Palace Will Be A Bigger Test Than It Should Be.

Patrick Vieira, OGC Nice, Ligue 1

Good morning all.

It’s been a while , how are ya?

International breaks used to be a horrible time, no Arsenal got me down, but I have to admit that recently they have become a welcome break. But the break is over and we have to get back to watching, even if enjoying is a more difficult task.

We are 7 games in and the enjoyable football has amounted to about the first 30 minutes against the Spuds. There’s no getting around it’s been trudged stuff. The days of entertaining football with a wallop of swash and buckle are long gone. It’s all paint by numbers and effort with endeavour replacing skill. However, even if performances haven’t much, if at all, improved, results have. If we ignore the quality of our opponents 3 wins and a draw is somewhat encouraging. So perhaps we should do just that, and just enjoy counting points rather than watching to be entertained?

We play Crystal Palace who have hardly been pulling up trees themselves since our greatest ever centre midfielder to over. They have one win, and 3 draws but their win did come recently against Spurs so they too will be writing blogs about how things are on the up?

I think we will see the same starting eleven that got comprehensively outplayed at Brighton, we just have to hope that being at home sees them play a lot better.

Having watched Palace a few times recently, I do believe they are going to test us. We historically have dominated them at home, but history is just that.

I don’t know about you but I just want to watch some good football that allows our good players, and they are all good players by the way, to perform within a structure that enables exciting football.

Enjoy your day and the game.

Pedantic George.

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73 comments on “Palace Will Be A Bigger Test Than It Should Be.

  1. What can you say, far from 1st time, though this was outrageous example- doubly, triply, whatever so in VAR era, when should be impossible for that decision/s- but should be no surprise. The patterns are near enough cast in iron. Whatever opponent does they are almost certain not to see red, especially early in game, and know it, whereas if we present a chance for it, if only by running too close behind a player, bam, 1st half or not, off you go.

    A giant, incalculable obstacle. 10 points a season lost at minimum, given it is not a thing isolated to red card incidents, more an expression of a wider, pervasive thing.

    Find it impossible to imagine the manager who will overcome it- though it now looks pretty clear blitz attacking is at least a little better as an approach, though unfortunately any manager who attempted it would now be starting again almost- and in heart pretty sure now won’t be Arteta.


  2. Agree Rich. Would love to see MacArthur try that at certain grounds I can think of.
    Dean should be demoted for that, but we all know he will not be.
    At any other club, England players would be protected by refs, but even appointing SAF would not help this club with the referees, it is now ingrained, and will certainly last as long as Riley is there .
    Perhaps we need a butchering tyrant owner to sort them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank the football god’s that Paddy decided to give us chance by withdrawing Edoward. It allowed our CBs to bring the ball deep into the Palace half. Without this change they would have won 2-1 or maybe even 3-1 as we pushed forward.
    Do we really have to put up with a manager that is happy to sit on a 1-0 lead after eight minutes, at home, against a mid-table side.
    This game was good only for those who find it difficult to sleep and if the ARSENAL heirachy a happy with that then we really are in big trouble.
    Earlier someone said we have to give credit to Auba for his workrate and chasing down but surely that is the minimum he should be doing and highlights how lazy he has been for the last year and a half and how lazy the manager is for still picking him
    Gary Neville said Palace were a good side but they had their two best attacking players out and still caused us problems with a makeshift attack. Just like at Brighton we are labouring against sides with smaller squads who have lost vital players.
    On the plus side Aaron was again brilliant and the save he made just before the break was world class. Unsighted and the wrong side of goal I can’t believe he got to it.


  4. Mandy, I do wonder, a little rabidly on occasion, about how far a certain type of owner- brutal state owners, pals of Putin who made their riches in what was, so I’ve heard a few times, a fairly lawless place where only utterly ruthless types rose up and losers typically ended up in the ground- I’ve wondered exactly how far they take things?

    I’m sure they behave a fair bit better than on home turf, but that the mindset isn’t altered too much, and if any of them were in charge of a club in our unprecedented situation, I imagine they’d go to extraordinary lengths to fix it.

    Murdoch type stuff at very least, with his private eye ex police/ main suspect in notorious axe-murder helpers.

    I’m weary enough and my loathing of Riley and co is such that I’m quite possibly down with that at this stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mandy & Rich
    You’re correct to call out the objective lack of protection for good English prospects at the Arsenal.
    Too straightforward for the pointed yet diplomatic wright when reviewing the game, I guess he can be diplomatic when it suits him.
    when he finally hangs his spikes up Gollum Gollum will have done more damage then good to the game in this land as he rose to his precious position by any sane account. Zero trophies for the national team in his time just saying.

    I speculate JJ might have been listening to some famous podcasters cooing over the “world class” Partey & needed to vent fair enough. Most here speculated on 6th at best at the start of the season and most would probably now take 12th with Xhaka now not coaching some kind of Football out of this system/midfield till the new year.


  6. Luckily for Liverpool no away goals rule in the contest with Partey’s former club tonight.

    If Partey is a 50M player then how much is the former Arsenal academy (?) player at Palace who is out injured worth? Blimey.

    Never like to see a player dropped but I wonder what the odds on Elneny starting against Villa are?
    Saka hopefully not rushed back makes me think we will see the Gunners play two banks of five with Saka and Xhaka out and Arteta feeling the underdog he might be more defensive then usual.


  7. Red card not even a foul called.
    Guess who the official was on the day?
    How is he allowed into the ground? Why?

    I hope Saka stays another few seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Correction atletico were at home!

    Griezman red card was less of the foul then the hack on Saka.
    These calls do change games and I agree the handicap is about ten odd points a season.


  9. Mikel Arteta cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle on Monday night.

    Our manager saw his side start strong and take an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, only to concede twice in the second half, before salvaging a late draw thanks to Alexandre Lacazette.

    Arteta faced the media after the final whistle – and this is what he had to say:

    on Saka’s injury and McCarthur’s challenge…
    Yeah, Bukayo could not continue. We had to take him off at half time. I saw the action and I can’t believe how the player continued on the pitch.

    on Lacazette’s impact…
    The game had different periods with the way that we started really brave and dominant to score the first goal, but then we had a bad period when we started to give too many balls away and had no composure to control the game after having the lead. Then in the second half when we were again in control we gave the ball away two times and gave away two very cheap goals, but after that I really liked the reaction from the team, how they tried and we created more chances to score. In the end I think we got the reward that we deserved.

    on the importance of grabbing a point late on…
    Sometimes when you concede the goals that we had, you generate a lot of frustration individually and collectively and you just throw the game away, and we didn’t do that. The subs, I think they were terrific, the way that they came on and they transmitted real belief to the crowd that we could score the goal. These things happen for a reason and in the end we scored a goal because we kept fighting until the end.

    on Partey’s selection of shots from distance…
    Well, today with one of them he was much closer than he’s been. It’s something that we are obviously practicing with him to determine and to decide the areas where we are more likely to score a goal and when we don’t. He has the capacity to do that because he’s done it throughout his career and he is trying and he needs to keep trying, but in the right areas.

    on whether Saka will be okay…
    I don’t know, we will see how it evolves. Obviously he couldn’t continue and he’s a boy that’s pretty tough and wants to keep playing, but he could not carry on and we have a quick turnaround for the next game, so we will see how he evolves.

    on why VAR didn’t look at that red card incident…
    I don’t get it. With what we were explained at the start of the season and what happened tonight, it doesn’t make any sense.

    on the importance of Xhaka in the team…
    We know the important of Granit, what he brings to the team, the maturity, the reading of the game, consistency that he brings to the squad and the balance. He’s not available and he’s not going to be available for three or four months, we know that, and I totally believe in the other players. It’s not about him and today it was more of a collective issue with the lack of composure that we have on the ball in that half. That’s where we suffered and obviously the areas where we lost the ball today to give the goals away.

    on whether he thought Arsenal were lucky to get a point…
    No I don’t think we were lucky. Well you can say we got lucky because we scored with the last kick of the game. But overall in the game, I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

    on what the disappointing aspects of the game were…
    The lack of composure, to get hold of the ball, to understand what we had to do, and to show more quality. We started to defend something after scoring the goal, and that’s what I don’t really like. We started to play not forwards, and we kept the ball in the wrong areas and put ourselves in trouble. That’s the period I didn’t like. I think we got better in the second half, and the start was better when we had some control we, but we just gave the goals away.

    on what we spoke to Patrick about after the match…
    No, I just said ‘well done’ and all the rest.

    on the performance of Tomiyasu, and whether he saw any fatigue in him after the international break…
    No I haven’t seen any fatigue, but I see the same player where he tries, and he goes for every single duel, every single ball in the right manner, like any player. He had better and worse moments during the game, but I’m really happy with him.

    on whether he spoke with the referee about why he didn’t send McArthur off…
    No, I saw the image at half-time, and I saw it back now, but it wasn’t the right moment to speak to him.

    on whether he feels like the use of VAR has improved this season…
    Well, if we want to detect things that we think are really relevant in the game – that can change a full match – then they have to be looked at. In that situation, not only is it effecting them, but we have to take the player off because of that action as well. So it’s affecting you in two different ways. It’s not right.

    on how he would like to see VAR used differently…
    Well you make a straight decision, when it’s so clear and so obvious – you know straight away and they have to play with 10 men.

    on whether he think Arsenal are creating enough chances in open play…
    We always want to create more. Today we had a few really good chances to score, and we didn’t. But I said before, the period that penalised us was with the ball. We didn’t play at the level that we had.

    on Lacazette’s future, and whether we could afford to lose him…
    Well, we have him! He’s our player, and he shows real commitment so I’m not thinking about anything. I’m thinking about how to get the best out of him, and tonight he showed a real big moment and how much he cares about the team.

    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.


  10. Fingers crossed Saka doesn’t join Dean’s list.

    Eduardo, Wilshere, Torreira. Was a miracle Pepe not on it to after way his knee bent from wild Cresswell challenge.

    Not totally sure, but think Mcnair one may have ended last spell where Jack was still running relatively normally.

    Eduardo’s a career changer. Never same after.

    Torreira did recover fully but period he missed prob represented last chance with us.

    Almost certain Eduardo one wouldn’t have seen red if leg not visibly wrecked.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well Day 5 of Covid and starting to feel a little more human and less out of it, though I don’t think I’d bring much to Arteta’s high press. I listened to Gary Neville’s coments about Man Utd lacking a balance between creativity and workhorses and I think that without Xhaka our side is very unbalanced. Decent player of not though he may be, Partey needs a solid player alongside him: without that he is too easily swarmed by the oppostion. I like that his instinct is to play forward, I am not so keen on the fact that his ambition is seemingly beyond his technical capability at the moment. Odegaard looked lost and confused on Monday: not sure whether to play alongside Partey defensively, or be one of the 4 attackers, he ended doing neither, apart from getting in the way of ESR, eventually looking exhausted from the futility of his efforts. I remain convinced he will come good as an Arsenal player, if only because I have seen better players than him play worse from time to time.


  12. Foreverheady

    Dare I enter Partey fray? Ah, go on then. I actually think he’s a really good player, but as a one man centre midfield the task is near impossible. How do you not get swarmed as a one man midfield whose tasks are breaking up play where can, make self available to teammates as much as possible, including when in unpromising positions, and generally be poised at all times to try progress ball.

    Leaves you pretty vulnerable on a good day to being disposed once or twice in dangerous positions, and on an iffy or bad day things could get real tough.

    I think Xhaka is, pound for pound, better player, but both have weaknesses to go with strengths. Pretty much true of all mids they are better or worse with right partner/s

    Who are the current players anyone is confident could handle the assignment better? Modric and Verrati, obviously, Kante. Likes of Rice and Phillips never been assigned that sort of task


  13. Foreverheady

    Oh yeah, and more importantly, sorry to hear ill, and glad to hear starting to get a bit better!


  14. Its absurd to suggest that Partey or Odegaard are not very talented players. You don’t get to play for teams like Athletico, represent Ghana, get scouted by Real Madrid, captain Norway at 22 without being a very talented footballer. The fact that they have not consistently played well for Arsenal is due to a number of factors as mentioned ie injuries, loss of form, coaching, etc. This is not unique to Arsenal. Sebastian Veron a world class player could not fit in the United team, ditto Di Maria. Chelsea could not harness the talents of Sala and De Bryune. I think most here agree that we are not well coached and managed – and this is directly contributing to the disjointed play on field.
    I think we all accept that we cannot match the top 4 teams. But when we get dominated by the likes of Palace and Brighton clearly something has to give. Arteta may well go on to be an excellent coach in future but he is out of his depth at Arsenal at present. I would love him to succeed but I dont think this is going to happen. We need what Tuchel brought at Chelsea.


