Arsenal-BATE Borisov. Live Blogging the Deadest of All Rubbers. Our 2nd 11 Get Another Chance to Impress.

Can Jack and Ollie combine in the final Europa League Group Game?

What about Theo and the rest?

Manager Arsene Wenger appears to be switching formations, in this case making just one change from the 11 who lost at Cologne.  It’s a big one, however.  Out goes a central defender, Per Mertesacker and in comes Theo Walcott, who will surely play off the shoulder of BATE’s last man back.

Interesting, very interesting.  Could this signal that the days of three at the back are over?  Could eighty minutes of quality attacking after switching to a 442 formation–even if it came up short vs Manchester United this past Saturday–have convinced Wenger that this is the way forward?

Even with a fully changed starting group from that match, I believe Wenger wants his entire squad–his cup 11 and his PL group–working on the same system.

What do you think?

Of course, that’s more of a long term question.  For tonight, here are the team sheets.

 Arsenal  Ospina, Debuchy, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles,Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck. Subs Macey, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom, Nelson, Nketiah, Sheaf, Willock.

I’ll be trying to describe at least some of the action tonight even if I’m unlikely to know one BATE player from the next.  Please chime in in the comments section if you can provide some aid.

Given that we’ve already won the group, tonight’s match is probably more to see if the team–and the individual players–can show enough intensity and overall quality to suggest that we’re a truly deep squad with guys who might seamlessly make the leap into the group that plays in our Premier League matches.  Who do you predict might stand out in this regard?  Will we see that sort of effort, or, given that the match is truly a dead rubber, will it be more of a training exercise?

We shall see and again, please join me in the comments…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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118 Responses to Arsenal-BATE Borisov. Live Blogging the Deadest of All Rubbers. Our 2nd 11 Get Another Chance to Impress.

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    Anybody around? Surely Gooneris will migrate over from the previous thread, I hope…

    We have kickoff…

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    BATE on the front foot early but some good wide play ends with a pop-up easily claimed by Ospina…

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, is it a 442? Seems like it must be… Telly coverage shows the very empty stadium seats…

    Arsenal on the attack now… a fine lofted ball is moved from Theo to Ollie by way of their heads then down to Elneny. He takes an extra touch before firing with his left foot… Off the outside of the post. That was a very well crafted chance that probably should have been scored…

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    We look a bit iffy at the back trying to move the ball side to side rather than just putting a boot through it. Eventually, back with Ospina, he does just that… He’s not much of a kicker, however and BATE come again…

  5. Goonereris says:

    Just got here, 17. Didn’t think this dead rubber game will get anyone enthused enough to do a live blog. 😀

    So, thumbs up to you.👍🏽

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re not so strong with it however and we’ve got it back in their half… Overhit to Debuchy who is most certainly playing at RB… Other side, the LB Maitland-Niles is caught on the dribble but BATE can’t get it in…

    Oooh that was better from the Belarus team… A long ball tapped back but the shot is high and wide…

  7. Goonereris says:

    It is 4-4-2 tonight, but my guess is it’s to shoe-horn Theo into the team.

    Looks like the stadium is less than half full but official numbers say 50,000 seats were sold. A nice figure, all considered.

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks, Eris… It’s on the telly and it keeps me from doing anything useful, so why not… 🙂

    We’re doing better on the attack, Jack almost gets a short one in and that one is followed by a long one that almost finds Giroud…

    Ouch! Theo blasts but the BATE man blocks with his face and play must be stopped as he recovers…

  9. Goonereris says:

    Theo blasts one in the face of the Bate’s Milunovic and knocks him clean out. That was heading for the top corner there, I think.

  10. Goonereris says:

    A rocket from Debuchy puts us 1 up.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re finding our feet now with some good pace on the passes and nice spacing…

    WOW!! DEBUCHY!!

    1-nil

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo takes a high ball down with his shoulder, the defender went to ground as Theo pulled it back and there was both a handball and a theatrical fall by Walcott. Nothing was called so Debuchy simply blasted across the goal and into the far side netting… An excellent shot…

  13. Goonereris says:

    Now, I shall try to watch and enjoy this one. Looks like one that will see us on a roll.

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    More Arsenal attacking and very nice work from AMN to pull-back onto his right foot and loop a cross in… Giroud is well marked and can only head over…

  15. Goonereris says:

    Yep, agree. That was an arrowed shot for the goal. Keeper, no chance.

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    More fine attacking with many guys forward. Eventually it peters out after some attempts at close control by Le Coq and Chambers…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    BATE are fully pinned back but first Welbeck then Theo can’t quite find Jack in a central spot…

    We come again and AMN’s cross goes out for a corner…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good delivery from Theo but we can only pop up a Giroud header and BATE break from it… Oooh a heavy BATE touch leads to a lunge and big foul on Debuchy. Yellow card.

    Debs recovers well and keeps a pass from Jack in on the right… It almost falls for a Theo chance but not quite…

    DW pulled back near the top of the box? No says the ref…

  19. Goonereris says:

    Welbeck was clipped there after a nice dummy by Giroud put him in with a chance to run at goal. The ref signalled for a goal kick instead. We are in total control but need to have the goals to make it count.

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Compared to the match in Belarus we are looking very much in control, moving the ball quite nicely on the home pitch… Chambers finds Giroud but Thoe can’t control down the right… Into touch only and we’re back on the attack probing and switching the ball easily from side to side. This is good stuff, IMO…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    BATE finally get into our half but we defend and get it forward with the keeper coming WAY out of his goal… Welbeck should have scored on looped one to Giroud for a tap in… Instead the keeper blocks the low shot and heads into touch… Golden chance there…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was loco… But all set up by a fine pass from Wilshere. Anything by DW up in the air would have sufficed…

  23. Goonereris says:

    Wilshere releases Welbeck from the centre circle and he was making strides to goal but was thwarted by the on rushing keeper, who came a long way to prevent him lobbing that into an open net; Giroud also available for the cross.

    Some good touches between Giroud, Jack and Theo fails to give us a second goal as the keeper made himself big from Walcott’s attempted tap in.

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another very nice diagonal pass, this one lofted towards Giroud, finds a defender who almost scores and own goal, saved acrobatically by their keeper…

    WOW another fine chance saved, point blank, from Theo after he and Jack did more fine work in the box… Replay looks like he hit the ball with the sole of his boot instead of the laces… Looked another sure 2nd goal…

    Foul in a good spot gives Jack a FK…

    But I’ve lost my signal and my satellite is rebooting… Over to you Eris…

  25. Goonereris says:

    Nicely worked free kick taken low beneath the jumping wall, but missing the post by inches.

    Jack stays down after another good move. Hope he’s okay.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    My signal is back and Jack is on the ground… Hand to the face but no foul given… Not sure what happened to the earlier FK but I know we didn’t score from it…

    Jack is fine and moving himself and the ball nicely… AMN gets by his man but his lofted ball is well over his target, Walcott…

  27. Goonereris says:

    Theo took the FK, by the way. Another neat move breaks down. Theo’s been very lively.

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    More good work with Theo working hard then nipping in to keep a play alive in their box… DW works the switch of sides nicely but Elneny eventually gives it up…

  29. jw1 says:

    Late to the blog guys (and watching on my second monitor at work)– but 10 minutes I’ve been watching and scrolling?

    Jack looks quite lively. I know it’s BATE– but I’m happy to see his instincts firing.

    jw1

  30. Goonereris says:

    Coquelin lands awkwardly and stays down for a bit. Up now.

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed about Theo… His first touch isn’t always quite right but his pace has seen him beating defenders to the 2nd…

    So far this seems a committed display from this 11… Le Coq the latest one taking a beating on a 50-50…

  32. jw1 says:

    Nasty landing by Coq.

    jw1

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey JW… The whole group is moving the ball very nicely… Welbeck’s first touch on another good long ball is not very subtle… Saves it into touch so we can pin them in again…

  34. Goonereris says:

    Jack has been involved in most good things, jw1. Doing a lot of pressing too. I think we need to be a bit more patient and see what they do; if they get cocky and come out, maybe we can get a 2nd and who knows what happens after that?

  35. Goonereris says:

    Theo!!! Gets the 2nd.

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo still nipping in nicely is called back for a push-down on a defender… That’d never be called in the PL…

    Still more good play into their half but Jack’s headed ball down is to no one…

    Back at it and several attempts to play the ball through don’t quite make it…

    THERE IT IS… THEO on the end of it… 2-nil

  37. jw1 says:

    You called it 17!
    Theo 2-0

    jw1

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was on the break and Theo needed the ball earlier from Welbeck who tried to go alone. Fortunately it bounced up the Theo and his blast was unstoppable from 10 yds out on the right side…

  39. jw1 says:

    DW’s leaden 1st-touch to the good.

    jw1

  40. Goonereris says:

    Coq released Welbeck after a turnover of the ball from a Bate attempted attack. He tried to create space for his shot but lost control of the ball in the box; good thing Theo was around to take full advantage to rifle it beyond the keeper.

  41. jw1 says:

    Upon seeing the replay that was actually a 3rd-touch on a crossover try by DW.

    jw1

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    The supporters who did make it out are being treated to a good show…

    Replay shows that the goal started with a fine ball to DW by Coquelin… In the end it was a poor clearance straight to Theo that allowed him to finish…

    WOW… Now that WAS a good goal line clearance on a strong, well-placed shot by Theo… Looked like a 3rd for sure…

  43. Goonereris says:

    An outstretched leg prevents theo getting his second. He was already wheeling away to celebrate it would seem.

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    More action including some down our end… A bad cross gives it back and we come again… The crowd yelling shoot and Jack obliges and forces a fine save from their keeper… Might’ve hit the bar, but also might have snuck under it…

  45. jw1 says:

    Wilshere open from 12yds curves one at the keeper.
    Goes to upper right instead and it’s in.

    jw1

  46. Goonereris says:

    Jack has now got his goal. That’s been a long time coming. What a hit. And such a composed turn and take. Power in those thighs.

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    NOT THIS TIME!!!

    JACK makes it three nil!!

    A couple of touches near the top of the box and the left footed blast is pure…

  48. jw1 says:

    I should stop my b^itching.
    Black Jack Wilshere 3-nil.

    jw1

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Quite a show tonight from this group… Just too much quality and commitment to moving the ball at pace has created chance after chance with several of them very well taken… Scoreline might actually flatter BATE…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s the whistle for half-time… Theo, Jack and Le Coq (a bit under the rader but still very good) are making cases for themselves tonight, as is the 442 formation… Ollie and DW aren’t quite playing at the very high standard put out by the others, but that’s quibbling really…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hard to believe this performance after such a poor effort in Cologne in the previous group game. Switching out the defender (BFG) for an extra attacker (THEO) is making all the difference?

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, a little lunch for me… Back in a few…

  53. jw1 says:

    Yeah, scarfing down a late lunch myself.
    IIRC there was far less space to maneuver at Koln’s end.
    They were pretty physical too. There’s options for Jack and Elneny at the top of the box.

    jw1

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Maybe it’s the familiar (and fast) pitch tonight… BATE actually started pretty well but once we had them on the back foot they were REALLY on the back foot, almost seeming to admit that they couldn’t match our quality and just try to hang on. Theo’s pace, fine passing (and plenty of intercepted clearances) from MF and a couple of excellent longer shots (Debs and Jack) have been very nice to watch…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on…

    Giroud, a bit dainty on the turn near the center circle, allows Bate to get into our half for a bit…

    There’s a poor one from Le Coq and BATE’s slow move forward nets a corner… It’s not defended with conviction but another ball in only results in a looping header easily claimed by Ospina…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    A bit of a kick out on Jack but it was glancing the replay shows… BATE seem maybe a bit re-motivated by the break but can’t really stop our attack. Debuchy does it himself with an overhit cross…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo’s run down the right is stopped but so too is BATE’s attempt at a counter… They’re at least keeping the ball further up the field early on in the 2nd half…

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    OWN GOAL… THAT’S FOUR!!!

  59. Goonereris says:

    Welbeck just can’t a break tonight, Lol. Theo had put a cross on a plate for him and a Bate defender has sliced it into his own net for the 4th goal.

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Jack slides a perfect long pass so that Theo’s pace can take over… His cross to find DW doesn’t need to… Really bad OG there, I hate to say…

  61. Goonereris says:

    I’m sure the crowd will be excited to see some youngsters getting a run out now.

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo’s on fire tonight… pushing the ball into the box and then nipping in after Welbeck can’t keep it… The chance can’t be re-created however…

  63. allezkev says:

    I’m working, no coverage on the radio. 😕
    Difficult to join in, just heard that it’s the lowest attendance at the Emirates.
    Catch up later. 🙂

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud does well to take back a misplaced Chambers pass… The shot doesn’t measure up but it does win us a corner…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Kev… You know the streets well enough, just keep your eyes on your phone… 😀

    Youngsters could be fun, but so too is watching this 11, Eris…

    Our back line is misplacing a few, the latest by AMN, but soon it’s back with us and Elneny puts DW in. His pull back is good as is his left footed shot…which forces a GREAT save… Indeed, no luck for Danny…

  66. jw1 says:

    Arsenal may have the highest percentage of shots hitting a GK’s flailing hands…

    jw1

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice tackle on the run from Debuchy… Would’ve been a bad spot to foul… DW can’t control in the corner…

    Replay shows Welbeck’s shot was deflected onto the keeper. Bad luck, indeed…

  68. Goonereris says:

    Ospina’ just had ‘something’ to do being called upon to gather up a loose ball. Welbeck finally had a good shot at goal, but even that was saved off the keeper’s shoulder. He needs a goal. So does Giroud.

  69. jw1 says:

    Replay corrects my first intuition — that was a GREAT kick save that then went right by the keeper’s hand…

    jw1

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    A slowly built break gets Theo through after an exchange of passes with Elneny. Theo works it out right to Ollie who pulls it onto his favored left foot but shoots into Row Z…

  71. Goonereris says:

    Penalty! Giroud takes and scores for 5-0.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEN now… Theo’s first touch was heavy but the BATE defender is slower too it… Some contact for sure, but a bit soft and ugly… Giroud to take…

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    5-nil… Very well placed shot…

    Wait, no, he has to take it again due to encroachment…

  74. Goonereris says:

    Oops! Encroachment, referee rules. Take 2, Giroud. And he scores again. He does take a good penalty.

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not quite as good on the 2nd try but still beyond the keeper… hit with force but awfully close to the keeper…

    5-nil

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Reiss Nelson getting ready…

    Oh-Spina… Very poor kick goes to a BATE player but all they can muster is an attempt, well over, from 40 yds…

  77. Goonereris says:

    Bate Borisov have started to threaten, looking for some consolation, perhaps. Ospina will like a clean sheet, so he needs to get the defenders to focus.

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    A bit more action down our end but nothing too dangerous. If anything, some indecision in our back line seems the only hope for a consolation goal…

    Indeed, and a fine turn and shot from 15 yds IS their best chance… Straight into the gut of Ospina who catches nicely… Need to tighten up oh so slightly at least to keep the clean sheet here…

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    More giveaways and more BATE attack… A nice cross over AWOL Debuchy but the attacker goes for the volley and it’s very poor…

  80. Goonereris says:

    They are starting to create openings and that’s the 3rd opportunity for a shot on goal they’ve created, albeit skewed wide.

    We go on the offensive and Elneny shoots way wide. Changes to come.

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    We move it forward and Elneny tries one from distance… Best to look away from that one, I fear…

    Theo off, Nelson on… A very nice 70 mins for Theo who should be our first sub in league play if we need goals after today’s showing…

  82. Goonereris says:

    Nelson comes on for Theo. Hopefully, Jack gets to play 90 minutes.

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    A very nice break, Elneny sets Jack forward who hits a fine ball out to Nelson. First touch is too heavy and it’s out for a corner… Taken short but we build again…

  84. Goonereris says:

    A great ball over the top by Bate and but for Ospina coming out to gather, they were through on goal.

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ugly there from Elneny and BATE move it forward. Ospina, quick off his line, gathers to stop the danger…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    6-nil… Elneny!!!

  87. Goonereris says:

    Beautiful curler by Elneny, after Jack got a Bate defender dizzy on the edge of their box. Fine goal.

  88. jw1 says:

    *Sigh* Boss beckons.
    Will have to catch up later…

    jw1

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud found Jack in a great central spot… I expected him to blast with his left but he took an extra touch and it looked like the chance was gone… He saved it by sliding it across to Elneny whose first touch curler was perfectly placed… Redemption all the way around…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laters J-Dub… Seems like we’re gonna get the full points here…

    Elneny and DW off, Willock and Eddy on…

  91. Goonereris says:

    Nice of Jack to avoid being selfish there because he had created space for himself to shoot. It’s too easy for us, to be honest. We won’t find an easier game than this in a long while, I’d say.

    Elneny off for Joe Willock. Welbeck off for Eddie Nketiah. Akpom has some job on his hands to get in the side, with all the talent we have to bring on.

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    The kids were working the top of the box but can’t penetrate… I like Willock’s sense of space out there in his first few minutes… Still some time for him and the rest to impress…

  93. allezkev says:

    We want 7 😉

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    The build-up play isn’t quite as convincing now and Eddy fouls trying to keep it going… Bate keep a break going and Holding has to make a sliding tackle and give up a corner… It falls for one of the all time bad volleys…

    We break from it and Jack is central with perhaps too many choices… Out to Nelson but it dies there…

    BATE get it and try to out-do one another with bad final touches… This one from 35 yards is short of row Z as poorly hit as it was…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    7 is a luckier number than 6, Kev… And surely one of the kids would like one… Ollie too, this time yards offside. He got the pen (twice) but has had some trouble with his touches all night…

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice shielding by Willock to set off another break but Eddy can’t convince the ref on a pen shout… Neither can Jack on a pull-back and foul near the D… Looked a sure foul to me…

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    BATE finally make a decent chance with some intricate work near the top of our box… The well hit curler is wide…

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good control from Nelson but Debuchy, well forward, can’t keep it… Bate’s break is cut out by Le Coq. They get it again but it’s safe hands with Ospina who looks comfy tonight coming off his line decisively…

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    They keep trying but another shot is hit very poorly and out for a goal kick…

    Getting late if we want 7…

    Giroud at the center circle again has trouble… Debs gives a FK and BATE, from it, finally put one on target… It’s too close to Ospina who double fists it away…

    AMN beaten on the left but the cross is woeful…

  100. Goonereris says:

    It’s been one way traffic but for the occasional bursts into our half by Bate. As I type that Ospina is forced into a save. The kids tried to work a chance for Giroud but his attempt is blocked.

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    We break and have one last chance falls to Giroud. His angled blast is blocked at the point and, with the final whistle, we have to settle for six… 😦 😀

  102. Goonereris says:

    Full time. Fine work-out for the fringe players and the kids, late on.

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pretty nice outing tonight and those few thousand who made it to the stadium will take away some very positive impressions. Theo and Jack really stood out and will demand some PL time during the busy period ahead.

    If this group can repeat this performance vs West Ham in the league cup we’ll be buying even more games in January…

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks Eris for the company and the added descriptions tonight… Always interesting to hear how others are seeing things…

    JW and Kev, work responsibilities notwithstanding… Cheers to you guys too…

  105. Goonereris says:

    It was easy. I liked the spirit of the Bate Borisov players, who kept giving it a go even at 6-0 when what they needed to stand a chance was a win here, in the hope Koln beats Red star. We were far too superior (and that’s our fringe side). Wenger will be happy that he may just trust the likes of Jack, Theo, Debuchy, Chambers, Giroud and Welbeck during the busy periods.

    Hope they come up trumps when needed.

  106. Goonereris says:

    Cheers, 17.

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    I thought Le Coq anchored things nicely and will be a strong force off the bench if we’ve got a lead. For me, Theo and Jack really stood out while Debuchy, Elneny and Giroud struggled a bit more despite their well (to very well) taken goals. DW is trying hard but it’s not quite happening for him yet. All told, however, this is nit-picking and we should celebrate the depth of the team in terms of putting out a committed performance of solid quality that outpaced and bamboozled the opponent completely…

    Well worth showing up for this one, I think… Again, Thanks for the company and the help on the live-blog… The 4 am (my time) kickoff for the So’ton match will be a sterner test…

  108. jw1 says:

    Was just able to check back in– and all is well.

    HT sez:
    “If this group can repeat this performance vs West Ham in the league cup we’ll be buying even more games in January…”

    What they’ll be buying is more competitive matches for themselves (fringe/kids)– rather than running through paces on a practice pitch. There’s some incentive to go full out vs WHam.

    jw1

  109. njk84sg says:

    Good morning guys.

    Watched the extended highlights to see how we fared against Borisov, and it looked like we did well except for the fact that we needed a few chances before we scored the second goal.

    Good to see the opponents playing well, but not well enough in the defensive side and the finishing.

    And also a crushing win to seal the group winners and so we expect tougher matches to come via the champions league third placed teams.

    Cheers,
    JK

  110. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Great win..
    Just wake up and watch the extended 11 minutes games from YouTube..

    I don’t think it was 4-4-2.. I think it was 4-3-3.. I confirmed it with livescore.com and the YouTube.. all said it was 4-3-3..

    Walcott (not Giroud) and Wilshere were fired the game and did well with all of the Goals..

    But I disagree with the change formation for the rest of our games.. Some Players just suite with some formation more than others.
    For tonight show.. Our Defenders all were very firmed with their position.. So did our strikers.. maybe only the midfielders change a bit with Wilshere and Elneny post.. Wilshere playing more as our CAM and Elneny-Coquelin as our DM..

    But our main 11 players suite the 3-4-3 better..
    Bellerin vs Debuchy.. Bellerin surely fit as WB better, but Debuchy the opposite way.
    Kolasinac vs Monreal.. For RWB Kola.. for LB Monreal.. Who will be bench if we play 4-3-3, Or maybe Mustafi..??

    But on the other side.. I feel Ozil will suite the CAM position better than as a RAM.. moreover if here must play as RW.. while Walcott is the King there..

    So, for me.. the MU game cannot be the only reason to change the whole formation..
    But it will be nice to try, for I am a Walcott big fan.. So seeing him playing more time with US, will make me more happy.. hehehehe..

  111. allezkev says:

    Not long got home, been reading all the comments, nice work 17tino and Eris…
    Gonna watch the highlights now.
    I’m fairly confident that we should get a decent draw in the knockout stage.
    Most teams in the competition won’t want to draw us, so we should feel confident about our prospects, without feeling overconfident.
    Yep, looking forward to the League Cup and watching this team in action against West Ham, although I suspect that West Ham will put up more resistance than Borisov.
    Happy days.

  112. njk84sg says:

    Kev, what about our match against So’ton?

    I reckon we should play 4 at the back for the second team, and 3 at the back for the first team. But we can also play 4 at the back for both teams, and that was what Wenger tried to do when we are on our back foot.

    Been a while since we did 4 at the back from rhe start, which we kind of did better with a back 4. But with teams bypassing us with quick passes we will be better with 3 at the back.

  113. allezkev says:

    Different team for Soton 84, much stiffer proposition going to St Mary’s, we’ve had some mixed results at their gaff.

    The back four experiment seemed productive given the opposition, but you can only deal with what’s put in front of you I guess and we did a good job.
    Chambers and Holding look promising as a pair, they know each other’s game inside out. We’ll only know how good they can be when they perform in the EPL Against the big boys?

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    Happy Friday fellas… I hope everybody has a bit of a respite here on the weekend… Already I’m trying to tweak my schedule (towards earlier bedtimes and wake-ups) ahead of the early kick-off at Southampton… It will be a true test for me and my espresso set-up…

    And, very likely, for the first 11, who will want to show that they can grab some goals (and keep them out) even if matching the other groups 6-nil is probably a bit too much to ask…

    Anyhow, I got my impressions out during the match yesterday so not a whole lot more to say… (“Yeah, right,” I can hear my fellow BKers saying…)

    My only reflection is that it’s quite a new dynamic playing the fully changed (and only barely tweaked) 11s in the way we’re doing it this year. Two weeks ago, after the hard-to-watch match at Cologne (which came on the heels of the very nice NLD victory) it wasn’t difficult to say, “That’s why we’ve got a totally different team for the PL.” Now, it’s a bit different… It’s only one match and it’s hard not to knock the competition (BATE is NOT ManU…) but, after the solid exercise last night, the PL group has a good standard for which to aim…

    I dunno, that’s just my reflection after the match… Anybody else?…

    Also, I wanted to ask the locals (Kev, Sir Retsub, anybody else) about the sparse attendance (a record low, right?)… Don’t Gooners have friends who might enjoy a trip to the stadium? It’s a late night for children to see a match before school on Friday, but surely, if they’re keeping up in their classes, being a bit groggy for one day before the weekend can’t be such a bad thing. Same for the bigger kids (adults) re: jobs, etc., etc. Is the mood around the club such that tossing tickets into the waste-bin is really the way to go?…

    I know other blogs have been writing about these sorts of questions https://arseblog.com/2017/12/theres-less-anger-used/ so I’m just sort of curious what folks who are more in the eye of the hurricane might be sensing. I mostly avoid the nastier corners of the Goonersphere–and I’ve been enjoying just focusing on the matches and saying my piece as the action unfolds–but I wonder what others are thinking. Go on then, as my friend likes to say…

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, also, Henry is spot on… I wrote 442 quite reflexively… To me, the only really important change in formation is if we’re playing 2 CBs at the back (i.e., a traditional back 4) instead of 3 (with a pair of wingbacks in support out wide)… After that it’s all in the eye of the beholder so maybe I’d call last night’s formation a 4-2-3-1… (with big Ollie as the spear-head…) but 4-3-3 seems fine as well…

    It’ll be quite interesting to see how AW sets out his group on Sunday, esp. as he’s confirmed that Mustafi is out for the match… Back 3 (5) or Back 4? Whaddaya think?…

  116. jw1 says:

    With Kos and Monreal on the downward slope of their careers– and Per retiring?
    There’s Mustafi (when healthy) and…? Hmm.
    So at present– it’s Chambers and Holding for the future.
    (Please Lord? Do not let them be Squillaci/Djourou redux!)

    Something that keeps making it’s way to the fore of my mind?
    Is how Kolasinac might fare as the physical DM the club seems eternally in search of?
    (Though Joe Willock might be that guy.)

    jw1

  117. jw1 says:

    HT–
    Speaking of topics actually being acted upon?
    Here’s one that seems to be gaining grassroots momentum:
    https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/sport/football/blackpool-fc/fylde-coast-councils-leading-the-way-for-football-reform-1-8893644

    jw1

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post 🙂

    One for the Jack lovers 😉

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