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Arsenal vs Watford – At Last.

With the dreary international break behind us, for now, we get back to the bread and butter that is the Premier League as Arsenal take the short trip to Vicarage Road to play Watford FC.
Good day and all.
The Gunners started their league campaign with back-to-back wins but then hit the buffers in a pair of games against top-six opposition, picking up just a single point. This is without a doubt something Unai Emery and the boys will want to move on from quickly as we enter a very busy schedule.
Still winless after four, the Hornets are rooted at the bottom of the league table, for which Javi Gracia paid the price during the inter-break. That marked the return of Quique Sanchez Flores, who had a decent spell with them in 2015/16 before being replaced by his now predecessor – midtable safety and an FA Cup semi-final place. He now has the enviable task to hopefully reproduce what he got ditched for. Who said being a football manager is a thankless job? However, first up he has to get them off the foot of the table.
Given results thus far one would assume Watford will be short of confidence, however, their supporters will be hoping the “new manager bounce” will bring a positive shift in attitudes from their players. Let’s be honest, the hosts are a better side than their current form, with a decent blend of rugged physicallity, vigour and flair. So Flores, who many of the players are familiar with, just need to sort out how to get them going again.
In recent weeks Emery’s cautious approach came under the spotlight with some feeling he is too defense-minded when the team could perhaps benefit more if he look to maximize our attacking potential. Without repeating what were said before, today there’s two ways to go into this game; you can either ‘play it safe’ against a side who scored just twice in 360 PL minutes, or you can ‘have a go’ against the side that conceded three each in front of their home crowd against both Brighton and West Ham. I mean, if you can’t kick a team when they are down, when can you?
Team news:
Alexander Lacazette has been ruled out of action for the next two to three weeks due to an ankle injury, both Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira returned from intentional duty with knocks. While the latter two made training, with seven games over the next 22 days it’s unlikely they be risked.
This gives Emery an opportunity to start Dani Ceballos, we looked lively the second half against Spurs following his introduction. Then there’s also our creative mastermind Mesut Özil chomping at the bit to play alongside Nicolas Pépé. Some on twatter suggest Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock. I dunno man, they could a job but Watford, even in defeat, gave us problems in the past. So playing two or more rookies against players wanting to put their best foot forward for the new manager could leave us short on experience, especially in a time we are still trying to shed the flakiness on the road. Flores is also likely to set his team up to play from deep and plug their defensive holes, so our midfield may need to be more resourceful than recently if we want to stamp our authority on the game.
No question their old man who is now the new man will have the Vicarage Road faithful in good spirits, but they don’t have a particularly good record against the Gunners. We’ve beaten them five out of the last six times we’ve met in the league and they failed to score against us in the last three meetings.
If I have to stick my neck out… we are likely to see a decent albeit cagey game, but ultimately the Hornets will get stung. #COYG
@LaboGoon

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73 comments on “Arsenal vs Watford – At Last.

  1. I just want to see some good football.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven’t seen Arsenal play good football since Wenger left.

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  3. I’m hoping we get our creative juices flowing today. Seeing how well Spurs and Chelsea are playing at the moment should at least toggle something inside Emery.

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  4. we’ve Anthony Taylor as ref v Watford

    so we are only at the 5th game of the season and we have had Martin Atkinson twice and now Anthony Taylor twice, and had Mike Dean for the other game, are the PGMOL trying to send us a message

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Afternoon everyone. Cheers as always Labo, a great preview to the game. The Orrible Orns again, and their claustrophobic ground. Back in the 80s the home end was open so it was not so intense, ironically the away end was covered and you could get a bit of noise going. But thats all changed, re built and half half. Their fans are always a bit up for this game.
    Hope Welbz hasnt a point to prove today. Despite all, I think the September sunshine will play our way and we will win. I kin hope so! Losing to the bottom club is a bit of a tool.
    COYG! FOYO!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m still struggling to pick a best lineup with our resources, despite liking plenty of the players.

    I settled on wanting to to Xhaka, Torreira or Guendo, Ozil; Ceballos, Pepe, Auba…but then that conservative part of me kicked in and had me worried about mobility in cm, dealing with counters.

    Don’t Lynch me, but maybe old Emery is in same bind.

    I’m not there yet, but do think that could end up being the story of his reign- not being able to settle on a main way of playing.

    If fit he’ll prob go with the three cm’s and put Ceballos in as ostensibly part of front three.

    I don’t know how to work it exactly but for me he seems type who would link well with Ozil and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Emotionally, I want an energetic effort…and a win.
    Intellectually, I want a dominant effort…and a win.
    Positively, I want a clean sheet…and a win.
    Negatively…nah, I’m not negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I see Eddie Nketiah was subbed on by Leeds today and he scored their opener in a 2-0 win away to Barnsley, to put Leeds top of the championship

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  9. The team news is in

    Leno
    Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac
    Xhaka, Guendouzi
    Pepe, Ozil, Ceballos
    Aubameyang

    subs:Martinez, Chambers, Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli

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  10. Emery starting both Dani and Özil. Must hv read the match preview. The only explanation [insert toothy yellow blob]

    Go get ’em Ö!

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  11. Oh well, we get Ozil, we get Ceballos. Fingers crossed.

    Would prob prefer it not being against team who have basically opted for four central midfielders, 3 of whom were dirty as hell last time at their place, and one who’s an ex Utd man so will undoubtedly be the same.

    I don’t know how that shakes out if there’s too much three or four on two in central areas.

    Taylor’s prob been a bit better behaved relative to early day’s like that Villa number, but still got to worry he’ll let fouling pay for them.

    Ah, I’m a worrier.

    Hopefully start well. Ozil and Ceballos start balling right away, Pepe the wildcard, Auba the punisher if they get occupied with the others.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Labo

    Impossible to know from the line up what formation our Tinkerman will unleash but the positives are:

    It could be Ozil in her front three, which would be nice if Emery has had a career log fetish for a flat stoic midfield, although it’s taken him plus twelve months to watch those matches off his USB stick plus Ozil in the three for Germany or for Arsenal in the 343.

    Better late then never.

    And also: Ceballos and Ozil starting together is also exciting.

    As feared it hasn’t taken till long after Xmas for Unai to work that out that he should really play his best midfielders though I’m sure Laca’s injury (which has shades of his mismanagement of Rambo!) forced his hands there.

    COYG.

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  13. Certainly am interested to see this line up. Go on Mesut, give it the big hööööf today, I would love to see him score a few.
    Would be nice to see some silky skills from the Guns, destroying the Orns and climbing up to no3.
    COYG! FOYO!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well nothing wrong with that line up on paper.

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  15. How the hell was Cholevas not booked for the foul on Niles. Totally late and dangerous. Bordering on red for me. Should have seen a yellow at least.

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  16. Av that Twatford.

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  17. PEA with a goal to give us a 1-0 to the Arsenal lead

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  18. xhaka to ozil to AMN to PEA to the net, 2-0 to the Arsenal

    defense splitting pass by ozil was a beaut

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  19. madness by guendouzi, lucky he aint called xhaka, we nearly handed watford a goal there. 2 up and we are at that

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  20. Kola gets a yellow for a foul that is not half as dangerous.

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  21. Ainsley with the most touches so far.

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  22. Took a fight for Cholevas to get a yellow.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Well better than we expected! The Ö changes everything. Guen needs to keep his head.
    Hope we knock in three more.
    COYG! FOYO!

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  24. Half Time Watford 0-2 Arsenal

    PEA with both our goals, Ozil with a beaut of a pass in build up for our second

    Lee Dixon is the cocommentator on my stream and he is a knobhead, you’d swear he was an ex spur not an ex gooner

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  25. we need to find a way to get Pepe in this game, Ceballos too, both been off the pace so far

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  26. OptaJoe
    @OptaJoe
    ·
    11m
    20 – There were 20 passes in the build-up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second goal for Arsenal against Watford – the longest passing sequence leading to a goal in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign so far. Rhythmic.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEhI6YpX4AA4aqF?format=png&name=900×900

    Liked by 1 person

  27. stats

    shots watford 8 Arsenal 3
    on target waftord 5 Arsenal 2

    we’ve had over 60% possession

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mkhitaryan has scored for Roma

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  29. always funny when a thug player whinges to the ref when someone stands up to him

    Liked by 1 person

  30. “There were 20 passes in the build up to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second goal for Arsenal against Watford – the longest passing sequence leading to a goal in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign so far.” – BBC

    It’s almost as if we could all predict such footy with Ozil and Ceballos on the pitch???!!!!
    We did!
    Hopefully injuries and pgMOB permitting we get to see a fair bit more of it in the months to come.

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  31. watford clearly see Guendouzi as the one to target to try and turn over near our own area

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  32. With Ozil coming back it makes sense for Ceballos to go wider and he probably has the slightly more legs for the role given their ages, but it’ll be a harder role for Dani to play then in the centre – he’s doing well all things considered. Away, etc.

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  33. we are persisting with putting ourselves under pressure by playing goalkicks out from the back when there is a press on by watford. its needlessly dangerous when two up

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  34. there you go, gift wrapped goal to watford, sokratis ball to guendouzi intercepted in middle of our area, 1-2, this is fucking madness stuff. We had two or three near ones and now get caught, its totally our own fault. Emeryball my arse

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  35. willock on for ceballos

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  36. nelson on for ozil about 20 minutes left

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  37. torreira came on a few minutes ago for Guendouzi

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  38. Emery kacks his pants too quick. He makes me look like Mr Calm. This bloke managed PSG and shits it when bottom of the league pull one back and takes Ceballos off. At least he took Guen off who was having a bad afternoon.
    COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. pepe shot saved and it goes down the other end and its a penalty to Watford

    VAR taking a look at it

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  40. VAR gives it

    2-2

    Sokratis and David Luiz with howlers to gift Wafford the goals,
    we’ve been totally under the cosh this half, Emery out out out.

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  41. why the fuck didn’t willock pass that to PEA

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  42. Full Time Watford 2-2 Arsenal

    Emery out out out out, this bullshit football has to stop and its clear that will only happen when he goes.

    Like

  43. Ahmed
    @Ahmed91Gooner
    shots:
    Arsenal 8-9 Newcastle
    Arsenal 15-18 Burnley
    Arsenal 8-25 Liverpool
    Arsenal 6-24 Watford

    Emery’s a complete waste of time. 18 months in the job but no positive tactics, no style of play, outshot by mid table teams, plays 8 Defensive players at HOME v likes of Huddersfield

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  44. 2-0 up at half time and we had two shots in the second half. joselite

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  45. What a load of old shit, as Catherine Tate’s granny might have said. Pepe is a lazy player and will not play much more, Nelson is lightweight atm, Maitland-Niles a disgrace and the manager has no influence whatsoever.

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  46. Duncan Alexander
    @oilysailor
    ·
    6m
    Arsenal have faced 96 shots this season, more than any other side in the PL, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 & the Bundesliga. Some effort that.

    Like

  47. First half was great.

    Second half was positively wank. Emery takes off Ceb off after we concede and says to Twatford ” here you lot, bottom of the league, come and attack us”. Guen should have come off not Ceb, and Torreira on, and just left it at that. Does the man have no conception of team like Watford and what they can do, and their fans get noisy once the are roused? Duh! Thats how they work ffs. Twelfth man.You cant go down to their level as they will beat you. Duh! And we didnt even have to put up with Troy.

    We would have been third and on the same points as City. Now we are in shit position being laughed at by tools like Leicester.

    Emery out.

    This is just bullshit, and the only ones happy are the people at aftv and the endless wanker clicks in the narcissistic age of the moron.

    .(trouble is Im sounding like those peckers!)

    Also my nephew will be happy, hes a massive Watford fan. And I love him, so all the best Harv.

    Emery out.

    I feel shame to be an Arsenal fan tonight.

    Get Freddie L. in, get Arteta in. Get Emery out. Nice bloke, crap manager for Arsenals level of potential.

    Or get Fred the Shed in.

    Emery out.

    So far the wins have been scrappy and shuffle and scrape, and we get a hammering at Livercrutches or give the game yet again to the Spuds. Man, this is low level. Low. Low. Not even top 4 and Europa League. From Wengerball to shuffle and scrape wankerball. Shuffle and crepe.

    Unbelievable. This wasnt even a case of hubris going into this game, we all knew what might happen, but were lulled into disbelief by the September sunshine.

    (sincere apologies everyone, esp. to George for being negative, will bail out if asked).No positivity left. But why is it I felt the need to write this? Because Im the same as in the end as the people on twitter and aftv. As Frank Muir would write: What a mess.

    Tis is all just wasting time now. Im sorry Mr Emery, but time is the final currency in life.

    Sorry again. Im off to find Fred in his Shed, Im sure its a haven.

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  48. first half
    stats

    shots watford 8 Arsenal 3
    on target waftord 5 Arsenal 2

    second half
    shots watford 23 Arsenal 4
    on target watford 5 Arsenal 2

    ovreall
    shots watford 31 Arsenal 7
    on target watford 10 Arsenal 4

    Emery out out out, he has a small club mentality and is just so damn negative in all we do, its wasting the attacking talents at his disposal.

    Like

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