Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

Given Pocchetino’s honest but appalling admission that Spurs players dive, how would previous  managers have responded? Bill Nick would have tut-tutted then stubbed out his ciggy and ordered another pint (check out his nose),  Pleat would have cruised home in despair, Harry would have congratulated Poch upon a fine coaching job. Hoddle would have re-arranged his cilice (look it up!) They have always been morally bankrupt.


Consider Gazza: Violent wife-beating nutter. Hoddle? Diamond Lights. Lineker? Adulterer. Klinsmann? Serial diver. Sheringham? Without doubt the most scurrilous, unpleasant player of the last 30 years. Ruddock? Vicious thug. The list is very, very long.

No wonder Defoe and Bale left as soon as they could.

And what of the current bunch of swindlers and soap-dodgers? Alli? oh dear? He was a wonderful prospect before he got Spurred. Dembele? Would you leave your children on their own with him?  Kane? England Captain and cheat – which says all we need to know about the FA.  Eriksen? Already booked the removal company to take his furniture to Spain.

Still enough of them

My Team:


Koscielny     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey     Xhaka    Iwobi

Ozil    Miki


The early signs of the New Arsenal are very encouraging. Whilst accepting Everton were rubbish it was our new attack which made them look rubbish. Pace, power, vision and an ability to find space will bring success over the coming seasons. The portents are very positive and whilst I remain in doubt as to whether they will gel immediately I am convinced that 2019 bodes well.

We know our weaknesses. A defence that gets flaky under pressure, a midfield which loses concentration and wing backs who get too adventurous. Spurs have the team to take advantage but hopefully we will be out of sight by the time they score – and they will.

A worry:  Monreal left the pitch holding his buttocks which could indicate a hamstring injury. If it is, there is the distinct possibility that Kolasinac will start. It hurts to write that in the time he was on the pitch last weekend, his pass rate was less than 60%. Easily the worst in the team and as bad as the worst Everton player. Add to that that his appalling defending for the Everton goal and he clearly has problems.

Let us pray Nacho is fit or that Maitland-Niles (Cons) gets picked to play left back.

If AW sends the team out to start on the front foot with positivity and attacking purpose, we can win – just as we did in the home fixture. Go out half-asleep and concede early, as we have done so often this season, and trouble awaits.


I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we need a referee who can spot the cheating (unless it is to our benefit) . Given it is the fool Anthony Taylor, the man who gave a penalty to Chelsea when Hazard dived under pressure from Hector and the chap who mild-mannered Arsene Wenger told to F**k Off at Burnley, this could be an afternoon when the referee becomes the centre of attention. Let’s hope not.

Should be an exciting afternoon




82 Responses to Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Great mood setter Erik. Many thanks

    Will look up that Glenda word when I get back from dog walking 🙂

    Back for ko

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    Agree with the line up, other than Fabregas being in net!!!

    I’m not sure it will be a 343 or a 4231 as that group of players allows us to be fluid in formation depending on Iwobi’s positioning. It may be that we switch between 2 systems during the match.

    Can’t say I’m overly confident. I’m hoping that our new attacking line up put on a bit of a show and lead us to victory, but I feel Spurs are better defensively than we are and that could be the difference.

  3. LB says:

    Tottenham were better defensively than us at the home of football, but yes I get your point and am still hopping up and down with excitement at the thought of seeing our new shiny attack in action again.

    I am still going for 3-4

  4. LB says:

    I had forgotten about Nacho, damn I hope he is fit.

    Kolasinac has the experience but bear in mind that Everton was the first time we had seen him play left back — all the other times he has played wing back, and boy was he scary poor.

    MN I worry for, he is still so inexperienced and at times sloppy, a difficult decision, perhaps MN pace sways the choice. Maitland Niles and Iwobi defending the left flank — heaven help us.

  5. Eddie says:

    Cesc in goal???????!!! wtf?

  6. chas says:

  7. Eddie says:

    we have to win. The club knows it, the fans know it, the players are gagging. The bottlers will bottle it again.

    I am not even allowing myself the comfort of doubting today’s result. I simply cannot have another whole weekend ruined.

    Nacho has been brilliant lately and Kolasinac pants, let’s hope the Spaniard recovers and joins the new team mates, who didn’t need much time to ‘gel’. I always suspected that the ‘gelling’ is bollix excuse for buying shit players, top professionals should be able to hit the ground and run from the moment they put the shirt on. Auba did and I must say he looks equally comfortable wearing diamond studded green trainers and white fur coat as he is in red and white full kit. Good and just as it should be.

  8. fred1266 says:

    Hope he try lacazette with aubameung

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m expecting at least 1 penalty today. Let’s hope it goes out way. What we can’t afford is a slow to start. We also need to be careful playing out from the back as Spurs will try and press us. This could play into our hands on the Wembley pitch though as it’s a big surface and if our passing is on point we could find large spaces behind their midfield.

    I think Sanchez has looked really dodgy for them at times this year so hopefully PEA and Özil can isolate him and we can get some success. I think PEA’s pace against Vertonghen could be a good avenue for us aswell.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.

    Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette.

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    An experienced and stiff midfield

    Solid back four

    And we all know about our attack

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    So it’s either:

    v Spurs - Football tactics and formations


    v Spurs - Football tactics and formations

    Or even

    v Spurs 2 - Football tactics and formations

  13. fatgingergooner says:


    2nd variation was:

    v Spurs 3 - Football tactics and formations

  14. fatgingergooner says:

    I imagine we will play a 4141.

    Hopefully we get our tactics sorted quicker than we did at home to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup as we were all over the place for the first half of that. For the first 20 minutes I’d rather us play 433 with Wilshere and Xhaka not straying too far from Elneny as I think it’s important we are solid early on. After that we might push Wilshere and Xhaka on a bit and try to dictate the play.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Rambo must be injured which is a big loss. And I am unimpressed that Elneny starts ahead of Iwobi.

    Once again AW goes for the defensive option in an away game.

  16. mickydidit89 says:


    Granit from 25 yds. You wait 🙂

  17. VP of Oz says:

    no train ride vines today?

  18. LB says:

    In view that Rambo is injured I am pleased as punch with the extra defensive steel in the midfield by way of Elneny.

    That team invites spuds with us making the most of the breaks, Wilshere will be key to finding Aub’s runs.

  19. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all …. sorry to be late to the party …. all I hope is that our players take to the pitch switched-on and fired up.

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Spurs played midweek and had a tough game last week a day after ours, so I’m hoping if we are well in the game at 65 minutes we can take over at the end.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Got to go to work 😦

    Back for the post mortem.

    Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners

  22. fred1266 says:

    Why is elneny trying to be ramsey

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    wow, what a ball

  24. fred1266 says:

    BR u prefer Iwobi over elneny, to be fair I prefer none

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Auba is so damn quick that my money is on him to latch onto a Mesut, Jack or Miki through ball.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Solid. Good to get to half time without conceding. I’d like to see similar in the first 20 minutes of the second half but with us imposing our passing game on them a little bit more. We have been too eager to play the final ball all the time instead of working a position and keeping the ball. Having said that they do look vulnerable on the counter so maybe that’s what we are going for.

    We are definitely playing like an away team and we are defending brilliantly but just not enough on the other side of the ball.

  27. fred1266 says:

    Yea shame they called it back

  28. Rasp says:

    Hmmm we’ve started the 2nd half asleep as usual…. same old pattern … all the good work of the first half undone 😡

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s a fantastic header. That’s the issue with having AM players playing on a side rather then centrally. The full backs are getting time to cross.

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    We haven’t imposed ourselves on this game at all. We’ve defended ok but just not attacked and it doesn’t matter how good your defence is, it needs a breather during games which comes from keeping the ball and sustaining attacks.

  31. fatgingergooner says:

    Good move by Wenger. We need to win and we need players up the field to keep the ball.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Attacky subs
    Let’s get some goals

  33. fred1266 says:

    Bellerin having a shocker,

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d be fuming if I was an Arsenal defender in this game. The midfield and attack have done nothing second half, defensively or offensively. Need to create a chance.

  35. Eddie says:

    have many shots on target did we have?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Draw the curtains and everyone hide. Now

  37. chas says:

    Does that mean we won the tie 2-1 over the two legs?

  38. chas says:

    When’s the egg – chasing?

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    I can take a defeat, but when we don’t really turn up then it gets a bit fucking irritating. We just didn’t come out with enough intensity second half and it cost us. Then we fell apart for 20 minutes where we could’ve easily been 3 or 4 down, before finally creating something in the last 5 minutes. Not good enough.

    People will look at the defence but I thought our attack and midfield in the second half were very poor.

  40. chas says:

    The half time bifta done us again.

  41. Back to rubbish again I see …… for a NLD that was a pretty poor show ☹️☹️☹️

  42. chas says:

    Can I take that?

  43. LB says:

    Can people offer a few more things we learnt today comments.

    Slim, you are good at this stuff, what do you think?

    BR is also very good although I think he was showing people around Copenhagen while the game was on, smart move.

  44. chas says:


    I’ll take some other bits to add to the post, if that’s ok.
    Cmon don’t be shy.

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    Pretty obvious where this season has gone wrong.

    We’ve scored 22 goals in 19 away games this season. 12 of those goals came in 3 games against BATE, Everton and Palace.

    Take those out and that’s 10 goals in 16 away games!

    Breakdown of away goals:

    0 goals – 7 times
    1 goals – 8 times
    2 goals – 1 time
    3 goals – 1 time
    4 goals – 1 time
    5 goals – 1 time

    Away results this season:

    P 19
    W 5
    D 5
    L 9
    G 22
    A 29

  46. fatgingergooner says:


    What I learnt today is that whilst we all know we have defensive issues, these last 2 games have shown us how our attacking play is just as much to blame for those defensive frailties. I would argue that we defended much better as a team in the Spurs game (certainly first half) than we did against Everton, but our inability to keep the ball or sustain pressure meant that Spurs had loads of the ball and were able to pin us back in our half. It’s too much to expect our defence to hold out for 90 minutes against the likes of Kane if we are constantly on the back foot. The Everton game showed that when our attack clicks (it’s bound to be inconsistent given how new it is, so I’m not overly worried about the attacking performance) then it’s good enough to cover over defensive frailties.

    My point is that if Man City had our defence, they would still be steamrolling the League. Our defence isn’t great, but it’s good enough IF our attack shows large improvement.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    What I also saw today was our inability to keep out a side with quality attacking full backs. It’s a difficult ask to get 2 attack minded players like Mkhitaryan and Özil to come back with their full backs for a full 90 minutes, and it only took our players to switch off for a couple of moments for Kane to score one and flash another chance just wide, both from deep crosses. Again, you could argue that we didn’t keep the ball well enough or attack well enough to give their full backs something to think about so that they wouldn’t venture so far forward. You could also argue though that the inclusion of Iwobi on one side, or the switch to a 343, would have given us far more chance at defending their full backs. Would that have opened us up in midfield? Maybe, but Spurs are a real threat from full back areas and we just didn’t put a scheme in place to deal with that.

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    Final thought from me,

    Wenger has been blamed in the past for going to away grounds and being far too open. Well I don’t think you can throw that at him today. We just didn’t come out for 5 minutes in the second half and that cost us. After that it was the mental fragility of the team that nearly saw us go 3 or 4 goals behind, and that’s far more worrying than anything Wenger does tactically. The players need to manage themselves better and understand that the 10-15 minutes after conceding it’s vital that you don’t concede again. We could’ve easily lost the match in that 10-15 minutes instead of just staying solid and waiting for a chance. Those chances eventually came in the last 5 minutes, but it was only very sloppy finishing from Spurs that meant we were lucky to be only 1 down going into those last few moments.

    Had we been more clinical in passing and finishing today we could easily have got something from the game, but our desire to throw matches away with 20 minutes of stupid play is really worrying.

  49. Rasp says:

    2 comments ….. it’s more obvious than ever that we need a DM …… thank goodness we still have the EL route to the CL. Even if the totts finish above us, they’ll win nothing and we could win two.

  50. fatgingergooner says:


    They need to be a footballer though. Dier and Dembele were both good on the ball today we couldn’t get out of defensive areas without going long. I’d love Dembele in the middle of our team. Xhaka and Elneny try to be that type but neither are on the same level as Dembele.

  51. mickydidit89 says:


    They also had Wagamama on the bench ie better ball footballing defensive midfielders than us

    Bottom line is, they only scored one. They could have scored another, we could have scored one or two. Que sera

    I’m going with Chas. It was 2-1 🙂

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    One question. If they end 4th, and we win the Europa, do they get relegated to the Europa?

  53. Eddie says:

    what pisses me off the most is the fact that they are building a new stadium. When we were building we had an excuse for being shit, what now? pitch was perfect and the ref ok

  54. Rasp says:

    No Micky …. unfortunately ….

  55. Eddie says:

    micky – no. 5 teams from the country that want to leave Europe play in CL

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t worry Eddie, they’ll run out of money and Kane will do an Henry 🙂

    They’re at their peak right now, we’re at our worst. Only one way for us to go, and the inevitable way for them to go.

    Savour these times. He who laughs last, laughs longest 🙂

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    Right then disappointed as the rest of us I am sure.

    My view of it…..

    Their goal, Héctor was left 2 on 1 on the wing, meaning he had to choose between pressuring ball and giving easy pass to bye line or hold his ground giving time to cross from space. The epitome of rock and a hard place. He chose the latter probably correctly figuring our backline should have pretty much been in position and allowing he ball to bye Line would bring ball and their men in the middle closer to the goal. The ball travelled a long way, long enough for Kozzer to get up earlier than he attempted and even for Cech to have come (although need to watch it again to decide whether he could).

    As for rest of the game, well I think there is no one part of the team to blame.

    The defence did well for the majority of the game but were guilty of giving very poor ball to the midfield.

    The midfield were pretty good at holding shape and not letting runners go, but were not making most of the ball when at feet.

    The attack, when they did get the ball didn’t do enough with it.

    Nearly all the above compound each other, and I found it pretty much the reverse of when we played them at the emirates where we were the ones picking up Loose balls off their back line and putting them back under pressure, don’t think we did that enough today although they had a plan to go longer from defence to attack so bypassed those passing channels into midfield where we punished them at home.

    They had a good twenty minutes second half but don’t think they played us off the park, and to be fair given our performance I think they should be disappointed not to have won more convincingly, the fact that there was a chance that we could have got out of dodge with a point proves that.

    I’m a little bit worried about Laca, clearly a little miffed at the arrival of PEA, but that’s football, and it’s a team game, makes you appreciate players like Giroud and Welbeck who when they come on always seem prepared to prove a point to the manager and do well for the team. Nothing wrong with a bit of competition as long as the players can mentally handle it.

  58. Eddie says:

    I doubt it micky. Did you see their crowds today? shit they were scary when they started that funeral tune and shacking their hands, brrrrr…. truly awful spectacle.

    My only hope is that Zeezee fucks up even more before the end of the season

  59. Eddie says:

    poor laca was devastated when he missed the sitter, I couldn’t even hate him, he looked like he was going to cry.

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Whilst I expect Spurs’ new stadium to be a hinderence to them, the amount of TV money English clubs get now and the age of their squad will help them absorb the financial pressure far better than we did.

  61. Eddie says:

    why is that fattie?? we only built 14 years ago, not 40.
    I cannot understand why were we in dire straits during and after the build and Spurs are sailing through it

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Two big reasons Eddie, government support, the fact that Sainsbury’s are renting a good portion of the land already and paying Spuds a rent, oh and the fact that TV money has doubled.

    Oh and finally…..their team now is very similar to our team after the move, finishing 4th young enthusiastic, inexpensive signings.

    Key difference they are doing stadium move without years of success while we did so our 4th place was seen as disappointment whilst theirs is seen as success and progress.

  63. fatgingergooner says:


    In 01-04 the tv deal was £1.2bn, the next one 04-07 was £1bn, but then Setanta came in to challenge Sky for 07-10 and it jumped up to £1.7bn, and it was a similar amount again in 10-13. Things changed after that though when Sky were suddenly challenged by a company who had the money, BT. In the 13-16 deal the price suddenly jumped by 70% to £3bn, and then the same thing happened again in the latest bidding when BT once again threw their money at the PL rights and forced Sky to stump up most of the £5bn paid! Sky know that they need to retain the football as it’s a huge part of their audience, and BT coming in has meant a 500% rise in TV money since we started building our stadium! I doubt building costs have risen at the same rate, meaning Spurs are getting a far better deal than when we built our ground!

    The total cost of our stadium was estimated at £390m.

    Spurs ground is going to end up costing between £800m according to reports.

    So it’s costing them double what we paid, however, in 2006 Spurs got £26m for finishing 5th in the PL. Last year, we got £142m for the same thing!!!

    Based on those numbers it would’ve taken us 15 years of TV payments to pay for our stadium. If we’d had the money that’s available now that would’ve been cut to 2 and a half years!!!

    I know this is all very basic, and no doubt some of our accounts experts will tell me I’m wrong, but it does appear that Spurs’ transition to a new stadium will be far easier than ours was. Don’t even get me started on West Ham, who were given a stadium!!!

  64. Eddie says:

    fattie – and what about West Ham’s new stadium? 🙂

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Without knowing a great deal about it, I understand it cost about £270m to convert to a football stadium, yet West Ham only paid £15m of that, and they pay about £2.5m a year to rent it for 25 games. Co sidering they get about £100m a year for being in the PL, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG good analysis on incomes, also the fact that we had the financial crisis which meant banks suddenly pulled plug on part of financing so we had to go cap in hand to Nike and Emirates for cash up front sponsorship deals which whilst big weren’t as big as they could have been if we could have been paid over a few years and we had to sink all into stadium costs so there was no spare cash.

    I don’t really see why anyone would build a new stadium anymore except I suppose the ability to host other sports.

    Just reading up a bit more their stadium is set to cost £1bn and they are looking to frontload sponsorship to help pay, also three 5 year bank loans and then some major bond issues. Basically it’s going to take them a hell of a lot longer if they need to start paying the likes of Kane more than £100k per week.

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    Only £100k GiE?

    We are considered a side that operates on a self-imposed budget, yet according to the internet we are paying Özil £350k, Mkhitaryan £170k, Aubameyang £200k and Lacazette £200k, so Spurs will have 4 or 5 players looking for similar money when renewals are due. You would expect Kane, Eriksen, Alli, Dembele and Alderweireld all to command those sorts of figures.

    The new ground will eventually allow them to do that, but it’s taken us a while to get to that stage and it could be a few years for them too. If they don’t win anything in the next couple of seasons then are those players really going to hang around whilst earning 80k-120k? I doubt it.

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    Apparently Lloris and Kane are top earners and that is their wage. Again compare them to our Cole, Cesc and Nasri when they left, they would have been on a massively smaller amount than players at other top 4 clubs were getting, and they weren’t winning trophies, Spudders will be in the same boat.

    The problem we have now is we have to compensate big name players for no Champions League football.

  69. Gööner In Exile says:

    Btw new ground is expected to double their match day Income (mainly through extra corporate boxes which was the same recipe we used).

    Current (WHL) revenue around £50m a season, so £50m extra, doesn’t pay that much to the players, after extra costs of operating ground and interest payments.

  70. LB says:

    Top comments guys, very informative.

  71. fred1266 says:

    Winning the Europa league ha which team doing that

  72. fatgingergooner says:


    I still feel we are able to attract players, regardless of wages, and I think playing with Özil, playing for Arsenal, and learning under Wenger still has some pull out on the transfer market. It might be true that we are having to pay players more for not being in the CL, but I wonder if also there has been a change of tact from Arsene. In previous seasons we’ve tended to spread the wage bill evenly with lots of players earning similar amounts and there being a smaller gap between the top earners and the lower earners. I’m wondering if maybe Wenger has looked at his youth team and seen enough quality coming through to decide to distribute wages differently. Maybe he’s going top heavy with large wages on 8 or 9 quality senior players and then hoping to bulk out the squad with cheaper, younger players to balance the books?

    I suppose we will see in the near future, but the rumours are that Giroud took a pay cut with his last deal and Wilshere has been asked to do the same. These sorts of deals, along with the sales of a few fringe players, might back up the idea I mentioned.

  73. VP of Oz says:

    FGG, a contributing factor in AW’s changed approach might also be that by paying higher wages, players not wanting to leave because they earn more at Arsenal and conversely unable to sell players as other clubs cannot afford to pay those wages.
    Problem is magnified when a player is no longer motivated to perform but wont leave either.

  74. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m not sure there has been much of that or that there would be much risk these days. I can only think of Debuchy having that sort of issue. We managed to get rid of Walcott, and if it’s only the very best players we stick on large contracts then it shouldn’t be an issue.

  75. fatgingergooner says:

    Away from football, I’ve just watched the documentary about James Bulger and it was truly harrowing. So sad to think of that little boy and it’s awful to realise that 10 year old boys are capable of such a thing.

    Awful to watch.

  76. VP of Oz says:

    FGG, what timezone are you in?

  77. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m off to bed now as it’s nearly 2am! 😬

  78. Red Arnie says:

    why are we so poor away from home? beats me completely.

  79. chas says:


  80. chas says:

    I’m going back to bed.

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    yes yes yes

    7:05 my all time fav

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