Arsenal: The Ball in our Court


@LaboGoon and the Arsenal vs Watford programme notes

Good morning one and all.

Early kick-off for the Arsenal as they host Watford just after lunch.

The past few weeks leading up to the San Siro has been tough on all of us as football showed it’s unforgiving side, and with that the natives became restless. Playing on foreign soil proved to be the tonic as the players had to dig deep to snap out of whatever hindered them… and oh boy, how glorious was it.

The AC Milan result and indeed commanding performance were huge for so many reasons, more importantly it gave us back of that feel good stuff we lacked recently.

Firstly though, today will be anything but a cakewalk. Watford came into a bit of form of late, losing just one of their last five games and they also seem to have this irritating habit of lifting themselves whenever they play us. So be prepared for a contest.

With a Jack Wilshere tweet to remind Troy Deeney they had not forget him questioning their “manhood” after our last meeting, Watford too should expect our boys wanting their own back. So today could get a bit spicy.

Getting into top 4 may be beyond us at this point but winning each game is as important now as it has ever been. With Europa representing our best opportunity of returning to the CL next season it is vital we get it right in the PL to carry form, momentum and togetherness there.

Team news: after initial injury scares Chambers and Kolašinac returned to full training, so the same squad that did duty in Italy is available for selection. The talismanic Monreal also returned to training but will only be available after today.

Everything of the best to our players and manager today and may they give due reward to the Emirates faithful for their unwavering support through the sunshine and rain.

Home is where the heart is.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

35 comments on “Arsenal: The Ball in our Court

  1. Morning Labo and it is back to he hard work of battering Watford this afternoon. Never been a lucky club for me and we have made some eye-watering cock-ups in recent years against them. As so often the key the ‘vigorous start’ required.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good day Andrew. Indeed a vigorous start will be required. None of those ‘playing the eye in first’ stuff. We have to put Troy and his pack in their place from the off because they got a spring in their step at present. Also that little unresolved issue of them winning at the Ems last season.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. In the unlikely event anyone has not seen this;

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks Labo. Nice preview. Honest football historians will record these past 18 months as the post-Santi Cazorla era, a transition which has been the worst ever in terms of results for Arsene Wenger. Without repeating myself or the data, the little midfielder was arguably the most important Arsenal player for the previous 4-5 years. From all reports (I didn’t see the match) we were a much improved midfield unit at the San Siro. Back in the Premier League it will be interesting how they cope with the physicality permitted by the PGMO.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A5: As I suggested on twitter, if the Arsenal board did like West Ham’s and opportunistically bow to the idiots who populate Arsenal Fan TV, sacking the manager whenever we had a wobble, the consequences will be relatively the same as yesterdy’s events at the London Stadium. Imagine over 90K watched the nonsense.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hopefully the real Arsenal turns up cos I think only a handful of teams in the world can win against us on our day….But it wont surprise me if we lose or win….thats what the team has turned me into


  7. I really hope we staff the bastards good and proper. There is a lot of pain for us to unload and Watford tainted by Deanie are fully deserving. The pre match game briefing should simply be Deanies’s comments

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Vieira on Wenger: “I think if its the end of the story, he’ll be the first to recognise it. In relation to everything he’s done for the club, what he’s built & has won, he’s legitimate enough to decide for himself when he’ll retire. He has the right to make this decision himself”

    Patrick Vieira backs Wenger. “I find that the criticisms that fall on Arsène on a personal level are too harsh to accept. I remember very well every time he refused the elite clubs to stay at Arsenal.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!

    M.Niles – Mustafi – Holding – Kolasinac
    Elneny – Xhaka
    Mkhitaryan – Ozil – Iwobi

    S: Ospina, Chambers, Willock, Wilshere, Nelson,
    Nketiah, Welbeck


    Femenia – Mariappa – Prodl – Holebas
    Doucore – Capoue
    Janmaat – Pereyra – Richarlison

    S: Bachmann, Britos Hughes, Sinclair, Carillo, Gray, Okaka


  10. The Arsenal app just sent a notification that Mustafi has just been sent off…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I got the same notification georgaki.. was it an error or has something happened?

