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Another one of these would do nicely. © Getty Images.

And so, our weary warriors trudge from a massacre at the hands of the Villans to the site of epic battles in our distant past. Can our leader revive their tattered morale? Can he restore the vestigial signs of defensive organisation and midfield drive that we saw at the Old Toilet and raised our hopes only for them to be cruelly dashed by a Villa team playing with verve, drive and style? Can he find a creative spark and a fox in the box within the depleted squad? 

We carry many scars from previous meetings with Leeds United that didn’t make the cut in TTG’s excellent last post. We need not go back to the battles with Revie’s Dirty Leeds whose players could have served as models for Tolkein’s orcs. The sharp practices of Bremner, Giles, Charlton, Hunter et al achieved such depths of infamy that they permanently colour any view of the Yorkshire team. However, we have more recent scars from encounters with this opponent.

In May 1999 we looked a good bet to retain our Premier League Title but our hopes were cruelly obliterated at Elland Road by David O’Leary’s Leeds. A familiar story unfolded as the champions squandered many chances (‘twould actually be a fine thing to make many chances again, methinks!) only to be suckered by a Hasselbaink goal 5 minutes from time, losing 0-1 to allow Manure to win their ‘famous treble’. That scar has never healed.

In May 2003, dreaming of creating history by retaining the Double, we hosted Peter Reid’s struggling Leeds team at Highbury with three games to play. All season long we had looked odds-on to retain the Premiership trophy, standing 8 points clear on 2 March. A hapless defence missing Lauren and Campbell conspired to dash our ambitions and an 88thminute goal from Viduka consigned us to a 2-3 defeat, ended all hope of a back-to-back double and preserved Leeds’ Premiership status. Another deep unhealed scar.

In 2003-4 we took revenge at Elland Road winning 4-1 in both League and FA Cup and 5-0 at Highbury to condemn them to the relegation from which they have only now emerged. The latter was a masterful display with 4 goals from Thierry Henry after a Robert Pires opener. I well remember after the Highbury game meeting an extremely disconsolate Leeds fan on the platform at Arsenal Tube Station. He was beside himself with grief and observed that as Leeds were relegated his hopes that Manure would never win the Premiership again rested with the Arsenal. I reassured him that our lads would do their level best but I wish Hasselbaink and Viduka had shared his sentiments in previous years.

In the intervening period we have met Leeds three times in the FA Cup Third Round, beating them 3-1 at Elland Road after a 1-1 draw at the Emirates in 2011 and winning 1-0 at the Emirates in 2012 with a goal from a New York Red Bulls loan player who seemed very familiar. In our most recent meeting in January we beat them 1-0 at our place through a second half Reiss Nelson goal. However, in the first half Leeds ran rings round us with their high intensity, aggressively pressing game. They had 63% possession and 15 attempts on goal in that first half but fortunately lacked a cutting edge. We could easily have been 0-2 down at half time but MA8 read the riot act in the dressing room and a reorganised and refocused Arsenal team carried the day. Mikel said later that he had warned the players what to expect but post-match Nelson admitted that Leeds’ intensity surprised them! Forewarned is forearmed this time, I hope.

The return of the hero. © Getty Images

The Opposition

The enigmatic, highly regarded Marcelo Bielsa swiftly revived Leeds’ fortunes on his arrival as head coach in 2018. In his first season Leeds remained in the Championship’s top two until running out of steam late on, losing in the play-off semi-final. In his second season they again stayed in the top two for most of the season and finished 10 points clear to gain promotion as Champions. In the Premiership Leeds have been exhilarating to watch with several high scoring games. On the opening day of the season they lost 4-3 with a brave display at Anfield, reversing that score-line with a home win against Fulham before a 1-0 away win at Sheffield United and a 1-1 home draw against Shitteh. Then a narrow 1-0 home defeat by Wolves preceded a striking 3-0 away win at Villa. However, Leeds come into our game on the back of a pair of 4-1 defeats, at home to Lesta and undeservedly away at Palace.

