Arsenal Have History with Wolves: Preview/ Line-up| This is Saka’s Game

Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers – July 4th, 2020

Wolves molineux stadium 

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, commonly known as Wolves, is based in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Formed as St. Luke’s FC in 1877, the club has played at Molineux Stadium since 1889 and competes in the Premier League, the top division of English football, after winning the 2017–18 EFL Championship. Wolves also compete in the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League: this is the first time the club has qualified for a European tournament for 39 years, by virtue of finishing in seventh place in the 2018–19 Premier League, their first season in the top tier since the 2011–12 season.

Wolves was one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888. The club in 2019–20 is enjoying its 65th season of top flight football; Wolves’ longest continuous period in the top tier was 26 consecutive seasons in the 33 years between 1932 and 1965. In the 1950s, Wolves were English League champions three times (1953–54, 1957–58 and 1958–59), under the management of Stan Cullis. Wolves have also finished League runners-up on five occasions, most recently in 1959–60.

Wolves have won the FA Cup four times, most recently in 1960, and finished runners-up on a further four occasions. The club has also won the Football League Cup twice, in 1974 and 1980.

In 1953, Wolves was one of the first British clubs to install floodlights, taking part in televised “floodlit friendlies” against leading overseas club sides between 1953 and 1956 in the run-up to the creation of the European Cup in 1955 and the first participation of an English club side in that competition in 1956. Wolves reached the quarter-finals of the 1959–60 European Cup and the semi-finals of the 1960–61 European Cup Winners’ Cup, and were runners-up to Tottenham Hotspur in the inaugural UEFA Cup Final in 1972.

Wolves’ traditional kit consists of old gold shirts and socks and black shorts. Since 1979 the kit has also featured the club’s “wolf’s head” badge. Wolves have long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs, the main one being with West Bromwich Albion, against whom they contest the Black Country derby, although the two clubs have not met since 2011–12, the last time they competed in the same division.


On September 24, 1904 Arsenal played their first Division 1 game it was a home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and was also the day we scored our first ever top flight goal.

Charlie Satterthwaite holds the honour of scoring Arsenal’s first ever goal in the First Division. The striker had a keen eye for goal during his six-year spell with the Club and scored 48 times in 141 appearances. Satterthwaite made history on September 24, 1904 with the opening strike in a 2-0 victory over Wolves – Arsenal’s first goal and victory of their maiden campaign in the top flight of English football. He had joined five months earlier from West Ham and made his debut on the opening day of the 1904/05 campaign in a 3-0 loss to Newcastle. Satterthwaite finished as the team’s top goal scorer that year and also in 1906/07 (with 19 goals) before retiring in 1910 at the age of 33. His younger brother Joe also played for Arsenal, which made them the first siblings to achieve the feat. 

So we managed to beat Wolves in our second game in League Division 1 – 116 years ago, the big question is – can we beat the 2020 version of Wolves at a crowd-less Molineux Stadium?

They are an extremely well managed and disciplined team under the tutelage of  manager Nuno Espírito Santo and are currently one place above us in the Premier League and six points ahead of us.

This is the first of four very tough games against Wolves, Leicester, Spurs and Liverpool, only an extreme optimist can see us coming out of these games with more than 50% of the points – so being more of a realist my forecast will be D, W, D, L. 

We have an excellent away record against Wolves losing only once in our last visit. 

Arsenal v Wolves – EPL Away Games
    W D L GF GA GD
1 07-Feb-04 1     3 1 2
2 07-Nov-09 1     4 1 3
3 10-Nov-10 1     2 0 2
4 11-Apr-12 1     3 0 3
5 24-Apr-19     1 1 3 -2
6 04-Jul-20            
Total : 4 0 1 13 5 8

Overall our historic away record against Wolves is very even with Arsenal ahead by just one victory. 

