121 Comments

Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers preview

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The natives were loathsome at the Emirates last Sunday, with Granit Xhaka bearing the brunt of their rancor as they made their discontent very clear to Unai Emery as we let slip of a two-goal lead.
Good day one and all…
Arsenal return to the Emirates Stadium this afternoon for a Premier League clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers; both sides looking to put midweek Carabao Cup defeats behind them.
The Gunners come into this game not in the best form, that’s being polite considering we’ve only won two of our last eight league outings.
Following the draw at Man United we sat third on the table, looking at a good run toward the xmas crunch with nine fixtures against sides outside the ‘traditional’ top-six; three games later it already feels more like a limp. Xhaka’s outburst at a section of fans that jeered him only seem to distract from the lack of clarity and purpose that has been the story of Arsenal under Emery.
Some may see sitting 5th on the log, just four points off top-four, isn’t that bad. Looking at it in isolation probably doesn’t appear too worrying, however, if you zoom a bit outer you’ll see that there’s also four points between us and 14th-placed Brighton, and that is what gives many pause for concern when it comes to the Spaniard. Can anybody honestly say our current approach to games are any better compared to that of mid table teams despite the obvious gulf in talent?
For a while Arsenal got away with their shortcomings due to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s individual brilliance. With him having now gone three league games without a goal, we registered just one win. We did score three goals in those matches, but from set-pieces as scoring chances created from open play were just scant.
If Emery want to overcome these skirmishes, he has to find a better linkage between the midfield and attack.
Wolves’ midweek defeat at Aston Villa put an end to a handy eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions. It’s unlikely to have bothered Nuno Espirito Santo too much as he gave most of his first teamers the night off, who have been playing in both their league and Europa matches. They had a slow start to their league campaign, ensuing a run of Europa qualifiers, having registered only two wins from 10 league fixtures (D6, L2), to find themselves just four points off the bottom three. However, with their players rested Nuno will be thinking he got a shot here to take advantage of our current funk; looking at a win to move them to within a single point off the Gunners.
They do have a habit of tuning it up against the ‘big teams’ eh, just before the last international break they stunned Man City 2-0 at the Etihad. So it goes without saying that Emery will be aware of their threat and may well be reluctant to throw caution to the wind even when under pressure to produce something special for the Emirates faithful.
Team News
Being confirmed that Xhaka will not make the matchday squad it gives Lucas Torreira a chance for a rare league start. Hector Bellerín could also return, having proven his fitness.
Mesut Özil had quite the night at Anfield and it’s going to be very difficult to leave him out, specially with us not exactly having found the desired consistency in his absence. Dani Ceballos has been preferred ahead of him, but since matchday 2 against Burnley he has been mostly anonymous – ironically something that Mesut often gets accused of. Will Emery end his exile? This afternoon will be telling.
This is a big match for both sides eager to get back to winning ways. We know Wolves took fives points off of us last season and if we don’t want a repeat of that, we have to show a bit more desire than recently to see off their challenge.
Sticking my neck out: the Gunners to keep all the points at the Emirates, but perhaps too close for comfort. CÖYG!
Before that there’s the small matter of South Africa vs England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup finals in Japan. Good luck to both sides and may the best team win… en mag dit julle wees Bokke… #BokBefok
@LaboGoon

121 comments on “Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers preview

  1. 11 games played, Arsenal 12pts off bottom spot, 14pts off top but Emery claims to have made us more competitive

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Add in the run from the close of last season.

    It ain’t pretty!

    Fortunately the shower of Blaggers can’t lay into Ozil or Xhaka for this result.

    Like

  3. I will hold my hands up and admit my shortcomings as a football analyst. That doesn’t prevent me from being baffled.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 21 shots against at Home. Vs quite a few less for.

    Wow.

    Like

  5. 900ft

    I saw Nuno’s team outplay Emery’s last season.
    And It was an easy prediction to make prior to kick off, so I made it.
    In spite of the £200M spent to dress Emery up in the Emperor Raul’s New Clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eds
    This season is that late handball shout against Wolves a handball?

    Like

  7. sorry fins did not see it, stream was freezing on and off, that was one of the offs

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fins, there seems to be no rational behind Unai’s substitutions. I think he has dungeons and dragons dice to make them

    Liked by 2 people

  9. chelsea already ahead at Watford, heading for a 6pt lead over AFC,

    leicester play tomorrow, they too could go 6 clear of us, and we play them next Saturday, if the worst come to the worst, we could be 9pts behind both CFC and LCFC by next weekend, just 12 games in to the season, with an interlull starting, would that see our board sack Emery, I’m not sure it would.

