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Inhaaaaaaale… breath out… inhaaaaaale… CuuuuuuuKAAAAAAW… CuuuuuuKAAAAAW… channel that inner eagle you powerful beast. 🦅

Quite simply put, if you are not preparing mentally for this game to the sweet shrieks of eagles, can you call yourself elite?

Categorically, no.

Here is a video so you can prep.

Barclays Premier League Day is here. In a few hours, Arsenal will roll out for a season opener against Crystal Palace.

Patrick Vieira is no mug when it comes to coaching. He’s aged down the Palace squad, he’s brought some Wengerball to the Selhurst Park Turf, and he wants to kick on this season after making some shrewd summer signings. Paddy signs street footballers that entertain, he moves on those fancy Youtube comps we all like, Palace are going to be trouble this season.

… that said, word has it their preseason was a bit of a disaster because they went to Aus and loads of their players were anti-vaxxers. They only took TEN senior players there. So who knows, maybe we’ll be more fit, you can hide anti-vaxxers in the US no problem.

Last time we went to Palace, it was after an international break that Partey and Tierney went to, they promptly picked up injuries during the break and during the game and we were beaten quite badly in the first half. I’m not sure we deserved to lose over the 90, but we did, so there we are.

What is different this time?

Well, we’re still missing both our first-team fullbacks, but this time, we have much more capable back-ups. Ben White will slip in for Tomiyasu, he’s been really impressive there so far, but Zaha is a different ball game. At left back, we’ve got ELITE cover in Zinchenko. A player that knows the league, can play the system better than Tierney, and is more than ready to stake a claim.

Midfield will be Xhaka and Partey, same as last time, except one didn’t go out partey-ing after a World Cup qualification. Cut it however you like, those two together have a great connection, and they’ve been very impressive this preseason. They are extremely brave and I do think the more advanced Xhaka is starting to pay dividends. He’s contributing to the assist tally, he won’t be there all season, but he’s less exposed in more advanced positions, and he’s adding a bit of boldness to his passing. I think we all forget that you are never too old to improve at your craft.

Odegaard will captain and drop in as a #10.

The frontline we’re going with tonight will be very different. Saka will occupy the right, Martinelli will take up the left, and Gabriel Jesus will be playing through the middle.

I cannot tell you how different life is going to be this season. Even if we have a bad game tonight, what you won’t see is a freeze in the frontline. Finally, we have the specificity in every position we need.

We have 5 defenders who can play through a press and pick out Hollywood passes. We mostly had that last season, but if you don’t have runners, what’s the point in having longball specialists.

There’s more chaos in our forward line this season. Gabriel Jesus is a nightmare, he comes deep and he’s problematic, he goes wide and he’s a nightmare, he’s standing still and he can create something, in the box he’s ahead of everyone, this guy has changed the game. Last time we played Palace, we had Lacazette who lacked power, speed, and ability in front of goal.

The biggest shift we have tonight is winnertivity. Two players can make a huge difference on nights like tonight. Zinchenko and Jesus have done it consistently at the highest level. They understand patience, they know how to dig deep, and their experience will inspire the young kids around them.

Johnny made a great point on the Before the Whistle. I’d much rather Palace in the heat of August than on December 27th in the freezing rain.

Ideally, we don’t go a goal down this evening, I’d rather not test our abysmal record of clawing back, but I am less worried about that part of our make-up than I was last season.

Last season was the worst start imaginable, COVID and late business nearly killed this project before it started, this August is the chance to put some points on the board and make amends.

11 points from the next 5 games would be very, very good. 7 points from the next 3 would put us top 4 before the international break. That is where we need to be. I believe we can do it.

Before I leave.

I’m very excited about this season, as fans, we’ve been through a lot. Finally, it feels like there’s a bit of structure at Arsenal, a boatload of ambition, and we seem to have the right people driving the vision.

This season, we have to learn a few lessons from what happened last year:

There will be downs and they will feel very painful.

There will be long runs that will feel like we’re title contenders.

Key is not to get too carried away with the bad or the good times. We’ll be up there at the end of the season, then it’s a roll of the dice who has enough to kick it over the line.

Also… just remember that every team will have down moments.

It is easy to be there for the good times, but as you’ve seen from that documentary, our fanbase is most important to the players when we’re there for the bad times.

The journey is always better than the destination. Enjoy the feeling of being underdogs. Eat up those predictions tables that have us behind Spurs this season. Take names and numbers of the people that doubted The Arsenal.

Right, that’s me done.

We will be ON THE WHISTLE at 10pm BRITISH time this evening.

SUBSCRIBE to the Youtube so you get the notifications, or just tune in below.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Un

    Is ESR or Vieira we’re fit I’d have Odegaard off
    Not his best game but first day of the season and he came back late

  2. LoveSausage


    Hardly in his pocket. Been bailed out by Saliba several times. Always backing off instead of challenging. I recognise he isn’t playing in his natural position but still.

  3. Dissenter

    “Ben White been a bit flaky tonight’

    He’s been left with Zaha one on one, too many times
    That’s poor tactics from us. Zaha needs to be doubled

  4. MidwestGun

    Not sure what some people are watching .. and Honestly I dont care. Some of y’all get way too caught up what people on here type. Like it matters in the fandom universe what some dude on Le Grove types durign a game.

  5. izzo

    ESR would’ve scored those Ode misses. I hope he stays fit this season. He’s always on the same wavelength with Saka. Ode might be captain but he shouldn’t be guaranteed starter for that number 10 role. He should be able to be subbed in games where he’s ineffective for ESR or Viera.

  6. Un

    Well up Ramsdale

    I fucking cannot stand that ugly prick Wilfred zaha
    I’d hack that bastard down all day if I played him

  7. izzo

    really want Arteta to use that 5 sub rule when everyone is fit. that is something i will look out for. Last season can’t be repeated.

  8. Dissenter

    I understand why Arteta is playing Ben White alongside Gabriel and Daliba
    He may want them to get some on-field chemistry in time to be able to settle into a back-3

    Soares vs Zaha would have been a horrible imo

  9. Berg10kamp

    Nah sausage, Zaha was complaining all first half, saliba hardly bailed him as he pushed Zaha into saliba. In saying that sali a has been immense, has to start each game imo.

  10. Ishola70

    “First game and all that but this is same old, you can only fluke so many away 1 nils. Really disappointed, first 30 mins aside.”

    The notion that we were going to absolutely wipe the floor with some teams home and away based on pre-eason big wins was very big wishful thinking.

    It’s only the first match and we can improve on this of course and Jesus is going to cause problems for opposition defences no doubt but I don’t think it’s going to stretch to blowing lots of sides away.

    Arteta will be getting those lemons out again. Squeezing them to the max.

  11. Berg10kamp

    Yeah sausage I tawt so, would be horrible if its true but yeah he has been quiet. Our midfield has been quite static apart from dare I say xhaka

  12. Berg10kamp

    Also zinchenko has been ok but u can see he is new and is still adapting. But Palace have been attacking mostly down their left with zaha

  13. Ishola70

    Zinchenko got caught out there defensively and he was also quite weak in a tackle challenge in the first half.

    Love him technically and going forward but defensively has always been the question mark about him

  14. Dissenter

    “The notion that we were going to absolutely wipe the floor with some teams home and away based on pre-eason big wins was very big wishful thinking.”

    No one ever suggested that, stop arguing with your alter

  15. LoveSausage


    Agreed, it’s been very static. The problem with starting GX and TP is that Ode becomes the only midfield outlet and he’s been nowhere to be seen today. Wouldn’t mind Tielemans in this team. We’d look less one-dimensional with a player like that.

  16. Guernsey+gun

    Who said we’d wipe teams. The pattern is the same, fast start, score hang on. Its frankly shit. I say that as a watching fan of 40 years, trust me this is last season. But I love a 1 0 because i grew up with a team that guaranteed it, this one…not so much.

  17. Ishola70


    “No one ever suggested that, stop arguing with your alter”

    Some were.

    I was told by some poster on here that the pre-season form would go into this match and we should expect a big comfortable win

  18. MidwestGun

    Zinchenko is a good defender.. dude. not sure what your talking about… he missed one tackle.. so what.. he made a few others.

    Saliba is very good.. damn.. so smooth.

  19. Ishola70


    Zinchenko has always had question marks about him defensively and on two occasions tonight he has looked a little weak in that department.

    I understand defending new player and all that and I like him overall but there is that question mark about him.

  20. raptora

    Ode ruined quite a few attacks now. Can’t seem to pass well or dribble to relief the pressure. Of course 2 other players are being subbed but not him.

  21. Sakablyat

    Saliba and Partey motm without question.

    Odegaard worst of all players, not one good thing has he accomplished in 82mins, he looks so tired like it’s the 38th game of the season

  22. Who’s got the best brazilians Myles?

    Poor performances: Ødegaard, Saka and Arteta (why wait so long you’ve got 5 subs).
    Super performances: GM6 and Saliba (should have been captain)

  23. Guernsey+gun

    I’ll take a flukey deflected goal but lets be real with our full team that was fucking shit second half, low energy, low confidence wheres the fucking improvement.

  24. raptora

    I wonder if we had Vieira and ESR available would Odegaard finish this game.
    He was atrocious in the second half. Can’t believe the amount of balls he gave away in addition to being a non-entity in the defensive part of the game.

  25. Matt B

    Some right pussies in here tonight, you know who you are, soft as fuck, embarrassing performance from some of you lot

  26. Berg10kamp

    Palace is a well drilled side and we got 3 points. Clean sheet, Saliba like peak adams, fuck zaha. First game done, onto the next one. We will get better and it looks positive. COYG!!!!

  27. Bob N16

    MoTM – The away fans Saliba on the pitch. Our midfield a little light. Palace not an easy team at home. We are top of the league….

  28. izzo

    Palace are rubbish. Spanishdave trying to tell us different.(LOL) They may have our invincible as manager but that don’t mean shit when his midfield and attack are full of an average bunch. Gallagher carried them last season. Eze is basically Iwobi and i don’t get all the weird affection. Zaha is a waster would never fit in at any top 6. Ayew is past his sell by date and should have followed his brother to play in the lower leagues. Edourds was championed on here for while. No thanks. Bullet dodged.

  29. LoveSausage

    Fantastic start to the season. Some very dodgy football but we’ll chalk that off to rustiness. Top of the league fam!!!

  30. Un

    Saliba was immense
    Jesus didn’t stop
    Zinchenko and xakha were secure on the ball

    Solid first game and 3 points nicked agaisnt a bogey team at their ground

    Why would anyone moan after that?
    Better we drop points?

  31. GD4

    Game balls to Saliba and Ramsdale.
    Arteta still doesn’t have a clue and is holding us back.
    WTF is his issue with not making subs of players who are dead on their feet

  32. Jonko

    Palace is a tough place to go…lot of top teams will drop points here ..great result and a very resilient performance…Saliba bloody hell..what a player…Ramsdale fantastic too.

  33. Un


    You don’t know what you’re talking about
    Palace are a tough team full of pace power and skill but now with a clever tactical manager/coach.

    They will be knocking on the door of europe this season or next.

  34. izzo

    Saliba is Van Dijk REGEN. Take that to the bank. What a player he literally cleans up that defence. ICE FUCKIN COLD!!!

  35. Markymark

    But please don’t let Odegard follow the pattern of English cricket captains. Think 20% of his brain wad filled with the captaincy and don’t mess it up. Hopefully nows he’s had this he’ll push through

  36. Dissenter

    “WTF is his issue with not making subs of players who are dead on their feet”

    Maybe he realizes that some players need to attain fitness for 90 minutes
    The managers have access to volumes of data we don’t see.

  37. Le Sauce

    3 points, clean sheet and on we go. Good game overall, we should’ve killed the game earlier but I like the energy Nketiah brought into the game and this is a sign of things to come