35 Comments

Standard Liège vs Arsenal

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On the back of Freddie Ljungberg’s first win as interim boss, Arsenal travel across the English Channel to face Standard Liège at their Stade de Sclessin for our final Europa League Group F clash.
Good day all. For the Gunners to advance to this season’s knockout stage the task is very simple, just avoid a heavy defeat; whilst Standard not only have to do the sensational to beat the North London side by five goals, but also rely on a result elsewhere going in their favour – sounds like a decent enough chance.
For Arsenal supporters the last few weeks haven’t been easy, but after an agonizing run the football gods finally smile down on us as Freddie finally got something to bounce off with a 3-1 victory at West Ham United. For large parts during the first half of that game it seemed like it’s going to be another of those nights, however, after the hour mark all that changed as football memories came flooding back and the boys remembered what they’re made of.
Freddie’s task will now be to keep the switch on, get back a sense of balance from which to create a stable platform to build so we can dominate games from the onset. We got such a talented group of players, one certainly more than capable of going all the way in the Europa. There are still a lots of work to be done though, so many edges that need smoothing instead of getting too ahead.
Standard Liège are unbeaten in five straight games (all competitions) since the last inter-break, a run in which they scored 10 goals. So they should feel reasonably encouraged coming into this one. They have quite a handy record at home too having won 12 of their last 14 matches in front of their own crowd.
The Gunners should be a different challenge to what they’re used to though, having already beaten them 4-0 in the reverse fixture. So if the home side got genuine designs on making it through to the ’round of 32′, simply beating the Gunners won’t cut it, they have to smash us. Meaning they got little option but to throw us with the kitchen sink from the first minute; which is the sort of desperation that could work in our favour as it will leave lots of open spaces in behind for us to take advantage of. So whatever any of you guys do make sure not to miss this one, or at least the first half, because it could be quite the spectacle.
Team News
Monday night took a bit out the squad with Nicolas Pépé (knee),  Hector Bellerìn (hamstring), Kieran Tierney (shoulder) and Granit Xhaka (concussion) joining Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding on the sidelines. Shkodran Mustafi is suspended for this encounter.
Getting in the swing of the festive as fixtures comes thick and fast, we can expect quite a bit of rotation to ensure players are being kept fresh and others a few extra days to recover from knocks.
Prediction
Coming off their first win in a while the Gunners will have a spring in the step and should feel confident of getting a result here. However, the Belgian’s home crowd are enjoying quite a ride with their side, and will be right behind them all the way hoping for an upset against a young-ish Gunners outfit. We should get some decent chances though in an expected open game.
Having seen some dire football in recent months, this game is going to be scrappy in bits but I doubt it will fall short in entertainment value. Get in there Arsenal… COYG!
— @LaboGoon

35 comments on “Standard Liège vs Arsenal

  1. Nice one Labo, and Ed for your recent piece. Good stuff.

    Extra spring in my Arsenal step as I was delighted they re-released 91-93 away shirt again. Think my childhood version of it ended up with a relative in Scotland and I’ve wanted it for years.

    Bloody expensive, but had to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Weirdly poised is the game. I’d love to see us go with youthful team but don’t know if right to take that tiny risk of it going badly wrong, or the smaller one of it going a bit wrong and us losing momentum of other night.

    Still, it aint my neck, and feels like we could really do with giving Smith-Rowe gametime. Nelson, too.

    Really love to see us go with all of them one time this year- Willock, Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Saka- but unlikely there’ll be suitable game. Annoyingly, would have been two of them if we’d secured qualification with fourth game.

    Had the sense, especially in pre-season, that youngsters look better when there are two or three of them out there to link up in attacking areas in ways familiar from youth teams.

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  3. Thanks Labo.
    Whoever plays, Hope we see the Freddieball we saw in that spell at WHam

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  4. I’ve got a heavy fixture list this evening. Finish work, go and vote, make the dinner, have a shave, all before six o’clock. Anyway enough about me come on the youngsters and COYG.

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  5. Martinez
    Sokratis, Mavropanos, David Luiz, Maitland-Niles,
    Guendouzi, Willock
    Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Saka
    Lacazette

    subs: Leno, Chambers, Medley, Olayinka, Martinelli, John-Jules, Aubameyang

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  6. That’s exciting lineup. Gonna be interesting to see the formation, unless it’s 3-3-3-1

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  7. Thanks for the lead in, great stuff as always and thanks for always taking the time to do it.Seems theres a few permutations with who can go through tonight. Really hope Freddies lads can win this one. COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. that really looked like a major over reaction by Guendouzi

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  9. Mills… That is you right, Kenneth?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Labo, yes, my posts were going into spam all the time, George kindly sorted it out for me, but I decided to go back under my old nom incase it started happening again.

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  11. HT: 0-0

    AFC on top and could easily have been a goal or two ahead.

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  12. FFS, 25 yard drive hits Mavropanos’s hand and wrong foots Martinez and we are 1-0 down 2 minutes into the second half

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  13. now that is some shite defending, and once again a deflection off Mavropanos’s hand and its 2-0

    sokratis off, Martinelli on, 20 minutes left

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  14. lacazetteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee pulls one back from a great cross from Saka 2-1

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  15. sakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa with a great finish from edge of the area 2-2

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  16. Aubameyang has come on for the last five minutes

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  17. the other game in our group is also 2-2

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  18. now victoria winning 3-2

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  19. FT: 2-2

    should have been leading at half time but then went 2-0 down with two deflected goals, Saka set up lacazette with a peach of a cross to get us back in the game, and then just two minutes later he curled in from the edge of the area with his right foot.

    The defense was poor tonight, and the midfield 2 of Willock and Guendouzi never really got on top of things. We always looked dangerous in attack

    We have topped the group, but I don’t think it will have done Freddie’s chances of getting the job full time any good, the overall performance was not good enough

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  20. A bit of a flat performance.
    Luiz really is rubbish.

    Martinelli did well at coming on. Saka also improved.

    Was hoping for more from Reiss and Emile.

    Willock was okay. Passing was off

    Guendouzi did well especially in tight spaces. Either coming out with the ball or drawing the foul.

    Martinez looked dicey today.

    Need to improve our combinations in the final third though I feel that will come the more they play together. It’s slowly happening.

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  21. Never sure how to fairly assess game with that many youngsters. If as keen as I am to see them make it or get chances to do so figure I have to cut lot of slack.

    Missed first 30 but Smith-Rowe was looking our brightest spark until late stages. Nelson struggling a bit I thought.

    Looked like we struggled bit more than them with pitch and conditions but again have to hope that’s good experience for young lads.

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  22. Find it a little bizarre how for lot of what I saw they managed to have loads back in defence but also get pretty good numbers forward for attacking forays.

    Could at least a little be psychological for me, in that every attack of opponent is unpleasant and unwelcome, and registers different? I dunno. Don’t think that accounts for much of it. Got to be mostly a midfield issue I think.

    Chuffed Saka had those two great moments and, in end, somehow, we topped group

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  23. Surely the point us that liege play together week in week out and the team we put out have never played together in this format.

    We have to be happy that our players are good enough to be s let to do it.

    4 out of the last 5 goals we have conceded have been deflections that have beaten the goalie not the shooter. Is that a record?

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  24. Good to go through as group winners, and some of the kids did well, but really do not want to defend like that at the weekend!
    That said, we seem incredibly unlucky with deflections these days, isn’t that 4or 5 in recent games?

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  25. Doof. Now that’s a tough result to take. Even 8-2’s got nothing on it.

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  26. Dismal little country.

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  27. I feel totally sick in my stomach, how has this happened? The utter ignorance, the utter delusion. I feel for the first time in my life something is really over. Its regressive, tainted with xenophobia and racism, of pathological lying of no shame of corruption. Its about sociopaths crushing life and democracy. Its of a cloning- conditioning without reason or kindness or human care, its about power and control straight from the feudal times. Its about new boss C hin a.Its about the company that pays for Farage.It about nobody can contain the power of the politician to do what they want and not be held accountable. Its been about taking also from other countries when in time of support to then run off when the going looks good.Its about the resurrection of the British Empire. Its about stoking up past grievances to re-live a fake glory. Conflicts fought by the lower classes that didnt even want to die, to then watch as the self imposed bigwigs took the victory as theirs, wrote the history books and then for generations laid wreaths in fake solemnity.
    Its about personalities and not politics. It about bread and circuses.Its about the ignorance that Britain feels miles away from the mainland, but the mainland knows and sees everything as its so close, the people whove created this are riddled with insular attitudes and ignorance.Its about people who write like this gonig on a list and being gotten rid of.I feel that I just want to go to the bog and start puking my guts up. For me somethings over. Going to retire for a while, take care of yourselves.
    Mills

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  28. So you would rather have the country run by Corbin and McDonald?

    I for one am relieved as if they had won I would had leave. Why? Because I am Jewish. We have seen what happens in a country run by an anti-semitic political party.

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  29. Perhaps you should find the post in the archive where I explain my family a few generations back, which are the same as yours. I get lots of emails from Chabad.org and from Yad Vashem, and consider myself Noahide. I live in the country where it all happened to try and make peace with what went on. And face terrible uncertainty and have down for three years, the likes of which I m not sure anyone on this board has.
    Why is it for the last week that if somebody says one thing something is is assumed?
    Enjoy your relief. It well may be my destruction.

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  30. George,and everyone else. I apologise for bringing politics onto the board. I think I was searching for some friends as I feel totally lost like never before and always see PA as a bit of a shoulder to lean on. It was wrong of me. Bad time for me and at the lowest ebb ever, Im what Shitler called the “unerwünscht” so life is nothing but a struggle and it all now seems pretty horrific.Those of us over the water can feel nothing but a terror. If you could see what we do and all this playing out.
    Please I ask for peace ( which seems hypocritical and probably is) from readers and sorry that I wrote what I did, even if those are my feelings and thoughts. Better I stay away for a bit.
    Sorry again.
    Mills

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  31. Last thing I’ll say, to keep it quarantined on this post instead of blighting the new one. I sympathise with anyone who couldn’t vote for Corbyn. It’s part of the same disaster because he is mediocre. An antisemite? I don’t know, and it’s not for me to say, but I know I can’t blame anyone for wondering if he is.

    OK, but now we’ve got a nationalist right-wing government, spouting populist rhetoric already. Xenophobic poison has been proven to win votes. Pandora’s Box has been opened. What happens when life for angry Brexit voters gets worse and not better?

    What will these people feel justified in doing now that this taboo has been broken? I’m scared for my friends from the EU and scared for my partner. This is the emotion talking, but I feel like I’m ready to leave too.

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  32. Kenneth (Mills) Its okay to express yourself as you feel you are among friends; however, you may also need to be able to allow others express themselves even if contrary. Do not feel bad expressing yourself. It helps

    Either way I for one do not have a problem with this cos it is that we are human and do have ups and downs in our experiences which many times are not in the football realm and do have big impacts in our lives and well being.

    My own country is going though so much rubbish that i dont even think others outside of it understand since we that are in it do not fully understand. Just that we have hope for a better tomorrow!

    Take care of yourself and do not be too down… things will work out better than you presently feel I Hope… Having Hope of a better tomorrow does help. I speak from a practical experience coming from and living in the country that I do.

    … being a Christian i am a strong believer in Hope of a better tomorrow!

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  33. Thanks Team spirt, and to Birdy and George. Thanks guys. I mean it. Weirdest thing is all my close Jewish friends hate Boris and are now shitting it too. Im all for everyone expressing themselves though, even if it looks like Im one tracked Im really not. I suppose blogs are tough places to express yourself and into seem single minded.

    At school my Dad was called Solomon by the Boris gang ( he was a working class kid that went to the local posh school) and said there was this unspoken anti Judaism that was there, but not clearly out in the open and as kids we were told by people that my brother and I werent true British, and my bro was really given a lot of shit more than me by his mates, but often it was posh people who did it and people without a clue. Britains foreign policy in the 30s is totally shocking.
    Look Im not into religious fights all can go their way as far as Im concerned and I dont want anyone to hurt others. Im just speaking of experience. My relatives were gassed in Auschwitz and other tortured and killed in Russia after the war.To me I dont want any of the people who stood for election to run the country but someone else, who can unite and understand things. Im on cloud 9 I suppose but I cant change. I like getting on with people. We live in a frightened world and drum beaters are all around.
    Look Im really touched by what you wrote Team. And to George too.First time ever I cant find any hope, but was touched nonetheless.
    If Im coming across wrong it because I feel totally mashed with this and can find now way forward. Ive again gone to far by Im not fighting.I suppose trying to explain never works as the worlds so complex?
    But sorry again if Ive caused problems.
    But really thanks guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Man, I’ve never been as disappointed by the way longer posts of mine don’t tend to show here.

    Oh well. Maybe they’ll turn up.

    Like

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