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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

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121 comments on “Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers preview

  1. Will Emery blame Ozil for yesterdays performance?

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  2. As a non Brit may I ask the Emirates visitors on matchdays what is the atmosphere at the Emirates? Has it turned toxic again as it was under Wengers last year?

    With the blogosphere majority turning against Emery now and Josh Kroenkes project failling apart shall we request Wenger to come back for a year or two to steady the ship?

    With VAR in place I have a feeling that the Pigmob will not be able to rob our legitimate calls as effectively as they had been doing with us since 2 decades and we can crawl back in top4 once Wenger is back.

    A big no for the odious one btw.

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  3. Arsene will not be coming back, under any circumstances. Sadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Only just watched the game and I must say that apart from the Saka for Torreira change coming maybe 5 minutes too early, it’s the very first time I do not have anything to complain about our gaffer. We looked and played like the ARSENAL of old.

    On their day, Wolves are a handful for ANY team and I feel being without Boly & Bennett they came out super aggressive and pinned us back for the first 15mins. We stood strong and slowly imposed our game on proceedings. The synergy was absolutely right between midfield and attack and Auba’s goal was of a style we are well in tune with. We continued to do our thing but couldn’t add the all important send.

    The second stanza started much the same as the first with Wolves on the ascendancy for the bulk of the first 10 minutes. It went blow for blow till Laca, who was definitely struggling was replaced by young Martinelli. The synergy loosened and a few minutes after Saka replaced Torreira, Wolves made us pay off the ONLY moment concentration loss we had in the entire game! That’s a remarkable improvement for an UE team this season. Try as we might we couldn’t score the second and the game ended even.

    Disappointing but more a plus than minus for me. UE has finally found his starting 9 of 11. I hope he’s now realized how absolutely importantMesut is to team synergy. I finally watched an Arsenal game and smiled throughout. The effort, synergy, optimism, grit, and commitment was there in abundance. It’s now up to UE to consolidate and not be afraid to maintain this unit.
    Pepe can replace Laca till he’s fully fit.
    Bellerin, Willock & Xhaka too will surely play their part. In time Guendouzi will come to terms with his limitations and we’ll be all the better for it.

    Lest we forget, Wolves beat Man. City 2-0 at the Etihad. We will get our chance to smack them at Molineux in 2020.
    “Stay bold UE or you’ll be gone!”
    We move on.

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  5. CORR:
    ..We continued to do our thing but couldn’t add the all important second.

    ..Wolves made us pay, off the ONLY moment of concentration loss we had in the entire game!
    ..I hope he’s now realized how absolutely important Mesut is to team synergy.

    In time Guendouzi will come to terms with his limitations and will be all the better for it.

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  6. Fucking hell Aman, are you sure you watched the right game. Out shot by 25 to 10, at home? “THE ARSENAL OF OLD”. Jezus.

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  7. PG,
    I take synergy, dynamism.. Özil over ceding possession & yes, shots on goal to Wolves. They are that kind of team built on absolute offensive explosiveness, especially in counter attack.
    I feel we had them shook enough to win till firstly, Laca had to go off and secondly (fatal mistake) Torreira was subbed for Saka. It was an opportunistic reply borne out of loss of concentration defensively.

    Also Saka is a defensive liability and should not be making this team so easily. The loss at Anfield ENTIRELY exposed him so I’d blame UE/Raoul for this. In trying to impose their own stamp on the team they are playing ego games that are undermining continuity big time. This started last season with the exclusion of Rambo & Özil and has continued this season.
    UE is done for me, if he takes Mesut out of the team (if he’s uninjured) from now on. The bulk of the adjustments need to elsewhere. Also selling Iwobi AND loaning out Mkhi puts a greater creative onus on Pepe who’ll look even better with Mesut beside him.

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  8. Aman I have been watching ARSENAL since the late sixties and I’ve never seen any ARSENAL side play on the counter at home against a side below them in the table.
    Even the GG sides although pragmatic and solid would take the game to the opposition especially as the game wore on.
    I thought it was another average display, which is fast becoming our mantra. We’ve had boring ARSENAL and then Beautiful ARSENAL but now we’re bang average ARSENAL.
    Whatever the score under Arsene the neutral would invariably prefer to watch our games rather than anybody else’s.
    Now we are humdrum and their are several who pass the ball and play better football than us and not just the city and Liverpool s of this world who have spent loads of money, Bournemouth and Wolves are two.sides who seem to find playing nicely quite acceptable.
    I always said I prefer to give managers three seasons to fully achieve their potential however we are fast becoming everything we proudly hated under Arsene.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a quote from South Africa’s World Cup winning coach is so poignant:

    “Rugby shouldn’t be something that creates pressure on you. Rugby brings hope.

    “We’ve got the privilege to bring people hope. Hope is when you play well and people watch you on Saturday, have a nice braai [barbecue] and watch the game and feel good after.

    “No matter your political views, for those 80 minutes you agree. That’s not our responsibility, that’s our privilege. The moment you see that, it becomes a hell of a privilege.”

    I’m left thinking about the many talented Arsenal got and how the poor form are taking their joy away as fans are putting pressure on them to do the most with flawed tactics.

