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Home Alone.

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Arsenal is back at the Emirates Stadium for the first time in nearly four months when they host relegation-threatened Norwich City in a Premier League clash this evening. Just before the lockdown they were on a run of three-straight league wins at home and will be eager to make it four.
Good day one all.
After an initial hiccup following the restart the Gunners bounced back with victories at Southampton and Sheffield United, the latter in the FA Cup, to give them a boost heading into this fixture.
Although we got the two wins, our general play lacked consistency and structure over the four matches. That said, our form on the road in recent seasons have always been cause for concern and Mikel Arteta will be the first to admit that there is still plenty of work to be done if we are to turn this around.
For now, it’s just a relief to be back at the Emirates where we are unbeaten in the league since the turn of the year. So if we can sustain that form and hopefully build on it for our travels, then we can still do enough to qualify for Europa through the league. Therefore, nothing short of a win will do today.
Norwich are also in must-win territory and if they don’t see an immediate change in fortunes they will be unable to avoid relegation.
Daniel Farke’s side have shown little signs of life. They come into this game on the back of three defeats since the restart; in those they’ve managed only three shots on target while taking 22 on their own goal. This may mean very little as we know teams on a poor run do tend to crank it up when playing against the Arsenal.
Be that as it may, the Canaries’ away form this season is just utter dire. In their 15 league games on the road they only got one win and three draws. At this point it look like all they got left to play for in the run-in is nothing but pride as they appear destined for a return to the Championship.
Team News
The home side have been hit hard with injuries in recent weeks, with David Luiz and Mesut Özil’s availability subject to late fitness tests.
In a bit more positive news, Cédric Soares have recovered from a broken nose and could finally make his long-awaited debut.
Prediction
The Canaries could come out fighting but this looks like an ideal fixture for the Gunners to chalk up another win. COYG!
— Labo

37 comments on “Home Alone.

  1. Indeed well said Labo,
    I think the four games so far have all had mitigating circumstances as to why thing haven’t flowed, however when you consider injuries, officials the amount of games and traveling in such a short space of time this is hardly surprising.
    I would like to think this might be a game where we could finally fly and look beautiful again although it is true all the games now are result essential so three points please COYG.

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  2. So glad to read that Saka has signed… wow… the others should follow his lead

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  3. The Saka news has lifted the spirits this afternoon, now let’s hope the team lifts them further this evening.

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  4. Tim Lewis appointed to Arsenal boards
    Arsenal Digital 01 Jul 2020
    Tim Lewis

    Corporate lawyer Tim Lewis has been appointed as a non-executive director of Arsenal Holdings Limited and Arsenal Football Club plc.

    Tim, a partner with Clifford Chance, joins the boards with immediate effect.

    In a statement, Stan and Josh Kroenke said: “We are pleased to announce Tim’s appointment. He will bring additional experience and skills, starting with our work to come out of the current situation in as strong a position as possible.”

    Tim, a lifelong Arsenal fan, said: “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Stan, Josh, the board and executive team to help take the club forward at this critical time.”

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  5. Martinez
    Mustafi
    David Luiz
    Kolasinac
    Bellerin
    Xhaka
    Ceballos
    Tierney
    Nelson
    Lacazette
    Aubameyang (c)

    Substitutes
    Macey
    Sokratis
    Holding
    Maitland-Niles
    Willock
    B. Saka
    Pepe
    Nketiah

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  6. cedric also one of the subs

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  7. guendouzi is persona non grata

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  8. Further to the news that William Saliba will not be extending his loan at St Etienne, we have the following statement:

    “Throughout our discussions with St Etienne, our aim has been to protect the welfare of William Saliba as well as the interests of Arsenal Football Club, while honouring the terms of the loan.

    “Despite the loan ending on June 30, we were willing to find a way for William to play in the [French] cup final on July 24, despite having no contractual obligation to do so.

    “As William is returning from injury, we asked that St Etienne follow a clear training plan with William in close collaboration with us, to ensure he is fully fit for the start of next season.

    “To our surprise we were unable to reach agreement to this plan which was proposed by our medical experts, and we are simply not prepared to risk the welfare of an Arsenal player.

    “While it was not our primary concern, and ultimately not relevant as our training plan was not accepted, we also expected not to be financially disadvantaged by extending the loan. This was also not acceptable to St Etienne.

    “We know this is a disappointment for William but he understands we are working to protect his long-term interests and those of Arsenal.”

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  9. Aubameyang scores to become the quickest AFC player to 50 league goals

    he robbed Krul of the ball and put it in the empty net. 1-0 to the Arsenal

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  10. Xhaka makes it 2-0 to the Arsenal, with a shot from just on the edge of the six yard box, (what ever he was doing there) from a PEA pass

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  11. Sky Sports Statto
    @SkySportsStatto
    · 9m
    🔴
    Fastest players to reach 50 PL goals for @Arsenal
    Apps:
    79 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    83 – Thierry Henry
    87 – Ian Wright
    101 – Alexis Sanchez
    113 – Olivier Giroud

    PEA is the 6th fastest to 50 EPL goals

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  12. Nice goal from our captain, Auba did well too with his persistence

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  13. HT: Arsenal 2-0 Norwich

    AFC in almost complete control of the game, although Norwich did bring one fine save out of MArtinez from a freekick, and went close with another long distance power shot.

    Aubameyang robbed Krul of the ball in his area to slot home, then soon after he set up Xhaka to fire home from six yards out.
    All playing well, Tierney getting lots of room down the left, Ceballos very well involved today

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  14. leicester now looking like they are in a fight to get top 4, they have been poor since the league resumed

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  15. So sheffield – spurs… hmm. A draw?

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  16. anything other than a spurs win should be good

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  17. norwich bring on 3 subs at start of second half

    Arsenal bring on Holding on for Mustafi

    Liked by 1 person

  18. leicester pull a goal back away to everton

    newcastle now 3-0 up at bournemouth

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  19. Willock on for Nelson

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  20. VAR checking for a penalty to Norwich, Mike Dean says no penalty, for me cantwell should have been booked for a dive

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  21. I know it was easy for him by the time he came on but I do like the look of Willock. It won’t always be easy but I think we might be alright under Mikel.

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  22. so a debut goal for Cedrid Soares

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  23. Arteta on Matteo Guendouzi: ‘Some things have to change and nothing has changed [so far].’

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  24. Arteta’s press conference: full transcript
    Josh James 01 Jul 2020

    Mikel Arteta faced the media via a virtual press conference after our first behind closed doors at Emirates Stadium on what was a hugely positive day for the club.

    The head coach began by sharing his joy at Bukayo Saka’s new contract, then went on to praise the side for their third consecutive win, paying tribute to top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and congratulating Cedric on a memorable debut.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    On what Saka’s contract extension says about the club…
    Well, I think he is the player that represents every value that this football club stands for. He’s come through the academy, so big credit to everyone who has been involved in the process of developing the player and the person that he is today. He’s come into my hands, our hands, really mature, really focused and really well developed in his knowledge about what he needs to do in the game, and it was really important for me to keep him and have big belief in him. From now on, I will be demanding more because he can give us more and more hopefully in the future.

    On whether this game was a good example of his philosophy…
    Yeah, it’s part of the process that we have to respect and we can give them so much in certain moments. It’s been a really difficult season since I joined with the amount of games that we’ve had in December and then the break that we’ve had in lockdown, but they are so willing and they are completely onboard with what we are trying to do. A lot of things that happened today will convince them even more that this is the right direction for us to take as a team, and we still have to work on many things like the way we handle the game in certain moments. We cannot give anything to the opponent and we gave that again tonight, but overall I’m really happy with the attitude and as well with their understanding of the game and what the game requires for them to control it and exploit the opponent as much as we can.

    On Dani Ceballos’ performance and whether he will sign permanently…
    Both clubs have been in communication. I really like Dani and what he brings to the team. When I joined he wasn’t available because he had a difficult injury, but he’s understanding what we’re trying to do really, really nicely and he has big personality to play and take the ball in any area of the field and give us the continuity that we need as a team to control the games better, but as well without the ball. The running that he’s putting in, the tackles, every time with the interceptions, his desire to win that ball back and help the team, he’s improved so much and he looks a really good player at the moment.

    On whether he expected Cedric to come on and score…
    Yeah I said in the past that he probably has the best end product of the guys that we have, it’s one of the main qualities that he has. He showed that tonight as well with the way he can finish. I’m so happy for the boy. He’s brought great energy and a lot of positivity to the group since he joined, even though it’s been really difficult for him with injuries and the fracture that he had in his nose. I’m glad for him. He made his debut, he scored a goal and we got the three points so it was a perfect night for him.

