Arsenal FC – Our home record against Valencia

April 30, 2019

Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, and called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language, religion and customs; they implemented improved irrigation systems and the cultivation of new crops as well. Valencia was the capital of the Taifa of Valencia. In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon conquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He also created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia.

In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812. It also served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic.

The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with approximately 169 ha (420 acres); this heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

No link between Bruce Wayne and Valencia fortunately

Valencia Club de Fútbol are commonly referred to as Valencia CF or simply Valencia.

Valencia was founded in 1919 and has played their home games at the 49,500-seater Mestalla since 1923. They were due to move into the new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the northwest of the city in 2013, but the final move date has been postponed while the stadium remains under construction.

Valencia is the third-most supported football club in Spain, behind heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is also one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of number of associates (registered paying supporters), with more than 50,000 season ticket holders and another 20,000+ season ticket holders on the waiting list, who can be accommodated in the new 75,000-seater stadium.

Over the years, the club has achieved a global reputation for their prolific youth academy, or “cantera.” Products of their academy include world-class talents such as Raúl Albiol, Andrés Palop, Miguel Ángel Angulo, David Albelda, Gaizka Mendieta and David Silva. Current stars of the game to have graduated in recent years include Isco, Jordi Alba, Juan Bernat, José Gayà and Paco Alcácer.

Gaizka Mendieta

Valencia has had over 60 different managers with nine of them returning on many occasions. Unai Emery managed them for four seasons (2008-2012) his record was,

W107, D58, L55, Win % 48.6.

Emery in his Valencia days and Podgytino (Espanyol) – subliminal message?

Club Honours

Domestic

La Liga

Winners (6): 1941–42, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1970–71, 2001–02, 2003–04

Segunda División

Winners (2): 1930–31, 1986–87

Copa del Rey

Winners (7): 1941, 1948–49, 1954, 1966–67, 1978–79, 1998–99, 2007–08

Supercopa de España

Winners (1): 1999

Copa Eva Duarte

Winners (1): 1949

European

UEFA Champions League

Runners-up (2): 1999–2000, 2000–01

European Cup Winners’ Cup

Winners (1): 1979–80

UEFA Cup

Winners (1): 2003–04

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

Winners (2): 1961–62, 1962–63

European Super Cup/UEFA Super Cup

Winners (2): 1980, 2004

UEFA Intertoto Cup

Winners (1): 1998

As of April 23rd Valencia is in 5th place in La Liga and is 25 points behind league leader Barcelona. Their 2018/19 record is – W12, D16, L5, GF38, GA28, Win % 52.6.

In our three away games against Valencia our record is – W0, D1, L2, GF1, GA3.

We will need to take full advantage of our home game, where our record against them is – W1, D1, L0, GF2, GA1, in order to give us a good chance of making the Final.

GunnerN5


Leicester Arsenal – Player Ratings

April 29, 2019

A needs must team selection with Mesut and Nacho ‘injured’.

First Half

A few good saves from Leno and one over the bar from Steptoe.

from Arsenal twitter

A difficult chance for Laca and a much easier one for Iwobi were our only decent chances.

The sending off was ridiculous. Sent off for two nothing challenges, the second a blatant case of Maddison attempting to get a fellow professional sent off. Rolling around clutching his shin when there was no contact on his shin whatsoever. A fine player but a cheat. He should be ashamed. Michael Oliver gave us nothing in that first half apart from a good shafting.

It seems even more of a waste of time watching football if your team is playing poorly, when the ref is allowed to ruin a game to such an extent. Pathetic.

Second Half

Our best ten minutes of the match followed halftime but a headed goal by Tielemans made it 1-0 soon after.

Leno made a series of decent saves as Arsenal’s ten men struggled in adversity.

All hope of a sneaked equaliser disappeared when Vardy bounced one in after it came back to him off the bar. Didn’t see the third as I’d started this.

Conclusion

Leicester were the better side but in the context of our poor away form, playing 10 men against 12 was an impossible task.

The turning point in the game was Oliver wanting to take centre stage. After that it was game over.

On a personal level, I wish Arsenal’s season was over right now. With a Europa semi-final coming up on Thursday, that is ridiculous way to feel. I just wish the crushing disappointment was over and done with. Then again, I’m sure I’ll feel different come Thursday evening. 🙂

Ratings

Leno – MOTM by a country mile … 9

Maitland-Niles – unlucky to be Oliver’s chosen target … 5

Sokratis – struggled with Steptoe’s pace, as Arsenal have consistently done in the past … 5

Mustafi – no glaring errors – brought in to give Kos a rest, I suppose, but Oliver put paid to that plan … 5

Kolasinac – not really a left back but didn’t disgrace himself … 5

Torreira – beaten black and blue with no protection – his early season partnership with Xhaka hasn’t really progressed … 5

Xhaka – often too slow to shift the ball and seems to think giving away stupid free kicks is part of his job … 5

Mkhitaryan – terrible in the first half – we needed someone to keep the ball and he didn’t – dispossessed far too easily always … 4

Iwobi – his left foot chance in the first half needed him to cut back on to his right as Schmeichel would have been left on the floor – not picking on him but he seems symptomatic of Arsenal’s away form – at home he’s great but away a bit of a luxury … 5

Aubameyang – neither him nor his strike partner hold the ball up, so it’s bound to keep coming back –  his commitment was ok though … 5

Lacazette – difficult chance in the first half, the rest was just hard work … 5

Subs

Kos – three at the back made a difference – we could have done with him rested for Thursday though … 6

Eddie – nearly had a chance to equalise – I bet he’s looking forward to being brought on when we’re two or three up for a change … 5

Managers

Emery – a bit like King Canute at the moment – that flippin tide keeps coming in … 5

Brendon Wagner – his team played well albeit helped by the man playing for Leicester in the black shirt … 6

Referee

Oliver – a complete disgrace – Mike Riley will probably recommend him for a knighthood after that corrupt performance … -1

chas


Who Wants it?

April 28, 2019

Is there a single Gooner who is confident of a victory this lunchtime?

Given the circumstances would you take a point?

Do you want MU or Chavs to win this afternoon?

Do ants sleep?

It was inevitable that Rodgers would rejuvenate Leicester, they have some fine players who just needed a new leader. And sadly, players today can get rid of an unpopular manager. Claude Puel’s win % of 34% was never going to be enough for the team which performed miracles just 2 and a bit years ago.

Unknown.jpeg

Brendon Wagner chose to leave a cushy job at Celtic to improve LCFC – I could have improved them, so could you. They have excellent players; Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi Schmeichel and Tielemans  could all get into the AFC first team. Chilwell and Ndidi are both young enough to be summer transfer targets for Mr Emery.

Had we beaten either CP or Wolves, we could rest players ahead of the Valencia semi-final, instead this becomes a very important match. Does Mr. Emery dare use Elneny, Douzi etc again? A difficult decision but this is why he earns the Big Bucks.

The injury to Ramsey and the loss of form of Mhki has been costly. As is the worrying condition of Ozil. Ozil is one of our most experienced players – he has won everything, yet he appears incapable of raising his game for an away fixture. I love the chap but at present he seems to be a very expensive luxury. If our creative players do not give chances to our strikers nor assist in a defensive role, then I would prefer to see a midfield with Xhaka, Douzi, Terrier, Kolasinac and Iwobi, as a point today could be vital.

We must hope PEA has recovered from his nose job, if only to be on the bench.

Spurs loss, MU’s dreadful form, the Chavs inability to put a run together, means that despite our poor recent PL results we remain in with a chance of Top 4. It is worth fighting for, so please lads, whoever pulls on the shirt, remember that you carry the hopes of millions of Gooners. Another lackadaisical performance will not be acceptable.

COYRRG


Arsenal’s Century Club – Frank Stapleton

April 27, 2019

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Frank Stapleton sits at number 15.

Francis Anthony “Frank” Stapleton was born 10 July 1956 in Dublin.

Arsenal’s Irish boys

Frank was a tough tackling forward who was an especially good header of the ball. He started his career with Arsenal, joining them in 1972 as an apprentice, after being turned down by Manchester United. He made his first-team debut in 1975 against Stoke City, and went on to form a potent striking partnership with Malcolm Macdonald; the two scored 46 goals between them in 1976–77.

He was Arsenal’s top scorer for the three following seasons, and helped the Gunners reach a trio of FA Cup finals; Stapleton scored one of the goals in Arsenal’s 1979 FA Cup Final 3–2 win over Manchester United, and scored 108 goals in 300 appearances in total for the Gunners. His 100th goal was scored in an away game against Nottingham Forest on Feb 21st 1981.

Stapleton went on to move to Manchester United in 1981 for £900,000 (a fee set by tribunal after the two clubs could not agree). He helped United win the 1983 and 1985 FA Cups. It was in the first of those finals, when he scored against Brighton, in which Stapleton made history by becoming the first man to score for two different clubs in FA Cup Finals.  He left United in 1987, after scoring 78 goals for the club in 365 matches.

He went on to play for Ajax Amsterdam, before returning to England with Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Aldershot, Huddersfield Town (as player-coach) and Bradford City, where he spent three seasons after a brief period at Le Havre in France. After being sacked as Bradford’s player-manager in 1994, he had a brief spell at Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1994–95 season, playing two games before finally announcing his retirement as a player.

In 1966 Frank moved to the United States to manage Major League Soccer side New England Revolution.

His team was one of only two which did not reach the play offs in Major League Soccer’s inaugural, season he endured a season long battle with the club’s star player and a running feud with some of its more vocal supporters. In the end, however, it was what he perceived as a “vicious” media campaign and the effect it was having on his family that led Frank Stapleton to tender his resignation as coach of the New England Revolution last week.

“I just don’t need any more pressure put on my family,” said Stapleton. “I’m trained to deal with this stuff, but just because you’re married to a footballer doesn’t mean she (wife Chris) can cope with it. Your kids and your family are not immune. I tried to keep them away from it as much as possible, but. In a 17 year professional career at Arsenal, Manchester United, and Ajax, he thought he had endured the best the English tabloid press could dish out, but, he said on a personal level, this was even worse. I don’t expect not to be criticised, but this became an ongoing situation. It was as if there was a rivalry between the Boston papers to see who could be the most vicious.”

GunnerN5

p.s. Unfortunately Frank tarnished his legacy somewhat with his move to Man United –  much in the same way that the dog-fancier has done more recently. Here’s a photo of the younger Vines Brother with Frank at the Old Cowshed taken 10 years ago. Frank still earns his 30 pieces of silver as a United legend on matchdays (as far as I know).

Ant and a nervous-looking Frank

Apparently, Frank was very willing to have his photo taken but got a little jittery when Ant revealed he was an Arsenal supporter and was insistent on knowing why Frank had left the Club. 🙂


Arsenal FC – Our away record against Leicester

April 26, 2019

Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as “Leicester Fosse”, the club joined The Football Association  in 1890. Before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, Leicester Fosse ceased trading due to financial difficulties of which little is known. The club was reformed as “Leicester City Football Club”, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status.

Courtesy of John Hutchinson

On 21st April 1930 Leicester drew 6-6 with Arsenal in the highest scoring draw ever recorded in the top flight. The following is an extract from a book by Paul Donnelley entitled ‘Firsts, Lasts & Onlys of Football: Presenting the most amazing football facts from the last 160 years’

Leicester City V Arsenal
At City Stadium, Filbert Street, Leicester, Easter Monday 21st April 1930

The highest-scoring draw in English football history at that time was a feast of goals watched by 27,241 fans towards the end of the 1929-1930 season and five days before the FA Cup Final (which Arsenal won). In a tactic that would be recognised today, Arsenal rested some players before the Final.

After just two minutes David Jack had the ball in the net, only for the referee to disallow his effort for offside. Arsenal scored first through David Halliday (in his only season in the Arsenal first team), but by half time Leicester were leading 3-1.

By the 62nd minute Arsenal were 5-3 to the good. With around 11 minutes left on the clock, Arsenal were leading 6-5 – all goals coming from Halliday (four) and Bastin (two) – and then Leicester equalised. Arsenal had two more chances in the final minutes, but could not convert them.

Despite his four goals, Halliday did not play in either the FA Cup Final or Arsenal’s last two League games and left the Club soon after.

Leicester City FC moved away from Filbert Street in 2002 to a new 32,500 all-seater stadium. The stadium was originally named The Walkers Stadium in a deal with food manufacturers Walkers. On 7 July 2011, Leicester City confirmed the Walkers Stadium would now be known as the King Power Stadium. In 2015 their vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha stated plans were in place to increase the capacity of the stadium to around 42,000.

The club’s home colours of royal blue shirts, white shorts, and either white or royal blue socks have been used for the team’s kits throughout most of its history. The first sponsorship logo to appear on a Leicester shirt was that of Ind Coope in 1983. British snack food manufacturer Walkers Crisps held a long association with the club, sponsoring them from 1987 to 2001.

The club have three main nicknames – The Foxes, The Blues and City. “The Foxes” is the most common nickname for the club, whereas “The Blues” and “City” are more local terms, usually used by supporters. Other names include “The Filberts” and “The Fossils”. An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting – this is the origin of the nickname “The Foxes”.

A previous version of the Leicester City FC crest with the more obvious fox-hunting symbolism

The club mascot is a character called “Filbert Fox”. There are also secondary characters “Vickie Vixen” and “Cousin Dennis.” Since 1992, the club’s badge has featured a fox’s head overlaid onto a Cinquefoil; the Cinquefoil is similar to the one used on the coat of arms of Leicester. Prior to 1992, the club’s badge had a range of designs. In the 2009–10 season, the club’s 125th anniversary year, the home kit featured no sponsor and a new central crest with “125 Years” written beneath it.

Leicester won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described Leicester’s title win as the greatest sporting shock ever, considering at the start of the season they were favourites to face relegation. Multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. As a result, the team was dubbed “The Unbelievables”, a spin-off harking back to Arsenal’s undefeated team “The Invincibles”. The club’s previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, in 1928–29, then known as Division One.

The club hold the dubious record of having been defeated in the FA Cup Final on four occasions – in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition.

Our away record –

 

Walcott slides the ball past Schmeichel in the 5-2 demolition of September 2015 during their title-winning season

Our away record against Leicester in the EPL has been favourable only losing twice in twelve visits, one of which was our last visit in May 9th, 2018 when we lost 3-1.

GunnerN5


Wolves Arsenal – Player Ratings

April 25, 2019

Four at the back with Mustafi and Kolasinac moving to the bench. Our strongest double pivot and wing attackers who will be required to add to the midfield too. Mesut sat in behind Laca. Sounds a promising line up from Senor Emery.

First Half

We had three times the amount of possession and passes of Wolves but they scored the three goals.

Second Half

We had a couple of decent chances before Papa scored a close range header from a corner. The 4th goal from 4 efforts on target in the whole game.

AP

Conclusion

More garbage. Palace gave us a clue what to expect.

I blame Venga for instilling a culture of possession for its own sake. (This is meant to be irony)

Heaven knows how we can turn this around for the Europa semi?

Maybe beat Leicester on Sunday?

Ratings

Can’t be arsed – 5 for everyone including subs and manager?

OK, maybe too generous – all 4s or all 3s?

What do you think?

Maybe a 1 for the manager who has singularly failed to improve both the defence and our away form from last season.

p.s. an extra point or two for Nketiah who at least looked like he had some spark when he came on for the last twenty.

Ref

Stuart Attwell – can’t even blame that knobhead for this one.

chas


Battlers or Bottlers?

April 24, 2019

Big night for AFC and Gooners are concerned, my guess is that you are too. Yet it all looked so good just a week ago …

It doesn’t take much to burst the bubble of Gooner’s confidence, does it? I don’t understand why this should be – we are not the Nearly Men of N17. We have a trophy cabinet which provides evidence of Arsenal’s ability to grind out results and win trophies. Until just 2 years ago we had been in the CL for 19 successive years, this is not evidence of a team of bottlers.

In other words – we can win tonight.

The Great Dane

Battlers or Bottlers was part of yesterday’s comment discussion. One game will not give a true reflection but IMO we have finally got a team of battlers. Name two players who you think are not up for the fight (OK – I would have to agree – now name three 😀  ). Lack of effort was not the reason we lost on Sunday, it was poor team selection and individual errors.

What of Wolves? Nuno Wagnerito has done a fantastic job and must be in contention for Manager of the Year (Media Darling Klopp will win it). 7th in the table, in the FAC Final  with a team just promoted. Excellent. Expect to see him at Spurs when the Podgy One leaves. Midfield is their strength. They have a good home record, unbeaten in 9.

We, on the other hand, are crap away. This gives cause for concern. The footballing Gods smiled upon us at Watford, we must do all we can to attract good fortune. I will be sacrificing a virgin (if I can find on in Østerbro).

Losing Ramsey was horrible but The Big Greek chap is back and that could be a deciding factor. He has been immense alongside the rejuvenated Koscielny. Keep Mustafi in London, AMN on the right, Nacho on the left. Back 4. Kushti.

The pundits are convinced of a home win. Who do you trust – Lawrenson, Merson, or Unai Emery?

Win 7 games and Top of The World, Ma. Not asking much 🙂

COYRRG


Arsenal FC – Our away record against Wolves

April 23, 2019

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club was founded in 1877 as St Luke’s F.C. by John Baynton and John Brodie, two pupils of St Luke’s Church School in Blakenhall, who had been presented with a football by their headmaster Harry Barcroft. The team played its first-ever game on 13 January 1877 against a reserve side from Stafford Road, later merging with the football section of a local cricket club called Blakenhall Wanderers to form Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1879.

Having initially played on two different strips of land in the town, they relocated to a more substantial venue on Dudley Road in 1881, before lifting their first trophy in 1884 when they won the Wrekin Cup, during a season in which they played their first-ever FA Cup tie. Having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged (against Aston Villa).

Molineux – Proper old football ground

They ended the inaugural season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first “Double” winners, Preston North End. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a final time when they moved to Molineux, then a pleasure park known as the Molineux Grounds. They have played at Molineux Stadium, capacity 32,050, since 1889.

In 1953, Wolves was one of the first British clubs to install floodlights, taking part in televised “floodlit friendlies” against leading overseas club sides between 1953 and 1956 before the creation of the European Cup in 1955. Wolves’ traditional kit consists of gold shirts and black shorts and the club badge one or more wolves. Wolves have long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs, the main one being with West Bromwich Albion, against whom they contest the Black Country derby.

Major Frank Buckley

With Major Frank Buckley (1927-1944) at the helm the team became established as one of the leading club sides in England in the years leading up to the Second World War, as they finished runners-up in the league twice in succession (1937–38 & 1938–39), as well as reaching the last pre-war FA Cup Final, in which they suffered a shock defeat to Portsmouth. In 1937–38 Wolves came within a whisker of winning the club’s first English league title: a win in the side’s last game away to Sunderland would have clinched things, but in the event Wolves lost 0–1 and thus ended the campaign one point behind the eventual champions, Arsenal.

One of the things Major Buckley and his Wolves side attracted a lot of attention for in the last two full seasons prior to the outbreak of the Second World War was Buckley’s insistence that his players be injected with monkey gland extract to enhance their stamina and performance, a practice that the Football League elected not to sanction.

Still couldn’t beat Arsenal to the Title in 1937/8

Club Honours

Football League First Division:

  • Champions (3): 1953–54, 1957–58, 1958–59

EFL Championship/Football League Second Division (1892–1992)

  • Champions (4): 1931–32, 1976–77, 2008–09, 2017–18

EFL League One/Football League Third Division (Tier 3)

  • Champions (3): 1923–24 (North), 1988–89, 2013–14

Football League Fourth Division (Tier 4)

  • Champions (1): 1987–88

FA Cup

.   Winners (4): 1892–93, 1907–08, 1948–49, 1959–60

Football League Cup

.   Winners (2): 1973–74, 1979–80

FA Charity Shield

.    Winners (4): 1949*, 1954*, 1959, 1960* (* joint holders)

Jack Kelsey gets the ball before Roy Swinbourne – Molineux 1955

Chamakh opens the scoring in the first minute – 10th November 2010 – Associated Press

In the Premier League we have a perfect away record against Wolves; however since the arrival of their current manager, Nuno Espírito Santo in May 2017, they are a very different proposition and I expect that it will be a difficult game.

GunnerN5


Arsenal 2 Palace 3 – Player Ratings

April 22, 2019

It seemed a strange team selection which smacked of gross underestimation of the opposition. Jenkinson, Elneny and Guendouzi in tandem through the centre  plus twin strikers for a must win game at home. Hmmmm.

On the positive side, pre-match drinks with the boys and Peaches were excellent listening to updates from Goodison, just a shame they proved to be the high point of a day that slipped thereafter.

First Half

Mesut should have scored early on but for someone whose passing is so good, his shooting is abysmal.

Palace scored from a free kick which looked miles offside in the ground but probably wasn’t. (just looked at the goal and Jenko played Benteke onside – as you all would have known already)

The team seemed unbalanced and toothless, changes were required.

Second Half

Team selection mistakes were half rectified at the interval. Iwobi for Jenks excellent. Taking Mavropanos off when he had been one of our best players in the first half seemed weird. I suppose hindsight is a wonderful thing – if only one of our other centre backs had got the hook!

Superb start with Mesut scoring straight away.Iwobi on the left and Ainsley on the right were suddenly causing Palace problems on the flanks. It was surely only a matter of time before we scored a second.

Then things took a plunge. Mustafi gave the freedom of Islington to the Palace striker, Zaha and then seemed aggrieved at what? – Who knows? 2-1 down to a poor team but with lots of time to rectify the situation.

Getty Images

More shocking defending from a corner and we were 3-1 with little hope of a positive result all of a sudden. Auba played a one two off a defender and gave us some false hope. Alex Iwobi fluffed a great chance at an equaliser from a cut back but virtually passed to the keeper.

Conclusion

Bang goes fortress Emirates. A combination of poor team selection, dreadful defending and the lack of any real plan up front contributed to our own downfall.

Such a great opportunity to strengthen our claim for a top four place squandered. We’re still in 4th spot – well, until the chavs play Burnley tonight, that is.

Wolves at Molineux next up.

Ratings

Leno – kept us in with a shout with a great save just before half time … 6

Jenkinson – not much to say … 3

Mavropanos – no idea why he was subbed off – yellow card? … 6

Koscielny – struggled to make up for the deficiencies of those around him … 6

Mustafi – some around me in the ground were booing him touching the ball in the second half – inexplicable defending at times – thick as pig excrement unfortunately – the nadir of his performance was getting booked for diving … 1

Kolasinac – drove me bananas in the first half just passing the ball back from where it came – we could have kept Theo Walcott if we needed someone who could only do that … 3

Elneny – nah … 3

Guendouzi – yet again given too much to do with the lack of decent senior partner … 5

Ozil – a game tailor-made for him to dominate and he wasn’t up to it – a fine goal though… 5

Aubameyang – out of position and it showed … 5

Lacazette – huffed a puffed with little service … 5

Subs

Iwobi – had an immediate impact – should have been playing from the start … 6

Maitland-Niles – added much on the right flank but just couldn’t make that crucial difference at the end of the day … 6

Torreira – another who should have started if he was fit enough to be on the bench … 6

Managers

Emery – bound to have an off day every now and again – just a shame I had to witness it in person … 3

Wagnerson – must be so pleased we put up such a poor fight … 6

Referee

Moss – as dreadful a performance as Arsenal’s – just appalling … 2

chas


Palace at home – In Brief

April 21, 2019

A must win game especially with the spuds just losing the hardest of their remaining five fixtures. It’s given us the chance to go two points ahead if we can win and give them some cause for concern, while also giving us extra hope of seeing out these tricky aways we face on Wednesday and Sunday. After such a fine performance against Napoli, the lads should be feeling full of confidence – let’s forget the Watford match!

Laca wonders where the intimidating atmosphere of the San Paolo stadium has gone

Team news

Big Sok is serving the second game of his 2 match ban for being Greek. So, let’s put our hands together for squad player Shkodran. Three or four at the back? Three plus wingbacks would seem the best chance of providing the width necessary to get round the bus.

Granit is being assessed but maybe might not be risked if Matteo and the Terrier are both ready to go. So the midfield is sorted, with Guendouzi playing more in a deep Ramsey role with licence to roam forward a little, allowing the Terrier to excel at what he’s best at.     (Update: it would appear from Jeorge Bird on twitter that both Granit and the Terrier were in full training yesterday 🙂 )

Rambo is definitely out for an unspecified period. Home against Palace is, perhaps, the perfect scenario for Mesut, so he’ll probably start. Back at home we need the variety that the left and right side wing forwards Iwobi and Mkhitaryan bring, so maybe that’s the way to go. However, with Mesut to definitely start, means him playing central midfielder which is unlikely (assuming a centre forward is chosen to play).

Perhaps Auba or Laca will be given some pine time – Auba would be the popular choice. If he is, he’ll be itching to come on for a cameo 30 minutes and score a couple.

Our home record against Palace is pretty good but nothing can be taken for granted at this stage of the season. Townsend always plays better against us and Zaha, Benteke, Wickham and Batshitcrazy are all useful on their day.

Roy Wagnerson usually likes his teams to play some football so Palace may not be the most adept at parking the bus which might produce a game of decent football at the Emirates today.

Getty Images

Ant and me will be suitably enthusiastic about the match by the time our train gets into St Pancras (bang on time, hopefully) soon after 12.30pm.

Heaven knows how we’ll entertain ourselves at Finsbury Park in the intervening period before setting off for the ground!

COYRRG

chas

p.s. Let’s hope Everton are up for the game against the red mancs