IT’S RAINING PRAISE

by .

Well good evening my friends – isn’t it amazing how a win, neigh, a DESTRUCTION, can change the narrative so hard?

I just don’t understand how we can go from THE WORLD IS COLLAPSING UPON OUR FRAIL BODIES two weeks ago to people slamming me for daring to suggest we’ll probably finish second 3 days ago.

To be honest, who cares, as long as the good content keeps rolling out. It’s much better reading our players get basted in buttery praise for being top tier than hunting out scapegoats because we’re trailing by a small margin in the league.

Martin Odegaard is probably doing the best out of this win. He’s now getting recognition for his astonishing numbers. He’s created more chances in open play this season than any other player. That’s mad. Does he have KDBs assist numbers? No. But KDB plays in the best team every created and he’s at the peak of his game. Odegaard just enters his peak years next year.

It’s also great that we’re getting credited with the best press in the game. Who leads that press? Martin Odegaard.

The only thing you can really dig him out for this season is his product numbers, but they’ll catch up with performances, no doubt about that. He’s pivotal to so many of our attacking moves, and those don’t always get credited with final pass numbers. Just look at that first-time pass into Martin Ø that started the move for the Saka goal. A glorious pre-assist, but people don’t remember those passes.

I’m also pleased to see Ben White whipping the comp merchants into a hot mess. Clearly, he’s been playing with some sort of knock this season, and it would appear that little winter break has powered him. Back to his best. Mad that Gareth Southgate won’t see him as an option for the summer with England.

Even David Raya is attracting a different sort of look at the bar of Arsenal. Fans are starting to respect his in-game features. He’s been reliable from crosses, he’s brave on the ball, and his rapid distribution allows us to catch teams on the break far more effectively than we were under Aaron Ramsdale.

I didn’t really go too hard at the celebration police bits the other day, I think James (Gunnerblog) probably summed up the feelings of the fanbase with his Sutton rant. It was good to see Carragher come back to reality, put his Liverpool-tinted glasses down, and lavish us with praise. The thing that bothered me the most about it was the attempt to shift the conversation from a massive performance, to a performative chest-beating critique. It’s a selfish act and a real shame it has pandemic levels of transmission in the pundit class. The sad part about it is it’s just an exercise in personal brand positioning.

‘I am too elite to over-celebrate. Celebrating a win is above me because I win too often to feel anything. My constant state is winning. I AM WINNER’

The interesting outcome is it seems to have been met with ridicule across all the fanbases. It is very much targeted at Arsenal, and it’s a very specific group of people that think that sort of comment counts for analysis.

Which is a particularly perplexing mindset when you’re, say, Jaime O’Hara.

I remember 10 years ago when there was a section of the football intelligentsia that would mock people that wanted a passionate manager as ‘pashun merchants’, now look where we are, every chairman wants a lunatic on the sideline. If they’re enjoying themselves, so are we. I want the people at the club to feel what I feel. I’m glad we have Mikel Arteta losing his shit. He is all of us.

Right, that’s me done. Make sure you get some of the latest podcast in your ears. It’s Tim Payton chatting about a whole bunch of things I did NOT know about.

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Marky Mark

I’ll take a top spot

Cecsisgod

1st

Nzini

Better late than never

Cescisgod

Doh

Cescisgod

3rd

Cescisgod

T4ophy

JohnG

Let’s hope Arsenal can emulate that result

Just Another Customer

a post at this time?

JohnG

Pedro going for full on content drop. Long may it continue

ARgooner

Umm could have sworn we beat them last time out…..

Colney Gooner

Top 6 again

Major_Jeneral

6th

LoveSausage

Couldn’t agree more on the celebration police. It’s pathetic. Why does no one call out these guys for hypocrisy? That clown Carragher would never say a word about Klopp when he’s running around the pitch like a lunatic.

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed managers losing their shit. This sport is getting too sanitized. The last thing we need is managers who just stand there like statues.

Duzie

Can I post something her too?

J

They can’t peddle the Arsenal don’t like it up rubbish anymore so they have to come up with something else.

Paulie

Great to see Arteta driving them all insane with jealousy

MidwestGun

I think Odegaard was carrying a more serious injury earlier this season then he let on as well. He played hurt. And our friendly neighborhood Odegaard crank… Pierre accused him of faking it. Unlike his hero Ozil who actually did fake it to get out of playing tough away games. Now we are starting to see Ode just wasn’t fully fit. Hence the pressing and dropping deep and popping up in spaces. He also suffers I think from never, getting rotated.. like ever.

Socrates

It’s funny that all these pundits are in consensus that Arsenal will not win the league yet are massively offended by how we celebrate a win. To not see the irony in it is baffling.

kpankulu

Nice article. Sums things up nicely.

Personally, I am so happy that the maligned duo from Chelsea are making a lot of people eat crow. Of course, not anyone in this group, as your shit don’t stink.

Nigel Tufnel

Kpankulu … Plus the 2 Chelsea “rejects” were excellent in a huge game this week. When I heard we got Jorginho for 10-12 mil I was laughing. We even got a favorable contract length and option. Experienced CL, Euro, winner. 3rd in Balon dor voting. A player that doesn’t depend on pace so age is less important. Instincts, positioning with guile and world class passing numbers. Even a great penalty taker with champions league coming up. What a gift from Roley Boehly. I don’t know how people were cynical about him. I guess not flashy enough? Or obsessed with pace… Read more »

Omozuafo Frank

It’s so bad for all those criticisms about our celebration. The coach and the boys deserved to celebrate. It is not every team that can come up with the numbers we did against Liverpool. It was a master class performance. All the criticisms stemmed out of envy and jealousy.

rollen

Can’t fault Arteta for celebrating. He is still very young for manager and he wants to win. All those northern twats can suck it.
Crush them all and celebrate in their face!

Madhu

The criticisms for celebrations are coming in from failed coaches turned pundits like Carra , Neville etal. So there is an inherent jealousy there and offcourse the age old anti arsenal narrative in the media which again as PGMOL is dominated by folks from Manchester. So why even pay attention to it. We celebrate our wins and we should it more to irritate the heck out of them more. Wrighty is there in the media to fight our cause and his pedigree and reputation will make it even more forceful. Let’s celebrate even more. These guys who talk about our… Read more »

Andy

the thing i find amusing about carra banging on about winnertivity is the fact he spent 17 seasons at liverpool and never won a single league title. maybe keano should ask him about that the next time he puts his celebration police helmet on.

TallestTiz

Why play FC Porto on Wednesday night and then play Newcastle on Saturday?

Why not shift Newcastle to Sunday evening?

EPL baffle me sometimes

Meanwhile, the AFCON is a really interesting tournament this year. Top top games on show.

Marky Mark

The celebration police squad is based in the north. Its aim is to disrupt southern clubs particularly toff clubs like Arsenal. I think Chelsea in the past got a break as the England players and these commentators were hanging around in a joint space.
Occasionally hairy hands Keys joins in from his perch in Dubai as well.
Sky sports needs a complete overhaul. The UTD / Liverpool axis is old outdated and prejudiced. Sack em and replace
Oddly the only one I’d keep is Keane . His misanthropic tendencies tend to damn everyone in equal measure.

Terraloon

Tallest Tiz

Why not shift Newcastle to Sunday evening?EPL baffle me sometimes

It’s simply because the Tuesday & Wednesday 27/&28 February have been set aside for FA Cup 5th round ties. The FA Cup has priority over the PL

Newcastle are due to play on the Wednesday 28th and it was considered playing away on the Sunday.

Wolves are playing on the Sunday and again on the 28th in the FA Cup but the difference with then is that the league game and the FA Cup tie are both being played in Wolverhampton no pre match travel involved.

Sakablyat

I remember hating that Wenger almost never lost it and ran along the touchline after a goal or a big win. He always just shook hands with the opposing manager and went down the tunnel straight after the final whistle

Atleast Mikel shows some kind of emotion and goes on the pitch afterwards to thank the fans

raptora

A moment to compare the fbref profiles of Raya and Rams. According to the data, Raya is superior to Rams in just about everything. https://fbref.com/en/players/98ea5115/David-Raya https://fbref.com/en/players/466fb2c5/Aaron-Ramsdale A few gigantic differences in the data counting the last 365 days: (meaning Raya’s stats include the Feb – May 2023, eg his Brentford stats) PSxG-GA per 90 mins Raya +0.01 (in top 45% compared to other GKs from the 5 top leagues) Ramsdale -0.23 (top 90%) PSxG+/- column tells you how many additional or fewer goals he’s conceding compared to how many he is expected to concede depending on the quality of shots… Read more »

raptora

https://twitter.com/pythaginboots/status/1755301712611426688

A video of Big Gabby manhandling Kane in our games vs them. Absolute domination tbh. What a beast!

GoonerDave

raptora
I don’t disagree that Raya is superior to Ramsdale. But Arsenal is a big step up for both, so that comparison might be more accurate if they included time at Arsenal only. 20 matches or whatever it is. If they are similar, fair enough. But if Raya’s stats drop when we take away his Brentford numbers, that comparison of 365 days might be skewed.

raptora

Completely agree, Dave. We need to wait until the season is over to make a decision.

Josip Skoblar

The Qatari have just announced that PSG will be moving out of their mythical Parc des Princes stadium. They will build a new ‘mega-stadium’. I hate PSG, but I respect this place. So much great football was played in this stadium (French national team, European cup finals).

jwl

Daily Telegraph – “A blue card is to be introduced to football as part of sin-bin trials to be announced on Friday. Telegraph Sport can reveal the game’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (Ifab), has signed off on what would be the first new card to be used in the sport since the advent of yellow and red cards at the 1970 World Cup. The revolutionary move will be announced by Ifab as part of sin-bin protocols that will see players removed from the field for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent towards a… Read more »

GoonerDave

Blue card = even more subjective decisions = more outrage = more ad revenue. What are the chances that any ref will treat all players the same if they dissent?

salparadisenyc

A blue card?

May as well add purple one the players can brandish when the official is not up to the level. Better yet let’s get Steve Coogan to act on players behalf for bigger encounters, purple cards in hand at the ready to steam out onto pitch whenever he sees fit.

Karsa

Blue cards have to open the game up to increased levels of match fixing.

A team that is backed to win is losing with 20 minutes to go. Cue 5 blue cards, and a 1-0 lead becomes a 3-1 deficit in no time. Ridiculous.

Chris

The rules need to be made simpler, not more complex.

Would blue cards be subject to var review?

Bilbo

I like the sin bin idea. Works really well in rugby. In test match rugby teams concede on avg 8 points during a sin bin. Can completely change the complexion of the game, can really add to the spectacle when you’ve down to 14 men defending with your backs to the wall. …. I also like the ‘idea’ of VAR and they’ve fucked that big time so let’s see. Rap, I looked at Raya vs Rambo before Christmas and wrote a post on it. I don’t remember him sticking out for crosses when looking at his Arsenal days but he… Read more »

Why I Gunna

I do miss Ramsdale. He was a lot of fun and made some truly immense saves. That one against Leicester. Well, we did have a better keeper than both but Mikel didn’t like him. Martinez is a complete twat but you can’t deny he’s better than both

LoveSausage

The sin bin is a terrible idea. Just another rule that’s addressing imagined slights against referees instead of the quality of refereeing. And another opportunity for refs who want to be the center of attention to live out their fantasies.

Chrispy

Sin bin and anyone who likes it or thinks it’s a ‘good idea’ can fuck off.
Just another nail in the game’s coffin.

Nigel Tufnel

Raptora consistently posts good content. I’m happy with Raya. These stats draw about the same conclusions as last seasons seemed to … the only one I might argue is the shot stopping, saves. I think that particular stat is very flawed because of the differing context of every shot against- and every goal conceded. My eyes tell me Ramsdale is an excellent stopper. Raya is slightly limited by reach, but I’m very happy overall. One last thing on keepers. I think we all have to let go of this near perfection view of Alison and Ederson as stoppers. I’ve always… Read more »

rollen

Let’s introduce rainbow card too, upon being shown by refere team owners have 5 min to bid for refs decision. What a joke football is becoming. Money control everything again.

Jamie

Sin bin is very effective when an absolute clown won’t stop mouthing off.

kpankulu

Well, we did have a better keeper than both but Mikel didn’t like him. Martinez is a complete twat but you can’t deny he’s better than both. [@Why I Gunna] I can’t understand the constant need to denigrate the gaffer by changing what really happened in order cast him in poor light. MARTINEZ ASKED TO LEAVE BECAUSE HE WAS NOT GUARANTEED AUTOMATIC FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL BY THE GAFFER. Only players like Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane can expect that “privilege” [and they don’t have to make the demand – it is obvious they would expect that by their reputation over… Read more »

Aaron

siN bin, what next, half-cards, 2 minute time-outs, stopping the flow of the game to insert more advertising.

If so, game is lost, all about entertainment and selling time.

Enough of that $h*te, Mikel needs to get the team ready to smash ham…

Let’s go!

Nigel Tufnel

Kpankulu, Some people don’t even know what distribution from a keeper actually means. Emi is a fantastic old school keeper. Incredible stopper, commands his box, but could not play for 3 teams in this league because of their style of play: Liverpool, ManCity, or Arsenal. Funny how it’s the 3 best teams also. Just a coincidence I’m sure. If you offered Emi to Pep before they got Ederson, he would have rejected him for that reason. He’s a Newcastle, Spurs, level player who can’t play in complex systems. But remember, so many grovers were getting morning wood and drooling over… Read more »

China1

I never have and never will be anything other than happy to see arteta so emotionally invested in our success It’s a brilliant thing The only time I’ve ever ever criticized it is he’s been too active on occasions away at liverpool when we’ve been out playing them. That’s in principle fine for me but in reality that riles up the liverpool fans in a way which is really detrimental to our chances because they are the 12th man. Liverpool away are the exception to the rule where you simply *must* bottle it and sit there looking bored even when… Read more »

China1

Sin bin is a dreadful idea

If the quality of officiating is poor how does adding MORE rules to be enforced help?

It now means even more grey area about drawing the line between the different severity of issues than we already had (ie yellow > borderline red > red and second yellow vs sin bin)

If refs enforce yellows and refs properly this wouldn’t even be necessary.

Dumb rules made by dumb people to be enforced by dumb refs. Expect dumb outcomes.

China1

As soon as someone is sin binned the team will just put 10 men behind the ball for 10 mins making the game more boring

Give him a yellow or red based on severity. How is it so hard?

rollen

It’s more opportunities for refs to affect the games the way they want.

China1

‘ The revolutionary move will be announced by Ifab as part of sin-bin protocols that will see players removed from the field for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent towards a match official.”’

Errr those are yellow card offenses…if refs just enforced the existing rules…

China1

It’s more than a little alarming that the authorities never realized that they already have the authority and mechanisms in place to punish ‘cynical fouls and dissent towards officials’

All this time they thought these were unpunishable offenses???? 😂😂

Nigel Tufnel

https://twitter.com/fkhanage/status/1755694126324920410?t=NjC3WOyAQBoa_DLlSJl_Gw&s=19

From FK, Latte firm. F.O.P. (friend of Pedro)

I remember getting crap here for watching matches a second time to note more details. I did say all the good analysts and podcasters do it.

Nigel Tufnel

The replies under that tweet are really good too.

MidwestGun

LOL @ Blue cards. Wouldn’t the between color between red and yellow be orange? Regardless it’s dumb. Taking a player off for 10 mins essentially ruins the game as one team is on a power play like in hockey.. so to counteract that teams will just build a wall for 10 mins. Scintillating football. As well as the referee determining the outcome of games even more. And what if 2 or 3 players get blue cards .. is one team going to be up 3 players for 10 mins or more as times over lap? I would have to see… Read more »

MidwestGun

I just picture this glass box on the sideline with a revolving door of players going in and out with a timer above the door. As they tell the ref to fuck off every 15 mins.

MidwestGun

And what if the Keeper gets a blue card… Kai Havertz in goal for 10 mins? Got to get our money’s worth.

Tom

“Errr those are yellow card offenses…if refs just enforced the existing rules……………………….
It’s more than a little alarming that the authorities never realized that they already have the authority and mechanisms in place to punish ‘cynical fouls and dissent towards officials’”

Errrr except they don’t.
An agricultural hack from behind to kill a counter is considered taking one for the team and it’s a yellow, which any player who isn’t already on one will gladly take.
But add ten minutes on the sidelines for this infraction and now it’s a different story.

Madhu

Why is football trying to mirror American sports. This sin bin ideas originated from NFL, NHL etc. Rugby borrowed it but remember with the exception of NHL these are points based games and high scoring. Football is a low scoring game and played at immense pace. We don’t need these so called innovations from across the Atlantic to influence a beautiful game which has survived and thriving many decades without the bad influence. Blue cards sin bins are yet another way to influence the game by referees and people external to the field. Another opportunity is being created for match… Read more »

Madhu

Taking the game backwards NOT forward*

Olatunde

On this site, people accuse others of lying by lying. Arteta is free to do whatever he likes as the manager because he still is the one who will face the consequences. Martinez left Arsenal in 2021 not because he asked for assurances to be made the first choice but that he should be given 100% assurance to start the first game of the season against Fulham of which he was told he has 95%. Any other twist of this statement is a lie. All Arteta needs to do to keep him if he really wanted to was to allow… Read more »

Abass Azeez

African ref is top notch

Northbanker

Olatunde- you don’t know what happened any more than anyone else because no evidence has been published other than the 95%. However I highly doubt it had anything to do with just the first game. Using words like ‘lie’ is ridiculous

Anyway that boat has sailed and little point debating a keeper from eons ago

China1

‘ Errrr except they don’t. An agricultural hack from behind to kill a counter is considered taking one for the team and it’s a yellow, which any player who isn’t already on one will gladly take. But add ten minutes on the sidelines for this infraction and now it’s a different story.’ Yeah and whose fault is if refs don’t enforce existing rules? Is the solution to to refs not enforcing existing rules to add rules? Why do we think they will correctly enforce those? The example you gave is a good one – it will not be routinely enforced.… Read more »

China1

To judge a foul as cynical you have to be able to judge intent

Refs routinely show they haven’t the foggiest capability to do this because they almost never punish even blatant diving.

Come the end of the game people will still be arguing about the ref, just incredulous at how this decision was ‘only a blue instead of a red’ or ‘only a yellow instead of a blue’. It will be crap

Bilbo

China,

There are definitely some ‘easier’ and more difficult calls to be made which is where the problems might lie. The trip at the start of a counter attack is defo the type that should get flagged up. Rodri classic.

Tom

“To judge a foul as cynical you have to be able to judge intent”

Or maybe just proximity to the ball.
And do we really want to watch ”clumsy” players anyway?

Madhu

Have you guys heard the oft repeated statement ‘He is not that kind of player. This is the statement we heard when Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey’s legs were broken. That was the so called experts. Now we will have referees to judge if a player is cynical and such kind of a.player. what a joke.

China1

Doesn’t matter Tom, you can’t trust refs to judge anything consistently, let alone well.

If you think refs will enforce this rule well then I just question why you think they can’t enforce half the games most basic laws well but that this will be an exception

You’re giving more rules to officials who aren’t good at enforcing rules or judging infringements. It simply can’t end well

China1

Refs already have the authority to punish cynical challenges and dissent. They’ve had the authority since the beginning of time. If they haven’t been doing it the solution isn’t to add more tools if they are already choosing not to use the tools they have Refs also inexplicably ignore the 6 second rule that forbids a keeper from holding the ball for more than 6 seconds. It’s written in the rules plain as day. Average time wasting keeper will hold it for 12-18 seconds at a time. Ever seen a ref give a punishment designated in the rule book? I’ve… Read more »

Ramdas

“Now we will have referees to judge if a player is cynical and such kind of a.player. what a joke.”

Exactly. I remember when they tried to eliminate players showing discontent towards the ref. It worked when it was nobodies, but then you have a ‘local good lad’ or a Harry Kane and no punishment. The same shit will be repeated with blue cards.

China1

Adding a scope to a rifle does not help a soldier shoot if he doesn’t even know how to turn the safety off.

Upgrading the pickups on your guitar doesn’t help you play better if you don’t even know where the notes are on the fretboard

Adding seasoning doesn’t improve the quality of a roast chicken that is undercooked

jwl

OptaJoe on blue cards – “In the summer of 2023, the Premier League, EFL, the FA and PGMOL met to discuss implementing new guidelines to apply to the following season of English football. Two of the key outcomes were a commitment to clamping down on dissent and punishing time-wasting …. This season has already seen a record number of cards for both dissent and time-wasting and that has contributed to a more than 20% increase on both last season’s number of cards per game and the increase is so dramatic that 2023-24 currently has the highest average of cards per… Read more »

kpankulu

LOL, Nigel!

jwl

Daily Telegraph – “The introduction of a blue card into football has been thrown into doubt amid a growing backlash against the move. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, an announcement had been planned on Friday for the game’s first new card for more than half a century as part of sin-bin trials at professional level. But following an extraordinary reaction to the news – including from within football’s corridors of power – those announcement plans have been blocked. Unrest within the game was underlined on Thursday night by a statement from Fifa which confirmed the disclosure by the Telegraph that… Read more »

China1
Graham62

Excellent Mr Merson!

rollen

Just cancel PGMOL and FA and build new one without paid off Northern Mafia. Easy.
Better refs in Africa Asia or poor European leagues.
And sometimes they speak better English too lol

rollen

lol Nigel, so basically you and guy who twattered admit to not watching much of Arsenal as this is so basic observation.

You guys should watch next game 69 times to see what Benny Blanck does to the keepers.

Nigel Tufnel

I just did my own second viewing of the game and something that jumped out to me was big Gabriel. If you watch again, his passing was spectacular. Obviously he generally does a great job defensively… but this was a reminder that he was brought in for excellent passing skills. Wasn’t he the first Arteta+Edu purchase? Really showed it off against Liverpool. The long ball for Martinellis goal was the least of his efforts.. we were lucky on that one. The ones down the left side were putting pool in danger every single time. Where’s Un? He did the biggest… Read more »

Ernest Reed

“I remember getting crap here for watching matches a second time to note more details. I did say all the good analysts and podcasters do it.‘

Honestly, who does that – watch the same game a second time?

This much I know…the only person who watches the same game twice is a person who was too drunk to remember it the first time.

Luteo Guenreira

“I did say all the good analysts and podcasters do it.”

That’s because it’s their jobs to do that. Do you have a job Nigel? Because unfortunately sharing the opinions of your fifth rewatch with LeGrove doesn’t count. It really doesn’t.

Emiratesstroller

Being a club manager/head coach in the top leagues is a precarious career. Schmidt [Heidenheim] 16 yrs 4 months and Streich [Freiburg] 12 yrs 1 month have had decent careers. All the other 16 managers in Bundesliga have been in their jobs between 0 and 2 years. Simeone [Athletic Madrid] 12 years 1 month. All the other Managers have been in La Liga between 0-3 years. Gasperini [Atlanta] 7 years 2 months. All the other managers in Serie A 0-3 years. Gashen [Clermont] 6 years 5 months. Most of the other managers in French Ligue 0-2 years. Klopp [Liverpool] 8… Read more »

Cecsisgod

Come on fellas. Nigel’s an expert. He just said so

Tom

China1, just to be clear I wasn’t advocating for any particular solution, merely pointing out refs do not have all the tools at their disposal to sanction all infractions accordingly based on merit.

Preventing a two v one on half way line by tripping a player with the ball five yards away will get you the same punishment as arguing with the linesman.

Tom

I’m currently rewatching our Liverpool win for the fifth time, just in case I missed something in real and the four previous times.
And I’m celebrating each goal by running around my LR while my dog stares at me with dismay.
What celebration police cunt he is I tell you.

Northbanker

Gabriel often got criticism for his frequency of odd clangers. But it was obvious from beginning that not only had we signed a real powerhouse in defence but he also progressed the ball upfield incredibly well. Better than Saliba does imo

Bilbo

I’ve got my wife currently cutting clips of Odegaard during the Liverpool game shot with the 4 drones we had above the Emirates so I can compare it to his positioning when he was playing with Xhaka. Once I’ve done that I’m going to run it through my algorithm to work out the XpGaFa, which is a bespoke stat I created that is essentially meaningless but aren’t they all.

Lastly I condense my analysis and post it solely on LG so I can educate the simpletons who don’t understand the nuances of elite level football like I do.

Karim

Brilliant post Pedders.

TheLegendaryDB10

New (fake?) Post by Pedro