Walcott or Gnabry start – wall of RamTeta – Santi or Jack? Preview

Intro:

Interlull

ANDDDDDDDDDD we’re back! We return to the Emirates this week against this season’s revelation Southampton. A loss against United reduced our lead on top of the table down to just 2 points, but with Liverpool facing Everton in their local derby it’s our chance to gain some breathing space again. I’m not suggesting this fixture will be a walk in the park (it’ll be anything but), I just want to sleep a little easier at night!!!

This match looms as the EPL’s best attack against the EPL’s best defence (they’ve only conceded 5 in 11 games). It’ll be another scrap…in all probability more so than the United game.

Mauricio Pochettino has turned Southampton into a well-oiled machine and has developed their defence into the meanest in the league. However, Southampton has not won away at Arsenal since 1987 (13 losses and 5 draws).

1st v 3rd…Let’s get in to it shall we:

Missing in Action:

Diaby sick bay

Arsenal: Podolski (Hamstring) – back in training and should be back in the squad soon enough, Ox (Knee – Arsene said he’ll be back in a month – which may be code for see you in March for a few games before the season ends. It’s a real shame because HH and myself (and I’m sure countless others) tipped the Ox to explode this season. I hope he returns all guns blazing and doesn’t suffer the same fate as Vermaelen (struggling for form so long after injury and finding it tough to break back in)), Sanogo (back), and Diaby (Knee-ds to get back to fitness because we could do will the squad rotation) Ramsey will be fine to play despite missing for Wales. Flamini will miss thanks to an accumulation of yellow cards (scandalous news to take I know).

Southampton:Cork (ankle) and Prado (knee – regrettably he will be unavailable to score any own goals for us this time around)

Predicted Line-up:

 

team line-up

Flamini misses through suspension so our very own lego-hair Arteta slips into the defensive spot (92.3% pass accuracy – highest in the league over 75 passes). Walcott is back!!! Therefore I think it is time to unleash the speedster again out on the right wing. May start from the bench because of his 2 month spell on the sidelines. If he does it’s definitely the German wunderkind Gnabry. The BFG should slot back in after recovering for the virus that kept him out against United. Everything else picks itself. One big positive is our internationals had quite a tranquil time away. Giroud didn’t play, Kozzer received a red card so he got one game off, BFG and Ozil only took part in one match, and Ramsey ‘injured’ himself in training…*wink wink*. So many should be ready, rested and raring to go against Southampton (barring any sort of flu, stomach, or influenza type bug).

Previous Encounters:

South v Arsenal 1-1

An own goal saved us from going down to a spirited Southampton team…very wearisome for all involved. Their goal was shocking, it was though every Arsenal player froze waiting for someone else to clean up the mess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ4MEfvY44s

Arsenal v South 6-1

4 first half goals (two own goals), a double from Gerv, and an absolute rocket from Lu-Lu Podolski left Southampton shell shocked. Welcome to the Emirates Saints fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsMfUTxrlsg

EPL Form Guide:               Arsenal:   : LWWWD            Southampton: WDWDW

The LONG interlull should have well and truly wiped away the despair from the United game (then again it’s not like they played us off the park or anything. They got lucky with a header). Time to get a string of wins going again and dampen Southampton’s dream run (sorry guys, it won’t last.)

Southampton are on an 8 game unbeaten streak and have only lost once this season. They beat Liverpool at Anfield and they drew with United at Old Toilet…*clears throat*

Arsenal Archive (1)

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s the 2003 FA Cup final win against Southampton. God (dennis) the last few minutes were hard to watch. Thank goodness A.Cole was on the line to clear Beattie’s goal bound header.  Have a look:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRGiMoRforg

One to Watch:

This week’s one to watch is Adam Lallana. The new England international has been in top form this season and is one of the main reasons behind Southampton’s start to the season (so a winger who has come up through the Southampton academy hasn’t been pinched by another team? and why hasn’t anyone pinched Luke Shaw yet? He’ll end up at United soon enough I’m sure of it). He’s enjoyed a freer role this season and it’s paid dividends. Look for him to run at our defenders at every chance (highest number of completed dribbles in the last round of fixtures – 5). Gibbs (72.1% 1 v 1 challenges won this season) and Sagna will have to focused and make sure they don’t let him run free all game. If he gets the chance he will make Arsenal pay.  Rickie Lambert is one to keep an eye on; he’s been in top form since his move from Norwich.

Arsenal’s one to watch this week is Theo Walcott. He’s back ready for action (hopefully in a starting position). Southampton taught him the ropes from a young age… so what better way to show them just how far he’s come than by scoring against them?! Southampton have had the least number of shots on target against them in the league this season (31) but I think Walcott’s pace will test that stat. Returning to action so soon is not something I’d normally advocate but I think he’s completely vital in this one (if not Theo definitely Gnabry). Southampton play a high line and will look to suffocate anything and everything. Playing Rosicky and Santi out wide would feed straight in to their trap. If we can use the pace of Walcott to get in and behind their defence it will stretch them, and hopefully make them retreat a little. Even if he only has 60′ in him he should start; in that time hopefully we can pinch and early one and change the shape of the game. Time to see Ozil’s delicious passes out in front of Walcott again. Only this time Walcott will be ready to convert on the counter.

Key-Match up:

Ramsey and Ozil vs Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama

wanyama

Ramsey has set the EPL on fire this season; Ozil has lifted our team to the next level. This week they face a tough task as they line-up against two workhorses in Schneiderlin and Wanyama (number one in the league for fouls committed – 29). Ex-Celtic player Wanyama was linked with us for some time (what defensive midfielder hasn’t since Gilberto left?!) and I’m surprised he didn’t end up at a bigger club. I expect both Southampton midfielders (especially Wanyama) to rough up our midfielders on every occasion they get. Their goal will be to break up our fluidity at every chance they get, and make no mistake they will do it anyway they can. I feel the winners of this duel wins their team the match.

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

This week’s finger goes to Nicklas Bendtner.

We were lead to believe he was training hard and focusing on football. Most fans wanted to see the back of him, some were coming around to the idea of keeping him (I know I was, I didn’t even sell him on FIFA14…we’ll I have now but that was because I needed a sweetener to get my Reus deal over the line!). We’d hardly heard a peep out of him this season. However, in typical Bendtner fashion he had to start flapping his gums again. In an age where every single athlete is that well media trained (so much so they are all starting to sound like bloody robots dribbling the same old tired rhetoric. Don’t believe me, then look at what Southampton’s midfielder James Ward-Prowse said this week: “I know it’s a cliché, but we’ve just got to take each game as it comes, prepare right for each one, and go into them with the right attitude and mentality to come out on top. There’s a confidence instilled in us that no matter who the opposition are – whether they’re lower league or top of the league – we can go and beat them. I think these next couple of games (Arsenal and Chelsea away) will show us as a club where we’re at in terms of playing the top teams in the league, and I think we’ll be alright.”), Bendtner still manages to make a fool of himself. As soon as a microphone gets shoved in his face he’s back saying how he wanted to leave and how he’d love to play for Barca/Real. Who is he fooling? Perhaps if you focus on the important stuff you may actually get there one day. What squandered talent. Oi Bendtner, shut it and play ball!

Pre-Match Pat on the back:

This week’s pat on the back is going to Arsenal’s shot stopper Wojciech Szczęsny.

Szczesny

He’s told his dad to stay off the Wódka and stop drunk texting Arsene. He’s done what Bendtner hasn’t and put in the hard yards. Best of all he’s performing exactly how Arsene and all of us knew he could. He has the potential to be a world class keeper, and at only 23 (feels like he’s been around forever!) he really does have the world at his fingertips. His hard work has paid off and he was rewarded with a new contract and special praise from the manager. Keep at it Szczesny…you deserve it young man!

Ask the opposition South

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. Boy was it a struggle to get there this week! Four blogs ignored my email. Two forums blocked me and delete my comment (not like I was trying to bloody sell something. I wrote it in their ‘Arsenal v Southampton’ thread). I knew a week like this would come but I never thought it’d be at the hands of Saints supporters…maybe Totts or Man United. Nevermind we got there in the end. This week the brilliantly named ‘Le Tissier’s Laces’  has stepped up and offered to have a go. I’m glad he has because he’s written some quality responses. Let’s see what he’s written for us this week:

1. What do you attribute to your fast start to the season?

I think the excellent start we’ve had has been a combination of two factors which are of course interlinked – our high-pressing, high tempo style of play, and the fact that our outstanding coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has had a full pre-season in which to implement his philosophy and ideas. It seems odd that none of the ‘lesser’ sides (and by that I mean those that are unable to buy in significant talent, such as a £40m Ozil) have not adopted this style previously, as it’s clearly very tough to play against, but then I genuinely don’t think many coaches have been able to implement it from the off. Pochettino is a disciple of Bielsa and has grown up around this style of play. Should we carry on at the level we are, expect many to try and copy it from next season.

2. Do you think your squad is big enough to keep you up all season??

Currently we’ve been lucky with injuries. The greatest fear of any Saints fan right now is a serious problem at either left-back or goalkeeper. Our replacements for those positions (namely Danny Fox and Kelvin Davies) aren’t of the requisite quality unfortunately to keep this level of performance going. With a fit first team we’re a match right now for anyone in the division. A couple of injuries such as those would likely see us start to drop points. Although there’s a lot of faith placed in the up and coming youngsters, ideally some strengthening in key positions would be a priority in January. Much as the management and owners of the club think the sky’s the limit, and preach that positivity throughout the club, you won’t find many Saints fans that genuinely see us as title contenders, or even top four. Top six is certainly doable though.

3. Are you happy with how your transfer window went?

We strengthened smartly in the close season, and despite some initial reservations about Dejan Lovren after a hellish last season at Lyon, he really has been the star player that we’ve brought in. Calm and composed, and with no little skill on the ball, he’s been the fulcrum of our excellent defensive record at the back. A lot was made of, and expected of, Victor Wanyama when we brought him in, and he certainly provides a menacing physical presence in front of the back four. Again, his addition has contributed significantly to our meanness in both senses of the word, but he is prone to making small technical errors that can prove expensive. On the flip side, he’s also only 22, and once those minor errors get ironed out, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Our record signing, Dani Osvaldo, he of the Jonny Depp looks, is yet to really fire, but his quality is evident when he’s on the pitch. What’s exciting for Saints fans right now is that we’ve got ourselves into third place, and yet our Italian international forward is yet to truly get going.

4. What position/ player is your weakest link?

When we have a fit first team I don’t think there is a specifically weak position which is part of the reason for our success. There are no outright ‘star’ players in the team, but there’s a genuine seam of quality running through the team as a whole. If I was pushed on that, we sometimes can struggle on the opposite wing to Lallana. Jay Rodriguez, despite his recent call up, is probably the player whose first team position feels most under threat.

5. What position is Arsenal’s weak link?

Arsenal have assembled what looks to be a formidable team currently and much like ourselves, when the full squad is fit and up to speed there are no real glaring weaknesses that stand out, particularly now Giroud seems to be firing. If there’s an area to exploit for visiting teams, it would likely be the central defensive positions. Mertesacker, for all his undoubted quality, isn’t the paciest and Koscielny feels erratic.

6. Which Arsenal player would you love to have in your team and why?

It would be a toss up between Ozil and Carzola for me. The classic ‘bums on seats’ players and thrilling to watch when on song. Other than Lallana, we lack a genuine creative force in the midfield (an area we may well be strengthening in the January window), and unfortunately, despite his talent Gaston Ramirez has failed to really shine in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. It would be a delight to see either of those two in a Saints shirt.

7. What is your match prediction?

My head says an Arsenal victory as long as your players find a way around our high-energy style. I’d happily walk away from the Emirates with a point and without Arsene trying to steal another of our youngsters. My heart would hope for a Liverpool loss early in the day and a Saints victory to take us top! Southampton top of the Premier League. Now wouldn’t that be something…….

Prediction:

At the start of the season I never thought I’d be sitting here worried about a home game against Southampton! They really have taken the league by storm. They may not be a team of star players but they work together it’s working. If results go their way and they win by more than a goal they’ll be top of the league! Surely they can’t take points from us…can they? A win against South will definitely send a message to the rest of the EPL and boost Arsenals confidence. Nah I think we’ll be too strong and our midfield will be the difference. It’ll have to be if we want to break down their stubborn defence. A goal early could see has net 2 or 3. I feel it’ll be another chess match. If they score first I don’t think we’ll be able to wrestle back all 3 points. It won’t be pretty but we’ll get the job done in the end. Arsenal 1-0.

What is your prediction?

Can Southampton continue their dream run?

What starting line-up would you choose?

What position is their weakest link at the moment?

What tactic would you employ to beat Southampton?

Written by: Oz Gunner

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173 Responses to Walcott or Gnabry start – wall of RamTeta – Santi or Jack? Preview

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Oz, you have done it once more: superb pre-match with fantastic images and insights. Top Top Stuff!!! 🙂

    Big thanks as well to the very balanced ‘Le Tissier’s Laces’: fine comments and good to see how much you are enjoying your team’s football; and so you should! 🙂

    Oz, agreed with the line up, except for Theo. He has not played a match yet, so I can only see him come on as a sub, if that. I reckon Jack will start on the left and Santi on the right, or Santi and Rosicky play on ‘the wings’. Would be good to see Gnabry though and I agree we could do with speed in the team to punish their high pressing game in a few sweeping moves.

    The good thing is we are playing at home after another interlull, and against a team we know we need to work hard to beat. That is a good omen for a hard fought for win.

  2. b says:

    Top notch post

  3. Le Tissier's Laces says:

    Hi Oz

  4. Le Tissier's Laces says:

    Hi Oz,

    Le Tissier’s Laces here. Thanks for the kind words! Just a quick point about your excellent preview – Rickie Lambert never came from Norwich…….

    Cheers and good luck for the season after today!

    LTL.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    You tell him LTL hahaha 😛

    Enjoy the game and a great continuation for your season as well.

  6. Top stuff OZ..that was a GREAT read!!

    AFC summed it up for me in the previous post..high pressing side, maintain our shape for first 30 mins, let them tire off and have Ozil and Theo tear them a new one!!!

    2-0 to the good guys!!

  7. Le Tissier's Laces says:

    Well seeing as I’m here…….I noticed there’s been a lot of “high pressing, let themselves tire out after 30 mins” comments. Honestly, if you’re hoping for that you’ll be sorely disappointed. This Saints team are hugely fit, and the high press will carry on for the full 90……

    Still think you’ll win, but the way you’ll do it is by using pace behind the high back line.

  8. Dandy says:

    Gnabry should start ahead of Walcott and Wenger should have the boldness to start him more often, he should be our wild card, that one player that the opposition doesn’t really know about, and hence can’t mark him out of the game ( our element of suprise eg Januzaj for Manure)

    The rest of the team picks itself.

    Good Preview btw…

  9. henrychan says:

    hi all..
    Oz-il Gunner.. what a post.. awsome..

    As I said before.. We overrated Soton.. as if they were something to afraid of.. hehe..
    Yes they did a good job again Liverpool and MU.. but that was Liverpool without Suarez.. and MU in making.. I mean still in consolidation.. not the real Liverpool and MU that We faced..
    We overcome Liverpool best team.. and take control the MU game.. especially on secondhalf..
    We are a different team now.. and all the teams know that.. and must be afraid on us.. hehehe..

    And guess what.. the fastest player in the world is back.. and a lot of Soton players know it well enough.. cause Walcott is their mate before.. and becoming stronger and stronger..

    I’m agree 100% with your starting eleven.. and Walcott will surely play.. as Wenger and most of us were unpatience to see him back.. not only our offence will be stronger.. Walcott will make Ozil.. Giroud and Cazorla a better player..

    So.. no other option than Attack and Attack.. and We will win..
    2-0.. Giroud and Walcott score..

    Go Gunners.. We are the Champion..

  10. oz gunner says:

    Thanks everyone, and thank you LTL for dropping in. My mistake. I swear i heard that from a commentator a few games ago…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    I agree, South won’t run themselves into the ground. They’ll definitely test our fitness (which is a shame because a few seasons ago when we trained in Austria we were the benchmark).

    Dandy, couldn’t agree more. Gnabry is all x-factor. We need to see more of him!!!

    Back at game time. Those who won’t be around enjoy the game. Hope it’s a good fair contest and a highly entertaining match

  11. ArvGoon says:

    You may have mixed up Paul Lambert and Rickie Lambert there Oz. We should win this one although like you said, I can see it being a scrappy contest. Also I still don’t think Santi’s up to the standard yet to keep Rosicky out of the team after his injury. So in that case I’d have Ros/Jack and Theo on the wings for this one. Top preview mate, Keep up the good work!

  12. jnyc says:

    Great pre match! coyg!

  13. James Bond says:

    G’Day Mate 🙂

    so i’m not gonna bore you by telling you what a splendid preview you have done (as usual) !!!

    how convenient of you to miss me ehh , when our boys are doing their best to make you feel that you might end up winning the Ashes this time around 🙂 but on a more serious note, you’re the one who goes AWOL on us for longer periods than moi !

    coming back to your top notch match preview, i reckon , out FB’s can win us this game, sure they like to press press press but LTL reminds us how fit they are and they can keep going for the whole 90 minutes (i beg to differ) , and it shall be proved today where they might come a period of 5 to 8 minutes where this game is won and not just won but won convincingly ? – LTL your boys might be on a high but we are on top of the league 😉 hey, thanks for answering the questions, i enjoyed your answers 🙂

    i like teams that come out and “Press” , however, i feel that they might come to the Emirates and not be as pressing ? either way,i’m a bit nervous now and i will go for a 3-1 to the mighty Arsenal 😉

    fully agreed re- Bendtner what a nobody, i bet even in Fifa2014, no one chooses to buy him for barca or RM – keep dreaming son , keep dreaming

    i hope PG comes back with no voice, which means our boys have done well

  14. James Bond says:

    17HT – time for the espresso soon, i reckon 🙂

    what a game this is – everton vs liverFOOL (1:2) half time nearly !

  15. alexgunners says:

    Evening Fellow BK’ers

    OZ,

    Great work as usual and can’t wait for kick off. Missed all the action and i really hope that we go into this match focussed and ready for a very determined southampton side.

    I see this as a close one. 3-1 to the good guys.

  16. James Bond says:

    Everton should have scored there on a 1-1 , their keeper keeps liverpool in it, bugger – so hoping for a draw or everton win !

    Hi Alex,

    how you doing and how’s baby Bella doing ?

    yeah, 3-1 sounds like a decent shout but i would love a clean sheet, ha

    team news time very shortly !!!

  17. alexgunners says:

    JB,
    I am very well thank you. I have Bella next to me ready for our 2am kick off. She barely sleeps at night so she will be up with me to watch the match while mum rests.

    How have you been?

  18. alexgunners says:

    JB,

    Lpool have been lucky not to concede twice in the 2nd half. A draw would be perfect

  19. James Bond says:

    so match days are really good for you, both you gooners can watch your team win today – splendid !

    i been ok, thanks for asking – and i can’t believe how Lukaku didn’t score there, dang you Mignolet (to the rescue again) – that’s 3 match saving saves from him !

    would you play Rosicky from the start today @ Alex or stick with Oz’s line up ?

  20. James Bond says:

    agreed @ Alex

    it’s a very entertaining game to watch for the neutral though !

    Everton need to be more composed and their’s still a goal or 2 for them in this , i feel.

  21. James Bond says:

    Arsenal v Southampton (1500 GMT)
    There is a possible delay to kick-off because of broken rail on the Piccadilly line.

  22. James Bond says:

    another save by Mignolet, come on Lukaku you can do better than that , arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  23. James Bond says:

    YESssssssssssssssssssssssss

    get in

    2-2 – !!!!!!!

  24. Le Tissier's Laces says:

    Lovren is out for us through illness. That’s a disaster for us. You can probably have those three points now…….

  25. alexgunners says:

    Lukaku to te rescue

  26. alexgunners says:

    JB,

    tough choice. Rosa has been inspiring and his work rate is second to none. With a fit Southampton team, Rosa may be the way to go. Who am i to say though. I am shocking at picking teams, hence why i am at the bottom of the BOING! league

  27. James Bond says:

    LTL,

    it’s a team game and that’s what you lot have done really well, play as a team, don’t lose hope , if we predicted 3-1 before then we can probably make it 4-1 , only because we like you

    👿

  28. alexgunners says:

    Gunners Line up,

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Walcott, Gnabry, Bendtner

  29. James Bond says:

    but how good is Mignolet, he got a hand to the Lukaku goal as well, and nearly saved it ! glad it went in, now they need to hold on, come on Everton !!!

    yeah , good shout about Rosicky but i feel that AW will save him for the CL midweek game ? don’t worry about the BOING league, you’re a slow starter there but you’re doing well in the UMF though !

  30. alexgunners says:

    Very true, a veeeeeerry slow starter in the BOING league.

    Good call on Rosa. Looks like midweek action for him.
    Mignolet has saved LPool as season. great pick up from them, also how crazy are Ch3l$ki for loaning Lukaku out

  31. James Bond says:

    why would you keep both Walcott and Gnabry on the bench , when one of the 2 should be starting ?

    the midfield is very one dimensional and i don’t like it, but i get the feeling that we want to keep things tight and control the game for 60 minutes before unleashing some serious pace ?

    thanks for the team news @ Alex

  32. James Bond says:

    spot on @ Alex

    they sell Sturridge , get in BA

    and then they loan out Lukaku to get Eto’o

    insanity by Chelsea !

