Fulham-Arsenal Live-blog. Ozil Out and Emery drops Aubameyang and Ramsey to the Bench. Mkhitaryan and Iwobi to Feed Lacazette and Welbeck. Where’s Our

Midfield?

Earth to Emery?  What (exactly) are you thinking here?

 

Here are the line-ups:

 

I don’t mean to doubt the methods of the manager who keeps Arsenal winning matches.  It’s eight in a row in all competitions, with our most recent three coming with clean sheets to boot.  Still, most Gooners have been able to bask in the glow of the results and have lamented the scary manner in which they’ve been achieved.  Doubts exist over some individual players, notably a pair who were rested for the midweek trip to Azerbaijan (Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka) AND whether it’s wise to combine attacking midfielders Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.  With the former (supposedly) out with a back problem, it would seem a natural start for the latter.  If contract issues and working towards “life without Ramsey” is the goal why not give his bench seat to Emile Smith Rowe?  Ramsey’s wife is expecting twins.  Could AR get up from his bench seat to help, if matters progress?  The other combo that isn’t quite firing is Aubameyang and Lacazette.  PEA from a wide position seems a sacrifice.  Is he (or Emery) sick of seeing him play there or is Aubameyang (as rumored) just plain ill?

Ah well, it’s a great opportunity to see what we’ve got with the 11 who get to go.  Please join me in the comments as I try to describe the action.

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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147 Responses to Fulham-Arsenal Live-blog. Ozil Out and Emery drops Aubameyang and Ramsey to the Bench. Mkhitaryan and Iwobi to Feed Lacazette and Welbeck. Where’s Our

  1. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I’m not sure if anybody will actually read my post…

    And, since we’re already on the back foot and living by our wits (and our new keeper’s reaction saves) we’ll have to take it (all) as it comes…

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    The deflected shot saved by Leno was caused by Bellerin passing behind Sokratis…

    We’re luring them into thinking they should have the ball and score on us… All is going to plan, I guess…

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, that was better… Xhaka to Iwobi who almost sets up Mkhi…

    Immediately, other end, Mustafi has to time his challenge to put Mitrovic off…

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re really falling into our trap…dominating possession…

    Lacazette is slow to get up after being stomped upon by their big forward…

    We got the turnover but the foul slowed us down…

    Xhaka successfully gives it back to Fulham…

  5. Jnyc says:

    Thanks 17. We have been a beat too late to a lot of balls…. hangover from a long flight?

  6. AB says:

    I’ve read HT. listening on the radio and cooking for my boys. So won’t be writing much. But I’m checking in.

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Welbs in the corner… He’s not used to the tight confines of the cottage… Or maybe just getting to start matches?…

  8. Jnyc says:

    But playing out of the back the best we’ve done all year. Much smoother and more confident.

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks for popping round AB… J, maybe you can help me out here… Since we don’t want the ball everything happens very quickly…

    This is my first look at Jean Michael Seri, the Ivorian Lucas Torriera?…

    Iwobi runs into a dead end but at least he kept running… Maybe?…

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice work on the break between Laca and Mkhi but we can’t quite switch the pitch over to Iwobi…

    All about these transitions today, I’m guessing…

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed, J from NYC… but Fulham look happy to back off, maybe worried about our reputation as being strong on the ball. Mitrovic is a big target and Nacho is smart to turn away from a clash…Still getting the worst of it, I fear…along with the foul…

    Fulham FK from 35 yds coming…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pushed out wide and Mitrovic’s volley is poor…

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent spell of possession ends with Mhki (at the heart of things) winning a corner…

  14. Jnyc says:

    It’s nice to be able to rotate in a player like mkiki

  15. allezkev says:

    Mitrovic on the ankle of Lacazette, dirty bastard, obviously missed by the referee…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Poorly taken by Xhaka but we at least keep it down their end…until Laca is judged to lose it over the end line…

  17. Jnyc says:

    Good pullback, was a chance for an own goal there.

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    LT loses a throw in from Nacho… and the next one is headed to Fulham by DW…

    We’re luring them into possession nicely…

    A quick move down our left gets DW into the box but his pullback is stopped without too much fuss…

    Everything is quick…punctuated by balls held by keepers…

  19. Jnyc says:

    They’re still sharper in winning the ball in midfield

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    LT starts a break and Iwobi gets by a guy and into the box before it’s poked away…

    Laca, other side loses it and Fulham break our way… Our defending is…

    Good enough in the end…

    Or maybe Fulham’s long shots just weren’t very good…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca coming back well into our half wins a ball but loses it once he runs it into their half…

    And later does good hold up work near in the center circle and his pass to Mkhi almost finds him. Their keeper got off his line quickly to sweep up…

  22. Jnyc says:

    17, I don’t know how you get in such good long comments while watching. It’s a talent. Some kind of speech to text tech?

  23. Jnyc says:

    Great from laca.

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    LACAZETTE!!!!

    Another Nacho throw but perhaps his worst yet finds the ball eventually back to Leno… We play it forward quickly and Iwobi uses Nacho on the overlap… He pulls back for Laca who controls, turns and buries it at the near post…

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s the typing (not keyboarding) class I took in high school…in the 70s… but thanks, J…

  26. Jnyc says:

    Iwobi providing the best width we’ve had all season.

