Arsenal vs Standard Liège





Good day one and all.

Arsenal are back at the Emirates for their second Europa League group fixture; hosting Belgian side Standard Liège.

We kicked our campaign off with a win away in Germany a fortnight ago, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0. With Unai Emery methods currently taking tense and, well, fair criticism, the Gunners almost inconspicuously put together an unbeaten run of six-matches (all competitions), that includes three wins in our last four. With just one defeat in nine matches all season, you would be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about.

Now, I don’t know anything about our opponents, however, a quick trawl of their recent results infer they might not be pushovers. They sit one point behind Belgian First Division leaders Club Brugge, and come into this match on the back of three wins in their last four games (D1) – all competitions. A decent run that include 10 goals for and only two against. So could there be a suggestion they have a “press” Emery might think we need to negate? Yikes!

It’s a short turnaround following Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United, so we’ll likely see a Gunners side with quite a few changes. Making this another opportunity for the youngsters and fringe players to impress, after proper performances against Frankfurt (EL) and Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. 18 years-old Gabriel Martinelli did better than expected making his first Arsenal start vs Forest, scoring two goals, so one can imagine he must be excited at the possibility of getting his first European start. Hector Bellerín and Kieran Tierney must also be itching getting another run as they continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

Whether Mesut Özil, who was “rested” against Frankfurt, get a start, is anybody’s guess at this point. Because just as it seems that him and Emery are getting past their domestic issues… it seems not.

One player that could certainly benefit having a crack at the visitors is our record signing Nicolas Pepe. He has struggled to find his feet so far in the league, so starting in a match away from the PGMOL game management variant shouldn’t be the worst idea.

Many argue that Arsenal doesn’t play like a side that has developed much from last season, but optimism levels are a little higher in the Cup competitions and playing in front of the Emirates faithful always gives the boys a bit extra. Standard have started their European run with a win, so while their priorities may be with their domestic league back in Belgium, a win tonight will leave them in a good position to advance to the knockout stages.

This is only the third meeting between these two sides, with the Gunners winning both the previous two back in 2009.

With group F top place up for grabs this got the makings of a spicy encounter. However, I’m predicting a cagey start to the match with the Emirates crowd cheering the homeboys over the line.


Labo @LaboGoon

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64 comments on “Arsenal vs Standard Liège

  1. I’m looking forward to it, although maybe a smidgeon less than I was before watching the CL football of last couple of nights.

    Made me real wistful for that period when we were a match for anyone in the elite tournament.

    Anyway, f that. Game to watch. Hopefully good number of youngsters plus returning defenders and, who knows, Ozil?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. By the way, thought we were on for our third doubler on ref front this weekend. Knew we’d had two already and was sure we’d had Atkinson once before. Turns out though he had already done two, so this weekends game will mean he has done 3 out of our 8 games!

    Think I read some big leagues, with wider pools, aim for no more than two per season from same ref.

    3 out of 8 is a joke.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Nice one Labo, let hope for some good football.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see a couple of blogs or articles being critical of Emery’s treatment of Ozil, so will this make Emery play him more or will it as I think, make Emery more determined to make his point and leave Ozil out.
    The way Emery responded to questions about Ozil not being in the match day squad for the Utd game, for me, suggested that their relationship is not good at all, certainly no sign of any friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. International break will interrupt process but should find out in next month or two what plan is with Ainsley.

    Chambers has played himself in at right back, so with Bellerin return that prob means Ainsley third choice there. Same story with Tierney and Kola on left.

    Will we try find him some time centre mid or even back on wing? Would give us nice speed boost in centre but chances don’t seem too high of him playing there.


  6. Cheers LG, great piece. Tag der Einheit feels more like day of dissipation.Now I feel I support the players and the club, but not the manager or middle management ( except Edu). What a drag to have to deal with the drag of it all.
    So on you Gunners (whoever will be selected) and see off Standard Lüttich!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You can see the Ozil situ is clearly personal like i have continually stated, its a power move.

    Okay, this season alone can you say that Pepe has performed any better worse than Ozil? I amn ot having a go a Pepe just trying to understand emery rufusal to play ozil.

    Pepe does not track back, loses the ball, not scored from open play, has created not many more than Ozil so far this season in much much more mins from open play and does he make our shape any better when he does not track back?

    If its personal fair enough – come out and say i dont like the guy and he gotta go, stop with the BS!

    For me emery is the one that needs to prove himself, he has not done anything he said he would do when he was brought in apart from beef with players. Needs to go already

    And fair play for listening to him at the presser, i can only listen to 2nd hand info on that guy when someone has actually worked out what he us trying to say.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Playing Lucas Torreira as a number 10 (or is it box-to-box, I’m not even sure he knows what his new role supposed to be) will always gonna lead to struggles getting the best out of Pépé and Auba. Meanwhile we have one of the world best creative playmakers, who even on his worst days create more chances than those around him, being treated like shit.

