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December 2020
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Leeds v Arsenal: the team selection from across the media.

By Bulldog Drummond

We enter the fray as we have been for much of this season so far, on a mountain of negatives.  Dani Ceballos and David Luiz are said to have come to blows – but of course no one knows.  Aubameyang spent the night on the floor of an airport ahead of an international that his country lost.  Willian toddled off to Dubai seemingly without making it clear that is what he was doing.   Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny went off to play internationals and have now got to isolate.   I doubt we have anyone left to put in the team.

Any more?  Oh yes Paul Merson questions Lacazette’s dedication, in the Mirror.

The only good news, according to some bloggers at least, is that at last, AT LAST Joe Willock will get a game in the match against Leeds.  Meanwhile the Express goes for Reiss Nelson coming in and taking Leeds by surprise.

And we have failed to score in our recent defeats, not getting a goal from open play in six hours and 26 minutes in the Premier League apparently.  However none of those pundits giving us the team for today have either Willock or Nelson in the team.

The Standard gives us its prediction as

Leno;

Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka;

Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.

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Sports Mole go with

Leno;

Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka;

Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

The Guardian offers us

Leno;

Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Football London says that “Arsenal fans think Willian will be dropped from Mikel Arteta’s lineup vs Leeds” but they very sheepishly won’t give us a fulsome lineup.

SB Nation bring along something different with a back four instead of a back three.

Leno;

Bellering, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka;

Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

DailyCanon has

Leno;

Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

and Football Talk has exactly the same.  Indeed anything else doing the rounds is in fact just another slight variation on one of these.

And just in case you missed it before here is a quick run down on how Leeds play

  • Leeds tackle more than any other Premier League club (168 tackles)
  • Amazingly given the close relationship between fouls and tackles in the figures throughout the Premier League Leeds but foul less than any other club (74).  And you may recall that it was a disparity like this that started alerting us to funny doings at Leicester last season – just before they fell down the League table as seemingly the refs woke up to the fact that something odd was going on.
  • Leeds commit 2.27 tackles per foul they get.
  • Arsenal are on a rate of almost half this.  Arsenal commit 1.19 tackles per foul awarded against them – the smallest number in the Premier League.  Either one can argue that Arsenal’s defence don’t know how to tackle, or referees are more likely to give fouls for our tackles than anyone else.
  • Leeds have undertaken 168 tackles.   Arsenal’s total is only just over half this number at 94 tackles so far.
  • Our conclusion: with PGMO watching, tackling is not the best procedure for Arsenal at the moment.  We should aim to be ultra-quick and intercept at lot.

Here is the League table after yesterday’s games.  Sadly it doesn’t look good.  A win will take us up to seventh although having played one game more than the teams around us.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 9 6 2 1 21 9 12 20
2 Chelsea 9 5 3 1 22 10 12 18
3 Leicester City 8 6 0 2 18 9 9 18
4 Liverpool 8 5 2 1 18 16 2 17
5 Southampton 8 5 1 2 16 12 4 16
6 Aston Villa 8 5 0 3 19 11 8 15
7 Everton 8 4 1 3 16 14 2 13
8 Crystal Palace 8 4 1 3 12 12 0 13
9 Manchester United 8 4 1 3 13 14 -1 13
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 4 1 3 8 9 -1 13
11 Manchester City 8 3 3 2 10 11 -1 12
12 Arsenal 8 4 0 4 9 10 -1 12
13 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 14 10 4 11
14 Newcastle United 9 3 2 4 10 15 -5 11
15 Leeds United 8 3 1 4 14 17 -3 10
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 9 2 3 4 13 15 -2 9
17 Fulham 8 1 1 6 7 15 -8 4
18 West Bromwich Albion 9 0 3 6 6 18 -12 3
19 Burnley 7 0 2 5 3 12 -9 2
20 Sheffield United 8 0 1 7 4 14 -10 1

Had we not already had three managers in the past three years I suspect we’d be seeing calls for Arteta’s head by now!

28 comments to Leeds v Arsenal: the team selection from across the media.

  • Mikey

    I was intrigued to see a headline on the BBC website yesterday which read, “The coronavirus cost of international duty – which clubs have been hit hardest”.

    On opening the article, there was a table showing that it was, in fact, only Arsenal who had had more than one player test positive. There then followed a huge article mentioning a dozen or more clubs and players but not one word about Kolasinac or Elneny.

    The media bias shouldn’t amaze me any more but what does amaze me is the fact they they use a headline like that and then deliberately don’t answer their own question.

  • And to top it all off ,Spuds are top of the league. Could be a very grim day .

  • Leno;
    Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
    Xhaka, Willock, Ceballos;
    Willian, Pepe, Aubameyang.

    So none of the professional journos nor big time bloggers got it right – only ones on track were the individual commentators saying this must be time for Joe Willock.

    This is it. The moment it turns around. Come on Joe

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I didn’t see the name of David Luiz on the Arsenal lineup team sheet for their away PL match to Leeds Utd today. I hope this is not the consequences that Mikel Arteta the Gunners gaffer said there would be after the altercation that Cebbalos had with Luiz during a training session. But which was leaked to the media that later made the incident a public knowledge.

  • Decided to listen upstairs in my study where I work, but given it is Arsenal would have a glass of red wine. Slipped coming up the stairs and there is red wine all over the carpet. I now really need Arsenal to win.

  • Menace

    David Luiz has just become a daddy so he has special leave.

    The tilting is very obvious including two very nasty fouls by Phillips that didn;t draw a card.

    The assistant doesn’t see an offside that allows Leeds more aggression in our penalty box.

    The commentators are the very well educated northern idjuts who are damned annoying.

    Quick free kicks are not allowed for Arsenal and there is no need for Leeds to stop for a whistle that should be for play to stop!!!

    But this is the PGMOL masters of the game.

  • Menace

    Selective vision and quick fouls to Leeds are so blatant but not commented on by the PGMOL commentators. These shameless bar stewards are more blatant than the rulers with the whistle.

  • Mikey

    Trying to break legs is acceptable. Resting on your head on another player is red. Good to see Taylor bring his inimitable brand of fair play to the game.

  • Menace

    What is it with these commentators calling Leno the German. They don’t talk about Saka or Willock or Phillips the English!!
    They say Pepe retaliated but there is no explanation of what to?

  • Mandy Dodd

    I hope Pepe was told about Taylor , because he should have been

  • Menace

    The Pepe red card was for consistent fouling by Alioski and only the approach by Pepe to foul and abusive language got penalised. What the fcuk is the knee being taken for when Black Players don’t matter!!

  • Menace

    Clear and obvious hand ball not given by VAR but not looked at by the twat with the whistle!!

  • Menace

    Shocking!! Taylor books a Leeds player for a foul. This was a lot softer than the previous Phillips trio.

  • Mikey

    Seemingly a player has to catch the ball in both hands and hold onto it for it to be handball when Arsenal are playing.

  • Menace

    Saka kicked on the ankle twice right in front of Taylor but nothing seen. The ankle is not broken so it is not a foul!!

    Neville the mother f is not sure what it is knee or foot!!

    No VAR for Leeds stamps!!

  • Menace

    Eventually Phillips gets booked for the softest of his nasty tackles — how he stayed on the pitch is only Riley and Taylors affair.

  • John L

    10 against 12 is always a hard task

  • Menace

    At the final whistle Tierney is all set for a brawl with the diving bitch that got Pepe sent off. PGMOL do not have to answer to anyone. They are above God.

  • Menace

    John L – I saw it as 10 against 15 – VAR and the twats on the line.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Regardless of it really being a headbut from Pepe or not (I couldn’t really see it from the distant shot on my bad stream) BUT what an idiot Pepe is for getting himself in such a situation… Dumb, dumber…Pepe…
    Pepe let the team down by giving the Leeds player a chance to fall dead as being shot and giving the VAR and the ref the chance to give a red card. If you move your head towards the head of an opponent you can get a red car. It is as simple as that. So keep out of such a situation. Pepe thought he was the smartest but in fact the dumbest player on the picht summing up another bad performancie of him.

  • John L

    Menace, yes it was 15.

    Our defence was magnificent. I have sympathy for Pepe and admiration for KT confronting the cheat Alioski.

    I hope Bukayo is not too bad after being kicked out of the game.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    A character point for the lads. The first half was pretty dire but I had some hope that some changes at half time would lead to some better play. This seemed to be the case until Pepe did what he did.

    Given that we rarely get the rub of the green, I have often hoped that would just stop any embellishment… to highlight what the other teams do. After all, when our lads are stamped on and our boys are down, we rarely get the calls anyway, so we might as well stop even hoping. In time, and it might take years, we could start taking the moral high ground. As it stands, in truth, our lads play act as much as the others, just we don’t get the calls.

  • John L

    VAR is clearly capable of recording the actions of Alioski in his repeated assaults on Pepe as well as the blatant simulation, which even Evra called correctly.

    I might ask why this was not examined, but I really know the answer. – same reason that Taylor allowed additional extra time when Leeds were attacking.

  • Menace

    Yesterday Man U were awarded a penalty by VAR interference after the ball hit an arm behind a player. This was an arm in front of the player and Taylor wasn’t invited to asscess the incident. VAR cannot make the call according to the Laws. It has to be offered to Taylor to check on the pitch side monitor and make the call.

    VAR offered Taylor the opportunity to check the pitch side monitor for the Pepe incident but didn’t show him all of the initial fouling that should have been called just as the ‘touch’ on the ball against Villa robbed them of a penalty.

    WE have the magnificent MOTD to glorify the wrongdoers as victors later this evening.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have to agree Walter, pepe was foolish, not sure what got into him.
    If something really offensive was said, perhaps he should have just punched the guys lights out and made it worth his while!
    If an Arsenal player gives Taylor a chance, he will only take it.
    Just get the impression Arteta is fighting a number of uphill battles, which have now Only increased .. That, and the casualties of the ridiculous inter lull schedules during a pandemic
    As for Pepe, not sure he looks comfortable in a league where opponents have been allowed to try and break his legs from day 1. Who can blame him if that’s the case .
    Saka taken out as well today.
    I think there are a number of structural problems at this club, manifesting itself in a lack of preparedness for Wenger departing, and an unwillingness to take on the PGMOL in a way other clubs might
    As for Arteta, I think he might turn out a good general, but at the moment, he certainly is not a lucky general ,

  • Brickfields Gunners

    While Pepe was foolish enough to be goaded to retaliate , he should have waited for his chance for revenge . So soft a dismissal for the merest of touches , but full marks for the dramatic fall and play acting . Am sure his name and actions will be noted by other players , and due ‘respect’ will be meted.

    We did play better with 10 players , but over all we seem to be too lethargic and slow. That we got fouled without protection from the PIGMOB was truly pathetic .

    Hope we get back to winning ways soon.
    Up the Gunners !

  • Steve Vallins

    I did read a while ago that Pep at Man City would divide the football pitch into 22 squares 11 in each half , he always wanted a player in each square . So players had to be aware of movement of there own players as well as the opposition .
    MA has been part of this tactic for at least 3 years and has now trying to put his own stamp on our he wants Arsenal to play , he seems to me very concerned with the structure of the team when we haven’t got the ball , which then becomes difficult in transition to move the ball forward quickly to make chances as the distance between midfield and attack is too big leaving the forwards isolated .
    To cut the distance down he has been trying to get a high press making the pitch smaller more compact and the players closer together , this I’m sure is going to take time .
    Stop the opposition scoring first then build on the attack as a team to score goals , not easy .

  • Menace

    MOTD when analysing the Pepe red card found that simulation is necessary to get official recognition.
    If you don’t go down you don’t get noticed don’t get the benefit of VAR. Except that is if you are an Arsenal player that has been kicked so hard that you fall down and get no VAR or protection from the officials.

    Klopp & co seem to have got Riley on side considering Mane was not sent off for a blatant elbow that was not checked by VAR.

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