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Vitória Guimarães vs Arsenal

Xhaka_1045x658_0
Good day one and all.
Arsenal are in Portugal to play Vitória de Guimarães at the Estádio D Afonso Henriques in a Europa League group F match.
Thanks to two last-gasp second-half free-kicks from substitute Nicolas Pépé against Guimarães two-weeks ago, a win here will leave the Gunners well placed to progress through to the ‘Round of 32’ in this competition, with two games to spare. However, due a doleful run of domestic form that has seen Unai Emery’s stock decreased drastically in recent weeks, victory is unlikely to gain him any favor; defeat, and the calls for him to leave the dugout will grow just louder. Not a great position the Spaniard finds himself in.
For all our domestic failings the Gunners are doing well in Europa though, winning three from three to top the group. Whereas Guimarães are still winless and rooted at the bottom despite that encouraging performance in the reverse fixture at the Emirates.
They’re aren’t doing too badly in the Primeira Liga, currently sits 5th on the log and have lost just one of their last seven league games (W4, D2). And if this season has taught Arsenal anything… it is that there are no gimmes.
Xhaka situation
With Granit Xhaka now stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, for me this almost feels like a parting shot from Emery. Because if we are honest this is something that will result in him losing whatever smidgen of respect he still got left in the dressing room.
The next international break just turned into something most fans are looking forward to as I suspect it will be a very very, let’s just say, interesting two-weeks for our beleaguered head coach too.
Team news
No Mesut Özil in the travelling party, which could only mean he is “rested” ahead of the Leicester game, wallahi, after his two starts this past week. In addition, Emery are likely to make sweeping changes, bringing in his ‘cup team’ that will feature the usual suspects.
Hopefully Pépé, who was an unused sub vs both Liverpool and Wolves, get a run. To be honest I find his situation bizarre; the guy is our record signing and instead of continuing his integration as he had no pre-season… Is Bukayo Saka ahead of him in Emery’s pecking order now?
With Guimarães all but certain to not make it out of the group they are likely to field a weakened side as priorities shift elsewhere, making Arsenal favourites to win.
However, things are never that simple for the Gunners and it would still be expected of us to be better organised than recently, because this Portuguese side will be in a positive frame of mind playing on their own patch. COYG
— @LaboGoon

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56 comments on “Vitória Guimarães vs Arsenal

  1. Emery has stripped Xhaka of the captains armband and he is no longer even one of the five and it seems that Xhaka will be sold in January and will not play for us again but one thing that stands out in Emery’s comments re Xhaka is that he is trying oh so hard to show he is the big man, making the decisions, rumor has it that Xhaka asked for a transfer last week, and now Emery is coming out saying several times that taking the arm band off Xhaka is his decision, that the possibility of Xhaka leaving is also his decision, that Aubameyang being the new captain is another one of his decisions, Emery trying to show he is in command, he is the big boss man, Jose lite once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the squad for our game tomorrow has been named, Xhaka and Ozil not included, but Tierney who has been left out of the Scotland squad due to an on going injury problem is included. No Smith-Rowe either

    Leno
    Martinez

    Bellerin
    Tierney
    Kolasinac
    Sokratis
    Holding
    Mustafi

    Willock
    Ceballos
    Guendouzi
    Maitland-Niles
    Torreira

    Nelson
    Saka
    Martinelli
    Lacazette
    Pepe

    Like

  3. Thanks Labo.
    The treatment of Xhaka, from the beginning of this incident has been all wrong, they should have recognised what he has been through and his right to be angry, it will be financially costly to the club, they will lose a decent player for less than the reported 35mil they paid, and a penny for the thoughts of the players who voted Xhaka captain.
    Emery and the club should have conspicuously backed Xhaka and his family.
    Emery is an officer showing cowardice under fire, only one way that ends.
    The club need to act before emery creates more fires for the next man to put out

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Arsenal Academy
    @ArsenalAcademy
    ·
    1m
    #AFCU21 WIN THE SHOOTOUT! Cottrell makes no mistake before Jones shoots over

    @CambridgeUtdFC
    :




    #AFCU21:




    🏆
    @LeasingcomTrphy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mandy I would love to see Xhaka join Man City, he would thrive in their midfield

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chelsea seem another one of those teams that nothing goes wrong for at the moment, a bit like Liverpool.
    The opposite to us, could really do with that changing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Think Xhaka would thrive in many teams, especially if he has a more defensive MF beside him to release his amazing range of passing, and in a team protected from the excesses of the PGMOL

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Bringing over from previous post:

    Orwell observed, and I’m paraphrasing here, you can’t write clearly if you’re not thinking clearly. Emery is showing that to be the case with verbal pronouncements. I don’t think it’s because English is his third-ish language, either.

    Xhaka goes from being a mainstay in his team to being an outcast because of one emotional outburst? An outburst that’s completely understandable when you acknowledge the dynamics acting on a brand-new parent in the public eye? It does not add up.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Exact state of affairs at a football club is always a mystery to the humble fan (and journalist) but bloody hell some mysteries are more mysterious than others.

