@LaboGoon emerges from international hibernation, and thank goodness…
Here we are again… breathing a huge sigh of relief with the last international break of 2018 out the way and equally excited to be at the start of what is going to be a very busy period with the fixture list chuck-full in the run up to New Years Day – when we often rank the contenders from the pretenders from the relegation candidates. Ergo it’s vital to maximize performances to make sure we don’t have too much ground to cover later on.
Good morning one and all.
The Unai Emery evolution faces a stern test this afternoon with a trip to the Vitality Stadium to face a Bournemouth team enjoying their best-ever start in the top flight.
When Eddie Howe started his managerial journey with the Cherries they were in Football League Two and started their season on a 17 points deduction. Ten years on they are excelling well beyond their expectations and look to disrupt the party of the ‘big six’ – a measure of how much the man and his team are steadily growing year on year with modest resources. Take a bow mate!
Just before the inter-break both sides went through a bit of a wobble; the Gunners struggled to turn draws into wins and the Cherries picked up just one win in their last four Premier League games. So the break came at a good time as they are now keen to press the reset button and get back to winning ways.
Arsenal have had a mixed time playing Bournemouth in the six PL fixtures against each others. We beat them quite comfortably at the Emirates but on our travels to the south coast we’ve seen them really cranking it up. In our three visits there we beat them, then we drew and they finally got one over us in the last outing – and this season they are a much better side with a real cutting edge to them.
Howe’s steadfast belief in his ideas has made the Cherries an attractive side with attackers that can be a real handful and their “goals for” are only bettered by the top five teams on the PL table. If we want any joy today we need to find a way to negate that threat.
The habit of starting games slowly cost us in recent times as we lacked the infamous second half performances to offset it. With the hosts a side that gives it their all at the Vitality that and any defensive issues are what they will look to take advantage of. Of course them looking to play on the front foot will suit us as it will bring the trio of Özil, Lacazette and Aubameyang into the game. We know how deadly they can be if they have that extra bit of space to work with.
With both sides expected to have a right go at each others there are goals in this at both ends to make it a very entertaining encounter to look forward to.