Arsenal vs Palace, the battle of two former AFC captains…

On one side, Palace will be coached by P.Vieira – one of our legendary and most decorated captains. Since he left the club, we are still search for the “New Vieira” not only for his amazing football skillset but also for his personality on the pitch and as a captain. If you were to ask to make an ultimate AFC starting XI, there is 99% chance that it will include Vieira…His coaching career has not hit the same heights yet but he has a definite game plan, which is very much based on fast transition so his teams do not hesitate to attack from the wings with fast players or to play long balls to an anchor point who can hold up the play and then link with his teammates. Clearly, C. Palace is a team with good players all over the pitch but not great players. They re playing more consistently and are only 3 points behind us…Guaita, Guehi, Schlupp, Kouyate, Zaha, Edouard are the ones to watch for sure but Ayew and Benteke have also bothered us in the past…

On our side, Arteta will hope to see a resilient, solid and accomplished display from his team. It seems that he has found his defensive set up. There are still some question marks around his team’s ability to create and score goals but with ESR’s recent outings, there is an overall sense of optimism. I think our team will also be hard to beat but it will depend largely on our wings players (full backs and wingers) and central defenders. If they are disciplined enough, I think we can sail through another home victory. So despite not being our most decorated captain ever, Arteta has a better squad at his disposal and seems to improve his tactical nous and he may well get one over Vieira on Monday. COYG

Predicted line-up for AFC:

Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Lokonga – Saka, Ode, ESR, Auba

Preferred line-up:

Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, AMN – Saka, ESR, Pepe (or Martinelli) – Laca

I think that ESR would be able to control the game so there would not be a need for Ode and I think that Pepe or Martinelly could hurt Palace’s defense with their pace while Laca could force them into making mistakes.

Prediction: 2-1 for AFC.

Goals from ESR and Saka for us and Edouard for CP if we play in my preferred line-up

Goals from ESR and Tierney for us and Edouard for CB if we play in Arteta’s preferred line-up



31 Responses to Arsenal vs Palace, the battle of two former AFC captains…

  1. LB says:

    Only 99%, hmmm, I think you are underestimating it.

  2. RC78 says:

    Well LB, you do have the French haters amongst our fan base so they may decide to forego Vieira and Henry in their ultimate starting XI πŸ˜› There are some good alternatives to be fair with Parlour, Gilbero, Fabregas or Wright for example but, I can’t imagine an ultimative XI without Vieira and Henry in it…

  3. RC78 says:

    and for our game against C.Palace, I can’t imagine losing or ESR nor scoring πŸ˜›

  4. RC78 says:

    And by te way, if we want the new Vieira, I think it ll be worth looking at Tchouameni. He is quite impressive for his age.

  5. fred1266 says:

    Tch really impressive France will have a great team in future camavinga and tch in the midfield

  6. RC78 says:

    Fred – I think that indeed with Camavinga and Tchouameni, we have two solid midfielders for years to come…Knowing that Pogba or Rabiot are not that old either…and then you never know, Guendouzi might also join in…

    Up front, Guouiri and Cherki are showing some real potential…Cherk could potentially become Lyon’s talisman, the next KB9 ppl say

  7. Las says:

    It is always a tough game against Palace at the Emirates. My two-cent on that we are going to win it. No matter what. But still, it won’t be easy. I think Viera setting up a more adventurous and less compact team and playing strategy than Hodgson would have done it.
    It’s a pity that Thomas is injured again especially when he finally discovered his goal-scoring shoes. We need the frontline to deliver.

  8. RA says:

    A good analysis, RC, thank you.

    For some reason, unknown to most of the Arsenal fan base, I tend to agree with much of what LBGum writes, but your point that 99% of the Arsenal fanbase would include Patrick Vieira in an AFC team selection seems right to me, in the sense that nothing is 100% — even a strong antibacterial hand wash can only guarantee to kill 99.5% of all bacteria.

    There are always some bacterial buggers who are immune — and there are bound to be some fans who dislike Patrick for signing up with ManShitty, and won’t be swayed to vote for him. 😜

    As regards your comment re some football fans being ‘French Haters’, I can honestly say, as regards the cohort I associate with, that they are not anti-French at all, but perhaps are equally irritated/amused with some French politicians who act like agitated wasps who want to punish the British for their own political domestic agenda, whether that is Macron missing out on the sale of submarines to Australia, or the UK daring to protect their own coastal resources.

    I love France, personally, and have great respect for many tremendous French footballers, rugby players and athletes etc, etc — and I like you, and your Posts, too!! πŸ˜‚ πŸ‘

  9. RC78 says:

    RA – I knew you d have a soft spot for the Froggies πŸ˜›

    In any case, I hope Pat4 receives a standing ovation before the game…Maybe a little Gypsy King song…Vieira oh oh…

    But then again, maybe we should just first win the game and then give him his due respect πŸ™‚

  10. LBG says:

    In terms of what he did for Arsenal and the French National team, I dont believe there will ever be another Patrick Vieira. There have been and are equally good defensive central midfielders, some with an similar attacking and goal-scoring flair, some with a comparable engine for box to to box play, but none of them, then or now, LED like Patrick. A player protective of all his team mates, prepared almost to die on the pitch for his Club, and who never took a backward step. Said it before, Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams and, for me, Frank McClintock, were Arsenal Captains never matched in my time in either First Division or Premier League by any other Club.
    Contentious!? Roy Keane, John Terry….mere paperweights!😁
    COYG – three points, however gained, please.

