Arsenal v Brentford: the team, the news from Qatar, and the issue of moving seats

by Bulldog Drummond

Sometimes the morning headlines are just so depressingly predictable, it seems impossible to know what to say.  Take this morning with the statement “Qatar migrant workers are still being exploited, says Amnesty report.  Charity says promised government reforms to ‘kafala’ system have not taken place.”

You’d have to be blind and ignorant of what is going on not to realise this.  But that is what most newspapers will be when the world cup is played in Qatar.  They will talk football, football football, and the vast human misery of exploitation by a mediaeval regime will be totally ignored for the sake of sponsors and advertisers, all in the name of entertainment.

But what can we do?  What can I do.  I have the final installment of the previews of the next Arsenal game – our League Cup game tonight against Brentford.  I can do nothing except highlight the issue, and personally refuse to engage with barbarous nations and their airlines.  It’s not much, but the best I can do.

So I will continue with the final part of the review pre-Brentford and consider who we might see.  Julio Pleguezuelo is the captain of the under 23s who now trains quite a bit with the first team squad.  However he got an injury playing in the match against Liverpool’s hearty roughs and so may be given a break.

But he can play left back, so he could be a contender for what we used to call the number 3 shirt if he is deemed fit enough.  If not, he might still be allowed to be on the beach coming on for Monreal on the hour, if all is going well.  The other option is Kolasinac who is said to be fit and ready to run around a lot.

Presumably Stephan Lichtsteiner will take over once again at right back and Rob Holding can carry on in central defence, and then if no new approaches are tried Mustafi plays in the centre of defence with him.

Matteo Guendouzi has been dropped from the starting line up for the league games, which makes him a fair certainty for this match I would have thought.

Mavropanos is certainly out injured.  But of course there is always the chance to put Elneny in the back four, where he played several times under Mr Wenger.

Given that we started with Torreira and Xhaka in midfield defence roles for the last match I imagine both will be left out, and unless Elneny is transferred to the back line then Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny come in (or in journalese parlance “are set to come in”, but I am not sure what that means apart from “will come in”).

I can’t see Ramsey being played in attacking midfield, especially as we have Emile Smith Rowe (no hyphen I am told) available and with Emile having played so well against Coventry in the Checkatrade he looks a certainty.

I am fairly sure all the regulars (and the recovered Henrikh Mkhitaryan) who can be rested will be rested with some of them perhaps getting a place on the beach in case the result is in doubt and a quicky flurry of activity is needed.  Mesut Ozil I am sure will be rested with  Danny Welbeck to start in attack maybe along with Iwobi and Nketiah.

Last season Eddie played 13 PL2 games and scored 12 goals, and if you have a long memory you might recall Untold raving over his performances in the summer international tournament in Toulon where he scored a brilliant goal and put through a perfect pass for another.

The question then was, can he keep it all up?  Well, thus far he has played four under 23 games and scored four under 23 goals.  A goal a game – seems good enough for me.

So put all that together and we might get some of any of this



Lichsteiner    Mustafi   Holding   Monreal or Kolasinac

Guendouzi        Elneny

Iwobi      Smith Rowe    Welbeck


And here is the correct league table for the under 23s, in case you are interested …

You might like to note that Manchester City have scored more than we have (the only team so to do) but have also managed to let in 19 – the biggest defensive disaster in the league.  They beat us 5-4.

Tottenham Nomads meanwhile are languishing perhaps awaiting the next move to a new temporary home.

1 Everton 6 3 2 1 11 2 9 11
2 Arsenal 6 3 2 1 15 10 5 11
3 Leicester City 6 3 2 1 10 5 5 11
4 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 8 4 4 11
5 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 2 4 0 11 5 6 10
6 Manchester City 6 3 1 2 16 19 -3 10
7 Derby County 6 2 2 2 7 8 -1 8
8 West Ham United 6 2 0 4 13 15 -2 6
9 Liverpool 6 1 3 2 6 8 -2 6
10 Tottenham Nomads 6 1 2 3 6 13 -7 5
11 Swansea City 6 0 3 3 2 7 -5 3
12 Blackburn Rovers 6 0 3 3 4 13 -9 3

Blacksheep and I have moved around the stadium for this one, as season tickets don’t apply in the league cup, and we are trying the view from the west stand upper.  Since Blacksheep has a season for the north bank lower and is thus used to standing all the way through matches I shall endeavour to teach him the rules of upstairs behaviour.  Being a regular in the East I’ll have to remember that we are kicking in the opposite direction.



13 Replies to “Arsenal v Brentford: the team, the news from Qatar, and the issue of moving seats”

  1. In the last article posting that threaded and has timeout, I have my envisage Emery’s Arsenal 4-2-3-1 and 7 Gunners on the bench in my comment posted for Brentford. But with the latest fitness update provided by Bulldog Drummond as above, I am compelled to review my envisage Emery’s starts and bench for the match as below.

    Lichtsteiner Holding Mustafi Monreal
    Guendouzi Elneny
    Ozil Rowe Iwobi

    Leno Bellerin Sokratis Pleguezuelo Torreira Ramsey Nkethia.

    No taking too much chances by starting too many U23 Gunners for the match but Rowe and 2 of of them to come on from the bench when it is conducive in the game they should be brought on.

  2. OT: Injuries

    There is an article in the news, about the Plymouth football team. Apparently they are carrying 11 injuries at the moment. What caught my attention, is the headline was comparing the resources of the Plymouth team to those of Arsenal and ManU.

    The one point mentioned more than others, was the idea of over-training being a root cause of much of the injuries. Another comparison to Arsenal in that section. The only other factor that seemed to come out, was the because Plymouth is out in the skinny almost peninsula part that I think is known as Cornwall, that they spend more time traveling than other teams.

    There was not even a hint of discussion that officiating might be a cause for injuries. They are playing in the third tier, and perhaps the referees feel that football is a “mans game”, and hence it is right and proper for there to be a lot of kicking of the opposition. That would be a direct cause for injuries.

    Not like a player has spent a long time on the team bus, and just as they step off the bus, some fan comes up and kicks them. Or how does a player get injured when traveling?

    Since it seems we neeeeeed to have a zillion lineups, here is one from the Mirror:

    Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Guendouzi, Elneny, Smith-Rowe, Iwobi, Welbeck, Nketiah

    The Mirror was useful in telling us the game is not on TV. Last year I found this competition had the most useless coverage I had seen. I suppose it will be the same this year.

  3. Nice interview with Emile Smith Rowe on

    But, it appears the young star isn’t perfect, he knows all the words to some song by Justin Bieber. 🙂

  4. Mirror has the starting lineup:

    Arsenal starting XI: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Elneny, Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan, Smith Rowe, Iwobi; Welbeck.

    Arsenal subs: Emiliano Martinez, Sead Kolasinac, Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin.


  5. It’s nice to know that even with VAR we still get screwed over and denied a stonewall penalty, which Dean was in perfect view of.

  6. Dancing Dean fails to give a stone wall penalty and even the VAR man turns it down. Absolute f***ing joke.

  7. Emery’s starts and bench for Brentford are out. But I missed his starts by 2 as he preferred to continue with starting Leno in the none Arsenal PL games instead of to give Martinez a start in the Carabao Cup match to avoid having him become completely match rusty. And he has started Mkhitaryan who I thought isn’t match fit instead of Ozil that I’ve starting the match but who is even not in the 18 man Gunners team for the match.

    Notwithstanding, Emery has a very strong starts and bench out there at the Ems that will beat Brentford hands down in the match comes whatever the Bees could have on offer to throw against the Gunners in the game on the night.

  8. I’m outside digging a hole in clay. Just seen the Welbeck goal in commentary.

    Too many Deans. Is Mike Dean refereeing? Crap! The manager of Brentford I think is another Dean.


  9. I’m glad the SKY pundits think it’s funny that Dean lets a potential leg breaker pass without even giving a foul.

  10. Is Lichsteiner the designateed card recipient if Xhaka is not playing?

    Oh well, break is over.


  11. How to go Welbeck!

    Of course, Mirror has the obligatory (Arsenal look shaky in defence) comment. Turds!


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