Finally. Ozil and Alexis to Flank Lacazette as Arsenal Go After Everton. Join us on the Best. Live. Arsenal. Blog. Blab with us on the Bergkampesque.

Arsenal (3-4-3): Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerín, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Özil, Sánchez, Lacazette.
Subs: Macey, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Holding, Iwobi, Coquelin.

Everton (3-5-2): Pickford; Keane, Jagielka, Williams; Kenny, Gueye, Sigurdsson, Vlasic, Baines; Rooney, Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Robles, Mirallas, Martina, Klaassen, Davies, Lookman, Niasse.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

The line-ups are in and Arsene Wenger goes with what might be his best 11.  Ronald Koeman, perhaps under even more pressure that Wenger (is that possible?…), makes a few changes matches our own three center-back formation while building his attack around Wayne Rooney.

Everton away is always a tough one and last December it’s the one that began the derailment of our season after a long unbeaten run.  This time around–if we can win it–it might be a good re-boot after losing at Watford a week ago from a winning position.  What’s your prediction?  What else have you got to say?

Despite the early start time here in California, I’ll be trying to offer up some descriptions of the match, but, as always, it’s a whole lot more fun if I can lure others into the fray.  I’ll do my best, but we can only be the best if we get you into the discussion.

Go on then…

By 17highburyterrace

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174 Responses to Finally. Ozil and Alexis to Flank Lacazette as Arsenal Go After Everton. Join us on the Best. Live. Arsenal. Blog. Blab with us on the Bergkampesque.

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    Is Koeman’s job on the line if he doesn’t win this one? Will his team play for him and get him the necessary result? Only a win will do, of course, as it will for Arsene Wenger. AW’s job is not at risk even if a huge chunk of Gooners believe he should have been gone years ago. Nonetheless, as every match is for the (legendary) manager, another referendum awaits. Moreover, it seems critical that we put the Watford loss into the rear-view. Wenger’s line-up looks like he’s going for it. What do you think? Is this his best group?…

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Who’s around? Anybody?

    Cheers for the preview, TA… Clearly, you and I are focused on the matches and not so much on the (oh-so-tired) narratives. The BFG (over Rob Holding) is the only difference from your predicted group and, I think, the better choice. For me, it’s all about movement and spacing. If we can get Alexis using the spaces–and moving without the ball–that Ramsey and Ozil might create, I think this group is unbeatable.

    Your take?

  3. GoonerEris says:

    Not able to watch the game as I am not even home, so doing this on my phone (a first, for me); hopefully, it works well.
    The line up is what I predicted it will be and should do the job.

  4. GoonerEris says:

    Not able to watch the game as I am out of my usual abode. Doing this from the phone for the first time; hope it works.

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    It worked Eris… Doubly well, in fact… 😀

  6. GoonerEris says:

    The line up is what I predicted and should be the one to do the job on Everton. Of course, Kidman is under pressure and we know he likes to stitch Wenger. That will be a bridge too far, this time.

  7. henrychan says:

    Let’s do it..
    All the Players have enough time to be 100% fit tonight.. thanks to our second team..
    We need and win.. and we Will get it.. hehehe..

  8. GoonerEris says:

    So it Did, 17. Initially got a “no show” response, so I went again, breaking the comments up…. now they all come up. Does that mean we score a double or our goal scorers all score at the double? Hmmm.

  9. Pony Eye says:

    1-3 for Ars my prediction.

  10. Pony Eye says:

    1-3 for Ars my prediction.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha… PE goes for the double (comment) too… 😀

  12. Pony Eye says:

    The tension maybe.

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wearing our black kits…

    We have kickoff!!

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looks battle-y in MF early and Everton get an early foul bringing the big men forward. The FK and a couple of other early attacks are rebuffed easily…

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great move led by Alexis, tapped forward by Ozil but Rambo’s shot is deflected out for a corner which Everton eventually clear…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis looks very bright–like the sun in Liverpool today–and wins another corner…

    It’s not a good one but Ramsey keeps it in. Arsenal look to be on the front foot but it ends with Pickford…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rooney is working the center of the pitch for Everton but we’re defending easily thus far…

    Ozil, Ramsey and Alexis are moving the ball at pace but Ozil’s pass leads only to a Lacazette high angled shot and another corner. It’s pushed out but, on the next attack, Ozil is just offside. We’re creating good early pressure but the game is very open…

  18. GoonerEris says:

    Well, I can only comment. But from what I read off some other group’s comments, we are on the front foot…. keep it going, be aggressive and take no prisoners.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re also pressing well from the front…

    Ooooh, that looked to be a goal as Laca turned at the end of a great move but his shot from 6 yards is right at Pickford who saves with his knee…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    More good pressing and another forward move at pace. Ramsey’s dummy finds Lacazette but the return pass is mis-hit.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh crap…

    1-nil Everton after Xhaka is pushed off the ball after a heavy touch and Rooney punishes us with a fine curling strike.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi fellas, listening to the radio. Great start but then we let ourselves down by some bad defending, it seems. All to play for and the boys must not drop their heads. A quick goal for us would be very, very nice.

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    We were completely dominating but Xhaka will be crucified for another giveaway that led to a goal. It looked a foul in real time but the tackle by Gueye, I think, was clean enough to avoid a whistle.

    More trouble at our end but Cech does enough.

    It’s end to end now but the Everton move goes offside. Other side, Alexis wins a FK…

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    It should be left footer but Alexis takes and Pickford bobbles but saves from Rambo on the rebound. We’d be ahead but for the keeper’s several very good saves…

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis giveaway but Everton overhit on the break. Laca wins another corner with a blocked wide angled shot. Everton are defending them–the corners–without trouble.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re pushing hard but possibly leaving ourselves open on the break. The game looks like it will bring goals, perhaps several…

    Good interplay between Alexis and Kolasinac but the pass is wrong. Balls are being heavily contested in MF but a call against us stops us…

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kolasinac with a pair of throw-ins deep in our end lead to some Everton offense after we lose it a couple of times. Scary, but we defend them well enough…

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    It is a shame bloody Rooney had to score again against us. It will take time to get ourselves together again by the sounds of it…

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    What a gift that goal was to the Toffees on the other hand…. Just what they needed…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, the match is a quarter over but it’s been breathless thus far…

    Xhaka is outpaced on an Everton break but the cross is headed out by the BFG. Bellerin does well to push the ball out but ends up giving a FK which brings the Everton CBs up. We defend it just fine but Everton are back at our end again…

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Seventeenho, how is the air quality where you are?

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    The goal is opening up the match even further, I think, TA… Everton are working the sides and crosses, the last one hit wide off the head of Calvert-Lewin. We’re looking for throughball in the center of the pitch, by contrast…

    Not that time. Nacho has a cross deflected out for another corner…

    Pickford punches out but our header back goes out of play for a GK…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    The air is good here. I’m with family in Berkeley but the wind must be taking it North. We’ve also had a bit of rain and fog which has dampened the fires…

    Nice move there but Alexis can’t quite shape to shoot. He pushes it out to Bellerin but his cross is smothered by Pickford…

    Another one, more of a pull-back by Rambo, is misplaced.

    Laca dives on a whiffed foot by Ashley Williams, already on a yellow, and Arsenal players gather around the ref wanting a sending off. Only a FK and it ends with Bellerin at the top of the box whose shot is (again) too straight and easy for Pickford…

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    It will come good but we need to take the game to them again, as in dominating in their half

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Our build up play is very pacy today but we need to equalize…

    Alexis keeps seeing passes but not the Everton players who have intervened a couple of times. This time, running with the ball, he’s cut down giving us a FK which Ozil will lob in. Defended well enough after a bit of scrambling…

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Again we build our attack, Everton playing a defensive shell being a goal to the good. This one ends with a cross field pass out over Bellerin…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kolasinac hits a long pass but it’s ahead of Lacazette and an easy scoop for Pickford…

    Again we build with Ozil and Rambo at the center. Alexis overhits and Pickford catches easily…

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Good news Seventeenho and I hope it will all go away again. Both California and Portugal have suffered very badly from the fires.

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gueye fouls again and is due a card… The game’s being played in the Everton half now and they can only hoof clear when our moves break down…

    NACHO!!! puts in a rebound from a long Xhaka shot and we’re even!!!

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Nacho, the big cheese for us once again. YESSSS 1-1

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice break by Alexis and, with numbers, he picks a good pass but Bellerin’s shot is screwed wide…

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Such a shame Bellerin cannot do the same yet from the other side…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rambo overhits a pass to Alexis and he’s angry…

    Nacho in the face of the ref after another Everton push with the ball out of play…

    On the goal, Pickford did well to get hands on both shots (Xhaka’s and Nacho’s) but not quite good enough…

    Wow, he does great again to stop Alexis scoring from a fine touch by Ozil… We’d be ahead by a bunch if not for their keeper…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    The half has raced by…

    Xhaka tries a long one but it’s well wide. With so much good play (we’re shredding them, really) it seems a weak idea…

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    I am just grateful we got the equaliser. In the second half we can start again and get the winner.

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    High boot from Alexis gives Everton a late FK again with the big men coming forward. Headed over either by Kos or Calvert -Lewin… Goal kick given and the whistle goes for HT.

    We’ve dominated but only scored from a rebound by one of our defenders. We should have a lead but even after going the goal down is acceptable. Koeman has to figure out how to close down the holes we’re finding. Arsenal need to convert on all the very good play but also be ready in case they find a pass or two on the break.

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Maybe it’s the espresso or the early start but, IMO, we’re playing our best football of the season and moving the ball at a scintillating pace. I’d say there’s only one winner here (Arsenal) but half-time adjustments seem like they can only favor Everton. Pickford has been nothing short of awesome, pushing forward when in trouble and making his body huge to save a bunch of shots. Even for the goal but his hand to Nacho’s blast wasn’t quite strong enough…

  48. GoonerEris says:

    Only down side is that Wayne Rooney has been allowed to score against us…again. Monreal is such a strong character; we could do with more like him.

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Where are the half-time comments?…

    I went for another espresso at half-time–I have a second set-up here at the ancestral home–but the game is probably exciting enough without one…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    The replay on the goal showed that Gueye kicked Xhaka’s foot off the ball to make the key tackle that found Rooney in space to shape for the fine shot…

    Davies on for Ashley Williams… Everton revert to a back four. Let’s see if that helps slow us down…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton are in our half after a couple of punts forward and a Lacazette foul. Another FK again brings the big guys forward. They get a head to it, Keane’s I think, but out of play… Time for us to get our attack going, I say…

  52. jw1 says:

    Sorry for popping in late– but celebrated late last night– as our Houston Astros closed out the New York Yankees in Game 7 to go to the World Series– for only the 2nd time in their 56yr existence!


  53. TotalArsenal says:

    just filter coffee from me, Seventeenho, but it is tasting good. I really hope we can keep the intensity going. Had these players played midweek I would have my doubt, but these legs are fresh

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca pushed off a high ball and gets the whistle. Alexis tries from too far out and hits the wall… Kos wins a ball off Baines with Evertonians howling for a foul. We build and Alexis finds a great out ball to Bellerin. His cross is defended well enough and Kos overhits his high one well out of play.

    Oooh, other end, Everton almost get a cross in at the 6 yard box but Kos clears…Nice move by Calvert-Lewin there…

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Well JW let’s hope your state of celebration will be allowed to continue 🙂

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rooney is doing well in the center early in the half and Everton look a bit enlivened by the formation switch, not content to just defend…


  57. jw1 says:

    Now that? Was a break!


  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Master Mesut!!! 1-2 CoYGs

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    We broke slowly but Alexis chip is perfect and finds Ozil, running across the 6 yard box who heads it home with his blonde-streaked hair!!!

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos pushes up the right and pulls back to Ramsey who had time for an extra touch. Instead he boots over with the first touch… A glorious chance in truth…

  61. jw1 says:

    Ozil started it in the Arsenal 18yd box– and finished with a glancing header from a beautifully place pass by Alexis– at the other end.


  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was a very nice goal, JW, with Ozil and Alexis using all that space Everton gave us while retreating…

    Everton are trying to come back at us but we look like we want more. Maybe we should slow it down with a bit more possession play now that we have the lead…

    Nice first touch and no look pass by Alexis. Lacazette can’t quite hold the ball up, however…

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    It still amazes me how Rambo takes so long to hit his top form. Two good chances and none go in… Just got to focus better?!

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    A bit of a break in the action as Nacho has given Calvert-Lewin a bloody nose. Finally I can catch up with all the end to end stuff…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rambo is doing good work in the middle of the pitch, TA, nearer to goal it’s not as good, but he wins a corner even if he couldn’t get his cross in…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil’s corner is headed down by Mertesacker but it’s blocked out…As is Alexis’ blast back towards goal…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton are doing most of their attacking from wide spots… the latest ends with a cross a foot or so too high and headed out harmlessly…

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    You know I am a big fan of Aaron, Seventeenho, but he is a tanker in terms of building up game momentum, and indeed, especially his attacking play…

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    The BFG hammers Calvert-Lewin near the center circle and again Everton try some high crosses… They come to nothing…

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    A third goal would be nice (and deserved) as Everton might one day win a corner or find some other way to make the high balls work. Sigurdson looked ready to hit another but gets flagged for offside…

  71. jw1 says:

    Can’t recall seeing Everton just launch long-ball after long-ball– like this.


  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good turn by Vlasic but Kos (I think) nips in…

    Gueye is sent off with a 2nd yellow after a late stomp on Xhaka… Everton down to 10!!

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Lets hope Xhaka is fine..

  74. jw1 says:

    Without a whiff of it being productive if the challenge was won.


  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey has benefited today from the defenders so concerned with our front three and, indeed, hasn’t made the most of all the space he’s been given… There should be even more of it with Gueye out of the match…

    Xhaka’s ball over the top is too wide and long for Alexis and Pickford, out of his box, clears it into touch…

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca, who has been perhaps our least effective attacker today, loses another one in the box. If he gets through, however, watch out…

    Ozil, on the other hand, has been at his best. He leads the break but again it breaks down at Laca.

    THERE HE IS!!! Lacazette makes it 3-1…

  77. jw1 says:

    PE prescient again (3-1)– to now!
    (Let it rain goals from here out.)


  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Great to get a two goal margin….and it looks PE, eye of the Ass, has got it right! 🙂

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    So easy… Alexis, inch perfect to wide running Ozil who has all day to choose between Ramsey at the back post or Laca from 10 yards and in space. He picks the latter with his right foot and the finish is routine…

    This should be out of reach now…

    That said, Xhaka fouls Davies and it’s close enough for a Baines FK from the right (with is good left foot)…

    No, it’s marked further back and Sigurdson lofts it in. BFG clears it or does Niasse head it out under pressure from Mert.

    Jack on for Laca…

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Super Jack on. Always nice to hear that!

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack immediately leads the break but hits it too long to the wide man Ozil. Alexis angry he didn’t slip it through the center…

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton looked done now…

    Tiny Jack wins a header!! But the move breaks down at Ozil, again in a good scoring position. Couldn’t quite sort his feet out…

    Rambo, having trouble deciding shot or dribble, finally pushes it high over Alexis’ head…

  83. jw1 says:

    So pleased to see Wilshere on the pitch today.


