Arsenal-Watford Live-Blog. Emery’s Eleven–Equal as (Eventually) Eked an Edge vs Everton. Egads?…

Why mess with success?

Well, maybe because it looked awfully lucky last Sunday AND because of developments during the week.  How’s YOUR English… Emery’s gets better each time he takes the mic AND, as long as the wins keep coming, who am I to argue?

As Gooners with phones and laptops, however, we all have our own opinions.  What are your thoughts going into this match?  Watford has never been an easy opponent and we’re looking up at them in the league table.  As such, a full three points today would be extra nice.  Can we do it?

Here are your line-ups.  Please join us in the comments with your observations–Now and as the match unfolds.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Aubameyang, Ozil, Ramsey, Lacazette.

Subs: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck.

Watford: Foster, Navarro, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas, Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra, Deeney, Gray.

Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Masina, Femenia, Chalobah, Sema, Success.

Well, what do you think?  Stay with what’s (been) working or mix it up given what’s been happening (on and off the pitch) during the past week.  Emery’s had his say (and maybe that’s all that matters) and we’ll see how it plays out.  Don’t be shy.  Tell it as YOU see it…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to Arsenal-Watford Live-Blog. Emery’s Eleven–Equal as (Eventually) Eked an Edge vs Everton. Egads?…

  1. henrychan says:

    Ozil play in the middle and Ramsey as RW.. something new.. hope will succeed..

  2. jw1 says:

    Watched most of last weeks Fulham vs Watford match early this morning.
    In a constant light rain, Watford bullied (or tried to) Fulham until late first half- after taking a lead just after one-minute in to the match. Fulham’s Mitrovic is not the most talented CF– but he has a (hard-) nose for the ball– scoring in the second-half for the draw.

    Watford, A borderline-dirty bunch. Deeney (always) snidely retaliatory toward FFC and chummy with the Martin Atkinson. They are however, exploitable in the midfield on the counter. Fulham’s Andre Schurrle and Jean Seri were quick to get things started following turnovers at their 18-box. Their CBs like to manhandle the opposing forwards in the box. We get Anthony Taylor today.

    And we are almost at the whistle.


  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi Henry. Is that how the line-up was presented where you’re watching? My stream is up but it looks a bit “sticky” thus far. I’ve got my wife working on it…

    Truth be told, I don’t worry too much about “starting” positions. The players move about and (ideally) do some inter-changing…

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    J-Dub, I responded on the previous post, but, again, sorry about the tough week…

    My IT department (my lovely wife) is reloading the stream due to it looking like crap…

    OK, I missed kickoff, but now it’s good…

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cech has to palm out a corner but only for a (long) throw, Cech fouled while trying to come for it…

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lacazette keeps his feet when it might’ve been wiser to go down. Taylor should give it anyhow but, of course, he doesn’t…

  7. jw1 says:

    That– is a PEN.


  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    Other end, Watford get another corner but our Germans, Mustafi and Ozil combine to clear it… Auba called for standing near a falling player… The break was on but Watford are having more of the ball early on…

  9. jw1 says:

    Watford do have long throws in their quiver.
    AS well as their LB Holevas has quite-the-bender of set-pieces and corners.


  10. henrychan says:

    Yes JW1.. If Lacazette later his body down.. it will be a penalty..

  11. jw1 says:


  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    10 minutes in and it’s mostly Watford though the foul on Too-honest-xander Lacazette looked pretty clear… Are we really this happy playing on the break?

    Deeny finds an open guy but his volley goes wide… Let off there…

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finally a bit of possession but it dies on Bellerin’s left foot…crossed would be a generous way of talking about his booted ball out of play…

  14. jw1 says:

    ‘playing on the break’? Yes.
    Fulham ought to have beaten Watford last week doing same.
    And Watford’s energy-level will be dropping soon enough.


  15. henrychan says:

    What a missed..

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey pushed off the ball out wide left, Torreira called for a late challenge… The game is pretty open with both teams retreating if the other team has it…

    Lacazette chips wide 1v1 with the keeper… BIG MISS

  17. jw1 says:

    Thoroughly expected Laca to bury that one.