Arsenal v Wolves – All Away Games
Div. 2 1 0 1 2 2 0
Div 1 15 11 17 65 79 -14
EPL 4 0 1 13 5 8
Total : 20 11 19 80 86 -6


TA’s team to make the Wolves howl with fear:

Arsenal v Wolves1 July 20

Wolves are excellent in midfield so we need to man up in that area. I would add Saka to it and so play with five there. Saka to play mainly in the hole and Ceballos to stay with Xhaka as much as required. Playing both Auba and Eddie upfront, with a license to roam and confuse the Wolves’ defence as much as possible, would give our midfielders plenty of options. Big day for Bellerin. Big day for Kola. This could be THE DAY for Saka!


67 thoughts on “Arsenal Have History with Wolves: Preview/ Line-up| This is Saka’s Game

  • Late comment by LeGallos in previous post:
    “One thing’s for sure; the var check of auba’s so-called offside position when he scored against brighton, must have been the shortest in the young var history – so short it was almost funny, in the midst of atkinson’s horror show that day, we weren’t even given the chance of making our own minds about it
    as many of you know, i think, untold’s tony attwood has been doing a tremendous job (watching, compiling, editing, analyzing) on the “pgmol vs. arsenal football club” case, and i think he has proven “beyond any reasonable doubt” that something very fishy has been going on against us for years.
    honestly, who among us doesn’t know that when one of the names atkinson/dean/oliver/mariner/dean appears on the game sheet, we’re gonna get screwed? but what i don’t understand is:
    first, the why? i am not convinced by the corruption argument, if only because it seems so easy to investigate; now what else? an anti-london bias seems so childish to me, that i don’t buy it either, so … beats me, really
    second, i very often rage against the lack of reaction of the board, can’t they “stand up and fight for our rights”, at least once in a while, if only because there’s money at stake, isn’t there?
    anyway; we’ll get another episode of the drama tomorrow, since we’ll be treated to no less than sir oliver himself
    as for ta’s botanical reveries; my friend, i think you’re in the mood for celebrating john clare day, ten days from now …”

  • John Clare Day… well I am impressed Legallos:

    Haymaking by John Clare:

    ‘Tis haytime and the red-complexioned sun
    Was scarcely up ere blackbirds had begun
    Along the meadow hedges here and there
    To sing loud songs to the sweet-smelling air
    Where breath of flowers and grass and happy cow
    Fling o’er one’s senses streams of fragrance now
    while in some pleasant nook the swain and maid
    Lean o’er their rakes and loiter in the shade
    Or bend a minute o’er the bridge and throw
    Crumbs in their leisure to the fish below
    —Hark at that happy shout—and song between
    ‘Tis pleasure’s birthday in her meadow scene.
    What joy seems half so rich from pleasure won
    As the loud laugh of maidens in the sun?

  • I like your line up Total it allows for a front two that can springboard into a front four, a mid field that can be three or five and a defense that can also be three or five. I just wish we had Vieira and Adams types – both of whom took no prisoners,

    He only came on as a sub but I was impressed with Soares, however I was surprised to see that he is only 5’6″ which is a tad small for a full back.

  • He’s not exactly the big bruising type of defender I was hoping for – its one position where size really counts – something we have been lacking in recent years.

  • I’m off to play a game of scrabble with Mrs GN5.
    More from me tomorrow.

  • Kev, one more late comment on your post; this time for the Tiger of Tahoe:

    I realize that nobody has missed me…and that this comment will be buried by the New Post (already up, but TA didn’t put up the usual bottom-of-the-thread notification)…but, I have some ideas. I’ve said them before (and gotten some push back about them…) but, repetition is what turns the fake news into reality…(or something).

