By Tony Attwood
Well, here I am in Cyprus, just getting ready for the first dance of the holiday, having had the opening meal with the assembled gathering of dancers, and a greater consumption of alcohol than I would ever normally have before dancing. Falling over could be one of the new dance steps that I now introduce to my routine. But the weather is gorgeous – or at least wonderful compared to England at this time of year.
So before I toddle off to dance, what news of Arsenal?
Obviously several of the normal sources of information are not available to me what with me being at a distance of some 4500km from the action, but I hear from sources (and who knows how reliable they are) that Theo Walcott might not be part of the show as he recovers from illness. Anyone closer to the action than me might be able to give some insight into this.
The story is that he did not train at London Colney on Wednesday morning. However it seems Olivier Giroud has recovered from his thigh injury and David Ospina plus Danny Welbeck are available. Since the triumvirate forward line that knocked the tiny totts into a cocked hat should presumably play in this weekend’s game, the I guess Danny will get a place in the starting line up in the Europa, perhaps on the wing with Giroud in the middle.
I was writing recently, in my usual incoherent way, on home and away results. Here are Arsenal’s game away from the Ems this season…
|06 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea (Wembley)||W||1-1 (4-1)||FA Community Shield|
|19 Aug 2017||Stoke City v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|27 Aug 2017||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-0||Premier League|
|17 Sep 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|28 Sep 2017||FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal||W||2-4||UEFA Europa League|
|14 Oct 2017||Watford v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|19 Oct 2017||Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal||W||0-1||UEFA Europa League|
|22 Oct 2017||Everton v Arsenal||W||2-5||Premier League|
|05 Nov 2017||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
I make that a grand total of
- Wins: 4
- Defeats: 4
- Draws: 1
Not the best set of results we could imagine, but nevertheless not too bad.
We would expect Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to play, but will Eddie Nketiah get a start? Again we expect Joe Willock to start, but will Jack be there, or will he be held back for the weekend game in the old industrial north?
As for the home side, Cologne will be without Simon Zoller who picked up a thigh injury in the weekend’s defeat by Mainz.
A bit more analysis of the table that I published in the first of these previews: if Red Star Belgrade win away to the tractor boys of Bate Borisov Cologne would also need to win to keep alive their hopes of making the knockout stages. So I don’t think we can count on the opposition as just rolling over.
Interestingly, in a desperate attempt to show that this could be a very tricky game for Arsenal the media is pointing out that Cologne did beat Arsenal last time the two met in Germany, 1-0, in…. the Fairs Cup in 1971. Oh yes and they have won four of their eight home meetings with English opposition.
Here’s another lovely won, they beat the Very Tiny Totts 8-0 in the Intertoto Cup in July 1995.
But we should not take that as a positive omen since Arsenal have lost their last three away games against German opposition. So not really much point in Arsenal even bothering to travel.
In fact we have won just four of the 17 away games against German opponents in all European competition. It really does seem hopeless. Besides if we won, that would make Arsenal the first English team to win away at five different German opponents in all European competition. And that would never do. Liverpool could do it, or Man U, but not Arsenal. Not allowed!
So Arsenal no chance then.
Oh, and you know all this stuff about the number of touches players make in matches and how significant that is, well Olivier Giroud (35) and Theo Walcott (32) are the two players to have made the most touches in the opposition box in the Europa League this season.
So there we are. In Cyprus it was a lovely warm day, and the night is young. I shall go and explore what’s on offer.
- All change at Arsenal has some interesting implications
- Making fun of Daily Mail journalists, and calling 999 when the team loses.
- Cologne v Arsenal II; the cause of Cologne’s woes and video of their one amazing win.
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women