Arsenal v Bournemouth Preview/ Line-Up: Ozil to Silver-service Auba and Marti!

Arsenal v Bournemouth – October 6th, 2019

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The 2019–20 AFC Bournemouth season is the club’s fifth consecutive season in the top flight of English football and their 130th year in existence. The club is currently owned by Maxim Demin, a Russian multi-millionaire involved in the petrochemicals trading industry.

Bournemouth play their home matches at Dean Court, which has a capacity of 11,329 and is the smallest stadium in the Premier League. The club’s badge has Bournemouth’s red and black stripes and also a footballer heading a ball.

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Bournemouth are managed by Eddie Howe who was a defender before retirement and spent much of his career at Bournemouth, he was the youngest manager in the Football League when appointed Bournemouth manager in January 2009. He rescued Bournemouth from relegation out of the Football League in his first season in charge, after the club started the season on minus 17 points, and then led them to promotion the next. After a brief spell as manager at Burnley, Howe returned to Bournemouth and led them to two further promotions in three seasons resulting in the club playing in the top flight of English football for the first time in their history. Howe’s successes with Bournemouth resulted in him being given the inaugural Football League Manager of the Decade Award in 2015.

Re-appointed on Oct 12th, 2012 Eddie Howe has the distinction of having managed his current club longer than any other Premier League manager.

Bournemouth is currently 8th in the Premier League with a record of W3, D2, L2, GF13, GA12. 

Arsenal v Bournemouth EPL Home Record
Date W D L GF GA
28-Dec-15 1     2 0
27-Nov-16 1     3 1
09-Sep-17 1     3 0
27-Feb-19 1     5 1
Total 4 0 0 13 2

We own a 100% winning home record against Bournemouth and I see no reason for that to change.



TA’s preferred (rather than predicted) starting 11:

I am hoping that Emery will continue with playing a ‘horizontally focussed’ midfield that forms a wall in front of the defence and from which we can spring attacks. I love the potential and mix of skillsets of Xhaka-Tor-Willock but Guendouzi deserves to be played for his passionate contributions on Monday. Up-front, I would of course play Ozil and in-form Martinelli and Auba, but Saka also deserves a start, and I would imagine that Emery will continue with Pepe and probably give Saka another start too.


⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

106 thoughts on “Arsenal v Bournemouth Preview/ Line-Up: Ozil to Silver-service Auba and Marti!

  • how I wish this line up will be used with this little adjustment. Bellerin instead of Chambers on the right frank. and replace Liuz with Chambers while Torera will replace Xhaka

  • Good preview, GN5.

    So, what’s your “predicted” line up then, TA? The usual suspects or some injection of returnees at full back, plus the bench for Pepe? I am getting tired of trying to predict Emery’s line ups. He always seems ready to put in an unexpected name or formation.

  • Checking my fantasy team (as I have both Robertson and Mane and it looked like they combined to put Liverpool ahead…alas, it was Milner for the assist…), I also glanced at the Bournemouth roster… It seems like they’ve got some of their regulars out with injuries, including both the economist (Adam Smith) and the fiddler (Charlie Daniels)… Since I haven’t watched any of their other matches, I don’t really know who Howe favors (favours?…) at the moment. I guess they decided to loan Asmir Begovic, but his replacement, Aaron Ramsdale, has yet to keep a clean sheet…

    So, now you know my tricks (or trick…) for doing match preview research… (Surely, others can do better…) Then, I would crawl into the mind of the manager and predict an 11. That was when AW was the man, and I enjoyed it… I really DON’T want to do the same with Emery but I’m guessing that this is a spot for the PL guys (from Monday night) AND an opportunity to mitigate all the Ozil questions by playing our #10 instead of LT11 who was the only guy to start both (of the last two) matches… With the international break coming, various guys will be “tired” or pick up a knock or whatever, at which point the manager can start moving some midweek players towards the PL group…

    So, for tomorrow, it becomes:
    Chambers, Sok, Luiz, Kola
    Guendo, Xhaka
    Pepe, Ozil, Saka

    I Gar-On-Tee it… Even if I’d like to see some of the players who impressed on Turdsday, esp. Tierney and Martinelli and Hec-Bells…. Maybe from the bench, which I predict (11 out of 11 is nothing, 18 for 18 must be our goal…) will be: Martinez, Holding, Bellerin, Tierney, Torreira, Nelson, Martinelli…

    Done and dusted… (Unless Emery, like the leaders these days seem to enjoy, wants to “double-down” on the Ozil question… UE doesn’t seem–quite–that type, thank dennis, but what do I know?…)

    Enjoy the rest of your Saturday…

  • Shoutout to Lloris who broke his arm in an awkward landing. Bad move for the ref to give the header as a goal. Should have seen that as an unfair advantage.

  • thanks a lot for the tips about bournemouth, and howe.
    there is an undeniable wengerishness about the man, and just as arsène had to leave his native eastern france to fullfil his potential, at some point, the bournemouth lad will have to leave his cocoon behind to do the same – i would have nothing against his being appointed our headcoach, at some point, actually, he surely deserves being given that kind of chance.
    we have such a brilliant squad that we shouldn’t worry too much about facing his team, though, but … i am worried, indeed, because of our lack of creativity in PL games. that’s why i’d pick an XI which wouldn’t look very much like TA’s – although i’m sure the team he picked is much closer than mine, to what sunday’s actual selection will be.
    first, and although my favorite lineup at the back will be bellerin-chambers-holding-tierney in the months to come; at this point, i’d be more cautious with the lads who’ve just returned from very serious injuries. after sunday’s game, there’ll be an international break, so i think they should be given these two extra weeks to fully complete their rehab … and i think this game is the perfect opportunity to give shkodran another chance
    but this is the engine room that worries me most, the guendouzi-xhaka pair in particular, which i just can’t get used to; i have a feeling their partnership chokes our engine at times it should be firing on all four (six!!!) cylinders, which it does when joe/dani/lucas are on the pitch (in whatever combination; no dispespect to bournemouth intended, but we shouldn’t need lucas against them)
    upfront, of course, we have nothing to worry about,: whoever ue will pick to help auba out, we’ll score – but, just as TA i think gabe deserves to play tomorrow. i agree with not picking pépé too, not that i dislike the lad – not at all: he’ll amaze all of us soon enough, but i think he needs to build his confidence back in cup games at the moment
    last but not least, i also agree about mesut, of course, but we all know he’ll be home watching tv (??) at 2:00 tomorrow – what a shame, don’t even want to think about the rubbish gudebening let out in the press about him
    so i’d go for
    our bench:
    (hector doesn’t look very confident to me, as though he was still fearing he might suffer a setback)
    enjoy the game, friends, and … i sure hope granit-matteo – who will be picked tomorrow – will prove me wrong

  • Dreadful VAR for the last minute penalty at Anfield. IMO a clear dive from Mane (who is a fine player but a cheat)

    Wonderful result at Brighton 😀 10 goals conceded in less than a week

    I have time for a few results predictions …

    WHU Home
    S’ton Draw
    Newcastle Away
    Inter Away

  • It’s sad when a player gets a debilitating injury, I feel for Lloris but not Spurs as I wish them all the back luck that comes their way. – The Arsenal shadow has them covered.

  • Just saw a forgotten Arsenal academy and 1st team player, Fran Meroda, playing (and well) for Osasuna in midfield, against Cazorla’s Villareal. Fran’s career went downhill when he left Arsenal to seek first team football in Spain for Sociedad, then Atletico Madrid. He did end up on loan at Braga in Portugal. He then a left Spain to some sides in South America. Happy to see him back at this level.

    0-1 to Villareal, with a Cazorla assist.

  • N5, 🙏

    So far this weekend so good re: the Spuds and Leicester defeats. Leicester is beginning to look a top 4 contender. Though I wouldn’t have minded if they drew with Liv, who won with a last minute penalty kick. Liv is becoming a tarnish to the image of the EPl. They are making it look like it’s not the toughest league in the world.

