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Arsenal vs Saints.

06-HughesGood 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.
@LaboGoon

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54 comments on “Arsenal vs Saints.

  1. Its been suggested that Ramsey is being rested, he was not involved in training yesterday. I expect a few others rested too, maybe Moreal, Xhaka and Ozil, possibly Lacazette too
    we might see

    Cech
    Bellerin Mustafi Chambers kolasinac
    Willock Elneny Wilshere
    Iwobi Aubameyang Welbeck
    subs Macey Holding Monreal Xhaka Ozil, Lacazette Nketiah

    Liked by 2 people

  2. from jeorge bird

    Arsenal defender Chiori Johnson featured for Bolton Wanderers’ U23 side while on trial last week.

    The right-back was involved as Bolton drew 1-1 at home to Watford in the Professional Development League but he conceded a penalty.

    Johnson, a product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, is set to be released when his contract expires this summer and previously spent time on trial with Blackburn Rovers.

    Like

  3. Morning Labo and morning all,

    I’m ready for it I admit. Holidays are all very well but the prospects of sending Sparky home with his tail between his legs has been an attraction of this Sunday for all the week. Enormous ankles when he played Hughes, never understood why.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. COYG

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  5. Nelson starts and Nketia on the bench
    I really hope these two kick on and stake a claim in the first team.
    Being home grown it will mean we can afford to be flexible in the transfer. I have a feeling Welbecks position is going to be under scrutiny as completion intensifies

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Nelson, Welbeck, Aubameyang
    Subs: Lacazette, Wilshere, Ozil, Holding, Monreal, Macey, Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No truth in the rumour that “He’s got Sparky Hughes’s ankles” was the working title for Kim Carnes 1981 classic.

    https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/picture-of-the-ankle#1

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There it is.

    How is that not a yellow for an obvious ankle rake on the talent d young Englishman daring to play football for the Arsenal?

    Asking on behalf of a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome to the Rileybowl

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bummer my stream freezes when we are on the attack and on resumption we are a goal down !

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  11. Defence has been shaky and just seems to panick. Need to get a grip as sonton are finding it easy to sit back and counter.

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  12. Ffs, why do our team keep getting done by the likes of Shane long!
    Time to recover, but they really need to sort aspects of play, for all the wonderful stuff we saw mid week, defending would appear to need more work than seems to be going on

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  13. Just seen the goal comical defending

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  14. Very poor goal to concede, but excellent response

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Two goals we are back Infront. Not a good performance defensively but the some positives going forward. Young Nelson looks tidy Iwobi with an assist and Welbeck with a goal. Auba is just born to score goals even when he doesn’t touch the ball!
    Eleneny has been good. But can we just stop these annoying passes near the goal that immediately put us under pressure?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Two goals we are back Infront. Not a good performance defensively but the some positives going forward. Young Nelson looks tidy Iwobi with an assist and Welbeck with a goal. Auba is just born to score goals even when he doesn’t touch the ball!
    Eleneny has been good. But can we just stop these annoying passes near the goal that immediately put us under pressure?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sorry George😱

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m going to take a risk here and speculate that hardly any of the plundits or gaggle of starving vampires that leech upon this wonderful football club will mention that all teams that had big intensive midweek battles, were playing in some instances rotated and weakened line ups that looked like they’d had big draining contests midweek.

    Was crucial for the Gunners to get a first half lead as they will flag in this game.

    Come on you Gunners!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Another forward who does us regularly

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  20. Wilshere’s defensive contribution since coming on has been painful for those who want to see him stay.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Oh Danny!

    Not much more Wilshere could’ve done then to put it on a plate and make up for not defending on the saints equaliser

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Utds record when they targeted the Europa was 2 wins in 7 at the end of last season.

    Similar record for Chelsea under Benitez.

    Nevermind the Narratives?

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ok that was coming we have been hopeless this half. I mean show some professional pride.
    You just knew as Wilshere ran like a headless chicken to close down just before the goal that a simple one two around him and they are in.
    Can’t see us winning this

    Like

  24. DAT GUY!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Seeing as Welbeck had just missed an open goal minutes previously perhaps you need to put your goggles on mate? Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ok, I can check how my chicken and spuds are roasting…

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Oh dear welbs
    I’m cringing!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Sky plundits almost speechless obviously and heartbroken.

    L.O.L. And then some.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I loooooooove you Welbs please forgive me

    Liked by 2 people

  30. At an airport traveling so checking in on the game via Twitter. From the reports seem our defending is questionable. I did say after Thursday that despite our win defending was a “pressing concern”. Am I off target?

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Shotta the defence and our defending especially in the second has been abysmal.
    But the attacking creativity always gives us a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Back to the days when I terrified when we defend. This is bad for my ticker…

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Iwobi with a fantastic cross on the goal, a telling contribution from the player who didn’t play midweek late in this half.

    It’s almost as if football is some kind of athletic activity and not a story written by a brand/advertising consultancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Man of the match…Holding….he’s only been on two minutes….

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Stream gone down what’s happening

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  36. Ref blow the whistle…..

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  37. You have not missed anything Ian…

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  38. Shotts
    Of the two young recruits who had little PL experience the former Bayer captain is finally looking settled, it’s Mustafi who we will all still wonder about. Is he still just too raw as a PL or otherwise CB or is his temprement worse then David Luiz? That cheeky foul on Tadic almost made up for the rickett on their first goal.

    We’ll know more by the end of the season.

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  39. just two sendings off and 7 minutes of extra time George if your tickers bad minds worse when i’m blind to whats going on!

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Mark Oooze

    The manager who had a relative budget to Young Pep when he was at City.

    Between the bungtastic efforts of this twerp and Lan Davies nomination for next Arsenal Manager (Moyes!) unfortunately we might not see a British manager at a top club anytime soon.
    Southampton still have admirable footballers in that squad. Who played good football today at times. Not sure if they made the right choice there, given their manager’s previous record.

    But I’m sure Riley and his boys are happy with they way things are going.

    Like

  41. Plenty of grit & pashun from a weakened eleven today for the Gunners.

    Unlike the swashbuckling Liverpool and City they picked up their third victory in a big week, with more to come next week. The most crucial period of their season? Arguably yes.

    Good stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Crazy ending
    Our performance despite winning is one that rises more questions than providing answers
    Welbeck despite the two goals does not not convince as a player to lead the line.
    Wilshere too the jury is out if he were to leave at the end of the season it looks like we wouldn’t miss him
    Mustafa is a strange beast you can see what a good player he is but his decision making is so erratic you just don’t know which Mustafi will turn up.
    Sead seems to have gone off the boil!!
    The good I thought Chambers despite some misplaced passes again played well.
    Nelson had a steady game and Iwobi showed a lot more in the final third.
    Eleneny us always involved
    Auba is class
    Xakha was steady though the long rangers were hopeless
    Bellarin had a solid game defensively not so much offensively
    Southampton deserved something as they played really well and created excellent chances but when your luck is out it’s tough. And if you Hugh’s as your manager well no sympathy here.
    I am looking forward to dancing on the twin graves of Stoke and Sonton

    Liked by 2 people

  43. My roast was worth waiting for….

    Liked by 4 people

  44. sorry to have missed the game, looking forward to seeing it later

    Liked by 2 people

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