Arsenal v WBA: the team according to the various pundits

By Bulldog Drummond

West Bromwich Albion crest

There is a great reason to defeat West Bromwich Albion today, and that is that it would send them down.  Not that I have anything against West Brom at all – and I am sorry they will get hurt by this, but really, that man Allerdyce is not the right sort of fella at all to be a manager of a professional.  I can’t believe he went to the right sort of school – all that gum chewing and being overweight – it isn’t the right sort of image for the Premier League is it?

And anyway we ought to win because we will have a forward line choice of Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe and Martinelli and surely between them they ought to score against a defence like WBA.   For the Albion have let in more goals than any other club in the Premier League.

Indeed they have let in nearly twice as many as Arsenal, and given that the press have been out and about saying that we should flog off the defence and get a new one, it is perhaps just a trifle surprising that they have not been commenting in a similar manner with WBA – but no.  Logic and the media – they don’t normally live on the same planet.

So we know that the Albion have lost seven Premier League away games in a row against Arsenal, and during that time they have scored one (yes 1) and we have scored twenty-five (25).

Now I know I often use the BBC website when scouting around for information on a game, and I do try and acknowledge it, but really, I wonder if they are trying to trip me up now.  For their website for this game includes the line “The Gunners are unbeaten in their past five away league games (W3, D2).”

Which is true – Leicester away (1-3), Burnley away (1-1), WHU away (3-3), Sheffield United away (0-3), Newcastle away (0-2) – but irrelevant since we are at home.  Can I apply for the job of BBC pre-match correspondent?

They then tell us, “Mikel Arteta’s side have equalled the club Premier League record of seven home defeats in a season. They haven’t fared worse at home in a top-flight season since losing nine games in 1929-30.”

Which is true for Arsenal although the way it is written it sounds like a record for all teams, not just Arsenal.  And since the BBC is so fond of history, they could have said that the season following 1920-30 Arsenal won the league with a record number of points.  But no, that would be a positive, and the BBC do not under any circumstances say anything positive about Arsenal.

Anyway, they are closer to the mark in pointing out that a defeat to Arsenal will relegate Big Sam West Brom, and mean that West Brom now share the record for number of PL relegations.  But let us be fair for the BBC did pick up on something I missed, “Sam Allardyce is winless in all 17 away matches as a manager versus Arsenal in all competitions (D4, L13).”  Nice one.

The Guardian offer up the team of


Chambers Holding Gabriel Tierney

Elneny Ceballos

Willian   Smith Rowe   Matinelli


Which I must say is not quite what I expected.  Is it saying to Eddie – last chance, prove you can do it?

But there is a dire shortage of predictions around. have “There is no data available at this time. Please check back soon” on Saturday night, which is odd given that they are showing the game on their rather squeaky TV channel.

The Standard however does venture forth and has


Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli;



SportsMole go with


Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Elneny;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe;



Sports Keeda give us a more matey approach by using first names as well as surnames…

Bernd Leno;

Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney;

Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey;

Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe;

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


And just one more: Who Scored give us

Bernd Leno;

Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney;

Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey;

Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe;

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


So there we are.  We ought to win hands down and relegated the rather large Sam and his team in the process.  But our home form has been pretty horrible in lock down, so one can’t really tell.

A win could take us up to eighth, depending on other results.  Mind you a quarter of the people voting on the WhoScored site suggest the result will be a 1-3 away win.

But whatever it is, let’s try and enjoy it.


8 Replies to “Arsenal v WBA: the team according to the various pundits”

  1. what i’d like to see (wushful thinking, i know):
    and if the job was done around the 60th minute, ushering in nketieh-balogun for laca-auba would be nice too
    i really don’t see the point in playing the loanees from now on … and emil/bukayo really could do with a rest, we’ll need them wednesday

  2. just checked the club site
    willian starts – reiss/folarin not even on the sheet
    i’ll keep my thoughts to myself

  3. A good performance from the team put out by Arteta. Same old PGMOL but despite the aweful bias our kids managed to score a couple before eventually conceeding one. Willian then scored from a free kick, his first for Arsenal in the Premier League.

    Big Sam was his usual self praising his contribution, criticising ours and not easily accepting that his methods are not the way to winning.

    There are lots of very good players that need to gel together to create a new Arsenal system of play. A good result taking us in the right direction is a good recovery from an unlucky Europa match.

  4. No comments on media about the clear penalty for the foul on Saka when it was 0-0.

  5. The defender got a touch of the ball so it is not a foul on an Arsenal player (Laws of the Game for Arsenal), it would be a penalty for Man United (even if they were not playing!!).

  6. The best thing of this season (and one has to give credit to Arteta for bringing them) was the fact that Saka and ESR got in the team and are now a vital part of the team. I would even say they are the most important players of the squad. If it wouldn’t have been for them we could have been in real trouble. The expensive and experienced players didn’t perform. Auba, Laca, Willian…. the loanees weren’t better than our own young kids. We must give them more chances next season. Give Willock, Balogun and of course ESR and Saka game time and build a new team on them.

  7. I see that former referee Keith Hackett has stated that Saka was clearly fouled and that it was surprising that referee did not give it and that MOTD ignored it.

    Arsenal players apparently didn’t appeal for it.

    My view is that Mr.Hackett is correct about the penalty, but should not be surprised at it being ignored. We know better from years of experience of how PGMOL operates, as, so it seems, do the Arsenal players

  8. The pathetic ‘players didn’t appeal for it’ is a real peach. Football should now have appeals and silly mid ons (referees) and ball guards!!

    Saka was fouled and the PGMOL instruction booklet says no foul.

    There is an issue in the game that is not going away and the media are blind to it – PGMOL is corrupt!

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