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Can Arsenal Keep The Eagles Grounded ?

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Where has the time gone – just 4 more weeks left in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
Good day Positivistas.
The Emirates is where it’s at this afternoon as the Eagles swoop in for a visit to face Unai Emery and his Gunners side.
Arsenal have been producing fine performances recently and following progression to the Europa semifinals on Thursday evening, confidence will be high as they now turn focus to Crystal Palace with hopes of extending their winning run to 11 at home to remain in a good position in the race to secure a top-four finish.
However, we will need to get pass Roy Hodgson’s side who have developed quite the knack to make life difficult for whoever host them, especially the second half of this season. They lost just one of their last five games (W3, D1) and scored 26 of their 40 goals on the road. A lot of which is down to being good playing on the break in away games whereas at home they tend to be a bit conservative.
Now a lot has been said about the Gunners’ Emirates form where they got 44 of their 66 points. Only PL title challengers Man City and Liverpool boasts better home records this campaign but here’s the rub… the Eagles burst Pep’s bubble at the Etihad and it took a late a winner for Klopp’s side to ensure they keep all three points at Anfield. So we can expect Roy to again take the reins of off his players and ‘have a go’.
When these two teams met in the reverse fixture back in October at Selhurst Park they played out a 2-2 draw – the Eagles were awarded two penalties. It was a result that ironically saw Arsenal missed the chance to move up the 3rd on the league table. So today we have to make sure the opportunity doesn’t pass us by again as a win will see us leapfrog the lot into 3rd.
The Gunners will be in good spirits, having won six and conceded just one goal in their last seven games in all competitions, but they know they need to do better upfront with a few easy chances fluffed in that run. And with this run-in we got we have to be sharper because we cannot afford any slip-ups.
Aaron Ramsey (injured) and Sokratis (suspended) will be missing out and with Wolves away on Wednesday night, we can expect to see rotation from the side that took to the pitch at Napoli.
We are on a good run of form and know that only a win will do in the quest for Champions League qualification, so I tip the home side for a win. We need to stay switched on at the back though, the Palace attackers has a habit of falling over at the slightest of touches in and around the box.
Lets go!!!
@LaboGoon
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61 comments on “Can Arsenal Keep The Eagles Grounded ?

  1. the 3rd palace goal was the first goal we let in from a corner all season.

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  2. Unfortunately with zero radio coverage on top of rubbish tv selections, I was unable to witness any aspect of my team playing live in my own country, which is disappointing, to say the least.

    But not as disappointing as a result I really hope we don’t go on to severely regret.

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  3. well andrew that is twice in 3 games that we have totally screwed up our chance to go 3rd, losing to both everton and place when the opportunity to take advantage of others slip ups popped up. So I would suggest that its likely we will live to regret it

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  4. a point I’ve just made on twitter, its all well and good our tactical genius head coach making half time subs to correct his poor team selection and try and pull us out of the mire, but it really means that when there is ten to fifteen minutes left and we are in need of changes, we are hamstrung, often having all 3 subs used, we can’t alter anything, we can’t take off a tired player, we can’t take off a player impinged by a booking etc. I really don’t get why so many give Emery praise for doing something that is so flawed.

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  5. Urgh. Calamitous result for top 4 hopes. Lineup had me very worried beforehand, and seems that was justified.

    I don’t know the various fitness levels and injury concerns of different players so seems impossible to judge whether right or wrong to take Xhaka precaution, Maitland-Niles, Monreal, Torreira- although I’ve no reason to believe fitness staff, players themselves, manager, etc are mugs, so maybe there was no mistake in it all.

    Still, it looked a mighty unconvincing 11, and when combined with my belief Moss would be Moss (increasing difficulty level by, say, 10% or so, inc harsh punishment, v little chance of pen etc) failing to get the desired result looked all too likely.

    Anyway, fuck. Really didn’t fancy us for top 4 with the away problems we have, but not being able to capitalise on golden opportunities recently has ensured a large dose of extra pain.

    Don’t know how fixtures fall, but guessing it’s possible that a potential plus if next game or two goes wrong is that Europa League can emerge as clearly the best path to Champions League, in which case we can avoid being fatally stretched in both.

    I have much more confidence in us there if players available and not knackered. Don’t know Valencia’s strength at moment but would give/guess a small advantage for us, prob similar for Frankfurt and about 50:50 with Chelsea. Think that translates as maybe about a 45: 55 chance of doing it. Prem feels about 40: 60 at this point.

    Hard not to feel gloomy as heck about that given the massive importance to club of getting back in CL. Three years out, with everything as it stands (ie squad, rival strength and spending power) when there is almost zero prospect of unexpected funds arriving… ach, it just feels horrible, especially when the chance was there for us to seize if we only could.

    As Ole is so richly proving, it’s always best to wait til the end before delivering verdicts, and premature ones can end up looking very foolish…but we’re only human I guess and we sure do care about this football lark.

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  6. Also, I may well be thinking the same, and maybe even saying some of it if i had watched, but makes for such a wretched unhappy sight seeing various players get slaughtered on Twitter.

    The strongest of it is surely over the top in nearly all cases. Some players could be wrecked mentally if they take that stuff to heart. An alien, cognisant of 99.5 per cent of human behaviour or something, could get the impression that Mustafi may literally be one of the worst footballers to ever kick a ball. Is it now just an inevitability that this is how a vocal section of fans treat footballers?

    Probably even more unsatisfying to me is not being able to say how many stinking hypocrites there are out there who will, say, talk up Jenkinson as a real Arsenal man, cult hero type and then butcher him at first opportunity. Most are probably not the same people, but no doubt some are, and boy that shit stinks.

    Bah. Process the disappointment, move on, hope again, and keep doing the same for as long as possible.