  84. GoonerEris says:

    Been able to reach a TV now, so should see the last 10 minutes. Nice Time to come on, I guess.

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis, leading another break, goes down over an Everton foot… No call, of course…

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Radio commentators really positive about MO11 – Man of the Match!

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton have been outplayed completely despite getting the first goal. Ozil out for Le Coq…

    By far the best display of the season, IMO…

  88. GoonerEris says:

    Hmmm. Ozil coming off after a good day’s work, I guess. A goal and an assist.

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ooooh… That probably should have been number 4… Ball fell to Bells out wide and his cross was ideal. Alexis heads just wide, however…

  90. jw1 says:

    That was a hammer from distance by Xhaka off the crossbar.


  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka shakes the cross-bar with real venom!!!… An extra touch set up the left footer but it was an inch high…

    Another good chance with Alexis dancing. The ball finds Jack with lots of time on the right but his chipped pass is misplaced and cleared…

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kos yellow carded with a boot on the ankle of Niasse… Deserved, I fear…

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re just killing the game now with possession but we’ll likely be greedy for more…

    Almost slips in for Kolasinac…and again the Beast gets a chance…Ends with Pickford… England’s #1 on today’s performance despite the goals… That’s how good we’ve been today, IMO…

  94. Goonereris says:

    Many on here predicted a 3-1 win, so FairPlay to you all. It could have been and should be more, as we have been wasteful at times today.

    And as I type that, it is 4-1. 🤣🤣

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s #4… Ramsey!!! Pickford didn’t look so good on that one…

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Really pleased with us turning round the score from one down to three ahead. Clearly we need to be more clinical… oh Rambo finally gets his goal. Sorry for Pickford who seemed to have prevented a monster score!

  97. jw1 says:

    Xhaka-to-Wilshere-to-Ramsey from 10 yds for the goal.


  98. Goonereris says:

    We should be greedy for more, 17. Top 4 may depend on GD, who knows? Coquelin’ foul gives them a free kick within range.

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack’s one touch was behind Rambo but perfectly split the spent Everton defenders. Aaron gathered it well and blasted home with his 2nd touch… Very nice but a bit cruel on done, done, done Everton…

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    In my view it’s all about the spacing… and today we kept it well spread. Even with 11, Everton we’re chasing shadows…

    Ah crap… Nacho and Cech are fouled up on a backpass and Everton get an easy one…


  101. Goonereris says:

    Is it just me or is Kolasinac looking less aggressive than the way he was when he started?

    Oh, bloody hell! A very unnecessary back pass by Monreal leads to a goal for Everton. 4-2.

  102. jw1 says:

    And– that’s the one that will get replayed ad infinitum until next match.


  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nacho did a weird turn before passing it back with just a little too little pace… Cech was slow to react, however… Ugly…

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    That is clumsy by Cech..

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis!!! Restores the goal difference just for Goonereris…

  106. Goonereris says:

    Poor back pass to Cech (who should have been more forceful in clearing that but was rather tentative) really.

    Sanchez makes it 5-2.

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Great to see Alexis scoring a goal… He needed it.

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    5-2 it will finish… Alexis had passes on but took it wide and hit it perfectly across goal…

    Koeman might be done… They got the early goal but looked dominated all match…

  109. Goonereris says:

    Hahahaha! 17. If it was down to me, it should be 7-1. 😀

  110. jw1 says:

    Won’t give Cech too much grief in that situation– for not taking the contact from Niasse’s boot to stop the errant backpass. Nacho– every once in-a-blue-moon — makes a mistake like that.


  111. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed about Kolasinac, ‘Eris, muted going forward and had a few missed tackles and clearances while defending… It would be nit-picking to worry about it, however…

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    I need a nap after the early wake-up but I might be jazzed enough by our match to watch at least some of the Pool-Totts match…

  113. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton were quite poor and should have been more potent after their early goal. No MF. Sigurdsson hits a decent FK but looked as slow as anyone (even Xhaka?…) out there. Rooney, despite the goal and a couple of other nice moves and passes, has clearly lost a step or two. Too many changes in the team trying to use the Lukaku money probably means Koeman’s project is done…

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    Is everybody done here? I really appreciate the in-match contributions so thanks to TA, ‘Eris (with his phone no less) and JW… The few, the proud, the brave…

    I thought this was a pretty good one today but maybe Everton couldn’t muster anything for Koeman after we equalized and they switched formations at the break. Of course, we were only up the one goal (I think) before the sending off killed the game… Maybe there actually are teams worse than the Gunners…

  115. jw1 says:

    Now up to 5th.
    Trailing Chelsea in 4th (by GD +7/+5)
    Above 6th place Watford (by GD +5/-2)


  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Seventeenho. Good commentary on the game as always and mega fast too!

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers TA… Fun for me, really…

    Gonna watch a bit of Totts game… Kane’s already put them ahead by a goal… He’s become quite a player, I fear…

    While doing so I might send you an e-mail… Beware…

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, TA, you’ve got mail…

    Meanwhile, the Spurs-Pool game is pretty fun with the latter pulling back a goal after going 2 down. Even the Ox is getting a chance…with a tactical sub after Lovren got hurt?…

  119. jw1 says:

    Not sure about Lovren’s ‘injury’.
    But his literally standing around watching Kane and Son dance past– was ‘hurting’ ‘Pool.

    I was joking to myself after it was 2-0– wondering if AOC can play CB?
    Couldn’t be any worse.


  120. Goonereris says:

    Phew! Needed to catch my breath as I went back through the thread to catch up on what I may have missed. Always glad to get one over Koeman because he loves to talk up his “good record” vs Wenger; like it is about the managers rather than about both clubs (and we have a ridiculously good record against Everton). He made a lot more of his handshake with Wenger in the end; new found respect, maybe?

    Happy that both Ozil and Alexis were in among the goals, given the negative press around them, especially Ozil, these days. That should shut some up. Great to see Jack come on. Unfortunately, he won’t be replacing Xhaka quite so soon, as many seem to want. Xhaka may have his faults but he remains effective in forward play and in generally making himself available as an outlet for his defenders. He did try to make up for that error by trying to shoot quite a few times, with Monreal getting our first goal from the rebound of one of such shots.

    I hope someone tells him the areas in which he needs to improve.

  121. jw1 says:

    Now 3-1.
    Will Koeman depart– and Klopp have a foot-out-the-door– from today’s results?


  122. Goonereris says:

    Lovren is a calamitous defender, really. But, to bring on the Ox for him, even if tactical? That must sound the death knell for Lovren’s career at Liverpool. I think he’s made an error as that leaves a bit more room for Spurs to punish them, as they did to bring it back to 3-1.

    Klopp must accept responsibility for the shambles his team’s defending has become. Let’s hope the Ox does some heroics to help them peg back the tiny tots, even as they boo him for his North London affiliations. Wouldn’t want them to grow in confidence at “our ground” in Wembley.

  123. jw1 says:

    The ball seems to be drawn magnetically to Kane’s boot.


  124. 17highburyterrace says:

    Is Klopp really in trouble? It seems like the Red Sox people would want him to have a bigger chance to right the ship. They’re not nearly good enough to play well in both the league and CL, IMO. Totts on the other hand, after drawing in Madrid, and now this one, look a good deal stronger, esp. with the big crowd at the national stadium. The lesser teams–and lots of empty seats–might be tougher–esp. as they can’t rotate so much in the two comps…

    The Ox…with a cross-shot to no one… Learned that one from Theo, maybe?…

  125. Goonereris says:

    Well, it’s a nice warm up for their next game at Old Trafford. They should give Mourinho a lot to worry about in a tactical sense. Oh dear. Harry Kane has pulled up to Mourinho’s delight. 😀

  126. Jnyc says:

    17, i have the game recorded to see later, but first i wanted to read through your match blogging ( is that what we call it? ).. its really fun that way. Thanks again.

    The stupid spurs really look good. It both bothers and worries me.

  127. allezkev says:

    Really enjoyed our reserves getting another 3points in Belgrade.
    Top of the group with 9 points using basically a team straight out of the Academy.
    So pleased to see a fit Jack Wilshere playing the type of football you don’t see from any other English player. Pleased also to see Willock and Nelson developing nicely.

    As for Goodson Park, it was a shot in the arm, a great lift and confidence booster.
    Delighted to see a Lacazette score with the minimum of fuss and maximum of intelligence, typical Lacazette, less is more in other words, when he is fully acclimatised to the rough and tumble he is going to be one hell of a good striker for us…

    Loved seeing Jack back, and doing what he does best.

  128. njk84sg says:

    All is not Good at Goodison (pun intended), for the home team.

    After the first goal, which was given away by Xhaka (not again!) against the run of play, we did well to equalise (all so familiar equaliser by Nacho), and pulled away after the red card.

    We were solid in attack, but it was familiar stuff in midfield. We were not solid enough in midfield and it affected our defense, but we did well as a team to minimise the damage.

    Good 3 points for our mental boost, and 5 goals from 14 shots on target is a better return rate than our previous matches. ALO is finally here.

  129. Jnyc says:

    Njk…. AOL… next year, just L ?

  130. njk84sg says:

    Jnyc, we need all of them to be around next season. Look at how different we were yesterday and against Watford.

    Alexis and Ozil have yet to click with Lacazette, but we have seen the destruction they provide. So, we expect more of the same formation in the league, and it is a good start for the AOL formation.. i prefer ALO, as Lacazette is the centre forward, so L in the middle.


  131. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Last night was awesome.. Never doubt that we Will finally win it..
    With that team (minus Xhaka) we can hold all the teams..

    Rooney’s goal was bad.. we seem to do the same mistake again and agains..
    Wenger need to find a more solid partner in the middle.. but I don’t think Wilshere – Rambo ia the answer.. hehehe..

    Xhaka isnt Bad actually.. but he just one second slower than others.. Wenger must give Xhaka a clear instruction not to play with the ball.. just kick it forward..
    As soon as he tried to be Ozil or Sanchez.. than moment also he lost the ball.. hehehehe..

    Ozil himself didnt play the ball for long now.. cause he learned that PL is different.. and he don’t have enough skill to playing with the ball.. all happened so fast..

    Xhaka must also know.. that he is the DM.. the second he lost the ball, it means dangerous.. So better to pass the ball as soon as he can..
    And for that he will need special training.. hehehehe..

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    High fellas, only saw the highlights but I did listen to the game and I reckon that was a very good performance by the boys. Yes Xhaka lost the ball and it resulted in a goal but it was a hell of a finish by hairy Shrek, so let’s not milk that cow for too long. It was also Xhaka’s shooting that helped break the deadlock and he was unlucky not to score himself.

    As per Seventeenho’s comments, Ozil makes Rambo and Alexis play better and once Lacazette will become fully part of the foursome we should expect some fine goals coming from him time and again. So for me it is ROLA the ball in the net from here on.

    Will be interesting to see what Wenger will do against Norwich tomorrow. They are full of confidence after winning in the Derby against Ipswich and will go to THOF with a nothing to lose attitude. The Cup Team should be able to cope with this, but the midfield may need either Xhaka, Kola an/ or Rambo to strengthen it for the encounter…

  133. henrychan says:

    TA.. It can be ROLAX.. or LA-ROX..
    Still have some faith for Xhaka.. hehehe..
    Hope Wenger turn him into our own Xabi Alonso.. hehehehe..

  134. Goonereris says:

    Actually, he is reputed to be some kind of Pirlo. Shame how many on tweeter (including Piers Morgan) slagged him off right after that 1st goal. No one returned to give him credit for an all-round good display, including an “assist” for the equalizer and one other pre-assist. We had a total of 30 shots at their goal (blocked and saved) with 14 on target for 5 goals; not bad but can be improved once we know not to hurry our decision making and shooting. I feel Xhaka needs to be supported to grow in confidence, accept he isn’t the quickest and let him adapt fully to the speed of closing down in the EPL so he becomes the player Wenger paid all that money for.

    As for the EFL game midweek, I agree that we need to rotate with care. It has to be a strong enough team still, maybe with ALO on the bench while the Europa team starts, though not sure if Elneny plays as CB or midfielder.

  135. Jnyc says:

    Hey kev,
    I hope im not repeating myself , but You know Im excited about Jack. I hope we dont waste him in the cup game. He deserves to play with the best team around him.
    Id like him to have full week rest and start and play 60 mins next weekend. I would avoid using him against the dirty spurs in a couple weeks. Eventually, just not yet.

  136. allezkev says:

    Hi Jonnie, not sure mate, I guess it depends if Iwobi gets a run out against Norwich, but I’d imagine that Arsene will start him again against the Carrot Crunchers.
    You could argue that Jack needs as many minutes as we can give him so he can build up his stamina for the Prem.
    We’re at home, big pitch, can Norwich surprise us?
    Jack can coast in games like tomorrow’s, he doesn’t need to get involved in too much physical stuff, although we all know that he doesn’t bottle out of a tackle.
    That’s why I see him more in the attacking dept of our midfield where his bursts of pace and eye for a pass are so useful.
    To me he’s too good a player to be in front of our back 4/3/5 whetever, getting involved in heavy contact etc.
    Just my view mate…

  137. allezkev says:

    I’ll tell ya what Jonnie, Man City (a) is gonna be a sublime game technically, I can’t wait to see how we measure up against the form team in England, I’d imagine that Jack might have a bit of game time in that little beauty.

  138. Jnyc says:

    Kev i really like Wilshere playing more advanced also lately for this reason : when hes bringing the ball forward, subject to normal to extra amount of tackles, including tottenham style rotational fouling.
    But when he’s around the opponents box,they are much less likely to commit fouls, especially hard or obvious ones.

  139. That’s a great point Jonnie, and Jack can also accelerate into the penalty box in a blink of an eye, yeah great point.

    Big game today for a Chuba Akpom, I do hope he gets a start, that lad has been treading water pretty much for the last 18 months, he has so much talent but just can’t hit the back of the net.

  140. henrychan says:

    Hi Allez.. I don’t think Chuba Akpom Will play..
    There are too many fit strikers available..
    And sorry to say Akpom just not ready to compete yet..
    Wenger Will certainly pick Walcott, Giroud, Iwobi and Wilshere over him..

    Interesting to discuss about our youngsters..
    Some Players like Akpom, Zelalem and JRA seem to fade away.. as Sanogo did..
    But some like Willock, Nelson and Niles shine.. I like to see Fortune and Nketiah.. soon..

  141. allezkev says:

    Hiya HC, yep, you could be right about Akpom, but if he can’t get a start in this type of game then what is the point of retaining him?

    Zelalem has a long term injury HC and Jeff is catching a lot of debilitating niggling injuries…

  142. 17highburyterrace says:

    Tonight’s match should be interesting in terms of team selection… I’d look mostly at who didn’t play at Everton and then try and fill in the blanks. The bench up there (copy and paste…) was: Macey, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Holding, Iwobi, Coquelin.

    My bet would be most of that group plus Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Willock and maybe another youngster or two. In truth, going out of the league cup, even if Wenger has never won it, is probably a decent idea…although we probably don’t want to do it against Norwich at home. It’s a big ask to play that two legged semi-final in January which forces extra midweek league matches. Let’s not forget the extra round of eliminations in the Europa League either… My thought is that we should hope to win tonight, then play kids and bench guys and bow out in the quarters… That’s probably not how (the loudest) Gooners think (every loss is a crisis…) but I’d bet that’s what our manager knows would be best…


    Sorry, also, that I have zero idea how Norwich are faring in the Championship and whether or not they need to rotate their squad for this one… Anybody? I’m also too busy to be arsed to try and research/figure it out…

    And, finally, no live-blog from me as I think the best I can get on the computer is audio only from ArsenalPlayer…

    So, COYG, though I’ll take a good performance and any result that comes from it…


  143. allezkev says:

    Norwich have pretty much picked a full strength team.
    Arsenal have 8 first teamers in our starting XI, 9 if you consider AMN as a first teamer, personally I don’t, but that’s just me.

    Lots of youngsters on the bench and that’s interesting.

  144. allezkev says:

    Norwich have been playing well this season and I believe are unbeaten on their travels.

  145. Goonereris says:

    Norwich are doing well and are on a good run in the championship. They also have a savvy manager in Daniel Farke, former reserve team manager at Borussia Dortmund. They play with some fast paced wingers, with lots of trickery (had to look up some clips). But they are at The Arsenal and should stand no chance.

    Team sheet shows we go with the team at Belgrade, minus Joe Willock who is replaced by Coquelin while Iwobi also starts.

    One curious observation though. Looks like we didn’t name a substitute keeper. Is that safe? Why not have Cech in tow?

  146. allezkev says:

    Iliev, sub goalkeeper, Macedonian…

  147. Jnyc says:

    Getting ready to watch 2nd half. We’re looking pretty good i thought. Norwich have played decently too. I’m not very into this competition, so dont care too much if we’re out, but i like the work, practice, for the kids. Not bad for recovering injured like debuchy, francois etc.

  148. Jnyc says:

    I really have always loved Debuchys game. I wouldnt mind keeping him, i wonder if he would renew for a smaller salary. It would still be better than what theyd pay in France. Arsene would need to rotate him in more in meaningful games to keep him satisfied. Bellerin could use a push anyway.

    I think he’s been so unlucky at arsenal. As i was reminded by someone on radio recently. He was first choice for French national team.

  149. Goonereris says:

    We’ve been 0-1 down for a long time now. Time to go gung-ho with Akpom coming on for Maitland-Niles, hopefully to play a more forward, than wing-back, role.

    Thanks, Kev. Just saw that Iliev is included on the bench. Must be an omission from the site on which I saw the list.

  150. Jnyc says:

    Regardless of outcome, People will make a big deal about the performance, but we all know how undisciplined our team is when chasing from behind, have been that way as long as i can remember.

  151. Jnyc says:

    Apparently Nketiah has been a real standout on the youth team. Ive wanted to see him and Reiss together.

  152. Jnyc says:

    Nketiah is forcing Arsene to consider him more for game time. Nice.

  153. Goonereris says:

    Nice to see Eddie Nketiah get on the score sheet….twice. Good lad; has a good scoring record in the U-18s and about time he started to chip in with a few with the seniors. 2-1 Arsenal.

  154. Jnyc says:

    Wilshere looks tired. I’d take him off. Actually would have done it a while ago.

  155. Goonereris says:

    Reported that Josh Da Silva is on for the injured Iwobi. Hopefully, it’s nothing long term.

  156. Jnyc says:

    Debuchy should know better than that, at first glance, looked like he pulled the player back with his arms on his collar . But i do think there was too much drama from the guy. Good call, but couldve gone against us.

  157. Jnyc says:

    Olivier playing fairly deep midfield for the latter part of the match. Great team player. Whenever hes on and another gunner scores a header, i give him credit, because he pulls so much attention and defenders to him, ,makes it easier for teammates. Especially on corners.

  158. Goonereris says:

    Unfortunately, I could only listen to the audio commentaries. Sounded like a good enough game of soccer with the championship side doing their part to make it enjoyable. Nketiah has made a name for himself tonight but, in truth, for most who watch the cadets, he always looked a star in the making. Wake up call for Chiba Akpom, I’d say.

    At least, we can get to see our young guns and fringe players in the next round.

  159. njk84sg says:

    Good to see Nketiah score. His scoring stats for the u23 team is good so it is just natural that his scoring instincts took over.

    Will see the repeat of the match tonight before commenting on the match.

    Cheers on getting through to the last 8,

  160. allezkev says:

    Norwich are no mugs, they could have quite easily turned us over, but thanks to Eddie ‘Fox in the Box’ Ntekiah we’re in the hat, another home draw would do very nicely.
    Norwich had a very tough game last weekend, the East Anglian derby vs Ipswich Town and they ran out of legs in extra time.
    But this was a hard fought result, we came through even though quite a few of our players were out of sorts. It’s a good habit, winning when not playing that well. It’ll do for me.

  161. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Nketiah is our next super star.. He make DeGea (hehehehe) a nightmare..
    Just like Iwobi last season.. Let’s hope he Will have more time to impress..

    He is really something special.. We don’t have to look far to Monaco to find brilliance kid.. We suround by lots of talented youngsters. And we still have Fortune and Nwakali (on loan).. Just can’t wait to see them playing..

  162. njk84sg says:

    The bright spark of this week is our win and West Ham’s comeback win against spuds.

    Lets move on to the next game.

  163. Jnyc says:

    I’d rather spuds had to stay in the competition. But, NJK, its impossible not to enjoy when they suffer. And, Credit to Arsene, he has really rotated for secondary competitions the way i always wanted him to.

  164. njk84sg says:

    Jnyc, this season he has the manpower for wholesale rotation.

    Actually for the past few seasons he has enough for rotation, but he does not trust the players enough.

    I saw the repeat last night and it seems that with quicker forwards our gameplay is better. We were quite static yesterday.


  165. 17highburyterrace says:

    Draw delayed for the next round of the League Cup… In the meantime, here’s Ivan Gazidis–while being heckled at the AGM–saying, in the nicest way possible, that disgruntled Gooners are idiots (or maybe just not very smart…) folks who allow the media to lead them around by their noses…

    Wow, I never would’ve guessed… (Though it’s truly a shame as I once believed Gooners were at least the smartest fans in England, if not all of Europe…) 😦

  166. 17highburyterrace says:

    Also, while we wait, I wanted to say cheers to those who wrote about the league cup match while it was happening… Always interesting to hear what folks say before it’s put through the media (and other group-think) filters, IMO… Hopefully the Eddie kid will get other chances cuz I’d like to see him in action…

    On that note, JK, I think it’s FAR less about the manpower at the club (or quality in depth) and MUCH more about the competitions were in. The clubs in our Europa league group would only be making up numbers in the CL groups (i.e., never better than last or 2nd last) and they’re coming off non-championship seasons (otherwise they’d be in the, er, Champions League)… In other words we can afford to lose some matches in these comps. I still say that we need to get out of the league cup ASAP, but I’d be happy to hear counter-arguments…

  167. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chelsea v Bournemouth
    Arsenal v West Ham United
    Leicester City v Manchester City
    Bristol City v Manchester United

    To me, that’s just about the worst possible draw as it will be a “Must Win” (or total crisis if we lose) sort of match…

    On the other hand, the draw looks (almost…?) rigged to put the best 4 clubs into the semi-finals, so, if that were to happen, those teams would all have extra matches, schedules needing to be rearranged, etc., etc. We might just need to get used to an (almost) unrelenting schedule of 3 matches per week… (don’t forget that extra round of elims in the Europa League…) which means extra fingers crossed re: injuries and/or promoting (or January buying of) new players for the first team.

    Of course, If they’re all gonna do what Eddie did, then it could be all sorts of fun… 🙂

  168. Jnyc says:

    Hey 17 , I know some people strongly disagree about getting out of a competition like carabao, but i have felt the same way for a few years, probably since we won the FA cup. Though I have to admit, that with the serious rotation Arsenes doing, I’m not as adamant about it this year. Maybe its even better to get extra practice for the kids who may have to replace stars who will likely be leaving.

  169. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree… As long as fans realize that we should keep playing the kids and 2nd teamers. If they make it through, great. If not, you can be sure some Gooners will be losing their poop…and whatever else is up there in their brains… 😀 😦

    With the teams remaining in the draw, I cannot see such a policy getting us by the (three) silly money clubs… AND…we should probably go into the match vs West Ham thinking of ourselves as underdogs. The Hammers (with no other midweek obligations) will be primed to claim a(nother North) London scalp…

  170. Goonereris says:

    I’d rather have us remain in the competition for as long as we can go, for the simple reason that it keeps fringe players active while we also get to see some of the talented kids. Ordinarily, as we progress into the tougher rounds, the quality/level of personnel should change to reflect the strength of opposition, but knowing Wenger, he is likely to entrust our fate in the hands of those who took us that far; recall how he let the kids who took us to the 2007 finals (versus Didier Drogba and Chelsea) play the game, only to lose 1-2 after a fast start.

    We put out a stronger team in the 2011 finals, largely due to the trophy draught of the time. It will be must win for West Ham but we usually have a way of beating West Ham for such games so expect we get to the semi-finals. Can’t say much beyond that point.

  171. njk84sg says:

    I agree that the league cup (or as Kerbau (a wordplay on Carabao) Cup, which makes the league cup sound even more useless) does not favour our packed fixture list, so I am ok to forgo that one.

    Eris, to save the team from getting burnouts and injuries, we do not need extra fixtures. 3 less fixtures is quite a lot in the packed calendar so we needed that.

  172. Goonereris says:

    Jk, fair point. Note, however, that someone’s going to win it and it is still a trophy Wenger has not won (largely, because he truly doesn’t care to). Mourinho did last term and he was eulogized for being a “winner”. Lol.

    My point is that it gives our fringe players something of value to think about, while we get to see a bit more of Reiss, Willock, Maitland-Niles and Nketiah. They won’t mind.

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