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Which squad has the most Champs Lge winners? Yep – the thugs are playing Arsenal.

by Bulldog Drummond.

Now this is something I did not know: “Stoke City’s recruitment of Jesé Rodríguez on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain means Mark Hughes now has five Champions League winners in his squad, more than any other Premier League club.”

Goodness me, that puts the Champions League in a new light.

Anyway, I had a look at the Guardian’s coverage of the game, and they came up with this picture in the midst of the preview…

So there we are: Arsenal and Stoke next to each other in the yellow card table.

Anyway, in terms of predictions, Paul Merson says:

 

“Will Arsenal improve at the back when they get players back from injury? No. They play a certain way and that’s why they won’t win the Premier League.

“But Stoke didn’t do well at Everton and they don’t frighten you anymore. They are not like the old Stoke teams, now it’s a good place to go and play.”

He went on to predict a 3-1 away win to Arsenal.

Anyway, while doing tables: here’s another one to contemplate: which players did we use most last season?  Before reading this I tried to guess and although some were fairly obvious, I wouldn’t have got Gabriel (now no longer with us) nor Giroud in the top 15.

And interesting also that all the fuss was about Xhaka’s indiscipline and yes he got most red cards out of this collection of players (2) but under half the cards Mustafi got.  And indeed fewer than Alexis.  Did anyone write anything about Alexis’ indiscipline?   Figures from Whoscored.com

R Player Apps Mins Goals Assists Yel Red
1 Alexis Sánchez 36(2) 3224 24 10 6
2 Nacho Monreal 35(1) 3153 2 5
3 Petr Cech 35 3098 2
4 Mesut Özil 32(1) 2848 8 9 2
5 Laurent Koscielny 33 2824 2 4 1
6 Héctor Bellerín 27(6) 2500 1 4 4
7 Granit Xhaka 28(4) 2486 2 2 5 2
8 Shkodran Mustafi 26 2275 2 2 11
9 Theo Walcott 23(5) 1925 10 2 1
10 Francis Coquelin 22(7) 1786 5
11 Alex Oxlade Chamberlain 16(13) 1563 2 7 1
12 Gabriel Paulista 15(4) 1516 6
13 Alex Iwobi 18(8) 1463 3 3 1
14 Aaron Ramsey 13(10) 1231 1 4 3
15 Olivier Giroud 11(18) 1198 12 3 2

And so the guesswork… today’s team…

Suspended is of course Koscielny, and the injured are Alexis and Santi Caz.  For the team I’ll go with

Cech

Holding  Mustafi  Kolasinac

Bellerin  Ramsey Xhaka  The Ox

Ozil         Welbeck

Lacazette

 

Beached we might have Ospina, Mertesacker, Elneny, Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Monreal, Coquelin.

Now if you have a counting brain and sharp eyes you will know that this time, instead of including 12 players in the starting XI (as has happened) or indeed including the same player twice, I actually have eight players on the beach, when we all know that only seven are allowed.

And what’s more none of these eight are up and coming youngsters like Le Jeff, Maitland Niles or Nelson.

This shows what a squad we now have, and how we do indeed have enough players of quality to use the back up squad and youngsters in the European games as well as the League Cup matches.

What I also think is interesting is that if Monreal is beached, we will start this game with only one of last season’s four most used outfield players – that being Ozil.  Koscielny is suspended, Alexis is injured, Monreal is dropped.  Quite a change from last season then.

Of course instead of the above Monreal could be in the back three and Holding could drop back to the beach.

And here’s one other idea: how about playing Lacazette and Giroud at the same time and dropping Welbeck?  Well, it’s a thought.

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Stoke is one of the few teams with two entries.

 

95 comments to Which squad has the most Champs Lge winners? Yep – the thugs are playing Arsenal.

  • Nitram

    “……how about playing Lacazette and Giroud at the same time”

    I may be wrong, but there seems to be a train of thought that this pairing seems unlikely, but personally I think we may see it quite a lot.

    There are 2 basic forms of attack we employ, depending on who we are playing, and whether we are home or away.

    1) Sitting deep and hitting the opposition on the break.

    This clearly suits a pairing of Lacazette with either Danny or Theo for obvious reasons.

    2) Trying to thread our way through the parked bus.

    I think this where the pairing of Lacazette and Giroud could work really well. This gives us the option to get wide and just put it in the box, rather than constantly trying to weave it through the middle, which is great, and works wonderfully for us a lot of the time, but it can become frustrating, and a bit predictable. Having Giroud just gives us other options.

    All a bit obvious I know, but I just think we may see that pairing a lot more than perhaps a lot of people think.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    As Swansea couldn’t score after their numerous incursions into Man U area and threatening to score in the first half with J Ayew effort coming off the cross bar, my hunch told me Man U could punish them as the match progressed and they did just that in the first half as Bailly capitalized on Pogba’s heading effort that rebounded off the bar to nod in for United. But should Pogba and Mhkitayan have been booked for their rough tackles by the referee in the first half?

  • para

    Manu are getting a lot of free kicks and it’s paid off.
    They are now 4 up. bummer.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Mr Drummond, with due respect, I’ll like to stick to my own starts and bench for this our PL away match against Stoke today’s evening which I did in my comment posting on this site yesterday. What informed to bench Chamberlain is if Bellerin starts ahead of Oxchambo at right wingback, Kolasinac a specialist left back is preferred to start at left wingback than Oxchambo who is more of a right winger.

    Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, I am reiterating my starts and bench for this match once again.

    Starts:
    Cech
    Holding Mertesacker Monreal
    Bellerin Kolasinac
    Ozil Ramsey Coquelin Xhaka
    Lacazette.

    Bench:
    Ospina Mustafi Bramall Elneny Oxchambo Walcott Giroud.

    It’s Man U cup of tea at the Liberty Stadium as the lead Swansea 0-4 in the match with 3 more minutes to the end of regulation time.

  • Emmanuel Chukwuma

    So often I wonder why this fellow, Paul merson seems to appear so negative about our beloved arsenal. One time he says arsenal cannot win the league because they play only one way. He didn’t say which way. Then he says arsenal will not make top four this season. I thought they said merson was once an arsenal player. Why should it be of great interest to him to see man united buy Alexis so they could win the premier league. I’m not implying that merson, as a pundit should not criticise the team but a certain level of affinity and positivity for the arsenal is expected of him.

  • Donny Pobbish

    Bench not beach! Good article though, personally I’d go with;
    Cech,
    Mustafi, Mertesacker, Monreal. (give Holding a break from last week)
    Ox, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac. (at present I think Ox over Bellerin)
    Ozil, Lacazette. (Let Lacazette play the Alexis role)
    Giroud. (Welbeck adds more to our game but Giroud deserves a start and Stoke are ideal for him)

    or (as Stoke or no longer such a heavy hitting team)
    Ozil,
    Giroud and Lacazette up front together.
    If so, perhaps Elneny instead of Ramsey so we’re less likely countered.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Less I forget, for his towering height to deal with Peter Crouch’s headings I preferred Mert’ to start this Stoke match ahead of Mustafi at centreback. Mustafi is a versatile centreback & rightback kind of player. He could be played in this game as a sub whenever Le Prof decides to do substitution for any of the players in these two positions manned by Holding & Mertesacker in my own thinking.

  • Flares

    Para,

    Last season Swansea conceded 70 goals; only Hull let in more. They’ve also just sold their best player to Everton. West Ham are rubbish and will be looking over their shoulders again this year. Arsenal scored 15 goals in 4 games against these two last season including 5 against West Ham away and a 4-0 victory at Swansea, same as United did today.

    Don’t be fooled.

    United have two p*ss easy games to start and everyone in Salford is talking about the title. Lukaku bossing it against crap defenders – now there’s something we’ve never seen before. They’re better than last season but not by much. Let’s see how they get on against someone decent.

  • Gord

    Last seasons goals against (sorted by goals against).

    _ 2 Spuds 26
    _ 6 ManU 29
    _ 1 Chelsea 33
    _ 3 ManC 39
    _ 4 pool! 42
    _ 5 Arsenal 44
    _ 7 Everton 44
    _ 8 Southampton 48
    10 WBA 51
    19 Middlesbrough 53
    16 Burnley 55
    13 Stoke 56
    12 Leicester 63
    14 CPal 63
    11 WHam 64
    _ 9 Bournemouth 67
    17 Watford 68
    20 Sunderland 69
    15 Swans 70
    18 Hull 80

    If we use Hull’s goals against as the measure, it is somewhat reasonable to say that any team that allowed more than 62 goals against is nominally the same (Leicester, CPal, WHam, Bournemouth, Watford, Sunderland, Swans, Hull). It might be better to say that the 3 relegated teams allowed on average, 67.3 goals against, and hence any team that allowed more than 51 goals against is the same (add WBA, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Stoke to the list).

    Come on CPalace!

    I don’t know where LiveScore got this from, when I looked nothing had been announced yet (on that twit thing):

    Cech
    Kolasinac Mustafi Holding
    Ox Bellerin
    Elneny Xhaka
    Welbeck Lacazette Ozil

    I won’t catch the first half, I have to go out.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Drat, Liverpool scored. Come on CPalace!

    LiveScore had this first, but is now changed (below):

    Cech
    Kolasinac Mustafi Holding
    Ox Bellerin
    Elneny Xhaka
    Welbeck Lacazette Ozil

    Now:

    Cech
    Kolasinac Monreal Mustafi
    Ox Bellerin
    Xhaka Ramsey
    Lacazette
    Welbeck Ozil

    I won’t catch the first half, I have to go out.

    COYG!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I hope the Gunners will not profligate in front of Stoke City’s goal this afternoon as Benteke profligated in front of Liverpool’s goal this afternoon when he received a pass in the Reds box but blazed it over. Thus, missing a sitter for the Eagles which Sadio Mane punished by scoring the only goal in the match to give Liverpool all the 3 points in the game.

  • Nitram

    BT Sport The first 3 minutes.

    Keown.

    Too many passangers. Embarrasing. Laughable.

    Not a mention of the players out.

    Is he really an x Arsenal player. Oh, yes of course he is. This is standard.

    Gerrard

    Lack of leadership.

    Cliché crap.

    At least he mentioned the players out.

    I’m glad I pay a f***ing fortune for this shite.

  • Nitram

    Next 3 minutes.

    Gerrard was asked: “How did you deal with Arsenal?

    Bullying. Aggressive. In your face.

    It’s called fouling. That’s cheating.

    If the ref lets you cheat he’s bent.

  • Damilare

    Well done Bulldog, you 100% team selection right.

    3 points, clean sheet and no injuries for Arsenal today.

    COYG

  • Chris

    Can’t get the starting eleven from Arsenal, http://www.arsenal.com seems to be experiencing problems.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hand blocks allowed…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Some sharp attacks going on…

    Come ooooooonnnnn ARSENAL

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ohhkkay…Peter’s pushed Ox down…. No foul

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo Rambo….what a freekick Ox

  • ARSENAL 13

    That should be a card for Moting

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Should have been a penalty for foul on Bellerin

  • para

    Leave the ref alone. He’s not that bad, at least not yet.

  • ARSENAL 13

    That Jack ass was tired after a run…..faking an injury…. ridiculous

  • ARSENAL 13

    Giroud and Per definitely making fun of Diouf there…

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Para, that’s what the BT commentators said after the replay!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Was that even a foul by Rambo on butland. Our keepers have to go through much more before getting a foul called in their favour

  • Al

    Marriner has sucked big time in the first half; Bellerin should have had a penalty, Ramsey didn’t even touch their goalie buy concedes a free kick, Stoke getting everything (& the near side linesman needs to go to Specsavers at halftime).. smh

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Not the best half of football we have ever played!

  • para

    I know it was a pen but no one saw it until the replay, so the ref didnt.

  • para

    We need to close down more and keep them penned back, they are getting to our half too easily.

  • Al

    Think you’ll find maybe only marriner and yourself didn’t see it as a pen, para. Even Gerrard saw it! If marriner thought Bellerin dived then he should book him.

  • para

    Al
    I dont think any one saw it until the replay.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    damn

  • GoingGoingGooner

    very sloppy play to start the half

  • para

    Thats the result of that(not closing down enough), not a clean sheet.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Oh crap

  • para

    See how stoke are penning us back?

  • Gord

    Drat! I see that Stoke has scored.

    The first half numbers (Stoke:Arsenal):
    Shots on target 2:4
    off target 1:2
    Corners 0:4
    Offsides 2:0
    fouls 5:7
    goal kicks 4:4
    treatments 4:0

    %Arsenal
    _5 72
    10 56
    15 59
    20 60
    25 60
    30 60
    35 61
    40 59
    45 62
    45+3 60

    COYG!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    game being played at a walking speed

  • Al

    Para
    I did. So did Gerrard. And so did my 9yr old sitting here with me.

  • Al

    Butland has made 3 or 4 brilliant saves, man of the match so far, by a mile

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come ooooooonnnnn uuuuuuuuuu ggggguuuunnnnneeeeerrrrrrssss

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come ooooooonnnnn Rambo
    Come ooooooonnnnn ARSENAL

  • GoingGoingGooner

    we have taken over the last 5 minutes…looking much sharper and with more push…players are making runs.

  • para

    This is why we lose games.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Giroud getting ready to come on

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I just wish we were playing everyone in their proper positions

  • GoingGoingGooner

    for Kolasinac

  • GoingGoingGooner

    back 4

  • ARSENAL 13

    Giroooooooo Danny buoy…..

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Welbeck all alone, couldn’t finish..meh

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Giroud on and reverting to a back four

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo Rambo

  • Chris

    looks like Arsene is playing for all the marbles….
    Giroud Wellbeck and Lacazette together….

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo ooooooo…. cooooommmmeeeee ooooooonnnnn

  • Gord

    Come on Arsenal, 20 minutes to get at least 2 goals!

    COYG!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    It looks like one of those days

    COYG

  • ARSENAL 13

    Crap… ooooooonnnnn side…

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Lacazette goal wrongly chalked off for offside

  • para

    Not offside at all

  • Al

    That same near side linesman should have gone to Specsavers at half time.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Bloody officials!

  • Al

    So if we had video refereeing we would have had a penalty and a legitimate goal stand..

  • Gord

    Apparently this is the highest recorded attendance at Stoke for a football^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hrugby match.

    Both Guardian and Daily Mail are saying Arsenal was offside on goal. Which doesn’t mean that Arsenal was offside.

    COYG!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Walcott and Iwobit standing up

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Wrong choice from the Ox. It needed a through ball

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Lacazette and xhaka off

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahhahahaha… looking at every pixel to prove the official was correct!! Wow….

  • para

    How come thats a stoke free kick

  • Al

    Not seeing anything to convince me things are going to change anytime soon in terms of refereeing standards against Arsenal. And still the media won’t call this bs out, where’s the spine?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    That was a Pieters foul on Walcott not the other way round

  • Al

    Ridiculous trying to say Lacazette’s studs were off.. the defender’s elbow was playing him on!!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I don’t understand why referees let players stay on the pitch so long after they have been treated. This Pieters should get an award for length of time curled up on the pitch for a slight knock.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    That was no free kick in favour of Butland either

  • ARSENAL 13

    Only five!!!!!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Amazing only 5 minutes added on. Pieters himself was down for 3.

  • para

    Come on lads, you have to redeem yourselves now

  • Al

    Starting to dislike marriner, saw him do the same in our match against Sevilla in the Ems cup too. He’s turning into an a**hole

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    For all of the mistakes by the officials we haven’t done enough to win the game. Some of our decision making has been poor. A very disappointing game.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Giroud….

  • 5th Gen Gooner

    Can’t help think it’s business as usual. Nothing has changed from last season – Zero at the back and banana boots up front. Seems like we need to create 20 chances to get a goal!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Giroud normally scores those

  • Al

    They say marriner couldn’t have seen the foul on Bellerin and needed replays to be certain.. yet the linesman didn’t need replays to see Lacazette’s studs were offside! So if they can see that how can they fail to see a whole body being hauled down? Robbed. Again😡

  • para

    We lost it when we did not close them down enough in the first half.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    There’s work to be done.

  • para

    We cant depend on the ref to be great, we have to be great.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    We had a penalty not called and a good goal chalked off but we have some work to do.

  • para

    GoingGoingGooner
    Our usual frailties, our training lacks something, and has for some seasons now.

  • Al

    Lets call a spade a spade… yes we may not have been at our best, and I concede, but we can’t ignore the fact that what really decided the match was marriner “failing” to see Bellerin being tripped when he was about 5 yards away, yet the lino somehow managed to spot Lacazette’s heel as “being offside” from 50 yards away! Nonsense.

    Give us those two decisions and we win this match, period, good performance or not. And that should be the story here.

  • al_the_gunner

    last season champs loose to ars first match and wasnt so good in the start of the PL

  • al_the_gunner

    and lacazette score his second in second game
    thanks to refs not

  • WalterBroeckx

    match report is on line.
    I think the media will probably be all over Mariner and his assistant by now?

  • Josif

    A usual robbery at The Orcs Arena. Marriner was bloody awful today. We could discuss about the offside goal but the penalty on Bellerin (at least one) was a rock solid. The handball was not deliberate so I don’t think we were robbed there. Every 50-50 decision from the first minute went for Stoke so I asked Walter around 10th minute or so: “WTF is Marriner doing?” It was clear from space that something is wrong.

    That being said, we weren’t our usual selves and our defending left a lot to be desired. Mustafi looked rusty while Monreal and Kolašinac are not the best combination in the central defence. I actually thought Bellerin being moved to the LWB was a smart move as it left Ox, much better dribbler than Bellerin, on his natural side. Our next game is against Liverpool away and if we defend like we did today, we’ll get massacred by Mane and Salah.

    All in all, we need Koscielny’s and Alexis’ return and an extra midfielder until the deadline is a must-buy if we have any ambitions to win the league. If we don’t, we can leave the side as it is.

  • Swapneel

    @For All those who think we were not good enough.
    Yes have we lack something, who doesn’t at times
    Spurs lacked something in their first match, just see how referee ensured they didn’t lose.

    Tell me if referee was fair would Stoke have won today?

    Would stoke have continued playing so rough if referee had booked them at appropriate times?
    There was one foul against Walcott still referee gives it in favor of stoke

    This was a match we should have won and would have won if referring was fair enough

    And finally I won’t hold any grudge against Alexis, Ox or Ozil if they have decided to leave. How can then continue playing when they know they are being clearly cheated on the field

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