Without the ball, Bielsa’s Leeds teams line up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with an aggressive press as their key tactic. On losing possession every Leeds outfielder presses aggressively aiming for one of two outcomes: (1) to regain possession within seconds and mount a high-paced counter-attack using swift interplay or (2) to force opponents to play a long ball upfield to be hoovered up by their big centre-backs because the effective midfield press blocks all other out-ball options. In possession, Leeds players transition to a 3-3-1-3 with the full-backs bombing forward to provide width in midfield with Phillips dropping back centrally to form a secure back three. Meanwhile one of the two central midfielders moves forward between the lines to create scoring opportunities while the other drops back to provide cover between the full backs. As the attack moves forward the two wingers move inside to add to the creative midfielder’s options. Their build-up is based on short passes between players progressing through diamonds up the pitch ending in the opposition penalty area with the advanced midfielder, the ‘wingers’ and Bamford. This summarises an excellent and more detailed analysis of Bielsa’s 2019/20 Championship tactics by Sachin Prabhu Ram (https://eflanalysis.com/analysis/marcelo-bielsa-at-leeds-united-201920-tactical-analysis-tactics).

The Leeds team we face on Sunday will largely be the one that ran us ragged for 45 minutes in January. Their key deep-lying midfielder Phillips, now an England international, has been out for several weeks with a shoulder injury but is returning earlier than expected. Left winger/wing back Alioski is a doubt having returned early with a tight hamstring following exertions for North Macedonia but I expect him to be fit. Bamford is their main goal threat with 7 Premiership goals in 8 PL games this season, a significant improvement on his respectable career average of a goal every other game. He will probably be flanked by Costa (2 goals, 2 assists) and Harrison (1 goal, 2 assists) as wide attackers. Leeds’ captain is Luke Ayling, formerly a youth team captain of this parish and a dynamic right back whose play epitomises the Bielsa project. Luke will certainly be up for this match! He is matched on the left flank by Dallas (1 Goal). Their high energy roles and augmentation of the midfield and attack are key to Bielsa’s strategy. As are the roles of the mobile and intelligent central midfielders, usually Klich (2 goals, 3 assists) and Hernandez though the latter is apparently a doubt and will probably be replaced by Roberts or perhaps Raphina. 

The Arsenal

The Arsenal come into this game without scoring a goal from open play for over six hours and despite a handful of missed chances, we display an abiding lethargy and creative drought. Despite an encouraging first half against Lesta and a rare display of midfield drive and domination against Manure, we produced the most lacklustre display of the Arteta era against Villa. In 8 PL games, we have averaged just 1.12 goals per game so it’s no surprise that we are in the bottom half of the table.  The reason for this is not rocket-science. Last season’s top scorer has taken just 10 PL shots and is playing further left than Magic Grandpa while last season’s second top scorer has made only a single PL start. Meanwhile, our new playmaker/winger who has started ahead of him has taken as many shots as our new centre half. 

Our team selection will certainly be affected by Interlull events. Two players are certainly out of contention. Elneny has had two positive tests for coronavirus and is quarantined in Cairo. Less damagingly, Kolasinac tested positive with the Bosnian team and has also entered quarantine. Willian has been gadding about in Dubai, and was barred from training, subject to the result of a coronavirus test which I presume was negative. KT3 has played 3 full games plus an extra 30 minutes in 7 days and Saka has played 2 and a half games over the same period. Meanwhile, Auba merely played twice but spent an overnight on the floor of an airport in Gabon. Gabriel and Pepe played virtually two full games and Xhaka played a game and a half. At the time of writing, I have seen no reports of further coronavirus tests or injuries but there are certainly going to be weary limbs and tired minds down our left flank! Much more seriously, Thomas Partey’s thigh strain sustained in the Villa match, has not recovered sufficiently for involvement in this match. That is a major blow.

