Hull v Arsenal: Norfolks Pre-Match

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After the triviality of the mid-week Champions League game it’s back to the bread and butter of the Premiership.  A Saturday 3 pm kick-off should suit the team pretty well, plenty of recovery time from the last match and sufficient before the next.

Even as an away fixture Hull City shouldn’t present to much of a problem…should it?  Well let’s hope not.

There can’t be too many players in dire need of a break and with the next fixture being the EFL cup, there should be no thought of resting players ahead of it.  Neither should there be any thought of playing a weakened side just because it’s “only” Hull City.

The Tigers, as their owner Assem Allam likes them to be known, field a couple of old Spuds in Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, they at least will take the opportunity to kick as many of our lads as possible and as their usual style of defending is akin to tag-team wrestling, we should expect to win at least one penalty award.  They also have Chuba Akpom a loanee from Arsenal, but he is contractually unavailable to play against us.

Let’s move on to the more contentious matter of our manager’s team selection.  Following his heroics against PSG, it would be logical to stick with David Ospina in goal (notice I give him his full name I only do that for players who are in my good books).  However as logic is a seldom used concept in Wenger’s thought processes I expect Petr Cech to be recalled. (Full name, good books).

There seems little reason not to play the regular back four, Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustaffi, Laurent Koscienly and Nacho (first name only, a bit iffy)  who has come in for a bit of criticism following the last match, probably not the time to bring in Gibbs (surname only, out of favour).

Wenger is on record as praising the midfield partnership of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, as he says, they have played together fifty or sixty times. Whether or not successfully I’ll leave to your own judgement.

It goes without saying that the names of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are already printed on the team sheet.  Which leaves us with just two more names to add.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think the Alexis Sanchez as central striker experiment is working so the alternative should be Giroud, He’s fit, at last,  has been scoring for France and needs a bit of game time to build his confidence.  With Theo nursing a ”small” knee injury (Wenger’s words [note surname only]), the way is open for a debut start for our newest signing Lucas Perez (full name, benefit of the doubt in his case).

So, I see our line-up as:-






As this is for an away fixture I might be tempted to play Santi Cazorla in place of Mesut Ozil as I don’t think we get the best from the German away from the Emirates.

For the sake of brevity I’m now going to revert to surnames only.

Until the defence is a more settled and cohesive unit I feel it is wise to put two defensive minded mid-fielders in front of them, hence Elneny and Xhaka.  I don’t think Ozil plays at his best in places like Hull City and putting both him and Cazorls together is a bit of an unaffordable luxury.

I would like to see Lucas given the freedom to make runs from deep onto long passes, behind the defenders, from Xhaka.

I would also like to see a few more shots on goal, from both inside and outside the box.

We have enough talent and fire power to deal with any threat Hull City can offer, we should win the game comfortably, I believe we will.

Written by Norfolk Gooner


76 thoughts on “Hull v Arsenal: Norfolks Pre-Match

  1. Good morning Soixante-Neuf, fierce creatures those tigers.

    A strange comment from Wenger yesterday, asking the fans to give Xhaka time to settle into the team. Strange indeed when it’s Wenger who is not giving him the time in the team in needs to settle in.

    Wenger logic at work there?

  2. Morning guys
    Thanks for the post NG, your line up is as good as any, not sure he will play Santi though, he has had 2 tough games and is no longer a spring chicken, but logic and AW don’t really sit well together imo.
    In the better old days this would be a cast iron 3 points, but now we live in hope.

  3. Half time and one nil to the Arsenal. Iwobi’s shot deflected in off Alexis who then has a penalty saved.

    Livermore sent off for the handball that concede the penalty.

  4. Thanks for the post Norfolk, and a fine one it is, A first half where we should be well clear, but only one goal, a missed Sanchez penalty, why he takes them i dont know. Why we have no Zakha or Elneney playing i don’t know , unless Wengers waiting for Ramsey to come back, bugger me Theo scores while i’m typing 2.0 thank Christ for that,’ Santi on his final warning, perhaps it’s time to change him, perhaps in 5 or 6 minuted come on you gunners.

  5. What a finishing goal by Zakha , now thats showing how it should be done. A good 3 points away, but we must take our chances when the come..

  6. Hiya NB welcome back mate, Yes were moving in the right direction but our forwards are driving me nuts, why do they always turn backwards when they receive the ball, we really need Perez to kick in. Petr Chech was lucky to stay on, he was no where near it , but he was left exposed. I can hardly believe the amounts of penalties were getting, we just need a penalty taker and i nominate Zakha.

  7. A 4 – 1 win away from home is a good result any way you look at it. I haven’t seen any of the action so will reserve any other comments until later.

    Just one thought, Granit Xhaka scored with a long range shot, that’s something we’ve been missing for a while.

  8. I watched the 1st half, and boy was it hard going. Switched over to Man C for the 2nd half to see how its done and have a look at Jack, who was pretty anonymous for the 24 minutes before being substituted.
    If anyone can enlighten me why Xhaka, Peres and Elmeny can’t get on the pitch, when we are playing boring repetitive and predictable football. Is he trying to prove some ridiculous point that he didn’t need them barring injuries, to those who he will wear out?
    Glad we got the 3 points, but playing as we are, better hope that City have a disaster before we meet them.
    It could be said I’m a moaning gunner, and we are 2nd at the moment, but from what I have seen of the performances, they leave a lot to be desired.

  9. Poig, your a hard man to please, but you are right, No matter how bad Arsenal play i just couldn’t turn over, i will have to wait till later to see how city played, apparently something happened that their Manager never liked, there must have been a few things our manager never liked as well. but you wait till you see Zakha’s goal, that you will like

  10. Steve
    It probably looks that way 🙂
    Shooting from distance is discouraged, apparently Elmeny was told that after he tried 1 when he 1st arrived, I’m all for it, its another option which is so rarely used. How often is it difficult to see what has happened when we score, until we get to see the replay.
    We have pace in the team, we don’t seem to use it to our advantage most of the time, allowing their defenders to get themselves sorted out, before we make a move on goal. There has to be a better way to get the best out of what we have, and I don’t think we are. Whether it will come, who knows, but the theory is you sort these things out in pre season, not once the season has started.
    Watching City after watching our 1st half, chalk and cheese….and our man is supposed to be up there with the best.

  11. Poig, I know you don’t think so, but Wenger is up there with the very best. He does things his own way which is not always the same as others. You don’t get the results that he has achieved by luck.

    Wenger has brought 30 odd million pound players, and he has his reasons for bringing them in slowly, dont ask me what they are, as i am in the dark as much as you, but the season is long, and we will have many games, We are creeping up the league as we have for many years. and we have many players who all want to play, but a squad the size of ours, will be used, if and when he believes its best for Arsenal. I have, many times questioned his methods, but results speak for themselves. Strange i know, but he does what he does, and although it doesn’t always make us winners, it is pretty effective.

  12. I’ve just watched the match recording and I have to say that the team put out by Wenger played it just about perfectly. A decent start and enough pressure to force the Tiger’s defence into errors, notably for the penalty that resulted in them going down to ten men. From that moment on we were in complete control. Even when they got a penalty from which they scored a consolation goal, there was no panic just a resumption of the normal possesion/passing game. In fact at one time we took the ball from our own half up-field with forty-one passes, the last of which was to Walcott wide on the right, he attempted a cross, but the ball was over hit and went out for a throw in near the opposite corner flag.

    That was not the only instance of that sort of wasted possession, it happened with monotonous regularity.

    Despite scoring four goals, with one exception they were all scruffy. Number one Iwobi’s shot deflected by Alexis, number two Walcott’s shot headed over the line by a defender, number three Alexis getting to a rebound from a blocked shot. Number four was the pick of the lot, a long distance rocket by Xhaka.

    We really need to make much better use of the amount of possession we get, the amount we waste is criminal.

    All in all a good Saturday afternoon’s workout, albeit against a fairly limited opponent.

    One question, why did Alexis, and not Cazorla, take the penalty?

  13. A little bit of history, Hull City have not beaten Arsenal at home since 1915, sounds impressive? Not really we’ve only played them there seven times in a hundred and ten years.

    Statistics eh!

  14. Morning all,
    It seems that the news of Alexis Sanchez’s new contract negotiations is building, according to some news sources, Manchester city Manager Pep Guardiola is watching in anticipation, apparently he see’s Sanchez as a possible new City man.

    I have to smile at claims like this, Sure Sanchez will be looking at a better contract, and a lot more money, sources say that he also wants a price clause introduced to any new contract he signs. Now the way i see the situation is does he want to stay at Arsenal or does he feel he wants to move on. I am sure that Arsenal have been relatively happy with his exploits for us, but i don’t think they would stand in his way should he want to move on.

    Arsene Wenger has a few bob to spend now, his recent 90 million spend in the transfer window , has shown that Arsenal are looking to the future a couple of young strikers who are gaining experience elsewhere and a couple of defensive experienced players who look to be settling in very well. The widow before last saw us gain Elneney who is being introduced slowly but seems an inprovement to some we had, The addition of Holding a young central defender and Lucas Perez who is just starting to appear up front shows that Arsenal is covering all positions.

    I read this morning that Wenger is considering a Barcelona approach to goalkeeping where he is thinking of playing with two goalkeepers throughout the season, Arsenal seem to be creeping up the table slowly like they do most seasons, and for an outsider, you would fancy their chances for another high finish, so would Arsenal miss Alexis Sanchez should he hold out and not sign a new contract.

    I like Sanchez, but if this man should want a contract where a release clause is attached is it for safety so it puts other clubs off or could it be that his agent, wants a set sum that he will get his ten per cent from.. I like to think that Arsenal players want to play for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. We pay very good wages and i believe the players are treated very well , and that no player is asked to do to much, Playing for their countries is a decision they make, and not Arsenal, unless their fitness is under question.

    Of course at this time and place Manchester City with Pep Guardiola top of the table and five wins out of five must look attractive, to every player, in my mind if Alezis decides to hold out until his contract ends then that is his right, if he were to move to City, of course we would just enter the market and buy a player who wants to play for us.

  15. .Good morning gentlemen, I’ve read the same reports Steve, if he wants a release cause in any new contract, let him have one, make it £100 million and if some club wants to pay that money they’re welcome to him, with that money in the bank we could afford to buy a proper centre forward and not have to rely on him and Giroud.

  16. NorthBank your a heartless Fucker, but i see where your coming from, there were times yesterday that he frustratets the life out of me, and in my opinion he should have let Santi take the penalty and let Iwobi claim the goal. But with the amount of money for goals scored i suppose its all for one.

  17. True 69er, he does lose possession quite often but I like his attitude on the pitch. Before we scored yesterday he spent his time calling his team mates forward as he was isolated up front, just what a proper centre forward is expected to be.

    If City come calling and the money’s right he’ll go, although didn’t Guardiola sell him to us?

  18. Norfolk Northbank is rubbing off on you 🙂 We have a guy who is scoring dont fuck him off so easy, not untill Sanogo is fit anyway

  19. You know Steve, I just can’t figure out why the club are wasting money on Sanogo. Terrible injury record, the guy literally doesn’t know his left foot from his right, or his arse from his elbow for that matter.

  20. Morning guys
    I see in Football 365 that he wants to see the club challenge for big trophies…. so do I. Although he does give the ball away a lot, he does make up for it. I wouldn’t hold it agains’t him if he wanted to leave, but would be sorry to see him go. It may boil down to how much longer AW chooses to remain as manager, I don’t see him leaving at the end of the season if we finish top 6. If we finish 5th or 6th there will be a whole list of reasons why it was a 1 off, and entitled to another chance based on his excellent run of top 4 placings, not winning though, thats not important. Below 6th place and it will be touch and go imo.
    That said I think we will finish in the top 6, so strap in for another contract. 🙂

  21. No body wants Sanogo i don’t even think we can give him away, but you know what, i dont think we have seen the last of Sanogo yet. It wouldn’t surprise me that we saw him play for us again, and who knows he may even have sorted his feet out. 🙂

  22. Poig, you seem to be coming round, a win or two and we start to climb, the boo’s have subsided and the goals are going in and Wenger may get another contract, you surprise me. Wenger is on the last season of his contract, there are dozens of Managers who want to take up the reigns and you seem to be thinking he may stay. Top six would be unacceptable the fans would crucifiy him, second wasn’t good enough so first is the only place that he has to be.

    He knows that better than anybody else, and i believe he has finally made his mind up that it is his time. If the possibility came that we won the league i still believe he would walk, a man can only take so much from a demanding support, and he has had long enough taking abuse and i doubt its finished yet.

    Wenger has done well, very well, but it has never been enough for the support, They deserve a change up top and i believe they will never let up until he has gone. They will never know how good he’s been till he’s gone.

  23. Steve
    Why wouldn’t he stay, he has a near perfect job? the personal abuse I don’t agree with, but only has to put up with that for a few hours each week.

  24. Steve, I think lot of the trouble with Wenger is the fans can’t trust him. His lack of respect for the club’s supporters is plain to see at the end of every match, just as yesterday, a soon as the final whistle went he was out of his seat, a quick handshake with Phelan and one of his coaches and into the tunnel. Not even a glance at the away fans.

    It’s not only that but the bullshit he spouts about injuries, transfers, mental strength, the technical ability, his strongest squad for ten years, it just doesn’t inspire confidence and most of it is just unbelievable.

    He lives in a bubble, divorced from the real world and just alienates the fans.

  25. Maureen could make a few subs in this game. Arsene’s Bubble is in Totteridge, i done a job just round the corner, and yes lovely places.

  26. Spuds with a spawny one nil win over Sunderland creep into third, Wenger will be happy, we’re on target for our regular fourth place trophy.

  27. Sorry, she dragged me out for a pub dinner, And would you believe it i missed the Spud game,
    I saw that cheeky comment Poig, 🙂 but your right mate i have a lot of time for Wenger, but everything comes to an end at some point.

    So were forth instead of third, but we have moved up, and if that continues i will be very happy… Of course there are obstacles as we venture forward, i found one before we got to the pub, a furniture shop open, and she steered me in £700 later and a new bed being delivered, made for an expensive meal, I am sure Arsenal will have a few upsets like mine but at the end of the day i hope we all rest easy in our beds My Wenger scarf will hang on the headboard 🙂

  28. If I took an Arsene scarf or even an Arsenal one to bed, my wife being a Spurs supporter it wouldn’t be my scarf hanging from the headboard. 😀

  29. Nice one Norfolk, there comes a time in life where the Mrs is more important and i understand that, My Mrs was never much of a football supporter when we met, but i am selfish and when an Arsenal game is on, she knows that i love to watch the games live, she will record anything she wants on the TV as she also likes to watch Arsenal as well. Don’t mention Walcotts name though as she gets a bit touchy ha ha

  30. Evening all, Looks like our bloggers are all blogged out. Been fishing all day, got home and cast an eye over Arsenal news and rumours; and it seems that Hector Bellerin is on every bodies must have list. Apparently Barcelona want their man back, and would you believe it City also see him in their side, Bellerin apparently is in demand and just when Arsenal are trying to get him signed up to a long term contract.

    Not only that , speculation on our cup game tomorrow away at Nottingham Forest, talk is, is that Giroud is not available Gabriel may be. Walcott Iwobi and Sanchez are being reated and our back four are going to be different from Saturday, Debuchey Gabriel, Holding Gibbs Ospina in goal.
    Probably be Zakha and Elneney Jef has been pencilled in along with Akpon and Lucas may play on the wing. Ramsey wont be ready, and again not ready for the Chelsea game.

    It appears this cup game is low priority, but even so we should still get through. It seems that the team are being saved for the weekend. But as i said this news is guess work and rumour.

  31. Come on Steve, you know he always puts a team out that he thinks that can win…no exceptions…get your scarf out. 🙂

  32. Morning all, I have faith that we will get a win tonight, we have good player’s and a good squad,and yes I will wave my scarf ha ha.

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