This afternoon at 3 P.M. Arsenal make the trip across London to take on West Ham United with a fully fit squad to pick from. Quite who Arteta will pick is beyond me, I suspect that Saka and Willian, both of who were doubts, wont be starting, As this is our last outing before the interlul we could see Mikel choosing who he thinks is his strongest eleven, Who those players are, beyond Leno and Xhaka, I’m not sure, and I’m not sure Arteta is sure either.
Common sense tells me we are competing with Leeds and Villa for 9th 10th or 11th come the end of the season, but you never know who above that could slip up and if we are to take advantage of any collapse, 3 points today is a must.
Arsenal are 5 places and seven points behind our opponents today. Moyes has his team playing solid stuff and it will be a difficult ask to come home with the points. However, we have seen improvements recently in our play and we do have the better players. We might not be riding on the crest of a wave but we are astride a decent ripple. Although we qualified for the quarters of the EL, it was anything but impressive. Hopefully that wont have dented our fragile confidence.
The way I see it is that if we play well, we will win, So let’s do just that.
Enjoy the game and stay safe.
LOL. “Riding the crest of a ripple.” Well said George.
Seems to me Pos Arse is missing Eddie whom I understand had a successful op. Hope he is out of ICU. Get well soon Eds.
In this sort of game it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll win the game especially as we have played well before but our finishing has been off.
However we do like playing the hammers and although they are a better team this season they definitely are beatable.
Can’t see much resting going on today so apart from Saka and Willian the rest is pretty much Mikel’s choice but like you say beyond Leno, Xhaka and Keiran no one else has cemented a starting birth.
I think I would go with Leno, Hector, Bob, Mari, Keiran, Granite, Thomas, Martin, Martinelli ESR and Laca but what do I know COYGS.
Really not a clue on selection for this one. Combination of dreaded interlull, worries about player fatigue, not keeping track of league table recently, and Europa League being priority mean I’m in a strange place as far as this one goes.
If Saka’s fitness is iffy should rest him, as England won’t. Tierney an even bigger worry for me on that front, as think we’re proper screwed if anything happens to him, and international managers so often seem to disregard if a player is tired, red zone etc.
Might well go with Mari as think he maybe just about edges Gabriel in air, though ideally you’d have your two best in air at centre back for West Ham this year, but unfortunately those two aren’t balanced as a pair. Chambers might come in at right back for more height.
Well given form this season, home advantage and lack of a midweek game West Ham should be favourites. However, I like George’s claim that The Arsenal have better players, and I see the Bookies have priced us as the more likely to win. I kind of feel it is a game we could easily win in a swagger, but one where it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t. Which, to be honest, is how I have felt about most of the games since Christmas.
ESR not starting today after the crucial midweek fixture, I don’t expect the same fluidity in the attack today but it’s a strong bench with some attacking options COYG
He’s been in good form in recent games but I wonder if it’s a big ask to put the veteran Luiz in the line up today when others are available?
No ESR because what he does does not suit arteta.
He wants players to do exactly what he says.
Any player like ESR or the Exiled One who rely on thinking for themselves are simply not wanted.
He played against the scum because arteta needed to discipline Auba, just like when he played against Chel$ki because the Golden Boy, who was the flavour of the month at the time despite his dire performances, was not available.
ESR will continue to be on the bench unless and until arteta has no choice.
Why wasn’t that wham player booked for the dive?
Useless defending as usual.
Men and boys.
20 minutes gone and not one single attack to talk of.
Aren’t we lucky to have such a wonderful great young coach?
I think/hope ESR is out due to fitness.
A tepid start from the Gunners and it’s two nil down with zero shots after twenty minutes. Too many slower defenders selected today opposite Antonio and Lingard? The hammers will have more chances.
Auba and Saka switched back over now, wasn’t working after ten minutes today so hopefully not too late to recover, the in form attacking players apart from MO are on the bench.
MO with a first shot for the Gunners now.
65mins to turn it round, can they recover?
Men and babies.
Even this team is actually capable of better than this! what is their problem and is there an oath they took that they must play out from the back?
my comment is awaiting moderation? why? whats up?
Fuck off jjgsol – or start supporting.
what happened to my comments? this is the 3rd
Quite an incredible comeback from a shambolic start, could easily have won it as well.
The team deserve big credit for that, as does the manager for whatever he said at half time.
Thank you for your kind words, foreverheady.
It is good to see how the contributors to this blog are able to engage in healthy discussion amongst themselves without the insults that one finds on other blogs.
If anyone found any satisfaction in the first half from the awful display by our players then I suspect they may have been watching a different game.
I agree the second half was a great improvement and we may have won just as we may have lost.
I daresay the players received a rollicking at half time which meant they were a different team.
However, my point remains that the blame for that dreadful first half rests with the players, certainly, but more with the manager whose preparation with the players before the match seems to have been wanting.
For a manager who wants to control and direct what his players do the whole time that first half must raise questions.
I trust those questions can be raised without insults being thrown.
Chambers & MO impressive, amidst the carnage of that game! Heh.
Taking Xhaka off nearly backfired, but the team found their shape again after a brief rocky spell. I’d have taken the point before kick off given West Ham’s good form and the extra fitness they had from not playing mid week, and the intensity of the last two fixtures for the Gunners.
I can understand frustration from not winning that game, the set up at the start, Leno’s passing at all ranges when pressed which led to the first and other chances, the error etc. but it’s good to see the team is making chances when compared to earlier in the season!
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They can indeed be raised JJ, and it is only right and proper that I apologise for my outburst. As you can tell I have transferred my allegiance from AW and his sides (who could both delight and occasionally frustrate) to MA and his team (who frustrate and occasionally delight): it is to my shame that I never really gave much of a chance to Emery.
What I find interesting is that now it is starting to matter to me again – hence the poor behaviour, I guess.
And should I escape a ban, and because I don’t like anonymity, then just for the record, my name is Tim Head, but for most of my life I have been known as Heady. I can’t quite remember where the forever bit came from. The picture by my name is a portrait of me done by my wife. I am even greyer and a bit (well a bit more than a bit) fatter these days.
Well how do you analyse that.
I thought the hammers looked dodgy at the back but we are so negative most of the time we couldn’t exploit that. Strangely we were lucky they scored early, lucky they scored two goals for us and lucky they hit the post.
Having said that once we were forced to go for it we looked good MO absolutely ran the game from 30 minutes and was brilliant how the clowns at sky gave the MOTM to Callum was a travesty.
Now I thought he was good going forward but he was skinned more than once and was nowhere near Martin’s performance.
From this game I would say we learnt don’t change your CB’s every five minutes, don’t be negative and pass the ball forward and we desperately need a new keeper.
All in all a good point but long term it’s still up in the air
A point gained. I cannot believe that we have off loaded two classy keepers.
I’m not sure either why we seem keen to sell Lacazette and keep Auba.
I guess two of Arsenal’s many mysteries.
Anyway a bit of character and spine shown.
Oh and once again the commentary had to be muted thought it was appalling today so biased.
Tim, if I can call you that, I was not offended, but your apology is appreciated.
As you can tell, I remain unimpressed with Arteta.
I would be happy to be impressed and await that with great anticipation.
In the meantime, I trust you will forgive me if I continue to give criticism where I feel it is deserved.
I agree that I also started to have some interest again, having, like, you, lost it, but the first half put paid to that for the time being.
I look forward to us both being pleased at the same time.
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jigsol- Emile has played plenty since coming into the team, and not only is he someone we have to be careful with because of a fairly poor injury record in the last 2-3 years, he even said after last week’s game something along lines of his legs are getting more tired as season goes on. Oh, and he’s now off with U21’s for Euro tournament in which they have crazy schedule of 3 games in 7 days.
Today was his 23rd appearance of a breakthrough season, many of them as a starter, nearly all of them since December 26th. By and large he has been preferred in that time to Willan and Pepe. But he’s on the bench today so, boom, out with the old Arteta doesn’t like him stuff.
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I felt he should have come into the team sooner but since being there all evidence suggests Arteta rates him highly and, in my opinion, is managing him well. Form was dipping a bit, then looked crestfallen after conceding Benfica pen. Had worries at that point but was soon back looking brighter again, in time to be picked as starter for crucial derby game and have a stormer.
How will Gallagher and Foy spin Kane’s latest bit of outrageous cheating?
Probably only option is to to go down the ‘clever play’ route, maybe use phrase they did with Rashford other day about it being a ‘modern pen’.
Bigger indication of how messed up the game is will be that they’ll lie to even describe mechanics of it, ie they’ll say player lunged in on him, made reckless tackle, wiped him out, etc, when that’s not remotely true- he ran parallel to Kane, dived to try block cross, before Kane ignored ball and took a few steps to right to make contact with opponents leg.
They’ll basically be forced to copy what Spurs desperate one-eyed fans are saying about the player, in order to protect him, and what they have played a full role in allowing the game to become. That’s how messed up it is. Game over stuff.
Kane is England’s captain and can do what he likes.
I hope that we are not getting too carried away with the 2nd half performance yesterday.
In contrast to the abysmal display in the first half, it was a great improvement, however, it was nothing more than that,
Let us be honest. We scored 2 own goals. The first was going wide and was deflected in by a defender. The other was an excellent cross, but the defender scored it.
How many times did Fabianski actually have to make a save, apart from the goals? None.
There is still a lot of work to be done.
Great post! I do believe we are our own worst enemy. On our day we are capable of beating anyone but we are too inconsistent and enjoy gifting teams with unforced mistakes.