Premier League debut mooted as defensive worries mount

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I tell you what, I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music this year. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of age, or that I feel disenchanted by the constant bickering between Kanye and Drake. Can’t you both just be friends?

Anyway, big up the classical music scene. Some absolute bangers from John Adams and Tchaikovsky pulling me through this post.

I know that it upsets people that I use references of the not-so-distant past to frame up where we are now, but look, for context, I’m the kind of guy who will make a beeline for a work colleague on a packed train, just to acknowledge that I have seen them… even if they are avoiding eye contact with headphones on. Simply put, I’m going to compare Wenger to Emery for at least another year, so get used to it.

Unai Emery showed exactly how different the mentality at the club is these days.

“I think we are doing our way and improving, but the reality is that we need more.

“Our ideas and work with the players is to learn together. All of us can give everybody new ideas.

“I think the players are open to listening to us about our new tactical work with our analysis in videos. We need to do this work quickly, but we also need patience.

If this had been 2 years ago, we’d be talking about winning the league and the big twitter accounts would be digging up tweets from 7 years ago gleefully proclaiming the victory was theirs!

Not anymore. Our manager is a pragmatist very much anchored to reality. We’re in 5th position, that’s not good enough, and even though we’re not losing, we could be doing better.

That’s a great attitude. That’s a message to players that complacency won’t be tolerated, nor will premature-back patting. We’ve achieved nothing this season and we’re still a long way off the levels City and Liverpool are bringing to the table.

This season is fierce, so many teams are on an absolute rampage. Spurs and City won again, Liverpool is likely to decapitate Jose Mourinho tomorrow when they host his shit-housing-extraordinaires. We have to keep up the pace, there’s no room for dropped points and that sort of pressure is hard to deal with.

It’s going to be very tough tomorrow against Southampton. You have a group of players who are under a new coach who is far smarter than Mark Hughes, so there’s an extra level of intrigue there. We also have a very old defence that is so worrying, you’d have to imagine even Southampton will fancy their chances. We could be rolling out with Hector, Lichtsteiner, Monreal and Koscielny. Two of those haven’t rocked a 90minutes in a while.

It’ll be very interesting to see how Emery deals with that. Do we sit slightly deeper to avoid counters, or do we just play the way we have been all season and try and drop them in the second half after going a goal down? I’d imagine there will be a tactical consideration here, because it does feel like we’re very exposed.

There are some rumours that are being fueled by Auba’s Instagram that suggest we could counter the age issue at the back by fielding Zech Medley. The U23 defender came into the side midweek and impressed in the second half. It’s risky, but these young players need game time if they’re to progress, and there’s no better way to know if a player can handle the pressure other than utilising them in an emergency.

Mesut Ozil will be back in contention for the game after a being out for a few weeks with back spasms, so we’ll see if the coach fancies him in the first team so soon… I’d imagine he’ll be benched and eased back into the first team. Aaron Ramsey is available again, which is great news. I do wonder if he’ll continue to be benched. We all want him to play, but it doesn’t make sense to get the fans used to his presence if we’re going to try and bin him in 3 weeks time.

There’s also the big NLD game that’ll be on the players minds. Spurs in the league cup on Wednesday is technically not as important as Southampton, but it’s huge one for the fans. How hard is Emery planning on going for that game? Is his priority #top4… or a trophy at any cost? So many decisions to be made!

Finally, just a few other items I wanted to check off.

People bringing Ashley Cole into the Sterling row are desperately revising history. He was an absolute darling of Arsenal football club until he betrayed Arsene Wenger in a shady backroom deal with Mourinho which he claimed was accidental. His book quotes were an abomination and a total embarrassment even for a mollycoddled footballer. Factor in the countless PR gaffs he brought on himself… like cheating on his wife with a hairdresser.

“We started having sex then he just rolled over and vomited on the floor all over the cream carpet, it was disgusting.”

“He had some mouthwash then jumped back into bed. We started having sex again but his mates piled into the room.”

For most men, that’s game over, so I have to give him credit for plowing on and being a solutions-oriented kind of guy… however, when you’re married to the most famous woman in Britain, you really can’t complain about bad press, especially when you sell your wedding to gossip magazines for a £1m.

Oh, he also shot an intern with an air rifle from 5 feet.

ALSO: Pavon and De Ligt being linked to Arsenal. Unrealistic, but damn exciting regardless!

Right, enjoy the game, I’ll see you in the comments.

P.S. I ran into an original Le Grove commenter in a New York laundry yesterday. The world is a small place when you’re a gooner!

970 Responses to “Premier League debut mooted as defensive worries mount”

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  1. Dissenter

    Auba is missing simple chances
    Bamford will say I’m being dishonest with that assertion because the defender made a good tackle.

  2. Dissenter

    The referee has been shite but we bailed him out earlier in the game because we chose to play with the advantage rather than put him on the spot.

  3. Dissenter

    Southampton are worst team we’ve played this season in the league.
    We have no business not getting all three points

  4. TR7

    Laca is such a good player, gets everyone involved in the play unlike PEA. Even Auba looks more threatening playing alongside him than playing alone.

  5. Bamford10

    Mkhitaryan shoots from outside the box and scores on a deflection. That’s one thing Ozil never gives us. Mkhi also made a deft little flicked pass on to Auba on that previous play.

  6. TheLegendaryDB10

    And we are still in the game! Come on Arsenal!! Now let’s stop chasing the score and score one.

    Iwobi should have scored there.

  7. Dissenter

    This referee is very poor
    What’s his name again…sorry don’t want to know because he’s a nonentity. He’s not biased, he’s just useless.

  8. Guns of Hackney


    Know what I mean though? He’s picking the ball up from the defence…on the wings, running about up front. He’s like a 4 year old.

  9. Bamford10


    Except that what you and TR7 miss is that with only Lacazettte on, we have no threat in behind. So everything we do is in front of the back four and rather toothless.

    The truth is that both Lacazette and Aubameyang are slightly incomplete strikers. Lacazette offers better linking and hold-up play than Aubameyang, but Aubameyang offers the length and pace that Lacazette lacks. This is why I have long said they should be deployed together, as complementary central strikers.

  10. Guns of Hackney

    Goddam this rebuild looks like it’s going to cost upwards of £500m.

    I’d say there are four players who would make it to my new squad…no more.

  11. DaleDaGooner

    Well Bamford, that’s what I mean, pointless leaving either one of them off when our best chance of scoring is both

  12. Leedsgunner

    Redmond is being made to look like Roberto Carlos, thanks to this shambolic defence.

    Honestly with our attack we should be well away with this…

  13. Guns of Hackney

    Lichtsteiner is a diving pussy.

    Ozil just handed his PS4 controller to Reiss Nelson…he’s on the last level of Fortnight.

  14. DaleDaGooner

    Iwobi off thank goodness, we can read about another “useless “ player here instead of Iwobi… Mhki still on, He’ll Share …….they’re hurting our defenders

  15. Dream10


    Agree on Mkhitaryan’s willingness to shoot. Good quality. Our only #10 that can shoot well from distance.

  16. useroz

    Why doesn’t Monreal move to LB and Xhara moves back to MF.

    So’ton got away for too long.

    C’mon. We have more than enough firepower to punish them.

  17. Samesong

    This playing out the back is so frustrating to watch it’s done at such a slow pace and then all of a sudden someone hoofs its to the opposition player.

  18. Guns of Hackney

    Why do the officials still check studs? Seriously! Back in whenever…Sunday league players did sharpen their studs but I hardly think pros would. Waste of time.

  19. Leedsgunner

    I want to see Özil step it up. A draw isn’t good enough we need to win this. A defence splitting assist would be suitable retort to his detractors.

  20. Dream10

    Emery’s got us playing like a midtable side. He was playing this way without injuries as well.

    No Ramsey on the pitch today at all?!?!
    I’m afraid Unai is not the right man for the job. Shame it had to end this way

  21. Marko

    I would honestly forego any thoughts on signing wingers or attacking midfielders until we sort out the CB issue. It’s quite incredible the amount of work that still needs to be done there

  22. useroz

    If Auba keeps missing big chances it’s a problem cos he couldn’t dribble, pass or do link up. Doesn’t do headers either.

  23. Dream10

    Good attempt at a through ball by Mesut.

    Fantastic save by both GKs I. The second half.

    Big call from Sian Massey to wave off Shane Long’s goal.

    Can see us conceding in the last 10

  24. Guns of Hackney

    Southampton are 19th.

    If Wenger was presiding over this…everyone would be losing their minds.

    This is poor.

  25. Paulinho

    Our back four have been awful on the ball.

    So much scope to bring the ball out from the back and they just pass it from a standing start.

  26. Dissenter

    When Torreira is writhing on the g=round and we play on…we are suggesting that he is feigning an injury, are we not?

  27. SUGA3

    With 5 more games to go in the next 15 days, this is going to be carnage.

    We should have someone already bought and training with the squad to be announced the moment TW opens.

  28. Bamford10

    I think that’s a mistake from Leno. It was a good ball, but you only come out for it if you’re going to get it.

  29. Marko

    Unbelievable. I can’t even blame Leno for going for it because Koscielny clearly wasn’t getting to yet another cross

  30. Cesc Appeal

    Ozil needlessly gives the ball away.

    Another fucking header.

    Horror day, just get back to London and hope we never find ourselves in this defensive situation again.