I had hoped that MA8 had seen enough creative malaise and had resolved to amend it by changing the pattern of play going forward. There is little doubt, despite the three goals shipped against Villa, that he has improved our defensive organisation and individual performances. Gabriel has further stiffened the defence. I hoped it was time to shake-up the midfield and attack. In his pre-match presser, MA8 observed that although the Villa game “left a really bad taste”, he added that “after a bad result to change everything you do” is “a really bad temptation because a lot of things are working and it’s really clear the things we want to improve on and how we’re going to”. That sounds more like a tweak than a shake-up.

The possibility that the focus on improving the defence has contributed to the decline in our attacking potency has been debated at length in other fora. The third centre back stiffens the back line at the cost of a third midfielder. Unless you ask your centre forward to drift so far back that he is effectively the third midfielder meaning he is rarely in the box to finish an attack (!). Ultimately, we need two trustworthy centre backs screened by an energetic, defensively smart, deep lying midfielder to allow the other two midfielders freedom to join the attack. I think we should give Aubameyang the central attacker role rather than confine him to the left-wing pinging in crosses which he himself should be finishing. I would advance Saka to the left attacking position and start our ‘wild-card’ Pepe, (and give him the ball) because of the threat he poses when he gets an opportunity. Had we had Partey available, I would have started Joe Willock as the third midfielder because of his ability to get between the lines, join the attack and score goals but in Partey’s absence, I think we should add Luiz’s defensive nous and creative passing range as a deep-lying third midfielder between Ceballos and Xhaka. We need a third midfielder against Bielsa’s Leeds and Luiz can drop back into a back three as necessary. Hence my selection plays 4-3-3:


Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney

Ceballos, Luiz, Xhaka 

Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka

I am certain that this is not the team that MA8 will start as I expect him to stick with 3-4-3. Of course, he can do that with the above selection simply by dropping Saka back to left wing back and replacing Luiz with Nelson in the left attacking slot but I think MA8 will keep Auba wide left and start Laca centrally. He will also almost certainly choose Willian over Pepe. An absence of major changes is understandable as his key players left after the Villa game and only returned on Thursday, allowing him just three training sessions with his full squad. I suspect tired legs and the absence of the successful OT midfield pairing of Partey and Elneny will see him be very conservative. Willock, Nelson, AMN and Nketiah will start on the bench to provide energy in the second half. I expect MA8 to approach this game the way he approached Manure at OT though we will have to work harder to deal with the intensity of the Leeds press and I fear for the inevitable midfield pair of Xhaka and Ceballos against Leeds’ mobile midfield and attack. Despite the time pressures, I hope MA8 does manage to make clear to his players the improvements that he says he knows are required and that he can transform Arsenal into an effective attacking force again. 

The Holic Pound

The value bet is 20/1 on a 3-2 victory for the Arsenal. However, our recent inability to create scoring chances or even take shots, let alone score goals, leads me to believe that such an outcome is unlikely. I really cannot see us scoring three goals even though Villa and even lowly Fulham managed to do just that at Elland Road. Despite improved defensive performances this season the Arsenal still don’t keep clean sheets very often, otherwise I would have plumped for a good old 1-0 to the Arsenal at 17/2. Thus, I’m going to have to push the boat out on us scoring twice (!) with 2-1 to the Arsenal at the shorter odds of 15/2. 

Fingers and everything else crossed. We need a win. However, I think a point from Elland Road would be a good outcome given the circumstances. The first goal is going to be vital.

Enjoy the match, Holics.

105 Drinks to “Wounded and Depleted Gunners Face an Old Foe”

  1. 1
    Countryman100 says:

    A top rate preview Bath! Thank God football is back, although I am not optimistic for tomorrow.

  2. 2
    ATG says:

    Love this great thorough preview Bath, you have certainly done your homework.

    Looking forward to the game but I have my fears if MA8 wont tweak things we may see same old again. Fingers crossed that’s not the case. 🤞🏻

  3. 3
    Uplympian says:

    A masterful preview Bath.
    My two fears are our slow midfield against the fast midfield attack of Leeds who come from deep along with our inability to put away the few chances we actually manage to create.
    I would put AMN into the team mix as his speed would be useful on this occasion plus he was barely used by England for the recent internationals so should be raring to go.
    The Leeds defence has not been a major success so far and goals can be scored against them. With our shooting boots on my ‘Holic pound is on the Bath suggested 2-1 to the good guys.

