As an Irishman it pains me to write this, but Dundalk FC will be one of the most objectionable teams we will entertain in N5 this entire season.
Yes, they come from a charming little town in the Irish Republic, just a bit south of the border with Northern Ireland.
Yes, they are currently the best team in the Republic and the top-ranked team in the country according to UEFA.
And yes, I’m sure many of their players are charming fellows with whom you would happily share a Guinness and a few yarns in MacManus’s pub to the background sound of a fiddle, pipe and bodhran trio knocking out a jolly jig.
But there is one big problem with Dundalk FC. One very big problem. It’s their nickname.
Take a deep breath, sit down… Dundalk are known as… The Lilywhites.
I know, wash my mouth out, scrub my keyboard clean. How can I let such filth emanate from my laptop.
As we all know, there’s another team not to far away from N5 that call themselves The Lilywhites. And we all know what we think of them. For the benefit of any Irish readers, our neighbours are eejits. They’re feckers. Flutes. A bunch of gobshite hoors.
And Dundalk, I’m sorry, but you are guilty by association. If you call yourselves Lilywhites, you must expect to be met with the scorn and derision that Lilywhites deserve.
And so to the game.
We had a disappointing result against Leicester City on Sunday. Despite dominating for large parts of the game (as GoonerB skilfully detailed in yesterday’s Post) we lost by a single goal.
This weekend we face an away trip to Manchester United, which will surely play a significant factor in El Patron’s team selection for tonight.
Disrespect to Dundalk, (I would normally say “NO disrespect”, but I can’t do that for the aforementioned reasons), despite being the top team in Ireland they are many, many levels below Arsenal.
So we need to start an entire second team against them, with a strong weighting towards youth.
By all means have a few of the big boys on the bench for any ‘break glass in emergencies’ scenarios, but leave it to the second string to bring home the points and leave the Lilywhites feeling blue.
My line-up would be as follows:
Soares – Saliba – Gabriel – Kolasinac
Maitland-Niles – Elneny – Willock
Pepe – Nketiah – Nelson
I have included Gabriel because of our injury problems at CB, and I’m starting Pepe in yet another attempt to boost his confidence by giving him the chance to bag some goals.
Anything other than a comfortable Arsenal win and a bunch of wilting Lilywhites would be a surprise, not to say an embarrassment.
I love that Post, Rocky, and the fruity lexicon that you used to describe different scenarios. 😃 😃
Do tell me, what is a Bodhran? A Flute?
We had better win tonight now, as we will definitely get called names that could be significantly worse, if we lose, by the other swamp dwelling ejiits, also known as L**ywh**es.
Top of the morning to ya Rocky
That away trip to Dundalk would have been one to look forward to…unfortunately ain’t gonna happen.
Oh well, the TV it is then…
Nice one, Rocky! Ugh, the Lilywhites, all the more reason for a spanking!
Nice line up, unfortunately we won’t see Saliba though -.he was left out of the EL squad. Was hoping Gabriel would be rested for Sunday, but seeing as we’re short of CBs, I can’t see that happening.. One player I really hope to see though is ESR….
A decent performance and a shedload of goals will be very welcome.. COYG
I agree with your team selection for the most part, except I’ll play ESR in place of Willock, it will be an opportunity for him to showcase his creative abilities in the center of the park.
Saliba can’t play, he’s not registered
Thanks Ed – good point.
No Saliba then… apparently Chambers is back in full training. Could he start?
I ll stick with a 343 and play:
Runnarsson – Mustafi, Gabriel, Kolasinac – Cedric, Willock, El Neny, AMN – Pepe, Nketiah, RN
Thanks Ricky for yet another post. I am totally swamped but I will find time to write the pre-match for the Utd game to give you a little break 🙂
A bodhran is a small drum held in one hand and struck with a short stick held in the other hand.
The D is silent, so it’s pronounced ‘borran’ (like sporran).
Sue (and Dawud)
Agree that it would be good to see ESR. I wasn’t sure if he’s fully fit.
That it were possible
Be gosh and begorrah, Rocky. Tis a fine, fine thing you’ve done there!
4-1, six points, and good luck to ye all!
@Sue – I think PSG coach will be fired before the end of the year. He has lost the confidence of our sporting director and is now losing some of the key players’ backing. Players like Marquinhos, Sarabia and even Mbappe….If we lose against Leipzig, I think his days are over. Allegri will then take over. With Allegri, I think PSG would play 4312 with:
Navas – Florenzi, Marqui, Kimpembe, Bernat – Di Maria, D.Pereira, Verratti – Neymar – Icardi, Mbappe
Rico – Dagba, Kehrer, Diallo, Kurzawa – Rafinha, Gueye, Herrera – Sarabia, Draxler – Kean
I am sure that Dundalk and their fans are jolly nice people but you are right that their nickname is completely tainted. Maybe when their nickname started they weren’t fully aware of the future connotations. Anyway they have until 8.00pm to change it, so let’s see what happens.
I agree with your premise that wholesale changes should happen tonight with certain players rested but I would go even further than your suggestion. Areas where we have less senior cover right now need to be protected and that is primarily in defence.
Soares for Bellerin is an easy choice as is Kolasinac at LFB. I would pull in Bola from the U23’s for the bench as a LFB option and not risk Tierney at all. Central defence is where we are most at risk and I really don’t want Gabriel risked if possible. On the bench at best for him. I would pull in Medley from the U23’s and pair him with Mustaffi.
Saliba was not named in the EL squad as Sue points out and I believe Mikel has held his hands up to a mistake with this. The whole Saliba dealing seems slightly perplexing and worrying from the outside, and I hope we are not creating a negative feeling in the promising young player before he has even begun.
The midfield and up front are easier as we have more cover and I agree with your line up. ESR if fit can be a consideration and also Willian as an experienced head if he has recovered.
Didn’t know the world shit has so many fancy names
433 hmm, personally think we should go back to back 3, but would actually like to see how AMN does in midfield
Actually can we even pull in U23’s like Medley and Bola? It seems we named 5 keepers and 2 injured defenders (Mari and Chambers) in the EL squad.
I always wondered why 5 keepers were named. 3 at most would have done it to free up space to include other outfield players. Also keeper is the one position that they often let you add a new name in an injury crisis.
I think the squad naming was only for the group stages then it can be re-submitted and changed. Can anyone tell me if that is correct? Why would we name 2 currently injured CD’s in the easier group games then?
It looks to me that we have wasted at least 4 positions there. Medley and Bola are 20 and 21 respectively so should be in that transition to 1st team fringes stage. Under what circumstances are we anticipating trying to give them some shots around the first team? if not in this EL squad then I don’t see when, especially if we are prioritising having 5 keepers and naming injured CD’s over their inclusion.
I wasn’t sure whether the U-23s were permissible given that as far as I know they’re not in our EL squad.
I like your views as usual, and the need to protect key players is essential.
Unfortunately, both Bola and Medley are currently out on loan, as is Ballard a player I also rate, who is on loan to Blackpool.
I think that if they were available for the Duntalk game, any of those three would benefit themselves and Arsenal.
Emile Smith Rowe has the ability to provide creativity for Arsenal, and would benefit from time and experience, if he was fit to play tonite.
I had heard that at the beginning of October he was still recovering from injury — not heard anything recently — have you?
RC and Fred, I don’t see how have enough CD’s for a back 3 if we are talking about natural CD’s, and it is a big risk to use our few remaining natural CD’s. If Gabriel plays tonight and gets injured then we will all be talking about how silly it was to play him in this game. Mustaffi should be one CD but I really don’t know what the other answer is from what we have available.
Perhaps a back 3 could be used if we go completely makeshift and left field, which I would actually rather do than risk Gabriel. maybe we could play Elneny on the right of Mustaffi and Kolasinac to his left. Both have been used in these roles before. Xhaka can also operate as a left side CB in a back 3 at a push.
We still have enough midfield options to cover Elneny moving to the back if we go that route and then we need to rely on having more firepower than them going forwards.
RA, I think ESR was back in full training and considered as being practically ready now. Tricky decisions to be made tonight.
Iliev (gk) is also out on loan…
Hi RC.. I must admit, Tuchel did look a little lost against the Mancs.. besides that, looks like you’ve been doing alright, but once you start losing the players, it’s a slippery slope…
Happy with Moise Kean? And if Allegri does come in, you’ve gotta be happy with that, RC?
I think — the Home Grown Rules apply throughout UEFA competitions, therefore, a number of HGR players under 21 y.o. can be made available for tonights game.
Here’s a bit I found;
— “Arsenal are required to submit their squad list by the end of today (early Oct?) for the UEFA Europa League group stages. The rules state that the ‘A list’ can contain a maximum of 25 players, two of whom must be goalkeepers. There are a minimum of eight places reserved exclusively for ‘locally trained players’, (Home Grown). If a club have fewer than eight locally trained players (HG) in their squad, then the maximum number of players on List A is reduced accordingly.
Not sure this is clear, frankly??
Sokratis, Kolasinac and Mustafi here, Mavrapanos, Medley and Bola out on loan, something not quite right.
I’m not sure it’s clear either. Does it mean the eight home growns are part of the 25? Or can they be additional.
Me no understand.
Agree with the team selection, play the youth, ALL of them Mikel can suit up.
5 keepers is absurd, did they name Cech??
Yes, leave Saka out.
Question to all her: does anyone think Cesc could have made it today with the physicality and speed of the EPL?
Looking forward to the game.
Cech – haha.
That Cesc question.
Sounds like a Post to me – do you fancy writing a few paragraphs as a conversation starter?
This is a copy of the Arsenal Europa League squad — there are millions of players – some I have never heard of. 😖
Arsenal 20/21 Squad
Name Age Nationality Played Goals Conceded
Bernd Leno Bernd Leno (1) 28 GER 1 1
Rúnar Rúnarsson Rúnar Rúnarsson (13) 25 ISL – –
Matt Macey Matt Macey (33) 26 ENG – –
Karl Hein Karl Hein (44)* 18 EST – –
James Hillson James Hillson (45) 19 ENG – –
Arthur Okwonko Arthur Okwonko (53)* 19 ENG – –
Name Age Nationality Played Goals scored
Héctor Bellerín Héctor Bellerín (2) 25 ESP 1 –
Gabriel Gabriel (6) 22 BRA 1 –
Rob Holding Rob Holding (16) 25 ENG – –
Cédric Cédric (17) 29 POR 1 –
Shkodran Mustafi Shkodran Mustafi (20) 28 GER – –
Calum Chambers Calum Chambers (21) 25 ENG – –
Pablo Marí Pablo Marí (22) 27 ESP – –
David Luiz David Luiz (23) 33 BRA 1 1
Sead Kolašinac Sead Kolašinac (31) 27 BIH 1 –
Joel López Joel López (49)* 18 ESP – –
Name Age Nationality Played Goals scored
Kieran Tierney Kieran Tierney (3) 23 SCO 1 –
Bukayo Saka Bukayo Saka (7)* 19 ENG 1 –
Dani Ceballos Dani Ceballos (8) 24 ESP – –
Willian Willian (12) 32 BRA – –
Ainsley Maitland-Niles Ainsley Maitland-Niles (15) 23 ENG – –
Thomas Partey Thomas Partey (18) 27 GHA 1 –
Mohamed Elneny Mohamed Elneny (25) 28 EGY 1 –
Granit Xhaka Granit Xhaka (34) 28 SUI – –
Ryan Alebiosu Ryan Alebiosu (36)* 18 ENG – –
Ben Cottrell Ben Cottrell (41)* 18 ENG – –
Miguel Azeez Miguel Azeez (66)* 18 ENG – –
Name Age Nationality Played Goals scored
Alexandre Lacazette Alexandre Lacazette (9) 29 FRA 1 –
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (14) 31 GAB 1 1
Nicolas Pépé Nicolas Pépé (19) 25 CIV 1 –
Reiss Nelson Reiss Nelson (24)* 20 ENG 1 –
Joe Willock Joe Willock (28)* 21 ENG 1 –
Eddie Nketiah Eddie Nketiah (30)* 21 ENG 1 –
Emile Smith Rowe Emile Smith Rowe (32)* 20 ENG – –
Folarin Balogun Folarin Balogun (38)* 19 ENG – –
Jordan Mceneff Jordan Mceneff (50)* 19 IRL – –
Not in current player list
Name Age Nationality Played Goals Conceded
Dejan Iliev Dejan Iliev (46) 25 MKD – –
Thomas Andrew Salvatore Smith Thomas Andrew Salvatore Smith (59) 18 ENG – –
Name Age Nationality Played Goals scored
Harrison Clarke Harrison Clarke (40) 19 ENG – –
James Olayinka James Olayinka (54) 20 ENG – –
Mikel Arteta Mikel Arteta
Copied off the Uefa blog — clear as mud and plenty of duplicate names.
Sorry about that.
Redders – Wow!
I insist on revising my preferred line-up, which now is:
Lopez – Mustafi – Kolasinac
Azeez – Cottrell – Alebiosu – Smith-Rowe – McEneff
Nketiah – Balogun
Arsenal managed to qualify for the Europa League for a fourth season when they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA cup final.
The Gunners have been placed in group B and will face Dundalk, Malmo and Rapid Vienna.
A total of 17 non-homegrown players and 8 homegrown players make the total and Arsenal had to omit 2 players from their 19 non-homegrown quota.
The two omitted player were Sokratis and Ozil as expected. Players under 21 who have not spent at least two years at the club are not illegible as per UEFA regulations, Saliba and Martinelli also miss out due to this.
This is a better list of the EL squad that was submitted to UEFA.
Bernd Leno, Runar Runarsson, Matt Macey, James Hillson, Dejan Iliev
Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney
Dani Ceballos, Willian, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka
Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe
Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe are all included as homegrown players.
Unlike the Premier League, there appears to be no allowance for additional non-squad, HG players eligible for the European League.
(I am still not sure this is correct as the longer list I copied above shows additional players) — UEFA are crap at communication, and I am bored with it.)
I can usually ferret out what UEFA really mean, Rocky, but not this time, the 2019/20 competition affected by Covid, may have resulted in new rules like the ‘five substitutes allowance’ and possibly changes in squad rules, that have been released in dribs and drabs.
Who knows? RC?
Back to my real job. 🥺
Your new team look fine, Rocky!
How true they are, I don’t know, but there are whispers saying Balogun will be on the bench tonight 🙂🙏
Arsenal: Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Xhaka, Nelson, Pepe, Nketiah
Subs: Leno, Hein, Bellerin, Tierney, Gabriel, Saka, Ceballos, Lacazette, Partey, Willian, Aubameyang, Balogun
Emile Smith-Rowe won’t be involved tonight. Arsenal hope he’ll be fit and available for next week’s game against Molde.
Is it me or are they pumping a humming noise in on the BT commentary. Doing my head in.
As for the commentary itself…..awful
Brilliant, Rocky. 🙂
What a rubbish goal! But, hey, trust in youth … onwards
And a nice goal … now. 🙂
Phew!! Floodgates?! 🙏
Like Nelson running with the ball, at least he is going the right way, Kola among others have no penetration ability with the ball to either move the ball towards the final 3rd or to draw defenders their way.
Eddie with a Wrighty type goal.
Just get on the score sheet multiple times, more than 3 at this point, should be the mantra today to gain some confidence.
Did I see that correctly? Pepe with the right footed goal??
3 more goals needed.
Peach from Pepe – and he can do it with the right peg!
I didn’t see the first half – did Runarsson have anything to do?
Some goal from Pepe. It’s just really frustrating when you realise his YouTube videos are literally everything good he’s ever done in football!
There is probably 8 weeks of footage somewhere of him just losing the ball and running into blind alleys! 😂🤦🏼♂️
Poor old Totteringham, early training tomorrow!
yes, Rocky, only one save required, and a good save delivered
Aw… did the little Tots lose? What a shame…
Time for Willock to start getting in the first team I think. So much drive from midfield and adds loads of energy to the team. Will be a starter next season I’m sure.
Keep Balogun happy, Well done, Mikel.
Confidence booster for Pepe and Eddie.
Willock looked very good.
Nelson showing flashes of real skill.
Not troubled in defence.
Debut for Balotopgun.
Most of the first team rested.
I did not hear any humming from the TV last night, except for the fake crowd noise, but I agree about the commentary being awful.
Both the male commentator and the ex-football lady were atrocious.
I do not know their names, and could care less, but neither seem to have had training in televisual commentary. On radio, describing where the ball is, or explaining to the audience what is going on, is essential.
Telling viewers who can obviously see for themselves what is going on, in a running non-stop caterwauling way is a nonsense. I turned the sound off in the second half, and what a blessing that was.
I enjoyed the game, especially in the second half, and agreed with pretty much all the comments regarding the improvement in many of the youngsters — especially Willock and Nelson, and guess what, I loved Runaroundson catching (yes, actually catching) the ball securely when it was chipped or lobbed into the penalty area. He may well have a very good future with Arsenal as he gets more experience.
The reds beat the Lilywhite twerps!
The Middle-Eastern commentary (dont know which language) on Hesgoal was brilliant. Didnt understand the language but the musical quality was good, and the drone was bearable. 🙂
What talent in our team….Balotopgun and Runaroundson! Brilliant!
Future quiz question ” Which team in Europa Cup history are the only team NOT to commit a single foul in a full 90min game……..answer – Dundalk. Good luck for the future, lads.
Willock had a good game and I was also happy with our GK.
RN was also energetic and Pepe and AMN were frustrating.
Sad to hear about the death of Nobby Stiles, a real unsung hero of the 1966 World Cup team.
One of those Gilberto type players who wasn’t showy, but without whom England’s (and Man Utd’s) successes would have been a lot less likely.