48 Comments

A Trip To The Park

Roy-Hodgson

 

 

 

Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, hoping to move ahead of our hosts on the Premier League table. Conversely, the Eagles aim to move four points clear of us in this London derby.

Good day all. Since the turn of the year the Gunners got back-to-back clean-sheet wins, in two competitions, to give Mikel Arteta a much-needed boost at the start of his reign. That he so quickly brought some coherence to our style of play have helped lift some of the gloom that preceded his arrival.

This is something the Spaniard can be very proud of to have achieved in his short time, but he will also be cognisant that there are still plenty of work to be done  with the Gunners sitting 10th on the league table.

The upcoming league fixtures this month will be of particular importance, with the Eagles, Sheffield United and Chelsea already taken seven of nine points off us. Ergo Mikel and the players will be mindful not to get carried away by the recent upturn in performances and will do well to continue keeping their heads down, with each player knowing what is expected of him.

If we kick on in the coming weeks we could put a bit of pressure on teams ahead of us on the league table. Who knows, comes end of January and the current nine point gap between ourselves and 4th-placed Chelsea look more within reach, it may give the boys a real shot in the arm to go on a good run knowing all is not lost yet. However, we will have to take it one game at a time.

After a promising start to their campaign Roy Hodgson’s side hit a rough patch, winning just one of their last six league games (D4, L1). Still, two games into the second half of the season they are in the top-half of the league table, one point above the Gunners. Had that been offered to Roy back in August, he would’ve accepted it with alacrity.

Last weekend they had a disappointing FA Cup defeat at home to second-tier Derby County, though it’s unlikely Roy will be cut up about it as it now gives him the chance to prioritise the league and try finish as high as possible.

They have a good record against Arsenal in recent times; unbeaten in the last three encounters (W1, D2). In the reverse fixture back in October, they came from two goals down to rescue a point at the Emirates. The last five meetings produced 23 goals, with no clean sheets either side. All that means is that we could be set for a very cagey game at Selhurst Park,

Team news

Hector Bellerìn have returned to training, however, Arteta said it’s unlikely he’ll feature. Otherwise, he is expected to go with the same matchday XI that started on new years game against Manutd.

Prediction

Few weeks ago there would have been apprehension going into this game for the Gunners, however, the improvement since Arteta’s arrival is palpable. It’s just our finishing touch in the final third that let us down at times but if we got that sorted… should be favourites to go home with all three points. COYG!

 

Labo.

48 comments on “A Trip To The Park

  1. It’s great to look forward to games again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hoping for a very decent result in this game, as long as the PGMOL don’t go overboard on giving them their customary penalties they have done recently in this fixture.
    All the reports are that the players are happy, indeed buzzing in training. Drills helping the defence, players that had been lacking confidence coming into themselves…eg AMN for starters. Some positive omens.

    Like

  3. nice one LG,
    My thoughts exactly George as I woke up this morning I lept out of bed Thinking its an ARSENAL day to excellent instead of oh were playing today what do I have to endure, it is remarkable the difference in atitude Mikel has ingrained in everybody.
    The stats from our last games against the eagles are irrellevent as this is a different ARSENAL. The problem which hasnt changed is the officials so we need to deal with that. As this is an away game against an extreamly organised side it will be interesting how the team line up and indeed how we set up to control the midfield, break down thier defence and counter the counter.
    All this we will see however I for one dig the new breed COYG.

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  4. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  5. It is nice to see a Football team representing The Arsenal again.

    Night and Day between this and what was on offer from the Fraud Raul Montana and his puppet.

    Long way to go in this game but we’ve got our Royal Arsenal back. Hehe.

    COYG!

    Like

  6. Oh yes.

    Passing the ball through the centre of the pitch straight down the D. Like some kind of Football team!

    We’ve seen passing in and around the D since that appalling man was given his p45, but this move was the next step up in the rehab of this squad.

    FOOTBALL!

    COYG

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  7. Wonderful stuff

    Kola was already in his best and most consistent run of form that we’ve seen from him.
    But if anyone can take him up another level, in a four, it’s the coach who worked on that City midfielder, I won’t attempt to spell his name, turning him into a title winning LB.

    AW played AMN in similar roles to what we are now seeing at times when he played at RB.

    Yep. The Royal Arsenal are back.

    Let’s hope they can keep up that focus, teamwork and stamina for the next half.

    COYG!

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  8. Different game to football with Torreira off IMO.

    COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a PGMOL masterclass.

    Like

  10. Well I called it on Shotts’ comments at HT

    And you all saw similar fouls on Pepe not given as foul. It is a poor challenge but you all know that the pgMOB are match fixing chests.
    Otherwise how could I predict such calls.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. PGMOL Game Management at its finest today

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jordan Ayew conceded 7 fouls against Arsenal, the most made without receiving a yellow card in any Premier League game so far this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The official reasoning for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s red: “VAR looked at the incident & determined that the point of contact & the intensity of the challenge endangered the safety of the opponent and recommended upgrading the yellow card to a red card for serious foul play.”

    Like

  14. from football.london, Arteta after game comments

    Arteta’s verdict on the game

    Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Mikel Arteta gave his verdict on Arsenal’s performance.

    I think the first 35 minutes were exactly what I want our Arsenal team to play like. We were at it, we were very dominant, we controlled the game, we were in the right positions and we were so good in transition.

    After that we had a spell when we started to give free-kicks away, it’s more stop-start, but I was really pleased with the first half. The first ten minutes of the second half, credit to them because they pushed, put balls in the box and throw men up front, we had more difficulties.

    We conceded a goal where we switched off completely and it’s unacceptable, I am upset with that, but after that we reacted very well after conceding goal and after Auba’s red card, we were the team that I expected because everyone was at it again.

    Arteta on Aubameyang’s red card
    I haven’t seen it but from what I’ve heard, I think it was a harsh challenge, there was no intention but maybe he mistimed it. We’ll see what the decision is.

    Arteta on the result
    “I was pleased with how we started the game. After the break we knew they would push and then for the goal we completely switched off and I was very disappointed.
    “After Auba’s red card we responded even better.
    “It looked nasty and Auba didn’t intend to injure him.”

    Arteta on Palace getting back in the game
    “We decided to commit a lot of fouls and that’s not the game that suits us.”

    Arteta on Torreira
    “He’s been in good form because he wasn’t feeling well.
    “It’s a muscle injury.”

    Arteta on VAR
    “We’ll get to the point that we want. We have to respect the decisions and hopefully they will be more positive than negative.”

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  15. I’m a bit surprised Arteta said that about us giving too many free-kicks away. That’ll be in line with stats, I’m sure, but really didn’t feel like we were making unnecessary fouls watching it.

    Felt like case of them finding their feet and getting a rhythm going with ultra-aggressive play, fair and foul, with ref extremely happy to help out and, among other things, doing nothing to try take some heat out of it, with aim of reducing likelihood of injuries out there.

    And of course, the coup de grace, as we are getting whacked, kicked, barged, pushed into players at speed etc, is an utterly soft free kick for them from which equaliser came.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Relieved to get point in the circumstances given how it went after that excellent start to game. Lovely lovely goal, too. The Laca pass was exquisite, Auba first touch equally superb.

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  17. Auba red totally deserved in my book. Not sure there’s any circumstances when you catch an ankle that heavily where it shouldn’t be red. The bitterness comes from VAR delivering justice in that instance but not when should have for us numerous times with red card offences. Not sure we’ll ever get one for scissor challenges, even though should if fit red criteria, but the Mclean/ Guendo one at Norwich was an easy, obvious red card offence

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Presumably Keith Hackett’s internet down today. Didn’t see a peep on timeline from him about Ayew, when he was all over Xhaka other night.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The last few seasons we would have taken a draw at Selhurst Park with or without 10 men.
    Today however I feel disappointment because we did scrap it out and let’s face it in the last couple of weeks expectations have grown. That has got to be good.
    Interesting fixture this evening If Spurs end Liverpool’s unbeaten run.
    Still positive but need to get a foothold in the top half of the league.

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  20. Arsenal U16s won 7-0 v Aston Villa. Hutchinson scored twice.

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  21. Auba is suspended for 3 games (Sheff U, Chelsea, Bournemouth FAC)

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  22. ed

    Pretty sure u18’s meant to play today but didn’t. Maybe got it called off after FA cup and with depleted u23’s playing twice next week?

    Anyway, maybe that helped u16’s today as possibly few dropped back down. Think they lost 5-0 to Chels last week, having beaten them not too long ago. Have impression that even as early as this at u16 level some of those who aren’t getting scholarships next year leave, so would explain any drop off in results (ie Chelsea drubbing)

    Hopeful there’ll be some good scholars next year as seems good group, though these days there’s always worry about them going elsewhere as with Musah.

    Like

  23. Riley et al will be ecstatic. All the focus is on the red card, which was a justifiable decision. Nobody is talking about Maitland-Niles getting booked for his first foul, one that was less extreme than several of Ayew’s seven. Nobody is talking about Pépé getting booked for having the temerity to have been rugby tackled. Nobody save Rich is mentioning how these decisions and other non-decisions created the conditions in which Auba responded a little recklessly. Tierney will receive hearty approval for that outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Not getting much luck, are we. Key players dropping like flies. Hitting woodwork, how many dodgy deflected goals is that now against us this season?
    Arteta will know he has a tough job. Pires, just before emery departed, referred to the morale of the squad as “sick” Arteta has to combat this, the injuries, the PGMOL, it would seem without Jan reinforcements.
    Yes, that AUBA tackle was likely a red, if unintentional, so are many reds not given against us. Tomkins on Martinelli also looked a little naughty. As for Ayew, wtf!
    A cursory glance at stats like penalties awarded over the last few seasons, the lack of reds and yellows when they play us, and you build the picture that palace are a plucky little English type outfit that the PGMOL for some reason bestow favours on, and have done since Riley was put in post by Fergie.
    That explains to a large part our poor record against them recently. They get away with a hell of a lot.
    This is going to be a tough season. Emery has left a mess, to understate, and the club did not move with anything like sufficient speed to deal with it, I think a few of us have at least an idea as to why they, or perhaps one exec tried to keep Emery on when every metric was screaming to get him as far away from these players as possible.
    Think the best case scenario, they hang on in Europe, regroup, get players back and launch a major assault on the Europa league. Failing that, at least try to finish in a EL place. Really cannot see top four as realistic.
    They, we may start seeing the fruits of Artetas abilities from next season, and hopefully, the back of Riley and his , erm, unique version of VAR, though I note that Utd and Chelsea get pens today, so I am sure MR is being careful not to upset the powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The match review will be a podcast, so hold your horses.

    Like

  26. rich i see a report that we have offered scholarships for next season to 16 of the U16 squad, with 14 of them accepting the offer so far. only 4 or 5 of the players have publicly announced they have accepted so a lot of them to declare, maybe its down to the club wanting to be the ones to announce it.
    Seems the reason why such a high number of players to be taken on is that there is going to be an U17 section next season, as well as the current U18. Clubs have decided that too many first year scholars get too few minutes, or when they do they are too often up against teams packed with 2nd year scholars and its just not good for their development.

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  27. Mandy once again today we seen the anomaly of AFC players getting booked for, in the case of AMN, his first foul, and others on a quicker per foul basis than our opponents, its been going on for years, and this season is no different, for me its the clearest evidence of a PGMOL bias. There is no reason, unless we are to believe that AFC players commit worse fouls than any other team(and certainly way worse than any other top end team), for the statistics we see regarding rate of bookings per foul, for AFC players than we see for all the rest in the PGMOL. I really don’t know what it is that AFC have done that is so bad that the PGMOL almost to a man, deal with our players in a different manner than they do to all others.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Yes, Eduardo, a lot of death by yellow this season. As you say, becoming the norm now for our players to get carded very early on, with their first foul.
    Yes, I would love to know what our club have done to upset the PGMOL. I can see maybe Fergie has them bending things back in the days of his rivalry with Wenger. I can see some might like to see us relegated, but not going to happen. Maybe the powers that be don’t like our US owner. A north south bias? With the refs generally from up north?
    Personally,I usually believe such clear bias boils down to criminality and personal gain. We are a greedy species at our worst. Perhaps a form of match fixing, skewing illegal markets for things like yellow cards ? Illegally influencing outcomes.
    Pretty convinced that Riley is bent, can be got at, as Fergie got to him, and quite possibly compromised, but also knows where the bodies are buried. With someone like him at the top, his underlings, or at least some of them, are bound to take their cut as well. Illegal gambling/ match fixing is so big, UEFA now say they cannot deal with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Liverpool are like Barca in their pomp, field virtually the same team, week in, week out, no matter how many games they play, rarely injuries to key players.
    What a contrast to our boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Maybe They are on the same diet Barca were on

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Today’s game had me back thinking what type of players or style are best equipped to deal with the dirt and pgmol’s handling of it. Is there anything we can do to negate it, basically?

    We didn’t even come close to equalling their dirt but, pretty sure, gave away more free kicks and bookings, so not sure much joy to be had in upping our own aggression and physicality.

    Brilliant quality like the goal can do the trick but aside from that I really don’t know. Will it go on forever, to aggravating backdrop of ‘same old Arsenal..’

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  32. I do wonder sometimes MarkyB, especially the intense way Liverpool play

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  33. Rich, I would suggest using hypnosis or drink spiking to make the refs believe each game they do for us is an FA Cup game.
    For some reason, they seem to revert to refereeing fairly, on a level playing field in cup games, and revert to type and agenda in the league . Witness Xhakas little fouls against Leeds

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  34. report from Greece that Kostantinos Mavropanos is set to join FC Nürnberg on loan

    reports in France that Arsenal are one of four EPL clubs trying to sign Watford CB Christian Kabasele, with Man Utd, Newcastle and West Ham the others in for him

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  35. nearly a year now since Lacazette scored away from home in the EPL, Huddersfield last season.

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  36. Andrew Robertson – no foul yellow nor red should ever befall him, he is clearly above such things

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Robertson taking liberties now like prime Fergy players. He knows he can get away with it. Love to see him get caught out at least once. Used to be that only games Utd faced relatively even reffing was Liverpool ones, so maybe that’ll apply other way around, but, way this season’s going, doubt even that.

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  38. Oh well I’m saved the dilemma of spurs winning to keep our unbeaten record alive.
    We can only hope that Arteta can emulate Klopp.
    Auba will be a miss especially as we seem to be lacking the final punch but it may be an opportunity for others to step up and I would back the manager to motivate.
    I have not said that in a while.

    Like

  39. Arteta might well be able to emulate Klopp, but as long as he is at this club, he will never receive the “ help” Klopp has had this season.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. We seem to have conceded a lot of deflected goals this season, particularly in recent games.

    Does anyone have the figures of the deflected goals, and how many points it has cost us?

    Like

  41. Maybe, someone should put a compilation of Ayew’s 7
    fouls on Youtube.

    Like

  42. Such a clear pattern to the fouls, too. Almost all of them the same- leaving something on player clearing ball. Lots of them 2-for-1 fouls as well, as would start with barge and then follow with a kick out.

    3 in first 20 mins were all above standard small infringement and pretty close to yellows in own right. Put all that together, and for a ref not to even give a warning means he just wasn’t interested in doing job properly by laws of game nor spirit of fairness. We’ve seen it more than enough, though, to know he was following something else, basically what Riley likes for league/product, cranked up a few extra levels just for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. At least makes me look forward to Europa games. Excited to see Arteta team with better officiating. Think it could be a treat.

    Like

  44. Crystal Palace only managed 6 shots today. That is the lowest number for any Premier League side facing us this season

    Like

  45. Arteta on transfers: “At the moment there is nothing coming up. The club is working on a few things but you know how difficult this window is & I’m not expecting many things”

    Like

  46. Gurjit@GurjitAFC
    10h
    Arteta on Dani Ceballos: “I know him really well from Spain. I watched him many, many times. He always wants the ball, he has big personality to play. I like him. He is getting much closer to the fitness levels I expect from him to be competing with his teammates. He had an injury & an adaptation to this league. He is a player that can fit our style & he needs to make a step forward & make things difficult for me & my selection. I like him more when he’s closer to the box rather than always coming deep to receive the ball. He’s a very creative player, a player who in the final third can cause problems”

    Like

  47. the mirror reporting Arsenal considering a move to take AC Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu on loan

    Like

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