    On how many goals Auba can score for Arsenal…
    Hopefully at least another 100 but I don’t know, I’m not a magician. What he’s achieved today, to be the (fastest) to score 50 (in the Premier League) in the history of this football club, tells you everything about his mentality and the way he works every day on his finishing, on trying to help the team. He’s decided to be better and better every day. So hopefully we can keep him here for a longer period.

    On how talented Auba is and how important he is for us…
    A player that is able to score as many goals as he’s done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us. We need players that can make the difference at any moment in the game every three days, in different competitions, and that’s a big test for him. He’s done that at different clubs, he’s willing to stay with him, he’s really happy where he is and can see what we’re trying to do. Hopefully he can evolve as well in some parts of his game that in my opinion he can improve. We are pushing him every day towards that.

    On whether Granit Xhaka has come full circle from his difficulties…
    Absolutely. He’s a player whose commitment goes beyond anything normal. He leaves every drop of blood on that football pitch every day and he does the same in training. For me, he’s a great example to any other team-mate, the way he looks after himself and lives his profession. I’m really happy that we could convince him to stay, give him another opportunity, learn from the mistake that he made and as well appreciate the player and the person that we have at the club, and support them. When someone has a difficult moment, we are right behind them. We can give them another chance.

    On why Matteo Guendouzi isn’t in the squad and what he has to do to get back in it…
    It’s the same reasons as last week.

    On whether Guendouzi’s not showing what he wants to see from him…
    Things have to change and nothing has changed.

    On whether anything could happen with Auba’s contract before the end of the season…
    I don’t know, I leave that to the football club and the people that look after those types of contract. Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him and the project that I want to create, and how much he’s part of that. After that, it’s not in my hands.

    On him being confident about Saka signing his contract…
    Because I knew!

    On Auba still being quite a long way away from signing…
    I don’t know, I am positive that we can keep him here for many years but things have to progress.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  25. with 6 games left Arsenal are 8pts behind 4th placed Chelsea, and 9pts behind 3rd placed Leicester who we have to play

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  26. As far as Europe is concerned that’s 2nd place Leicester and 3rd place chelski.

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  27. Very enjoyable night overall. No Dean, Atkinson, Taylor, Oliver and we’re winning games again. I know, I know, these have been easier games, and those supposedly best refs get nearly all the bigger ones.

    Good illustration of why it’ll stay like that today. Thought man in middle was good- fouls for fouls, bookings for bookings- with perhaps key moment the correct booking for Mclean. He’s their dirtiest player by far- the dangerous Guendouzi hit, then saw him recently ‘accidentally’ put studs in hard on opponent after shooting- but that booking around 25 by and large neutered him. Still mouthing off but didn’t notice any fouls after it.

    Really is one of the great weapons of Atkinson et al to keep those types out of book.

    Completely right on non pen as well. Heart sank when heard Dean reviewing but thank fuck contact outside box so he couldn’t overturn.

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  28. Interesting comments of Guendouzi fair to say. Can only guess. Sulking in training or actually being vocal in complaints?

    All depends on degree of course but don’t think Mikel will be one to muck about if attitude is way off. Do think he has great potential but back Mikel’s judgement on it.

    Speaking of mids, Ceballos had cracking game. Few more of them and there’ll definitely be some regret with departure.

    Still see a few on my twitter knocking Granit by way…. Not seeing individual good he does is one (daft) thing, but not to have noticed pattern that generally we only look a team and perform well when he’s in is pretty amazing. No idea of stats but reckon they’ll be convincing. Stronger for me though is just…the action, way we are with him vs without

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  29. ian when its confirmed I will believe it, and not before, money normally tells in the end in these things

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  30. Dean Atkinson Taylor and co will unfortunately be back for certain games Just when we do t need them, no doubt Dean at Tottenham. Probably similar for Wolves Leicester and Liverpool, we shall see.
    Xhakas commitment goes beyond anything normal, never doubted it , why couldnt Emery see that and support him, or maybe he was just too busy preoccupied saving his own job by then, or even worse, he wanted Xhaka out to get one of his pets…Nzonzi or Benega in . Still, that’s in the past, and glad Arteta is so fully behind this wonderful player and leader in spirit of the team on the field.

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  31. rich for them to admit he is good, improves the team, and we are better with him than without him, would be to admit they are wrong, its like the brexit vote, no matter how badly it affects the economy they will never admit they got it wrong, same with no matter how big a cock up the Government make of Covid those who voted Tory will defend them, look at the Trump support. we now live in an age where people have more education than ever before, but would rather compound their mistakes and keep backing policies and decisions that make them worse off, than admit they got it wrong

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  32. rich on the subject of Ceballos, I see Arteta said he is interested in keeping him here and that Arsenal and Real Madrid have had talks on it

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  33. Ed, That’s my thinking on a lot of it these days. It’s now surely harder for your average social media user to quietly drop or drastically alter views and beliefs than it was for the average person before this age.

    Think it applies both externally and maybe more so internally. For instance, with Xhaka, if someone’s been calling him shit for years, to now recognise he’s a good player would entail coming up with a story (eg he’s got a lot better) or realising you got it very wrong, strangely wrong (and if you can on a football player, one you’ve watched for a few thousand hours, playing a sport you may have watched for decades…what else could you be wrong on!?)

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ed, yeah, feel bit weird about Ceballos prospects at minute. Had accepted pretty much 100% he was off and very likely for best, so not sure I watch him in same way I would if he was our player or if I’d been thinking he might stay on.

    Saw mention on twitter of extra year loan and, supposing goes well between now and end of season, wouldn’t mind that at all.

    Whereas forking out 40 mill or whatever…not too sure. Much could change in next few weeks though if he can put together run of good performances, especially any away or against top side. Helped him tonight having a ref who protected players.

    Heard Smith-Rowe had cracking game tonight. Looking forward to him working with Arteta.

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  35. Really pleased that Sako has put pen to paper, but how difficult it must be for a club to find the right and suitable length and remuneration for a player like him. An outstanding propsect to be sure and he has had some very good performances. But as the old pros would say, let’s see what he’s like in his second season when they’ve worked him out.
    So how do you put a value on an unfinshed article, especially when you know that cash-rich rivals are circling? And how do you that when you also have to balance the wages of older, more established players – and, indeed, Saka’s own contemporaries?
    But then of course the influential bloggers don’t need to be concerned by all that – they just need the club to show ambition.

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  36. ** Arsenal vs Leicester City **

    The football are coming thick and fast with Arsenal going again, this time hosting Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in a Premier League clash.

    The Gunners come into this match on the back of an impressive 2-0 victory at Wolves to continue their recent good run, whereas the Foxes made light work of Crystal Palace to finally get their first win in five games since the restart.

    Good day one and all.

    With the season now in the home stretch Arsenal have had a timely upturn in form, winning three straight league games without conceding a goal. Mikel Arteta is clearly happy with the defensive improvement, yet cautious:

    “The more we improve here, the more solid we are, the more chances we are going to have to win football games.”

    Also at the Emirates our form have always been exemplary. In our last six outings at home we kept four clean sheets to go with our still unbeaten league run since the turn of the year – taking 16 points from a possible 18.

    Conversely, Leicester are without a win on their travels since New Year’s Day. It’s been a five-match winless run which saw them taking only two points from a possible 15.

    The 3-0 win over the Eagles was a vital one for the Foxes as it gives them bit of a bounce as they now start a very tricky run-in; following tonight their final four league fixtures are against Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Spurs and Manutd. Brendan Rogers will be well aware that there is little room for error if they are to maintain their current top-four standing.

    The Gunners also have a sticky run-in… but if they are able to extend their winning run here tonight it can only boost their own continental cause even further.

    Team News

    Mikel Arteta could make very few changes from the team that took the field at Wolves, as he would like to build on that performance.

    Two players that could come in are Alexandre Lacazette, he will be hopeful of handed a start after he came off the bench to score, having again missed out to Eddie Nketiah. Nicolas Pépé will be another, who missed out last time due to his wife giving birth, but whether that comes at the expense of Bukayo Saka is a decision the coach has to make.

    Mesut Özil could make the matchday squad, subject to a late fitness test due to recurring back problems.

    Prediction

    Both teams are looking to finish the season strong because they still have much to play for. But also the Gunners are good at home, whilst the Foxes have been out of sorts on the road.

    Meaning Arsenal should go into this encounter in good shape to give Leicester’s top-four hopes a mighty dent. COYG!

    — LaboGoon

    **

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