Bournemouth, Premiership (A): Team News And Starting XI (Guess).

Morning, folks.

Isn’t it nice to have something to talk about other than all this speculation swirling around? Of course it is – that question is entirely rhetorical. I’ve said before that I do quite enjoy the silliness of transfer gossip, but my patience for it doesn’t last very long when it relates to one of Arsenal’s better players. Every thing over the last week – barring the formalities of the occasional competitive football match – has been linked to the interminable “Will he? Won’t he?” saga of Alexis.

Today we have a trip to Bournemouth in the Premiership to talk about, and I’m going to indulge myself in the bliss of ignoring all the aforementioned speculation and concentrate of the thing I enjoy more than anything; football. Glorious, distracting football. My sweet salvation.

I’m sure we all recall the corresponding fixture of last season and the fiasco that was. I can remember watching that game and the overwhelming feeling of dejection and dismay that swept through my body at 3-0 down to, with all the respect in the world, a Bournemouth side against whom we shouldn’t be 3-0 down. There is no doubt our hosts played well and created chances that night, but some of the defending was hilariously bad – if you can accept something is so sh*t it becomes funny, that is.

In fact, if you asked me to produce some evidence of what it’s like being an Arsenal fan, I think that game would be one of my first choices (The 4-4 at Newcastle is another). It shows juts how bad we can be at the back, but also perfectly showcases that there is a fighting spirit amongst the players. It’s just a pity they so often feel the need to dig enormous holes before they show the world that they have the ability to get back out of them.

Today is a tricky fixture. I’m sure there will be a feeling of getting revenge in the players’ minds, as well as a feeling of trepidation at a ground where the home support is right on the pitch. A total lack of concentration cost us dearly last time out, so we can ill-afford anything similar.

The team news does come with good news. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil could both feature. The injury that saw Jack Wilshere taken off at Stamford Bridge turned out to be insignificant and he’s already recovered. Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla remained side-lined, but man-mountain and destroyer of the weak, Sead Kolasinac has returned.

My guess is we’ll line-up with Cech in goal, a back 5 of Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin and Kolasinac. I’m going to suggest we might see Ramsey and Wilshere in the two ‘pivot’ roles in central midfield, but one will probably not be risked given recent injuries and that place will go to the ever-maligned, Granit Xhaka (who I don’t actually think has been that bad…). The remaining 3 attacking positions will go to Iwobi, Ozil and Lacazette. I don’t expect Captain Sulkypants and his two canine sidekicks to feature at all – on a side note, surely we can take that f*cking stupid banner down now?

It’s all set up to be another nervy, alarming encounter in which we are plunging or head into our hands on a regular basis. Or alternatively, we’ll turn up and blow them off the park and win 5-0. Who knows, but the former option is probably the more likely. My predictions aren’t know to be the most accurate, so I’m going to go for a 3-1 win, but not a particularly comfortable one…

That’s all for today, folks. Please drop me a comment with your thoughts on the team and how the game might unfold.

I’ll return tomorrow with a review. Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Soundtrack to this post:

College & Electric Youth – ‘A Real Hero’

Leave a comment. Go on, you know you wanna...