RC LENS – MATCH DAY BLOG

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Did I start a conspiracy theory about the Saka injury – promoting the idea that Mikel Arteta was in cahoots with Saka about his problem in a bid to throw Pep G off the selection trail for the weekend? I did. Unfortunately, my next-level galaxy brain thinking was incorrect… but the outcome was the same. Bukayo is READY and not injured. Is there a player in the league better at taking himself off before a breakdown? I don’t think so.

The bigger story here is that Bukayo has had injury scares twice in the past two weeks. He needs a rest. I’d really love him to fake an injury when we’re 3-0 up against City this weekend so he doesn’t have to go away on another international break.

Our second jaunt in the Champions League is upon us. RC Lens at Estadio Bollaert-Delelis should be an interesting test of Arteta and the players. My suspicion is the manager is prioritizing qualification for the next round as fast as possible so he can rest in the latter games. That means we’ll likely roll with a big starting 11 this evening. The manager COULD rest a key player or two but he can’t afford a slip before the biggest game of 2023.

My hope is we can get ahead in the game nice and early, kill Lens momentum, then sub key names out late on.

If Martinelli and Thomas Partey are to play a role on Sunday, you’d imagine they have to be on the flight out there and that they have to have some minutes. No player is equipped to start against City cold. A few late laps around the track in France could be enough.

Lens is a possession-based team, it’s slow build-up from the back, and they lean on springing fullbacks into action. Their model was very successful last season, putting them within spitting distance of PSG at the end of the season (1 point difference).

It’s been harder for them this season. They lost key players. Their game has been disrupted and they started poorly. This makes them perfect for Arsenal, we love gifting a coach a boost, so we’ll have to be sharp.

The most important thing tonight is to avoid anything terrible happening before Manchester City. I don’t even mind an away day draw as long as we don’t have an injury pile-up.

City play away in Germany against a RB ‘we don’t want the ball’ Leipzig. City are obviously better, but Leipzig will want to avenge an awful result in the Champions League earlier in the season. The Germans are in fine form, City are in a crisis by their standards, it’ll be interesting to see how Pep approaches the game.

Come join us right after the game… big love x

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Logie Bear

First- are we still doing this?!

Davey

2nd

Davey

3rd

Davey

4

Curse

yay euro squad

TheBayingMob

Saka gets another beasting!! Let’s just keep going until he is fully broken shall we?

Ernest Reed

Saka breaking down is a very real probability. Arteta supposedly knows best, but when Saka does indeed hit the infirmary, it can’t come as any surprise if one says aloud, “Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming”.

Arteta’s man-management policy is intertwined with the inane belief that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Flirting with disaster runs hand in hand with stubbornness, ridiculously so.

Savage

We spent years dreaming of being in the Champions League. It’s such a pity our first two games were just before massive domestic games.

We need to remind ourselves how desperate we were to be here.

Markymark

Cmon Arsenal!

TheLegendaryDB10

Team.line-up for tonight:

22 D Raya
18 T Tomiyasu
2 W Saliba
6 G dos Santos Magalhães
35 O Zinchenko
8 M Ødegaard (c)
41 D Rice
29 K Havertz
7 B Saka
9 G Jesus
19 L Trossard

Samesong

Saka isn’t just playing a half he will play probably the 60-70 mins.

Time to offer the option of ‘throwing in the towel’ to challenge a VAR decision. The manager has to make that call or be given the opportunity to do so.

TheLegendaryDB10

Interesting to see that Benny Blanco is on the bench.

I think he definitely needed a rest.

I hope Kai actually repays the love that the team and away fans have shown him by scoring a goal from open play.

And not surprised to see Jesus leading the line which should help us cause havoc and score as many goals as we can (🫰) so that we can rotate with Cheatty at the back of our minds around the 70th min (pleaaaaase Arteta!! 😀).

TT

anyone have a link to a live stream where you dont have to register?

MidwestGun

Getting prepared.. watching the end of Berlin match. .. Germans sure know how to make a God awful racket. And they get done at the last second by Braga.. chaos ensues.

Anyhow.. Strong lineup.. need strong results, tonight. Let’s do this.

TheLegendaryDB10

TT

I go via the website footybite.to.

No registering required. But quick fingers are required to close all the spam pop up windows.

Matt

Saka starting again. Sometimes you get the feeling that Arteta wants to do the opposite of what everyone thinks he should do. Just why risk it with city coming up??

TheBayingMob

“Time to offer the option of ‘throwing in the towel’ to challenge a VAR decision. The manager has to make that call or be given the opportunity to do so.” This as worked out elsewhere; # of reviews in cricket, challenges in the NFL but in both those cases there are consequences for getting the challenge wrong (in cricket there are a set number of reviews, you lose a review if the decision is upheld, you get to retain if the challenge was proved correct; in the NFL the team loses a timeout for a lost challenge). There is a… Read more »

allezkev

Partey on the bench

allezkev

Timber apparently walking without crutches (Sept 19th)

TheBayingMob

“Timber apparently walking without crutches (Sept 19th)”

That’s great news

Ozy

Really strong squad with City on the horizon but it’s still early in the season – if these players are running out of steam this early in the season, we won’t be able to mount a title challenge anyways.

Now let’s all pray Saka doesn’t get injured.

Habesha Gooner

Saka starting wasn’t needed imo. We could have kept him on the bench by starting Riess. Are this team any harder to play against than Brentford, I didn’t think so. If things went wrong, we could have brought him on if we needed him. Arteta still has a hard time trusting his squad players. I hope we win and no injuries too.

karim

Lens 1
Arsenal 2

MidwestGun

Here they come… The Chaaaaampions!

TheLegendaryDB10

That would be great news indeed if Timber can come back sooner than planned.

His return before the end of the season could prove beneficial!!

allezkev

RC Lens have a great, very British stadium and the locals create a great atmosphere.

salparadisenyc

Epic scene in Lens… here we go!

MidwestGun

Ya stadium is nice. Hopefully we make them all go home sad.

rollen

COYG!

rollen

3 1 to the good guys.

TheLegendaryDB10

Come on The Arsenal!!!

Spanishdave

Why are we playing in green on a green pitch!
What’s wrong with our normal colours?

TheLegendaryDB10

The atmosphere at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis is amazing!!!

Leftside

Come on Arsenal!! Great atmosphere

Left Testicle

Jeez, this woman pundit.

MidwestGun

Looks like going to be a pretty open match.. would have been a good one for Marti with his pace. Anyhow…. is what it is. Couple close calls, already.

allezkev

They like a cross into the box

MidwestGun

Just once I wish Havertz would drop a shoulder and drive at his man.

Left Testicle

Havertz always seems to opt for the safe option over the decisive option.

karim

Yo

Useroz

Jesus

1

LoveSausage

Get in!

salparadisenyc

Clinical from Jesus, love it.

MidwestGun

Left.. ya .. the thing is .. I think he is good enough to do it.

JESUS!!!!! Get in you beauty!

Aaron

Solid finish..

Useroz

1st shot
1st on target
1sr goal
💪💪

Dissenter

Clinical finish from Jesus
Wish he had that finish in the NLD

Samesong

Great finish

LoveSausage

Not a great start from us but being clinical when opponents gift you the ball alleviates most issues.

allezkev

Easy peasy, just strangle the life out of the game.

Our game is evolving, especially away from home

Left Testicle

One more then 5 subs. 😁

salparadisenyc

Move on Dissenter, no need to look back.

Habesha Gooner

Fantastic finish.

Samesong

Saka assist

Left Testicle

Mid,
Agreed.

Josip Skoblar

RC Lens have the best supporters in France. I am yet to meet a football supporter in France who does not like RCL. It is unique in the football world. Lens is located in a former mining area. Its population is working-class and very passionate about football.

Spanishdave

Nice finish

MidwestGun

Now to avoid the post goal letup… need to break that trend.

Gommit

Loved the commentary on TNT “that is the perfect time to score a goal..” still waiting to hear when it is a terrible time to score a goal…

Josip Skoblar

Good start from our boys! COYG!

Aaron

Liking my fav cb pairing
Saliba and Gabriel
Power on..

rollen

Nice goal Jesus

LoveSausage

Josip,

I wasn’t very familiar with RCL but they’ve made some impressive noise so far.

rollen

Funny how it doesn’t feel like the ref is against us for some reason.

LoveSausage

Not a bad attempt from Kai. More of that please.

MidwestGun

Yep.. I always like the big flag sections down low too.. Gives it a little visual excitement.

Wouldn’t want to sit behind it… though.

Hey … was that a decent shot by Havertz? So it can happen.

Aaron

Kai comes close w a volley

Aaron

Crowd in big voice

Useroz

Ffs
1
1

LoveSausage

Raya fuckup. Awful pass to Tomi.

Leftside

Great equaliser from them, annoying

Spanishdave

Too easy usual low concentration level

Left Testicle

Wonder if Ramsdale is clapping that one?

Dissenter

There goes the Raya advantage
Ramsdale couldn’t have done that any worse

duvee

Talk of Karl Hein coming in as no. 1

TheBayingMob

Mistake, 1/2 chance, goal …

Maybe it wasn’t all Ramsdale’s fault after all …

MidwestGun

Damn… broke under the pressing.

Ozy

Raya at fault there?

Aaron

Raya w crap pass damn…..

karim

Brilliant goal Thomasson, he was at fault for our goal earlier.

Benjamin

Raya at fault!

Useroz

Ode should shoot a minute or 2 earlier

Habesha Gooner

A big mistake from Raya.

salparadisenyc

What a finish Raya punished for that pass.

TheBayingMob

We should still wrap this one up we’ve been all over them … but that secures Saka on to the 110th minute

Mr Serge

That was a good goal off our mistake

LoveSausage

He had Teo better pass options but he went for the Hollywood pass…

Habesha Gooner

You have to expect mistakes when you play that way though.

MidwestGun

Raya was at fault but we had time to recover.. TT has to fight harder than that.. as well.

GD4

Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot.
Just too much smh.
Come on Raya be better

LoveSausage

*two

Madhu

Rayas mistake

psuedo warrior

Why would you hit a pass off ground to a defender when you are so far away from your goal? Bizarre moment from Raya

Berg10kamp

Think rambo would have saved that, tipped onto the bar. Rayas height and reach may cost us such goals.

Leftside

Always playing out from the back is foolish, it’s not always on, but come on Arsenal

Spanishdave

Need to tighten up Saka quiet

rollen

This one is on Raya. Good shot .

MidwestGun

Trossard not having his best half. Needs to go into boss mode.

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