Arsenal v Vitoria. Not much can go wrong, can it?

by Bulldog Drummond

“Why is Arsenal’s match against Vitoria being played on a Wednesday?” screams the Sun, which is rather alarming if one believes they are talking about the match at Arsenal stadium this evening.  But in fact they were not but rather about a debate concerning when the second match against Vitoria will be played.

It is something to do with local rivals playing on the same night, but given that the piece was in the Sun I think we’ll leave that one until we get there.

The key clue to the team that we will put out is the team that played against Sheffield United which was…


Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac,

Guendouzi, Xhaka,

Pepe, Willock, Saka,


Presumably none of those guys will play, but instead the beach will be promoted…   And just to remind you those playing with the sandcastles were… Tierney, Ceballos, Lacazette, Torreira, Holding, Martinez, Martinelli.

Here’s the league table thus far…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 7 0 7 6
2 Standard Liege 2 1 0 1 2 4 -2 3
3 Eintracht Frankfurt 2 1 0 1 1 3 -2 3
4 Vitoria Guimaraes 2 0 0 2 0 3 -3 0

There should not be any problems with this game, but if there are then the manager really is going to be in trouble given the media coverage of the last few days.  One might even think that Mr Wenger was still in charge.

In fact it is one of those games where the boss can’t win either way.   A 6-0 thumping will be considered par for the course against an unknown team (forgetting that they are doing rather well in the league in Portugal) and anything less will be considered a failure.   A draw would be seen as a hanging offence.

On the other hand, if as expected Arsenal win both the home and away games against then that will be qualification assured and quite likely top spot too, depending on how the two games between Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege turn out.   Either way if Arsenal have not secured top position by the end of the next two games a draw in either of the remaining two would still give that spot to them.

Always assuming that there are no problems with the Portuguese team in either of the forthcoming matches.

90 mins gives us a line up of


Bellerīn, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney;

Torreira, Willock, Ceballos;

Maitland-Niles, Smith-Rowe,



thus leaving Lacazette to make a sub appearance (meaning Martinelli can go on the wing again, which as we noted before is his favourite position.)

The Daily Mirror however is running the news that “Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil was seen in discussions with Unai Emery at Arsenal training on Wednesday as he looks to earn a recall ahead of their clash with Vitoria in the Europa League on Thursday.”

Red London takes the hint and gives us


Bellerin – Holding – Mustafi – Tierney

Ceballos – Torreira – Willock

Martinelli – Lacazette – Ozil

HITC, teazing us as ever had the headline yesterday “Report: £200k-a-week Arsenal man missed training today, won’t play tomorrow”.  The man, crudely described by his salary, is Aubameyang, and I thought we all already knew that.

Interestingly says that the match is sold out which is a little unusual for a Europa game against a smaller side.

17 Replies to “Arsenal v Vitoria. Not much can go wrong, can it?”

  1. I would imagine that even if we were to win 6-0 that would give evryone the opportunity to slag of UE because of his league team selection. The more we win by, the more wrong UE has got it wrong in a different context. Yet if we don’t win well, or worse, it will still be his fault.

    This is a total lose-lose scenario as far as the media/blogs/AAA are concerned.

  2. How Arsenal Could Line Up against Vitoria SC, and the Mis-firing Sun gets No Click Throughs!

    The Sun is due to lose thousands of dollars today, since Arsenal supporters started a boycott of anti-Arsenal medja.

    In real news, the officials for today’s game are from Holland. Hopefully they are fair, unlike the PGMO.

  3. There is no escaping the fact that Arsenal were poor for the most part at Sheffield United and I take particular note, as always, of Adrian Clarke’s assessment on

    Despite this, there would have been a very different outcome if the referee had awarded either of the two penalties which might have been given in the first half. Also, can you imagine an Arsenal player committing a foul like the assault which could have broken Aubameyang’s leg escaping with anything less than a red card?

    Sheffield Utd are difficult to beat when we are off-form. Sheffield Utd + Mike Dean are impossible.

    Still, if only Pepe had taken that chance after Arsenal’s best move of the match …..!

  4. The sky has cleared in London but it is very cold. Brass monkey weather as they say.

    John L – Good summary.

    Looking forward to a good game tonight.

  5. Have to agree with Menace, good assessment John L

    What I would like to add, given what I believe Sheff Utd could actually of got away with, they pretty much played well within the rules.

    In the final analysis I cant take a thing away from them, we lost first and foremost because of how they played.

    Yes things could of been different if we took our CHANCE but we didn’t.

    Yes things could of been different if we had been awarded one or both of our penalty appeals but we wasn’t, and if I’m honest, which I always am of course, I don’t think the Saka incident was a penalty, but neither was it a dive.

    As for the shirt pull, that is a penalty, no question. Anywhere else on the pitch a shirt pull, no matter how small, is a free kick AND a card.

    I’m sure Dean saw it but even if he didn’t there is no excuse that VAR didn’t. They saw on TV everything we saw and didn’t even revue it.

    Now THAT is worrying.

  6. Just trying to see a bit of commentary before having to leave again.

    We are not taking many shots and not getting many of those on target. And according to the stats, we are the only team fouling. Really? PGMO-Holland?


  7. How to go Martinelli! Assist to who? haka isn’t playing, of course Mustafi is good for a yellow. Seems like PGMO. Maybe deserved, it just smells.


  8. Looks like this Pepe chap might be able to play a bit after all. Credit where it’s due, well done sir.
    Onwards and upwards from here.

  9. Performance ?

    Result ?

    Who cares?

    Lat’s hope this is the day our new boy hits his stride !!!

    Well done lads. A win is a win.

  10. Martinelli always seems to have a goal in him. Two wonderful free kicks from Pepe to save the day

  11. Arsenal looked to be soft underbellies for most part in the game in their Europa League Cup match at home against Victoria Guimaneas until the 20 minutes to the end of the match when they started showing urgency in their game to equalize the 1-2 goal lead Guimaneas took in the match. And I must say the introduction of Nicholas Pepe into the match to replace Lacazette immediately after he was carded with a yellow did the magic for Arsenal as Pepe’s 2 defining free kicks pulsatingly gave Arsenal a 3-2 3 points victory over Guimaneas in the match. What a pulsating end to the match ignited for Arsenal by Pepe.

  12. It seems young players like to be inconsinstent. Willock deserved to be substitutedat half time for the 2m=nd match in a row.
    Maitland-Niles played another poor match in EL in midfield/right wing.
    Tierney has to build stamina, he had cramps at the end. It such a good player, but got roasted at 0-1 many times…
    Martinelli dribbles a lot, not always reasonable choises- he is still abit raw. Took his goal with aplomb and got anonther good chance.
    Guendouzi is now the best midfielder. Far better than Ceballos, Willock, Xhaka and Torreira.
    Lacazette is still far away from his best form.
    There is little pressing in midfield of the pitch. Aanytime Victoria player got the ball in central area, both CB retreated. Sokratis and Luiz made often the same move in EPL, so it is Emery’s style of defending. Wenger style was quite diffrent.
    Pepe’s free kicks were imperious. Both were great placed, both were hard to predjuce and to prevent. It was worth to see the whole shambles -team play almost did not exist in opposition half. Both free kicks came form individual dribbles of Torreira and Guendouzi.
    Chances and good balls came from usual and unsual players. You can expect Bellerin to make some good crosses, but Mustafi did great TB to him, Tierney made another pinpoint cross.

  13. What can one say when a team plays so badly & wins?

    There is lots to be sorted out by the coach. Our lads were beaten/passed with ease but their stamina told in the end coupled with two good dead ball goals by Pepe.

    Passing out from the back is still painful. The forward momentum is lacking and reduces confidence in our strike force.

    There were a few bad calls by the officials and the cards seemed to be held back by the referee apart from the one for Lacazette.

    The result must have upset a few spuds who were getting ready to gloat.

  14. WOO HOO, HOO ! A realb escape , but then they all count , don’t they ?
    3 more points and we shoud progress. Hope we keep on winning !
    Up the Gunners !

  15. OT: VAR and Corruption

    ESPN (world wide leader in being ESPN) in has:

    The Bundesliga went through this two years ago. It decided to implement VAR from its central hub in Cologne. What followed was months of uncertainty and confusion with Hellmut Krug, the VAR project manager, stripped of his role after questions were raised over manipulation. There is certainly no suggestion of such interference in England, in fact it would be the opposite. With so few decisions being overturned, the end result is the same: if the match referee himself is not seen to be making these key decisions, there is a lack of transparency and confidence in the process.

    In Germany, VAR was manipulating events after the fact. In England, the PGMO manipulate the game in real-time. The last thing 😈 Mike Riley wants, is for a twisted decision of the PGMO to be reversed. Hence the “high bar” crap.

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