    By the way.. what happened at WHU yesterday? I’ve heard this reference twice without any information about it..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s the kind of vigorous opening I’m after GP

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Aren’t these pundits good. “Where do the owners of Watford F.C. the Pozzo family find all these gems of managers? They’ve had six in the last few seasons…”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Xhaka looks like he is getting the position better
    El Neny was very good
    Penalty save for Cech
    Two wins in a row
    Cojones Se muestran
    Nice times

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Didn’t watch the game. There is a critical post-hurricane DIY at home that has me busy for weeks. Is our midfield functioning better?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. didn’t get to see the game, is it one I should look forward to seeing or is it one to avoid

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great performance and result. The players moved the ball well and dug in when needed. Standout performances for me were Rob Holding at the back, got his head on almost everything. Elneny in midfield was very industrious. In the attack, Mkhi was so good Watford started targeting him for the rotational fouling. I was so pleased he got a goal for his troubles. Cech finally saves a penalty and I think that got the loudest cheer of the match!

    Deeney, Deeney what’s the score?

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Combination of Xhaka , El-neny were much better
    Not seen the numbers yet but the combinations in midfield looked more effective and the defense was more organised.
    Need to watch it again , there a few issues , but you have to take into account this was a scratch team out of a squad trying to get their collective and individual games back together.
    Lots of positives
    good luck with repairs
    You in JA shotts?

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Brilliant performance by the boys today; but despite the win, the officiating was an absolute disgrace! Oh, it’s looking more and more like we screwed Man Utd in the Sanchez Mhiki deal.
    Again, how is Martin Atkinson still a premier league referee?

    Liked by 4 people

  20. A real curate’s egg of a game: at times we were silky smooth and looked as if we were about to run riot, at others we seemed to surrender control with wanton abandon.Elneny was the pick of our players for me: full of energy, vision and more than a little bite too. I am sure there are all sorts of reasons for this but I cannot understand why he is not more celebrated. If he carries on with performances like today he could develop into quite something. Mikhitaryan came in for some stick from the lugubrious Alan Smith, and some of it was perhaps deserved, but you couldn’t fault his effort or desire and it was his turn of pace and fine assist that saw the lead doubled and Auba able to perform his trademark front flip. Still early days for those two but definite signs of something happening that is to be excited about.

    And who will know as he was about to take the penalty whether young Mr Deeney heard a little whisper in his ear to the effect that if he mucked this one up it would be he who was the emasculated one.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Congratulations to Petr Cech on his 200th PL clean sheet

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Thanks FH.. I learned a new term today. Curate’s egg.

    For me the game was much more of good than bad, and not just because we won. We matched them physically. We showed great passing and movement. And when we needed to we stood firm (or responded). AMN struggled a bit in the second half and gave up the penalty, and we did give up a few chances, some out of carelessness. But we were determined to win. And we were determined to enjoy it too.

    I’m not going to talk about corners being turned or anything because I still think this entire season has to be about one game at a time from now on. But confidence has been an issue. Anything that boosts it is a good thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. isn’t it odd that the private meeting AST had with Gazidis and Sanllehi today had loads of tweets covering what was said, but the Lee Dixon talk at the private AST meeting could not be divulged, despite all the claims about him being misrepresented

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Also, Petr Cech saved a penalty against the emasculated Deeney (who is a bit s**t)

    At the end, David Ospina came over to give Cech a warm hug and a pat on the back. It was a nice moment.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. ed

    Why in the bloody world are Gazidis and Sanhelli granting meetings to AST?

    I suppose it can be positive for Arsenal if they could flip AST back.. Though it must be tempting to just flip them off.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Ivan Gazidis said today: “We have to hold back cash for the security of the stadium mortgage with the banks. We’re spending everything we can. However you can see in last two windows breaking our transfer record we have money for investment.”

    also said Arsenal staff has doubled over last 3 years


  27. shard it was a fans forum, where AST were only one of a number of groups at it, even some foreign supporters clubs were there. I made the mistake of thinking it was just AST, due to how AST worded there statement about it earlier in the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. New post up


  29. I thought ElNeny was excellent, Holding was very good and I really like Kolasinac…

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I have a ticket for the Stoke game on 1 April. Would love to meet up with any Positivistas…

    Liked by 1 person

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