    As the post-writer has mentioned (elsewhere), the local media (notably the Guardian–nee the Manchester Guardian–but now very much a London–and global–operation these days) does more than it’s share of investigative journalism about our club. Kev was talking about payments to agents, which, I believe, we had moved away from during the Wenger era, but now seems very strong with Raul Sanllehi in charge. More importantly, this “culture of journalism” at Arsenal is very (very) strong among the fans, who, in my opinion, are some of the smartest and most educated in the world (present company included). As such, when the Internet arrived on the scene (coincident, maybe with the turn of the century–or maybe the 90s, or maybe just the arrival of a certain erudite Frenchman…) no other club turned so inward and spawned such a plethora of “weblogs.” Suddenly every Gooner with a keyboard had a place to say their piece. No more fighting on the terraces or in the pubs; they (or we…) could do it with our keyboards. Back when newspapers were actually made of paper, the Guardian-clutching Gooner–heading out to the Highbury Library–was a cliché. (In other words, less noise, more contemplation on the terraces–or, after Hillsborough, in the seats…) Fast forward and it’s now very different. A lot of the “angry” blogs have run out of breath… (Arsenal Arsenal, from which this blog was birthed, seems back in action, now that there are games again, btw…) but others still try for their one 10,000 of a penny by way of click-baiting headlines designed to anger fans/supporters. Still, we’re pretty strong in this space (as they say…) what with the Arseblog (pretty reasonable) empire at the center and then extremes at each end of the spectrum. Watchable (or listenable) content is more important now so Arsenal TV has taken much of the territory from Le Grove (and a million other self-hating bloggers) while places like Positively Arsenal (and maybe this blog) represent the other end of the spectrum. Then there is Untold Arsenal which even leans toward (or into…) has what might be called the “conspiracy,” referenced above by LeGall…

    That’s my version of the history and I do believe there is bias in every human–meaning the refs–whether one is interpreting the action on the field or on the slow-motion replay. BUT, if the fans (note, I didn’t say supporters…) are more dedicated to their narratives (10-15+ years of Wenger is killing the team, for example…) then it’s that much easier for a referee to shade his calls in favor (favour…) of the other team. So, why blame the ref…when they actually HELPED you (not you, maybe, but quite a number of Gooners…) get what you (they) wanted?…

    Now, maybe, with our plummet from those (glory) days (of finishing top 4, winning a few FA Cups etc…) Arsenal are back to being plucky underdogs and our brand (maybe…) will get fairer treatment. The VAR helps… Playing behind closed doors help…but what would REALLY help (in my opinion) is if ALL Gooners could get behind their team (home and away, in the stadium or just yelling at their screens)…and support the players…(and maybe the coaches and even others in the club).

    But who am I to complain? I have deep doubts about ownership and upper management–and definitely believe we’ve got some issues in the squad…

    There’s a game tomorrow, however, so more “evidence” to shape our (or is it my…) narrative…

    Thanks for reading…

  • Good to have you back, 17HT, and an important comment to boot. Love the team, support the team and attack the opposition and the shite referees instead. Simples. 🙂

  • Quite a sportsday today… A number of PL games with ours at 17.30 of course; at 14.00 it is F1 qualification time and at 19.00h it is the German cup final Leverkusen v Bayern…

    Oh and good morning to all BKers! 🙂

    Eris and PE it is about time to hear from you again! Hope you both are well and that C-19 is not affecting you too much.

  • not much difference with your lineup, ta
    i’d go for:
    in the right-back position, i think hector (as well as laca) should spend more time on the couch of a good shrink, than on a football pitch, at the moment.
    on the other hand, i have no problem with cedric’s small size (i have distinct memories of the fearsome, calf-biting, diminutive full-backs vogts and lizarazu), but he’s had only 10 minutes pf playing time lately, and i have a feeling that against a side playing with as much intensity as nuno’s wolves, it won’t be enough.
    upfront, i do believe our “float like abutterfly, sting like a bee” trident can hurt them
    it should be a thrilling game, we have a very good side too – too bad it’ll take place in – as you said,, GN – in a crowd-less Molineux; on your photograph, it looks a little bit like a modern, west midlands bombonera.

  • Charlie Satterthwaite, what a great working name, there’s a great picture of him in the process of scoring a goal from distance, apparently he had a thunderous shot but that was a great team, probably our best up to the time. off the top of my head there was Percy Sands, Andy Ducat, Jimmy Sharp, plus a couple of Coleman’s and I think Jimmy Ashcroft (or had he already left for Liverpool?) Ashcroft being Arsenal’s first full international.

    Great post GunnerN5, I remember my Dad waxing lyrical about Hancocks and Mullens, he always had a fondness for wingers. Wolves is not a lucky ground for Arsenal and certainly not for me, I’ve been there several times and never seen the Gunners win. The Wolves fans generate a great atmosphere and they simply love taking those ‘flash, cocky Londoners’ down a peg or two. They certainly don’t like Arsenal, maybe it’s a hangover from the 1937/38 season when we pipped them to the title in a closely run contest.

