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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