BATE Preview: What Time is Kick-Off? What Time Can You Make It?

I knew there was a time when the old footballing joke would come in useful. I’d insert a witty quip about Arsène and old footballing joke’s at this point but I’d better not; we’ll get swamped by people telling us to be more passionate about the club and such like.

BATE tonight; I say that to remind myself who we’re playing such is the meaninglessness of the fixture. One thing worse than watching the match is previewing it. In itself, that’s a step up from reviewing it and no Isaac, that’s not a cue for you to get your mum to phone you in sick for tomorrow morning.

Arsenal claimed 50,000 tickets were sold for tonight; No-one believes that many will attend. Anything above 40,000 is a result for the club. This is the curse of group stage football and it isn’t a Europa League thing, crowds at the Champions League matches were similarly impacted.

So to this evening. Jack Wilshere starts, so too Theo Walcott. In fact, Arsène isn’t going to flood the team with youth, he made that much clear:

Not too much, because I have many players available who need competition. Next week we go into a week with three games and so some players need competition, some experienced players. We’ll play quite an experienced team tomorrow.

One man not included is Shkodran Mustafi who found a “little thigh injury” after much looking. He is set to miss Southampton, before returning with his own brand of brain fart at West Ham.

That suggests Rob Holding will miss this evening and travel with the first team at the weekend. Maybe Arsène will give him this evening as match practice ahead of what will be a tricky match on Sunday. Mo Elneny to fill alongside Debuchy and Mertesacker, if not.

Kiss My Arsenal

In fact, there need not be much speculation over the team:

Ospina; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding; Chambers, Elneny, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck

That’s an XI good enough to win. Mind you, it was an XI which ought to have been good enough to win in Cologne but fell woefully short. Maybe Theo’s inclusion is the catalyst. We shall see.

One thing we do learn is that there is no ‘punishment demotion’ for Saturday’s defeat. Who would you choose? Mustafi’s arse is saved by the Mysterious Thigh Injury; Elneny is the most likely to be promoted for Xhaka whose defensive work was poor against United.

Theo isn’t going anywhere in January, according to Arsène – not even into the first team, boom, tish – so he’s working back to fitness, getting sharp, and back into contention. The assembled hacks heard as ‘detention’ and pontificated over whether the discipline regime at Arsenal was really up to scratch.

Jack Wilshere meanwhile, has been told that if he took the kids ice skating, that’s fine. If he pirouetted and shouted, “Look at me! I’m the new Robin Cousins!”, that’s a problem.  Ask your parents, kids.

Anyway, Arsène wasn’t impressed but I hope that’s more to do with the numbing questions being asked than anything else. There is something logical in questioning why glass ankles is using ice skates but you have to give him some credit for common sense. Going on a day out with the kids to the ice rink isn’t a problem and I bet most other denizens were awestruck to see Whacko Jacko on the ice.

Next in the press hitlist is Petr Cech and his place as chief tray basher in his Pogues tribute band:

Adieu, Farewell, So Long

Right, it’s mid-afternoon and this has been typed at a speed of around a word an hour so I’ll bid you a fond farewell.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. Isaac will be here tomorrow with the review.

 

52 thoughts on “BATE Preview: What Time is Kick-Off? What Time Can You Make It?

  1. This used to be a good site, now it is simply another sneer blog.
    Not the greatest of games to look forward to that’s true but what the hell, don’t you support Arsenal? 40/50000 SUPPORTERS will be there so just relax and enjoy.

  2. Henry, from earlier. Snowball said four legs good two legs bad. I put the word “contrary” before the quote, thereby implying the opposite. Thus…two legs good four legs bad. Ramsey and Walcott have four legs between them, Bad. Ozil has two legs, Good.

    So to sum up, my answer to C’s excellent question is that I would take the two legs of Ozil over the four legs of Ramsey and Walcott. The legs only being representative of the actual players of course. 🆒 🆗

  3. Great preview yogi

    Its always a better day when there is football but the prospect of today’s game is probably the least exciting of any game I can ever remember. Meh is the best word I can think of and that conveys to much excitement. I agree wth Arsene’s idea on playing a highly experienced side of squad players because we are going to need to use players like Wilshere, Elneny and may be even Walcott during the busy holiday fixture list and those players need minutes. I don’t think you mentioned Le Coq, is he injured?

  4. Yogi from last night.

    I understand why Ox wanted to move but I think Liverpool was a poor choice. He will not get regular minutes because they have several players who offer a similar skill set but those other players are better then Ox. Chelsea would have been a better choice. Clearly Ox wanted to get away from Arsenal and may be Liverpool offered the best wage package.

  5. Just please play Debuchy as a RB and Chambers as a CD Arsene, not the other way around. I know that you can’t swap the FB’s over like you did when we had the Ox, and you can’t squeeze Kolasinac in as a CD, so just for once could we have all the players in their actual preferred positions? I know that it’s a novel idea, and no-one will tell you how clever you are, but it seems to work for most other people so why not give it a go?

  6. Rumour has it that Theo was singing quietly to himself close to where AW was on the training pitch;

    They say a restless body can hide a peaceful soul.
    A voyager, and a footballer, they both have a distant goal.
    If I explore the heavens, or if I search inside.
    Well, it really doesn’t matter as long as I can tell myself – I’ve always tried.”

    Like a roller in the ocean, life is in motion — Move on
    Like a wind that’s always blowing, life is simply flowing — Move on
    Like the sunrise in the morning, my life is really dawning — Move on
    How I treasure every minute, Being part of it, being in it — With the urge to Move on.

    Umm, Arsene my man — bollix to all that “he stays” stuff — I think Theo wants to Move on.

  7. AW,

    Please ignore Andy @ 2:31 — just keep it simple — do not play Debuchy – ever – anywhere — and ditto for poor old Chambers, he’s too nice — when he bites their ankles — we’ll talk.

  8. Good stuff Yogi even though it was grueling to write.

    FFS please let Chambers start against Southampton, actually it makes quite a ton of sense if you think about it unless Mert is going to start there. The central of the CB’s needs to be comfortable on the ball and a reader of the game which Chambers is both of those things but it also allows for Nacho and Kos to stay at their most comfortable positions…….Unless Mert is set to start at Southampton in which case I would go with a back 3 tonight of Chambers/Elneny/Holding drop Debuchy, bring in Nelson for him with Maitland-Niles and let Le Coq or Willock sit next to Jack in midfield.

  9. OK @ 2:21

    Didn’t understand any of that.

    Quoting a pig to explain away your dirty deeds regarding sharing / dividing too many, too few legs is not convincing — now if you took a Trotsky viewpoint and used the adage, “what is your leg is also mine – and my leg is only mine’– well now, that might work, or not.

  10. A very nice Post, YW, altho I feel we have been shortchanged in the numbers stakes — and I could give you more marks if only you would show more passion about the club and suchlike.

    Come on — you know it makes sense. Does it? 😀

  11. NuttnTiddy

    Thanks for popping by and telling us how to support the club. Got to be honest, you really won’t like the version of The Specials Ghost Town I’m honing…

    Anyway, get back to your sweeping up. Don’t want to interrupt you at work.

  12. Salah has been a great purchase for Liverpool and they paid the same amount that we paid for xhaka. I don’t think anyone would have predicted how good Salah would be but he is the sort of player we need to replace Sanchez and if our scouts do their job well then we can find good players who are affordable

  13. Bill,

    See my post to Jonny yesterday but anybody that watched Salah at Basel then at Roma (ignore the Chelsea stint because he didn’t even get a chance, same with De Bruyne) knows just how talented of a futboler he was/is and this is certainly something that could have been predicted especially playing for a manager like Klopp who likes to play at a high tempo.

  14. YW,

    Don’t you ever wonder if of the people actually realize that if you didn’t support the club and love this club you wouldn’t write about it damn near everyday for as long as you have 🙂

    Guess you don’t support the club just enjoy writing about Arsenal and take the temperature of true Gooners like NuttnTiddy and base your highs and lows on that….I wish everybody was talented enough to do all of that stuff Yogi! 😉

  15. HenryB,

    Your Trotsky arguement doesn’t work, in fact you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. 😀

    Did I ever recount the story of the Norfolk farmer with the three legged pig?

  16. Monaco was a great story last year but a lot of their great young players have not replicated what they were able to do last season. Mbappe has not really set the world on fire. Bakayoko has not been a sure fire starter for Chelsea and at least from a statistical standpoint Thomas Lemar has been underwhelming. If/when Sanchez does leave then our #2 goal scoring option behind Lacazette would be Giroud and after that Walcott and welbeck. That does not fill me with a lot of confidence. If money is an issue then it would be crazy to spend big on a another midfield like Lemar who is not much of a threat to score. We already have plenty of those.

  17. Orson Kaert:
    HenryB,

    Your Trotsky arguement doesn’t work, in fact you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.😀

    Did I ever recount the story of the Norfolk farmer with the three legged pig?

    Orson,

    I bet he had to re-count it several times just to make sure it didn’t have two legs and a swizzle. 🙂

  18. I do wonder C, but if they can take the time to leave a crass comment, I can take the time to stoop to their level with an equally crass reply. My mum always says rise above them, show them you’re the better man. I say, no, it’s much more fun to go down to their level.

  19. Perhaps I under rate the importance and influence of the midfield sometimes but in which alternate universe is a creative midfielder like Lemar worth $55M more to any team then a goal scorer like Salah or $40M more the Lacazette. That is crazy thinking. It’s not that creative players are unimportant but there are a lot more of them and they are a dime a dozen compared with how difficult and it is to add significant firepower to your forward line.

  20. C, baby,

    — :I wish everybody was talented enough to do all of that stuff Yogi! 😉 ”

    I think you may have fallen prey to the lesser known, Greater Yogi blog virus, my friend.

    You see, YW is a tireless robot — a clever one, but a robot none the less. Even I was fooled into believing the Yogi was leader of a bunch of elves who he sub-contracted to produce his Posts — and I am not sure that Isaac isn’t one as well.

    The truth came out when a devastating journalistic probe discovered that a certain Robot named 1234 YW, armed with software called AlphaZero, used an algorithm to master all the rules of Chess in approximately 4 hours, yesterday morning, then today took on an accredited, previously unbeaten robot named Stockfish 8, this morning, and the YW beat it or drew with it, without any losses — and you may recall – that coincided with a delay in the production of ACLF yesterday about the same time, and again this very day when Stockfish 8 was whupped.

    I rest my case — the YW is a robot — and it’s coming for you lot!! 😀

  21. YW,

    It’s always funny when they leave a comment because it means they actually read through the whole post then took the time to comment about how terrible a fan you are. There are times to rise above them and times to meet them on their level, it is quite fun joining them on their level….hell its your blog you can do as you please and us loyal followers will back you! 😉

  22. C:
    Bill,

    See my post to Jonny yesterday but anybody that watched Salah at Basel then at Roma (ignore the Chelsea stint because he didn’t even get a chance, same with De Bruyne) knows just how talented of a futboler he was/is and this is certainly something that could have been predicted especially playing for a manager like Klopp who likes to play at a high tempo.

    Salah was a 1 goal every 2 game scorer last season at Roma. He was good but I don’t think very many people thought he would’ve this good.

    You touch on what I think is the critical point which is playing at a high tempo. Playing at a fast tempo is the best way to improve the effectiveness of your impact players upfront. It would even help a slow poke like Giroud.

  23. Bill,

    I think there are a couple of factors involved with the price.

    1. You have to think about your paying not only for what he has done but the vast potential and the fact that he he just turned 22 in Nov. and is 3-4 years younger than both Salah and Lacazette. that the player has and has displayed for all to see.

    2. Your not only paying for the fact that he is a creative player but he is a goal scoring creative player.

    3. He is leaving Monaco, a club that doesn’t need to sell him so they will raise the price up especially after they saw what they got for Mbappe, Mendy and Bakayoko.

    4. Truly creative difference making players aren’t a dime a dozen, that’s why they are so expensive because only the rare few can actually pick any lock; think about it, if they were a dime a dozen then there parking the bus would be a pointless exercise. For instance, would you pay the same for Ozil, De Bruyne and Silva that you pay for say James McClean?

    5. You also have to take account what leagues these players are coming from and the financial situation the selling clubs are in. For instance, remember we bought Santi for pennies because Malaga was in a shit financial situation.

    There are obviously other reasons but those are just the couple off the top of my head while I try to focus just a bit in this boring meeting.

  24. Good afternoon all. Thanks as per usual YW for an excellent post.

    Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of AW stating Arsenal would win the PL in the next 3 years.

    We are currently 15 points behind City( roughly) We Finished around 12 behind Chelsea last season. The season Leicester won it were it was roughly the same, and the season before that Chelsea won it and we were at least 9 points. This season is shaping up to be the same.
    It’s clear that on the pitch we are falling behind considerably. Bill is correct that we possess very few players whom are consistent goal scoters. Ramsey has had one good season In front of goal. After Sanchez, Lacazette and Sanchez there is a serious dearth of goal scorers. The clock is ticking with regard to TW. He’s had his time at Arsenal.
    So when You look at our options we have El Nenny, Iwobi. Ramsey, Wilshire.Xhaka, Welbeck and Ozil. They have individually each scored how many goals in the last 3 seasons?

    I left Coquelin out as he is unlikely to ever score for Arsenal.

  25. Team news is in:

    Ospina
    Debuchy—Chambers—Holding——Maitland-Niles
    ———–Elneny———–Le Coq
    –Theo————Jack—————–Welbeck
    —————Giroud

    Subs: Macey, Sheaf, Nelson, Adelaide, Willock, Nketiah, Akpom

    At least that’s how it looks on the official twitter

  26. Arsenal : Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Wilshere, Walcott, Welbeck, Giroud

    Subs : Macey, Sheaf, Nelson, Reine-Adelaide, Willock, Nketiah, Akpom

  27. I quite like it – though would rather Nketiah had started ahead of Giroud.

    Back to a back 4 eh? How retro.

  28. Jonny,

    Yup, personally I would either have started Nketiah upfront instead of Giroud OR I would have started Nelson for Giroud and put him on the flank and Welbeck lead the line.

    Really good to see Adelaide back from his long injury lay-off.

  29. Back 4 tonight. Back 3 Sunday with Mertesacker in the defence to shore it up and bring some leadership to the trio. Now, somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall a manager saying that he didn’t care who wore the armband…

  30. Looks like Debuchy wasn’t such a bad call after all. Now Walcott scores too.

    To be fair I wasn’t excited about them either 😀

  31. YESSSSS. Finally, JW on the scoresheet (3.5years) and in some fucking style too.
    He’s been the best player on the pitch by some distance.

  32. Full credit to Jack who has looked quite the player. Captain Theo getting on the score sheet and the unwanted man Debuchy with a superb striker.

  33. Jonny:
    YESSSSS. Finally, JW on the scoresheet (3.5years) and in some fucking style too.
    He’s been the best player on the pitch by some distance.

    On par with Walcott I’d say.

  34. Niles continues to improve, so composed and mature in his play. Knows when to play it safe when to provoke etc… Hope he gets some prem games this season.

  35. Wonderful finish there, Elneny.
    6-0
    I think we may have found a competition that’s a little more our level.

  36. Very good showing, okay not a lot of opposition but well taken goals and an all round command of the game.

    Great to see Jack Wilshire have such an effective game and last the whole match. Good from Theo too.

    Exits stage left singing….🎼 six nil 🎵 six nil 🎵 six nil 🎶

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