  33. alexgunners says:

    Theo lacks match fitness (I believe)

    LUKAKU!!!!!!!!!!

    This is Great

  34. James Bond says:

    this is not happening, i can’t believe my eyes, is Mignolet for real ?

    no sir, he is not

    gooooooooooooooooooooooal

    3-2 EVERTON
    get in !!!

    wo000000000000t wo00000000000000000t

  35. James Bond says:

    yes, good point about theo but Gnabry could or should have started ahead of Theo ?

    never mind though, we are still gonna boss this !!!

    but hey, how strong is our bench ehh, only weak link is NB and he will be out as soon as Poldi returns, splendid – can’t wait !

  36. alexgunners says:

    We are definitely looking better in terms of our squad depth. IMO we are 1 or possibly 2 players away from bossing this league. NB will not be around after Jan if we pick up a striker in the TW.

    COYG

  37. James Bond says:

    blimey, sturridge scores

    3-3

  38. alexgunners says:

    Stupid foul by Distin which led to the goal. Completely unnecessary

  39. James Bond says:

    what a match that was, 3-3

    game of the season so far for me, brilliant !

  40. alexgunners says:

    very open game, end to end stuff which makes for a great game. Except for the equaliser.

  41. James Bond says:

    i don’t mind though @ Alex, i had that as a draw in the UMF league 😉

  42. James Bond says:

    Arsenal v Southampton (1515 GMT)
    The kick-off in Arsenal’s game with Southampton has been delayed for 15 minutes in the interests of crowd safety as a result of ongoing disruption on the Piccadilly Line.

  43. alexgunners says:

    3 points to you. A great pick. i dared not choose this game in my predictions

  44. alexgunners says:

    Thanks for the update of Kick-off time

  45. JM says:

    Arsenal team to play Southampton: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

    subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Walcott, Gnabry, Bendtner

  46. James Bond says:

    cheers Alex, but i reckon a lot of people had it down as a draw though , so you might be in the minority losing out 🙂 i guess no 3rd time for you on getting all 5 right, ha (sorry but i am very competitive) 👿

  47. James Bond says:

    nice one @ JM

    what are your thoughts on Wilshere playing ahead of Gnabry , Rosicky and Walcott ?

  48. alexgunners says:

    nothing wrong with being competitive, we all are and that just shows with our passion for THE GUNNERS.

  49. James Bond says:

    that is it @ Alex

    not liking this 15 minute delay though !

  50. alexgunners says:

    me neither

  51. henrychan says:

    Oh no..
    Wilshere as a RW..?? Come on..
    Hope everything will go well..

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey boys…An extra 15 mins so my half-time espresso comes early… The end to end stuff up in Liverpool took a bit out of me…

    That is a lot of MFs we are playing. I’m feeling confident, however…

  53. James Bond says:

    i guess AW wants to shut them out in midfield and win the game from there and do a Napoli @ Henry ?

  54. James Bond says:

    there you are @ 17HT – 🙂

    baffling decision and team selection with Jacky boy starting, especially after he’s played both the internations but then again . AW knows what he’s doing !

  55. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    You poms aren’t traveling that well 🙂

    I don’t like that Wilshere is starting over Gnabry. But hey what do I know. Last time I said that he scored.

    Lovren is a big out. He’s come in from OL and made a top partnership with Fonte. I hope it’ll help bring down their wall a little easier

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    It worked vs Norwich but this seems tougher…Lovren is a big loss for them, however…

    Oz, Great preview…and I appreciate you sticking with it to get the opposition view…

    Alex, Big congrats on the Bella birth!…Hopefully that all went smoothly. Personal question, so feel free not to answer, but was it standard or like Caesar?…

  57. alexgunners says:

    @17ht
    Thank you very much. It ended up going to an emergency caesar. She was 2 weeks late and was distressed so I am very grateful that she is here with us safely.

  58. oz gunner says:

    god i forgot about the boing league. Haven’t been on for a few weeks but sitting pretty at 3rd on the ladder.

  59. oz gunner says:

    glad you enjoyed it 17. I’m glad LTL stepped up too. I need the ‘ask the op’ to balance out my dribble.

    Good stuff Alex. Glad everything went well with the whole ordeal. Watching the Arsenal together late at night…perfect!

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds like a bit of an ordeal but everybody healthy at the end, Alex… For me, I was a happy fellow for a long time after my boy was born…He’s still plenty of fun at 11 yrs old…

    Kickoff should be here in a minute…That Picadilly line is so far under the ground that you don’t want too many folks trying to climb the stairs too quickly and only so many can ride the elevator at a time…

  61. alexgunners says:

    Oz,

    How have you been?
    Definitely perfect way to watch the game.

    COYG

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK we’re on… Come on boys!

  63. alexgunners says:

    17ht,
    The main thing is that everyone was fine. I am all smiles atm and hope to have lots of fun with her as she grows up just as you’ve had with your son

  64. oz gunner says:

    good thanks Alex. Everything is well in the world again now the Arsenal are back.

    Ahhh feels good to see them playing again!

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud acting hurt and all the action in our half so far…Ollie looks fine when the balls kicked his way…

    So’ton are really pushing up…We must punish them….

  66. oz gunner says:

    criminal not to be playing with pace against this high line. Look at that offside, almost at the bloody half way line!!!

  67. alexgunners says:

    agreed oz

  68. oz gunner says:

    soooooooooooooo close. brilliant stuff

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    Boruc kicking like Sneezy…That was nice from Jack…SOOO CLOSE…shit!

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack’s looking inspired and what a move from Ozil there…So’ton guy down…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wanyama did well to get in on Jack but we’re starting to break their press and Ozil looks really good against the aggressive defenders…

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey off the post! So’ton will have trouble if they leave Ozil open like that…

  73. oz gunner says:

    @ 17

    Ozil really does. I read a stat showing how often he is fouled. I thought it’d be countless times but he’s one of the least fouled players in the league.

    Ramsey, genius!!!

  74. alexgunners says:

    So unlucky! Rambo can do no wrong and Ozil oozes class

  75. oz gunner says:

    great stuff pinning them back.

    Not sure how that wasn’t a foul. Wanyama steam rolled him

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s a battle Jack will not win…Ball first, I guess, for Wan-YAMA…

    We’re playing well, just need the breakthrough..

    GIROUD!!!

  77. alexgunners says:

    BORUC YOU IDIOT

    GIROUD YOU LEGEND

    COYG

  78. oz gunner says:

    In your face you piece of shit Boruc. That’s what you get for dragging Eduardo through the gutter!!!!!!

    haha what was he thinking! Szcz go grab your international spot back

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa…

    Boruc not quite the dribbler he wants to be…

  80. oz gunner says:

    “holy goalie” pfft

  81. Xavier says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Umm 007, is this the guy you said was better than sczceny??

  82. oz gunner says:

    well done Giroud! so important at both ends

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud defending as So’ton get a little pressure on us…

    Give credit that they’re not going into a shell…

  84. oz gunner says:

    those are some top top corners

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sneezy is doing just enough but they’re putting us under quite a bit of pressure. Clattenburg needs to get a handle on all the fouls…There’s a whistle (finally) for a knee to Giroud’s back. We need to punish them for pushing so hard against us here…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Awesome from Ozil but offside…

  87. oz gunner says:

    agreed 17. When victor does it it’s a ‘great tackle’ or he’s ‘tough’. We give it back and they get the fouls. Clattenburg is a joke

  88. oz gunner says:

    W-P has some vicious crosses in his repertoire.

    good save szcz

  89. oz gunner says:

    definitely dropped off since we scored

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arteta at sea leads to a So’ton chance…but Sir Chez makes the stop…Sheesh…Tight match here…

  91. James Bond says:

    ARTETA is having a shocking game, hence my repeated concern about us getting a replacement for him long term, soon !

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was poor—we had the numbers…

  93. oz gunner says:

    we had one BJ…Coquelin. Still time for his to come back next season…if he wants that is

  94. henrychan says:

    Hope Arteta play more solid on secondhalf..
    It’s time for Walcott to get in..
    I think for Cazorla.. he just don’t get his magic touch..

  95. oz gunner says:

    it’d like to think there is a future for Chuks Aneke also

  96. wenger's coat says:

    Arteta is sleeping a little I thought. Wanyama on the other hand cut out lots of passes, got away with some fouls at times.

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    Halftime…

    Personally, I think it’s a little early to slag off on Arteta…A couple of misplaced passes and physically a bit overwhelmed by their athletes in the middle. Still, I’d pick him to help us settle this and help get a 2nd to put it away…

    That’s just me, of course…

    Gotta give So’ton credit for having so much confidence in their own game. If we can control them to the hour mark, get and get Theo on, chances on the break will come…

  98. wenger's coat says:

    Southampton getting lots of credit for bringing young players through but they are were they are due to spending. they are sixth top spenders in the league

  99. oz gunner says:

    very well said 17

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys – just saw the last twenty minutes and thought we looked pretty solid at the back… our midfield needs to play closer together so we can keep the ball longer and release pressure. Saints are playing really well (in those twenty minutes) and are giving us a good match.

    Oz, is Le Coq playing a lot in Germany?

  101. oz gunner says:

    A fair bit TA. 12 starts, 4 sub appearances.

    You saw the worst part of the half. The first 20′ was top quality by us

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear that Oz and it is what the reporters said.

    16 appearances is great – did not know that. Really nice for him.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    agreed Wenger’s coat – no need for anyone feeling sorry for Southampton

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey ToTL…

    Yeah we kinda started losing the battles in MF…Clattenburg swallowing the whistle didn’t help. Still, our back line and Sneezy looked solid. We do need to move the ball just a little quicker and not make mistakes.

    Arteta’s definitely had a bit of a struggle but the rest of them have been rather clever…

    2nd half on…Sounds like Shaw’s been taken off…

  105. alexgunners says:

    finally a yellow for Wanyama

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yellow for Wanyama…Our spacing looks better early in the half and Santi and Mikel are intervening nicely to break up their plays…

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha…no sooner do I praise Santi then he falls over on the ball…Please protect our Ozil, Mr Clattenburg…

  108. henrychan says:

    At last.. Yellow to Wanyama..
    He must been send off if referee book him first for Wilshere foul..

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 17, so we are basically showing what a mature team we have become. let’s get the second soon..

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fortunate there on Llalana shot straight to Scsz…

    Giving it away a little too cheaply in attack…

  111. oz gunner says:

    shocked lallana is going off. Good news for us. No shaw, lovren or lallana!

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed Oz, a bit strange…

    We can’t hold the ball right now, it seems and we don’t really have much threat on the break, either…Happy to just defend doesn’t seem our style…

  113. alexgunners says:

    17ht,
    spot on, not too much of a threat and not really in control. We need to do more and not let them dictate terms

  114. oz gunner says:

    I thought after last time we implemented a ‘Ramsey shoot’ rule when he gets it in and around the box?

  115. oz gunner says:

    Walcott! Walcott! Walcott!

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK now we’re hemming them in and Santi’s doing some really nice stuff…just misses Ozil on a diagonal run…

    Possession is the key to tiring them and getting #2…

  117. oz gunner says:

    god that was a penalty!!! Victor got nothing but santi

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed Oz, though we’re starting to control the game through possession. Replay shows Santi should’ve gotten a pen…

    Dangerous cross from Sagna. Our pressure is starting to build nicely…Ozil shot too tight an angle…

  119. alexgunners says:

    FFS Jack was fouled

  120. oz gunner says:

    jack can’t buy a free kick

  121. oz gunner says:

    THEO THEO THEO!!!!

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Heavy touch from Ramsey after a great pass from Santi…

    They can’t get anything going against us now, but with just a goal we cannot relax…

    Theo getting ready…

  123. 17highburyterrace says:

    Crossing to jack is probably a low percentage play…

    Keep swarming them and good things will happen…

  124. oz gunner says:

    time to close this game out. Theo will have plenty of space to work in

  125. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’s not who I would’ve taken off, but that’s why I’m not the manager… 😀

  126. oz gunner says:

    such a stupid rule that is. Giroud is penalised for attacking the ball

  127. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arteta hurt and looking for a sub…Sicky it will be…PM4 gets the armband…

  128. oz gunner says:

    hope nothing too major for arteta

  129. oz gunner says:

    sicky is such a joy to watch

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great recovery tackle from Ramsey…

    Corner for us…

  131. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sicky so quick to stop them running out from our corner…Keep the pressure going, I say…

  132. oz gunner says:

    jesus that deflection had my heart in my mouth

  133. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo first touch is a howler…

    Gibbs fooled at our end leads to a chance, but deflected. Corner defended and Wanyama shoots wildly…

    Need to settle this…C’mon Theo, eh…

  134. oz gunner says:

    too good kozzer

  135. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sweeper Boruc needed to stop Ozil to Theo…

    Nacho on for Messy…

  136. wenger's coat says:

    Wenger will try to shut up shop now which is risky.

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    jack giveth and he taketh away…Theo wide from distance…

  138. oz gunner says:

    who needs a arteta replacement when we have Jack! great defensive work there

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great D from sicky and Clattenburg sees the foul on Rambo…Still work to do and I’d really enjoy a 2nd goal…

  140. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEN!!!!

  141. oz gunner says:

    Penalty!!!

    god i love merts reaction haha.

  142. 17highburyterrace says:

    GIROUD!!! from the spot 2-nil

  143. oz gunner says:

    you got it 17. we can rest easy now

  144. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud really feeling it, if he’s trying that…

    So, in the end, a couple of errors at the back lead to our goals…

  145. oz gunner says:

    Giroud for the hat-trick haha.

    “we see that happen all the time in corners” – well call it more often and players will sure as hell cut it out of their game

  146. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pen shout at the other end denied…Killing it off now…

    So’ton are a good, physical side, but we stood up to them, I think…

    Full time…3 pts taken…

  147. oz gunner says:

    1 (1) Arsenal 12 9 1 2 24 10 14 28
    2 (2) Liverpool 12 7 3 2 24 13 11 24
    3 (3) South 12 6 4 2 15 7 8 22
    4 (4) Chelsea 11 6 3 2 18 10 8 21
    5 (6) Everton 12 5 6 1 17 13 4 21
    6 (5) Man U 11 6 2 3 18 13 5 20
    7 (7) Totts 11 6 2 3 9 6 3 20
    8 (9) Toon 12 6 2 4 17 17 0 20
    9 (8) Man City 11 6 1 4 28 12 16 19

  148. oz gunner says:

    3 points, we’ll take it anyway we can.

    South really tested us at times, well played by them.

    That’s a wrap. Pleasure as always 17 + others. Enjoy the rest of your evening

  149. alexgunners says:

    Not the most convincing display from us but the beauty of it is that we do not have to completely dominate a match in order to win it. Well done Lads.

    TOP OF THE LEAGUE
    enjoy it and may it continue

  150. alexgunners says:

    Good evening Oz, til next time

  151. henrychan says:

    Yes.. 2-0..
    We are the Champion..

  152. alexgunners says:

    Good night guys

  153. wenger's coat says:

    It is difficult when you set a high standard. Yes it was not convincing but players did a professional job, they cut out the mistakes and forced the opposition to make mistakes.

  154. Le Tissier's Laces says:

    Well done chaps, good professional performance. To be honest, that’s as tired looking and poor as we’ve played for a while and I was surprised that Lallana was called off and not Lambert. Toothless after that.

    You did well against the press, but it was only the first 20 odd minutes of the second half that I recognised the Saints of this season. Onwards and upwards though, we’ll try and do you a favour by taking Chelski next week. Wanyama and Ward-Prowse the only real plusses for us today, but losing 2 of our first choice back 4 didn’t help.

    Best of luck to you all for the rest of the season. Top club.

  155. wenger's coat says:

    Le Tissier- your team Worthy of a top 4 from what I have seen.

  156. 17highburyterrace says:

    LTL, very impressive and athletic play from your team today…Just the couple of mistakes and missing a cutting edge. The Llalana sub was puzzling…Thanks for participating here. You guys will make a lot of trouble for a lot of teams this year as long as the commitment continues…

    The Aussie fellows are already off, but I thank them for the in-match chat…

    We did enough to get the points and I thought we looked good defensively. We’ve lost that panicky quality we used to have… A few times we really had them pinned in their own half but the chances really never came and some of our guys disappeared for stretches. I thought we turned it after 10-15 mins in the 2nd half and Santi’s good work in MF might have been rewarded with a pen or an assist. Arteta also did much better in the 2nd period. Hopefully his removal was precautionary. Overall, just fine, and hopefully we can keep building with a more commanding performance vs Marseilles in midweek…

  157. ” What`s that coming over the hill, it`s Cockie Monster…it`s Cockie Monsterrrrrrrrr ! “. 😆

    ” And it`s Oz Oz Gunner, Oz Gunner fcuks Skippy….he`s by far the greatest Pre-Matcher the world has ever seen ! “. 😆

    As per usual…Magnificent !. I don’t know the score ,but I know we have won, so bring on MOTD !.
    I will answer your questions, obviously with some advantage !.

    1) 2-0

    2) Dream Run ?…..not today, but good luck for the rest of the season !. Top 8.

    3) Same as yours but with Jack for Theo !.

    4) Goal Keeper, how dare Tarzan class him better than Sir Chesney !.

    5) High press their goalie !. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    and by that I mean :

    http://www.givemesport.com/404365-arsenal-score-thanks-to-unbelievable-goalkeeper-howler?autoplay=on

    Ooops !. hahahahaha

  158. James Bond says:

    when have i said Boruc was better than Sczny ? 🙄

  159. It doesn`t matter Tarzan !. We ( fellow BKers, not icl` you ! hahaha ) can say that you think every other goalie on the planet is better than Sir Chesney !. So just accept it or we will set fire to your loin cloth !. Don’t make me post your Tarzan cry !. hahaha

  160. Fcuk it….even without your loin cloth on fire, it`s too good not to show !. hahaha

  161. James Bond says:

    ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    so much for it being a democracy then !
    🙂

  162. James Bond says:

    What was Robert Lewandowski doing? He’s paid to put the ball into the back of the net but the Borussia Dortmund striker fails miserably to get on the end of Sven Bender’s clipped ball into the danger area. After his earlier miss, Lewandowski is not having a good game.

    taken from the beeb !

    and people want lewandowksi at arsenal : )

  163. James Bond says:

    waiting for PG to come back and give us some feed back, i hope he didn’t bump into Terry, ha

    moving onto the next one, Marseille – they play on friday and won 3-1, i am really hoping that we can put another professional performance on tuesday and win , anything less than 3 points can have catastrophic impact on the table !

  164. proudgooner says:

    Hello JB,
    Another great day at the home of football. the man of the match by a mile was Giroud he was everywhere putting in tackles working hard getting banged about and his goals of course.. As much as we hate to think about him i am going to say it was every bit as good as a van Persie top performance he was just excellent today

  165. proudgooner says:

    We well and truely put the saints to the sword and hit the post twice before breaking them down. The first ten you could see the lads working out South high pressing which to be fair they did well but our defenders were to skillful for they harassing. Szcz had a very good game and i was very hapy to see him win the Polish battle with Boruc were i think Szcz won hands down and i think staked his claim for Polish number 1 for sure defo in my eyes 🙂

  166. proudgooner says:

    After Giroud scored the second from the spot the whole stadium broke into song of “we are top of the league ” and you could feel the joy of the crowd, plus you could see the pride in Wengers face.

  167. jgc says:

    Well

    Missed game sleeping s it was 4am here, but woke suddenly at 430ish, so I must’ve felt the disturbance in the force from the Boruc effort, including travel time halfway round the world…

    Jgc-damus had it yesterday at 2-0 with second late…hmm, time to buy a lottery ticket? 😀

    Will catch replay later, but stats show it even, and two early pole shots show it mostly us going ok against what was the leagues best defense, until Spurs concede tomorrow.. 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  168. James Bond says:

    thanks for the report @ PG – glad you enjoyed the game and the ground was buzzing, we can still do plenty better though !

    Giroud is not as good as RVP just yet but he’s a very very important player for us .

    i thought the Ozil- Theo combo is the most lethal in this team but it’s a shame that ozil had to be subbed, deffo looking forward to more of them 2 playing together !

    Hi JGC-DAmus, the Damus get’s another one bang on, well done sir – but hey, before you play the lottery, can you give me the digits for my euro millions first ? 🙂

    1 to 49 – 5 numbers

    1 to 11 – 2 numbers

    😉

  169. proudgooner says:

    JB,
    I agree in regards to Giroud but todays performance he was just as important he gave everything, he was tackling in the 18 yard box in the corner made important tackles covering Gibbs he was outstanding today.
    I dont know got named man of the match but for me he deserved it twice a much as anyone else that is how good he was 🙂

  170. proudgooner says:

    Jack showed some flashes of real class today too, he lost the balls afew times but that was a result of taking players on, when he did lose it he gave everything to get it back whicj is all you can ask. A positive game for young Jack today

  171. James Bond says:

    yep, had to be Giroud the man of the match @ PG

    sometimes, i feel for Jacky boy, he seems to be at the end of a lot of rough challenges and tackles, maybe it’s because he likes to dish some out as well ? i don’t know but Wenger is giving him games, and him playing today means that he will be on the bench on tuesday (you can quote me on that).

    time to watch match of the day, the everton vs liverpool game was a really good one, game of the season for me so far !

    let’s see what the biased pundits say about our performances, i’m sure it will be “Lucky lucky arsenal” .

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