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Author Topic: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread  (Read 6738 times)

Offline UK Redsox

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2019, 11:21:11 AM »
A dull 0-0 would do nicely

Online Legion

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2019, 12:10:51 PM »
D 1-1.

Offline Dogtanian

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2019, 12:22:23 PM »
Can't wait!  ;D

Offline Axl Rose

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2019, 12:55:57 PM »
3-3

Offline CT Villan

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2019, 01:21:28 PM »
Tough one to call. Our solid defence vs their excellent attackers and our misfiring attackers vs their crap defence. I think it will come down to SJM and whether he has his scoring boots on.

I'm going for a draw but would like to see two from Luiz, Nakamba and Hourihane starting.

Offline wittonwarrior

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2019, 03:20:36 PM »
Well we won't win in reality so a bore 0-0 will do

Offline levico

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2019, 04:04:22 PM »
‘Running in, please pass’

Offline Bad English

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2019, 04:32:54 PM »
Arsenal are shite. 1-2 Villa. FTF!

Offline fbriai

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2019, 04:44:14 PM »
1-2 Villa.

This is the weekend the rest of them sit up and take notice.

Offline Dogtanian

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2019, 04:56:55 PM »
C’mon Villa!  ;D

Offline The Edge

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2019, 05:02:24 PM »

Offline Bent Neilsens Screamer

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2019, 05:17:38 PM »
From Gregg Evans writing for The Athletic -

Aston Villa return to the scene of their ultimate humiliation on Sunday as they visit The Emirates Stadium for the first time since that fatal Premier League game at the end of the 2015-16 season.

The battered and bruised claret and blues bowed out of the top flight after a 4-0 defeat to Arsenal and memories from that embarrassing day still send shivers down the spine.

Strangely, the scoreline itself wasn’t necessarily the problem, although Villa were horribly exposed having already suffered the killer blow of relegation. It was, however, a disconnect between the players and those in the stands that had ripped apart a club heading into the Championship without a manager and with the owner at the time, Randy Lerner, desperately seeking a way out.

Such were the struggles, vexed Villa fans celebrated back-to-back corners against the Gunners as if they had won the league. Individual players were booed and tactical decisions were questioned and vilified.

What made things worse – for Arsenal, also – was that Leicester City has just been crowned champions and the rest of the division were left to rue their own mistakes.

Two managers and two takeovers later, Villa now find themselves back with a fresh outlook and a strong togetherness.

Jack Grealish, the only remaining Villa player to have featured on that day, is the club captain, yet even he winces when he thinks back.

“I hardly played in the second half of that season but I was put on to have a run-out against Arsenal,” Grealish told The Athletic.

“It was obviously a very hard day because you look into the stands and you see all the fans mocking the players.

“We took a spanking. Some of the young lads played and it was tough because when you’re already relegated, it’s hard to get motivated.”

It wasn’t just the Villa fans who were left wondering what might have been, either.

Arsenal squeezed into second place with the win – toppling rivals Tottenham, who lost 5-1 at Newcastle – thanks to an Olivier Giroud hat-trick.

The Frenchman was actually heckled by his own supporters prior to his trio of strikes. Many felt he was a symbol of Arsenal’s struggles that term as Leicester ran riot to cause the biggest upset in Premier League history.

For Villa, the consequences were more severe. Relegation out of the top division for the first time in their history followed and five players from that day would never start for the club again.

Mark Bunn, the goalkeeper who was unfortunate to score an own goal as Mikel Arteta’s strike cannoned off him deep into stoppage time, told The Athletic: “It was one of the toughest seasons and positions I’ve ever been in. The whole squad will probably say the same. It was a horrible day.

“No-one wants to be a part of the squad that has let down the fans and then gets relegated.”

Bunn believes Villa should have stuck with Tim Sherwood, the boss who was sacked just 10 games into the season.

Remi Garde took over but then walked away after two wins in 20 league games, while caretaker boss Eric Black was left to pick up the pieces.

All three are currently without a job in football, while the playing careers of Bunn, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards – three players signed at the start of that difficult Premier League season that ended in agony at Arsenal – have all since ended too.

Speaking to The Athletic this week, Richards recalled the difficulties:

“It was dreadful. We just weren’t good enough. When you are out there and your own fans are booing you, that is tough.”

Lescott was targeted by Villa fans, largely for the infamous ‘pocket tweet’.

After the 6-0 thrashing by Liverpool in February 2016, he posted a picture of a Mercedes on his Twitter account.

He’s since spoken publicly about it, stressing on multiple occasions that it was an accident, but Villa fans are in no mood to forget and forgive.

One dressing room source explained why the criticism towards Lescott was ‘harsh and unjustified’.

Villa fans booed as he was taken off injured against Arsenal in his final outing for the club but he would never be one to hide or shirk responsibility.

“Joleon used to be out there training first, all the time,” The Athletic has been told.

“He used to stay back late in the afternoon working on things to make him better as a player. He was getting old and his knees were hurting but he did everything he could do to be in the best shape possible.

“He was a good pro and I’ve seen some bad ones over the years, that’s for sure!”

There’s a feeling now, three-and-a-half years on, that Villa weren’t far off a respectable side, rather more a mismatch of players who just needed the proper organisation and guidance.

Midfielder Ashley Westwood, often a scapegoat during his time in the Midlands, was named Burnley’s player of the season last term.

Jordan Ayew scored the winner against Villa for Crystal Palace last week. Adama Traore is finally starting to look like a player at Wolves. Idrissa Gueye now plays for Paris Saint Germain and Scott Sinclair has scored Champions League goals in three of the four seasons since.

Jordan Veretout didn’t feature on the final day of the season but now plays for AS Roma and looks very much an elite performer.

Two youngsters that did, Jordan Lyden and Kevin Toner,  have now left the club for Swindon and St Patrick’s Athletic respectively, having needed to take a step down in search of a rise again in the future.

And there hasn’t been much to shout about for Aly Cissokho, Leo Bacuna or the three previously-mentioned retired players since, either.

But Villa have proved that with change, anything is possible. They will be there in north London this weekend in a better position than they were last time, regardless of the result on Saturday.

Maybe it’s time for this current Villa crop to finally make amends and repair the damage that was caused when they were last in town.

Grealish will be the only one to really appreciate it if they do.

Offline GordonCowansisthegreatest

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2019, 05:25:28 PM »
Relegation out of the top division for the first time in their history.
Shows what he know about us!

Offline Bad English

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2019, 05:32:11 PM »
That is because Football began in 1992™

Offline PeterWithesShin

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2019, 05:34:04 PM »
"two managers later"? Are you sure Gregg?