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Arsenal this summer, and who is on the plane to Moscow

By Bulldog Drummond

It has been announced that Arsenal are to take part again in the International Champions Cup again this coming summer.

It is a somewhat curious competition, which last season took place in three countries with different teams playing different numbers of games.  Arsenal’s one game – if I remember it aright – seemed rather odd with a prolonged dispute over who Arsenal were allowed to bring on as a substitute.  That match was against Bayern Munich which we won 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The competition included five teams playing in China, three in Singapore and eight in the USA.  At the end of each section a rather odd league table was constructed.   Here is the Chinese one

Pos Team P W WP LP L F A GD Pts
1 Borussia Dortmund 1 1 0 0 0 3 1 +2 3
2 Inter Milan 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 +1 3
3 Milan 2 1 0 0 1 5 3 +2 3
4 Arsenal 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2
5 Bayern Munich 2 0 0 1 1 1 5 −4 1
6 Lyon 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0

One may ask what the point of the table was with some clubs playing two games and others just one – let alone why the table include the two extra rows of WP and LP which meant won on penalties and lost on penalties.  Apparently winning on penalties gained us two points.

The Chinese version of the competition was the only one in which teams played different numbers of games.  In Singapore they all played two in the US they all played three.

Manchester United and Arsenal are said to be playing in the US this time.  Tottenham and Chelsea are also signed up for the affair along with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan Inter Milan and Benfica although quite where everyone else is playing I can’t work out yet.

Meanwhile in a posting that seems to me to be fairly symptomatic of the current level of debate Football Fancast is running the story that “Something massive has got Arsenal fans worried about next game.”

Apparently this is that because Barcelona got knocked out of Europe, so could Arsenal.   One can see the obvious link.

But let us consider what has happened to CSKA Moscow of late.  In fact they played on Monday 9 April in their league at home to Dinamo Moscow and lost 1-2.  Thus after four consecutive wins they have just had two consecutive defeats.  This leaves the league table looking like this

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 24 16 4 4 36 17 +19 52
2 25 14 8 3 45 26 +19 50
3 24 13 5 6 35 20 +15 44
4 25 13 5 7 38 27 +11 44
5 24 11 9 4 34 16 +18 42

If we compare the results this season of the two teams we find…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
32 16 6 10 61 43 +18 54
24 13 5 6 35 20 +15 44

Arsenal have won exactly 50% of their games while CSKA have won 54%.

Arsenal are scoring at 1.91 goals per game and conceding at a rate of 1.34 goals per game.

CSKA are scoring at a rate of 1.46 goals per game and conceding at a rate of 0.83 goals per game.

I think that it is fairly obvious that if we can really bolster the defence this time by playing 14 at the back and just keep it tight then things should be ok, but letting in an early goal might unsettle the defence.  I know that is hardly original thinking, but just the reality for this match.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is obviously not available and Aubameyang is ineligible.  It now also seems that  Granit Xhaka is unwell.  It might be a cold or it might be the flu.  Mohamed Elneny has travelled and he should be given a boost by having seen off the latest nonsense from the PGMO front line.

Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have travelled, and Petr Cech will presumably start in goal as the chance for a few hardy souls to knock out the Ooooooooooooooospina chant is denied by his probelmatic ankle.

Apparently Per Mertesacker has gone to Russia.  That might be as a back up defender in case Kos is injured or it might be to case the joint ahead of the German involvement in the world cup, or just a sign of his forthcoming upgrade in status this summer at Arsenal.  I don’t rightly know.

More on the game, of course, tomorrow.

Elsewhere

These referee errors are there for all to see but it is how they are reported that is of greatest interest

Referee shown to be utterly wrong concerning Elneny but what about punishing the ref and offending player?

Reiss Nelson signing new contract

 

22 comments to Arsenal this summer, and who is on the plane to Moscow

  • Fox raided, thus sky, Facebook and Cambridge Analytics to stand trial for election manipulation, which ears Brexit, Chelsea, possibly touches United and Liverpool, posssibly Stan but possibly not Arsenal given the model we use! And Trumps lawyers offices raided. Oh beautiful!

  • Gord

    Some unusual Arsenal news from TASS.

    http://tass.com/sport/999197

    Football fans of England’s Arsenal FC will be presented with Russia’s traditional ear-flapped hats ahead of the quarterfinals second-leg match of the UEFA Europa League against CSKA Moscow FC
    Share

    Tass reports that they are expecting about 100 Arsenal fans to show up.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Le Boss should not buy in into the coach of CSKA Moscow takes who said, his CSKA team will have a chance against Arsenal if the Gunners play to their attacking football style. I think the CSKA’s coach has said this to coy Arsenal into believing it will be better for the Gunners to play defensively in the game so as to not concede goals in the match to CSKA’s would be attacking prowess ment to deceive the Gunners from attacking CSKA so as to make the Gunners fall prey to CSKA who will constantly be on the offensive looking to scorer goals if the Gunners decided to be on the defensive in the match.

    So therefore, Arsenal should play to their traditional way of attacking football in this match tomorrow if the Gunners are to top CSKA in the match beating them on their home soil for the first time. For, if Arsenal play defensively in the game, CSKA will have the chance to attack Arsenal relentlessly like the bees swapping on people attacking to sting them with venom. Arsenal who have the Gunners capacity to attack to beat CSKA in their backyard should not give in into any kind of negative football being insinuated by the CSKA coach. But play positively in the match by carrying the game to CSKA to break them down in the match to claim another victory over them in this Europa League Cup quaterfinal 2nd leg match clash.

    One other serious issue I would want the Gunners to be careful of as they are in Moscow is, CSKA may decide to use any anti-game playing tactics on them to gain the upper hand at a stage in the match. The use of a very limited nerve agent that cannot be detected after it has done the damage may be used by CSKA on some selected Gunners to make them to suffer temporary from drowsiness at a particular time during the playing of the match so as to give CSKA the chance to score many goals in the match should not be ignored by Arsenal as a joke. But be taken seriously as a possibility that could happen and they should therefore take the necessary advance step to guide against contacting any toxic agent in their food and drinks, hotel accommodation, bus ridding and in the dressing room.

    My carefully thought out Arsenal 3-2-1-3-1 starts and 7 on the bench Gunners for the match are below.

    Starts:
    —————–Cech—————–
    —Koscielny–Mustafi–Monreal—
    Bellerin——————-Kolasinac
    —————El Neny—————
    Ramsey——-Oezil——-Welbeck
    ————–Lacazette————–

    Bench:
    Macey Holding Chambers Maitland Wilshere Iwobi Nelson.

  • Pat

    That’s nice about the hats! I said Russians were hospitable.

  • CR7 breaks another record to see Real progress after going 3 behind at home!

    The Kop have to be lickinnn heir lips.

    PGMO at centre of controversy as Oliver see’s a push, and how many might he have missed tonight? Consistency!

    He adds to tha by sending off the Legendary Gigi B on his last CL appearance for being Italian I presume, my internet web to weird.

    Bayern progress zenith a bore draw, worryingly for them everyone played.

    So one underperforming and aging Giant, a League winning Giant in transition, last coach trip Forbes he Elederly couple, one coach loaf of OAP from Rome and their young carers, and well Liverpool, weaknesses but they are keeping iwceryone competitive and don’t give you all that much chance to exploit much.

    I suggested an outsider might win it and all 2 of them aren’t quite that! The thing is all 3 other teams have massive big game experience, wwill Klopp break his duck with enthusiasm?

    All I do know is City were robbed, Juventus or shafted, Barcelona got what negative tactics get your st this stage and CR7 is the best olayer ever, seconded by Messi, unless you consider pure talent, in which case Willian is right, Ronaldinho every day, a ?!

    Do I think I’m looking forward to a potential Athletico Arenal final more than the CL final, I think much of the world will concur!

  • El Neny overturned! 😉

  • nicky

    @Pat,
    Agreed. The Russians have their own idea of protocol.
    In November 1945, I remember a tour of the UK by Moscow Dynamo. Before every game each player presented his opposite number with a large bouquet of flowers! 😉

  • Kane gets husband goal from Cristian, Monreals, they in the post too?

    Graeme Balague refers accurately to Messi as looking tired and stale! Must be the day the world began to wake up!

    So the shortlist:

    William Carvalho; been in for twice, nearly joined West Ham, Real overlooked and fancy Hazard and a GK, need to decide on Bale and sell Isco for max, may take back Alvaro. Can we sneak it, he said listed.

    Meyer; the boises forkmhis camp sound positive and he would be a worthy replacement for Santi, I’m thinking of Mandy and her crush a tankards, lets say he’s got a narketable face. It’s about a good contract, regular football, the leaagie and european football.

    Mahrez, well it look a certain to finally happen, and given our squad without Monreal, Mertersacher and any U21 is only 17 deep with Cohen and Macey and Cech still retained, we are Valentin cope well, Mikhi has been most effective at 7 and 10 RWF Ian available and other teams have other agendas, without a WC and ultimatums and Absences this could be quite viable!

    I think offloading Monreal Ian still ideal, for voting parties, and duchess Abou Diallo make a for a great value for money dining, a small a strong, quick, mobile and young left footed CB honcan be deployed at LB amd os already noted for his astute positional play.

    Butland – a string of high profile defeats this season, in the league earliest team Thisbe season. Kack has made more saces than anybody else and I think is a great shot stopper, and my preference would be to retain Cech and one of Martinez or Macey, acquiring this young man and selling Ospina during WC.

    Bernd would be orthwhile and watching the situation with Oblak is certainly worth note.

    However I believe that four ignorance not all given playetd are as close to a perfect fit as Aubameyang, Diallo and Meyer Particularly 10/10 I’d rate the other 2/3 8.5 respectively.

    The rank outsider, I feel I was about settling a sevate and my younger squad at Arsenal, if use my one to remaining space to accommodate Toby orkerly of Spurs. He doesn’t look like staying, but with both Real and Barcelona needing a CB not to mention the chance to partner VVD, if hope we can not only secure CL footy, but et some early no deals done to shop with out intent.

    £0 Meyer 90k
    £16m Diallo 70k
    £24m Carvalho 100k
    £35m Mahrez 130k
    £16m Butland 75k

    Toby break the bank, make him out higher paid defender.

    Oblak is worth £50m
    Leno is about £25m

    But the

  • BUt the prices for this season on GK’s eillnhe how much De Gea wants out, compared to what Real can afford, plus not what they can’t recoup, plus what United focus on. And they need a lot, but the new window changes everything.

    He who offloaded and hasn’t cash is long, there stands only one!

    Chelsea are about to feel the heat, Ijiyed will ve working frantically o offer players they don’t fancy. And Real will be looking to talk to whoever has as deep pockets.

    I love Howe Real do business, every season it’s them, stranglehold. Forcing up the prices of Neymar, Coutinho, De Gea, Oblak, Courtois, Mbappe!

    You can still fit in Kelechi, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah, Niles, Adelaide, and a bit more from Danny will make mnemonic happy, that chances wasn’t so easy just close!

  • Chris

    Well, there is a new debate to have now…. are PL refs fit for CL ?
    Michael Oliver giving a debatable penalty in the 93rd minute of a CL quarter final and handing Real the win…
    Does this sound like a normal day at the office in a PL match day ?!?

    No idea if it was a penalty, maybe Walter can give an educated opinion.
    But the ref did nothing to shine a good light on PL refereeing. Guess most spectators who follow the PL outside of the Uk will probably have thought : yep, well, that’s the way they do it in the PL…

    And others will wonder if like for last year’s remontada, there is an agenda in the CL as well ?

  • PTO

    Chris
    It WAS a penalty. Who said it was ‘debatable’?
    I’m sure you’re not prepared to believe it but Oliver had a decent game in a very competitive match.

  • Pat

    Nicky

    Yes, flowers. It’s not seen as a gift just for women!

  • Va Cong

    Chris it wasn’t a penalty defender clipped the ball onto forwards chest and fell down like a sack of shit with the faintist of touch thats why the goal keeper was livid and rightly so!

  • Gord

    That was a wonderful article Polo.

  • This was a well-written article by Bulldog Drummond, although the FA have credited it to Harry Kane.

  • Chris

    PTO,

    well reading the press accross the continent, each story says debatable or some sort of synonym.
    It sure is interesting that outisde of the PL refs make debatable choices… inside the PL they are right 98 % of the time.
    It must be downb the the players themselves who probably have little understanding of the rules. After all they are foreigners right ?!?
    And when commenting on an CL game, the ref is fair game, when commenting on a PL game, the ref is immune.

    Basically I don’t care for the result and I have no idea if it was one or not. Arsenal fans are so accustomed of ghost penalties that they will say : it was one. Spurs fans don’t know what a penalty against them looks like they’ll say it was not. And you can turn that the other way around as well !

  • Josif

    Ronaldo should have been booked for at least one diving last night and, combined with his second yellow card for removing shirt, it would have meant he wouldn’t play in the first semifinal leg.

    Anyway, kudos for Juventus for a fantastic battle. It was a similar uphill battle to ours against Bayern in 2012-13. For those who don’t recall – after losing first leg 3-1, Arsene made a fantastic set-up against one of the best sides Champions League has ever seen. We had to score at least three goals without conceding to go through and we started with a quick goal by Giroud. Then we defended cleverly, keeping our shape and frustrating Bayern (Fabianski’s safe hands helped). It looked to me like Arsene had a plan: “Score a goal at every 30 minutes without conceding and we are through!” We would have done by the plan if the referee didn’t call for Theo’s offside when he was well onside. Walter used a footage from Bosnian TV to describe it in his article called something like “Not even close”.

    Which leads me to another point: you can have a fantastic tactical setup by fantastic manager (and Allegri is one of the best if not the best out there) but it will all fall down if the referee is out there with an agenda to screw you over.

  • Nitram

    PTO

    “It WAS a penalty”

    –I honestly don’t know how you can say that categorically.

    Va Cong

    “It wasn’t a penalty defender”

    –I honestly don’t know how you can say that categorically.

    Chris

    “Well reading the press across the continent, each story says debatable”

    Because that’s what it was.

    Not all decisions are 100% one way or the other. Some are 50/50 or in other words, debatable.

    Personally I think it was a penalty.

    Why? Because it was a challenge from behind, and to reach the ball he did, in my opinion, push the Ronaldo over. yes Ronaldo may, I say may of gone over easily, but similar to Ramsey at Burnley, that is irrelevant.

    Both Ramsey and Ronald were pushed enough to affect there ability of getting to the ball. A foul.

    As such, even if you as an individual err on the side of no penalty, I fail to see how Oliver can be criticised.

    I’d of been screaming for it if it had been us.

    PTO

    I agree with you. I thought Oliver had a very good game, as our referees often do when they referee outside the Premier League.

  • Va Cong

    the angle looked like the defende clipped the ball onto forwards chest from the side.
    Another picture and angle shows a tap to the back ofr the forward which I have seen now from a diffrent. But he fell like he was diving and was expecting contact which was an un natural fall if it was a push should have went further. Thats How I see it Nitram more 50 – 50 now I have seen the other angle from behind the players

  • Nitram

    Va Cong

    Thanks for that.

    I saw it just like that. I only erred on the side of it being a penalty after I saw that angle you have now seen that shows the small shove in the back. Before that I was tending to think it wasn’t a penalty.

    I can see why people think it was soft, or would not of given it, but I think either way it’s harsh for anyone to criticise Oliver, who as I said I think had a pretty good game.