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Since the Foxes had returned to the English top-tier football we have had quite a few memorable victories against them. Even in their surprising title winning campaign in 2015-16 we won against them home and away, the home victory courtesy of a last minute header from the substitute Danny Welbeck, and that result in early Spring raising a glimpse of hope among some Arsenal fans of a genuine attempt at winning the league, only to see us falling behind rapidly towards the final months to end ten points behind Leicester, but still of course managing to welcome a certain Saint back in the North London sun (or rain). It was also our the then capital Mikel Arteta’s farewell season, there were whispers in the air that one day we may see him back at the Arsenal, prowling the touchline and putting mannerless journalists and players alike in their place by the sheer force of that intense stare.      

Of all these victories my favorite was the come-from-behind 3-1 at home in October 2018, at Mikel’s fellow Basque Emery’s first season. It was at that early stretch of Unai’s time when the results were going very well (22 unbeaten or something like that) and in between we had played some sumptuous football dispelling any fear of losing our identity of innovative, attacking football. Here is a highlight of all the three sumptuous goals, for those willing to indulge in a bit of nostalgia: https://youtu.be/TyE3cP27VoY .

As wonderful that performance was, it is also a lucid reminder of how results and performances in football can change very quickly, how complacency and lack of focus can very quickly derail a campaign, and how only a ceaseless desire for improving all aspects of performance from one match to the next is essential to earn the rights to fight at the top of the table.

After a poor start to this season Arteta’s Arsenal has started to show a degree of resilience and application that raises the possibility of an upward movement on the league table, but only if that resilience and applications are maintained consistently, which then would offer the kind of strong basis of self-belief across the squad to facilitate the creativity and skills — that we all know to be present in this team — to flourish.  

These noon-time away matches haven’t been particularly kind to Arsenal in the recent years. Even though Leicester is yet to show last season’s peak form they would present quite a difficult challenge to this very young Arsenal squad. Difficult, but not insurmountable, and I am hopeful that the memories of their own courage, commitment and discipline against Villa last weekend will give them the motivation and composure they need.  We did win away against Leicester last season, twice! The second of those two wins, a 3-1 victory in February earlier this year, came courtesy of goals from David Luiz, Lacazette (a penalty), and Pépé. The Brazilian maverick of the flowing locks is now plying his trade back home in Rio in the Flamengo colors, Pépé is unlikely to start (but a goal or two coming off the bench would be very nice, thank you), and it would be intriguing whether Mikel retains Lacazette in the team and leaves last weekend’s starting eleven and shape unchanged or if he makes alterations, if only to tactically outmaneuver his art connoisseur counterpart. My guess is that in a feisty away encounter against a high pressing team he would like to use Laca’s combativeness, leadership, and also to use his excellent understanding with captain Aubameyang to create central overload in the opposition penalty box which can then be exploited by the speed and skills our two Hale End heroes.   

Assuming Tierney would still not be risked as he is yet to fully recover (as far as we are given to understand), I think we will start the same starting eleven as last weekend. I am of course also assuming that Benjamin White has fully recovered from whatever knocks he had received midweek, and the stomach bug that is apparently going around in the Arsenal camp hasn’t sidelined any more players.


Tomiyasu – White – Gabriel – Tavares

Saka – Partey – Lokonga – ESR

Aubameyang –  Lacazette

I would gladly take last season’s 3-1 victory, giving us a moderately respectable 17 points from 10 games, but any victory would do. A clean sheet would be nice too, if only to strengthen the belief, confidence and camaraderie of the back five. Enjoy the match everyone!

69 Drinks to “Rolling Back the Years”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Nice work, Dr F. Although I would quibble with your estimation of 1.7 points per game after 10 as moderately respectable, given our first 3 games.

  2. 2
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers Doc. Nicely done.

    I’ve got a busy few hours but I plan to be in the pub by kickoff.


  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    Whetted my appetite nicely Dr. F. It’s a big challenge for our youngsters but I’m hoping Leicester won’t even know what hit them with our revitalized fullback duo of Nuno and Tomi. COYG

  4. 4
    Countryman100 says:

    Nice preview Dr F. About to leave for the game. I’ve suffered a few defeats at the King Power, so here’s hoping for a win.

  5. 5
    bt8 says:

    Not to attempt to convince anyone to toss away their hard-earned cash, but interesting this from Jones Knows at Sky: “ With Leicester not exactly firing in the final third – all their key attacking metrics have them ranked as a mid-table team this season – there is a case to be made for backing an Arsenal win without them conceding at 4/1 with Sky Bet. Four of Arsenal’s last five wins on the road have been achieved with a clean sheet and since the start of last season only Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have won more games to nil away from home than Arsenal (8).”

    Fingers crossed.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Happy travels c100.

  7. 7
    TTG says:

    As usual a very well set up preview by Dr.F full of facts and interest .
    A stomach bug appears to be at work in N5 and centre backs are particularly susceptible . White has already lost the eve4 present aura he had at Brighton and looks likely t9 be out today . His mobility against Vardy will be missed.
    We beat them twice away last season but I think a point is the likely outcome today in a 1-1 draw. My wife has arranged for me to attend a lute recital prior to kick off so my ore-match preparation is unusual to say the least.
    And let’s beat the Aussies too!

  8. 8
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Dr F!
    Happy to take 1-0 to The Arsenal today

  9. 9
    Las says:

    Cheers, Dr F excellent preview. Cleaning some uncertanity and makes me more optimistic.
    Any win could do. It would lift us more than one way.
    We need this win.

  10. 10
    Esso says:

    Same as Villa

  11. 11
    Esso says:

    Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette, Aubameyang

    Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Pepe, Odegaard, Martinelli

  12. 12
    bathgooner says:

    Good stuff, Dr F. I would also start the same team as started against Villa.

    I am somewhat more pessimistic, perhaps based on a long experience of recurrent bouts of disappointment after a wave of optimism generated by a couple of ‘we’ve turned the corner now’ performances.

    We will do well to get out of Lesta with a point, particularly if our increasingly impressive central defensive partnership has indeed been disrupted by norovirus. It’s a nasty bug – not as nasty as Covid-19 but it’s much more infectious and literally and figuratively takes the stuffing out of one. Hopefully they’ve quarantined the stricken early enough to prevent too many key players being affected.

    Having said that I will be reasonably happy to come away with a point, I will of course be beside myself with ecstasy with a win and a chance to finish the weekend in 5th place.


  13. 13
    Silly Second Yella says:

    cm n rsnl

  14. 14
    Silly Second Yella says:

    who took my vowels


  15. 15
    North Bank Ned says:

    Good going, Dr F. Congratulations on the team selection. As you say, any win will do.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I made it.

    I’m in the pub. The footy is on. I’m raising a pint of the black stuff in honour of Dave.


  18. 18
    scruzgooner says:


  19. 19
    scruzgooner says:

    get the fuck in

  20. 20
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes!!! Great header Gabriel

  21. 21
    OsakaMatt says:

    Started well, could have got another there Auba

  22. 22
    scruzgooner says:

    evening, matt.

  23. 23
    bt8 says:

    Fullbacks doing their bit so far

  24. 24
    scruzgooner says:


  25. 25
    bt8 says:

    We look like our team had an enema. Maybe two

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    Get in ESR! 2-0

  27. 27
    Las says:

    Wow! Not just the goals but the style of play. COYG

  28. 28
    Las says:

    Hope we won’t step back. But losing Gabriel would be hard.

  29. 29
    scruzgooner says:

    oof. good save, keep them out!

  30. 30
    OsakaMatt says:

    Gabriel looks ok fortunately. Leicester a little more in the game now.
    Good save Aaron

  31. 31
    ClockEndRider says:

    This is their period now. Imperative we don’t concede before HT

  32. 32
    Gooner_KS says:

    If we could hit them on the counter, 3 before HT would be great

  33. 33
    OsakaMatt says:

    Whew, thank you Aaron.
    Sit down Rodgers.

  34. 34
    ClockEndRider says:

    This is fantastic stuff.
    I think we should do this more often. I really must tell Mr Arteta.

  35. 35
    scruzgooner says:

    cer i’ll get you in touch 🙂

  36. 36
    Las says:

    What a save from Ramsdale… god…and full respect goes to the the travelling fans. They are well heard over the telly

  37. 37
    OsakaMatt says:

    Great first 20 minutes, shredded Leicester.
    And didn’t let them get one back.
    A third soon after half time would make for a
    more relaxing 2nd half 😉

  38. 38
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    A fucking lute recital TTG?

    How was that for a warmup?

  39. 39
    ClockEndRider says:

    Good call, Dino!

  40. 40
    bt8 says:

    COYG second half

  41. 41
    ClockEndRider says:

    Setting getting lower right into Schmeichels eyes. Excellent.

  42. 42
    Las says:

    This is way too much Leicester for my taste. We need to keep the ball and play for goal. Hope Ode will make the difference.

  43. 43
    OsakaMatt says:

    Odegaard for Laca
    Bit of Leicester pressure but still holding firm after 60 minutes
    Quite early sub for MA.
    Fuck off Evans

  44. 44
    OsakaMatt says:

    Another good block from Aaron

  45. 45
    Gooner_KS says:

    Way too much possession for LC. Ramsdale is MOTM for the moment

  46. 46
    Gooner_KS says:

    A foul and a yellow card here and there to break off their rhythm would not hurt.

  47. 47
    OsakaMatt says:

    Auba nearly getting a third, would of have loved that

  48. 48
    ClockEndRider says:

    Absolutely super defending. We haven’t seen the like for years. It is good to see it back.

  49. 49
    OsakaMatt says:

    Another sub Pepe for Saka

  50. 50
    Gooner_KS says:

    A tremendeous defensive display, keep it up. Bad for the heart though

  51. 51
    OsakaMatt says:

    Kola for ESR
    Tavares pushed up, Kola at LB

  52. 52
    OsakaMatt says:

    Playing it out well, keeping the clean sheet would be great

  53. 53
    Gooner_KS says:

    Well done, bloody well done 👏👏👏

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    Great win for us, good at the back and Aaron fantastic

  55. 55
    Las says:


  56. 56
    Gooner_KS says:

    2 weekends in a row, the ‘experts’ predicted we would loose, this week it was P Parker, LMAO, ‘experts’ hahahahahahahaha

  57. 57
    bt8 says:

    What KS said @53

  58. 58
    North Bank Ned says:

    Turn the fast start into goals, and you can grind out a result. The fact that we came away with a clean sheet despite Leicester’s domination of possession shows how resolute the defence was. Ramsdale MOTM, with several top-class saves, but Gabriel and White not far behind. This is a team that is starting to look purposeful.

  59. 59
    scruzgooner says:

    baff will have fun writing this one up!

  60. 60
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Top result. Well played all round.

    And credit to the Boss. Whatever we see from the outside, his players put in a shift for him.

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, a nice one to write sg, looking forward to C100’s away day report too

  62. 62
    North Bank Ned says:

    Away fans should be happy campers. Their singing came through loud and clear on my stream throughout the match. In good heart as well as good voice. Tremendous stuff.

  63. 63
    North Bank Ned says:

    What GSD said @60.

  64. 64
    Pangloss says:

    A Good Day so far.

    Dropped points by Dippers and Oilers of amusement value only, I fear. A draw in the late match with a couple of sendings-off on either side, please, to make it a Very Good Day.


  65. 65
    Gooner_KS says:

    To finish the day just 3 points off Man$hitty, wow.

  66. 66
    Gooner_KS says:

    @64 hear hear

  67. 67
    Countryman100 says:

  68. 68
    Silly Second Yella says:

    bloody goal difference


  69. 69
    Bathgooner says: