Sunderland v Arsenal, the teams, what will happen and other stuff.

By Bulldog Drummond
Well now it seems like only Thursday when we were playing a game and here we are once more.  12 goals in our last five games, three wins and two draws – not so bad overall.
Sunderland’s home record is not that magnifico – in fact in the tables helpfully produced by they are pretty much at the bottom end when playing at home…
    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 18 12 1 5 45 19 +26 37
2 Manchester Utd 17 11 4 2 23 7 +16 37
3 Leicester City 17 10 6 1 28 17 +11 36
4 Tottenham 17 10 5 2 33 12 +21 35
5 Arsenal 17 10 4 3 26 11 +15 34
6 West Ham Utd 17 8 7 2 30 20 +10 31
7 Southampton 17 9 3 5 31 19 +12 30
8 Liverpool 17 7 7 3 30 21 +9 28
9 Swansea City 17 7 5 5 16 18 -2 26
10 Stoke City 17 7 3 7 19 22 -3 24
11 Newcastle Utd 17 5 7 5 26 23 +3 22
12 Chelsea 17 5 7 5 29 27 +2 22
13 West Bromwich 17 6 4 7 19 22 -3 22
14 Watford 17 5 5 7 15 15 0 20
15 Norwich City 17 5 5 7 22 27 -5 20
16 Bournemouth 18 5 4 9 22 33 -11 19
17 Crystal Palace 18 5 3 10 17 22 -5 18
18 Everton 17 4 5 8 30 29 +1 17
19 Sunderland 16 4 5 7 17 18 -1 17
20 Aston Villa 18 2 4 12 14 35 -21 10
Won four, drawn five and lost seven scoring 17 goals in 16 games.  Not the best record under the sun.  Here’s the top of the away table, again from the same source…
    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Leicester City 17 11 4 2 31 16 +15 37
2 Tottenham 17 9 6 2 31 13 +18 33
3 Arsenal 17 8 5 4 32 23 +9 29
4 Manchester City 17 7 6 4 21 15 +6 27
5 Liverpool 17 8 3 6 28 24 +4 27
6 Chelsea 17 7 4 6 24 19 +5 25
7 West Ham Utd 17 6 7 4 27 23 +4 25
8 Everton 17 5 9 3 23 19 +4 24
9 Southampton 18 6 6 6 18 18 0 24
10 Stoke City 18 6 5 7 18 29 -11 23
It’s not bad reading for this game.
It has been a while since I took a look at the Arsenal player charts and it is interesting to come back to them now…  Here are the top ten Arsenal players.
R Player Apps Mins Goals Assists SpG MotM Rating
1 Alexis Sánchez 24(2) 2092 12 4 3.6 6 7.71
2 Mesut Özil 32 2787 6 18 1.4 6 7.69
3 Santi Cazorla 14 1205 3 1.6 1 7.52
4 Laurent Koscielny 29 2487 4 0.6 2 7.44
5 Gabriel Paulista 16(2) 1543 1 0.6 7.31
6 Nacho Monreal 32(1) 2888 2 0.4 1 7.24
7 Aaron Ramsey 26(2) 2354 5 4 2.4 2 7.23
8 Héctor Bellerín 32 2880 1 4 0.3 1 7.19
9 Danny Welbeck 6(2) 501 3 2 2.3 1 7.16
10 Francis Coquelin 20(3) 1537 0.3 1 7.13
 Interesting that the bloggettas are saying that Arsenal “look certain to sell Ramsey this summer” and yet he is in the top 10 players.  But its a funny ol’ game – or at least a funny ol’ load of websites.
Sunderland meanwhile have drawn three, lost one and won one of their last five.  The defeat was to Leicester and the victory was over Norwich.   They have scored five in those five games – three of them being against Norwich.
So there we have the facts and figures.  What we ought to be able to add is a bit of spice between the extraordinarily large Sam (“He is as disproportion’d in his manners as in his shape” – William Shakespeare in The Tempest) and Arsène Wenger but that doesn’t seem to be there much these days, but each will be anxious for to get something today, so we can expect the Large One to throw anything he can find into the mix to try and get a win.  Or a goal.
Thus it comes as some surprise that Sunderland are not an especially dirty team… at least in terms of the referees who look at this sort of thing.  These figures from the FA.
# Team Games Cautions  Dismissals  Disciplinary Points
1 Watford 39 72 4 334
2 West Bromwich Albion 41 74 3 330
3 Aston Villa 40 76 2 326
4 Norwich City 38 65 3 292
5 Liverpool 44 67 2 288
6 Chelsea 40 59 5 286
7 Crystal Palace 42 66 2 286
8 West Ham United 41 62 6 282
9 Newcastle United 38 60 4 282
10 Manchester City 44 68 0 272
11 Stoke City 43 56 5 268
12 Southampton 38 53 6 264
13 Manchester United 41 63 1 262
14 Everton 44 49 6 260
15 Tottenham Hotspur 39 65 0 260
16 Sunderland AFC 36 57 2 248
17 Leicester City 39 56 2 244
18 Swansea City 37 60 1 240
19 AFC Bournemouth 41 57 1 238
20 Arsenal 41 45 4 210
  • Caution 4 pts
  • Denial of a goal scoring opportunity or dismissal for 2 cautions 10 pts
  • Violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting or offensive and abusive language 12 pts

The nearer the bottom the better it is, in terms of this table.

In the league table Sunderland still need to overtake Norwich, so they have everything to go for, and we want third, and so ditto.

Jack Rodwell is back for Sunderland after being out illness but Jeremain Lens still has the virus, and DeAndre Yedlin has a dodgy ankle.

Jack Wilshere might be on the beach – which in Sunderland is not an alluring prospect – and really I think this is not the place to start.  Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky are still training,  which means our one injury is the Ox.  Physioroom has Sunderland with four players out.  Top of the injury table are Palace, Liverpool and Stoke.

Inevitably Sunderland are now a totally defensive team against the bigger sides and that is showing with the lack of goals being let in of late.   But we have won six of the last seven against Sunderland, scoring two or more in five of the last six against them.  And we have scored two or more in each of our last five away games in the Premier League.

Sunderland on the other have have won one in the last 24 against us.  Of the rest eight were drawn and 15 lost.   We won the fixture at the Ems 3-1 in December and got the same score against them in the FA Cup in January.

In total we’ve had 12 league games against them without defeat, winning eight.   And to help matters along Sunderland have won only four of their last 17 league games at the fancifully named “Stadium of Light”.
But if you really insist on finding something a bit grotty to say, it has to be that we have won only three of the last 11 Premier League away games.

However I can’t let it all be negative, so let’s have the fact that Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals and given three assists in his last six Premier League games.   Aaron Ramsey has scored three goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Thus we have…



Iwobi Ozil Alexis

Coquelin Ramsey

Monreal Kos Mert Bellerin


Lurking around on the beach we might spot Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Walcott, Giroud, Gabriel, Elneny.  I’ve left out Wilshere because I don’t think he’s truly ready to come back in a game we have to win.

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77 Replies to “Sunderland v Arsenal, the teams, what will happen and other stuff.”

  1. Play elneny instead of coquelin bcos he has shooting ability, decent tackling,good passer e.t.c

  2. I watched Wilshere play with the U21s on Monday night and he looked far from ready for first team football. Yes he scored our only goal with a delightful bit of skill but he wasn’t in any sense ‘bossing’ the game as you would expect him to do were he fully ready.

  3. Excited to see Wilshere back in the squad!! Hope we have a good game so that he can come on in the last few to show us what we have missed all this time 😀

  4. you can see the progress in Jacks return, but no he didnt boss the last game. However some of his bursts of pace and flicks and tricks were sublime. If you needed someone to unlock a defence in the final 15 he could definetly do that.
    on saying Sunderland are not a dirty side, while they might not have to be dirty against norwich I think you can guarentee they will be more aggressive against us. The table also doesnt show if there has been an increase under the fat man.

  5. Our match referee is Dean, which is horrendous enough, but pales to insignificance when I read in The Guardian today that The Nigerian FA recently appointed a dead ref to officiate in a game.

  6. Dean, Ahhh.

    The agenda may have shifted to guarantee Manu a 4th place so it is vital to play well and not do “silly” things that with a normal (normal??) ref may be overlooked but with Dean can be all sorts of punishment.

    Be on the look out for early yellows to Arsenal players.

    A must win lads so go out there and do it.

  7. Apologies for going off topic but, yep, another note about pens.

    Always thought it would be handy to have any comparisons with other leagues, specifically the other big teams.

    Commentators helped me out in the Barca game yesterday be revealing they’ve had 21 pens this year (all comps, surely).

    They’re a better team than us, yes; it’s a different league, yep; football is an unpredictable chaotic sport full of one-off events, aye; refs are human with all that entails, sure; but nevertheless it is a valuable if minor point of comparison.

    Life for Barcelona is very different than for us in the penalty box and in football in general- they can expect penalties and lots of them; we can’t. And yet we are, of course, directly compared to them and all other major football clubs, without any factoring in of such a salient fact.

    It also helped give a bit of perspective to the claim the other day that we have been denied 29 pens this year. That figure made me wince and didn’t feel good for the cause here.

    As I’m sure was pointed out, though, giving just some of those pens would ensure many of the other incidents did not happen. Managers and footballers are pretty good calculating machines, absorbing feedback all the time. In our case they can only have noticed we do not get many penalties and so they play against us like people who feel they are likely to get away with things against us.

    Anyway, so Barca’s 21 indicated 29 is, though still an astonishing figure, not that far beyond the bounds of precedent and possibility.

    Then a funny thing happened as I watched. Barca got a softish pen for handball (close to cross, struck body and bounced on to hand)- safe to say we would never get that one.

    Then they got another softish pen from an incident similar to the Carroll pen against Leicester. Nope, no chance for us.

    I turned over. It was boring and left a bad taste.

    i turned back a while later. they’d scored yet again. Soon a replay arrived, another pen, this time a ludicrously soft one for a gentle arm on the back. 29! Giroud alone would have 29 this season if that was the threshold.

    So that’s Barca up to 24 thanks to 3 pens in eleven minutes.

    This isn’t to say the refs are getting it right, to our wrong, in Barca games; nor wrong to our right; more that we are playing what is effectively a different ball game : pen free attacking vs pen galore attacking.

    There was debate on here yesterday about how improbable any corruption is, and all I can say is that I haven’t a clue if it deserves that name. All i feel sure of is that something is wrong, possibly something which involves a number of causes, none of which can quite be called corruption.

    All I know is that having watched us over these years, and other teams in the prem, and other teams in other leagues and other competitions, it clearly seems the case that various referees are at any time on a spectrum of willingness to give a pen and reluctance to.

    This can alter in a game quite naturally ( e.g. you’ve given one to one team and are very concerned it may have been a bad decision; players and one set of fans are insisting you effed up; there’s a pen claim for the other team…), and in my opinion is likely to be greatly influenced by an understanding on the refs part of the likely consequences for himself of giving a pen to either team (media consequences, career consequences;in times of old, displeasing or pleasing Ferguson *).

    The causes can be speculated upon but much will remain unknown. All that can be talked about with certainty are the results- actual pen stats- and then the difficult debate of how well the stats match reality.

    In the case of the Barcelona ref yesterday, that ref was extraordinarily willing to give Barca pens; with us, everything points to me to refs being in a near permanent state of unwillingness to find in our favour.

    *10 pens in 14 games, or whatever it was, can land a poor ref the top job when he’s done

  8. Rich

    Its all ref driven agenda. Previously it was Fergie who got Penalties at his will. This year it had been Leicester.
    LVG was saying last night its the refs who decides games and not the players.
    Sad times.

  9. That dead ref story has been in the news for many days now, I think it started on the weekend. And that dead referee was still probably better than many PGMO referees.


  10. Anyone who saw the Gazprom-Arsenal fixture and believed that AFC are given the same treatment as others or that all is healthy in this league, they need to go back and watch the Football. In other words: “that dead referee was still probably better than many pgMOB referees”.

    *gollum gollum*

  11. When a ref celebrate’s another teams goal not once but twice on the field of play it tell’s me all I need to know. They are supposed to be professional and unbiased but watching over the years this sadly is not the case.
    When we play today we play against 12 , hoping for an early goal and to take the chances we create to get that win we need.
    Sunderland will have to come out and play so that should suit us on the counter attack. After the Chelsea fiasco this man should never have been appointed to another match involving Arsenal and the Arsenal Board should have protested loud and long and I really hope they did but at the very least that sad excuse for a referee should not have been given a game with us for the rest of the season.
    So come on boy’s and play the beautiful game the way it should be played but make sure to shut up shop at the back and good luck.

  12. Btw i am expecting some favours from Dean after the PGMo knows we are out of the title race.
    He may award us a Penalty to come out as a clean man in aftermath of Chelsea fiasco.

  13. Hey this is nice. I’ve only had to delete one comment this morning – another one of those suggesting that Untold had claimed x (which we hadn’t), that the writer had invited us to give proof (which he didn’t) we hadn’t given proof (of course, we never made the claim in the first place) and thus now we could be seen in our true light as people who make wild allegations, never back them up with facts and try to censor right minded people who point out how silly we are.

    Life is so much nicer when I don’t have to deal with all that rubbish.

    Keep it up guys.

  14. The Arsenal twit feed, had the lineup.

    Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
    Elneny Ramsey
    Iwobi Ozil Alexis

    Beach: Ospina, Gabriel, Coquelin, Wilshere, Campbell, Walcott, Welbeck


  15. In most of the world, you _press_ things by applying a large weight or force onto something. In the English medja, you _press_ Arsenal by kicking, punching and elbowing them at every opportunity (allowed by the PGMO idiots). Consequently, the pregame news is filled with “Sunderland will _press_ Arsenal”. Not that Dean stopped by the dressing room and told the fat one in front of all his players that he would not be calling any rough fouls made on Arsenal players today.

    Hopefully Dean slips making his way onto the field, and breaks his own leg in the run-up to kickoff.


  16. To be honest I’m not to confident about this game as Sunderland will be desperate to win or at least draw. I think they will park the bus and try to break similar to crystal palace but also play very physical to break up out play. Let hope we get no injuries and get the win.

  17. Will we see the return of Jacky Wilshere….

    Come.on boys….early goals please….let’s get Wilshere time.

  18. Polo
    I know what you mean.
    We are going to have to be vigilant to the very end and do not switch off even if we are 2 goals up.

  19. The cheat is already at it. He gave a free kick to Sunderland correctly bu hasn’t called back several freekicks for Arsenal despite no advantage accrueing.

  20. Climbing foul on Giroud, not dissimilar to the first one give to Sunderland ignored by the cheat.

  21. Dwain Kaye – your absolutely right with the methods employed by PGMO. The simple spoiling tactic with a selective cheat.

  22. Consistent fouling of Alexis not once called by the cheat. One was central about 35 yds from goal.

  23. Brilliant ‘dive’ by ElNeny gets a freekick. Saved by Manone from Alexis. Cattermole fouled ElNeny but ElNeny had to go down for the cheat to have no option but to whistle.

  24. Bad flick from Bellerin gives Defoe a shot at goal that hits Per on the elbow behind his twist. Cheat didn’t give it. It was certainly not a handball as it was not deliberate.

    The mob are braying as are the studio idjuts.

  25. Shot on goal by an Arsenal player stopped by a hand. No replay for this one. Not a handball according to the cheat.

  26. Yedlin shown to handle the ball in front of him but to fast to be deliberate & he was on the ground so his hands have to be flaying to keep his balance.

  27. But Our claim was much more dead on penalty than that of theirs…….

    Looking at trajectory of the ball…..he was skying it anyway..

  28. all this balancing stuff is pretty subjective.
    everybody will fly all over penalty areas claiming “it is all about balance”

  29. Come on, Dean has not been all that bad, Yet.

    Both “pen” calls nor real.

    Come on lads, a little more urgency when the ball is coming to you (Sunderland is pressing you to lose it) and please be more aware of what’s going on around you.

    45 mins that seemed to go so fast.

  30. When a player turns his back on a shot that then hits his elbow, it is not a handball nor is it preventing a goal. When a player dives across the goal to prevent a goal and the ball strikes his stretched hand it is a penalty for preventing a goal. It is not a handball but a deliberate foul preventing a goal. As Jambug referred to the ‘rushing goalie’, which is only allowed in school playgrounds.

    The cheat made a decision & it is infallible. He didn’t make a decision.

  31. I’m doing what I can to help. I am supposed to be watching on TV, but I have been wandering in and out of the TV room all the time (seeing as Arsenal seems to score when I am not watching). So, I cooked breakfast and I’m decrusting a kettle and we’ve got 7 deer walking across our driveway to watch.

    And no goals from Arsenal. Arrrgh!

    I think Elneny was pushed when he jumped to avoid a Sunderland player. And I don’t think Mertesacker knew where that ball was headed.


  32. After watching replays…..well, I think both if given penalties….. Would’ve been harsh..

    Mertesacker was too close to do anything. Its like Ball hitting the hand and not handling the ball.

    Yedlin one had a big deflection to off his thigh. ….

  33. Hahahahahahahaha… At this rate Gord, you’ll cook for the whole week today.

  34. Bookings in the 2nd half Ramsey & Bellerin. How long before Arsenal are reduced to 10.

    Long ball forced Cech into a couple of saves.

  35. Sunderland attacking with vengence. Cheat not giving fouls to Arsenal but playing advantage. It is a way of evading advantage when the foul is in the middle of the park.

  36. The deer came onto the lawn and started eating the trees. So I had to go chase them off.

    Come on Arsenal, get a goal or 5.


  37. Oh dear this commentary… Hahahahahahahaha.

    ‘Takes something to get Sam from horizontal to vertical’


  38. Cheat at his best -books ElNeny & soon after does not see a push on Danny evading a certain goal.

  39. Cheating is not what is given. It is what is not given. The PGMO cheat ignored too many fouls & didn’t give a clear red card to Kaboul.

  40. Sunderland were unlucky, they worked much harder than us. They gained a point and we lost 2.

    We need to be more direct. 5 mins to go and no one takes a run at goal especially when in penalty area, opposition can only make a good tackle or a foul. We need to put pressure on teams all the time.

    Still we did not lose. 🙂

  41. Kaboul should have walked but we need to face that we have no cutting edge and no spine in the team. Until we get a world class striker and a belief in the dressing room it will always be the same. Tired of begging for scraps from the ref to get us points. We should be better than this.

  42. No match report needed. The PGMOL have inserted their dildo in the middle to ensure an infertile match. He did a grand job. I hope nobody has to live through what Arsenal fans have lived this season.

    I hate the FA, The PGMOL, & all the stupid bastards that will be on here winding Arsenal support.

  43. Lol menace…you’re really trying to say that we were duped by the ref for the respective penalty no-calls? If anything he was consistent and there’s more an argument to be made of Per’s being called vs Yedlin’s, be real. So let’s call that a wash and say at least he was consistent.

    Also what about El Neny’s dive , ridiculous dive that earned Sanchez a free kick which we nearly scored from..also with El Neny already on a yellow for shirt grabbing, he (iirc) did the same in the closing minutes on a break for Sunderland (Watmore I believe) and Riley played the advantage and could have easily came back and gave him a second yellow.

    Really hard to take you serious, if you cherry pick like that.

    The refs weren’t the problem today, we were flat.

  44. We need to find our finishing touch ASAP but with that man in charge of this game I’m surprised we even got a point. Onward’s and upwards, great to see Jack W back. Menace let them whinge and moan till their heart’s are content because I really don’t give a damn, there will always be something wrong no matter what with these people and they only come here when we lose or draw and very rare if we win. Now that tell’s you all you need to know about these people and the best thing to do is ignore them completely. I refuse to waste time with the ones who only come on here when Arsenal lose, life is far to short.

  45. Re:”Menance let them whinge and moan…”

    Uhm, not sure if you noticed but he’s the one constantly doing that.

  46. “Brilliant ‘dive’ by ElNeny gets a freekick. Saved by Manone from Alexis. Cattermole fouled ElNeny but ElNeny had to go down for the cheat to have no option but to whistle.”

    😀 Classic!

  47. “No match report needed. The PGMOL have inserted their dildo in the middle to ensure an infertile match. He did a grand job. I hope nobody has to live through what Arsenal fans have lived this season.

    I hate the FA, The PGMOL, & all the stupid bastards that will be on here winding Arsenal support.”

    Alarmingly many of you (12 so far) have thumbed up this in-depth analysis. Could these “good” fans be brave enough to identify themselves? Not that they should, but why not openly express your support for a party member who’s obviously in severe pain? Anyone else besides Dear Linda?

    Jojo; Excellent points. But you do realize you’re a paltry “so called” fan, a sewer rat, don’t you?

  48. Menace

    “I hate the FA, The PGMOL, & all the stupid bastards that will be on here winding Arsenal support.”

    You’re pretty much hated yourself, or hadn’t that occurred to you?
    Not that I’m all that popular myself.

  49. I see the “bent referee” mantra is being well used by those who refuse to see any problem with the team.

  50. serge – I didn’t realise I was that famous or infamous. I do not normally get upset but this season there is an unusual level of cheating.

    Nice to know that you stand by those that upset me. I dont hate you serge. I pity you who have no passion.

    Dieter – I’m not a ‘party member’. I love Arsenal with passion. I don’t care anything for you.

  51. Menace

    Just keep taking the pills.
    You’re quite correct….I have no passion.
    My life will continue in the same orderly manner with or without Arsenal.
    And I don’t really mean your hated, just a little unpopular.

  52. Oh serge! – looking forward to your banner at the Ems. Perhaps you could also start a demo against Wengers quality & Elneny’s dive.

  53. Menace
    No way, I’m a big Wenger fan. Not too sure about that dive though. It looked pretty blatant to me. I’ll have to revise my opinion of his dive in the previous match now.

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