Nothing less than a win is acceptable for Arsenal against Aston Villa

After such a long unbeaten run, Arsenal were finally undone by Wolves on Tuesday due to much discussed refereeing decisions, and now the Gunners need to prove that that was just an anomaly, considering we were so in commend up until the sending off of David Luiz.

But the fact remains that Wolves have done the double over us this season, and we cannot ignore the fact that the Villains beat us very easily at the Emirates as well, and will not be feeling inferior in the slightest.

Their form has been up-and-down lately though, and they were well beaten by West Ham on Wednesday, but as Mikel Arteta says, that doesn’t mean it will be an easy game for the Gunners. The boss told Arsenal.com when asked about Villa’s defeat: “I am not here to judge their performance. They have been fantastic through the season, they have beaten some top teams, they have been on a really strong run and they beat us when he played them at home so we have to make sure that we go there and win the game.”

Villa are only just above us in the table, so a win for us would see us leapfrog our opponents, and we would also go above Tottenham for the first time this season, albeit it may not be for long as the Spuds face West Brom on Sunday.

Our double sending-off against Wolves also means that we will be without David Luiz and Bernd Leno for the game, and it looks like Kieran Tierney, Pablo Mari and Mat Ryan will also still be sidelined, but we should see Aubameyang ready to start at last.

We should have enough firepower to take out the Villains, but we will have to play better than the last time we met them. I dread seeing the reaction if we should lose again…

44 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    I am not too bothered if we lose, unless it’s a shocking performance, because we have been on a really good run of late, and right up until the Luiz sending off, we were dominating Wolves.

    Although we lost that game, one could see we really evolving well under Arteta at the moment, and our attack is getting better game by game.

    Obviously I want to win, but I won’t be overreacting in defeat. CL is a better option via Europe anyway. Even no European football next season will be a blessing in disguise, because we could put everything into the league then.

    1. Kstix says:

      👍👍

  2. Khadii says:

    I don’t want to see Aubameyang start. He offers nothing for now.
    Play the players based on current form. To that I feel Pepe deserves to keep his place as do the rest, apart from Luiz and Leno who wouldn’t be involved.
    Dropping Pepe could kill his confidence. And Auba doesn’t do anything better than him currently

    1. gotanidea says:

      Agreed. Pepe must start, especially if Soares would still play as LB

      We shouldn’t have two right-footed players on the left wing

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍

  3. Sue says:

    Would love to come away with all 3 points and avenge the reverse (horror) fixture!

    Saka and Leno have been nominated for POTM for January and MA for MOTM – get voting!!

    1. Kstix says:

      Me too Sue. Let’s hope Runarsson as a good game as I believe the outcome might depend heavily on him and our forwards being clinical in front of goal.

      As for Epl POTM, maybe if Saka had played against utd and we won, he will win that but I think Gundogan of city will win it as well as guardiola for MOTM, they’ve just equalled Arsenal’s winning streak of 13 wins in a row. But Saka and Arteta have my votes none withstanding.

      1. Sue says:

        Yes, Kstix, I too think Pep will win it, although I applaud Moyes, he’s done a fantastic job at WH. (Mikel received my vote though 😉)
        As for the player, it’s a tough one! Obviously I’ve voted for Saka (sorry Bernd, it was close 🤏). I’m surprised Soucek wasn’t nominated. Dawson has been excellent, which is a shock in itself!! But seeing as City were unbeaten last month, it’s bound to go to one of them!

        Looking forward to this weekend’s fixtures. Just hope we do well as if not being the early kick off tomorrow, it’ll put a dampener on the rest of the weekend 😆

        1. Kstix says:

          Yes Sue I agree, moyes has been phenomenal at West ham, even got Lord Lingardinho scoring two goals😂. But They got it spot on for our 2 best players. Who knows if Tesco had been fit, could have made it 3 players from us. Which reminds me Sue, what’s actually going on with Tesco, it’s frustrating having to hope he’ll play the next game only to hear he’s still not recovered. Kudos to cedric who has been holding down the forte pretty well but he’s no Tesco and I can’t wait for him to be back and cedric to replace bellerin at RB.

          As for the game tomorrow Sue, I hope villa don’t get inspired by wolves to do the double over us. I would literally be in despair the entire weekend but I trust the boys, the team villa is playing tomorrow is not the same one they beat 3-0. There’s been improvement even though we had a seeming set back at wolves (Thanks Craig Pawson). I think we can go to villa Park and win 2-1 or 3-1 tomorrow. And no, no clean sheet. Just because…. Leno🤔

          1. Sue says:

            Lord Lingardinho 😂 As good as Messi Lingard!!
            Is a shame Tesco misses tomorrow, but like you say Cedric has been very impressive.
            I can’t handle another whooping by Emi & co tomorrow, Kstix.. Ryan and Mari are fit..
            Newcastle have the joy of Craig Pawson tomorrow… Note to Willock – don’t brush an opponent’s knee with your studs!!

          2. Sue says:

            Or even studs with your knee 😂😂🤪🤪

          3. Kstix says:

            😂😂🤣Love it Sue. 👏👍

      2. McLovin says:

        In all fairness, I think Gundogan deserves it. Think he got 5 goals in 6 matches or something.

        1. Kstix says:

          Yes McLovin, he actually does deserve it, he’s been key to man city’s winning streak alongside Ruben dias. Nobody expected them to be on this run of wins after they lost KDB to a long term injury but kudos to them for winning their 3rd league title under guardiola.

  4. jon fox says:

    I concur totallb with what TMJW writes. This season is ove rinterme s on any REALISTIC chance of qual for Europe next season We have blown it already, before our good run of late. All that I am concerned with now is to see further rebuilding for next seson and all theremaining deadwood gone this summer.

    We also need new quality imports of course but most of all we now see a cohesiveness in playing style and flowing football that will hold us in good stead, once the deadwood has ALL gone, LUIZ, XHAKA, and BELLERIN included.
    Sadly though, we left it too late and were just too far behind. The damage was done in the autumn. Roll on next season.

    1. guy says:

      Nooooo not Xhaka. He is right at the bottom of my “to go” list. We really haven’t got a better option ATM and yes I get that one-footed, backward passing, static, slow, hot-headed argument. But we simply have only one other CM that I would choose before him. And he is playing better, especially in shielding the defence. Was a hater, now just ambivalent!
      Yes me too, just looking for development in the play – hence not too worried whether we win, more that we DESERVED to win.

      1. jon fox says:

        guy yes “at the momemt”is right! And “at the moment” we lie tenth! Tell you anything? It does to me! Xhaka is dismally slow and will never speed up HAS TO GO! THIS SUMMER TOO! NO seriously ambitious side would ever contemplate keeping such dross as XHAKA as a regular. YOU KNOW THAT AS WELL AS I DO!

  5. Twig says:

    Aubameyang is no longer a guaranteed starter at Arsenal. Football is a funny game.

    1. Kstix says:

      Yeah it is what it is. You snooze, you lose. Although it’s impossible to forget what he’s done for us. I hope he hits top form again for us

      1. guy says:

        yes but atm until somebody lets us down he joins the queue…

        1. jon fox says:

          Simply put, with an ambitious club, NO player , no matter who, is EVER guaranteed a place purely on his name and reputation!

  6. Innit says:

    Nothing is guaranteed
    Even top teams lose to lower teams

    But if we play our best than we should win

  7. bukky says:

    Hey jon, am a fan here and I’ve been following this site for about 5 years now. I also want to note that am a big fan of yours(your grasp english language, your love for the club etc). I just wanna say this though, football and footballers have the most evolving nature compared to anything else that is sports related. That being said, i think XHAKA has and is evolving as the player we’ve all wanted to see, match after match. I say we just give him a chance and support him now that he’s in such good moment of form. Am from kenya and this is the dream site for any arsenal. CHEERS GOONERS

  8. Herbz says:

    Am surprised that some people don’t mind losing. Hey?? Give us a break!!!

    So what was the purpose of coming for this season. Even the likes of Westham, Villa still have ambitions of their own.

    Anyway, anything other than a win is unacceptable, to say the least.

    I hope people are seeing what bringing in a good coach does to a team (Chelsea). Just like our man, Lampard was gambling his way choosing likes of Zouma, Tammy, Giroud and all these young guys from academy and benching experienced players!!!! Caught up with him big time.

    I’ve always said playing a team full of “academy players” cannot get you anywhere…

    You just watch a rookie like Solskjaer who just “stumbled” on this winning formula by playing experienced players like Pogba even if they weren’t on form for most of the season.

  9. Grandad says:

    The Villa defeat earlier this season was the poorest display I have seen from an Arsenal side for some time.Let’s hope the players start on the front foot as they did against Wolves and convert any chances created.Villa are not a one man team as some think they are but Bellerin must curb his natural inclination to bomb forward, and keep goal side of Grealish.If he does this we have the firepower to win.

    1. Khadii says:

      I remember it was against Villa in the 1st leg that Partey picked up his 1st injury.. and from there, things went south.
      I hope we inflict revenge on them tomorrow

  10. Shakir says:

    Tis obvious
    We need to win and nothing else is going to help.
    the game will be tough even though Villa lost to Westham, so they will be looking for that win as well.
    Arsenal on the other side will miss key players but its a must win game. Whoever playd in the fullback and DM position will have a massive job on their hands because Villas attack are mostly through the wings

  11. S.J says:

    Arteta has a selection headache in the attacking positions.

    It will be difficult for Aubameyang and Odegaard to break into the first team.

    Looking forward to seeing his team selection tomorrow.

    I will go with the winning team.

    Lacazette.

    Pepe. Smith-Rowe. Saka.

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Cedric. Gabriel. Holding. Bellerin.

    Runnarson.

    Subs – Aubameyang, Odegaard, Willian.

    1. Khadii says:

      Willian really?
      I’d gladly replace him with Martinelli

  12. S.J says:

    Our squad needs to be added with more quality players.

    Bissouma, Buendia, a top left-back and experienced goalkeeper, will be a great summer.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      S. J, Matt Ryan isn’t an experienced goalkeeper? I take your point if you are looking to buy someone next season, as Ryan is on loan; however he may wish to stay.

  13. Sue says:

    Apparently Mari and Ryan are fit for tomorrow… no KT though…

    1. Kstix says:

      I think I’d play mari ahead of Gabriel tomorrow in that case and glad Ryan can play so as to take the pressure off Runarsson but I think he’s got a great potential.

    2. Kev82 says:

      Great news Sue, Tierney should be back by next week, I still think we made a mistake not getting a left back I love Tierney but he’s becoming too injury prone. Any news on what’s happening with the benfica game?

      1. Dan kit says:

        There was rumours about Tierneys fitness before we signed him Kev ,which some fans dismissed but seems pretty close to the truth unless he’s now picked up the famous Arsenal injury curse .

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Dan, if you remember Tierney’s fitness issues, when he arrived, were in recuperating after a double hernia operation, not football related. However he has certainly got the “Arsenal injury curse” , since being available to play.

  14. Sue says:

    OT.. Nelson in for U23s tonight.. Captain Balogun… Come on, let’s beat the chavs!!

    1. Chuxzzy1 says:

      So balogun is still with us

  15. Reggie says:

    A win tomorrow is more important than the defeat to Wolves. We need to get back on another run and not let this season fizzle out like it has been the last few years. The league and things in the league are still very much alive, there are teams above us that are going to drop many points. We need European football a lot more than people realise and if we dont get it then this season is a failure and that is not acceptable. We as a club should never accept anything less than European football and if we dont get it heads should roll. I dont think the club will accept not reaching its targets lightly and i expect a big reaction from Wolves debacle.

    1. Khadii says:

      Lol..
      Obviously the defeat to wolves was never important.
      All we want always is a win

      1. Reggie says:

        Khadli, i disagree the wolves defeat was a disaster, we were closing in on top 6, we would have gone 6th albeit for a short while and it stopped our good run and improving form. That defeat was important for that reason, a win tomorrow is more important because two defeats would be a disaster of greater proportion.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

        2. Khadii says:

          We’re saying the same thing in different ways

  16. Joe. S says:

    I’ll take it both ways. Certainly want to see a win, but after initial disappointment will look on positives if we lose, mainly ongoing improvement of young players and no more going backwards and sideways. The first half against Wolves should be the Arsenal benchmark here on in. No more excuses for the garbage Arteta’s lot were playing pre Boxing day.

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