Arsenal vs Crystal Palace preview

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Good day one and all.
Arsenal is hosting Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon for their Premier League clash. This followed having avoided a Europa defeat against Vitória Guimarães after a shock loss to Sheffield on Monday night. Yes, it’s been quite a week.
The tale of Arsenal under Unai Emery has been consistent; flawed ‘build from the back’ style, lack of cutting edge and creativity despite the quality in our squad, with individual brilliance too often having to save the day. For a while the Cup games have offered fans an escape, but from the midweek game it seems that thrifty approach may have crept in there too. If we are honest, this week has been particularly damaging for Emery because it was expected of the Gunners to win both games at a canter. And one can’t help but feel if things continue this way the Spaniard may get called in for an inquisition.
Bit of good news now is that we got our first-choice front three all back. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had to carry the bulk of the attacking burden as Nicolas Pépé, who had no pre-season, still got to grips with the league and Alexandre Lacazette absent due to an ankle injury. With Pépé now having his shot of confidence with those two cracking free-kicks and Lacazette rid of most of the rust, it will be expected of Emery to coax better performances out of a very talented crop of players, especially with us now chasing down a top-four spot.
Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have ruffled some feathers at their nest this campaign with just one defeat in five, however, on the road they’ve been a bit patchy; two wins and two losses from four outings. With one of those wins at Old Trafford. I know, not all that surprising. And they’re 6th on the league table.
Nobody can deny that Crystal Palace has come a long way, at least no Gooner. The last five meetings between these sides the Gunners have only beaten them twice. Last season they took five points off of us and surely the Hodge must fancy their chances again, especially looking at our current form, or lack thereof, and defensive uncertainties.
Where are the days when this used to be a straight forward fixture?
We got Liverpool coming up on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup so Emery is expected to play his ‘league team’ to keep most of those that started vs Vitória fresh for that one.
Despite losing only twice all season the Gunners has been far from convincing. So this could be one of those tight ‘both teams to score’ matches, with Arsenal just doing enough for all three points. COYG!

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131 comments on “Arsenal vs Crystal Palace preview

  1. oddly rich it seems many on both sides of the AKB/Wob of old, are united for once, they both want Emery gone, one cos we want better football that includes our better players, the other cos they can’t take Emery showing them “anyone is better than Wenger” was a load of bollocks

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At least MOTD slating the VAR decision disallowing the goal

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Charles Watts
    Jarred Gillett was VAR official today. Never reffed a PL game. Has reffed 9 Football League games (and 2 Carabao Cup). That decision was a farce, as is the lack of explanation as to why the referee was overruled. Surely we have to hear the conversation like in cricket/rugby?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jared Gillet May never have reffed a prem game and limited experience in the Football league, but he has certainly figured out how to please his boss.
    I expect Gillet to be promoted to doing VAR for Utd games soon

    Liked by 2 people

  5. our next 4 games, prior to the next International break, 3 away from home.

    Liverpool, in CC, Away on Wednesday Oct 30th

    Wolves in BPL, Home on Saturday Nov 2nd

    Victoria in UEL, Away on Wednesday Nov 6th

    Leicester in BPL, Away on Saturday Nov 9th

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  6. Ed

    United in wanting Emery gone aint the issue for me at the moment. All those fans who treat Xhaka as they do, and others before him, and others after, is the thing that gets to me

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Clattenburg says the Zaha penalty was a clear dive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. yes Rich, as I have asked a few times today, re the treatment of Xhaka, what ever happened to the wecaredoyou lot, or was it as I always stated, nothing more than a load of attention seeking cunts looking for their 15 minutes of fame

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  9. With Xhaka and Switzerland haven’t really noticed any dm behind him, as he’s often so deep, but they do seem aware of need to try balance out his lack of pace. Was Behrami at World Cup who did the sprinting and would always be one to go after anyone bursting through midfield lines. He seems gone now and they have big athletic lad Zakaria in there.

    Xhaka takes on immense responsibilities in their team though. Makes himself available constantly when defenders bringing ball out, if players are getting closed down on flanks, or building play further up. Also does loads of defensive work off ball.

    In some respects a little easier with national teams who don’t have huge talent pool. He’s clearly one of his countries best players. So he plays. As one of the clear best, likelihood is coach will try, over time, find good fit among resources to complement him and cover any vulnerabilities. Teammates all know each others game very well. Settled group.

    At club level with big club feel there’s different questions. Main one being is he good enough/so good to make you prioritise finding best fit players to play alongside him.

    I don’t know, but feel sure best fit for him would include a midfield partner with very good speed/legs.

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  10. Ed

    Aye, I try avoid them but definitely not heard much for a while now. Funnily enough hardly seen a thing from aftv on my timeline for ages now but an explosion of it today. Always turned stomach a bit that Auba and Laca seemed a bit pally with their kind, and now seems Laca liked a post slagging off Xhaka and Emery.

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  11. Would be surprised if Lacca genuinely liked that, but guess you never know.
    Have read that players themselves don’t always manage these accounts.
    If player power is really turning against Emery, it will show on the pitch…..ok….I know!
    The real worry with Lacca, and his mate, they haven’t extended contracts.
    That could be another nail in Emerys coffin, and there seem to be an abundance of nails at the moment.
    If the club are sincere that they demand top four this season, Emery is toast, just a matter of time. If he gets through the Xmas fixtures relatively unscathed with these performances, I will be amazed.
    Emery has been given a great chance here, but is he taking it, too many stories about his ability to communicate, or lack of it for there not to be something in it.
    The league is corrupt though

    Liked by 2 people

  12. May as well carry on, having broken my rule of not talking much about games I haven’t seen, but am I right in thinking they didn’t show replay of what goal disallowed for on big screen?

    Pretty sure that in the Saints Leicester game Friday night they showed footage of the red card immediately after announcing VAR decision (think I saw footage of player watching it while still on pitch protesting).

    Anyway (a) surely there should be consistency, and if they ever show it on screen they should always show it, and (b) boy, if footage I’ve seen is best they had of Chambers ‘foul’ that would have caused a real stink if shown on screen, which suggests of course that it was a stinker and they at least suspected it fell into the highly controversial category even as decision was made.

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  13. If they are allowed to get away with that this time then we will get more of the same later on for sure.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Fan tv in overdrive, unbelievable bs on there. “its Xhakas fault” 10 seconds later “its not Xhakas fault”.
    Pseudo moralising, mob rule, Glenda Slagg. They can say whatever they like, but expect other humans who they use to get there kicks for them to behave like Saints/superhumans.What frightens me is theres a drum beater out there watching, knowing how to manipulate these people.
    Im with Xhaka, I would have told them to f-ck off too. And Emery.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. The Oracle of Orn has spoken in The Athletic
    Seems Emery is safe, for now
    The powers that be are more furious with the application of VAR than they are with Emery.
    Some of the board wanted to give UE a new deal in the summer, unbelievable, but the majority held sway and they did not
    Seems UE has lost part of the dressing room, identity issues and communication problems

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Cannot vouch for the Athletic btw, never read it, got this info above from Mr Arsenic
    The Athletic always sounded like Charlton programme to me

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I rarely comment but feel I have to now.
    I am season ticket holder since the 1980s and was at the Emirates yesterday and have never felt so embarrassed to be an Arsenal fan.
    Xhaka was one of our better players in the first 60 mins, playing some clever if unspectacular balls forward, including the quick free kick that gave Pepe a chance. The booing at his substitution was just moronic scapegoating.
    Most of the rest of the team were equally poor and worse in many cases. The front three in particular were ineffective. PEAs mis-control when pout through by Guen was a typical example.
    I am now thinking about staying at home on Saturday as I do not wish to be surrounded by the mindless idiots who boo their own players; Eboue, Chamakh, Walcott, Giroud, Ramsey have all suffered.
    I love Arsenal but hate the match day experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This is what our so called fans are doing to the club


    Mike Riley and the media will be loving our supporters today, as will others fighting for the top four who Mike Riley represents


  19. Arsenal seems to be some kind of cess pit of moral hypocrisy. People unhinged on toxic tv swearing and lambasting players, week in week out who spout on about privilege, who spout on about the morality of youngsters listening in etc. When did anyone stop swearing at football matches? To me they come across as first world privilege supporters. Champagne and Caviar, and not a Cole Porter song amongst them.
    The more paradoxes the mind has the better it is for coming out of the basic dualities of the world. But paradoxes are paradoxes, using any kind of hypocritical argument (often in the same rant) to express dissatisfaction is just way off target to whats going on. Why do they need to express themselves after the game? Ask Andy Warhol…
    And yes, you will certainly catch me as a hypocrite. Old flux makes context change, so theres little we can do about it.
    Thing is these people pull, I mean over 1mil subs, other fans laughing at us, tuning in to see them lose their rags. What kind of an example do they set? They are part of the problem thats grown at Arsenal.
    No-one owns Arsenal, many generations of people started and organised, supported and played for the club before these people turned up. And theres loads waiting in the wings and wombs ready to come forth.
    This isnt about customers with rights? Is there really a messiah that can come in and sort this out, Im not convinced about it.* But for a while, maybe a new coach can do it, but with Montana over your shoulder, how does that feel?
    Wenger always looked after his players, protected them, why isnt Emery doing it. Surely he must know the who press world is just bullshit? Just say anything!

    Trouble is this is turning into either a farce, comedy Arsenal, Arkham Arsenal or groundhogbreathhogsheadhoggiehoggiehoggie(wankwankwank)hogwartyhoghaghaggishooghughoghogbannerslosher day.

    I dont blame Granit for blowing his top, they would, nor any other player should they lose it being booed off. Weird thing is Granit will be punished by the mob now and taunted like al bullies do, plus fined and punished by the club. That makes fo a hell in the mind.
    Racism is one form of bullying, but what is booing and shaming and humiliating then? But according to Toxic tv, booing part of the game. Doesnt make it right, nor does it make for psychological wellbeing.

    Vardys still laughing at us.

    Its like the old Frank Muir book: what a mess. All roads lead back to positivity though, positive coaching,positive football, positive support, its really the only way things grow well…looks like a long road ahead to find it. Sure aint looking forward to Anfield.

    *the west has a completely wrong idea of what a messiah is.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. So, if at the offset the idea was to screw Arsenal if they could and in a premeditated way, we have no idea what is being said to Atkinson at all, in fact nothing may have been even. But how nice to have an inexperienced Aussie to point the finger at afterwards.

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  21. Here is Ornstein in the Athletic;

    The appointment of Unai Emery as Arsenal head coach was supposed to herald a new dawn for a club plagued by regression and rancour towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s time in charge.
    But 17 months on, it seems Emery finds himself in a similar position to Wenger, only without the 22-year background that made the Frenchman’s departure such a difficult decision.
    Speculation over Emery’s future ratcheted up after his side let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday, but internally the Spaniard is safe for now.
    As is normal after most games at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu entered the dressing room to speak with players and staff. Director Josh Kroenke was over from America and, as is customary on such visits, he went to see Emery in his office. The conversation is said to have been routine; business as usual.
    Anger within the corridors of power was directed not towards the 47-year-old, rather the VAR system that granted Palace a route back into the contest and later denied Arsenal a winning goal.
    The subject will be aggressively raised by the Gunners at Monday’s directors of football meeting, which takes place inside the Premier League’s London offices at 10am GMT.
    Chaired by the Premier League’s own director of football Richard Garlick, these gatherings take place two or three times a year and provide a chance to talk about a whole range of topics, including fixture schedules and youth development, but this one is likely to be dominated by VAR.
    Arsenal’s hierarchy are seething about the decisions and believe the anger of their supporters would have been channelled in the same direction were it not for the fall-out from captain Granit Xhaka’s behaviour as he was substituted off, which the club admit was unjustifiable.
    Emery still has firm support from those above him, although there is now an acceptance that after a year and a half in the job and with the benefit of significant backing in the transfer market last summer, there is not much more the club can do and the onus is on him to deliver.
    They do not believe in knee-jerk reactions and will give Emery time, most probably until the end of the season, before deciding if he will be allowed to go into the final year of his contract.
    There was a desire within a section of Arsenal’s top brass to reward him with a new deal last summer, but this was not a universal wish and the majority verdict held sway.
    It is also fair to say that Emery does not retain the backing of his entire squad — the main concern of some members being an apparent absence of team identity and clarity on what is being asked of them — but equally the majority of players and staff are believed to be behind him.
    There is even sympathy for him within certain quarters, given the amount of on and off-field change, as well as various political and personal issues, with which he has had to contend.
    Emery was the unanimous choice to succeed Wenger after a thorough recruitment process that saw a long list of candidates whittled down to a final eight, all of whom were interviewed.
    The identities of the other seven have never previously been made public, but The Athletic can exclusively reveal they were, in alphabetical order: Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta, Thierry Henry, Julen Lopetegui, Ralf Rangnick, Jorge Sampaoli and Patrick Vieira.
    Arsenal additionally discussed Antonio Conte, Eddie Howe, Maurizio Sarri and Brendan Rodgers — but for differing reasons they were not pursued, while Luis Enrique was never an option.
    The only contender who came close to Emery was Arteta, but ultimately his lack of managerial experience and a readily available backroom team worked against the former Gunners captain.
    It is unclear what contingency plans are in place if Arsenal decide to part with Emery — although there is a sense that assistant first-team coach Freddie Ljungberg would be capable of at least assuming a caretaker role — but currently that is not an active consideration.

