Arsenal v Newcastle: Guendouzi/Torreira DMs, Holding start, Laca/Auba to swipe the Barcodes?



In the Newcastle/City match, Benitez set out in a compact 5:4:1 formation. City scored early and Benitez was forced to fan out his men. And were they impressive? I was surprised at how well they moved the ball around, found an equalizer only for City to nick the game with a 2nd half 30 meter grass hugging screamer from Kyle Walker.

Obviously excited by the performance of his team, Benitez announced that he would play against Arsenal with greater courage. I hope he hasn’t changed his mind after watching our deadly duo (Au-La-La) starting together for the first time under the new coach.

Emery’s knowledge of his team is growing. His long hours on the videos would have helped him gain knowledge of the “dos” in his team. But knowledge is incomplete if the ‘dos’ are known without the ‘don’ts’. Four matches into the season and he must have picked up a string of ‘don’ts’, such as:-

Don’t ask Petr to play out from the back. It petr-ifies him.
Don’t play Sokratis on the left side of the central defense. Right footed, he finds it uncomfortable passing out from the back from that side, often ending up putting the keeper under pressure with yet another back pass.
Don’t play Xhaka and Guendouzi together in the pivot role. Splendid player each but their chemistry isn’t sparking into life. They offer about the same thing.
Don’t leave Torreira on the bench. He knows how to glue everything together.
Don’t shunt Ozil out to the wide right position. It leaves him miserable.
Don’t play Ozil and Ramsey together. They compete for the same tiny space inhibiting each other’s game.
Don’t separate our yin and yang (Au-La-La). The two on the pitch gets the enemy mumbling ……. “Gosh, one is elusive, the other a thunderbolt, oh la la, la la. How in hell do we stop them?”. All their plans in disarray.
Don’t underestimate any premier league team. There are no push overs.
Don’t lose any careless points. The premier league is unforgiving.

Of course there must be some ‘don’ts’ that the coach knows about that we don’t but it is my prayer that such a list does not include “Don’t ever play Leno ahead of Cech” …… for that is a ‘don’t’ that would add fuel to a question that is already being asked. sitting on the bench?

Emery’s four matches so far constitute the perfect premier league sample. A sample that contains the league champions (City), top six team and FA cup winners (Chelsea), expected middle of the table team (West Ham), expected relegation battler with all due respect (Cardiff), two home and two away games. His induction into the premier league is done. He now knows the game and must have got his sleeves all rolled up.

Emery has used a total of only 13 players so far to start these matches not counting Maitland-Niles who was played out of position because of injuries to Monreal and Kolasinac. Against the Toons he might be minded not to start our internationals who played last Tuesday night (Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Xhaka, Welbeck). That might create the opportunity to test out one or two more players before matches start coming thick and fast as other competitions kick in. Dear me, what a daunting task for Emery balancing between learning on the job and having to win his matches. His situation reminds me of an old Roman adage, “Make haste slowly”.

Against Newcastle we could see this team:-

submit football lineup

And this bench:-
Leno, Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ramsey, Welbeck.

Emery wants his team playing with ‘personality’. Nothing tasks the character of a team more than away matches. So far this season we are running the hardest in the league. That shows fight, the very ingredient that we sorely missed the few years past. I expect a win against Newcastle.

Are there ‘don’ts’ you disagree with and other ‘don’ts’ you’d want to highlight? Or are you more at home with the ‘dos’? Whichever, BK would like to share.

By PE.

39 thoughts on “Arsenal v Newcastle: Guendouzi/Torreira DMs, Holding start, Laca/Auba to swipe the Barcodes?

  • Thank you, PE, for a fine preview that brings up the football juices. 🙂

    Don’t necessary agree with all your Don’ts but I am hoping for a Torreira start and with Xhaka next to him. Good point though about the international games, even though the players will get a rest for a week after this one, if you ask me. So I reckon we will see Xhaka – Torreira matched up and Sokratis start as well. SO for me it is: Cech, Nacho, Sok, Must, Bel, Xha, Tor, Ozil, Mkh, Laca, Auba

    This is the nearest to home game for me but unfortunately I was not able to get a ticket 😦

    As per the picture above, the away fans are very, very high up and see little of the game, but the atmosphere is great and Newcastle is a great, football-loving city. So I am hoping for a good game in which we control the midfield – and therefore the game – and our attackers mean business. Let’s zip those barcodes!!

  • TA .. your pick could be it. Just wondering about Xhaka and Sokratis after playing Tuesday night, and a day or two for resting (normally 2days) would have little time to train with the squad and that might just decide Emery to start them on the bench.

    He might start Sokratis and bring Xhaka in 2nd half. Learning and winning.

  • Just gotta comment on the picture before I read the post.
    Newcastle is one of the worst stadiums to visit if you’re an away fan, stuck right up in the Gods, the pitch look like a subbuteo pitch, you couldn’t be further from the game if you were outside the ground. It’s a stadium I won’t visit anymore.

  • Nice post PE, personally I’d start Mkhitarayan instead of Ozil in an otherwise unchanged team from Cardiff, but I think that Unai will go with the XI who won in Wales.

  • Kev … again yours could be it.

    Emery just said he’d not prioritise the PL over the other competitions. That means we won’t be seeing the clear 1st team/2nd team format used last season. That should mean one team that is undergoing much rotations all the time. Would the rotation start today? One or two in my thinking.

    He seems a firm believer in OGAAT. To me, it should be PL 1st, Europa 2nd until much later in the season when that order could be reviewed depending on our PL fortune. I see knockout competitions as always very dicey. One bad day and a team can be off.

  • Hi PE, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw those comments and it would make a lot of sense if we want to get back to the top table next season.
    Some would say that it’s risky, but is it anymore risky than trying to finish in the top four, I don’t think so?

  • Kev … maybe it’s smarter to spread one’s eggs. On the other hand is it better to start wars on two fronts? Ask Hitler.

  • Newcastle have been playing tough with no luck so far this season. We can’t take them lightly.

  • Hey, I got my 11 (and 18) 100% correct, do I win anything?… Now I just need to hope that my score prediction is wrong…

    I gotta say that I’m tempted to pay the piper (or NBCSN…) to watch the match… Is it time for me to bury the hatchet (or my hammer and sickle…) and just admit that the capitalists have won?…

    I hate to admit that I’m (still) addicted to the Arsenal and watching the match–as it’s played–is probably the most (time) efficient way of getting my fix. Ugh…


  • Did find a clean feed for NBCSN (after mulling over same as you HT).
    Decided I would let Arsenal make my decision today.
    If they win I’ll ante-up. If not– I’ll go dark when they are.


  • So from radio commentary it sounds like it’s an even game with lots of possession for Arsenal but not many goal opportunities. Emery put out his favourite 11 but is it really working? Doesn’t sound like it to me. I predict we will start playing better when Torreira comes on, and after that Mkhi is likely to replace the contract-dodger. COYRRGs!!!

  • 17– Have you looked into acestream at all? Great bit of software that makes streaming matches quite reliable.

    You’ probably be just fine missing this match entirely, though.. pretty poor football on display.

    Something about round pegs and square holes.

  • Hey JW… I plunked down… :sheepish frown…

    I just figured I should spend some of my fortune… I’ve got a growth in my belly that I’m concerned could be cancer and you can’t take it with you when you’re dead. Of course, it could just be obesity creeping in on me…also bad for life expectancy… In other words, all signs point to spending my $$ sooner than later…

    What I saw was…

    Well, my Mama always said that if you can’t say something nice you shouldn’t say anything at all…

    And we burn a sub to start the 2nd period… Torriera for Gwen

  • Thanks Frozen… Even the paid stream might need some help… There’s a lack of smoothness in the feed that is exposed on the bigger screen… On the plus side, there’s only the single announcer…No ex-Gunner trying to prove their neutrality…

    I gotta say… IF Emery gets away with wasting another 45 trying to play his hair guy… Our regression to the mean (in the luck table…) would feel just about complete… Torreira merely standing over that free kick made their keeper lean away from the side Xhaka was able to hit…

  • Little Lucas a bit… Ramsey-esque with that finish… 😦

    On the plus side, we’re building pressure on the opponent almost like a Wenger coached team…

    Rambo kinda found his feet and got the ball to Mkhi who needed a touch to shoot…and got it blocked…

    So it goes…

  • Wait a second… There does seem to be a 2nd announcer…but he’s being complementary…about our 2nd half at least… Everything is very, very strange…

    Sok goes down hard… Just a kick on the shin by Kenedy?…

  • Nice save from Cech on a VERY free header… First shot on target for the Toon?…

  • Clean sheet gone… Two runners left open at the far post…

    2 mins to keep the full points…

  • Ozil with some hold up play (in a couple of spots…) to end the match… And the full points belong to the Emer-X-Periment…

    Wow… Consider me surprised (but pleased)…

  • Actually, HT?
    Twice that’s occurred in 3 minutes. Same guy.
    The one with a footballer buried deep inside of him.
    Waiting for some reason to escape himself.


  • Great win for us and very, very welcome. Winning away twice in a row feels very good. Shame about the clean sheet but it is three points from Newcastle and nine in total now. It was important to win some away games early on and the boys have delivered. I don’t care whether Emery starts Torreira or not…. as long as he plays him in each game! 😉 Lucky Charm Lucas. 🙂

  • Never a dull moment i suppose..

    The Good: the second half. Though I’d like to see Micky drop Ramsey to the bench for the next game. Surely, Emery has to see the Torreira effect. Serious questions if he doesn’t start next game– though we’ve been saying the same thing since week 1 so who really knows whats going on.

    The Bad: the first half. Groundhog day all over again (is that redundant?)

    The Ugly: we have to wait til Thursday for our next “fix.”

  • The difference is so stark with ‘The Terrier’ directing traffic (and he does bark and point for the ball to move, like Flamini used to). Where I’d prefer to see Torreira play all 90? The inkling I’m having of Emery’s thoughts on rotation– might be that he wants to play him in as many 2nd halves of ALL competitions as possible. A ‘closer’ of sorts.

    Let’s see how many half-matches Torreira plays these next 3 weeks.


  • Jw1, it is a worry that Torreira got tired at the end. Nail biting finish after newcastle came back to score one and we were a bit knackered.

    Good to see the guys score and the lads to get a morale boosting third win.

  • Nice to see we got a second win away from home. I was only able to see the game in snippets, as I had to appear to be paying attention at some meeting. All we need now is to get the 3 points against Theo’s Everton and some belief will start to return. Pity we didn’t get the clean sheet today, with barely 4 minutes to play. Need to work on that.

    Spuds lost at home; bitter sweet, because Liverpool remain unbeaten and have maximum points. Watford are falling apart against United. I did expect a bit more fight from them given their status, albeit transient, in the top 4. Let’s see what they can do in the 2nd half.

  • Reiss Nelson scored (an 86′ leveler) on his Hoffenheim debut in a 2-1 defeat to Fortuna Dusseldorf.


  • Nice win, didn’t see game but from what I heard on the radio (Perry Groves co-commentator) we were under pressure during 1st 45 but persevered, 2nd 45 we were more in control.

    Interesting comment about Torrieira showing fatigue, might explain selection policy.

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