  4. 4
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent and thoughtful preview, bath. You wear your scarring lightly.

    Your summary of the way Leeds plays fits with how I think Arteta would like to play. Guardiola’s teams play that way, too, although Bielsa seasons the mix with a large pinch of Klopp gegenpressing and goes easier on the total possession. However, Arteta is still missing too many of the personnel pieces to make it work for us consistently. Everyone in the bar knows well where the gaps are that have to be plugged through the transfer market or some transformational work on the training ground amid the punch-ups.

    A 2-1 win would be a very good result for us at Elland Road.

  5. 5
    Trev says:

    Great preview, Bath,

    plus a painful history that goes all the way back to the Revie years and some horrible days at Wembley in the early seventies.

    Personally, I hope Arteta trusts the likes of Willock, Pepe or Nelson for Willian, Nketiah for Lacazette to at least match the youthful vigour of this version of Leeds. I’m not at all sure he will but Xhaka in this game would be even more worrying than usual.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Great preview, Bath. After that read I am nearly behind the sofa already but we need to have a test if we are going to have any chance of passing it so coyg

  7. 7
    TTG says:

    That’s a wonderful preview and almost makes me look forward to a match I think we will find very tough. We would have found it tough without the Interlull and we’ve had so many players flying hither and thither as you so extensively describe.
    I really like your team and wonder if Willock might go into midfield in place of Luiz? We certainly need to compete in midfield and will really miss Partey and to a lesser extent W
    We had no answer to Grealish in our last game . We are better away from home but it’s hard 5o escape the feeling that we need good results in our next three games including this to keep our season flowing . I’d be happy with a draw tomorrow but suspect we won’t get one

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    The bad thing is happening.

  9. 9
    TTG says:

    This season the Spuds have the best chance they will ever have . They have had easy fixtures so far but they are playing very much like we did at Wembley against Citeh

  10. 10
    Goonersince54 says:

    Epic pre match post Bath
    If the sight of our NL neighbors along with their odious manager sitting pretty on top of the table doesn’t stir the competitive juices of our lot, then nothing will. !!
    Given that we are trotting over to their new shiny edifice in 2 weeks time, we need to be in winning form before we get there.
    Leeds seem to be, like several other teams in the league, much more comfortable playing a counter attacking game away from home, than they are on their own patch.
    Villa are a prime example, with 3 out of 3 wins on the road, including making us look 2nd rate 2 weeks ago, but an abysmal home record with 3 straight losses, including today against a Brighton side who hadn’t won a single league game this season till today. !!
    In fact I read a stat where for the first time in EPL history there have been more away wins than home ones in the league at this stage of the season.
    So perhaps the absence of fans is making a difference as well.
    As for the Leeds game, despite a few injuries and players returning from Int’l games, we still have a deep enough squad to field a competitive line up.
    It’s what we do with it that matters.
    I have no idea how we will line up, but I do know that we will have to be up for it from the very first minute till the last.
    We are currently showing our worst return in Goals scored after 8 games, since the late 90’s, we need to improve that very quickly, and Elland Road would be a good place to start.

  11. 11
    Goonersince54 says:

    A small correction to my post above re Brighton.
    That was in fact their 2nd win of the season, but interestingly again, both wins have been away from home.

  12. 12
    TTG says:

    Good point Clive re the apparent preference sides have for playing away from home. I saw Brighton thrash Newcastle earlier on in the season and indeed we look much better away. Our losses to Liverpool and Citeh were narrow. Our best performance has been at Old Trafford and we beat Leicester at their place but lost at home .
    I’m pessimistic tomorrow because we will really need legs in midfield and I’m not sure Xhaka and Ceballos will give us that , that is why I’d like to see us use Willock. It could be a game that suits him. We need to avoid pressure on Arteta from a number of defeats and the next three games are very tough.
    Apparently on social media, the Twitterati , they are calling Mikel, Fraudteta. Lots of WOBs used to call Arsene, ‘the old fraud’. Whatever Wenger was he wasn’t a fraud but for some reason Arsenal have a gigantic social media following and it doesn’t react rationally . We said three proper transfer windows would be needed to sort out this side- so let’s give him that time .
    Some clubs have a fan base that makes it impossible to manage them and we are heading that way.

