How journalists knew Özil was not ill, Mkhit’s travel issues and Cardiff v Arsenal

by Bulldog Drummond

According to the latest revelations in the press conference last week Mr Emery was asked about Özil and constantly said he was ill, without giving any other suggestion of any reason for him not being in the team.

But then, it seems, there was the question  “When you spoke to him [Özil] on Thursday about what you wanted to see from him [against West Ham], did you plan to play him in a different position?”

And apparently “with a broad grin he said: ‘Maybe’.   A straightforward answer since Özil has played  on the right midfield/right wing and also as No 10.  Regarding the alleged bust up between the player and the manager he said, “The news is not true,” he said. “In my career, I do not stop for news when it’s not true. When the news isn’t true, it isn’t true.”  Yep, it’s called fake news.

And yet despite all that the Guardian’s report was certain that the manager was blatantly lying and that Özil had stormed out.  From that one word “maybe” said with a smile the Guardian’s man felt, as he later wrote that “breaking point was reached when he was told he would not be lining up as Arsenal’s principal playmaker – a No 10 in the No 10 role – in a game of genuine importance for Arsenal.”

After that came a tweet from an journalist that there had been an argument and that tweet and the one word from the manager revealed that there had been an argument and that it had been about positional play.

Now I would suggest this is actually impossible.  Single word answers don’t carry that much information.

Meanwhile there is another great story doing the rounds: “Henrikh Mkhitaryan could well be unable to play in Arsenal’s visit to Qarabag in the Europa League, while he could also miss the final itself if the Gunners get there.”

This is because he is Armenian, and Armenians are apparently not allowed to enter Azerbaijan because the two countries don’t recognise each other.  All very concerning if it were not for the Uefa (and indeed Fifa) rule that all players properly registered with a club must be allowed to travel to a country if selected to be in the squad or support staff.  The fact is that if Azerbaijan refused to allow Mkhitaryan in, then they would a) forfeit the match and b) forfeit the right to play the final in their country.

Countries even have to allow in players who themselves are specifically banned from entering the country because of past misdemeanors.  The issue is one for the club and the player and the question of security.  If Azerbaijan can’t provide the security then Arsenal might decide not to play him in the qualifier.  The final would be a different matter.

Anyway Cardiff v Arsenal.  In the past they have won 10, we have won 20 and 14 have been draws.  In the early days (the days when Knighton was the manager) we only won one of the first nine games played.   During that spell Cardiff came within a trice of winning the league and were only pipped by Huddersfield (managed by Chapman) on goal average.  Had goal difference (the current measuring stick) been used Cardiff would have won the league.

So, once Knighton was replaced by Chapman things brightened up a bit.  Cardiff did beat us in the 1927 cup final, but then went 15 games without getting a win against Arsenal.   That takes us up to the 1960s when Arsenal were fairly poor and Cardiff got a couple of wins – which takes us to 1961.  Since then we have played them 13 times without defeat.

Here are the last ten

Date Game Res Score Competition
07 Jan 1969 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-0 FA Cup
05 Jan 1980 Cardiff City v Arsenal D 0-0 FA Cup
08 Jan 1980 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1 FA Cup
05 Oct 1982 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1 League Cup
26 Oct 1982 Cardiff City v Arsenal W 1-3 League Cup
07 Jan 2006 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1 FA Cup
25 Jan 2009 Cardiff City v Arsenal D 0-0 FA Cup
16 Feb 2009 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 4-0 FA Cup
30 Nov 2013 Cardiff City v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
01 Jan 2014 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-0 Premier League

As for this season here’s the bottom part of the league table…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Cardiff City 3 0 2 1 0 2 -2 2
16 Newcastle United 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1
17 Southampton 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1
18 Burnley 3 0 1 2 3 7 -4 1
19 Huddersfield Town 3 0 1 2 1 9 -8 1
20 Tax Payers’ club 3 0 0 3 2 9 -7 0

They drew their first league home game this season 0-0.  Last season they had a strong home record in the second tier, winning 16, drawing four and losing three scoring 40 goals.

But goal scoring looks to be a bit tough for them this season.

Date Match Res Score Competition
11 Aug 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Cardiff City L 2-0 Premier League
18 Aug 2018 Cardiff City v Newcastle United D 0-0 Premier League
25 Aug 2018 Huddersfield Town v Cardiff City D 0-0 Premier League
28 Aug 2018 Cardiff City v Norwich City L 1-3 League Cup

In the first three games they scored zero, and then in being beaten at home by Norwich City they managed to get their one and only goal of the season.

More anon…

7 Replies to “How journalists knew Özil was not ill, Mkhit’s travel issues and Cardiff v Arsenal”

  1. BD, good morning to you and how are you and Mr Attwood and things generally today?

    Let there be no worries among us the Gunners over the purported rift between Unai Emery, the Gunners boss and his player, Mesut Ozil. For, I do believe there is no concern whatsoever on the allege rift or bust up between manager and player at London Colney the Arsenal training ground. And even if at all there was one between Emery and Ozil over the position place of playing in the team, the issue has been amicably ironed out peaceably between the 2 personalities concerned with Ozil looking to have accepted his manager advice and instructions to him to largely be playing at the right side of the midfield trio. But could intermittently exchange position with Ramsey as a NO10 at the center midfield while Ramsey moves to the right side at the midfield as the game demands the duo do the exchanging of their positions place of playing in the midfield trio. Even I believe Iwobi who I am starting for Cardiff or Mkhitaryan who Emery could start in place of Iwobi to start at the left side of the midfield trio should also get involved in switching positions amongst themselves whenever they deem it fit to do so to confuse and disorganized the opposition Cardiff City organization in the game at the midfield during the match.

  2. My Arsenal 4-2-3-1 starts and 7 man Gunners bench to play away to Cardiff City tomorrow in the PL are as below.


    Leno Holding Lichtsteiner Torreira Mkhitaryan Welbeck Lacazette.

    I’ve sacrificed ElNENY for Mkhitaryan on my bench. And starting Iwobi ahead of him at Cardiff tomorrow to see if he’ll replicate the exhilarating performance he had away to Chelsea and even better it when he assisted Mkhi’ to score and himself scored but missed a sitter to score a brace in the first half of the match.

  3. ………Cech………

  4. re: journalists reading too much in a single word answer

    Hi Lassie!
    Oezil’s not playing?
    Ruff! Ruff!
    He had a bust up with Emery?
    Thanks Lassie, you’re the best!

  5. Various episodes of the Littlist Hobbo would probably work even better, except I doubt many people outside of Canada would have seen them.

  6. I heard that Skippy has said that Ozil had demanded a transfer … (you have to be even older for that one 😀 😀 😀 )

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