  18. allezkev says:

    BBC TV say penalty for Lacazette, but the referee is Andrew Taylor so our players need to be assassinated to get a spot kick.

    Sorry to hear about your moggies JW.
    It’s hard core when you have to make that horrible decision.

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal are 2nd best the way this match is being reffed (by nobody with a whistle it seems)…

    Bells does better with a right-footed cross to win a corner…

    Mustafi made a strong move for it but couldn’t get to it…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Deeney working Taylor as Watford have another corner… Nacho heads out well enough… Both teams trying to strike quickly rather than settle possession…

    Good industry from Lacazette after a Rambo cross got blocked. Eventually Nacho heads to a good spot and Laca almost gets to it with the keeper just able to grab it ahead of him…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taylor blows in Watford’s favor in the middle of the pitch. They’re testing us with all these set pieces…and they’ll have a corner after a shot from distance is deflected out.

  22. jw1 says:

    Thanks Kev. Hits hard to see the missus hurt so.


  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    This time they go short but we still manage to clear…Ozil’s long ball is too pure for Auba who may have been offside anyhow…

  24. jw1 says:

    Shot or not– love to see Auba run in open field.


  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re finally a bit more down at their end but Watford appear organized enough. Holding does well to start a move that results in a corner for us…

  26. allezkev says:

    Taylor is the perfect example as to why there were no English referees at the last World Cup.

    It’s never easy JW, been there many times.

  27. allezkev says:

    How is Holding holding up to the physical approach of Watford guys?

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed about Auba and his running, J-Dub… Also agreed with Kev about the pet(s)…

    Xhaka’s corner is poor and easily cleared…Other end, Watford continue with big pressure but can’t make a central chance with LT11 doing some slick footed defending…

  29. allezkev says:

    Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster always pulls out a good performance when facing Arsenal.

  30. allezkev says:

    Troy Deeney yellow card 😃

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re doing enough with our team defending and Holding has not looked a particular target for Watford, though it must’ve been him Deeney was complaining to Taylor about…

    Nacho just beats Deeney and flies to avoid contact…earning Deeney a yellow in the process… Commentators say it’s soft but I don’t worry…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil keeps a ball alive at the touchline but we only rebuild the possession slowly…

    More than a half hour played and it’s really only been the two Lacazette talking points…

    Our possession ends with Nacho putting a ball into the box that is easy for Foster…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    LT tries a longer left footer…but not long enough…

    Mustafi wraps up a Watford guy not too far from the corner of our 18 yd box… FK coming…

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cech, perhaps fighting the sun, flaps, crashes and finally holds onto the loose ball on the ground…

  35. allezkev says:

    Hmm, is Holding getting into Deeney’s head a la Costa..?

    Resilience by Cech, keep going you reds.

  36. jw1 says:

    Petr actually dished out some punishment himself with those angley elbows and forearms. That was what I was describing earlier– about Cholevas on FKs. Wicked benders. No way Cech could have reached it cleanly where it arrived.


  37. allezkev says:

    Might see Danny ‘goals’ Welbeck in 2nd half..?

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Auba, near the top of the box is dispossessed… Not sure if that’s his game, really…

    Some iffy play into their half but we’ve got it there, Ozil trying to get more involved but a 1-2 with Xhaka is easily cut out…

    Regrouping, Bellerin puts in a dangerous cross but only Xhaka from distance can get to it… Foster parries and we only get a corner which they clear…

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mustafi clearing backwards, just barely with enough power…

    Laca does good hold up work and LT almost 1-2s his way into the box… Now he flies for a FK but it’s not given…

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent flow to move the ball forward through Xhaka, Ozil and Nacho but Xhaka’s wide ball to Nacho is just a few inches too long…

    Xhaka’s FK to Bells is short but the Swiss does enough to stop the ensuing Watford break…

    Taylor whistles in our favor and we try and build again…

  41. jw1 says:

    Watford’s Hughes takes Xhaka down– and jabbers to wind-Granit-up. Xhaka responds– then slide tackles on the next possession. Not sure I like that sequence. Keep your wits Gunners!


  42. jw1 says:

    Cech with a hamstring pull– motions to come off.


  43. jw1 says:

    Comes the stretcher– and Bernd Leno.


  44. jw1 says:

    Note: Ramsey takes the armband from Cech.


  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca works hard and even takes his own throw… Torreira is just late on a tackle… The half is winding down and it’s been a physical one…

    Uh Oh, Cech has done his hammy on a long kick…

    2nd period (and a bunch more matches, I fear) will be with the new fellow…

    I need coffee, over to you J-Dub (Henry?, Kev? All you lurkers)…

  46. jw1 says:

    Did anyone else see the Brentford match opening minute?


  47. jw1 says:

    Laca had– OK– 2 good chances 1st-half.
    Good guys should have at least one at this juncture.


  48. Frozen says:

    Yikes. Gotta feel for big Pete. Can’t imagine age will do him any favors in the recovery process either.. Not the most ideal circumstances for Leno to make his debut but lets see what he can do. Now if only something similar could happen with Mustafi.. Kidding (kind of). In all seriousness though, we are one CB injury away from calling on……. Elneny? Maybe shift Monreal central and bring on one of Lichsteiner or Kolasinac.

    Not that it matters a huge amount in the modern game, but as jw pointed out, Ramsey inherited the arm band from Cech. Wrong move. Even if you ignored everything going on surrounding the contract drama– what has he offered us today?

    Let’s see that Emery second half surge..

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    J-Dub… What about the Brentford match?… I only listened…

    I think it’s fair to say that this game needs a goal… Watford have maybe created more pressure and maybe are having the edge with Anthony Taylor, but Laca should’ve buried the 1 v 1 if not gone down to put more pressure on the ref. Otherwise, not much to hang our hats upon…

    Leno yet to keep a clean sheet (in easier comps) so this is a big 45 for him, I think…

    We’re off…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Frozen… Agreed about Cech, less so about Mustafi…

    Rambo and Ozil connect on a pass and (eventually) another Rambo pass wins a corner…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taken short and we’re a bit snappier with our passes… Holding wins a header to keep possession but Mustafi’s cross is too close to Foster…

    We’re on the front foot early here in the 2nd period with another cross kicked behind for another corner…

    Holding, being wrestled down, can only hit it with his back…up and out of play…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    A FK from very deep tests Leno but he gets down to it… Out for a corner, however…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re under pressure with another corner conceded…off LT’s hand but no appeal…

    Leno punches clear–twice–and eventually we break and look pretty nice doing it. In space Laca chooses to head for the corner of goal…goes well wide, however…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Some static possession but no penetration until LT tries to put a ball in… It comes to Auba’s heels but he’s offside anyhow…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Leno tries a jump and punch but misses…luckily it falls our way and we clear…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Aubameyang, with some space to make a pass chooses…nothing… It’ll be argued that he should be on the receiving end instead…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells driving in on the right can only win a corner… Iwobi coming in for Ramsey… We’ll wait while Capoue gets some treatment…

  58. allezkev says:

    Time for Welbeck?

  59. jw1 says:

    Iwobi on for…


  60. allezkev says:


  61. jw1 says:

    This is scheduled waterbreak for Watford.
    This was about the point last week where Fulham began dictating play.


  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    LT’s corner is cleared… Mustafi gets a yellow for dissent… He thought we’d won another corner but Taylor says no…

    The sub is finally made and Rambo hands the arm-band to Ozil… The crowd seems non-plussed by the whole thing…

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Watford with some possession but it goes nowhere… Evenutally we break but Auba’s pass into Bells is just an inch too long… Getting a bit end to end but Watford are offsides down at ours…

  64. jw1 says:

    Mustafi a yellow for dissent.
    Lotsa arm-waving/whining while arguing whether a ball was out on side or a corner for Arsenal.


  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nacho can’t quite get onto a Xhaka long ball. Even if had it would’ve been a tough one given the angle…

    Other end, Leno is quick off his line to snuff a Watford chance…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal under pressure and the game is well stretched… Could go either way but the two defenses (defences?) are holding up thus far…

  67. allezkev says:

    Bloody hell, Watford are gonna score in a minute

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mustafi turned but Holding mops up… Watford look the more likely winner if there’s gonna be one…

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    Scramble after another Mustafi foul and FK… Leno eventually gets his hands on it after his butt did the originally preventative work…

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding 2nd best for pace is saved by Leno leaving his line and the shot going a foot wide of the far post…

  71. allezkev says:

    All I’m hearing on the radio is ‘Watford coming forward’…

  72. jw1 says:

    Both teams even now 1v1 against the keeper.


  73. jw1 says:

    Was just echoing Kev’s sentiment silently– and here comes Welbz!


  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Watford do look like the only winner this afternoon, I fear… BUT, that’s Emery’s game and (theoretically, at least) we could hit them on the break…

  75. allezkev says:


  76. 17highburyterrace says:


  77. allezkev says:

    Alex Iwobi Cross, own goal, I’ll take it….

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Own goal, I think…

    Great ball in from Iwobi…

  79. allezkev says:

    Watford are unbeaten this season, still a lot of work to do, this is a tough game

  80. allezkev says:

    Ha ha ha get in, Iwobi again the provider

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Real goal this time… OZIL

  82. jw1 says:

    Not a mistake like most. An OG that Laca forced by his aggression.


  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Welbs with the interception, great 1-2 between Laca and Iwobi and (even) Ozil cannot miss the finish…

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Unbelievable win (from a position of looking 2nd best…) and another clean sheet and 2 nil..,

    IF the game were over right now… Another 3 plus injury time to go, however…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Watford are giving some effort and pouncing on our MF mistakes… It won’t be enough, however…

    Nacho bundled off a ball but Ozil mops up… He seems to do some defending these days, at least late in these recent matches…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    We’re pushing for a third, Laca on the half-volley would’ve been a wonder goal…

    Incredible result, IMO, and another nerve wracking experience for Gooners, but that’s Emery’s MO, I think (fear)…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    13 shots, 4 on target… For Watford…

    Arsenal had only 8 and 2…

  88. Frozen says:

    Ha. I’m not sure how we keep doing it, but I’ll certainly take it. And surely our MOTM was super Rob Holding. What an assured performance. Lovely stuff.

    Holding-Sokratis must be the way forward.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the live blog, Seventeenho (and JW). 🙂

    Listened to the radio and started to hope for a draw, only to get all three points. Emery will have learned a lot from this game and his subs were v good. Happy with the clean sheet and two goals. Looking fwd to seeing the game. Seven wins on a trot! Yippee!

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re showing a highlight reel (no commentary)… Watford had a bunch of chances and Holding did stop one of them (after Mustafi got turned hoping for a flag)… Their best chance (IMO) however, was when Holding was well beaten for pace but the shot (under pressure from Leno) went off the outside of the post… I realize everybody wants Mustafi dropped but you can’t teach things like pace and leaping ability (where he, for worse or better has significant superiority)…

    Now they’re interviewing Holding and (maybe?) giving him the MOTM award…so, (maybe?) others agree with you more than I do… I was pretty impressed by our subs today, Iwobi on both goals, Leno (for the play mentioned above and others) and Welbeck starting the move for the 2nd goal. Overall, another team effort and we’re making some luck for ourselves… Did we look better after Ramsey went off?… I’ll leave that for others to decide…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’ll try this again (from the previous thread)…but…I see a significant difference in the use of width between Wenger(ball) and now under Emery… We do fewer possession oriented overlaps in favor of moves to the intersection of the 18yd box and the end line… Cross from there and good (better) things can happen, as in Iwobi and the OG…

    These highlights are interesting, particularly one with Emery, instead of celebrating, getting right down on Torriera about something from earlier…with the little guy understanding the Spanish… It was a bit of a tough outing for LT (and folks would be screaming for curls with a different result) but he’ll figure it out…

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, 15 points from our last five games (and three yet to play before we host Liverpool)… We’re well ahead of my expectations…

  93. allezkev says:

    That’s great to hear Frozen, I really like Holding, I think he has a bit of an edge.

    Fantastic result, I love this habit of seemingly playing ordinary but winning.
    I’ll take that all season long, if my nerves can stand it….

    Cheers Gooners….

  94. jw1 says:

    Laca stayed nose-down throughout– not allowing a frustrating series of events to keep him from staying steady– eventually persevering. ‘Props’ for Iwobi. He’s added to the attack all season when called (I gave few of these to Alex the last 18 months!). Holding was on-the-spot when called. Did enough to distract on the 1v1– apparently.

    As Frozen mentioned earlier– I too, feel for Petr Cech.
    Looks as if we should all raise our glasses to new King Bernd.
    The full-extension save today was good– but expected of his new status now.

    Once again? This buys you nothing. Ever.

    Yes HT. He could be a magnificent defender. But he expects whistles that never come. Leaving his mates exposed. The Scarecrow’s Refrain…

    2-0 to the good guys.
    Emery’s style may not be pretty.
    But it’s effective– and tailored to the bottom-line, winning– however you must.


  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    In the Emery interviews (they’re just running a camera and listening in on the stream I’m getting…) the coach is talking up Holding quite a bit (I’m not sure he always understands the questions…) suggesting that players (notably RH16) can force their way into the line-up…

    They also interviewed Leno…who I thought did all he was asked to do) in that half of football. Both keepers anchored well enough at (all) the set pieces that kept coming (and coming)…

    Winning mitigates drama (even as things like Ramsey and contracts keep coming…) and having a new manager who clearly preaches process and seems to have found some buy-in from the players also helps…

    Time (for Gooners also?) to board the bus because the next stop is Azerbaijan… 😮

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’ll be interesting who plays CB on the long trip… Sok was cleared fit but didn’t even make the bench… Next week Chambers will have to sit (because of the loan rule) but there’s not a lot of wiggle room if both Greek guys are hurt. Unfortunately, Mavro seems likely to miss (all of?) these midweek autumn matches that would’ve been great for him…

    JW, if you watched Fulham-Watford can you tell me how Chambers played… Should we have kept him or is the loan the right thing?…

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chavs draw first blood vs Pool… Those seasons where Hazard shows up the South London team does pretty well…

    Allison = pretty in pink but seems like he might’ve stretched a bit better on the goal…

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Seventeenho, so interesting to see that Giroud starts in this game. I thought Wenger gave him a lot of trust and confidence and that others may not be as ‘believing’ but he just keeps on flourishing! Hazard-Giroud might well be the strongest attacking combo in the league right now. AubaCazette have competition!

  99. Admir says:

    Good result today, we are a few goals away from the Champions League spot. Leno’s save was a game-changer. 5 out of 8 victories achieved, let’s move on. 🙂

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi TA,

    I haven’t been watching the match too closely, I must admit… Without Diego Costa (or somebody in his, er, spitting, image…) Chavs aren’t quite so menacing. Morata, it seems will be making a career as a super-sub (at RM, then Juve, and now Chelsea) behind Giroud, a player who a lot of folks just couldn’t get behind. I remember well my introduction to Bergkampesque and HighburyHarmony’s distaste for the big fellow. He’s awkward but he’s also worked hard and improved where he can over the years, and, no matter what, he forces defenders into some work which tends to create space for others.

    That’s the part of the game that goes under-appreciated more than any other. How can you measure it with a stat… Touches for others (on your team) over minutes you’re on the pitch? I know you didn’t see the match, but it could be argued that the quality of our work today improved once the subs started… Note that I (AR)n’t mentioning any names, here…and I’m only hinting at (one of) them because I might have to say goodbye to him before too long…

    Game’s back on and Chavs are probing for a 2nd… Pool happy enough to play on the counter…

  101. jw1 says:

    Right about Olivier. Just requires a muse like Hazard (or Griezmann) to be primed.

    Chambers was good. Andre Grey looked more dangerous in that match– than today, where I thought Watford’s midfield were the persistence in attack at the Emirates. And Chambers is paired with Alfie Mawson– who is perhaps not-quite PL-caliber. Without going on too long– Chambers did a Holding-style-job to Mawson’s benefit in that match. Rather think Holding and Chambers are very similar types– and one had to play full-time. Now I’m thinking both.


    Oh right. The opening minute at Brentford HT?

    One more heart-in-mouth moment on my this-week’s list.
    A backpass from Mustafi to Leno– from the right side, cross-goal. Bit of a hoppy-thing. As Leno goes to control it right-foot, outside-of-boot– hops one more time– slips above his foot and catches Leno’s opposite bootheel– and rolls out of play about a foot outside of the left post.

    Nearly a nutmegged OG on the first touch one to the other.


  102. jw1 says:

    Salah off for Shaqiri at 65′.


  103. jw1 says:

    Shaqiri mishits a ball Salah likely doesn’t– wide right.
    And David Luiz clears Firmino’s point-blank header off the line.
    By my counting Pool should be leading.


  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Took a call there but did note the substitution…

    And, in fact, while trying to feed lunch to in-laws who were around on Wednesday, I missed the opening heart-in-mouth Mustafi and Leno moment…

    My bet is that we get back two CBs in 6-8 weeks (Mavro and Koscielny) so for now it might be easier to (try and learn to) love Mustafi and Holding and Sok. Hopefully Kolasinac can start to spell Monreal in case we need to move Nacho inside… From what I see about Emery’s tactics, the CBs need to split wide as we try and play it out of the back AND do plenty of covering for our often-too-far-forward FBs. This means that pace is more important. Brainpower is too, of course, esp. once the ball enters the box. We’ve yet to be called for a pen this season and I expect (as a wise man once counseled me to do…) some regression-to-the-mean…

    Chavs continue to keep Pool at Bay…a weak Shaqiri FK being the end result of the 83rd minute…

  105. jw1 says:

    Sturridge (STURRIDGE?!) on at 85′ for Milner.
    That is as much of a Hail Mary Pass as I’ve seen in English Football. 🙄


  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s a lot of luck in football…and, unlike in our game, other people make the calls, i.e., it’s tougher on the road…

    Today’s match would’ve been a good deal different if Laca had won that early call…

    There it is… Sturridge from distance… Kepa not quite worth his 70 million on that one, I fear, maybe?… It did sail into a tough spot but maybe some indecision about which foot to leap off and which hand to stretch with… Maybe?…

    Regardless, both teams dropping points is fine by me…

  107. jw1 says:

    And Sturridge scores on his second touch!
    1-1 is the best result for The Arsenal– so am hoping it holds!


  108. jw1 says:

    Wish I didn’t like Jurgen Klopp as much as I do. 😦
    Hard to root against a guy like him.


  109. allezkev says:

    That was quite a goal by Sturridge, effortlessly blasting it into the top corner of the net.
    When he’s fit and motivated he’s quite a striker, unfortunately for him and England he has a body made out of balsa wood. But for Liverpool he’s the perfect super sub, lucky for them…

    Here’s a question for you guys; If Sokratis is 100%, who does he replace against Carrier Bag and Fulham, Holding or Mustafi?

  110. retsub1 says:

    Is Mustaphi really that Bad? I am convinced there is a player in there somewhere. When we signed him didn’t we go 20 games unbeaten or something like that? Holding and Mustaphi appear to have kept clean sheets for the last game and a half. I would be tempted to take Holding and Mustaphi and let Sokratis have another games off. They can decide on the Fulham game after that
    I saw a good question on SkySport the other day. Who is the only player to have played at the Emirates every season since we left Highbury?

  111. Goonereris says:

    Nice Live blog there, HT and fine comments all round. I saw the game on-the-go and so, was unable to contribute. Before the game, when a mate worried about our CBs against both Gray and Deeney, I assured him it was just the kind of contest both Mustafi and Holding will love. I thought Holding handled Gray well enough until he lost that foot race; pace, being his major weakness. Other than that, he kept his composure and was tidy. Not sure about MOTM, but he stood out.

    With 15ponts from five games, we are doing better than I predicted (I had thought 13 points), so kudos to the lads. We would need to fight to avoid being placed under so much pressure early in games and giving opponents’ strikers a sniff here and there. Think what could have gone wrong had Watford scored first.

  112. jw1 says:

    My first inclination was a player that had played for a top team, then moved to a team that had stayed up these past several seasons. First thought of Pablo Zabeleta. But he’d only begun in the PL 2008.

    And funny, I’d been thinking of this player yesterday after watching West Ham dismantle MU 3-1. So I’ll go with– Mark Noble.


  113. Goonereris says:

    retsub1, wouldn’t that be Theo Walcott? He arrived same year we left Higbury and has played at the Emirates ever since, even coming to the Emirates with his new club, this season.

  114. Admir says:

    @jw – West Ham spent a year or so in the second tier so Noble is out.

  115. Goonereris says:

    If it is a player from another side, then we will have to be looking at a player who’s been in the top flight for 12 years, may or may not have changed clubs and has somehow remained a first team player al, that time. That may be James Milner, and that may need some checking.

    If a mix of a player who’s been at both Arsenal and another club, it just may be Cech (though, during the Thibaut Courtois year, he only played cup games for Chelsea before joining us in June 2015.

  116. retsub1 says:

    Goonereis spot on with Theo well done

  117. jw1 says:

    Thanks Admir!
    Least ways you know I didn’t go ask Mr Google. 😉


  118. jw1 says:

    Just saw an interesting stat on NBCSN pre-match Cardiff vs Burnley–
    Most Goals as a PL Sub:
    Defoe 24
    Giroud 19
    Sturridge 17
    Skolsjaer 17
    Kanu 13


  119. jw1 says:

    ‘Is Mustafi really that bad?’
    Quite the opening retsub. Believe I could drive the team bus through it.

    So– while I just wrote something much longer?
    I’ll simply consider that as an exercise– and much, much ‘cheaper-than-therapy’

    Will post this:
    “While there might be a ‘good footballer in there somewhere’?
    Appears there’s not a ‘footballing brain’ to complement the physical tools.”

    Though I’d be happy to post the entire rant– if asked. 😉


  120. retsub1 says:


    I am sure somebody will correct me, but when Mustaphi first signed didn’t we go on a terrific run conceding very few goals at the time. My poor memory doesn’t recall Mustaphi being a bad player when he first signed.

    I know he had made mistakes recently, but I am pretty sure he hasn’t always been this poor.?

  121. Goonereris says:

    Oh, cheers resub1. Has anyone investigated Milner? He is another possibility.

    Hahaha! Jw1, be rest assured I didn’t ask google; the moment I saw the teaser, my mind went to Theo because he came same year (2006) we moved out of Highbury. 🙂

  122. jw1 says:

    Agreed, we did. Marshalled by Kos and flanked at times by Gabriel.
    The end of that 22-match unbeaten run were followed directly by losses to:
    Chelsea 3-1
    Bayern 5-1
    Liverpool 3-1
    Bayern 5-1

    That was the juncture that Wenger turned to the (Conte-inspired) 3-5-2 — a formation where Mustafi thrived for Germany. Arsenal enjoyed a mini-revival defensively, winning the FA Cup in that scheme.

    Mustafi played his last meaningful minutes for Germany in winning the 2017 Confederations Cup vs Sanchez’ Chile 1-0 — in July 2017. Played once more for Joachim Low in Oct ’17 mopping up for 36′ in a 5-0 friendly vs Azerbaijan. After last Summer’s WC? Perhaps a call up for Germany to either the recent UEFA competition or friendly vs Peru? But no. At just age 26, Joachim Low have left him out of the squad– for almost a year now.

    Whatever made him play well in 2016?
    He’s lost it, or it’s broken.


    Some can take solace in the clean sheet vs Watford. Fair enough.
    But yesterday, solely by his own inattention, he twice gifted goal-scoring chances that by the grace of Holding and Leno alone– we were not down 2-0.

    So– unless Unai Emery– is the Great & Powerful Oz in disguise?
    I’ll continue to opine on– The Shkarecrow’s Refrain…


  123. jw1 says:

    By that same token? When retsub stated there had been a good question on Sky Sports? I didn’t think it might be one of ours! 🙂


  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent comments!

    New Post 🙂

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s