Arsenal 3-Bournemouth 0: Welbeck Brace and Lacazette Blast Cap a Complete Performance Giving Gunners a Much Needed Lift.

Danny Welbeck

A refreshing 3-nil win over an outplayed Bournemouth team represents a first step forward from the depths Arsenal plumbed in August.  Coming off a 4-nil drubbing in Liverpool and a confused but ultimately inactive end to the transfer window, Arsene Wenger’s team desperately needed a good result and performance.  Fortunately, they got one.

With the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, Wenger was able to restore key players to their more natural positions.  Notably, Hector Bellerin moved from left wing-back to his more customary spot on the right, with new Gunner, Sead Kolasinac, stepping into the vacated position.  The move paid dividends early as the Bosnian Beast (the Herzegovinian Hulk?) took a well-weighted Aaron Ramsey pass down the left touchline, pushed powerfully into the box and found Danny Welbeck for the goal.  Welbeck whiffed with his head but, as often is the case for the Englishman, another body part was there to bundle the ball into the goal, in this case his shoulder.  One-nil to the Arsenal after only six minutes.

The early lead allowed Arsenal to confidently ease further into the match.  Bournemouth looked a step behind in all aspects of the game and were unable to mount a convincing response to the early goal.  Sharp one-touch interplay in the 15th minute between Alexandre Lacazette, Ramsey and Welbeck was called back by referee Anthony Taylor when he probably should have played an advantage that might have seen Lacazette in on goal.  Mesut Ozil, on the ensuing free kick, however, drew a fine save from keeper Asmir Begovic, clearly Bournemouth’s best player on the day.

Arsenal’s controlled pressing from the front and good spacing and quickness to the ball in midfield led to further incursions into the Bournemouth area and, ultimately, a 2nd goal.  This one started with a long pass from Ozil that Lacazette just touched around Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake to Welbeck who cushioned it back to the turning Lacazette.  One quick touch set up a blasted right foot into the top corner.  The Gunners looked home and free after less than half an hour.

Arsenal’s three man back line of Shkodran Mustafi flanked by Laurent Koscielny on the right and Nacho Monreal on the left, didn’t so much have to work as a unit to absorb Bournemouth pressure–there was really none to speak of– but did solid individual work, stepping in to steal possession time after time while quickly transitioning the ball forward into attack.

Bournemouth’s best chance came just after the half-time break and immediately following an injury scare to Koscielny.  A Kolasinac throw-in inexplicably found the chest of Bournemouth’s Adam Smith who pushed the ball out to Jordon Ibe.  Ibe’s first touch cross found Jermaine Defoe who headed well but only found the base of the post.  An inch to the left and our lead would have been halved.

Instead, Arsenal added a third goal moments later.  Lacazette nipped in from behind Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling as he tried to play the ball out of his own half.  Ramsey took the gift forward, assessing his choices of Ozil on the right, Lacazette central and Welbeck on the left.  He chose the latter with a well-weighted pass and this time Danny finished with precision, sliding the ball across Begovic and just inside the far post.

After the goal, the game became more like a training ground exercise with Bournemouth having real trouble getting any time on the ball.  Arsenal, for all their mid-field dominance, however, didn’t create too many clear-cut chances.  The closest may have been a whiff from Ramsey after a lovely pass in from Ozil and a chipped ball just wide from Welbeck that would have completed his hat-trick.

On 67 minutes, Wenger took off Ramsey for Francis Coquelin, muting the Arsenal dominance slightly.  The best attempt on goal, in fact, probably came from Coquelin himself who might have scored his first Arsenal goal but for a deflection that took his 22 yard shot wide of the post.  On 75 minutes, the Arsenal goal scorers, Welbeck and Lacazette, came off for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, whose introduction was greeted by a smattering of boos before other fans sang a song of support.  His quality on the ball appeared intact and included a couple of blistering shots (though blocked or saved) and a neat cut-back to Giroud that required a good save from Begovic.  Ambivalence, however, reigns around his presence after a summer full of obvious desire to leave the club, culminating in a failed move to Manchester City on the final day of the transfer window.

With the three points secured, these sorts of dramas took precedence until Coquelin went down with a hamstring pull, hitting the ground after a spectacular fish-leap of a fall.  As all three subs had been used, Arsenal had to play the final dozen minutes with only ten men.  Bournemouth were able to force a Petr Cech tip over his bar from a looping header but Arsenal could have added more goals had they been more clinical on the counterattack.  The game ended meekly after three added minutes.

