41 Comments

Gunners Go Into The Hornets Nest

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With the Premier League title chase nearing a feverish climax, the jockeying for two remaining top-four places continues apace…
Good day one and all.
Arsenal is visiting a “triumphant” Watford side for their homecoming after securing their first FA Cup final appearance since 1984.
The Hornets is doing a good job turning Vicarage Road into a fortress in the second half of this season. They’re currently unbeaten in their last six games at home (W4, D2), a run that stretch back to the 29th December.
Not a great read for a Gunners side desperate to overturn their dire away form in pursuit of top-four – winning just two of our last 12 matches on the road in all competitions. Making this a much more daunting prospect than one would usually imagine.
Arsenal hit the buffers at Goodison, failing to get it together in the middle of the park but got back to winning ways via an impressive 2-0 win against Napoli thanks to an imposing midfield performance  – which should have Unai Emery’s side in good spirits ahead of tonight.
The Hornets are well rested following the joys at Wembley and like their manager Javi Gracia said, thinking about the FA cup finals won’t be any distraction. Troy Deeney’s also got this weird inferiority complex as he always feel he has to prove himself against us. So be certain they’ll ‘have a go’.
Now that we’re left with nowhere to hide it’s time for Emery to quit being too cautious on the road. The return leg against Napoli is around the corner and to beat them in Italy, we’ll likely need to outscore them. So a good display and result are needed for an all important morale boost.
Torreira and Koscielny returns to the team from the one that faced Everton, but we now lost Sokratis to suspension. With Xhaka too in line to make his return, I suspect most eyes will be on the midfield pairing when the team sheet gets released an hour before kickoff.
Arsenal is 6th on the table but still have their destiny in their own hands. We have played two and one games less than Chelsea (4th) and Manutd (5th) respectively, a win tonight will lift us above both. Drop any points and it’s going to be a squeeze as we go into the last fours weeks of this campaign.
@LaboGoon

41 comments on “Gunners Go Into The Hornets Nest

  1. Arsenal have not kept an away clean sheet in our 15 league games so far this season, it really is time we put that right

    as things stand we need to win all six remaining games to be sure of a top 4 finish, anything less and we are relying on others dropping points

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice one Labo, good read.

    I just wonder whether Watford’s players will all have an eye on a Wembley final and a new-found aversion to picking up injuries!!

    Will be gutted if we don’t quite make top four right at the last; games like tonight alongside earlier missed penalties etc will play a pivotal role in our final league position. Much as hate the phrase, tonight really feels like a ‘must win’ game. There won’t be too many more ‘final’ chances.

    Enjoy the game, one and all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tonight feels like its a massive game, far bigger than a Watford v Arsenal game should feel, but our away form is so bad for so long and the fight for top 4 is so close, this game really is very important to Arsenal, will the team respond, or will we get another limp performance with the players thoughts more on the return leg with Napoli on Thursday

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know this is meant to be a positive site but I can’t see any chance of us winning tonight. I do not believe we have the ability to overcome being kicked all over the park should that tactic be legitimized by the officials.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In a bit of a shite mood so no doubt that’s influencing it, but finding it hard to feel optimistic for the game.

    Luckily, team’s performance has no connection to anything i think, so hopefully lads are suitably fired up and can find a good performance tonight.

    Fully expecting the usual, with loads let go and the like, which makes creating chances and getting into the groove that much harder, but…ah well, maybe it will be different (or I’m imagining the tilting), luck with us this time, or tip top execution of chances we can make.

    Can’t really be understated how big a game it is. Feels like last week we missed chance to give ourselves good chance of third, and this week is pretty much the one which decides if we keep reasonable hope of 4th.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just seen Andre Gomes been charged for a stamp at weekend against Fulham.

    Wanyama effect. Twice in his Saints days he was allowed to kick shite out of us and then immediately got sent off next game, presumably because he hadn’t realised he had to dial it back again or twigged how it works.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We seem to have one “biggest game of the season” after another.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jenkinson is playing for the U23’s v Chelsea U23’s this evening

    Liked by 1 person

  9. well yes george, that is what happens at this time of the season when in a fight for top 4 and still in a cup too. a win tonight and we are in top 4, a defeat and it hits what ever confidence we have for our remaining away games.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Arsenal FC
    ‏Verified account @Arsenal
    52s53 seconds ago

    📋 Tonight’s team news…

    🔙 Granit Xhaka returns
    ✅ @DMavropanos starts
    ⚡️ @Aubameyang7 leads the line

    https://pbs.twimg.com/ad_img/1117846283186839552/OP3iKbUY?format=jpg&name=orig

    Liked by 1 person

  11. it looks like we line up

    leno
    mustafi koscielny Mavropanos Monreal
    torreira xhaka
    mkhitaryan ramsey iwobi
    aubameyang

    subs cech, maitland-niles, kolasinac, elneny, guendouzi, ozil, lacazette

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    11s11 seconds ago

    GET IN THERE @EDDIENKETIAH9 🔥

    🔵 0-1 🔴 (8) | #PL2

    Liked by 1 person

  13. COYG!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. yep were definetly not favourites for tonight and there cant have been to many occasions v watford you could say that even in the barnes, jacket, luther bullshit days.
    The one thing about ARSENAL especially in the last few seasons is nobody knows ARSENAL and their form sometimes were stale and awful and sometimes when you just dont expect it we turn in some wonderous football. Every single team in the division including the top six can testify to that so COYG.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Tim

    I can quantify your opinion, not even the Invincibles could compete upon a tilted pitch. You all saw it. Unless you are a Billy Big Blagger.

    Feck em all. A pox upon Mike, Mike and Micky’s etc houses.

    Up the Gunners.
    COYG!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. < the Gunners may win tonight.
    But as I wrote to Shotta after the fix at Stoke last season: with blatant undeniable unless you are kidding yourself rigging like this it's going to be hard to compete for top four over a season.

    Same old same old,
    same as it ever was!

    COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Evening everyone. Ive still got that juvenile hatred of Twatford since watching them beat us twice in the 80s.Elton John used to get a lot of stick in those days, at one of them I saw a kid who was in Grange Hill (a Gooner).
    Horrible ground, their fans are pretty quiet until the Orns start playing then they make a load of noise,which can get pretty intense, oddly half the town supports the Arsenal as a trip down Watford High street on a Saturday in summer will show .
    Shame the Soks out suspended, would have liked to see him on Deeney. But the Mavs pretty fine player too. The bench is pretty impressive should we need to send for the cavalry.
    I understand why this game is bringing up a bit of the old neg, I felt a bit irritated earlier, also that it wasnt played yesterday what with Naples looming.But I think we will av em. But maybe thats because Im a sore loser against the Orns. I a sore loser anyway, but some teams its worse than others.
    COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bloody hell just seen Notre Dame is on fire, totally shocking and sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Evening all, thanks Labo for the write up. Yes this will be a tricky one, with a returning Xhaka and newcomer Mavros it should be interesting! I would hope/expect more urgency than shown at the Everton match….how about a nice 2-0 for the mighty Gunners tonight!! COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eddie doing Eddie stuff for u23’s. Two first half goals and we’re three up at Stamford Bridge. Jenks with the other!

    As with Willock- who I hadn’t realised has six goals in 5 games this year against senior teams (including that EFL trophy)- Eddie now outgrown u23 football. Fingers crossed both get good loans or something next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ‘let me whack first one and see who wants it’ ; ‘Deeney will probably try rough up Mavropanos; see how he handles it’. They talk as though…I dunno…there’s not a bloke in middle whose job is to protect players and try ensure you don’t get an advantage through that stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. bye Deeney.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hard to imagine a better start than this…is it bad to be so happy to see deeney hit the showers 10 minutes in…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Happy to see that for once that “whack” the first one bit him in the ass!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. HT 1-0 for thé good guys! I like our tenacity. I expect a bit of nail biting in the 2 nd half, but the stars are all aligned for 3 big points tonight, don’t f@cken let up!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. TBF they’re lucky to still have ten men on the pitch hehe!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Really need to put one or two of these chances away

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mikhi totally screwing things up.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Risky, an injury and we are down to 10 as well

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Really need to wake up! AMN saved us there

    Liked by 1 person

  31. We have missed far too many chances to put this game to bed.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Phew. That was close. We couldn’t have made it any more difficult. Defense did well but we missed too many chances in front of goal.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. A big win, but more nervy than it should have been given the circumstances. Still, words on a keyboard are easier than dealing with a well prepared highly motivated team, getting away with their fair share, not sure where that energy from them came from either.
    But the record will show a very useful result, now to build on the position in which they find themselves

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Great result, mildly terrifying when Miki was at RWB, a nice little boost before the trip to Napoli.

    Is that two decent outings for Mustafi at RB in a four in two tough Away fixtures? ( Ignoring his invitation to Kane which blemished a good performance IMO ).

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Fantastic! On we go and well done to all concerned. And super well done to Troy D for helping us out yet again.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I thought the Gunners were playing with a good rhythm in the second half until the young Greek CB had to come off.

    90 mins for Xhaka, Iwobi and Miki will help them be sharp when needed over the next two crucial weeks.

    All in all a good night.

    Lacazette to possibly start in Napoli…?

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I thought the same about the effect of Mavropanos coming off, it changed the dynamic and we struggled a bit, I thought we regained some solidity when AMN came on. I saw Foster stating they were the better team?? Not sure about that…I liked that we didn’t look lethargic like we looked at everton.

    Onwards to Napoli, lots of rotation tonight, Laça is surely starting, can’t wait!,

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Hope the haters noticed Mustafi was excellent tonight probably MOTM had that been Big Tone performance everyone would have been raving about it.

    Liked by 3 people

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