Arsenal v Leicester Preview/ Lineup: 4-3-3 with Xh-Pa-Ce in Midfield and two proper wingers?

Arsenal v Leicester City – October 25, 2020

 Some Leicester City F.C. records and statistics

Striker Arthur Chandler is currently the club’s all-time record goal scorer, netting 273 in his 12 years at the club; he also found the net in 8 consecutive matches in the 1924–25 season. The most goals managed in a single season for the club is 44 by Arthur Rowley, in the 1956–57 season.The fastest goal in the club’s history was scored by Matty Fryatt, when he netted after just nine seconds against Preston North End in April 2006.

Jamie Vardy broke the Premier League record for scoring 13 goals in 11 consecutive league games, in the 2015–16 Premier League season. Vardy is also the ninth player to score 20 top-flight goals in a season, following Arthur Chandler, Ernie Hine, Arthur Rowley, Jimmy Walsh, Ken Keyworth, Jackie Sinclair, Frank Worthington and Gary Lineker. Vardy’s goal at Sunderland on 10 April 2016 saw him become the first player since Gary Lineker in 1984–85 to score 20 top flight goals for the club, having already become Leicester’s highest Premier League scorer in a single season.

The record transfer fee paid by Leicester for a player was around £40 million for Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemann. The highest transfer fee received for a Leicester player was approximately £80 million from Manchester United for Harry Maguire; at the time of the transfer this was the eleventh highest ever fee, the highest ever move between two English teams and the highest ever for a defender.

The club’s record attendance is 47,298 against Tottenham Hotspur at Filbert Street, in a fifth round FA Cup clash in 1928. The highest league record at their current home, the King Power Stadium, was 32,242 for a competitive match against Sunderland on 8 August 2015. The highest ever attendance for a non-competitive football match of 32,188, was seen at a pre-season friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid on 30 July 2011.

Leicester’s highest ever league finish is first in the Premier League in 2015–16. Their lowest ever league finish was first in League One in 2008–09. Leicester are joint equal with Manchester City for having won the most English second tier titles. The club has reached four FA Cup finals, yet lost them all. This is the record for the most FA Cup final appearances without winning the trophy.

Leicester’s longest ever unbeaten run in the league was between 1 November 2008 and 7 March 2009, to which they remained unbeaten for 23 games on their way to the League One title. (This was their only ever season in the third tier of English football). Their longest run of consecutive victories in the league is nine, which they achieved between 21 December 2013 and 1 February 2014 (in the Championship).

In the 2015–16 season, Leicester won what The Daily Telegraph described as “one of the most astonishing league titles of all-time” and achieved many new historical, club records. They had the fewest away defeats in any top flight season, as they were defeated only twice on their travels. They also recorded the fewest losses in any of the club’s Premier League seasons, losing just three matches throughout their entire campaign. The club produced another record for the most consecutive wins in the top flight, each coming against Watford, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Sunderland. Coincidentally, they kept a record of five-straight clean sheets all set against each of the same five opponents. The King Power Stadium home crowd in 2015–16 saw their team beaten just once in the Premier League all season.

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………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

LEICESTER City suffered a huge tragedy when their owner Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people killed in a helicopter crash outside the King Power stadium.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai billionaire and businessman, frequently used the helicopter to travel to and from home games, boarding it from the centre circle.

The aircraft plunged from the sky shortly after take off following the match between Leicester City FC and West Ham, and exploded into a fireball in the carpark. 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

We have had the upper hand when playing Leicester City at home in the Premier League – in 14 attempts Leicester have only managed to pick up 2 points and we have outscored them 37 to 12.

Arsenal v Leicester EPL Home Games
 WDLGFGAGD
111-Feb-95 1 110
212-Apr-971  202
326-Dec-971  211
420-Feb-991  505
507-Aug-991  211
626-Dec-001  615
725-Aug-011  404
815-May-041  211
910-Feb-151  211
1014-Feb-161  211
1126-Apr-171  101
1211-Aug-171  431
1322-Oct-181  312
1407-Jul-20 1 110
1525-10-20      
Total:1220371225
All Home Games v Leicester City
 WDLGFGAGD
Division 2550221111
Division 124124934251
Premier1220371225
Total411941526587

Under the management of Brendan Rogers Leiceter are a difficult team to beat, they are currently tied with both Wolves and Arsenal for fourth place in the EPL.