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Almost a 2nd there on another quick move… Iwobi drove it then passed wide for DW but his cross was swamped, pretty much, by the keeper… Iwobi almost got a toe to a slight fumble…

    Now it’s Mkhi with a blast that just sails over the top right corner…

    Uh oh, LT down… Nope, it’s just the Uruguayan Tango… Slowing the match–if we’ve got a lead–seems OK by me…

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fulham have it down our way and Holding has a block bounce just a bit more than he’d prefer…

    We clear it…

    Next time down Iwobi is a bit risky with a backwards but central pass that is awfully close to a poaching Fulham player… but we clear it…

    Next time down Holding is more assured and we clear again, this time play stopping with a foul on DW 40 yards out…

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Iwobi’s backpassing, er, needs work…

    …unless the plan is to lure Fulham forward…

    We work it around the back but Bells getting forward nicely wants a foul that isn’t given…

    So again we lure them our way…

  30. Goonereris says:

    Coming on late, but better late than not. Not sure anyone could have predicted Energy’s starting line up today.
    I think he’s gone for our strongest players (or left out our soft ones) for good reason. Not ruling out an injury to Ozil and Sokratis’ lack of fitness, but that’s what I see. A front 3 of Selby, Laca and Iwobi, alongside Mhki, represents our more physical forwards, in my view.

  31. Jnyc says:

    Unnecessary long pass there

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mitrovic and Schurrle can’t get through Holding…but DW and Iwobi can’t quite work the ball down our left side…

    Oh my, Xhaka chasing at the front is not a pretty sight…

    Holding passing cross field for Bells lures Fulham (i.e., is very short…) but Schurrle’s shot is over. It was a difficult angle so maybe he should’ve taken additional touches…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fulham get level on a quick move…

    Schurrle finished calmly after Nacho gave away to Seri. Two passes and we must start over…

  34. Jnyc says:

    We’d been getting away with giving the ball away so far, but it finally bit us.

  35. Jnyc says:

    We defended pretty well considering how many times we gave them the ball to run at us.

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Eris… Interesting take on the line-up… To me, it’s madness (or a suggestion that playing on the counter is what the new Arsenal are all about)…

    Half-time and it’ll be, er, interesting to see the possession stats (Fulham on top, I’m guessing)… Interesting also to see if the manager comes with any HT changes…

    In the stat that counts, we’re on pace to win a point here…but it’s clearly a match that can turn in an instant…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca worked awfully hard that half so I’m very pleased he took his goal so nicely… They’re replaying our goal and…it was a(nother) route one with Laca controlling the knock down to Mkhi who turned it across pitch for Iwobi and Nacho on the overlap… Nacho might deserve an assist for the Fulham goal as well, unfortunately…

    Possession is 50-50, er, 51-49, but you get my point… Which is that, Post Wenger, Arsenal no longer want the ball… 😮

  38. henrychan says:

    For what I see in my up and down streaming.. I think Auba must replaced Welbeck.. We need a speedy striker..

    And should Mustafi also..??

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers J for the comments and Eris for popping on late… What say the others?… I know you’re out there…

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    What is ‘getting the hairdryer’ in Spanish? 🙂

    Listening to radio. Good to score first and what a shame we let one in before the break. Unai will not be happy. Need a response in second half or the home team will get on top…

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    We don’t want to hug the ball anymore, Seventeenho. Thanks for the live-post btw. 🙂

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    I haven’t seen Mustafi do anything wrong, Henry… JW? Where are you when I need you?…

    Welbeck has done pretty well, I thought, from a wide starting position…

    For me (if you can’t tell…) it’s all about not having a(n attacking part of) midfield. The way I see it, Laca has been playing both #9 AND #10… though he’s been able to find Mkhi a couple of times, more by luck than design, in my view…

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Commentators said Welbeck was best player half way through the first half.

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    I see no need for the hair dryer treatment. To me, except for the poor passes out of the back, only the one being punished, we’re playing hard… I think it’s secador de pelo, by the way… But Emery might say to Nacho instead, “Que fue esto? Joder…”

    We’re back on… No changes…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Leno goes Route One and DW is first to the knock-down setting Iwobi forward. His cross can’t find wide open Mkhi, however…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Iwobi with more fine work on the left… His cross is half cleared but Bellerin’s blast finds a solid hand from the keeper…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    LACAZETTE!!!

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    DW heads down a looper PERFECTLY and Laca blasts it in first touch from 20 yards… Wowsa!!

  49. Jnyc says:

    I’m glad I changed laca for Auba in my fantasy team this week.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    What the f*ck, Nacho?!

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was the strike of a guy who is IN FORM… Welbz header down, however, was perfectly cushioned and directed…

    Down our end, Mitrovic pushes Mustafi…who protests and wins the whistle… Fulham look un-crushed by our quick goal…

  52. Jnyc says:

    That was a good save against bellerin though

  53. Retsub1 says:

    Fulham keeper just suffered the curse of the commentator. They were just saying that he played for very small teams and now is on the verge of an England cap. Wham 1- 2

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooh ref calls Laca back for a wayward elbow… He was thinking hat trick…

    Mkhi does well to get central but his final ball is to a Fulham player…

    Next move, Laca can’t stay onside for Bells pass…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was a REALLY good save from Bellerin’s shot… He was not quite as quick getting down to Laca’s however…

    We’re playing a ton of this match down our left side, for better or worse… Nacho, Iwobi, Xhaka going forward I like. Defending? It puts some pressure on Holding, for sure…

    Also, I don’t get to see as much this half what with the camera set up from over our right…

    Mustafi lands badly… He’s done, I think…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Could be the five minute ankle… Much better than the three week version… (with a full season of extra taping)…

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    That’ll add a couple of mins at the end… I liked the way LT was talking to his mates the whole time Mustafi was down…

    Fulham on the ball for quite a while here but we look comfortable without it… New look Arsenal for sure… Until their sub, Kamara shoulders instead of heads a high ball between our (dwarfed) CBs… Let off there…

    Welbz off, Laca on…

  58. Jnyc says:

    Nice to have a sub like Auba.

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Laca and Auba almost get on it pressing from the front… Xhaka wins it at the back but our counter passing is wayward…

    The pattern seems set…making me hope for a 3rd, ideally sooner than later…

  60. Jnyc says:

    Good observation about us looking comfortable without the ball 17, I also like the way the back line has had confidence usingLeno as another player to move the ball around.

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding climbs the ladder (an opponent…) then it collapses beneath him. Dangerous work, IMO…

    Kamara rounds Iwobi but loses it over the end line…

    Ramsey on the side-line gives a look like I’ll play, I guess( but you’ll pay?…as he changes his shirt. Iwobi off for him…

    AND HE SCORES!!! 3-1

  62. retsub1 says:

    Absolute magic Rambo. Give this guy whatever he wants.

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice goal there…

    Bells, backheels central where Rambo moves it on with a pair of headed touches to Mkhi who weights a ball PERFECTLY for Auba who pulls back for Rambo to finish with the cheekiest of heel shots to the far post…

  64. Jnyc says:

    I don’t have any mixed feelings, I definitely wanted to keep Ramsey even at a high salary. He is a special type of midfielder.

  65. Goonereris says:

    Welbeck must have picked up an injury or he wouldn’t have been off. Ramsey flicks it in for 3. Hopefully, that’s comfortable enough to have the 3 points in the bag.

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    I thought Mkhi had the best touch of the move, but you can’t fault Rambo for his three…esp. for them coming cold off the bench…

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Emery is rotating the squad really well and his subs are clearly motivated to do well. A Ramsey flick pays off – for the first time this season – and we have that two goal cushion… Not there yet though. Stay Focussed!

  68. retsub1 says:

    Rambo is due to have twins today. What chances of a pair for him today?

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    I dunno about a DW injury, Eris… But maybe keeping him away from England duty would be a nice idea… Auba seems a nice weapon to have and (most any manager) wouldn’t mind using him fresh against a tiring opponent, I think…

    J… Mixed feelings… Using the past tense to speak of Rambo-Love MUST be a case of mixed feelings…no?… 😉

  70. retsub1 says:

    Oh please T A didn’t he lay on a couple the other week.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    It would be good if he names his twins Auba and Laca 🙂 or Arsene and Unai 🙂 🙂

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree with TA… Gotta keep to the plan…defend happily and look dangerous if they give it back to us… Get into the 80s and we’re home…Or score another, of course…

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’ve shown a longer view of the goal and Rambo nipped in early to set Bells running… a confident player improvising well… We can enjoy it when it works, surely…

    The argument of flat-track-bully seems one for the Int’l break… Maybe?…

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    He did Retsub. First goal this season though is where I was coming from… 🙂

    Happy your boy scored!

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    AUBAMEYANG!!!!

  76. Goonereris says:

    4th heaven! Auba. Happy!

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Heading above the Spuddies as it is!

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Classy turn and taking down of a not-so-easy Bellerin cross with a great first touch… Keeper stretched but this time the hand wasn’t strong enough…

    Quality from the forwards again today…

  79. Jnyc says:

    Great long pass from Miki to start that….

  80. Jnyc says:

    Torreira still limping?

  81. Goonereris says:

    Guendouzi comes on for Lacazette and is already in the groove of things.

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    The Soprano Sax Man, Kenny G is in… for Lacazette…

    And now Fulham appear beaten so we can move with some swagger… Auba can’t quite track down a cross but he plays it in to Torriera who almost wedges it in by way of Rambo (I think).

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Torriera limping… Seems an ingrained part of his game from my observations. Seems about his best game yet in our colors, IMO…

    Fulham need the whistle here as we’ve perhaps ADDED quality with the subs today and we’ve got a good group fighting to impress the new manager.

    With Fulham running on fumes and switching a CF for a can’t miss (seeing his hair) MF it’s almost like we don’t abhor having the ball anymore…

    Almost…

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey puts Aubameyang through and it’s FIVE…

    Ref needs to stop this fight…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was a good one not to miss… Both Auba and Laca looking sharp… Wish we could fast forward through these Internationals…

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Love to hear the fans singing in the background! 5-1! Retsub’s Rambo with another assist and both subs make the late game difference!

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha the supporters shouting We Want Six!! 🙂

  88. retsub1 says:

    Great performance in the 2nd half. Haven’t enjoyed football like that for a long long. A special word for one player though. Mustaphi. I though he put in a sound performance today and made some good blocks.

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bells bossing his side of the pitch as we run out the clock…

    FT, finishes 5-1…

    Top 4 going into the break…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Noon start means the party is just getting going…

  91. Pony Eye says:

    We are begging to reap the dividends of Unai Revolution.. COYRG!!!

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    Same guy who slated us two weeks ago vs Everton (Robbie somebody, the white one…) is now talking about Amazing Arsenal…and…Mute…

    Not. Good. Enough. and my telly’s off… Can’t stand to even (just) watch his mouth move…

    I thought Mkhi k(h)nitted a lot of our best moves today… Hard to believe that the Moo-Man couldn’t get the best from him up there… Fitness issues may have been a problem but he’s running freely now into those spaces that others (plus our new style of play) open up…

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    I guess we want a draw at Pool, as it leaves us just two points below top. Or a Pool win and then us beating them at home and we are right in there…. Getting carried away as I still think we do really well if we finish in the top four, but winning six in a PL row is pretty impressive..

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub, really pleased to hear that Mustafi played well today. The radio commentators said the same, so well done him.

  95. njk84sg says:

    The players gave their all up till the end of the game. Fulham defenders have no answer to our counter attacks. Wow. MoTM? Torreira. Put in a hell lot of running and although he got tired in the end he still wanted to do something for the team. Great subs Emery.

  96. retsub1 says:

    I think we want a winner between City and Liverpool. There is only one Invincible team and the sooner these pretenders learn this the better. I don’t really care who wins.

  97. njk84sg says:

    There is a guaranteed spot of 4th after tonight’s games. We are above spuds on 3rd place on goal difference and it is good to see us above spuds.

  98. retsub1 says:

    T A . Yes Mustaphi had a decent game in my opinion. It must be difficult for him. He seems to get the blame for everything and he certainly has had his moments this season.

  99. Jnyc says:

    Thanks for the commentary 17. I’m glad I got up early for a fun game like this too.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep the Spuds are looking up at the Arse(nal) 🙂

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’ll withhold judgement on Mustafi until J.W. gets his chance to pore over the Shkarcrow’s performance with a fine toothed comb…

    I think this scoreline–as a culmination of earlier results–is gonna inflate expectations A LOT over these two weeks until our match vs Leicester. We still have a few boys who must go away on Int’l duty but at least Leicester have English guys who cannot escape the spotlight (and beer showers?) of Wembley’s 1st team… That said, Gooners would do well, IMO, to remember the first half (of today’s game) rather than the 2nd…and then imagine what we’d look like vs some of these real teams…who will be on display as this Sunday rolls along… Pace yourselves, my friends… I know I am… I’ve only had the one (wake-up) coffee… Today’s 2nd should be sweet…

    On the other hand, if you wanna strap on your (beer) goggles and believe those blurs (of Eden Hazard at So’ton and nearly ALL the City and Pool players in the big match this evening) really are no better than our boys, who am I to deny such fun?… Here there’s no daylight yet… so no dawn for me, false or otherwise…

  102. Jnyc says:

    Some team ahead of us is going to drop points today. I like that.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho, as the famous Disney song goes: Let it go, Let it go… Sometimes it nice to levitate! 😀

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    MOTM for me has to be Lacazette… Soooo much hard work and the goals were super-high quality. Torriera had a strong game (maybe his best yet for us) too, however… Iwobi gave another performance that will keep (today’s and future) defenders up at night while Mkhi was maybe more subtle but just as deadly. Welbeck worked his socks off (as always) and got at least one touch (that header down for Laca’s 2nd) absolutely perfect…

    It’s a team effort, however, esp. when we’re (more than?) happy to let the opponents have the ball, and all played well, I thought, There wouldn’t be any of the 14 who played today that Fulham fans wouldn’t want at their club…

    Finally, TA, I do plan on levitating (at some point today)… My espresso buddy (we dealt the drug together down in Berkeley in the 90s…) is in town (at the uninsulated “summer” cabin where we spent our first winter) and should be by probably during the Pool-City match… My guess is that the dreaded 3rd espresso will taken… as well as nips off wifey’s when she arises…

    Just turned on the Chelseas match… Orange socks already looking blurry to me…

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Well that sounds like fun, Seventeenho. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday my friend.

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, are you watching this new match?… A couple of fun elements… Quiet enough so that you can literally hear Mark Hughes losing his mind with his team backed into their own end… And finally some ironic cheers when So’ton get the ball out of their own half (followed by some actually decent attacking play)…

    When is your trip to Spain?…

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho, I am going to watch the Pool game. Have already watch Mad Max finish third in Japan (F1) and then listened to Arsenal…. so on thin ice with J re watching anymore sport. Off to Spain next Saturday (did you get my email from weeks ago?).

  108. Goonereris says:

    Very commendable all round play from the lads; very pleasing too, at times. This result has been coming and would only go on to raise expectations; I feel these boys can handle that.

    With German buddies on both sides (Schurrle, Mustafi, Leno, plus Kolasinac who was teammates with Schurrle at Schalke), it’s normal to see players up their game. That may explain Mustafi’s (and Schurrle’s) performance(s), though I rate him more than most do.

    Man of the match will be Lacazette for me. Worked hard, got two goals and tracked back to good effect. Nice way to go into the international break.

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chavs, in essence, are also playing without a #10, unless you count Ross Barkley, who almost makes Giroud into a gliding big guy…

    Ooooohhh massive miss by Ings from point blank range with 70 million pounds of keeper (Kepa) rooted to his line… THAT would’ve been fun…

    Back to my point… Hazard and Willian are by far the best players and they go central (into Barkley’s spot) as do the deep lying guys, Jorginho and Kante, all width coming from the FBs…In other words it all gets awfully tight in there…

    Emery is (IMO) preaching spacing and springing (on the counter) or if a pass from the back can break a line or reverse the side of the pitch. If nothing happens in 3-5 seconds were just as well off if the opponent has it…

    Ooops, Hazard scores… Game over… And Barkley started it nipping it off a turning Dutch guy, I think… Right place at the right time but hey, that OUR game (the new one we play)…

  110. jw1 says:

    Curses! That Arsenal.com site.
    Putting TV times in Eastern Time Zone. Woke up at 7am and saw the 1-1.
    Decided to wait to watch it in its’ entirety.

    Happy to see the result. 🙂
    Check back later guys!

    jw1

  111. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks for the travel news, TA… Our trip to (other) Spanish speaking lands is during the following Int’l break… And, indeed, it’s far easier watching sports if my better half is still asleep. With the Arsenal match done, I’ll spring up to make her her coffee…another wise move for the kept man…

    Now that Arsenal are on break I’ll write you that e-mail… I usually figure that you’re seeing enough of my words already so what’s the point. Not a whole lot is happening around these parts beyond the leaves turning colors and things getting cold at night…

    Interesting point about the German (and Bundesliga) players, ‘Eris… Maybe that’s what allowed Fulham to fall (so easily) into our you-take-the-ball (counter) trap…

    On Mustafi… It could be argued that a turning point in the match was the whistle he won (in a dangerous spot) with Mitrovic climbing all over him. Of course, if he doesn’t get the whistle he (at best) looks like an idiot…and not nearly ‘ard enough to be a proper defender for the Arsenal. As it was, I can’t remember much Mitro (at least very close to goal) from that point on…He’d scored 5 in the first 7 league matches, it should be noted…

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey J-Dub… Missed ya… Looking forward to your take on our travels down the yellow brick road…

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Very wise to keep the coffee flowing, 17ho. Looking fwd to your email and it is the detail that holds the beauty and insights! 🙂 Watched a programme the other day about Mexico and what a truly wonderful country it is. I cannot wait to see Cordoba (and Granada again) and we are also staying at the coast for a few days. Any tips re Granada – food, culture, etc other than the obvious ones – very much appreciated.

  114. jw1 says:

    HT–
    And funny HT.
    That tackle by Mustafi on Mitrovic– was by chance– the only bit of action I can recall– after pausing the DVR, and deciding to do some writing on an Astros blog this morning.

    +++

    Noting the comment above… Was curious the area where you travel to in Mejico?
    Mrs jw1 and I have begun to look for an adventurous patch of expat paradise down south.
    Visiting Ambergris Caye together soon– then I’m doing a recon weekend trip to Ajijic on Lake Chapala (in Jalisco, 30mi SSE of Guadalajara) in a few months time (well, somebody has to measure download speeds before committing! 🙄 ).

    jw1

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    Now you are just showing off, JW! 😆

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yes, I have tips re: Granada and maybe I can put together a little Virtual Tour of 17’s Albaycin… We lived in a house (high up but) very near the bottom of the (Roman era) wall with a fine view of the Alhambra and the city below. Our place even had a bottom floor cave and maybe would be called more Sacromonte (where the Roma/Flamenco folks live/work) than Albaycin (Moorish quarter)… My big advice would be less time (and money) at the big tourist site (the free parts of the Alhambra are plenty nice…) and more time in the neighborhoods… I hope you’re in good shap for climbing all those hills, your reward being the “Tapeo”-the art/science of getting a full (and tasty) meal while buying only drinks…

    Nice memories for sure…

    Barkley taps in Giroud’s bicycled ball back in… Game REALLY over now…

  117. jw1 says:

    TA–
    Not so much actually. A couple airlines ( one based in Texas, one in Mexico) offer up some incredible fares just-off-season to some neat places. The Ajijic trip is $170 R/T. AirBNB and a rental car maybe another $150. Cold cerveza and local flavor? Priceless. 😉

    jw1

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice J-Dub…

    Are whole Mexico thing is based on the 3 (direct) flights per week out between Reno and Guadalajara… A huge % of the workers in our area come from the state of Jalisco. The beach area we’re homing in on is the not-very-developed area south of Puerto Vallarta (closer, time-wise, to the Manzanillo airport) but supposedly an area that’s gonna get its own Int’l airport some day sooner or later. The beaches in Nyarit (north of PV) are already getting too go-go-go for my tastes though there is one that is super nice that I first visited in the 90s. The sand only get cleaner as the $$$ flow in…but where does the sewage go?…

    Last time down we spent the night in the town of Chapala but didn’t stop in Ajijic as we drove by on our way out to the coast. Guadalajara is a very nice city so it’s hard to not want to spend our nights (in and out) there…

    This Thanksgiving trip is with family (and friends the espresso buddy and his girls are horning in on part of it)…but, if it goes well, I might be trying for another go round, including maybe driving down later in the winter. We should keep in touch regarding a possible meet-up…

    From Houston, however, the other (Caribbean) side is far more accessible. It all depends on what you enjoy… We had fun in Colombia a few years back, one of the rare places (Ethiopia is the other one…) where they both grow AND drink coffee…

  119. 17highburyterrace says:

    OMG, in my excitement I wrote Are when clearly I meant Our…

    That is a cheap flight, amigo… Our round trips are in the $300-350 range… The rental car listings can be misleading… We usually “add” a car for five or ten dollars a day but then find the real costs (after insurance/taxes/etc.) closer to $40/day… If we’re down there at the same time (me with car…) maybe I can give you a lift from the airport (in exchange for a sofa and a cerveza…)

    Estoy Son(y)ando ahora… (Now I’m just dreaming…)

    Then again, some dreams come true and Arsenal have taken 18 points from 18 when I predicted 12 or 13 (from 24)….

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey, JW, tech question… Does Big Brother (Google…) offer a virtual business card app? They’ve got all my info already (and more with every keystroke…) so I figure why give it to somebody new… If you want to do my design work, I can try even harder to get you that ride from the aeropuerto…

    Indeed, just for giggles, it’s time to launch South Tahoe Espresso (Very Excellent & Nice) which makes an ideal acronym for somebody with the name of STEVEN… Or Steve, if his customers only demand excellence (and not the niceness)…

  121. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geezus… I’ve got both Ings and Bertrand on my FF team and they’ve both gotten yellows now. IF they’d combined on that first half chance it would’ve been a quick 7 points AND (maybe) a game to keep watching… As is, I’ve (obviously) had that 2nd espresso and I’m dreaming of warmer places (and writing fiction–you know, business plans)…

    Even Morata gets in on the goals… Gonna finish nil-3 it seems and if the last game is a draw Chavs will go top (I think)…

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, got that one wrong… They’d be tied on points but well behind City on GD…

  123. Jnyc says:

    Watching city and pool, reminds me.., one negative throughout this streak, we still have a ways to go in pressing. But played out from the back very calmly, naturally today.

  124. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. sorry for late comment..
    17ht.. I asking.. should him (mustafi) be replaced.. as I said my streaming is up and down.. hehehe..

    I don’t know either if Welbeck was as good as the best half time player.. For what I saw, his contribution was poor.. hehehe..

    And in my short observations.. We seem a better team in second half.. We did it in our late 3 or 4 games at least.. A liitle bit different in Wenger Era that we are stronger in our first half.. is it mean the stamina are improved..?? Or what..?? The right subs..??

  125. jw1 says:

    HT–
    Volaris is the airline– and they offer a V.Club membership ($40 per person annually) that will reduce some fares/some days by up to 60%. If I hadn’t dithered a few days ago I would have had the $125 R/T 😦

    So let Brother John– save you some jack HT?
    Volaris flies out of a host of NA cities– like Reno (to Guadalajara on the dates I’m in Ajijic) for $187 R/T

    Ca-ching! 😉

    jw1

  126. jw1 says:

    Would like to point out?
    That with the ‘pocketful’ of goals I’d mentioned we ought to get in PE’s review thread?

    That yes, we did get a number– AND leapfrogged Spurs into 4th on GD!
    Makes it a very good day indeed. 🙂 🙂

    jw1

  127. jw1 says:

    *preview

  128. Shard says:

    For the first time this season, I felt like the belief of Emery being the right man to build on Wenger’s Arsenal was justified. Don’t get me wrong, I was and am fully prepared to give him time, and there’s a long long way to go. But finally, we played exciting but controlled football.

    There was still a stupid goal given away, but that’s ok. We’re constantly improving. Leno looks like a good keeper. Bellerin looks more in control. Iwobi is bossing things. And of course our two quality strikers up top.

    Lacazette MotM for me. Not just the goals, and their quality and importance. But great hold up play and always working hard.

    Mustafi seems to be more comfortable handling the target man type striker than the slippery quick forwards. I wonder how he does in training against Laca, Auba and Nketiah. I still struggle to trust him, but I would love for him to keep playing well.

    Not sure what result to hope for in the Liverpool – ManCity game. Draw maybe?

  129. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa… Late penalty! Looked like the long Dutch guy got at least as much ball as foot… Mahrez must agree missing the target by quite a bit… Still nil-nil…

    Catching up with some comments… After watching some of this crazy nil-nil match and showing our goals to my best girl… A ton of quality when did were able to get the ball up to our front four (and the free-man, Ramsey, when he came on)…

    Already you can feel the narratives sweeping skywards, but let ’em levitate, or so says my Dutch friend…

    Better teams always are good 2nd half teams, I think, Henry… And Wenger, I also believe, made routinely excellent moves at half-time… We do seem to have good fitness right now, maybe because all our players are competing for their places… We have to hope we don’t run out of gas when the schedule gets tougher…

    Fulham didn’t have much of a press today, either, JNYC, but we still had some trouble with our widely spaced play from the outfield players and Leno (like the more ungainly Cech before him…) seems to have plenty of green light to hit the ball long. Our first two goals were big boots from the back, (the first from Holding and the 2nd by Xhaka). Mkhi read the knockdown and got us going for the Nacho-Laca finish while DW earned his assist with a nod. It’s not quite classic Route one but it’s not exactly slick play out of the rear… The third goal was fun stuff–improvised but for Mkhi teeing up the assist from Auba. And he (Mkhi) made the 4th with another beauty (through the air that time…) to Bellerin to find Auba. Xhaka, Rambo, Auba for the 5th but they all run together at some point… And will equate to whatever people wanna believe…

    I’m still not convinced (this is for Shard, good to see you round these parts…) but I’m a curmudgeon like that. If Arsene was watching (not just counting his money at a tropical beach resort…) AND he’s really an Arsenal fan he must be saying, “Viva la difference…” Emery playing on the counter sure IS different… but it’s working and Gooners should (maybe) hold their moans for at least another little bit…

    JW, we’ll be buying that pass (for the commuters…) soon enough, I hope… Nos Vemos en Mexico…OK (or Vale, as they would say in Spain…) Chevere…

  130. jw1 says:

    Actually, the goals did not ‘run together’ for me HT.

    For me– there were book-ended pairs of goals for our amazingly complimentary– comrades-in-boots Auba & Laca. Those two are a complete joy to watch– on and off the pitch (AubaLaca were interviewed together post-match. Lotta’ smiling 🙂 goin’ on in a very small space). Their braces of goals were separated– for me at least– by a throwback goal. Straight outta’ the late-Wengerian Era.

    Call it the: 14-Touch Team Wonder Goal By Aaron Ramsey.
    Bellerin intercepted– tapped to Ramsey near the RB position, passing ahead to Laca– passing forward, late and behind the sprinting Bellerin (standing in for Giroud) with a return scorpion/heel-pass to Aaron, middle at midfield, for an advancing header to Mkhi, with a sweeping pass forward to the goal line where Auba pin-pointed his assist — Aaron finishing his end-to-end run back-heeling cross-goal kissing the inside of the near-post. Breathless. Both from typing that– and watching a thing of beauty. Took all of 14-seconds according to NBCSN.

    Moments that start to define a team’s personality. Ability and cohesiveness of disparate parts coming together. Engendering belief.

    Just a spark. But I did see it today.

    jw1

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    lovely description of THAT goal, JW. Just saw the highlights. Five beauties. Hope to see the whole game tomorrow and write a proper report.

    Nice to see Shardo commenting again here.

    Sleep well all.

  132. jw1 says:

    And yes, me too.
    Prior to that ramble– I’d also meant to say ‘Hi’ — to Shard! 😉

    jw1

  133. jw1 says:

    More reasons to appreciate today’s Goal Rush?
    Interesting first-time PL record for Arsenal’s Ramsey and Aubameyang!

    Per FoxSports:
    “Both Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and assisted for Arsenal against Fulham – this is the first time in Premier League history two substitutes have scored and assisted for a team in a single game. Impressive.”

    jw1

  134. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah J-Dub, esp. compared to a nil-nil snoozer up at Anfield, with an iffy penalty call to match a (wh)iffy penalty kick…

    Now, with the Goonersphere poised to reach the Moon(ersphere)…we have a long couple of weeks. I picture an explosion of emotion along the lines of “We Goinna Win teh Luege!!!” among other more erudite contributions…and more dour keep your boots on the ground, astronauts, messages, (like this one)…

    And regarding *that* goal, “C’mon Stan, Pay whatever Ramsey-om the guy wants, he’s got twins to feed (plus an older one, I think)… Finally, k before h (as in Mkhi) feels sooooo much easier (and so much smoother and inch-perfect…) than k after h, as in you gotta have balls to play like a Shkodran (or shkare-crow…) even if neither got in on those inneresting assists/goals (off the) bench-marks…

    Long day here but 4:20 is coming, followed swiftly by 5 o’clock… Even though it’s already well past those time where my mind already is… un lugar se llama Costalegre…

    Buenas (Noches or guaever)…

  135. Admir says:

    Excellent victory, a rampant performance with goals, goals and goals.

    Five positives so far:

    1) we can rely on either goalkeeper so far,

    2) Bellerin’s and Monreal’s attacking contribution,

    3) Iwobi looks reinvigorated,

    4) Auba-Laca = Cole-Yorke; their chemistry looks like one of our strongest assets right now,

    5) Torreira – you can be a beast midfielder without having a Hulk proportion.

    I have predicted eight victories in the league before Liverpool, 6/8 so far. Our next opponents have Vardy though, a guy who won’t let any brainfart from our defenders go unpunished.

  136. njk84sg says:

    Jw1, you can imagine what was my reaction before the Rambo goal.
    As we lost lots of headers before that, i was thinking, please let us go on. And the pass from Mkhi looked like a wasted pass but it had backspin on it so Auba was able to run and get to the ball. The resr was history. One of the best team goals ever?

  137. jw1 says:

    HT–
    Haystack Digital Business Card.
    Locate it in Play Store. Login to it from your Google account(s).
    It’s a new app– but seems well liked to this point. Free. No ads, ever per the developer. Also updates your info automatically to those whom you’ve previously provided one– and vice versa.

    If you’d like a custom image or logo– let me know!

    jw1

  138. jw1 says:

    jk–
    Was so excited– I made Mrs jw1 watch the replay. 🙂

    Admir–
    One of your points segues into a post I was considering.
    By-and-large comments on the commitment of ‘bombing forward’ by both Bellerin and Monreal has usually been in derisive tones– in how it affects our defensive abilities. OTOH? Want to express two instances yesterday where:

    1) Monreal sprints 60m to take the pass slid to him by Iwobi on the goal line– and set Laca up for the opening goal. Went back and watched this several times. On the one replay showing the widest angle of the pitch– when the attack began at midfield? Monreal WASN”T EVEN IN THE FRAME. And he out-sprinted Fulham’s RW over distance.
    2) On the ‘Wonder Goal’– Bellerin started the sequence near our end line. By the time he’d tapped to Ramsey– who passed forward to Laca? Bellerin had already reached the midfield stripe for the heel kick back to Ramsey (who was matching Hector’s own sprint– Aaron finishing up where a CF would).

    So? In these instances– had either back NOT committed to a ‘full-sprint-defending-be-damned’? There’s little possibility either of those goals are scored. We saw a glimpse of what Emery is instilling yesterday. That Fulham was a cooperative foil was certainly convenient.

    jw1

  139. jw1 says:

    HT–
    Was trying to decipher map points, driving times, distances– from the conversation?
    Thinking Perula is maybe ‘close’?

    jw1

  140. allezkev says:

    Hey JW, have you ever heard of Woodville?

  141. jw1 says:

    Heard of it Kev. Not been there though.
    Looks to be about an hour east of Hunstville TX. Been to and through Hunstville dozens of times on I-45 (the major highway between Houston and Dallas).

    jw1

  142. allezkev says:

    Have you heard JW, of the cricket ground being built at Katy?

    Apparently there’s a thriving cricket league in Houston.

  143. 17highburyterrace says:

    Skipped a day…as it appears most everybody did… TA said he’d watch tape of the match and write up a report… My guess is that real life–maybe work and getting ready for travels–has been deemed more important. It’s (sort of) that way for me too, so no worries…

    J-Dub… Your Scooby-senses are pretty much spot on when it comes to triangulating our area of focus… Well done… I could tell you more, but I don’t want to post too freely on the interweb… Also, thanks for pointing towards (the) Haystack…which is also where my (very minimal) web searches were leading me… My business idea is (quite a bit) more idea than business, but you never know…

    Not too much to say about the Arsenal, I guess. I looked up who was off on Int’l duty and it’s an interesting list: Welbeck, Rambo, Sok, Xhaka, Mkhi, PEA, Elneny, Iwobi, Torriera. Not too many seem like automatic starters but the number of guys (9) represents about half of our regular players so we need to hope that nobody gets crunched…

    What else? Hmmmm…

    Happy Tuesday…

  144. jw1 says:

    Kev–
    No sir, I hadn’t. Though not surprising to me personally.
    Houston (of which Katy is a semi-rural suburb west of Houston) is an incredibly diverse and sprawling place. Harris County, of which Houston-city-proper covers most of– is 1777 sq miles. Which is nearly as large as the entire US state of Delaware. Things are bigger here in Texas. Literally.

    Back to the not-surprising cricket facility in Katy (which actually sits on the border in neighboring Ft Bend County). Katy is thought of as a somewhat affluent area. What Katy has that many other areas do not? Is space to expand– and a tax-base to support new sports facilities.

    jw1

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    I watched the game yesterday, 17, but was indeed too tired to write about it…. but….

    New Post 🙂

  146. Goonereris says:

    17ht- “I looked up who was off on Int’l duty and it’s an interesting list: Welbeck, Rambo, Sok, Xhaka, Mkhi, PEA, Elneny, Iwobi, Torriera.”.

    17ht, you can add Bernd Leno to that list. It’s been reported that he and Serge Gnabry have been added to the Germany squad for the Nations League fixtures against Netherlands and France.
    Leno was called up on Tuesday after Kevin Trapp was ruled out due to injury.

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