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Nelson at the double (to coin a phrase) as Arsenal could (maybe) reach 3rd.

By Bulldog Drummond

There was some action yesterday, aside from the activities of the Manchester United manager which got much of the media rather over excited.  For Reiss Nelson was at it again at Hoffenheim.  His team were 1-0 down at Nürnberg but came back thanks to two from our young man to win 3-1.

According to a press report it was a “furious second-half comeback. He swivelled to volley home the equaliser five minutes after the break before drilling his second into the roof of the net from a tight angle.”

Long may it continue as long as that longness continues beyond the end of the season, and he comes back to Arsenal and is a regular in the team.  Certainly whoever thought he was ready for a serious loan with a club that would play him (rather than a loan to a lower league club in England who would probably put him on the bench at best) has earned his money this far.  It suggests that the new management elite at Arsenal really are doing their homework.

To give some context here is the top of the German league down as far as Nürnberg.

Pos Team PP W D L F A GD Pts
1 8 6 2 0 27 8 +19 20
2 8 5 2 1 15 8 +7 17
3 8 5 1 2 15 9 +6 16
4 8 4 3 1 16 9 +7 15
5 7 4 2 1 15 9 +6 14
6 7 4 2 1 12 7 +5 14
7 8 4 1 3 19 12 +7 13
8 8 3 1 4 14 13 +1 10
9 8 2 3 3 14 13 +1 9
10 7 2 3 2 4 4 +0 9
11 8 2 3 3 11 14 -3 9
12 7 2 2 3 9 13 -4 8
13 8 2 2 4 9 15 -6 8
14 8 2 2 4 8 19 -11 8

I think that modest position for Hoffenheim tells us a lot – Reiss is not being gifted goals by a team rampaging across the opposition, he is having to work.

Meanwhile in England, the media are still blaming everyone and anyone for anything except the FA who are always sacrosanct.   Today’s comment “England’s away following is neither as racist nor as violent as it used to be but the scenes in Seville did the country down and Gareth Southgate and co could have taken a stand.”  Instead of “England’s operations are still part of a highly suspect money laundering and general corruption operation with its HQ in Switzerland, and is run by a bunch of old men without any idea of what the 20th century looked like, let alone the 21st,” which would be a better description.

Moving on, yesterday’s matches in the PL make the table look like this

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 7 2 0 26 3 23 23
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 16 3 13 23
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 20 7 13 21
4 Tottenham Hotspur 9 7 0 2 16 7 9 21
5 Arsenal 8 6 0 2 19 10 9 18
6 AFC Bournemouth 9 5 2 2 16 12 4 17
7 Watford 9 5 1 3 13 12 1 16
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 4 3 2 9 8 1 15
9 Manchester United 9 4 2 3 15 16 -1 14
10 Leicester City 8 4 0 4 14 12 2 12

A win for us tomorrow of any shape or size would take us back to fourth.  A 4-0 win will take us up to third.  So quite a lot to play for in what is apparently going to be a colder London than we have had of late.

Leicester’s away form thus far is the same as their home form – completely even having won two and lost two.

Date Match Res Score
10 Aug 2018 Manchester United v Leicester City L 2-1
25 Aug 2018 Southampton v Leicester City W 1-2
15 Sep 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City L 4-2
29 Sep 2018 Newcastle United v Leicester City W 0-2

The victories came against clubs in the lower part of the league.  Southampton are 14th Newcastle are 17th.  But what is particularly interesting is that neither Southampton nor Newcastle – the two teams that Leicester have beaten away from home, have won a single home match this season.  In short Leicester were getting the very, very easiest of pickings.  Just as in the second half of last season as we shall see in a moment.

Newcastle have lost all five of their home matches (which is something to remember the next time some journo trots out all the stuff about their magnificent home support) while Southampton have drawn two and lost two at St M’s.

So to some degree that away form, modest though it is, is not quite as good as it might appear.  But we must remember that Leicester have scored six goals in their last three away games, and modest though the opposition might be, the goals still have to be scored.

We’re not hitting our best in terms of scoring at home, as yet, with just seven goals at Arsenal Stadium in the league thus far out of the 19 scored in total – an overall figure that gives us the third best attack in the league at present.

But less we get too carried away, Leicester had a better away form than we did last season – winning five, drawing five and losing nine.

But, to conclude, if we look at their away league form in the second half of last season we can see exactly what was going on…

Date Game Res Score
31 Jan 2018 Everton v Leicester City L 2-1
10 Feb 2018 Manchester City v Leicester City L 5-1
10 Mar 2018 West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City W 1-4
31 Mar 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City W 0-2
14 Apr 2018 Burnley v Leicester City L 2-1
28 Apr 2018 Crystal Palace v Leicester City L 5-0
13 May 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City L 5-4

The two teams Leicester beat away from home in the league in the second part of last season were West Brom who went down, and Brighton who were 15th at the end.  Otherwise it was defeat all the way.

The stats are suggesting it should be a solid Arsenal win, and maybe, just maybe, we might make 3rd.

More anon.

8 comments to Nelson at the double (to coin a phrase) as Arsenal could (maybe) reach 3rd.

  • Nitram

    We do have some loanees putting in some great performances at the moment, but what are the chances of the mainstream media picking up on it and giving us some positivity in the mainstream media?

    Zero I suspect. Maybe someone will be able to tell me different.

    OT

    Sorry to go off topic but I couldn’t let this bullshit from Oliver Holt pass without comment.

    This is just a couple of examples of how people in the media such as Holt attempt to subtley change history and distort reality.

    It’s in a piece he’s written about the Wembley debacle in which he comes out with these 2 little gems in an attempt to alter reality:

    1) The FA are NEVER to blame.

    “Austerity is forcing councils into the neglect of community assets but we had a chance to dig football out of the swamp. We didn’t take it. So it is today’s generation of young players who will turn up to play a match on a Sunday morning to be told their game is off.

    It happens for months on end now and unless you know the excitement of turning up to play for your team, you cannot know the disappointment of discovering there will be no game. For some teams on some pitches, that means weeks, even months, without a game. It means a fallow winter.

    The windfall from Khan’s proposed purchase of Wembley might not have fixed that completely. But it would have helped.

    The FA board, so often and so lazily maligned, actually wanted to transfer money from the top of the game to the bottom but it was prevented from doing so by the very people whose constituencies would have benefited most.”

    It’s this bit I love:

    The FA board, so often and so lazily maligned,

    LAZILY MALIGNED !! Is he serious ??

    2) Liverpool have been successful over the last 10 years despite what you might think:

    “Let’s face it, for the amount we use it, Wembley is football’s version of a timeshare property in Tenerife. Nothing more. It’s presentable enough but it hasn’t got a lot of soul. We get to stay there briefly now and again and, every few months, Liverpool and Manchester United fans, down for a cup final in the capital, miss the last train home from Euston.”

    Liverpool…..down for a cup final EVERY FEW MONTHS. Hmmmmm ! Are they?

    So those poor souls from Liverpool have been eternally trekking up and down the M1 to the NEW Wembley have they?

    Well we’ll have a look shall we.

    Since the New Wembley opened it has hosted the FA Cup, League cup and Community Shield. This a list of it’s visitors:

    Chelsea: 15 visits with 7 victories.

    Man Utd: 13 visits with 10 victories.

    Man City: 9 Visits with 6 victories.

    Arsenal: 8 visits with 6 victories.

    Liverpool: 3 visits with 1 victory.

    So lets see.

    3 visits in, what shall we say, 132 Months. Now my Maths aint great but I make that a trek down the M1 every 4 years or out another way, every 44 months. Hardly every few months is it Holt?

    Now don’t get me wrong, in the great scheme of things it isn’t much taken in isolation.

    But it is not about what it says in isolation, but rather how it is just another example of the medias not-so-subtle attempts at rewritting history in order to portray Liverpool in a positive light.

    It’s a prime example of what I’ve been banging on about for years, in that if you just went by the media you would swear blind both Liverpool AND Spurs, were 2 of the most successful clubs in the Country, when in actual fact over the last 10 years they’ve won absolutely NOTHING.

    It seems Oliver Holt, rather than a journalist is actually a frustrated science fiction writer.

    Sorry again to go off topic but this Holt fella is supposedto be one of our better journalist, what with all his awards and all, but in actual fact he’s just another hack.

  • Finsbury

    I remember the ankle rake from the Everton player on Nelson seconds into his home debut this season. No card was given, zero protection.

    I can give you all my personal guarantee, highly esteemed as it is, that such an awful decision has not been made when Nelson has been fouled in the Bundesliga.

    Don’t really want to see another bright young English footballer hacked off the park curtailing their careers whilst playing for the Arsenal as with Wilshere.

    Hopefully Neslon Arsenal and England will benefit from this loan which will allow the young athlete’s body to fill out and grow without getting smashed to pieces.

  • Finsbury

    < debut was against Everton at home last season!

  • Finsbury

    << sorry debut at home against Southampton. The Southampton turquoise away kit is almost blue!

    Nelson didn't last the full 90 as he visibly struggled to shake off the rake, so as payng punters we were denied a proper glimpse of this talent on his home debut as the official was inept.

  • Nitram

    Finsbury

    “Don’t really want to see another bright young English footballer hacked off the park curtailing their careers whilst playing for the Arsenal as with Wilshere. ”

    Exactly.

    There is no doubt that Wilshere was, and possibly still is, an extraordinary talent.

    There is no doubt that he was targeted by the plethora of Premier League thugs from day one..

    There is no doubt he was afforded no protection at all from our referees.

    There is no doubt at all that the media actively encouraged players to assault him, and he referees to allow it to happen.

    There is no doubt, if he played for anyone other than Arsenal none of the above would of been allowed to happen.

    Wilshere was a special talent. The closest thing to Gascoigne or Hoddle this country had produced for years.

    I have no doubt that had Jack played for anyone else but us, he would of been treasured and protected and became an international star.

  • Finsbury

    Nitram
    It was the leg break from the last man lunge by McNair against Wilshere that essentially ended his career at the top level. As with Fabregas after the bruised bone (that one wasn’t even called a foul!), he’s not had a full season since.
    The last two matches Wilshere played for England when he was actually fit he scored those two outstanding long range strikes. And got the two MOTM awards.

    Last awai he played at those levels around about the Xmas period but with others out he probably played too much and then picked up a knock and struggled to regain his form before the end of the season, time off for a baby also limiting his minutes just before the end of the season. I hope that he can return to those levels with West Ham but he’s out injured again, and will need a few months to pick up speed after he returns. I hope we’ll see a fit Wilshere in form towards the end of the season. After West Ham lost a player to a foul (not given?) yesterday they might need him sooner rather then later!

  • Nitram

    Finsbury

    “It was the leg break from the last man lunge by McNair against Wilshere that essentially ended his career at the top level”

    I think you are right.

    Nitram

    “There is no doubt at all that the media actively encouraged players to assault him, and he referees to allow it to happen.”

    I think I am right.

    If I remember correctly there was absolutely no criticism from the media, either of McNair or the referee.

    Similarly in the cases of Diabys and Eduardos assailants and their complicit referees.

    Even in Ramseys case, which could of been career ending, the assailant, in this case Shawcross, got far more sympathy than the victim. So much so in fact it elicited the response to it all of ‘spare us the sanctomony’ from Dara Obriain in the Guardian at the time:

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2010/mar/06/aaron-ramsey-broken-leg-ryan-shawcross

    3 Careers ended and 1 that could of been and the media just dumb it down to ‘getting in there faces’.

    I call it thuggery.

  • markyb

    Not even a foul that McNair challenge according to Dancing Dean. It’s Jacks fault as he held on to the ball too long

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