Wenger’s legacy is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

Preview: Arsenal v Nottingham Forest

Aston Villa is still on my mind. Has there ever been such an exhilarating, and at the same time, such an exasperating victory in Arsenal history? I can’t think of one. It’s 3 points won though, and that’s nothing to be sniffed at.

Other benefits include Pepe’s debut goal – which should put an end to the silly talk about his pedigree and give him some confidence – and the emergence of Guendouzi as a driving force in midfield. Regardless of the mistakes Guen makes and how raw he is, I think we’re lucky to have him and he’s going to be a top quality player in the future. It will be fun to watch his development. The same goes for Bukayo Saka who was our best player before he was subbed off at half time for Calum Chambers. It all worked out in the end, but not sure things went to plan. In fact, I’m sure they didn’t.

However, we now move on to the lower pressure environment of the Corporate Greed Cup, which should offer an opportunity for some more of our highly touted youth to continue their development with first team exposure.

I have a soft spot for our opponents, Nottingham Forest. They were the club of Clough, who was reluctantly, but genuinely, gushing about our quality on the day we surpassed their unbeaten games record set by them many years ago. If that seems like a silly reason to like them, it is. But so what?

Nottingham Forest are 6th in the Championship, with 15 points in 8 games. They’ve taken 95 shots, scored 11 goals and conceded 6. They’ve won their last 2 games 1-0. In the League Cup they beat Derby County 3-0 and Fleetwood Town 1-0 to get this far. Everything seems to point to a low scoring game, especially with how Emery prefers to play, but hopefully the young players will be too eager and too Arsenal for Emery to curb.


Emery did say not one player (from Sunday) will be ‘repeated’. Tierney and Bellerin are in line to make their first appearance of the season, and indeed career, for the Arsenal first team. But there is still some doubt on whether they’ll start. Holding almost certainly will, and I would think Calum Chambers will be a shoe-in as a RB. Could Mavropanos make his first start of the season too? I hope so. He’s another whose talent I believe in. Not the most sophisticated CB, but I think he has the size and ability to be part of a good CB partnership. It’s more likely to be Mustafi though, after a solid performance in the EL.

It’s always difficult to predict starting lineups, and maybe even more so with a coach like Emery. But, since I already started doing them this season, I’ll continue, poor record notwithstanding.

Starting: Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Bola, Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli.

Subs: Macey, Mavropanos, Bellerin, Tierney, Burton, Saka, John-Jules.

With Emery’s proposed radical change in personnel it would be foolish to predict a scoreline, something I am already poor at. Let’s just hope for a positive outcome. COYR!



  1. Thanks Shard, nice intro. Not much happening on twinned blogs today. Cant let you sit here all alone with your fine words.
    Seems only a short time ago that Forest were a major force in Euro football. They will certainly not have forgotten their FAC win a few seasons ago. What an ‘orrible game that was. None of our players could be bovvered that day.
    Lets hope they can tonight ( hope arises again!) and heres hoping for a enjoyable game for us all. Mesut to score a hattrick…that is if hes not kept on the bench!
    Thanks again,

  2. Özil is playing Mills, yes let’s hope he lights it up and forces Emery into playing him going forward. Looking forward to seeing Tierney and Martinelli in action. I won’t venture a score and wonder if we dare hope for a second consecutive clean sheet?

    • Lets hope Ö does the biz tonight. Also looking forward to seeing Martinelli. Tierney I dont expect too much from him as theres loads of pressure on him, but wish him the best. Not sure about the clean sheet, but thats because we’ve been playing in such an oddball manner that I no longer expect anything other than the unexpected.

  3. Dominant 1st half to Arsenal. With Ozil pulling the strings we created several chances and for the 1st time this season we outshot a team in the 1st half.

  4. ARS 5-0 NOT final score. The camera panned towards Freddie just before the 5th goal. Everybody knows this is not Emery-ball.

    • Damn the one performance where the Gunners play some footy in the first half this season and I couldn’t watch it.

      Hope you all enjoyed the FOOTBALL whilst we had it.

      We love you Freddie cos you got red hair hehe just kidding – I’m terrified of the next Joker from the pack up Raul’s rotten sleave. I’m not even going to be able to enjoy the “end of Emery’s era” (that one is for you Shotts!) after the Big Blaggers decided to start commenting on the piss poor football from Emery after ignoring it all last season, as long as Montana is here doing his master bidding tearing up the mansion we’re in danger of out Woodwarding Woodward.

      • I just posted this on twitter:
        “Don’t expect the big twitter accounts and bloggers who hounded out a manager “who shall not be named” to give him any credit for building an academy that produced Saka, Nelson, Willock and Smith Rowe or signing players like Bellerin or Holding. Nah. Never call him by name.”
        Exactly what they have been ding Fins, pretending the problem is limited to Emery’s coaching. It goes way deeper than that.

  5. Mesut Özil created six chances against Nottingham Forest tonight, more than any other player on the pitch & more than the entire Nottingham Forest team combined. [@Squawka] #afc https://pic.twitter.com/YorAUCyMDh

  6. Low pressure environment, even for Emery, and probably that’s why he could get out of the way. Mostly these were Wenger/Freddie players and it showed. Better cohesion in the team. I saw Saka being spoken to by Freddie before he came on. But I even saw Emery seemingly asking something from Freddie. Which btw, is to Emery’s credit and not a blemish on him.

    But this clearly wasn’t Emeryball. It was enjoyable, the players had fun, and ok, low quality opposition who didn’t press us at all, but still a much better game. I wish Emery would get out of the players’ way more often. Or of course, just get out of the club.

    Martinelli with two very different, but both very good finishes. Willock was great. Saka and Nelson good too. Unlucky ESR though. Hope he’s alright. Great to see Tierney make his debut although I think it’s premature to praise him to the rafters for now. Bellerin’s comeback was great, and of course Rob Holding you know. Mustafi ha quietly gone about his business the last two games.

    Btw, I am pleased I got the starting lineup almost exactly right. Tierney was fit enough to start, and that was the only difference.


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