Leeds v Arsenal. The Arsenal team, bloggers’ warnings,

By Bulldog Drummond


Arsenal without ‘wonderful’ key player v Leeds today, fans should be concerned – TBR tells us.  That is because Auba is missing – in case you did not notice.  And why does that website think it can tell people what emotions they should and should not have?  That is rather “1984” and not at all welcome.

It’s a dilemma’ – Man City tipped to sign Arsenal’s £7m man to replace suspended player Vital Football – so says Vital Football – assuming that Man City can simply turn up and take any player they want.

Manchester City are quite open about that however saying they suspended Benjamin Mendy in August pending a police investigation over rape and sexual assault, resulting in the 27-year-old being remanded in custody ahead of a January trial.

Kevin Campbell however believes City will demand to sign £7m man Nuno Tavares. The implication is that Arsenal will crumble to any demand Man C make.

In further negative news, Arteta mustn’t let Aubameyang turn into another Ozil farce says Just Arsenal and Team Talk just cannot accept that things might be going ok for Arsenal as they go with ‘I’d drop him off myself’; Merson tears into Arsenal over repeated mistake   (It’s just a rehash of the Auba tale, so I wouldn’t recommend wasting time reading it, but the link is there if you want it.)

Leeds Live have kindly offered an Arsenal line up…

Aaron Ramsdale;

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney;

Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka;

Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe;

Alexandre Lacazette

HITC however feel that Smith Rowe won’t be playing and give us

Aaron Ramsdale;

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney;

Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka;

Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli

Alexandre Lacazette

The Guardian goes with Smith Rowe and so have the same team as Leeds Live.  They do also helpfully tell us that the referee, Andre Marriner has been rather trigger happy this season dishing out 40 yellow and two red cards in nine games – making it 4.89 cards per game.

It is interesting because that bit of information is pretty useless unless it is combined with comparative data on other referees – but that of course they will not (and quite possibly under PGMO rules cannot) publish.

Despite the fact that they are covering the game Sky Sprouts don’t deign to give us a team prediction, but they do tell us that “If Arsenal can start transferring their home form to their away days then a top-four finish just might be within their capabilities. That is easier said than done though for a team who lack experience and clearly relish playing with the home comforts at The Emirates.”

They then go onto predict a goalless draw – so hardly worth bothering to turn on Sky to watch it, is it?

The Standard goes with what we are of course seeing as the obvious team selection – the same as against WHAM but with a debate over Martinelli or Smith Rowe.  The Standard goes with Martinelli, which based on their previous predictions mean it will be Smith Rowe.

The Hard Tackle apparently has a team selection up, but each time I go onto the page I am told about them valuing my privacy, but despite my clicking on ok, won’t let me in.  Maybe the Untold office is now banned.

Sports Mole go with Smith Rowe and suggest a 1-1 draw.

However with the BBC’s preview, we do finally find another site willing to give us a win.  1-2 to the Arsenal they say and a major reason for this is that “Leeds will be feeling low after they were hammered by Manchester City on Tuesday, and injuries have taken their toll on Marcelo Bielsa’s side.”

And as ever the BBC have a few trifles that make good reading ahead of the game.  Such as “Leeds have not scored more than once at home to the Gunners in 13 attempts since a 2-1 league win on 18 December 1993.”   But they do also note that Leeds are unbeaten in their last five home games.

Plus here is an interesting fact that I had not noticed at all.

  • Nine victories from 19 away league fixtures in 2021 is Arsenal’s best tally in a calendar year since 2015, when they won 12 times on the road.

Of course much of that is due to the terrific form we had after Christmas Day a year ago, but there is also a statistical quirk here.  Last season started late, and so by 31 December 2020 we had played 16 games instead of the normal 19 to 21.  Thus instead of being over half way through the season by the end of the year we were only just over a third of the way through.  

This is the sort of stat that makes people say “you can prove anything with statistics” when really they ought to be saying, “just take a look and make sure the statistic makes sense.”   It doesn’t take long, and some of these silly people do like to ignore the quirks.

Anway, it’s on Sky, unless someone goes down with a pre-match covid test, and I am rather hoping a) they won’t and b) Arsenal win.

Arsenal v Leeds: Seven amazing videos




17 Replies to “Leeds v Arsenal. The Arsenal team, bloggers’ warnings,”

  1. Ramsdale
    Tierney, Gabriel, White, Tomi
    Xhaka, Pertey
    Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka

    Subs – Leno, Holding, Soares, Tavares, Chambers, Smith-Rowe, Pepe, Nketiah Elneny


  2. 15 shots.

    11 on target.

    3 goals.

    Could of been more.

    Never usually get 2 halves the same but if we keep up the tempo should still add 1 or 2 more. It would be Great if Martinelli could get his hat rick

  3. I could get used to us playing like this – long may it last!

    11 shots on target in the first half an OPTA record

  4. @goonersince1972

    exactly my word

    the kids are alright !

    We are going to have fun watching them become what looks to be a damn good team that will grow together

  5. I don’t know what you think about refereeing…I’m getting the feeling that apart from Dean the ‘utter-total-arsenal-hating-incompetent’, most others have kind if taken the foot off and are doing a less awful job. The fouls/cards stats are not like they once were. I see calls that could have gone against Arsenal not be called like that. Xhaka getting booked for time wasting…I mean… he could have gotten booked before that – and in the past would have been.

    Maybe Untold is being read….

  6. @Chris

    My thoughts exactly. I thought Marriner was a bit biased today….in our favour. Extraordinary!!

  7. I think it’s because the media, and to a degree fans in general, have really taken to our youngsters.

    It started with the wave of sympathy towards Saka after he and others were racially abused playing for England.

    I have had fans of other clubs saying really nice things about these young stars, and how we play in general.

    But I have always said the referees behavior follows the media’s judgments, likes, and dislikes. The media are being more balanced and less scathing of everything we do, and the referees are following suit. It is no coincidence.

    Giving us the benefit is not getting them the abuse it did until recently, so they feel comfortable giving us the benefit of the doubt.

    The media also have an effect on fans, especially our own as we have witnessed over the years.

    As I have said many times, the constant abuse of all things Arsenal is insidious, and no matter how factually inaccurate something may be, if it is repeated often enough it becomes fact.

    Lets hope this slight, though important and influential change of attitude is here to stay.

    And lets not forget, we didn’t really get given a lot today. mariner was just unusually even handed.

    Okay Xhaka could of been booked for that follow through, and maybe a year ago he would even have seen red, but that would of been very harsh. But it WAS 50/50 and that makes 2 big 50/50’s that have gone our way in 2 matches.

    And if he had been on a yellow would he of dallied over that free kick that got him his yellow? I doubt it.

    And lets not forget the Leeds player was very lucky not to see red for that foul on Tomi.

    But, yes we do seem finally to be getting a fairer shake.

  8. After the Everton game, I left a comment on UA whereby I said that I had not been entertained by watching Arsenal these last 3/4 years compared to watching Wenger teams. I am now eating a little humble pie methinks. Whilst watching the last three games, luckily via streaming, the performance of this young team has been quite extraordinary in terms of the high standard of football played and the amazing quality of the goals scored. May I take this opportunity to apologise to other Untold Arsenal contributors who have never doubted the quality that the team could and has produced. Indeed, I have been critical of the coaching staff tactics but must now complement the said coaching that the team has taken on board to play in such a positive and entertaining way. Arsenal may not yet be of the standard shown by Manchester City and Liverpool but in two years under the stewardship of Mr Arteta, Arsenal has secured an FA Cup and Community shield trophy as well as now occupying 4th place (which we are told is not a trophy) now. Who knows where the team will finish at the end of the season but for me, if the team can continue to perform on the field in a similar way to their most recent endeavours, then I shall be more than happy with the entertainment value from this club.
    Whilst I am still eating humble pie, may I further congratulate UA on the standard of the articles that highlight areas of football corruption outside of the immediate Arsenal domain but which will and do impinge on our love of football. Despite many other blog sites ignoring such important issues, UA tries to address those issues that other sites ignore. Well done!

    As you all might perceive, I have been quietly and happily entertained these last few games, even despite the onset of the omicron Covid variant. Stay safe and well to all!

  9. Xhaka only caught the
    Leeds player’s foot with a follow through. Possibly a yellow. Still a lot of media outrage.

    It hardly compares with the Everton player deliberate stamp on Tomi’s face, which seems to have been forgotten.

  10. I wonder why the BBC shorten MOTD by 50 minutes instead of showing more of game against Leeds ?

  11. @AKH,

    anyone can make errors. No issue.
    recognising them is much rarer, the more so in public.
    This team, manager, organisation needs all the support it can get, and is visibly on a re-conquest, one fan by one fan.
    Good to know

  12. @John L,

    exactly what I saw. The Leeds player a few minutes before did not get to th ball and had no chance in getting it.
    As I wrote, maybe the general animosity is slowly decreasing, as rightly (IMHO)commented by Nitram because of the good will of the young UK players and the fun and happiness they and their teammates are showing on the pitch.

    And, for a football lover like me, the Wengerball moment we are starting to see in every game. Arteta has taken some stuff from Guardiola, this is visible, but he is no copycat.

    And thanks to Tony for pointing out the strategy with tackles and lately the one with corners. it definitely has an effect. And is a low-cost way to avoid risky situations.

    The end result is Arsenal playing an evolved Arsenal style, not copy-pasting anything fashionable.

    I hope they have some more youngsters waiting in the academy to come of age in a few years time.

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