Morning all.

The press, no, not the buffoons who stir trouble in the newspapers but the football press. Without it, Martin Ødegaard wouldn’t have scored.

Arsenal harried the Olympiakos players, caused the error and gained possession. Footballing perfection really.

I know I moan a lot about the mistakes we keep seeing but that’s because these guys are professional and they simply should be doing better. Both defensively and in attack. The simple passing should be, well, the clue is there, simple. Passing to a player who is already being marked is foolish. Playing the ball across our own area is something most of us who played the game at any level learned from a young age and probably in any team sport.

All of our players should be scoring more goals than they are. Aubameyang could so easily be chasing down Kane for the golden boot IF he’d taken just 50% more of the goal scoring opportunities which have fallen his way. Pepe would be well into double figures with the same theory applied and possibly Lacazette too. If Elneny and Ødegaard’s goals proved anything it’s should be that shooting from distance is not to be discouraged. Two spectacular long distance goals are just as pleasing, if not more, than the ‘perfect’ goal. Without them on Thursday, we’d have a much trickier fixture next week that’s for sure.

I liked Gabriel’s too. The balls to basically tell his captain to push off, this one is mine. Three goals, three different players. It’s what’s been missing for Arsenal. It’s all very well berating our front men but our midfielders and defenders should be chipping in more as well. After all, it’s a team game and front men are expected to do their bit in defence.

I’ve watched that YouTube clip several times now and not just to see the goals. Look at the reaction to the goals. The substitutes are off the bench to celebrate with those on the pitch. Watch Dani Ceballos after Mo Elneny scored. His reaction says it all.

Mourinho has already begun the mind games ahead of this afternoons kick off. Kane with an ice pack after their win on Thursday probably fooled no one and as for his ‘I’m only looking up’ comment, what a chump he is because behind that lot are a few clubs trying to overtake them. Liverpool, Villa and yes, at a push, Arsenal too. Maybe he meant he’s only looking up for a different reason.

Today against his team Arsenal can’t afford to make mistakes. Certainly not defensive ones because Son and Kane will be ready to gobble up any goal scoring opportunities presented to them, especially those we serve up on a plate. Bale too.

Mikel Arteta on our last derby, back in December:

The last game, we started really well, we were dominant and the first time they went over the halfway line they scored. That’s the quality, they are a well-organised team, a big threat in every counter-attack situation, great individuals skills and great organisation. You can see the team fights and believes absolutely in what the manager’s ideas are, so it will be a really tough game.

If I remember that game rightly, we lost because of errors in midfield, certainly initially. Partey had been brought back into the team, too early as it transpired because it wasn’t long before he was hobbling off again. Today he should be a lot fitter and ready to boss the battle in midfield. ESR, after getting a few minutes under his belt on Thursday will hopefully be back in the starting eleven and ready to get our attacking play ticking again. We’ve missed him I think. Despite his goal, Ødegaard needs to make make way in my opinion and Lacazette needs to start. I’d love to see Martinelli on the pitch too but I think that’s probably wishful thinking.

Arsenal need a win. For the points obviously but also because it’s a NLD and we simply cannot let them do the double over us. We all know the way Mourinho will set his team up as he’s been doing it for years. Mikel Arteta will know I’m sure so hopefully, this time, his players won’t be undone by it. Arsenal need to get going quickly, press hard and fast up front, force the defensive mistakes and capitalise on them. But be very aware of the counterattack.

Mikel Arteta, the fans too, need to see a big performance by every single player who steps foot on the pitch. Regardless of how this season has gone, this is a North London Derby and if any of our players can’t motivate themselves for this one, they don’t deserve to be playing for The Arsenal.

COYG’s