Tuesday’s game against Leicester wasn’t quite as straightforward as many of us thought it might be.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we got our writers together for a short prediction on how they thought the game would pan out.
Here’s how that went
Lee Hurley Predicted Win 5-0
“One of two things is going to happen on Tuesday night – either Arsenal will spank Leicester or they will struggle to get a point.”
That’s what I said in my prediction and clearly I let my heart rule my head when it came to which option I plumped for.
In my defence, a 5-0 was on after the first half, but once the nervousness set in, coupled with Mike Jones’ refusal to take control of the game, allowing Leicester to kick players all over the pitch, we struggled to cope with the Foxes.
We got the points and I’ll take that every week, even if it means me looking stupid.
Helen Trantum Predicted Win 4-0
So it’s fair to say that my prediction didn’t exactly hit the spot.
At half time I was already smugly patting myself on the back after clinical finishes had placed us in a commanding position.
It looked like the predicted serene evening. I had reckoned without Mike Jones.
If the weekend’s criticism of the referee could be interpreted in some quarters as sour grapes, the upcoming dismantling of Jones’ performance on Daily Cannon carries no such opportunity after an Arsenal win.
That Ozil’s, Cazorla’s and Alexis’ ankles were all clipped, clobbered and catastrophically crunched throughout was a direct consequence of his ineptitude. An inability to see, let alone give, fouls was just about summed up by his ludicrous booking of Olivier Giroud.
Nonetheless, I said before the game that a scrappy 2-1 would do us nicely, and I was more than happy to accept it last night as Tottenham slid back into their rightful place below us.
Power shift? What power shift?
Stephen Bradley Predicted Win 2-0
2-1, and a vital three points but once again, the performance left a lot to be answered for.
The first 30 minutes of the game were good, as we were treated to a glimpse of the shining diamond that is a fully fit quartet of Özil, Alexis, Cazorla and Theo.
Pace, technique, and a smorgasbord of movement by all four meant Leicester never knew where the next pass from coming from or going to.
Then Alexis seemed to jar his knee, and was hobbled for the rest of the game and as soon as it happened, the whole team dropped its intensity significantly, and never regained it.
As a result, Leicester were given several opportunities to get something from this game, and only their profligate finishing ensured otherwise.
We now have to wait nervously to see just how badly injured Alexis and Ramsey are.
Games against the team that’s bottom of the league should be easy.
This one wasn’t, and we only have ourselves to blame.
Paul Williams Predicted Win 2-1
Not sure which team my fellow writers have been watching over the last few years, but that Arsenal followed up derby day defeat with a nervy performance came as no surprise to me.
A 4-0 win just wasn’t going to happen, not even against the side bottom of the Premier League.
Happily, we managed to get the three points in the bag, I got my 2-1 prediction spot on and we move on.
Hopefully, we’ve got Spurs out of our system now (we’re back above them just three days after their cup final win), because Middlesbrough promises to be a tough encounter at the weekend.
Sylvain Jamet Predicted Win 3-0
Well my 3-0 prediction was looking very good at half time, I was actually looking forward to collect my money from the bookies but things…went astray.
We did not get the expected fightback. After the poor NLD performance, it was an poor one against Leicester.
As much I don’t like the referee bashing, they do not help each themselves at the moment and unfortunately it does contribute to the final result.
At least I got the number of overall goals right. Hopefully a better prediction in the Cup next.
Lewis Ambrose Predicted Win 3-0
I could hardly have been more wrong. A very shaky 90 minutes was broken up only by 20 or so good minutes to end the first half.
Mahrez shot through Ospina’s legs early on and the Colombian didn’t inspire confidence all evening.
It was an attacking XI but the midfield and forwards were disjointed an Alexis’ over enthusiasm could come back to haunt us.
As for saying Ramsey will step up before Wilshere returns? Quite the opposite.
A bad night, just glad we got all three points.
Nia Griffiths Predicted Win 3-0
I predicted a win but was hoping for a bit of an easier ride than that; perhaps the clean sheet was a bit much to ask for. I knew we’d probably start off shakily after our loss against Spurs but also predicted we would eventually find our footing and win the game by a country mile.
Annoyingly, this was not the case. We started off poorly and as quickly as we managed to get a grip in the game and score two goals (well done Laurent and Theo, by the way), we seemed to relinquish the majority of control.
As great as it is that we managed to score those two goals, the change in organisation and confidence, especially after we conceded a goal to Leicester was concerning.
I do feel we were lucky to get away with the three points and as much as I appreciate the need to win ugly, I hope we don’t get into a habit of it.
Andi Foster Predicted Win 3-1
Andi is missing assumed drunk.
Sean Ferguson Predicted Win 3-0
Sean put in his prediction and then cleared off on holiday so he didn’t have to deal with what happened next.
Mark Fine Predicted Win 2-0
To be fair, I wasn’t expecting much out of this match.
The officiating crew consisted of Mike Jones, a lino named Scholes, while starring 4th official Anthony Taylor as The Beaver.
This was not going to be pretty from the start.
But we won and we won ugly.
Although this might be a consolation in itself, these gut-wrenching wins can be avoided. Like last week, we started well in the first half, looking particularly sharp for about 30 minutes.
Kos scored from a corner, and they even left him a huge hole to slot it through. However, we seemed to fall out of synch soon after that: passing behind people, passing way ahead of people, watching passes just go by instead of collecting them – just not Arsenal’s style of play.
I predicted a win, but said it wouldn’t be a cake-walk, and it wasn’t.
Leicester are desperate and (like their manager) they resorted to ugly, desperate, street-fighting measures – little of it seen by the officials.
Unfortunately, those tactics may have sent Ramsey and Alexis back into the Diaby Zone.
I should point out that for the last three weeks I’ve been perfect in predicting the halftime score. That’d be ok, but I was shooting for full time. Maybe both Arsenal and I should remember it’s a 90 minute game.
The second half just hasn’t been there.