By Bulldog Drummond
Last season as you will recall we toddled through to the final of the league cup and then fell over at a time when we couldn’t win our away games. Playing the billionaire champions at the home of Tottenham Nomads all proved a bit too much.
|20 Sep 2017||Arsenal v Doncaster Rovers||W||1-0|
|24 Oct 2017||Arsenal v Norwich City||W||2-1|
|19 Dec 2017||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||1-0|
|10 Jan 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0|
|24 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1|
|25 Feb 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3|
The final was also the game which confirmed that TV was controlling the match, as the injury time was not played out in full. It would not have made any difference of course, but once the rules start being messed around with to suit the TV stations, then there is no limit to how much influence they will have.
Four quarters of 15 minutes each to allow more time for adverts is probably not so far away.
Anyway, this season there have already been a few surprises, with Burnley going out to the mighty Burton Albion. The crowd was about 2500 – a shame more didn’t turn up to see their club’s triumph.
Also Manchester at War (or so it seems) were knocked out by Derby County.
Meanwhile in other news the new home of Tottenham Nomads will be ready before Christmas. We know that because that awfully nice man who runs the show at the building site has assured us this is the case.
Today however we have other things on our mind. There is a tube strike on the Piccadilly Line and restricted trains on other underground lines. And we can be sure that to accommodate the situation the overground railways will be running short trains. Another well-past-midnight return home for those of us in the Midlands I fear.
On the injury front we now have…
|Man Down||What’s wrong?||When back?||Today?|
|S Papastathopoulos||Dead Leg||September 26, 2018||Late Fitness Test|
|H Mkhitaryan||Ankle Injury||September 26, 2018||Late Fitness Test|
|K Mavropanos||Groin Strain||October 28, 2018||No|
|A Maitland-Niles||Broken Leg||October 22, 2018||No|
|L Koscielny||Achilles Injury||November 25, 2018||No|
I can’t imagine that Mkhitaryan will be risked through being rushed back although Sokratis could come back if we feel we need the defence strengthening.
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Last time we were debating such matters, for the Europa match, I came up with a couple of possible left backs who could step into the gap, but neither were used so I imagine Monreal will continue to play. Unless of course Kolasinac is ready. He’s not on the injury list, but whether he is match fit is another issue.
We should also see, at some stage, four youngsters (if not more). The obvious four knocking on the door, as it were, are Joe Willock, Julio Pleguezuelo, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah.
Incidentally, as we are talking about who is fit, Laurent Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have started what is know as “light training”, which I presume does not mean having electric switches attached to them.
Here is their success rating so far….
|Date||Comp||Home team||Res||Away team|
|11/08/18||PL2||Manchester City U23||6-5||Arsenal U23|
|20/08/18||PL2||Arsenal U23||1 – 1||Brighton U23|
|24/08/18||PL2||West Ham United U23||2 – 3||Arsenal U23|
|31/08/18||PL2||Arsenal U23||2 – 1||Tottenham Nomads U23|
|17/09/18||PL2||Blackburn Rovers U23||0 – 0||Arsenal U23|
|21/09/18||PL2||Arsenal U23||4 – 0||Liverpool U23|
And yes as you can see we we’re not doing too bad.
Unfortunately just as the FA have consistently denied that Arsenal won the FA Cup two years ago, by putting up an official web page that celebrated Liverpool, so the Premier League is now also turning into Arsenal deniers. Their official web page for the Under 23s league (officially called PL2) has a completely false set of statistics.
There is a however now a proper page up there with the right stats on it but it can take some finding. I’ll come back to that anon
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