Good morning one and all.
Arsenal welcome Southampton to the Emirates this afternoon. When these teams met at St Mary’s back in December, the Saints made things really difficult after going a goal up 3 minutes in. They nearly held on for the 1-0 victory but for erstwhile Arsenal pin-up Giroud emerging from the bench to rescue a point right at the death. That now seems like a lifetime ago.
Over the last 5 or so years the visitors established themselves as a proper mid-table side, having more than just odd good game in them. However this season their annual yard sale finally caught up with them as they find themselves in the midst of the relegation scrap.
So with 4 PL wins overall (2 each home and away) and just one victory in their last 18 PL fixtures (D9, L8)… they will need to come up with something special if they want to climb away from the relegation trap-door. Sooner rather than later.
If I’m going to stick my neck out, I’ll say there will be no reprieve for them from their anguish. Arsenal come into the game off the back of 5 successive victories (15 GF, 2 GA), looking to have shaken off those jitters that had blighted us as there is currently a real air of self-confidence.
Now I know we are prioritising Europa but it’s also important to ride on this wave of momentum and be weary to not let our performance and intensity levels drop. Media reports around the club are currently better, albeit just, than it has been at any time all season, expert fans and certain “legends” are making themselves look more foolish each passing day and that’s how we should keep it. The last thing we need now is vitriolic nonsense as we take the scenic route to Lyon.
Caveat: respect your opponent and mother football won’t show your ass up.
On team news: with Koscielny having a yoga date, Mkhi and Ospina on sick leave and a short turnaround… I don’t doubt the Boss will look to strike a careful balance between freshness and rhythm in support of Auba.
We might see the same approach as the Stoke game. Saints had a week’s rest and will likely be very energetic from the off. Keep them at arms length in the first half and like a predator lying in wait, pick them off in the second.
Anyhoo. To all those ignoring Ian Wright’s plea and going to the game, do enjoy yourselves because through a difficult season the Emirates has always been kind. Everyone else watching from around the globe, never quit having the team’s back.
New post up
That was well enjoyed. 3 – 2.
I really liked the fight we put up.
MoNeny & Xhaka kept the wheels spinning.
Nelson, Welbeck, Auba & Iwobi caught on and never looked back.
The Saints are definitely low on confidence ’cause they couldn’t capitalize on the free bits we presented them with. Can’t pretend I don’t enjoy socking it to Sparky.
Hope they don’t go down though. Class organization.
But it was great to see us do we will without Mesut.
Become too dependent on his sorcery, we have.
Bellerin might need a haircut, some de-styling, to air out his game.
A fit & confident Danny makes for a rather enjoyable watch.
He wanted it. He got it. Iwobi assisted.
We march on to CSKA.
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TFL, it was abit of a Jonny Nash
On Mustafi although as a defender I would say you should always assume responsability and be safe, I would still put the goal down to Petre. A keeper can see the situation because he is looking upfield and he has to scream an intrustuction either way. If he wants Mustafi to clear it he must shout at him to make sure. If you notice he doesn’t shout and makes a step towards the ball and then steps back. This leaves him flat footed and unable to dive.
Alex is a good player in the final third and is an undoubted talent but he is lazy and needs to work harder if he want to make it long term.
Sead loves going forward but if he has to stop and has to play the ball backwards he becomes stale and ineffective.
On the whole I do think the majority of our players are getting better but when we slow the game down and play safe we look average and struggle against sides who are willing to sit behind the ball. However when we play quickly we are stiil a very very good side.
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Wenger on the win
We want to continue to win our games. I waste dot rate a bit because we play so many games.
I wanted to pick a team that had a chance to win the game.
We showed great spirit and won the game, even if at the end it was a bit hectic.
On Elneny’s red card
I was a bit surprised that he was sent off, because he was a fair player.
Has he touched the player in the face? I don’t know.
Will Arsenal appeal the red card?
We will look at it tomorrow to see if we have grounds for an appeal.
Wenger on Welbeck
Danny has been looking sharper. He is coming back to his best. I’m happy and pleased for him. He deserves everything he gets.
He also saved some great headers on the near post toda
Wenger on defensive issues
We have an offensive team. That means as well the defenders are not in the bit possible conditions to defend.
Thursday night physically it was at a high level. players like Belerin, Mustafi looked a bit heavy legged.
Wenger on Arsenal’s recovery
I’m very proud. We have gone through a difficult patch.
To recover from that you need solidarity which they have shown.
On Mkhitaryan’s injury
Mkhitaryan has a medial knee ligament damage, He will not be available for Thursday, or Newcastle or the week after.
He could still play at the end of the season.
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