    Like

  10. Ian the only rational behind his subs is – Don’t Take Off Guendouzi, No Matter How He Or Others Are Playing – that is the starting point, after that its pot luck

    Liked by 2 people

  11. PA: Screwed once again by the cowardice of our coach. His last sub of Kola for Tierney simply showed the absolute yellow in the belly of the man. He already strengthened left side with Saka for Ceballos. What about Bellerin (my preference) or Pepe on the other side to push them back and to give us a chance to score? How hard is that? Do we need Big Weng on the sidelines to make those last big game changing moves?

    But the idiots said Big Weng didn’t do tactics. LOLOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Last Season we had
    7 Draws and 10 Defeats in our 38 games, that is 44 dropped points
    so far this season after 11 games we have
    5 draws and 2 defeats, that is 16 dropped points, we are heading for a worse season than last if this trend continues.

    add in that our last 7 league games last season seen a run of 1 draw and 4 defeats, so we are in the last 18 league games on a run of 6 wins, 6 draws and 6 defeats

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The boos that rang out at the end fo the games comes from telling Xhaka to apologies to them for getting booed.

    Emery did say that its for Xhaka to earn to respect and trust of the fans. Some pundits even said and many repeated on twitter that Xhaka need to look in the mirror to find someone to blame for the boos. Would pundits take the lead and say the same about Emery since booed is now accepted as part of the game…. I doubt.

    Will Emery apologise since he was the one that quickly said in his post-match presser last Sunday that Xhaka owes the fans an apology?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. from foorball.london, Emery’s after game comments

    On the draw

    Yes it’s disappointing. I think the players tried and we scored the first goal but we needed a second for more confidence.

    Wolves are consistent in playing matches like they did today and they did that again.

    It was an equal match and maybe we deserved more.

    On dropping points

    I am frustrated because we are dropping points at home like we did last year.

    On the defence

    We can improve that balance defensively.

    But the key was to have more clear chances to take the result for us.

    On fan reaction

    I am very demanding of myself and we have to come back with better matches.

    On his contract

    We speak about how we can improve and how to achieve the best performance.

    On Ozil

    He worked and played well which pleased us.

    On Auba being captain

    Today he took that responsibility and he could do in the future.

    On whether players understand him

    I think they understand me yes.

    On the players

    They feel the responsibility to win and when we draw they are sad.

    Like

  15. Emery asked about his Contract Situation

    “We speak about how we can improve and how to achieve the best performance.”

    Its a wonder he didn’t say “now’s not the time to talk about that” as that’s his go to response to any uncomfortable question, but I suppose ignoring it is as good

    Liked by 1 person

  16. JB
    ™️
    @gunnerpunner
    ·
    1h
    Wolves scored in the 79th minute. Arsenal, chasing a win at home, had 1 shot in the 16 minutes after that. Embarrassing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Orbinho
    @Orbinho
    ·
    2h
    Arsenal with NINE shots in a home game. I figured it must be years since that last happened. But no. Under Emery in April against Newcastle we had seven. #ARSWOL

    Like

  18. We contrived to cede both the center of the park and the flanks. That couldn’t have been the plan, could it? Yet the second substitution in particular made that situation worse. I must be missing something.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. seeing as I mentioned our last 18 BPL games in an earlier post this is a follow on stat from those 18 games – we’ve scored 24 goals, by the way we have conceded 27 goals in those games

    Arsenal top-scorers in their last 18 Premier League matches:

    13 Aubameyang
    2 David Luiz
    2 Sokratis
    2 Lacazette
    1 Özil
    1 Torreira
    1 Pepe
    1 Chambers
    1 Nketiah

    [@Orbinho
    ] #afc

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eds @ 5:43

    I’ve tri d to think of a logical reason behind Gunedouzi being made a starter ahead of Ramsey when he came in from League 2 in France.

