Arsenal are in Yorkshire this afternoon to take on strugglers Huddersfield at the John Smith Stadium.
Good day one and all…
There’s not much to say about our hosts except that with 13 games left to play it already look as if the 2018/19 Premier League season has defeated them. They’re rock bottom since Boxing Day with only two wins in 25 games, haven’t won a game since the 25th November, haven’t scored a goal since 2nd January, are on a 12-match winless streak, conceded a staggering 48 goals (second most after Fulham) and scored a mere 13 goals.
I can imagine for them the end of the season can’t come quick enough so they can just close the doors, shut the blinds and switch off the lights to put an end to this dog’s misery.
But till then…
Last weekend’s defeat to Mancity was disappointing, not wholly unexpected if we are honest, and saw us slipped down to sixth on the table, but with just three points off of top-four there’s still hope of a return to Champions League football next season if we can put a good run together, starting today.
We have been lacking a bit of our early season spark of late but all signs still point to this game being more routine, yet intriguing. The Terriers can’t score a goal to save their season, we aren’t good travellers and are currently sitting on a six-game winless away run. There’s also the caveat that our hosts could have the “new manager bounce”, with this only Jan Siewert’s second game (check Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl second game for reference), but with his appointment coming at a difficult time and the first two games against Chelsea and now Arsenal, it would require something incredibly special for him to turn things around. That being said we could expect their players to leave their hearts out on the field as some of them will be playing for their futures.
In the pre-game presser Unai Emery said Koscielny and Auba was down with illness this week but are expected available, along with Mkhitaryan, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Xhaka will be subject to late fitness tests.
We got a game in Belarus on Thursday so it will be interesting to see if Emery start both Auba and Lacazette, that doesn’t mean they won’t be licking their chops going up against one of the leagues poorest defenses to get themselves and the team back on track.
In the previous meeting between these two sides it took us nearly 90 minutes to find a winner and we got a rare clean sheet. Hopefully we won’t wait that long to open the scoring today but given our shaky defense there’s a good chance they may nick a goal. However I do feel our attacking impetus may prove too much for them to handle.
*Ed, It seems Aubameyang has not traveled*
Elneny on for Torreira
Elneny and Lacazette get in each other’s way, a chance for a third. Elneny coming on for Torreira looked the favourite on that chance to be fair to him.
this is an awful performance
The commentator described the performance as a smash and grab but it’s a familiar performance for Arsenal fans straight out of the 2-0/2-1 handbook written by Koscielny & Mertesacker 2014-16.
It’s a more familiar 343 today, not quite as potent as the one with Ozil and Alexis and which beat City and Chelsea, but it still suits this squad as an option.
we have fucked up a couple of great attacking positions in the last few minutes
Iwobi’s twitter feed best avoided after that chance, but it was great run from the developing Prospect, and a nice return pass from Miki.
Suarez on for Mkhitaryan
Hmmm…more shots for the opposition then proscribed in the 2-0/2-1 handbook.
Leno will be keen on the clean sheet and he’s earnt it.
With only the Bate games coming up over the next period Lacazette can play the full game and Willock gets the chance ahead of Eddie today.
willock on for Iwobi, I do wonder what Nketiah has to do to get a few minutes in the BPL
we can’t even keep a clean sheet against this rabble, all over the place at the back
it was an OG by Kolasinac
Nope. No clean sheet.
He (Eddie) was on his way for a loan to Germany and then it was cancelled at the last moment.
Presumably the boss must mean to use him off the bench – but ….
Huddersfield’s sixth home goal of the season
“We’ve scored a goal”
sing the home fans
FT: Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal
Iwobi and Lacazette with our goals, Kolasinac with an OG for theirs late on.
This was a poor and scrappy performance, 2 up at half time and we were poor in the second half, missed a few good chances but this was another sub par performance, our passing was poor, and there was no sign of any free flowing football, but a win is a win, but its a hard watch, if this is the best we can do v such a poor side, I’m not sure how any thinks we are better off without Ramsey and ozil.
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“I’m not sure how any thinks we are better off without Ramsey and Ozil?”
Wins a win at minute. Glad to get it. Shame about the clean sheet lost at the last.
“shall we score a goal for you”
terrible performance but at least its an away win and gutted about the youth cup as well
People are entitled to their opinions, I suppose, but I really wish Rambo was staying, and the ignoring of Mesut is simply baffling — altho the club are saying he was sick, and I guess we have to take that at face value, but for other fans to say Arsenal are better off without those two is ……..
A lot of talented players out today, but workmanlike would be putting that performance very kindly.
You are correct — a win is a win, and the 3 points were critical for our chances of staying in the hunt for the 4th place, but we need Man Citeh to beat the Chavs, but with Manure up and running ………..?
Bugger! But as they say ….. it ain’t over until the [large] lady sings.
[PC gets me confused] lol
A wins a win, will take that from an Arsenal team in Feb, in an away game,no matter who the opponents.
