. It helps in growing our listenership.

Your comments are welcome.

37 Comments

Happy Gunners vs Unhappy Hammers.

Arsenal go in search of three more points when they host West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in a Premier League clash this afternoon; with the Hammers yet to get off the mark after being well beaten by Newcastle in their opener.

Good day one and all.

Mikel Arteta will be a reasonably happy man with the Gunners for carrying their positive momentum at the end of last season into 2020/21. He would be particularly pleased with summer recruits Willian and Gabriel Magalhães, who were both imperious on debut in an overall good team performance at Craven Cottage last Saturday.

Of course, the caveat will be “yeah, but it was only Fulham”. Well, there’s no doubt that sterner tests await and only time will tell whether Gabriel is going to give us that defensive solidity we’ve missed in recent years. But also, we can only play what is in front of us and this fixture today is another we are expected to do well in; considering we’ve beaten the Hammers in 10 of their last 11 visits to the Emirates.

David Moyes’ side bounced back from their opening day disappointment with a 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic in an EFL Cup tie in midweek. However, that would have done very little to get a fickle fanbase onside.

West Ham always seem like they are just a few bad results away from total mayhem. And with a tough fixture run against six sides that finished in last season’s top eight in their upcoming six games… if they don’t find their bearings soon, it could be a long and arduous season on the horizon.

Be that as it may, Moyes has been here before and really pulled it out of the bag at the closing stages of last season to avoid relegation. However, the Gunners are in good nick, so we can expect a very subdued approach from the visitors, who will take whatever points they can get in the next six matches.

Team news

Arsenal got no new injuries concerns from their last match. Granit Xhaka who had a bit of a scare after suffering a knock is available, so is David Luiz who sat out the opener due to neck spams.

With the new arrivals we now got a good balance to rotate players, though with a week’s rest and still so early in the season that is unlikely to happen. Which only adds to the problem of having such a big squad as it will impact the playing time of several big names.

The big news this week was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extending his Emirates stay. Getting this done was Mikel’s number one priority heading into the off-season and with “da ting” now signed… great things is expected of our captain who has scored eight goals in his last six matches in all competitions.

Predictions

The Gunners are still on an unbeaten league run at the Emirates in 2020 and based on the current contrasting forms of these two sides, I cannot see that run ending today.

Not going to predict a score but will say that we can expect more magic from our wide men who are looking sharp. COYG!

— @LaboGoon

47 Comments

FUL v ARS: Happy Enjoyable Victory By Arsenal Without “Him”

New Podcast:  Yours truly, Shotta and Blackburn George, aka the Arseblagger, observe that it was a happy, enjoyable victory by Arsenal without “Him”. George was happy with the performance of the team and all the players who made an appearance on the pitch. Also we discuss “Him”, as well as Arteta’s appointment as manager of the 1st team and much more.

Important announcement: Show your support for this podcast by subscribing wherever you listen. It helps in growing our listenership.

Your comments are welcome.

60 Comments

A New Season And Renewed Hope.

Fresh off success in the FA Cup and Community Shield, Arsenal make the short trip to Craven Cottage as they and Fulham get the 2020/21 Premier League season underway.

Good day one and all.

The 2019/20 season will be noted as a successful one for the Gunners thanks to our Wembley endeavours. Which really is for the best because our league run, winning just four games from our opening 13 games, was one to forget as we finished in 8th-place.

Mikel Arteta arrived midway through and had varying results, however, we picked up pace at the tail end and what a feeling it must have been to finish his maiden season with silverware. That said, there are still plenty of work to do to if we are to close in on the top-four places, let alone dream of a PL title challenge any time soon.

Be that as it may, we carried some of that positive energy into this new campaign with victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield, to again show that we are over that mental block when facing the “top sides”.

That is not exactly a genre Fulham fit into; who makes their return to the Premier League courtesy of their own Wembley glee; seeing off London rivals Brentford in the play-offs final.

Scott Parker guided the Cottagers straight back to the top-flight, however, with them not the lavish spenders they were last time, he will largely rely on the same group that won them promotion. A familiar name in their ranks is Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was the Championship’s top scorer with 26 goals. He will no doubt be tasked to carry them over the finishing line to safety.

Team news

The Gunners have been busy in the transfer window as welcome Willian and Gabriel Magalhães to the Emirates, joining William Saliba who returned after spending last season on loan at Saint-Etienne. With Saliba and Willian in line to make their competitive debuts, today’s match may be too soon for Gabriel who started training just recently.

Dani Ceballos is also back for another loan spell and is set to continue the solid partnership he has formed Granit Xhaka in midfield.

There has been no official communique regarding the future of Emi Martinez, but it’s reported that he has been withdrawn from the tomorrow’s squad.

As far is injuries are concerned, David Luiz hurt his neck in training and joins Skhodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and Calum Chambers in the treatment room.

Predictions

It’s always difficult to know how teams will fare in their opening game, but Fulham have lost each of their last five matches against Arsenal, with their last victory all the way back in January 2012.

So with the Gunners’ superior head-to-head record they should be expected to make a winning start to the new campaign. COYG!

— @LaboGoon

90 Comments

Will Arsenal Finish Top-4 or Top-6?

Podcast: The start of a new season is when fans of Arsenal Football Club are most optimistic with visions of grandeur and infinite possibilities. But after coming a disappointing 8th place last year, will Arsenal finish Top-4 or Top-6 this upcoming Premier League season? If not, why not? Shotta and Blackburn George aka @Arseblagger share their usual outspoken, no-nonsense opinion.

Show your support for this podcast by subscribing wherever you listen.

Your comments are welcome.

81 Comments

Was The Community Shield a Shopping Window For The Arsenal?

New podcast: Reading the tea leaves and connecting the dots, me and the Arseblagger explore whether the Community Shield was a shop window for the Arsenal. Who is on the chopping block? Maitland Niles, Martinez, Bellerin, even Aubameyand? Does Mesut Ozil have a future at the football club?

We refuse to fall for the narrative being spun by the club and its usual mouthpieces in both mainstream and social-media. (They shall remain nameless.) We believe salable assets will be sold regardless of what Arteta and Edu say or do.

Show your support for this podcast by subscribing wherever you listen.

Your comments are welcome.

51 Comments

First Test Of The Squad

c49ms3uwqaa1pqo

 

 

Just four weeks after bringing the curtain down on a rather peculiar 2019/20 English football season, we raise it back up again to kick off the 2020/21 campaign with Arsenal facing Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

Good day one and all.

It’s a quick turnaround but with both sides still on such a high from winning the FA Cup and Premier League respectively, they will be filled with optimism and renewed energy.

The Gunners can take confidence from their victory over The Reds at the back-end of last season, which they followed up with wins against Man City and Chelsea on route to lifting the FA Cup. However, Mikel Arteta will be well aware that there’s still a lot of work to be done if we are to bridge the massive 43-point gap which separated these two sides in last term’s final league standings.

With the signing of Willian, who had an impressive spell for Chelsea in Eden Hazard’s absence with 11 goals and 9 assists, and appearing as if we have managed to keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it should be a good first few steps if Arsenal are to improve their record against the “top-six” sides.

What is there to say about this Liverpool side that hasn’t already been said. Having finished the last two league campaigns with 97 and 99 points respectively, they will no doubt go down as one of the best in their rich history. If they want to be amongst the very best in English football history though, Jurgen Klopp will know all about the difference between achieving success and maintaining success. Be that as it may, the Merseysiders are still the team to beat.

Both sides come into this encounter having played two and one friendly games respectively. The Reds recorded a 3-0 win over Stuttgart before coming back from two goals down to draw with Red Bull Salzburg. Whilst the Gunners have beaten MK Dons 4-1. Today’s match will be the last chance for both coaches to have a look at their squads, as numerous players will leave for international duty shortly after.

Team news

Arsenal have quite a few players carrying injury issues over from last season, but we have new boys Willian and William Saliba whom many fans are excited about.

With uncertainty over the futures of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dani Ceballos and even Matteo Guendouzi, although Arteta seem to have offered him a chance to redeem himself, we welcome back forgotten man Mohamed Elneny, who scored from 35-yards on Tuesday night.

Bernd Leno has recovered from his injury and is likely to start despite Emi Martinez’s solid claim for the number one jersey at the end of last season.

Prediction

It’s only the first competitive match, but it is an early chance at silverware. Going on squad depth The Reds should be favourites, but the Gunners won’t be short of belief and this could actually be a cracking start to the new domestic season. COYG!

— @LaboGoon

109 Comments

The Don Is Dead, So What?

In this latest podcast, Shotta, yours truly, and the Arseblagger analyze the dramatic news of the Kroenkes firing The Don, Raul Sanllehi, and ponder what has really changed at Arsenal Football Club. The Don Is Dead, Long Live The Don?

Give it a listen and show your support by subscribing to this podcast wherever you download.

As always comments are welcome!

65 Comments

Sacking of 55 Employees Is Another Ominous Sign Of The Future

Arsenal executives announce the sacking of 55 employees within 3 days of winning the FA Cup. In the opinion of yours truly and George this is another ominous sign of the future of the football club.

In our opinion most fans have been swept up in the optimism of new signings that coincided with the redundancies, ignoring the the betrayal of the traditional values of the club. This is exactly as the owners and the executives planned, just as they did in the 2019 summer transfer window. But the consequences are far more ominous as explained in the podcast.

Give it a listen and show your support by subscribing to this podcast wherever you download.

As always comments are welcome!