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Arsenal v Slavia Prague, utter confusion and Gary Neville

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

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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.

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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%.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

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

Today’s game

3 comments to Arsenal v Slavia Prague, utter confusion and Gary Neville

  • Dublin Gooner

    I am a bit surprised Untold is not exploring Gary Neville’s comments a bit, rather than a passing mention. You’ ve just done a blog on “what changes can arsenal make to rescue the season”. Surely Neville’s comments are very relevant to that question.
    My own sense is that GN knows more than he’s letting on. And where are those with inside contacts (Ian Wright or Freddie the Berg for example), jumping to rubbish the comments? A deafening silence.
    A bit worrying.

  • Dublin Gooner, I think I’ve mentioned most of the pros and cons of this situation in earlier posts, but to summarise, my view is that when something has failed, doing it over and over again can be rather foolish unless one has some real insight into the reason for the failures.

    For the past three years we have been changing managers and buying players, and with the result that our position is worse than the final year of George Graham’s tenure. So in my personal view we steady the ship and build on what we have got.

    The only thing I am unhappy with in the current regime is the insistence on discipline conducted in public, and with freezing players such as Ozil out. The rest of football noticed what we did, and players won’t want to risk playing for a club that can simply leave players out of the 25 with no chance of a game.

  • Walter Broeckx

    F*ck… why do we keep giving things away when we keep on bringing ourselves in problems at the back by our own making…