94 Comments

Arsenal: The Cherry Blossom Sunday

@LaboGoon opens the programme – and he’s not predicting 0-0 

download-1.jpg

Good day Positivistas ……

Arsenal face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this afternoon, looking for some respite after recent results.

We of course didn’t start 2018 the way we would have liked, so a positive result would really help set the tone for us to kick-on to stay in touch with those teams fighting it out for a top 4 finish. Bournemouth themselves are desperate for points as they hover just above the drop zone by a single point.

So for both of these teams there is plenty to play for.

Looking at Eddie Howe’s team you immediately associate them with energy and commitment. But this season they are a bit topsy-turvy, blowing hot and cold; hot when the opposition are all over the place, and cold when you come at them direct and well organised. And for a team that has picked up just one victory in their last 10 PL games, Eddie is getting a surprisingly easy ride when so many others are taking a lot of heat. But he’s a good guy that always try to play good football and not hide whatever weaknesses behind a bus. Which has always suited us as we have scored 13 goals against them in 5 games since being promoted, conceding 6 goals of which 3 were in an entertaining 3-3 draw in this fixture last season.

So for us it’s important to approach this game in the right frame of mind and not allow outside pressures to stifle our performance and tactics. We need to go out there and get on with the business of the day.

Team news: after an initial scare mid-week Jack seem to have recovered from his knock. Ramsey and Kolašinac returned to full training and is expected to play a part. Özil will be subjected to a late fitness test for a swollen knee. By the end of the month we could be back to a full complement – Santi aside of course.

With the promise of goals for us today it would be foolish to write the Cherries off. Despite a rough patch they still remain a good side, so we have to look after our play, take care of the ball and focus on playing our natural game, while staying switched on defensively.

Last but not least; another thing we need catching a break from is inept (and I am being polite) refs. That’s the least we deserve after Mike’s ‘confession’.

So thank you for being a Friend.

Good luck to our boys and everyone watching the game today. Hopefully after the game we all will be filled with renewed optimism.

download-2.jpg

Comment navigation

← Older Comments

94 comments on “Arsenal: The Cherry Blossom Sunday

  1. Good evening Labo, crisp and to the point and thank goodness PL football is available again after an exhausting week on the transfer window and the trip to the Bridge.

    Our last visit to the “Vitality” – ridiculous name – was a bit too spectacular for my taste, some gash defending but followed by some extravagant recovery and the 3-3 final score. I fancy a few goals tomorrow and goodness knows we need to scrape the rust off the canons.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am enjoying Labo’s previews. Unfortunately it is not a cure for my anxiety when it comes to the PGMOL referees. Hoping we can put this one to bed early but that is not how we roll; its always nervy to the end.
    Come on You Rip-roaring Gunners!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks Labo, set the scene nicely.

    I think the biggest disappointment for me this season is how it has clearly evolved into one of transition. And, if anything, and through no fault of Arsenal’s, it all feels a little bit step backwards.

    By now I’d have hoped to have added to Santi, Sanchez and Ozil in our squad. Theo would have been firing on 8 cylinders. Welbeck, too. And a few of the youngsters might have been close on their heels, especially Iwobi.

    Instead, we are faced with Sanchez playing chief refusenik and the possibility of one or two long term contributors saying their goodbyes.

    Which means Arsene is either looking down the barrel or a rebuild or preparing to say his own farewell.

    He’ll certainly leave the backroom in immaculate condition, if he does go. But to rebuild would require a further contract of at least 2-3 years and it’s hard to see him taking that route.

    Football has always had greedy journeymen plying their trade (and who are we to judge?). But the sums available to the elite players makes it hard to imagine any kind of long term stability for even the largest of clubs in the future.

    So will that mean, going forward, we are all in a period of transition, all the time? For me personally, I think I’d find it hard to care as much as I once did.

    One big bright spot has been watching the two games that have trialled VAR. Very noticeable how much better behaved all concerned were, on the pitch, at least.

    I have a feeling that VAR will have come too late for Arsene.

    I have a feeling I’ll always feel more than a little sad about that.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. what sort of preview was that, not a transfer story in it

    Like

  5. Good review Labo. Thanks.

    Like

  6. Good morning all. I’m feeling really good about today. No apprehension at all. To add to AA’s comment on VAR, indeed players were on their best behaviour and our defenders felt comfortable putting in tackles in and around the box, knowing the ref wouldn’t have shockers. I can’t wait for it to become permanent feature.

    Like

  7. Watching the test match between SA and India. Commentators are discussing the VAR system and how much it has been enhanced over the years and yet they are still looking for more ways to enhance it to ensure the correct call are made at all times. Then when you listen to football pundits and comms talking about it…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let’s hope we are fresher than Chelsea apparently were yesterday. Not much we can do about that, as it was a full on game played just a few days ago.

    Suppose a good start could help a lot, as could Ozil or Sanchez. Ramsey,too. Who knows.

    As for the Chilean, if club is now reconciled to him almost certainly leaving, I’ve no idea if playing him is the right thing. A potential injury wiping out 30 mill or whatever seems risky.

    Very eager to get his future sorted now- which I guess means his exit- and, to be honest, and unpopular here, Theo’s,too.

    Will be happy today with any sort of win. Convincing performance or nice football a bonus.

    Like

  9. That extra day of rest will make a big difference Rich (coughs)

    Like

  10. 33% more rest time, yes, it will make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. anicoll

    Hopefully make a decent difference. Reasonably young team the other night as well. Seem to recall a big difference in legs recovery between early and mid 20’s, and a much bigger one between mid-20’s and 30ish.

    Talk is no Sanchez. I’m at weird stage with him where I’m overall ok, keen at moments, to see him gone; but not ok with thought of seeing him with new club, Utd especially. Urgh. Urgh.

    Like

  12. reports this morning are saying Alexis has been left out of our squad today. “not in the right frame of mind” to play.

    Like

  13. Let’s just see what happens – it’s a team game and Alexis or no Alexis we have work to do. I trust Mesut’s injury is mended, Aaron is kicking at the starting gate and Laca is on the phone to his Malaysian bookie placing big money on his hat trick ?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. media claiming that Alexis has been left out of the squad cos he trying to force through a move to Man Utd, who they claim are willing to pay Alexis and his agent the £15M – £20M signing on fee now that city would give him for a bosman in the summer

    Like

  15. Anciol, it seems Mesut is still a major doubt for today, the knee injury is still troubling him

    Like

  16. Wenger’s view on what is happening in the transfer market and why we should expect more and more players to run down their contracts

    “Honestly I believe, with inflation we have at the moment, players going to the end of the contract will happen more and more,” . “For one simple reason: the transfers are too high.

    “If a player doesn’t find a massive club, he will have to go [to the end], and even if you don’t want to extend his contract, the players will want to go to the end of their contract.

    “So what is the player’s calculation? Okay the club wants £50million, £60m, because they want to replace me, they have to spend £50m or £60m, it will not happen, so I wait and I take a chunk of that contract in signing-on fee.

    “That’s the calculation of the agent. What do the agents do? The agents say to the club, I bring him to you at the end of the contract, but you give me a big agent’s fee.

    “So that basically, slowly, it’s killing the transfers. And you will have more and more players going to the end of their contract because of that.”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. seemingly Eddie Nketiah has implied he is in the squad today.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ed

    Pretty convincing argument there. The main element missing is that it can probably only be avoided by offering a gigantic increase in wages ( and prob a bung to the agent) mid-deal.

    Likewise, the deals which can be done on buying big players with plenty to run on deal will also be gigantic.

    In other words, a further shift towards the richest of the rich, with the level just below that, which includes us, perhaps having to rely in part on massive sales to those richest clubs in order to finance their own overpriced moves.

    Of course we can rely on this being characterised as astute business by the richest and a failing on the part of the others.

    The rest of Europe meanwhile will prob continue with their sort of half and half market, where some sanity survives in their dealings with each other, unless they have some player the richest or any prem clubs want.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dieseld123
    ‏ @davecruickshan3
    3m3 minutes ago
    Replying to @charles_watts

    The end should be nigh but Sanchez was dispossessed.

    Like

  20. my predicted line up for today, if Ozil is fit, in a 4-2-3-1

    Cech
    Bellerin Chambers Mustafi Kolasinac
    Ramsey Xhaka Wilshere
    Ozil Welbeck
    Lacazette

    subs Ospina, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi, Nketiah

    Like

  21. Jack Wilshere says he want to be Arsenal captain, he would be obvious choice, after we have had, Arteta and Per, two guys we barely played after becoming captain

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Arsenal squad due to arrive at the ground in a few minutes, team selection will be announced at 12.30

    Like

  23. Good afternoon folks.
    Thanks for the preview Labo.

    Jack hasn’t put pen to paper yet on a new contract, that’s worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. No alexis and no Ozil in the squad today

    Ramsey, Kolasinac, JAck, danny, HEctor, Rob, Callum, AMN, theo, Ospina, Cech, Nketiah, Iwobi, Lacazette some of those in the squad

    Liked by 1 person

  25. per, xhaka, elneny and mustafi are there too

    Liked by 1 person

  26. squad seems to be

    cech ospina
    Mertesacker Mustafi Chambers Holding
    Bellerin Kolasinac, AMN
    Xhaka, Ramsey Wilshere Elneny
    Iwobi Welbeck Walcott
    Lacazette Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  27. we are saved, Balague speaking to Sky’s Transfer Talk Pod said AFC have an agreement with a ‘big player’ to replace Alexis & it’s not a kid coming through

    of course he might man tall when he says big.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I know the aaaa and the great and the good are in full meltdown mode, as usual, wouldn’t be match day if they didn’t have the self flaggelating whips with barbs out. After all we all have our game day rituals.
    But I’ve just enjoyed (I know! Enjoy?) some footy chat with the brother in law from Longsight, Manchester.

    “how is it your club has spent half a billion squid in the last few years yet AFC have the better Footballers? That is special!”

    Made him laugh, as we both know the answer.

    Looking forward to the football. Another massive game for the younger players on the park. In the age of the Neymar bung I find that a strangely reassuring site.
    We knew the club would have to look past the genius that has been Koscielny at some point, Mustafi was inexperienced at CB when he arrived, we worried about temprement but he has the skills.

    A huge game for JW fitness wise, against his teammates from last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Alexit must be reaching boiling point amonst the twitterati

    Liked by 2 people

  30. < temperament

    Like

  31. The ether must be infused with the Experts’ vapour at this moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. A soild and good enough team.
    the cherries are a better side with wilson in it but if we keep solid we should have enough creativity to bag a few.
    I never really understood about leaving players out that were about to move until I see ox’s shambolic display against the scoucers, nasri and many other players had kept playing until the end and I will never forgive the ox for that.
    Play with fast flowing football and we will be flying again COYG.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Appointing anyone captain at AFC is the equivalent of handing a black spot to a pirate – they are either severely injured or transferred within 12 months (or both) don’t do it to Jack please !

    Liked by 3 people

  34. wenger has basically said that he left alexis out cos he is leaving us, the only thing left is for Alexis to decide if its in this window, or in the summer, and that Alexis has not so far been forthcoming on what his choice is, well that my reading of his comments

    Like

  35. wenger said Alexis is “being vague” with AFC at the moment. and that is why he left him out, a “decision” one way or the other is imminent

    Liked by 1 person

  36. OptaJoe
    ‏Verified account @OptaJoe
    25m25 minutes ago

    25y 56d – Arsene Wenger has named his youngest Arsenal starting line-up in the Premier League since November 2012 v Aston Villa (25y 11d). Freshness.

    Like

  37. One of delightful side effects of VAR in the two recent ‘trial’ games was the sense and sight of pundits panicking as the main source of their dire ‘commentary’ – refereeing howlers – was almost entirely eliminated and they (the plundits) were left scrabbling around for something – anything – to say.

    Rio’s main contribution in the first VAR match was to lament the lack of angles used to determine whether a legitimate goal was in fact legitimate. The fact that the legitimate goal was proven legitimate by the angles actually consulted, just did not wash with Ferdinand who was desperate to dredge up something with which to hit the officials with. Instead he simply looked idiotic.

    Simply can not wait for more of this.

    A few days later, a great goal was scored in a televised game that owed its origins to an unspotted foul in the build up. The moronic commentator (I’ve thankfully forgotten which one), pointed out that VAR would have denied us this wonder-strike had the play been correctly called back for the foul.

    One can only wonder about exactly how thick or otherwise mentally deficient these morons are.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Bournmouth getting away with some poor challenges

    Like

  39. gosling booked for diving, seen a lot worse not booked

    Like

  40. one of those poor challenges has left lacazette limping

    Like

  41. we still are very poor at taking corners

    Like

  42. francis booked for foul on welbeck to stop a breakaway

    Like

  43. Even there that arm on Maitland-Niles would be enough to send so many diving in box. Glad we don’t as it’s such a blight on the game but, still, it’s a massive disadvantage compared to our rivals.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Crowd are hating even refereeing from Friend here. Hating in. Hope he stays strong

    Like

  45. Got in excellent positions on right at least three times.
    Not for first time, thinking about where we’d be with someone with great skill and deadly end product getting in there (not a slight on bellerin- thinking more of someone ahead of him)

    Cough Malcolm

    Like

  46. chambers blocks to save us after we were opened up

    Like

Comment navigation

← Older Comments

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: