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The Battle For North London’s Midtable.

Good morning all.

At 4.30 P.M. Arsenal take on Spurs in the battle for the best midtable team in north London. We are 10th and just 7 points and 3 league positions behind them with 11 games to go. It’s a sorry state we find ourselves in but today is an opportunity to start putting thing right. Ok, if not right, a bit better and this particular game means more than 3 points, it always has. If we lose, our bitter rivals will have done the double against us for the first time in 30 odd years. Pfft.

Fans are clinging on to the idea that “the process” is bringing about an improvement, but many are struggling to hang on to this hope, and a slapping for us today could easily turn the tide against “the process” and those in charge of it. So, it’s a huge game for Arsenal, because there will come a point where fans with goodwill will say enough is enough and with the prospect of fans returning to the stadium it could get ugly very quickly.

Unfortunately for us Spurs are on the midst of a mini revival, while we are up and down like a fiddlers elbow. Home advantage seems to count for nothing this season, for all teams, so any advantage that would bring is absent.

The good news is that Arteta has a fully fit squad to pick from. Quite who he will pick is anyone’s guess. Beyond Xhaka, Bellerin and Leno, it could be anything, any set up and any tactics.

I feel we need a win and a good performance today, as much, if not more, than any game for years. We have the players to do it and I think those players do have the spirit that will be required.

No need for me to bang on about silly mistakes being cut out, that’s a well trodden path across all media platforms, and those platforms are enjoying battering us with this new stick, so every individual error will be highlighted by gleeful critics.

Just win lads, please, pretty please. We need you today, not sure we can take another kick in the nuts

Pedantic George

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75 comments on “The Battle For North London’s Midtable.

  1. today was Granit Xhaka’s 15th game in a row where he played all 90 minutes, yet some think Arteta will want to replace him this summer

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  2. Love it if injury finishes Kane before he wins jack shit. Would be a lot of justice in it given all the cowardly hits he puts in with no concern for opponents wellbeing.

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  3. well gary linekar has made it clear the line match of the day will go with tonight on the AFC win, “no penalty”

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  4. It is well known that top English internationals are allowed to get away with murder, especially England Captains.

    Remember how Shearer could do what he liked, and did, with complete impunity?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lamela was shown on sky to kick out at Luiz and yet VAR didn’t bring it to Oliver’s attention so should of been straight red after 10 minutes. That was also after he had slapped Granite.
    Glad he wasn’t though we were awful after he was sent off.
    Kane as well should have gone but apparently the PGMOL narrative is he can’t be touched and yet the press thinks that English football is not corrupt.
    Granite was MOTM by a country Mile, first name on the team sheet and our most important player. Despite the imposters who lead the team out each week he is also our Captain.

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  6. ian I agree about Xhaka, but I see several blogs who do player ratings actually give Xhaka a lower rating than Partey, one I seen actually gave him our lowest rating, its laughable, and wait for it, one explained that it may appear that Partey was poor but his very presence improves our team so much that he gets a higher rating than Granit, and that once we improve the players round Partey in midfield we will then see how good he is, cos the poor lad at £45M, is not used to playing with such poor midfield partners. The mental gymnastics these bloggers do to justify their stupid hatred of certain AFC players is beyond belief.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. by the way who wore the captains armband today

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  8. we are 11pts off CFC in 4th, with a game in hand, can we do it, we still have to play them again too.
    for me we would be probably in the top 4 now if we had got fair play from the pgmol game managers this season, and if Arteta had not hindered us with his tactics and formations for so much of the first half of the season when he insisted we did not need a no.10 in the team, and that our best formation was 4-3-3.

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  9. thank God that it was Partey who was nearest to Lamela when he scored that Rabona, imagine the column inches it saved not being Xhaka “that just stood there and let him do that to us”

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  10. so which spurs bitch will be the co host with fellow spurs bitch gary lineker, maybe they will have both danny murphy and jermain jenas to cry us a river

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  11. by the way guys it will probably be a few weeks before i’m posting on here again, off to hospital tomorrow for a bit of surgery on Tuesday. I hope that a few days after surgery I will be well enough to be back on twitter, but I won’t be back on my laptop which I use for positively Arsenal till I get home from hospital which could be 2 or 3 weeks.

    so a NLD win to sign off with is not a bad way to go

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  12. It’s been a good few days on the pitch for Mikel Arteta.

    After leading us to a 3-1 first-leg lead over Olympiacos in Athens, our manager returned to Emirates Stadium to win his first north London derby since taking the reins.

    And after the game, Arteta was asked about our performance, Bukayo Saka’s fitness, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard.

