Pre Match… Watford v Arsenal

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It may be perverse but I find myself actually looking forward to the return to the starting eleven of Olivier Giroud for today’s away game at Watford.  It’s no secret that I, along with many others, have been calling for Wenger to buy a new striker if not to replace our French ace at least to play alongside him, or off him.

As the transfer window moves into it’s final few days the likelihood of Wenger obtaining the signature of a truly top class striker appears ever more remote. The closer we get to deadline day the more the price of those few forwards still on our manager’s wish list increase.  Lazacette has moved from €40 million to €60 million, meanwhile even Manchester City’s unwanted  striker Wilfried Bony is beginning to look attractive.

At least with the return of Giroud, Alexis can be excused duty up front, an experiment noticeable only for it’s abject failure, and can revert to his old position on the left.  Which will leave Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain to fight it out for the right wing spot.

Arsene Wenger has a predilection for attempting to cram square pegs into round holes, often it seems, in order to get his favoured players onto the pitch.  Ramsey on the right for instance or, in order to enhance the attacking options, Cazorla and Ozil together at the expense of a defensive midfielder.

Because of Holding’s lack of Premiership experience, and a bit of a doubt as to Koscielny’s fitness, I believe Wenger will go with two defensive midfielders playing in front of the back four.  If that is the case I can see our starting line-up looking something like…

Petr Cech





I think that with the players we have available at the moment this is our strongest line-up.

Up front, it gives us pace on the right with trickery and energy on the left.  A target man in the middle for Ozil to hit high passes to and a player on either wing for him to thread balls to along the ground.

Elneny has shown that he is ever ready to join in the attacks with long range pot-shots, while Xhaka drops back to cover for the counter-attack.

I’ve chosen Walcott in preference to the Ox as I think he gives the ball away a bit too often.  The one doubt that I have is Ozil over Cazorla, he’s a great player but I don’t think we get the best out of him in away games and Santi offers a bit more defensively but with two defensive midfielders we have that covered.

In writing this pre-match I’m assuming we don’t sign, and have ready to play, the new striker and centre back we all crave and the squad desperately need.

My prediction?  I’m not going to stick my neck out.  I just hope it’s a good game, the players do their best and the away support get behind them and have no call to start booing either the team or the manager.

Written by Norfolk Gooner


34 thoughts on “Pre Match… Watford v Arsenal

  1. Bonjour Soixante-Neuf, I wish I hadn’t watched the first two.

    Despite the optimism shown by Wenger (99.9%), we still haven’t signed either Mustafi or Perez.

    According to the manager, Giroud is “a little fraction behind physically” but as Akpom, his only cover at centre forward, played for the under 23s last night I can’t see any option but to start with the Frenchman.

    It’s another lovely day here in Norfolk, England are playing Pakistan in the second one day international, there’s qualifying for the Belgium Grand Prix, the rugby league Challenge Cup and the Vuelta a Espania, what a great day for the armchair sports fan

  2. Bonjour Norfolk

    For a change here in the South of France, it’s cooler than the rest of the country…. this morning it’s a nice fresh 23°c ha ha and shouldn’t go above 33°

  3. Morning guys
    I suppose if were are progressing a win is due, but that remains to be seen, hopeful though.

  4. Morning all, nice one Norfolk.

    Now of course like usual we are the last ones to know if we have new players or not, so the boo’s will still be heard whether we win or lose. Lets face it, nothing has changed. Now not that it will make any difference to Arsene Wenger, he will still take his place and have his armour in place.

    Ordinarily i would expect a win in games like this, but with the support the players receive, anything could happen. I have to say that had i been an Arsenal player i wouldn’t really be looking forward to represent my club, but being away, it should start with a few cheers from the old reliable guard.

    As with most things it doesn’t take very long, to expect your own fans backing. but with the Arsenal support, they certainly wont expect much. Now this is our third premier league match and we only have 1 point, some clubs have maximum points so even should we do well, we are still up there for abuse, and at the end of the day, even second would give the same result.

    Of course even if we had signed 3 top of the range players, the season may have started the same, who can tell but one thing that i know for sure is that anything our Manager does will be received by many as not enough, as they want him gone, and although i am a huge supporter of his, i feel that he needs to leave for his own sake.

    Arsene Wenger has done his bit. and supporters have been showing their feelings for a few seasons, they need a new Manager. Hopefully the new man will get Kroenke to spend loads of his own money and that should appease the support a bit, but should the new man have a sticky start, at least the support will give him a few seasons to bed in if not we can change again as that is the modern way.

    Now of course The Arsenal don’t receive to much of my money anyway, so why should i care, Arsene will not have to wait long before he gets another offer certainly no longer than Mourinho waited should he still want to manage, but i would expect him to still be involved in football in some way unless he takes Rednoses advice and forget the pressure and start spending his own vast wealth the supporters have always begrudged him, that would be myadvice. as it breaks my heart to see a man who has done so much to be treated like this.

    I like to think we will win today and i believe we will start to climb the league. it wouldn’t surprise me that we will end the league in what looks like a traditional position i would say with the support we receive we will not win any trophies but Wengers contract will run out and he can leave with a record intact.. Lets get this season over and maybe i will just fish, and enjoy my retirement.. 2.1 to Arsenal .

  5. Come on Steve, you know you’ll never quit on Arsenal, you’re like me, we’ve both been around long enough to have seen worse times than this and we stuck with the club. Crap players and crap managers maybe, but I’ve never witnessed this level of discontent before. Of course the internet and blogging makes expressing your feelings much, much easier but the crowd dissent is becoming more and more serious and harder for the board to ignore.

    But let’s put all that to one side for today and just enjoy the game.

  6. Hiya Norfolk me old mate, thanks for the post mate mine stuck in the throats of a few and probably better for it to be history.

    Norfolk, I worked for a big company for 22 years, they were a massive name and respected in this country what we made was top knotch and every one of us was top tradesmen. Of course the government wanted to cut everybodies wages they wanted to invest the countries money in foreign companies that were paid lower wages, what we built was inspected four or five times before they let it leave the site, and finally we were to expensive as our product went out with the old British Kite Mark.

    Now they closed the site a site that employed over two thousand people when i joined but when i left we were under two hundred. Now the company wanted us gone with no trouble and because it was a big named company they bent over double to make the break as smooth as possible. Many tradesmen had been there for years many had done apprenticeships and were top notch so they all had a very good redundancy package, so good in fact that the company employed financial advisers to help us with our package.

    Now i left there and never needed to work for 3 years and i lived life very comfortable until my package dwindled, but the product we made went abroad and the quality was absolute shit, the inspection went out the window, but they still turned out a cheaper product and made huge profits.

    Of course the lads who all worked there either found the same kind of work, or did something completely different., Many of the older guys retired early, as they had no chance of work. The country lost Many top tradesmen, but they didn’t care, as they was earning plenty abroad.

    The reason i am saying this is because of the change in sport and the amount of money that is in the game now, the rules change and so does the support, what has always been very good, is now not good enough, and nothing has changed at Arsenal for twenty years, the odd trophy and the odd bit of history making, but for many it is never enough.

    For me Norfolk Wenger has the old British Kite mark, but for others they want us to invest abroad thats their view, but i am not a big supporter, so fishing will do me well after Wenger goes, Yes i will follow the Gunners thats born in but lose Wenger and it will feel like i have left the company that i thought would be a job for life, but as we know mate , nothing lasts forever..

  7. Steve
    A lovely story to read, but sometimes our product isn’t inspected 3 times before it goes out. He has his favourites that get shoehorned into the team regardless…just saying.
    For all those top 4 finishes, wouldn’t it have been better for the fans to have won a league or 2 in the last 12 years. FA cups are fine and welcome, but everyone wants the league….this is of course not necessarily a club objective.
    I know you will differ, but with fan discontent seemingly increasing both home and away and 1 point in 6, change is needed, whether a new guy will succeed is another question altogether.

  8. Poig as always mate you do talk sense, i understand what you say mate, i am not blinkered. Yes time comes for all things to change, i am not altogether against change in fact with how the support is i feel it is time for Wenger to retire.

    Arsenal supporters need to feel what its like in the real world, top four has been like a cushion for many of course we all want to be top but there is only one top in a field of nineteen, And if thats what the support will only accept, then it is time for Wenger to go. Top four is only 3 places away from top, and a new man should be able to achieve that very soon. i look forward to seeing that Poig, But remember there is a lot of positions below that as well,, but of course a new man would not b e bothered about that would he.

  9. Steve, we have much in common, I worked for a company which when I joined in the mid sixties was one of the top two in it’s field in the country. We were very good at what we did and had a good product, but we sat on our arses and stuck with what we had. By the end of the seventies we were outdated and eventually the company went bust. Almost an analogy for Arsenal.

  10. 1.0 Arsenal Cazorla penalty, commentators thought it a bit harsh the ref took ages to point to the spot but a defender definitely intended to elbow Sanchez right in the head and after a lot of fucking about he had to give it it was blatant. Shit penalty down the middle but the keeper dived 1.0 to Arsenal.

  11. Sorry Norfolk sodding about with my stream box but just seen your comment mate. As i said |Norfolk with how the support is i feel perhaps its best for Wenger to retire. Who am i to say they are wrong, i will sit and wait and see us win the league with a new guy, but i havent given up on Arsene winning us the league yet

  12. Arsenal have been dynamite in the first half , some dynamic passing moves finished off with precision a pleasure to watch if those supporters boo at the end of this they need their fucking heads examined

  13. Anybody struggling to view this match try VIPBOX i had it before my streambox tuned in good picture although a few seconds behind

  14. 3.1 to Arsenal final score, Arsenal dominated the first half , but in all honesty lapsed a bit in the second, Watford made changes at half time and played better but Arsenal did let them play a bit, without putting in telling challenges earlier. I have to say although it hurts to say we do seem a bit soft in challenging we jump for high balls without committing and we should on occasions like this use our passing to frustrate the opponents

    we have players missing that will offer us more options but 3 points has trebled our points tally and away from home i would say that is a blinding result. Didn’t hear any boo’s so a win has quietened the travelling fans if only till the next game. Well done Arsene and the lads..

  15. Funny game, 1st half we looked great, lovely goal by Ozil, 2nd half we looked very ordinary. Could it be they thought job done take it easy?
    That Ighalo bicycle kick was very close, nice try.

  16. I haven’t seen any of the game and only text commentary, so I’ll have to wait for Sky to show the extended highlights.

    A very good result though, 3 – 1 away can’t be bad. Perhaps that will give them a bit of confidence, just a pity that there’s an international break now, still it will give the new boys a chance to get fitted for their new kit, so long as we actually sign them up.

  17. I would imagine that our players who were not quite fit enough, should be better for our next game. Our starts at the start of the season seems to hurt us from the start, we have many internationals who seem to be picked by their countries, and with international games competing all over the world they all seem to comeback a little jaded when we need them sharp.

    Of course that is to do with world football, and all want to be selected, Arsene Wenger i feel can be too lenient with friendlies when we are in a tough premier league, but others have the same problem so we have to toughen up a bit.. Todays game we really missed Iwobi this young man is a talent persoified, he has emense heart a turn of pace good dribbling skills and will have a run at anybody, he will challenge and he will fight, he does a bit at the back and he has a football brain, i feel he will be a must play player when fit. I felt that Campbell was another that gave us the same kind of work but he seems that it is seen that he is still behind others..

    It seems that first half play does not always mirror second halves but fitness should get better and some body will suffer when we are fully fit. Just seen Arsene on the box ,, and he has said much the same as i have just written good first half but fitness is not quite there yet but he seemed fairly happy with the players and did say , that although Kosi is still not a hundred percent, was a lot better than last week, he also was pleased with the rest of the defence.

  18. Good result…. played extremely well in the first half, deserved the 3-0 lead but second half Watford did well and played a lot better, stifling our creativity…. Ozil and Sanchez both had good game and Xhaka was quietly impressive…. Ox had a poor game and Monreal had a nightmare on the left. Wenger confirmed after the game that Mustafi and Perez are ours.

  19. I’ve just read Wenger’s post match comments, that’s a strange way to announce new signings, but as long as he has completed them we have to say well done to him.

  20. The hold up was because Wenger had to confirm the signings with Ornstein ! hahahaha

    Didn`t know Kango`s had a British Kite Mark on them !
    Dont think Wenger would have a British Kite Mark, more like a boomerang stuck up his arse !……..that`s why he keeps coming back with the same old shit !. hahaha

    I will watch on MotD as I`m not as rich as you clunges with your SKY Sports !……………………..BBC for me….British Broadcasting Corperation…………none of that Aussie shit you traitors !.

  21. Cockie, don’t you worry about Ornstein mate, you heard it first on Gunnersorearse by incredible reporter Kango News.. Orrnstein is old hat pal, finished, kaput. he’s had his day, no one last forever, i am modernising till the end of the season. then fishing.

  22. WTF is Vipbox ?………………………..I shall google it !…….better not be some fcuking gay porn you fcuker !. hahaha

  23. Morning all,
    Looking over some of the comments on other blogs, and i see some still want more signings, well i have to scratch my head. From what i have counted we have five signings from this window, and we are nearing 100 million quid Zakha being our first, at round about 35 mill we have two youngsters for the future in our Chinese guy who is reported as going out on loan, and another youngster who i have forgotten his name, but i would imagine that he too will find a loan club.

    Latest Kango News reports that a couple have been signed up this week, in centre forward Lucas Perez and a name we have been linked with for quite some time Centre Back Mustafa who apparently is quality.

    Well of course the Youngsters are for the future, so they would have been cheap, as Wenger always has the future in his plans , bujt should he retire at the end of the season they will eventually be somebody elses responsibility. Of course we cannot forget young Rob Holding who is filling out for Per Merts while he recovers who also looks a blinding prospect at nine million.

    So why do we need more, Oh yeah because whatever Wenger does is just not enough is it. Well its enough for me, but who gives a shit what i think. You know what, i am excited with this window whatever other supporters think, I have seen Zakha and i have seen Holding and i like what i have seen, these other two are strangers to me, but Arsene seems to think they are top notch and he is no mug so i naturally believe they will be up to scratch as well.

    Of course we still have players to get fit Rambo with a Hammy Iwobi who still has a couple of weeks to recovery and Per Merts and Gabriel who shouldnt be that long and of course what will seem another new signing in wheelchair Welbeck who should have all his moving parts moving before to long.

    Now looking at this squad that Wenger has amassed has me licking my lips, do we really need more , with word that Gnabry and Chambers plus Campbell and of course not forgetting Sanogo going out on loan do we really need more. Well if they say so it must be right as Wenger as we know is always wrong, so i reckon he will disappoint some.

    Never the less he has disappointed for the last twelve years so whats new. I am looking forward to this season we have had 3 games and we have one of all a loss a draw and a win four points tally and many more to win. Can we win the league this year with this squad, of course not, Not with Wenger in charge but there is always next season, not to long to wait as our squad is beginning to look good for a Mourinho take over, well i suppose i will have to wait.

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