Arsenal v Bournemouth v Vorskla

I get confused with this January transfer window talk. First we’re told that we’re not going to be participating unless there is a real emergency at the club and that players that are available at this time tend to over priced and under qualified. Then I see we’re looking for someone to replace Danny Welbeck as it appears that he’s a major cog in our plan to bring back Champions League football to The Emirates and that Eddie Nketiah does not yet cut the mustard.  Well, whatever transfer business we do try and do in January, let’s hope that none of our targets saw our last match against Wolves! After a slow and gradual rise to a top four position with an eleven match winning run, we now seem to have put the brakes on and dropped six valuable points in our last three Premier League matches with three consecutive draws, culminating in a disappointing performance against Wolves. It really was terrible, possibly our worst game of the season and we really need to move away from such performances. I would truly have preferred for us to have played much better and lose than see such a wretched performance. Fortunately, that is now behind us and there is only one way to look, that being forward where on Sunday we can enjoy a visit to Bournemouth.

The equivalent match last season was something not to be savoured and was probably the equal of our last match against Wolves, so this fixture will prove whether we have made an improvement or not over the last ten months. Bournemouth are a handy team to say the least and with players such as Wilson, King and Fraser, we need to be alert. We can do it as long as we maintain our concentration and not go walk about as sometimes happens with the back three. Mustafi is a culprit in this case and when called on, he can be quite brilliant but as per the Palace game, he can have these tendencies of not being in the moment and lacks that 100% concentration that’s the difference between conceding a goal and keeping a clean sheet. Holding has been playing well of late and seems intent on keeping his place, however for this weekend’s game one of these tow must be replaced by Sokratis and I’m not too sure who it will be, probably the former. Nacho was on the bench against Wolves and I’m hoping he will be back to match fitness to face Bournemouth although in all honesty I feel he is getting a bit long in the tooth. I don’t think AMN will get much of a look-in in midfield with our abundances there and I believe it’s about time that Emery played him more in the left back slot, more for being an excellent cover for our first choice in the future than making that position his own. Bellerin can remain on the right and his attacking prowess makes up for his defensive lapses.

From defensive midfield to our front striker I would say more of the same and keep Iwobi in instead of Mkhitaryan. Of course, I think most people would agree that Leno has become our number 1 between the posts. He has made a number of crucial saves as of late, especially in that Wolves games and inspires more confidence than Cech which is so crucial when it comes to the way our back four play.

Bournemouth are a place behind us in the league with four points less than us. They have just come off two consecutive losses and therefore have garnered the same number of points in their last three games as we have. They have not had a particularly good run of late, losing to both Newcastle and MFU and drawing at home to Southampton, but had some great results prior to that, beating Watford at Vicarage Road 4 – 0 and a home win against Leicester 4 – 2. I wonder which Bournemouth will turn up on Sunday?

Looking at the table, the top four are slowly getting away from us with Sp*rs, in fourth spot, three points ahead of us. We cannot afford to drop any further points and with a Chelsea/Spurs fixture taking place on Saturday, we really need to take advantage of whatever that result may be. Especially as we face Sp*rs the following week!

Our midweek game in Europe is against Vorskla and although we have qualified, we need one more win to make certain of top spot. I don’t think Emery will put out too weak a side, especially with the match against Sp*rs looming, so expect the Nketiahs, Smith-Rowes and likes to be on the team sheet. It’s only a pity that we don’t have the services of Reiss Nelson at the moment as he’s plying his trade with Hoffenheim, on loan, this season and making a good job of it by all accounts. They will be up against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

On to the Arsenal South Africa fantasy leagues and in the FPL we have third place dropping out and a new entry into the top three. Top scorer for the week was Shannon Poulton with her team 2STEPSAHAEADOFAKEEN14. Shannon scored 69 points which moves her into 29th position. New entry into the top three this week is Cedric Angelo Nappies and IM GUNNING FOR YOU!! Where he has taken up second place. This all means that top spot has opened up a 17 point gap;

Sons of Pitches                  Jean Raath                          748

Im Gunning for you!!      Cedric Angelo Nappies  731

Candytjie FC                      Candice Claasen               730

The Superbru league has a new third spot with Amith coming into the picture at the expense of Maggot. Stone top scored for the week with a reasonable 12.5 points. Looks like he got 6 out of ten results correct, not bad for what was a difficult week of predictions. Those points saw him climb 2 places into 43rd spot. Well done Stone!! The top three are as follows:

StevieZ                                 142,5

Davyboy                              142,5

Amith                                    135,5

So, two games this week, Sunday and Thursday. It’s a must win away game to Bournemouth and we should know exactly what that will do for us as Chelsea will have already played Sp*rs, so why dontcha come on down to the Brazenhead on Sunday and see whether we can improve on our last result – oh and also have some fun.

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