    I speculat that a high percentage of commission that Daddy Raul and Emery have been promised when Gunedouzi gets sold might be a reason. Other then that I’m struggling. But I hope there must be another reason aside from the above and the obvious appreaciation and understanding that these two clowns know nothing about the Footy…

    Like

  21. all season long I can’t get away from the feeling that we badly need a Giroud type CF to bring on to give us someone willing and able to get his head on the long ball and the crosses we put in. Also someone that can hold up play and get others into the action in the final third.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Emery has been given time, and players, but is not doing himself any favours.
    With the fixtures coming up, and the way we are playing, can only fear for this team, it could get much worse.
    The crowd have turned against him, and if some reports are accurate, so have some players. That, and our level of performance with no chinks of light would make a managers position pretty much untenable at some clubs, whether Arsenals hierarchy react, or what it would take them to react is anyone’s guess.
    Our board, and indeed owner are traditionally pretty conservative, are this lot the same?
    They will no doubt cite a lack of managerial options mid season, backroom staff etc,, I would personally point to Freddie, bet he knows some potential backroom staff as well.
    Emery has bad juju, quite apart from his qualities, or lack of them, seems whatever he tries these days turns to absolute shite, that is the usually cosmos telling you something, those situations rarely just get better without significant change. I am sure his air of negativity is rubbing off on players, some of whom may not really be playing for him.
    Could you imagine the bounce someone like Freddie could give, and if he is as popular as some suggest, the players will raise their game to try and keep him there beyond a potential caretaker role
    I suspect the board will be loathe to act mid season, unless things get really bad, but also get the distinct feeling there may come a point when they may just have to. This is clearly not going to get any better for the foreseeable.
    Another thing, Pepe is Rauls man, lots of money spent, big signing,, super agents, penny for Rauls thoughts today. Unles Pepe is injured or something, Mr Mendes will be on the phone , for a little word with Mr Raul.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. On another note, when Klopp signed for Liverpool, did he also sign a contract for someone else, in blood?
    Supernaturally lucky

    Liked by 2 people

  24. well fins we know managers everywhere have their favorites and its very clear that Guen is a big favorite of Emery, so it really could be as simple as that. It would say it all about Emery when guen is his type of perfect player and mesut is the very type he does not want in his team.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Mandy Chelsea have just won to go 6pts clear of us, if LCFC win tomorrow they would also go 6pt clear, if they beat us next week and CFC win their game too, we would be 9pts adrift after only 12 games, if this was to happen I would expect Jose lite to be replaced by maybe even the real Jose during the interlull and we would have a new manger for our home game v Southampton

    Like

  26. Not easy playing Barcelona like teams every week is it! Ok so we’re up 1-0 look kind of unlikely to score again except for a possible moment of brilliance. I am no coach however, I would expect that we’d try to make it harder for them to score, get defenders on, adjust the formation. No we see 2 green horns come on, Martinelli who I think is on his way to become a big player and to a lesser degree Saka. Both very offensive and very young players…I can’t imagine Arsene doing this at 1-0 up, especially since we were hardly in full control. I don’t know, get Bellerin in, shift Chambers to defensive midfield, take off Guen would shore things up no?

    Next week Leicester, that will be no picnic…..

    Liked by 1 person

  27. some dickhead on bbc 606 had just claimed that the English game dont need VAR cos

    “it clear we have the best refs in the world”

    also

    “we invented Association Football”

    and not forgetting

    “just cos Europe has VAR, does not mean we need it”

    I bet he is a Brexiter

    Liked by 2 people

  28. redshark after it went 1-1 there was 15 more minutes of play, 11 minutes of normal time and 4 minutes of stoppage time, we had one shot, it was off target, that sums up our approach under Emery.

    Have we seen a single game under Emery where we just threw caution to the wind and went for it, even late on in a game. I can’t recall one. But I can remember several like today where we lamely accepted not winning the game.

    Like

  29. I don’t know Eduardo, do you reckon they would be that reactive? Stan would have the final say, he doesn’t usually have that reputation.
    Perhaps if it becomes abundantly clear emery won’t make the top four, like it is now some might say. Also, things could get very ugly, under Wenger the fan base was at least divided, seems unusually united at the moment.
    You may be right, but personally I think he will be given until New Year, despite the complete toxicity that will most likely lead to, fans in the stadium, online, increasing and damaging leaks from pissed off players, and powerful agents could make things impossible for him
    New Year could be too late for their stated aim of top four though. And the longer deterioration is left, the more difficult, and expensive it becomes to put right.
    A very interesting couple months ahead

    Like

  30. I see Frankfurt beat Bayern Munich 5-1 today

    Like

  31. thats the thing Mandy, lose next Saturday and the New Year could be way too late to act.

