Cardiff v Arsenal. It will be 0-3 to Arsenal but Cardiff will score.

By Bulldog Drummond

Thus far, as we can see, Cardiff City have not been doing too well.   With two goalless draws and a 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth, plus a league cup defeat to Norwich.

In short, they have quite simply been finding life harder than it was in the Championship.   And in a way, to the outsider, this does not seem too surprising, given their modest transfer activity.  Here are their purchases:

  • Josh Murphy, Midfielder — from Norwich City. £11m
  • Greg Cunningham, Defender — from Preston, £4m
  • Alex Smithies, Goalkeeper — from QPR, £3.5m
  • Bobby Reid, Forward — from Bristol City, £10m
  • Victor Camarasa, Midfielder — from Real Betis, loan
  • Harry Arter, Midfielder — from Bournemouth, loan

It is of course quite true that they did not lose anyone, simply allowing some players to go out on loan to lower league clubs such as Bradford City, Birmingham City, Plymouth Argyle and MK Dons.  And one can see a justification in terms of last season’s performance

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 30 9 7 82 39 43 99
2 Cardiff City 46 27 9 10 69 39 30 90
3 Fulham 46 25 13 8 79 46 33 88

But their goals last season were noticeably fewer than the other promoted sides and indeed only twice did they get four in one game, and never more.  They ended up 6th in the goals scored chart.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 30 9 7 82 39 43 99
3 Fulham 46 25 13 8 79 46 33 88
4 Aston Villa 46 24 11 11 72 42 30 83
6 Derby County 46 20 15 11 70 48 22 75
18 Hull City 46 11 16 19 70 70 0 49
2 Cardiff City 46 27 9 10 69 39 30 90

but equal in terms of the best defence.

This whole situation looks to me rather like an attempt to hold on, see what the League looks like and then buy in January (or get in a few loans) if the side hasn’t managed to secure a decent position.  They must, at this moment be grateful for the likes of West Ham, Burnley, Huddersfield and Newcastle – although each of those has scored at least two goals to Cardiff’s zero.

Arsenal have had 19 shots on target this season which is obviously 6.33 per game.  And that has included games against two of the top six clubs from last season.  Cardiff on the other hand have manabed two shots on target per game against three middle ranking teams.

So surely the answer must be to attack like anything, get a goal and force Cardiff to rearrange and attack and then catch them on the counter.

Moving on to the team, if Matteo Guendouzi plays today then he would become only the fourth teenager to start each of Arsenal’s first four matches of a Premier League season.  Those stepping before him being Nicolas Anelka (1998-99), Cesc Fabregas (2004-05 and 2006-07) and Johan Djourou (2006-07).

I watched Anelka play and he was indeed an incredible player but one who was deeply troubled – or so it seems to me.  After he left Mr Wenger admitted his plan was to play Anelka and Henry as a two man strike force.  Can you imagine how that would have been?

Anyway, moving on, here’s a fun stat…

Each of Arsenal’s last 16 Premier League goals have all come from open play.  So against a non-scoring team, let’s just continue that and go for them.

Meanwhile Paul Merson has been speaking.  He does appear to bear a grudge against Arsenal, perhaps for the way in which he was quickly moved on by Mr Wenger while Ray Parlour was kept and nurtured.  This time he has expressed his views by saying, “I watch Arsenal play and I seriously think it’s a charity match. It’s so open, end to end, there’s no tackling and it’s like watching ex-professionals playing. I’ve not seen anything like it, the West Ham game was just unreal.”

Ah well, different visions I guess.  Fortunately I’ve got an optician’s appointment this week and they’ll get me better glasses so maybe I can see it as PM does.

In his usual chaotic way he predicts 3-0 for Sky but then says, “I don’t know why I’ve gone for 3-0, because I don’t see how Cardiff can’t score, and if they get enough free-kicks and corners before the end of the game Arsenal could shoot themselves in the foot.”

Well, that seems very clear and very informative.  (That’s sarcasm).  Let us continue…

“The first goal is massive – that’s not even the word, Cardiff haven’t scored yet. If you didn’t know Emery wasn’t there, you’d think Arsene Wenger was still manager. But Emery doesn’t have the personnel, this is the way the players have played since year dot. It’s hard to change things that quickly. It’s hard work doing this press, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work during the week. And it won’t work against Cardiff, as they get the ball forward quickly. Arsenal have to move it quickly and attack quickly too.”

So, that seems to be that the result will be 0-3 but Cardiff will score.  I hope you have got that.

Up next, the final instalment: the teams.

4 Replies to “Cardiff v Arsenal. It will be 0-3 to Arsenal but Cardiff will score.”

  1. I posted on the previous thread that Warnock, talking about Ramsey, has said they are intending to ‘rough him up’ so I hope the ref stamps down very firmly on any attempts to do so.
    At least Warnock is honest but should anything happen and Ramsey gets badly injured he has surely left himself open to retribution via due legal process.

  2. Mick Hazel, grow up! Ramsay is a Cardiff boy and no one is out to ‘hurt’ him and Warnock won’t even be on the pitch; although I hear he does throw a mean plastic bottle! All he means is that Cardiff will try to make it uncomfortable for the boy. For evidence (people seem to love stats) go take a look at Cardiff’s disciplinary record from last season; hard but relatively fair!

  3. Really 3-0?Arsenal have been roughed up by teams like Bolton in 2002 when they were on the verge of winning the epl.
    If I remember correctly,the ref did not take any action until at least 3 gunners became the walking injured.
    You must fight fire with fire with fire and not with water.The problem is when the gunners dish out the same tough treatment they are getting,the ref could give a rc.
    That’s why I have been saying for along time,the ref board is an old boys network dishing out favours to a select few.
    As for todays game,Arsenal shd on paper win but you never know the ref can throw a monkey wrench to sabotage the gunners.

  4. 82 yellow cards last season – certainly above average. At best we could put it down to an unfortunate choice of words by the manager. But seeing who the manager is, that’s his style of talk I guess.

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