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May 2021

Arsenal vs the Goats. The on-the-spot Untold Match Preview


By Florian, with special thanks to Francisco Chimal, Chivas fan.

After the victory registered against the MLS finest, it was natural that Arsenal would take their chances against one of Mexico’s most popular clubs. C.D. Guadalajara is our opponent, today or tomorrow, depending on which side of the world you live on. At the time of writing this report, it is already today for me.

To be fair, Chivas (yes, the Goats is the literal translation) is actually the most popular club in Mexico, with 44.2% of all the football supporters on their side. Apparently though, that kind of popularity wasn’t enough to keep them away from trouble. Francisco here will explain, as he graciously agreed to share us a few historic details. In his own words…

“Chivas is one of the oldest soccer teams in Mexico. It was created in 1906. It is also one of the most popular teams in this country, together with America Football Club. Chivas has won eleven championships, America has twelve. Also, Chivas have three Cup wins and one CONCACAF (their Uefa) Championship.

Right now, Chivas is having a terrible time, because the owner of the club (Jorge Vergara) created the Chivas Channel (called ChivasTV).  It is expensive, but if the fans don’t pay for ChivasTV, they can’t watch the local matches.

Jorge Vergara is the owner throughout the 21st century and Chivas has been champions just once during his tenure. This pissed off the fans (where have we seen this before?). The season before last, Chivas almost dropped to the second “category” (as the divisions are called in Mexico) but Matias Almeyda (the coach, and a former Argentine international) was able to save the team. Under Almeyda, Chivas actually won their first title, in 2015, and qualified for Copa Libertadores for the first time since 2012.

Chivas play in the Guadalajara City and Guadalajara is a very traditional City on the western side of Mexico. If you think about Guadalajara you can imagine “charros”, horses, tequila, mariachis, guns and Mexican songs. This traditionalism is partly responsible for Chivas promoting such a strong national identity that the team uses only Mexican players. This of course is a disadvantage, but a romantic style too.

Omar Bravo is the player who has scored the most goals for Chivas. Now he plays in USA, in NASL – the second division after the MLS, much like the Championship in England.

Chivas Stadium is one of the most modern in Mexico. The first match played there was Chivas vs Manchester United. “Chicharito” (who is actually one of the better players to have emerged from the club I would say, along with a certain Carlos Vela) played the first part of his career with Chivas and the second with the “Red Devils”.

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The match against Arsenal comes at a rather unfortunate time for Chivas. Last Friday, they lost 4-0 away to Tijuana in the Mexican League, and the Wednesday before that they lost 1-4 at home to Jaguares de Chiapas in the Mexican Cup. The journalists have been (as usual we might say) very quick to question the team and the coach.

Thanks a lot Francisco, there are a few similar aspects that one can see between the two clubs – and quite a few dissimilarities too.

There is an owner who can make a mess of things (we don’t have that). There is a coach that, after a long time of suffering, turned the club’s fortunes around and brought them back close to the top (we have that). There are fans who go against the club (don’t we know!), and there are journalists whose primary job is to say everyone should be fired (journalists seem to be all made of the same crop). No wonder Mr. Wenger thought they would be a good fit for us.


As for the match itself, we are “likely” (if the media is to be believed) to keep Akpom, Xhaka and a few others in the starting XI. I didn’t hear news of any injuries, which must mean we start with the second half of the Thursday’s game and finish with the first:


Bellerín    Holding   Chambers   Monreal

Xhaka    Cazorla

Campbell     Oxlade-Chamberlain    Iwobi


Chivas haven’t said anything – even Francisco was unable to point to a possible starting formation. Maybe the turbulent times there are making this kind of predictions more difficult than usual. Expect though to hear of names like Carlos Salcido (the team captain), and Miguel Ponce.

As for me, I will bite the bullet this time and go to the match. Thank goodness it’s Sunday. A one day trip to L.A., which, if nothing dramatic happens, will make the subject of the third and final article of the series.


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33 comments to Arsenal vs the Goats. The on-the-spot Untold Match Preview

  • Almir Alic

    All the time the same mistakes. The two central midfielders, Xhaka and Cazorla, instead of a combination of defensive and central midfield, Coquelin and Xhaka (Cazorla)

  • Leon

    Brilliant preview Florian. Thanks very much.
    I like your starting eleven, especially with the two youngsters in central defence. With both being right footed I’m interested in seeing how they
    position themselves.
    I intend staying up to watch it at 2.0am. Nothing better to do anyway, why waste the rest of my life sleeping.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If I am able to get out of my bed at 03.00 am where I live I will publish a match report immediately after the match and ready for our readers in Europe to read when they get out of their beds. The things we do for Untold…. 🙂

  • Gord

    I tried looking for non-UK and non-USA news on the game, and almost nothing. I don’t write or speak Spanish, but I can guess well. Just looking at Mexican news sources, it seems unusual to find a sports section. I did see mention of Chivas TV. It seems most (some? all?) of the news sites in Guadalajara are closed today. I can find news about the drug industry in Guadalajara.

    In terms of UK/USA news sources, they all seem to be consistent in terms of _predicting_ when the game will start today. 🙂

    Oh, the last I seen out of LA, there are still tickets available.

  • Pat

    Thanks for an entertaining article!

  • Gord still hasn’t clued in that Canada is part of North America. Or that North America is NOT a synonym for the USA.

    Some sports website, thinks the game is taking place at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

    Oh, the Ladies lost to Liverpool 2-1. Bummer.

    I still don’t know the final score for the U19 in South Africa yesterday against Sporting Lisbon.

  • Gord

    Well, after reminding myself, I went looking. Arsenal won that game 1-0, so we should be at 1 win and 1 loss.

  • Gord

    What are these medja people paid for? Daily Mail and Mirror are “covering” the game. Mirror mentions they have seen a lineup for Arsenal, haven’t printed anything. Daily Mail say they have seen a lineup for Arsenal, but only print:

    > Cazorla, Bellerin and Monreal all start, Rob Holding partners Callum Chambers in defence, while Theo Walcott is spearheading the attack.

    With 15 minutes left, Daily Mail gives the roster for Chivas:

    > Rodríguez

    I suspect you could find crows or cuckoo birds as capable as are medja tonight. Grrrrr.

  • Leon

    I do not like our strip. It’s black with a sort of day glow yellow

  • Gord

    Every time Coquelin got closed to the ball, Mirror was calling for a yellow card. So goodbye Mirror.

    And notice of an Arsenal goal (first of game) is up, but no details for me yet.

    Ahh, Holding from Cazorla.

  • Gord

    Sorry, Cazorla takes free kick, and Chmabers puts ball to Holding.


  • Gord

    Half time, no more scoring. Still 1-0 to the Arsenal.


  • Gord

    Here is the starting XI and the beach:

    > Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Monreal; Xhaka, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Iwobi; Walcott

    > Subs: Martinez, Debuchy, Bielik, Gibbs, Zelalem, Elneny, Campbell, Willock, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom

    Better late than never I guess.


  • Zedsaunt

    A very, very good goal. The Caz’s free kick flighted to perfection, Calum steams in with pace and tucks it across the goal, Holding puts it in. At 2.35 it hits you. It came fast, sharp, unexpected.

    A feature of the game is the speed of Chambers. He is markedly faster than last season. Santi looks sharp.

  • Gord

    Thanks ZedsAunt.

    Medja say there are lots of changes, but I don’t know yet what those changes are. And up pops, 2-0 to Arsenal with no detail. So, I have to wait.

    Very few places covering this game. Sports Mole, Guardian, all ignoring it. I suspect Telegraph is covering it, but I won’t visit them any more.

    Ah, here we go. Solo run by the Ox.

    And the medja? Well, Holding played well against the MLS, so tonight the theme is how shitty Holding is.


  • Gord

    Well, here is another note with no detail. It is now 3-0 to the Gunners! And we still don’t know who was subbed off at half time, so how do you guess the scorer?



  • Gord

    It’s that man Chuba! It was surprising how many website spelled his name Cuba in reporting on that game against MLS All Stars. As Akpom didn’t start, he was a sub a half time.

    In any event, we know one more sub at half time, as Debuchy did the start and got the assist, and he didn’t start.


  • Gord

    We still don’t know the substitutions at half time, but apparently Emi has replaced Ooooooospina in goal just a few moments ago.


  • Arvind

    Gord has text commentary on the highlights of the game.

  • Gord

    Still no subs list, but apparently the bad guys have scored one. As usual, no details. So, we wait.

    I’ve been making an ancient version of Worcestershire Sauce all weekend. Final step is to puree the sauce (there are 2 gallons of apples in there) and put 8 cups of puree in a jug, add some other stuff, and fill with vinegar. It does not say how big the jug is. I am guessing a gallon, so the sauce is half puree.

    Debuchy gave up a penalty, which was converted. 3-1 to the Gunners.


  • Gord

    But Arvind, I’m having so much fun trying to guess details. 🙂


  • Arvind

    HaHa have fun 🙂

  • Gord

    Okay, visited and turned on javascript, and I see the commentary. has the score in the title as 3-2, with the Chivas scoring 2 penalties in the same minute.

    Apparently 10 minutes or less to go.

    A Chivas manager/coach has been sent to the stands.


  • Gord

    We had 6 subs at half time, and then another 3 subs just before Emi came on for Oooooooospina.

    So, Cech got 2/3 of a game, OOOOOspina got 2/3 of a game, and Emi got two 1/3 of a game. All even.


  • WalterBroeckx

    match report is online. Goodnight to you all… or what is left from it….

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Good match against Chivas. First 25 Chivas was in charge. Our boys were just trying to figure out how Chivas played. We looked a step slower and were getting beat especially down the right (our left) side. Good thing that Monreal is there as he snuffed out a lot of chances. From then until about the 80th minute we totally dominated the play. The Ox looked good as did Holding and El-neny Chambers, notwithstanding his assist on Holding’s goal, had a tough time of it in defence. Iwobi was quiet but he worked hard and came back when needed. Debuchy was so so. Kind of lost his head near the end and gave up the penalty. Campbell so red for a bit, too,but it seemed as if he reacted to some comments from the Mexican players. All in all it was a good game. Arsenal was pushed and Chivas never gave up despite being behind.

  • para

    Wow, this played like a PL game and not a friendly. At least Arsenal now has a tough spine and will not take crap anymore, hope it continues into the PL, mind you with the refs we have…

    We all want Theo to fire but just let the OX keep playing this way and not get injured pretty PLEESE!!! He has been working on his game unlike…

    …Theo is still really looking out of it sometimes, and i hope he gets over his fear of injury soon…

    Le Coq needs to calm it a little especially in PL, we know how they are the refs.

  • para

    That yellow? looks more like a flourescent green/yellow to me but the rest is blue.
    Imagine the spotlights going out at an evening game and Arsenal start looking as if they are glowing, i’m sure they will call the radiation posse. 🙂

  • Zedsaunt

    3-1. Fast, incisive play. A good game to watch for the basic straightforward reason that if you can’t play fast, incisive football in a pre-season friendly you’ll certainly never get given the chance to play it in the season.

    Holding impressed.

  • Gord

    I hope nobody got annoyed with my babbling. Good night (well, after I am done cooking sauce).

  • Almir – I am not quite sure you get the point of pre-season friendlies.

  • Menace

    Well done Gord. You stayed the course. I wasn’t sure what time the game was but Arsenal Player has highlights. It was another good display of football by the youngsters. The defence looks fragile but thats ok in this circumstance. The penalty was unfortunate but Debuchy should know better when playing in a different environment. Refs have a stricter view of shoulder to shoulder incidents if one player goes down particularly if that player had the ball & was in your penalty area!!

    The score could have been a lot worse as Arsenal got away with many errors.

  • Gord

    Breaking News

    With the departure of forever injured Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere has taken up the title. Ten minutes ago, Jack was walking next to a brick wall and found that the fingernail on his right index finger was slightly abraded. It is anticipated that Jack will be recovering from this newest injury for at least 42 millseconds.

    Meanwhile, le Gnome has started a petition calling for Jack Wilshere to be sold due to this latest injury. Le Gnome spokesperson I.M.Idiot said that “Top, top athletes just don’t get abraded fingernails. We cannot afford to have this deadweight around anymore. He isn’t fit to wear the shirt.”.