    Raul made it clear only a couple of weeks ago that Emery has to get CL football for us, that he was given leeway last season but that there is no excuses this one.
    The fans in the stadium are turning, the fans online have turned, the bloggers have turned and now we see “leaks” in the media that the young players mimmick him, several of them have implied that they need Freddie to explain to them what it is Emery is telling them, and now the latest story, two or three big agents who are reps for several of our players have contacted Raul and Edu about how unhappy the players are with Emery and how they neither understand him nor agree with what he is telling them to do. We even had the claim that players are very unhappy with Emery cos he is “quick to complain but slow to praise”.
    Xhaka the captain did not do as Emery wanted re apology, the players it seems told Emery they back Xhaka on his stance.
    And last but not least, I think the Jose rumors were leaked to test the water, to see if the fan base would be ok with it, and from the looks of it, they are.
    I would not be at all surprised to see Jose replace Emery, with Freddie staying on the front bench too.
    Even if it was not Jose, the fact that so many in the fan base seem happy to accept him, would surely suggest to the Board that Emery’s time is up, cos if you are prepared to accept Jose, just how bad is your view of Unai Emery.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Do you want a match review, or is it too painful?

    Like

  33. George as I said last week, there is no pain, its numbness, I doubt any one of us was at all surprised that we failed to win today, despite taking the lead. None of us even slightly surprised that the football was boring, that Wolves had twice as many shots. We are 48 league games into the Emery era and we have all become very used to this “competitiveness” from our head mini bus

    Liked by 3 people

  34. The only thing that might save Emery from the chop is that we are one of the favorites to win the EL, until we see if any of the big clubs drop down into it, we will remain one of the big favorites for it.

    Like

  35. last season we started off with 2 defeats and then had 7 wins and 2 draws in our next 9 games, which seen us have 23pts after 11 games, having scored 25 goals, conceding 14

    this season we started off with 2 wins, but have followed that with 2 wins, 5 draws and 2 defeats in our next 9 games, leaving us on 17pts after 11 games, scoring 16 and conceding 15

    we have one win from our 5 away games, scoring just the 5 goals, conceding 7

    at home we have 3 wins and 3 draws, scoring 11 but conceding 8

    Like

  36. Arsenal in EPL after 11 games

    2018/19 W7 D2 L2 F25 A14 GD+11 Pts23 with 2 clean sheets

    2019/20 W4 D5 L2 F16 A15 GD+1 Pts17 with 2 clean sheets

    by the way Wenger’s last season after 11 EPL games
    2017/18 W6 D1 L4 F21 A17 GD+4 Pts19 with 4 clean sheets

    Like

  37. Steve
    @TheoHector2018
    ·
    1h
    Shots faced in Premier League!

    Newcastle 9-8 Arsenal
    Arsenal 16-18 Burnley
    Liverpool 25-9 Arsenal
    Arsenal 26-13 Spurs
    Watford 31-7 Arsenal
    Arsenal 21-14 Villa
    United 16-10 Arsenal
    Arsenal 12-10 Bournemouth
    Sheffield United 8-9 Arsenal
    Arsenal 15-10 Palace
    Arsenal 10-25 Wolves

    Like

  38. All the time Emery is here we are not challenging for top 4, we are slipping out of the Premier League.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Liverpool obviously far superior to us at minute but, bloody hell, can’t calculate difference makes to them and other rivals previously being reffed as they are in comparison to us.

    Just watching their winner. Ox gets his body in front of opponent centrally just outside box and goes over, ref waves advantage as pass is on into box, defender cuts out pass, ref pulls back for free kick. Very irregularly applied like that in prem. Hard to imagine anyone, let alone Moss, applying it for us in dying moments as we desperately push for vital goal.

    Free kick deflected for corner, winner from corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. If I remember right Dean didn’t pull it back for free kick when Wilshere’s ankle butchered by McNair and move ended almost instantly. He prob did wave advantage though (lovely for ignoring nature of foul)

    Pens, though important, are only the one obvious aspect of it. All over pitch, all the time.

    Emery sure doesn’t look like the man but presumably it’ll keep stretching on into future and adds to difficulty level of job considerably.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I see I’m not the only one who was baffled by Guendouzi staying on the pitch for the whole match? I think he’s a promising young player, but as such he is inconsistent and I feel he has been overplayed. He was poor especially in the first half, but I see getting hooked at half-time doesn’t apply to him. As I watched the game I thought what was missing was better quality around Mesut Ozil. He cannot do it on his own and neither Ceballos or Guendouzi were getting the ball to him and when he passed to them, neither had the quality to do much with his passes other than moving the ball backwards and sideways.

    Wolves were not even that good, but we lacked the basic quality to build on the one goal advantage and you could see that equaliser coming a mile off. I am just baffled by this team as somehow we continue to be less than the sum of our parts and despite some exciting individual players, we are so boring to watch!

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Agree Eduardo, the way things are, New Year would be way too late, I hope they are not relying on emery winning the EL, that would be a gamble too far even for a traditionally risk averse board.
    Could be wrong, but fear the board will take their time on this one, hope I am wrong, because looks like delaying things will be futile at this stage, unless they know of some grand plan that is not visible to us mortals. They might also want to let the fans know they cannot just force managers out.
    But, there are financial arguments for losing Emery, the fact he is appearing to lose valuable players, and hit their value. If Xhaka insists on leaving, they won’t get what they paid, just for starters. Let alone what another year outside the CL will cost.
    So if financial logic alone is applied, you will be right about an imminent departure, when you add other benefits to the equation, it becomes a no brainer but does Stan see it the way we do?
    Hate the thought of wanting an Arsenal manager out, really goes against the grain with all the shit Wenger had to face, but Emerys direct quote that they got it tactically correct today, with the numbers of shots for and against, and many other numbers we are aware of ,has killed any sympathy I have for him, no Arsenal manager should ever be satisfied, or claim satisfaction with what we saw today.
    In saying that, Emery is either deluded, too up his own arse in some perceived tactical masterstroke, or maybe subconsciously, or even consciously knows he is out of his depth and is looking for a way out with a nice payout, before his rep gets too damaged to ensure a future job in the Villarreal or Seville sunshine
    But, just cannot see Jose, unless Kroenke is putting money in

    Liked by 3 people

  43. well Mandy what I took from Emery’s comments today was that all he thought that was wrong with our performance was that none of our players came up with a piece of magic to get us a second goal, it seems he expects our forwards to score at the rate they did during the 22 game run last season.

    on that note I was listening to Alan Pardew on Radio 5 during the week, and he stated that as a manager if you want to have a good chance of winning a game you normally need a game plan that will see your team have 9 or 10 shots on target, cos stat wise you can expect to score 2 or 3 goals from 9 or 10 shots on target, so you in reality need to be getting upwards of 20 shots off per game and hope to get half of them on target, with about a 20% ti 30% conversation rate, and even that is high. He said 9 or 10 shots on target should mean at least one goal, but that really you need to count on getting 2 to have a reasonable chance of winning a game.

    Like

  44. for me the Jose rumors are one of two things from AFC or Jose

    1. Arsenal testing the water as to how fans would react to him coming in at some point, or AFC looking to gauge how fans feel about Emery and the idea of sacking him

    2. Jose trying to encourage AFC into hiring him, or Jose trying to get some movement from any big club to make a move for him before AFC snap him up.

    Like

  45. Pardew might be right….for once! Make him Arsenal manager!
    As for Jose, my moneys on your option 2, but who can guess anything any more
    I don’t know if a loss to LCFC will be fatal or not, it it certainly won’t help him

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Probably said it before but my belief was that virtually anyone we brought in would be more conservative in nature than Wenger, and that conservatism and pragmatism would almost certainly improve defence but who knows what it would mean for attack.

    Been proved emphatically wrong there! Now I feel like we pretty much know that won’t work with him, and it seems extremely unlikely it would work if he tries going outside his instincts and throwing caution to wind.

    We’re now in territory where feels like axe could fall after another bad result or two. A lot of my mind is already on what might come next.

    Freddie till end of season seems plausible and sensible if a change comes soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Freddie would make sense if the axe falls. He would need a backroom team, but no doubt has some interesting contacts with some understanding of the club, though I know great players aren’t always great coaches, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  48. maybe Edu would bring in the Brazil head coach.

    The Ajax guy should be a target for us

    Liked by 1 person

  49. would like to point out that we did not have Xhaka at the base of our midfield today and it was as wide open as ever but without anyone able to pass the ball out. Torreira spent a lot of the time as our most advanced midfielder,

    Liked by 1 person

  50. I am so depressed that things have gone so worse.

    Can we rename this blog Negatively Arsenal?

    Liked by 1 person

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