Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Vieira doubtful for the Sporting game

 By 1970s Gooner

Arteta confirmed during last night's press conference in Lisbon that Fabio Vieira had indeed travelled with the squad.

What Martinelli confirmed in his own answers in the same conference was that his best friend was ill and couldn't be present there. And that's why Martinelli took his place.

This makes Vieira's participation for tonight's game doubtful. 

In trying to guess what Arteta will do tonight we only have to look at what he has done in all the previous games in this competition. He has gone strong with his selections. 

The fact that Tierney is absent will probably force him to select Zinchenko as a left inverted back to cover, but more importantly in my mind, to gain control of the midfield.

Especially if he rests Odergaard and plays ESR in the number 10 position.

Martinelli will most probably start as a number 9 flanked by Nelson and yes Saka.

And since left footed Kiwior looks likely to start (according to repots from Poland) he will be flanked by a right footed player in Saliba.

So my prediction for the starting 11 is as follows.


Tomiyasou  Saliba Quior Zinchenko

Georgino  ESR  Xhaka 

Saka   Martinelli Nelson

Thursday, March 02, 2023

200 low blocks

 By 1970s Gooner 

Everyone keeps pointing out the difficult games remaining in the run in. Games like Man City and Liverpool away for example even Chelsea at home if they can get their act together.

But in my opinion it's the supposedly not so difficult games that can cause you most harm. Games like Everton and Southampton away as well as Newcastle and Brentford at home have cost us dearly (9 points dropped).

Of course the reason for this is that these teams tend to play a low block packing their midfield with defensively minded players and doubling up on our wide players. You really need a particular mind set and a way of playing to get round these blocks and win the points.

The better teams tend to play a more open game which creates more spaces for us to operate in and play our own game.

Our remaining games contain more of the low block variety. Games such as Newcastle, Fulham, Forest and W. Ham away and Bournemouth, Palace, Wolves and Southampton at home. 

Zinchenko and come to that Jesus, when he returns, will prove vital in carrying us through these games with the experience they have gained with City. Where nearly every game is played against a low block.

Zinchenko in particular is dictating play from his inverted position and an important element of his play is that almost all his passes are not side ways but forward. 

They are aimed in the half spaces where Xhaka or Odergaard can receive and turn facing the opposition goal. Or even directly to Saka or Martinelli. 

His passing is not always 100% successful due to the difficulty of threading the ball through a packed midfield. But he shows the way and more often than not to victory.

He has after all gained his know how having faced 200 low blocks in his previous life....according to Arteta.