  13. 13
    North Bank Ned says:

    In other bizarre news, in the MLS, a goalkeeper got given a yellow card for coming off his line to make a save during a penalty shootout (the save being ruled out by VAR). As it was the keeper’s second yellow of the game he was sent off. No subs allowed in penalty shootouts, so an outfielder had to go between the sticks for the rest of the shoot-out. The a happy ending is that he made the game-winning save.

    Amazing sequence as Orlando goalkeeper Gallese gets sent off during the penalty shootout for coming off his line to save the game-winning penalty. Backup keeper Brian Rowe steps in, then goes off because Orlando used all subs already. from soccer

    You cannot make this stuff up.

  14. 14
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Masterful preview Bath! And completely agree with your recommendations to involve Joe, Pepe, Nelson. I know we will not start with my team but against a high pressing team we can use directness and counter-pressing, and my team would be in a 3-4-3:


    If Pepe is not working out by early second half replace him with Nelson. In a 3-4-3 we don’t need a midfielder to screen in front of the defense. So Ceballos can play deep but with more vertical mobility.
    Any win will be great. Hoping for a convincing 2-0.

    Bath, a minor correction to your report: Our captain and his Gabonese mates spent the night in an airport in Gambia, not Gabon. After arriving at Gambia they were told they cannot leave the airport. They had to wait until the morning for the government intervention. That’s how the sequence of events were reported in the media, at least.

  15. 15
    Osakamatt says:

    A very fine preview, thanks Bath.
    I am heartily sick of losing already
    this season and I expect us to stamp
    our authority on this game, punish
    Leeds suspect defence with a couple
    of first half goals before going on to
    win 3-0. No messing about, no whining
    about tiredness and especially no
    Willian will be fine. I seem to be still
    annoyed about the Villa game.

  16. 16
    bt8 says:

    Dr. F, Any word on the relative comfort of the floors in the two airports concerned? 😉

  17. 17
    bt8 says:

    OM: Transformative annoyance, I’m hoping. 😉

  18. 18
    Esso says:

    Cheers Baff!

    AMN needs to start same as against Fulham. We cant start both Tierney and Saka given their exertions over the interlull.

  19. 19
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks, chaps.

    An aspect of the new Leeds style that I omitted to mention is the ‘pineapple’ hairstyle with a top knot adopted by a number of their players. Extraordinarily poor taste.

  20. 20
    Countryman100 says:

    I take it you’d prefer a nice short back and sides Bath!

  21. 21
    Steve T says:

    Nice preview Bath.

    I’m not really sure what to expect today. MA8 is bring asked some serious questions about a team short of any creativity. Thomas certainly looks a quality addition to the squad and he will be missed today. If you mage a decision to ostracise Ozil and to send Guendouzi on loan then you need to be satisfied that you have a squad able to deal with that. I’m not convinced we have.

    We are also a side that has looked a bit rudderless in recent weeks. Leeds will be a tough outing and players need to step up to the plate.

    I have no idea what side we will put out. Personally, I’m not a fan of 3 at the back. I would also far prefer to see the one world class striker that we have, actually play as a striker.

    We only only need a result at Leeds, we need a performance. Let’s hope we get both.

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    Mikel reads Goonerholics Forever!
    Four at the back, Willock and Pepe in and presumably Auba central

  23. 23
    Countryman100 says:

    Nasty moment when Willian kicked off but now looking like a Willian, Auba, Pepe front three.

  24. 24
    Osakamatt says:

    Pass to our players please
    Hope Willian makes me eat my
    words today.

  25. 25
    Countryman100 says:

    Let’s never forget that Leeds were the original dirty northern bastards.

