By Bulldog Drummond.
Let’s start with a Tweet – an unusual thing for Untold to do I know but can’t resist this one.
(Ash Corbett-Collins) @corbettcollins
as it is, but this morning the presenter talked about how Arsenal face former boss Unai Emery and Villarreal tonight. We’re playing Slavia Prague.
OK, now we have that sorted we can perhaps move on.
“We’re going to have to go day by day,” Mr Arteta said, concerning the various injury issues. Tierney we know about, Martin Odegaard is a doubt, David Luiz is out, but Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe return to the squad, and Granit Xhaka is also available after illness.
Overall Mr Arteta said it was “time to talk on the pitch” which is perhaps not the best choice of words given that Ondrej Kudela will not be playing having been given a provisional one match ban for racially abusing Glen Kamara of Rangers last month.
There is little else he can say now that talk has turned to him getting the sack – an inevitable journalistic ploy, for when something is done that hasn’t worked, the journalist’s inclination is always to demand it is done again.
The stat being thrown around is that in his first 50 league games Mr Arteta’s team has won 42% of matches. When Mr Emery was sacked he was on 49%.
The Spaniard’s win percentage in the league from his first 50 games in charge is only 42 per cent.
Gary Neville claimed recently that Arsenal had players who “looked like a little mafia” and there “was a disconnect with them and the manager”. At the time of Mr Neville’s sacking as manager of Valencia they were 14th in the league, only six points clear of the relegation zone, and had won only three of their 16 league games under Neville, failing to keep a single clean sheet.
“I think we have to respect every opinion,” added Mr Arteta.
But we should note that in all European competition Arsenal are unbeaten against Czech clubs, having won seven and drawn just the one. Although this is the first time we will have played a Czech club that is owned by the People’s Republic of China.
And our record in the quarter finals is not too bad. We have played in 15 quarter finals and gone on to the semi-finals in nine of them.
Also our goal scoring has not been too poor – for we have had 15 different players score for us in the Europa League this season along with one or two own goals as well.
Next up, the team predictions.
The Arsenal video collection: free
- Arsenal v Slavia Prague – beating them 7-0 last time around: watch the video
- Arsenal v Chinese Slavia Praha. Playing against the bank.
- Arsenal injury crisis is a phantom of the Mirror’s imagination
- In Switzerland Fifa is on the edge of being blown up. In England….?
- Why life working for a football club might not always be what it seems
- The big six transfers thus far, and who’s got more cash?
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?