By Bulldog Drummond
And so Arsenal return from foreign parts having won their last four European away games – which is not bad considering how everyone says we are useless away from home. And we also kept a clean sheet away from home for the first time since beating Olympiakos 3-0 in December 2015.
There are of course other fun and games to be had with the statistics, but perhaps it is interesting to note that Wilshere was the man of the match in many people’s eyes and Theo has been directly involved in four goals (three scored, one assist) in his past four European appearances for Arsenal.
In fact Theo’s assist was his 11th for Giroud in all competitions; only Mesut Ozil has provided more assists for Giroud.
Anyway the early thoughts on the team for the game against Everton are that those who played away against Red Star won’t play away against Everton, unless we are in desperate need. Also given the violence at the last game at Goodison, we’ll be looking for cool heads and calmness.
Of those who did play I’d only expect Cech to continue on Sunday, with players such as Holding, Wilshere and Giroud on the beach. Otherwise, injuries permitting it will be new faces all round compared to yesterday.
Which raises the regular weekly issue of injuries. Here is physioroom’s league table
|Pos||TEAM||Men down||Last man out||What he got|
|1||Stoke City||7||P Crouch||Back Injury|
|2||Manchester United||7||M Rashford||Knee Injury|
|4||Huddersfield Town||6||P Billing||Ankle Injury|
|5||Watford||6||I Success||Knee Injury|
|6||Arsenal||5||D Ospina||Groin Strain|
|7||Tottenham Hotspur||5||M Dembele||Hip Injury|
|8||Chelsea||5||T Bakayoko||Groin Injury|
|9||Bournemouth||5||B Smith||Hip Injury|
|10||West Bromwich Albion||5||O Burke||Hamstring Injury|
We are fifth in the injury table – but equal to 10th, so pretty mid-table. Everton are above with one more man out. And the regular point can be made that one of our five is not a member of the “25” listed players – it being Santi Cazorla.
All the five men in the list are definitely out, there are none hoping for a late reprieve.
|Man down||What happened||When back||Any chance?|
|D Ospina||Groin Strain||November 5, 2017||No|
|D Welbeck||Groin Strain||November 18, 2017||No|
|S Mustafi||Thigh Strain||November 18, 2017||No|
|C Chambers||Hip Injury||November 18, 2017||No|
|S Cazorla||Plantaris Injury||No Return Date||No|
Which now gives us our squad for Sunday from whom players will be chosen
11 from these 12 to start, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Sanchez, Iwobi, Lacazette
Whoever is not picked above, plus six of these seven on the beach: Holding, Wilshere, Coquelin, Walcott, Giroud, Macey, Elneny.
Of course Everton is not a particularly savoury place to go at the moment. Apart from the ground being on Merseyside they have the issue of a fan seemingly hitting the Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes while holding a young child. I don’t know if that happens a lot around Liverpool, but it seems a trifle dangerous in terms of the upbringing of children. Plus the assault by Ashley Williams, the Everton captain on Thursday, on Lopes sending him into the advertising hoardings. The sort of trick Norwich City used to do to get players to collapse into the concrete bunker that housed a TV camera.
There is also the fact that 20 players were involved in the incident, and that when Manchester United and Arsenal faced a similar charge after a match at Old Trafford, Arsenal were deducted two points. One might hope for continuity in punishments, but that just never happens. And the banning of one supporter does nothing to make the ground safe.
Indeed we’ve commented many times on certain aspects of the lack of safety at the Emirates, so it is only right that the issue at Goodison should be brought up as well. Merseyside Police are conducting what they say is “a wide-ranging investigation” into the events.
Arsenal have come out of the Thursday games on top of their Europa group of course.
Here is Everton’s group… even with the pushing an what used to be called argy-bargy they lost at home yesterday…
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- Premier League 2022/23 – Matchweek 2 Refereeing matters
- Are we all really sure that no other club behaves like Barcelona?