Sounds like it was scrappy, no fluidity, riddled with mistakes and giving the ball away.
But to mitigate, our missing list, whether spun or genuine is ridiculous, as it has been for a long time, you cannot build momentum with a new manager with so many changes, forced, or otherwise. Illness is one thing, but if Emery really has changed training regimes as much as some like to report, perhaps there will be a cost until players fully adapt, seem to remember Klopp suffering horrendous injuries in his first few months as well. Others seem to cope with quadruple sessions with SAS designed pressing drills, or whatever is in vogue these days , some suspiciously so.
This season was always going to be tough, get what they can, still think the Europa May suit, and then it looks like a fair amount of change in the summer.
Really think the rest of the season we need to concentrate on our future style and perfomance in the PL and go for the european trophy.
I can not see us getting fifth at the moment so top four is unrealistic. There are so many areas of our game which is patchy that it would be difficult to make a good case for a consistent run that would see us overtake chelski or manure and as for St totts that seems like a long way off at the moment.
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Mandy agree next season we could be a totally different side especially when you consider the two games we virtually had to give away at the start of the season.
My big worry is alot of the basics are missing, passing was our trademark and at the moment snails break quicker than we do and our decision making is awful at both ends of the pitch.
While were taking about next season I would imagine there will be no place for that big fat blancmange of a ref and he can go back to the telephone box demonstrations to keep him busy.
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Bah. Sounds like we were done by a bit of classic defend deep and counter from West Brom in youth game.
Daley-campbell not starting an interesting one. Easily one of our toughest and most powerful youth prospects in last decade and, given most teams approach involves trying to get stuck into us, etc, those qualities perhaps more important for us than most teams.
Maybe a knock or maybe contract issue again in play.
Frankly I try to understand Arsenals performances from the perspective of the “values” now being operationalized by the club, not those lofty, seemingly empty statements made by Ivan Gazidis eight months ago. Our friend ArsenalAndrew provides his insights at UniteForVar:
@ArsenalAndrew speaks: Arsenal Ex-Employee Is Uncertain About Current Values Of The Club
a win is a win is a win, but so much slow football, so few clear chances, so few players in top form, is a real worry. Today Leno was very good, had many good saves to make, a lot more than would have been expected, Koscielny had a fine game, but in reality he was the only one of the back 5 that did, for me Mustafi was ok, but Monreal was way off the pace, Kolasinac had his moments in attack, but seemed reluctant to get forward, and he was leaving lots of room in behind, AMN once again disappointed me, he just seems to be strolling through games, and his use of the ball was poor today. He is a very fast player but HTFC players easily got in behind him time and again. Torreira is still in a dip of form. Mkhitaryan had a nice return, although many of our moves broke down with him. Iwobi had a very good game, he drove at their back line all game long, what a pity he had that fine finish ruled out for offside. Too often his good work was spoiled by others and by a lack of support.
we now face Bate away and at home before we have back to back home games v Southamtpon and Bournemouth, then comes a run of very big games in March.
Most of the fan base might differ, but is this another game where we conspicuously missed ,in my view, the hugely under rated Granit Xhaka, at least when he plays in MF
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Unai Emery was as animated as ever on the touchline as we battled to a 2-1 win at Huddersfield.
After the game, he was asked about his emotions, and whether he was unhappy while watching Saturday’s performance.
Here’s what he said:
on the result…
It was very important, this victory, it is three points for us to be closer to the top four, and our target is this. Knowing we need to take the regularity at home and away, and today this victory I think can give us confidence and the possibility to continue our target in the Premier League.
on seeming unhappy on the touchline…
I am very happy. We were working very well and every player was working and helping each other. Today I am very proud with our work, every player worked. I want more every time, because in the first half the difference between them and us was two goals, and it is not enough, because if they score one they can get more. My ambition is to want them to keep the mentality and don’t concede the position to the opposition. But I know it’s easier on the bench than on the pitch but today I think the players worked well.
on whether the top four is realistic…
It is game 26 and there is a one-point difference between Manchester United and us. If we ask if it’s easy or difficult for us then I think it’s difficult, but we can [do it]. On game 26 we are on our way. Our motivation is very great and every player wants to [work hard] in every match and have regularity and consistency in the Premier League in 38 matches, and now we are getting close to our target and to the other teams.
on whether no clean sheet is a concern…
Yes, but we won. The clean sheet is important but above all is to win. We can take a clean sheet and draw only. We spoke before with the team and we said that above all it is important to win and take individual targets also. The most important thing is to score one more goal than them, and after that, a clean sheet. But I think every player worked very well, and in the last action unfortunately for us they scored, and maybe they deserved it.
on whether he thinks his emotion on the touchline is stressful for the players…
I am here. It is my personality, and if I am here it is because in my career I have progressed like that. If in one moment I think it is negative, I would not do it.
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.
New post is up, you might want to give it a swerve.