  • Now that’s where you’re wrong 17tino because I missed you, I always enjoy your posts, but if I’m honest I was beginning to worry if you’d popped up to Seattle with your tent. 😉

  • Legallos that lineup works for me too, but Bellerin will come good sooner or later. He is a professional with intrinsic motivation to do well for the team. Having said that, AMN is a fine alternative.

  • Kev wrote: “They certainly don’t like Arsenal, maybe it’s a hangover from the 1937/38 season when we pipped them to the title in a closely run contest.”

    Hahaha, you think that could be the case, 82 years on?!

    And how is the old garden looking, Kev? I bet you are surrounded by butterflies every time you venture into it?!

  • I’d be inclined to start Holding today, to counter the aerial threat of the dangerous Jimenez, then Luiz and Xhaka can link up down the left with Saka or Tierney or both?

  • You have a soft spot for Holding, Kev, and you know it is a good shout. Height and physicality matter. I prefer Saka – better than Kaka – in the nr 10 ‘area’ . The boy will frighten the wolfs tremendously I reckon.

  • I have this plant (shrub) called a lavatera and it grows into a large bush of mauve flowers which butterflies love, bees also love a mauve flower, so it’s really cool out there on a sunny day Total…

    Those gardens in Edinburgh sound really nice TA, I’ve never been to the Scottish capital but it sounds a delightful place, even if it’s full of Jocks… 😁

    How is your daughter going with her plants, it’s a wonderful pastime, there’s nothing quite like getting your hands in the soil?

  • I do like Holding TA you’re right mate, I just like his attitude, his mentality, unfortunately his fitness worries me and whether he can fully recover and stay fit.

  • Regarding the 37/38 season, you’ll be surprised how long these things hangover Total, it’s passed down through the generations, I mean the term Lucky Arsenal was a throwback to a comment that was commonplace in the 1930’s and it was still in usage 60 odd years later.
    Funnily enough it went out of fashion during the Wenger years and hasn’t returned, yet….

  • A lava of mauve then, sounds great but I reckon those butterflies are there just for you hahah 🙂

    I will email you a few pictures of the Botanic garden, Kev. You must come and visit this fine city. I will show you round and you may even befriend a few Jocks in the process! 😉

    Daughter is struggling with the limitations of social distancing etc. She should be at a youth music camp in Southern Scotland this week but it was cancelled. But she keeps selling plant cuttings and she has about twenty plants in her room now. 🙂

  • British young players do seem to be very injury prone, Kev. Once they come through those early years they are normally fine.

  • I have to say Total, that your daughter strikes me as an embryonic businesswoman and good luck to her, but it’s a shame for teenagers and people in their early twenties, the best years of your life, carefree and a social whirl, but stuck at home with Mum and Dad… 😄

  • I’d love to visit Edinburgh, I’ve been to the west side of Scotland, Argyll, but I’ve not sampled the east side of Jockoland, it’s a bit of a drive up I don’t mind saying, not sure I’d be up for that nowadays, so it would be by train. But if the opportunity ever arose I would definitely look you up and we could share a bit of Edam over a cuppa… 😉

  • i have no doubt hector will be back, sooner or later, ta, but right now i think he needs to get himself together and come to terms with whatever unsettling signals his maybe-not-quite-healed-body sends him

  • That is fabulous news GN5, I’ve heard that it’s either a 4 year deal with the option for another year or a 5 year deal, which I guess means the same.

    Now if Aubameyang signs for 3 years we could be in for some exciting times…

  • allezkev , re-signing both Saka and Martinelli is great news for the future of Arsenal, it shows that the team are determined to keep their your starlets. You are right if we can also re-sign Auba we could indeed be in for some exciting times.

    On the Holding discussion, I’m a big fan, he always gives his best and needs experienced players around him to help him mature (Luiz) I still have difficulty believing that he only cost us 20,000 pounds from Bolton.

