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Easy Game Or Huge Test ?

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So an early start with a 5.55 P.M. kick off against the mighty Bate Borisov. Talking about mighty powers, I see the AST have written an open letter to EUFA complaining about the  K.O. time. Well I’m sure EUFA are shaking in their boots as the full force of the Arsenal fans are turned on them. WTF is that all about? Pretentious pricks that they are, anyway, I digress.

After last week’s poor show, this mundane fixture has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s now a huge game and the fallout from a defeat, or a draw which would eliminate us, would be of epic proportions,even for Arsenal fans. I don’t foresee that ever happening though. We beat them 6-0 at home last season with our 2nd eleven, and I suspect we will go full first eleven this time around, so surely a comfortable win is on the cards? Right? I said right?

I don’t think enough was made of the horrible conditions last week. The pitch was horrendous and the temperatures would have seen Polar Bears wearing thermals and an overcoat. With the milder climate in London and the carpet of a pitch, we should have far too much for these lads, even if they do have Hleb.

Aaron and Ozil are both back in full training so will be available to be dropped. I know, I know, I can’t help myself.

One thing I would like to mention, on the official website it says Emery was asked about “Wenger’s comments on Mesut Ozil”, well someone should have said “what comments on Ozil, he didn’t make any ,other than saying he was a £100m player”. I have watched the video 3 times now, and Arsene at no point said Ozil was in a comfort zone or suggested any problem at all. In fact he was at pains to point out that he was not talking about any specific player.

Ok you positive souls, enjoy the game and don’t be too disappointed if we don’t hit double digits.

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55 comments on “Easy Game Or Huge Test ?

  1. Unai Emery press conference: Every word on what Ozil must do, Ramsey, Maitland-Niles & Sokratis

    By Charles Watts

    On the match

    For us tomorrow is a very important match, after the first result we must manage the 90 minutes and also know if we need more minutes after the 90 minutes it can be in our mind with the preparation to do that.

    It is also very important to play in our stadium with our supporters, and we need their support for this match and I hope there is a big atmosphere for us. Together, with their support, I know our players can play and give their all.

    On team news – is Ramsey fit?

    Yes, they are coming back with the team in the squad, Sokratis and Aaron Ramsey.

    Today Ainsley [Maitland-Niles] is sick and tomorrow we will see how he is, but today he cannot do the training. The other players are fit to play tomorrow.

    Emery on the possible low attendance due to the early kick-off

    I don’t know, but we want and we need the supporters.
    Mesut Ozil trains as Arsenal and Unai Emery get injury boost ahead of BATE Borisov tie
    View gallery

    If we can create a big atmosphere tomorrow, then it is very important. The supporters want to watch our team play with the best performance possible.

    For this reason, I think we need good feedback between the supporters and us.

    On whether Uefa need to look at the kick-off time issue

    I can say we need them and if there are a lot less supporters tomorrow in the stadium, I want them to help us in the 90 minutes and to be with us helping.

    We need to listen to them supporting us and the players must give them the best performance in our stadium.

    On Wenger’s comments on Mesut Ozil being in a comfort zone after his new contract

    Mostly, the key is his hand and he is working very well this week.

    I ask him in our conversations to be consistent, to be available for us training, when you can train with quality and consistency, it can help us with the best performance after in the games.

    Now, this week is good for all the players, because we are in a big, important moment for the season and I look at him doing the training like we want.

    I know he wants it, but we need to be consistent and available in training and the matches without the injuries and without being sick. Like that, we can find and see the best Mesut with us.

    On his confidence of reaching the next round

    It was a bad result last week, but the team worked with our planning and we had chances to score and every chance we need to improve tomorrow.

    We need to continue with our game play despite the bad result. Tomorrow we must manage 90 minutes with the result to get a good result for us, but knowing that this is 1-0 we need to be very consistent.

    We also need to get into their box, find the best positions to score and be efficient. We need a big result to manage this game better, but I think we have experience and every player knows tomorrow we are playing against an organised team.

    They have big motivation after that result, and we must do the best performance and I ask our supporters because I think they can help us achieve a good performance to come back into the game.

    My confidence is if we play like we can and play together for 90 minutes, like we are doing at home, I have the confidence and trust in our players.

    On which competition gives Arsenal the best chance of Champions League football

    The Europa League has improved a lot over the last year and now to win is very difficult.

    Last year it was Atletico Madrid and two years ago it was Manchester United. Three years ago we played Sevilla against Liverpool – and now every team wants to win this competition because it’s a title that gives the team the opportunity to play in the Champions League the next year.

    But every team wants that. Small teams have the chance to surprise in this competition too because they have a lot of experienced players with their international team, and they have showed us that they can be competitive in these two matches.

    Now we are very, very focused to give the best performance and show respect to them, but we are thinking about this round only.

