by Bulldog Drummond
In the run up to the match today it is nice to see some commentators finally getting to grips with Aubameyang. You will recall that during the time of the signing itself we were treated to article after article about how badly behaved he was and by implication that this was going to be another Arsenal disaster, with the blame firmly placed on Mr Wenger and Mr Gazidis (the latter of whom I see is still daily under attack on some sites).
Yet now we can see that in 20 League games that he has started, plus three appearances as a substitute, he has scored 17 goals. He has also scored two more in two Europa League games. He is, in short, in the best form of his career, and his career is pretty sensational overall. But seven in ten league games this season is truly remarkable.
The only player who has scored more since Auba came on the scene on 3 February is Mohamed Salah with 18 – just one beyond Auba. And look at the lauding that Salah gets.
Better than this he has scored his goals from just 50 shots, an efficiency rate of 34%, way, way above anyone else. He has scored with his last six shots, and his minutes per goal ratio is 103:1, which I am told is the best in the entire history of the Premier League.
Yes he is 29, which is considered by many to be past a strikers prime, yet he is still delivering. And apart from all that talent on the pitch he is one of those players who speaks multiple languages, so whoever he is playing alongside, he can converse with them.
It is something of a shame that the 10000% anti-Arsenal approach of the media stops them from celebrating his achievements, and the need to knock the Arsenal by everyone from TV pundits to bloggettas means that the focus is always, always, always on the presumed problems in defence.
Yes we have the 8th worst defence in the Premier League, that is true. We let in one more goal a game than Manchester City, that is true. But we have a new manager building a new team, and a current range of injuries that happen to almost all be to our defenders. I have seen some say that we should have bought more defenders in the summer – but there is a limit to how many players can be integrated into a team at once. Besides, just because we want to buy a player, that does not mean his is going to come to Arsenal. Especially with all the negative publicity we get.
So, let’s have a look at the team.
There are several players who have, for a week or more, almost perhaps maybe possibly have been ready but then are not seen, so there’s some guesswork here, but judging by the reports of who’s injured and who’s recovered, I would go for…
Lichtsteiner Sokratis Holding Monreal
Iwobi Ozil Aubameyang
That would leave on the beach
Cech, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck
If I had to change one of those it would be to put Mkhitaryan in, instead of Iwobi, but I suspect not, having seen the line up against Blackpool. I guess Mustafi could play instead of Sokratis if Sokratis’ ankle is still not right.
Apparently the last time a Unai Emery team played a Jürgen Klopp team Mr Emery was at Sevilla. Liverpool went 1-0 up but Sevilla came back to win 3-1 and win the Europa.
Mr Emery made an interesting comment before the game… “The result is very important but first I want to show them, to show you and to show everybody our best mentality in the game. If we have a very big mentality in the game and a very big performance individually and collectively – and also we need some luck – then I think we can win.”
Jürgen Klopp also had an interesting comment about his managerial opponent today “All people in football knew how good he is but I am not sure all Arsenal fans were over the moon at first when they heard it would be Emery. But that’s England a little bit, you want the poster boys. Unai was in France and before that in Spain in a smaller club, so you can go a bit under the radar.
“Not for all the people in football, though. I saw yesterday that he won eight titles in two or three years. That’s pretty big.”
Maybe Klopp should take over writing football commentaries – he could do it better than most football journalists that we have at the moment.
But we do know that Liverpool have scored three or more against us in each of the last five league games. One more of those and it will be the worst run we have ever had against another team in the history of the club.
On the other hand the only team to defeat us in the last 13 games at Arsenal Stadium is Manchester City, who have done that twice. On yet another hand we have lost the last five games against the five teams that ended up above us last season.
Now I’ve more than run out of hands so can’t do any more of those.
What we need are shots – and lots of them, since we have a better shot to goal ratio than anyone else (24.5%). Oh and here is another one – we have scored five league goals from outside the penalty area this season. Last season we scored six in the whole season.
So that’s about it. We’re all off to London now, then after the game Tony does his quick change act at Blacksheep’s house and he’s off dancing (unless he’s wrecked himself cheering our 5-0 win) in St Ives. I think that is the Cambridge version, not the one in Cornwall otherwise he’s gonna arrive rather late.
- Arsenal v Liverpool; injuries and past matches, plus Nic Bendtner
- Arsenal to be a founding member of the proposed new European super league
- Arsenal v Liverpool. How to spend lots of money and not win trophies.
- Matchweek 11 – All the games, all the Officials, plus time played under caution
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women