Bergkampesque Live-Blog. One Change for Watford (Ozil in, Coq out). New Signings

To Take a Backseat to the (Actual) Football?

Probably not, but so it goes in this modern era.  Still, having only earned one point from six in our opening two fixtures, it could be argued that winning today–alongside completing some transfer business–is critical for Arsenal’s early season.  What say you?  Please join us for breaking news and in-match commentary.  Line-ups should be out shortly…

Alexis to Lead the Line Again, But this time Ozil is in the Hole.

Team Sheets:

Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis

Arsenal substitutes: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Giroud


Watford: Gomes ; Kaboul, Prödl, Kabasele; Amrabat, Guedioura, Capoue, Behrami, Holebas; Deeney, Ighalo.

Substitutes: Pantilimon, Janmaat, Zuniga, Watson, Success, Sinclair, Pereyra.

 

So, Whaddayathink?

Arsenal set out a midfield heavy team with both Cazorla and Ozil in central positions.  Watford will be dangerous with Ighalo and Deeney at the sharp end of their attack.  Will Arsenal try to dominate possession and keep a spread pitch or will Theo and the Ox be used more on the counter?

Please join us in the comments today and let’s add to whatever good feeling might be had from the 99% sure signings from Spain, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, with three points at Watford this afternoon.

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

121 thoughts on “Bergkampesque Live-Blog. One Change for Watford (Ozil in, Coq out). New Signings

  • No surprises there really Total, didn’t Wenger say that Giroud was a bit short?

  • Alexis sounds well up for this judging by his tweets.. He’s excited by the new signings coming in I’m sure 😀 got a feeling he will do well today with Ozil playing from the off. We do well against Watford so should be fine, but given our tendency for silly mistakes (something the u23s did over and over last night) All the more reason to keep solid and focused on a winning outcome. COYG!!

  • Hi fellas… Do you guys have the match on the telly today? I was thinking this one required a live-blog more than most with the 3 o’clock kickoff…

    FMJ, can you copy and paste those Alexis tweets?…

  • Cheers Seventeenho. 🙂

    All Saturday 3pm matches are never on TV here in the UK, so thanks for setting up a live blog. I will be listening to the radio and checking in on comments made here. 🙂

  • Kev, Giroud being a bit short sounds like a Wengerism to me…. A good excuse to continue with Alexis as our CF which of course is fine with me. I had opted for Ollie in the middle as I reckon playing both Ox and Theo on the wings is not such a good idea. But as soon as Perez joins we can play Perez – Alexis – Theo/Ox and that would make me more excited. The Ox is getting another chance to shine and he better starts taking them, as Perez will likely slot into the team straightaway after the Interlull..

  • Hi TA….I will try to do my usual commentary. IMO, it’s a different game with Ozil in there so I’m feeling pretty excited for this one. Also, as promised several days ago, you’ve got mail…

  • Thanks for mail. Will read after the game.

    Yes Ozil will make a difference. Just not sure that Ox and Theo together is a good idea in terms of taking chances but love to be wrong today. 🙂

  • Arsenal in black (or very dark blue) with yellow, Watford in yellow with black (or very dark blue)…almost like they had it planned…

    We have kick-off…

  • Cech gets his hands on a Watford cross but then throws too long for Theo…

  • We are a very small team today so set pieces don’t hold a lot of promise…

    5th minute: Watford seem content to sit off us… Bellerin passes to the wrong color but we get it back without trouble…

  • Alexis dropping deep and almost finds Ozil but the latter is flagged offside as he also fails to control the pacy pass.

  • 7th min: Watford GK goes all the way to Cech and we build (from the back, slowly) again…

    Theo and Bells do well and Ozil’s great pass to Alexis almost looks like a pen. Play is stopped due to Alexis grabbing his head…

  • BBC 5Live on the radio for me Total as I’m working (as usual) and from they have said on the commentary is that we’re trying to hit Watford with pace via Walcott and long passes…

    Fingers crossed now….

  • We’ve got some spring now playing overloads on either side of the pitch… Watford will have to want the ball a bit more to get back into this one

  • Xhaka and Santi look very comfortable on an early lead. Watford are looking a bit more ready to play now, however.

    Bells loses the ball. Alexis looks extra hungry this afternoon…

  • 16th minute: Holobas fails to keep a ball in and we’re in no hurry to get re-started… Watford try a long ball but it’s too long….Again, no rush to try and push up for a 2nd…

  • Theo nips in and Prodl (the giant) gets yellow… Theo would’ve been gone…

  • According to radio, Alexis is spinning out to the left dragging Kaboul out of the middle, sounds like a very fluid system we’re playing…

  • Santi FK is better but still cut out…

    Xhaka shows his passing range… Ozil is getting a lot of space… Watford given a throw that should have been ours deep in their territory…

  • Kev, Alexis looks like he’s permitted to go anywhere and will cover a lot of ground for a CF. Everyone is filling the spaces and spreading the pitch nicely; players like Ox and Theo are popping up central as well as wide…

  • 22nd minute: Watford’s only route is over the top thus far and an attempt to reverse fields goes out of play.

    Theo, Santi and Bells combine to win a corner.:

  • Taken slowly with Kos telling Santi to take it with his left foot… I love it…

    Kos almost puts in a poorly cleared first attempt.

    Oooh….Santi puts one across the face and Theo almost scores from a very tight angle, Gomes blocking with his body….

  • Whoa…Great save from Cech down the other end and Watford are finally alive.

    Kos had missed the cross and Cech’s save was pure reflex. That’s a big one….

  • Bells gives away another one and Watford look lively. We push them back, however, and finally take the ball back after Xhaka is forced to clear and they put one on the roof of the net.

  • Santi—wow, what a tackle…and earns the one-santi-cazorla chant…

  • Watford are definitely back in the match now…but they retreat well with any turnover…

    30th min: Stroking it around the back without much penetration. Xhaka’s long pass is decent but into touch off Alexis… And later, trying to clear our box, Xhaka wins a foul to stop their play…

    It’s a game now, however, so a 2nd would be a very tasty treat….

  • 33rd min: Alexis chasing a long ball should be given a corner but is called for a foul even though Kaboul tripped over himself…

    Ozil pushed off the ball but gets no whistle… Every call going their way since the pen, I fear…

  • Watford long throw earns a corner but it’s headed wide with Nacho jumping short defending it. A bit of a let off there…

  • We’ve had a few giveaways in MF but it’s mostly about all the calls going for Watford…

    Oooh very good chance there but Alexis from a tough angle has his shot saved…

  • It was a lovely 1-2 and maybe Alexis could’ve done better getting it back to Mesut for the shot….

  • Amarbat called for shirt pulling as he rounded Kos to get into our box…

  • 39th min… Alexis and Ozil are hooking up nicely down the left today…and Gomes has to get down a couple of times to stop us.

    A Watford attack is decent but ultimately the throw is given our way. Amarbat is troubling Nacho down our left side, however…

  • GOAL… 2-nil…

    Alexis from Theo but the spun in ball had to be confirmed by the goal line technology!!!!

  • It was a great cross and a bit of a scuffed finish, but good enough…

  • Alexis’ movement today has been real trouble for Watford…And don’t speak it too loudly but Theo’s been good as well.

  • There’s so much freedom of movement that it’s important some others spread the pitch. Ozil sometimes is going wide to do so but so are Theo and Santi.

    Bells had a decent chance but chooses to pass…Xhaka finds Theo with a long one and he forces another Gomes save…

    Other end, Cech steps up to stop a promising Watford break…

  • I just don’t think you understand…
    He’s Arsene Wengers man…
    He’s better than Zidane…
    We’ve got Mesut Ozil

  • TA, Xhaka’s range of passes are Santi-esque…My only worry about him is that he seems to like to play at medium tempo and under total control. I’ve yet to see him really get pacy or cut down his stride to make a play, perhaps a reason he seems to foul so often. He did get fouled himself back at 1-nil to break up a Watford attack…

    Alexis, my fantasy captain today, is racking up a fine total with 2 assists and a goal….

  • Yesssss!!! Alexis Sanchez Baby! HT I missed my cue for the pasting of the tweets but the evidence of his intent is firmly on the pitch today. Things starting to click into gear really nicely now. It needed a few games to get into the groove.. 😀

  • Hi FMJ, no worries… Maybe some contract extensions to complete the August business would be in order. People are so obsessed with signings that they don’t realize it’s the salaries that really matter. We need to lock down our best players more than taking punts on new ones…

    In my opinion…

    Of course, Gerry will tell us that Alexis is just having a nice match to put himself in the shop(pe?) window…

  • I agree TA–when on the ball Xhaka looks brilliant but he could use some Kos-esque work when it comes to executing defensive plays on the ball (tackles), I think. Actually it’s too early to tell, but at his age he’s only going to improve….

  • Ox hasn’t been great but that’s down to luck as much as anything. He’s been doing his part to go central and then back out wide but the ball just hasn’t come his way much. I think he had one that he lost out of play but also another that was called the wrong way. For a bit there it seemed the ref was giving all call Watford’s direction…

    3 nil seems awfully comfortable so this could be a good time to bring in Elneny for half an hour or more or Chambers and Gibbs. Giroud should probably also get some game time.

    Watford bring in another attacker, Perreira, I think…

    Kick off…

  • Alexis has given the defender kittens, says the commentator… I love it….

    He looks like he wants more as a pass to him is overhit….

  • 49th minute: Theo fouled as he plays it out of our box…

    We seem pretty content to lay a bit deeper but Theo presses and forces a turnover…his cross finds nobody however. Ox might have been on it but looked on his heels….

  • More Ox follies….a poor first touch and then he loses it in the corner…

  • I might have to take a break here to make coffee for my wife…As it is written in the bible in the book of Hebrews…Get it, he brews…

    🙂

  • I like that kit, very stylish…

    Would be good to see us keep a clean sheet and add a couple more to our score.

  • WOW Bellerin dances and crosses perfectly but Ox cannot convert the goal…

    Other end, Capoue blasts one but right into Cech’s belly for the catch.

  • 3-1…

    Arsenal fully on the back foot save one with a lucky header but the rebound falls nicely and Perreira converts it…

    Game back on…

  • Well, wifey hasn’t gotten her coffee yet and in fact was watching…her fault still…

  • Theo tries to chip Gomes after lovely play from Ozil…No dice, well over…

  • Alexis handball…Other end, Amarbat forces a good high grab from Cech…

    Subs?…

  • 66th minute: Bellerin wins a foul…

    It’s all long balls so I think some freshening of the squad would be good…Now Nacho gets called for one which could lead to some danger. I’d get Giroud in, if only for set piece defending….

    Oooh…Bells runs a strong counter but Ox was offside at the end before a(nother) poor chip.

    We’re not holding the ball very well, Elneny please…

  • Cech punches clear but Watford are still pushing…We need to punish them with a counter…

  • I think we could use Ollie in there to hold up the ball a bit…

    Geez, long throw and Ighalo heads over…

  • More loose play from Bellerin on a promising move. Behrami wins a foul but Alexis stays out of Kevin Friend’s book…

  • Yellow for Amrabat as he goes off improperly. Somebody with a Sideshow Bob haircut comes on…

  • Watford are on the front foot and Cech has to save a weak header from a corner…

  • Gibbs defends well on Ighalo but still can’t get it. In the end, Ighalo’s shot is a weak one and easy for Cech…

    We still aren’t keeping the ball very well…

  • Watford still pressing…Behrami booked with a late challenge on Theo…

    Better play there with Elneny at the heart of things. Bellerin ultimately called for a foul, however.

  • Elneny wins a foul…

    86th min: We’re holding the ball a bit better but Jack, trying to find Alexis, overhits one…

  • 88th min: Santi and Alexis strut their stuff on the right…And Alexis presses and wins the ball back but fails to find Theo on the left and shoots to a catchable spot for Gomes…

  • And now Alexis does not play in Theo or Cazorla but goes for goal himself… With two assists and a goal he can get away with it though..

  • 90th minute: Arsenal playing keepball and Jack gets knocked down with Holobas getting a yellow for his trouble

  • Nice foot in by Xhaka at the top of our box….

    First Arsenal yellow goes to Jack the lad… FK goes over everybody and out for a Goal kick. Two of the five have been played….

  • 4 of the 5 have been played with Jack winning a FK deep in the corner…

  • Good win and nice to hear we controlled the game again when Elneny and Jack came on. Shame we had no shots on target in the second half but that often happens away from home with such a big lead.

  • Great game, pity that we took out Ozil to see out the game.

    Man of the match is of course Ozil, and Alexis a close second. We should have added more, but somehow we let them score a goal.

    Cheers on 3 points,
    JK

  • Geez, 3 points (& 2 new signings) but only the one comment since the end of the match…And I don’t even understand it… (Why leave Ozil in?–My guess is for the fantasy points…)

    Hull were very close to keeping ManU at bay…but concede in the 92nd….

    Ah well…

  • Need to see the game now first before I can further comment. Really happy with the three points, the two signings and one half of very good football by all accounts. 🙂

  • Hi all..
    Great win.. 3-1 not bad.. I hope a 4-0 resulted.. hehehe..

    This season is a wonderful TW for us.. We bring another two great players.. six in total.. although Asano can’t get his working permits yet.. pity for him
    Four in action.. one for loan and one youngster..

    I Hope Monreal get well soon..
    Maybe Wenger need to rotate more.. to keep everybody fit..
    This Season.. Back four seem to be the most challenging to solved..

  • Very pleased with the win. It’s dissaponting not to catch games on streams anymore, but having just watched the highlights, I am sort of glad I didn’t. That kit looks like it’s having a nuclear reaction. it was also Watford colours. WHY?.?.

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