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  7. Ed, gotta say, feels like your mind well and truly made up on Emery.

    Mine isn’t, but I don’t know how much of that is down to me not wanting to make up my mind yet, if that makes any sense.

    Think I’ve more or less stuck with my intention to analyse the overall picture a little less this year, and give Emery benefit of doubt, and it may have helped not feeling the intense connection to manager I did before (pain for Wenger was pain for me almost).

    Of whatever analysis I have been doing about present (this year) and future (next year, and beyond)…been a real mixed bag I guess. Things to give me hope. Things to do the exact opposite.

    I don’t know. Guess I have the two things going on : first the hopes that this year can end with CL qualification (on paper, that would certainly be a good year for me); beyond that, I’m pretty reliant for hope on there being a couple of signings which indicate a true vision of football for Emery, or a plan to take us on and up.

    Juries still out for me, still sort of hopeful, but with a nagging concern that a guy who can elevate us from our recent position, with the budget we have, (and the ref situation as I see it) would probably need to be both exceptionally good and something like a revolutionary.

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  8. no Rich, not made up at all, as so far he has been a real mixed bag, we have put in a few really impressive performances v spurs both home and away, liverpool at home, utd at home, cfc both home and away, and some other great games too, but then we have the constant or it feels like it, half time subs to try and rectify the faults of the starting 11, there has been the under use of ozil and ramsey, and his problems finding a way to fit PEA and Lacca in the same team. I really don’t get the fascination with Guendouzi, I just don’t see what he does that has earned him 22 starts and 7 subs in our 34 league games, 31+10 overall,

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  9. Fair enough Ed. Good to hear your take on it.

    I’ve been really impressed with Matteo at times and am happy to have him. Think he works hard, technically very sound and plays some lovely passes. Not sure i could tell you what players complement him well in middle though. Can’t catch people once sprinting away from him so probably want some speed with him. No signs yet he will offer much goal threat but maybe can add to it.

    Don’t know if he is a difference-maker when we are struggling either, but kinda feel that about most players over the years. Maybe that’s a flaw in my reading of the game but tends to only be attacking players who can create/score from nothing who I think of when it comes to that.

    Combo with Elneny certainly not one that makes me confident though. Elneny by no means a bad player but have very little appetite to see him start in the games that matter for us.

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  10. Our challenge for a top-four place took a knock on Sunday as we were beaten 3-2 at home by Crystal Palace.

    Afterwards, Unai Emery faced the media and discussed the defeat, Shkodran Mustafi and the fight for a Champions League berth.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on if he is frustrated…
    Good evening. Yes, it’s a big frustration because it was a big opportunity. But we can say we had a big opportunity in the matches before today and we took a lot of points, a lot of key moments to give us the opportunity to be, now, in our way with the possibility to achieve our first target, which is to play Champions League next year. We can do that through the Premier League or the Europa League. Today, we lost a very big opportunity but I don’t think it changes our idea. We need to prepare for the next match against Wolverhampton. It’s in our hands because we can continue with the possibility of being in the top four if we win.

    on the defensive display today…
    First it’s because they have very good players. Second it’s because today in the set pieces, we didn’t work and we weren’t strong like we were in the rest of the season. The first goal came from a free-kick, the third from a corner. Today we struggled more than we wanted in these two situations and really the result can come, this result, through it.

    on Shkodran Mustafi’s performance…
    We can speak about players individually, but sometimes they can play very well, sometimes cannot play well. But I prefer to speak about the consistency in the season. I think we are, every player, helping and every player is playing with a big performance and today also, when you can defend against a player like Benteke or Zaha, you can suffer more than maybe in other situations. But if today we were better in the set pieces, maybe we could have won this match and also, we controlled the possession but in the attacking third they defended their goal and their box very well and we didn’t find the best situation to score and to take more chances to score.

    on if he thinks Mustafi has been consistent this season…
    In all the season I think he is being consistent. We speak about every match.

    on his team selection…
    In the first half we continued with the three central defenders because I think we can be more consistent with that. In the second half we changed to play with two and we can take more possibilities in the attacking third, in the build up, but defensively we gave them more space to take the transitions. Their goals are from set pieces and one second action, but also we know that we can be taking more risks in the second half. But when the score is like that in the first half and we are losing 1-0, I think we need to do that. We changed because we are going to play a lot of matches. We have had some injuries, like with Aaron Ramsey, and we need to protect the players. For example, Xhaka asked to change in the second half against Napoli and today could’ve played, but with some risk. We need to protect our players and to us other players. We are playing with a lot of players and they give us the performance, we lost today but we could also have lost with other players on the pitch.

    on our penalty appeal for handball…
    I don’t know. I don’t know really. I didn’t see it.

    on if VAR could help…
    I spoke about that. I think VAR is coming to help the referees and I think it’s going to be better. But today it’s not and I don’t know if it’s a penalty or not.

    on a rare home defeat…
    Yes, but we know we are feeling very strong here. It’s very difficult to win and to repeat to win and again to win and again to win. One day like today can happen. First because they have very good players and an experienced coach and away they won at Manchester City, they won at Newcastle, they won at Leicester. We knew it was going to be difficult and we respect them a lot. But on the pitch we could not impose our gameplay today.

    on if this is the worst defensive performance of his tenure…
    We were improving and we were getting better defensively and today against two strong players, they gave us a lot of work – Benteke and Zaha – more than in other matches. I have the confidence in our way and I want to be positive today because this season we have been working and fighting to be in this key moment with the possibility to be in the top four, and we are. We are also in the semi-final of the Europa League and we can be proud of all the season. Today we can be frustrated, but tomorrow stand up and be ready for the game on Wednesday against Wolves knowing it is going to be very difficult but it is in our hands.

    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.

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