Starts for Mkhi and Maitland-N: Arsenal v MU Line-Up|Preview

MANU- ARS PREVIEW. YANK THE HAND BRAKE OFF AND STEP ON THE GAS!

We have a fabulous car. Its V8 engine purrs beautifully when idling. As soon as it is put in gear the hand brake comes on. If only we can yank the handbrake system out completely we’d begin to enjoy our ride. We’d hit the highways and it will be fun.

The handbrake is a child of our psychology. It is born of self doubt which parades itself chiefly as tameness in and out of possession. We don’t feel like conquerors anymore yet our engine purrs beautifully. We are a big team. The 9th most expensively assembled in Europe according to the reputable CIES Football Observatory (by contrast Atletico Madrid is at 19th). Swagger that was at the centre of our values has all but deserted. We need to begin to have fun again each time we file out, whether it be against Man U, Atletico, anybody.

Let’s get our audacity back and the fun would begin. Give us back the Bergkamp curled shots into the net from outside the box. Give us back the Pirez deft chips, the Kanu rounding of keepers, the Lungberg rush into the box for the tap in, the invention of Henry, the dominance of Vieira, the authority of Campbell,  the swagger of the team. We want our fun back.

We are not going to allow an 8-2 repeat whipping happen again. That would dampen our determination to rediscover our fun. The Arsenal never trots out to lose. This time, it is tight and tough because the all important Thursday game at Wanda Metropolitano looms. We must rest our big guys but field a team that can bloody noses.

The likes of Koscielny, Ozil, Ramsey have been given the day off. The kids will be put on the bench. Mkhitaryan’s fun would last for about an hour. Aubameyang we want at the centre of the fun and not shunted out ….. wide. Chambers would have the enviable task, or fun, of shackling a certain bloke by name Alexis Sanchez. That would be special fun for us and we can imagine we’d have a lot of company there.

Those to be invited to the party at Old Trafford would be:

submit football lineup

On the waiting list we’d have : Ospina, Konstantinos, Monreal, Osei-Tutu, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah.

Let’s hit the highways with no handbrake, folks. We want steel and pomp. We want the vintage Arsenal. This eleven are strong enough to do it. We are the Arsenal, after all.

By Pony Eye.

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124 Responses to Starts for Mkhi and Maitland-N: Arsenal v MU Line-Up|Preview

  1. AB says:

    Good stuff PE. I don’t know who has travelled. But I’d go roughly with your team but a) Mkhi starts on the bench – so Nelson perhaps in the starting 11, and b) Musti in the defence – so take your pick on the other CB; I’d prob go with the greater experience of Chambers, but ok with either to be honest. I would have thought that Jack would feature on the bench too.

    We can’t go there and play with abandon I fear. We discipline in defence and to try and give Auba some chances. Otherwise we will be picked off on the counter and made to look very gauche

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    PE

    Thanks for the battle cry and predicted line-up.

    I don’t agree with the sentiments, though. I reckon it will be either a horrible game or a forgettable game; a game nobody wants to play. From his recent comments, I reckon Mourinho will not set out to humiliate Arsene, and Wenger simply cannot afford to put a team up that gives the Mancs a real game. Too much risks of injuries and fatigue with the next biggest match of the season awaiting us in Madrid.

    Re line-up. Agreed with the back five except for Bellerin who surely will be rested now that he finally is starting to put a decent ball into the box. Xhaka is vital for Madrid and we cannot afford injury, but yes I expect him to play (with the double handbrake on). Is Mkhi fit enough to start???? If so, great, but I expect him to do twenty minutes at the end (nice crowd moment). Welbz will be needed again on Thursday: his randomness and ability to make his own lucky bounces of the ball can make all the difference. 😀

    So I am expecting something like this:

    Cech
    Maitland-N – Chamb – Hold – Kola
    ————-Xhakakan—————–
    ——Willock———Iwobi————
    Nelson——–Nketiah——-Auba

    Looking fwd to it being over but hopefully the game still has some fine moments. Come on You Young Gunners!

  3. AB says:

    Hi TA. Low expectations of today I agree. I hope the line up is not so extreme as you suggest here. The issue is pride. I don’t want Wenger to have to return from a real drubbing this afternoon. And I fear that line up would get one. It is still galling to think of the reverse fixture which we should have won happily. Karma should deliver us a result here by all rights. But I don’t believe in it – in a football context anyhow. Winning the Europa would be great for the club, and nice for Wenger. Bitter sweet though. I’d take being spared any humiliation between now and the end of the season. It’s been hard enough already.

  4. allezkev says:

    Just trying to motivate myself to leave for work, having a couple of days off was heaven.

    PE, well done, a great effort, especially in terms of raising the spirits.
    My engine unfortunately is a rattling old diesel, that takes a while to warm up, it can sometimes go like a bomb, but more often than not it chugs along in the congestion nightmare created by regulator, Transport for London, an organisation not fit for purpose and bordering on the corrupt.

    Ok I’ll get off of my soapbox, today I’d like to see a back three, today should be damage limitation as the reverse fixture was last season, United lost 2-0 at the Emirates and then went onto win the UEFA Cup.
    For me it would be;

    Cech

    AMN
    Holding
    Mustafi (for 70 mins)
    Chambers
    Kolasinac

    Iwobi
    Xhaka (for 70 mins)
    Willock
    Nelson

    Aubameyang.

  5. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Hi PE.. Another great post..

    With so many injured players.. And some defenders available.. I think we must play a 3 CBs.. 3-5-1 or 3-4-3 will be fine..
    We don’t need to win this game.. Just to keep them busy and steal a goal if the opportunity comes.. Hehehe..

    My team will be :
    Holding, Chambers and Mavropanos.. Kolasinac and Niles as our WB..
    Nelson, Iwobi, Willock and Nketiah..
    Aubameyang

  6. Pony Eye says:

    Has anyone ever been between the devil and the deep sea? Between failing to qualify for the Eurooa final and being humiliated by Mou’s Manu? Ugly! But that’s what we’ve got to navigate.

    AB, it’s reported that Jack, Ozil, Laca, Rambo, Kos, Musti did not travel.

  7. Pony Eye says:

    TA, you are bent on escaping the devil. I hope you can swim across the deep sea infested with Mou’s starved sharks. 😄

  8. Pony Eye says:

    Kev, at least your rattler doesn’t have its handbrake come on automatically. 😄
    Mustafi didn’t travel, I understand.

  9. Pony Eye says:

    Chan, three at the back makes huge sense but that MF can’t serve Auba any balls. Am kinda worried about getting our jewel (Auba) too frustrated.

  10. henrychan says:

    Hehehe.. Don’t underestimated our youngsters PE.. We’ll never know what will happen if they’ve been given the trust..

    We need to rest our main players.. That’s the fact.. Even Mhiki must rest also.. We don’t have any choice.. Maybe if for surprise we will see Cazorla.. Hehehe..

    Simply lose or win tonight won’t change nothing for us in PL.. Even if we lose.. Fans will understand it.. Because they also wanted the UEL Cup..
    For MU.. We can always give them another revenge next season..

    So, let’s give Mou a big surprise by playing the counter attack style..
    Auba, Nketiah and Nelson is fast enough to break the wall.. Hehehe..

  11. allezkev says:

    Ok PE, it looks like a back four then, unless Mavropanos starts in a three.

  12. Pony Eye says:

    Chan ….. maybe you can take another 8-2 drubbing. I can’t. You know the experts say that man can rationalize but that man is not a rational creature. With myself I know they are correct.

  13. jw1 says:

    Thanks for the lead in PE!
    Thinking Bellerin might be an exception to the starting-youth-mindset.
    Having trained opposite Alexis for years– he seems the one wise insurance policy today.

    Cech
    Bellerin – Chambers – Holding – Kolasinac
    Iwobi – Maitland-Niles – Willock
    Nelson – Mkhitaryan
    Aubameyang

    With opportunity to change formation; AMN dropping into the Elneny CB-role, to a back-5.

    jw1

    (Just saw Arnautovic bully Ederson for a waved-off goal. Being a bit too coy with a backpass. Then to see WHU score a minute later. 2-1 City.)

  14. Goonereris says:

    Nice work, PE. I feel the line up will be a combo of PE’s and Kev’s, but with a back 4. We left 7 regulars behind in London so, we should expect to see a lot of the youngsters with Cech, Kola, Iwobi, Xhaka, AM-N, Welbeck and Mkhitaryan in the mix, somewhere.

    I am all for the boys going out there and giving United a game but I am sure, they will feel it is wise to simply play a pragmatic game; keep defensively secure, be compact in midfield and take your chances at counter-attacks when the opportunities come. The last thing we need is a drubbing at a time we need confidence to be up. With determination, anything is achievable, but you know Alexis will want to score against us. If Holding and Chambers can be composed, they may do their reputations some good.

  15. Pony Eye says:

    jw, same line up as mine except you obviously have your two eyes on Thursday viz Willock and Nelson for Xhaka and Welbz. Maybe it’s smarter. I just can’t stop worrying about the records book with Mou.

  16. Goonereris says:

    Granit Xhaka will start; if he isn’t even up for our player of the season, I am not sure how the club gets to pick the nominees. He has been an ever present and continues to improve with each game. Can’t help thinking this game would have been ideal for Frances Coquelin.

  17. jw1 says:

    Eris–
    Could be right about Xhaka starting. And he has been quite solid since the beginning of the year. Though the bar is not set so high for PoTS. No one clearly stands above the rest.

    Wondering if you’d heard Le Coq had surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon approx 6 weeks ago?

    jw1

  18. Pony Eye says:

    Eris, the secrete is not to go in for a tackle on Sanchez until he cuts infield for good. He’d be escaping the LFB but running into the RCD.

  19. Pony Eye says:

    Yes, Xhaka deseves it. Nacho maybe also.

  20. jw1 says:

    PE–
    Recall, at this season’s outset, how most defenses would then send the CB forward to meet Alexis– and he’d continue across the middle of the pitch not shooting or passing– until being forced to relinquish the ball backward?

    That said, Sanchez has had good games– vs Sp*rs a week ago, and 2 weeks earlier in the 3-2 miracle vs City.

    jw1

  21. Goonereris says:

    Yes, jw1. I know Coq is injured at Valencia; he may have been fit with us though. 😉

    PE, I forgot about Nacho man; the thing is I’m not sure he’s even listed for the voting. Will confirm. Team sheet out.

  22. Goonereris says:

    Here it is. Huge statement starting the young Greek, Mavropanos over Holding.

    Man Utd: de Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Ander Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez.

    Subs: Rojo, Mata, Martial, Rashford, Fellaini, McTominay, Joel Pereira.

    Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Chambers, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Nelson, Iwobi, Aubameyang.

    Subs: Holding, Monreal, Welbeck, Cech, Nketiah, Osei-Tutu, Willock.

  23. jw1 says:

    Eris–
    True that about Coquelin. Sad though. Wondering had you heard.
    Lacazette, Ozil, Monreal, and Ramsey are the four listed on arsenal.com for PotS.
    Before seeing that I was thinking Ramsey. Really though, no one is clear cut IMHO.

    jw1

  24. jw1 says:

    Correct about Xhaka Eris!

    jw1

  25. Goonereris says:

    Thanks, jw1. Those are, indeed, the four named. No one stood out, so I feel we should have tweaked with the usual criteria and include “mainstay” or the “most indispensable”; something like that. I haven’t researched it but I think Xhaka has played every league game, so far.

  26. Goonereris says:

    So, it’s 7/10 for PE with the inclusions of Ospina and Mavropanos (won’t this be too big an occasion for the lad?). Bet Sanchez is telling them as much as he can about him, by now, in his smattering English.😀

  27. Goonereris says:

    With what I’ve seen of the boy, Lukaku is in for a battle though.

  28. jw1 says:

    And honestly, my perspective on Granit has turned 180° since December. As has his contribution.
    But something I came upon (in the Guardian) leans me away from bestowing Xhaka.

    A somewhat irreverent ‘team ineptitude index’ based on Opta’s numbers– point out that between Cech, Mustafi, and Xhaka– their howlers/errors led directly to shipping 15 (no typo FIFTEEN) opposition goals. Erase all of those? And we are exactly level with Sp*rs at 66 GF and 31 GA .

    Just– ‘Wow, really?’.

    Xhaka hasn’t been involved in one of those for some time now. He’s righted things.
    While the Guardian article was mostly tongue-in-cheek (they’ve been doing this ‘index’ for 4 years now)– the one part that has the most bearing– are the actual goals-by-error. Arsenal lead the PL.

    Kind of humorous to read through though:
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/apr/27/the-premier-league-teams-ineptitude-index-2017-18

    jw1

  29. Pony Eye says:

    Eris, I feel bettet with 8/11. That’s nearly 3% more😅
    I never saw Ospina coming. Good team that can avoid being humbled. Could even cause an upset.

  30. Pony Eye says:

    Mavro is tough, powerfull, a good passer and very good in the air. I don’t know about nerves for the big occasion.

  31. Goonereris says:

    Hahaha! My bad. 8/11 it is then, PE. 😂.

    Nelson should be a bit braver today and give Young a game; Young is quick and tenacious, though so Bellerin has to play a bit closer to him as often as possible. We will miss Lacazette’s movement which drags CBs about and his strength on the ball. Auba is a soft touch and skips away from tackles (a bit like Ozil) but gets into the right positions, usually.
    COYG! Just don’t get embarrassed today. Keep the ball and find the runs of Auba, while defending well.

  32. jw1 says:

    I’ll bet on Mkhi and Auba for at least one today!

    jw1

  33. Pony Eye says:

    Eris, Xhaka seems born again and as the scriptures have it it is how you stand NOW that matters.

  34. Goonereris says:

    I worry about Mkhi’s Fitness level, though, coming back from injury as he is. But, he is professional and must have been keeping fit while out injured. 4 minutes to kick-off now.

  35. AB says:

    Men against boys I fear. Good luck to the boys. They have nothing to lose.

  36. jw1 says:

    Kola on Lukaku– there’s a matchup.

    jw1

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey folks… Slept in the morning so just catching up with the preview and comments. We survived 15 mins of the match and had some flowing play towards their end…but now we’ve conceded even if Bells at least kept Alexis’ header out of goal…

    TA, you probably won’t see this, but (from the bottom of the last thread) PE no longer sends his posts to my e-mail…so it’s all on you… It’s probably for the best as I cannot agree with too much (or any…) of the psychological notions that are foisted upon our team up in the preview…

    Not too far off with the first 11, however, so that’s a nice thing…

    Hard to see us getting back into this match…nor keeping the scoreline where it is for too long…but good to see the Greek defender out there and Mkhi looking (pretty much) match ready…

    And, nice moments before the match with AW, Fergie and the Moo…

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Interesting discussion above about Xhaka and player of the season… Am I wrong or is he having quite a match to forget thus far today… The FK from his foul is off the wall and Alexis is offside so no harm there…

    Mkhi first, then AMN go down in the United box but the ref is unmoved…

  39. jw1 says:

    Noticed that Alexis wasn’t visibly happy when Pogba scored– nor joined in the attendant celebration. The more things change..

    jw1

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    ‘Morning, J-Dub…

    Mavro sold out trying to intercept a ball while pushed up on our left… Luckily we survive the ensuing move… Other end, Mkhi looks bright…and up for it against his former team…

    Iwobi puts Bells behind nicely but his cross to an open PEA has the wrong spin (maybe?) and the header is weak and right to De Gea…

    Tons of space for both teams (both teams backing off in MF) thus far…

  41. Goonereris says:

    Maybe, out of respect for his former employers, jw1.

    We’ve not been outplayed and have given as much as we’ve gotten, even in the physical aspect. If Auba were just a bit more physical and Nelson try taking on to Valencia, we will find some joy. So long as the result isn’t embarrassing, I will be good with that.

    Auba should be more decisive with that header, for crying out loud. He was half expecting to be barged and looked it. To be fair, we could have scored 2, with a bit more composure.

  42. henrychan says:

    We did quite good.. Two fouls in penalty area.. The referee just too soft with MU..

  43. Goonereris says:

    Reiss Nelson failed to steer a cross from Auba on target. That was another chance.

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Young hits the bar from out wide and now “earns” a FK…

    How you doing, Eris?… Agreed with your assessment of the match thus far… Though I keep liking what I see from PEA with his movement…and his patience and positivity… The level of service is quite different w/o Ozil in the team, I fear…

    Nelson heads a PEA left-footed cross with power but well wide…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Half-time… Espresso definitely needed…

  46. njk84sg says:

    Our conceded goal came from a counter after a foul not given against us. Again.

    Ref a manu** fan?

  47. jw1 says:

    Eris–
    Thinking if Bells cross to Auba had more on it– he might not have looked like he was ‘waiting’.

    jw1

  48. AB says:

    Can’t complain too much from that first half. Our youth team against manure full strength team doing pretty well. Yes a goal down, but nothing much in it on performance. In a dead rubber no complaints.

  49. njk84sg says:

    We can do better AB. Lots of misplaced passes.

  50. Pony Eye says:

    Good effort. We need same 2nd half.

  51. jw1 says:

    Morning HT.

    jw1

  52. jw1 says:

    Lukaku down and apparently off from a Mavropanos challenge.
    Rashford to come on.

    jw1

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on… And some of the youngsters look as if the rest did them well… For me, it was the 2nd espresso which has been the key…

    Looks like our young Greek has hurt Lukaku…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    MKHI!!!!!

  55. jw1 says:

    Mkhi!

    jw1

  56. AB says:

    Mkhi! Game on.

  57. Goonereris says:

    Goooooaaaaal! Mkhi gets the equalizer. We can do this, you know?

  58. jw1 says:

    Game on.

    jw1

  59. AB says:

    Youngsters doing well. Really pleasing.

  60. Goonereris says:

    Mavropanos! A legend in the making taking out Lukaku so. Now, United will come out more and Alexis will threaten more. The kids are alright.

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was a weird one but I’ll take it…

    Xhaka toe-poke to keep possession and a well-weighted pass were the keys… De Gea didn’t pick up the shot through the defenders legs?… Well enough placed that it probably didn’t matter…

    Geez… United corner goes pin-balling but eventually away…

    Uh-oh… Xhaka down…

  62. jw1 says:

    Mkhi feeling it now.

    jw1

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mkhi wants more but the curler is rather straight… Xhaka looks OK and set the move off with a long-ish right-footed pass…

  64. jw1 says:

    Really feeling it now. Young popped Mkhi twice on the shin in the same spot seconds apart.

    jw1

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mkhi gets well-kicked by A. Young… If Wenger uses a handful of #10s, Moo seems to prefer none… So much space through the center of the pitch today, esp. compared to the way Atleti defended against us…

  66. Goonereris says:

    Auba isn’t good in the one-two pass situation and won’t put his foot where it hurts. I’m sorry but he should be giving the United defenders something more to worry about. Nothing to do with service, just a bit more grit.

  67. jw1 says:

    Monreal to come on for Kola– limping.

    jw1

  68. jw1 says:

    Welbz for Nelson.
    Martial for Herrera.

    jw1

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    The beast is hurt, beward the wounded beast… Or at least get him off the pitch…

    Kola plays a strange game over there at LB…and I’d have liked him as an option in Madrid… (Where again, I doubt we’ll have any bench to use… ;( )

    Nacho on in his place, Welbs too, for Nelson…

  70. Goonereris says:

    Not sure why Young hasn’t been shown a yellow yet. Danny on for Nelson so expect Valencia to sit back a bit more. Nacho on for Kolasinac who seems to have copped an injury. Sad about the full back, who was doing well until that time. Nacho has to get in with the program fast.

    Must say Chambers has been a rock today, alongside Mavropanos.

  71. Goonereris says:

    Alexis dare not come close to Kolasinac. Now, he’s out, under the pretext Martial is on, Alexis moves to their right.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEA seems an upgrade to Theo even if his (open field) game has the same sorts of defects… That’s my take, at least, Eris, so I’m pretty pleased to have him… The threat of certain strikers helps open spaces for everybody else and I think (or hope) that PEA is one such guy…

  73. jw1 says:

    Welbz with a bolt from 25– right at DeGea.

    jw1

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Some goofy play in MF with AMN running into lots of folks but DW comes away with it and tries a long one… All very ad-hoc but at least we’re down in there end a bit…

  75. jw1 says:

    Mavropanos. Please, please? Can we keep him!

    jw1

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mavro jumps to prevent the Fellaini-fro from getting to it… Very nicely done, I think… Looks promising…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re riding our luck a bit giving big spaces near the top of our box… Luckily Fellaini and Smalling aren’t the best finishers…

    A draw would be really nice… Keep ManU from claiming their CL football a bit longer and keeping the gap to them at 17 rather than 20…

    Ospina time-wasting more than hurt, I’m guessing…

    Willock for an extra body in the middle?…

  78. jw1 says:

    Fellaini does his worst upon Ospina:

    jw1

  79. Goonereris says:

    Ospina is down injured. Willock was being prepared to come on before that. Willock now on for Mhki. Our offensive power will be lost, by so doing.

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mkhi off… That was a good run-out…hope he’s in the first 11 in Madrid…

  81. Goonereris says:

    I know Wenger needs to save him for the big game on Thursday, but this will cause us to be on the defensive the rest of the game.

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ospina gets over nicely (he’s fine, of course…) but United are getting a bunch of corners… Alexis is no better with the deliveries than when he played for us…

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m not so worried, Eris… I’m remembering the way Sevilla sucker punched them in the CL elims…and hoping to see us do likewise…

    Certainly, this is not the humiliation that many feared…

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mavro defending the Fro as if he were Draymond… (That’s for J-Dub and any other hoop follower)…

  85. AB says:

    It’s way better than I feared for sure.

  86. jw1 says:

    Willock upends Matic with a strong challenge.

    jw1

  87. jw1 says:

    A lively match too AB!

    jw1

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice interventions by Bellerin then Willock then Welbs picking it off Pogba…

    And even a bit of pressing down their end to get us a throw… and a FK with Iwobi turning tricky…

    Really getting down to no bench on Thursday if Alex is hurt too…

  89. jw1 says:

    Ha! Haha. Hahahaha.

    jw1

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Flag is up! Fellaini should’ve scored it himself but Rashford offside on the rebound…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    That time he gets it in…

    2-1…

  92. jw1 says:

    Dang it.

    jw1

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wenger Out…?

  94. jw1 says:

    Actually caromed off Xhaka’s head too.

    jw1

  95. jw1 says:

    More a perfect cross than anything Fellaini did– excepting for his genes.

    jw1

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    FT… More fun than I expected but (quite) harsh the way it ended…

  97. Pony Eye says:

    The team gave a good account of themselves.

  98. njk84sg says:

    I blame Wenger for throwing the game away after taking off Mkhi and Reiss.
    From then on we do not have a player capable of providing the assists.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Good damage limitation game and some fine individual performances. Looking fwd to playing MU under a different manager next season and hopefully go out with a better belief and determination. MU away has become a game I dread and the game I least look forward to. But the young boys did well and well done to Mourinho for not going all the way for it; it shows the man is not without feeling for others.

    Now we need to move on to Thursday – our next game of the season.

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lotsa love for Mkhi from his former mates shown on the camera… I do not like the way Moo plays the game and it seems crazy that he couldn’t find a spot for Mkhi (in the middle)… Young and Fellaini hooking up for the winner seems a brutish insult against the way Wenger tried to get his teams to play…

    A sad way to end his last match at OT, but so it goes…

  101. Pony Eye says:

    Mkhi had to be taken off seeing that he was coming back from injury. Very important for us Thursday.

  102. Goonereris says:

    A very good game but a tad harsh on our young guns who gave it a lot (for the boss, I’m guessing). All the talk about another 8-2 was just that; talk. Had Ospina’s hands been 2 inches longer, he saves that. Ainsley Maitland-Niles was brilliant on Pogba and I enjoyed the double teaming on Martial, then Young, at times.

    Just glad we weren’t embarrassed but I know Wenger would have wanted that first away point in 2018. There’s no way to suggest our first team players would have fared any better.

    Thursday beckons.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    So 84, you would have played the previously injured and pivotal-for-Thursday’s-game Mkhi till the end of the match?

  104. henrychan says:

    Come on JK.. We need Mhiki for Thursday..
    Willock did okay for me..

    No one is injured.. That’s a good point..
    We will more lethal with Mhiki in Madrid..

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s very late there in Singapore so JK should be forgiven for “being in the moment” and saying stupid stuff… Plus, blaming Wenger won’t be an option for much longer… 😀 😦

    Henry, Kolasinac looked injured when he went off and Iwobi was stumbling around with cramp or hamstrings or something…

    They’re interviewing AMN who’s probably our first guy off the bench on Thursday…esp. if those two got hurt today…

  106. jw1 says:

    Chambers and Mavropanos did well enough in their first paired match.
    Regardless of the late goal– a good performance.

    jw1

  107. AB says:

    No complaints from that at all. More positives for me. Shame we couldn’t have held on for a point. That would have felt like a triumph. A good job done all the same.

  108. Goonereris says:

    My sentiments, exactly. A draw would have been celebrated like a win. Mhki did a yeoman’s job, considering he is returning from injury. I didn’t expect that and I know he wasn’t inspired just because he’s back at OT; that’s his default energy level in games. Happy we have him ready for the trip to Spain. I guess Welbeck will be the one to be sat on the bench, then.

  109. Goonereris says:

    Did I mention Bellerin was immense for us today? He played his heart out and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, just on the fight he put up. Held his own against Alexis, Young and Martial, when he came on. More of that, young man.

  110. allezkev says:

    Just got home and going to watch Match of the Day.

    The only snippets I’ve seen is the two penalties I think we should have got.
    But that’s a normal occurrence at OT, no wonder England have no referees at the World Cup.

  111. Goonereris says:

    Kev, even though we didn’t make too much of it here (like we’ve come to expect it won’t be given), that was definitely a foul on Ainsley Maitland-Niles by Alexis, in the box.

    I recall there was another shout which wasn’t given too. The annoying thing was the commentators kept making the point that “there were no protests by the Arsenal players”; like it protesting ever helped anyone.

  112. allezkev says:

    Eris, Match of the Day was heavily sanitised and gave it’s usual slanted view of the game.

    Mavropanos looked very good, I think that Mislintat has got us a proper center back who’ll evolve into a defensive presence at the heart of our defence, I liked what I saw of him.
    AMN also played well from what I heard on the radio and from friends on WhatsApp, despite his performance being airbrushed on MotD….

    I saw the penalties on Arsenalist, Mkhitaryan was clearly barged off of the ball and obstructed by Chris Smalling in the box. In the old days referees could give an indirect free kick for obstruction, now it’s a direct free kick, a direct free kick in the box is a penalty, and that Eris me ol’ china plate, was /is a pen….
    We wuz robbed by Kevin Friend twice and his linesman at that end.
    The second incident was a clear trip on AMN by Alexis, at the same end where Rooney dived to earn a penalty on pizzagate.

    That, my friend, is the reason why Kevin Friend and none of his colleagues are going to the World Cup.

    England currently have the worst group of referees in my memory.

    Mark Clattenburg was our best, Michael Oliver is only decent referee we have now.

    All this under the watch of the totally inept Mike Riley, the man who refereed at pizzagate and allowed Jose Antonio Reyes to be kicked to death in the 2004 FACup S/F by Man U.
    Riley was so up Alex Ferguson’s arse that he probably could see his tonsils.

    You may have guessed that I despise the man…..

  113. njk84sg says:

    I reckon the decision that we were set out to end the game on a defensive meant that the ended up on the losing side.

    The lads played well, but it is the changes that irked me. Why not take off Iwobi when we need to protect the draw and he is no defender? Reiss Nelson is better at defending.

    Why did we go on to protect the draw? In the last away match we did the same thing and we duly lost.

    We missed the midfield spark of Rambo and Jacko. Without them our game is just incomplete.

  114. njk84sg says:

    Kev, I liked the way Mavropanos played too. Grew into the game and made some good saving headers. Too bad he couldn’t do anything to save the winner.

  115. allezkev says:

    84, I appreciate how you feel, but Thursday is the priority mate, today felt like a pre-season friendly, although Ashley Young is a dirty bastard, which I guess is normal if you play for Man Utd.

    So far the influence of Mislintat has brought us Mavrapanos, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, not a bad start from our scouting guru. Hopefully we’ll get Max Meyer and 2 or 3 more players from the Bundesliga, all for less than £50m 😉

  116. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Mavropanos and Chambers give us some hope for our lack of CB.. Next season they can be our main CB instead of Mustafi..
    Niles as a DM seem promising.. Maybe he can replacing Xhaka..
    With Meyer coming and Cazorla return.. We maybe don’t need any new players.. Cause we still have JRA, Perez and others..
    Maybe except for GK.. How is the progress of Martinez..??

    17ht.. Kolasinac can rest.. We had Monreal and Niles for his post..
    Iwobi won’t play either.. Moreover if Mikhi is available..
    What concern me most is Ospina.. Rumor said that he got injured.. Hope it is not true..

  117. AB says:

    I think you’re being very harsh 84. I’m not sure what defensive subs you think we made, it was pretty much like for like. You could argue we should have brought on another CB near the end rather than a more forward player. But we paid for their increase in pressure near the end. I can’t fault our team, nor their efforts to win this game.

    As Kev says the priority is Thursday. I write before that I would have gone with a balance to try and avoid humiliation from the Manure game. But in the end we played brilliantly with a mix of kids, crocks and ineligible players. And I can only praise them for what they showed. Wenger said after that a number had shown they had a future with us. And I have to agree. All the kids looked like they could make it. A great platform. A top CD and similar GK and we have a squad in my view. A competitive one.

  118. AB says:

    I should add, after all the criticism of Musti, that I remain of the view that he is a quality young CB who is making mistakes. I would favour trying to coach that out of him than taking an expensive punt on someone to replace him. We need a new CB anyway, but in addition not instead. I think Xhaka is playing himself into a decent player and Bellerin is showing real class again. These young players need time and faith to develop. Otherwise you get what Maureen has given us – missed talent galore. Hopefully the current crop will be less blighted by injury than the last. So far at least they seem more durable.

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    AB, I took your Ramsey/Wilshere comment out to use it for a short post. 🙂

  120. jw1 says:

    Kev–
    Having seen this writing on the wall somewhere?
    We all knew this would soon be offered up. Hmm… and just before Summer too. Whether this is Poch’s way of letting Levy know he’s going to have to pour his own cash back into transfers? Or telling Sp*rs fans aloud what they’ve so obviously and willfully (gullibly?) long ignored? Probably both?

    The exodus is coming. The first sign is Poch talking about himself in the past tense.

    jw1

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    G’morning folks… Poach the Poch (for our new manager)… It’s exciting on a bunch of levels, I think…

    That said, as the markets open and I check in on some of my holdings, I wonder when the American Gazillionaires are gonna get into English Football… Amazon is up again (despite TrumpTweets about it killing the US mail…) so, Jeff Bezos, why not? The Amazon Stadium at White Hart Lane…and suddenly Poch is on Wenger-esque money and Kane gets paid like CR or LM… Stranger things have happened, no?…

    Of course, making fun of (or even thinking about the troubles of) the ancient enemy is something we do when looking in the mirror ain’t too much fun…

    Looking forward to the (poached?) post from AB…

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, as per usual, beats me to it…

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