By Bulldog Drummond
So the marauding Twatters have been busy this week, calling for the manager to go, and it was nice to see Untold fighting back with #CurseTheStar #CurseJackWilson. I await news of the demise of both the paper and the journalist.
In August it was reported that Hull City could soon be yet another of the clubs in the League that are under Chinese control as the Allam family were in advanced talks concerning flogging the club off to the highest bidder.
In this case the bidder was Dai Yongge and his sister Hawken Xiu Li. The couple are said to have made an offer to buy Hull but I am not sure if matters are progressing.
Certainly Ehab Allam has been trying to sell the club for a while, and the ups and downs of the club led to Steve Bruce resigning as manager and the club fail to sign a single player.
The manager is now Mike Phelan, who was said to have only 13 fit senior players available for the opening games of the season.
So where are we now on the injury table…
The injury table from physioroom this season seems to be taking on a slightly odd form, since it is now including injuries which will be cleared up by the time of the next match. Here’s the list
|7||West Ham United||5|
Two of the seven that they have on the Arsenal list (Giroud and Theo) are said to be ready to return this weekend, Olivier from a toe injury and Theo from a knee injury.
Beyond that Ramsey is one week away, Gabriel a few weeks, and Jenkinson about six or seven weeks away, leaving Mert, and Welbeck scheduled for January and February respectively.
Guessing the team to play however is getting harder with the surprise exclusion of Granit Xhaka from the starting line up on Tuesday. Arsène Wenger talked about him needing time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League. (But then we also have Santi Caz and Coquelin – not to mention Elneny.)
Speaking of Granit he said, “It’s not about his quality at the moment as he adapts to the pace of the English game. And for me it’s about pairs as well who work together. Coquelin and Cazorla have worked well together. He will play games and every week he is stronger and better. He will have a huge impact as a player.
“He has the stature, he has the power, he has the strength. What we want is to use that in a very efficient way. We are in September, we started in August so it’s one month. Many players take time to get into the team, but he will do that without any problem.
“I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player, because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass. He likes to come deep and distribute the game, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs.”
Meanwhile Olivier Giroud has been getting a bit agitated vis a vis his red card against PSG – although of course this doesn’t affect him in the Premier League. The press are also still talking about the “controversial dropping” of Cech for the PSG game, but then I suppose they have to write about something to cover up the embarrassment that they would feel if they ever could be embarrassed about how wrong their stuff is. At least a few people have now realised just how good Ospina is – which they could have realised had they been watching the summer internationals.
Theo may or may not be ready for the game against Hull, and with people generally thinking the Ox has lost a bit of his pre-season flair this might be the moment for Lucas Perez to take centre stage.
Wenger added that Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, are “top, top quality” but “there’s big competition in midfield at the moment”.
So picking a team is going to be a bit of guesswork. But we could try
Iwobi Ozil Alexis
Monreal Koscileny Mustafi Bellerin
That line up could give us a beach incorporating Opsina, Holding, Gibbs, Granit, Walcott, Giroud, Elneny. Or maybe Debuchy. Or maybe the Ox.
As for Hull… while Arsenal’s league record has been loss, draw, win, win, Hull’s record has been win, win, loss draw.
They have got Dieumerci Mbokani in the squad for the first time, with players such as Mason and Keane ready to make home debuts.
Hull famously have a poor record against Arsenal, not only having but one victory that since the first world war, but also historically a bizarre attitude to Arsenal, claiming on occasions that Cesc Fabregas entered the pitch area after the match improperly dressed, among other things.
Here is the record since the first world war: Arsenal having lost just one of these games…
|22 Mar 1930||Arsenal v Hull City||D||2-2||FA Cup|
|26 Mar 1930||Arsenal v Hull City||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|29 Nov 1977||Arsenal v Hull City||W||5-1||League Cup|
|28 Sep 1988||Hull City v Arsenal||W||1-2||League Cup|
|12 Oct 1988||Arsenal v Hull City||W||3-0||League Cup|
|27 Sep 2008||Arsenal v Hull City||L||1-2||Premier League|
|17 Jan 2009||Hull City v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|17 Mar 2009||Arsenal v Hull City||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|19 Dec 2009||Arsenal v Hull City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|13 Mar 2010||Hull City v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|04 Dec 2013||Arsenal v Hull City||W||2-0||Premier League|
|20 Apr 2014||Hull City v Arsenal||W||0-3||Premier League|
|17 May 2014||Arsenal v Hull City||W||3-2||FA Cup|
|18 Oct 2014||Arsenal v Hull City||D||2-2||Premier League|
|04 Jan 2015||Arsenal v Hull City||W||2-0||FA Cup|
|04 May 2015||Hull City v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|20 Feb 2016||Arsenal v Hull City||D||0-0||FA Cup|
|08 Mar 2016||Hull City v Arsenal||W||0-4||FA Cup|
There will be more thoughts (if I have any more thoughts) Saturday morning.