Good day one all.
Arsenal host Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon on the back of a very busy week, before heading into an international break.
A scrappy draw away at Manchester United on Monday night saw us crept back into top-four, then a brilliant opening 20 minute spell vs Standard Liège in Thursday’s Europa tie, was enough for a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Now one could be forgiven for thinking the ease of the midweek wins would be great momentum going into league games, but it hasn’t quite gone that way has it? You see the ‘cup team’ play with freedom, control games that they can even afford taking their foot of the pedal as games goes on. You see our depth in talent, the potential in this team and it raise our hopes, but then we get to to the Premier League and it’s as if everybody are in their shells as we adapt our play to the strengths of our opposition, including those we are expected to brush aside without much fuss.
That’s the frustration many have with Unai Emery’s methods, because there is good reason to believe this team can go toe-to-toe with any team if he just take the shackles off. But alas.
It’s been tight schedule of late but I don’t think fatigue should be a concern with Emery likely to revert to his regular league starters after giving the young uns and fringe players a Europa run. The injured returnees Bellerín, Tierney and Holding were again impressive, also Mustafi amongst the senior ones. Making good cases for ‘call ups’, but with the short turnaround it may be an unnecessary risk to play them so soon. However, Emery will have much to ponder about during the inter-break.
Bournemouth had a bright start to their season, sitting just one point behind us on the table. They have scored in each of their games played thus far, which should be very encouraging for Eddie Howe, however, having not yet keeping a clean sheet should be a worry as that all too familiar is being asked… what’s going to happen once the goals dry up?
The Cherries are still winless against the Gunners in seven previous meetings. Last season we beat them home and away, with a 5-1 scoreline at the Emirates.
They may fancy breaking their duck today, playing their brand of open and attacking football, which of course will work in our favour and I can already see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, our resident flat-track bully, looking at their leaky defense sporting the largest grin.
I’m predicting one of those entertaining games where both sides get on the score sheet, with Arsenal coming out on top to move up to third on the table.
This is the first in a nine-game run against teams outside the traditional top-six sides, giving Arsenal an opportunity to string together a run of decent results before the mid-December peak.
Com’on Emery… you know we can do it!