STATEMENT DRAW AGAINST LIVERPOOL WITH 10 MEN, WHAT A SCENE!

by .

Late to the party today because I’m traveling back home, BUT MY WORD did I enjoy 10 man Arsenal making Jurgen Klopp has his false test army look distinctly average against a 10 men Arsenal.

Make no mistake about it, the German rockstar coach had the game from the previous week moved under dubious circumstances because 1) He’s under pressure after tanking the league again, he really needs an insurance trophy 2) He knows that Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is very much on the rise.

We saw a coaching masterclass from our manager again. The biggest proof points we were looking for in 2022 were based around how well we could do against City and Liverpool. Well, we’re two games in and I think you’d find very few Arsenal fans that don’t have those two performances in their top 2 of the season.

There was a familiar theme across both. Granit Xhaka. He had hand in the result not going full tilt our way again. Against Liverpool, he was put in a shitty position by the defence, he knew Jota was lurking behind him and he tried to clear the ball ungracefully and landed a karate kick to the Portuguese chest. The ref said it was a clear goalscoring opportunity, I’m not sure many would disagree with the foul, but it was a red. There’s a Xhaka tax. Micheal Oliver was desperate to flash red against a player there’s never going to be any recourse over. If it was Fabinho, it’s a yellow based on a lack of intent. The night before, when Rudiger took down Hojberg under a similar set of criteria, there was no red card. It’s rough that refs hate Xhaka, but that’s how it is, and it’s costing us.

There are so many good parts to his game, but it’s getting hard to ignore that these sort of things now tend to exclusively happen to him. Not good when you are the leader of the team.

10 men was made slightly worse by the fact Arteta had opted for safety with ESR and Tomi, benching them so they’d be ready for Sunday. We also lacked Martin Odegaard, who was hit by the COVID outbreak. It really was a nightmare moment we’ve not had the tools to escape in the past.

Well, last night is when the coaching seemed to click. Arteta’s in-game management was impeccable. Chambers came on early for Cedric, which I think turned out to be a godsend. When the match went south, he brought on Rob Holding and tightened the ship. Dropping Gabi and Saka into the midfield with Lokonga left as the only recognized central midfielder.

My word, did the team show up. 

Liverpool didn’t have a shot on target. That is quite simply spectacular defending. It’s all the ingredients of JDP coming together at once to control the space against one of the most aggressive attacking forces in world football.

NOT ONE SHOT ON TARGET. I honestly couldn’t believe it.

Ben White was quite simply sensational. He’s had his ups and downs this season, but overall, he’s been impressive. The reality is Gabriel has tended to shine a little brighter than him, there was talk of him being the second defender on our podcast, well, last night I think we put that idea to bed. He led with extreme sharpness, fantastic leadership, and full-on aggression all game. He was masterful, he gives a shit about clean sheets, just look at that amazing picture of him cheering the Liverpool miss. Would I trust him in a nightclub with my girlfriend? No way. But that’s not what today is about. Benny Blanco, without doubt, looks like he’s worth every penny of the £55m we paid for him. Also… anyone dredging up all the slander from other clubs fans? Konate? Varane? Are we talking about their fees being a waste now?

Alex Lacazette, for me, has been on of our players of the season. I just cannot believe how well he’s adapted his game to the cause. The man is a powerhouse leader on the pitch. There’s no doubt he’s twice the captain his predecessor was. He doesn’t give up, he leaves everything on the pitch, and his all-round game is just a joy to watch.

Let’s also talk about the midfield. Saka, Lokonga and Martinelli adapting at speed to new positions and doing a fantastic job. No one is bigger than the team, everyone is pulling in the same direction, and all our players seem to bounce back from poor performances very fast.

Our defence put in a stellar performance. Cal Chambers showed up when we needed it from him, Rob Holding put to bed the horror show of Forest, KT drove the team with his relentless work rate, and Gabriel just did Gabriel things. Mad that Ramsdale probably had his worst game in an Arsenal shirt and still kept a clean sheet. 

It was also a nice touch that Arteta trusted Nuno in a massive moment to come on and shake out the grubbiness of the weekend.

So some concluding thoughts:

This is a young side learning on the job. They are experiencing new things every week. Every week, they are getting stronger. That performance was special, just remember, United went down to 10 men against Liverpool and lost 5-0 at Old Trafford. We made them look ordinary and bereft of ideas. We did the same against City.

Arteta’s mark on this team is becoming more apparent by the week. He knows how to make the fans feel pride in their team, just listen to him talk about everyone wanting to join The Arsenal. Clearly, he knows how to motivate his players, so put the talk of man management in the bin, because we just played 60 minutes with 10 men and every player left it all on the pitch. The ideas he has about where the game is going are the right ones. It might take time for them to lead to a title challenge, but we’re now causing problems for the very best in world football.

This is all happening with the youngest team in the league. There are going to be games like Forest, that’s what happens. The key is not to get too down on those games, and not think we’re winning the league after games like last night (I know it was the cup, but we do get exciting).

The plan from the start of the season is that we’ll be contending the title in two seasons’ time. Top 4 is for next season. The fact that we’re doing bits against Liverpool with 10 men tells you we might be a little ahead of schedule, but don’t lose your mind of pump expectations too hard, because we have a light squad and things can change fast in football. It’s not good getting a big result like last night, then getting pumped on the return leg… which is entirely possible.

The key takeaway from yesterday is this team has bouncbackability. Ben White said ‘that’s football, it is what it is’ when asked about Forest. He’s right. There’s a lot of character and it’s only going to get stronger.

Final thought on the game is the fans. We’re creating a fortress of noise at home, and we outsang the Liverpool fans at their own gaff yesterday. Arteta has brought back pride to Arsenal fans, he’s purchased and developed players that get us off our seats, and he’s made us want to sing again. I think it’s a fantastic development and credit to all the lunatics that went up there and did us proud. This is the most exciting project in world football at the moment and the fans are a huge part of why it’s so much fun.

Arsenal are in trouble for the Spurs game if it goes ahead, which I suspect it might. We have COVID in the club and injury concerns. We literally have no midfield. It’s romantic to think Jack could slip in, but it could also be disastrous. We don’t have time to loan someone in and pray they can adapt to the fiercest derby in the world. We’re either getting creative by bringing Saka into midifield / moving Ben White forward… or we’re rolling the dice on Patino, which I think might be a bit mean. I’m not sure any of those ideas is ideal.

Let’s see where we go with that.

There was no On The Whistle last night, we’ll be back at the weekend. I’m traveling, Johnny is in Dubai with Salt Bae, and Matt is too shy to do it on his own.

Have fun in the comments. Isn’t it great to be an Arsenal fan again?

323 Responses to “STATEMENT DRAW AGAINST LIVERPOOL WITH 10 MEN, WHAT A SCENE!”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. InsideRight

    Arsenal are right to call for the NLD to be postponed.

    Apparently we are down to 11 outfield players and we should have at least 13. As much as I want us to play the Spuds while Son is out, I would rather do it with our best players available.

  2. AFC Forever

    Breaking news:

    Spurs have just applied for Prince Andrews Titles. Levy said:”We might as well have them, we can’t seem to win any.”

  3. Northbanker

    Great performance last night – really proud of them all – other than that tosser Xhaka who is a huge liability. He will always foul because he’s so slow. He’s not fit for purpose in the Prem and would be far more suited to Serie A

  4. Zfree

    League has set a precedent with granting all sorts of postponements. How could they deny our request for this match to be postponed? We’ll also be reminding them how they denied our request to postpone Brentford with an outbreak just before match and unclear the extent of it.

  5. Terraloon

    Zfree.

    They have also turned them down.

    If and a big if the reporting is correct and it’s actually only one COVID case then the absences are due to AFcON , Injuries and suspensions.

  6. Topside Northbank

    My gut feeling the gane will go ahead Sunday,

    It’s a big sky tv game for starters, the point I made earlier two players loaned out that are in the PL squad.

    I think if it does go ahead a few will be patched up and I expect a roll of the dice on a couple carrying knocks.

    Arteta thought ESR would be ok for Thursday so maybe erred on the side of caution.It could be a decent starting side but a very weak bench. I also believe even if we play Sunday and get more players out they will play the second leg.

    The final is the end of February and simply little or no spare dates for Liverpool we are out of the FA Cup so I don’t expect any movement of fixtures. Another story but the first leg should of been played anyway.

  7. Topside Northbank

    My gut feeling the gane will go ahead Sunday,

    It’s a big sky tv game for starters, the point I made earlier two players loaned out that are in the PL squad.

    I think if it does go ahead a few will be patched up and I expect a roll of the dice on a couple carrying knocks.

    Arteta thought ESR would be ok for Thursday so maybe erred on the side of caution.It could be a decent starting side but a very weak bench. I also believe even if we play Sunday and get more players out they will play the second leg.

    The final is the end of February and simply little or no spare dates for Liverpool we are out of the FA Cup so I don’t expect any movement of fixtures. Another story but the first leg should of been played anyway.

  8. Bradybunch

    Players loaned out in good faith are not eligible. Even if only 1 player is ineligible due to Covid and that 1 player leaves us short of the minimum stated by PL/ FA , then the request should be approved. Liverpool’s farce included AFCON players too didn’t it?
    The fat lady can’t get through the door tho so I can’t tell if she’s singing.

  9. Topside Northbank

    My gut feeling the gane will go ahead Sunday,

    It’s a big sky tv game for starters, the point I made earlier two players loaned out that are in the PL squad.

    I think if it does go ahead a few will be patched up and I expect a roll of the dice on a couple carrying knocks.

    Arteta thought ESR would be ok for Thursday so maybe erred on the side of caution.It could be a decent starting side but a very weak bench. I also believe even if we play Sunday and get more players out they will play the second leg.

    The final is the end of February and simply little or no spare dates for Liverpool we are out of the FA Cup so I don’t expect any movement of fixtures. Another story but the first leg should of been played anyway.

  10. Soham

    Per the daily mail:

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang misses Gabon’s AFCON clash with Ghana after medical staff noticed ‘cardiac lesions’ after the Arsenal striker finished his coronavirus recovery

  11. Topside Northbank

    Over the holiday period Palace tried to get the game at Tottenham pp the league said no and they had a decent side out, patched a few up that’s what I think will be the case Sunday.

    I don’t expect any favours BUT if we have more covid cases it may well be off.

    Wolves getting our game called off then a few days later full strength at Man Utd looked very suspect to me.

  12. raptora

    Truth be told Arsenal are abusing the stupid ass rules.
    Who was responsible for sending AMN and Balogun on loan when they could have been available to play?

    Of course, what’s going to happen is that, they are probably going to set an example when WE want to postpone a game. They did nothing to fix the rules till now, but for us they will. Just wait and see.

  13. salparadisenyc

    Kind of wished / hope we play the game, get them in while you can. AND the idea of taking Spurs with that likely XI is just too good to pass up on the banter front.

  14. AFC Forever

    Hard to believe the level of hypocrisy as ex Liverpool player and famous spitter , Jamie Carragher demands Arsenals request to postpone the NLD is refused. Gary Neville ranting too about how Arsenal must be stopped. Both these North West based idiots said nothing when their teams had games postponed. They said nothing when other PL teams had their games postponed. Not a word. Zilch. Until it’s Arsenal.

    They don’t even bother hiding their bias or hypocrisy and pretend it’s not because it’s Arsenal. Yes it is.

  15. Bradybunch

    Probably right Raptora.
    Decent gaming by Arsenal tho. If Game goes ahead, there’ll be a day of miracles in the physio room!

  16. IAT-Robbie

    “IAT, I can imagine. But if you say you aren’t him, then I will take your word for it and I won’t let people call you Bamford”

    Unless Bamford is also from South London, it’s not even remotely possible that we’re the same person.
    I’ll admit, it was hilarious being called an OGS fanboy considering I hate United more than any other team. Their fans used to be just as cocky in these parts as the Chelsea plastics. Why would I not want them to struggle?😁😁😁

  17. Ernest Reed

    You have to love the youthful spirit from the team, twice now in two big matches, Man City and Liverpool. The problem is that they are not being permitted to enjoy or bask in the moment because in both instances they were let down by teammates who really continually exhibit poor and rash judgment.

    Xhaka in particular is looked up to as a leader and yet time and time again lets down his teammates with what can only be described as brain dead moronicism. When someone, who really does know better, continually puts you on your collective back foot because they cant help themselves, he no longer is an asset but rather a distinct liability.

    If Arsenal truly are going to be a Top 4 contender, they have to rid themselves of moments of boneheadedness, the kind that both Xhaka and Gabriel have been found guilty of, they just have to. There has to be consequences for costing your team in this way.

    As for whether Xhaka deserved a Red and whether Oliver targeted him – well, reputations are pretty hard to shake. Its not his first Red Card experience and certainly wont be his last. He does himself no favours with his decision making and slowness of foot.

  18. AFC Forever

    Rap

    “Truth be told Arsenal are abusing the stupid ass rules”

    How do you know that? Be good if you can post the list of players with positive tests and injuries please, as I can’t seem to find it online.

    To be honest it’s pretty obvious that it’s absolutely fine for all the other clubs to have had games postponed but as soon as it’s Arsenal, it’s ‘abuse’ & outrage. Things like this will flush out the hypocrites. I guarantee you that will happen, the Arsenal haters will be exposed.

  19. AFC Forever

    Soham

    Aubamwyang heat lesion. There seems to be a lot of heart problems since Covid-19 arrived. Coincidence? If it’s not coincidence – what is causing this?

  20. Ernest Reed

    Arsenal will be told to play on Sunday, you know they will. The FA has it in for AFC as does the EPL Referee’s group. Arsenal don’t get the breaks, they have to go out and earn them. The reason why I love and respect AFC? Because unlike the vast majority of crybaby teams, we always “Take it Like a Man” and own it through hard work and honesty. Prove me wrong!

  21. AFC Forever

    Terraloon

    Cheers for that but no Covid shown, Odegaatd not on there or any others that may be isolating/tested positive. The Doctor will have been involved.

  22. IAT-Robbie

    “Players loaned out in good faith are not eligible. Even if only 1 player is ineligible due to Covid and that 1 player leaves us short of the minimum stated by PL/ FA”

    Brady,

    So what is the actual rule set by the FA regarding match postponements?

  23. AFC Forever

    Premier League Rules and factors taken into account by the Board

    Premier League rules provide a framework and discretion to the Board to assess whether a postponement application should be accepted.

    As the guidance shows, the Board will consider the following principal factors when making a decision:

    1) The impact of COVID-19 infections on a club’s squad, as well as injuries, illness and those isolating, and the number of players available on the squad list and any Under-21 players with appropriate experience. Where a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players, the match will be postponed.

    2) The status of any COVID-19 outbreak within a club, including the number of individuals affected, the sequence and source of infections and their proximity to the match in question.

    3) A club’s ability to safely prepare its players in the lead-up to a match.

    4) Medical advice as to whether there is any unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match.

    5) Any advice from UK Health Security Agency and other public bodies.

    6) Any other exceptional circumstances.

    The Board has applied these factors in recent postponements, with examples including:

    – Where a club has been unable to field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper for a match due to COVID-19 infections, injuries, illness and/or those isolating.
    – Where the status of a COVID-19 outbreak within a club’s squad remains unclear very close to a match. For example, where there remains a concern that not all COVID-19 infections have been identified and there is insufficient time to resolve that concern before kick-off.
    – Where the club does not have sufficient time to safely prepare its players in the lead up to a match. For example, where the UK Health Security Agency has requested the closure of a training ground and suspension of group training following an outbreak during the preparation period ahead of a match.

  24. Ernest Reed

    “Think that virus can attack all major organs, unfortunately.”

    It most certainly can and does. I have continually struggled for almost two years post Covid with a number of organ related ailments that i just cant shake or fully heal from. My lung capacity in particular continues to diminish and Doctors can only really just monitor me and learn. There are still no real answers.

  25. AFC Forever

    Ernest Read

    Not good to hear that mate. A good friend of mine had a heart attack and he was as fit as a fiddle. In his fifties. He’s fine now. Happened when we were playing golf. He had Covid a few months prior. It is concerning. All my family have had it but somehow it’s left me alone!

  26. MidwestGun

    Man… I was gonna post a long reasoned thought out post/rant with yellow and red card statistics. on how shit xhaka * is….. then I was like… meh… what’s th fuckin point.. ? It’s all been said.

    Bottom line.. Please Arsenal… just upgrade on him as soon as possible for my sanity.. And as we all know it is all about me. 😀

    Anyhow.. I am in the camp that says.. I think we should play.. unless of course ESR is unavailable as well as Ode…. then yep postpone it.. But playing Spuds without Son and them coming off a loss.. is too good to pass up.. if you ask me.

  27. Terraloon

    AFC

    When I originally read the PL publication

    Where a club has been unable to field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper for a match due to COVID-19 infections, injuries, illness and/or those isolating.
    – Where the status of a COVID-19 outbreak within a club’s squad remains unclear very close to a match. For example, where there remains a concern that not all COVID-19 infections have been identified and there is insufficient time to resolve that concern before kick-off.
    – Where the club does not have sufficient time to safely prepare its players in the lead up to a match. For example, where the UK Health Security Agency has requested the closure of a training ground and suspension of group training following an outbreak during the preparation period ahead of a match.

    what struck me was they didn’t factor in 1) Players on International Duty or 2) Suspensions

    It was said that Leicester had been allowed to factor in players on AFcON duty but as thenPL don’t outline how they arrive at their decision we don’t know but looking how many they have injured they do seem to have real issues.

  28. David Smith

    Yes, sadly, it’s a nasty one. I read researchers believe they have identified a gene that can make it more likely to reap extensive damage, about 10% of the people in this country have this gene, other countries/ ethic groups, of this article is to be believed, have greater numbers with this gene. Don’t know to what extent this is proven, but some get away with it, almost untouched, others don’t, and age/ underlying health doesn’t always come into it . I know a bed ridden 94 year old with dementia who smoked all his life who fought it off in a week .
    Really hope Auba is ok and being looked after, sounds like he has been in the wars a bit over the last couple of years

  29. Terraloon

    AFC
    It does but where discounting players here’s what the PL say they have factored in:

    Where a club has been unable to field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper for a match due to COVID-19 infections, injuries, illness and/or those isolating.

    Now I know Leicester were said to have included players at AFCON but the FA public seems to say they aren’t factored in nor it seems have they factored in suspended players

  30. Ernest Reed

    Hi AFC, hope you and your family continue to do well?

    Its been a struggle on many fronts for me, but i keeping waking up every morning and consider it a bonus, so get out there and do something and enjoy as best I can.

    i would have to say that my biggest struggle is going out for a round of golf. I love walking the course and find myself constantly short of breath, that was the first clear sign of trouble for me. Doctors are telling me that my body is slowly shutting down and they cant explain why because there appears to be no real reason as i am (or was) a healthy and active man in his 50’s whose health counts were all all solid and pointing to someone with no medical history of problems and a strong organs – healthy and vibrant.

    I still golf but admittedly i am not enjoying it because I struggle to breath and my energy levels are low because of it. My heart function is diminishing as a result as well and that impacts other organs. Feel like an experiment these days as I’m giving more blood than anything else these days. Better days ahead I keep telling myself.

  31. David Smith

    The thing with Xhaka, other clubs have players who regularly do far worse , and go completely unpunished. Mane . Kane. Virtually Anyone from Burnley/ Palace . Rodri when up against us

  32. Bradybunch

    As for Cardiac lesions. There are many and varied cardiac issues associated with Covid, and the Vaccine too.
    Vaccinating kids under 12 was halted because of inflammation of the heart.
    Covid bites . It then creates generalised inflammatory reactions, and these can and do affect other organs aswell.
    The most common in adults is a Pericardial effusion… fluid around the heart. Thankfully ts also the most likely to disappear without trace afterwards.
    Enuff

  33. Habesha Gooner

    The players we can play must be 13.

    So far we know: Ramsdale, Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Chambers, White, Sambi, Martinelli, Lacazette, Nketiah, Leno and Tavarez are all fit. That makes it 12 including a backup GK.

    So it will depend on whether Cedric, Mari and Saka are fit or aren’t transferred. I think there might be a niggle with Saka and Cedric. And Mari is about to be transferred. So we might have a case to get the derby postponed. Saka and Martinelli in particular are running on fumes to be honest.

  34. AFC Forever

    Ernest, doesn’t sound much fun for you. Let’s hope over time it gets much better. I live my golf, great exercise and nice to be out with my mates. Exercise is important as we age. Best wishes to you.

  35. AFC Forever

    Habesha. Leicester had their game postponed and now Burnley, with 8 out, had their request granted. Saka, Chambers & Cedric are on the injured list from last night. Odegaatd is Covid. ESR out. I wouldn’t be surprise to see us have to play it but it will be a weird team with all those missing!! .

  36. MidwestGun

    Plus if it makes the Spuds mad then… thats a bonus.. If the match is postponed that makes them 4 games in hand back..in the league. . Their schedule would be really jacked up.

  37. Bradybunch

    Sorry to hear that Ernest. Round one was a truely brutal experience . I wish you , and the researchers good luck.

  38. Terraloon

    Hab

    From what I can gather the PL will say any player in full training be they match ready or not are included in players that are able to be selected. Players who are out of isolation are included as well.
    Also I have just read elsewhere that the fact that Arsenal are able to re call Azeez from his loan at Portsmouth and the fact that he is listed in the 21/22 squad may well add one to the number

  39. Guns of SF

    With COVID rampaging the EPL, it would make more sense for a 2 weeks break for all teams. This would allow infection rates amongst teams to subside.. Omicron is due to drop fairly soon rapidly , if we are basing on its trend.

    Plus this would give the other walking wounded time to heal up

  40. Habesha Gooner

    AFC
    It is ridiculous. One rule for us and one rule for everyone else can’t be excused. We barely have enough players to make an XI. I sympathize with teams that had to play because they had exactly 13 experienced players and a goalie. I think leeds played us because of that.

    But if Saka and Cedric are out and we are made to play an important game such as this, then there is clear bias.

  41. Habesha Gooner

    Teraloon
    That would be a shocking decision to make us play because Azeez was recalled. I want us to play them. But this wouldn’t be fair and it wouldn’t keep the integrity of the league. Especially when liverpool cheated in the league cup to play us when we are weak.

  42. Terraloon

    Habesha

    I agree it would be shocking but at the same time was the sending out on loan of AMN and Bagulon

    I am far from sure that the game will be postponed and yes Arsenal are seriously short but at this point in time Arsenal have only 19 yes 19 over 21 year old players some 6 short of the allowable number and that was a conscious choice

    Some on here applauded the small squad but for a club like Arsenal to be so short of players is a travesty

  43. Terraloon

    Midwest.

    He is / is going to be some player and the lad at Southampton ( can’t remember his name )who also is a Chelsea player on loan they have probably £100 + million worth of players who will be integrated of quite possibly sold

  44. Habesha Gooner

    Teraloon
    Yeah it was a mistake to loan out both Balogun and AMN before we could sign some players. But the rules clearly state that you should have 13 outfield players and a goalie of enough experience to play a game. They don’t say anything about whether you had red cards, loaned out players and Afcon. And we don’t have enough players. If they ruled teams should play no matter what when the season started, it would have been okay. But now we have grounds for posteponment.

  45. Habesha Gooner

    Teraloon
    Yeah it was a mistake to loan out both Balogun and AMN before we could sign some players. But the rules clearly state that you should have 13 outfield players and a goalie of enough experience to play a game. They don’t say anything about whether you had red cards, loaned out players and Afcon. And we don’t have enough players. If they ruled teams should play no matter what when the season started, it would have been okay. But now we have grounds for posteponment.

  46. Habesha Gooner

    Teraloon
    Yeah it was a mistake to loan out both Balogun and AMN before we could sign some players. But the rules clearly state that you should have 13 outfield players and a goalie of enough experience to play a game. They don’t say anything about whether you had red cards, loaned out players and Afcon. And we don’t have enough players. If they ruled teams should play no matter what when the season started, it would have been okay. But now we have grounds for posteponment.

  47. Habesha Gooner

    Teraloon
    Yeah it was a mistake to loan out both Balogun and AMN before we could sign some players. But the rules clearly state that you should have 13 outfield players and a goalie of enough experience to play a game. They don’t say anything about whether you had red cards, loaned out players and Afcon. And we don’t have enough players. If they ruled teams should play no matter what when the season started, it would have been okay. But now we have grounds for posteponment.

  48. Bertie Mee

    Great report on last night which captured the mood of the evening.
    The away support was magnificent and I’m told the mood among the away fans is hugely positive. Nice to hear.
    One quibble Pedro you refer to the many good parts of Xhaka’s game . This is the fallacy. He is one-footed , very slow, can’t tackle and is conservative and uncreative with his passing . He doesn’t get many assists , he scarcely ever scores and he has an appalling temperament . He doesn’t have many strengths going for him on that basis , He is the biggest liability I can remember in an Arsenal shirt

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal do not have a small squad in normal circumstances, because there are 24 registered
    players including 3 goalkeepers after departure of Balogun and AMN.

    However, you have to factor in that Arsenal have lost 4 players to AFN. That is more than Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Man Utd.

    So it brings down the number of outfielders in squad to 17. The only U23 outfield player with
    game time in first team is Patino, but he has yet to play in EPL.

    We know that Arsenal has one Covid on Books in Odegaard + three who are definitely out
    injured in Tomiyasu, Kolasinac and Smith-Rowe. So that brings us down to 13.

    There are also two others who got injuries during last night’s game in Saka and Cedric +
    Xhaka also missing following a red card.

    So we are down to 10 outfield players who are possibly match fit as best. As I pointed out
    yesterday the only senior first team outfield player who was available for last night’s game
    and did not play was Mari.

    You can argue that Arsenal should not have loaned out AMN before we replaced him as
    Garry Neville suggests, but that was a decision and gamble taken before Xhaka got red carded and Odegaard got Covid.

    Both Spurs and Liverpool were successful in getting matches postponed so neither of these
    clubs are in a strong position to dispute Arsenal’s request for a postponement.

  50. TheLegendaryDB10

    I really hope that our request for PP is accepted.

    When you have the bindippers proudly stating that they more or less BS’d everyone that they had had false COVID positives or Spuds given games in hand right, left and centre, I really think the FA can give us that one.

    Screw the fake outrage of the Spuds.

    I really would like to have a full team squad to put these fucks back in their box when we finally meet up.

  51. Terraloon

    ES

    In terms of over 21 year olds Arsenal at this point in time are some 5 players short of the number allowed.

    Patino will count and whilst you are right about him not featuring in the PL that fact that he has played in the EFL Cup and the FA cup qualifies him.

    “ However, any Under-21 player who participates in a club’s FA Cup Round Three match and has not played in any other first-team competitions for the club this season will not be considered by the Board as appropriately experienced).

    It will all come down to how the PL Board view the players that probably are back in training, will they view Xhaka differently and also the AFCON players don’t appear, save the mention by the papers rather than the PL that the players are not factored in

  52. Terraloon

    ES

    In terms of over 21 year olds Arsenal at this point in time are some 5 players short of the number allowed. So sorry the squad is small .

    Patino will count and whilst you are right about him not featuring in the PL that fact that he has played in the EFL Cup and the FA cup qualifies him.

    “ However, any Under-21 player who participates in a club’s FA Cup Round Three match and has not played in any other first-team competitions for the club this season will not be considered by the Board as appropriately experienced).

    It will all come down to how the PL Board view the players that probably are back in training, will they view Xhaka differently and also the AFCON players don’t appear, save the mention by the papers rather than the PL that the players are not factored in

  53. Dissenter

    I just wish they would refer to Gary Neville and the rest of the TV talking heads as “super fans” or “influencers”
    They aren’t pundits, just hyper-biased former players.

  54. Terraloon

    ES

    So we are down to 10 outfield players who are possibly match fit as best. As I pointed out
    yesterday the only senior first team outfield player who was available for last night’s game
    and did not play was Mari.

    Patino does count because he featured in both the EFL cup and the Fa cup.

  55. IAT-Robbie

    Terra,

    Livramento is actually not on loan from Chelsea. I think Chelsea do have a buy-back option for him though.

  56. IAT-Robbie

    “I just wish they would refer to Gary Neville and the rest of the TV talking heads as “super fans” or “influencers”
    They aren’t pundits, just hyper-biased former players”

    This is my feeling everytime I hear one of them speak. We’ve heard coaches like Bilic and Wenger do punditry before and they are on a different level to these guys.

  57. AFC Forever

    Not surprised to see I was right about my prediction there would be fake outrage over the postponement request. They soon come crawling out of the woodwork.

    Proof positive that people like Neville & Carragher hold grudges & are dishonest in their coverage of Arsenal. Is hate to strong a word? For them both to have the bloody damn nerve to wait until we request a postponement to rant is quite something. The spitter & the kicker had nothing to say about Liverpool & their false positives. Nothing to say when Man Utd had a game postponed. Nothing when Spurs did. Nothing when Wolves did. Nothing this week when Leicester did or when Burnley did. Then surprise, surprise they can’t wait to open their fat, mouths and slag off our club. The thought of us getting top 4 really sickens them, we are the last team they want to see in the CL.

    Nevillle is not only Ugly to look at he has an even uglier personality.. An over opinionated, big headed twat & he always has been. He’s a Fergie disciple so he would do anything to get a result. Surround referees, kick players, anything. Yet here he is showing just how fair he really is. Then we have Carragher, a man so devoid of self respect he spits out of a car window at a women giving him some banter. What a man. What a pair of wankers.

    The mask is off. They’ll be laughing their ducking heads off if the Premier League listen to them both. And spitting feathers if they don’t.

  58. AFC Forever

    Gary Kicker Neville and Jamie Spitter Carragher are a pair of nasty, bigoted wankers.

    Sure life can’t be easy being that ugly but the level of bias and vitriol towards Arsenal is off the scale.

    At least nobody can have any doubt how dishonest and anti-Arsenal that pair are.

  59. AFC Forever

    Dissenter

    “They aren’t pundits, just hyper-biased former players.”

    Nail on head.

    At least their bias is out in the open now. Scandalous hypocrisy.

    They had nothing to say when Leicester & Burnley had games pulled this week. Nothing to say about Liverpool postponing their game with us and the false positives. Nothing when Wolves, Spurs or Man Utd had requests approved. No condemnation of those teams or the postponements. Until it’s Arsenal.

    Scandalous, especially if their rants influence the Premier Keague as it may. It’s why they did it. The last team they want challenging top 4 is us.

  60. AFC Forever

    Rant over. Sorry but I would like to get 5 minutes alone with Neville and flatten that big nose of his. A nose so ugly he’s decided to underline it.

  61. Dissenter

    The premier league allowed the Burnley vs Everton game to be postponed again for COVID, injuries and AFCON

    That precedent has been set already.
    They have no choice but to postpone the NLD

  62. IAT-Robbie

    Terraloon,

    My apologies, you must be talking about Armando Broja, not Livramento. Yeah, he looks like a tidy finisher.

    I wonder how much income Arsenal could have gained, if the club had managed to somehow retain a loan army consisting of the likes of Donyell Malen, Yunus Musa, Ismail Bennacer and Jeff-Reine Adelaide. Chelsea seem to leave the refining process of their academy graduates seems to other clubs. Even the Chalobah dude had been on three loans before this season. Mason Mount had been on two loans before his breakout season.

    They haven’t tried to create a Saka, Foden or Trent AA that has been developed internally.

  63. IAT-Robbie

    Terra,

    Sorry, you must have been talking about Broja, not Livramento. Yeah he looks like a tidy finisher so far. I wonder how much income Arsenal could have generated, if we had a loan-army of Malen, Bennacer, Musah and Reine-Adelaide to sell right now,

  64. IAT-Robbie

    Chelsea just seem to outsource the refining of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen had two, Loftus Cheek had two, Mount had two, Chalobah had three etc.

    I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop a player internally like Saka, Alexander-Arnold, Rashford, Curtis Jones or Foden. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  65. IAT-Robbie

    Chelsea just seem to outsource the refining of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen had two, Loftus Cheek had two, Mount had two.

    I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop a player internally like Saka, Alexander-Arnold, Rashford, Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  66. IAT-Robbie

    Chelsea just seem to outsource the refining of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen had two, Loftus Cheek had two, Mount had two, Chalobah had three.

    I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop an academy player without a loan like Saka, Alexander-Arnold, Rashford, Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  67. IAT-Robbie

    Chelsea just seem to outsource the polishing of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen (2), Loftus Cheek (2), Mount (2), Chalobah (3). I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop an academy player internally like Saka, TAA, Foden or Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  68. IAT-Robbie

    Chelsea just seem to outsource the polishing of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen (2), Loftus Cheek (2), Chalobah (3). I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop an academy player internally like Saka, TAA, Foden or Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  69. IAT-Robbie

    Chel$ki just seem to 0uts0urce the polishing of their academy graduates to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen (2), Loftus Cheek (2), Chalobah (3). I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop an academy player internally like Saka, TAA, Foden or Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  70. IAT-Robbie

    Chel$ki just seem to 0uts0urce the polishing of their youth to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen (2), Loftus Cheek (2), Chalobah (3). I don’t think they’ve ever tried to develop an academy player internally like Saka, Rashford, Foden or Curtis Jones. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember any such player.

  71. IAT-Robbie

    Chel$ki just seem to 0uts0urce the polishing of their youth to other clubs. Reece James had a loan, Christiansen (2), Loftus Cheek (2), Chalobah (3).

  72. David Smith

    “ They have no choice but to suspend the NLD” hope you are right, but we shall see Dissenter.
    But if they don’t, the club need to fight this on precedents

  73. David Smith

    “ They have no choice but to suspend the NLD” hope you are right, but we shall see Dissenter.
    But if they don’t, the club need to fight this on precedents

  74. China1

    Neville and carra are absolutely right that arsenal must not be allowed to game the system by postponing the Spurs game. We can EASILY field a squad and bench. This is bullshit and classless because the club fancy having more time to get a CM in before we play them. I really dislike this as it’s clearly bs

    THAT SAID

    why did everyone start making so much noise only after arsenal try and cheat and not when other teams do which they have for ages? And why should other teams like liverpool get away with it?

    So again I hope the PL rejects us but they should reject all postponements moving forwards unless a team has like 20 active covid cases

  75. China1

    The problem here is clubs are not required to be transparent at all about their circumstances. Where are the positive tests? Where is the squad list highlighting which players are available and unavailable?

    It’s just managers deciding if they don’t fancy it writing a letter and the authorities just seeing how they feel about it. Corrupt, inadequate, opaque and inconsistent, the whole process.

  76. China1

    It surprises me that when clubs are trying to cheat favorable postponements that no one is talking about how bs that is for the fans

    There will no doubt be plenty of fans who have had to make very challenging and expensive plans to make it to the game. Plans that cannot necessarily be rearranged. Imagine you tell your kids youre taking them. You got their hopes up. If you’re abroad you’ve got flights hotels spending money to think about. You have to manage any complications with traveling during the pandemic. Now a couple of days before the game the club asks to postpone it because they don’t fancy it? I’m sorry this is very very wrong.

    Arsenal can very very easily field a starting 11 and bench. If you have to put 1 or 2 kids on the bench so be it.

    Whose fault is it we are so light in midfield? We didn’t have to rush to loan out AMN before we had a replacement in. Xhaka didn’t have to be a test and get a red card. Put chambers or white or patino at CM vs Spurs. If it doesn’t work out that’s our problem. Don’t fuck the fans. Ever.

    Classless and tone deaf

  77. Nigel Tufnel

    Graham…
    I was one of the first to say here yesterday that Rambo was a mess for some reason in this game.

    The worst we have all seem of him. He was lucky yesterday,, very.

    But, 1 lucky performance out of about 20 excellent ones.

    It’s not right to call him a lucky keeper.

    I wouldn’t trade him for any keeper, anywhere.

  78. Nigel Tufnel

    Son is a big factor, very big, as he’s their best player, not moron Kane that the media worship.

    Instead of kneeling for no more racism, try kneeling for no more favoritism for English mugs.

    But for us to possibly (depending on the date of the rescheduling) …. to maybe have Partey, a new loan midfielder, Emile, Tomiyasu, Ødegaard is as important as anybody too.

    Then also maybe a more rested Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette… it’s really not a difficult decision to prefer a postponement.

    If we aren’t granted it , it’s just another way for the authorities to screw us over.

    Some of you will probably side with the league over Arteta though, such is your sick obsession against him.

  79. Goobergooner

    I just love how Xhaka showed us all after Pedro’s “we need xhaka” posts that we certainly do not. We literally played better without him. He’s an absolute disgrace.

    But that was one hell of a performance, yet again in defense under tets.
    I will definitely give him credit for giving our porous defence a proper shape up!

    I am still annoyed at how short we are in midfield. If we don’t bring someone in; especially after xhakas latest bullshit, then we don’t deserve to push on to 4th or above.

    Surely we can’t go without even a loan in midfield this window.

    But yep, the squad bar xhaka is seriously starting to give proper optimism again. What a great defensive display, just sounds ridiculous to say that again about the Arsenal!

  80. Goobergooner

    Also fuck the EPL, why shouldn’t we use the same excuses as nearly all the other teams have used to get a game postponed.

    I want to watch the match this weekend, but I’d also prefer to have our squad as a whole and take the scum to the cleaners nice and proper.

  81. China1

    You can criticize ramsdale’s performance but not the player

    The performance was off but the player has been consistently fantastic this season. What matters is the overall picture not a single game. The overall picture is brilliant for him. He’s earned some leeway to have a bad game just like Gabriel earned leeway for his one off moment of madness against city

  82. China1

    They are cunts but they are right that arsenal should not be BSing postponements because the club doesn’t fancy it

    However where was their outrage when other clubs abused this? That’s what I don’t like

  83. Tony

    Good to see you back Ernest you we’re in my thoughts over the festive period.

    Hope the new form albeit stuttering is energizing you like most of us here. Just a shame Arteta forgot to buy midfielders.

    Let’s hope it’s another Arteta stumble into the future if Patino plays.

  84. Steveyg87

    Anybody know the status on our boy Jack? I read somewhere we terminated Azeez loan? Yet we have Guendouzi who’s more than decent and JW literally training with us. I just hope Mikel makes the right decision, he’s done enough to earn my faith so lets see how this plays out

  85. Steveyg87

    Ot sure what Lacazettes wages demands are but we need to tie the lad down asap. We are not going to find a player like him in Jan. By all means go for Vlahovic. Ut he doesnt replace Alex. Hes best position is playing off the main striker anyways

  86. Kayana

    The truth is as long as Arsenal keeps playing xhaka the team will never amount to title contenders. Xhaka is mediocre midfielder. No top 5 team would have such an error prone player in the bench let alone starting 11. This xhaka fellow is tbe same bloke who told the fans to fck off. 6 red cards in his arsenal career and has given away countless penalties.

    Xhaka is just not good enough for the Arsenal.

  87. MidwestGun

    Partey proving he is the Ghanian xhakalson
    _______
    Not even close Sid…
    Granit has 8 Cards in his last 15 matches for Club and country. 2 of them.. Red
    Partey has 3 yellow cards in his last 15 matches for Club and country.. no red cards. Also Partey got an assist for Ghana’s only goal despite the yellow card. Think you know what happened to Granit. his last match.

    Nice try though.

  88. Pierre

    Nigel Tufnell
    “I wouldn’t trade him for any keeper, anywhere.”

    He exceeded expectations when he first arrived but if i had a choice, give me Martinez all day long..

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with Ramsdale but as yet, his mistakes (and there have been a few)haven’t cost us, but that won’t last , then the tide of opinion may change…

    Let’s hope he remains a lucky keeper, if not then Leno has looked very secure during his limited game time and i would imagine was disappointed not to start v liverpool.

  89. Terraloon

    IAT

    Have they ever progressed a youth graduate without loans like Bukayo, Rashford, Foden or Curtis Jones?

    Off the top of my head I can only think of Hudson-Odi. Their whole development model is to test players elsewhere and being out on loan takes the younger players out of their comfort zone.

    Goober

    Also fuck the EPL, why shouldn’t we use the same excuses as nearly all the other teams have used to get a game postponed.

    Where I genuinely think Arsenal are on sticky ground is three fold

    1) The club deliberately went into the season without getting close to the numbers of over 21 year old players allowed
    2) In this window the club have allowed two players who were in either in the September squad or in the case of Balougan qualified under 21 year old to leave without replacement
    3) One player is missing through suspension ( this hasn’t been factored in before ) may tip the balance if the balance it’s only 12 outfield available.
    By my calculations available outfield players are
    White, Holding, Mari, Gabriel Tierney, Tavares, Lookonga, Nketiah, Patino, Lacazette, Martinelli,
    That’s 11 .
    As I pointed out elsewhere it is said that at least one player out on loan could have been re called
    Then you have the question of being match fit as opposed to being in training.
    Tuchal made the point that this is where it gets dangerous in terms of players welfare. In other words if any of those that were out injured or as Arteta suggested in the case of Saka were effectively tired and are with the squad training as opposed to being in re-hab they will count toward the 13

    I have a feeling this game will be played with the bulk of the bench made up with a majority of under 21s

    I have said for months the squad was not deep enough . Injuries occur at every club and COVID aside the number of injuries at Arsenal at most number are 6 that really isn’t that great in numerical terms.
    The club knew that 4 players were going to AFCON so yes it’s easy to blame the PL if the game doesn’t get cancelled but how we got to this position isn’t really about COVID
    Arteta decided to stick with his strongest starters but it was obvious that players were getting close to the red zone and now he tells us the likes of Saka have played too much and are tired.

  90. Graham62

    There is a part of me that is thinking that GX is actually enjoying all of this.
    It’s his way of keeping that middle finger stuck up at all those fans who constantly ridicule him. Let’s be honest here, he knows they do.
    Anyway, I don’t believe in conspiracies.

  91. Jamie

    Pierre –

    “Jamie …who cares(only you) , why are you being so pathetic.”

    Nice one, lad. Is it more pathetic than this though:

    Pierre October 21, 2020 18:54:12

    “Its.all a game …i don’t even like Ozil, its just a wind up and they fall for it everytime. I come on here to wind the patrons up and it’s so easy to do .”

    Relax and stick to playing Skyrim.

  92. Jamie

    Pierre –

    “Jamie …who cares(only you) , why are you being so pathetic.”

    Nice one, lad. Is it more pathetic than this though:

    Pierre October 21, 2020 18:54:12

    “Its.all a game …i d.on’t even like Ozil, its just a wind up and they fall for it everytime. I come on here to wind the patrons up and it’s so easy to do .”

    Relax and stick to playing Skyrim.

  93. China1

    Re Saka we had Pepe on the bench all season. I was saying for months that Saka needs a rest and instead he plays every game. I seem to recall loads of genius posters on here mocking me saying arteta had access to fantastic data on the players’ fitness and fatigue so if he doesn’t rest them it’s because they don’t need a rest.

    Now arteta is saying he’s fatigued from playing so much.

    So much for that magic data that the club has. Or so much for Arteta acting on it if it exists. Common sense apparently did not prevail.

    Let’s hope if he does need a break that we get through these games without Pepe to stand in

  94. Northbanker

    Even though I’m going to the game, I actually hope that the game is postponed. We desperately need more options in midfield and I just thin the squad s too weak to face Spurs. Patino is still a way off being a first teamer. he needs sub appearances in lower profile games and possibly a loan spell too.

    Btw China I had 3 posts not showing last night. Gave up.

  95. China1

    I don’t know what pseudo flag waving is or how it’s supposed to fool anyone but I’m sure that means something from ‘englandsbest’ LOL

  96. China1

    I don’t know what pseudo flag waving is or how it’s supposed to fool anyone but I’m sure that means something from ‘englandsbest’ LOL

  97. Nigel Tufnel

    I won’t be sucked into the Vlahovic dreams.

    Clear he’s going to Dortmund. Just saw a video of Haaland complaining that the club has been pressuring him to make a decision for the past 2 weeks and he says it’s bothering him.

    Dortmund want Vlahovic as his replacement and Arsenal pushing the issue has them worried.

    At least that’s how I read it.

  98. Nigel Tufnel

    Totally right China… about Gabriel and Ramsdale. I complain sometimes that people don’t recognize Ben White enough, but Gabriel …… I just think we take for granted.

    We’d better tie him down for years because he’s consistently great and he is going to be sought after world class.

  99. Unoni

    Nigel TufnelJanuary 15, 2022 10:47:40
    I won’t be sucked into the Vlahovic dreams.

    Sings to electric dreams
    Could be good on the terraces

  100. TheLegendaryDB10

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/12516180/gary-neville-and-jamie-carragher-believe-premier-league-clubs-must-be-forced-to-play-fixtures-after-postponement-requests

    The hypocrisy of that cunt Carragher and dickhead Neville is sickening.

    As mentioned by AFC last night, its just absolute bias that all other clubs can have their games PP and no one says anything but we make a request and everyone is up in arms.

    I mean if Liverpool can lie about it, then why can’t we make a genuine request as we are actually threadbare?

    I just hope the PL do the right thing and accept our PP request.

  101. gnarleygeorge9

    Fun Fact: There are 60 year olds alive today who haven’t seen tottenham hotspurs win the 1st Division/Premier League title.

  102. gnarleygeorge9

    Manchester United is not United. Liverpool has peaked, Chelsea has a waste of money upfront, Manchester City isn’t scary anymore & The Arsenal is a Red & White Juggernaut on the launching pad, ready for take off. Ofcourse all the pundits a jealous, why wouldn’t they be, you can’t keep England’ steam down forever. We’re going to fuck with them 🙂

  103. Dissenter

    Someone called Talksports pretending to be a gooner, asking for the game to be played
    .
    Called said we can always sign Wilshere so we don’t have a string case for postponement.

    Don/Unoni/Unai Na, was that you?

  104. Ernest Reed

    “The hypocrisy of that cunt Carragher and dickhead Neville is sickening.”

    Those two are hypocrites beyond belief. Its bad enough that both are perpetual idiots, but pretty much always there is little good that comes out of their ignorant mouths. Sky must be proud of their bookended duo.

  105. David Smith

    What’s taking the Prem League so long?
    Suspect they are trying to find a way to stop the game, give Tottenham the 3 points and Xhaka another red card

  106. englandsbest

    IMO if the request for postponement is rejected, Arsenal should refuse to play on Sunday because they are being forced to ‘overplay’ youngsters, thereby endangering their health and future careers.

    I suspect that this has already been made clear to the PL decision makers.

  107. Spudnik

    Pedro, I never thought s nil-niller at Anfield could fill me with such joy, but baby, I’m alive. Benny Blanco going to the away fans after the whistle and chest pumping his pride is a signature statement. You can take your 5-0s and 6-0s against some sort of Albion and replace them with the utter stoicism of no shot on target. That’s character and Arteta’s team are now oozing it. Shaka laka boom boom baby.
    This journey is full of the type of peaks and troughs you get in the South Atlantic. We’re all on it. Brace yourselves.

  108. Hoksilato

    Wonder what was the point in recruiting Richard Garlick, a former PL executive if we’re kept in the dark so long on a potential postponement. Was is not his connections and deep understanding of PL processes that attracted us to him ? (definitely not his stellar track record at champions league clubs)

  109. Dissenter

    If we are forced to play tomorrow, then so be it.
    Spuds have some key players out so this is not such a bad time to play them.

    Chambers can put in a shift in the middle
    We might even win if Arteta can rev up the team to show up.