    They shouldn’t be put in those situations. Get a style to utilise their best attributes and bring the smile back on their faces. Do that and you keep the fans onside.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Actually feel a little sorry for Emery, I am sure he tried his best, is hard working, but clearly out of his depth, unable to communicate what I am sure are perhaps over complicated ideas.
    It is reported the board recently promised him they had his back. Stories now all over the place, Rauls dinners and such like would indicate very different.
    If only he had got Banega!
    Rosicky, only my experience from behind the goal in the North Bank, whenever I have been to the Emirates recently, this season and last, atmosphere has been ok, most willing the team to do better! The most recent was Sc Vitória, where the crowd were frustrated, but behind the team, willing them on, sensing they could get something,then the ground exploded to life when Pepe came on, then even more so when he scored his two goals. Perhaps Emery should have tried that yesterday. Wasn’t there during Xhakagate, that may have been very different, wasn’t there yesterday either. But there clearly is something very , very wrong.
    Just hope the club don’t make the move the media now seem to be thinking they will make, wonder if Rafa might also come into consideration if they are going for the figures The Times suggest

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  11. aman you certainly watched a different game to me yesterday, we did not have a single shot on target in the second half, and after it went level, there was 15 minutes of play and we managed one off target shot, Leno brought off 3 or 4 top level saves, I don’t recall the Wolves keeper having a damn thing to do. We had Guendouzi constantly either coughing up the ball or going backways with his passing, on a few occasions we went from the edge of their area, all the way back to Leno, this even happened from a couple of our corners.

    Our play reminds be of a lot of the worst of the Terry Neill reign, but he did not have a team and squad filled with top level players, his team only had Jennings, O’Leary, Brady and when fit McDonald that were truly outstanding, our current list of players include a top level keeper in Leno, he has made the most saves of any keeper in the EPL so far this season, think about that, both in a good way and in the bad way, we’ve a £25M Left Back, a £25M DM in Torreira, a £35M Xhaka, a £42M Ozil, two £50M strikers and a £72M winger, and we’ve managed 15 goals in 11 games, that is pathetic. We’ve our best crop of young talent since the days of Rocky, Keown, Adams, Thomas etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. one thing that worried me about Emery’s comments in the last few days was his ascertain that us still going along nicely in the Europa League means his job is not and should not be in question. As long as we have a chance of CL place next season his job is safe. This also implies that if we get CL place be it top 4 or winning the EL, then Emery will be our manger next season.

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  13. For me, just as the suits are taking their time deciding whether to put Emery out of his misery, so should they on who the next man is. Put in Freddie in as caretaker. After that maybe revisit their shortlist of potential targets, specifically the man who missed out on Emery. Re his coaching team, we already got Freddie and I hear Pires hangs out in the gym.

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  14. just one thing on Freddie, he was our U23 manager last season, they started off poorly but got better and better as the season went on, and Freddie claimed that the poor start was down to the changes in tactics from the Wenger era, to the way Emery wanted us to play. But the oddest thing is that they played nothing like an Emery team, there was far more attacking freedom, in fact the U23’s were very attack minded, so much so that Freddie explained that the likes of Smith-Rowe and Saka were not expected to put in the same defensive shift as others, as it was far more important for them to conserve their energy to use in the attacking third once they had the ball. Compare that to the bullshit implied by Emery about Ozil.

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  15. Arsenal have been trying for some time now to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to sign new contracts, but so far the talks have proved unsuccessful [@charles_watts]

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  16. just a thought on Mourinho becoming Arsenal manager

    what a feeling it would be when he gets sacked

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  17. Arsenal now 6pts behind both Leicester City and Chelsea in the race for top 4

    next weekend fixtures are

    Leicester City v Arsenal
    Chelsea v Crystal Palace

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  18. Leicester City have a goal difference of +19, Arsenal have a +1

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  19. Freddie certainly gets my vote, initially as a caretaker at least.
    Jose, the club rushing to deny contact, he was certainly in the stadium recently, with or without Raul, perhaps Duncan Castles is lying about the dinner meeting, either that, Raul has gone rogue and met him without knowledge of other board members, or There is something to it, but the club want it kept quiet.
    But, though Emery now looks a lame duck manager, seemingly without the support of players or fans, dropping points for fun, I still suspect the club will try and avoid anything drastic for some time yet, some might call that responsible calm leadership, others would maybe use the term dithering , we shall see

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  20. Mills is now the star turn in a new post

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  21. To iansoace @12:34pm,
    I was comparing the way we played vs Wolvs with how we’ve been playing for most of the season without Özil.
    Creatively it was way better and that is what I liken to the Arsenal way. Maybe I should have said the AW-Arsenal way.

    I didn’t watch the match live and knew the result before watching the recording so it was a lot less emotional assessment that prompted my comments.

    I like many here don’t think UE is the man to move us forward but not on this display. I also dread Arsenal becoming a revolving door establishment like Man Utd has become. Based on his time with us so far, I wouldn’t renew UE’s contract even if we qualify for the CL.
    But to join the mob crying for blood without a proper plan or replacement? No. But if after yesterday he goes back to undermining morale by keeping Mesut out or playing ego politics?
    I’d want him out earlier.

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