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From paininthearsenal.com

Let us first get all the soft illusions out of the way: Slavia Prague – more accurately SK Slavia Praha or Sportovní Klub Slavia Praha as they have been known since 1991, in their current incarnation is a considerably dangerous opponent. In their long history since their beginning as SK ACOS Praha in 1892 the club has been renamed altogether ten times. Before beating the soon to-be Scottish Champions Rangers in the previous round, they took care of Leicester quite convincingly in the round of 32.

Since their resurgence in Czech football in the late 1990s – they won their first league title after 49 years in 1996, last winning it in the old Czechoslovakian First League in 1947 – they have made steady progress and in very recent years after the significant investment by the Chinese Sinobo group, which has helped with the reconstruction of stadium and training facilities, the overall quality of their squad, both individually and collectively, have seen marked improvement. In 2019/2020 they won the Czech First League title easily, and in this season’s domestic league they are leading their traditional rival Sparta Prague – the team where one super Tomáš Rosický started and ended his career and where he now operates as a sporting director, I am sure with the same verve and quality that made many of us love him so much in his North London days — by 14 points with 10 games to go, and their overall record this season in the league is 20W, 5D, 0L with a +55 GD. 

This season they joined the Europa League at the group stages after losing to the Danish champions FC Midtjylland at the Play-Off round of Champions League qualifying stage. They came second after Bayer Leverkusen in Group C.

However in the previous season Slavia did qualify all the way to the group stages of the Champions League and despite ending at the bottom of group F – Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter finishing above them – they had a couple of draws against Barcelona and Inter, all the more eye-catching as the draws came in away matches. 

So, if any of us are expecting the repeat of our last encounter against Slavia Praha at the Emirates – the 2007-2008 Champions League group stages home match, where a very young Arsenal squad thrashed the Bohemians 7-0 – should prepare themselves to be disappointed. 

Their recent European performances against Leicester and Rangers demonstrated that Slavia will back themselves to play their intense 4-1-4-1 formation that uses both pressing high up the field and man marking, not entirely dissimilar to the kind of football Marcelo Bielsa makes his teams good at, where the collective is much greater than the sum of its parts. If we can play through the press and our forward line shows mobility to escape marking, as well as accuracy in their passing, we will be able to trouble their goalmouth frequently enough to get a few goals. On the defensive side our decision making and focus in playing from the back will need to be of the highest quality and cannot suffer from the kind of lapses that has seen us concede utterly stupid goals in the league. Slavia has enough quality up front to punish any mistake in playing out from the back, especially in Abdallah Sima who is in excellent goal-scoring form. 

If you are interested in how Slavia became the currently dominant team in Czech football through patience and careful planning, this analysis is worth your time: https://thesefootballtimes.co/2019/04/11/how-slavia-pragues-model-of-sustainability-and-patience-took-them-to-the-top-of-czech-football/ . 

But what about us? Last weekend’s horror-show against Liverpool demonstrated, among many other concerns, how much we have started to depend on our two academy graduates Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka, both of whom were sidelined by some lingering injury/discomfort. Thankfully the team news seems to confirm their availability, as well as that of Granit Xhaka who, despite all his well-known limitations and the well-understood need for upgrading his position, remains a significant pivot to our tactical consistency and organizational stability.

But Ødegaard is doubtful as he has been experiencing some problems on his right ankle since his return from the international duty where I think he did suffer from the kind of physical attention a player of his technical ability generally attracts. Even if he misses this game, hopefully he will return for the league match away at Sheffield on Sunday. 

Unfortunately, the injury sustained by our magnificent left back in our weekend defeat will keep him out for six weeks. That is a terrible blow not only because Kieran Tierney – in my humble opinion – is now our most important player given the way he mixes technical quality, drive, intensity and leadership (the lack of which from the captain in recent times has been alarming to say the least) in his game, but also because we have no natural left-footed alternative in the left back position unless Mikel is willing to put Saka back in the position where young Bukayo impressed so much at both ends of the pitch last season, even though that might mean some loss of consistency and creativity in the forward line. Cedric is a capable deputy, but possessing a rather weak left foot definitely limits his game in that position, though he uses his right foot intelligently from the left by switching plays at the right time. Mikel may just trust Cedric’s experience and overall tactical maturity enough to play him in that role consistently until Tierney returns. 

I sincerely hope that in the forward line we will now start seeing more of Gabriel Martinelli. He is absolutely the kind of player this team is in need of, a modern forward who takes all aspects of his game seriously, plays at the both end with intensity, definitely the most effective presser the team has, and as his ten goals in half-a-year demonstrated last season he is highly capable in and around the penalty box. Even in his short cameo appearances this season he has looked sharp and ready, and I think he has earned his recall in the starting line-up, ahead of both Aubameyang and Lacazette – potential and hunger triumphing experience and reputation to freshen things up as well as to send out a message. 

I would also like to see Chambers and Mari playing together in defense in this match, they are both level-headed and are low-risk defenders. Gabriel and Holding both had poor matches against Liverpool and sitting a match out may help them clear their heads. With David Luiz sidelined for much of the rest of the season following surgery they will be needed consistently anyway. 

If Cedric is playing as the left back, I would like to see a natural left footer in Pépé to start on the left wing, and he played well enough in the last couple of matches where he started on the left. 

My preferred line-up would be:


Bellerin – Chambers – Mari – Cedric

Partey – Xhaka 

Saka – ESR – Pépé


But I think we will see Mikel start with a bit more pragmatic first eleven: 


Bellerin – Holding – Mari – Cedric

Partey – Xhaka 

Saka – ESR – Martinelli


And I will be fine with that, especially hoping for the captain to rediscover his form as well as his infectious joy. 

It is a pity that the traveling Arsenal supporters will miss the opportunity to visit or revisit Prague for the away leg. I love Prague – a city of remarkable cultural, scientific, architectural and historical pedigree – especially the way it slips through your fingers whenever you want to hold onto any single essence of its polyphonic charm. From Hašek to Hrabal to Havel, from Kafka to Kundera to Klíma… all these great writers have their Prague remembered and fictionalized (or alluded to in case of Kafka) in what feels like singularly original universes unreachable from one to the other. The Dickensian uber-realism of Jan Neruda probably comes closest to literature as an entirely reliable historical depiction of the city. 

Talking about a great city as not only the backdrop but also a living, breathing, loving, lying character in literature, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian London is peerless in its seamless mélange of extremes – the sordid and the sublime, the high and the low, the glitter and the gutter – as all these elements swirl around in a whirlpool of activities, all of which inevitably get pulled towards the magnetic field of 221B Baker Street and its genius resident. But a genius too can be beaten in his own game, especially when undermined by his own hubris. 

Irene Adler may have not been a match for Sherlock Holmes in solving crimes, but that didn’t stop her from outwitting him when it mattered most, especially when the great detective was so sure of his own triumph. 

If Arsenal approach this match with respect for their opponent, and with complete commitment to doing all the basics of the game with focus and intensity, they will find moments in the game to make their technical superiority count and win this match with a healthy enough cushion. I am hopeful that the team will respond to not just Arteta’s stern words after the pathetic display against Liverpool last Saturday, but also to the call of their own wounded professional pride. The Europa League this season – given where we are in the league table and given the transitional stage of the squad, requiring significant improvement over the course of next few windows – has become extremely important for the club and should be approached with nothing but the best available eleven with everyone demonstrating their very best on every aspect of the game. 

I am optimistic that we will see the correct response to the Liverpool defeat, and we will also see the right attitude from everyone who puts on the Arsenal shirt on the field of play tomorrow. Even though a 2-0 win – without conceding a home goal – would be a better result in the overall context of the tie than a 3-1 win, my guess is we probably will concede a goal. I predict a hard-earned but in the end, an assured 3-1 victory for us. 

Come on Arsenal!              

Meanwhile, a date for your diary: 3 May. The opening event of our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1970/71 Double features Bob Wilson & Pat Rice in conversation about the road to the League Title.

158 Drinks to “Arsenal, Please Avoid a Bohemian Scandal”

  1. 1
    Countryman100 says:

    That, Dr Faustus, is a truly top notch preview!

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    I hope our preparation for the game is as thorough as your very thought-provoking preview Atanu . Frankly Saturday was very depressing and worrying in equal measure . Last night’s display by Liverpool just added to that . I’m not sure we should be favourites for this tie but this doesn’t mean we can’t win it .
    This team has huge variability in its performance and potential and since our recent brush with men who did regularly deliver under pressure I’ve become aware of how flakey this team is . There is a path to the Final but whether we have the ability and consistency to follow it is a different matter entirely

  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    A top drawer preview Dr. F., filled with interesting tidbits about our Central European opponents. But Xhaka a “significant pivot to our tactical consistency and organizational stability”? Who knew? Not I, for certain, but I still think the phrase flatters him a bit too fulsomely. Either that or we really are as bad as we looked against Liverpool. Hoping against hope that’s not the case and a big win is on the cards (and the pound). COYG

  4. 4
    bt8 says:

    To add slightly to that point, I’m never sure he will be able to pivot before losing control in dangerous areas of the pitch although you are right Doctor to point out our sad lack of alternatives in his position.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Steve T says:

    Great stuff Doc. An interesting read. I very much agree with you with regards to the influence of Tierney.

    I have no idea what the starting 11 will be, or if that 11 will turn up on the night. I have no idea if there will be a game plan, or if there is, if MA8 will tell anyone about it? If he does, will anyone actually pay attention??? We just don’t know.

    I hope we do not even think to underestimate out opposition. That will lead to disaster. I just hope we turn up and put in a performance. I think we are owed one of those. A clean sheet would also be nice.

  7. 7
    ClockEndRider says:

    Excellent article Dr F.
    After a Reichenbach Falls of a performance last weekend, Arsenal, time for the real deal tomorrow please.

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    I thought Bayern Munich were unbeatable?

  9. 9
    Countryman100 says:

    And this is without Lewandowski!

  10. 10
    Countryman100 says:

    Highly entertaining game in the snow in Bavaria. HT Bayern Munich 1-2 PSG

  11. 11
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Excellent preview Doc. I thoroughly enjoyed all of that. Consummately done. I dearly hope our team manages to weave together its individual components into such a seamless whole tomorrow.

    Until then have a brandy on me – in homage to Dr.Watson, a man who appears from the Holmes stories to have one, and only one, medical capability – the judicious dispensation of Brandy!

    Seriously. Read the entire canon. He occasionally professes awareness of some other medical technique but I don’t remember him so much as applying a field dressing. The man talks a good game but when it comes to medical expertise he is essentially a portable barman… He could have got a job on the Arsenal medical staff any time pre-Wenger with ease!

  12. 12
    Countryman100 says:

    Fabulous game in Munich. PSG win it 3-2.

  13. 13
    Countryman100 says:

    So glad I didn’t watch the Chavs game.

  14. 14
    TTG says:

    I agree C100 about the quality of the Bayern/ PSG game
    Sadly the quality of the CL this week has depressed me because we are way away from that level.To think a lot of Arsenal fans used to abuse a manager who often took us deep into the knockout stages of the competition. We are miles away from even qualifying for it now . The 4th place trophy they used to joke . How we would take it now !

  15. 15
    Osakamatt says:

    Thanks Dr F

    A great preview of our latest must-win
    adventure. Like you I think the 2nd side
    you predict is closer, and like most I would
    like to see more of Martinelli but I suspect
    Willian is what we’ll get.
    RCB is an issue with Luiz out and I hope
    Rob will play better this time. If so a 2-0
    win is a fair shout and we handled an
    actual Bielsa well last time we played them.
    Also, though SP knocked them out, Leicester
    should have won that game even though
    they were playing poorly at the time.
    All in all, I have now talked myself into
    having some confidence that we’ve got
    this one 👍

  16. 16
    Bathgooner says:

    Terrific piece, Dr F. I knew nothing of Slavia bar our last result and now I understand why they have suddenly become such a force recently. Nor have I read much Czech literature apart from Kafka and Kundera but the uber-Dickensian realism of Neruda does appeal. Prague is a lovely city but I hope that the Spartans are the ones with the smiles on their faces tonight.

    I fear for us tonight. We have been so poor again in our last three matches, apart from the last 55 minutes against the Spammers, that I think we will meet our Europa League Nemesis tonight. Like many I watched the Bayern vs PSG match last night. I enjoyed it hugely. Indeed I enjoyed it far more than I have enjoyed an Arsenal game for a long time. Certainly since the cup final, if not far longer. I had certainly stopped enjoying them during the Emery era which is why I relinquished my two season tickets. Now I watch them on the box from behind the sofa and consume more alcohol to calm my fears than is good for me. Like TTG, I found last night’s match a sad reminder of the level at which we once played and competed. I know we all dream of CL qualification but the current squad would be a terrible embarrassment in that company. It’s a long road back and we must have patience.

    However Matt’s optimism is highly infectious. COYG!

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    Stupendous preview, Dr F. I hope the team soars to such heights today.

    I have always had a soft spot for Prague although my first visit was cut short by the arrival of some Russian tanks. I thought that was a bit much at the time as I had only gone to see the grave of Tycho Brahe.

    Let me add The Brass Saxophone by Josef Škvorecký to the Czech reading list.

  18. 18
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks everyone for the generous comments!

    TTG/Bath/Countryman/Steve/Matt et al., I try my best to not think about the gap in quality between the top teams in Europe and us now. As the time-worn wisdom reminds us — it is very easy to dismantle but very hard to build. Through negligence, hubris and later impatience we had managed to dismantle something of a rare value. Arsenal even in later Wenger years was a much better team than many had given us credit for, and it was greater than the sum of its parts, though there were parts that were sparkling as well.

    bt8@3 — I am not a fan of Xhaka, as I clearly mentioned in the post, but I do think given what we have today he plays a pivotal role in keeping us from becoming inchoate. Can he be improved? Absolutely. ASAP.

    GSD@11: Our doctor wasn’t much success in his practice either — when he finally dared to shake away the war blues and started a private practice post-marriage — as is amply proven by his ready availability every time the genius friend came a-knocking. Maybe he prescribed way too much brandy? 🙂 🙂

    Ned — wow! That must have been some experience.

    The modern history of Prague since the days of Heydrich until finally the velvet revolution gave them back their country is unbelievably cruel, tortured and violent. And people haven’t forgotten it. I was there at the 30th anniversary of Velvet revolution, and in addition to all the exhibitions and celebrations there was a significant amount of solemn tributes to Jan Palach (the student who set himself on fire as a protest as the tanks rolled in 1969) and others who lost their lives in that period …

  19. 19
    Doctor Faustus says:

    BTW Ned, thanks for the recommendation — will look it up and add it to the queue. 🙂

  20. 20
    Doctor Faustus says:

    An excellently researched and articulated argument in favor of Saliba returning next season and becoming part of the first team: https://arseblog.com/2021/04/we-already-have-our-right-sided-centre-half-addition-for-next-season/ .

    Mavropanos too after the injury setback is playing consistently well for Stuttgart.

  21. 21
    Esso says:

    Cheers Doc!


  22. 22
    Esso says:

    Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Willian, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette

    Subs: Ryan, Hein, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Pepe, Mari, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli, Azeez, Lopez

  23. 23
    Esso says:

    Laca up front???? Not sure about that. At all.

  24. 24
    TTG says:

    Big call on Auba . Sad to lose Odegaard . Not sure Willian should start

  25. 25
    Countryman100 says:

    No Martinelli again.

  26. 26
    Esso says:

    Scratching me head here mate. *opens another tinnie*

  27. 27
    bt8 says:

    Thanks for the link above Dr. F, the Mavriba injection could provide some useful rejuvenation seeing as David Luiz’ time is limited. The news of the two loanees doing well in their respective continental gigs is very good to hear. It lets us focus on improving the midfield and attack.

  28. 28
    Esso says:

    You give a man the captaincy and a £375k a week contract. Then you either bench him or play him as an auxiliary left back? I like Arteta, but he’s testing my patience right now.

  29. 29
    bt8 says:

    We have got to emerge victorious in this one to have any chance of seeing Santi in the semis, assuming Villarreal take their tie against the dynamic crustaceans.

  30. 30
    Silly Second Yella says:

    so Al Sadd is in the EL now


  31. 31
    bt8 says:

    Don’t like how the meedja are setting us up in this one. Anything less than a 7-0 is abject failure apparently

  32. 32
    Countryman100 says:

    Well this is it. Our season depends on tonight and next Thursday. Come on you Gunners!

  33. 33
    Steve T says:

    Beat me to it C100. Just what I was going to put.

  34. 34
    Esso says:

    Agree, Which is why I wish we picked a different team.

  35. 35
    Countryman100 says:

    Any comments I have will be in here tonight Steve (your very fair point after the Liverpool game).

  36. 36
    North Bank Ned says:

    No Chambers, even on the bench. Injured? Rested? Or dropped?

    Without KT3 and Ødegaard we are missing two of the three players who were tactically key in the West Ham comeback. Memo to the team: don’t go 3-0 down.

    I’d like to see Azeez get some minutes. He would slot well into the deeper right-side role Ødergaard has been playing alongside Partey and Xhaka as we transition to attack. It would also be interesting to get a look a Lopez. He is said to be promising but not quite ready for prime time.

  37. 37
    Bathgooner says:

    That’s not the team I would have chosen and i’m not feeling very optimistic but,


  38. 38
    Countryman100 says:

    So I think most of us would have preferred Gabi for Willian. But we are where we are. Fast start please lads. 2-0 would be great. No away goals would be huge.

  39. 39
    Countryman100 says:

    Slavia players do not take the knee. Racist fuckers.

  40. 40
    Steve T says:

    Right, let’s see which Arsenal wants to turn up.

    Up the Gunners.

    C100. 😉

  41. 41
    ATG says:


  42. 42
    Bathgooner says:

    We have NOT started well here. We are not establishing early dominance. This depressingly passive approach to games is lingering.

  43. 43
    Countryman100 says:

    Slow start unfortunately.

  44. 44
    ksn says:

    A comprehensive and very well written preview, Dr. I will take any win but without conceding would be a great result.

  45. 45
    bt8 says:

    Pressure their keeper! Shaky distribution could mean shaky nerves

  46. 46
    ATG says:

    Got away with that one….

  47. 47
    Countryman100 says:

    “North Bank mode” Get in his face! Go to him! Stop the fucking cross!

  48. 48
    Bathgooner says:

    A nasty deliberate stamp.

  49. 49
    Countryman100 says:

    That’s been a very dull first 20 minutes.

  50. 50
    Bathgooner says:

    FFS Gabriel!!! You’re not Kieran Tierney! Get back on the edge of YOUR OWN box!

  51. 51
    Countryman100 says:

    Slavia bit lucky not to get a yellow there

  52. 52
    ATG says:

    Saka should have scored

  53. 53
    Countryman100 says:

    Oooh Saka comes close. Way onside.

  54. 54
    Bathgooner says:

    Oh dear, Saka!

  55. 55
    ksn says:

    Saka misses a great chance to put us ahead.

  56. 56
    Countryman100 says:

    Saka on the ball a lot. This is a good thing.

  57. 57
    Steve T says:

    Horrible miss.

    Looking toothless up front again.

  58. 58
    Countryman100 says:

    Second twenty we’ve been the better team. Stay switched on at the back.

  59. 59
    Bathgooner says:

    Now take this opportunity guys!

  60. 60
    Countryman100 says:

    Good work by Cedric and Holding

  61. 61
    Countryman100 says:

    We’re the better team here. Let’s make it count!

  62. 62
    Steve T says:

    It all seems very laboured. We could do with stepping it up a gear.

    Yet another game where I wonder how different things would have been if there were crowds allowed back in???

  63. 63
    Bathgooner says:

    Pretty dull fare. Should be ahead though.

  64. 64
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Slavia aren’t great tonight. They are lucky their opponents are so poor!

  65. 65
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ref gives no injury time.

    Kind fella.

  66. 66
    ATG says:

    We huffed and puffed but no end product too slow and predicable, last 20 minutes a bit better.

  67. 67
    Countryman100 says:

    We are clearly the better team here. One or two nil would be great.

  68. 68
    ksn says:

    0-0 at the end of a boring half but we should have been ahead. Nothing great about them but they are tenacious and very defensive. Got to get a couple of goals for the away game.

  69. 69
    bt8 says:

    Bukayo is looking by far our most dangerous threat but the half was bereft of real chances.

  70. 70
    Steve T says:

    Thrilling stuff??

    We really need an injection of pace and urgency for the second half.

    I know there were those that said we missed Xhaka against the dippers, and I do get that. But he just slows the play down so much.

  71. 71
    Countryman100 says:

    Saka has had two great chances. Keep at it. Willian off and Gabi on at half time.

  72. 72
    Bathgooner says:

    Let’s have a dominating, dynamic and driven second half like we saw against Wet Spam.

  73. 73
    bt8 says:

    Saka looks full of goals and assists but the others don’t so much.

  74. 74
    Steve T says:

    Definitely Martinelli time. The minimum he should get is 30 minutes here.

  75. 75
    Bathgooner says:

    Unlucky Willian!

  76. 76
    ksn says:

    Willian hits the post off a free kick.

  77. 77
    Countryman100 says:

    Pretty good effort from Willian

  78. 78
    Steve T says:

    Great effort from Willian. Never typed that before…

  79. 79
    Bathgooner says:

    Another ‘accidental’ stamp on the ankle.

  80. 80
    Countryman100 says:

    Sima made no effort to play the ball at all

  81. 81
    Bathgooner says:

    Oh Saka! Someone has slipped a piece of kryptonite into the boy wonder’s shorts!

  82. 82
    Countryman100 says:

    Good save Leno

  83. 83
    Bathgooner says:

    FFS Bellerin! Good save Leno.

  84. 84
    Steve T says:

    Our movement in their box is non existent.

    No urgency and even less penetration.

  85. 85
    ksn says:

    They almost scored. In our desperation to score we are leaving lot of space which they are exploiting. They are also pressing faster and higher up.

  86. 86
    Countryman100 says:

    Hour gone. Gabi time.

  87. 87
    Bathgooner says:


  88. 88
    Bathgooner says:

    I was never confident he would score.

  89. 89
    Countryman100 says:

    Laca hits the post! Was Rosicky against Spurs all over again!

  90. 90
    ksn says:

    Laca misses an open goal. We are so poor in front of the goal.

  91. 91
    Steve T says:

    Some of the same old problems are starting to creep in.

    Our movement without the ball is non existent.

    Laca????? How did you not score???

  92. 92
    Esso says:

    Cow’s arse


  93. 93
    Steve T says:

    Time for some fresh legs

    Beyond time for some fresh legs

  94. 94
    Tapera Doma says:

    Subs please, please!!

  95. 95
    Countryman100 says:

    Let’s get Gabi on! Time for some Brazilian flair!

  96. 96
    Countryman100 says:

    Brilliant tackle by Gabriel.

  97. 97
    ksn says:

    Martinelli, finally for Willian.
    Gabriel makes a dangerous tackle in the box but gets away.

  98. 98
    Countryman100 says:

    Gabi for Willian. Good.

  99. 99
    Bathgooner says:

    Partey appears only to have 70 minutes worth of gas in him.

  100. 100
    Steve T says:

    Gabi time

    About time

  101. 101
    ksn says:


  102. 102
    Steve T says:

    I agree Bath. Partey does not seem fit enough to play a full 90 minutes

  103. 103
    Countryman100 says:

    Good chance for Partey. We’re getting closer

  104. 104
    Bathgooner says:


  105. 105
    ATG says:

    Playing with fire 🔥

  106. 106
    ksn says:

    We almost got done but the shot just went wide.

  107. 107
    Bathgooner says:

    What happened to Martinelli? Did he trip on a cable?

  108. 108
    ksn says:

    Saka and Partey off for Pepe and Elneny. Laca subbed and Auba comes on.

  109. 109
    Countryman100 says:

    Lovely football. What a chance

  110. 110
    Bathgooner says:

    Suddenly a bit of pace and directness. Pity Auba hooked it wide.

  111. 111
    ksn says:

    Auba wants to teach Arteta a lesson, refuses to score in front of an open goal.

  112. 112
    Steve T says:

    We’ve suddenly gone up two gears? Why has it taken us this long???

  113. 113
    Countryman100 says:

    Gabi so close!

  114. 114
    Bathgooner says:

    Why wait so long to start playing with urgency?

  115. 115
    ksn says:


  116. 116
    Countryman100 says:


  117. 117
    Bathgooner says:


  118. 118
    ATG says:

    At last get in Pepe 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  119. 119
    Countryman100 says:

    Such quality from Auba and Pepe!

  120. 120
    ksn says:

    We finally get one thanks to Pepe’s pace and dinkefinish.

  121. 121
    bt8 says:

    Pepe knows.

  122. 122
    ksn says:

    Ceballos on for ESR.

  123. 123
    Bathgooner says:

    I thought he had missed it! It looked as if it was going past the post. I’ve got so used to that happening!

  124. 124
    Steve T says:

    At last. Great work from Auba. Top finish by Pepe.

    If only we had played with this urgency for more than 10 minutes Abs who knows what would have happened???

  125. 125
    Countryman100 says:

    Four minutes to avoid a fuck up. 1-0 would be a very acceptable result.

  126. 126
    Countryman100 says:

    Another excellent save by Leno

  127. 127
    ksn says:

    They hit the post off Leno. Close.

  128. 128
    ATG says:

    Wake up Arsenal

  129. 129
    ATG says:


  130. 130
    Steve T says:

    Time to be positive. We’ve normally conceded 3 by this stage.

  131. 131
    Countryman100 says:

    Bugger bugger bugger

  132. 132
    ATG says:

    Arteta is furious

  133. 133
    ksn says:


  134. 134
    Bathgooner says:

    Would you believe it? Frankly, yes.

  135. 135
    ksn says:

    Cedric couldn’t stay with the attacker and Leno couldn’t keep the header off.

  136. 136
    Countryman100 says:

    All on next Thursday

  137. 137
    ATG says:

    Goal away for them then and we show exactly why we are mid table

  138. 138
    Steve T says:

    Same old same old same old same old same old same old…..

  139. 139
    ksn says:

    We were shit defensively, especially when put under pressure towards the end.
    Exciting game next week.

  140. 140
    Bathgooner says:

    After we scored, they stepped it up enough to pressurise us into a couple of mistakes and we sat back too much. Such a shame after Leno’s great save. But you could feel it coming for 5 minutes.

  141. 141
    ATG says:

    Teams used to fear us now all that identity is gone I’m afraid

  142. 142
    bt8 says:

    A glorious end it was not.

  143. 143
    Esso says:

    Well that was fucking terrible, even when we led we didn’t deserve to. Aint won a single game now since Sp*rz. Terrible time of the season to reach peak ineptitude.

  144. 144
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cedric and Gabriel messing about in the corner playing two sloppy passes to each other instead of dealing with a ball is what led to that entire passage of play.
    The goal is entirely on us. We aren’t learning.

    Still. We can win against that team next week.


  145. 145
    Steve T says:

    Yet again, no real leaders to manage the game when it really mattered.

    In fairness, we should have been 3 or 4 up by the time they scored.

    Is it the Cebalos factor? The last thing he has become is our lucky mascot in this competition???

  146. 146
    Steve T says:

    As always, consistently inconsistent

    A very big week in front of us. Arteta needs to really earn his money this week.

  147. 147
    North Bank Ned says:

    It is always darkest before dawn.

    That is about all I can take from that game.

    If we can just put the ball in the net, there is no reason we can’t outscore them in Prague.

  148. 148
    Bathgooner says:

    Courage, mes braves!

    We have lulled them into a belief that we are a soft touch. They believe they’re practically through. Wait until we spring our A game on them next week!

  149. 149
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I hope we have finished our long trek to Peak Ineptitude!

  150. 150
    Silly Second Yella says:

    What’s big about next week?

    Sheffield Utd and Slavia Prague?

  151. 151
    ATG says:


    That’s a big week for Arsenal nowadays 😳

  152. 152
    Bathgooner says:

    This game has panned out very much like the two games I watched between Slavia and Rangers where late in the game they changed the dynamic and result. We need to teat next week like a classic cup-tie, make at least as many chances as we did tnight but TAKE THEM and make the game safe before we think of taking our boot off their neck.

  153. 153
    Bathgooner says:

    Sorry. *treat not teat.

    Always been a breast man!

  154. 154
    Steve T says:

    We have an A game Bath?????

    You’ll be telling me that this group actually teeing together next..,,

  155. 155
    TTG says:

    I’ve sent the match report to our fine techies

  156. 156
    Steve T says:

    Train together even….

  157. 157
    Osakamatt says:

    I was wondering about the golf
    reference 😄
    Thought it might an allusion to
    bogeying the last hole as we did

  158. 158
    scruzgooner says: