Brentford v Arsenal: the team, the ignorance, and Brentford’s problem



By Bulldog Drummond

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 13 9 2 2 33 13 20 29
2 Liverpool 13 8 4 1 28 11 17 28
3 Arsenal 12 8 3 1 26 10 16 27


One of the key factors to note about Brentford is that they can take the lead in matches and then not hold onto it, so if they are able to score first, that should not be too much to worry about.   In fact, having taken the lead they have then dropped 11 points – the highest droppage rate in the league this season.

Arsenal meanwhile, as we have been suggesting in previous articles, have been doing rather well against London teams of late, and in the last 16 London matches have won 11, drawn five and lost none.  That’s not yet the all-time record but it is getting there.

Meanwhile, as we have already mentioned, this is Arteta’s 200th Arsenal game as manager, and he has the best results of any Arsenal manager ever across his first 200 games, and is almost matching Arsene Wenger for his overall win percentage level.    And this was the man who the media and their fellow travellers wanted out, because he lost the first three league matches in the 2021/22 season.  There really are some very weird commentators around.   (Indeed you might like a quick peek at TNT’s comments at the time and remember them when listening to their people pontificate on the match which they are screening this afternoon).

But now, here’s something I didn’t know until reading up on this game today.   All seven of Leandro Trossard’s league and cup goals for Arsenal have been assisted by Bukayo Saka. That has turned up on the official Arsenal site, and is being repeated elsewhere but I thought I would mention it in case you missed it.  Leandro has scored in three of his last four League games against Brentford.

As for the team, we know Fabio Vieira is suspended and Emile Smith Rowe, Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey are all still injured. But we are being told Gabriel Jesus should play and Martin Odegaard, Ben White and Cedric Soares might play.  Or might not.  There are also considerations of a Champions League match to come during this week.

For Brentford, Ivan Toney is banned for gambling offences, and they have problems with Rico Henry who requires surgery, Aaron Hickey with a hamstring, Kevin Schade, Nathan Collins, Joshua Dasilva and Mikkel Damsgaard.

The Analyst website tells us “Arsenal (39.4%) are predicted to only have a slight advantage over Brentford (31.8%) by the Opta supercomputer.”   Which is ok because it isn’t a supercomputer.  It’s just some guys and an ordinary computer, but because they know their predictions are ordinary, they try and beef them up by claiming totally falsely that they are using a super computer.  Bit silly really.

The Standard won’t predict a team but they tell us that the result will be a 1-1 draw.

But Football.London really had me reading their website twice, when they announced, “One big talking point will be if former Bees keeper David Raya will start for his new employers or will Aaron Ramsdale get the call up he has been fighting for.”

Now as far as I know there is no chance of Raya playing because he is on loan from Brentford, and the rule is quite clear that loanees cannot play against their employers.   Of course the rule may have been changed, but I don’t think so, which raises the question, how could Football.London with all its staff, its assertiveness, its proclaimed knowledge not know?  And further, how then are we supposed to take anything they say seriously?

The Standard give us a team of


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Havertz, Jorginho, Rice;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

And a bench of Hein, Trossard, Nketiah, Kiwior, Elneny, Odegaard, Nelson, Sagoe.

And Racing Post give us exactly the same lineup.

The Sun doesn’t give us a line up but says “ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed Martin Odegaard AND Gabriel Jesus are available to play against Brentford this weekend.”

Sporting News gives us a line up of


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko

Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

which of course is almost the same as above except Odegaard is in from the start.   And looking around other websites that is pretty much the situation.  It is that team either with Odegaard starting, or with him on the bench.  Personally, I do hope he is fit enough to start, as it seems to me we really do miss him when he’s not available.

But then, what do I know?  Well, at least the fact that no one is using a supercomputer to predict the answers (largely because they are very expensive machines that are used for the security of the realm and helping predict the weather) and that Raya will not be playing for Arsenal.

Which is a start.

Fingers, and just about everything else, crossed.

3 Replies to “Brentford v Arsenal: the team, the ignorance, and Brentford’s problem”

  1. This is what happens when you defend like this. Okay, Ramsdale gave away a couple of chances, but apart from that we gave them nothing.

    So pleased for Kai.

    My only worry is that, despite yet another assist, Saka seems to of lost his mojo at the moment. Fingers crossed he finds it behind the sofa soon.


  2. RE: THE ANALYST: Brentford 0 vs Arsenal 1 at the 89th minute does appear to be a “slight advantage” don’t you think?
    Maybe you owe their super computer an apology. They called it right.

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