Arsenal vs Southampton – everything is a bit ‘meh’

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A bit of a nothing game against Southampton today. It’s at home, where we’re unbeaten in 22 games against them. They are also very deep in a relegation battle.

That said, Arsenal are having big problems focusing when games don’t matter. Burnley are right up our backsides again, with just 2 points in it (they have played one more games than us), so if we don’t want further humiliation, it’d make sense for us to try and create some daylight.

The Southampton story is an interesting one this year. They’ve relied heavily on their neverending supply of talented kids, along with their keen eye for scouting to see them through absolutely brutal summers. That strategy isn’t a long-term one, and this year, it initially seemed like they’d hired poorly, but now it just looks like they sold too many players and recruited badly. Puel went to Leicester and they’re having a solid season (despite losing to Newcastle yesterday), whilst the Saints flirt hard with relegation.

The game also carries a pointless milestone for us… if we win, it’d take our win total at the Emirates to 150. What a moment, bust me out a party popper and let’s celebrate with an expensive pint of Carlsberg.

Injury news is Mikki will not be making it, due to an injury on Thursday. Ospina wouldn’t be making it anyway, but he’s also injured. Southampton are missing Lemina, a player linked with us last year.

I’m hoping to see another rampaging Aaron Ramsey game. His season is looking like a fine one. As much as I love watching him devastate shite teams, I really think we should be looking to sell him in the summer at top whack. Replace him with someone who can maintain fitness all the time. I know that’s not a popular opinion, but I do think the fanbase are desperate to grab onto anything, and I’m just not quite sure I’m a believer.

No doubt in a smarter system, we’d get to see his true potential. If the Welshman has any sense, he’ll flee Arsenal if Wenger is offered a new deal. There is no excuse for wasting your prime years under the failing Frenchman, unless of course no one else will give you the money you want… then you’re not really in it for the right reasons. So whatever.

Right, that’s me done. Enjoy the game, we’ll be recording a podcast for your ears on Monday morning.

SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS.

336 Responses to “Arsenal vs Southampton – everything is a bit ‘meh’”

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  1. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Must say, I’m very disappointed that Southampton have declined so poorly. Would fery much like for them to stay up, but its not looking good going to the end for them. Well analyzed, Pedro.

  2. Mark S

    Good to see that Waldo stopped it before things got too crazy. DM’s record could have been in jeopardy.

  3. Mark S

    One thing that I’ve missed this season are Saturday kick-offs. I don’t remember the last time we had a 9am in the US/15:00 match? The Europa League run has been fun, however I miss watching Arsenal on Saturdays.

  4. MW

    I would think more of Aaron Ramsey as professional footballer if he a) has the brains to realize Granny Wenger is finished and b) the guts to act on this and move to a club where he can fulfill his potential. If he signs a contract and stays on easy street under Wenger for his whole career, that’s a real cowardly move. Kudos to Ox for jumping ship for the sake of his career. Good on him.

  5. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Thanks Boom!

    I was going to stop at 15 to be honest. Some records are not meant to be broken! LOL

  6. Frankie Coffeecakes

    @MW – I have a feeling that Ramsey is going to wait to see what happens at AFC in the next year to decide what his future looks like. I cant fathom many wanting to stick around if Wenger sticks around. Quite frankly, he’s a career killer and now has become box office poison.

  7. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Very sad day in Canada as a junior hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan was on its way by bus to a playoff game. The bus was hit from the side by a large truck and of the 29 passengers, 15 did not make it – ages of the youngsters were between 18 and 21. A tragic loss of young lives and a devastating blow to a tight knit community.

    As someone who grew up playing hockey and took many a team bus to games, this one hits home very hard. My sincerest prayers and hopes to the families, truly a sad day for many.

  8. MW

    @frankie

    100% agree. It says a lot about the ambition of the individual when they commit their peak years to Wenger when they could still force a move elsewhere. Baffled by Aubamayang and Ozil signing up for precisely this. Their priorities are obviously not to hit the big time. Just to pick up the paycheck, have fun at training and soak up the plaudits when they turn in a worldie performance against dross like CSKA. Ox scoring that screamer in CL knockout versus a Guardiola side says it all really. Surely someone like Ramsey looks at that and wants some of that too.

  9. Michael24

    MW

    Everything you’ve said about Ramsey/Ozil/Auba is correct.

    The Ox had that ambition but, more significantly, knew that if he stayed at Arsenal, he would stagnate.

    PS: All the players at AFC know that Wenger is finished!

  10. gonsterous

    Sanchez 2 assist and a pre assist against city. the only big game player we had. still mad at the mismanagement from wenger…

  11. ArseneisaFraud

    Michael24

    The Ox’s father, who is also his agent, has a lot do with the Ox leaving the club. I’ve got a hunch that the Wenger Out protests must have somewhst opened their eyes to what was going on at the club, among other things.

    The Ox’s goal is to emulate his father and be as (more) succesful than he was.

  12. mysticleaves

    left side

    Don’t see it too. Let’s hope his love for money, values and stability don’t curtail his career.

  13. mysticleaves

    Since Arsenal board don’t want to pull the trigger on Wenger they will have to make do with having to replace our better players every season or pay over the boards to keep the ones foolish enough to stay

  14. HillWood

    MW
    Good point
    Imagine if the entire squad slapped in transfer requests en mass. That would shock the board so hard they might even spill their brandy

  15. Marko

    Don’t see it too. Let’s hope his love for money, values and stability don’t curtail his career.

    Seriously? He absolutely signs on it’s his love of all things money and being unaccountable that means he stays. Being at Arsenal is the pinnacle for players like him and Wilshere they’re not going to go to even bigger clubs and play there. Best case scenario for either one of them is they stay here picking up a big wage with inconsistent performances throughout or they join teams like Newcastle or Everton

  16. Michael24

    Man City’s season has suddenly imploded.

    Can they turn it around against Liverpool on Tuesday? Possible, but based on their last two performances, unlikely.

    If Aguero/Sane/Silva/KDB are on fire and City’s defence is solid, they may be able to pull it off.

    Trouble is, Liverpool will score and if that happens, City would have to score five.

    Whatever happens, it’s going to be an interesting night at the Etihad.

  17. Marko

    I’m not sure it’s imploded. Liverpool are capable of beating anyone on their day and City are still going to win the title about 10 points ahead of second. Two trophies isn’t bad

  18. HighburyLegend

    “Man City’s season has suddenly imploded.”

    I would give anything to see again Arsenal explode like this one day.

  19. Samesong

    My kids team done an Arsenal today beat the top and second team in consecutive weeks and lose to a lower team.

  20. Dissenter

    Wenger; “’Sanchez was at the end of his contract, [Ramsey] has a year and four month left”

    This deceitful man won’t stop lying. Sanchez wasn’t always at the end of his contract. He purposely took it to the end to engage in brinksmanship. Wenger knows that yet he won’t stop making up stuff.

    Ramsey is playing the same game because we set a precedent with Ozil. Hismagents will be daft not to use the clock running out to strong-arm us.

  21. Wallace

    City have been playing brilliant attacking football for 8mths now. they’ll finish the season with close to 100pts. how can anyone say they’re imploding after one bad result, and another where they switched off trying to conserve energy for a more important game?

  22. UTarse

    “Seriously? He absolutely signs on it’s his love of all things money and being unaccountable that means he stays. Being at Arsenal is the pinnacle for players like him and Wilshere they’re not going to go to even bigger clubs and play there. Best case scenario for either one of them is they stay here picking up a big wage with inconsistent performances throughout or they join teams like Newcastle or Everton”

    Spot on Marko.

  23. Wallace

    mystic

    I’ve read a couple of articles laying into Pep since last Wednesday night. find it genuinely baffling. I can’t think of a PL winning side that has played at their level over such a long period of time.

  24. UTarse

    Quite hilarious reading the green eyed jealousy on BBC sport today…. all of a sudden guardiola is clueless and city have lost the plot ! Really ???!

  25. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Seems Stan’s Colorado Avalanche hockey team has made the NHL Playoffs. Looks like his Arsenal team appears to be his shittiest team right now. Who would have saw that one coming? Everyone!!!

  26. Rambo Ramsey

    Wallace, you Guardiola fanboys are ridiculous. Get it in your head, not everyone thinks the Sun shines out of his backside.

    Not everyone finds it impressive a coach winning the PL after buying a billion pound team.

    Not everyone agrees with the conferred title ‘Best coach in the whole wide Universe’ to a guy who has done nothing of note in the CL ever since he left Barca and Messi.

  27. Frankie Coffeecakes

    The list of managers that Arsenal has passed on over the last few years is actually as impressive as the list of quality footballers that Wenger has passed on over the years. The longer the board waits, the worse this will get, and for a longer term.

  28. Micheal

    Seven changes today – Nelson starts.

    Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Nelson, Welbeck, Iwobi, Aubameyang

    Subs: Macey, Lacazette, Wilshere, Ozil, Holding, Monreal, Nketiah.

  29. Dissenter

    Wenger obviously wants to give Southampton a leg up in their relegation fight.
    The team selection is damn wrong. The game is going to be difficult to watch.

  30. Dissenter

    It just shows how bad the squad has become. We are even light weight for the Europa league level.
    How does a Europa league team give out wages of 300-350k weekly?

  31. Wallace

    Rambo Ramsey

    “Not everyone finds it impressive a coach winning the PL after buying a billion pound team.”

    we’ve got probably the best collection of managers at the top teams the PL has ever seen and he’s f*ckin’ strolled it. they’ve smashed everyone.

  32. Frankie Coffeecakes

    We won’t of course mention the ridiculous wages being paid at Arsenal for their stellar performances, will we Rambo?

  33. UTarse

    Fuck a duck, barring nelson, this is one of the worst “midfield” selections I’ve seen in an Arsenal team…. for a Prem league match of course

  34. Bob N16

    Really pleased Reiss Nielsen given a chance in an attacking role, think he has a chance to impress.
    Iwobi gets so much stick…sure he needs to improve but always shows for the ball and combines really well. Would give me a lot of pleasure if he does well today. Certain people would say it’s only Southampton. Personally I have a lot of goodwill to players who come through our academy.
    Anyway, better head of to the game, nasty weather will be the excuse for thousands not turning up today!

  35. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Quite frankly I’m surprised that Wenger hasn’t trudged out Mertesacker to play. Oh yeah thats right, Merts too weak kneed to play any longer. FFS!

  36. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Thank goodness Arsenal aren’t playing Notts County with a lineup like this one. Might have lost by a goal instead!

  37. Marko

    Seems Stan’s Colorado Avalanche hockey team has made the NHL Playoffs. Looks like his Arsenal team appears to be his shittiest team right now. Who would have saw that one coming? Everyone!!!

    I’ll have to remind Alexander of this.

    Also I find it quite funny a Ramsey fanboy giving a Guardiola fanboy abuse.

  38. steve

    Wonder what Wengers excuse will be this time for the lack of attendance. The whole stadium should be empty though. Those who still attend are disgraceful.

  39. Marko

    Would have made sense to try laca and auba as front 2 today.

    And if Lacazette who just returned from injury picked up a knock what then

  40. Bamford10

    Iwobi is gash. A new manager would clear him out; Wenger would persist with him for another decade.

  41. Dissenter

    Cech isn’t covered in glory either.
    He should be communicating with his defenders as well. Mustafi should have handled it.

  42. Bamford10

    This XI has absolutely no idea what to do with the ball in the final third. Passing it around and around without purpose.

  43. Marko

    Shane Long is a pond scum striker bog standard completely shocking as a forward he’s scored one goal in his last 47 games and lo and behold against Arsene FC he gets a goal. Absolutely shocking defence and midfield and I’m afraid that one example is why Mustafi absolutely has to be binned in the summer. Fucking dogshite he is

  44. UTarse

    You honestly couldn’t make this shit up ! That goal was ALL on mustafi, you’re a defender, fucking defend you cunt.

  45. Dissenter

    Reiss Nelson is supposed to be a dribbler. Why doesn’t he ever try to beat his man. He’s been sucked into the lateral passing nonsense.

  46. Guns of Hackney

    The graveyard called…they want their corpses back!

    Fuck me…paint is watching Arsenal dry.

  47. Marko

    Keep in mind as well that Elneny and Xhaka are the midfielders today. A defensive shield if you will…I kid you not. Worst group of midfielders we’ve seen in 20 years none of them should be offered new deals.

  48. raptora

    In this sea of averageness a Ramsey takes the ball and tries a possitive play. A Sanchez does the same.

    The ones playing at the moment, prefer to move the ball to the left and then to the right. Then a back pass, then to the left, then a back pass again. We have to get rid of so many players holy shit…

  49. Guns of Hackney

    Arsene has literally cloned 10 David Batty’s. He was the side pass master.

    Iwobi is a dead eyed gizmoid.

  50. ArseneisaFraud

    Just walked into the pub to see that we are 1-0 down to Soton…. read up SSN to find out that apparently Mustafi and Bellerin were at fault. Not surprised at all that once again they were the prime suspects.

  51. Wenker-wanger

    Moscow could’ve and should’ve scored 4 last game. Southampton, a rubbish outfit have just scored.
    Wengers-arsenal are an unimpressive team, with a defense that’s badly organised and unassertive. Wenger hasn’t a clue about defending and unwilling to hand over specific defensive coaching to Steve bould.
    This selfish, arrogant horrible deluded wanker will not leave our club until he is sacked. Where is the dignity in that? He s clearly taking the club down, why not concede that in the best interests of the club, he should step down?
    It’s about him, not the club, the team and fans.

  52. Bamford10

    The players have absolutely no idea what to do with the ball in the final third, and no one in this XI is creative enough to open Southampton up himself.

  53. Marko

    Can’t blame Bellerin.

    I love it when the camera pans to the rested Arsenal players sitting in the stands. Barely staying awake.

    Auba on 27 goals for the season now

  54. Arsene's Nurse

    That’s better. When we try and play football rather than kicking it sideways all the time we get results.

  55. Marko

    Nice goal has to be said. Auba is good.

    Don’t tell TR7 that he still thinks he’s shit and Lacazette is better. Lacazette prior to his injury and his last two games had 8 goals in the season so 8 in his first 4/5 months. Auba has 6 league goals since joining in January

  56. Marko

    Like I personally have seen enough from Laca and Auba to suggest the next manager won’t be walking into such a doom and gloom situation. Massive rebuilding job in defence and midfield for sure but there’s enough in the striking department to be confident going forward with. Just a new manager away from addressing these issues

  57. Arsene's Nurse

    Has Welbeck ever scored a clean goal? He always gets deflections other than tap ins or miss-kicks the ball. I’ve never seen him strike the ball cleanly and it hit the back of the net without hitting someone else.

  58. mysticleaves

    “Not everyone finds it impressive a coach winning the PL after buying a billion pound team.”

    One, it’s fucking stupid to think a manager should earn his strides by working with someone else’s team.

    Two, honest question, in a market where an average footballer costs 30-40m how do you not spend hundreds of millions if you want to build a squad?

  59. Bamford10

    Not a bad little run from Welbeck, but I don’t think that shot was doing anything without the deflection. A bit lucky there for Welbeck.

  60. Dissenter

    Southampton can just re-register as Liverpool’s feeder team from next season when they are playing in the championship.
    That will solve any conflict of interest.

  61. raptora

    Cedric Soares is a player I had high hopes for especially after a very strong Euro 16. He hasn’t make much with the talent he has, especially this season. Still better than Bellerin.

  62. Zfree

    Do we think Mustafi could be a good player with a defensively well-drilled side, under different management? Or is he just shit

  63. Marko

    At some point you have to come to terms that Mustafi like Xhaka is shit sure under a different manager and set up it’d stand to reason they’d be less shit cause they’d be playing with proper instructions and better players but Wenger gets a lot of justifiable criticism but he can’t be blamed for some of the basic errors leading to goals and mistakes that both players have in them

  64. Marko

    Guess it’s kinda irrelevant, at most we are only buying one CB.

    If Wenger is still here then probably and it’ll be underwhelming. If a new manager comes in he’ll want to be successful and get the fans excited with signings