Guy Mowbray of Match of the Day wrote this weekend, on the BBC web site, “Given Arsenal’s injury troubles, [here we go again] and after another Champions League week, I’d ordinarily veer towards saying that this might be a ‘good time’ to play the Gunners. Now I think the opposite.
“After losing at West Brom, Arsene Wenger got a real response against Dinamo Zagreb – particularly from the star trio of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez. In an open, entertaining game they might just shine brightest again.”
Which is why Norwich will play a ten man defensive wall in front of the keeper.
Norwich City manager Alex Neil joined in the silly pre-match chit chat. “We will be regarded as one of the smaller teams in the league, but even when so-called bigger teams come to our place, they have been happy to sit behind the ball, soak up pressure and hit you on the counter attack – and that sort of surprised me.”
So in what way are Arsenal “so-called bigger” rather than “bigger”? But Norwich are “smaller” and not “so-called smaller.” It beats me.
Arsene Wenger meanwhile has compared Alexis Sanchez to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy: “His style is very explosive and a very committed style. Vardy is a bit similar. They go when they go. They are like the lion, he has to catch the animal in the first 200 metres. If he doesn’t get there, after he’s dead. They are these kind of killers. When they go, it is to kill and after they have to stop.”
Here are the snippets…
- Arsenal have won seven of the last nine Premier League meetings with Norwich, losing just one, by 1-0 at Carrow Road in October 2012.
- Norwich have only won two of the last 26 meetings between the two so-called clubs in all competitions. [Hang on, why is there a so-called in there? – Tony]
- Norwich have only kept one so-called clean sheet in their 13 league so-called games and have won just one of their so-called last eight league games, losing five. [Right, stop it. That’s enough – Tony]
- Against Chelsea Norwich had 35% ball possession
- Arsenal have won 10 of the last 13 Premier League away games
- But historically under Arsene Wenger, November is Arsenal’s worst month.
- Mesut Ozil has 11 assists in the Premier League this season, five more than anyone else.
- Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last four Premier League away games.
Finally Walter won’t be writing his review after the match as there is an Arsenal Belgium meeting (and as you’ll know, he’s the President, so he can’t sneak out early).
Can I say, “So-called Islamic State?”
No – go away. Tony.
Final anniversaries of the day
29 November 1930: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 5 The third game in four that Arsenal score five. Across these four games the scorers included Lambert (7), Jack (5), Bastin (4).
29 November 1946: First appearance for Joe Mercer. Everton, his previous club, did all they could to stop him going back to say goodbye to friends at the club, even though the player continued to live in the north west and just went to Arsenal for games!
- The Untold Arsenal Banner is now on permanent display inside the Emirates Stadium
- A Memorial to the founders of Arsenal’s Highbury dynasty.
- And we’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal and on Facebook (UntoldArsenalToday)