    Here’s what he had to say:

    on closing out the game…
    For sure we didn’t [close out the game]. We managed those 10 minutes really, really badly. We put ourselves in trouble and we gave them hope. After that [red card], you should have 200 passes in the opponent’s half, give the ball and attack in the right moment. It’s a big lesson. It’s great to get those lessons when you are winning. That’s the biggest lesson.

    on Bukayo Saka’s substitution…
    We don’t know. He was feeling his hamstring, so we will monitor that.

    on the team’s mentality…
    We started the game really strongly. We were really dominant, played in the opposition’s half, regaining the ball really quickly, creating chances. Lamela scores an incredible goal, really an incredible, unique, talented piece. After that, we had to react. Obviously mentally it’s not easy. When you played two games ago, it’s not easy but I loved the way the team reacted, with the courage they continued to play with, the belief that I was sensing from the touchline.

    on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence…
    I made what I thought was the right decision. We draw a line there. Now let’s move on again. We know how important Auba is for us, for the club. That’s it. That’s been dealt with so let’s move on.

    on whether Aubameyang accepted his punishment…
    I hope he did, yeah.

    on what this result can do for the next few weeks…
    Hopefully it will increase the level of confidence in the team and the belief that we can play really well against any opponent, that we can beat big teams as well, and to maintain this together with the same belief. We know that we have to put together four or five wins in a row to give ourselves any chance of looking up in the table but we are ready for a fight.

    on Emile Smith Rowe…
    I think he had a magnificent performance again as well. I think he shows not only quality but his personality, his intelligence on the pitch, his energy. He gives us something different. Today in a derby you need some individual performances and for sure he had one.

    on his view of the penalty…
    My first thought was that there was some contact. I asked the bench and they said that it was a penalty but I haven’t seen the match back so I cannot really comment on that.

    on whether we can still qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish…
    I think while it’s mathematically possible, we’re going to believe and we’re going to give it a go for sure. We know that we have to be extremely consistent to have any chance in the next two or three matches to be very close to them. But we’re going to give it a go and keep trying, going game by game.

    on whether Aubameyang will still be our captain…
    We deal with the situation on the day. That’s been done. Now we move on. We know how important Auba is to us and he will continue to be really important. That’s it, no more comments.

    on why his behavioural standards are so high…
    Because for me it’s the foundations and the platform that we can build something medium and long term that is sustainable. That can bring us joy and happiness. Without that, I don’t believe that it would happen. That’s why I keep talking about it and acting on it.

    on Martin Odegaard’s performance…
    He’s got a real stamina and he’s so talented, but his work-rate is incredible. Not only that, he’s intelligent. The timing of his runs, when he presses, his body shape. I’m really impressed and he had an incredible performance today. He’s giving us something different and it’s making us better.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  13. good to see Jose admit it was a penalty, even though he thought he was saying otherwise, he admitted that the analysis that the defender took down lacca after the ball was gone, so clearly a foul,

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  14. jermaine jenas crying like a little bitch, martin keown being the bollocks we all know he is, saying it was not a penalty, utter nonsense

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  15. so match of the day did not even show kane’s awful late challenge on gabriel, oh what a surprise

    also laughable to see jenas say lamela should not have been sent off

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  16. Good luck Eduardo.

    Can’t say I will be able to come up with any of your informative bits of news in your absence, but you know I can be relied upon to meet the quota on calling out pgmol as the bastards they are!

    I’ve heard about Jenas’ nonsense on twitter. They could have ended what credibility he has by pulling a similar thing as they did on lacazette/wright last week and putting together a montage of Lamela’s other fouls.

    Honestly, not even sure any Utd players have had a highlights reel like that in a game against us. Were it not for him knowing he could get away with an incredible amount, then his behaviour would have been fairly described as unhinged, someone trying to get sent off, and yet he still took it too far.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Amidst the other stuff not mentioned how delighted I was with Smith Rowe today.

    Was so hopeful about the kid in his youth career and early appearances with us, then got worried for a while, then immensely pleased with how he took his chance in team, then it tailed off a little and I was worried he was changing his game in a way that wasn’t for best, confidence dipping maybe

    Today, everything I hoped for from him- running, shooting, turning, linking, beating people. Brilliant to see.

    Thinking about it…pretty sure it’s gone much better to date with him when Laca is centre forward than Auba. More of a link man striker is Laca but also prob occupies centre backs in a different way, which is helpful to Smith-Rowe.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hope we’ve got lucky with Saka by the way, maybe a bit luckier than we deserve. Signs been there for a while he’s fatigued, although still very capable of coming up with key moment.

    Anyway, fingers crossed pain in hamstring doesn’t mean damaged hamstring and, instead, it’s a timely last min warning he needs rest.

    Fortunately Pepe in much improved form and got a good lead for 2nd leg Olympiakos. Not a clue how other fixtures fall at moment but be great if gets bit of rest and can finish season strong.

    Oh…fuck, internationals. They won’t give a shit about where he’s at if reports for duty.

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  19. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56164159

    Some insight into the way clubs are thinking on moving behind the scenes. Might explain some of the decisions that seem bizarre to fans.

    Pioneered by none other Arsene Wenger.

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  20. Good luck Eddy, I’m going to DM you my phone number, text me and let me know you are ok(please). You can take a laptop if the hospital has Wifi. I once did.

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  21. Ah, been nice this long run without international fixtures.

    Nervous wait this break to see if Saka, Smith Rowe and Tierney return ok.

    Smith Rowe seems very likely to get u21 call up and they play three international tournament games in 8 days due to weird format of u21 Euros this year. Hope they show common sense with him but they rarely do.

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  22. Yo Eddie. Good luck with your surgery.Your “positivity” will take you a long way. Without your laptop and phone you will be bored as hell. After a while 3 meals a day, temperature checks, changes in IV, jabs and nurses asking you the same bloody questions drives you nuts. Take George’s advice.

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  23. Best of all luck to you Eduardo.

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  24. Yeah have a good one Ed and see you back on here soon maybe you will even have to write a blog for us all to read I’m sure George will be chuffed at that.

    Like

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