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June 2021

Arsenal v Red Star: the Jack conundrum, injuries, Europa records, teams.

By Bulldog Drummond

So as we get to our final post before the game (given that it will soon be time to jump in the jalopy and gallop off down the M1, what about the jolly old injuries?

Well that website that is having a go at challenging our regular reports on injuries, has now clarified what they are counting to make Arsenal come up high up their charts all the time: it is the number of weeks players are unavailable to play.  So obviously poor Santi is knocking up one point every week, even though he is not in the official 25 list.  Seems a trifle unfair.

Staying with our list of the number of players actually unavailable game by game we have from physioroom…

Man down What’s up? When’s he back Playing today?
S Kolasinac Hip Injury November 5, 2017 Slight Doubt
D Ospina Groin Strain November 5, 2017 Slight Doubt
D Welbeck Groin Strain November 18, 2017 No
S Mustafi Thigh Strain November 18, 2017 No
C Chambers Hip Injury November 2, 2017 No
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury No Return Date No

Kolasinac wouldn’t have played today anyway, but Ospina would have done if fit.  I thought from earlier reports he would be back, but latest suggestions are no, so that would seem to be Cech in goal.

The next chattering point among the chattering classes is Jack who is either on the way up or on the way out depending on who you read, but is most certainly playing tonight.

Mr Wenger said, “I said many times that [Wilshere’s contract] would be decided in December.  I wanted to give him six months not to think about that and see where we go. Do we want to clear it up before the January window? Yes.

“For me, Jack is in the position between wide and completely central, or in that area behind the midfield, because he turns the game forward well, he can chip a little ball and he can pass people on the short space. That’s why I think the [3-4-2-1] system suits him well. He’s a little bit in conflict for a position with Özil and Sánchez. I consider him as part of the front three.”

The England manager, a Mr Southgate, was at the Emirates for the win over Swansea City last Saturday and Mr Wenger said the fellow had asked him about Wilshere. “I said: ‘No restrictions.’ Jack’s in a very good way.  He is ready. He was not three weeks ago but he is today. In every single competition, he’s ready to play. I would encourage him to do it.

“I can only repeat what I personally think: I don’t know how you can keep a super-fit Jack out of the England squad. I manage him, at the moment, like every single player. Since three weeks he is treated like any other player.

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“Jack was ready to be in the dark at the start of the season and just work hard,” Wenger said. “He was determined and now he feels he has found that little bit of sharpness which is decided in the first two yards. Since he has been playing for us everybody has started to think in a different way about him.”

So that is the message: he’s ready to rock and roll.  International matches are more chaotic than Europa League games, but Jack ought to be able to cope.

The Telegraph disagrees however and pronounces that Harry Winks has retained his place in the England squad while Jack Wilshere has not played enough, and is not fit enough, to be selected.  In which case what was the England manager doing at the Arsenal?

Meanwhile there is a bloggetta that today says Arsenal should get rid of both keepers as soon as possible, pointing out that the club is reportedly interested in the Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who is currently playing for Red Bull Leipzig.   We shall see.

But let’s come back to the Europa.

In the Europa there are currently 48 teams, of which four have got maximum points: Steaua Bucharest, Lazio, Zenit and of course Arsenal.

Eight teams in the history of the Europa have gained the maximum 18 points in the group stages but six teams have qualified with just seven points (two fewer than Arsenal have now).  The most points gained without going through is 10.  The most goals scored in a group stage is 22, so we’d need five in each of the remaining games to beat that.

Here’s the table…

Pos Club Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1  Arsenal 3 3 0 0 8 3 5 9
2  BATE 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
3  Red Star Belgrade 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
4  Cologne 3 0 0 3 1 5 -4 0

And so finally, what sort of team might we see?  Here’s one possible version


Debuchy, Elneny, Holding

Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles

Walcott,                             Wilshere


Is this the first time Arsenal has put out a team with three players who have a surname starting with W?  I have no idea.

On the beach…

Matt Macey, Joe Willock, Marcus McGuane, Chuba Akpom, Josh Dasilva, Charlie Gilmour, Vlad Dragomir, Eddie Nketiah.  That is of course too many, so we shall see who gets chopped.

Eddie to come on and score the fifth in the 89th minute.

Or something along those lines.

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41 comments to Arsenal v Red Star: the Jack conundrum, injuries, Europa records, teams.

  • robl

    Chris Whyte, Steve Williams,Tony Woodcock?

  • Gord

    How about:


    Webuchy, Welneny, Wolding

    Welson, Woquelin, Willock, Waitland-Wiles

    Walcott, Wilshere


  • Rantetta

    Gord made me giggle.

  • Ferg

    How many Willocks we got ?

  • Gord

    I think we only have 1 Willock now. One (Chris) moved to Benfica (?), played against us in the Emirates Cup. Other, ….? Wikipedia says Matthew on loan to Utrecht, but now “owned” by ManU.

  • Gord

    Well, that Daniel Thacker is still reporting “for Arsenal” at He started writing at 6:26 for today’s game. He has posted photographs of newspapers for suggested lineups.

    Officials (from Italy) are:
    Referee: Luca Banti
    Assistant referees: Lorenzo Manganelli, Fabiano Preti
    Fourth official: Andrea Crispo
    Additional assistant referees: Paolo Valeri, Daniele Doveri

    UEFA isn’t listing an official lineup yet.

    Weather Predictions:
    +13C with very little wind, no precip (perhaps a trace after the game), 71% humidity, expecting about 50% cloud cover. UV index should be 1 (low). Visibility 12 miles (what’s a mile?), barometric pressure is 101.6 kPa

  • gouresh

    Night of the grass and level of water on the pitch?

  • gouresh

    I mean hight.

  • Gord

    As near as I can tell, the height of the grass above mean sea level is either 31 or 32 meters. Which probably means the water is 31 or 32 meters lower than that.


  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    With their looming Premier League big game clash with Man City at the Etihad on Sunday on the horizone, will Le Prof have his Arsenal first team choice goalkeeper, Petr Cech starting in our tonight’s Europa League Cup match against the visiting Crveda Zvevda at the Emirates Stadium? I think Le Prof should rather start Matt Macey in the match and forbid risking Cech starting the match since Ospina who Le Prof could likely have started in the match is not yet match fit to start.

    In addition, Le Prof should in my own view not hold back his own Kylian Mbappe in the making in Eddie Nketiah right there in his own backyard from starting in this match but start him in the match in the left side of the front three beside Giroud that’s leading the line while Walcott starts at the right side. Walcott could be interchanging positions with Nketiahas the mach progresses. But Jack Wilshere should start from the midfield alogside Le Coq behind Olivier Giroud playing a midfield deeper role providing assist for the front three while Coquelin plays a midfield sweeper shielding the back three and providing cover for the trio of Wilshere, Nelson & Maitland-Niles who I’ve started in the left wing back position diffferent from the right wing back positio he’s more used to start from.

    Once again my starts and bench:

    Holding Debuchy ElNeny
    Nelson Wilshere Coquelin Maitland
    Walcott Giroud Nketiah.

    Illive Osei-Tutu Pleguezuelo Sheaf Willock Dasilva Akpom.

    I’ve done one change to my bench that I posted yesterday on this site as I’ve brought in the Arsenal PL team II cenreback Pleguezuelo on my bench should in case a centreback change is required during the match. I think I am fully done but I am not Le Prof who may think and do diffrently.

  • Gord

    UEFA doesn’t have official line-ups yet, and is not yet in gameday mode.


    Nice interview with Reiss Nelson.

  • Gord

    Europa League Permutations – How to qualify for next round.

    1. Arsenal – just don’t lose tonight.

    2. Everton
    _a. Hope that solar wind grazes Earth today.
    _b. Look out window for pigs flying by.
    _c. Buy lots of peaches and lots of cream.

  • Gord

    UEFA has the lineup out (I probably have some of the positioning wrong).

    Debuchy Elneny Holding
    Nelson Willock
    Coquelin Maitland-Niles
    Wilshere Walcott

    Beach; Cech, Osei-Tutu, Akpom, Dasilva, McGuane Nketiah, Sheaf


  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Official line up

    You are absolutely correct except that Macey starts in goal

    Debuchy Elneny Holding
    Nelson Coquelin Willock Maitland-Niles
    Walcott Giroud Wilshere


    Cech, Ösen-Tutu, McGuane, Sheaf, Akpom, DaSilva, Nketiah

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    @Gord, beat me by seconds!

  • Gord

    It was close Andrew, but yours has fewer errors.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    In the Everton game Cuzco Martina was stretchered off following a nasty looking neck/head injury. There was a 7 minute stoppage whilst the medics got him strapped into all of the protective boards etc to keep him immobilised. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    My auto correct got confused with Osei-Tutu

  • Gord

    According to Wikipedia, Matt Macey is 1.98m tall, and hails from Bath. His Arsenal senior team debut was in the League Cup, this will be his Europa League debut. Good luck young Matt!

    Good wishes to Mathieu Debuchy. Perhaps there will be chances for steady football for him in the future.


  • Gord

    On the Martina/Everton injury, Rotowire is reporting that he got submarined by the Lyon forward.


  • Menace

    It’s almost 01.30 am time for the Arsenal game in India. Looking forward to seeing our team 2 winning again.

  • Gord

    Nice to Macey get a touch on the ball, but I don’t think a header is what he planned for a first touch.


  • Gord

    26 goals scored in the opening set of matches. 3 wins by the home side, 5 wins by away and 4 draws (three 1-1, one was 0-0). Hi score was 1-4 to Austria Wien and AEK Athens – AC Milan was the boring 0-0.

    UA still online?


  • Gord

    UEFA statistics.

    4 minutes of time added on for stoppages? With no substitutions?

    Shots attempted 3:4
    _on target 2:2
    _off target 0:1
    _blocked 1:1
    _woodwork 0:1
    corners 4:3
    offsides 0:2
    Possession 59% Arsenal
    Passing accuracy 87%:81%
    Passes 313:183
    _completed 273:148

    Balls recovered 22:22
    blocks 1:1

    Fouls 1:3


  • Menace

    Playing reasonable football but not gelling with passes in final third. Middle not winning loose ball so causing pressure on defence.

  • Menace

    Officials allowing some foul tackles to go unpunished. This is allowing Red Star advantage of taking our kids out of the game.

  • Gord

    Köln opened the scoring, BATE scored twice, and Köln just scored to tie it again.

    Five of the later games, are still 0-0. High score is 4-1 to Viktoria Plzen.


  • Gord

    Nketiah to score a brace again? We need something.


  • Gord

    Well, we are shooting. Something like 3 misses by Giroud and 3 by Walcott?


  • Gord

    Well, Daniel Thacker has decided it is time to get back to bashing Arsenal again. Dork. Where did you UEFA find this guy?


  • Menace

    Goalless draw but the ref was appalling. Jack was fouled all game without any offenders getting carded.

  • Gord

    UEFA stats half and full

    Again 4 minutes of time added on for stoppages? This time with 5 or 6 substitutions in the half. Does this timekeeper only have a single number in his head?

    Shots attempted _ _3:4 _ _ 12:6
    _on target _ _ _ _ 2:2 _ _ _2:3
    _off target _ _ _ _0:1 _ _ _7:2
    _blocked _ _ _ _ _ 1:1 _ _ _3:1
    _woodwork _ _ _ _ _0:1 _ _ _0:1
    corners _ _ _ _ _ _4:3 _ _ _6:4
    offsides _ _ _ _ _ 0:2 _ _ _1:4
    Possession _ _ _ _59% Arsenal _62% Arsenal
    Passing accuracy _87%:81% _88:81
    Passes _ _ _ _ _ 313:183 _573:317
    _completed _ _ _ 273:148 _504:256

    Balls recovered _ 22:22 _ _36:32
    blocks _ _ _ _ _ _ 1:1 _ _ _1:3

    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _1:3 _ _ _5:7
    yellow _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:0 _ _ _1:0

  • Gord

    The late games. Home won 7, away own 1 and 4 draws.

    High score was Koln, winning 5:2. Only a single scoreless game, ours.

  • Gord

    This is my compilation, mistakes are mine

    Arsenal _4 3 1 0 8:3 _ 5 10
    Red Star 4 1 2 1 2:2 _ 0 _5
    BATE _ _ 4 1 1 2 6:10 -4 _4
    Koln _ _ 4 1 0 3 6:7 _-1 _3

  • WalterBroeckx

    match report is on line

  • Gooner in Exile

    Dreadful game.
    After seeing the England squad it appears Southgate was at the Swansea game to check on Tammy Abraham.
    I doubt Wilshire will get back in the England squad when he is not first choice at Arsenal and its a bit hypocritical of Arsene Wenger to suggest he should be picked.

  • Menace

    Wilshere is better than anyone England has go at the moment. Wenger is better also. His recommendation is based on the England team not the Arsenal. Arsenal have a wealth of non English talent that are currently keeping Wilshere out.

    Concerning your opinion on the game, it is obvious you have no intelligence.

  • Jax

    Gooner in Exile
    I don’t think it was actually a ‘dreadful’ game, but TBH it wasn’t that great either.
    Southgate has said that Wilshere (with an ‘e’) will not be considered for England selection until he plays regularly for Arsenal, which seems fair enough to me.
    I thought he looked pretty sharp last night and was only prevented from a good goal by some acrobatic defending by Le Tallec.

  • Jax

    …….’plays regularly for Arsenal’ in the PL is what I think he actually said

  • Jammy

    Gooner in Exile – Considering how god-awful England are, it wasn’t hypocritical in the slightest. The England squad is significantly easier to get into than Arsenals first team. There’s also the fact that there’s a far higher chance of Wilshire getting roughed up in the PL, so obviously Wenger wants to get him as many games under his belt as possible to build up his strength, before putting him back into the first team.

  • Gooner in Exile

    With regard to the awfulness of the England squad I agree with the comments, but as far as Wilshire goes he is still far from his best, he had a pretty average season with Bournemouth last year and whilst showing flashes of the old Jack he is nowhere near yet I just feel it is wrong of Wenger to suggest he should be in the England squad when he is still only second or third choice for us.
    Going back to the game I did not see it live only on a dodgy stream and having seen the highlights dreadful was probably too strong a term but still not great. The biggest disappointment for me is the more senior players especially Walcott and Coquelin not standing out above the others.
    We have not performed that well yet all season but are still picking up points so lets hope we really click on Sunday