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Europa game 4. Early thoughts on the team and comparing with Man U’s approach

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsene Wenger has suggested Mathieu Debuchy could stay at Arsenal and play at centre back, which is a position he will probably take up again this Thursday.

Given how much playing time he had missed and the fact that he is a full back not a centre back the performance in the Europa was rather decent I felt.  So I suspect he could stay in the Europa side.

Here’s the group we put out last time.

Arsenal: Cech; Debuchy, Holding, Elneny; Nelson, Willock, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Wilshere.

Beached: Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Da Silva, Macey, McGuane, Nketiah, Sheaf.

Callum Chambers is said to be back in training but this game might be too soon for him.  Ospina I think will be ready for the game.

But thinking of players made me consider how different our approach this season is from the Manchester United approach in the competition last time around.

Here is a list of the Man U players who played five or more Europa games and the number of PL game they played last season…

No. Pos. Name Premier League Europa League
Games Goals Games Goals
3 DF  Eric Bailly 24(1) 0 11 0
5 DF  Marcos Rojo 18(3) 1 8(2) 0
6 MF  Paul Pogba 29(1) 5 15 3
8 MF  Juan Mata 19(6) 6 9(1) 2
9 FW  Zlatan Ibrahimović 27(1) 17 9(2) 5
12 DF  Chris Smalling 13(5) 1 8(2) 0
14 MF  Jesse Lingard 18(7) 1 6(4) 2
16 MF  Michael Carrick (vc) 18(5) 0 5(2) 0
17 DF  Daley Blind 21(3) 1 10(1) 0
19 FW  Marcus Rashford 16(16) 5 8(3) 2
20 GK  Sergio Romero 2 0 12 0
21 MF  Ander Herrera 27(4) 1 9 0
22 MF  Henrikh Mkhitaryan 14(9) 4 10(1) 6
25 MF  Antonio Valencia 28(1) 1 8(1) 0
27 MF  Marouane Fellaini 18(10) 1 7(3) 1
36 DF  Matteo Darmian 15(3) 0 7 0

Five of the Man U players who played five or more Europa games also played five or more League games.  Of course it might turn out that way for Arsenal too when we move into the later rounds, but it looks at the moment as if Man U mostly had half a separate squad for the Europa, while Arsenal has a totally separate squad.

This might particularly change after the group stages when we are playing clubs that were knocked out of the Champions League for coming third.

Meanwhile taking a look at what our visitors have done since the game in which we beat them with a late Giroudian goal.

Date Competition Home Score Away
19/10/17 Europa Crvena Zvezda 0 – 1 Arsenal
22/10/17 SUL Crvena Zvezda 2 – 1 Mladost Lučani
25/10/17 SUL Crvena Zvezda 1 – 0 Spartak Subotica
29/10/17 SUL Zemun 0 – 1 Crvena Zvezda

So three straight wins for them.  And three straight wins for us after the last meeting…

Date Teams Res Score Competition
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1 UEFA Europa League
22 Oct 2017 Everton v Arsenal W 2-5 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Norwich City W 2-1 League Cup
28 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Swansea City W 2-1 Premier League
So where does that leave them in their league I hear you cry…

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 15 13 1 1 32 3 +29 40
2 15 11 3 1 32 12 +20 36
3 15 9 3 3 20 11 +9 30
4 15 8 4 3 26 13 +13 28
5 15 7 5 3 28 18 +10 26
6 15 7 4 4 14 11 +3 25
7 15 7 2 6 26 22 +4 23
8 15 6 5 4 19 21 -2 23
9 15 5 3 7 20 21 -1 18
10 15 5 3 7 18 27 -9 18
11 15 5 1 9 19 26 -7 16
12 15 3 5 7 11 20 -9 14
13 15 3 4 8 14 26 -12 13
14 15 3 2 10 9 22 -13 11
15 15 2 2 11 13 31 -18 8
16 15 2 1 12 10 27 -17 7

The final question in this opening piece relates to the possibility of crowd trouble.  I think it is far less likely than with Cologne because Red Star have been in Europe regularly, while for Cologne it was a bit of a novelty.

Here is their recent record

  • 2010/11 Europa League – lost 9-1 on aggregate in the 3rd qualifying round
  • 2011/12 Europa League – lost 1-6 on aggregate in the Play off round
  • 2012.13 Europa League – lost 2-3 on aggregate in the Play off round
  • 2013/14 Europa League – lost 1-4 on aggregate in the 3rd qualifying round
  • 2015/16 Europa League – lost 1-4 on aggregate in the 1st qualifying round
  • 2016/17 Champions League – lost in the 3rd qualifying round and lost in the play off of the Europa 1-4.

So although they have not had great success in Europe of late they have had a number of games and thus the novelty of travel to such games will have worn off.  Hopefully also Arsenal will have learned their lesson from the last match.  If they have not, they are going to look very silly, and Uefa might start moving into point deduction mode.

Recent rambles

5 comments to Europa game 4. Early thoughts on the team and comparing with Man U’s approach

  • Jax

    I like our approach of having two squads for PL & Europa/League Cup, but Man U obviously had the Europe competition more highly prioritised and in the event they were proved correct by winning it quite easily.
    I would imagine that (as you suggest) we’ll put stronger sides out as we progress. The strain on the squad will become apparent when the FA Cup starts (even thought the League Cup is mostly over by then).
    I really think we could win this event.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Like I said in one of my comment posting this week, Arsenal should not take beating Crvena Zvezda for granted just becsuse they beat them 2-4 at away in the first leg of the match.

    Every game has it’s own complexion and Arsenal who are at home with home advantage in this return leg match should not rest on their oars in their aims to win the match. For, Crevda Zvezda who are on 4 points in the Europa League group ‘H’ table with Arsenal above them on 9 points will not come to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night’s to plsy a father Christmas match. But could surpringly play a serious football match to win it as they are likely to still fancy themselves having a chance to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition if only they can get a result at the Ems.

    Moreover, Arsenal should be mindful of teams that are lower in status to them coming to the Emirates Stadium to play a World Cup final match because it is the iconic Arsenal FC they are playing against and want to beat them to make name and get recognized.

    But neverthelss, if the Gunners will fully prepared themselves for this match mentally, physically and tactically so as to enabled them play a superior game in all aspects of the match that is superior to the game Crvena Zvezda have on offer to play in the match, Arsenal will carry the night irrespective of whatever resistant Crvena Zvezda posed in the match.

  • MickHazel

    OT
    Match officials for the Man City/Arsenal game…
    Referee: Michael Oliver
    Assistants: Simon Bennett, Stuart Burt
    Fourth official: Andre Marriner

  • Brickfields Gunners

    While in truth , I an not too worried on who plays for us against Crvena Zvezda , I do admit that I fear for our resident punster and names wordplay specialist , Croxley Rebel, http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/65322 who I feel may be overwhelmed by the array of near unpronounceable names of players of our next opponent !

    But am still looking forward to his attempt .

    So good luck , sir with the following (from wikipedia)

    1.Damir Kahriman
    3.Branko Jovičić
    4.Damien Le Tallec
    5.Abraham Frimpong
    6.Uroš Račić
    7.Nenad Krstičić
    8.Guélor Kanga
    10.Nenad Milijaš (captain[28])
    11.Luka Adžić
    14.Richmond Boakye
    15.Srđan Babić
    16.Nemanja Milić
    20.Mitchell Donald
    21.Filip Bainović
    23.Milan Rodić
    27.Nemanja Supić
    28.Dejan Joveljić
    30.Filip Stojković
    33.Dušan Anđelković
    40.Luka Ilić
    44.Zé Marcos
    45.Aleksandar Pešić
    49.Nemanja Radonjić
    55.Slavoljub Srnić
    77.Marko Gobeljić
    82.Milan Borjan
    89.Ricardinho
    90.Vujadin Savić

  • Josif

    @Bricks

    Yeah, Mitchell Donald is a tongue-breaker!

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