by Bulldog Drummond
In the last post I pointed out the problems we have been having with the away form of late, but such was the success earlier in the season that our away form for the whole season is still balanced between wins and defeats. Not as good as we would like of course but still a basis on which to build – if we can just get out of the current run.
What ought to help us is that Middlesbrough’s home form is a lot worse than our away form across the season – so this really ought to be the time to break through, stop the members of the away support with a propensity to do it, from jeering, and get the win we need.
The injury league table from physioroom meanwhile is still resolutely not showing Arsenal at the top, as the media like to proclaim
|#||TEAM||No of injuries||Last man down|
|3||Crystal Palace||5||L Remy|
|4||Hull City||5||D Meyler|
|7||West Ham United||5||M Antonio|
|11||Stoke City||4||I Afellay|
|12||Southampton||4||V van Dijk|
|13||Manchester United||4||J Mata|
|14||Tottenham Hotspur||4||M Vorm|
|15||Manchester City||4||J Stones|
|16||Leicester City||4||I Slimani|
|18||Swansea City||3||J Cork|
|20||West Bromwich Albion||0|
Our three players out are Ospina (expected back next weekend), Lucas, with no date announced for his return, and Santi Cazorla who will be back next season.
Middlesbrough have five men out, but according to Physioroom all should be clear to play today – which makes it all a bit confusing. They will of course be without Calum Chambers who has played 18 league games and 2 FA Cup games for them this season.
But what this means for Arsenal is that Cech ought to be returning along with Koscielny.
Generally we do well against Middlesbrough although we did have a blip at the turn of the century with three defeats in four games between 30 November 1999 (where we lost on penalties in the league cup) and then two league defeats (2-1 away and 0-3 at home) with just a single 0-1 away win to Arsenal sandwiched in between.
Of late however it has been much better with just one defeat in the last nine – the start of the run being the 7-0 win in 2006. But turned around the other way, we have only had three wins against them in the last nine, which makes it look a bit more worrying.
|14 Jan 2006||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||W||7-0||Premier League|
|09 Sep 2006||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||D||1-1||Premier League|
|03 Feb 2007||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|09 Dec 2007||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2008||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||D||1-1||Premier League|
|13 Dec 2008||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|26 Apr 2009||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||W||2-0||Premier League|
|15 Feb 2015||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||W||2-0||FA Cup|
|22 Oct 2016||Arsenal v Middlesbrough||D||0-0||Premier League|
Who Scored has Middlesbrough’s strengths as aerial duels and stealing the ball from the opposition while our strengths remain the same – as long as we can put them into effect on the pitch. Here’s the whoscored.com list of Arsenal’s strengths as based on the statistics.
As everyone knows, we have lost four consecutive away matches in the Premier League for the first time since April 1995. At that time George Graham had been sacked and temporary management was in place. The run that time went:
|36||08.04.1995||Queens Park Rangers||away||L1-3||12|
with that win in game 39 against Aston Villa changing the run.
We’ve not lost five in a row since December 1984. That run ended with a win against Newcastle – but what is most interesting about this run is that it started at a time when we were top of the league. The manager was Don Howe
|12||27.10.1984||West Ham United||away||L1-3||1|
Next up: the teams