Arsenal v the W’s. The “confirmed” predicted team, including Nelson’s twin.

By Bulldog Drummond

The news doing the rounds is that Bukayo Saka has recovered from the dead leg he suffered against Leeds last weekend.  We know Pepe is out, Willian and Partey are doubtful, and Elneny and Kolasinac are the victims of the insanity of continuing with international competitions during a crisis.  Except some pundits are putting Elneny in the team, so maybe he’s all right after all.

Other than that the only bit of bright news is that coming in from Switzerland that tells us that both Blatter and Platini are now being charged by the courts with fraud and breach of trust.   Previously they were just being investigated for “unfair management”.

I thought I would throw that in given that the British newspapers will not mention it at all, not in the slightest, not once, never.

Funny that, since the running of Fifa affects English football – not to mention English taxpayers who help fund the disgracefully corrupt entity.  But I am sure these newspaper barons know what side their butter is breaded.  Or something like that.

But back to the game.  Although he is never once mentioned by name Mark Lawrenson tells us in a BBC article that “I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is but Wolves are lacking something at the moment. Arsenal are a bit stodgy as well, though. I’m going with the Gunners, but Wolves could easily edge it.”

Which pretty much tells us how it is.   Although if you do put your finger on anything it is a good idea to wear gloves.  Anyway, if he is right and we win 2-1 as he says, that will do wonders for our goalscoring record.

Although the record against the Ws has been good overall, as we saw in the last piece, the last three games at our place have ended 1-1.  But as we also saw, we have scored in 25 successive matches against Wolverhampton in all competitions since February 1979.  Even a single goal would be welcome in our current run.

What is interesting is that we have not lost three home games in a row without scoring for quite a while.  Here’s the last time…

Date Game Res Score Competition
07 Nov 1908 Woolwich Arsenal v Aston Villa L 0-1 League Division One
21 Nov 1908 Woolwich Arsenal v Sunderland L 0-4 League Division One
05 Dec 1908 Woolwich Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers L 0-1 League Division One
19 Dec 1908 Woolwich Arsenal v Manchester United L 0-1 League Division One
26 Dec 1908 Woolwich Arsenal v Leicester Fosse W 2-1 League Division One

However at that time we were doing all right away from home, so matters were not quite as awful.

But we are heading down towards our lowest ever points tally after ten games in the Premier League (can you imagine what the media would be making of that if Mr Wenger was still in charge?)  The lowest we have ever got after 14 games is ten points.  A draw obviously equals the worst, and a win avoids it.

The last time we lost more than four of the first ten league games was 1983/4.  While interestingly Wolverhampton are seeing this period of theirs as a good start.  They haven’t won five or more of their first ten games in the top division since 1979, and they are struggling financially having overdone the borrowing before the virus came along.

And so the teams…

Sports Keeda give us

Bernd Leno;

Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney;

Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka;

Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang;

Alexandre Lacazette

The Guardian gives us


Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Ceballos, Partey, Xhaka;

Willian, Aubameyang, Nelson

And as ever they helpfully suggest the array of subs: Rúnarsson, Soares, David Luiz, Kolasinac, Saka, Willock, Smith Rowe, Lacazette, Nketiah, Balogun, Elneny

The Standard don’t seem to want to give us teams this week.

And although its laugh a minute subsidiary Football London won’t give us a clue as to the line up either (at least not on sunday morning).  But their owners, the Daily Mirror say


Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Maitland-Niles;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Red London however has the headline “Willian dropped” and they go with


Holding, Luiz, Gabriel, T

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Tierney

Nelson, Aubameyang, Nelson


Now you may have noticed that Arsenal, in this line up above, have two players called Nelson, and I suspect that means that we have twin brothers playing on both wings.  That is a clever idea and will undoubtedly confuse the opposition.

Last, we have the Boot Room who come in with


Holding, Gabriel, Tierney

 Bellerin, Elneny Ceballos  Maitland Niles

Nelson, Aubameyang, Saka


So there we are.  A record that we don’t want is in the offing.  A win, could take us up as high as seventh, depending on other results.  Fingers and lots of other things crossed.



34 Replies to “Arsenal v the W’s. The “confirmed” predicted team, including Nelson’s twin.”

  1. Just to confirm how seriously I take this ‘crossing’ of things for luck, I’ve recently taken to crossing the 2 rouge hairs that regularly emerge from the extremities of my otherwise hairless left ear lobe, in what so far appears to be a fruitless attempt to kick start our season.

    I’ve got to say, crossed or otherwise they are a belligerent pain in the backside. Still if they help to get us a result today who cares? I may even decide to keep them indefinitely and to go as far as giving them names.

    As one has a Yellowish hue and stands out much more than its whiter and slightly smaller twin, their similarity to those heavenly twins of the night sky, Castor and Pollux is not lost on me, so as such they may be the 2 most appropriate names. Others may disagree.

    Yes I’m bored, but who wouldn’t be watching this dross at Stamford Bridge.

  2. The actual team is
    Arsenal (4-3-3):

    Bellerin, Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney; (no one got the defence right)
    Ceballos, Xhaka, Willock; (no one got the midfield right)
    Willian, Aubameyang, Saka; (no one got the forwards right)

    Substitutes: Runarsson, Cedric, Holding, Elneny, Nelson, Lacazette, Nketiah

  3. Leno
    Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney
    Ceballos, Xhaka
    Willian, Willock, Saka

    Runarsson, Holding, Cedric, Elneny, Lacazette, Nelson, Nketiah

  4. I think the Gunners personnel starting XI that I have seen Arteta has selected to play against Wolves tonight suggest that Arteta has decided to adopt the 4-2-3-1 playing formation style for the match.

  5. Adrian Clarke has told us that “Molde are not in the same league as Wolverhampton”

    I think that’s because the Premier League is reserved for clubs from England and Wales.

  6. Willock gets kicked on the ankle by Traore and Oliver doesn’t see it but VAR does f all. It is mandatory that Oliver checks the pitch side monitor and makes a considered decision.

    Now Raul & Luiz bang heads. Once again Oliver doesn’t go to the pitch side monitor!

  7. Far too many obvious mistakes by Arteta. Leno does not use his hands and as a keeper who plays like a forward just is not fit for purpose. Free kicks should be taken by front or mid field players that can bend a ball.

    Oliver is being very subservient to his masters. Fouls that should be carded are being allowed to go.

  8. An elbow to the face of an opponent in the penalty area is not looked at by VAR. It is accidental but it was a foul!!! Oliver should have looked at the pitch side monitor!!!

  9. As Menace says, accidental or not it’s an elbow in the face. That is a foul. That is a penalty, no ifs, no buts, but it’s not even looked at. Absolute joke.

  10. Come on Arsenal we are better than this . Half time rousing kick up the arse come out and start playing with some conviction and belief Please .

  11. Come on Arsenal we are better than this . Half time rousing kick up the arse come out and start playing with some conviction and belief Please .

  12. There 2nd goal the first shot was deflected that’s why Leno saved with his legs then problems started , a lose ball in the area .
    Wolves are playing deep , they are finding lots of room all over the pitch , we are not hurting them and they are very comfortable .

  13. An accidental hand (not elbow) from Holding in the face of a Wolves player and instantly a foul is given. Funny that.

  14. A kick by Fabio Silva on Saka’s hip draws a yellow card!! Now I would like to know how that is not a red card!! The commentators are not interested in this but more interested in their Traore being booked for diving!!

  15. We still don’t do enough to create chances in the PL, The PGMO are still in charge of refereeing. Coincidence? You decide.

  16. We are never good enough in the EPL with PGMOL officiating.

    The game is sport but not in this EPL with cheats evading everything honest.

    Traore should have been off within the first 10 minutes and we should have had a penalty in the first half.

    The corruption stinks!!

  17. When we lose, and when we don’t play well, it’s hard complain about anything without it sounding like sour grapes, but we were denied an absolutely nailed on penalty again in that first half. Now I can live with the fact the ref and his assistant didn’t see it in real time. That isn’t necessarily cheating, just poor officiating. But that’s what we now have VAR for.

    Them not calling Oliver to even have a look is not a mistake, that IS CHEATING, pure and simple.

