Brentford v Arsenal: the Arsenal team



By Bulldog Drummond

The story so far…

And so finally we come to the team for today’s match.

Football London offer us


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Sambi Lokonga, Xhaka, Odegaard;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

But then using a different one of their writers to make a prediction have


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard;

Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Apart from the exact detail of where Jesus will line up (which we know will change during the game if the manager feels that will improve what is going on) this line up is also given to us by the Evening Standard.

Then, obvioulsy having finally caught up with Untold Arsenal’s idea, lauched  three years ago, of giving different lineups from different people, they then put forward the same group of players but with the more conventional positions, primarily having Odegaard in the middle of midfield and Jesus in the centre of the attack.

Of course, it would be a shock if one of their writers replaced Ramsdale in goal but that doesn’t happen even when they get to a fourth prediction of


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard;

Martinelli, Saka,


These are tiny changes but they are ringing every ounce out of this and they carry on but really every variation has by this point been covered.

Indeed everything else is just variations on a theme, and Sports Mole does this by offering


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Lokonga;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


Sports Mole predict a score of 2-2,

Football Whispers doesn’t exactly tell us the score but does say, “We’re expecting goals in this game as both of these teams like to play forward-thinking football that can, at times, cost them defensively. Three of the pair’s last five meetings in league and cup have produced over 2.5 goals, and we’re backing at least three goals to be scored on Sunday.”

Sports Keeda go with 2-3 to Arsenal which is exactly the score that Sports Unfold go with.

So there we have it: a bit of a debate as to whether to play Tomiyasu, and another about Sambi Lokonga, and a bit of an idea of playing Jesus on the wing, but I rather think that is simply a semi-colon gone walkabout.

Arsenal as we know are no longer top of the league because of the sneaky way in which other teams have nipped in and played an extra game.  A win will take us back to the top, a draw will leave us in third.  An Arsenal draw, and a win from Brighton and Hove by more than one goal, will see us drop down to fourth, and every journalist who predicted the outcome for this season (ie Arsenal fifth or lower) will be sighing a deep sigh of relief.

A heavy defeat and a big win for Manchester United along with a solid win for Brighton and Hove will leave us outside the top four and that will really make every journalist who we covered in the summer predictions lark, smirking and buying an extra round down the pub.  And they certainly are gunning for Arsenal, if you will excuse the expression, since their lunatic predictions that Arsenal were about to be found in breach of FFP.  They’ve all gone rather quiet on that one.

Here’s that pesky table…  Bit of a shame about Leicester, all those years of being able to tackle with impunity, and having accumulated more penalties in their favour than any other team, and then, someone goes and points out what they are up to and the referees suddenly catch on.  Bit of a bugger that one.  But if you are following their demise you might like a look at this piece as well.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 7 5 2 0 23 6 17 17
2 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 2 0 18 7 11 17
3 Arsenal 6 5 0 1 14 7 7 15
4 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 4 1 1 11 5 6 13
5 Manchester United 6 4 0 2 8 8 0 12
6 Fulham 7 3 2 2 12 11 1 11
7 Chelsea 6 3 1 2 8 9 -1 10
8 Liverpool 6 2 3 1 15 6 9 9
9 Brentford 6 2 3 1 15 9 6 9
10 Newcastle United 7 1 5 1 8 7 1 8
11 Leeds United 6 2 2 2 10 10 0 8
12 AFC Bournemouth 7 2 2 3 6 19 -13 8
13 Southampton 7 2 1 4 7 11 -4 7
14 Aston Villa 7 2 1 4 6 10 -4 7
15 Crystal Palace 6 1 3 2 7 9 -2 6
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 1 3 3 3 7 -4 6
17 Everton 6 0 4 2 4 6 -2 4
18 West Ham United 6 1 1 4 3 8 -5 4
19 Nottingham Forest 7 1 1 5 6 17 -11 4
20 Leicester City 7 0 1 6 10 22 -12 1


Referees update

5 Replies to “Brentford v Arsenal: the Arsenal team”

  1. A perfect Sunday lunchtime. All of the outlets got the team wrong, we played brilliantly from start to finish and regain our place at the top of the league. We made a good Brentford squad look very ordinary, scored three great goals and set history by giving 15 year old midfielder Ethan Nwaneri a cameo appearance off the bench. His birth date 15 March 2007. He’s got school in the morning sang the jubilant arsenal supporters in the ground.

    Our goals got better as the gameprogressed, Saliba with a header fron a corner, Jesus an even better header from an exquisite Xhaka cross and Viera with a rocket from 20 yards. Great goals, great performance and a great looking league table.

  2. So Arsenal 9 fouls, 2 cards, Brentford 10 fouls zero card…..

    Ten after all Arsenal were defending for 90 minutes so this looks normal right ?!?!

  3. That was a very professional performance away at a decent opponent. The side never looked troubled. 3 well taken goals, a clean sheet, 3 points. Well done indeed!

  4. What a great performance and win that was, but was it really THAT much better than last years?

    I have said many times that the stick we received for last year’s performance at Brentford was totally over the top. Basically, I thought we played very well and I thought we deserved something out of the game. Instead, all we got was nothing but abuse, even from our own fans, and it really p****d me off.

    My argument was based on the fact that we totally dominated the game, having much more possession, and creating many more chances.

    After today’s performance I sat here thinking, yes that was brilliant, but as far as I could remember, it was no better than last year, all except in one crucial aspect. FINISHING !

    So to see if my suspicions were correct, I thought I’d compare the 2 matches’ statistically, just to see how similar they were. After all this is a statistic-based blog.

    As such it all gets a bit ‘statty’ now, so if you don’t like stats can I suggest you don’t read on.

    Anyway, this is how the 2 matches do compare, statistically:

    Stats run as team, season 21, season 22.


    Brentford: 35% to 36% = +1%
    Arsenal…: 65% to 64% = -1%

    Almost identical, which I thought.


    Brentford: 309 to 339 = + 30
    Arsenal…: 568 to 599 = + 31

    Again, almost identical difference, which I suspected.


    Brentford: 2 to 3 = +1
    Arsenal…: 5 to 3 = -2

    We had less this year than last, they had more. That may come as a surprise.

    So as I suspected, what those stats tell us is that we dominated the ball in both matches to an almost IDENTICAL degree. We didn’t dominate the ball any more today than we did last year.

    But more importantly of course is what we both did with the ball when we had it?

    Stats show last season then this.


    Brentford: 8 to 5 = -3 About a 40% drop from last season to this.
    Arsenal…: 22 to 13 = -9 About a 40% drop from last season to this.

    So, we BOTH actually had 40% less shots at goal this year than last year. Again, that may surprise some people.

    What this all says to me is that my suspicions were correct. In all aspects so far, both matches are almost identical. In fact, what differences there are favour last year, which suggests to me that we did indeed play pretty damn well last year, and it was nothing like the embarrassment it was painted out to be. The statistics suggest we were even more dynamic going forward last year than this?

    So, what WAS the difference between last year and this year?

    Possession? Nope, identical.

    Passing? Nope, identical.

    Shots? Not really, we had less this year than last.

    Even corners were less this year than last.

    Well, it had to be something. Last year we lost 2 – 0. This year we won 3 – 0.

    Of course, it was what I said earlier, FINISHING.

    Okay, there are a couple of other factors at play, such as Brentford’s finishing. Scoring 2 goals from just 8 shots, 3 on target, is very efficient and very unusual. And just plain bad luck, after all we did hit the woodwork at least twice, and their keeper did pull off some really great saves. On another day we could easily of scored at least a couple of goals, and nobody could of said we didn’t deserve to.

    But in the final analysis, bad finishing is what cost us the match last year.

    Now I know people will say it is goals that win games, and of course that is true, which is why, despite everything, I still, at the time, said well done to Brentford.

    But when it comes to properly analysing a ‘performance’ you have to look beyond just the goals.

    The reason behind me doing this is to show that our two performances, last year and this, are, as I suspected, almost identical in all but one thing, finishing.


    Last year we managed just 4 shots on target, from 22 attempts, for zero goals.

    This year we managed 7 shots on target, from just 13 attempts, for 3 goals.

  5. @ Nitram

    You say bad finishing did for us last season and I agree. The Beeb have again brought up how abysmal we were last year but fail to mention that neither Aubameyang or Lacazette were fit. Or that after this all teams were allowed to have games postponed if players had Covid.

    The media pathetic and spout what ever drivel suits their agenda. Truth and evidence does not play any part in their bullshit stories.

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