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We know about the next four days but what happens after Sunday?

by Bulldog Drummond

There’s general agreement about the make up of the team tonight; we know Ospina is definitely in goal, and Welbeck plays in attack along with Mkhitaryan.  Beyond that there is a fair amount of agreement from those taking guesses with a back four of Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding, Kolasinac regularly mentioned, and  Iwobi, joining Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck up front.

Some have opted for Nketiah to start up front with Danny wide, but that seems a long shot.  Most people have Maitland-Niles starting again as he did in Sweden, and pretty much everyone expects us to win.

After that on Sunday, the missing first team names return for the game against Manchester City, and we’ll be able to see exactly what impact on PGMO the opposition’s demands for a meeting about the unfairness of referee decisions has had.  Which makes the point that at least we don’t have a PGMO referee tonight.

So that is the next four days.  But after that what happens?

It appears at one level everyone is holding their collective breath, because whatever happens in the League Cup Final, barring a total cock-up tonight, we’ll still have two fronts to fight on: the Europa League to try and win yet another Cup, and trying to finish higher up the Premier League than we are now.

And the first match in that battle to get higher up the league is against… Manchester City at the Ems.  Tickets for that match incidentally are still available, which also suggests a certain amount of waiting to see what happens in the League Cup Final.

But before that game, and assuming all goes well tonight we’ll also have the draw for the next round of the Europa.  The current round is the last one in which there is any seeding, so we really could play any of the remaining teams, and as with the match last week in Sweden, it will be a case of playing a very strong selection of players throughout.

Apart from all that we are into wholesale transfer tales – the latest of which is that we are signing Rugani from Juventus to “sort out the defence”.  At the same time we will have the predictions that everyone will be sold – the latest on his way out is Koscielny apparently.

Plus there might be a bit of an analysis as to exactly how well Alexis Sanchez has done at Manchester United.

Arsenal, as you will undoubtedly recall, were heavily criticised for failing to tie Alexis into a long term deal before the start of this season, and there was much talk (day after day after day in fact) about Alexis going on a free in the summer.  The occasional note on Untold that given that he was already 29, by the time any new contract was into its third year he would probably look very over paid was not taken up by anyone as far as I know.

Now Man United are not averse to such deals as we saw with Van Persie who was given an extended contract and indeed did very well for Man U to help Ferguson win his final championship.  After that however he left the club was a mismatched squad and with an ageing centre forward on a very high salary.

So that’s how the future maps out.  And to keep us going here is some more tittle tattle

1:   Pogba offered to top clubs –  talkSPORT 

2: Jack Wilshere ‘will leave Arsenal’ this summer –  Daily Cannon.  But on the other hand…

3: Wenger hoping for Wilshere & Welbeck deals – Goal.com 

4: Arsenal ‘eyeing summer swoop for £25m Juventus star Daniele Rugani’  Daily Mirror

5: “Under-fire Granit Xhaka not to blame for defensive mishaps” Pain in the Arsenal – now if that story becomes a complete about turn among the mumbling classes that really would be quite a something.

So the tittle tattle continues, and whatever happens on Sunday, we’ll be needing to win as many games as we can.

 

 

 

 

25 comments to We know about the next four days but what happens after Sunday?

  • Ferg

    Can’t resist a sadistic urge to watch Manure away. Last night didn’t disappoint. The Curling on Beeb would have been more entertaining, but if you have a penchant for seeing hundreds of millions of pounds of talent being wasted , and Alexis being subbed off, on 70, this was a must watch.
    Silverware is not everything. There are many Gooners who have, and likely still do, craved the defensive nowse of the moaning one, but personally, I think he’s now gone too far. Entertainment vampire.
    Silverware does help mind.

  • Ferg, that was hilarious, I enjoyed every second, it was like watching Technicolor paint dry.

    I fear his pragmatism may be vindicated, with passage beyond Sevilla, and indeed I hope it is, only to be maligned on it’s second appraisal in the Qtr finals. However, given that they are more than likely going to remain in the top four, crashing out at this stage would given more concern to our rivals than it would us.

    On Alexis at United, well, he makes them narrow up front as it was with us, but within the systems Jose employs, the drawbacks are ever more obvious without the personnel or initiative required for even an attempt at some slick Arsenalesque interplay.

    With all that swarming, Martial must be livid and Lingaard, might not think it so funny now, ousting Mikhi due to his likely and probably reasoned criticism of his deployment within the Jose systems was one thing, getting rid of the teams highest earner, completely another.

    But it is needless to suggest, that other than that solitary goal and a couple of assists against a lower league team on his debut, in which he still failed to score, given his teammates (I use the term loosely) inability to accommodate him with a goal on his debut.

    Did Alexis lose his quality overnight? No I think not, but as with my little brother, who should have already made the Arsenal U16 squad, it appears that a more recent introduction of poor attitude and questionable style adopted under the Spurs academy tutelage, is diminishing that quality ever more rapidly.

    As with RVP, I see a sharp decline on the cards, and surely a move to the MLS seems likely, what does he have in common with Robin, that title of Judas, with Henry, probably the pooresrt decision came at the death and may be resultant in the death and may well be the driving factor behind a disheartening end to a career.

    It would seem from the outside that the star is falling, having burned brightest with the Arsenal.

    Once a Gooner……

  • Gord

    Officials are from Slovakia (? SVK)
    Referee
    _Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
    Assistant referees
    _Branislav Hancko (SVK)
    _Martin Balko (SVK)
    Additional assistant referees
    _Peter Kralović (SVK)
    _Filip Glova (SVK)
    Fourth official
    _František Ferenc (SVK)

    No lineup information yet, and I am not seeing weather information at UEFA either. that twit Daniel Thacker is still pretending to be “Arsenal Reporter”.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    No bench (yet).

    4C, 13 kph wind, 55% Humidity

    13 David Ospina (GK)
    10 Jack Wilshere (C)
    16 Rob Holding
    17 Alex Iwobi
    21 Calum Chambers
    23 Danny Welbeck
    24 Héctor Bellerín
    30 Ainsley Maitland-Niles
    31 Sead Kolašinac
    35 Mohamed Elneny
    77 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Beach: Macey, Monreal, Mustafi, Xhaka, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock

    COYG!

  • Ferg

    Nice one Gord
    Bell Erin appears to be so keen to leave ,that he plays every game.

  • Ferg

    Ha. Bellerin, clearly

  • Gord

    Horsefeathers! Come on Arsenal, you need to score now as well.

    COYG!

  • Menace

    WE are getting thumped by a side that is awake while we are slumbering like babies!!

  • Gord

    Horsefeathers! Horsefeathers! Arsenal, now you need 2 goals of your own (or more).

    COYG!

  • Mike T

    Menace.
    They have gone into the game who thought they had a chance you seem to have gone into the game thinking they didn’t have a chance. I can’t think they will keep playing as well but your shape is all wrong

  • Menace

    It’s not the shape Mike it’s the attitude. There is no hunger. The mentality is let the ball come to me, I don’t need to chase it nor do I need to move towards it. The forwards are also pathetic & show neither hunger nor accuracy in the pass.

  • Gord

    Stats to half time.

    Attempts _ _ _ _ _5:6
    _on target _ _ _ _1:4
    _off target _ _ _ 3:1
    _blocked _ _ _ _ _1:1
    Corners _ _ _ _ _ 5:1
    Offsides _ _ _ _ _1:2
    %Arsenal possess 60
    Passing accuracy 87:84
    _attempted _ _ _328:171
    _completed _ _ _285:143

    Balls Recovered _20:21
    Blocks _ _ _ _ _ _1:1
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ 6:5
    Yellows _ _ _ _ _ 1:0

    COYG!

  • Mike T

    Menace

    You may be right but I can honestly say it’s the strangest half of football I have seen for a long while.
    Against Forest it was understandable because they were at home and had the crowd behind them. Is it possible that tonight the lack of crowd is an issue?
    I suspect that half time will clear heads but if they get a third then all bets are off.
    One player that has impressed me is Maitland Niles. His pace is electric yet tonight he seems to be running in treacle.

  • Gord

    Well, that’s a nice start! How to go Kolasinac!

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Great move by Wenger. Maitland Niles was not safe so Xhaka is a more positive move. Kola gets one back but Danny is just not doing it with aggression. He is trying to be sweet.

    I must look back at an earlier incident where Awobi was floored in their box & should have been a pen but these things are subjective.

  • Menace

    In my opinion Iwobi is not a team player & his selfish attitude destroys good possession. If he passed early ball it would enhance the momentum & create chances.

  • Menace

    The short playground passing seems wasteful as it plays into the offense rather than get benefit. Wide players should stick to their wings so that opponent pressers can be isolated with long passes.

  • Mike T

    Can’t argue with your comment about Iwobi . Has Wilshire gone to sleep or what?
    No5 quite sure what’s going on but this tie is still not done whereas it should be.

  • Gord

    Game stats

    Attempts _ _ _ _ _5:6 _ _13:11
    _on target _ _ _ _1:4 _ _ 6:4
    _off target _ _ _ 3:1 _ _ 5:2
    _blocked _ _ _ _ _1:1 _ _ 2:5
    Corners _ _ _ _ _ 5:1 _ _ 8:4
    Offsides _ _ _ _ _1:2 _ _ 1:2
    %Arsenal possess 60 _ _ _52
    Passing accuracy 87:84 _ 86:86
    _attempted _ _ _328:171 556:429
    _completed _ _ _285:143 480:368

    Balls Recovered _20:21 _ 38:42
    Blocks _ _ _ _ _ _1:1 _ _ 5:2
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ 6:5 _ _13:14
    Yellows _ _ _ _ _ 1:0 _ _ 2:2

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Job done. Through to the next round without loss of 1st teamers. The cheapo cup is now our target. Then it is media time.

    Wenger knows!

  • jet

    Why are people sugar coating this!

    Next round, with the likes of Atletico is not going to be easy.

  • Gord

    No, we shouldn’t sugar coat this. We should sell all those players today! So that we have no team to play the game on the weekend.

  • Menace

    jet – sugar coating success is not on your agenda then?

    let’s all say aaaahhhhhh to little jet.

  • I don’t get the line up, Niles has to be available for Sunday, similarly with Hector, Sead an drew Jack, possibly Iwobi. Xhaka needs to make the bench at least, similarly Elneny.

    Chambers right, play the safe back three with Per to solidify the line with Holding and Mavrapanos who seems capable. Rotate Sead and Niles for run outs at left back. Use Nelson and ask, can you play City? Danny has to have used up hos chances, surely? Mikhi could have played left and willock right. Or 3-4-1-2 with Eddie partnering Danny.

    Three and a half days recover your time and not having to try tracel rom Manchester is helpful. But.. we risked a very key Hector, Sead when I’m sorry but playing Monreal wide is asking to be get a left side overload.

    I’m not concerned with losing on the night, or people not giving 100% given that they’ve needed 4 and 1 goal then made it five.

    Well done Sead, at least someone wants to play on Sunday outside of the guaranteed starters.

    Jack won’t sign, go on someone blame Wenger, when he and the player want the contract sorted.

    Yes performance rated, but a wage increase dependant on appearances should be fine surely. So what’s the delay?