    And if anyone wants to mention Wolves claim in the 2nd half that is completely different. That was a difficult call that could of gone either way, and I’ve seen it a dozen times and still cant be sure if Gabriel touched him. I say touched because even if he did it’s a contact sport I there wasn’t enough contact for a foul anyway, but that’s irrelevant, because given the nature of the call, under no circumstances was it a clear and obvious mistake, so overturning it was never an option.

    No we wasn’t great, but yet again we are cheated by VAR.

  18. Nitram Var is like Brexit totally polarised. Players / Managers love / hate it . Truth is the game we love is all about something else .

  19. Let us visit the first few minutes of the game when a free kick was given fo a foul by Traore on Willock. Oliver didn’t see it. He gave it because of some communication. That communication must have been known to VAR and as a result they should have looked at it for dangerous play. Oliver should have been invited to see the incident on the pitch side monitor.

    Perhaps Rudolf was involved with something that took his attention away.

    A deliberate kick to an opponents ankle caught on camera …….
    If that was dealt with honestly perhaps Jimenez would not have got injured because the game took a different route?????

    It is what it is.

  20. Rudolf

    Personally I can take it or leave it I just want it used consistently and fairly.

    Not advising Oliver to at least go and have a look at it is in total contrast to how we have seen it used against us on several occasions this year already. I ask myself under what thought process could VAR NOT advise him to have a look? There were numerous angels, a couple of which clearly showed an elbow in the face. The fact it may of been accidental is utterly irrelevant as was proved in the 2nd half when Oliver called Holdings accidental hand in the face as a foul without hesitation.

    So VAR has seen it as a foul, that we know, so the only conclusion we can come to is that they CHOSE not to bring a clear foul in the box to the referees attention. Why? That is not a mistake that is quite clearly a deliberate and conscious decision to cheat Arsenal out of a penalty, and that is a disgrace.

    I do agree with you that in the final analysis we just were not good enough, but, and it has to be asked, what difference would an equaliser just before half time of made?

    I guess we’ll never know.

  21. When a player is forced off after a serious injury and the match is allowed to continue, player/team reactions from both sides could go number of ways

    Two Possible Extreme Reactions Are:

    The team on the receiving end resolves to get the job done for their stricken mate and actually goes on to get a result OR they are unable to shake off the shock and fail to lift their game afterwards.

    The other side might capitalize on the on-going shock and seal a result OR they experience unconscious guilt and can’t wait for the rest of the game to just run its course.

    I believe these Psycho-effects are tangible


    ### The “Eduardo incident” …… we were 2-1 up when the deed was done but the match ended 2-2 and Gallas….. well you know the rest.

    ### The “Ramsey incident” …..this time around, the gunners bared their teeth and with defender Sol Campbell (on his second Coming) urging them on, they played for their stricken mate and came away with a 3-1 victory

    I could be wrong though……

    yet I sense that we wanted to prove something in yesterday’s game but got derailed by the incident.

    What should be done?

    If we listen to the studio “experts” and the stream of on-line negative comments telling us we are not good enough etc… We will do their bidding and get it wrong again.

    A 20 percent fix is all that is needed not the 80 percent.

    We have simply got to see this through, this is the opportunity to suffer and then recover from a slump within our resources and develop the capacity to breeze through similar problems going forward. This is the chance for the team to finally develop “herd immunity” against any future slump.

  22. Losses to Leicester, Villa and Wolves at home- 3 mid table sides- and they won fairly comfortably. What does that make us? Please don’t fall into the trap of blaming nasty refs for these performances. I would not put money on us beating anyone in the EPL at present.The worst start to the season in 39 years. Looking at the results- but moreover how the team are playing.
    There have been some anomalous results in these strange times- but this poor home form has taken on the shape of a pattern.

    Fact is Arteta is a first time manager cutting his teeth on us- I don’t know if he can get it right. I can see what he is trying to do defensively and I get that-but he has totally sacrificed our attacking capacity to get that partial improvement. We have to have a better balance. I am not convinced he can deliver it- but I live in hope- for now. Is it a couple of players off form? No-its deeper than that we are not making the chances. We are too slow, predictable, defending better but not good enough.

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