Arsenal vs Southampton

We are back from the FIFA break, within the cusps of winter and starting the long-haul towards New Years Day.
Good day all. It’s a battle between two under-fire coaches at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal takes on Southampton.
12 Premier League games in, a cursory glance at the table and seeing the Gunners 6th-placed would have some thinking, “well, that’s not calamitous”. However, Liverpool are off in the distance, we are eight points off 4th-placed Man City, have won just two of our last 10 matches and none of our last four. With performances epitomising that Unai Emery have us nowhere near the required level to get back in the Champions League spots.
Be that is it may, he does have the backing of one Raul Sanllehi, who no doubt bank on a turnaround in fortunes in an auspicious run (on paper at least) versus So’ton, Norwich, Brighton and West Ham, in hopes of getting fans back onside as well as gather steam ahead of the more trickier festive fixtures versus Man City, Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea and Man United.
On the face of it, such thinking is practical because for that would have been the idea had a new man replaced Emery. However, there lack confidence from many that Emery has it in him to make the necessary adjustments to get our top-four challenge back on track. Because, if rumours are true that he has been given a month to save his job, our run of poor results continue the fall-out would be significant as any new man would be taking over as we are about to navigate our way through a run of tricky fixtures.
Either way, if you look to restore lost confidence the teams you would probably want to play next are those 19th and 20th on the table. What could go wrong?
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints side got so many issues; winless in their last seven (D1, L6), the PL’s worst defense and barely a third of the season gone already appear to be involved in a relegation scrap. He will be well aware if he doesn’t turn it around soon, he would be out of a job by Christmas.
Three points would lift them out the relegation zone though, so we can expect them making their presence felt. They played well in a 2-1 defeat away at Mancity in recent weeks and took them quite deep, so no doubt they will be looking for a similar approach as well as adding a bit of spice. Hasenhuttl did say in his pre-match presser his boys “must go back to being a nasty team” if they want to salvage their season. So if we fail to keep them on the backfoot, they could see that as an invitation to make this game more open than we would like.
Team News
Dani Ceballos is out injured till end of December, while Sead Kolasinac and Nicolas Pépé faces late assessments for minor issues. Everyone else, including Granit Xhaka whose “mindset has improved” per Emery, are available for selection.
Usually when Arsenal goes up against 19th-placed one would think “banker”, but with so much on the line and both sides desperate for points, it’s hard to ignore the eeriness of this being “must win”.
Given our patchy form all season, Emery will be under pressure to give the Emirates faithful a commanding performance to ease some of the ill-feeling towards him. And with the Saints all out of sorts and without an away win against us in over three decades… this is one I suspect the Gunners to get all three points from, albeit not without an element of concern.
— @LaboGoon

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125 comments on “Arsenal vs Southampton

  1. reports tonight that Arsenal Chairman Sir Chips Keswick is considering resigning from the board. This follows on from last weeks reports that he and Lord Peckham proposed appointing David O’Leary to the board only to have it ruled out by Raul.
    Idiot Arsenal fans will no doubt think it’d be great to see Sir Chips leave, its just another actual Arsenal man going and more free reign for Don Raul, who we all know is a life long Arsenal man, right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for advice Dave and A-or-b, really appreciate it.

    Gonna try insurance company tomorrow. Also, found a site where you can put in case number of these judgements but gotta sign up and pay a small fee. Wasn’t it mood today for that but 99% sure a legit service so prob will tomorrow.

    I think claim is legit but it’s a bad feeling at moment trying to get to bottom of it with no info. Parents getting on now, been handling stressful situations for Aunty for decades now, so wish could have spared them this shite. Family eh!

    Bloody North coming for me again! This ruling was from court in Huddersfield! We’re all in Swansea and have no links up there.


  3. Folks have already been handling Aunt’s money for years, after digging her out of bad mess backs then when ‘friends’ of hers ripped her off royally for a few grand taking catalogues out in her name. Social services aware and offered to take over money completely but parents wanted her to keep some freedom. Least it means they’ve saved buffer/ emergency funds for her, and can pay with that if necessary instead of having to bail her out again

    I’m guessing lot of trouble stems from her moving flat this year and all previous letters been going to old address. Maybe this company dredged electoral roll or like and got address of folks from there. 20 years since she lived with them though.

    Supposing was to do with car accident last year, though, not a clue how you get from being insured, policy finished afterwards (she stopped driving for good)…to this point. Even if they sent letters, how no phone calls or anything?


  4. the thing that has me most wanting Emery out is that he is not a man of his own convictions, he is a coward. He is afraid to pick his formation and employ his style of play, or his tactics.
    He came in and it was play out from the back all the time regardless of time and space, then after a few cock ups, it was abandoned, till he reappeared at the start of this season, again it only took a few near misses and it was gone again.
    He was going to build the team around Ramsey and Ozil, only to dump both, then brought them back to rescue the season when it was too late. Ramsey departs in the summer and Ozil is dumped once again, only to be brought back in again as things went tits up.
    Mustafi was a first choice CB nearly all last season, only to become a non person near the end and so far in the EPL this season, despite him playing very well in all the cup games so far.
    Xhaka was the captain but a few boo boys later and he is not even certain to play again for Arsenal.
    Pepe is our £72M club record signing, so surely the man Emery most wanted but he has barely completed a full 90 minute game for us.
    PEA and Lacca could not be in the same team for a lot of last season but then like now the balance of the team is skewed to try and fit both in, but not at the expense of actually playing 2 up front.

    we have had 7 different formations in the last 7 games, even a rookie coach would not flip flop like that, he’d have more self belief in his own ideas and views of the game. Emery is a coward and Arsenal is no place to have a coward as a head coach.


  5. sorry to hear of your troubles rich, I hope you don’t let it get you down.


  6. Z
    Mike Riley, the referees’ chief, is expecting to hold talks on VAR standards in the Premier League with former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, the new chief of global football development at Fifa. [@TeleFootball


  7. 3pts from the last 15 available, got those points from our last 3 home games, we have lost the 2 away games in between.

    our opponents were Sheffield Utd, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester, Southampton

    trust the process


  8. next five league fixtures

    norwich(a), brighton, west ham(a), man city, everton(a)

    will we get more than 3pts from the 15 available in those games


  9. Interesting day. Was looking forward to a revival, but this guy clearly is not capable. I was at just above pitch level behind a goal, so couldn’t see everything, but what I observed from the game, firstly I thought the fans did their best to back the team , especially when attacking. Ozil clearly very popular. But a complete lack of structure, I don’t know if when going behind or under pressure, the players take things into their own hands and ignore instructions, or if they just aren’t given instructions, or clear instructions.
    The booing at the end, some of it was at the referee, for his overall performance , and for blowing the final whistle on an arsenal attack, but some of it clearly for the performance, ditto booing at ht, but that ref was not popular.
    The ref, gave us absolutely nothing. Nitpicking for us, letting things go for them. They were time wasting, falling down, feigning injuries, including what looked to be pretend concussion, but the ref bought it all, and let a player treated for what looked like a pretend head injury straight back on, perhaps I am being harsh but just going on what I interpreted. The ref booked our players at any opportunity, often on first foul….Pepe!! we got the feeling he was itching to give them a penalty and ours a red. He was the usual standard of refereeing we get. You won’t see the likes of Liverpool on the end of such officiating.
    The non celebrating of Lacca second goal, we all thought the ref was going to disallow it on VAR over something, can not speak for the players, perhaps they did as well!
    But, shite ref aside, that really was bad. Structureless, terrible defending, MF issues, thought we missed Xhaka today. I suspect some players might run around, but not fully playing for this manager who is quite happy to throw players under a bus, players notice such things. Emery will be gone between now and the summer, I suspect many of the players want it sooner rather than later.
    Wenger ended up with a poor away record against teams like this, but invariably battered them at home, and on one occasion at least, away.
    Emery is surely only still here because of Rauls influence, and possibly a lack of attainable replacements, and perhaps payoff finances. Or the Kroenkes attributed patience for underperforming managers. What an unhealthy situation.
    But , what the club need to look at now, not whether he will finish in the top four, that bird has flown, but the percentage chance of not making the EL next season, or even a relegation battle, sounds extreme, but that chance is increasing, who knows where this manager could take the team. If the powers that be allow that, then ignore forever any claims of ambition.
    No club wanting to move forward would keep this manager at this juncture, unless they really know something we do not, or they have placed him under unrealistic conditions, neither look the case to me
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Emery gone on Monday, equally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him still here, stinking the place out, struggling for 16th place in May. So , will split the difference, gone by new year. If there is any justice, Rauls rep with the powers that be has taken a big knock, reportedly taking an agents advice to bring Emery in as a last minute candidate, then bulldoze him into the job. And reportedly try and give him a new deal last summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Ed.

    Proper stressed earlier but hopefully better day tomorrow and get it sorted soon after.


  11. As for Mr Chips, sad a lifelong supporter feels this way, but , as they say, be careful who you let in, even if you do very well out of it. Stan may have seemed a sensible choice at the time, but now we have Son of Stan, who appears a very different proposition. His father had an element of stability, looks like JK brings chaos
    I am sure our director he is genuinely very concerned the way things are, but tbh, don’t have a huge amount of sympathy.
    But I do fear who he will be replaced with, probably Troopz

    Liked by 1 person

  12. More cheerful stuff is dreaming about how Wenger could make that crook Riley suffer. Not been excited till now by thought that he could actually clean up game some. Absolutely believe he has intelligence, courage and decency for it- so it’ll come down to what he’s up against.