  • 4.5 hours by train, Kev, That’s all. The butterflies will keep you company and they serve good cups of tea these days! A bit of edam…. prefer Gouda belegen myself. A good cheese has a bit of a bite back at you!

  • Good news on Martinelli indeed, GN5. I like to keep Auba for one more year for his experience and desire. But we must learn to become less dependent on him sooner or later.

  • Legallos, I am not the biggest fan on Hector to be honest. But he is a true Gunner and I want to support him… and he needs it right now.

  • I’ve always thought that Bellerin gets caught out of position far to often and the opposition’s scouting is aware of that – thus they can take full advantage of the big gap he leaves. But there is no doubt that he is a true Gooner and hopefully Arteta can make him more aware of his positioning faults.

  • the thing that frustrates me about Hector is the unconvincing final ball into the box. It is too often half-baked compared to Tierney’s and even AMN’s final ball. But he can do it if he focusses better.

  • 4.5 hours, yeah, that’s something I must do Total before I get past it… 🙂

    I do worry about Hector, last season he kept going for Emery when he really needed a rest and because we had no alternative at the time and then his body gave way and he missed the end of the season, he missed Baku and he’s been playing catch up since.

    You can’t help but like Hector, he’s different and a bit bohemian, he’s also an interesting person with something to say as he showed at the Oxford Union a few months ago, he thinks deeply about things and the environment unlike an Irish betting company who I don’t think came out of its recent advertising stunt very well after taking the piss out of his tree planting pledge, but then Paddy Power are quite low brow.

    Foot-ballistically, he is at a stage where sometimes a new challenge can reboot a career, not that I want him to leave, but for the sake of the player a different league in a different country might better suit his style, a style that I think is changing as he gets older. He won’t always have that blistering pace, in fact the suspicion is that he’s already lost some of it and the Premier League is an unforgiving competition that can mince a players reputation.

    With all that in mind I guess that the next few games and the summer will tell us a lot about Bellerino and where he’ll be at the start of 2020/21.

  • The last few days GN5 have been quite amazing, thrashing Norwich, Saka signing, Martinelli signing and strong vibes that Aubameyang could be close to signing will I hope be topped off with a positive result today.

    Soares starts, no Guendouzi or Ozil or Pepe in the squad… 🤔

  • 26 Martinez
    20 Mustafi
    23 David Luiz
    31 Kolasinac
    17 Soares
    8 Ceballos
    34 Xhaka
    3 Tierney
    14 Aubameyang (c)
    30 Nketiah
    77 B. Saka

    33 Macey
    2 Bellerin
    16 Holding
    5 Sokratis
    15 Maitland-Niles
    11 Torreira
    28 Willock
    24 Nelson
    9 Lacazette

  • allezkev

    Its getting more and more obvious that the days for Ozil. Pepe and Guendouzi are numbered.
    I’m glad we now have a manager who sets standards and expectations and if they aren’t met he acts decisively.

  • Well with Soares starting we will soon find out if size really matters. I wish him the best of good fortune.

  • Well that is a surprise to be so close to the starting 11. Not that I thought about what Arteta would choose; ir was just my preferred lineup. But of course I am liking this a lot. Soares and Tierney on the wings and hopefully Saka in the hole. Eddie and Auba can be a good combo today.

    C O Y R R Gs ! ! !

  • #11 Lucas Torreira back on the bench.
    A welcome return and inclusion.


  • Hi all. Happy to see Torreira on the bench. Pepe has a pregnant wife situation or something like that. I like the line up because it has iron man Xhaka and our creator Ceballos, plus Eddie and Saka. I have to agree with you T about Hectors final ball. It’s been the case for years. I do think he’s a more than competent defender though.

  • Every time Tierney has the ball I feel like something good can happen, he rarely wastes a ball.

