Tag Archives: Nottingham Forest

Match Report: Arsenal 5 – 0 Nottingham Forest

Arsenal (1) 5 Nottingham Forest (0) 0
Carabao Cup Third Round
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Tuesday, 24th September, 2019. Kick-off time: 7.45pm

(4-2-3-1) Emiliano Martínez; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Kieran Tierney; Lucas Torreira, Joe Willock; Reiss Nelson, Mesut Özil, Emile Smith-Rowe; Gabriel Martinelli.
Substitutes: Hector Bellerin, Dani Ceballos, Matt Macey, Folarin Balogun, Tolaji Bola, Robbie Burton, Bukayo Saka.
Scorers: Gabriel Martinelli (31, 90+2 mins), Rob Holding (71 mins), Joe Willock (77 mins), Reiss Nelson (84 mins)
Yellow Cards: Reiss Nelson
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 68%
Referee: Darren England
Attendance 53,160

In the end, it was mere bagatelle, as the statistics not only speak for themselves, they positively scream out the fact that tonight was a successful night for Arsenal Football Club. Out of eight shots on target, five hit the back of the net; sixty-eight per cent possession; fifteen corners. And on top of that, a big Emirates hello to former Glasgow Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney, making his first-team debut for us after recovering from a double hernia operation. Also it was great to see Rob Holding, returning to the first team tonight after battling (and winning) his own injury issues which kept him out of the squad for seemingly forever.

Unai Emery mixed and matched the side tonight, and with good reason too; we have two important matches next week, against Manchester United and Standard Liège, so it was good to see another version of his team in this match this evening. Right from the get-go, Arsenal showed intent and determination not to be anyone’s third round casualty on a rainy North London night. Confidence always plays a major part in sport, and Arsenal positively oozed that as early as the seventeenth minute, when Shkodran Mustafi came close with a cheeky back heel shot in which he was unlucky not to score. The man of the match was undoubtedly Gabriel Martinelli, and it was fitting that it was he that opened the scoring just after the half hour mark. An elegant Joe Willock ball out to the right found Calum Chambers, who wasted no time in crossing a powerful ball deep into the Forest penalty area that found the head of Gabriel Martinelli, who showed scant regard for time in putting Arsenal one up. This fired us up into attacking Forest time and time again and we were desperately unlucky not to score a second goal before the break. On a sad note, young Emile Smith-Rowe was taken off on a stretcher just before half-time after a collision with the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, Arijanet Muric.

The second half started, in spirit, fairly the same as the first, with Arsenal piling yet more pressure on the visitors’ goal. Joe Willock, Mesut Özil and Bukayo Saka (who replaced Emile Smith-Rowe) all came close with their efforts, and sure enough, the second goal came with nineteen minutes left on the clock, courtesy of Rob Holding, who headed the ball into the net from a Reiss Nelson corner, completely unhindered. Héctor Bellerín laid the ball on for Joe Willock to score a well-deserved third Arsenal goal, and the excellent Reiss Nelson capped off a superb personal performance on the night by scoring a fourth goal with just six minutes to go. And still we were not finished; in injury time, Gabriel Martinelli received the ball deep in the visitor’s half and drilled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the Forest net. Five-nil; a good night’s work by anybody’s standards, and more importantly, we are in the fourth round of this much-maligned competition.

So many good things came from tonight’s performance; a successful debut for Kieran Tierney, who played well and pleased the crowd, and not forgetting Rob Holding, whose knee held up well tonight. As for 18-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli, he certainly showed the reasons why Unai Emery signed him from Ituano a couple of months ago; six million pounds well spent. His potential is immense, and all we can do is hope that he progresses accordingly from this moment onwards. Everyone played their part, everyone did everything that was expected of them (plus more). The squad will take confidence and good heart from this victory tonight, let’s just hope that this carries on to next week and the important matches that lie ahead for us. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, 30th September at 8.00pm (Premier League). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Arsenal look to banish Ghost of Nottingham Forest

FA cup 3rd round day 2018. A year ago was when I hit my lowest point mentally as an Arsenal fan.

Walking back from The City Ground to Hooters despondent. The only thing to look forward to from the trip was wings, boobs and beers.

It was an awful performance. The first time since 1996 that The Arsenal had been knocked out of the FA Cup 3rd round. Lost 4-2.

Prior to that defeat, Arsenal had won just 2 of the last 7 league games. 5 wins and 2 draws. The away draw to WBA on New Years Ever especially sticks in my mind.

With just 3 away wins from 11 League games, it was becoming really hard to be motivated to go away, up and down the country, spending my well earned sterling.

Sitting there in Hooters after the game, I was wondering whether I wanted to do it anymore. Keep going away – I spend about £2,500 a year on away games; tickets, transport and drink.

Arsenal would stay in the gutter for some time. Just one more win away in the league on the last day of the season against Huddersfield. It was the shocking second half of the season that led to fans staying away, and ultimately led to Arsene Wenger leaving the club.

I renewed my season ticket, renewed my away scheme, and this year under Unai Emery felt more invigorated to go again.

It has not been plain sailing under the new regime.

There has been a recent wobble in December – the loss to Southampton, thrashing by Liverpool and defeat in the League Cup to Tottenham – but as a whole the Spaniards start has been positive.

FA Cup victories (3 wins in the last 5) have been the only cause of glory for Arsenal fans in the last 12 years. It is probably why that Nottingham Forest defeat hurt so much.

After so much recent success (and historical success) in the tournament, to be exiting in January gave little to hope for in the rest of the season. It was the first of many killer blows.

Today we travel to Blackpool. Due to the trains I am not making the journey (so soon after Christmas and New Year, I have no interest in a hotel stay in cold, wet Blackpool).

Having beaten Blackpool already once this season, hopefully we return to winning ways in the FA Cup.

As we learnt against Nottingham Forest last season, you can not take victory for granted. Even if Amazing Bet are offering 1/14 for The Arsenal to qualify. But I am positive. Both about today and where Arsenal are going.

Fans need to ignore what is happening in the background at the club. We might not look to spend a lot in January. We are looking for the right players at the right place. We do not need to panic buy. We could have over £100m to spend this summer, once we sell one or two, it is important we do not dip into that for a 6 month short term solution.

I expect Emery to ring in the changes. A mixture of first teamers and reserve players. The likes of Konstantinos Mavropanos  will get a start. Eddie Nketiah up top.

Predicted XI:


AMN Sokratis Mavropanos Jenkinson

Elneny Torreira

SmithRowe Ramsey Saka



Who is in line to start v Nottingham Forest

Who is in line to start v Nottingham Forest

When Arsenal have been drawn with lower league opposition in the early stages of the FA Cup, Arsene Wenger has rotated his squad.

This policy has proved correct for Wenger, as he has never been  knocked out of the FA Cup at the 3rd round stage, and only ever once lost to a lower league side – the 5th round defeat to Blackburn Rovers in 2013.

I have spoken before about how Arsenal should prioritise the cups over the league in the second half of the season. That winning silverware is more important than finishing 4th.

That being said, Arsenal have a very busy January – from December 28th to February 3rd, we are due to play 11 times. That is just 36 days (I think). With FA Cup games, and the League Cup double header against Chelsea, we need to rotate the squad.

We play Nottingham Forest on the Sunday, then Chelsea in the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, before visiting Bournemouth next Sunday.

Wenger will want his first team for the Bournemouth fixture. It will be interesting to see how he shuffles the squad for Nottingham Forest and Chelsea.

Will he play 2 separate sides? The first XI in one fixture, the 2nd XI in another? Or a mixed XI with key players split across the 2? Or will he play his second XI in both the Nottingham Forest and Chelsea games, giving his first team a 10 day rest before Bournemouth?

What is for certain is David Ospina will start in goal against Nottingham Forest. I imagine he will also play against Chelsea.

The make up of the team will be further confused by the formation.

In the last round of the League Cup, we went to 4 at the back with Rob Holding partnering Calum Chambers. We have recently returned to 3 at the back in the league.

With Laurent Koscielny likely to be rested as he continues to have his career managed due to a troublesome Achilles, we will certainly see Per Mertesacker return in the middle of the defence. I doubt Wenger will risk Shokdran Mustafi – who is still returning from his own injury issues.

Having played the last few games, I would not be too surprised if Chambers drops out with Rob Holding starting alongside Mertesacker. Partnering Holding and Mertesacker in a back 3 will either be Krystian Bielik or Julio Pleguezuelo.

My opinion is that whoever does not start between Holding / Chambers and Pleguezuelo / Bielik will be in line for a start against Chelsea (with Mustafi coming into the middle).

It will be interesting to see what Wenger decides at wing back.

Mathieu Debuchy will be in line to start ahead of Hector Bellerin on the right. On the left, Sead Kolašinac and Nacho Monreal are almost certainly out injured and, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles on first XI duties our options are limited. Utility youngster Josh Dasilva might get the nod, or Wenger might choose to go for someone like Chiori Johnson.

I do not expect Granit Xhaka or Jack Wilshere to start in the middle of the park. Wenger will surely go for the experience pairing of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny. Do not be too surprised to not see Wilshere until the Bournemouth game.

Another interesting talking point will be who plays behind the striker.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will both surely be rested. The worry is Wenger will go with Theo Walcott who does not suit playing narrow, behind a striker. But he does need match fitness, even if it is to prove he is ready for a transfer. Personally I would prefer to see Reiss Nelson get a wrong out.

Alex Iwobi was dropped for the game against Chelsea in the cup, he will surely come back in, playing behind Danny Welbeck.

All in all, it should be a strong XI filled with internationals. Beating Nottingham Forest should not be a problem.

Expected XI:


Holding Mertesacker Pleguezuelo

Debuchy Coquelin Elneny DaSilva

Walcott Iwobi


Now I am off to Hooters