    Most plausible explanation for Xhaka thing taking this direction is probably if he told Emery he can fuck off and all, and wants to leave, but even that doesn’t seem to fit that well with way things appear.

    I’m working on assumption that Emery’s position is, at best, insecure, and he knows it…so what sense would it make to be so unforgiving and ruthless with a popular (chosen by team as captain and everything suggests well liked), important member of team?! Is he going down fighting? Is he trying to save himself by following orders from above him?

    I guess things will become clearer in time and I’m half eager to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. don’t forget guys that there is a very early kick off tomorrow, 3.50pm

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Never felt less connected as right now

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I would like to think Emerys position is insecure, at this stage, it should be, but he is reportedly Rauls man, right from the beginning.
    He’s going to be a very costly manager if they let him carry on

    Liked by 1 person

  13. COYG

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Morning guys. Great introduction Labö, always love your previews. Many thanks as always. Solid and stoic.

    Found myself this morning turning into Victor Meldrew ” I dont believe it!” re the Xhaka situation. So players more and more have to become performing XYZeds to please the fans ( and middle management )who can say what they like, however they like. Arsenal: the “peoples” club. Wtf does “peoples” mean? AFTV? Whose insulted the club more? aftv and those fellow travellers( LG etc) or Xhaka? He didnt tell the whole club to fork awf, he told a few who were screaming at him as he neared the tunnel, having a tantrum is normal, have a look at aftv, and ourselves, we’ve all had them over afc. What does it mean when theres one rule for some and not others? Perhaps Raul should go out there and see what its like?
    This should have been calmed down internally, and then free pacifiers given out for the angries, and then slow steps to build things up again. But no! We live in the time of sensational clickbait vank. And vank it be.Screaming headlines, puritan morality all topped with an icing of bullshit.
    So now because of the narcissistic hypocritical peoples fan base we lose a captain ( phew! at least we have four other captains) and a player. A damn fine player too, if he was allowed to do his job.
    Notice that for years now the captains armband is a curse, most of them have ended up injured. Our real captains are the fans now, lead by the aftv experts.
    Xhakas all too human moment just deflects from the growing catastrophe thats at Arsenal.
    LCFC is going to be a major moment for Emery and the club, either we limp on as the walking wounded or he gets closer to the end. This seems much worse than the Wenger final year, plus never was there more of a need for some kind of positivity ( at least to the players) than now? But even if a new person comes in they still have to deal with middle management. Grrr!

    Anyone excited about tonight? Even the thought of being in the CL is an odd one: mostly I think we would be struggling quite badly, causing more problems. Lets hope its not another draw with us giving away a 2-0 lead..

    And if Mesut doesnt play on Sat..?

    CÖYG!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m tempted to have a few quid on Leicester win Vardy Pen and more than 4 goals in the game. Reckon it could be an earner.

    Like

  16. Good afternoon guys, ladies. We are actually an hour away from getting the team sheets. Crazy Wednesday.

    Re Auba as our new captain, his follies with those aftv runts aside, I think he’ll have the support from the players and he’s also one of those players that never stop trying, to a fault of perhaps trying to please too many. Still think the club practically washing their hands off Xhaka will not go down well.

    Auba the captain now brings forth an interesting dynamic… What does it for him having a coach whose tactics is a hindrance to getting the best out of our attackers?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. markyb

    My dirty secret is I stuck a tenner on that Newc striker to score first opening day of season.

    Traitorous, and he hasn’t been half effective as I thought’d he be either. Still, think he got winner against Spuds so not all bad.

    On pen front, We got ourselves a brand new ref- only had 5 so far I think- for game 12. Stuart Atwell. Can’t recall much about him but see he’s a Nuneaton lad, so close to a home game for him as 20 miles away from Leicester. Went to Uni in Stoke according to wiki, so sure he’s got a natural affection for us. Place your bets!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Our record doesn’t look hot with him. A 1-0 win home to Newc, 2-1 defeat at Brighton and home (d) and away a (L) with Wolves last year.

    He did Utd Norwich recently with the joke Utd pens but think they were on VAR not him.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Watched Saliba on weekend. Really does look promising. Surely good sign that he seemed as adept in centre of three, as on right where I saw him last couple of times.

    Only big question will be assimilating to pace of Prem as on a few occasions it feels touch and go (though he normally gets there) watching him turn or sprint, and games definitely look less frenetic in France.

    But he looks remarkably mature. Concentration looks really good, some excellent timing when to rush out or put foot in, and some very nice passes. I hope our fans aren’t tits and don’t compare him, at 19, with mature Van Dijk at every turn but he’s an exciting addition for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. team news

    Martinez
    Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Holding Mustafi Tierney
    Willock, Ceballos,
    Pepe, Martinelli, Saka

    Like

  21. “the narcissistic hypocritical peoples fan base” — spot on, Mills!

    Like

  22. Holding is captain for the day

    Like

  23. Just about HT, Arsenal have already faced 10 shots on goal.
    Good luck doing that with Vardy at the weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I blame Mustafi.

