Arsenal : “Plenty of room on top”


@LaboGoon chalks his cue this Saturday morning 

Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates, with the visitors 4 points better off than us after 14 games but trailing Man City by 8 points.

So you can imagine this as a game where both will be looking to underline their credentials as a team not ready to throw in any towels yet.

Both are coming off the back of good results, with Arsenal putting 5 goals past Huddersfield and Manutd 4 past Watford in their most recent. With Arsenal however unbeaten at the Emirates and conceding just 1 goal (at home) since opening day, Manutd keeping 9 clean sheets in their 14 PL games, it’s unlikely this will be a high scoring affair.

This of course is a blockbuster event, and after a comprehensive victory over Spurs in the NLD we answered the question on whether we have a squad capable of winning the big games. So I have a feeling José Mourinho may be a bit apprehensive, especially about Manutd returning to a ground where they were beaten 3-0 and 2-0 on their last two visits respectively.

With Manutd’s first choice Centre-Back pairing on the injury list, they will be extra vigilant to smother us in the final third. Meaning scoring opportunities will be few, of which we have to make the most of.

That said… I think it’s great that Arsène Wenger said he don’t expect Manutd to “park the bus”. Meaning there will be an awareness of their attacking quality that could hurt us if given any openings.
Alexandre Lacazette is not available so I suspect Giroud to be leading the line, Alexis didn’t quite work out vs Mancity did he? Giroud will also give Manutd’s back-up CB’s quite the work out in those physical battles, for Welbeck to exploit later on (am I getting ahead of myself). Other than that all others from “the best 11” are available.

Good luck to all Gooners going to the Emirates and continue making both the visiting team and referees feel very unwelcome in our house, and good luck to all watching around the globe.

This promises to be a thorough gripping encounter. One with a very good chance where the opening goal may prove to be the winning goal.


49 comments on “Arsenal : “Plenty of room on top”

  1. […] via Arsenal : “Plenty of room on top” […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning all, well done LG.
    Steve I if your reading this Ive switched phones and lost your number so can you text me.
    I dont think Oli is nailed on to start I think it could be Eddie ……nah not really, however we have Started against manure with Dat Man Welbs before especially as he loves scoring against them.
    The rest of the team picks itself although as ive said before I think Sead is struggling a little but without a straight replacement other than splittling the back three, it is likely he may just have to temper his attacking instinct.
    With fewer chances Laca is a big miss so our strikers need to sharpen their edge to prove their clinicalness.
    After a couple of weeks where the media has been saying the decisions have been going our way it is almost guareenteed that we will suffer several bad calls today so as LG says we will need the crowd to put as much pressure on the ref as possible to stop him favouring the officials favourite manager and team.
    As much as this is a very difficult game the rewards are massive, a win here will be a major boost for the packed christmas schedule ahead and the confidence to beat anyone COYG.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. 2 or 3-0 for me thanks. And close ups of Maureen Jo to go with each of them.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Morning Labo – a tasty entree for December’s opener. Like you I fancy a tight, one goal game. Jose will have his lads drilled like defensive robots but hope to catch us with a break or a dead ball move. We will just have to break them down, relentlessly pound them, wave after wave.

    Until they crack.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yesterday I upset Gunnerblog, Arseblog, Le Grove,Claude, Yankeegunner and Tim Stillman, they felt I was unfairly calling them negative halfwits, I love twitter.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. It will be 43 games in a row since we played Manchester United at 3pm on a Saturday

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Don”t Manutd wanna do it on a nippy Saturday afternoon in North London?

    I love how the journos and pundits aren’t prepared to make any definitive predictions leading up to this game. It’s like they can smell something in the London air, or they just don’t want to mention out loud that they don’t think Manutd are all that. Even in most the “combined X1’s” there seem to be a 5/6 split.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A or B, message sent.

    Andy N, 43 Arsenal Man U games not at 3 pm sat? Blimey!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Long time to go till KO.

    Thank you Labo.
    First time in years that Utd have been above AFC in the league? If so, that is…shambolic! Here’s hoping that the Gunners can make it three wins in a row against Utd at home.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. What time is everyone getting up the Bank of friendship me and Steve aiming for 2:30- 3ish, I’m already in Finsbury park having my breakfast

    Liked by 3 people

  11. George,
    Did you whip out your genius skills in PR and self-promotion & impress the plebs with that amazing patent pending Shambles™ meme (available to download for use on your podcast or blog for the right fee!)?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I shall be at the Bank of Friendship at 4, maybe a bit before

    Liked by 2 people

  13. https://mobile.twitter.com/MindfulMesut/status/936198352173113346/video/1

    This was, truly…disgusting skill.


  14. The plundits and arseblaggers can have their back scratching memes, I could be wrong (I probably am!) but I think that Hazard was inspired by Ozil with his finish for that first goal for Chelsea against Newcastle.

    Not the first time Ozil has scored with such a finish, the third against Chelsea last season was a special goal too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Unfortunately I think MaureenO is aware that his team isn’t good enough to win the league, but he does think he can get 2nd or 3rd if he beats the lesser teams whilst drawing with the bigger teams. 3rd would be a good step up from last season for them, then he can argue with his bosses that he needs more money to spend to take that last step. So I fully expect them to park the bus and hope for a breakaway goal to defend.

    I’d prefer Giroud to start but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Danny start, as his extra mobility could create gaps for others and he’d help to tire their defence, for Giroud to come on later… We’ll find out soon enough…

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Tottenham’s Sanchez must’ve believed all the plundits and arseblagging Tottenham apologists out there: raising your hands and arms (elbows) upon the shoulder or them into the face of an opponent tends to be a foul, especially when you do it on every single play and even the official gets bored…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lacazette starts.


    Quality from Vengarrrrrgghhh yet again.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We’ve played very well indeed. The only problem is that we decided to gift them two goals. Also, what’s with all the half chances? Just put it in the net ffs!


  19. If the score and the manner of the goals weren’t so annoying, I would find this game very enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Bloody agony watching all these Half chances, deflected shots, narrow misses

    We can still have these monkeys – trust me


  21. So many complaints about the penalty at Burnley
    No chance getting any tonight

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Very naive defending, quite annoying really as no lack of effort, and we showed a lot of quality at times.
    Some days, our players seem to shoot themselves in the foot, today was one such game. It is a shame to do this against Jose.
    Yet another keeper inspired by The Emirates

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Inefficiencies against a team we could have blown apart otherwise.
    These mistakes and the fact that Mesut HAD TO set up EVERY attack in the 2nd half after their 3rd was most disappointing aspects for me.
    Alexis just seemed to freeze after his error.

    Anyone who thinks De Gea is a regular human being needs to have his eyes checked. Wow.

    On to the next.

    Oh well,

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Report – Smith Rowe excels as Arsenal U18s beat Stoke in Premier League Cup

    by jeorge bird

    U18 Premier League Cup

    Stoke City 2 (Toure 10, Collins 46) Arsenal 4 (Amaechi 3, Smith Rowe 67, Burton 75, M. Smith 89)

    Arsenal U18s produced a spirited performance to overcome their Stoke City counterparts with a 4-2 away victory today, with Emile Smith Rowe the standout performer for Kwame Ampadu’s team.

    Ampadu made two alterations to the side that thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 6-0 last weekend, with Smith Rowe and Zech Medley replacing Bukayo Saka and Dominic Thompson.


    Daley Campbell-Ballard-Medley-Omole

    Benson-M. Smith

    Amaechi-Burton-Smith Rowe


    Subs: Okonkwo, Olayinka, Spencer-Adams, Beckford, Thompson.

    Xavier Amaechi has been in superb form since returning from injury and the creative starlet continued in that vein as he opened the scoring in the third minute after being found by Josh Benson.

    However, the lead lasted just seven minutes as Stoke pulled level courtesy of Abdoulaye Toure, whose effort got the better of Arsenal goalkeeper Joao Virginia.

    Arsenal assumed control of the game thereafter, with Trae Coyle, who was again deployed up front, seeing a shot saved before Amaechi came close to doubling his tally.

    Smith Rowe was also a threat but Stoke were still dangerous at times themselves and hit the crossbar in the closing stages of the first half through Luis da silva.

    Stoke took the lead early in the second half when Nathan Collins found the net.

    Arsenal were determined to respond and they almost did so through Amaechi, who had an effort saved.

    Smith Rowe was becoming increasingly influential and, after being thwarted on a couple of occasions, the winger’s persistence eventually paid off as he made it 2-2 with a fine individual strike.

    Virginia had to make a fantastic save to preserve parity and then Arsenal took the lead, with Robbie Burton scoring what proved to be the decisive goal of the game.

    There was still time for Arsenal to score again as Smith Rowe teed up the ever-improving Matt Smith to make it 4-2.

    Despite their impressive victory Arsenal must wait for the outcome of the other game in this group, between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United, to discover whether they will progress in this competition.


  25. Arsenal 35 shots, 15 on target, 1 goal

    utd 4 shots, 3 goals


  26. So, without reviewing all the goals Arsenal have conceded so far this season I am confident that most have been punishments for casual and sloppy play or errors. We would not have lost this game and any other…

    We were good. The performance was good. De Gea saved Manure…

    Bollocks I’m watching a film with my family…..

    Liked by 1 person

  27. De Gea , and a ref who wasn’t going to give us a penalty, no matter what

    Liked by 2 people

  28. De Gea made 14 saves, some of them quite incredible, we really should never have lost that game, in fact,we should have battered them.
    It would s said Wenger doesn’t do this sort of thing, but I would have them in for extra defensive training, guess there is a case for extra shooting practice as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. But execution at the big moments was not good enough , some of the best creativity I have seen against a flat back 7 or 8 at times.


  30. A fine afternoon with a disappointing result – I shall never grumble about entertainment again though

    Liked by 2 people

  31. We never quit. And I worried that we might after two self inflicted sucker punches, much less three. I’m encouraged. We play like that, we win most games. Yeah, ok, two stupid mistakes early wounded us. But we didn’t roll over and die. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Mad game. Feel sure our next manager will do work which translates into extra caution defensively in big games, but as sure we are unlikely to ever have such a positive purist again as manager.

    Swings and roundabouts?

    We have many good players, a wonderful clean attitude to the game, and hopefully there will be many good days in the next few years.


  33. Arsene Wenger was left to rue defensive errors at the start of the game when he looked back on a thrilling – but fruitless – encounter with Manchester United.

    Here’s what the boss said in his post-match press conference:

    on the performance…
    I think the quality of our performance was good but we were not decisive enough. I believe at the back we didn’t start well at all and we put ourselves in a very difficult position. Despite that, there were enough chances to come back and I don’t know if you have watched many top-level games, but when you have 33 shots on goal in a game of that stature, it means that our dominance was top class. I’m angry and disappointed because at the end we have nothing to show for it and even at 2-1 we made another mistake at the back that made the game even more difficult.

    on being upset with the penalty decisions…
    I am. I don’t know, I have to watch it again but I thought it was [a foul on Welbeck], yes. We’ll see.

    on the referee possibly evening things up during the game…
    Maybe, I don’t know every situation in the game. Last night I watched Napoli v Juventus on television and you can see top-class referees.

    on being unhappy with the United bench…
    I am not unhappy with their bench, they defend their game, I defend my game and sometimes it is heated, that is part of it. That’s absolutely normal, I’m just disappointed and I absolutely agree with it that [despite] the quality of that performance we do not have anything to show for it.

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/we-have-nothing-show-our-performance#VH66lHRIsIbmDgCt.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/we-have-nothing-show-our-performance#XOrruyRRqI4cl4PQ.99

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Rich, agree, a new manager will be under a lot of pressure, Wenger is quite an act to follow, I expect a lot more defensive caution and drilling.
    I suspect when this great purist of a manager goes, the club may become a more cynical outfit. Raul S is reportedly mates with the likes of G Infantino and various so called super agents.
    At Arsenal, he is now head of football relations, Arsenal will retain their traditional class and abide by the laws of the game, but I suspect a man with such contacts is willing to explore murkier worlds than would be on Wengers radar. Seeing some of the treatment dished out to this club, I suspect this is a very welcome appointment.
    And no, I am not blaming the ref for today, our players shot themselves in the foot, but what does it take for this ref to give us a penalty, for the second time this season.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. What a game that was!! Despite the loss, I was impressed with our performance. We played them off the pack and but for some excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing, we could have won the game. Should have had a penalty on Welbeck and Laca though which was slightly annoying but other than that, that was a wonderful game of football especially for the neutrals.
    Just to put that in perspective, we had 15 shots on target and De Gea made 14 saves.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Wonder if MOTD will show those pretty convincing pen claims? Or the rotational fouling from Matic?
    Still, our players put in a lot of fight, and some very impressive performances, that’s what they should take from this

    Liked by 2 people

  37. VAR next year as well, unless pgmol pull some highly embarrassing shit. Marriner’s 3rd incredibly clear pen, at least, he has missed in last 3 years with us. VAR would have to give each of them.


  38. Rich you are expecting way too much from VAR, it will not be some independent reviewer, it will be another PGMOL ref, we see their ex employees now working as ref experts on TV and despite what the video replay shows, when its AFC, they usually find a way to say Ref was right, even when they say he was wrong. Also look at the Lukaku double kick last week, reviewed by a 3 man Ref panel and not charged, and no time constraints on it, like there will be with VAR, also every angle available to them, again something that might not be to the VAR, so pray tell, why do you expect the PGMOL VAR to suddenly change their ways of a lifetime.


  39. Wenger “Last night I watched Napoli v Juventus on television and you can see top-class referees”

    17 years if pro refs in the BPL and its worse they are getting, but of course the PGMOL tell us that they get over 99% of decisions correct, now maybe they include throw ins, tossing of the coin, checking the boots of the players pre game, and getting the players names correct, cos they sure as hell don’t get anything like 99% of the big decisions correct.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Ed. I expect VAR to fuck us in some new ways, but 3 pens in question with Marriner- Bellerin up at Newcastle few years back and Stoke this year, plus today’s, are ones they’ll struggle not to give.

    Be some egregious pain- they can pick up tiniest infringement but ignore bigger ones with no recourse for effective complaint and no criticsm from media, for instance- but still think we’ll be slightly better off, certainly as time goes on post Wenger and if they don’t change ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I still can’t believe we lost that game!

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Seeing pictures like that, it’s as if those Utd players knew they wouldn’t give away a pen
    I hope that is the last we see of this ref this season

    Liked by 1 person

  43. mandy we are not half way through the season yet, so we can expect to have him ref us another few times yet

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Great….but think you are right Eduardo, believe we experienced him 5 times in 2016/2017, though it must be said, not always with the results of today

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Got a bit upset with the defeat primarily due to poor defending but i am full of praise for the boys on the offensive front.De gea won the game for Manu. Was happy to see we opened there defences easily and the boys put 100 pct effort.

    On to the next one.COYG.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. New post up


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