  26. 26
    Osakamatt says:

    Leeds pretty much as expected,
    we’re doing ok first 20 mins.
    Not making any decent chances

  27. 27
    scruzgooner says:

    not bad so far. oh auba…

  28. 28
    Countryman100 says:

    The tackling back and interception is good, but transitioning to attack is still poor. Auba should have done better there.

  29. 29
    Osakamatt says:

    spoke too soon, Auba blazed

  30. 30
    scruzgooner says:

    morning all. looks like they.keep benefiting from marginally offside non calls.

  31. 31
    Countryman100 says:

    That’s a fine save from Leno. Leeds making better chances than us with sharp one twos round the box

  32. 32
    scruzgooner says:

    balls up by rob, they should have scored.

  33. 33
    Countryman100 says:

    He’s still full of your Californian beer Scruz

  34. 34
    scruzgooner says:

    or something from the emerald triangle…

  35. 35
    scruzgooner says:

    it’s all blocks or blazes at the arsenal goal.

  36. 36
    Osakamatt says:

    rode our luck a bit so far

    I’d like to see Pepe fighting
    a bit harder for the ball than
    just now.

  37. 37
    Countryman100 says:

    We’ve been thoroughly outplayed this half.

  38. 38
    scruzgooner says:

    who will be the happier of two managers at the half?

  39. 39
    Cynic says:

    Playing poorly.

  40. 40
    Countryman100 says:

    One of these Leeds shots is going to fly in in a minute

  41. 41
    scruzgooner says:

    pepe with a hit, wide.

  42. 42
    Osakamatt says:

    too passive, let’s hope for a
    better 2nd half

  43. 43
    Cynic says:

    Willock is too slow, Willian is poor, Pepe is … Pepe and Ceballos and Xhaka are functional, but little more.

    Aubameyang looks like a starving man daydreaming of the days he dined on steak.

    At least it’s still 0-0

  44. 44
    Countryman100 says:

    Is Nelson still injured?

  45. 45
    Steve T says:

    All very disjointed. At times we look as If none of those out there have actually met their team mates, let alone played in the same team as them.

    Lack leadership and direction. Rode our luck a it. If they could shoot straight it coukd have been a lot worse.

    Much better second half please????

  46. 46
    ksn says:

    Leeds have more energy and hunger and an attacking plan which shows in the number of shots they have had at our goal. Our lethargy is best exemplified by five of our players ambling back to defend something we had not seen earlier in the campaign. In attack we are inept and directionless. Hope Arteta has the magical words to get them going in the second half.

  47. 47
    Bathgooner says:

    We looked ok for the first 20 minutes and then deteriorated badly. It’s as if Leeds sussed that they were giving us too much respect. We desperately need to improve in the second half if we are going to get out of Leeds with anything. Nelson for Willian is a good start.

  48. 48
    Countryman100 says:

    Well there’s my answer to 44. He’s on the pitch, replacing Willian

  49. 49
    Countryman100 says:

    Pepe is a Moron

  50. 50
    Bathgooner says:

    Oh Pepe. You twat!

  51. 51
    ksn says:

    Stupid Pepe.

  52. 52
    Cynic says:

    Never thought he was any good anyway. Get rid in January.

  53. 53
    Steve T says:


    £72 million of total dickhead. What a total fucking buffoon.

    Overrun in the first half. Now down to 10 with 40 minutes to go. Sometimes you have to wonder with some of these idiots, who ties their shoe laces in the morning???

  54. 54
    bt8 says:

    Come on Reiss. One little goal could change our and your whole season.

  55. 55
    Countryman100 says:

    Saka on for Joe. Reiss onto the right flank. Joe looked pissed off to be hooked.

  56. 56
    bt8 says:

    Pepe, Xhaka and the list goes on. Didn’t we used to value intelligence?

  57. 57
    Countryman100 says:

    Another great stop from Leno

  58. 58
    ksn says:

    Great save by Leno!

  59. 59
    Osakamatt says:

    backs to the wall and try to nick
    one is about our only plan now.

    Good save Leno

  60. 60
    Bathgooner says:


    Learn how to take a throw FFS!

  61. 61
    Countryman100 says:

    Yet another fouled throw from Hector. Naughty boy nets on Monday.

  62. 62
    ksn says:

    Someone has to teach Bellerin how to take a throw in.

  63. 63
    Steve T says:

    Does anyone have any involvement with an under 11’s side? If anyone does than can you spare someone to teach dear old Hector how to take a throw in please?

    Thank you.

  64. 64
    Countryman100 says:

    Shocking from Xhaka almost gifts Leeds a goal

  65. 65
    Countryman100 says:

  66. 66
    scruzgooner says:

    we are getting our joy down the left.

  67. 67
    Steve T says:

    Can we just take Xhaka off and chance it with 9?????

    Alex Brooker is correct.

  68. 68
    Countryman100 says:

    You leave Joy alone. She’s a good girl and very good to her old Mum.

  69. 69
    scruzgooner says:

    god saka can run with the ball.

  70. 70
    scruzgooner says:

    lol c100

  71. 71
    ksn says:

    What a miss by Saka!
    Great pass by Bellerin.

  72. 72
    Countryman100 says:

    Brilliant football by Bellerin. Saka just couldn’t beat the keeper.

  73. 73
    ksn says:

    Lucky us, again. Saved by the upright again.

  74. 74
    Countryman100 says:

    Throw in practice for Hector
    Dead ball practice for Reiss
    Finishing practice for Saka
    Toilet cleaning duty for Pepe

    Monday at Colney

  75. 75
    ksn says:

    Saka has injured himself. Hope it is nothing serious.

  76. 76
    ksn says:

    AMN on for Saka.

  77. 77
    ksn says:

    Leeds still play dirty the cowards.

  78. 78
    ksn says:

    Saved by the frame, once more.

  79. 79
    Cynic says:

    Could have won it, should have lost it, looked a better team with ten players.

    On the whole, not good enough. We’re a mid table team and need a hell of a lot of new players to get anywhere near where we want to be.

    Oh and DIRTY LEEDS will never change.

  80. 80
    Countryman100 says:

    Lucky Arsenal. But the woodwork played a blinder.

  81. 81
    Countryman100 says:

    Kieran looks ready to chin someone walking off.

  82. 82
    ksn says:

    An undeserved point. Will take it with both hands.
    We played better with ten men and did show character to hang on. We were very lucky today.
    Saka’s injury the one big worry.

  83. 83
    ksn says:


  84. 84
    Osakamatt says:

    good if slightly lucky clean sheet
    is a positive. can’t buy a goal
    at the moment

  85. 85
    Bathgooner says:

    No need for a match report.

    C100 @74 & 80, Cynic @79 summarise the game in a nutshell.

  86. 86
    Steve T says:

    I must say that I think that’s embarrassing. A ridiculous sending off, can’t take a corner, can’t take a throw in??? No goal from open play for 8 hours now!!!!

    Positives? Leno. Some great saves. Saka. Our MOTM even though he only played for 30 minutes. KT. Love the attitude and love the fact that he cared enough to want a punch up at the end. Dani? Tried to create and continued to at least battle. Very little else.

    If we had played a side who had turned up with their shooting boots then it could have been even more embarrassing.

    Is MA8 up to getting it all right? Time will tell I guess, but at the moment, there will be more than one asking the question.

  87. 87
    Bathgooner says:

    I am very worried about Saka’s knee.

  88. 88
    Countryman100 says:

    I do like Arteta’s post match interviews. Always brutally honest.

  89. 89
    Countryman100 says:

    Patrice Evra, on the other hand, is, was, and always will be a cunt.

  90. 90
    Countryman100 says:

  91. 91
    Cynic says:

    Is MA8 up to getting it all right?
    Not without significant investment in players and a shipping out the ones who are past it or never going to be good enough, despite all the wishful thinking surrounding the likes of Willock, Nelson, Nketiah etc.

  92. 92
    Bathgooner says:

    Is MA8 up to getting it all right?
    He needs time and the squad desperately needs investment. This was always going to take an active three to four windows worth of ins and outs. He’s had one. Two good ins, one borderline fail.

  93. 93
    TTG says:

    I agree with the last two posts. We are still creating so little. One goal in five games and that from a penalty . There is the basis of a decent side there but we are nowhere near challenging for Champions League . I’m quite pleased with a point but not the performance .
    I hope we don’t risk anyone precious on Thursday . I share Bath’s concern, I’m no expert but I fear an ACL might be the diagnosis for Saka. Pray God I’m wrong

  94. 94
    Faraday says:

    “….the squad desperately needs investment.”
    I keep hearing from reliable sources that there is no shortage of funds available to him, but he’s stingy with the money and wary of over-paying for players.

  95. 95
    Bathgooner says:

    The lack of creativity is painful. I hope the rumours of a move for the Hungarian fella in January are true. To think we had so many creative players at one time that we couldn’t squeeze them all in the team.

  96. 96
    TTG says:

    I’m pretty sure they are true. He has a release clause that can be met in three instalments and the price is about half of what Lyon want for Aouar. Grealish would cost about three or four times that. Szoboszlai also scores a fair number of goals .

  97. 97
    TTG says:

    I’d assume we are going to qualify in the Europa and having beaten Molde 4-1 it’s goingbto be hard for them to best us on count back .
    I think I’d go with a substantially changed team on Thursday with a big game on Sunday. Time for the boys I think ( at least on the bench)
    Mustafi Holding Luiz
    Cedric ( May be injured again!) or Chambers / AMN / ESR / Kolasinac ( if recovered ) or Lopez
    Pepe / Nketiah / Nelson
    A nice cold trip to Norway is what Pepe deserves!

  98. 98
    ATG says:

    We played our first game in new system and you could see the lads had not grasped what was asked of them. Willian as much as I liked this transfer he is a shadow of player he was Chelski, you could see glimpses of his bursts but it wasn’t the player I remember.

    Playing kids in Europe is a must now, save the big names for PL, we need Partey back asap too. Pepe today had some good runs on the right in the first half. He just doesn’t know when to flick it into the box so Auba can attack it, same goes for Willian. We are completely out of sync offensively it’s scary. This defensive booting is very annoying as well, we seem to clear the ball without using our brains when there is a better pass to be made.

    Ceballos gave the ball away plenty of times as well but he’s worked hard, him and Xhaka played well despite the stupid red by Pepe. We have scored 9 goals this season with 3 goals in the first game against Fulham. Arteta needs to sort this out quickly, if we are still in the same limbo come Jan 2021 we can forget about reaching the top four.

  99. 99
    Countryman100 says:

    TTG @97. Pepe can only go to Norway if the toilets are all sparklingly clean. He can start with a new toothbrush.

  100. 100
    Bathgooner says:


  101. 101
    scruzgooner says:

    well in baff. you’ve scored more tons from open play than arsenal has goals recently…

  102. 102
    Osakamatt says:

    Good effort at naming the side
    Bath – 9/11.
    Pepe’s stupidity 0/11.
    The Leeds player should have
    been booked but I suppose the
    ref felt sorry for him what with
    his serious injury.
    Willian hooked at half time was
    fair and I don’t know why Joe W
    looked upset to come off though
    it could have been 2 or 3 others
    I suppose.
    Fortunately Bamford reverted to
    his bang average type and we got
    a point.

  103. 103
    Cynic says:

    Sadly, the racial abuse of Pepe and Alioski on ‘anti-social’ media is not a surprise. I don’t know what gets into someone’s head when they post that stuff. Even if they feel that way, and plenty do it seems, why put it out there for anyone to read? Keep it in your own head and fester with it, if you can’t get over the colour of someone’s skin or nationality.

    I resist the notion of trying to fix people’s attitudes who are like that because they’re unfixable.

  104. 104
    TTG says:

    Well said.
    Sadly a huge anount of social media is taken up with idiots spouting garbage . That’s why I don’t engage with Twitter. If it’s good enough for Trump and Piers Morgan it’s not for me

  105. 105
    Pangloss says: