Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Options for replacing Xhaka and the real danger for Arsenal Vs Utd

By 1970's Gooner

Xhaka has received his customary one match ban and now he will miss the upcoming clash against Man Utd. What are the options available?

Let's look at Ramsey because due to his incredible performance against Spurs he has shown that he may merit a starting birth in the team. 

He had a wonderful second half against Spurs and that was because he was played at the number 10 position behind the front two of Aubameyang and Lacazette in a 3 4 1 2 formation. 

This allowed him to utilise the space between the two Arsenal midfielders and the front two which suits him very well, dropping back to assist the midfield and venturing forward providing support and assists.

He will not however be preferred to play alongside the Uruguay terrier against Utd as he is not to be trusted to be disciplined enough to stay put and form a compact duet with Torreira. 

In any case if he is to really help the team, Emery may opt to either start with the formation and players that finished the game or indeed keep him on the bench and bring him on later on to affect the game, as he did against Spurs.

I think it will be the latter.

Ainsley Maitland Niles and Elneny are other options and I would love to see AMN start in midfield as I consider that to be his real position in the team. 

But Emery will most likely opt for Guendouzi. He has shown that big games do not fuss him and displays the capability to both defend and play more creatively with his forward passes. He has of course played in that position for Arsenal and played quite well when he came on a sub against Spurs.

Now Emery has a dilemma as to which formation and players will he choose to play against Utd. 

Does he start as he begun the second half against Spurs i.e in a 3 4 1 2 formation with Ramsey behind the front two (assuming of course that Mustafi will be fit enough to play as he went off on 71 and was replaced with Guendouzi)?

Or does he start with the formation that started the game i.e 3 4 3 with Ramsey on the bench and switch later to 3 4 1 2 if and when the need arises.

I would expect that Emery will keep the same formation of 3 4 3 he started the NLD as the system worked quite well, with a goal scored and enough chances created to close the game even from the first half. Both Mkhitaryan and Iwobi had a good game both in attacking positions and defending when off the ball.

He may however opt to start with Lacazette instead of Mkhitaryan as Laca can be so much more effective and providing a much bigger goal threat than the Armenian as he proved so with Arsenal's third goal on Sunday.

My preferred 11 for the Utd game will be :


Mustafi Socrates Holding

Bellerin  Guendouzi Torreira Kolasinac 

Iwobi Aubameyang Lacazette

Although Utd are not playing well lately and players will be missing through injury this game could prove to be a real banana skin for Arsenal.

Firstly we go into this fixture on a high bordering however to arrogance. Most papers who were not giving us a chance against Spurs are now tipping us to roll Utd over just by turning up for the game. Most blogs and other analysts are also creating, what in my mind is, a false atmosphere and optimism. 

Even Paul Merson is predicting a win for Arsenal. Now this should make us come back to earth and the players need to sit up and shake themselves away from this mind set. Because there is every possibility the Arsenal players will be getting overconfident. And this is a recipe for disaster. I am sure Mourinho will be getting his players up for this game showing them all the pundits predictions.

Secondly may I remind you how we all felt going into the Wolves game after that wonderful and invigorating performance against Liverpool at the Emirates. We were way below our best, the performance was flat and ended up with a draw when every one was predicting a very comfortable win....

What I mean to say is that we are not likely to repeat that performance we displayed against Spurs. We are playing away and it is not the NLD with all the hallibaloo that accompanies it and so much extra riding on the game.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Merson's expectations for the NLD and the players reaction?

By 1970's Gooner

The band wagon has been going on for days now. They are all predicting a comfortable win for Spurs in the first NLD for Emery.

Paul Merson in his comments on Sky Sports clearly favours Spurs but still comes out with a prediction for a draw (1 1)! 

He is implying that we are still getting lucky and that it is about time it will run out. A team like Spurs will, in his mind, score lots of goals. At least that's the gist of it.

Well thanks a lot Paul. Not for your prediction which diplomatically allows you to sit on the fence but for helping once more to galvanise and induce the Arsenal players to prove him wrong once again...

You will remember of course that he didn't give us a cat in hell's chance in the recent encounter against Liverpool. Liverpool were going to thrash us, their front three were going to be too hot to handle for our weak defence etc etc.

He had to of course come out afterwards and eat his words.

He will do so again.