By Tony Attwood
Confirmed team: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Elneny, Lokonga, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Nketiah
But beware the kick off is shown on the Evening Standard Website as 5.30pm GMT, Sky Sports. That is quite wrong. It is 5.30pm BST. The UK is NOT on GMT at the moment. Don’t the Standard know anything at all?
As a teenager I did my secondary schooling in Poole, Dorset, having moved from north London to Broadstone, an area which is now a suburb of Poole, but which in those dim and distant days was not considered part of the conurbation.
My dad and I did get to London a few times each season to watch Arsenal but otherwise glimpses were few and far between as this was long before Southampton ventured into the 1st Division.
But on 26 October 1965 Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (known locally as Boscombe) played Arsenal in a testimonial and a little group of us who were interested in football went to the game – Arsenal’s first visit to the ground.
By the time the club had become AFC Bournemouth and had reached the Premier League I’d long since moved hither and thither but I can still remember where we sat for that 1965 game, although not what the score was. Arsenal came 14th in the league that season, with Billy Wright as manager.
Skip forward rather more years than I want to remember and the historic news is that if Arsenal start with the same team as the last two games this will be the first time we’ve had the same team in the starting lineup since 2003. Then it was
Lauren Cole Vieira Campbell
Toure Ljungberg Gilberto
Henry Wiltord Pires
Subs: Bergkamp, Edu
In that season the opening league games were
|16 Aug 2003||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-1|
|24 Aug 2003||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||W||0-4|
|27 Aug 2003||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||2-0|
|31 Aug 2003||Manchester City v Arsenal||W||1-2|
The league table read
And where are they now, these teams like Manchester United and Chelsea…?
Anyway, the bench is looking stronger and stronger and is now likely to include Fabio Vieira, Cedric Soares and Emile Smith-Rowe as well as the other usual suspects.
Chris Sutton writing for the BBC website says, “I still don’t think we should get carried away by what the Gunners are doing,” but he does predict a 0-2 victory for us, while reminding us that Arteta’s first game as manager at Arsenal was against Bournemouth.
However they also note that since the defeat to Boreham Wood, Bournemouth have been unbeaten at home…
|9 Feb 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Birmingham City||W||3-1||Championship|
|26 Feb 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City||W||2-1||Championship|
|08 Mar 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Peterborough United||D||1-1||Championship|
|12 Mar 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Derby County||W||2-0||Championship|
|15 Mar 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Reading||D||1-1||Championship|
|2 Apr 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Bristol City||W||3-2||Championship|
|15 Apr 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Middlesbrough||D||0-0||Championship|
|23 Apr 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Fulham||D||1-1||Championship|
|3 May 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest||W||1-0||Championship|
|7 May 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Millwall||W||1-0||Championship|
|6 Aug 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa||W||2-0||Premier League|
And here’s another good one from the BBC: Bournemouth “could keep four consecutive home clean sheets in the league for the first time since 2010, when they were playing in League Two.
And yet another one:
- The Gunners could keep a clean sheet in their opening two away league matches for the first time since 1993.
That snippet doesn’t really tell the whole story of that season however as this is what happened
|7 Aug 1993||Arsenal v Manchester United||L||1-1 (4-5)||FA Charity Shield|
|14 Aug 1993||Arsenal v Coventry City||L||0-3||Premier League|
|16 Aug 1993||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|21 Aug 1993||Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
A 0-3 opening home game against Coventry City wasn’t what was expected – although Coventry ultimately got their come uppance ending the season in 19th.
Anyway, here’s another: if Bukayo Saka scores he would be the second-youngest player to reach 100 Premier League appearances for Arsenal. Only Cesc Fabregas did it younger.
And so the team:
Not that he was likely to have been selected, but Reiss Nelson is unavailable with a hamstring, and Fabio Vieira who is fit, played for the under 21 on Wednesday, so is very unlikely to get a second game in a week after his injury although could be on the beach (appropriate as it is Bournemouth).
Which means probably that White plays at right back and Smith Rowe plays on the beach (not literally).
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;
And so says pretty much everyone. Sports Mole has Arsenal to win 1-2.
With this lineup Takehiro Tomiyasu remains on the bench meaning he could come on for White, or White could move into the centre and Tomiyasu could take over at full back if need be. The Hard Tackle goes for Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 3.
One other bit of news according to the Standard, “Arsenal rule out Marquinhos loan after impressing Mikel Arteta”.
A quick check through a range of other sites shows everyone going for this line up. So there we are.
- What the media doesn’t tell you, part 6. There’s a financial problem…
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal