Friday, 6 December 2019

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 16

It’s that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did pretty well in midweek with three perfect predictions, four correct outcomes and three incorrect outcomes to make up even more ground on the leaders in my predictions league. Here’s a look at how the top five in that league stands with me closing in quickly in sixth place.

POSITIONPLAYER NAMETHIS WEEKPOINTS
 1 (1) Invader 67

-40
930
 2 (2) GoonerLaw

-20
900
 3 (3) AFCDAVE

-20
895
 3 (3) Ali Bergkamp

-20
895
 5 (5) Samoz

-20
865

Saturday December 7

Everton v Chelsea 

12.30pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool 

Everton lost 5-2 away to Liverpool on Wednesday night and that defeat saw them drop into the relegation zone. They have lost three of their last five home games and only three other teams have scored less goals at home. They have lost eight of their last 11 games with only three other teams conceding more goals.

I can’t see any Everton players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

Chelsea won 2-1 at home to Villa on Wednesday night to stay in fourth place and six points clear of fifth place. Only Liverpool and City have taken more points away from home and only City have scored more goals on their travels. The win against Villa put an end to a run of two defeats in a row and they will hope to gain some ground on the teams ahead of them by winning this game.

If he’s fit Tammy Abraham is the Chelsea player to have for fantasy managers with Willian, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount pretty good options too.

I think Chelsea’s away record suggests they will win this game and probably by a couple of goals too.

Prediction: 1-3

Bournemouth v Liverpool 

3pm GMT, Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth 

Bournemouth lost 1-0 away to 10 man Palace on Tuesday night and they’re now only two points above the relegation zone. They have only won once in their last four home games and only four other teams have scored less goals at home. They have lost their last four games and they have a tough run of games coming up too.

I can’t see any Bournemouth players who are consistent enough at the moment to interest fantasy managers.

Liverpool won 5-2 at home to Everton on Wednesday night to maintain their eight point lead at the top of the table. They’re one of only two teams unbeaten away from home and no other team has conceded less goals on the road. They are the only unbeaten team and they have won 14 of their 15 games with only City scoring more goals and only Leicester conceding less.

Sadio Mane is the stand out candidate in the Liverpool team for fantasy managers with Mohamed Salah worth considering too if he’s fit to play.

I think Liverpool will continue their winning ways with a fairly comfortable victory in this game.

Prediction: 1-3

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley 

3pm GMT, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London 

Spurs lost 2-1 away to United on Wednesday night and that defeat saw them drop to eighth place. They have taken 11 points in their last five home games and only three other teams have conceded less goals at home. They have only won twice in their last eight games and no other team in the top half of the table has conceded more goals.

Dele Alli seems to be the Spurs play in form for fantasy managers at the moment with Heung-Min Son and Serge Aurier doing quite well too.

Burnley lost 4-1 at home to City on Tuesday night, but they’re still only one point off the top half of the table. They won their last away game at Watford, but that was their only away win so far. They have lost five of their last seven games and they play all of the “big six” in their next 10 games.

Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Dwight McNeil are all good options for fantasy managers, but maybe not in this game.

I think Spurs will bounce back from their midweek defeat to take the three points in this game.

Prediction: 3-1

Watford v Crystal Palace 

3pm GMT, Vicarage Road, Watford 

Watford lost 2-1 away to Southampton on Wednesday night and they’re still firmly rooted to the foot of the table. They’re the only team without a home win and no other team has scored less goals at home. They’re already seven points from safety and they have failed to score in eight of their 15 games with no other team scoring less goals.

I can’t see any Watford players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

Palace won 1-0 at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday night despite being down to 10 men for most of the game and that win moved them into seventh place. Only four other teams have taken more points away from home and their next four away games are all ones they can potentially win. They won their last two games without conceding a goal after failing to win the previous five and they have a very favourable run of fixtures.

Palace’s defenders and keeper are looking good again for fantasy managers after they put their run of tough games behind them.

I think Palace will probably emerge with the three points from a low scoring game.