  15. Although I agree with your point, Salah and Debryne were never really considered for the first eleven. Both were part of Chelskis buy loads of players with potential and sell them on quickly at a profit scheme.


  16. The concensus here (at least among the regular posters) seems to be that the club needs a new manager – and needs one sooner rather than later. I am not totally of that opinion yet, but am interested to know who people would like, who might be available, and who might actually want to take the job. Before Emery or Arteta were appointed I was quite keen on Eddie Howe, which shows how much i know, but i have even less of a clue who might be the right replacement.


  17. Lots of names have been bandied around.
    Graham Potter has caught a lot of attention at Brighton.
    Rodgers at Leicester is always on the rumour list.
    Conte was latest heavily linked favourite
    I always liked Ralph Rangick, he did well at hoffenheim and leipzig. He teams played high octane geggenpress like Liverpool. He even managed to coax a performance out of a woeful schalke team who looked decent for a while. I think he is now in Russia somewhere but he could be ideal for us.


  18. FK Hot beverage
    Oct 19
    “Arsenal have failed to win 15 of their last 23 Premier League home games under Mikel Arteta.” Pain.


  19. Rodgers would’ve been a good appointment at the time. Not everyone’s favourite but he’d have been a competent hand with that attacking squad and he’d get better footy out of this squad. LCFC have a good first eleven but they don’t have a better squad then the Gunners. Shotta will tell us the numbers
    Benitez is not my favourite style of coach but it doesn’t matter what I’ve think he’s shown all that he knows how to put together a top class midfield as he’s a top level coach. Everton have some good players but is their squad better then the Gunners?

    On the plus side I admire the recent attacking selections from Arteta. But Odegaard is more of a pure ten then a player who can play at 8 as well? A player like Willock? Just kidding! I think. But I agree with others surely Niles or Elneny would be the better option? Especially as you will need to rotate odegaard with other attackers (can’t forget the kicking handicap Saka will should be out for Villa).

    Bruce is now available!


  20. Foreverheady.

    Despite that rotten home record, some very uninspiring play, etc, find it hard to be too harsh on Arteta or, more importantly, believe there’s huge room for improvement for new man when up against Dean and co.

    Link below should be to tweet which shows the first cynical bookable breakaway foul, on Saka, which I thought was Mcarthur’s mid partner was actually him, too. Then Smith-rowe one. Then, incredibly, Dean, on giving yellow for the red card offence he had great view of, indicates to complaining Macarthur and Benteke, that it was for totting up by holding up three fingers.

    Don’t see how anyone overcomes that from here to go on good runs, build momentum, play great football much of time, reach top 4.


  21. Not sure I’m qualified to comment on who the next coach could be.

    I had no idea who Emery was when appointed.
    if I’d have seen his teams’ football beforehand I’d have better appreciated the horror at his appointment from those who had. Simply the wrong kind of appointment on every level.
    I’m not very confident this mob will do better on their next call, probably best not to be too concerned about who they appoint!

    I’m putting all my chips on the Corporation buying the club up and truly turning it into the Royal Bank of England club. Real Madrid ain’t seen nothing yet. Zidane who?


  22. That Brett Booker thing is damning.
    Many say people shouldn’t use refs as an excuse for the team performing poorly.
    A team performance is down to many factors surrounding the team and club, but a referees performance should be independent of all that, however Mike Dean clearly has some sort of issue with this club , that spans managers. It wasn’t just a Wenger thing.
    If MacArthur had done that anywhere else, he would have been off, he cost Arsenal a likely two points mid week, and allowed a malicious injury of a young- England- player to go unpunished , he also allowed things to happen in the build up.
    No wonder Riley keeps Dean well beyond his sell by date
    I don’t know if it’s bias, corruption or as I suspect, both, but too much has happened with this referee to be coincidence, or just mistakes


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