Hello? Is this thing on? If anybody finds this please send help. I’m trapped in a time loop. It goes like this: Arsenal play poorly and lose a football game and it makes me feel bad. I get hopeful that the next game will be the one where they turn it around. The next game. they play poorly and lose the football game. It has been going on so long I’ve lost track of time.
The current iteration of the loop has Arsenal playing Southampton, but at this point, does it really matter which Premier League team line up across the field from the Gunners? If you don’t score goals, you can’t win football games. And Arsenal can’t score goals. And the frustration is mounting.
Arsenal have two players suspended for today’s match — Hector Bellerin (1 game; yellow card accumulation) and Granit Xhaka (3 games; red card, violent conduct). Nicolas Pépé is eligible to return from his suspension, but there is a pattern developing here. You can see it with the quotes coming out of the locker room to the effect of “we’re trying and can’t seem to get it right or get lucky, we don’t know what else we can do.” The players are frustrated, and for some, that has manifested in lapses in concentration and judgement on the pitch.
Southampton are a side that may not be as frustrating to play against. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side score a fair number of goals, but they also give up a decent number as well. They don’t set up to choke the life out of a match. Maybe that will be enough so that Arsenal can break through. It will be tough, however. The Saints do not have any players out with injury.
The Gunners, on the other hand, will be missing a few guys. David Luiz is questionable with his head laceration still healing. Gabriel Martinelli almost certainly still lacks match fitness as he works back from his knee injury. Thomas Partey is out for the “forthcoming matches,” whatever that means.
Mikel Arteta said that he prefers to play quickly after a loss so that the players don’t have time to stew on the poor performance. Arsenal go again today. For their and all of our sanity, let’s hope they break out of the loop.
Arsenal - Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka, Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang
Four changes from the weekend— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 16, 2020
➡️ Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Pepe, Nketiah
⬅️ Bellerin, Xhaka, Willian, Lacazette#ARSSOU
Southampton - McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand, Roeu, Ward-Prouse, Armstrong, Walcott, Ings, Adams
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