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Southampton v Arsenal; modest home v modest away, but WHU lurking.

By Bulldog Drummond

If you are a really, really long term reader of Untold you might recall that one of our first campaigns to was expose what we called Rotational Fouling.  It was a notion that the media ignored, and commentators laughed at us in relation to.  We were out on our own (how often that happens) but stuck to our guns (so to speak).

And if by any chance you were listening to BBC Radio 5’s commentary on West Ham v Chelsea today you would have heard quite a discussion about West Ham’s use of rotational fouling.  They didn’t use that phrase, but did say “It looks like West Ham are fouling in rotation,” and went on to discuss it in depth.

No sniggering, no laughing, just another Untold observation taken up and is now seemingly mainstream.   So it goes.

Back to this weekend’s match…

In the last article we saw that while Southampton are a mid-table team in terms of home games, Arsenal are a mid-table team in terms of away matches; there is little to choose between them.  So how do we separate the sides?

One way is to look at recent games…   Here are Arsenal’s last 12…

Date Match Res Score Competition
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1 UEFA Europa League
22 Oct 2017 Everton v Arsenal W 2-5 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Norwich City W 2-1 League Cup
28 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Swansea City W 2-1 Premier League
02 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda D 0-0 UEFA Europa League
05 Nov 2017 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
18 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-0 Premier League
23 Nov 2017 1.FC Köln v Arsenal L 1-0 UEFA Europa League
26 Nov 2017 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
29 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2017 Arsenal v Manchester United L 1-3 Premier League
07 Dec 2017 Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov W 6-0 UEFA Europa League

Eight wins, one draw, three defeats.

And Southampton’s last 12…

Date Game Res Score Competition
3 Sep 2017 Southampton v Man U L 0-1 Premier League
30 Sep 2017 Stoke City v Southampton L 2-1 Premier League
03 Oct 2017 Cambridge Utd v Southampton W 0-1 League Trophy
15 Oct 2017 Southampton v Newcastle Utd D 2-2 Premier League
21 Oct 2017 Southampton v WBA W 1-0 Premier League
29 Oct 2017 Brighton v Southampton D 1-1 Premier League
04 Nov 2017 Southampton v Burnley L 0-1 Premier League
07 Nov 2017 Northampton Tv Southampton D 3-3 League Trophy
18 Nov 2017 Liverpool v Southampton L 3-0 Premier League
26 Nov 2017 Southampton v Everton W 4-1 Premier League
29 Nov 2017 Man City v Southampton L 2-1 Premier League
03 Dec 2017 Bournemouth v Southampton D 1-1 Premier League

This shows three wins, four draws, five defeats.

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On that basis Arsenal are obviously the team in form.  If we reduce it to the last five, Arsenal have three wins and two defeats, compared to Southampton with one win, two defeats and two draws.  Looking at stats like this we might expect Southampton to go for the draw.

We should also have a quick look at the injury table. but even here there is nothing to separate the teams – both clubs are shown as having two injuries – although as always Arsenal’s list includes Santi Cazorla, who wouldn’t be able to play even if he were fit.

There is one other fact that we need to consider in thinking about the team and that is that Arsenal have a match mid-week after this game; and this time it is not one in which we can use the Arsenal II squad.  It is against State Aid United at the Tax Payers’ Stadium.   These two games, against Southampton and West Ham are likely to be the ones in which we do see one or two of those players who have been kept for the Europa and League Cup matches stepping up and getting a League game.

Let’s finish with a comment from a source we don’t often cite: Yahoo Sport.

“Saints … have been poor this season. There are no two ways about it. Mauricio Pellegrino’s men have flattered to deceive on several occasions and this has shown, with them failing to make the most of a presentable opening run of fixtures.

“Southampton have won just one game in six. This came against an Everton team who never even looked like competing. Saints undoubtedly played well in this outing and have since shown signs of positivity against Manchester City and Bournemouth respectively, but it appears to have papered over the cracks once more.

“Pellegrino’s side sit in 11th place on the Premier League table and are in a rather precarious position. The team have a desperately tricky run of games coming up, with trips to Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United all coming this month, and will surely be aware of the dangers of slipping down the table.

“Saints have won only four games this season – one by more than two goals – and have played just four teams who finished above them last term. This goes some way in highlighting how underwhelming Pellegrino and his men have been in the opening third of the campaign.”

We shall see.  More tomorrow, but in the meanwhile I leave you with the fact that West Ham, the team we play next, today beat Chelsea 1-0.  I wonder if that will affect who Mr Wenger picks for this game, holding someone back for the WHU match midweek.



3 comments to Southampton v Arsenal; modest home v modest away, but WHU lurking.

  • Gord

    You can’t trust the PGMO employees to issues cards when a bookable offense has been made, or if no bookable offense was made.

    But in any event, State Aid United picked up 6 yellow cards to 1 for Chelsea.

  • para

    To combat rotational fouling, Arsenal players must learn “pain releasing”. I coin this phrase not lightly, but we need to combat RF.

    This will be, to scream or groan very loudly in pain when rotational fouled, so loud that the mics around the ground picks it up. Clutching the part of the torso that was attacked for a few seconds, than shaking it off and into the fray again.

    There must be no suggestion that they are looking at the ref to call the foul, but that they are just trying to get on with the game.

    On top of this, Arsenal supporters will vocally bear down on the ref at every foul with phrases like;

    “He tried to break his leg”
    “He thought he could elbow him”
    “He tried to knock him out”
    “He buldozed through him”
    “That was a karate chop”

    This must be done in a “choral unison” and very loud. (Even to a tune.)

    I suggest that any fan reading this and going to the game, lets the other fans know, phone them, tell them on the way to the game, spread it around.

    Even before the game, the fans must sing;

    “West ham west ham dancing round the mulberry bush
    fouling Arsenal players as they go
    Come on ref, come on ref cant you see that
    They are just a bunch of twats.”

    This must be sung to a xmas tune as it is that time of year.

  • para

    That means they probably deserved twice that amount of yellow cards.