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  22. I’m still convinced that the first time Xhaka says Fuck Off yesterday it was aimed at Emery for actually subbing him, the lad knew he was playing well, better than either of Guendouzi and Ceballos, then the fans making a scapegoat of him was the final straw for him and for me he was right to give some back. Fuck them.

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  23. While I’m at it, here is Amy Lawrence about the Xhaka debacle from the athletic;
    Team-mates visit home of devastated Xhaka as Arsenal fans left to examine their own consciences

    By Amy Lawrence 4h ago 129
    The mood caught fire quickly and all of a sudden the Emirates was engulfed by an emotional maelstrom. Behind the North Bank goal, reactions erupted when fans noticed Granit Xhaka walking off slowly, simmering, as he was substituted. The ironic cheers swirled around the stadium, which then morphed into boos. But while many joined the buzz that would humiliate and provoke the player into a sweary riposte, others in the feverish crowd felt staggered, appalled, that a groundswell could turn on the Arsenal captain — whoever he is and however trying his limitations may be.
    Down on the touchline it was all too much for Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan turned around and looked aghast at the fans that lined the tunnel. He outstretched his arms as if to ask: What the hell is this? He grew so upset he was actually moved to tears, standing there on the edge of the grass Xhaka had walked across on his tortuous route away from the pitch to get the hell out of there. Hector Bellerin went across to console Torreira. Unai Emery wrapped his arms around the little Uruguayan.
    In the dressing room Xhaka’s fury in the heat of the moment was palpable, with his own take on the old fashioned idea of teacup throwing. Emotions ran high all around the stadium.
    Later, at the bottom of the VIP elevators, there was a reunion of two former Arsenal captains, Pat Rice and Thierry Henry, who locked into a long, heartfelt embrace. What must they have been thinking of it all. Rice was one of those who proudly passed on the famed motto — “Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent” — to hundreds of players he worked with first as a team-mate, then youth coach, and finally assistant manager.
    Footballers nowadays come from across the world and are invited to buy into a particular club. They are expected to get a feel for its personality and reputation. They are required to hold the baton. Torreira’s unhappiness summed up the confusion and upset felt by many within the squad to see a friend assailed by the club’s fans like that. Xhaka is their team-mate. Everybody inside the club likes him. He is one of the players who has made the greatest effort to understand the club and project in the dressing room what it is supposed to represent.
    Some sources claim he left the ground before the game even finished although an Arsenal spokesman could not verify that. Such was his team-mates’ concern over his morale, that three senior players went to visit Xhaka at home on Sunday evening to offer support.
    There are consequences of a rift like this between a popular team-mate and the fans in that it makes the rest of the squad ask themselves a lot of difficult questions. Might they feel a bit more vulnerable out on the pitch? Less sure of support? There are also obvious consequences for Xhaka, who will be soul searching about where he goes from here. He is devastated by the whole affair. Did the Swiss midfielder take a step that will be too difficult to track back from? Does he even want to?
    Unai Emery also must bear the brunt of this situation. The “internal talks” he referenced that will take place this week to attempt to calm this storm will not be easy. The mess which needs untangling stems partly from Emery’s over-complicated decision over who would take over the Arsenal captaincy this season. It became a bigger issue than was necessary. Xhaka was upset at the time as Emery prevaricated. The weeks went on with no official announcement while he filled in the duties, leaving him feeling as if he was a last resort.
    He has become the most visible lightening rod for all the complications Arsenal are currently suffering. The disaffection with the style of football. The flaws in the gameplan which have seen the team punished for errors defensively and with reduced creative service to the forwards offensively. Xhaka was a divisive player in any case, but he became more of a target for criticism because of the perception that a captain is more or less always bound to play when fit.
    Of course there is another lightning rod in Mesut Ozil. Because the German is so controversially out of the firing line the only way he is currently involved in criticism is as a vehicle to point fingers at the man leaving him out. You could argue that to have one ostracised player is misfortune, to have two (if Xhaka ends up taking some time out as a result of this) looks like carelessness.
    Xhaka this month became a father. With all the whirl of a new baby and the huge personal changes that come with parenthood, he is suddenly at a crisis point in his career. Maybe some will understand that there is a lot going on which may impact on how in control a person is of their emotional state. Maybe some recognise that if fans are on your back for weeks on end, eventually it’s an understandable human reaction to crack. Others won’t be so forgiving. That is the judgemental nature of having a public profile in the social media age.
    He is not the first to be booed or jeered. Scapegoating is not a new phenomenon. Still, it is 11 years since Arsenal witnessed something comparable. Emmanuel Eboue came on as a substitute in a game against Wigan and had such a wretched match he was substituted later on to a cacophony of boos. He wept. Having said that, in the dressing room he was soon back dancing to music and putting on a positive face.
    The Xhaka fallout was also in some ways reminiscent of when William Gallas abandoned his responsibilities towards the end of a match at Birmingham in 2008 when Eduardo Silva’s leg was broken and the concession of a late penalty pushed Gallas into storming off for a sit in the centre circle instead of defending. The circumstances were trying but Gallas was considered to have behaved in a manner not befitting the armband.
    The Xhaka situation has plenty of fans examining their own consciences too. There is a disconnect between old fashioned notions of supporting the team through thick and thin and the more modern experience of paying your money and that entitling a member of the crowd to criticise as freely and vehemently as they see fit. One supporter who had been watching it all for more than four decades took his red season ticket wallet out of his coat, looked at it dolefully, and said, “I think that might be it for me.” A line had been crossed.
    That essence of feeling part of it, of having something to believe in, was sorely stretched on Sunday at Arsenal. Fans, players, staff and the hierarchy are all acutely aware of that. Somehow Emery has to try to pull the team together when everything is feeling frayed.

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  24. About the game, had a feeling we’d need three goals to win. I just can’t see us being strong enough defensively to close out basically any team that faces us. We now have the ability to make opponents look like 2011 Barcelona at times… If we can’t shut out that Portuguese side at home like last Thursday never mind a BPL team. Yesterday was more of the same, no service to Laca and Auba, seemingly no defensive midfielder and dodgy selection and substitutions. We did get jobbed by the ref, how the third goal didn’t stand is a mystery though not really based on past PGMOL jobs on us. Liverpool on Wednesday, that won’t be easy!

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  25. “for a club plagued by regression” =Pearls café

    “Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi entered the dressing room to speak with players and staff.” Great, be told what to do by a bloke who cant kick a ball.

    “captain Granit Xhaka’s behaviour as he was substituted off, which the club admit was unjustifiable.” =Pearls café

    “the main concern of some members being an apparent absence of team identity and clarity on what is being asked of them” = Rosemary the telephone operator: ” you dont say! you dont say?” You dont say!!”

    “but equally the majority of players and staff are believed to be behind him.” =please prove it…

    “There is even sympathy for him within certain quarters, given the amount of on and off-field change, as well as various political and personal issues, with which he has had to contend.” = whats he had to contend with, a big full trophy cabinet form 22 years? Which quarters-the blokes he brought in. Must mean Guen here?

    “The only contender who came close to Emery was Arteta, but ultimately his lack of managerial experience and a readily available backroom team worked against the former Gunners captain.” = I heard different, that Arteta didnt want it as there was anti cash in transfer war chest kitty.

    “It is unclear what contingency plans are in place if Arsenal decide to part with Emery — although there is a sense that assistant first-team coach Freddie Ljungberg would be capable of at least assuming a caretaker role — but currently that is not an active consideration.” hols on son, why mention it then if hes got the backing of the ‘hierarchy’?Seems fishy to me to mention it.

    As for the other article, I nearly threw up. Pretty embarrassing. Is it really 11 years since a player has been booed off? Thats smells of slosh to me. For example What about the away game against the Smeagles and all the “not fit to wear the underwear” crap that the Wobs were barking about?

    Xhaka should have done a Sammy Nelson, that would have got everyone hot under their Arsenal scarves. Before the Orn and Amys time though.

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  26. Didn’t see the game but seen what happened to Xhaka which is disappointing from our own. Xhaxa is not my favourite player and his response was unprofessional, but he didn’t deserve that yesterday.

    Victory Through Harmony is on the shirt and i think it is an ideal that Arsene really believed in and adopted.

    We have been forgetting these principals for a while now.
    It is not just a slogan but an idea or principle that is practical, achievable and is something that we can all uphold.

    Sadly, that is not the case with today’s Arsenal and those words are not even an afterthought today.

    With the Media, PL refs, VAR, opposing fans on a windup, agitating emotional reactions to everything, it is important to remember those words.

    We are Arsenal. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

    Think the Arsenal family need to come together and stop the divisiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. brilliant comment Mills, I was reacting the same way while reading both articles, the real gem was the “Xhaka, already a divisive figure”

    I’ve seen so many of the Xhaka haters try and justify the abuse, its crazy, some using downright lies, such as

    fans did not boo or jeer him till they seen him either throw the armband to the ground, or walk off at a snails pace

    he threw the armband to the ground

    Aubameyang was disgusted by Xhaka throwing the armband to the ground

    He was booed cos he was at fault for their second goal yesterday.

    He threw his shirt to the ground

    Now we have a campaign to strip him of the captains armband, and I will say if we do that then all the club will be doing is pandering to boo boys, so don’t be surprised if he is stripped of it, as I’ve little doubt Emery only took him off yesterday in an attempt to curry favor from the boo boys as they were signing the Ozil song as a dig at Emery and is negative brand of football

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Those sentimentalised articles covering “in-trend topics”! They’re all unnecessarily long, therefore half off-topic and written in a beating-around-the-bush tone and obviously just trendy. They contribute nothing to the real issues. Who know the problems won’t need that kind of useless indirectness, while who purposely don’t know the problems will hardly read and think about their articles, won’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Eddie ( cheers) and spot on, same as blogger1886. Sensationalism hits an all time shallow low! Although Im sure it can mine its way lower yet…

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sad to see certain people talking nonsense about match fixing. It seems that whenever any team does well that isn’t called Arsenal it’s because there is a plot to ensure said team wins the league or finishes in a CL spot. One wonders how these people would react if we won the league and fans of other teams said the same. I suppose when we won the league it was due to everyone in football being aglow with honesty.

    Yes VAR has been a mess too often this season, nearly every team has suffered from poor decisions and changes need to be made. One change should be the ref actually going to view the decision on the VAR monitor at the side of the pitch.

    Lets’ leave the conspiracy theories to UA. This blog is better than that.

    We’re not playing well and we have a manager who seems to be unable to improve matters. I don’t think that’s down to some anti Arsenal plot. What seems apparent is the manager is out of his depth which is odd considering his cv. I just wish we’d gone for Klopp some years back.


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