Villa v Arsenal preview, meanderings, and talking like a pirate.

By Bulldog Drummond

Now I’m more of a solider than a sailor, but even so it didn’t escape me that Friday was “Talk like a pirate day”, so in the Drummond household we had a fair smattering of “Arghhhh” and “me hearties”, not to mention “Why are pirates called pirates?” (Because they Arghhhhh – I just told you that.)

But that was yesterday and today is another country, or something like that.

All the destroyers (blimey we’re back  to the seaside) have been attacking Ozil, but Mr Wenger said that there is nothing to worry about.   “It is post-World Cup and he came back on August 11 and it takes a few months to get back to your best.   Many of the World Cup stars don’t even play at the moment. It’s natural. I’ve seen it before. It is more mental than physical.

“The supporters should not be concerned. We all go through periods where we are less good. We are a union, players, supporters and directors.   Fans need to be patient. You want your best players in every game but you have to be united and go through hard periods.

“Everybody judges players on one game but football is played with many ups and downs.  Why should he be a scapegoat? For what? We lost one game since the beginning of April. But we want to respond after a disappointing game.”

And indeed, we’re unbeaten in the last nine league games, which says something.  Also we are unbeaten in our last 15 Premier League visits to Villa Park, winning eight and drawing seven.   And we are still taking our revenge on that dreadful refereeing day at the start of last season.

So the 4-1-4-1 system looks set to continue with Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey in central midfield and Özil out wide but with the flexibility to roam.

If we play 4-2-3-1 we have Ozil playing number 10, Arteta in defence, Ramsey box to box, and Wilshere mobile.  It is possible, but I don’t think we are going that way today.

Aston Villa have Roy Keane sitting on the beach, which is enough to scare the ihner well being out of anyone, so no wonder they are winning.  10 points from four matches, with four goals scored.

Villa’s injuries etc are minor compared to ours.  Ron Vlaar missed the Liverpuddle game and might miss this one.  Christian Benteke is still out, as is Libor Kozak.  Joe Cole is back fit.

For us Calum Chambers should have got over his tonsillitis thing and Mathieu Flamini will have patched up his groin.  Jack had a knocked ankle, but then when as Jack ever played a match without having the opposition kick his ankle to shreds?

So that leaves us without Nacho Monreal (maybe back next week), Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott (nearly ready), with Giroud and Gnabry out for Le Compte.   Actually on the issue of the injured, although we are top of the injury league as usual we are just about in the same position as Newcastle and Man U.



Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs;


Sánchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Özil;


or how abouts the old 2-2- 1-2-2-1 Christmas Tree?


Mertesacker, Koscielny,

Chambers,                                         Gibbs


Ramsey,                                  Wilshere,

Sánchez,                     Özil



Down on the beach in the Birmingham sunshine…

Ospina, Flamini or Arteta, Rosicky, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Bellerin

Now how does this game go?

Aston Villa had 25% possession against Liverpool according to one stat I saw, but the same number of shots on target – which was… err….. one.

Aston Villa create 5.25 chances per game, according to another stat I saw, but Arsenal have 12.50.   So we just need to take a few more.  We also get twice as many shots as Aston Villa in each match. (16.5 to 8.25)

Our players are gradually picking up the pace and getting their act together – although of course the maniacs tends to want everything now, every games won.   Alexis is still growing, developing and adjusting to this league, and creating a huge amount for the players around him – which is often not reported.  Alexis is also involved a huge amount in the build ups – which is great to see.  He has created more chances than anyone else so far this season.

The main benefit we got from last weekend is that Villa’s fans will expect the moon, and won’t put up with one shot in 90 minutes, which could knock them out of their game plan.  We attack on the counter and kazzap – we score.

Actually speaking of which, here is a good statistic for all the whining moaners to stick in their pipe and smoke (as we ol’ timers used to say).

We have Villa’s best start to the season in over 2000 years (I think that should be since 1998 – Tony) and more points than shots on target.

Last season we had 17 matches without letting in a goal.  Only Chelsea had a higher total.   Funny thing – that the moaners and the press never mention that, but instead just focus on three or four games.

So there we have it.

You can read about other games v Villa at this time of year on the Arsenal History Site.

There is an index to recent posts, a guide to today’s anniversaries, and details of our other sites on the Untold Arsenal home page

If you have been, thanks for reading.


66 Replies to “Villa v Arsenal preview, meanderings, and talking like a pirate.”

  1. I like the stat’s Bulldog.

    I have a few more I’d like to add;

    Last season Arsenal amassed 53 points from a possible 60 against the bottom 10 clubs. In fact after the opening day loss to Anthony Villa, Arsenal dropped a mere 4 points from the remaining 19 games during that sequence. Remarkable form.

    Funny thing – that the moaners and the press never mention that either.

    Meanwhile Aston Villa have scored four goals from only six attempts on target, conceding only once from their four matches so far.

  2. I think you’ll find villa won last seasons fixture by playing you off the park rather than any refereering injustices. A particuarly pertinent point given that it’s 10 years since cloughie passed away- see cloughies comments regarding wenger and referees .

  3. Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck
    Subs: Ospina, Coquelin, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Wilshere, Podolski

  4. Not a fan of 4-1-4-1, at least not until we become a little more settled.

    4-2-3-1 is ok for now I think.

    Anyway the team should be fired up today, and I hope they have prepared well and not let themselves be surprised by Villa.

    If they are, I suggest 1-4 else I don’t know.

  5. get in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! gut gespielt Mesut!!!!!!!!!
    get in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Danny Boy..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. At the half, and we only have 3 goals. Wenger’s tactics are all wrong. The club is crap. Wenger out.

  7. Ah and since everyone is gonna talk up Ozil and Welbeck (including me), but I should remind everyone that the World Class Goalkeeper we have kept us in the game.

  8. Arsenal need to score more goals this season.

    30 odd behind both City and Pool last season is way too many.

    All out attack is the way forward.


  9. Arrgggh what’s happened to my 1-4 ?

    Seriously, played cautious and were lucky to keep clean sheet, then 3 goals in 3 mins and then we went to sleep again, with one eye open.
    After all they were probably tired from CL.

    One week to recover and then the Spuds.
    Come on.

  10. A question for nicky, Tony and other veteran Arsenal fans out there:

    “Have you ever seen Arsenal have an easier half (1st or 2nd) in any match before today since you’ve been following the club?”

    That was very good from our boys and a very professional 2nd half. I was hoping for more goals in 2nd half and I would have been disappointed to see none despite our total domination of the game but then I remember our 2nd half away to Newcastle where our 1st half 4 goal lead was neutralised (granted in very questionable circumstances). That was a thoroughly professional and mature 2nd half from our boys. Better to keep a cleansheet than go looking for more goals only to concede which would put an unnecessary pressure on the team.

    I am overjoyed to collect the precious 3 points, +3 goals and our first cleansheet in the league. I more of this kind of easy, non-blood-pressure threatening matches.

    Now let’s take care of the in-form team of the league by dumping Southampton out of the League cup on Tuesday.

    Come on Arsenal!

  11. @Bootoome,
    Not since Invincible Era.
    Now I want this type of domination and control and maturity when we are 2-0 and 1-0 late in the game. Controling the vall instead of just defending.

  12. Yassin,

    Thanks for pointing out Szczesny’s critical contribution. Who knows what might have been had we conceded that nearly impossible to miss goal? While all the players were great, I am making Szcz my Man-of-the-Match for that save. He kept us in the game when Villa were high on confidence and that’s a huge deal.

  13. Whenever Wenger supports a struggling player, you can bet that player will put in an unbelievable performance.

    Great win!

  14. Shame on all doomers. Arsene’s statement on Ozil has just been proven right in less than 24 hours!

    Congrats to Danny for his first, let the flood gate of goal begin in his Arsenal career.

    Well done boys.

    Sean and co should sadly craw back to their sewer until the next Arsenal defeat.

  15. much better….a devastating spell, and a very mature second half performance.
    An all round team performance, but great to see Danny off the mark and Ozil back in the thick of things. And we will soon have Theo to add to the mix.
    An early Invincibles Day tomorrow?….although of course this team are still unbeaten whatever happens in the City Chelsea game….not sure how that counts?
    Bad day for our visitors from Le Bridge….with their silly comments that things will turn ugly if we lose to Villa….and such the like.

  16. @Sammy the Snake,

    The fun part, is that all our players were struggling, except for Szczesny. Why was Ozil the scapegoat I have no idea. But he responded well.

  17. Wouldn’t be a perfect day without a whinge at UA, would it 🙂 Didn’t like that tackle on Poldi from Clarke, thought shoulda been a straight red. Ah well, can’t get it all.

  18. @Bootoomee,

    Szczesny contribution has been from the first game this season. He was awesome, but sure no one in the media will notice that.

  19. @Al,

    But apart from that foul, there was no much kicking from their side. I dont think the ref was the reason but the way their player played. That I have a total respect for them for.
    The ref was ok, he missed some yellows including our Captain’s one.
    Its a good feeling when we know that mistakes are not due to bias.

  20. followed the game on 5live Gary Neville is total prick Aston villa opened the game with 100 percent endeavour, and created some chances Neville was in total love with villas play when arsenal scored their three goals he was completely deflated and the remainder of the game was at loss to give the gooners the respect the game deserved.

  21. An excellent win and three valuable points. Some great play from our guys today. It was good to see Ozil enjoy his game and also for Welbeck to get off the mark. Well done the team.

  22. Yassin,

    I think the Villans were just overwhelmed by the those 3 rapid fire goals (seriously, I can’t think of any team that wouldn’t cower under similar circumstances). The only way back for Villa was through an Arsenal error and I am glad the team did not give it to them.

    But let’s not be fooled into thinking that Villa or any other team would have played like they did in the 2nd half had things being different. They would have given us hell had it been 0-1 or even 0-2. I am just glad that we did not give them a way back by being too adventurous. It’s beautiful watching the trio of Per, Kos and Arteta pass the ball around when we are in possession in the back. That was a mature display and I love it.

  23. Tbf I think until Liverpool sign a D**M signed to any special agent that they are D**Med. Liverpool in crisis? 😉

  24. WOO HOO , HOO !
    3 goals in 92 seconds ! Is that an EPL record ?
    It was a surreal 2nd half . Yes we had most of the ball , but did it have to go all the way back to BFG for his blessing ,before starting another forward movement ?
    Was the BFG playing as the ‘Monster’ DM ? Well he was in the centre circle for the whole second half !
    Did anybody count the most number of touches by us before Villa got it back ? Is that too a record ?
    Was anybody else shouting , ” SHOOT !”, whenever the ball was outside their box ?
    Ah well ,a good 3 points , a fantastic 1st half and a second half of keep ball .
    What more could an AKB want ?

  25. @Bootoomee,

    We have the best passing players, they can do that against non-top teams. Its just the mental pressure we suffer until we get to 3-0 that make us give the opposition the ball when we want to defend. Our players are under huge pressure, unlike other teams. Look at how Ozil was treated, what did he do wrong? And look at how over joyed he was when he scored. Arsene Wenger is brilliant, and with such media and moaning, I dont think anyone can do this job like him, how he stood by Ramsey,Wilshere, Ozil…etc

    Where is the humanity? Where is the respect that should be shown on media? I have no idea, but I know its up to us fans to defend those players and I believe we are doing good.

  26. A church in London had rules that it would not employ anyone, without formal high school education.
    The old pastor was benign and not stickler of rules.

    He allowed Alfred Dunhill (who lacked formal education) as the caretaker to clean the pew, sweep the floor and keep the podium spick and span.
    Dunhill had put off taking his high school examination till it became too late.
    Once the old pastor retired, he was replaced by a younger person who strictly followed the rule book.
    As he came to know about the caretaker’s education, he issued a notice to him that either he should get a high school certificate in six months or resign.
    Dunhill knew that one could not teach an old dog new tricks. So he had no option but to resign.
    He started out his afternoon stroll in deep thought and got into Bond Street.
    Suddenly, he felt an urge to smoke but he could not find a single tobacco shop on the entire street.
    He walked further down into a side street so as he could purchase cigarettes there. But even there there was no cigarette shop.
    He came back on the busy Bond Street.
    He realized that opening of a small cigarette shop in Bond street would be a sound business proposition.
    He resigned at the church and started a small shop on the Bond Street which succeeded way beyond his expectations.
    He noticed that many of his customers were also coming from the other side of Bond street.
    He started another shop on that side of Bond Street as well.
    The two shops multiplied to four and then sixteen.
    In three years, Alfred Dunhill & Co. was a leading tobacconist of England.

    He started machine-rolling cigarettes and later introduced his own brand of Dunhill cigarettes.

    In five years, he was a millionaire many times over.
    To ensure a consistent supply of tobacco, he entered into an annual purchase agreement with a couple of American tobacco farmers and went to America to meet them.
    It was a big boost for the American tobacco farmers and the contract signing ceremony was converted into a media circus, with a Senator and a Governor participating.
    When the contracts were actually signed, Dunhill affixed his thumb impression because he had not still learnt to sign his name.
    The Governor was impressed and said, “Well Sir! This is awesome. Even without a formal education you have achieved so much. Just imagine what you would have done if you had a formal education!”

    Dunhill’s characteristic often repeated reply was, “If I knew how to read and write, I would still be sweeping the church!”

    The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything – Unknown

  27. @ Yassin – yes , was hoping that he would come on after we had scored our 4th , 5th or 6th goal and play in the ‘MONSTER DM’ role everyone is talking about !
    Alas , it was not to be !
    Did you notice the big and infectious smile on Poldi’s face when he came on ? Awesome !

  28. Yassin,

    Totally agree with your 6.03pm comment. Don’t get me started on the media and how they treat our players and manager. We at Untold and a few other blogs stand up for Arsenal but far too many of the so called Arsenal fans are usually happy to lead the charge when it’s time to attack our players and manager.

  29. Bootoomee
    Spot on. I would have no problems with the likes of Sean,linz, etc if they’d be at front praising the team after a performance like today’s. But predictably they’re nowhere to be seen, only turn up here when things go wrong. What kind of support is that? Only coming here to hammer the team and manager, and never a word of praise? What difference is there between them and spuds fans or other rival fans? Doesn’t make sense.

  30. @Brickfields Gunner,

    Yes I noticed it, ge started having fun as soon as he entered, he said something first to someone. What a man!

    @Bootoomee, agree, we won today and lets enjoy it!!! Forget about the moaners now, they will come later and we will have a lot of time to talk to/about them.

  31. we can counter the media shit. Alas, some shitheads tow the media line. In the home games we should sing and shout in support of under ‘media’ fire players. Stand by them like Mr Wenger does. And like we do at Untold. Just show faith and support.

    Gooner world, its time to lift pressure off the gunners. Only we can do it.

    Go gunners.

  32. Good win today with many positives. Ozil and Welbeck on the scoresheet, Chamberlain and Cazorla getting some game time and a clean sheet to boot but the one thing that pleased Me personally was seeing the name Abu Diaby back amongst the squad.

    BTW looks like Borussia Dortmunds effort and amazing work rate against Arsenal has taken its toll tonight.

    Mainz 2 Dortmund 0.

  33. West Ham 3-1 Liverpool and it’s game over. Liverpool need to strengthen and buy new players urgently. Afterall that’s always the prescription whenever Arsenal under performs.

  34. Bootoomee

    Last 3 games.

    Mancity: L D L

    Liverpool: L W L

    Man Utd: L D W

    Arsenal: D L W

    But of course there’s only one team in ‘crisis’

  35. jambug,

    Excellently put again dear friend.

    Apart from Chelsea, who have been blessed with an easy set of early games, every other team is struggling to get into rhythm. Even Chelsea were showed up at home by Schalke to not be all that. But the only team that is always being talked about in the media to be in crisis is Arsenal with the Tourettique solution of buying players.

    Although the media are anti-Arsenal, they get most of their ammunition from the ‘non-existent’ AAA – like Sean who posted a lie about Alexis being injured and would frequent here when the team didn’t win but is nowhere to be found after today’s resounding victory.

  36. Bootoomee
    I am sure that Rupert, Sean, Linz, Mika etc etc are all otherwise engaged and will be posting on here with their enthusiastic congratulations as soon as it is possible for them to do so.

  37. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Seannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn where are you? Nothing to criticize about AFC today so, OF COURSE you make something up and never a word about how well our lads did today. True AAA anachronism you are….

  38. Jeff stelling today.

    “Arsenal needed that result today after the disastrous week they’ve had”

    FFS !! we lost 2 – 0 away in the CL to a top top side.

    How, in anyone’s language does that equate to a ‘disaster’?

    But that’s the problem isn’t it. All sense of reason, logic and perspective have long since departed as far as anything to do with Arsenal is concerned.

    It’ seems if we don’t win every single game by a cricket score we are somehow falling short.

    No such thing as a well earned point or a gutsy win for us.

    No such accolade as ‘winning when you play bad is what champions are made of’

    Nope, win lose or draw it’s never enough for our AAA friends and there media buddies.

    Sad bastards the lot of ’em.

  39. We UPSET a-lot of people today…whilst we got very drunk celebrating…how very nice for us true GUNNERS 🙂 🙂

  40. @Tasos

    Interesting about Dortmund losing today. Proves that footballers are just human beings. They gave their all against us, just as we had given our all against Manchester City. Nobody can do that every time.

    But I reckon we have to do it more often than most, because every team tries to put on their top performance against us. I suppose it’s a compliment.

  41. I was pessimistic in my prediction, and I’m all the happier for the outcome. I guess in the end of the day I’m better off 🙂

  42. @Pat

    Jurgen Klopp after Dortmund’s 2-0 victory “We wanted to be a pressing and counter-pressing machine and get the ball whenever possible,” he said. “When we get the ball we play very quickly and that’s hard to defend against.

    “We didn’t let Arsenal impose their game and this only happens when you run a lot.”

    As you say Pat, nobody can do that every time. You’re asking Usain Bolt to run the marathon.

    And if we accept that European football brings its own demands, then we must also accept that those clubs not involved in Europe to potentially benefit.

    Last season Liverpool, with the help of Luis Suarez, very nearly capitalised, this season we should expect Man Utd to be the main beneficiaries.

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