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When did under the lights become a thing? It feels like something new. Whatever it is, there’s a pain associated with playing Crystal Palace early in the season under them. I hoped for a breezy result, we didn’t get it. For all the pain you might have felt watching the game, they managed one shot on target.

The narrative of the game was once again shifted firmly in the direction of the officiating. Tomiyasu was sent off for a second bookable offence. He picked up his first for time wasting for a whopping 8 seconds – the second came after Jordan Ayew flopped to the floor under next to no challenge at all. The Palace player, also on a yellow, yanked Bukayo Saka to the ground and no booking followed. The lack of consistency amongst referees even in the same game is astonishing.

We could have collapsed. Crystal Palace has a team chok full of athletes, the atmosphere at their stadium is one of the best in the game, so holding onto a slim lead with 10 was always going to be tough. I’ve seen some folk call us cowards on the ball, maybe, it wasn’t pretty. I will say the immediate instinct is to defend versus go for the lead. We’re not built to play with 10 and it’s especially hard this early in the season when players lack match-fit legs.

We held on though. Arteta had a deep bench to choose from, he brought on controllers, and in the end, we saw out a crucial game with a 1-0 lead. Not many teams are going to have joy at Selhurst Park this season. So we should be very proud of the job the players have done.

There were some interesting subplots from the game. Gabriel M was dropped once again from the starting 11. Arsenal fans simply cannot handle that Arteta is going to galaxy brain starting 11s all season and part of that approach means you, humble fan, are not going to be able to guess what he’s going to do. I think it’s clear why Gabriel isn’t the preferred centre back right now, he’s not as good on the ball as some of our stars… but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be sold to Saudi right now (unless there’s a really good player ready to come into the mixer).

I also wouldn’t be so sure we have to buy in… Kiwior is a very impressive player and I think there’s an expectation he could do some damage in our first team. Expect him to make strides this season and maybe don’t count on Gabriel M being #1 on the team sheet like he was last season.

Eddie had a great game, there are always going to be critics of the England striker, but as a #2, it’s hard to knock him. His movement was exceptional last night, he moved like a NPC in crouch mode, and he created chances for himself… and he made the decisive run for the penalty. Should he have scored? Maybe, but those chances weren’t easy. He’s not going to score every game, but I was very pleased to see that his game looks like it’s kicked up a gear.

Kai Havertz did a lot of good work off the ball yesterday, he won 8 of 8 duels, he was aggressive, and he was forming some lovely partnerships, particularly on the left. He’s not banging in goals, but he’s part of teams winning games, so plenty to be pleased about there.

Saka played his 82nd game of the season, it wasn’t his greatest, but it is quite something for someone who hasn’t reached 23 years old, deliver that many games in row. He offers remarkable consistency, he’s getting more and more decisive, I think he could win the Balon D’or at some point. I just wish we had someone we could rotate him with, I’m not it’s Reiss and I don’t think it should be Trossard.

Declan Rice had his best performance in an Arsenal shirt. He was all over the park. We saw his delicate footwork on show, his eye for danger, the power he offers, and his BIG presence on the pitch. He’s the first £105m I’ve seen and actually thought, damn, he’s worth every penny.

Martin Odegaard took the penalty over Bukayo Saka. No idea why. But the penalty had ‘I’ve been talking to Jorghinho’ vibes about it.

Arteta was pretty blatant about his unhappiness by telling the media he was VERY HAPPY with the game. It’s annoying that we’re here, bashing refs, so early in the season. Improvements should have happened faster, but do we really believe they’re coming with an exRef running things at PGMOL? I have major doubts.

3 ugly points against Palace under horrible circumstances is going to be very good for team morale. Us vs the world is always a good rallying cry. I’m glad that there’s a big of momentum heading into that Fulham game. The big one is United, put them to the sword early and exit phase one of the season with 10 points or more and we’ll be absolutely cooking.

Right, that’s me done. Check out the On The Whistle I did with Dave Seager and Gilles!

See you in the comments. x

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RichAugust 24, 2023 21:16:06
People are just highly flawed, and the more they try to fix the standard of refereeing, the worse they’ll make it.They’ll fail to address the problem they’re trying to solve, and create more carnage through that process.

are you saying its NOT a political issue?



There’s no problem that a room full of drippy career bureaucrats can’t make worse.

At the start of every season…. PGMLO have meetings, they cook new initiatives, then cause a load of carnage, by failing to solve the problem they’re trying to solve, and then creating more problems as a result through that process.

You could certainly apply that logic to politicians, central bankers, and our lunatic civil service.

Ronald Reagan:

“The more plans fail, the more planners plan”

Habesha Gooner

Surely now Tierney is leaving, a player is coming in now? Balogun is also fetching 40 mil. So we need to go out and get a defender. The likelihood of another attacker coming in is 0 now with Jesus returning. But we need a left back.


Hab, I’d think a RCB/RB makes more sense. Hard to find someone with Timber’s profile, but a RCB/RB isn’t that rare.
Then at LB we’ll have 2 crocks in Zinny and Tomi.
At RCB (as Saliba cover) /RB we’ll have Benny Blanco + that new player.

Point is, to sell Holding asap and stop making him look bad playing football he ain’t fit to play.

If Tomi goes down (almost a certainty to me), we’ll be royally fucked in 3 positions.

Nigel Tufnel

Madhu: “The mystery is still how are we going to keep our star players without winning any trophies and just qualifying for CL?” What mystery? Why TF would you assume that? Unless you meant it differently than it sounds, it seems like a loser mentality, a problem with many grovers. I expect us to win trophies in this cycle, before you have to worry about any of our players leaving for any reason. We are not just showing up in the CL like Arsene did. We won’t be embarrassing ourselves in Europe. This year will be the toughest in CL… Read more »


Absolutely need to bring in a LB in my opinion. Can’t bank on the fitness of Zinchenko and Tomi that would be crazy to me given their fitness record


You know there’s such a things as balancing the books in a season where we’ve splurged over 200 million on transfers.


Does it not make more sense keeping Tavares and see what he brings right now than trying to get a rb, lb and right winger within a week?


Does it not make more sense keeping Tavares and see what he brings right now than trying to get a rb, lb and right winger within a week? [@Thorough] – – –

You’re joking, right?

Anyway, I truly believe that we have a youngster or two that can do a job [Sousa, Walters] if given the opportunity. Not my call to make, tho. I think we’re okay even if we don’t buy – maybe we can loan without an option if a player is out there.

Nigel Tufnel

Maybe a loan of a defender if it was possible, if anyone worth having is available… I think we’d pay a big loan fee as insurance.

Demanding to buy a 40m defender for a 1 year max injury is rash idiocy.

The same clowns suggesting it now will be whinging about the wage bill in 12 months as well as players not getting playing time. It’s so easy to criticise, but never come up with realistic options.
Talkshite on a blog.

Nigel Tufnel

Kpankulu talking sense as usual.


So, let me get this straight, Timber out for year, Tomi back from knee surgery, Cedric and Tavares in no man’s land, Tierney off to who knows who, and Gabriel being rumored to Madrid.

Who the hell is going to play defense in thes 60+ games?

Oh, that’s right we have Partey who can play rb and Saka as lb…




Shortly after I posted that I turned over, just being curious, but there’s quite an assortment of familiar faces from the European scene plying their trade in that competition, the Saudis have thrown millions at it and they’ll throw a lot more, I suspect that it’s going to be a player.

Habesha Gooner

We would literally be worse off than last season if we let Tierney go with timer injured. We would have Gabriel, Saliba, Tomi, White, Kiwior, Zinchenko and Holding for the next 7 months with timber out. added to that we have UCL football. We dont ave enough numbers. And it would be crazy to be two injured players away from using holding again. We need to have enough numbers.

Habesha Gooner

Tierney is gone for good. There is no way back for him now. we would have sold him this summer if there was any out right buyer. So we will need to replace him anyway. If we dont buy, we need to loan a player. we dont have enough numbers for the next few months.

Nigel Tufnel

Leandro Trossard on Mikel Arteta: “Tactically, the way he sees the game is amazing. He’s a tactical magician, I would say. He helped me a lot on how we build up, where the spaces are, and how to move if you play in different positions.”

Nigel Tufnel


Dark Hei

Balo-gone to get us some $$.

Well done young man.


Nigel, That does not count the opportunity cost of capital, and if Tierney gets injured his valueheads towards to $0. Money today is the optimal solution at todays rates. And if Arteta is such a wizard how come our top producer can’t even get a look? Our wins so far have been very weak, despite possession dominance, and the team are fortunate to be at the pointy end of the table. Pedro was on twitter today saying “Can you imagine how much faster our rebuild would have been if we could have picked up even semi-decent fees for our deadwood… Read more »


” There is no conspiracy. Simply Russia on an Imperialist fetish invades its ex border states. Putin wants to be Peter the Great it’s as simple as that.”

Spot on Marky.
I addition, there’s no threat to Russia’s security, there never was.
It’s a canard invented by its leaders for the domestic consumption to justify their repressive regimes, that’s been parroted by foreign politicians on Putin’s payroll and agenda driven rubes like Un and Guns

Imagine describing a country 2.5 times the size of GB as too tiny and insignificant to find on the map.

Nigel Tufnel

Aaron, You don’t have to convince me …. I was the only person here calling for us to buy Trossard LAST summer. You might not agree with this, but Eddie has done an admirable job with smart runs and even good passes to teammates…but Martinelli had been making lots of mistakes. Trossard deserves to be in for Martinelli even more than for Eddie. I just watched a compilation video of how many times Martinelli missed Havertz making runs into the box, and just recycled the ball back to Tomiyasu or meekly out to the right. All in the Palace game.… Read more »

Montana Gooner

Thanks Marky. Cheers.


Surely ESR deserves some minutes in place of Kai.


If we just wanted to win trophies or achieve runners up we may just as well stuck with wenger. 20 trophies or runners up in total in 21 seasons. 10 trophies 10 runners up .. And those same wenger players that were so derived also won another fa cup under Arteta and were runners up in Europe under Emery.. Of course wenger did it all with a net spend of 16.1 mil per season on average.(total 349 mil) Arteta is currently on 665 mil ، averaging over 200 mil a season. We also played the best football ever witnessed at… Read more »


There is a new post lads.

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