PNE v Arsenal: the teams. Will there be fighting? and proof that Giroud is better than Messi

By Bulldog Drummond.

The fighting

Just on a month ago Preston North End were forced to fine two of their “players” (Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle) for fighting each other on the pitch during a match against Sheffield Wednesday.   Both players were sent off, obviously, and the fines levied on the players were promised as refunds to Preston’s away fans for the cost of entry to the game.   Preston then made much of the fact that they were not going to appeal the red cards, and indeed it would have been rather difficult to do so given the action of the two players.

“We accept the punishment given to us by the club and the FA and fully support the club’s decision to refund the ticket costs to the supporters. We have apologised to the manager, the staff and our team-mates and hope that the supporters accept our total remorse for the incident.

“It is our intention to now put this behind us and to give our all for the benefit of Preston North End going forward.”

I wonder if they actually sat down and wrote that!

The injuries and the resting

Moving on to the non-fighting side of the game, Arsenal’s injury list has grown but contrary to the hysteria in the media we are nowhere near top of the pile (although you can expect many bloggettas and journalists to assert we are…)

1 Watford 11
1 Sunderland 11
3 Crystal Palace 10
4 Everton 8
4 Hull City 8
5 Liverpool 8
7 Arsenal 7
7 Middlesbrough 7
9 Southampton 6
9 West Ham United 6

The injured are listed on as

Player Injury Return date Comments
M Ozil Illness January 7, 2017 Major Doubt
K Gibbs Knee Injury January 14, 2017 Slight Doubt
T Walcott Calf Strain January 14, 2017 Slight Doubt
M Debuchy Hamstring Injury January 14, 2017
P Mertesacker Knee Injury January 31, 2017
F Coquelin Hamstring Injury January 31, 2017
 Santi Cazorla Recovery from op  ?

I would suggest that Mesut misses this game and comes back for the next one, and that Walcott and Gibbs will also be available for that game also.

In addition to the injuries we have Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez being told to go on holiday.  On Alexis Mr Wenger said, “I don’t look too much how people talk, I look how much they want to win. What is surprising there? You want to see that kind of passion. You don’t come down from 3-0 down from 70 minutes without that passion. We wanted to win the game and we didn’t and we’re all frustrated. Mentally and physically Sánchez is a bit jaded. You could see that he is tired. He can have sometimes emotional reactions but face to face he is always very respectful.”

Mr Wenger added, “We know that after a congested Christmas period that the third round is always a tricky game,” he said.   That is why I believe it is a mental challenge for the Premier League teams to prepare well and not have a bad surprise – especially when you go to a Championship team, it is always difficult.”

Results and level of agricultural activity in the style of play

Preston have won just one of their last 15 FA Cup games against Premier League and 1st Division sides, that being the defeat of Derby in January 2008.   We’ve lost one of the last 36 – a defeat to Blackburn in 2013.

Looking at a possible team my biggest doubt is Lucas Pérez who has an ankle injury from the Bournemouth game.    But if he can play I’d go with


Jenkinson Gabriel Holding Monreal

Ramsey Xhaka

Pérez  Iwobi  The Ox


Of course it is a guess as to when Jenkinson might come back, and I don’t think there is any reason why Bellerin should not play, except to give Jenkinson another chance.  Likewise Mustafi could play, and indeed Mustafi and Gabriel could play together, but Holding wants games, and Gabriel will become back up again once Koscielny recovers.

So with that sort of line up we might have building sandcastles a beached array of

Welbeck, Bellerín, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide, Martinez, Akpom.

And that, mes amis, is that.

Untold Arsenal: Preston v Arsenal and other stuff like that

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


Train warnings, price rises, stupid kick offs, West Ham lose. Stay tuned for the magic of the cup.

Preston North End v Arsenal. The battle of the invincibles and film of the last time the sides met

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #14 complete with video evidence

How football laid down the rules for the post-truth world

New from the Arsenal History Society – all the player histories indexed.  The AHS player histories tend to be more detailed than those on the official Arsenal site – especially for players from the early part of Arsenal’s history.  Now we are undertaking the huge task of indexing the main articles.  Players with surnames A to K have been linked to their main articles and we are continuing the task day by day.

77 Replies to “PNE v Arsenal: the teams. Will there be fighting? and proof that Giroud is better than Messi”

  1. Never thought I’d actually see the term ‘anti-Giroudian’ in print.


  2. Yes, after my been to a moment ago, I found out that one of my starter – Welbeck, and the two on my bench – Ben-Sheaf & Mavididi ,will not be starting today according to Le Prof, and will also not be available on my bench as well for their having played for our Under 23 team against Derby County last night.

    Therefore, being an Arsenal game specialist whom I claim to be and the consequence of this unknown issues which has now surfaced to me is, I have to review my last starts and bench for this game that I’ve posted in my last comment posting during the last article posting that threaded before this one that is now threading.

    My review starts and bench are as below:

    Bellerin Holding Mustafi Monreal
    Xhaka Ramsey
    Adelaide Iwobi Chamberlain

    Martinez Paulista Bielik Marc-Bola Maitland-Niles Welbeck Chris-Willock.

  3. Akpom played the opening 45 minutes for the U23s yesterday afternoon, without scoring, his first competative outing since our 4-0 win against a Forest in the EFL Cup. He has been suffering from a stress fracture in his back.

    We beat Derby by 2-1 with Eddie Nketiah on for Chuba in the second half getting the winner in the 70th minute.

  4. Celebrationwise Giroud might have the edge on Messi, and he’s obviously far better looking.

  5. In short form the premiership table this year used to stop on the fourth team but now it goes up to the sixth why the change/??!!Cech ,i also think needs some good rest like 5 matches ,that Bournemouth first goal and penalty Alumunia the calamity could have saved them?? Oooh no looks like i was dreaming we haven’t played Bournemouth yet or have we???

  6. Maitland Niles at full back. Now we know who is going to be the break through player of the year following Bellerin, Iwobi and Coquelin

  7. I gather Giroud has been named Captain for the match. Apparently many (more than 3?) “Arsenal fans” have melted down the twit thing over this.



  8. Hmmmm. No commentary from LiveScore, minimal commentary from Might as well just read about the game afterwards.


  9. Oh dear some diddums is upset. The man from the north in black is obvious by his selective blindness. Foul on Ooooospina but no card for the nice boy whose attempted elbow on the face of our GK shows total disdain. There is now a cut to Gabriels face, must have nicked himself shaving.

  10. Menace even you can’t knock PNE they played and deserved there lead your nothing but an incredible bad sport . Such a terrible trait on par with meanness

  11. The most inept display by an Arsenal team I can remember both in terms of quality and effort. The Ox wants more game time? Well Alex watch a video of your 1st half performance and you will see why you are not getting more game time.
    Absolute rubbish, come on Preston.

  12. We’re too slow on the ball again and being bullied (aided be the man in black who is ignoring the pushes etc). We are also having our usual luck with ricochets etc which are all going to Preston players.

    Still we are only one goal behind and hopefully Arsenal will have had a real go at them at half time.


  13. Arsenal just does not try enough things spontaneously. This would make them more formidable.

    Show some passion lads, or are you pacing yourselves?

    No doubt they will in 2nd half though, at least i hope they do.

  14. Soot – your too dumb to understand the difference between PNE with a 12th man & the fact that some of them are dirty. It’s a no lose situation for PNE

    oooops I knew it was a silent h

  15. There’s not much any of the subs can do to rescue this (Danny excepted), the best players are out on the field, it’s up to them now.

  16. Anyone else notice that the player touched the ball after the ref blew his whistle for the free kick around 56:25 as though he was moving it slightly, but was allowed to take it again as though nothing happened! I think Giroud even appealed slightly for it.

  17. The linesman is blind….Gave offside against Preston when it was clearly onside. Then he gives throw-ins against ARSENAL when it isn’t……

  18. A yellow for a red tackle where the commentator says he got ‘part of the ball’. 12th man still being disgraceful.

    Shoot you still dreaming of what you can’t do? You need Monica Lewinski 😉

  19. That, ladies and gents, is what’s wrong with English football; a manager berating the ref for showing his players yellow cards. When one or two of same players should have seen red!

  20. The person who kept barging in to people all game is taking offence when some one gives him back….Coward. bully.

  21. I’ll take a draw and a fit 11 players back to the Ems, the Preston tackling is a little unsettling..

  22. Is there a replay????…. I hope we finish them here…No extra games plays please…

  23. Come on Gunners, get that winning goal. Leave the fixture congestion for other top teams.

    Ref: Robert Madley


  24. Before the biased ref Blamers start . Well done PNE you gave us a scare you played very well all credit to you and your fans . The result is what we expected but never a given but my God they made us sweat .

  25. Phew, well done Arsenal. Never going to be easy but in the end our second half performance deserved the win.

  26. Shoot
    Looking back, i see that Arsenal, if it was a person would be the humblest person in the world.

    They let PNE play, mostly because our additions needed some valid game time and not have it too easy, but also not to demoralise a team.

    Arsenal does this a lot now a days.

    Thats my story and i’m sticking to it. 🙂

  27. At one point I thought we just couldn’t compete with PNE financially, mental strength hot us through… lol

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