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Seconds Out, Round Two vs Southampton.

Good morning all.

Tonight we face the team that dumped us out of our FA Cup just 4 days ago and on the same stage. A real case of getting back on the bike. We only lost by a rather unfortunate own goal and we will be starting a better and fresher team, while due to injuries and suspensions, they will be fielding the same weakened team. Our current darlings, Tierney, Saka, Partey and Smith-Row will be back, and we have definitely seen we are better when they play, so a reversal of the result could easily be on the cards.

The general consensus among fans and the media ,is that Southampton are having a good season while Arsenal are having a nightmare, but a look at the table sees us 11th and them just 2 points above us (all be it with a game in hand) at 10th place. Its a real mid-table clash, if ever there was one.

The team in many ways mainly picks itself. For me at least Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Smith-Row, Saka and Lacazette are nailed on first choice. That just leaves two places up for grabs. Gabriel looked off the pace on Saturday, so Luiz could come back in with the continuing unavailability of Mari. Aubameyang seems to be missing so who plays in his place? I say “in his place” rather than “in his position” because his absence might see a rejig of Saka over to the left with Pepe, or the much maligned Willian, playing from the right. Clearly the less disruptive change would be a straight swap with Martinelli on the left for our captain. All I will say is that if Arteta goes for Willian, he will be lucky there are no Arsenal fans there to give him their opinions on his selection as most seem to have decided the aging Brazilian is the devils child.

We have seen enough recently for be optimistic of a better result and much better performance tonight, so here’s hoping.

I believe that top 4 is well beyond us now, top 6 too I fear, so for me the performances are more important than the results. We wont get relegated, so I would rather see an idea of how we might play going forward, than somehow manage to get points against the run of play. But that’s just me.

Enjoy your day and the game.

And stay safe.

Pedantic George.

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59 comments on “Seconds Out, Round Two vs Southampton.

  1. Auba out and sounds like Tierney,too. Fair bit less confident as a result than would be but fingers crossed.

    Thought Tierney pulled up at one point in Newc cup game then didn’t look himself next time he played, now I think 2nd time talk of some sort of issue recently, so that really isn’t great.

    Expecting Luiz to be in for it.

    Normal circumstances think we would see Balogun come in as bench option but he was notable absence from u23’s with 1st team yesterday so not going to happen.

    Interestingly, think he was captain for u23’s other night, which I guess suggests we haven’t given up fight just yet. Seen suggestion though that he put in a mischievous tweet or something on final whistle of our game, which won’t be well received and, just maybe, gives a clue about why things have unfolded as they have.

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  2. It can’t be Pepe surely.

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  3. So once we sign ødegaard we have to leave out, sell or loan two non-homegrown players in the Europa League squad to allow us to include Martinelli, Odegaard, and Ryan.

    If we assume Mustafi is one of them, who is the other, maybe Runarsson is likely. We also have to, as things stand once the Norwegian savior is signed, leave a non homegrown player out of our 25 man EPL squad. Again Mustafi almost certain to be the one. Would seem his request for the same sort of deal as Sokratis and Ozil have gotten from Edu is not too big an ask.

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  4. Thinking about it, with Auba out, hope it’s Saka or Pepe on left. Assuming Tierney doesn’t make it seems essential to get left footer on left side. Didn’t look right at all not having one at weekend.

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  5. Mustafi’s father and agent: “I read the rumours yesterday that Shkodran should terminate his contract. To clarify: There are currently no discussions about a contract termination. The fact is, Shkodran will leave the club in the summer at the latest.’

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  6. Once again please not Pepe, We should not miss Auba as he has been poor all season.
    Hopefully AMN will play left back with Saka in front and Joe on the right with Emile floating behind Laca. Martinelli is not fully fit at the moment although his talent is undenighable COYG.

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  7. Where will Willian play?

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  8. aob you think joe will get in the team ahead of Willian, let alone Pepe.

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  9. Can’t imagine any circumstances where Willock starts.

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  10. Leno
    Bellerin, Holding, David Luiz, Cedric,
    Xhaka, Partey
    Saka, Smith-Rowe, Pepe
    Lacazette

    subs Ryan, Gabriel, Chamber, AMN, Elneny, Willock, Willian, Nkethia, Martinelli

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  11. southampton McCarthy, Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Vokins, Armstrong Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Walcott, Adams, Ings

    Subs: Forster, Long, Redmond, Ramsay, N’Lundulu, Ferry, Jankewitz, Watts, Chauke

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  12. tonight Rob Holding will be playing his 100th game for AFC

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  13. rumor doing the rounds that Patrick Van Aanholt the crystal palace left back is in talks to join Arsenal, he is out of contract in the summer

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  14. we are behind after 3 mintues, just a few moments after laccazette failed to make the most of a one on one with the keeper, some slack marking at a corner and we fall behind.

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  15. I called Pepe a fuckwit just before he scored….

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  16. Pepe makes it 1-1, from a Xhaka pass

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  17. Saka 2-1 to the Arsenal

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  18. a goalkick breaks to xhaka who passes to lacca who slots in saka to round the keeper and fire into an empty net from edge of the area

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  19. HT: Southamtpon 1-2 Arsenal

    Pepe and Saka with our goals in a very open game.

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  20. we are currently up to 8th, and Man City are 4-0 up at WBA and are top of the table

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  21. Kevin Friend might as well put on a Southampton kit, he isn’t even trying to hide his bias in this game

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  22. Martinelli on for Pepe

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  23. pepe got booked for taking too long to go off, despite ESR being down and needing the physio on, just another example of how bad and bias Kevin Friend has been tonight,

    the Pepe sub did not happen after all, as ESR has had to go off injured

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  24. willian came on for ESR

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  25. Cedric to Saka to Lacazette to make it 3-1 to the Arsenal

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  26. Partey off with cramp, Elneny comes on

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  27. Pepe goes off in injury time and Willock comes on

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  28. FT: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal

    Pepe, Saka and Lacazette with our goals, which moves us up to 8th, and 5pts off 4th placed West Ham
    Partey went off with cramp, and ESR also went off injured.

    we play man utd on saturday

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  29. Excellent result against a difficult team and a cheating ref who did his best to tilt things.
    Some of our players did very well , must be difficult with a ref like that

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  30. Not perfect, of course not. But definite signs of liveliness and purpose. Easier now to see how the team wants to (and can play) but just at the moment very dependent on key players staying fit. Worrying to see ESR go off, and Partey looks quite heavy at the moment.

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  31. Glad to hear the comments about the Ref: I was beginning to think it was just me!

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  32. Definitely a pass from Cedric for Saka on the occasion of the Lacazette goal heh!
    He’s been punting towards the end of the match but he tried a few similar passes earlier on before that goal so you have to credit the intent to exploit his right foot there.

    Xhaka key on the first two goals, Saka played a part on all three goals.

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  33. A yellow card for time wasting for delaying a substitution when the Arsenal player wasn’t substituted?

    I speculate Pepe will be at or has been at his best in the PL starting and roaming from the left

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  34. At least Friend has decency to look mournful about what he does! Actually thought he was decent years back and about as good as it gets for us with even-handedness.

    Something seems to have changed though. Pretty sure it was him who let Sissoko stay on for putting his head into Ward-Prowse’s with fair bit more force than footballer’s normally do.

    Other than that, and injury concerns, pleasing night.

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  35. Does anyone know what the story is with Auba?

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  36. Saka is ridiculous talent. Remember how it used to pain me when a likeable left back we had refused to even try use his right, even in easiest of situations, where player should try build up some confidence and proficiency. For a player with such a good left foot Saka’s right is very respectable. Both goals tonight relied on it 100%. Try maneuver it onto left and chance of goal each time plummets.

    Xhaka’s obviously strongly left footed but been apparent for a while he does try use right smartly, too- especially when there’s advantage doing so but it shouldn’t lead to huge danger if get it wrong. Not 100% but think that smart little prod to Lacazette for the goal was also right foot?

    Keown mentioned first half Odegaard may well be taking his place?! Weird comment even by his standards.

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  37. Credit to Southampton for an entertaining contest.
    Could’ve scored more themselves. Their form hasn’t been so great of late and Arsenal’s is up there with the top two atm.

    The Goals For in the recent run shows some progress and Arsenal Column sums up why that’s happened best for me.

    If Arsenal can continue to maintain a higher frequency of goals they will continue to retain some good form (it is a simple game for me!). It would be unrealistic to expect no more defeats!. the basic stats goals for and against in the table as always are interesting and revealing when comparing teams, especially at the moment.
    Arsenal haven’t let in more goals then any team in the top half of the table save the top two. They’ve simply been awful in attack first half of the season. But we all knew that and some here predicted it.

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  38. Saka too good, he could do with a rest sometime but I can’t see it coming from Arteta. The Willian signing has impacted on Nelson’s development IMO. No comment on that from the blaggers?
    The inexperienced playmaker who has come in hasn’t played ninety mins since June Willian will probably start if ESR is out next match. ****.

    The Cedric trick will be picked up by other coaches? Perhaps he could return to offer back up on the right and Kia could sign the sociadad LB on loan too?

    Hoping to see Mari return soon, Gabriel is a rookie and probably needs an u23 match to warm up on his return from injury, tricky call on who starts at the back next game.

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  39. Saka too good, he could do with a rest sometime but I can’t see it coming from Arteta. The Willian signing has impacted on Nelson’s development IMO.
    The inexperienced playmaker who has come in hasn’t played ninety mins since June Willian will probably start if ESR is out next match.
    The Cedric trick will be picked up by other coaches? Perhaps he could return to offer back up on the right and Kia could sign the sociadad LB on loan too?
    Hoping to see Mari return soon, Gabriel is a rookie and probably needs an u23 match to warm up on his return from injury, tricky call on who starts at the back next game.

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  40. So for all the ire about resting players for cup game, later developments point to Tierney almost certainly nursing issue at time, Smith-Rowe being unavailable because of fitness issue, Partey being someone they are aware isn’t 100% right fitness wise, and Auba would presumably have started. Think that leaves only Saka, who common sense says we have to try find time off for somewhere, hard as that is as he seriously improves our chances of success.

    Expect Chris Sutton will be writing his apology in Mail tomorrow after slamming club/Arteta for selection after the game

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  41. On Aubameyang front, don’t want to say too much but hope nothing too bad. Doesn’t seem that likely to be main rumour – marriage trouble-though. Would surely be a first for a club putting out ‘thinking of you’ tweets over something like that.

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  42. Cedric was the MOTM for me.
    He never stopped moving, hassling, and contributing in every way possible.
    Injuries have definitely denied him strutting his stuff for the past few years and I am so glad to see him back to the player I always liked since he came to the EPL.

    Saka?
    Ehnn ..just a superb superb talent
    That assist to Lacazette (from Cedric) was sheer class
    His understanding of the game is up there.

    It was a good game.
    We won.
    Well

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  43. How good is it seeing Holding back to his best! Reminder to me not to panic nor judge too soon after a player returns from ACL.

    Not sure when Rob did his/returned but seems to normally take full year, after return, before player truly puts it behind them/back to normal (if possible)

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  44. Definitely think people suffer from goal blindness, Auba scored two the other week and some twot from sky say he was MOTM, Pepe scores yesterday and people think he had a good game no no no they were both poor.
    Cedric done well going forward but was caught out of position a few times especially early on.
    Rob for me was MOTM as they were creating quite a few chances and Rob had to snuff alot out.
    Saka like Partey lost the ball quite a bit especially early on but the cross for Lacas goal was sublime. Taking it out of the air and crossing all in one motion was brilliant.
    Emile kept us moving and then went off and took our fluidity with him, quite worrying.

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  45. Ødegaard loan signing was confirmed today. Will be interesting to see what game time he gets, how soon he gets it, and how might miss out on said game time

    He is the 9th signing under Arteta

    Mari, Cedric, Willian, Runarsson, Ceballos(loan), Gabriel, Partey, Ryan and Ødegaard

    its reported that we are keen to make it ten signings within the next five or six days of the window with a left back said to be a main target, at least Arteta can never claim that he has not been backed in the transfer market

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  46. Ian for me Xhaka was our man of the match, and a special mention to Leno who brought off some very good saves and all round good keeping.
    We were worse off once ESR went off, but oddly I thought the commentators overstated how well he was actually playing, they were wetting themselves with excitement every time he touched the ball.

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  47. Aubameyang has put out a statement, it is his mother who is sick, but she is doing much better now and he will be home tonight. So maybe he will be available for the utd game yet. Puts an end to all the nasty rumors that were doing the rounds

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EswFXz1W4AcE8ou?format=jpg&name=900×900

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  48. sky reporting that Arsenal are one of a number of EPL clubs that have scouted Hibernian’s 18 year old left back Josh Doig

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  49. FT: Burnley 3-2 Aston Villa

    Burnley scored 2 goals in 3 minutes to complete a comeback win over Aston Villa tonight, the 3 goals let in by Villa, now mean that Martinez has conceded 1 goal more than Leno, in 2 games less.

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  50. Martinez still the better keeper

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