Arsenal against Ludo. The teams and the score.

By Bulldog Drummond

OK, enough of those Ludo jokes.  Let’s move on to the question… does Mr Wenger play the regular first team including Granit who isn’t yet debarred, or does he think this is fairly straightforward and give players a rest?  Given that we haven’t been unbeaten in the opening three Champs League games for several years I suspect Mr W will give it everything.

And given Granit will now be out for three I think he must play tonight.

So I’ll go for the full first team, not least because Theo needs to keep playing and keep his form running.   Last season he played 15 PL games and scored five.   This season he has played eight thus far and scored five.

Speaking of Theo Mr Wenger said, “I was not ready to let him go. I always wanted to keep him.   I’ve felt that since he’s played with more freedom, maybe he lets his feelings come out a bit more and is less calculating: ‘Can I do that or can I not do that?’

“I think he has a less restricted attitude and that shows you that he is a completely different player.”

In defensive midfield playing Granit one more time means Coquelin starts on the beach, which again is probably no bad thing to give his injury every chance to recover fully.

Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey have both been in training but there is no need to rush either of them back given the depth of squad we now have and given that Elneny and Lucas Pérez are both champing at the bit hoping for a chance.   Giroud was banned in the second round of games having been sent off ludicrously in the first, so could play on that basis.

David Ospina will be in goal of course, and how interesting that all those jibes against him are now a thing of the past.  When he has played for us this season he has been in fine form.

The injury league table from physioroom still has us with five injuries but with Ramsey and Giroud back in training that really ought now to read three (Akpom, Mert and Welbeck).  Jenkinson is of course back and played for the under 23s last friday.

Trouble is having just three injuries would put us in equal 14th place in the injury league table and the media can’t be doing with that.  They might let us slip to 8th, but no lower.  After all, where would all their “injury crisis” headlines be then?

According to Arsenal the game is now sold out, with tickets being exchanged on the aptly named Ticket Exchange.  But given the spaces observed in the stadium recently I suspect not everyone will show up.

So to the teams and the score…

Kieran Gibbs has been coming on a lot as a sub and looking good, and Nacho Monreal is now an old man (well he’s 30) so giving Nacho a rest might not be a bad idea.   But the other sub anxious for time on the pitch, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, might have to play as a sub again, and do his stuff in the league cup next week.

Ludo have three players who work hard in their counter attacking approach: Jonathan Cafu, Wanderson and Marcelinho.  Cafu has scored five goals in his last six matches and the team has scored 16 goals in the last six games so they are no slouches in front of goal.  On the other hand Arsenal have scored 17 in their last six games.  So since I have written that, it looks like a dead cert 0-0 draw.

There is also the interesting point that although Ludogorets have lost just one of their last 12 games they have only kept one clean sheet in their last ten games, conceding 13 goals in that time.

But the form guide is usually a better bet than me:

  • Arsenal: WWWWWW
  • Ludogorets: WWLWWW

and that makes it all look rather fun.  Indeed overall Ludogorets have lost twice in their last 17 games, with one of those being PSG and despite my suggestion above the bookies have Arsenal at 1/7 to win.  Both teams to score is 5/4.

Of course we all know that for six seasons in a row we have gone out in the round of 16, and the first step to avoiding that is to come top of the group stages.  So a strong win is vital, especially as so far we have been avoiding the hiccups of last season’s campaign in which everything had to be sorted out by Giroud in the last match.

Thinking of the players there are two links:

Claidiu Keșerü was a team-mate of Laurent Koscielny and Giroud at Tours FC in 2008/09, while Igor Plastun and Lucas Pérez were team-mates at Ukrainian side FC Karpaty Lviv during 2012/13.   (Thanks to Uefa for that info).

So for the Arsenal I am going with…


Bellerín, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs;

Xhaka, Cazorla;

Walcott, Özil, Iwobi;


You can see that the opposition don’t have a chance with a goalkeeper as wide as that.

And on the beach….

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elneny, Lucas, Cech, Gabriel, Coquelin, Monreal

So there we have it.  In a short while I shall be starting the long trek south.  Next up I’m hoping it will be Walter with an instantaneous match report.   In fact we are working on a scheme to have the match report published before the game starts.  We have the technology (I think it involves faster-than-light travel) but there’s some sort of hold up with our licence from the Ministry of Transport.

Recent tales from Untold and the Arsenal History Society

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Time to get the old board game out as Arsenal play Ludo

Players used vs league position, and the range of top scorers so far in the league.

How the media twisted Arsenal v Swansea and Liverpool v Man U

The sprint and the marathon. How much Arsenal’s start tells us about where they will finish.

How Arsène Wenger’s faith in Theo Walcott is paying off this season

Granit gets 3, and what would it have been like if we had signed Icardi?


Arsenal in December 1934: two steps forward, two steps back.

Former Arsenal player John Barnwell talks about his years at Highbury

80 Replies to “Arsenal against Ludo. The teams and the score.”

  1. I’m already warming up my finger muscles to start typing from the first whistle 😉

  2. 36 minutes gone in the U19s and still no more goals. Kudu with 10 behind the ball in and around their penalty area and so far we are unable to break them down. At the other end no threat to speak of so far

  3. Half time one nil against a well parked bus. We need to move the ball quicker and far more accurately in the second half.

  4. You can see that the opposition don’t have a chance with a goalkeeper as wide as that.

    I actually lolled.

    Unfortunately in AW’s eyes this game will come too soon for Jenks, Monreal as previously alluded to is struggling at LB, A supplement will be required in January if we are to ensure silverware on multiple fronts, alas neither rushing back players, nor enlisting January reinforcements (seeding them for 6 months before new campaign) are admirable assets regularly observed in AW’s armoury.

    Manolas linked again, yet I fear he would not be the ddition needed, with ample cover in this area.

    Theo, fine form, for Theo, I’m counting missed clear cut chances unfortunately, but as Morata recorded a goal and assist of some quality last night, I am humbled and only ask can you at least keep scoring, because with our kind of pace, you create or execute 3-5 times a game, how hard is offside on the right, not very. Incidentally, his goals are coming from the position selected by the 14 shirt (not wide right), how can you still not cross?

    TH14 fastracking with a team in need of identity, discipline and defensive solidity, with quality everywhere. Work well Martinez, it should be a qualification run and QTR Final achievement no less. Wenger will sign!

    Mustarfi, not ideal, is that not a rock solid partnership, without massess of height, he’s doing Koscielny’s jobs, insane, can’t wait for Gabby, so much intensity in that back line, bar Minerals.

    Ospina WC 2014, say nothing!

    Oxlade, head down, wait and take your chances, he’s gone with experience and quality, over positions and enthusiasm. Nobody except for Theo missed the gut busting runs for 2 hat-tricks son, keep it up.

    Iwobi Goes Messi!!! Do I need to add anything else about the boy ith CR7’s stature and Lionel’s feet! Can we look at his stats, boys?

    Xaka, learns all the DM basic lessons in a game we win, without too much puffing. Breadown: Not a Red Dwain Kaye: Not a Red, unsurprised by Jon Moss red, remember last year??? Rule Book: Not a red, Dermot Gallagher: Red Correct Decision?!?!?!

    Coquelin, 100% performance from the bench, AOC 100% off the bench. Santi, ghost, Alexis, Ozil, outfoxing everyone by adapting their games to each others roles, anyone notice, how teams are struggling to cope with their interchanging movement, they are both playing especially well abnd working on the areas of their game which are wakest, as suggested by the gaffer, whilst awaiting sign for life contracts, yes pigs fly and Ozil is back off to Real!

    Gibbs can do no wrong, he plays for his contract, Elneny, Perez and Gibbs for me need to come in, Theo can go again.

    Ozil, Monreal, Iwobi rested, Alexis to favoured left flank, Perez right, Theo central, Santi goes to Am ahead of Xaka and Eleney. |Coquelin will have to play league games as will Oxlade in the coming 4 fixtures we have a lot of robust teams, high physicality to their game, looking for a point; our job is simple 5 win return over 5 games.

    The ftermath, Spurs, United PSG for top spot!

    Giroud and Aaron’s return could not be more aptly timed, risking players, had better not be his style. We win, we sub, we rotate, we are consistent, this season is ours to lose, I have no intention fo listening to newbie City fans, ruffled blues, Angry reds, overcooked spuds, or overzealous kops, and certainly not 5000/1’s.

    A quarter of the way in, clear skies and calm waters, cruising at a serene 34 knots.

    January Draxler, January, Ricardo Rodriguez, Wolfsburg are after Depay! We could line up a striker, or nothing in the summer abd I wouldn’t care less.

    We need a faster transition player and LB, that is all I know. Santi, Giroud and Monreal, won’t last that long as first teamers.

    IWIT, AW-TH14, 13 is the magic number, COYG, this is for life!

  5. 48 minutes gone in the Under 19 match v Ludogorets and we are winning 1-0. The match is now on live on BT sports.

  6. 80 minutes and at long last a second goal. Nkeitah from the penalty spot after Coyle (I think) was caught from behind.

  7. “In fact we are working on a scheme to have the match report published before the game starts.”

    The betting people will have something to say about that me thinks. 🙂

  8. Final score Arsenal 3 Ludogrets 0. Nketiah with a second four minutes from time. Just seen a replay of the penalty incident. It was Nketiah who was fouled. The Ludogrets player lucky not to be sent off, he jumped in from behind with legs either side of Eddie.

  9. I’ve been queried of omitting Francis Coquelin on my bench in the previous article tread by Pete.

    I admit my silly error of omitting Le Coq from my bench after I’ve said he could be brought on in the 2nd half of this Ludo game to further put his knee into fitness test before he’s started for ‘borough.

    Consequently, I am revisiting my starts and make 1 correction on my bench in the following order with my starts unchanged:

    Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Monreal
    Xhaka Cazorla
    Walcott Ozil Iwobi

    My reviewed Bench:
    Cech Debuchy Gabriel Gibbs Coquelin Oxchambo Perez.

    Mr. Drummond, you think Le Prof will drop Monreal for Gibbs to start this game? Well, anything is possible. But I doubt if he will. Gibbs has been showing the signs of late he’s ready to start games for Arsenal whenever he comes on in some last Arsenal games. And if he continues to show this improved form, he may soon takeover from the aging Monreal who has appeared to be tiring now after playing a couple of games on the run. But I think Le Prof won’t unecessarily tampered with his current winning run starting XII(12) yet that includes Coquelin and Xhaka. But he could start Gibbs in the Reading ELC game.

  10. Samuel – no worries – I enjoy your posts!

    Is anyone having a drink near the ground? Here at short notice and would be good to meet some UAs! Currently in hen & chickens on Highbury corner.

  11. Not trying out Sams Chicken, with the new avacado fries on Holloway? Note: I don’t live in the UK, just seen the article about Sams chicken in the vicinity of Wenger Stadium on Holloway.

  12. Leon – no – across the roundabout. Used to be my local when I lived here…

    Gord – that cuisine sounds a bit advanced for me!

  13. all the best to all the Gunners on duty tonite, bring all the 3 points home’ boys. com’on Arsenal

  14. Le Prof’s starts & bench for our Ludogorets match are out. And he has done 3 changes to his last starting XI in the Swansea game.

    As Mr Drummond has opined, he has dropped Monreal to the bench for Gibbs to start. Maybe he’s giving Monreal a starting rest. He has started Coquelin and dropped Xhaka to the bench against my thought and that of Mr Drummond. Oxchambo seems to have won in his agitation for a starting role in the team as Le Prof has dropped the regular starter Iwobi to the bench for Oxchambo to start. But will the Ox starting this match become a regular feature for him in the Gunners starting XI? We’ll wait to see.

    And yet again, Le Prof has no specialist RB cover for this match. I hope he won’t do that in our upcoming 4 big games against Spurs, PSG, Man Utd and Man City. Doing this by Le Prof could turnout to backfire. Every positional unit in his starting XI on the field should have a specialist cover on the bench in my own opinion.

    I will soon put on my TV set to watch the match. And I am sticking to my prediction of Arsenal 4-0 Ludogorets @ FT.

  15. Question to Walter…

    Do referee’s brief players before the game. I saw ref (Which looked like) warning players about using elbows and all….

  16. Well, no sense waiting to bash Arsenal. Guardian right off the bat says it is easy to silence the crowd at Wenger Stadium.


  17. I think we need to show these Ludo boys a little more respect. We are playing against them as if it’s a training match

  18. The game seems to be too open for this level of play. The defence needs to be sorted out.

  19. Nice finish by Walcott!

    I think Ludogorets would give any EPL team a run for the money.

    And I think this referee is putting in some miles as well. He looks to be quite fast.


  20. I had missed who passed it to Walcott. It looks like Mr. Assist (Mesut Ozil) is back in business.


  21. I miss Iwobi when he doesn’t play. Got so used to his trickery. Ox is playing well enough though

  22. Goooooal! Wonderful first touch by Ozil for that fourth goal. He controlled the ball at full flight without breaking stride.

  23. I’m going to guess that Ox thought he was offside when Ozil played it back to him.


  24. I just can’t get over the fact that otherwise an impressive passer of the ball, Ozil has 2 bad corner kicks!!!!!??… How

  25. look like a job done and all 3 points in the bag, just need to keep a clean sheets now. hope nothing serious happen to Santi and all that ice wrapped is just a precocious measure.

  26. That’s his trade mark goal……hit it into the ground and bounce over the keeper.

    Come on ARSENAL

  27. Nice push forward by Ox, wonderful cross by Perez, and again Ozil bounces it off the turf to make it more difficult for the goaltender to play.!


  28. Again our supporters are leaving early. I know the local transport system gets a bit strained on match days, but I could never do that

  29. Not me Gideone. I think it was SAA.

    I wonder if Walter is done writing yet? 🙂

    Wonderful game, congrats to Ozil on the hat trick!

  30. @Gord: Got it. It was Mandy Dodd here: (October 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm)

    “Whisper it quietly, but does anyone else get the feeling we are very soon going to absolutely batter some unfortunate team?”

    Yes, Ludogorets have really been unfortunate 😉 .

  31. Good work Gideone. And a good call by Mandy.

    The Express is first to the mark, claiming that they learned something. I really doubt they learned anything.

  32. Gideone
    Yes Ludo was good for half an hour and really tested us even when two down, but in the end they more or less collapsed. It was good see a side come to Emirates and not park the bus.
    I suppose we’ll be top on goal difference assuming PSG won

  33. The Independent is also claiming they learned something.

    And too many articles congratulating Arsenal, but still managing to bash us once or twice in the process. Dorks.

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