    I expect Emery to make a lot of changes from Thursday. I will include Ozil in my line up but if he is not there my conclusion would be that he is as good as gone. In which case I’d prefer he stays completely frozen out than being relegated to the Carabao cup games only. I don’t like people getting insulted not least our dear Ozil. At the same time I accept that field decisions are the coach’s. It is the coach that faces the music of his decisions.

    Expected line up:

    Chamb. Sokr—Luiz. Kola
    ———Guendz. Xhaka—–

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Willock or Ceballos for Ozil. Willock’s substitution on Thursday suggests it he’s the more likely.

    This line up is eleven changes. Playing at home is a big opportunity for us to go 3rd on the table. COYRG!

  • My line up appears stolen from HT’s. Good thing he didn’t patent his. I never thought I’d ever see anything from the same angle with HT.😆

  • General consensus seems to be the team above. No arguments from this side of the pond.

    We will concede for sure so let’s go out and attack from the first whistle.

    The first football book I ever read was by an ex-Spurs legend, the Scot Dave Mackay, a man who led Spurs to the first ever Double. He wrote that “attack is the best form of defence” which made so much sense. Current thinking is different which is why we, and most other teams, play out from the back.

    Mmm, there could be a post in this!

    I hesitantly predict a win for The Arsenal

  • Morning Bergkampesquerers! 😀

    Match day and I am sort of excited. Wary about the line up and how we will start in the first half, but maybe Emery will surprise us this time round… The predicted line up is close to 17HT’s but can we still expect Mesut to start under the schoolmaster’s nose… doubt it very much. So replace Ozil with Ceballos and that is probably what will happen, or as others have said, Willock will get a start. A midfield combo of Xhaka and Guendouzi and either Willock or Ceballos is Emery’s signature, let’s face it. 😦

  • LeGall, a DM pivot of Ceballos and Willock… now that is refreshing. Don’t think it would work v Bournemouth but would love to see it in a cub game.

  • Where are my manners! Thanks for another good preview, GN5! We are learning so much more about our opponents these days thanks to you. Cheers!

  • Erik… a maiden post for BK would be a delight! As a Dutchman I have been brought up with attacking football but over the years I have started to appreciate the need for balance. At Arsenal the one thing we don’t have in the League is balance and as a result our football is all over the place and depending a lot on luck and the quality of our fire power up-front. Let’s hope the lads will have their lucky shooting boots on this afternoon. Fingers crossed.

  • HT and PE line up makes a lot of sense. Emery may yet surprise us and include Ozil. He will run out of reasons not to do so soon – and frankly he needs to test now and again whether he can get a response out of him. We shall see.

    TA I’m wondering if there’s a case for posing the question of whether this side can play both Xhaka and Ozil together? I’m not sure we can, under Emery anyway. There needs to be someone who operates as a creative passer. Both ours have defensive flaws, but one at least is needed to help make the team tick. The choice is whether you opt for a deeper set quarter back type player such as Xhaka or a more advanced attacking creator. Fitting both into a midfield that is asked to be mobile and pressing just doesn’t work. The question is which would we rather have? I think we have some very strong midfield options now – and a more solid line in front of the CBs might permit the inclusion of Ozil. But this would leave Xhaka in the bench… Just a thought.

  • Cheers AB, good question.

    My answer is an emphatic yes to inclusion of both Xhaka and Ozil. My ideal line up is:

    Bellerin – Holding – Luiz – Tierney

    That means we are solid in midfield and yet have runners into the box with Willock and Torreira. We also have proper wingbacks who make things happen but they need somebody to combine with and that is of course Ozil, who is the brain and finder/creator of space in our team. And then there are Laca and Auba (Pepe/Martinelli) to finish things of. I would be confident that the above team could take on any team in the PL and give them a game, but key is to play at least Torreira and Xhaka together and ideally add Willock (Guendouzi) for further balance. The good thing as well is that the rest of the squad would fit in well with this approach.

  • But, AB, this line up under Emery is a pipe dream. The Spaniard believes in three typical attackers and that the likes of Guendouzi (Willock) and Torreira (Ceballos) should fill the gap between them/Xhaka and those three attackers. Imo it leaves us unprotected at the back – especially when Xhaka and Guendouzi are the DM pivot – and creatively underpar in attack. The omission of Ozil is a crime against football and the spirit Arsenal developed under Wenger. And sooner or later the Spaniard will pay for it.

  • TA, your ideal line-up of 10:02 is the strongest XI Arsenal can offer – until Pepe gets up to speed.
    If we play 4-3-1-2 we can afford to liberate our #10 from intensive pressing and defensive duties. Maybe I’m a bit nostalgic for Wenger, but I think he would go with this selection too.

    However I’m afraid that since Emery is keen on attacking from the wide areas (and kudos to him that he sold Iwobi and offloaded Mkhi) he would still prefer to use 2 wingers. And in his defense, Pepe, Nelson, Saka and Martinelli are a hell of an attacking potential, with form and experience negatively correlated, but he is expected to develop them.

    Still, Bournemouth shouldn’t pose a tougher obstacle at home that either formation can easily overcome.

  • Cheers Pb.

    The question to ask is then whether we need doubling up on the wings with both excellent wingbacks and wingers and sacrifice the middle. I love those winger and want to see them play and against the less strong teams we could go 4-2-1-3 to allow this, but in the big games I don’t think it will work and a 4-3-1-2 is most likely to be our best option.

  • I love all the comments today @ Erik, AB, TA, PB.

    Yes TA, the wingbacks and wingers doubling is a pertinent call. It would demand the use of inverted wingers and that would for example discourage the likes of Tierney/Saka combo.

  • Ozil left in the dungeons once again:

    Starting 11 as predicted by most:
    Leno; Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ceballos; Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka


    Subs: Tierney, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Martinez, Willock, Martinelli

  • Could Emery possibly believe that treating Ozil in this manner will make him see the “Emery light” or is he just freezing him out until the January transfer window?

  • Bournemouth 2019/20 – PL Results

    Bournemouth 1–1 Sheffield United

    Aston Villa 1–2 Bournemouth

    Bournemouth 1–3 Manchester City

    Leicester City 3–1 Bournemouth

    Bournemouth 3–1 Everton

    Southampton 1–3 Bournemouth

    Bournemouth 2–2 West Ham United

  • I really hate the way Emery is treating our very own Mesut Ozil. It is fair, it is not right, and it is shameful. Trying to force him out like this is beyond comprehension. I am at a loss of words. Sad to say this, but I don’t think we will ever see Ozil play in Arsenal colors again under this stupid head coach. The club must step in and do or at least say something so that the fans can try to understand. Poor Ozil, his confidence must be completely shot by now! Probably 0%… It is just wrong to not even make the bench. I feel so bad for Ozil.

    Anyway, 4-2 to the Gunners. That’s my prediction.

  • I am surprised to see Tierney on the bench given that we have an International break which will allow him another 2 weeks recovery time.

    Ozil?? I give up. Must be something very wrong as it cannot simply be a tactical decision.


  • Looks like 17HT is still hugging Mrs 17HT and even the thought of expresso is not taking him away from his warm nest… Ah well, no live blog then. 😦

  • Dangerous FK given to BM by Ceballos foul.
    Solanke should have netted on a header– wide near side.

  • Clear PEN not given on a move by Pepe in the box.
    VAR sez: No. corner given. Eighth corner upcoming.

  • How was that not a penalty on Pepe? VAR is not working as it should when Mane dives and gets a pen then Pepe is manhandled and doesn’t

  • Long ball in from Guen to Auba results in BM GK punching and contacting his defender falling awkwardly from height.

  • OK half – we are leading. However, we have created very few chances, in fact I cannot recall a single save from the B’mouth GK. We need another goal .

    Not easy with B’mouth playing so deep.

  • GN5. Only because B’mouth are playing with such a lack of ambition. Expect things to change second half – hopefully Howe will send them out to attack and AFC will be able to exploit the extra space. PEA has yet to get into the game – he will as will Pepe.

  • We’ve strolled through the first half but I fully expect Bournemouth to come out a bit more the 2nd half, to give us a game. We should have gone for it when we had them on the ropes, if you ask me.

    Chelsea leading at St. Mary’s, 1-3.

  • Now, we are in a game. Hopefully, we don’t rue our lack of forward intensity in the first half, when they looked listless.

  • Erik, Pepe worries me. He looks like one who just isn’t sure what decision to make at critical moments. The easier option would have been to take risks with dribbles but that’s not Emery’s style. You feel his players have so much detail on their minds so much that they just can’t do the simple things.

    Saka is marking his man, dispossessing the full back at times and taking chances with going to the by line to take crosses. Why is Pepe not doing even more?

  • We are showing the effects of playing without a proper No. 10. Relying on CBs to play long balls to forwards just isn’t the way to play at this club. It’s frustrating.

    Looks like Martinelli is coming on. Will it be Saka or Pepe?

  • We had 8 shots at half (a minor miracle itself).
    Haven’t even sniffed one here yet.

  • It’s quite the statement/admission for Emery to bring on an(other)18 year old to replace our big money signing. The man must guard against freezing up on his teammates, really.

  • Martinelli with the same curling shot– he missed for the hat-trick vs Liege. Just high-wide.

  • Thanks for the comments, jw. wifi went don’t here so I had no commentary, except yours on the phone, but glad we scraped through and somehow we are third now. Emery’s luck lasts another day.

  • Phew. We made hard work of that. Still ,3pts and 3rd place is superb given we have yet to see our proper FB’s.

    Chambers my MotM closely followed by Kolasinac and Duozi.

    I thought we were better once Willock came on. He has a big future at AFC

  • We squeaked those 3 points but our machine is not fully oiled yet.
    Pepe is a 72mil worry, he not really shone in any game so far – but he gets an assist for a great corner that Luiz glanced in.

  • Martinelli’s cameo was encouraging.

    I refuse to talk about today’s game. I will pretend it didn’t happen and we were just given three points on the grounds of being Arsenal.


  • Sorry fellas that I couldn’t answer the bell this morning. (I’m not a very good Gooner these days, I must admit…) Had I known there was no coverage in the UK (for TA), I might’ve pushed myself out from under the covers. (Sorry Gaffer…) That said, I think JW and Eris’s comments give a flavor of the match–which I’m just getting into now on tape. The game seems very quiet with lots of stoppages not so long after the goal, but I liked that play that led to Pepe’s missed curler… And, now, there’s some good pressure and blocked shots that lead up to the Pepe penalty shout and more corners. Bournemouth have had some opportunities too, so not as one sided as it might appear 25 minutes in…

    My wife is getting up (and will be needing her espressos…) and soon we have to get out this morning…so, with two weeks to watch the rest of the match, the urgency is waning even further…

    In the end, I guess, we have the result(s) which put us in excellent position in this promotion campaign. I’ll leave it to others to determine if that is (sufficiently) satisfying…

  • Good morning, Mr. TA.
    As a dutchman, your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the prevention of the deadly virus, “Chemerya”, being spread any further, and the elimination of an anti-wengerball, pro-uglyball agent, code name U.N.A.I.
    You may select any two team members, but it is essential that the three of you put an end to (your fellow-citizen) Erik ten Hag’s current tenure at the AFC Ajax, fly him to north London, and instal him as the new headcoach of the mighty Arsenal Football Club which, infected as it is by the above-mentioned virus, is presently in great danger of becoming the punchline of every joke about boring football.
    You have forty-eight hours to recruit Mr ten Hag and blow up U.N.A.I. to kingdom come.
    As always, should any member of your team be caught or killed, the BK regulars will disavow all knowledge of your actions.
    And remember this not mission difficult, Mr. TA, it’s mission impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you.

  • Hahaha LeGall, Ten Hag is most likely going to Bayern in the next few years, but I will try my stinking best. However, you need to join me, and I am also summoning super statistician, GN5, to join the U.N.A.I. mission.

  • Okay, Mr. TA what is my part of the U.N.A.I. mission. I’m ready and available to STAT anything.

  • Guys meet you on Friday in the oldest pub in Amsterdam at 2300 hours. GN5 bring your calculator, pen and paper. LG bring a bottle of Pernod and the longest baguette you can find in Rouen. I will bring the plan. :TenHinUEout:

  • Wow, MU have nine points from 8 games. Spuds not doing much better. Chavs below us and Citeh just a point above us. It is a funny season…

  • i wish, TA …
    like the hashtag TenHinUEout a lot, that’s for sure; i watched ajax-lille and valencia-ajax: what ETH has achieved, so early in the season, with a team having just lost De Jong – De Ligt, is nothing short of amazing

  • I’ve always felt sorry for Ajax as rich vultures have been regularly tearing them apart after the Bosman rule was imposed. Van Gaal’s team between 1994 and 1996 is the most dominant side I’ve ever seen – too strong on the ball, too difficult to break, too difficult to defend against. Their defeat against Juventus in the Rome final 1996 happened only because their heads were turned with offers from the rich clubs.

    Then there was that team of Ibrahimović, Van der Vaart, Sneijder et al that knocked us out in the group stage 2002-03 but were beaten in the injury time of the quarterfinals by the eventual champions AC Milan (0-0, 3-2).

    Finally, last season, Ajax didn’t have just their own team in the semifinals but also Eriksen, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Suarez and Cillessen in other clubs.

    Ajax are one of the most important clubs in the world and the one that earned their status by nurturing and developing players while keeping their philosophy intact. A role model club, if there is one out there.

  • Hi TA. Sorry for no reply – just back on line. I didn’t even get to follow the game today. I agree with your sentiments and general line up. Of the 11 you pick I’m not totally sold on Luiz. And for Willock one could pick Guendi or AN Other midfielder. But broadly that’s the best 11. Tor is critical to this set up though. Without him there is no foundation to the creative players. And without him then having both Xhaka and Ozil is a luxury. I don’t get what is going on with Ozil. If it’s just about shifting an expensive line off our books then that’s pretty desperate. I’d hope we were better than that. Ozil has at least 3 years of top flight play to give, possibly a couple more. We are mad to waste that. We will only get a talent like that every 10 years or so. I’m not a fan of Emery. He may yet build something reasonably effective. But he won’t ever win us the league I predict. He doesn’t have the imagination to play to win against the odds. And that is what we must do to out perform those with far greater resources.

  • Saw this line elsewhere. So apropos– am stealing it:
    “Literally 3 points, and nothing else.”
    This is what passes for Arsenal these days. Joyless football.

    I have never seen PEA look abject, without energy. Out of possession standing at midfield.
    Second half body language from both Saka and Auba tells a story of frustration. Whether it’s from not seeing the ball (Saka 21 passes, Auba 17 total) or the direction by Emery?

    Looks nothing like the mid-week matches. Like a completely different club.
    Can’t even look forward to Thursday this week.


  • “We scored one goal and had possibilities to score the second goal. We were speaking about wanting to improve and we could improve. The second half was a very good opportunity to keep our confidence, getting better with the ball, the combinations, the control, and also stopping their actions with the ball. We did that in the first half but, In the second half, maybe because the first chances arrived very early, we lost a bit of that confidence. We have a lot of young players and we need also to take experience, take minutes and to know that difficulty inside the pitch. It’s like that against every team in the Premier League because I think It’s the most important and most difficult domestic competition. We are very happy with that result and proud of our work in the first half, and we are very critical of ourselves and myself to improve the second-half.”

    At this juncture in a customer service call– I’d politely ask for a supervisor.


  • LeG, it is amazing you watched those games given all the choice available. I watched them too and Ajax rode their luck at times but they played with a lot of confidence and cunning in attack. It is a real shame they had to let go Frenkie dJ en De Ligt so soon; I wish these guys had opted to mature further at Ajax before going to the European top clubs. Especially De Jong is missed in deeper midfield as he was able to determine the tempo which is so important when playing the top teams.

  • Yes Admir, in 1996 not only the players’ heads were turned but also that of the manager. Van Gaal should have been the steady factor but also he wanted to move as soon as possible. That is why I am hoping Ten Hag will stay a number of years at Ajax (unless he comes to the Home of Football of course). 🙂

  • AB, thanks for getting back to me.

    We cannot agree more on the importance of Torreira in our team. He is vital but I reckon Emery has also fallen out with him, and that is why is starts on the bench in the PL games more often than not. Also agreed re Ozil and Emery.

    Re Luiz… I reckon he is very good but needs a calm head next to him and that is likely to be Holding. Furthermore, Tierney as his full back will make a big difference, as Kola is far too erratic for most CBs. But he is not without flaw and there is a chance for Sok or Chambers to get into our best 11 going forward.

  • Although we are in 3rd place I don’t feel like we are a legitimate “top 4” team, instead I feel we are imposters who are riding our luck. Man U and Spurs have both had dreadful starts to their seasons – I suspect that will not last and we will once again find ourselves on the outside looking in.

    I watch our games in somewhat of a haze waiting for us to kick into gear – but instead of driving forward we fall back into reverse. This type of football is destined to drive away both spectators and supporters.

    I’m groping to find the phraseology I need to describe just how abjectly boring I find Unai-ball; suffice to say it’s driving me f***king crazy.

  • N5 … I wrote a post here in the Wenger era in which I stated plainly that i was never comfortable winning ugly. I went as far as saying that winning ugly to me means winning lucky. I kind of live in the future so am always projecting the now into the future. If the now is poor, the future is already tormenting me.

    Strangely am fairly well relaxed and fairly hopeful in our modest top 4 ambition. Why? Possibly because of:
    1) the miserable form of United and the Tots
    2) our returning players (Tierney, Holding and Bellerin) whom I see as going to add quite positively to the team
    3) the growing stature of players like Chambers, Willock, Saka, Martinelli
    4) my hope that Pepe would soon hit form
    5) the return of the indomitable Lacazette
    6) the new spirit of the club’s management
    7) the fact that I have come to terms with myself to give Emery room till about the Xmas period ( half way into the season)
    8) last but not the least, that in spite of our wobble which from the aboves promises to only get better, we are third on the table.

    I have also rationalized winning ugly (lucky) and found that it is less ugly than losing pretty. I remember clearly that Wenger was vilified by many for losing pretty. Then winning ugly was defined as the mark of champions.

  • We have two weeks without a proper football and that leaves a lot of time for thinking where we are now and where we are going to be in the forthcoming period.

    Right now, we sit on a third place which, given how abysmal our football has been for most of those 720+ minutes of football, is a monumental achievement. Also, the fact we have lost just one game is a small miracle. We have scored 13 (joint sixth attack in the league with Bournemouth and Aston Villa) and conceded 11 (joint ninth defence in the league with West Ham and Wolves).

    Of our 13 goals, Aubameyang has been directly involved in 8 (7 goals + 1 assist) or 61.54%. That is a text-book example of over-reliance and it gets even more serious once you check the structure and importance of Auba’s goals (all his goals were difference either between a victory and a draw or between a draw and a defeat).

    Of 11 goals conceded, three came from the penalty spot and two of those were conceded by David Luiz. The third one by, of course, Granit Xhaka. When it comes to goals conceded due to an error by a player, we have been surprisingly low on the list with just two so far (Leno and Sokratis each having one). That’s another positive, I guess, even if penalties conceded are not in that category.

    Comparing with correspondive fixtures last season, we have been worse for four points (two points dropped against each Tottenham and Watford) and our goal-scoring has suffered due to Lacazette’s ankle-niggle that grew into an injury. For instance, we banged four past Spuds and five past Bournemouth respectively last season and this season we scored just two against Spuds and one against Bournemouth.

    All our problems begin with the midfield where Torreira was our lynch-pin in the first half of the last season where we looked closer in quality to Liverpool than to Wolves. Now Emery sticks with Xhaka-Guendouzi axis which best characteristic is that it will cost Emery his job. Torreira being used in a more advanced position is also a huge miss as we lose a top DM and gain below-average AMC while our best AMC is whistling on the stands.

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