32 Comments

Leicester vs Arsenal. Big Game, Big Chance.

Good morning all.

Early blog for an early start start, high noon in fact.

This is a hard game to call, we go into the game feeling chipper following our late winner in the Europa League, while Leicester have their tails between their legs having been dumped out of the same competition. On the other hand they are doing well in league, while we are struggling big time. So in short, anything could happen.

Normally I can at least hazard a decent guess about the line up, but not today. I seriously have no clue what Arteta will send out to start the game. We have some players seriously in need of a rest, Saka, Xhaka, Bellerin for sure, but can he afford to rest them, or even some of them? Even one of them? The cheer up that Thursday gave us will soon disappear if we lose our 12th PL game, he has to turn our league position around, because putting all our eggs in the Europa league basket is a dangerous business. People are clinging to the hope of winning the EL, but if we get dumped out of that and are stuck in 12th or 13th place, the cat will be among the pigeons.

Make no mistake, this is a big game and in difficult circumstances, unless we win questions will be asked about selections and priorities. We can all understand why players should be rested and other given game time but that understanding will fly out the window should we lose again. That’s the nature of hindsight management. I don’t like Arteta, but I don’t envy his task over the coming weeks. He has to go on a good run or things will get nasty, and with the chance of fans returning to the stadium, that nastiness will become very vocal.

Anyway, we shouldn’t forget that we have some very good players, no matter who is selected and at least Maddison isn’t fit, so that should help.

Pedantic George.

32 comments on “Leicester vs Arsenal. Big Game, Big Chance.

  1. Rosicky@Arsenal
    3 hours
    A big test for Arteta today. As Mancity tie was a one sided affair even before a ball was kicked.This will be a make or break match. Lets see what Arteta has to offer. Will he folliw in Arsene Wengers footsteps and tries play positive attacking football or will adapt his own defence first Mourinho approcah?

    Though people who think that they have got their Arsenal back have lost the case as we lost that Arsenal since Wenger left.

    The golden days are gone and will never return

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  2. Tricky game. LCFC, a capable of resorting to the “ English” style of the game, and a team who gets away with a lot, if Saka plays, he will have the odd foul against him shall we say. Not sure if Vardy is back, but if he is, nailed on to score against us.
    Arsenal tend to struggle against such teams and a woeful recent record against Midlands clubs , hopefully not today
    Arsenal apparently struggling with fatigue with some players, but squad management is part of the game

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  3. The odd foul? I expect he will get at least three reducers early doors when he tries his lollipops Ron. Then next foul by AFC Yellow Card

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  4. Madison is the key threat and he’s out, leaving Barnes and Vardy to worry about. To be fair, I worry more about the mid-day kick off, we often struggle to join the races at mid-day. Fingers crossed.

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  5. Thanks George.
    Ian Pepe is the at the least cover for the academy phenom! Haha. Yikes!

    “Do the Kronke’s make the Oyston’s (spelling?) at Blackpool look good?”
    It’s been a few seasons since I asked that question here for the first time. I’m guessing more people can understand why I asked the Q now then before.

    Looks like the slowest back line against LCFC which means the Gunners might be sitting deeper then many would like. Saka will be on in the second half when needed *sighs*.
    No Martinelli, either he’s done an Ozil and fallen out of favour for “football reasons” or like Partey his fitness and rushed return was badly managed…or perhaps Willian really did earn his place in the eleven? Ahahahahaha.

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  6. Arsenal: Leno, Soares, Mari, Luiz, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Willian, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette

    Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Saka, Ceballos, Odegaard, Aubameyang, Holding, Partey, Martinelli

    Leicester City: Schmeichel, Castagne, Soyuncu, Evans, Thomas, Ndidi, Tielamans, Pereira, Iheanacho, Barnes, Vardy

    Subs: Ward, Albrighton, Amartey, Under, Choudhury, Mendy, Fuchs, Daley-Campbell, Tavares

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  7. Eddie Nketiah should have fucked off out of here in January, he aint going to get a look in, no wonder Balogun is looking to leave

    I see former Arsenla youth player Daley-Campbell is a sub for LCFC

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  8. Xhaka captains the side today but we will be led out by Laca, a strange situation but there you go.
    COYG.

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  9. some more shite defending sees LCFC with an early lead

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  10. penalty to AFC but VAR over rule and its only a freekick on edge of the area

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  11. Their left back should be on a yellow by now.

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  12. I cannot watch this farce of a cnut of a ref any longer. He is so far bent it’s unreal. That and media whore Keown playing along with the narrative. Sickening

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  13. 1-1 David Luiz heads in a Willian freekick

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  14. Smith-Rowe going off injured, looks like a groin injury, odegaard coming on

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  15. penalty to Arsenal for a handball

    Lacazette makes it 2-1 to the Arsenal

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  16. HT: Leicester City 1-2 Arsenal

    after going behind early on due to awful defending we dominated the rest of the half, had a penalty over turned by VAR, think that was wrong decision, had LCFC left back get away with 3 very bookable fouls before getting a yellow, then we leveled through David Luiz and took the lead in stoppage time from a penalty for a hand ball, Lacazette the scorer. Nothing more than our play has deserved. Pepe has their young left back in all sorts of trouble, we really need to target him and get him sent off, he should already have been off for the 3 or 4 bookable offences he has already committed

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  17. I see the BBC saying Crystal Palace have 13 of their first team squad out of contract this summer, I thought it was only AFC that let players contracts run down

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  18. Get the impression this ref does not want Leicester to lose this game

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The LCFC defence were shocked and flummoxed along with the whole of Arsenaldom to see Willian turning with the ball and sprinting past an opponent or two. His first sprint of 2020/21??!!

    Blimey.

    A comeback after going behind in a first half, two goals from the Gunners in the first half, been a while since we’ve seen that? Both teams understrength, they’ll be errors on both sides in the second half. Fingers crossed. COYG.

    ESR unlucky with the injury as he too was in need of some rotation, which he’d of got if Pepe had been used to rotate the younger players IMO. Hopefully he’ll not be out for too long and will come back recharged.

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  20. Rodgers has hooked the LB who should’ve been off before HT.

    Some more tweaks on the pitch here and there.

    How will the Gunners cope and respond to the changes from LCFC? Pepe continues to have some joy down the right early on.

    Sad to see Barnes a good footballer go down with injury. This season more then others has been brutal and a real challenge for the coaches let alone rookie coaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. it was a fine breakaway goal, with a simple tap in finish at the end for Pepe

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  22. Excellent result, feared the worst in this game, especially after a bad start .
    Has Willian come alive, or is that a tad premature?

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  23. There did seem to be a lightness of touch and signs of sprightliness from him, Mandy. Hope he continues to find his way back to his best. I only saw the second half and couldn’t help but feel we might have scored a couple more. Having said that, Tierney nearly scored a screamer. Good that they have a week to recharge thier batteries after a pretty intense few days.

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  24. by jeorge bird

    Arsenal striker Luke Plange on trial at QPR

    Arsenal striker Luke Plange is currently on trial at Queens Park Rangers.

    The 18-year-old is nearing the end of his scholarship deal with Arsenal and is unlikely to be offered professional terms.

    Therefore, Plange has been given the opportunity to earn a deal elsewhere and he featured for QPR’s U18s in their 3-1 loss to Swansea City yesterday.

    Plange joined Arsenal in 2011 at the age of eight and made his debut for the U18s as an U15 player against Chelsea in 2018.

    The following year Plange signed scholarship terms with the Gunners and he scored three goals in nine league games in his first full season for the U18s.

    This season Plange scored four times in nine appearances, while he was also called up to the U23 squad against Chelsea but didn’t come on.

    With Khayon Edwards highly regarded by the club it isn’t especially surprising that Arsenal have elected to let Plange go, although he could be forgiven for feeling that he wasn’t provided with sufficient opportunities to prove his worth.

    Another second-year scholar, defender Levi Laing, was on trial at West Ham United recently, while Jason Sraha, who has struggled with injury, could also be released.

    Nathan Butler-Oyedeji is set to sign professional terms and it is highly likely that Daniel Oyegoke will also be retained along with Mazeed Ogungbo.

    Goalkeepers Ovie Ejeheri and Hubert Graczyk are awaiting their fate, while Arsenal are determined to keep winger Kido Taylor-Hart, who has featured prominently for the U23s this season.

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  25. Mikel Arteta was understandably delighted with our performance against Leicester on Sunday as we claimed our second comeback win on the road in the space of four days.

    Afterwards our manager faced the media and discussed the character the team showed, Willian, Granit Xhaka, Emile Smith Rowe and more.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on whether that’s our best 90 minutes of the season…
    I don’t know but I’m certainly happy with the performance of the team, and again the character, the composure that we showed. Coming here after a very short turnaround from Benfica, and going down very early put us in a really difficult position against a Leicester team that probably is the best in that area. I think we played some really good moments in the game, looked really solid, we dominated the game and I think overall we deserved the win.

    on our first win away to a top-three team in the PL since 2015…
    For me it’s not only about that, it’s how we play against an opponent of top quality. It’s about composing ourselves, trying to be Arsenal all the time – it doesn’t matter who we play against, it’s about having the courage to do it against top-quality players. I’m proud of the win but more about the way we’ve done it.

    on Willian’s performance…
    He was really good. We’ve seen that in training the last few weeks. He’s rebuilding himself and he’s not accepted the situation. I think he was the player who changed the game against Benfica in the last few moments when he came on, and today I think he was terrific. The same with the other senior players. Laca, I think the way he played, Nico grew in the game and had a big impact as well. Granit as well. A player who has played that many minutes, to play with the heart and the passion he showed in every action, I think it’s a great example for the rest of the players.

    on how we build on this week’s wins…
    Every game is going to be different. What we’ve done today is not going to have a knock-on effect on the next Premier League game, but I think the team is clearly improving and is taking a direction that I like. Then all the time I say the same thing, about the constancy. We are still giving things to the opponent. We did it against Benfica, we did it against Benfica at home, we’ve done it today against a more dangerous team in short transitions, and that’s something that we have to eradicate to give ourselves the best possible chance. Everything I see, attitude-wise, what we are creating as a group, and then the way we are playing within our model, it looks much closer to what we want.

    on Emile Smith Rowe…
    I’m concerned because for Emile to come out and say, ‘I cannot continue playing’… It should be something related to his hip. I don’t know how bad he is but he was in a good place after the game.

    on whether it was a gamble to make so many changes…
    Probably people will think that it was a gamble but I see them train every day and they are playing because they deserve to play. When they deserve to play, I think players have to feel supported and valued. The only way to do it is to play them. In football, anything can happen but I think the performance levels they’ve shown is not a coincidence, it’s the way they’ve prepared themselves and how they’ve prepared themselves every day.

    on Granit Xhaka and his importance in the team…
    If you have to put an example on that pitch about character and about going for every single goal with that determination, then probably it’s him. He’s played more minutes than anybody else but he keeps going, even when he is so tired. He tries to help the team in the right way and the same like with David. For someone like him, at his age, to play again quickly after the game we had to play against Benfica, it was tough. But they had the real attitude that they wanted to be involved, they wanted to play and that’s how they approach every game.

    on how crucial it was to capitalise on chances before half-time…
    We have to be clinical and we lost two games – against Wolves and Aston Villa – where when you look back at them you say ‘How the hell have we lost?’ but we lost them because we gave something to the opponent and then when we had the chances in the key moments in the game to kill them, we didn’t. In the Premier League you know that the margins are not that big. But what we are doing and the way that the team is evolving, I think now that we have some consistency.

    on Martinelli and whether his injury history is on the manager’s mind…
    Well, he needs to keep working and making it difficult for us. He is a player that is going to give us a lot, but we need some time to find the right games for him and the right connections with him on the pitch so that he can do what he does best. But the way he is and the way he trains every day, he is going to be a really important player for us, no doubt. But when you have many options, it is difficult when you look for certain qualities in certain games.

    on three players going off injured today and the physical effects the season is having on players…
    I think it’s absolutely normal that it’s happening. That’s why we needed to change players, because if not we were going to expose our players to getting injured. But sometimes we don’t have that chance as a manager because we don’t have enough players or you have the necessity to win and play them again. But it is insane. The amount of minutes and games that these players are playing without any preseason, without any break, you’re going to get injuries. We talked about it and all the managers raised our voices at the start of the season and this has happened.

    Copyright 2021 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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  26. That was a strange game today Leicester looked knackered from the other night and their tactic of just sitting back and trying to catch us on the break only worked once because we left half the pitch open without anyone going anywhere near Teilemens. Actually the tactic to invite us on worked for us and it wasn’t until the second half when they pressed higher up the pitch did the game look more even. Ironically it was us who caught them on the break after excellent work from Xhaka, who was again excellent today, who sprung us away and we finally scored from a breakaway.
    Pepe was much better today partly because Leicester offered very little down our right hand side and he was able to concentrate on just getting past their full back.
    Willian was excellent and continued his success of Thursday night of finding pockets of space and was a constant threat.
    At the moment Xhaka and Elneny are still our most effective CM pairing and although Partey is everyones favourite he still hasn’t earnt a starting place.
    All in all a good day at the office apart from ESR injury which could prove to be a nightmare.

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  27. And after this weekends fixtures City can’t now be relegated.

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  28. a stat from today’s game that will surprise none of us

    Leicester 15 fouls, 2 yellows, Arsenal 3 fouls, 1 yellow

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  29. Willian and Pepe combo? Could this actually be a thing.

    Like

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