    And you get people on twatter trying to sell that Özil might be struggling with recurring back problems and Emery, who’s not even borderline diplomatic, is hiding it.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Forget any results.

    All I want to see is Arsenal ply some interesting/entertaining football.

    Obviously that would mean Ozil starting, and playing at least 90+ minutes (forget the young boys………..he definitely needs them).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. No Mesut.”here dad, i done it again”. Dick Emery out.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AFC: Martinez, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney, Torreira, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Nelson, Martinelli.
    Subs: Leno, Chambers, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Aubameyang, Pepe.


  12. It is quite clear that something strange is going on with ozil.

    Could it possibly make any sense whatsoever to omit him even from this game?

    Has been a claim that he is injured?

    Curiouser and curiouser

    Liked by 4 people

  13. No injury notice on website.


  14. Kinelle. What kind of player have we got here?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Wow!!!!


  16. Is Saka injured or just rested?


  17. Can’t watch am at work but is that Niles in the midfield!!!

    Looks like Chambers has earned the back up RB berth which he should’ve been filling last season. Only took the new coach 14 months to work that one out…!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ozil might be busy with court/charges against his would be assailants?


  19. Imagine Saka being rested after his recent exploits , hope he isn’t injured


  20. We are winning 4-0 comfortably. Why bring on our most important player at the moment?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Owen what a bitter wanker

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great game tonight to give credence to opinion that we got a very talented group of players. Considering Martinelli just recently turned 18, he is a heck of talent.

    Emery has asked every player in front of our defense to at times play in roles they’re not really comfortable with, to accommodate Guendouzi who can only play in that one position he always does.

    Lucas Torreira should stick a number a 6 on his jersey for Emery to take a hint.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Another clean sheet involving Mustafi

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Emery on Martinelli, Ozil and promising youngsters
    Josh James 03 Oct 2019

    After a comfortable 4-0 Europa League win at home to Standard Liege, head coach Unai Emery faced the media and praised the progress of the young players, the impact of Gabriel Martinelli up front revealed why Mesut Ozil wasn’t included in the matchday squad.

    Read on for a transcript of the post-match press conference.

    on how our young players adapted…
    Good evening. Historically Arsenal have that responsibility with young players, and I told you before that my responsibility now is also speaking with the club and giving them chances. We want to give them chances, but we need to find our very high demands in our performance to achieve our targets. We are in one process and we want to do it as quickly as we can because our targets for the season are very important to achieve. Each match for the young players when they have the chance to play, if they play like tonight or before in the pre-season, then they deserve to be with us and to continue creating our way with them. Matches like tonight are good to use them because this competition is an important competition after the Premier League. They deserve to be with us in the next matches and they are coming in at a key moment with a high level. I think they are close with us.

    on Martinelli’s performance and whether he is capable of playing through the middle…
    Yes, he played in this position with us and in every training he showed us his hunger to be with us. In pre-season he played in different positions, but above all he preferred playing on the left wing. But also he played as a right winger. I used him as a striker because in Brazil he played this position (centre forward). It’s not the best position for him, but the first thing in his mind is to help us and receive some minutes with us in the team. Tonight I think his performance and attitude was amazing.

    on what he knew about Martinelli before he arrived…
    I saw him in pre-season and he was working and in each training showing us his hunger. In pre-season he was perfect all the time with us in training, and I spoke to him to be calm because when he arrived with an opportunity to play like tonight, if he continues with this hunger then I think he will do well. Tonight confirmed that.

    on why Ozil wasn’t included in the matchday squad…
    I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us. When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.

    on what Ozil has to do to get back in the squad…
    He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same. Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match.

    on Tierney’s performance…
    Kieran after his injury is coming back with a good attitude. He played last week against Nottingham Forest for 80 minutes with a good performance, and tonight was another very good performance. We are a better competitive team with him and with Sead Kolasinac at left back. We are happy with him.

    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.


  25. Standard Liege certainly made it easy for us to play our game as they never really put us under any pressure. A 4 – 0 win is a great start to the EL competition and a confidence booster for the team. Of the new guys, Tierney and Martinelli are pretty impressive so far. I cannot see what was the point of bringing on Aubameyang, when we are 4 – 0 up? Surely we should be wrapping him up in cotton wool as he is what is keeping us in touching distance in the PL.

    The continuing absence of Ozil is really starting to piss me off. He is clearly not in the plans of the Spanish windmill, so I might as well accept that I am not going to see much of him as long as Dick is in charge. What a waste!