    Like

  25. ha ha ha, 90th minute and its 1-1

    Like

  26. Why cant we hold onto leads?

    Like

  27. Shambles

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Full Time: Victoria 1-1 Arsenal

    Mustafi gave us the lead with out first effort on target with 10 minutes to go. it ended up being our only effort on target, we had six efforts in total. They had many many more. Especially in the first half.
    Victoria leveled on 90 minutes.
    This was another bag of shite from an Emery team, but I’m sure he will be delighted with how well the team carried out his tactics and game plan. This is a plague on our house.

    Martinez made several fine saves for us, how anyone can say Ceballos is an upgrade on Ramsey is beyond me, and how this guy gets in ahead of Ozil is a disgrace.
    Willock and Saka seem to be suffering with confidence, the early season spark is gone. Pepe had another disappointing game.
    Delighted that Mustafi got our goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I was really hoping Mustafi would have won this game for us. Instead we draw again. AFC: quick on the draw, yee-ha!
    But who expects a draw against Leicester?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Mills we were blessed to even have a lead to hold on to. That was one big crock of shite

    Like

  31. Only managed to catch the last 20 mins. But really. We are shit.

    Like

  32. If Brendan got Pool to beat a Wenger team 5-1, I can’t imagine what his Leicester will do to Emery’s team tomorrow.

    Like

  33. last six games

    Sheffield Utd lost 1-0
    Victoria won 3-2
    Crystal Palace drew 2-2
    Liverpool lost on penalties after drawin 5-5
    Wolves drew 1-1
    Victoria drew 1-1

    Get him the fuck out of here.

    Like

  34. chkmiaot you seen our best 20 minutes, they had loads of chances in first half

    Like

  35. it was a crock Ed. Boring boring Arsenal be back again after nearly 30 years of being locked away!
    oh brother. Sure aint looking forward to playing our new rivals the mighty Leicester.
    #wengerout!

    Like

  36. Orbinho
    @Orbinho
    If you include today, Arsenal have had fewer shots than their opponents in 10 of their 17 matches this season.

    They have outshot their opponents away from home in just one of eight games (+1 v Sheffield United).

    Like

  37. George-not sure its worth doing a review, just a pic of a turd or dregs or something rotten. Poor old Arsenal, its horrible to see this. The Emery league is boring enough, but you would of thought he wanted to cruise it.
    4-0 to LCFC, with no Mesut?

    Like

  38. Mills its one thing being as tight as a ducks arse when 1-0 up and this brand of boring, the old Boring Boring Arsenal played way better football than this shite

    Like

  39. Sadly, looks like the board will most likely tolerate this until the end of the season, for reasons best known to themselves.
    Cannot work out if the players are confused, not playing for him, or both

    Like

  40. just seen Emery’s pre game interview, he was asked about Holding being Captain. Emery said “he is perfect” for Captain, when asked why his reply was “because he is”

    Like

  41. Isn’t emery making enough enemies without pissing off journalists interviewing him

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Ramsey may have just stolen a goal off Ronaldo, a long range freekick by Ronaldo was let fall by the keeper, it then hit him on the heal and was crossing the goalline when Ramsey toepocked it home.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. As we can see it was a good thing to push Xhaka out for the protection of the fans.Who needs a guy like him, or Mesut, or Rambo, or Iwobi, or Monreal, or Kos, or Jack. We must remember this is not Wenger fc nor Arsenal fc but aftv fc.

    One thing we can see, they arent playing for Emery anymore –whenever the coach/manager loses the dressing room, the players end up like zombies. And we have zombies at the moment.

    At least it was over and done with early in the evening.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Mandy after his press conference yesterday I half expected Emery to have replied “I made the decision”

    Like

  45. very true Ed, its boring and leaky.

    Like

  46. JB
    ™️
    @gunnerpunner
    ·
    24m
    Maybe Emery just got the translation wrong when he arrived in England

    He said: “I want to play the pressing football”

    He meant: “I want to play depressing football”

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Arsenal had 6 efforts on goal today, 4 of them were headers by our CB’s, including the goal by Mustafi. Emeryball

    Like

  48. Emery when asked if we have a Problem with the attack?

    They are very defensive , with a big structure defensively. They were defending very deep and together. To create and find small space is not easy against that team.

    “We want to improve, to continue in our way, to be strong defensively and create chances to score.

    “Today our objective we did, to be first in the group. A little disappointed because we didn’t win.”

    Like

  49. its amazing that Emery can claim that they were very defensive when they had 15 efforts on goal and we only had 6,

    Like

  50. What’s up folks!
    Fortunately the match wasn’t on in the US. As for Emery! How can you build when you change the players and formation from match to match? The only thing you can be sure about is our best player Super Guen playing, followed by a goal by the opponent.

    I really loathe this current Arsenal setup.

    Arsenal better get rid of Emery and crawl back to Arsene before he goes to Bayern. It’s a wrap if he gets unlimited resources.

    Feel sorry for Xhaka. Can’t imagine what it feels like to take some much abuse and they attack his wife also?! Sad sad sad!

    Like

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