Arsenal v Bournemouth: Hostility Awaits The Gunners

With a newborn, time has been limited, but even in-between diaper changes and feedings, there’s always time to catch up on Arsenal news. Since the drubbing at Anfield, there hasn’t been much to talk about, other than Alexis Sanchez, his apparent weight gain, Lemar’s failed bid, and most recently, Wenger said he loved and believed in his players. Now, I ask, is the feeling mutual?

To think we are just three matches into the new campaign, and Arsenal are currently 16th, with Brighton separating them from the relegation zone pains me. 🤦🏻‍♂️ You’d think a match at home against Bournemouth would be a great opportunity to claim three points and lift the spirits, but,  I’m not certain it’s as straight forward as we’d expect.

Everyone is back from international duty, with the main focus to get the ship back on track. Whether or not the train is going to sort itself out, or completely derail could come down to this match.

Bournemouth are currently 18th in the Premier League, without a single point, one wonder goal scored, and five conceded. It all sounds like the perfect opportunity for Arsenal, but for all us frustrated supporters, we know it’s likely very far from a walk in the park. We could all use a walk in the park here after what we witnessed the last time out.

Le Prof’s History Lesson

Predicting Arsenal’s Future

When it comes to predictions, after how things have played out in the first three matches of the campaign, I’m not entirely sure what’s next. Hearing the rumors of arguments within the squad leaves me nervous, as well as hopeful.

Nervous because I don’t think everyone within the Arsenal squad is mentally strong enough to overcome things of this nature, and I think some of them have proven that year after year. Hope is related to the fact that those same players who lack mental strength may possibly pull their head out of their arse, although the likelihood is slim.

To think that Arsenal is in a must win situation after three matches is absurd, but that’s the reality of the situation. It will now come down to Arsene Wenger not fu&*ing about and not playing anyone out of position, as well as how bad the players want it. There are far too many players who Arsene Wenger stands by and is loyal to, who don’t repay him on the pitch.

There has been some talk about Wenger ditching the three at the back system to go back to the original four at the back, yet I’m not convinced he’ll revert things. Regardless if he does, I think there are a few players who need to come into the squad after the nightmare at Anfield.

Sead Kolasinac was signed, and he is capable of playing LB, or LWB, so how about we use him just for that? In a back three, I’d prefer the Bosnian at LWB, allowing for maybe a back three of Mustafi, Koscielny and Mertesacker, or Holding. Sead’s not one to shy away from a challenge, and he will leave every ounce of energy on the pitch, which is what Arsenal needs. It’s not always about beautiful footy, we also need players who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work, and Kolasinac will do just that.

Further up the pitch, you can call me crazy, but I would LOVE to see Jack Wilshere come into the squad. I’ve said it before, and I stand by my statement, if healthy, Jack Wilshere is Arsenal’s best central midfielder, as well as England’s best central midfielder. Go ahead, laugh all you want, it’s fine.

He appears to be chomping at the bit to get a chance in the squad, and it looks like if he is given the chance, he will leave it all out there in order to prove to Arsene Wenger that the is worthy of the opportunity. Please, could we see Jack against Bournemouth?!

I think the last two are a given in Arsenal’s starting XI when healthy.

Alexis Sanchez is back in North London, and despite all the trade rumors, he’s still under contract with Arsenal. There may be some supporters who doubt his commitment to Arsenal, but, I’m not sure we have any reason to doubt his professionalism, at least for now. He’s our best player, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be back in the squad.

Lastly, Lacazette.

The Frenchman is Arsenal’s record signing, so I’m not sure why he wasn’t in the starting XI against Liverpool. With that disappointment behind us, Arsene Wenger has no reason to not bring him back into the squad. His pace, strength and mobility will be beneficial in this match, as Bournemouth is also desperate to get some points.

I expect this to be a very tense affair given the fact that the Gunners have lost two consecutive matches. It also doesn’t help that things were quiet with incoming transfers on deadline day. Supporters are more divided than ever, and generally the players have struggled in front of the home crowd in similar situations.

What may help Arsenal is the fact that Bournemouth like to move the ball and get forward, allowing space in behind to be exposed.

A goal within the first 20-25 minutes would really cut the tension, lift the squad, as well as some supporters. More importantly though is how Arsenal starts the match.

They need to get touches on the ball, move the ball, and be sure to offer each other motivation if and when needed. If any of the players have a few misplaced passes, or poor decisions, the crowd at the Emirates isn’t always the most forgiving.

Despite all the tension in and out of the club, I’m thinking Arsene Wenger will go back to basics. Arsenal has more than enough to get past a struggling Bournemouth side, but then again, we could say Arsenal is struggling as well. Who will suck the least on Saturday afternoon?

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth