Both the Arsenal men and women have suffered a setback in their chase for a League title this week. 2-2 at the London Stadium was a real disappointment for the men and then the women were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. Leah Williamson suffered an injury early in the first half and now faces a race to be fit for Sunday’s WCL match against Wolfsburg in Germany. It’s been a bit of a drab season for the women as far as injuries go.
Southampton’s results away from St Mary’s in 2023 – they’ve beaten Everton and Chelsea, been beaten by West Ham, Leeds and Brentford and drawn against Man Utd. Overall, they’ve won just six League fixtures all season, drawn five and lost the remaining twenty which is why they are looking like one of the favourites to be relegated. They’ll need to win a lot of the 21 points left on offer if they’re to remain a Premier League club but there’s no way they should be getting three tonight. Southampton will of course think otherwise.
Ché Adams is their highest goal scorer with ten and just behind him is James Ward-Prowse on nine. Give him a free-kick to take in a dangerous area and he’ll fancy his chances of scoring from it. It’s what he does and does it well. Take heed Arsenal.
No sign of William Saliba or Oleksandr Zinchenko in the training photos on AFC.com but there is a photo of the former on a bicycle in the gym, however, don’t get too excited as Mikel Arteta has played down any idea of an imminent return:
The picture hasn’t changed from last week. Regarding William, we still have to wait a little bit more. He’s not progressing as quickly as we hoped and it is a bit delicate so we want to be certain that when we push him, he’s ready to absorb the load and the risk that we’ll take, and that’s not possible at the moment.
When pressed on whether he’ll play again this season:
I don’t know, it’s a bit early to know. Probably next week we’ll have more certainty. There is some evolution, he’s doing more activity but is not there yet to start to throw him into the pitch at the level the sessions demand to compete in this league.
Rob Holding is likely to start again tonight, unless Mikel Arteta tries something different but why would he? Rob Holding isn’t the reason we dropped points in the last two fixtures. Kieran Tierney is likely to start too as Oleksandr Zinchenko hasn’t recovered in time.
We heard from Gabriel Jesus after the West Ham game and his message was clear. Arsenal need to raise their level and for the entire match rather than 20/30 minutes. I don’t want to be overly critical of the Brazilian because he’s brought so much energy to the team but, he frustrates me in a similar fashion as Alex Lacazette used to. He’s hard working, always wants to be involved etc but sometimes he gets in places he doesn’t need to be in. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard – whoever is behind or along side his number 9 position, needs him to be in space where he can cause havoc in the box, and not just a foot or two away from them. Everything good Arsenal has been doing this season has been about the speed and slick passing. The teams main striker needs to be up with the move, not trying to make up ground from the halfway line. And whilst talking about ground, how about trying to stay upright on it. Honestly, sometimes, the way footballers go to ground so easily, it’s embarrassing. I hate seeing our players doing it.
Arsenal need a win tonight, a convincing one and a good performance to go with it. A confidence booster before going to The Etihad. The players have wobbled a bit in the last two games but at The Emirates and with our own fans behind the players, we’ll hopefully get this title chase back on track.
Catch up in the comments.
Good morning Rico.
From what I have read Leah Williamson is unlikely to play for us again this season and will struggle to make the squad for the women’s World Cup in the summer. It was only last week that Kim Little suffered a season ending injury whilst both Viv Miedema and Beth Mead are already certain to play no further part this season.
It seems the old curse of the treatment room has resurrected itself. Tomiyasu, Elneny and now, likely, Saliba too have fallen under the influence of the curse.
Morning Cicero, that’s rotten for her and the rest of the squad.
Injuries and Arsenal are frustrating to say the least.
Morning Rico and all,
According to Arteta yesterday both Saliba and Zinchenko will miss tonight’s match and possible the Man city match as well.
Morning Rico. Injuries again. I’ve been expecting a few biggies for the whole season now. It was just a matter of time I suppose.
They will likely be absent and I don’t know for how many more games. We have to look at the players that are available and that’s who we have to win both games with.
Morning Geoff, Adam. Me too re the injures, to go through the season without a big one or two was always unlikely.
Thanks for this piece. Finally someone has said the truth about Gabriel Jesus. He just doesn’t score as much as he should. Part of the reason why is because he isn’t very clinical and also because he’s always away from the box, where he should be to score.
Hopefully we pick up maximum points and restore normal service.
To be fair to him Keni, he’s been scoring more since returning from injury. I just wish he stay on his feet more and stop getting in the way of others.
ACL for Leah Williamson and therefore no World Cup. ☹️
Jesus was bought in for a purpose . Arteta wanted exactly what he has got , he plays with an extra man coming into midfield to allow Jesus , Saka and Martinelli to share the goal scoring with midfielders coming through as well .
This season Martinellli has scored 14 goals at a rate of 1 goal every 22 minutes .
Saka has 13 at a rate of 1 goal every 244 minutes
Odegaard has 11, 1 goal every 257 minutes
Jesus has 9 , 1 goal every 194 minutes
Nketiah has 9 , 1 goal every 198 minutes
Only Nelson has a better minutes to goal return 3 goals at a rate of 1 every 165.
It’s the Guardiola system after Aguero and prior to Haaland , It has worked for them in the past , there is no reason to believe that it won’t work for us too.
I too would like to see him further forward but Arteta knows that if you keep the midfield you control the game . If he drops back too often it’s down to his captain to tell him to get forward .
Martinelli 226 minutes , wish it was 22 but , you can’t have everything.
Much better to have 3 or 4 scores than relying solely on one person.
Hopefully we attack the goal more today than trying to just keep back passing.
Afternoon rico, all. Who is going to get nervous if we go two goals up 😀
And even worse if we don’t!
I know Jesus is the kind of player Arteta wanted and wants but he’s still frustrating. Lol
Afternoon Andrew, not me. 😆
Here’s the line-up
Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Theo Walcott starts for Southampton, will he get a good welcome?
I hope so, Theo never really put a foot wrong at the club.
So much for Zinchenko being injured..
Xhaka ill and out, Vieira in. Why not ESR I wonder…
Not sure whether to cry or laugh…
crying now No midfield , get Vieira off for ESR need some strength in there .
This is embarrassing so far…
doesnt do defensive work
ESR should have started imo, or Trossard.
Vieira will probably go and score now…. 😂
Great strike Martinelli, good from Saka too.
Referee is Simon Hooper, born in Swindon, a referee who for once, books a player for pulling down Saka.
Will Mikel make a change at half-time?
Please. No more Vieira. Ffs.
I remember Viera once taking a good free-kick, but cant think of anything else he has brought positive to this team. Anyone guide me on what he brings and what Arteta see’s in him?
Andrew. He can keep the ball up for days on end but that’s it. He’s way too weak for the PL for me. He’s hiding on the left.
Have to agree re Vieira, it’s like playing with ten men.
Rico. If he comes out for the second half I’ll be amazed. Trossard surely.
What a waste of 55 mins before the change.
With our 2 excellent wingers, we urgently need a big centre forward. Tooney or even Antonio. City waited for Harland, who are we waiting for?
I was amazed too Adam.
COYG’s!!! 8 mins for a winner…
Terrible load of old tosh Arteta and the team served up tonight. Wouldn’t know where to start.
Adam, start with team selection. Artetas done so much right this season, but I was dismayed soon as saw the team.
Apologies all, the line-up was wrong, I got it from the Eurosport website.
However, Xhaka would have been a damn site more effective than Veira. If ESR doesn’t sit above Veira in the midfield pecking order I can see him leaving in the summer, Aston Villa are said to be interested in him.
Bring back Balogun, sell Jesus.
The unbeaten run goes on.
Good night Gooners, everywhere. 😴
Andrew I don’t know about being nervous when we go 2 goal up but I can tell you mate I was in despair when we went 1-3 down…
Fabio Vieira is fast earning himself a reputation as another big waste of money, I mean, have Arsenal ever signed a decent Portugese player?
Morning all, I didn’t watch due to starting time in oz, but it sounds like it’s not worth watching.
What went wrong last night, did we play bad or were we overconfident about beating Southampton, or bad team selection.
Arteta’s got a big job on his hands to lift this team for Man City.
I have said for a while now for some reason I don’t think Arteta rates ESR, which Is why am concerned ESR will not hang around and just sit on the bench, and there have been several reports that Balogun is worried that if he returns, he will not get much game time if he comes back.
looks like a busy transfer season coming up.
Morning guys. New post up.