Arsenal Scorpian King deals Palace killer sting + 4 key takeaways to mull

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Power post time. It was great to be back in the mix yesterday. Cold weather, relentless blanket of thick rain, hanging with my Arsenal fam at the S&B ready for a bitch about how we’ve messed it up. Truly, nothing makes me miss London more.

So what about the game? Well, overall, how can you not be kind of turned on about beating out a Sam Allardyce team with goal of the season, no CENTURY? A total moment of magic made a pretty standard win something a touch more epic. Perez wins possession and plays in Bellerin. Giroud lays a back heel to Xhaka. Iwobes finds Alexis. Alexis picks up the pass on the left wing. Giroud makes a run, the cross is floated slightly behind the said run, Oliver changes his angles and used the back of his ankle to guide the ball bar and in. LIKE A SCORPIAN IMITATING A MAJESTIC FRESH WATER SALMON. Such beauty. Such class. Good of Olivier to admit it was quite lucky after, but hey, as lucky as hitting a screamer from 30 yards. Wondrous moment. Up there with Bergkamp vs Newcastle.

We bossed most of the game bar a worrying 10mins or so when they tested Cech a few times. Iwobi settled the game after landing a start at 10. He nodded over Hennesey in a goal mouth scramble type of goal. A very solid 3 points that keeps us within a bad Chelsea run of the title.

Things I liked:

We dominated yesterday but turned that into end product. We controlled the passing as you’d expect with 541 compared to their 258, what I enjoyed were the attempts at goal, we had 22 with 7 on target. A good return considering our shyness in front of goal earlier on in the season. An even better return when you think of how many changes we made to the starting 11.


I can’t for the life of me work Wenger out. The sort of rotation we saw yesterday should have been present before our big games vs City / Everton. What was clear yesterday is we have the squad to cope with shit teams like Palace. We need to take warmth from that game and do the same when the pressure is on. Could that team have beaten Basel away? Yes. Could it have beaten Ludogorets away? Yes. So why didn’t we use it?

Perez looked handy if not a touch rusty. He’s a hustler, pretty efficient on the ball and he’s a threat in front of goal. Iwobi, whilst occasionally looking like a fish up a tree, put in a solid. He let the ball move across the front line freely, he had a 90% pass completion rate and he landed a goal. He also created 5 chances. Sure it was Palace, but those are the games he should be cutting his teeth in. He’s taken some stick recently, fairly too, but he’s a very good player. No Ozil obviously, but potential to find his own niche. I also thought Elneney had a good game, quietly going about the grunt work, freeing up Xhaka to spray the ball around like a garden sprinkler.

Aaron Ramsey:

You’re all thinking it, but surely Aaron Ramsey is in bad shape with Arsene? For us to opt for Xhaka and Elneney against a team who had nothing to give tells you a lot about the trust black hole Rambo has found himself in. Aaron is a fine midfielder when he lands a chance, he can run with the ball, pass, shoot and cover ground like and action man. But no start again? A man going to AFCON preferred? Given 15mins at the end? Doesn’t make sense. But the writing is on the wall unless we pick up an injury or the manager has a massive change of heart in the next few months.


Not sure what Wenger thinks here. Game is tied up and he leaves Sanchez on for the full 90. People say it’s because Sanchez wants to stay on, I say fuck him. It’s the managers job to manage his minutes. Will anyone care what Alexis thinks when we lose him for 3months with a ruptured something? They won’t. Why doesn’t Wenger take him out of games that are over against teams that will take joy out of breaking someone if points aren’t on the card? Even if it’s not an injury, there’s no way these minutes aren’t impacting freshness points later on in the season.

Also odd that he’d take a player off who is going to AFCON rather than an important player who is staying here? Not that the subs didn’t shake things up and give us a nice edge in the last 15, just didn’t feel thought through with the bigger picture in mind.


The bits you don’t get watching the game in bed in the US. Ramsey made a horrendous decision where he either tried to shoot or do something stupid with a pass, anyway, Sanchez was on and when he didn’t get it the scream of frustration was so loud we could hear it. Sure he’s an amazing player, but ‘Thierry in his last year’ levels of aggression aren’t cool when you’re the leading lady in an ok film. I really do worry that part of the ‘PLAY HIM ALL THE MINUTES’ is down to the manager not wanting to upset negotiations which look like they’re going badly. I hope not, but body language doesn’t look great. Maybe just a frustrating day, or maybe reality biting that the green grass of Arsenal is only good for getting fat on.

