Arsenal–West Brom. Join Us on The BLAB (Best Live Arsenal Blog). Line-ups Are Out! Alexis, Elneny Given Starts, Ozil on the Bench

Arsenal, on the back of two consecutive league clean sheets, take on West Bromwich Albion in a bit of Monday Night Football.

Tony Pulis’ teams are always difficult, though usually on our away trips.  Last season a real low point was the 3-1 loss to the Baggies at the Hawthornes in early spring.

With all the top clubs gaining three points over the weekend Arsenal surely need three of their own.  Here are the full line-ups.  Please join us in the comments as I try to keep up with all the action.

Arsenal: Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Elneny, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Sanchez, Lacazette.  Subs: Mertesacker, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Maitland-Niles.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Nyom, Livermore, Krychowiak, Barry, Gibbs, Rodriguez, Robson-Kanu.  Subs: Yacob, Morrison, Rondon, Phillips, Brunt, Myhill, McClean.

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

106 thoughts on “Arsenal–West Brom. Join Us on The BLAB (Best Live Arsenal Blog). Line-ups Are Out! Alexis, Elneny Given Starts, Ozil on the Bench

  • Anybody around?…

    I guess Pulis really hasn’t done too well at our stadium… The telly preview says he’s 0 for 9 and outscored by 20 to 3… Bodes well for us or does the law of averages give the edge to WBA?…

  • BLAB caught my attention !………………….but what`s BLAB worth when I`ll be hiding behind my sofa too scared to look ? …………..The Tea Baggies are the only team to inflict a defeat on my near perfect record of visits to the Emirates……………..I`ve never been the same since !
    😆

  • Cockie!! The Gooner Lost in Cornwall!!! Where you been?, What’s the latest?… Come out from behind your sofa and tell us what’s what…

  • Howdy doody 17 !……………………not enough time amigo, only 20 mins to kick off and I need to make a nice relaxing hiding place !………………………U23`s are winning 1-0 at Everton, kicked off at 19:15

  • Hi Henry… Gotta wait and see… Wenger, pre-match, talked about pushing Ramsey forward so we’ll see if he’s alongside Laca over on the right or if he’s buzzing around in MF with Elneny and Xhaka. Personally, I want to see Alexis staying forward more and not dropping so deep to get on the ball…

  • Something tells me Iwobi may have been injured for him not to be featured at all. Happy to see Jack back on the bench, for what it’s worth.
    Hope Gibbs gets a loud cheer.
    COYG!!

  • OK Cockie… Have a nice time back there… You should come around in less nervy moments, however…

    Players (finally) out of the tunnel and onto the pitch…

  • Looks like Gibbs is to play further forward to nullify Bellerin’s threat? Hahaha! Good luck with that.

  • Good to have you around, Eris… Watching in Nigeria, are you? Yeah, I think Iwobi must be hurt… Of course, I like Elneny getting a start, but that’s just me…

    We have kick-off!…

  • Alexis plays a long one straight to Gibbs who hoofs it all the way to Cech on the volley.. Arsenal get the games first corner but it’s cleared as are a couple more crosses that come into the WBA box…

  • Ooooohhh… Alexis is just wide of the far post, Foster, in goal, could only watch it and hope…

  • There’s some intensity out there and WBA are doing well enough pressing us to play backwards…

    Whoa…Laca and Rambo almost get through but WBA are able to counter and Rodriguez goes over Mustafi–it looked a pen–then gets up and shoots with Cech just getting enough of a finger on it to get it onto the post… Huge let off there…

  • Soooo… that should make us aware of how they can hurt us on the break…

    Ramsey is playing quite deep on the right–oftentimes behind Bells–and couldn’t quite find Elneny on a nice forward run…

    That was earlier… This time Elneny lofts one out to Bellerin who volleys onto Rambo’s head but his shot goes over…

  • A forwards ball from WBA falls to Gibbs but he screws his shot out of play for a GK…

  • Ramsey is now getting forward with a few runs… Lofted balls over the top have all been too long for him thus far…

    Fans getting on Foster for early time wasting on his goal kicks…

    We’re having some troubles playing it out of our half… Mustafi miskicking one to Bells only the latest misstep…

  • Foster has to come out of his box but still beats Lacazette to the ball for a throw-in…

  • 18 minutes in now and we’re not making too many inroads towards the WBA goal, with the opponents giving us enough trouble just getting it out of our own half…

    OK, slightly better there and Elneny wins a FK a yard outside the box…

  • Alexis, though it’s a better spot for a lefty takes the FK and…

    it hits the bar!!!

    But LACAZETTE is on hand to head it home!!!!

    1-nil to the Arsenal

  • WBA have some possession after the goal but Laca pushes Gareth Barry off the ball and no foul is called… It’s been very hit and miss from the ref so far, but I’ll take the very slight stomp on Elneny that gave us the FK for the goal…

  • Lacazette can’t bring down a long and high clearance Arsenal clearance… and neither can Alexis chase down another long one from Ramsey…

  • We’re still trying to figure out how to break down WBA’s MF line… They’re sharp to many of our passes…

    We steal one of theirs but Ramsey’s pullback–dummied by Laca–is just short for Alexis to put a right foot on it…

    Another foray ends with a Kola pull-back to no one… And another, this time Nacho almost getting through but he can’t quite find the final touch… Hint of a pull down by Nyom that might have been a penalty shout…

  • Kola steps in to steal possession and send us on the break… Alexis holds on a bit long and his ball to Ramsey on another forward run is easily taken back…

    It seems WBA had a plan B on tap… They look reasonably comfortable trying to work the ball forward… Robson-Kanu, can’t hold the ball in our box… GK for Cech…

  • If Monreal just playing a bit more striker tricky skill.. it would be a penalty.. hehehe..

  • Rambo’s been down a couple of times after being fouled so the ball stays with us…

    We’re probing but unable to break through until Alexis finds Ramsey who just beats Foster to the ball. He can’t take advantage of the open goal however and his lofted cross is easily claimed by the keeper…

  • Arsenal corner after another decent play on the counter… Xhaka flies it over everybody and the ref is nonplussed by the pull down on Alexis…

  • Kola steps in again and again we’re on the counter… It ends in a nice central spot after a foul (and a yellow card) on Lacazette…

  • WOW… That should have been the equalizer but NACHO saves off the line and over for a WBA corner…

  • That’s a couple of times we’ve looked brittle on the counter… and WBA probably should have at least one goal if not two… Elneny loses one and the PSG guy (sorry I can’t possibly spell it…) hits his shot wide…

  • WBA were looking strong but Kola was able to lead another break putting Lacazette in but in a wide area where he wanted it on his right foot. In the end, amidst falling bodies, nothing comes from it…

    Geez, other end, WBA send in a cross and are just a few inches short of toeing it in for a goal…

  • More hit and miss reffing…and, after several things that look like fouls, Kola touches it with his hand but he doesn’t get the call and the handball leads to a crossed FK…

  • Gibbs takes it (after the ref warns Alexis about too much complaining)… Laca heads behind for a corner…

  • Gibbs takes the corner too and it’s not a bad one but Mustafi clears with his head. The ball is sent back in and Gibbs gets a very nice volley across goal but WBA can’t quite bundle it in… More pressure but finally the whistle blows…

    At half-time it feels very good to have a lead… but WBA has shown enough to suggest more goals could be needed…

  • I have to be fair.. they could easily have scored a couple, including a penalty. Maybe some adjustment needed. But w brom are playing a good game.

  • That was too nervy for my liking. Many will point to the penalty shout on Rodriguez but the ref has played the advantage. And then, there were two possible shouts for us, so for me, that evens out things.
    I think Gibbs has been instrumental to how well WBA have played against us; he’s been at Wenger training sessions for about 10 years now and knows a thing or two about how we set up; however, this is where determination and sheer better quality comes into play. They have stifled the midfield with DMs who are under instruction to kick Ramsey (or Ozil, if he started). We need to spread the play more with Bells and Kolasinac (anyone else see how slowly he returned into position after Alexis misplaced a pass to Ramsey in one break away, with Kolasinac in better space?).

    They will fight back and we have to be ready to punish them while not conceding.

  • Well we survived, but didn’t look comfortable. When W B A got that free kick near the end of the half. Evens and Rodriguez were both unmarked at the back post. Luckily it came in short. Lot of empty seats in the Emirates tonight, especially so early in the season.

    A bit more discipline in the 2nd half please.

  • Xhaka Elneny pairing didn’t work well.. Someone must be drop.. but who..??
    And I hope Wilshere in..

  • Transitioning the ball from the back has not flowed well and it has affected our general passing game. The full backs are doing the job of passing the ball out and it’s obviously not a strength of theirs particularly with Kosh.

  • Indeed J… From open play WBA probably deserve the lead. Everything is backwards as we’ve got it from the FK… 😀

    Both teams look most potent playing on the break but they seem able to move the ball forward with very little resistance when we lose it… Gotta stop that or we’re in trouble… The reffing has been very inconsistent thus far, so, unless we can get on top in the 2nd period, I’ll be concerned that a whistle might turn things…

    I think we need to give some props to Nacho…For the goal line clearance but also for getting through until he was pulled back for his own penalty shout…

  • Good comments there Eris, Retsub, HC and PE…and all of them are pointing out different flaws… In other words, we’re a bit out of sorts in all kinds of ways… Luckily, the scoreline tells a different story…

    WBA out of the tunnel early as we take our time with a meeting in there…

  • Alexis needs to control his temper now on. The ref won’t spare him if he gives him a reason to show a second yellow. Ramsey needs to get more involved, somehow. WBA have negated our game plan and we do need to do something different.

  • More Nacho with a couple of takeaways early in the period. Both teams iffy in possession and looking like they prefer to play on the break and want a wide open game…

  • Some better possession but all rather static until Laca sends it wide and Bellerin one touches a very nice cross. Nobody quick enough to tap it in however…

  • Pretty nice attacking with Alexis in the middle of everything… Eventually he loses it after Kola gets it to him in a wide spot in the box… Then, we almost hem them in as they try to play it out…

    Ooohh, more beastly stuff from Kola and calm from Elneny 12 yards out who sets up Laca but his shot is blocked and goes over… That was close…

  • Arsenal on the front foot now…Xhaka FK is headed away but Nacho pushes it back up and wins a corner… Poorly taken by Alexis but Mustafi almost backheels it in at the near post. Foster was right there, however…

  • Nacho fouled then Elneny both by the guy with all the Ks and Ys in his name… Finally he gets his yellow…

    FK is sent in by Alexis but again it’s short and Mustafi’s backheel isn’t so good this time…

  • Some WBA possession but our shape is good and Kolasinac makes a couple of interventions, one that leads to the most harmless of long throws…

    Back with us now

  • Kola gets called for a foul so WBA send all their big fellas forward for the FK…

  • Cech comes a long way to punch clear…

    Nacho is still everywhere, heading one out and stealing another from Robson-Kanu. Alexis on the break makes a lovely turn but can’t find a pass after ages to scan the pitch…

  • Good possession here but Elneny’s cross is blocked out for a throw… We’re doing better in this half but I’d breathe easier with a 2nd goal on the board. WBA make a sub… Morrison in, Livermore off…

  • Pulis thinks he can get a result or so the subs would suggest…

    Arsenal build again and we win a corner after some nice one-touch stuff down the right…

  • Taken short but Xhaka sends in a nice one… WBA defender clears, however…

    Rambo wins a PEN after being shoved off the ball by Nyom…

  • “guessed” I meant…

    On the pen, Nyom really bailed Rambo out as he was running out of room on the end-line. The calls have gone our way this evening but we’ve been on top here in the 2nd half…

  • That was about as cool a penalty taker as you’ll ever see in the circumstances we were in.

  • Game’s getting stretched and another good Arsenal counter doesn’t quite come off, Xhaka’s shot blocked at the point…

    Ooooh…. Laca brings down Alexis lofted ball with a great first touch but the 2nd is booted well over the open goal…

  • Indeed Eris… that was a very good pen that Laca took…

    We’re still not quite home and dry and we need to be a little more careful with the ball. Rondon is a tank, or at least the guy who ate all the pies… WBA are getting close to getting the ball to him… And they’ve won a corner… But Gibbs, taking it, hits it too far…

  • Ramsey has worked hard but has been shackled from influencing as he usually should do. Bring on Ozil and Giroud now, for the defensive side? Alexis and Ramsey or Elneny off. Elneny has also worked really hard and gave the WBA midfield an unusual problem with the way he pops up in unexpected situations.

  • Some very nice Arsenal football after Cech claims a cross and hoofs it for tiny Alexis who holds off his defender and brings it down before passing central to set us on the break. There’s more fine work but it ends with a long–and not very accurate–shot by Xhaka…

  • More nice possession from Arsenal but Bells can’t quite get onto Kos’ nice ball which goes out for a throw… The next attack falters with a highball failing to find Ramsey… Giroud and Ozil getting ready?…

  • Kos clears a lofted ball near Rondon’s high foot and sends us on our way, Nacho leading the way. If falls to Alexis but his shot is tame and easy for Foster… More Arsenal possession, which ends with Dawson sliding through Alexis… Somehow he gets off with a warning instead of a 2nd yellow…

  • Xhaka’s FK is headed strong but well wide by Mustafi… Into the 81st and still no Arsenal subs…

    This group looks happy enough moving it around which is probably making Wenger hold off on the changes.

    Another Arsenal corner, again taken short to Bellerin in acres who blasts it but it’s blocked out for another corner…

  • Finally another sub… The goal-scorer, Lacazette is off, Giroud on… and a 2nd sub, Ozil for Alexis…

  • Mustafi came close to getting his head to the corner kick but WBA clear it… Arsenal are playing more freely now given the 2 goal lead and WBA look out of ideas…

    Some more good play but nobody can get a shot off…

  • Martin tyler observant …has mentioned 2 times just as i was noting mustafi playing wide right attacking for center cb. Under a different coach, that would stop when protecting a lead.

  • That was nice… Elneny’s lofted ball finds Giroud who lays it off for Xhaka… If he’d let the ball drop an inch or two more he might not have hoofed it over so badly…

  • Ozil looks fresh as a daisy but can’t quite get on the return ball from Giroud… Mustafi, forward after a corner is surely filled in for further back by the fullbacks, I think, J…

  • Dicey play out of the back but it sets us on the break. Only a foot-save by Foster on Rambo’s shot prevents a third Arsenal goal…

  • Full time’s been reached… 3 mins have been added. AMN looks to be the final sub… Arsenal playing keep-ball now…

  • I thought Wenger will allow Lacazette try for a hat-trick, but still all good for him to bed in nicely, under no pressure. Ozil will probably be going to Minsk by midweek.

    Oh!!! What a break away and Ramsey’s shot is saved with his left leg and we miss a chance for 3. AM-N to come on for maybe, Ramsey….

  • No, here he (AMN) comes… For Rambo, who, a minute earlier, might have found Kola in a better position on the left instead of crossing harmlessly…

    There’s the whistle…

  • At least, Gibbs didn’t get a winning return and Barry’s big night wasn’t a winning one. I guess AM-N has come on to do exactly what his substitution decision was intended to achieve: burn up some time in added on time.

    Nice 3 points to get and against a side that will give a lot of big sides problems. We’ll get to know later.

  • Well done 17HT, sorry I can’t interact during the game. I would be loking at my iPad every time we scored

  • Yes, Nacho!!! He had a mad game today. Ate up everything, as if to show why he kept Gibbs on the bench. Man of the match, even though you suspect Lacazette will get it.

  • Arsenal get no goals from open play but two after the ref blew… Good enough for me and nice to get the calls our way for a change. We played better in the 2nd half against a wearying WBA team so that’s a plus… We’re definitely a work in progress, IMO, but the result allows us to focus on the progress part rather than other worries… Retsub won’t agree, but getting Ozil back in should up the progress element, IMO at least…

  • Yeah, I agree, Nacho MOTM for me but Laca took his goals well and was sharp with his feet on many occasions, something I’m enjoying quite a bit. The other new guy, Kolasinac, only looks better and better the more he makes those power runs (with his head searching for the final ball) down the left. Gibbs had a good game but, between Nacho and the beast, you can see why the move to WBA was a good one for him.

    Agreed with Eris (and others) the West Brom will trouble the top teams all season long…

  • 17HT ahh but I will agree. Brighton at home at the weekend, a blue wall. Ideal for Ozil. It’s Manchester City away where I have a pronlem

  • 17ht, I don’t know how you do it (the “live match” show) but great job! 😵👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 👍🏽

  • Interesting to watch a replay of the first goal. The only Arsenal player who was really moving was Lacazette and he benefitted from it

  • Cheers, Eris… I enjoy it…and it seems better to say my piece as it happens rather than letting my thoughts fester… I must say, however, that the comments others put in are extremely helpful and always good to change my perspective…

    Retsub we’ll have to do the Ozil argument match over match, I guess… Offense is the best defense (American spelling…) IMO but I know others see it differently…

  • Retsub monreal is my motm.. in general, he is underrated and under appreciated. Arsene owes him and koscielny so much. Such service to the club.

  • Yeah 17.. i respect w brom, and its a nice move for our friend Gibbs. I thought he would make a lil better wb than straight fb, and they need any creativity they can get.

  • Jnyc

    Yep. nacho nearly always puts in a good shift and tonight he was terrific. I think we will see about 10 changes for Thursday. If there is such a thing as an easy premier match, it has to be Brighton at home…….should keep my big gob shut

  • Watched the highlights and the passes between Alexis and Lacazette is flawless.
    Why Wenger did not start them in the earlier games is beyond me.

    Nacho’s goal line clearance was the moment that saved us, and man of the match is fitting for him.

    There are no easy games in the league Retsub1. Brighton played well in the last few games and they are certainly no pushovers.

    Cheers on 3 points and a clean sheet,
    JK

  • Other than Iwobi who looks to be injured, every 1st team player who was not picked tonight and (for those picked) didn’t get up to 20 minutes, will be travelling. So that will mean Ozil, Ainsley Maitland-Niles Giroud will play on Thursday. We may also see Elneny feature, so as to keep him engaged. The rest of the Carabao cup squad will make up the remainder of the team for the trip to Belarus.

    Hopefully, we can have a disciplined performance out there and return with a result.

  • Lol @ retsub … yeah, don’t jinx us.
    Njk, Nachos clearance was as good as I’ve seen. Usually its a sliding clearance with a ball trickling towards the goal. In this case, with his momentum, i don’t know how he was able. I was watching the play develop, and it was like slow motion, and even on every replay, i expected to see the ball go off Monreal into the top of the net, or at best hit underside of the crossbar and go in.

  • He got a good eye on the ball and kicked it up when the ball is just before the goalpost.. one milisecond late and it will be in the roof of the net.

    There aren’t too many better clearances than that. Everything was spot on.

    Alexis did what he does best, and Lacazette too. The whole team did well defensively, and with Elneny in the team I expected no less than that.

    The media was saying that Mustafi had a bad game, but it is who around you that did well rather than just you yourself did well. People forget this is a team game.

  • G’morning all… No additional comments since 03:38? By my calculations it’s 16:30 or thereabouts, even if it’s only 2nd espresso time where I live… TA, did you get to watch the match in the pub? If so, let’s be having the 8 positives or at least something for the proud and the few to be noshing upon…

    Of course, I said my piece—or blabbed away—during the match itself so not too much new for me. If I were trying to list 8 positives I’d go 1-3 on the points earned, #4 would be that the ref seeing things our way which allowed #5, the fans to stay on our side. 6 & 7 might be Lacazette’s well taken goals (stealing the credit on the first from Alexis, the 2nd from Ramsey)… Finally #8. Nacho doing something more than just routinely strong and committed to the cause. It was quite a spotlight moment and huge for making positives 1 thru 3 (and #5…) happen.

    So, those are mine. What says the gaffer (TA) or anybody (and everybody) else? …

  • Seventeenho, yes I watched the game and read your fantastically accurate commentary as well. Just still fricking busy but I may have a bit of time this evening to write something. I loved watching us last night but I did so without sound which is heaven really. More later hopefully.

  • Ah, geez… No time to even pop in at half or full time?… Whose blog is this anyhow?…

    😀 ( 😦 )

    Definitely hoping you can find the time to talk about the match… Or maybe the next one is coming so fast that we need to focus on that one… Maybe I should write something as I try to watch some CL football…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s