Given their away record with Arsenal I expect Arsenal to keep them at bay and we will maintain our home unbeaten record against them.

GunnerN5

Predicted Line-up by TA

The above is my predicted one (Willian may not be fit enough and I expect Nelson to get a game then), but I was pleased to see a predicted 4-3-3 starting-11 in the Guardian and I would certainly welcome that line-up:

Thomas Partey
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75 Responses to Arsenal v Leicester Preview/ Lineup: 4-3-3 with Xh-Pa-Ce in Midfield and two proper wingers?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    GN5, thanks for an informative post, presenting us with a few new facts about the 🦊 🦊

    The way they won the league was very impressive and gave every other team than a top team hope that it not always about money.

    Selling that lump of a Maguire to the Mancs was some awesome piece of business.

  2. Paul says:

    Why not a four-four two?
    Kieran is so special and Hector’s a gooner
    A long term midfield of Saka, Ceballos, Partey & Pepe (poetry)
    Let Auba and Laca free up front, they love playing together.

  3. Jnyc says:

    Very curious to see how Partey and Xhaka would work together. I think I’d like to see Xhaka hang back more, distribute, and let Thomas try to drive forward more than defend, but of course we know he can do both as needed. I did like the way he worked with Elneny the other day, because they were both allowed to move by Arteta, which is new for Mohamed.

    Of course 3 midfielders is even better, with Ceballos in there, but I don’t think we can afford to do that too often because we’re so thin in midfield. I also think AMN deserves some playing time, he seems like he could be a midfielder. I’d give him starts at fb/wb and I’d try to get him minutes in midfield in league, fa cup. I don’t want him to regret staying, same for Reiss Nelson.

  4. allezkev says:

    I hope all you’s in the U.K. enjoyed that extra hour in bed as the clocks went back, I did…

    Thanks for some more stellar work GN5, we have an amazing record against Leicester, Foxes fans must really dislike us as we always seem to turn them over despite the circumstances.

    My memory bank recalls a cup tie, a replay I think, back in around 1974 and Arsenal at that time were awful absolutely awful, Bertie Mee was entering his final days as club manager the great team he’d constructed with Don Howe had broken up and there was discord behind the scenes.
    We didn’t have wall-to-wall TV coverage back then it was a totally different landscape, most football fans were thought of as hooligans due to the culture of support at the time and the public’s general view driven by the tossers in the media. But I still loved it.

    Anyway I listened to the game on the radio, probably BBC and it was a terrible game for us, we were a limited rather physical team that ground out results and Leicester were a team of flair and they just pummelled us – but crucially they didn’t score. With the prospect of a draw Eddie Kelly took a speculative shot on the muddy surface and it somehow beat the goalkeeper and skidded into the back of the goal. We won 1-0 and I was elated.

    There was brief highlights on the TV that evening, probably Sportsnight with Coleman and it was as I recalled it sounding on the radio, Arsenal hanging on for dear life as wave after wave of Leicester attacks came at the thin red line. The pitch was mud heap but that was quite normal back then when pitch technology was a pipe dream and it actually suited Arsenal as it interfered with Leicester’s approach play. Leichester were a passing team, Arsenal more direct.

    I can’t remember the build up to the Arsenal goal but I remember Kelly taking a pot shot, not with much hope of scoring but just to give us a reprieve from the pressure and it miraculously skipped past the goalie and into the net. It might well have been Arsenal’s only shot on target, but I didn’t care we’d won, hooray.

    I think we went out in the next round but that was the life of an Arsenal fan back then.

    The following day I got my newspaper and the headlines on the back were ‘Lucky Lucky Lucky Arsenal’. Well they hated us back then and it’s why I never get carried away with their faint praise these days, just look at the constant furore over Herr Ozil…

  5. LE GALL says:

    Agree with you, Jnyc, about Ainsley/Reiss – they’re too good to be sidelined forever; the next transfer window is very close, and if they’re not given playing time any time soon, we might get:

    (brought on to you by Bergkampesque, with Ainsley-Reiss as Neo-Dorothy, and Kansas as the AFC)
    It would be reassuring to stick to 3-4-3 as you did, TA (I think Shkodran will be given his first start against the paddies, though), but the Guardian’s 4-2-3-1 is tempting too, with one/two hesitations-differences, though:
    Leno
    Bellerin-Luiz-Gabriel-Tierney
    Partey-Xhaka
    Ceballos (Saka)
    Pépé (Saka)-Lacazette (Nketiah, Aubameyang)-Aubameyang (Saka)
    From Bernd to Granit, this might be the most impressive bedrock we’ve had in years – the tricky job ahead for Mick is to make the team fire on all cylinders upfront again, but it’ll come
    Off I have to go now, will be back (I hope) just a few minutes before kickoff
    COYG

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Eris, give us a shout please. Hope you are not impacted by the recent violence in Nigeria?!

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers LeG, you surprised me with the inclusion of Laca! 😁
    I don’t like Luiz in a back four but in a back three he is great so that is indeed more comfortable. 🤓⚽

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    I slept like a 🌷 tulip, Kev.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Brilliant story about lucky x3 Arsenal, Kev. The sequence of radio listening, watching highlights and then read the paper on the next day is very familiar to me. 😊

  10. Umar muazu umar,kano-nigeria says:

    We need Arsenal to win atleast 3 nill tonight against leicester city today.

  11. allezkev says:

    Yeah, I thought that Total, Special Anti Robbery Squad isn’t it or SARS, they sound the kind of people who I’d make it my job to avoid at all costs.

    Is that a Dutch saying, sleeping like a tulip? 🙂

  12. allezkev says:

    Yeah Total, it was a very different football environment back then, not better just different, to be honest with you people wouldn’t stand for the way we were treated back then.

    I’d love to see Reiss Nelson getting a start today but I can’t see it, but next Thursday if he doesn’t get a start against the Irish then maybe he needs to consider his future, according to the Arseblog the club were open to loaning him to a Premier club last summer but it didn’t work out.

  13. allezkev says:

    I guess that there is another aspect connected Nelson and his contemporaries and that is their age, when the 25 man squad is decided for next season none of the following: Nelson, Nketiah, Willock, Bola, Ballard, Iliev, Dinzeyi, Osei Tutu, Oluwu and Sheaf can be registered as U21 so they must either be included in our 25 man squad, be loaned or be sold/released and we already have an overburdened 25 squad, that’s going to be an issue, especially affecting recruitment.

  14. allezkev says:

    Next summer we’ll probably see the majority of Mustafi, Luiz, Ozil, Macey, Sokratis and Ceballos leave, the jury is out on Dani depending on how Arteta wants to proceed? Balogun and Matt Smith are also out of contract as far as I know.

    All that could be balanced by the return of Guendouzi, Torrieira and Mavropanos and if they do return as we don’t know what their circumstances will be at the time and if any club will want them permanently in this depressed Wuhan environment?

  15. pbarany says:

    Good piece, GN5. I share your hopes that our unbeaten record stays intact. Maybe we’ll witness an exciting 3:2 win tonight. We’ll see if Vardy will play…

    That 4-3-3 is very intriguing (even though I wouldn’t send Saka to the attacking trio), and it will be one of our options at some point, but I think Arteta will not give up on the back 3 against a strong Leicester. So I think that your 3-4-3 is a crazy strong line-up to get back to winning ways, TA – especially as we have resources on the bench like Eddie (for striker), Ceballos (for CM/AM), Saka/Nelson (for the wings), AMN (for the flanks) and Chambers/Mari for R/L CB. However if one of the CBs get injured during the game, I think Arteta would revert back to 4-3-3 and bring Elneny on as DM.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Not really a Dutch saying but you get my drift nevertheless, hey Kev 🤩

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    KEV, I just have a feeling Nelson will be influential today

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting thought re return of Torreira and Guendouzi, Kev. I am not sure either of them will wear the famous shirt again, but time will tell.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Vardy will play, PB. The rat is always available when we play them.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Mari is not available as yet, PB.

  21. goonereris says:

    Hello BKers. Been a while, I know, but I did have to put in time at the job in order to ensure I could take a short vacation; hence, always got back home really bushed and a big ask to contribute. Ta, I wasn’t affected by the violent aftermath of the otherwise peaceful protests against the Special anti-robbery squad (SARS) in Nigeria. The incidence of protests in Abuja were well controlled, but as usual, thugs took advantage and things got ugly in places. Luckily, I live in an area that was hardly affected. Thanks for checking. As I type, just made it back to Canada. Now, self isolating, somewhere in my yet uncompleted basement (have to invest in the full works down there). I also forgot my favourite device and been miserable since. I guess it’s been a while I took on such a trip owing to the pandemic and even though I was deliberate in my travel preparations, I forgot to pick the device and now have to use my handset; not my preferred option.

    Even worse, as the only true football fan in my home, no one told me my provider (Bell Canada) only showed selective games, so anyone with a good, safe link please hook me up.

  22. goonereris says:

    GN5, thanks for the reminder to play the predictions game. Too late now, it may seem, save for two games (?).
    Let me know if I can still play those two, handicap style, bank them and still be in the lead. 🤣

  23. goonereris says:

    Okay, let me go before the first game is done.

    West Ham v Manchester City A*
    Fulham v Crystal Palace. A*
    Manchester United v Chelsea. D*
    Wolverhampton v Newcastle H
    Arsenal v Leicester City. H
    Barcelona v Real Madrid. D*

    * How I would have predicted, for what it’s worth.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear you are OK, Erismus. And now back with Fam too! Good luck with the isolation in the basement. 👍🏿

  25. goonereris says:

    Now, back to topic. Another brilliant preview from the stable of GN5. Keep it up, old timer.

    I will go straight to TA’s predicted line up and say no way should Saka not be given a start with recent performances so, I don’t see Willian starting in his stead, if we must accommodate Laca in that front 3. So, easy to see why a 4-3-3 may be the way we go, but only as an experiment, at some point in the game. Like I had posited, Arteta’s ideal formation is a 4-2-1-3, to give Ceballos a free role in front of Xhaka and Partey. This would leave us with a front 3 of Auba, Laca and Saka/Pepe (from the right, if Willian can’t start).

    So, I see a starting 3-4-3 of Gabriel, Luis, Tierney; AMN Xhaka, Partey, Bellerin; Auba Laca, Saka/Pepe. Into the second half, Ceballos to come on for one of the wing backs (likely, Bellerin since AMN can play from either flank), Tierney pushes into LFB and Ceballos plays in the free role in midfield.

    Look forward to a good Arsenal win.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    All good thoughts, Eris. I would also play Saka today.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Gooneris, No problem I will add today’s predictions. Just finished watching the F1 Grand Prix – it was amazing to see Lewis Hamilton setting the world record in wins ,

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    10 minutes away from invincibles day

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    HAPPY INVINCIBLES DAY!!!!

    OHH Arsenal we love you!!

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    And talking about Invincibles, Hamilton is one as well. Such a consistency to his performances and a total professional. A great and dominant car helps too but the best drivers get to drive the best cars, and he is one of the best drivers ever.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Total by the stats he is then best driver ever – he will soon tie Schumacer’s record of 7 world titles – he has already won the most races and has the most pole positions and most podiums. Not much left for him to do except add to his personal records.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    It only took six game for us to retain our invincible record this season. I know it’s an overused statement but “it really is a funny old season”

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Ooh the best driver is not only related to stats, GN5. Like Schumacher did, Hamilton drives a superior car and that goes a long way. We cannot ignore that. I think if Hamilton, Leclerck and Verstappen had equal cars it would be very close, but they don’t.

  34. pbarany says:

    To be honest I won’t mind Saka on the bench.
    He played 90+ minutes against Man City last weekend (where he was great) and 83 minutes against Rapid Wien (where he was at least as poor and ineffective as the rest of the starters – bar Partey, Pepe, Luiz and Gabriel).
    It’s not a punishment: he needs some rest, and Arteta should do his best to avoid early burnout like Walcott Wilshere or Stones…

  35. Jnyc says:

    T, I think with the same cars, Verstappen would come out on top over Hamilton more often than not. At least I like to think so.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree with that Total the best team with the best drivers is a lethal combination but not always unbeatable as the records show – Red Bull could be serious contenders but at the moment Mercedes make them look are more like pretenders.

  37. Jnyc says:

    Good point about avoiding overplaying Saka, PB. He could get a few minutes off the bench if we’re desperate for a late spark.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Jync, Bottas has the same car and they even switched internal teams this year – but Hamilton still comes out on top – he is a brilliant driver and is deserving of his position in the sport. His records are going to take a lot of beating.

  39. pbarany says:

    The Guardian’s line-up is 10/11.
    No Willian in the squad, but Pepe is on the bench, just like Mustafi.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    2
    Bellerin
    23
    David Luiz
    6
    Gabriel
    3
    Tierney
    8
    Ceballos
    34
    Xhaka
    18
    T. Partey
    7
    Saka
    9
    Lacazette
    14
    Aubameyang (c)

    Substitutes
    13
    R. Rúnarsson
    15
    Maitland-Niles
    20
    Mustafi
    25
    Elneny
    28
    Willock
    19
    Pepe
    30
    Nketiah

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops – and Leno

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m liking that team – it’s as strong a team as we can field.

  43. Jnyc says:

    N5, I basically agree. I said yesterday I’d save Ceballos, Partey, Xhaka for big games. I do see this as a big one. First time together I hope is not a problem. This Lacazette Auba pairing has worked before, they assist each other very well historically.

  44. jw1 says:

    Thanks for the preview– as always GN5!

    As a longtime wearer of tie-dyed shirts– I’m going to have fine one of those warm-up jerseys.
    Those are a trippy version of the bruised-banana design.

    jw1

  45. Jnyc says:

    If Leno didn’t come out, that was gonna be a huge problem, we were caught out.

  46. pbarany says:

    Goonereris, try this one:
    http://time4tv.stream/watch/sports/sky-sports-main-event.php
    Go for Stream 4.

    We have a quick goal disallowed already for the obstruction of the goalkeeper.
    According to the commentators it was the correct decision, but we all know many share an anti-Arsenal bias…

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys, the game is on the horrible pay per view channels. For a mere £15 I could watch the game… No thank you, Nee Dank U, Nez dans cule. So i am listening to the radio instead.

  48. pbarany says:

    Backup streams:
    http://www.dubsstreamz.com/ta.php
    http://stream-cr7.net/embed/3t.php

    I will stop pimping now. 🙂

  49. Jnyc says:

    Something really off with Ceballos today.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PB, I dont do those streams on my pc but appreciated.

    Sounds like we are playing really well but not sharp enough when it matters.

  51. goonereris says:

    Thanks, you all. I tried a couple but sensed potential cyber-risks. I have called for new installations and shall hopefully, have this resolved by the next match day.

    Also listening on Arsenal Audio commentary.

    By the way, looks like my 4-3-3 line up was correct, except I didn’t expect we would start with it. With that line up, we were always going to dance all over Leicester. A shame we’ve not got the goal we deserve; we must look to score a few today. One goal and they could lock up shop.

  52. I paid £15 I wish I was listening on the radio. Yawn.

  53. jw1 says:

    For the last 5 minutes of the half we didn’t look interested in attacking.
    Saka needs to move over to the right– Auba left. For all of the stylish aspects Saka has provided over there– he’s mishandled almost every situation calling for something simple or routine.

    Like the Willian at CF idea vs City? Arteta is overthinking how to deploy the talent he has available.

    jw1

  54. Jnyc says:

    I love the way we’re using Tierney, getting far up on the left, such a great player. As I said Ceballos has been awful except for one very good pass into the box. Gabriel searching balls launched and Pirlo(Luiz) doing all that he can. We have to remember we haven’t played this system in a long time so we’re not fluid yet. Hopefully we can pull it together in the 2nd half. I like the flexibility Arteta is
    showing, at least.

  55. pbarany says:

    Rapid analysis in halftime:
    Arsenal is indeed more dominant, even though ball possession doesn’t show it (54%) as shots does: 5 off and 2 on target, while Leicester has a single off target attempt.
    We try to progress on both flanks, but not in the middle.

    Most of the team are average or mixed like Ceballos.
    Tierney is the best so far with 3-4 excellent crosses.
    Partey is not really involved, but he checks Maddison at bay, which must take a lot of focus and effort.
    Auba is far from his usual energetic self.
    Saka had some important defensive interceptions and nice ball control, but disappointingly wasteful in possession, especially with final balls.
    Lacazette’s goal shouldn’t have been disallowed, as Xhaka – albeit clearly offside – didn’t interfere with the play. However he (Laca) blew the biggest chance of the game.

    Let’s hope the boys get more chances and become more clinical in the second half.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comment guys. Looking fwd to the second half.

    Come you Rip Roaring Gunners!!

  57. jw1 says:

    Saka is visibly limping. Saw Auba on the sideline taking tablets with water during the match.

    Arteta needs to makes some changes.

  58. jw1 says:

    Pepe on for Saka.
    Can he muster one of his lightning bolts for our salvation today?

  59. goonereris says:

    Now, we have to delay the last change till we are certain we won’t have more injuries. Looks like we slowed down a bit in the 2nd with Leicester sitting back and looking to counter.

    We would need to keep an eye on Cengiz Under as he will be looking to be a hero here. We need someone to take the game by the scruff and be bold.

  60. jw1 says:

    Brilliant.

  61. makayah says:

    Vardy alwaaayyss scores against us lol so predictable!!

  62. goonereris says:

    And as I type, Vardy gets a goal. Typical of him, they have picked our pockets. And I hear it is Under with the assist.
    All the talk about our record at the Emirates looks bleak now.

    With Tierney off, someone has to keep Under in check still.

  63. pbarany says:

    Leicester took the lead by Jamie Vardy.
    It wasn’t a classic counter-attack, but it was swift, creative and clinical.
    Arsenal – albeit packed with better players probably on all positions – play a flat, boring, disappointing game. Leicester’s lead are not justified at all, but we play really, really bad.

  64. makayah says:

    I can see in the blogosphere there will be many saying how ozil would have changed things but I just don’t see enough clever runs, setups or interplay to allow a playmaker to open up a defense. Luiz was the best outlet today with his long range passing. The whole team struggled with simple passes.

  65. LE GALL says:

    1st half was good ; 2nd we struggled … a lot
    laca really should have put away kieran’s cross around the 40th minute
    but – that clear miss aside – i think our forwards have to do everything by themselves, and this is just not sustainable
    it wasn’t dani’s best night, and i feel we could do with a lad like maddison, who has that extra spark we lack so much, not to mention of course, £350000-a-week you-know-who, whose absence starts being really conspicuous
    our back four were great, gabe might be one of our best buys ever, auba on the right i didn’t quite get …
    there’ll be better days; COYG

  66. makayah says:

    Besides Luiz, Saka and Tierney tried to make things happen, Laca put in a great shift without much end product although he had a couple of chances. As I type yet another set piece goes nowhere. Now the pressure will rise on Mikel, who I’m willing to give plenty of time as this is his first job and is still learning himself.

  67. pbarany says:

    Final whistle gone. We were beaten by a weaker, unimpressive team, yet again.

    This was not a special game today by any means. This is our new style where we often win by 1:0 or 2:1 but nothing fancy: mostly play for wing overloads and crosses from the byline.
    We beat Liverpool and Manchester City indeed, but the former was a series on incredible lucks and the latter was an unattractive game. Well, since we played unattractive this entire season (except from the opener against Fulham), even against Rapid Wien this is becoming signature Artetaball…

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    I am not too surprised with this unfortunate final scoreline. Leicester are a good team and they are further than us a team right now. Yet we had them cornered in the first half but did not take our chances. Second half, Rodgers, by the sounds of it, successfully changed the tactics and the Luiz injury did not help. They score from their first decent chance and that is football. The boys will learn from it and we remain a work in progress. If you want beautiful football you may want to take a footballfanbreak for a while…

  69. jw1 says:

    I am not exaggerating when I state– not a single attack through the middle of the pitch. Thomas Partey looked like an accessory today. No probing, no 1-2s. Except one nice cross from Auba that Bellerin volleyed at Schmeichel– we looked relaxed. We had one idea and never varied from it.

    Emeryball to a tee.

    Until his players have enough chemistry to flourish in a new formation? Mikel needs to file the too-clever-by-half ideas away. Had it been Auba on the left working with Tierney– chances were better to have come away with several good chances– and maybe a goal or more. Wasting 60 minutes on an experiment with Saka playing in Auba’s spot? Those 60 minutes of low-impact aerobics– were all that Brenden Rodgers could have hoped for– to spring a barely-fit Jamie Vardy onto the pitch to steal all the points.

    jw1

  70. Jnyc says:

    Really good comments and I agree with almost everything. All I can add now is that it was a very unpleasant game to watch. You could almost feel the nil nil or disappointing surprise coming. I don’t want to blame the manager too much because I liked the lineup. Just a bunch of weak performances as you all detailed.

  71. allezkev says:

    I only saw highlights on MotD, but what I saw was another missed opportunity and the rub of the referee green going against us.

    From where the linesman was viewing it looked as if Schmeichal was obstructed, then you see it from behind and you can clearly see hecwasn’t, so a good goal chalked off. Where was VAR?
    We go a goal up and it’s a different game, Mane gets sent off at Anfield for elbowing Tierney and it’s a different game, the Man City guy who almost kicked Gabriel in the head at the Etihad gets sent off and it’s a different game, three decisions that arguably cost us 9 points. Three decisions that VAR ignored. Those operating VAR are truly hopeless.

    Also Lacazette missed a header that even I could have headed into the goal and I have and had two left feet. It’s just not working for us at present, but to read some of the comment on Arseblog News is frankly embarrassing, what a fan base, flipping and flopping from Arteta is a genius to he doesn’t know what he’s doing and bring back Ozil – give me strength….

    Thank God for this blog…

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Kev and others. Like all of us I feel a bit deflated this morning, even though I was less convinced of a sure win as some were. The VAR decisions have indeed been against us mostly and the continued subjectivity of this safeguard mechanism is worrying.

    But I heard we played differently and well in the first half, having 11 shots on goal, and that sounded like real progress. 2nd half was Leicester’s and this can happen. Rodgers is a good manager and they took their one decent chance until then. It hurt but I say it again, that’s football ⚽.

    Fans letting off steam is fine with me, but we need to remain behind Arteta and understand that this is not just a sightseeing sort of journey.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks HH and Admir 🙂 🙂

    As I am yet to watch the game, I have used your comments for the next post…

    New Post )

  74. pbarany says:

    I’m being slightly harsh on Arteta, but only slightly.
    This wasn’t an unlucky, uninspired game, that was rather a – sometimes lucky, often unlucky – uninspired 2 months.

    Agreeing with Jnyc as I also loved the line-up, but disagreeing with him as Arteta should be also responsible for the tactics. We didn’t play bad, nobody went against the strategy. The strategy/tactics failed us yesterday, as they often did before, but some individual brilliance or our overwhelming superiority bailed us out.

    Agreeing with JW1 that we just didn’t put enough efforts in there (through balls, 1-2s, only 2 dribbles the entire game), but disagreeing with him that it was Emeryball. We demolished teams like Everton twice a season with beautiful attacking play and remarkable team goals. We won by 3:0 against Frankfurt (a far superior team than RV) in the away leg in the first round of the group stages in the EL, and scored 12-14 goals in 6 games. Emeryball was similar to Wengerball, a creative possession play with a lot of chances on both sides, allowing strong opponents to exploit our defensive weaknesses. Arteta cured the majority of our defensive woes, but traded our creativity for the discipline in the process.

    Agreeing with TA, that Arteta has a difficult job integrating players, who weren’t in Arsenal 2 years ago. They need chemistry as well as time to adapt to the new tactics and stlye. But I disagreeing with him that it could properly explain our shortcomings, as Lampard (in my opinion an inferior coach to Mikel) had the same task with Chelsea, where Havertz, Pulisic and Werner weren’t Chelsea players 2 months ago. And still managed to score 10 goals against West Brom, Crytal Palace and Southampton, while we scored 9 goals in our last 8 games combined (including the 2:0 win over Leicester, where they played with their B team, and we did with our A*).

    Yesterday’s loss is not only deflating as we discontinued our unbeaten streak at home, but because we were beaten by a team that didn’t have a proper attacker for 70 minutes. And yes, there are games where nothing turns out our way – there was our 1:3 against Manchester United in December 2017 where we had 24 key passes, 16 shots on goal, but de Gea managed to save 15 breaking some record in the process – but our game against Leicester wasn’t like that. They didn’t defend heroically, their keeper didn’t demoralize us with a monster performance – they just played at level 7.

    I’m obviously not advocating ArtetaOUT, being way far from even considering that. The man deserves the time and support to accomplish his vision. Al I’m saying is that while our squad is better every window, we keep playing boring, uninspiring. And my other point is that even though many of us – myself included – believed that Mikel is an improvement on Emery in EVERY front, that is obviously false. Arteta is a genius in many things but has clear shortcomings, and addressing that is far from mutiny.

    1 game is way too few to evaluate the effect of Thomas Partey on our midfield creativity, but it wasn’t a convincing premiere on that. But that is my least concern. HH already mentioned the lack of chances, somebody above argued that we played as if we were aiming for a 0:0 or a fairy-tale penalty, and didn’t bother to change. I would add that when you have your most expensive player, this summers marquee (free) signing, and one of England’s most promising young player all operating at the right wing, it doesn’t seem smart to play our ST + makeshift LW playing there. And it didn’t prove to be smart either…

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