    I’m amused by thought of him being in position to put on huge conference or the like to talk through reffing/ VAR issues and pick out tons of examples of Riley’s shite, with thorough explanations of how inexplicable some of it is.


  13. Suppose he’s too canny to use game 50 clips but, ah, maybe can slip one in there:

    [Video of Ruud stamp on giant screen] ‘unfortunately ref missed this, as did linesman who appeared to be in great position. With VAR that should be impossible. In this case it is so blatant that there is perhaps no need to use a pitchside monitor. However, in the majority of cases, where subjective element involved, the monitor works far better (cue examples), and of course fits in with IFAB directives on the matter’ etc etc

    Always believed that with proper platform, Riley’s position could be made untenable and prem exposed to ultra-damaging scrutiny (which would force action) simply by showing clips of decisions and talking through logic of them, with reference to laws,etc.

    Fingers crossed the platform could allow something of that nature.


  14. Really missing a box to box, how bad does the Ramsey decision look now?
    Or even the handling of Xhaka


  15. Mandy,

    Now seems very plausible that there is at least one major, unresolvable division : those who truly wish to continue with something along Wengerian lines; those who want something else, more along the ‘whatever works’ lines.

    ‘Whatever works’, or whatever label we can put on it, certainly isn’t working, but I expect in their minds they don’t see that as being a result of them straying from Wengerian lines but, if anything, not being far enough away from it.

    I don’t know if they are anything like the right categories for the divisions but it does feel increasingly likely they exist and are big. Depending on who has what power at present, it could hugely increase difficulties, especially in deciding what comes next if Emery leaves soon.


  16. Twickenham Red

    This cannot continue:

    Southampton had managed just 13 shots in their last three games in total

    6 v Leicester (h)
    3 v Man City (a)
    4 v Everton (h)
    21 v Arsenal (a)


  17. mandy I really don’t get why anyone comes out with stuff like – the players should just ignore Emery’s instructions and do what they think is best – what do you think the whole exiling of Ozil was and is about, or why Ramsey was left out, this was two players who made decisions on the pitch, who could see what was best and done it, both taken out of the team at every opportunity, it was a very simple but clear message from the head coach, – do only what I told you to do or you are out of the team. The players got the message and as the season went on we seen more and more of what Emery wanted and less and less of players doing off the cuff things, and results went down hill. The only time we seen off the cuff stuff was in the cups, mainly the EL, but Ramsey was out of the final so it was follow instructions, with ozil man marking Jorginho.

    And it has continued this season, again Emery’s show of strength was to demote Ozil. So the players have the message, do what you are told, and only what you are told or else. And so no matter what the formation the play is to be funneled to the fullbacks to swing in the ball as our main way of creating

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Arsenal committed 13 fouls today and got six yellow cards, southampton committed 19 fouls and got two yellow cards.

    arsenal will face an FA charge for getting 6 yellow cards


  19. Sounds like Atwell was chomping at bit for us.

    He was down to do Leicester game, despite being local to there, before they changed it late on.

    Got his pen in and plenty of bookings, so probably earned himself a good score and had nice day.

    7 mins injury time surprised me, though. Very rare for us to get more than 3/4 mins when chasing result.


  20. well rich on the stoppage time, there was six subs so that is 3 minutes right there and one of their guys was down in their area for a few minutes, and one of their two bookings was for time wasting.


  21. Ed

    Aye, but typically they still seem to only give us 3 or 4.

    Atkinson once gave us less than there was for two long injury stoppages alone (vs West Ham 1st game of season), despite six subs, massive timewasting, 45 sec free kicks, 20 sec throws,etc. Was so bad I rewatched it and added it up.

    Ten mins easy, or at least 7 if there’s no adding on for excessive throws, corners, free-kicks, and he gave 4 I think, which they wasted a good half of, for insult to injury (time).

    As I said earlier today, my enthusiasm for bashing pgmol not there right now, but they have surely been at it all the same again this season. Concern now is all for next person who faces it, not Emery. Desperate as ever to see us thrive, and it still seems a terrible obstacle to me.


  22. Think this graph could be up your street Ed.

    Damn, it’s a bad un.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Eduardo, I am not saying the players SHOULD ignore instructions, I just suspect that’s what they are doing as the games take on a familiar pattern, whether it be a conscious, subconscious decision, or they don’t understand or rate the instructions they are given.
    I also suspect that some players are very pissed off at the way Emery has treated team mates, Xhaka reportedly a popular player, and would assume such players might want emery gone more even than the fans do, but of course impossible to prove or substantiate such claims. I would guess that throwing several players under a bus is one good way to lose a dressing room, or part of it, especially when those above emery at least appear to be doing nothing, players might take the situation into their own hands, as we usually see in time with Mourinho teams.


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