A good three points, puts us Closer to City and keeps us in the mix with a Liverpool who are starting to a look like title contenders. Also, don’t forget Spurs… quietly going about their business again. All very exciting

See you in the comments!

219 Responses to “Arsenal Scorpian King deals Palace killer sting + 4 key takeaways to mull”

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  1. Marc

    Niall Quinn and Alan Smith giving Mike Dean both barrels. About time he was called out correctly.

    If he had any balls he’d man up and come out after the match and say I got it wrong.

    Wasn’t it Dean who sent Gabriel off last season against Chelsea?

  2. Marc

    What are the odds Dean sends a ManU player off in the last couple of minutes so he can “justify” that he evened it up?

    Of course ManU will be winning by then and West Ham having played 75 minutes with 10 men will be knackered.

  3. Dissenter

    Referees should have to wear a special pad with electric shock around their groins. Out should be possible;e to remotely punish as bad referee like Mike Dean instantaneous punishment.

    Did anyone see that one-two passing he did for United?

  4. vicky

    In cricket, use of DRS (decision review system) has almost completely eliminated big errors in final judgement. Why not use technology to decide on important decisions like penalty, offside goals and red card in football as well?

  5. Goonereris

    Is there a conspiracy to “assist” United into CL places? That looks the case to me and involves the commentators (gushing about every move and shot), analysts, Refs and the FA. The red card wasn’t anything more than a word in the ears of both players (Jones was the offender and as he feared a red, he rolled around feigning pain); and how can the assistant Ref not see that Ibrahimovic was offside?

  6. Redtruth


    Stop getting your knickers in a twist.
    Finishing outside the top 4 will be a blessing in disguise as it will give Wenger nothing but the Premier league to focus on next seadon.

  7. rollen

    He will be a part-player in the ten clubs ahead of us in Europe.


    he was first choice in arguably best team in history
    He will be first team in any team in the world.

  8. Alexanderhenry

    I’ve always suspected a man utd bias amongst referees and perhaps the FA.

    Luck usually evens out for most clubs. Not for man utd.

  9. Dissenter

    I think Pep is struggling to come top terms with playing over the yuletide. He’s also frustrated with the shallowness of English footballing journalism.

  10. bay area gooner


    Lets us all put this to bed. Rambo is not a great player. Sure he has the engine, but after being at the club for years, much like Walcott has stagnated in his performance- bar the one year when he scored a lot of goals.

    He is slow on the ball, turns around too much, and IMO not as great a passer of the ball and creator- we have better players than him.

    The style we play now with Ozil, and Sanchez does not allow for his style of player.
    Although Box to box, he does not fit into the current scheme with his skill set.

    Sub fine but I hope we sell him this summer. Much better out there….

  11. Thank you and goodnight


    He has always been snappy. Especially when things don’t go his way, which admittedly hasn’t been often with the previous teams he’s had, but trust me you’ll see more of that attitude this season now he’s at city. Pep is very similar to wenger in fact he thinks he’s untouchable and every time he gets called out he’ll get snappy. Pep started to believe he could walk on water, reality will bite him on the bum at city. Compare the squad he inherited at city to the squads he inherited at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Now we’ll get to see just how good he really is, me personally…..I don’t think he’s all that he’s cracked up to be, a good manager but not WC

  12. Dissenter

    Your comments about Pep are fair but lets get something straight. The British punditry criticizing him aren’t good enough to hold his coat for him.
    Many are average former players who don’t have the balls to step into the arena of managing.
    He’s been in football to realize that managers aren’t infallible.

    You should try to watch the interview he did with NBC sports inn the states. The typical British approach is ask loaded questions and cause a fumble to twist the story. To a manager who learned English as an adult it can be daunting.

  13. Wenker-wanger

    Man utd have always been the darlings of the media. They also have some mafia style power over the officials. Fergie made officials shit themselves, his wrath carried a power and referees would be under extreme pressure and focus if they crossed him.
    Not saying refs bottled it, but there was clearly an influence of fergie transmitted to their subconscious mind.
    They are lucky as well and irritatingly arrogant.
    Now they have the most arrogant manager of all time!

  14. Wallace

    “It was at the very least a mistake of Olympian scale, fitting the sweeping gestures, the imperial hauteur of the match official, a referee who clearly feels each football match he attends is a spectacle made up of three interlocking forces, Team A, Team B and Mike D.”

    – Barney Ronay

  15. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Yeah he is eating into the new mans budget ….
    Granite is up,three with debaucy as he worst buy …

  16. rollen

    January 2, 2017 15:13:49

    What has Klopp done to Lallana?

    Player management and motivation in proper system.
    Not as good as ” go express yourself” but seems to be working.

  17. Wenker-wanger

    There should be a video made of all man uniteds offside goals. Dives, opposition disallowed goals when genuine. Fergie add on minutes.
    Titled “12 -man united”……

  18. Wenker-wanger

    Has wankger signed for his 2 year stress-free multi million bonanza?
    I’ve not heard anything..,my slim hopes are still alive that he hasn’t.

  19. vicky

    Well, FA won’t get rid of Mike Dean despite all the outrage. He will continue to ruin games week after week. Dean, Clattenburg, Moss are all horrible referees, Dean the worst of the lot.

  20. London gunner

    Lot of bias on this blog

    It was only last week that man united were denied two penalties one of them stonewall and ibra’s goal was disallowed for a farcical high foot.

    Point is sometimes teams get the run of the green sometimes they don’t. It was poor referring today in that match but it will equal itself out over a season.

    If man united make top 4 it’s because they deserve it same for us spurs or whoever else

  21. London gunner

    I don’t think man united are media darlings if anything the media love their fall from grace.

    I’d say if anything mourinhos attempts to intermediate the refs has backfired this season with most decisions going against his team (bar today)

  22. David Smith

    Bay Area Gooner, just wait and see what a proper coaching structure can do with Ramsey, and Ox for that matter. Look how well szczesney is doing in Italy under proper goal keeping coaches, and how Cech has declined. Basically, coaching at Arsenal sucks, most of our better players have been coached in their formative years elsewhere.
    Wenger to this day thinks he can do it all, manager, coach, physio, builder, accountant. He is a reasonable manager capable of getting a very good squad into the top four, nothing more these days.
    I am still intrigued by this all blacks sports psych coach….was that the board, or a last throw of the dice, from a manager, notoriously unwilling to add to backroom staff , finally trying to do everything he can to get a new contract, or go out on a high

  23. China

    I didn’t get to see the game because I had to fly to a wedding in south China (Xiamen) but I saw the giroud goal. Incredible.

    At this wedding they have glenfiddich 21 year (in China that’s £110 a bottle) and they have a bottle on each of the 45 tables for guests at dinner! £4800 odd quid on whiskey alone at this wedding shit the bed

    I had 4 doubles. Had to get my money’s worth eh

  24. peanuts&monkeys

    every team is going about their business quietly. not just Spurs. Except Arsenal. The only remaining business of this season now should be sacking the fossil and throw him out of reach of Emirates.

  25. Steveyg87

    Good to see the comment section alive and well. Been spending the last month on my arse. Managed to break both my wrists in one go.

  26. Thank you and goodnight


    Hope your ok now mate.

    Just going to have a morning rant to say…….DARTS IS NOT A FUCKING SPORT. IT’S A PUB GAME. Don’t call it a sport as it’s played by the most unlocking sporty people in the world. It’s a pub game for fat cunts who were Virgins till they were 25 years old, for guys who were shit at virtually every school sport because they could barely walk 5 meters before collapsing out of breath……..they’re, feel much better now

  27. Wallace

    tonight, happy to see Iwobi get another chance in the centre. would give Lucas another game on the right, and, after a couple of very solid games, think Gabriel should keep his place. a chance to give Koscielny 10 days off. something like –

    Bellerin – Mustafi – Gabriel – Monreal
    Coquelin – Xhaka
    Lucas – Iwobi – Ox

  28. Frank Mc


    what a load of bollocks you only have to look at past genuine darts honed sportsman such as Jocky Wilson, Bobby George and Eric Bristow….. 🙂

    Happy New Year mate!

  29. Dream10


    I think the back five should stay the same. Gabriel, who I have heavily criticised over the last year, had a very good game on Sunday. There’s a risk in playing Xhaka as I don’t remember the last time he had a rest. But, I think he is the player we could least afford to leave out. No other player besides Cazorla can effectively get the ball into the final third. I would leave Alexis out of the XI, but don’t see it happening. Coquelin, Ramsey & Chamberlain are in line to start.

    Bellerin Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
    Coquelin Xhaka
    Ramsey Iwobi Chamberlain

  30. Wallace


    “Gabriel, who I have heavily criticised over the last year, had a very good game on Sunday. There’s a risk in playing Xhaka as I don’t remember the last time he had a rest. But, I think he is the player we could least afford to leave out.”

    yeah, agreed on Xhaka. Cazorla’s injury has given him the opportunity and I think he’s been excellent. his pass completion stats are insane for someone who plays so many mid to long range balls.

  31. Frank Mc


    it wasn’t that long ago that England excelled at all those elite sports that revolved around the pub….. sad times ahead!

  32. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Hahahahaha. Yeah I’ve never recovered from the pub skittle game being all but virtually wiped out

  33. Wallace

    hours taken to play all 3 festive games –

    Chelsea – 223
    Arsenal – 198.75
    Man Utd – 172.25
    Spuds – 170
    Man City – 167.75
    Liverpool – 143.75

    Klopp with every right to feel a bit aggrieved…

  34. Dan T

    I play a lot of darts but it definitely isn’t a sport. Any game I can drink 10 pints while playing and actually get better at can surely not be sport.

    But then I guess if you’re calling something a sport by how much physical strain it takes then are any of snooker, shooting, Golf, Archery, Curling sports?

  35. Red&White4life


    Would you really think the same if maureen – or even arsène lol – was the target ??

  36. Red&White4life

    “Pep Guardiola says he is coming to the end of his coaching career…”

    Amazing…. It was sooooo easy at Barcelona, almost as easy at Munich, and now that his job becoming more difficult, he wants to quit.
    Really pissed off by the hype surrounding this coward of a coach.

  37. Thank you and goodnight

    @Dan T

    Any sport I can drink 10 pints and actually get better at…..

    Hahahahahahaha gave me a chuckle

  38. Red&White4life

    Yeah TYAGN, the word “coward” is maybe a bit too harsh – and wenger is the king of this category lol – but seriously, look at the players he had at his disposal at munich, and especially at barcelona!!

  39. Frank Mc

    Guardiola as a Player
    Barcelona B Segunda División B: 1990–91
    Barcelona La Liga: 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99
    Copa del Rey: 1996–97, 1997–98
    Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996
    European Cup: 1991–92
    UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1996–97
    UEFA Super Cup: 1992, 1997
    SpainOlympic Gold Medal: 1992
    IndividualBravo Award: 1992
    Olympics – Spain Best Player: 1992
    UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2000

    Guardiola as a Manager
    Barcelona B Tercera División: 2007–08
    BarcelonaLa Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11
    Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12
    Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011
    UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11
    UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011
    Bayern MunichBundesliga: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
    DFB-Pokal: 2013–14, 2015–16
    UEFA Super Cup: 2013
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2013
    Individual Don Balon Award: 2009, 2010
    Miguel Muñoz Trophy: 2008–09, 2009–10
    Onze d’Or Coach of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012
    World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year: 2009, 2011
    IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach: 2009, 2011
    UEFA Team of the Year Best Coach: 2008–09, 2010–11
    La Liga Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
    FIFA World Coach of the Year: 2011
    Globe Soccer Awards Coach Career Award: 2013

    Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2010
    Catalan of the year Award: 2009

    The cunts not got a patch on Jocky Wilson!

  40. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Hahahahaha your a funny guy. Love your posts. Hahaha. I’m not saying he’s a shit manager mate, just feel that with players he had at his disposal for his previous clubs made his job easier. If he can manage to turn city around in next 3 years and make them genuine CL contenders, then I for one will admit I’m wrong. If it was choice of pep or klopp to replace wenger I’d go for klopp every time

  41. Red&White4life

    @Frank : we are not saying that he is a shit manager, but with barcelona and bayern, he just had chosen the easiest way to win those trophies.

  42. useroz

    1st goal @ 17″…100% Belerin”s fault. Sucked too central when we had 6 others there. Poor defending when got to the guy; skinned by a simple dummy

    2nd goal @ 21″ …100% xhara’s stupidity. The guy is fucking going nowhere and away from goal

    …while Ramsey. Iwobi, Coq play like headless chickens in final third.

    Send FedEx to pick Ozil up from bed FFS.