  • 1-0
    well done, lads
    looked like a (very good) cup game – nobody wanted to concede first
    they are very good at beating our press and creating danger right away
    emi’s save at the start was crucial – a bit lucky, but crucial; i was happy to see him run away from his goalline, for once (the only part of his game i was not so sure about)
    kieran and dani’s first touches ooze class, that’s good to see, and eddie’s a true predator who can score literally out of nothing
    the only worry so far had been bukayo who had something of a lost soul on his right wing – until that 43rd minute; what a goal!! pure class
    for the first time in years, the french commentators are full of praise for our gooners
    last, but not least -: oliver has been very good
    come on lads!!! i hope we’ll not back down, and try to score a second

  • Yes I copy that, Legallos. Wolves play Portuguese catenaccio and a Wenger team would have attacked and get beaten on the counter, most likely. But we are not given them any space to attack us in and our discipline is spot on. I would like Saka to play a bit more central as that’s where the space is, but he is still very effective on the right too. And then…. what a goal. He took that one like Messi does; technically superb…

  • We played with uncharacteristic defensive discipline and shape. Credit to Arteta. Nice shot taken by Eddie earlier, and smart pro instinct by Auba to start our scoring play. He got the ball to Tierney nicely, and he is going to be an assist king from that position. I expect to see Lucas get some minutes today, good for our depth.

  • A surprise to me– that was Bukayo Saka’s first PL goal.
    Match commentator mentioned Saka was the youngest Brit to score for Arsenal since 1981 (Stuart Robson).


  • Credit as well to Coates’ pass to Auba and the latter’s quick thinking to play in Tierney. But what a fine, fine finish by Saka.

    Just look at the title for this post again, follks 😉

  • No Wolves shots on target after the one in the opening minute.
    Three straight clean sheets.
    Chemistry. Growth. Hint of expectation.
    Seeing form and formula from Arteta’s Arsenal.


  • Killing the game maturely towards the end, defensive shape and responsibility instilled throughout, all good signs from our new manager. (I still think he yanked Mustafi at halftime for motivational reasons the other day.) Even in our last couple wins, we had allowed far too many easy chances in our box, and we were fortunate not to get hurt, even though we won ultimately.

    What this means to me, is that Mikel is meticulous. He doesn’t just let a good result obscure the weaknesses, mistakes and need for all around improvement. That is a big change for Arsenal, and I don’t just mean from Emery. ….. He even had Xhaka and Ceballos playing in a more restrictive way today. Having a lot of young hungry players to manage, he made perfect use of the extra subs I think. By the way, Xhaka quietly doing everything right again, his stamina is incredible, and I think Arteta has been using him perfectly. All bodes well for the future.

  • Arteta had previously copped some criticism over his substitutions so it was great to see Willock and Lacazette combine for the clincher, there was a great clearing header from Mustafi leading up to it as well.

    Did Arteta make those subs because he knew what would happen or is there a large slice of good fortune in the art of making changes? I think so…

    Xhaka and Ceballos, they are becoming one hell of a unit in front of our defence, Maitland Niles proved very effective when he replaced the impressive KT.

    Aubameyang is like the Duracell bunny, he just doesn’t stop, he’s gonna need a rest soon.

    Martinez is like master of all he surveys, he just rules our box.

    A colossal win, one of the best results of the season and it will frighten the living daylights out of those competitors around us.

  • Who would have thought that we would have out fought Wolves?

    Without the ball Arteta has us attacking the ball holder in packs and its been very effective in the last three games.

    Arteta has been the unspoken MOM in the last three games.

  • Great win and crucial 3 points away from home. Europa looks very much achievable but top champions league unfortunately out of reach with Man U`s form lately (Greenwood looks a major talent). I was a little disappointed with our lack of fluency in midfield and misplaced passes in this one but got to say the shape,discipline and commitment made up for it.

    Coming out of the prolonged break Eddie to me has looked stronger and more confident he was our most positive player first half just didn’t get enough service but outstanding workrate. Wanted him to finish the game but good call on Laka who had a fine finish which he badly needed. Also wanted Joe to come on earlier but he still had a great impact as did AMN.

  • Nice game!
    Let’s wait until a home victory against Leicester before we start talking about Europe. And don’t forget, that the following 2 games will be against Tottenham (a tough away game, but they are on a downward spiral in recent weeks) and Liverpool (a recently uninspired bunch, yet still very strong individual players even on the road). The 2 last games are must-wins, however both Aston Villa (A) and Watford (H) are cruising full steam to escape relegation, so those eggs haven’t hatched either.

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