Arsenal v Hull: the preview, and a comparison of Gabriel with Héctor Bellerín

By Bulldog Drummond

As the pundits punder on and tell us what to think and what to do (ESPN I see are telling Arsenal supporters that they should rise up against the club and that they – the supporters – are weak for not doing so), so the world turns and those of us not addicted to self-inflicted misery get on with our lives and most of the time enjoy the games.

With Arsenal Héctor Bellerín has returned to training after his MRI scan came back ok.   Whether he is fit to play or not only Arsene Wenger will know.   I suspect, without the benefit of seeing him in training of course, but with the aid of the figures below, that he will be beached leaving Gabriel to play.

Gabriel’s latest games are rated by WhoScored:

Played’ Rating
EPL 01-01-2017 Arsenal 2 : 0 Crystal Palace     90′ 7.66
EPL 03-01-2017 Bournemouth 3 : 3 Arsenal 26′ 6.53
EPL 14-01-2017 Swansea 0 : 4 Arsenal     90′ 7.21
EPL 22-01-2017 Arsenal 2 : 1 Burnley 90′ 6.42
EPL 31-01-2017 Arsenal 1 : 2 Watford     90′ 7.6
EPL 04-02-2017 Chelsea 3 : 1 Arsenal 73′ 6.49
This is significantly better than Héctor Bellerín this year from the same source shows…
Played’ Rating
EPL 01-01-2017 Arsenal 2 : 0 Crystal Palace     90′ 7.69
EPL 03-01-2017 Bournemouth 3 : 3 Arsenal 90′ 5.51
EPL 22-01-2017 Arsenal 2 : 1 Burnley 1′ 5.97
FAC 28-01-2017 Southampton 0 : 5 Arsenal 90′ N/A
EPL 04-02-2017 Chelsea 3 : 1 Arsenal 17′ 5.79

Full details of how these figures are reached are given on the Who Scored site.

The Ox got the highest rating of any Arsenal player in that last match at 7.7, while Coquelin was average for the team with 6.6, but he does consistently score above Elneny in Arsenal games so I imagine both Coq and Ox will play even though Mohamed Elneny is back from having scored in the Africa Cup of Nations final, only to see his team lose.

Granit Xhaka is still suspended.  Up front Olivier Giroud is ok, but so is Danny Welbeck and this could be the moment he gets a start.   I rather fancy the notion of Danny playing out wide and Alexis in the middle.  Then with 30 minutes to go if need be Giroud plays up front Danny goes off and Alexis goes out wide.   The reorganisation this forces onto the opposition means they can spend up to 10 minutes trying to get themselves sorted, which then gives us all sorts of possibilities.

In terms of our attacking players the current ratings taking into account home games only, reveals the most potent players in the squad.  It shows also how much Santi is missed even though he has played in a more withdrawn position.  I am omitting Danny as he has not played enough in the league to warrant comparative figures.

Player Apps Mins Goals Assists Yellow cards Shots per game % Pass success Rating
Alexis 11(1) 987 4 5 2 4.3 73.5 7.50
Özil 10 892 3 2 1.5 85.4 7.49
Theo 8(1) 717 6 3 77.5 7.41
Santi Caz 3(1) 299 1 2 1 0.8 89.1 7.34
Iwobi 9(2) 677 3 1 1 1.4 86 7.01

This indicates that across the middle three it must be Alexis, Mesut and Theo, with Iwobi joining in when Alexis plays centre forward – leaving aside of course the potential input of Danny Welbeck.  Danny might replace Theo, but my guess is Theo needs games, so I am back to Alexis at centre forward with Theo and Danny on either wing.

As we know because we have been told so often, Arsenal have more injuries than the rest of the league put together (at least according to the Independent last week) so it is always worth checking that we have maintained our top position each week on the Physioroom table.

Team Injuries Last player down Injury
1 Sunderland 9 A Januzaj Hip Injury
2 Hull City 8 M Dawson Calf Strain
3 Crystal Palace 8 S Dann Muscle Injury
4 West Ham United 8 A Carroll Groin Injury
5 Southampton 7 S Boufal Ankle Injury
6 Stoke City 6 G Johnson Achilles Injury
7 Liverpool 6 R Klavan Illness
8 Manchester United 5 T Fosu-Mensah Knock
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5 D Rose Knee Injury
10 Watford 4 C Pantilimon Foot
11 Everton 3 D Calvert-Lewin Ankle Injury
12 Arsenal 3 H Bellerin Concussion
13 West Bromwich Albion 3 C Yacob Stomach Problem
14 Burnley 3 S Defour Hamstring Injury

But no, Arsenal are down to 12th.  You just can’t trust the team to do anything any more.

Our three men down on their score sheet are Bellerín, Ramsey and Cazorla.

For Hull we have Dawson, Davies, Mason, Henriksen, Keane, Odubajo, Luer, Lenihan all out with other sources adding McGregot and Elmohamady to the list.  It looks a tough run of injuries for them.

There will be more on the possible teams in my next piece on the game.

Arsenal Kindle News

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.

16 Replies to “Arsenal v Hull: the preview, and a comparison of Gabriel with Héctor Bellerín”

  1. Hector had a bit of trouble after being kicked off the field by Rose. How many Arsenal players did this Rose injure in his career? That is the main reason they keep playing him I think and he gets calls up for the England team. No wonder they are rubbish in most tournaments lately…
    He finally looked back to his normal level against Southampton but now we have to wait how he will come back from his concussion…

    The main difference is of course the attacking that Bellerin brings on the right flank and Gabriel doesn’t.

  2. Jenkinson played for the U23s on Monday night, if he isn’t going to be in the squad no reason for him to have played.

  3. Best center back in the Premier League according to Whoscored? Otamendi. Whoscored ratings are trash. Nice idea, but trash.

  4. It’s noteworthy to point out that both Sanchez and Cech had a poor outings for Arsenal against Chelsea last weekend. While that of Sanchez can be said to be an underwhelming performance due to probably fatigue, that of Cech was a clear sign of gradual decline in goalkeeping form. I think Arsenal should start looking for another seasoned top goalkeeper to replace him sooner than later. If Le Prof continues to start him regularly instead of using him sparingly this season, he could wreck Arsenal PL campaign which is still on for the title despite the 2 setbacks it has recently received due to mostly Cech’s bad goalkeeping. IMHO.

    If I can have it in my own way which I think I won’t, Sanchez should be started on the bench for this Hull City game to have some kind of a rest to be in top form for our Bayern Munich game on Wednesday night but of course he could be brought on during the Hull game if it’s necessary. But for his uncharacteristic errors which had led to Arsenal conceding goals and losing games in recent past weeks, Le Prof should sum up courage to drop Cech for Hull and starts Ospina. There is even the dual advantage that can be derived by starting Ospina for this Hull game as he’ll not only keep the goal better for us than Cech has been keeping it for us of late. But I believe he Ospina will also use this game to sharpen up his reflexes ahead of our big Ucl match against Bayern Munich which we want to win.

    And lastly, for his been concussed in our last game against Chelsea and despite his early recovering from this concussion, but how fully has he recovered? I think Le Prof should leave out Bellerin altogether for Hull to enabled him to fully recovered for Bayern Munich game starting role. And Le Prof should talk to Monreal to improve on his left back sense of positional defending. Because where was he when Eden Hazard race through to beat Cech? I only saw Koscielny beaten in defending by Hazard and Mustafi attempt to block Hazard was smartly evaded by the dribbling Hazard. If am sure of Gibbs ability to stand on his two feet and not getting pushed off the ball, for his being faster than Monreal in recovering to defend after wingback assaults I would have preferred he’s started for this Hull game despite he’s being heavily one footed LB.

    My starts:
    Paulista Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Coquelin Chamberlain
    Walcott Ozil Welbeck
    Cech Debuchy Holding Gibbs Elneny Iwobi Sanchez.

  5. At the time of the presser, Bellerin was still being assessed. He hasn’t trained all week so I don’t expect AW will throw him into the deep end. Gabriel should get the nod, whoscored ratings and all.

    Up top, I think you’ll find when Alexis plays CF, he is rarely ever in the box. This often creates room for Walcott/Perez/Iwobi to be on the receiving end of assists. I found Giroud and Welbeck getting in each others way in the last game a bit annoying. I agree with you that one should be the sub of the other. Start Welbeck out wide and watch Hull CB’s get confused when Alexis drifts there and Welbeck takes up the space in the centre…

    Theo started the season brightly but seems to have tailed off with injury. He must be hungry for his 100th goal, but when does Perez get a start? After all we have Bayern away midweek. Now may be a good time for him.

  6. Yes, it seems that AW has not yet got the team selections right depending on opponent, this is why we sometimes are neutralised.

    To add to that, we have Bayern on Wed so selection is again affected, and Hull will sniff a chance.

    A selection headache for AW.

  7. Did anyone see Merson say that only Sanchez would get into the Spur XI and then goes on to a rant about how Wenger got his tactics “horribly wrong”? He so clearly has a stick up his arse over Wenger kicking him out of the side. Really makes you wonder how such a fat, stupid alcoholic gets into the position of being a top “expert” pundit.

    I seriously can’t get my head around why the past couple of seasons, Spurs are being portrayed as one of the best teams in the world. Would have loved to see them play Bayern, Madrid or Barca, but alas, they were simply too good for the Champions League, deciding it wasn’t worth their time and dropped out at the group stages (and one of the easiest groups, at that). But least we forget, getting into the last 16 of the Champions League for the past 18 years or so, isn’t an achievement and should actually be used as something to knock Arsenal with instead!

  8. Used to love watching Merson – a great player but as I don’t do TV I never hear the punditry but just listened to Wrighty on 5 live and he reckons Arsene is all washed up. They were at a social together last night and Wrighty (who was a great listen) said Wenger looked tired with the new attention he is getting. Cannot understand Arsenal fans knocking people like Merson just because he has had enough of the manager. The times are changing and it is up to Arsenal to step up to the plate. A new coach and the transfer of most of the team should see some eventual results. Personally think the board will not let Arsene go for at least another 12 seasons and maybe he will snatch one PL. Here’s hoping as always.

  9. ossasa
    I don’t remember Wright using those actual words “all washed up” (he may have), but I got the impression that he thought Wenger was resigned to leaving this season.
    He had plenty of good things to say about him particularly in the comparison with George Graham, and I would have expected Wright to more loyal to Graham.

  10. Ah right then, if Ian Wright said it, then it must be true! I can’t recall exactly what it was, but not too long ago, he came out with something as equally stupid and it turned out to be complete and utter shyte.

    ” Cannot understand Arsenal fans knocking people like Merson”
    “as I don’t do TV I never hear the punditry”
    Well, I would hazard a guess that that’s because you’ve never listened to him. Also, perhaps it’s because as an ex-Arsenal player, you would have thought he would be slightly more positive towards Arsenal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every time he opens his mouth about Arsenal, it’s literally always to criticise either the fans, the manager, the players or the owners. He tried to manage once before and did embarrassingly awful, yet he has the audacity to say week in week out, how tactically inept Wenger is and what he should and shouldn’t have done. Make no mistake, this man is absolutely clueless about football, but just because he was once a semi-decent player, who has amazing 20:20 hindsight, he gets to sit there all comfy up in the studio, shoving his biased opinions down peoples throats, as if they were fact and as I said, he has a clear grudge towards Wenger, as well as being a Chelsea fan, no-less.

    “A new coach and the transfer of most of the team should see some eventual results.” Absolutely genius! Why don’t you ring up the Arsenal board and tell them your guaranteed plan for success and I’m sure we will be winning the quadruple every season!

    I always thought there might be a correlation between who actually takes the pundits seriously and the WOB/aaa. Seems like I may be right, after all.

  11. And if you don’t believe that there is a definite bias towards Arsenal (media/pundit-wise), then all you have to do is compare the way that they talk about us, as oppose to Spurs. Judging solely off of that, you would think that Arsenal are in the relegation fight and Spurs are flying away at the top of the table. In reality, we practically always do better than them, every season, in almost every aspect.

  12. The pregnant deer – A beautiful management story.

    In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river.This seems a safe place.Suddenly labour pains begin.

    At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above and lightning starts a forest fire.She looks to her left & sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her.

    To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her.

    What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labour!

    What will happen?

    Will the deer survive?

    Will she give birth to a fawn?

    Will the fawn survive?

    Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire?

    Will she perish to the hunters’ arrow?

    Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her?

    She is constrained by the fire on the one side & the flowing river on the other and boxed in by her natural predators.

    What does she do?

    She focuses on giving birth to a new life.

    The sequence of events that follows are:

    – Lightning strikes and blinds the hunter.

    – He releases the arrow which zips past the deer and strikes the hungry lion.

    – It starts to rain heavily, and the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain.

    – The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.

    In our life / business too, there are moments of choice when we are confronted on αll sides with negative thoughts and possibilities.

    Some thoughts are so powerful that they overcome us and overwhelm us.

    Maybe we can learn from the deer.

    The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby.

    The rest was not in her hands & any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster.

    Ask yourself, Where is your focus?

    Focus should always remain on faith and hope

  13. Well there you are then, Wright’s a disgusting child eating, Arsenal hating ,bigoted, lying piece of Wenger misinformation.

  14. Having to resort to using hyperbole in order to try and prove a (non-existing) point; how extremely transparent.. Usually, I just scroll over your comments, but unfortunately this one was right at the very bottom. Really, I just feel embarrassed for you whenever I catch a glimpse of one.

Comments are closed.