19 Comments

Arsenal to Fly or Flop. Let’s Go…….

So here we go again, another season and another sense of springtime in late summer. The year may be on the wane, but for all football fans it’s a time of new beginnings, new hope. Ever since last season ebbed away with those two disappointing away games at Tottenham and Newcastle there has been much debate as to whether Arteta’s side had done well, or whether 2021/2022 should be seen as a disappointment. It was probably a bit of both to be honest: after a shocking start which saw the Arsenal bottom of the table with nil points after the first three games top 6 would have been seen by many as not so much a success but a bit of a miracle – but to have had top 4 in our own hands with three games left to play and to throw that away with two supine performances against that lot down the road and Newcastle left a bitter taste in the mouth. A final match 5-1 romp against Everton only served to remind us that there was more than a bit of the ‘flat-track bully’ about the side. And the disappointment of missing out on a Champions League sport was made all the more acute with the much-repeated warning that top signings would be impossible without the lure of football at the very top level. Any sensible supporter would have turned their back on it all and set out to enjoy the summer. I wish I had been able to! But as it happened, good signings were made, the power of the KSE cash at least equal to a belief in Arteta’s project. There has been whispers about Gabriel Jesus this time last year, but now that has become a reality, and if his pre-season form is anything to go by he looks as if he might be the attacking player we have been looking for for some time, offering as he seems to both goals and work-rate. Saliba has come back into the fold and looks ready to show his quality, his time away on loan giving him both experience and a greater physical presence (he looks a bit of a unit now) while Zinchenko seems to be the canniest of business. I know little about Fabio Vieira and suspect he won’t feature much in the near future, but it will be interesting to see what he is all about, as it will be for another young Brazilian, Marquinhos. It is rumoured that there will be one more important signing, possibly in midfield, with Tielemans name the most often mentioned. Taken all in all, the squad looks better balanced and more experienced than this time last year, and if our young players who at times did do well last year can improve again then there is much to look forward to, even if the hullaboo about Thomas Partey seems as if it has still a fair way to play out. And I guess the first indication of that will be the reception he gets from the Palace fans this evening: I don’t expect it to be a comfortable experience for him, or indeed for us, now linked shamefully as we are with the most unsavoury of alleged behaviour. And what of tonight? I could have wished for a quieter start than Palace away on a Friday evening – something like a Saturday afternoon at home to Southampton would have been easier I guess – but if we are going to be a serious side, a side able to drop the flat-track bully tag, then this is a game we ought to be winning, especially given the strength of our preseason form. Whether we do or not will tell us much.

Tim Head

@foreverheady

19 comments on “Arsenal to Fly or Flop. Let’s Go…….

  1. I know that some people believe that I am not full of the joys of spring when it comes to our present administration. Indeed I still think we will finish outside the top four probably fifth.
    I do however fully expect us to win all of our first five games and be top of the league when the window closes.
    Certainly Palace haven’t had a smooth summer and although Paddy will make it difficult for us I think we will get the three points. Then Leicester at home who have lost a few players and have not signed anyone. We then play two newly promoted teams before finishing the five at home to Villa who are a midtable side who seem just about the same as last year with a couple of ins and a few outs.
    With the decent first team we had last season and the amount of spending we have done including two players brought in from the champions we should be good for all five of these games.
    Whatever happens I will be very excited come kick-off tonight and thank God it’s back.

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  2. Thanks Mr.Head!

    COYG!

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  3. Could someone less biased than me keep a check on how the refereeing seems to be going?

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  4. Impressive start but we’ve let them grow into the game and Xhaka now on a needless yellow card. Could go either way from here although you’d have to hope space will open up for as long as we protect the lead.

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  5. Saliba is majestic

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  6. we are top of the league, we are top of the league

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  7. Glad Saliba was made Man of the Match. He seems a nice calming presence and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him. Desperate stuff at times in the second half with us struggling to get and then keep hold of the ball. It seemed a game that passed Partey by and Granit, no doubt due to the Yellow, was strangely anonymous. Tierney and Nketiah both made a big difference when they came on, so we’ll done to them, and Ramsdale after looking shakey made a couple of match winning saves. Phew! Not an easy watch but a great result at a notoriously difficult place to play.

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  8. I thought Xhaka was excellent and was again our best player. His passing range, hold up play and general control of the midfield was as usual top class.
    After all the things he did right I see the very small Neville just mentioned the yellow card. Although it was never a foul, at first glance it did look like Xhaka fell over himself and so didn’t dive.
    When people say about Gilberto being the most underrated player at ARSENAL during his time I think that’s how Xhaka is being judged. If he was a new signing or had been on loan for three seasons everyone would be raving about him.

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  9. Good win at hard place. Not wengerball, but it will do for now. The new lads have fit in well.

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  10. Missed the first half and the better footy but very impressed with Saliba, let’s hope he’s here to stay for a while. Ramsdale back in good form.

    MO dropping off and maybe could’ve been subbed earlier?

    A win away at palace with two goals and a clean sheet is a good start to the season!

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  11. A good win at a difficult venue, against a team we have struggled against, and quite a patient performance I thought.
    Not easy when they were allowed to dive and foul with impunity , and yet more evidence , as if it is needed that Xhaka gets cards others do not.
    some very decent individual performances as well as the collective.
    A steady if unspectacular start, I will take that

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  12. A bit of added gloss to our result with Liverpool only managing a draw against Fulham. That said I was disappointed at how hard we found it to gain possession in the second half yesterday. We seemed very off the pace and too easily shrugged off the ball.

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  13. It was a great result, opening day games are notoriously awkward because no matter how well your preseason preparations have gone it’s always difficult to get rid of the rustiness and the realism of competitive football.
    If you add to that the game was away against a big Paddy side that will always make it difficult for you then bringing home the three points was excellent.
    Some players players played well others not so well or faded throughout the game. The big worry was Mikel seemed intent in giving Palace every chance of equalising before making changes.
    Once again we were struggling and he waited until the 82nd minute before bringing on the cavalry.
    MO and Jesus should have come off alot earlier and as I said before I am worried for Eddie that he won’t get the minutes this season and his decision to renew was wrong.

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  14. Professional performance. glad e kept the clean sheet!

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  16. It was a tricky first game of the season, the new signings looked impressive and to be honest after watching ‘All or Nothing’ the night before and reliving the start of last season I was more than happy.The first three episodes were cringy in parts but with some interesting insights. So much is in the head when participating in top level sports. The difference between Saka and ESR in terms of maturity was so marked and I actually worry whether he will cope mentally for top flight. However I must remember not be quite so ready to judge Arteta’s team choices as what I’m seeing on the pitch is only part of a bigger story. I’m wishing myself Good Luck with that one.

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  17. Hi guys. The latest YouTube podcast published late Saturday night, my time, had too many technical errors which I have to fix. Look out for a new edition. George and Ehab made some great points.

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  18. Like

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