Bournemouth v Arsenal

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Pre-Match Report

Bournemouth v Arsenal: The Brief

We head to the south coast on Sunday for the final game of our three-match away trilogy, hoping to continue the incremental improvement that was evident at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

After our Emirates FA Cup exit at Nottingham Forest, Arsene Wenger demanded a response in west London and he got it, as we delivered a disciplined defensive display to frustrate the hosts.
More will be expected from at the Vitality Stadium against a Bournemouth team which has never beaten us in the Premier League, but having had to fight back from three goals down to rescue a point in the corresponding fixture last term, we know all about the danger the Cherries pose.

Read on for a comprehensive pre-match briefing. We’ve got classic goals against Bournemouth, team news, an exclusive chat with the manager, match facts, graphics and a chance to have your say.


Wenger on Alex Lacazette going eight games without a goal...

“Everybody goes through that spell. Alexandre Lacazette is a real team player and if he continues to give to the team what he’s giving at the moment, the team will give it back to him. At some stage, he will score very quickly. But because he’s not used to that, at the moment it’s a bit difficult for him to bear that, but I’m not worried about it, honestly."

Arsène Wenger on Ainsley Maitland-Niles


ARSENAL: Cazorla (ankle), Monreal (ankle), Giroud (hamstring), Koscielny (Achilles), Kolasinac (foot), Ozil (knee - doubt)
BOURNEMOUTH: King (hamstring - doubt), Stanislas (hamstring - doubt), Defoe (ankle), Mings (back)


Tactical expert Michael Cox:

“Bournemouth are good in possession, and well-organised in a spatial sense - the player in possession always has multiple passing options, and the Cherries keep width well. Much of this comes from full-backs Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith, who both overlap energetically." 


Wenger on the defensive discipline at Chelsea…
“We needed to respond in a very united, compact and determined way, and that’s what we did. We were maybe less convincing than we are used to going forward, but you could feel that it was very important for the squad to be disciplined, determined and focused defensively. That’s what we did quite well." 

Matchday Show: Bournemouth (a)

Matchday Show: Bournemouth (a)


Wilshere - How Bournemouth loan improved me

Jack WIlshere at Bournemouth

It was, as Jack Wilshere readily admits, a “life-changing” loan spell.

Our No 10 spent the majority of last season at Bournemouth, playing 27 times - the most appearances he’s made in any campaign since 2013/14 - and has fond memories of his time on the south coast.

“It was a good year,” he told the Arsenal Magazine. “I really enjoyed it. I've got some good friends in Bournemouth, the manager was great for me. 

“I think it was good for me as a player and a person to experience that because I’ve always been at Arsenal. Arsenal is a top, top club where most of the time you’re in possession of the ball and of course you have to work on the defensive side, but it’s sort of the other way around at Bournemouth. 

“A lot of the time, especially when we were playing the top teams, we didn’t have the ball and it improved me defensively and made me understand that side of the game a lot more. 

“Off the pitch as well it was different, because it happened so quickly. It was something like the August 29 when I had a conversation with the boss and he said ‘yeah you can go’. It just happened really quickly and it was life-changing. 

“I mean I had to move house. I went and lived in a hotel for a couple of weeks down in Bournemouth until I got a place, but as we settled in, the club and the players were great. 

“They’re great lads, it’s almost like a family and they welcomed me in from the first day. Obviously I knew Benik already, but it was nice, it’s a nice town a nice place to live, by the seaside, the kids loved it and I had a good year.”


See who trained before the Bournemouth game

Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac in training

We're back in Premier League action on Sunday, when we travel to Bournemouth.

The team trained for the final time ahead of the game on Saturday, and our club photographer sent back these pictures.

Press conference

Team news: Wilshere, Ozil, Ramsey, Kolasinac

Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

The boss provided updates on Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Olivier Giroud.

on team news…
From Wednesday night, we had of course Jack, who was injured. We had very good news yesterday morning. I saw him walking normally and his scan was good. He’s not out of the game on Sunday yet, so that is positive news. We’ll have Ramsey back in the squad. We have an uncertainty over Ozil, who will have a test earliest tomorrow. That at the moment is a bit 50:50. All the other players will still be out for Bournemouth.

on Jack’s injury…
It’s his ankle. He turned his ankle when he was blocking the shot. It was more of a shock than a real ankle sprain.

on it being a relief…
It’s a big relief because sometimes we have a tendency to be a bit more dramatic than we should be. His ankles are good, we cannot say he has bad ankles now, but because of his history we always make a bit more of it.

on what Ozil’s injury is…
His knee. He had a swollen knee and a recurrence of what he had two or three weeks ago. That’s why he was not involved on Wednesday night.

on when Kolasinac, Koscielny and Monreal could return…
Koscielny next week, Kolasinac next week - though he has a little, little chance to be available. Monreal earliest next week as well.

on Olivier Giroud…
He is two weeks away.

Press conference

Wenger gives the latest update on Alexis

Another press conference, another raft of questions about Alexis.

Arsene Wenger was quizzed about the Chile international on Friday, and the interest being shown in him by Manchester United and Manchester City. This is what he said:

on Alexis' passion…
Look, I don’t question Alexis’ passion. When he’s on the football pitch he wants to win, he’s committed. I had many conversations about him and we talked about the fact that people are always observing you with a microscope when you’re on a short-term contract, but I’ve never questioned his professional attitude when he’s on the football pitch. Alexis wants to win. When he shows frustration, it’s because we didn’t win.

on if Wenger has had any conversations with Alexis recently…
Yes, yes of course.

on what was said…
That he is always fully committed. He never had any problem through his attitude or his commitment.

on Alexis’ form compared to last season…
But that is not necessarily linked with the length of your contract. That can happen even if you have 10 years to go.

on if Man United are interested in signing Alexis…
Look, honestly I cannot tell you much more at the moment about this situation. Nothing is really concrete at the moment.

on if there’s any truth in it…
You conclude that. You could say that at the moment… it’s not that I don’t want to inform you, I don’t want to give you wrong information and at the moment I must say nothing is decided one way or the other.

on whether a bidding war for Alexis be beneficial for Arsenal…
A bidding war is always beneficial to the club who can take advantage of it. We are not in that. I maintain what I’ve said many times. Normally, he should stay here until the end of the season but we’ll see.

on whether the fans have had enough of the Alexis saga…
I don’t know. What the fans want is for Arsenal Football Club to win. That’s what we all want. The only way to please the fans is to win the next game. They care more about the results than individual players.

on whether he wants to avoid an Alexis-like situation in the future…
No I don’t regret because at the end of the day all you can access to the demands of the players or you can’t and if you cannot, they don’t extend their contracts it’s as simple as that. It’s kind of a mathematical situation and that you cannot change.

on whether Alexis is replaceable…
Replaceable in the way that we find exactly the same player, certainly not, but there’s always a way to find a different balance. Alexis is an exceptional football player, he’s a world-class player and if that happens we have to find a different balance in the team.

on whether he didn’t sell Alexis in the summer because they had no replacement…

on if a replacement is not brought in, Alexis will not go…
You sum it up very well.

on whether he wants a quick resolution…
Yes of course.

on whether he is tired of talking about it…
It’s not the fatigue factor, it’s just I cannot tell you what I don’t know and so I don’t want to give information that I cannot back up after because it will come to me and you will say why did you say that and rightly so, so I like to be a bit vague and use my whole experience of press conferences not to talk things that I cannot back up after.

Press conference

Wenger on Walcott, Malcom and transfers

Theo Walcott's future at the club has been a hot topic this week, so what is the latest on the Arsenal forward?

Arsene Wenger discussed reports linking him with a move away, and also touched on his plans for bringing players in during the transfer window.

This is what he said:

on Everton wanting to buy Theo Walcott…
Again, I cannot tell you much more. Sam Allardyce has made that statement but Theo Walcott is here.

on Theo needing to play with a World Cup coming up…
Yes, of course. Everybody wants to play.

on whether he has told Walcott he’d like him to stay…

on whether he has given Walcott assurances over game time…
No, because you cannot just do it, it’s not honest.

on whether he runs the risk of losing Walcott…
We will see, I have a good relationship with Theo and I don’t want him to be frustrated or lose an opportunity to go to the World Cup because Theo went to the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and we are now in 2018 and since he has not been for different reasons, so that is a sensitive subject.

on whether he’s looking to bring in any other players…
I don’t really doubt that. Not at the back, not in midfield and not up front - we are open, we are on the market, we are active. I don’t want to give you news that I can’t confirm after, though. In this transfer market, at the moment, it’s very difficult to come out with things as long as they are not signed because things can change very quickly.

on whether Malcom would be a replacement for Alexis…
He’s a good player but at the moment nothing is happening there. We are not on that case at the moment.


Follow our trip to Bournemouth LIVE on

Matchday Show: Bournemouth (a)

We travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday - and you can follow the game LIVE with us.

Tune in to our website for the following:

  • Matchday show, with live build-up from 1pm (UK time) and audio commentary from 1.30pm (UK time)
  • Live text commentary - featuring minute-by-minute updates and insight from our fans on Twitter
  • A short goals clip and full match highlights will be available from midnight on Sunday

It’s all free with Digital Membership - and remember, you can listen on the Arsenal App too!


Who scored our best goal at Bournemouth?

We've only played away at Bournemouth twice in the Premier League era - but we've still scored some special goals on the south coast.

Be it Mesut Ozil's thunderous finish or Lucas' brilliant volley, there have been plenty of moments to remember against Eddie Howe's side.

Which goal was your favourite? Watch them all above and then vote for the best one below.


Holding - How team spirit has won us points

Last season’s game at Bournemouth was one of the most dramatic we have seen, as we fought from three goals down to claim a point at the Vitality Stadium.

It’s this fighting spirit that Rob Holding believes that has served us well and will continue to be an important quality over the coming months.

“Last season I was on the bench but remember it being a really good game, we were 3-0 down and had to come back,” he said. “We just need to go there [this time] and make sure we don’t concede three goals again and get another clean sheet, steal a few goals and that would be perfect.

“There’s definitely team spirit among the lads, we can look at each other and get each other going, keep pushing to the end and often score some late goals which save some points.

“We’re still in there [in the top-four fight],” he added. “You see teams take points off each other every week with how competitive the Premier League is, the bottom team can take points off the top team, so we just have to see what results go our way and we need to keep doing what we need to do, which is to win games.”


‘The physical pressure on strikers is massive'

Alexandre Lacazette may be on his longest run without a league goal since May 2013, but Arsène Wenger is pleased with how the striker has adapted to life in England.

The France international is our joint-top scorer with eight goals so far this season and the boss has been encouraged by his performances, particularly given the physical demands associated with competing in the Premier League.

“It’s a difficult period, the first year, because the family comes over and it’s a bit less football-orientated,” he said. “But you get used to it and he has played many games until now. 

“I would say that the physical pressure on the strikers here in England has become absolutely massive. The physical demands and the intensity in the challenges is much bigger than in France.

“[I like] his intelligence, his team attitude and the quality and the speed of understanding with the other players. What he has worked on is to cope with the intensity of the challenges. 

“In France you go down and it’s a free-kick. In England you go down and it’s no free-kick. That is much more difficult for the striker to get used to that. 

“I think he resists better. This guy is used to scoring 30 goals per year so at the moment even if he says no, I am sure he is frustrated.”