West Ham v Arsenal: a variety of team selections and “AFTV Out!”

By Bulldog Drummond

It is curious that at this time Arsenal is doing badly in matches we are doing far better than in the Wengerian days when we were criticized for having more injuries than anyone else.  Maybe that means we are not getting stuck in enough.

In fact we never did have more injuries than any other club, but we were often in the upper reaches of the injury league table.  Now with two injuries we are right down at the bottom.  No club in the Physioroom chart has fewer injuries (or at least that was the case on Sunday).

What does that tell us?   That injuries don’t matter as much as people said, when Mr Wenger was in charge?   That injuries give a club a chance to bring in reserve players and youngsters who can shine, whereas otherwise managers tend to be cautious about bringing in such players?

I don’t really know, but I do know that virtually no one is dealing with this topic.  Whereas before most of the media and bloggettas were rambling on and on and on and on about Arsenal’s injury crisis and how it was all Wenger’s fault day after day after day – now no one talks about it.

So we have two injuries:

  • Dani Ceballos has a thigh injury and is projected to be back by mid December.
  • Rob Holding has a knee injury and has no return date.

Jack Wilshere is doubtful for West Ham.  Lukasz Fabianski is injured.

As for a team, the Guardian calls Arsenal a “spiralling atomic nightmare” (make of that image what you can, especially since we are all made of atoms which include spiralling electrons),   They cite the odds as being totally in West Ham’s favour – undoubtedly taking into account that Mike Dean is the referee.


Bellerin Sokratis Luiz Tierney

Xhaka Torreira

Pepe Guendouzi Ozil


For the beach the Guardian tell us to select from this group:

Martínez, Kolasinac, Nelson, Mustafi, Martinelli, Saka, Smith Rowe, Mavropanos, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Lacazette

We might also note, having seen who the referee is, that Arsenal have more yellow cards than anyone else this season. Here is the top ten

Rank Club Yellow cards
1. Arsenal 37
2. Manchester United 34
3. Watford 34
4. AFC Bournemouth 31
5. Manchester City 31
6. Sheffield United 30
7. Tottenham Hotspur 30
8. Crystal Palace 29
9. Everton 29
10. West Ham United 29

Put another way, there are five London teams in the Premier League and four of them are in the top ten for yellows.

The BBC is of course bashing Arsenal – in their preview they say not that the team is doing badly, but rather that “the club is a mess” thus focussing on the battle between Arsenal Supporters Trust and the board.  They predict a 2-0 win for West Ham.

But here is a bit of trivial nonsense.  Arsenal have drawn five and lost four of the last nine (or “winless in nine” as journos like to say).  The worst Arsenal run since 10-matches under Terry Neill in 1977.  But in terms of the number of points it is West Ham who are the worst club.  They have gained the lowest number of points of anyone in the league in the last eight games with one win, one draw and six defeats.

I know being better than WHAM in the Taxpayers Stadium is nothing, but I thought I’d throw it in.

So here is the accumulated bad news… Arsenal are without a clean sheet in their last 11 matches in all competitions, since beating Bournemouth on 6 October.   On the other hand all records end sometime.

And here is one from Sky Sprouts

“No side has lost more Premier League games on a Monday than West Ham (29), while only Man Utd (43) have won more Monday games in the competition than Arsenal (39).”

Yes, probably that is just a load of sprouts.

But one promising tale: the phrase “aftv OUT” has started appearing on walls around Arsenal Stadium.  A positive twist, or at least someone with a sense of humour.

Arsenal Station, ignoring the injury news go with


Bellerin Chambers Holding Tierney

Guendouzi Torreira

Pepe Ozil Martinelli



The Standard goes with


Bellerin Luiz Holding Tierney

Guendouzi Xhaka

Pepe Ozil Aubameyang



Some of these players will surely play.

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47 Replies to “West Ham v Arsenal: a variety of team selections and “AFTV Out!””

  1. I think for their being Arsenal TV Fans media, the AFTV should not be castigated nor be banned or outlawed but if at all anything be adored, applauded and defended by the Arsenal fans who are opinionating their opinions against them for their opinionating their own opinions on Arsenal as they see them fit and believed it should be opined. Which I believe they must have opined democratically but not breaking any laws guiding their broadcast operations when dishing out any Arsenal informations to the numerous Arsenal supporters watching and listening to their Arsenal programmes on their TV channel.

    Nevertheless, I believe the Gunners more especially the senior ones in the first team squad have for their lack of taking responsibility for the team to be delivering wins for the club in most of the PL matches that they had played in for Arsenal this season if not in all the 14 that had played in already for the club so far this season will be seeing where their ineptitudes in performances for Arsenal in the PL this season has led the club to be placed in the table so far this season as Arsenal are currently seen placed in 11th position in the table on a mere 19 points with -2 goals aggregate difference. Obviously, this is unbefitting to the giants Arsenal club side size and the high profile status that Arsenal FC commands in football world wide.

    Despite the world-wide well known anti-Arsenal match refereeing in the PL designed by the PGMOL solely for hindering and blocking Arsenal from obtaining good and excellent results consistently in their match in every PL season’s campaign for 14 seasons running. But the Gunners ought to have by now or even before now perfect the plan and strategy whereby they can be negating confidently any anti-Arsenal match refereeing in the PL that are being orchestrated against Arsenal by the PGMO designs that are deliberately designed with evil intents to be denying Arsenal the points that they’ve legitimately collected in matches in the PL but flagrantly and unjustifiably withheld with impunity from them getting the points.

    In this regard, therefore, the Gunners should first and foremost live up to the professional allegiance they’ve committed themselves to the club to eschew any form of lackluster performance for Arsenal in their tonight match against West Ham. But perform with resounding responsibility and credibility raising up considerably the level of their performance in the match for Arsenal to come good scoring the goals unfailingly that will beat West Ham in the match which can not be disputed to rule them off by Mike Dean or be chalked off by the VAR manning personnel during the match. Which will leave Mike Dean the centre referee and his 2 linesmen including those referees at the VAR as well as the West Ham no any grounds to argue against the genuineness of the Arsenal match winning goals scored in the game during the playing of the match but respect honour and accept that Arsenal won the match.

  2. Antonio pulls Tierneys arm to the point where the shoulder dislocats. The VAR does not see it. Creswell almost dislocates Pepes knee but again its not a foul.

    The slope is gentle but it is clear.

  3. At 2 minutes, we don’t get the first foul?

    At 24m, we don’t get the first yellow.

    The above is unusual. Then at 26m, Arsenal have a player requiring treatment, who has to be replaced. The twit from PGMO sees nothing.

    Then at 36m, Arsneal have another player down requiring treatment, and again the twit from PGMO sees nothing. It is business as usual.

    And Arsenal have only 1 shot in total, none on target when State Aid scores. I am guessing Mike Dean scored for State Aid.



  4. Antonio pulls Tierneys arm to the point where the shoulder dislocats. The VAR does not see it. Creswell almost dislocates Pepes knee but again its not a PGMOL foul.

  5. Freddie needs to point out to our players that in order to score a goal they need to pass the ball in a forward direction towards the West Ham goal as opposed to back towards our own goal. I don’t think I have ever seen a group of top class players suffering from such an enormous lack of confidence, they all appear to be playing with shackles round their ankles.

  6. The surprising thing about Tierneys dislocation is it was shown on TV only once and nothing was mentioned about the actual foul that seems to have disappeared off the TV screens. It was a clear & obvious RED card if PGMOL wants to be honest.

  7. There are ten players out there obsiously lacking of confidence. They need more support than critisism from the Arsenal fans.
    (Three Antonio’s fouls ignored, Creswell deserving at least a yellow). Dean and the VAR at it’s best…

  8. Creswell gets a yellow after his second attempt to injure Pepe. What a farce.

    The pathetic playing out from the back continues. What is wrong with our coaching staff? They are damned stupid or have been hypnotised.

  9. The damned passing out from the back still persists. Somebody need to tell our team that it only works in dreams.

    At last Pepe finds his boots!!!!

  10. I am now seeing that Aubemeyang assisted Pepe, and Aubameyang’s goal is unassisted.

    More goals please!


  11. If it was a Gunner that pulled a West Ham defender’s arm to dislocationm, definitely the PGMO’s march referee Mike Dean will not miss seeing it neither will the VAR personnel fail to review the obnoxious injury incident call and a red card will be issued sending off the Arsenal player.
    And if it was also a Gunner that violently tackled a WH player the way and manner in which Pepe was charge tackled with obvious intent to injure him, definitely, Mike Dean would have issued a card to the Arsenal player.

    Only God will help Aesenal to surmount the problem their being confronted with in this match by the 12 & 13 West Ham players in Mike Dean and those at the VAR in the match against Arsenal XI players in the match and come out prevailing on the opposition WHAM in the match.

  12. Pepe needs to learn that passes must be positive not flicks. He loses the ball so easily when trying to be skillful.

  13. There have been one treatment to both teams in the second half I believe. As per usual, the PGMO twit sees nothing.

    More goals please! Why? How far are you behind Miedema? 🙂


  14. Hmm, Xhaka getting kicked and treated a second time this half. And Mike “I can dance” Dean still sees nothing.


  15. We won, but we got how many injuries out of this game? And that idiot in the middle and the bunch of idiots in some studio seen nothing about any of them? Well, if all they are doing is playing solitaire on Windoze, I guess they couldn’t see the TV feeds.

    Good work Gunners!

    Dean go take a long walk on a short pier (or Piers Mrgan).

  16. @Gord, how about Dean and Piers Morgan going off into the sunset wading in a tropical sea before being attacked and eaten by sharks – works as an image for me

  17. Much better second half, not so much negative passing backwards, our players taking a bit of individual responsibility rather than passing the buck.
    As a result three good goals all coming from a desire to get forward with purpose and intent. Hopefully the confidence has returned now and we can give Man City a run for their money next game.
    Not Dean’s worst game for us but he still showed a fair amount of tolerance to some of the West Ham fouling.

  18. Some nice pieces of game in the second half. Looks like the boys really need to regain their confidence. Then, they play much better. Let’s hope this result will click something in their heads. Good to see Freddy hugging the players on the field in the end!

    Pepe has to learn when to pass and when to try to dribble….. If he do it, he can be a good asset to the team.

    More of Dean’s incomprehensible decisions (or lack of decisons)… we shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s hope we don’t pay for it with injuries.

  19. Once the confidence returned we saw a different team.

    Pushing forward, taking risks all takes confidence.

    Okay it must be remembered it was a West Ham side possibly even lower on confidence than us but from small acorns and all that.

    I’ve said it many times this group of players are top 4.

    A level playing field from PGMOL and a return of confidence, and as menace keeps saying, stop all this messing about at the back, and it could still be on.

    Alas personally I think top 4 will be beyond us, but another year of Thursday night football should be well within our reach.

    Doesn’t it feel good to win and see the smiles back on the boys faces.

    Well done lads, onwards and upwards.


  20. How the Tierney dislocation could not be caught on VAR is truly a corrupt PGMOL decision. It was caught on TV but shown only once without comment. The Arsenal officer in charge must bring the PGMOL to book for ignoring this incident.

    Did anyone else see it or am I the only one looking?

  21. We are so used to being cheated by referees that it was actually a great surprise that Dean didn’t give State Aid at least one penalty for their Thespian performances.

  22. the anti-arsenal idiots out!
    the challenge from Creswell on Pepe was potentially legbreaking! not even a yellow because he played the ball, the refs and the pundits dont have a clue about the rules: playing the ball means nothing if it endangers the other player, which was clearly the case.
    Very pleased to see his revenge with a very world class goal. there was some chemistry to behold in our attacking line and certainly nice to see that the team celebrating intense with each other

  23. Do we have a stat of which ref was in charge of which team since the season started ?
    Dean…how many times did we have him already this season ?

  24. How about Dean and Piers Morgan just before going off the pier and being eaten by sharks , get stung by jellyfish , and the AFTV fans decend on them in droves and piss on them ?

  25. WOO HOO , HOO ! A timely and morale boosting win ! Congrats , guys . Nice too see them all smiling and finally happy.
    Despite the usual PIGMOB antics , we managed to get all three points . I hope they all go to their PIGMOB heaven thru the door marked , HELL !
    Up the Gunners !

  26. Nice to get the 3points. Hopefully the boys will kick on from there. It must be said though that it was a very poor westham team we beat. In the first half they had the opportunity to have scored 4, mostly from our errors trying to play out from the back, they didn’t take their chances. In the second half they just crumbled. A better assessment would come against man city. Then we would know if we have really turned a corner and the confidence is back. We need to get back to playing at a high tempo, our players need to bust their guts and put their bodies more on the line to get the points we need to climb up the table

  27. Freddie:

    “In the first half we were slow and lethargic, we didn’t move or run, and that comes from low confidence but in the second half it was how we wanted to play.

    “I hope this changes the mood and the players looked happy in the dressing room. It’s been tough for them, they have been living under enormous pressure and you see it in their performances. We have a lot of things to work on but it feels nice.

    “It is amazing what they did today. I just want to enjoy the day and then get to work tomorrow. We enjoy tonight and we continue working tomorrow. We have to work on our belief – that was the difference.”

    Perfectly summarised.

    As I said earlier confidence is massive. It should never be underestimated.

    It is all part of why continually getting on at the players is so counter productive. People say it is up to the players to win the support of the crowd, which is a point, but not one I don’t agree with. Surely as ‘supporters’ it is our responsibility, even I would say our ‘honour’, to get behind the team, the manager, and the players, we supposedly love ? That’s how I see it anyway.

    Who knows if we’d of turned things round already (I’m hoping this is a turning point) had we, as ‘supporters’, stuck with the team all through this difficult time?

    What I saw last night in the first half was a team utterly bereft of confidence. It was palpable. The team was petrified, almost literally.

    But once the first goal went in the confidence flooded back, and once the confidence returned the bravery to pass the ball forward, the energy to chase lost causes, the joy, it all came flooding back.

    Confidence confidence confidence!!

    Maybe that confidence would not of dropped to such depths had so many of our own fans not turned on our own players ?

    Maybe that confidence would of returned much quicker had our own fans got behind the players on a bad day rather than jeering them off the pitch ?

    And know, going forward Maybe that hard won confidence will remain, if, and it’s a big if, our fans stick by the players when things go wrong.

    I don’t know for sure if any of that is true. I don’t even know if it is wrong to boo?

    What I do know is, that a team is much more likely to remain confident, enjoy their football, and perform well, if they know they have the unwavering ‘support’ of the fans.

    Alas, and quite unbelievably as Tony has pointed out in his next article, despite a heart warming second half performance, snatching a (possible?) season defining moment from the jaws of disaster, Bloggs are still finding reason to crucify certain players.

    Quite how people think that kind of behaviour will help our cause is beyond me.

    And lets not think these players don’t care. After the match I could see some of the strongest emotions in the faces of our players I have seen in a very long time.

    Ozil looked like he’d fallen in love with the game again.

    Martinelli and Pepi looked like 5 year olds on Christmas morning.

    Sokratis looked close to tears.

    The joy, the relief, was tangible.

  28. The first chance was the header by Ozil that was out of his range. It gave him hope and got the team some momentum. Pepe was being fouled, several times he went down but Dean was not satisfied that a kick was sufficient. As usual until a leg is broken or worse there is no foul against Arsenal.

    Dean has a way of deflecting the players from complaining as Auba found out. The only way to succeed is to score goals. The best form of defence is attack. Our boys played well but there is a level of coaching that is missing. Exploit the weakness of opponents by using our strength.

    Please don’t pass across the field in our half if there is a chance of interception. It gives the opponents hope and puts us on the back foot.

    We still play on a sloping pitch. Do not allow the slope to defeat our goals.

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