  11. RA says:

    Spot on, LBG. 😁

  12. RA says:


    I know from experience (for a limited time) that continuously writing a number of Posts is difficult, but you and Rocky are currently saving the blog, and long may that continue. πŸ‘

  13. RC78 says:

    This is the most well-behaved and coherent AFC fan blog…so we gotta try our best to keep it alive πŸ™‚

  14. RC78 says:

    British sports is in rather good place in 2021 with a great showing at the Olympics, Chelsea’s CL victory, Raducanu’s win at the US Open, now Norrie winning Indian Wells and also a final at the Euro 2020…

    Go team GB!

    Now for tonight, I d be delighted to see Saka and ESR score πŸ™‚

  15. allezkev says:

    I don’t know what his form has been like this season so far but I expect that Zaha will have his best game of the season to date tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how White and Tomiyasu cope with his pace and questionable ability to flip over at the slightest touch.

    Edouard also could have a point to prove after months of his prospective move to Arsenal being the talk of the town and ultimately coming to nothing.

    Andersen was a good signing so Aubameyang will have his work cut out, so a competitive, aggressive and pacy 90 minutes in the offing this evening and a great welcome for Paddy to look forward to.

  16. RA says:

    Very true, Kev,

    As to Zaha, he is another one who was rumoured to want to go to Arsenal, buy the Palace owners put his asking price too high for Arsenal, or anyone else.

    Rumour (again) has it that the Arsenal defence has been instructed to breathe in sharply whenever they are within 2m of him – if he falls over, then even VAR would show he has not been touched by man or boot, or the gentle inward breaths of the defence.

    It is becoming increasingly more difficult to predict how the Arsenal team will play – so it might be a weak loss, or a great win – we will have to wait and see.

    — I commented a little while back, on my disappointment that Douzy had been axed by Mikel, who seemed to lack man management over a high-spirited young man.

    It seems that OM have got a promising gem when they took him on loan. For those of us who do not rate Xhaka, Douzy could and should be given a break, and return to Arsenal next season.

    Chances on that are probably minimal, as Mikel is not one to cut some slack to anyone but the aforementioned Xhaka, who a couple of months ago said he would be delighted to join Inter.

    Football managers can be their own worst enemies.

  17. Sue says:

    RC.. I watched Marseille last night. Guendouzi had a fantastic game against his former team! What a header!! Really pleased for him, you could see how much it meant!!

    Anyway, back to tonight. I’m expecting goals.. we scored for fun during the break! Auba has a good record when Dean (boo!) officiates.. so 2-0 to the good guys πŸ‘ As much as I love PV, he’s gotta return to Sarf London with nowt! COYG

  18. LBG says:

    Wish Kieran would take on his full back and Pepe. No confidence going forward which produces passes back to a Partey on his own.
    Where is the drive and confidence of the Tottenham game. Look FRAGILE. NOT ARSENAL LIKE.

  19. LBG says:

    They are not a decent team. We are making them look good. Another performance without leadership at the moment. Most first time challenges we are losing and never winning second ball. Need a rocket. From whom?

  20. LBG says:


  21. LBG says:

    If Pepe is the most skilful player in the squad, it must be against the fixed mannequins.
    Why will Kieran not push and run the full back?
    Enough from me, cant stand it anymore.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Pretty disappointing outing. If you lose pretty much every 50-50 you won’t win the game. Simples.

    We looked physically weak tonight.

    Mikel needs to establish a coherent style of play sooner rather than later or he’s going to be in trouble.

    On this performance we looked like we were badly missing Xhaka… kinda says it all.

  23. allezkev says:

    β€˜It is becoming increasingly more difficult to predict how the Arsenal team will play – so it might be a weak loss, or a great win – we will have to wait and see.’

    Very true words Red, I felt that some of the home crowd were beginning to lose patience after Palace took the lead, it’s going to be a very schizophrenic season I fear with every game being a complete surprise.

    And we mustn’t forget Mike Dean and VAR, who are both a complete sham.

  24. RA says:

    Morning, Kev,

    Don’t get me going on Dean – suffice to say that I do not know whether he is biased – but many of his decisions, where Arsenal are concerned, seemed to be just incompetent.

    VAR is a potentially useful tool — but operated by a bunch of tools!

  25. RA says:


    The way that we were shrugged off the ball was telling.

    Saka, Ode and Emile are physically very similar and easily dealt with by a taller stronger team — but our midfield overall was similarly dealt with and disappointing.

    Leics are buying a very good 6’6′ Midfielder/CB for Β£15m from Brighton (?) and we were supposed to be buying a 6’4″ team-mate of our GK — and an athletic Bissouma, but it turns out we would rather keep to the decades long policy of relying on too many skilful Diddy-Men.

    Bah! Balderdash!

  26. Pete the Thirst says:

    A very strange game last night.

    I find the tactic of sitting off the visiting side at home really odd. Palace were there for the taking in the first 20 minutes, but we let them have the ball and build their confidence.

    Use the crowd and intimidate the away side. Pressure them into mistakes. Don’t give them time on the ball.

    Pepe was atrocious last night, but still came up with two assists. He kept losing the ball and couldn’t be bothered to track back.

    Odegaard was almost as bad.

    The system used against Spurs worked very well, why change it? It seemed to negate the abilities of Saka & ESR.

    I didn’t see the McArthur foul clearly at the ground, but the replays after showed it should have been a red card. Dirty challenge, dirty player.

  27. fred1266 says:

    I wonder if the international break had something to with how the side played

    Other side like United Chelsea who had other international also struggled

    Maybe after the international arteta should use the likes of lacazette martinelli etc in the side and rest those who were on international duty

  28. RC78 says:

    New post

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