Overall, in my view, this was a very solid outing characterized by excellent team play.  As such, I’m not putting out any player ratings as everybody, I thought, contributed strongly.  The goal scorers probably deserve some extra plaudits but the other lines also played very well.  In my view, the midfield trio of Granit Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil were nigh on imperious with the pace and quality of their passing and quickness to the ball.  Bournemouth, however, were not a strong opponent, and Gooners, as they have been for years, will remain unconvinced until their team gives similar performances–with similar results–against the bigger clubs.  All told, however, it was a much needed good day at the office and a step up–both in the league table and for the collective confidence of the group–but, unfortunately, nothing definitive.  The injury to Coquelin is also a concern.  Thursday, the club begins its Europa League campaign vs Cologne before a real test at Chelsea next Sunday.  If the Gunners can carry the good work from today’s match through the week and onto the match at Stamford Bridge we may truly be onto something.

by 17highburyterrace

46 thoughts on “Arsenal 3-Bournemouth 0: Welbeck Brace and Lacazette Blast Cap a Complete Performance Giving Gunners a Much Needed Lift.

  • TA: “Great win but yet to see any of the game.”
    You’ll be pleased.

    With the back 3 Kos | Mustafi | Monreal were solid? (really liked that trio in those positions)
    Defoe had just one decent chance (OK, two. The rebound on that first shot– which he stabbed-at/shot-wide would have been a Goal-of-the-Season candidate). Bellerin and Kolasinac did their jobs fully– assisting at the back and winning many balls in the middle third.

    IMO we won the game in the middle-third. It wasn’t the pair of Ramsey | Xhaka bossing it traditionally. But the foursome of Bellerin | Ramsey | Xhaka | Kolasinac cutting off the passing lanes to Defoe and King. Cech’s clean sheet was no fluke– he and the defense earned it.

    Sead Kolasinac is on his way to becoming an Arsenal great.


  • HT …. well reported.
    Very satisfying display. That back three is solid. Musti is a rock, a fighter. The midfield was thrilling. Kola is it, that’s fully confirmed for me today. He is such a threat going forward. Ramsey supported Xhaka fully and that brought out the best in him. Lacaz is such a clean striker of the ball. That’s what makes his conversion rate one of the highest. Welbz is such a hard worker. Excellent in robbing opposition of the ball from the rear. It was a great performance by all.

  • If coquelin is injured, Does El Neny take his place on bench or secondary competitions? Any chance we’ll see Jack?

  • Jnyc …… We’ve all forgotten what a great player Jack can be. If he can successfully remodel his game to become more of a passer than one who runs at the opposition his problems (usually contact injuries) might be over. Jacks passing ability can be as good if not more creative than Xhaka’s. He might turn out to be our joker of the season.

    Elneny is growing. For the smaller competitions, a CM pairing of Jack/Elneny is not far fetched.

  • Something made Kos shift to the right and Mustafi to the middle of the back 3. What was it?

    The whole team did better off the blocks, and we need to repeat this feat against the Chavs.

    So, on to Cologne on Thursday, where we will see a second team playing there, and the first team (maybe the same lineup as last night) playing on Sunday.

    We are quite light at the back, so who do you see fit to play at the back 3 on Thursday? For me, Holding, BFG and Gabby is a good bet to start, but the wings is a little open.. maybe Reiss Nelson and the left footed youngster who did well in the preseason?

    The CM will be Elneny and Jack, since Le Coq is out, while the front 3 is Ollie, Theo and Iwobi.

    Ah yes. A good mix in the second team.

  • njk …. Gabby is long gone.

    Am with you that Wenger would like to start this same team against Chls. If so, it is unlikely he would start any of yesterday’s starters on Thursday night. Luckily for us Cologne is bottom of their table having lost all their opening 3 matches. Their focus would be their league so they are likely to field their B team as they have their next league match on Sunday too.

    We have decent cover for all the positions with those that did not start yesterday’s match except for the LWB. Would he play Niles there or Iwobi?

    Maybe we’d see:

    Deb, Jack, Elneny, Iwobi
    Theo, OG, Sanchez

    Debuchy has become our mystery man, so would he start Nelson instead or Niles at RWB?

  • Ah yes PE. My bad. I thought Chambers was out but it is the other way round.

    Unless the boss wants Debuchy to play, if not he will not play.

    Nelson is of higher chance to start.

    We should not take Cologne lightly. Yes, they might have lost their league matches, and yes, they have a Saturday league game, but they will not throw that game away.

    So, by thinking that this upcoming match is a given, it is wrong. They will blow us away if we were to make mistakes or put a foot in the wrong place.

  • Me? I’d rather loose to Cologne than to Chls. That XI above is a good team. Will Wenger go 4:2:3:1 to accomodate Theo’s game? Then use say Chambers at RB.

    Chambers, Per, Hold, Niles
    Jack, Eln
    Theo, Iwobi, Alexis

  • Excellent write up 17. Bournemouth was a good team for Arsenal to play after the loss to Liverpool as Eddie Howie likes his side to play in a relatively open and attacking way, which ultimately provided Arsenal with opportunities to counterattack and create clear goal scoring chances. For me, the real test for Arsenal will come against teams that park the bus and how Arsenal can construct similarly clear goal scoring opportunities whilst having the defensive structures in place to consistently snuff out opponent’s counterattacks. Nevertheless it was great to see Arsenal scores some good goals and keep a clean sheet.

  • PE posted:

    “Maybe we’d see:
    Deb, Jack, Elneny, Iwobi
    Theo, OG, Sanchez”

    Think you’re spot-on with this for several reasons.
    No sense in changing the formation ‘for Theo’. Many of these EL starters are your PL bench.
    They need to play the same system as the PL starters do.
    While it’s exciting to think that Nelson is ready to step in– we do have Debuchy under contract. This is the perfect place to make use of him. (I ‘sort of’ understand what happened with Perez last season– and hope Debuchy isn’t a redux.)
    And lastly, that front line should destroy most EL teams– provided they get proper service.


  • I’m reading that Chambers is getting over a groin issue and Thursday might come too soon, which is a shame.

  • OK…Sunday morning here and a little Burnley vs Crystal Palace on the big screen… My other machine–which pumps out the fine espresso–is also working… 😮

    Recounting the match (which I found fairly enjoyable, both watching and writing about it…) but only getting a pair of comments about it (the actual match, cheers JW & PE…) makes me think I did it all wrong. Maybe a headline along the lines of “Arsenal win–So what?” or “Arsenal Crush Bournemouth but Gooners Still Miserable” would have been more like it…

    Am I–and maybe a few others–the only one who wants to (try and) enjoy the ACTUAL football? That’s how it feels sometimes, but maybe that’s the nature of the game and I’m the one who is out of step. In England, I know the 3 o’clock matches are held off the telly (or only available in the pubs or if you pay the mega money for Sky or something. (If anybody is reading this who knows, please illuminate me…) but don’t people actually want to see (or hear about–and perhaps celebrate or otherwise enjoy) the full range of what ACTUALLY happened? Is Match of the Day and punditry (which likely repeats themes like, “Bournemouth are woeful, this proves nothing; Arsenal, in its own way, might be even MORE miserable…”) enough for most Gooners? It seems like it. Is the Coquelin injury and how it affects our (often fantastical) line-ups going forward–or gives us another stick (to beat the club) for not buying a “real” DM–the only headline here? In yesterday’s match, nobody stood out (to me) as playing terribly, i.e., I have no one who deserves a beat down. Does that mean there’s nothing to see here? Like I say, I can’t quite figure it out. Pointing out the comic element in Welbeck’s first goal and Le Coq’s reaction to his injury seemed worthwhile, but was their so little REAL misery on show, that, in the end, there’s truly NOTHING to say about the match?

    Oh well, and I’m only (or at least mostly…) kidding here. In the end, it seems that watching football–or at least choosing to “support” a team–probably IS an exercise in suffering or at least (a much needed?) excuse to have a moan, as they say… If so, I’m just sad that I didn’t land in Croydon (and become a Palace supporter–they just lost at Burnley and have yet to score a league goal…) or in the East End (West Ham, also on zero points, wait until tomorrow night to try again…) when I did my time in London…

    Onwards to Koln on Thursday, an(other) “unwinnable” match. What can we hope for? More injuries maybe, if not dropped points? No, this one’s maybe an opportunity to celebrate some young gunners doing well… before we moan over them not getting playing time in “real” matches (you know, the ones we lose…) at the expense of (over-paid and way too costly…) players once again (we hope?…) falling short…

    Good times…

    So, if I’m right and having a moan is all there is, there’s mine, at least for now…

    😀 … ( 😦 …)

  • 17HT–
    Don’t succumb to it.
    People, online and off, are susceptible to falling prey to the groupthink of the environments in which they choose– or must– exist/live/work. I visit other Arsenal-related sites– some I’ve visited for years– and have seen an erosion of attitude by those who had once held fast against negativity.

    I simply refuse to buy in to it.
    It’s why I visit and comment at Berkampesque.
    This is a place of sanity.

    Consider– there can be only one champion in any competition. Whether there are 20 teams– or scores of them? Only one wins. For me? That Arsenal has one 3 FA Cups in four years– pleases me. Most of the club’s main rivals have won little or nothing during that time.

    Of course I’d like to see the club regain the heights of glory of Arsenal’s and Arsene’s heyday.
    But I’m not going to discount everything until they do.

    And I refuse to wallow in negativity– over football– something I look to for an escape from the realities of life.

    Don’t know if anyone recalls– that I live in Houston TX USA.
    That our metropolitan area of some 12M people have just withstood one of the most devastating natural disasters in history. And this community has been so positive about moving forward– it’s truly inspirational.

    In about 10 minutes our NFL Football season starts.
    And we’ll have another way to escape our realities.
    Win or lose– it will be a good thing for people here in Texas.

    Everybody? Have a great day!


  • Right on, JW… And please pardon me for forgetting about you down in Houston… (I kinda associate you with my Texan disc friends whom I associate more with Austin… As an aside…according to Facebook, it’s C. Gorman’s birthday today, my wife tells me…) I hope things are going well down there after Harvey and that you and your loved ones are OK–both in body and spirit… It sounds like you are…

    I try to remind myself that a huge part of the sports audience has almost zero interest in the actual aesthetics of game and enjoys the narrative above all else. While watching the (incredible) pro basketball out of Northern California back in the spring with a friend, he wouldn’t even look at the screen because, as he put it, “It’s all about the story…and sports are exciting because we don’t know how the story will end.” I guess that’s a(nother) reason folks seem so obsessed about the trophies, even if they are so few of them and they are (clearly) out of reach for so many clubs. I too enjoyed (quite a bit…) winning those FA Cups though they seem only a consolation for many Gooners, if not a mask for the REAL troubles at our club…

    For those of us who have worked hard at our sports (Gregg W. from Austin and I bonded heavily over working on our golf games, too…) it is maybe even more upsetting. I’m entranced by (real, not American, sorry…) football being the epitome of hard work with near constant failure–after all, what does a nil-nil result mean for both teams’ attacks?–and the idea that the job of some clubs–over an entire season–is avoiding relegation (!!). That I fell in with a club so much stronger than that AND one (seemingly) dedicated to enhancing the actual beauty of the game seemed (almost…) a reason to believe in a deity… In truth, I often wonder what it would have been like to have been plopped down nearer to Selhurst or Upton Park or even (dennis forbid…) White Hart Lane… Maybe supporting a team that is EXPECTED to fail would have been more satisfying…

    So, you’re right, I shouldn’t let it get me down, but there seemed some awfully good things in watching that match yesterday and to just sweep them away with “It’s only Bournemouth,” (though it is a truism…) seems kinda sad. In the end, we all need to enjoy (or hate…) things as seems right to ourselves and it’s probably–or obviously–fool’s work to try and bring others around to our perspective. Cheers for the reminder…

    As a practical matter (I’m speaking to TA, here…) I think maybe doing the occasional “live blog” during matches is maybe my way forward as a contributor here… “Saying it and letting it go…” could work well with getting out and enjoying the rest of the day… which is what I should be doing right now… Thanks again JW, please post here more often… Wanna do some previews/reviews on a regular basis?…

  • I started to read the comments, haven’t finished, but i want to agree that I’d like to see a lot of rotation with the focus on Chelsea as we’re all hoping.
    But I’m pretty sure Wenger will not make as many changes as we’d like. I’m guessing 4 changes at most, for him thats big.
    If he does start almost a whole different team, then we will know that he has changed his thinking somewhat, and really is focused on the league.., at least getting back to top four.

  • That is a very fine post, Seventeenho, and i think you covered the game and the sentiments excellently. I thought the Cherries started very well but so did we, and I have no doubt that our opponents will do well again this season. They pressed us high at times but we dealt much better with it due our ‘intensity’ all over the pitch. This makes/made all the difference.

    You are kind to give all players the ‘same score’ as some were better than others, but I like that you are making a point that it is a team game. And we played as a unit with lots of energy and purpose, showing that Wenger still has the gift of re-galvanizing the troops after a painful game and two weeks of missing his star players.

    I thought Welbeck, Ozil and Lacazette mixed it up very well up-front and we were also strong from the flanks. Kola is so good at picking the right pass and I hope that Bellerin will learn from him re this. It does seem to be something you either have or you don’t, but Hector is still very young.

    Really happy that Danny scored twice as this will do his confidence really good. What a class goal by our new man and I loved his movement and hunger to get involved. The team are still getting used to him and with better service and link up play, I reckon (the real) Alex will get more and more productive.

    Loved our defensive trio at the back: lots of balance and healthy aggression, and so good to see Mustafi back.
    Final word goes to the midfielders, Xhaka, Rambo and Ozil. Well played fellas: your drive and intensity made all the difference.

  • On the match, the following thoughts summarised the whole game:

    1. The players worked as a team.

    From the first whistle, we were off the blocks quickly and luckily we scored the first goal that perked up the whole team.

    Looked like your talk about Gumption worked, TA. The gumption is clearly in the team, in each and every player and the eagerness to win the ball back is evident.

    2. The huge hole in midfield is still there.

    It looked as though we were making the same mistakes in midfield, as the huge hole where Xhaka and Rambo should be is there for everyone to see.

    The reason why we were lucky not to concede is the gumption and the opposition is less prolific in front of goal.

    3. Our DM area is one man down.

    Le Coq had a hamstring injury, and at first glance it seemed that the opposition player fouled him, and then on another angle it is just no contact at all. Gutted by his absence and we need to fast track Santi and make sure that Jack will make good this season.

    4. What is it about Alexis being lack of form?

    We needed him to reintegrate into the team and his performance showed that his desire to do well had never went missing.

    He did brilliantly to engage his team mates and his workrate is there for everyone to see.

    5. The Tank.

    I have many thoughts on this guy, but somehow writing it comes out as droplets of water. His movement is anything but a tank. Maybe a nimble light tank, and his turns are not slow like Ollie.

    His workrate is good, and paired with Nacho they helped each other out. With Alexis he is good too, so we still have plenty of games to oogle at this guy on the pitch.

  • I have tried on a number of occasions to post over the past few days, only to see my masterpieces get lost in the blogosphere. Is it just me?

  • 17ht you asked about pubs showing the 3pm kick offs on Sky. someone will no doubt correct me if i am wrong, but i am fairly sure its illegal to show any 3pm kick offs on TV in the UK. I understand some pubs in the UK do screen matches via a large dish where they pick up European screening of the matches.

    Pubs do need a special pub licence screen Sky matches anyway and I understand they can be quite expensive. a couple of years back, the Neville brothers, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes purchased a stake in a non league club Salford. Salford were screening matches in their bar using an individual Sky package (Such as I subscribe to). Gary Neville a Sky commentator asked how much Salford paid for their licence and got the embarrassing answer back that they only an individual licence…… highly embarrassing.

  • 17HT you also mentioned about fans not being happy despite Saturdays result. I think the vast majority of supporters were happy with both the points and the performance (although of course most of us only get the highlights). I think however most of us are a little nervous about Stamford Bridge on Sunday. In my opinion and I may well be wrong, if Wenger plays the same side and tactics he used against Bournemouth we will lose. If we are going to beat Chelsea we need to tighten up at the back, otherwise Chelsea will punish us. This would have been an ideal game for the likes of Coquelin to step in and tie them down.

  • Hi Retsub… If you have the time and inclination, I’d love to get more from your lost-to-the-ether masterwork. Trust me, I’ve been there–and very frustrated. Copying first (before trying to post) is something I now do religiously…

    The way the footy is “consumed” over there is very strange compared to how we do it over here where just about everything is available on television (and, like all things American, our screens are HUGE.).. And then there’s my own personal approach to appreciating the game: seeing tons of luck involved, the absurd power of the ref (heavily influenced by the ferocity or lack thereof by the supporters), etc., etc. What kills me is that each Arsenal match–or at least the press and blog reaction to it–seems like a referendum on the great “troubles” at the club, meaning (mostly, I think) Wenger at the helm and no title since ’04. When we win a match in good style, as we did vs B-mouth, there’s hardly a discussion (let alone enjoyment of the better elements) as it means just about nothing, the opponent was insipid, etc., etc. Of course, if you’re over there and don’t even get to see the match on the telly, no wonder it’s hard to get too excited. A fun 5-10 minutes of MOTD is better than nothing, however, even if the pundits will suggest it’s nothing proven, same old issues, Chelsea next weekend, etc., etc.

    Koln on Thursday seems another “can’t win” affair, esp. if we play ANY first teamers whom we should be resting for Chelsea. Even Chavs on Sunday (where, clearly we’re already doomed…) might only be taken as a blip if we managed a result. Though we denied them the league double (and did that fun little cup-hoisting thing afterward), most of the Goonersphere seems completely unimpressed. But that’s just my take on things from over here and from the dearth of comments (about the actual match) on this thread. If you say that most Gooners were pleased with our game on Saturday, I’ll try to take that view on board…

    Here’s the line-up from the last time we played Chelsea, i.e., in the FA Cup final: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez, Ozil, Welbeck. Subs: Lucas Perez, Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Cech, Coquelin, Elneny.

    Note who comprised our miserable-field, er, mid-field that day. As is likely this coming Sunday it was Xhaka and Rambo (with Ozil, even if he’s listed as a forward). Why then do we NEED the guy who did the hammy pull fish-flop? Perhaps we won’t get a result at Stamford Bridge, but, with Kola and Laca in the match (plus Koscielny and Mustafi fit and Cech in goal), I think we’ll be putting out a better team to try and get the job done. As I say, it might not happen, but why throw in the towel before we even kick off–Or diminish the result if it’s a good one? Gotta win the Quadruple or go 50+ unbeaten, seems the only way to make (many?, most?) folks happy…

    Enough from me–and even I’m getting tired of saying the same thing again and again. Gotta just focus on the football (I’m still watching with the sound off…), so, TA, given so little interest in a match review (cheers for yours, however), I’m thinking that hosting a live-blog might be my next try at finding an avenue forward as a writer here. Lemme know what you think…

  • It seems not right that a football club or most of England cannot afford Pay TV, as I had in mind after reading some comments.

    Here in Singapore we have access to all 38 games weekly and all the matches were accessible at SGD60 per month on bi-yearly subscription. Affordable to many of us here.

    Over in HenryC’s country, they will show some matches for free.

    Something must be done to allow the people of England to watch the league games for free or something.

    It does not make sense that you have a local league in your doorstep and not show it Live to the general public, while the rest of the world have access to them live.

  • Njk84. I think the reason it’s in place in the U.K. Is to protect the smaller clubs. If two big teams played on a Saturday at 3pm the theory is that supporters of smaller teams would stay at home and watch to matches rather than travelling to watch their teams. A friend of mine is a Wimbledon supporter and travels all over the country to watch them. However I do see their point far nicer to stay at home in the winter and watch a top premiership game than driving 200 miles to watch Scunthorpe United play.

    Because of the televised games most of the big teams play their matches early or late on Saturdays or on Sundays. This invariably means that the Saturday 3 pm kick offs usually involve the 2nd tier premiership teamfs, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Watford, Bournemouth etc

  • Very good summary 17o! 👍😀. I really enjoyed reading it and the game as well. I felt it highlighted many aspects of why we choose to support Arsenal. That intricate passing around the 15th minute you referred to…just delightful. Have watched that a few times and think its mind-blowing how they pulled it off – real shame that Taylor didn’t play advantage. If it had led to a goal, would have been just reward.
    Overall too the passing out of the back when Bournemouth were pressing was great and, as you point out, everyone was moving in support of their team mate and there was simply no way for the cherries to cover all the options. Looking good and I think we go into the Chelsea game with good confidence – we recovered well from the Anfield drubbing and have beaten Chelsea the last two times we played (how many teams can say that?!)
    Too bad that outside of your commentary most of the other “news” don’t dwell on Arsenal’s play. They make it seem like Arsenal played against me and my mates and not against another PL team. Oh well…

  • Also (a little out of topic) – if anyone has not seen the highlights of the U23 win against ManU, I would recommend it. Very slick movement from the PL2 team (at least in the first half) and a couple of great goals.👍

  • Retsub, I’m not sure what’s going on with your comments but I saw one–about us discussing this stuff over a pint–that was somehow sent to moderation. I went to click on it and, poof, it was gone. My advice, and maybe you’re already heeding it, is to break your comments up into smaller pieces and try to post them in smaller chunks. (As you go, maybe…) I’ll try to check the “comments pending” area (in the back channels of the blog) more regularly.

    As such, I only got to read that first line of that one… And yes, we SHOULD get together and have a pint (or three)… (Maybe I can get A-Kev to give me a lift to your favorite watering hole…) Still, if there was anything worth typing twice in your lost comment, let’s be having it, as they say…

    Also, somehow I remember things (from autumn 2006) a bit differently, like I could always find the games in the pubs. Things may have been different back then or maybe because there was a more defined “big 4” (Man City was nothing and spurs weren’t threatening the CL spots…) we were always held out of the 3 o’clock matches in favor (favour?) of the smaller clubs, as you say. Hard to tell…

    Overall, I know I shouldn’t go on and on about these things–you know, the need to spend a tiny bit of energy appreciating the positives—so I’ll try not to… Cheers, however, to St. Henry for your pat on the back re, the match report. Indeed, that one little bit of one touch stuff was mesmerizing, and, if it could have sent Laca through for a goal. I think it might have been alongside that goal (of the season, I think, it was voted…) that Jack put in vs Norwich a few years back… As it is, I’m still thinking about his (Lacazette’s) goal from Saturday and the quick feet he showed to set up the accurate and unstoppable blast into the top corner. I think we may have picked up a player who is ready to score in bunches for us… Welbs getting rewarded for his running was also nice and he also got the assist for the Laca goal so excellent fantasy points for a guy whose price (in the FF stuff) is probably not very high. Pundits (and the Gooners who listen to them…) lament the “walking it into the net” stuff, but I tend to enjoy it more than the individually spectacular goals…

  • Cheers JW. Didn’t know you’re down in Tx. Hope all is well, and minimal disruption for you.
    17, i consider Bournemouth a decent opponent, and note it took a match with no end for Peps team of expensive talents to get 3 points in 97th minute. Only the worst negative people would be dissatisfied with a win and clean sheet.
    In the past few seasons we have proven that we can play serious and tight at the back when we need to. This Sunday will be one where we need it. It’s what i wanted us to do against liverpool. We have done it against Chelsea specifically, both Mourinho and Conte.
    The rotation between Thursday and Sunday will be an important key. Chelseas rest is 2 more days than us. Also, not just the defenders we choose, but how disciplined the midfield can stay.
    I finally got to see the Bournemouth match. The Lacazette goal is exactly the type I’ve been saying that he will give us lots of this year, that we haven’t had from a striker. He is so composed and deadly accurate.
    I usually don’t recommend youtube videos for scouting, only for fun of seeing our new players. So when we signed Laca I watched some and the one thing that i noticed was that type of marksman goal. He hasn’t even shown the new team/league jitters that often cause new players to start slowly.
    If we keep giving him chances, he is going to score lots of goals for us.

  • I think we are over confident about able to win over Cologne. This is something that we should not be doing, especially in the players’ minds.

    It will be detrimental as we need to have the mindset that we must win all the UEL games.

    There were some games last season that we were a little over confident and we had to claw our way back into the game.

    So, we have to have the mentality that we had during the Invincibles season, which is to have a feel good factor and ensure that the bond between the players is strong as ever.

    Borrowing a phrase from TA, let us win OGAAT, and for now, focus on Cologne (Koln). We have shared some of our videos and other information with them, and vice versa. Thus, we needed to ensure that we do not shoot ourselves in the foot and let them have a go at us.

    Cheers on a good game tomorrow (Friday my time),

  • The PL has been prioritised over the EL. That’s simply saying that our 1st string is for the PL and heavily rotated side for the EL. Good enough that we have good cover everywhere except the WB positions. Incidentally our wing backs are crucial ťo our attacking play in the 3:4:3 formation.

    Wenger might start Bel and Kola in those positions and if things are going well might substitute them early with …. your guess. Possibly he’d start Mustafi too as he is still coming back to full fitness. Our rotated team would be no mean side. There is little doubt in my mind that Koln would be forced to rotate too because of their miserable start to their season.

    8 changes.

    Musti, Per, Hold.
    Beĺ, Eln, Jack, Kola.
    Theo, OG, Alexis.

    Jack seems to be adapting his game to a deep lying playmaker. Finding space and distributing his ball. If he focuses on the passing game he is just as good as Xhaka. Am excited to see him and Eln together in the CM.

    Left alone I’d start Iwobi ahead of Theo. There was so much go in him during the pre season that should not be allowed to decompose. Looks like finding a spot for him even in our 2nd string front 3 is going to be tough. The font 3 in the squad are Lacaz, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud, Welbz, Theo; Iwobi, Nelson, Akpom. Will Wenger rest Bel for Iwobi at RWB? He needs maximum expousure now that he is bobling.

  • I feel we should be looking to play only those players who will give it their all, not those with one eye on the Sunday game vs Chelsea. So, hopefully, we see a front 3 of Iwobi, Giroud and Theo/Alexis (last 2 to interchange; start or as sub). With Ozil and Ramsey not playing, we would need a creative midfielder, which I don’t think Elneny is and am not sure we can foist that responsibility on Jack so soon.

    So, a solid back 3, recognizable wing backs (Bellerin and Kola/Monreal) and a hungry midfield and forward line. Expect some lack of coordination, early on, depending on how Koln take the game.

  • Agreed Eris, about the lack of coordination we may see. That is a risk. We all seem to generally be on the same page wanting more rotation because we want the emphasis to be on the PL and Chelsea Sunday. …. but even though it’s riskier, that’s what prioritizing means, and I’m fine with it.

    I do have my suspicions from Arsenes past set ups in FA and carling cups, that we’ll see less changes than we want. But maybe the fact of only 2 days rest will make a difference in his mind. 2 days before Chelsea, Europa is a curse.

    The players that may be rotated in should be very hungry to play regardless of the tournament, and i don’t think we’re being biased in thinking that they can definitely beat almost any team. Hungry is great, but they must be disciplined and play together, rather than try to make an individual impression. Most of our guys that Eris mentioned, Theo, Olivier, etc know thats the way to impress the manager anyway.

  • Borussia Dortmund are currently top of the Bundesliga, Cologne are bottom.

    Chelsea will have 48 hours more rest and preparation for the weekend than Arsenal, so I’d like to see some radical rotation.
    Cologne are not Bayern, respect them of course, but we’re Arsenal, we should be able to field a rotated team that can deal with currently the poorest team in the Bundesliga.

  • Jnyc, you have a good point there, regarding need for discipline and team play, being the way to catch the manager’s attention. That will be the reason for holding a final session strictly with those who will be in the match day squad. The boys will perform, of that there’s no doubt. We only have to hope for no injuries because there will be some that will start against Chelsea.

    I also like that the boss is playing down the impact of the midweek exertions on the players, even where they have to play the next league game away from home. That’s a new ‘speak’ with Wenger and can only bode well. For long, we’ve been primed to make the excuse of going away from home, coming from a game in Europe in midweek. I think Chelsea are in for a surprise on Sunday.

  • Hi all..
    Hi JK and Hi Eris.. funny you.. hehehehe..

    We only will be without Ozil, Coquelin, Kosielny and Ramsey.. that was the new from Wenger.. the rest will play..
    Luckily we play home.. so we will have some rest earlier.. Chelsea is waiting.. hehehehe..

    I hope Sanchez, Giroud and Walcott as our Trisula.. Long time not see them together.. hehehe..
    Will we see Nelson or Iwobi..?? I know people want to see Nelson.. but he still can play after 60 minutes..
    Although I don’t like Wilshere.. but he likely will play at Ramsey’s post.. And Elneny also..??

    At back, without Kos, Mertesacker Will be the best choice.. and Holding.. hehehehe..
    No Debuchy ini the training.. Where did he gone..??
    So, maybe TA were right.. We will see almost all players changes this time.. hehehe..
    Is that mean our second team really good..??

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