    We are not thinking about this whole competition yet, no, no, no, we need to win tomorrow to continue our way in this competition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arsenal is a different side at the Emirates, so this should a win. Whether its comfortable remains to seen as BATE may think they got something to play for given the result last week. Who gets a run remains to seen as only Douzi and Auba (in Lacazette’s forced absence) seems nailed on.

    Three fixtures at home before head to Wembley and thereafter Manutd again at home. Need to get a winning run going.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We win.

    We play this Bate team 20 times we beat them 19.

    We’ve had the 1 defeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At this point I’ll take one nil to the Arsenal, just to get us through to the next round and avoid the toxic fallout from a defeat or draw. My expectations are very low at the moment.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. We should definitely win and progress. First leg result means there’ll certainly be some nerves around to begin with, and they’ll grow as game goes on if we don’t get goals.

    Thanks to away goal rule there’ll still be sense of nervousness and anxiety even if 2-0 up, but again it’s something we should be able to negotiate.

    We don’t exactly have it in the recent memory banks of team how to go out and overwhelm a team with attacking play, so that could make things a bit more complicated.

    Still, we really should do it. Not to would involve an unbelievable defensive effort from them, lots of luck, and poor finishing from us. Either that or an away goal from a set piece or breakaway as well as the aforementioned luck, defending and poor finishing.

    Fingers crossed for a succcessful early blitz.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Highlights up by the way of an emphatic win for u18’s.

    Opp had man sent off and it all looks a bit easy for our lot. Still, some nice footwork from strikers, wonderful through ball, not for first time, from Matt Smith and, thank goodness, first sign in ages- since injury woe almost- of the sort of ability that saw Coyle look an amazing prospect at one point.

    Remains a bit hard to assess just how good English/British youngsters, including our own, are at present. Results at international level tell a very clear story of massive strides in the number of quality young players, but overall it is not yet clear what it means for senior national or club strides.

    At present I think that overall it’s slightly disappointing in terms of getting these clearly talented players into senior football, not helped at all by the fact the most successful youth team is Chelsea. For us it feels…about par?

    Iwobi and Ainsley have been afforded good chances, those just behind have had some chances…should all be settled in next two years max as we see what happens with Willock, Nketiah, Nelson, Smith Rowe; Amaechi and Saka just behind, plus a host of talents just behind them.

    We need some to make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pass

    1-0 to the Arsenal is not good enough.

    As the tie will only be drawn then, extra time and penalties etc.

    The Arsenal need to score two goals or more, or sneak through on penalties.
    Increasing the number of chances on goal relative to recent games will help.
    Playing the Swiss vet. who shouldn’t be starting ahead of Jenks* won’t help there? Though it is only the Tractor Boys?

    *The Shower Drain moan about Ozil’s wages, whilst ignoring Raul showering 200K p/w on Miki

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Of course you’re right Fins, I forgot that they have a goal from the first game! Okay, 2 – 0 to the Arsenal will do then!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. https://mobile.twitter.com/goatzil10/status/1098288858276524032

    Can’t ignore these kind of stats.

    Mesut Ozil is already in the Football Hall of Fame. David Luiz who was meant to be leading the Brazil defence that night in Brazil is not. Very curious that Sarri returned him to the starting eleven over the other defenders. The young kid who hit the bar last season in n5 looks a great prospect but I guess Raul and his boyos have their master plan.

    Meanwhile the Arsenal faithful watch on as a Boot Room culture returns to Man Utd coincidentally with Phelen too! The most significant and under-commented change at Utd, with predictable results. Not a No.1 but clearly the best No.2 at Utd out of all the partners Slurgus worked with given his greater responsibility in their last title winning season where Phelan and Slurgus in that order had Carrick trying his best to mimic Arteta as a DM. It was a decent impression, almost as good as The Prince.

    Because that is how the best modern teams play.
    Even in England. With English players! You could even describe this evolution as very pro-English football. Who could be against it? Eh? Apart from a succession of FA employees/Clowns! Haha!

    The Longsight born and bred evil Manx brother in law has stopped renting out his season ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. i’m outraged, how dare Mesut Ozil tweet this

    Mesut ÖzilVerified account @MesutOzil1088
    2h2 hours ago

    We are the Arsenal. 🔴⚪️
    #M1Ö #UEL #COYG @Arsenal

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I went on a paintball outing as an IT consultant with a company I occasionally freelance with.

    That Ozil post/photo above is not a good as image as the Rambo poster that I made.
    of myself of course playing the role of Rambo from that day out with my colleagues.

    Being a frustrated actor/novelist type, I mention no names, I love Narratives and such gibberish over craft and skill, and I certainly enjoy comparing myself to my fantasies (though I may not have the requisite craft or skill to even attempt to mimic my heroes).
    Military training? Skill? Who needs any of that gibberish when you have photoshop and can turn yourself into a Rambo in the blink of an eye or a tweet.
    Magic? Or the curse of a retarded over glorified management consultant culture?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 4-0 to the Arsenal

    Liked by 3 people

  13. On another note, lots of internet comment on Jonathan Liews latest piece in the independant. Wont link it here.
    But anyone who bothers reading it, be aware it is written by a rampant Spurs fan.
    Unlike Arsenal supporting journalists, loyalties die a lot harder in those who back other teams.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. This belief, this ideology, that something can come from nothing, in the power of the will over skill, this quasi-relogious ideology lost all credibility about one hundred years ago. But I can observe that there are many believers.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Arsenal Women
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalWFC
    5m5 minutes ago

    FULL-TIME: #AWFC 3-0 @YeovilLadiesFC

    Second-half strikes from Little (2) and @bmeado9 seal all 3️⃣ points in the @FAWSL 🙌

    Liked by 2 people

  16. City are going to be a little miffed.
    Interesting game for VAR

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Solidifying in my mind that there’s an area of VAR I really don’t understand yet : its use for red cards.

    What’s the protocol for it on incidents a ref has seen? I’m presuming it is ref makes call of yellow or red, then VAR looks it over, as was case in French league game I saw where ref gave yellow, VAR stepped in, went to monitor, and changed to red.

    In most ways however it seems to make sense that where VAR is sure to be used- on all where ref has red in mind, and would give it in non VAR game- to hold off a card until advice received.

    Not 100% sure, but think I saw game in Germany where, with player down after an elbow, ref held off card for the natural stoppage, spoke to VAR, looked at monitor, and then showed red card. Would he have been even allowed to produce a yellow there if that’s what he felt right after viewing monitor? If not, that’s pretty farcical.

    Anything a ref hasn’t seen or at least hasn’t done anything with can also be looked at if VAR wants to, though they will presumably only step in if they are almost certain it should be a red. They literally can’t step in to say there was a clear yellow, give it, but can they say there’s a potential red, go to monitors, where in use, and then see a ref potentially give a yellow.

    Main point is, in these scenarios, which may or may not include ref looking at a monitor, can they really only produce a red or no card at all? That seems pretty daft if reviewing a strong clear yellow or even an almost red.

    I’ve little doubt all this and more issues will unfold as time goes on, but can’t help thinking if these questions are occurring to me they really ought to be among the heavily resourced tv companies etc. Seen so little to suggest that’s the case. In our trial use here it doesn’t look to me like those running VAR have a great handle on these issues to come either though.

    The red thing never sounded quite right or half as straightforward as was being suggested; now I think I know why.

    The issue of whether pitchside monitors used or not complicates things massively. Potentially, there will be a huge divergence as a result of this, with those using the monitor quickly arriving at the issue of what to do in aforementioned red/yellow scenarios, while non monitor can almost ignore it.

    Latter would presumably mean a ref gives red or yellow as normal and is very very rarely overturned; plus rare occasions when VAR steps in and decides red for something red has apparently not seen. Still potential of comical situation where ref could show red, VAR insist it’s not, and then…yellow?

    The questions come easily when watching VAR in other leagues and now CL, while with our trials it can be hard to pinpoint anything given the apparent desire to use it as little as is feasibly possible without using it at all.

    I’ll get my answers eventually in next few years, but for now it seems there could be prem usage and everything else usage, with big difference between two, until maybe pressure builds to explain why we aren’t using the better system elsewhere, which in meantime will have to solve and improve red/yellow/nothing checks.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I haven’t seen the video of the press conference, but reading the transcript, I was amused at Emery stating Ozil is training well this week. Coincidentally this is before the game which if we lose might mean the end of our CL hopes, and would certainly up the noise around Emery and Arsenal (Hence all the quotes about fans. The Arsenal PR guys are stepping up).

    This also comes after Ozil’s subversive post, which was liked by Xhaka and Iwobi. My feeling…and it is only that…. is that Ozil will start because it’s a ‘Must Win Game’ and because the players have asked for him to be included.

    And so, we’ll beat BATE. 3-0. Ozil will have two assists.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I hope we win. I want us to win. I think we should win. But even if we do, I am not convinced that the current management team can successfully implement the Kroenke’s strategy which is now clearer to me. Am currently crafting a blog on this strategy and hope to publish on Saturday. Meantime I have to find some horrible stream later today to watch the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I am sure we ought to win handsomely, and certainly will do so if the likes of Ozil and Ramsey play with pace and intensity. Having said that, it would come as no surpise to see us huff and puff, eventually go 2-0 up before conceding a ludicrous away goal in the final 5 minutes.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Today I couldn’t give a shit about ARSENAL politics I just want to see us go through, Win, play well, have no injuries and no suspensions COYG.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. I also don’t care about the politics.

    But I can tell the difference between a Handover and a Takeover. Even if such a humble observation is beyond the ludicrous 23/7 Billy Big Blagger.

    Therefore I won’t be expecting three cups in four years and high end league places amidst an unnecessary demolition job as such a record was only ever matched or beaten by the Invincibles or the first sully money over the top Gasprom squad (before Money City arrived) in the history of the game.

    Unlike our experts on Defensive Coaching (don’t laugh, it’s cruel!) I wouldn’t sniff if the Arsenal got to a European SF this season. Sorry that’s an appalling if relevant pun.

    Comeo on the Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That press conference was there to lay the groundwork for Ozil starting while saving face for Emery. So no surprise there. Now it’s about playing well.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Pity Lacazette is out, of the players considered available by management, he’s probably our best.

    In truth, our reserves (whoever they are, currently) should walk this.

    Have never understood the rationale for the Europa insistence on the 5:55 pm kick off time – it surely just results in even fewer spectators, in stadium or otherwise, than would otherwise be drawn to this enthralling competition.

    Half expecting a record crowd for this one, to be honest …

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Volkou with an OG from a Aubameyang cross. 1-0 to the Arsenal

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Bate almost score, we clear it off the line with Cech beaten

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Andrew. The game kicked off at 11.25PM here. Not sure it results in lower eyeballs. Plus they can’t have too many games on at the same time.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Mustafiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii heads in from a corner, 2-0 to the Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  29. HT: Arsenal 2-0 Bate

    an OG and a header from Mustafi gives us a 2-0 lead at half time and an overall 2-1 lead in the tie.

    AFC been the better side without getting much on target, Bate had one big chance and we cleared it off the line.

    I have the misfortune of having Brian Kerr as the co commentator on Birgin Media 2, his dedication to the lazy Ozil soundbite is really something to behold, all the silly little soundbites are coming out, lazy, not doing enough, disinterested, not in form, lacking confidence, wrong ball, body language, etc etc

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Almost as if they have a narrative to adhere to Ed. Ozil’s effect on the game has been visible. We’re playing so much quicker and finding space between the lines.

    Liked by 6 people

  31. The match is on Galavision for those in the US. Excellent Spanish commentating. Don’t know what they are saying but they are always lively.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Agreed, Ozil is doing quite well, especially given he has not played much recently.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Quite nice to see some semblance of Wengerball.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Did you just see those 2 passes from Ozil?

    Liked by 4 people

  35. koscienly subbed off, looks in pain, sokratis on

    Liked by 1 person

  36. looks like they are applying ice to koscielny’s calf muscle

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Calf certainly better than achilles for Kos. Not good news for us with defensive numbers though

    Liked by 1 person

  38. sokratissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss heads in at a corner, the keeper came and totally missed it so it was into an empty net, 3-0 on the night, and Bate will need 2 goals now to get through.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Hleb, one of the true exponents of vintage Wengerball.

    Soc socks it in.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Torreira on for Guendouzi

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Mkhitaryan off, Suarez on

    Liked by 1 person

  42. FT: Arsenal 3-0 Bate, agg 3-1

    an og, Mustafi and Sokratis goals see us safely through to the next round.

    mostly in control, few really clear cut chances although we had something like 70% possession and over 20 shots at goal.

    Iwobi our best player, Ozil very good too, Guendouzi with a good game as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Through so far,

    Arsenal, Valencia, Napoli, Dinamo Zagreb, Eintracht Frankfurt, Salzburg, Villareal, and Zenit St. Petersburg

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Ed, cant agree on Alex although he does always look to go forward his decision making is awful, I know that will improve with time. Our play quickened every time Mezut got near the ball and you can see what we have been missing during some of our stale games. Normally I moan about people going early but tonight those that stayed needed a medal. I dont mean that but it was very mundane towards the end.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Rich
    But I thought the Arsenal had six CBs at the start of the season? Hang on my ability to count is as reliable as my comprehension of what an arithmetic mean is!

    There were thre fit CBs at the start of the season, and three fit CBs at the end of January. Which explains why the Greek kidnwas left out the Europa squad and why Koscielny hasn’t been overplayed on his own come back against the likes of the Tractor Boys* with only the most crucial four league games of the season coming up.

    *Nelson impressed at RWB during the 6-0 last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Paul,

    That sequence of touches in the box from Ozil was the best football on the park on the night.

    Followed by Miki falling over his own feet.

    One is the highest paid player in the squad. The other is the second. One was signed by the old gaffer (Arsene), the other was signed by the new gaffer (Raul). Billy Big Blagger attacks one constantly, and ignores the other.

    There it is readers!

    Liked by 3 people

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