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June 2021

Arsenal v Sunderland: the starters

by Bulldog Drummond

It seems to be injuries all round at the moment.  Here’s the physioroom latest with Sunderland top

# TEAM Total men down Whose down last What’s up
1 Sunderland 8 V Anichebe Hamstring Injury
2 West Ham United 8 M Noble Hernia
3 Hull City 7 H Maguire Ankle Injury
4 Manchester United 6 A Young Hamstring Injury
5 Everton 6 M Stekelenburg Groin Strain
6 Watford 6 C Kabasele Muscle Injury
7 Arsenal 5 L Koscielny Calf Injury


According to the press Denayer and Anichebe both limped off during the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Swansea and did not train on Sunday. Neither is likely to make the trip south.   George Honeyman is also struggling with a back injury sustained when defender Lamine Kone fell on him in training last week.  Very careless.

For us it is being said that Alexis Sanchez might be out because of the kick to the thigh in Saturday’s game of rugby (well for one side it was) and could be rested.  With Liverpool winning easily at the weekend, the only way we can get top four is by them messing up on the final day.  A bit like last season except with everyone having more points.

Laurent Koscielny is still struggling with his calf problem while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a hamstring and is probably being saved for the Cup Final.  If Koscielny is injured then Gabriel will presumably replace him.

Speaking ahead of the game Mr Wenger said, “Our chances depend on winning our games. We have 69 points, we can get to 75. That will be four points more than last year, so let’s focus on finishing as well as we can.

“We have created a momentum again. We had a difficult period and we recovered from it. The only chance we have to be in the top four is to win our games.”

Sunderland manager David Moyes reflected on the way Alan Shearer described Sunderland.  He called them  “pathetic and disgraceful” and Moyes replied, “I’d have to say that I think in many ways, he was right. I was incredibly disappointed with the performance.

“I don’t think any player ever goes out to try to perform like that. There were some reasons for it, but I’m actually privy to the stats, I can see the physical stats and on much of that, I couldn’t disagree.”  I am not sure what he couldn’t disagree with, but maybe it will become clear later.

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We have also just been told that Cech has just gone 318 minutes without conceding a goal at the Emirates, which I think it jolly good.  The last man to score was Sergio Aguero for Manchester City in a 2-2 draw on 2 April.

If Sunderland were to win it would be their first back-to-back Premier League away wins since April 2014, when they beat Chelsea and then Manchester United as part of their Great Escape.  But there is no great escape this time.

The Evening Standard is as usual giving full publicity to the anti-Wengerians giving space to Mark Halfpenny of the Online Gooner who is quoted as writing, “To offer Wenger a contract extension would be the safe option for them, but it would guarantee at least two more years of stagnation, collapses and scrapping for the leftovers.”

And his evidence for this assertion is… hard to find.  But of course if he wants to declare 3 FA cup finals in four years scraps, that is up to him.  Fortunately I gave up on the Gooner years ago so I don’t feel too bad these days.

He adds,

“We are calling on fans that feel the same way to boycott tomorrow evening’s match against Sunderland. Don’t sell your seat to a tourist or give it to a mate. Let yours be one of the many gaps in the stands that send a direct and unarguable message to the directors. You do not want to watch any more of the same old same old.”

The difference of course is that we rarely call on anyone to do anything.  Everyone can make up his or her own mind.  Untold is just here to give voice to the group of people who believe the right thing to do is to support the team, the club and the manager.

According to the Standard, “fan groups estimate there could be in excess of 10,000 empty seats for the Sunderland game.”   So that is about 9% or 10% empty.  We’ll see.  They have also estimated the numbers in protests at far beyond anything any of us have ever seen, and we’ve been looking for them and counting the numbers in the protest.  We’ll have another bash at that at the Sunderland game.

More on the game tomorrow morning.

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12 comments to Arsenal v Sunderland: the starters

  • markyb

    Give their tickets to people on the waiting list.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    As for me, my support is totally with the Gunners and Le Prof to have a resounding victory over the Black Cats at Ems tomorrow.

    But let me sound a note of warning to the Gunners who will play in this match not to be complacent in their game with the David Moye’s Black Cats who will want to be a spoiler for Arsenal to get a surprise win over us to finish the season on a useless high. Or hold us to deter us in our efforts to secure a UCL qualification in next season’s campaign which is still on the cards. If needs be, the Gunners should caged the Black Cats (not give them any space or freedom to operate in the game) during the entire course of the match.

    And hopefully, Sanchez will pass that late fitness test to start the match. But if Koscielny can’t play due to the reoccurrence of the injury he had before, I don’t foresee any shortcoming in defenders availability at the 3 man Arsenal defence-line occurring
    in this match as Mustasfi, Holding and Monreal should all be available to start and marshal our defence.

    Final scores: Arsenal 7-0 Sunderland @FT 90′ +.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Markyb, I’m all in favour for that!

  • ClockEndRider

    Err, 10,000 empty seats is about 16.66 % empty, isn’t it?

  • Menace

    Who the fuck cares about the empty seats? They have been paid for. The idiots that leave their seats empty are worse than the shit that evades tax. They have too much & want more.

    I support Arsenal & hope that Wenger renews for 5 years just to spite the aaa Piers.

  • nicky

    Empty seats are of little importance to Arsenal FC.
    They have been sold and paid for many moons ago.
    And there is an 11-year old wait for season tickets PLUS 40,000 wanting to buy. 😉

  • Leon

    Online Gooner has cut & pasted word for word from LG from before the United game, and the ground was full for that match.

  • Leon

    There could be any number of reasons a person does not take their pre booked seat for a football match (none of which are related to token protests), so giving their seat to another supporter could be impossible to administer, and what if that original ticket holder turned up a little late to find someone else in their seat?
    Stupid idea!

  • Nitram

    “To offer Wenger a contract extension would be the safe option for them, but it would guarantee at least two more years of stagnation, collapses and scrapping for the leftovers.”

    Fa Cup Win and 4th

    Fa Cup Win and 3rd

    Premier League Runners up

    Fa cup win ?

    What Spurs and Liverpool, let alone anyone else would give to be stagnating like us.

    These aaa types are truly an embarrassment.

  • Nitram

    For years and years all we got from these aaa’s was “all we want is to be competitive. All we want is to win some silverware.”

    Well isn’t that exactly what’s happened?

    Yet as we all knew, that was never what they wanted. We all knew that would never be enough.

    Pathetic and sad. Manners and fear of a tirade of abuse, prevents me from saying what I really think of them.

  • Matthew

    I wonder if Wenger includes Stoke, Southampton and Sunderland in his attack on teams who are “on the beach”.

  • Nitram


    He was obviously talking about West ham.

    All I know is my West Ham supporting mate was embarrassed.

    My Spurs supporting mate was pissed off. “They play like they did against us and serve up that shite against Liverpool”

    Stoke, Southampton, and now even Sunderland put 3 times the effort in West Ham did.

    Do yourself, and the rest of us a favour and take your whinging little self off to a site that will appreciate you.