    Liked by 5 people

  26. “to accommodate Guendouzi” since the start of last season! The tragedy of the Arsenal midfield under Emery. All those funting Blaggers now several months later asking why Emery’s PL midfield is non-existent and ignoring why is: so weird!!!

    Almost as if they don’t even watch the Football…

    …I like the player. he’s as ready to lead a midfield in the PL as Denilson was in 2010, however in stark contrast to a decade ago he should be the cover, not the starter.

    Yet this was predictable in the summer.

    Ah well. less then a season till next summer. Fingers crossed. Lots of exciting footballers in this squad.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. I will write a piece when I have sorted my head out. Right now I’m busy being angry.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. The boys played very well in the first half (didn’t see the second) but its always hard to know whether that was because we were good or Liege were bad. Perhaps it doesn’t matter: enjoy the moment and all that. Its nice that we have these games where the youngsters get a proper chance to shine, and the fact we have so many bright stars allows for proper rotation. I have come to terms with the fact that Ozil will not play again for Arsenal, and can only hope his career flames with amazement once more when he finds a team who do see his worth.
    I am now in the process of working out who I should next have as my favourite player.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Plenty to enjoy on pitch last night. I’ve reached point though where European results and performances are pretty much irrelevant as a guide to how it will go in prem.
    We could have absolute stormer on Thurs and it won’t do anything to my expectations- fingers crossed, feck knows- for next league game.
    The different ref standards play a huge role in that, but effectively blend in with fairer parts of what make prem life generally hard going for us.
    The games are typically enjoyable though, in Europe, and the experiences and development of youngsters is real…it’s just endlessly aggravating for me to see what’s possible with reasonable reffing and then have to step back away from it to our normal treatment.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Possible example is that Martinelli had four or five header’s in box yesterday. I’ve never seen Laca or Auba have anything like that.
    Maybe some was down to his own attributes, particularly speediness; some down to their defence not being impressive, nor their team as defensive as we typically face in prem, but I suspect plenty was as a result of them playing fairly clean, not grabbing in box and, especially, not putting in clumps to the head every time they compete in the air.

    I noticed it with Auba and Laca in Europe last few seasons as well. Both lot more likely to compete in air with centre backs in Europe.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. After the exciting first 22 minutes I got more and more bored. There were burst of football every now and then and all the players played well but the game just didn’t flow. Going into the last twenty minutes when we would normally have thrown all caution to the wind we played ball retention and at one point when they had the ball we had eleven men in our half and behind the ball.
    Bringing Auba on was lunacy and also not giving Ainsley abit of time Center mid was cruel, I think even the keepers seem to be in front of him at the moment.
    However we have to say the pure talent we have in this squad is excellent and really exciting but we need someone who will use them to their full potential.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Emery has the professional authority not to play Özil. What he does not have is the moral authority to air his contempt for Özil in public.

    Liked by 6 people

  33. I am on the same page Ian, I was bored watching the game and still have not watched it completely. I doubt that I will, that’s a first. I wish the windmill would stfu about Özil. I still believe he’s the only true # 10 we have. But then how important is it really to have a great #10 and a true defensive midfielder in your side?

    Liked by 3 people

  34. VAR killed the Tottenham managerial BT and Sky TV star.

    Alli’s agent won’t be getting him on the cover of the FIFA game ever again! Not now that we’ve all seen him attempt to play a wider game!

    This fraudulent style of football dependant on copious favours from officials and special relationships is held up as the benchmark by those proffering up excuses for the poor coaching and management we’ve witnessed these past 14 months. Unreal when you think about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Yes, but rumours of things going on behind the scenes at Tottenham, very silly rumours it must be said, but might deflect from the fact they are just a bit shite at the moment….although still time to come back in this game of course.
    Their “ luck” last season was always going to be unsustainable with recent developments in our game, although I still expect them to get a dodgy pen every time they play us of course


  36. We could all predict Tottenham’s divey form taking a dive even with the neutered version of VAR rolled out by the mysteriously shy and discredited PGMO.

    Levy got lucky on Son and Kane. Even a stopped clock…he has long had a habit of indulging in crap overpriced players like Aurier. That record is long. And funny (Bently! Adebayor the already retired version!!!).

    A disease, a plague, which I was hoping would pass the Arsenal by in the aftermath of what happened to GG. Nevermind the Football eh?


  37. Now 10 goals Spurs have let in this week, and counting!
    The only downer is what looks a horrible and unfortunate injury to Loris
    Think we are watching this team disintegrate with inevitable consequences down the line .
    Will Poch choose the rain of Manchester, or the sun of Madrid, or maybe he hasn’t won enough for either?

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Eight youngsters called up by England
    Aidan Small 04 Oct 2019

    Eight of our youngsters have been selected for international duty by England at various age levels.

    Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah have been called up by Aidy Boothroyd for England Under-21s’ friendly against Slovenia on Friday, October 11 (6pm), and their Euro qualifier against Austria on Tuesday, October 15 (7.45pm).

    Bukayo Saka will join up with England Under-19s for the International Marbella Cup, where they’ll face France on Wednesday, October 9 (5pm) and Belgium on Saturday, October 12 (4pm).

    Bukayo Saka

    Miguel Azeez and Sam Greenwood have been named in the latest England Under-18s squad ahead of friendlies against Poland on Friday, October 11 (7pm), Slovakia on Monday, October 14 (2pm) and Austria on Wednesday, October 16 (5.30pm).

    Hubert Graczyk and Charlie Patino have been called up by England Under-17s for a series of friendlies against Germany on Thursday, October 10 (5pm), Germany again on Sunday, October 12 (5pm) and Spain on Monday, October 14 (12pm).

    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.


  39. How did the Gunners only put two past this mob at Home the other week.

    From 4-2 to 2-2. Minus Ramsey all can see the “Progress” in the Times of Emery. Lordamighty.

    What a crock of shite.


  40. Unai will never have a better chance of getting the club into fourth (Behind Leicester).

    Apart from the chances he had in the last third of last season.


  41. Full time: Reading u18’s 0-1 Arsenal U18’s
    Alfie Matthews with our goal

    Arsenal u18 lineup vs Reading: Graczyk; Lopez, Ogungbo, Dennis, Oyegoke; Cottrell, Azeez, Butler-Oyedeji, Taylor-Hart; Cirjan, Matthews

    Subs: Alebiosu, Ejeheri, Greenwood, Monlouis, Patino


  42. If people accept that the Spurs have an unsettled dressing room, then where do they think this current Arsenal squad would be without Raul & Unai sabotaging the presence of the two best footballers in the squad since they arrived?
    Fortunately Auba was too recent a signing (by Sven) for them to dismiss so quickly/easily (too many years left on his contract!!).

    The above is not a difficult question, but it is one the PR consultants that “Really like Raul” lol will avoid like a literal plague.

    I hope the infection that arrived after nearly finishing off Barcelona is not permanent.


  43. Not forgetting the recent comments by Ramsey and Koscielny. Monreal.


  44. All life is potential and probability? Why doesnt Emery get this, what seems so nutty is that the stats and the video evidence shows and thwarting of potential and therefore probability. To me its like smasshing a hole through a wall with your head instead of using a sledge hammer (etc).

    Will the media get on the backside of Northumberland Rover ” crisis in the Potatoe Patch? The curse of the New Coop? No of course not!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I suspect that Unai does not watch DVDs of his own teams playing football.

    Self reflection is not on this USB drive!

    Certainly not when he’s busy having a glass of champers with Suarez’s/Cebellos/Gunedouzi’s agent & Daddy Raul.


  46. Maybe he could get a transfer to Spud- land as their new manager show them his unexamined dvds? Then we can have our No10 back!

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Well Mills, significantly Levy hired GG after Fizman told GG to go fuck himself.

    Looks like the cunning linguists who supported Paul Davis being relegated to the reserves because he wouldn’t give GG a cut of his unnecessary transfer have truly got their Arsenal back. A football mafia a culture that Fizman who was no angel entirely rejected.


    The Wolves of Wall Street want to feast on the flesh of Arsenal Football Club. Turning Man Utd into a reflection of Levy’s Tottenham is not enough for them. What kind of cunning linguist would support this “process”?


  48. The kind of person pardon me excusing this treatment of Ozil is the same idiot that thought that relegating Davis to the reserves in exchange for GG getting his cut on the John Jenson transfer improved the team on the pitch.

    Wasn’t good for the club then, isn’t good now.

    What would be unreasonable given what we all know about Football would be to expect another AW type figure to rock up in a few seasons and miraculously repair the damage being done at this moment.

    Fingers crossed the nightmare on the pitch ends sooner rather then later.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. LCFC held out for 40 mins at Anfield.

    Only a half dozen shots for the hosts but Rodgers’ team had zero shots of their own, let alone on target, and therefore inevitably the pressure was going to tell.

    1-0 LFC, looks like they’ll remain unbeaten today.


  50. < which is a good result for AFC as the Gunners are competing with LCFC for 3rd-6th/7th

    (anyone being honest can admit that AFC should be comfortably 3rd at least with this squad in this year's league)

    Liked by 1 person

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