Prediction: 0-2

Manchester City v Manchester United 

5.30pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City won 4-1 away to Burnley on Tuesday night to stay 11 points behind Liverpool in third place. Only Liverpool and Leicester have taken more points at home with only Liverpool scoring more home goals and only Leicester conceding less. They have taken 16 points from their last seven games and no other team has scored more goals, but it’s still not enough to keep pace with Liverpool.

With Sergio Aguero injured Gabriel Jesus could be the City player to have for fantasy managers while Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva continue to impress too.

United won 2-1 at home to Spurs on Wednesday night and they’re now up to sixth place. They have only won once in their seven away games, but only four other teams have conceded less goals on the road. They have only lost once in their last seven games, but they haven’t kept a clean sheet in 10 games.

Marcus Rashford is the United player setting the world alight for fantasy managers at the moment with Daniel James possibly worth a shout too.

I think United will make a game of it, but City should take the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday December 8

Aston Villa v Leicester City 

2pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa lost 2-1 away to Chelsea on Wednesday night and they’re now only one point above the bottom three. They have taken 11 points from their last six home games and it’s their home form that’s keeping them out of the bottom three. They have only taken four points from their last six games, but their fixtures get relatively easier after this game.

Jack Grealish looks to be the best bet for fantasy managers in the Villa team with John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi worth considering too.

Leicester won 2-0 at home to Watford on Wednesday night to stay in second place eight points behind Liverpool. They have won their last three away games without conceding a goal and no other team has conceded less goals on their travels. They have won their last seven games and they only conceded two goals in those games with no other team conceding less goals and only City and Liverpool scoring more.

Jamie Vardy continues to excel for fantasy managers while James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and all of Leicester’s defenders and keeper are very good choices too.

I think Leicester will continue their winning ways with a couple of goals to spare in this game.

Prediction: 1-3

Newcastle United v Southampton 

2pm GMT, St. James’s Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle won 2-0 away to Sheffield United on Thursday night and they’re only in the bottom half of the table on goal difference. They have only lost one of their seven home games and only Leicester have conceded less goals at home. They have taken 11 points in their last six games and they could do well in their next three games too, but only Watford have scored less goals.

I can’t see any Newcastle players who might make a difference for fantasy managers at the moment.

Southampton won 2-1 at home to Norwich on Wednesday night and those three points were enough to take them out of the relegation zone. They have only lost three of their seven away games and only four other teams have conceded less goals away from home, but they haven’t won in their last four games on the road. They have taken seven points from their last three games to climb out of the relegation zone abc they could do well in their next few games too.

Danny Ings is in great form for fantasy managers at the moment and James Ward-Prowse has done quite well too.

I think this will be a very close game and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the spoils shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Norwich City v Sheffield United 

2pm GMT, Carrow Road, Norwich 

Norwich lost 2-1 away to Southampton on Wednesday night to stay second last in the table and four points from safety. They haven’t won in four home games with only Watford taking less points at home and only Southampton conceding more goals on their own patch. They had taken four points from two games before losing to Southampton, but only Southampton have conceded more goals.

Both Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell seem to have returned to their early season form and they will definitely be of interest to fantasy managers.

United lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle on Thursday night and they’re only in the top half of the table on goal difference. They’re one of two teams unbeaten away from home, but they have drawn six of their seven games with only Liverpool and Leicester conceding less goals away from home. They haven’t won in four games and only Wolves have drawn more games while only Leicester and Liverpool have conceded less goals.

Lys Mousset is a very good bargain striker for fantasy managers while most of United’s defence and keeper are good options too.

I think this will be another close game with United probably emerging with the three points.

Prediction: 1-2

Brighton And Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers 

4.30pm GMT, AMEX Stadium, Brighton 

Brighton won 2-1 away to Arsenal on Thursday night to move four points clear of the bottom three. They have won three of their last four home games and they have a very good run of home games coming up. They had lost three games in a row before beating Arsenal, but they only play two of the “big six” in their next 14 games.

I’m not so sure there are any Brighton players to interest fantasy managers besides the usual duo of Matt Ryan and Lewis Dunk.

Wolves won 2-0 at home to West Ham on Wednesday night and they’re fifth in the table, but they are six points off fourth placed Chelsea. They have only lost one of their seven away games and only three other teams have conceded less goals away from home. They’re unbeaten in 10 games, but they did draw half of those games and no other team has drawn more games.

Raul Jiminez and Matt Doherty are still the Wolves players most likely to make a difference for fantasy managers.

I can see this game ending with a point a piece.

Prediction: 1-1

Monday December 9

West Ham United v Arsenal 

8pm GMT, London Stadium, London 

West Ham lost 2-0 away to Wolves on Wednesday night and they’re only two points above the bottom three. They have only taken one point in their last four home games and only Watford have taken less points at home. They have lost six of their last nine games and only four other teams have conceded more goals.

I don’t think there are any West Ham player to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Brighton on Thursday night and they’re only in the top half of the table on goal difference. They haven’t won in their last six away games with only Watford and Norwich scoring less goals on the road. They haven’t won in seven games and only Wolves have drawn more games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still the Arsenal player most likely to make an impression for fantasy managers.

I think Arsenal might just edge a very close game between two teams desperately out of form.

Prediction: 1-2

That’s it for this week.

See you next week.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Arsenal v Brighton Preview

We all hoped the Freddie Ljungberg time in charge at the club would get off to a good start at Norwich on Sunday and for the first half hour it looked like it might just do. However, Norwich scored first and all of our frailties were laid bare for all to see. To their credit the players did at least manage to come back from behind twice to get a 2-2 draw, but it was definitely another two points dropped. Norwich probably deserved all three points by the end of the game though and we were thankful to Bernd Leno for the one point we did get.

We have now played all of the bottom three clubs and failed to beat any of them with 2-2 draws away to Watford and Norwich and at home to Southampton. To be honest we were more than a little fortunate to emerge with a draw from each of those games and it says an awful lot about where we are as a team. There’s a scrap developing for fifth place in the Premier League and it looks like that’s the very best we can achieve this season as it stands.

Defensively we’re an absolute shambles and it just doesn’t look like changing. No matter what defenders we pick they continue to make wrong decisions both individually and collectively. They’re not helped by our midfield making the exact same errors when it comes to the defensive part of their game.

I had hoped Freddie would have picked Nicolas Pepe at Norwich, but from what he said there seems to be some issue with Pepe and he’s carried on Unai Emery’s policy of not giving him even a minute to play. It’s just as well we didn’t splash out a club record fee on him last summer I suppose. As I’ve said before I’d like to see Pepe play wide right of a front three with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle and Gabriel Martinelli on the left.

Surely a home game against a Brighton team who don’t travel well can afford us an opportunity to play an attacking team with loads of pace. They might have put up a good show in losing 2-1 at Liverpool on Saturday, but Brighton have only taken one point in their last six away games. They’re definitely more adventurous than they were last season, but we should be far too good for them at home if we approach the game in the right way.

I’d love to see both Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney as the full backs if they’re fit enough to play and Lucas Torreira given the job of anchoring the midfield. I think a team built around those three with the attacking trio I mentioned has to be able to get our first win in seven league games. Of course having Mesut Ozil to supply the ammunition for the front three would be great too and the fact Freddie picked him on Sunday is promising.

I expect a much better atmosphere at the Emirates tonight which will hopefully make it a little easier for the players to play. The chances are Freddie won’t get the gig long term, but hopefully he can turn things around enough to leave things in a reasonably good state for whoever takes over. 

That’s it for today.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 15

It’s that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did reasonably well last week with two perfect predictions, three correct outcomes and five incorrect outcomes which moved me up to sixth in my predictions league. Here’s a look at how the top five in that league stands.

POSITIONPLAYER NAMETHIS WEEKPOINTS
 1 (1) Invader 67

+5
880
 2 (2) Ali Bergkamp

+95
865
 3 (4) GoonerLaw

+80
825
 4 (5) Samoz

+80
810
 5 (2) AFCDAVE

+15
785

Tuesday December 3

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth 

7.30pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London 

Palace won 2-0 away to Burnley on Saturday and they’re only in the bottom half of the table on goal difference. They have only won two of their seven home games with only Watford scoring less goals at home. They had only taken one point from five very tough games before beating Burnley, but they have a good run of games coming up.

Wilfried Zaha has scored in the last two games for fantasy managers while Palace’s defenders and keeper are worth considering as they have a good run of games over the next few weeks.

Bournemouth lost 3-2 away to Spurs on Saturday and they’re only four points above the bottom three. They have only taken one point in their last four away games. They have only won once in their last eight games and they have some tough games on the horizon.

Harry Wilson did really well for fantasy managers on Saturday despite starting on the bench while Callum Wilson isn’t the worst choice either.

I think Palace will manage back to back wins with a narrow victory.

Prediction: 1-0

Burnley v Manchester City

8.15pm GMT, Turf Moor, Burnley 

Burnley lost 2-0 at home to Palace on Saturday, but they’re still in the top half of the table. They have lost two of their last three home games and they will do well to get anything out of this game too. They have lost four of their last six games, but they have kept four clean sheets in their last nine games.

Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil have done well for fantasy managers, but this might not be the best game for them.

City could only draw 2-2 away to Newcastle on Saturday and they’re now 11 points behind Liverpool at the top of the table. They have only won two of their last five away games and only Chelsea have scored more goals on the road. They’re still the leading scorers, but their defensive issues have cost them dearly.

Kevin de Bruyne continues to impress for fantasy managers while Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Gabriel Jesus could be worth having too.

I think City will get their faltering title chase back on track with a narrow victory in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

Wednesday December 4

Chelsea v Aston Villa 

7.30pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London 

Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to West Ham on Saturday and they now have only six points to spare over fifth place. They had won three home games in a row without conceding a goal before losing to West Ham, but they have struggled to score goals at home. They have lost their last two games, but they won six in a row before that and they have three very winnable games in a row starting with this game.

With Tammy Abraham more than likely injured Christian Pulisic and Willian could be the Chelsea players to watch for fantasy managers.

Villa drew 2-2 away to United on Sunday, but they’re still only three points above the bottom three. They have lost five of their seven away games with only Newcastle conceding more goals away from home. They have lost three of their last five games, but they have scored more goals than any other team in the bottom half of the league.

Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi are probably the best bets for fantasy managers in the Villa team while John McGinn most surely come good again soon.

I think Chelsea will get the better of Villa in what could be a very close game.

Prediction: 2-1

Leicester City v Watford 

7.30pm GMT, King Power Stadium, Leicester 

Leicester came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Everton on Sunday which kept them eight points behind Liverpool at the top of the table. They have won their last six home games with only Liverpool taking more points at home and no other team conceding less goals at home. They have won their last six games and they scored 19 goals in those games while only conceding two.

Janie Vardy continues to excel for fantasy managers while all of the Leicester defenders and keeper are very good choices too along with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.

Watford led away to Southampton on Saturday, but they ended up losing 2-1 which kept them at the foot of the table. They have only won once in their seven away games with only Norwich scoring less goals on the road and only Newcastle conceding more. No other team has scored less goals with only Southampton and Norwich conceding more and they have failed to score in half of their 14 games.

I can’t see any Watford players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

I can’t see anything other than a comfortable Leicester win in this game.

Prediction: 3-0

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur 

7.30pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester 

United could only draw 2-2 at home to Villa on Sunday and they’re only in the top half of the table on goal difference. They have only lost one of their seven home games, but they have drawn three of them. They have only won two of their last nine games and they didn’t keep a clean sheet in any of those games.

Marcus Rashford is the best bet in the United team for fantasy managers with both Anthony Martial and Daniel James doing quite well too.

Spurs won 3-2 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday to move up to fifth in the table. They won their last away game, but it’s their only away win so far and only three other teams have conceded more goals on the road. They have won their last two games since Jose Mourinho took the reins and they scored six goals in those games, but they conceded four goals.

Both Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane look like very good options for fantasy managers at the moment with Dele Alli coming good recently too.

I think this will be a very close game and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end in a draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Southampton v Norwich City 

7.30pm GMT, St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Watford on Saturday and they’re now only two points off seventeenth place. Only Watford have taken less points at home and no other team has conceded more goals on their own patch. Their win last week was their first one in nine games and no other team has conceded more goals.

Danny Ings just can’t stop scoring for fantasy managers at the moment with James Ward-Prowse worth watching too.

Norwich led twice at home to Arsenal on Sunday, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw and they dropped to second last in the table. No other team has taken less points or scored less goals away from home, but they did win their last away game at Everton. They have taken four points from their last two games after taking only one from their previous seven games with only Southampton conceding more goals.

Both Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell have returned to form  in recent weeks and could be worth having again for fantasy managers.

This is the second relegation six pointer at home in a row for Southampton and I think they might just win this one too.

Prediction: 2-1

Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United 

7.30pm GMT, Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton 

Wolves drew 1-1 at home to Sheffield United on Sunday and they’re sixth in the league despite playing so many games. They have only lost one of their seven home games, but no other team has drawn more games at home. They’re unbeaten in nine games and they haven’t failed to score since their opening game.

Raul Jiminez and Matt Doherty continue to perform week after week for fantasy managers and they’re both definitely worth considering.

West Ham won 1-0 away to Chelsea on Saturday to move four points clear of the relegation zone. They have taken more points away from home than they have at home, but only four other teams have scored less goals on their travels. Their win at Chelsea was their first win in eight games and only three other teams have conceded more goals.

Despite their win at Chelsea I’m still not sure which West Ham players to recommend to fantasy managers.

I don’t think Wolves will have things all their own way in this game, but they will take the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Liverpool v Everton 

8.15pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool 

Liverpool just about held on to win 2-1 at home to Brighton on Saturday which kept them eight points clear at the top of the table. They’re the only team with a 100% record at home with only City scoring more home goals, but they haven’t kept a clean sheet at home yet. They’re the only team still unbeaten with only City and Leicester scoring more goals and only Leicester conceding less.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are still the best options in the Liverpool team for fantasy managers with Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk all impressing too.

Everton led away to high flying Leicester on Sunday, but they ended up losing 2-1 and they’re only two points above the bottom three. No other team has taken less points away from home with only Norwich and Watford scoring less goals on the road. They have lost seven of their last 10 games and their next four games are all very hard games.

I don’t think there are any Everton players to consider for fantasy managers at the moment.

I think Liverpool will be too good for Everton and should win by at least a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Thursday December 5

Sheffield United v Newcastle United 

7.30pm GMT, Bramall Lane, Sheffield 

United drew 1-1 away to Wolves on Sunday and they’re only one point off fifth place. They have lost as many home games as they have won and only three other teams have scored less goals at home. They’re unbeaten in seven games and they kept clean sheets in three of those games with only Leicester and Liverpool conceding less goals.

Lys Mousset is the United player to have at the moment while John Lundstram has been great since day one.

Newcastle came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at home to City on Saturday and they’re four points above the bottom three. No other team has lost more games or conceded more goals away from home with only Norwich and Watford scoring less away goals. They have taken eight points from their last five games, but only Watford have scored less goals.

I still can’t see any Newcastle players to interest fantasy managers for the moment at least.

I think this will be another very close game with the Sheffield team getting the better of a battle of the United’s.

Prediction: 2-1

Arsenal v Brighton And Hove Albion 

8.15pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London 

Arsenal came from behind twice away to Norwich on Sunday to get a 2-2 draw which saw them drop to eighth in the league. They’re one of three teams still unbeaten at home, but no other team has drawn more games at home. They haven’t won in six games and no other team in the top half of the table has conceded more goals. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still the only Arsenal player worth considering for fantasy managers.

Brighton came close to getting a point at Liverpool on Saturday, but they ended up losing 2-1 to stay three points above the relegation zone. No other team has taken less points away from home with only Norwich and Watford scoring less goals on their travels. They have lost their last three games and they will do well to get anything out of this game despite Arsenal’s current form.

Lewis Dunk and Matt Ryan continue to impress for fantasy managers and they’re both still available at a good price.

I think Brighton will give Arsenal a run for their money, but Arsenal will win narrowly.

Prediction: 2-1

That’s it for this week.

See you next week.


Saturday, 30 November 2019

Arsenal v Norwich Preview: We Love You Freddie

I can’t say I was unhappy yesterday morning when I heard the news Arsenal had decided it was time to part ways with Unai Emery. We are on our worst run of results since 1992 as we’re without a win in seven games in all competitions. I’ve nothing against Emery in person, but the time had come where it appeared there was no going back.

Since our late collapse in the Premier League and Europa League final defeat last season we have been a shambles. We had no particular style of play and 18 months into his tenure all the problems in the final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign seemed to be unaddressed and had probably even got worse under Emery. I don’t think the club had any other choice than letting him go, but they now have to get his successor right.

We need a manager who can play the style of football us fans want to see at the same time as fixing the very real problems we have. It’s not going to be an task and the club cannot rush into selecting a replacement. In the meantime they have put Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge as their search continues.

He takes charge as we have just started the busiest time of the season with the games coming thick and fast. There is no doubt he will have the fans behind him and we can look forward to renditions of “We Love You Freddie” ringing out from the stands. He hasn’t got an easy job though when you look at how we have being playing, but hopefully he can change things as quickly as possible.

Emery penned a message to the fans yesterday and it was a very good message to be fair to him. I have nothing against the man in person and I genuinely wanted him to do well at Arsenal, but it just didn’t work out. I wasn’t impressed with the abuse he got from some and that includes the slagging of his accent, pronunciation and use of English in particular. The division in the fan base of recent years and toxic atmosphere at the Emirates at times is something we could do without and hopefully it’s something that will improve as we move forward.

First up for Freddie it’s a trip to Norwich  tomorrow afternoon and it’s a game we really need to win. We’re already eight points off the top four and we only have the same gap below us to the bottom three. While we might still be a point above both Spurs and United we have a lot of ground to make up on both Leicester and Chelsea if we want to take the easy route to the Champions League for next season. Champions League football is something we took for granted under Wenger, but it’s been three seasons since we played against Europe’s elite clubs. 

Norwich got their first win in a long time away to Everton last week, but it wasn’t enough to move them out of the bottom three. They concede an awful lot of goals and they have conceded 10 goals in their last three home games which have all ended in defeat. They have shown they can play some pretty good football, but it’s a game we should win.

Freddie has to pick a team that can go to Norwich and win and he certainly has the players to do so. With three league games in eight days we have an opportunity to make up some ground if he can bring some organisation and the inevitable bounce that usually comes with a new manager. On the face of it trips to Norwich and West Ham with a home game against Brighton sandwiched in between them is exactly the start he could wish for in terms of fixtures.

If it’s true the players had lost faith in the manager we should see more from them in those three games and it’s something we need. As bad as Emery was he was let down by dreadful individual errors from far too many of his players far too often. We have to find a way to coach our players to make good decisions and I’m not sure how you do that. It can’t be a coincidence that these simple errors keep happening year after year no matter who is in charge.

I hope Freddie can show the ambition that Emery seemed so afraid to show time after time. We have some very good attacking players and the best way for us to turn things around is to play to our strengths. We have surrendered possession and been on the wrong end of far too many goal attempts to our opponents for far too long and he has to do all he can to get us to control games and take them to our opponents.

Surely Nicolas Pepe has to come back into the team as his omission at the expense of Mesut Ozil in the last few games has been ridiculous. What’s the point in playing Ozil if you don’t play the players most likely to benefit from his ability to open up opposition defences. I would love to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the centre of the attack with Pepe on one side of him and Gabriel Martinelli on the other. I know that leaves no room in the starting 11 for Alexandre Lacazette who scored both of our goals in the draw against Southampton last week, but I think it would be exactly the dynamic attack we want with Ozil supplying the ammunition.

I’d love to see Lucas Torreira deployed in his best position and the one his agent has made it pretty obvious he wants to play in. I’m still not 100% sold on Matteo Guendouzi as a defensive midfielder alongside him, but he has a lot to learn and will improve even more. He has to get his concentration levels right though, but his lapses could be a byproduct of the amount of game time he has been given at such an early stage in his career.

I would love to sit down and watch a masterclass in attacking football from Arsenal tomorrow and I do think we will see an awful lot more than we have done recently. I don’t think Freddie has anything to lose and I don’t see him sending the team out with the fear that was so obvious in recent games. I’ll be very surprised if the change doesn’t have a positive effect on every single player and I expect Norwich to suffer the consequences (said he hopefully).

That’s it for today.

See you tomorrow.