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The FA Cup holders came into this 4th round tie unbeaten in six games, the first of two consecutive games at St Mary’s. Arteta rang the changes as many predicted, making seven changes from the team that beat Newcastle on Monday. PEA, KT3 and ESR weren’t even in the match-day squad. Apparently, the captain had to be sent home for a ‘personal matter’ this morning, the latter pair were rested. At least Saka and Partey were on the bench and Martinelli returned as a starter. Thus, the starting eleven lacked any of the players who have contributed most to our Yuletide renaissance and the team reprised our most underwhelming midfield pair, making a somewhat feeble declaration of intent:


Bellerin (c), Holding, Gabriel, Cedric

Elneny, Xhaka

Pépé, Willian, Martinelli


On the other hand, the opposition selected their strongest side. Ings returned from virus-imposed quarantine and several other first choices, including old boy Theo Walcot, returned from being rested against Shrewsbury. Southampton clearly fancied an FA Cup after 45 years without success.

The Saints kicked off in bright winter sunshine. Early on, Gabriel showed his rust allowing a simple pass from Leno to roll out for a throw-in. A minute later he conceded a dangerous free kick with a hand to Ings’ face. Not a clever thing to do against this lot with Ward-Prowse in their team but the free-kick came to naught. As expected, Southampton applied a high press and they forced an early trio of corners, the second of which hit Leno’s bar as he leapt desperately.

After 9 minutes, Cedric’s long tangential ball for Pepe to chase was cleared for an Arsenal corner but this was wasted. However this led to a short spell of Arsenal possession ending with a Willian cross from the right which eventually found Cedric on the left. Cedric blasted it over only for Willian to be flagged offside. Gabriel was then easily beaten on the edge of our box by Adams whose hard, low shot towards the far post was saved by Leno at full stretch.

On 15 minutes, Martinelli ran through the Saints’ defensive line to meet a Pépé free kick from wide on the left but Martinelli’s wild swing glanced the ball wide of the goal.  He was well onside and it was a great opportunity missed. However, Martinelli’s vigorous play on the left was causing Southampton some concern and a long ball from Gabriel forced Forster to rush out and kick it into touch.

After 23 minutes Elneny dithered on the ball on our right touchline instead of clearing it. He lost the ball which found its way to Walker-Peters on the far side of our area. His cross aimed towards the far post went through Cedric’s legs, struck Gabriel’s outstretched foot and rolled under Leno’s dive into the far corner.

Southampton 1 Arsenal 0, Gabriel (og)

Unsurprisingly, Southampton were lifted by this good fortune and an Ings volley in the box was deflected wide by a Bellerin block. In contrast our final balls consistently failed to find their target. Southampton continued their high press and a pass by Leno straight to a Southampton player resulted in a shot that was fortunately deflected for a corner.

Finally, we crafted a move. Willian moved towards their box and a Martinelli stepover on his pass led to a blocked Pépé shot. Pépé’s subsequent cross was just too high for Cedric. However, the opposition still looked far sharper and hungrier. Our relative lassitude was summed up by Holding’s penalty box pass straight to a Southampton player who was fortunately closed down.

On 42 minutes, Pépé jumped into Bertrand to concede another dangerous free kick near the angle of our box. Ward-Prowse curled the ball past the near post.

On the balance of play, we deserved nothing from this half with Bellerin neutralised as an attacking force, Pépé virtually anonymous, Nketiah completely anonymous, no midfield presence and Cedric putting every cross too long. Unless we can find some cohesion and creativity we will be handing the grand old trophy back.

HT 1-0

The second half commenced without changes to either team or any change to the game’s dynamics. Four minutes into the half, Ings ran clear onto a long ball and his shot struck the post, bounced off Leno’s back and rolled just past the post. Ings was offside but the move demonstrated the opposition’s intent and threat. Minutes later, another Southampton attack led to a Ward-Prowse volley over Leno’s bar.

Finally, an Arsenal attack on 52 minutes led to a corner on the right after a solo run by Nketiah but the corner was easily cleared. Stephens then received a yellow card for leaving his studs on Pepe’s foot.

On 57 minutes, Partey and Saka replaced Elneny and Martinelli. Immediately nice interplay between Pépé and Nketiah led to a deflected shot. From the corner Holding wastefully struck a bouncing ball over the bar. At least we were beginning to make things happen though Cedric aborted a spell of pressure with a foul throw – just to make Bellerin feel better, no doubt. Arsenal were pressing much further up the pitch but after Partey had somewhat hopefully struck a long-range shot over the bar, a breakout by Southampton led to Walcott putting a far better opportunity over the Arsenal bar. The next goal was as likely to be theirs as ours.

On 66 minutes a ball from Pépé wide on the left behind the defence was touched towards the far corner by Nketiah but Forster’s outstretched foot deflected it past the post. Another Arsenal attack resulted in a Saka shot over the bar. At 71 minutes Lacazette came on for Bellerin with Cedric moving to RB and Saka to LB.

With under 20 minutes to go, Arsenal stepped up the pace and pressure and began to string passes together, as if they had suddenly realised that they had to try to win this game to stay in the cup. Southampton were now pushed back and their defending became increasingly desperate. An interchange between Lacazette and Pépé led to a Nketiah shot from close range that was saved before offside was called against Pépé’s foot.

With 10 minutes to go Partey bundled someone over to the right of our penalty area. The resultant free kick ultimately led to an Ings shot straight at Leno as Southampton returned to the front foot. Shortly afterwards a nasty challenge on Pépé at the edge of their box produced a yellow card for Bertrand and an Arsenal free kick. Pépé struck it well over. That felt like a huge opportunity spurned. It certainly seemed to take the vim out of the Arsenal’s too brief flurry of activity.

Ings was replaced by Long on 84 minutes as the game limped towards its conclusion. On 87 minutes, Long and Holding came together in our box giving Long an opportunity for a graceless dive and the referee awarded a corner. As the 90 minutes loomed a sweet Saka cross from the left curled just beyond Lacazette.

With one of three added minutes gone, Xhaka had to clear from a Southampton substitute in our box sending the ball for a corner which Southampton exploited to waste time. Nketiah then fired wide from close range as Arsenal made a desperate last effort.

FT: Southampton 1 Arsenal 0

A side with seven changes that was unsurprisingly somewhat disjointed and lacklustre until the subs came on, made a brief effort, created a few chances but in the end didn’t do enough to win this game. It was a return to a midfield combo long since proven to be incapable of creativity and game control, underwhelming senior players and a display with no great sense of urgency. A performance that was the epitome of too little, too late. 

So, Arsenal are out of the cup.

With a whimper.

68 Drinks to “The Saints Go Marching On”

  1. 1
    Trev says:

    Nice one, bath.

    A dismal display. Our selection appeared to be to protect those in the “red zone” from further fatigue injuries but our squad is not good enough to accommodate seven changes and still challenge a hard working, energetic Southampton first team.

    We’re out of the FA Cup but still in the Europa League. Our squad is simply not good enough to survive in both.

    I like Arteta, but this wasn’t his finest day either. Protect players from injury, yes, but if you’re going to use them at all, at least put them in their best positions.

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    Fair and good report Bath.
    Very flat feeling after the match.
    I was in correspondence with a couple of Holics when the team came through and was horrified by it . We had no legs in midfield against a strong pressing side . Partey should have started and where was Reiss Nelson? Nketiah is very lightweight and Pepe , Willian and Xhaka made zero impact . In fact most of the original starting eleven with the exception of Leno wouldn’t have merited more than a five out of ten. Without our younger players we had no zip and despite a better second half we moved the ball way too slowly .
    Not sure what Auba’s ‘ personal’ problem was and we hope all is well soon.
    We’ve gone out of the Cup to a meh side who just took it more seriously than us . What a pathetic way to defend the trophy

  3. 3
    North Bank Ned says:

    A quick and accurate summary of the game, Bath.

    I sometimes wonder why rotation can make the team disjointed, given that the whole squad is training with each other day in day out. It is not like they only see each other on match days.

  4. 4
    Steve T says:

    Nice stuff Bath. Cheers

    I must say, I was really disappointed with the performance today. Disjointed and lacklustre more than sums it up. I was disappointed with the team selection. We are mid table. We certainly aren’t winning the league. So why not play our strongest side? As Southampton showed, they are a decent side and sit above us in the league, so making 7 changes seemed strange to me. Some have said that we always rest players for cup games. I get that but surely you pick a side according to the opposition? Perhaps that’s why it was so quiet in bar during the match? I had wondered if people had realised it was an early kick off?

    The first half was just so disjointed. After the changes we looked better. But for me, it’s abundantly clear both from today, and the rest of the season so far, who needs to be out of the door before we start next season.

    One final word on the strikers. For me, Balogun looks a much better prospect than Eddie. I would love to be wrong but I don’t think he has it at this level. I think we would be making a massive mistake if we allow Balogun to leave, to keep Eddie.

    I think it’s a real shame that we decided to go into a match like this as cup holders, and not seem to apply any importance to it? This is easily the best chance we had of winning something this year. As cup holders, to muster only two shots on target all game I consider to be very disappointing. No doubt there will be 7 more changes for Tuesday night. Hopefully a win then will see us rocket up the table to the lofty heights of 9th. We can hopefully all celebrate that.

  5. 5
    Countryman100 says:

    A very balanced review Bath, especially one written so soon after the game. We are all disappointed with the performance and the selection. I think Steve makes a telling point about the fact that, right now, Southampton’s squad is on a par with ours, as is shown by the fact that they are two points ahead of us in the league, having played one game fewer. This made the decision to make seven changes from the Newcastle game very strange.

    That said, I really didn’t think we got the rub of the green. The referee was desperately poor. The goal was an unlucky deflection. I thought we should have had a penalty.

    Just as we were getting back into the game, Arteta hooked Martinelli. Then he brought Laca on for Hector, moving Saka back to Left Back. Our two most incisive players removed from the front line. I thought Partey should have started. For me, this game was more important than the league game on Tuesday. Southampton evidently agreed.

    Steve mentioned Balogun. It is fashionable to claim he is far more effective than Eddie. This may be correct. But where is the evidence? Eddie broke scoring records @ U18, U21 and U23, but looks to be struggling at the highest level. Balogun looked terrific in getting at hat trick against Brighton U23 in a 5-0 win. But I am furious with him for releasing a video of one of his goals a couple of minutes after the defeat at St Mary’s. That is not the action of a team player. Rumour has it he demands playing time and £60k per week (£20k more than Saka. Well I’ll tell you what young man (as Brian Clough would have said) this is The Arsenal. Stop behaving like an immature child, sign a new contract, wait for your chance, then grab it like others have.

  6. 6
    Steve T says:

    Countryman. I take your point about Balogun. My view is far from being based on what is fashionable. It’s based on what I’ve seen of both of them playing. For me, Balogun seems to have better awareness, better movement and from what I’ve seen, looks a more natural finisher. Just my opinion. I would love to be wrong but I don’t see Eddie as being good enough at this level. Is Balogun able to play at this level? Who knows. If those at the club believe he is not then he can go now. I have no idea of his wage demands but have always found that rumours are quite damaging. I’m sure that it will all sort itself out in the end but I have no idea how.

    We had two shots on target today. The ref wasn’t great but he’s not responsible for our performance. The main reason for our performance is the 7 changes and players that just aren’t good enough.

    We are a work in progress. MA will need another two windows after this one to get us into any sort of shape to be able to challenge at the top. Nothing is going to be instant.

  7. 7
    Countryman100 says:

    Steve. What did you make of Balogun posting that video three minutes after the defeat.? It felt like he was laughing at the first team. I don’t like that.

  8. 8
    Goonersince54 says:

    fair and honest review Bath.
    I did wonder why both Laca and Auba were not playing, i could understand one but not both.
    Turns out Auba wasn’t in the squad because he is according to Arteta,
    ” dealing with some personal issues “, and he may or may not be available for Tuesday night.
    That generally means family problems or affairs of the heart, and i assume the press will enlighten us in coming days.

  9. 9
    Steve T says:


    I think it smacked of petulance and was ill advised. My 17 year old pointed it out to me and his first words that it lacked class. But he is 19 and we live in a world where social media rules. Especially for teenagers. Of course, none of that excuses his conduct and of course, none of us will know what goes on behind the scenes.

    Like you, I didn’t like it either.

  10. 10
    Countryman100 says:

    I think Balogun had better watch out for some “robust” tackles in training.

  11. 11
    Steve T says:

    Everyone makes mistakes C100. If that’s his punishment then so be it. He will either learn, or pack his bags.

    Whether he stays or goes, I’m sure it will be dealt with appropriately.

  12. 12
    TTG says:

    C100/ Steve
    These days a lot of the social media activity of players is orchestrated by their agents. Ironically, I believe Eddie and Folarin have the same agent . I was not impressed with Balogun’s video. Arteta will be well aware of what happened on Friday . My only conversation with anyone who might have any sort of inside track suggested that Balogun was being manipulated, he was a level headed lad and his agent was pushing an exit with unrealistic wage claims . Nketiah has not been handled like this so it’s quite surprising.
    I tend to be inconsolable after exiting the FA Cup because we have such a tradition in it.I did not relate to the ‘ football isn’t the most important thing in the world ‘ comments after the match or those who felt that we had to let a prize go because our squad isn’t good enough. I think you shepherd your resources and see what happens. Southampton put their best side out and it was good enough to beat the lacklustre starting 11 we fielded . I truly hope we can kick on from here but Arteta did not impress me today in either his selection or his ability to develop a side that creates

  13. 13
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Excellent summary Bath! Not much to add to it.

    I am sure we will see a reaction from the team in the league. A strange season where a degree of consistency in the league form can propel us significantly up the table.

    And we can also focus seriously on Europa.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Steve T says:

    TTG. That all makes a lot of sense to me. I also thought the Arteta got it wrong today.

  16. 16
    Osakamatt says:

    Thanks Bath, very quick!!

    In all honesty I think some of
    the reaction to be harsh.
    I don’t imagine any of us like
    to go out of the cup but it happens.

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    The bookies gave us better odds on winning the Europa League than the FA Cup. Ensuring European football next season is the financial imperative. Getting it via the EL or PL is probably Arteta’s marching orders so that may explain yesterday’s team selection.

  18. 18
    Steve T says:

    Ned. That was probably the brief last year. Then we got it horribly wrong. We got booted out of the Europa and failed in the league. Then, the FA Cup came to our rescue. We won the cup and went straight into the league stages of the Europa.

  19. 19
    Dorset Mick says:

    What we should do is play Willian and Pepe in the U23’s in their next fixture, and start Balogun in the first team against the Saints on Tuesday.

  20. 20
    BtM says:

    Good summary, Bath. The better team won yesterday albeit by a narrow margin.

    Any interested Arsenal watcher now knows our strongest eleven. Some would play that eleven every time and would then be quick with learned critique should a young player suffer ‘Wilshire syndrome’ or another extended Partey/Tierney absence result.

    Rotation is an essential part of squad management. The inability of AMN, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah and Pepe to grasp opportunities to outperform regulars, some of limited capabilities, hasn’t enhanced their future prospects at Arsenal, which is unfortunate.

    Cudos to Saka, ESR, Mari, Martinelli (despite being poor yesterday), Cedric and, dare I say Balogun, for making much more of their chances.

    Play better. Win the next one.

  21. 21
    TTG says:

    I made the mistake which I do once a month or so of reading Le Grove . I confess I was wondering if there was any idea when Auba might be back. I wonder if his subdued form might be due to this? He is only human and the impact of family problems can be overlooked by fans expecting superstars to be impervious to human concerns . We wish him a speedy and happy resolution to his problem .
    In Le Grove Arteta was crucified and 90% want him sacked . Balogun is now the panacea for all ills and is the new Ronaldo and I won’t discuss Willian and Pepe ( didn’t want to anyway ). Yesterday I thought Xhaka was by some way our worst player . He put two cross field balls straight into touch .
    We have to move on and justify Arteta’s rotation by winning on Tuesday with a Balogun hat-trick .

  22. 22
    Countryman100 says:

    Hi TTG. That is why I’ve always found this bar to be more balanced than much of the blogosphere. Yes, Arteta didn’t cover himself in glory yesterday. That’s what happens with young managers. He will learn from it. In here, we have criticised certain senior players, encouraged those youngsters who are breaking through and been cautious about those who may or may not. Odegaard should make a difference. Nobody in here, to my knowledge, has called for Arteta’s head. Maybe before Christmas the thought was stirring, but after a run of played 7, won 5, drawn 1, it is ridiculous.

    If I were you I’d lose that bookmark to Le Grove.

  23. 23
    Countryman100 says:

  24. 24
    Bathgooner says:

    I don’t read Le Grove. Indeed, I don’t regularly read any blogs bar this one, Arseblog and 7amKO both of whom have good takes on this game and our problems. It’s clear that several of our recent acquisitions are sub par despite Arteta’s positive statements. Fair enough that we have to rotate players, especially young players but the drop in quality from Saka and ESR to Pépé and Willian is astonishing and it impacts the whole team’s performance. I’m not convinced by Cedric as a back-up LB either.

    It’s ironic that we didn’t learn the lesson that giving a long contract to an ageing ‘star’ is a double edged sword. We’ve saddled ourselves with another turkey there. I’m with blogs that we should take (yet another) financial hit to get Willian off the books this summer and try to squeeze a fee of some kind for Pépé from someone as stupid as those who brought those players to Arsenal.

    Blogs rightly suggests that we should move Nketiah on. I would add Mustafi, Luiz, Chambers, Elneny, Xhaka and Nketiah to that list. I know the first two are coming to an end of their contracts anyway but there should be absolutely no thought of an extension. And let’s not add another superannuated ex-Chav as LB cover. We are not the twilight home for the bus stop at Fulham.

  25. 25
    Countryman100 says:

    Spot on. Your final line reminds me of the great Max Boyce.

    The retirement home in Dublin. For blind Irish referees.

  26. 26
    Countryman100 says:

    Leicester make eight changes from midweek. Brave against a potent Brentford team, albeit one still struggling from the COVID outbreak. Looking forward to this one.

  27. 27
    North Bank Ned says:

    SteveT@18: Qualification for Europe changes significantly next season with the introduction of the UEFA Conference League as the third European competition. UEFA aims to provide more European games for clubs from across all its associations eliminated from the Champions League, and the Europa League will be reformated as part of that. I don’t know if that has changed the club’s internal calculations of which competitions to target. Fifth-placed PL team and FA Cup winner will both go into the Qualifying Group Stage of the restructured Europa League, and the winner of the League Cup goes into the Play-Off round of the Conference League.

  28. 28
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Saliba apparently had another good game for Nice as they beat Lens away 1-0 yesterday. 5/5 long balls, overall 90% pass accuracy, 5 clearances …

  29. 29
    Countryman100 says:

    Come on the Bees! One nil up.

  30. 30
    TTG says:

    AS in Spain are claiming Odegaard is flying to London tonight .
    I do find Peter Wood’s insights interesting. It’s the idiots on the site that irk me .
    I believe in digesting a broad spread of views. Why, I occasionally read the Grauniad!

  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@24: The Southampton game showed up the attacking limitations of playing a right-footed left-back — can’t beat the defender on the outside and put in a cross or a cutback; has to turn back and come inside to cross with his right. A couple of times Cedric put in in-swinging crosses with his right. Slightly overhit, they sailed out for goal-kicks. Slightly overhit inswingers would still be in play for midfielders to come on to. Take away the option of getting behind the defence, and half the attacking threat on that side of the pitch is gone. We need a back up for KT3 who can cross with his left foot. Saka is probably the best we have now, but playing him at left-back deprives the attack of too much.

  32. 32
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks fellas.

    Ned, I fully agree with your points @3 and @31.

    It does seem ridiculous that players who spend hours training together every week can play like total strangers. Cedric in this game and AMN in the last one where he deputised for KT3 both conclusively demonstrate how a right-footed LB blunts our attack. Good point on the effect of being on the left on Cedric’s overhit crosses which clearly don’t look so bad from the right side as the other FB can rescue them rather than watch them sail out for a goal kick.

    I still don’t want an overpaid, superannuated ex-Chav as backup to KT3 even if he’s left-footed. I’d rather we took a chance on a promising young left-footer from the lower leagues than re-inforce our image as a retirement home.

  33. 33
    Esso says:

    Cheers Bath!

    Meh result, poor performance – looking for a lot better on Tuesday.

  34. 34
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Well done Bath. A quality report and an excellent last paragraph that summed the game up in a nutshell.

    Pepe, Willian, Eddie, Xhaka and Elneny all played poorly and continued to show they are not at the level of the players ahead of them. I would not be bothered if Pepe left in the summer, and the rest of them I’d be fairly happy to see go.

    I’m not particularly upset by the manager. He has to rotate, we can’t grind the first 11 into the ground, and it is hardly his fault if we have assembled an expensive supporting cast who cannot provide a better performance than yesterday’s.

    As much as I love the cup I think our progress as a team will be shown by our league position. I am not surprised that was prioritised and that makes sense to me. In terms of points we are close to the teams above us and, as much as winning cups has been hugely fun in the last few years, I don’t think that it makes sense to hang our European hopes on winning a knockout competition. Even if we had won a couple more games we would still be only one bad draw away from having to go to Anfield and win. I am happy to see us focus on a steady progression in the league, and we can see what happens with Europa, but if we play the same players as we did yesterday we will be out of that too.

  35. 35
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce is official. I’m glad he is no longer on our books but sad at how things ended up. In his first years at the club he was a joy to watch.

    Thanks for all the good times Mesut, good luck in Turkey.

  36. 36
    Bathgooner says:

    I don’t see the same extent of rotation in either of the Manure or Dipper teams this evening as we gambled on yesterday.

    If you would argue that this tie is too big a challenge for either of those teams to risk extensive rotation then I would argue that these two are direct rivals to each other in the same way as Southampton are (sadly) direct rivals to us. In fact they have played one game less, have a similar GD and sit two points above us. Plus being defending cup holders should have been a further incentive not to throw the tie away by playing mediocrities. I do think MA8 rather overdid his shake up.

    Just saying.

  37. 37
    Pangloss says:

    I typed up a long post earlier in which I congratulated Baff on his excellent report before embarking upon a long, rambling, rant advocating patience.

    I suspect that regular readers will greet the news that I managed to lose said drink with some indifference.


  38. 38
    North Bank Ned says:

    Everyone playing nicey-nicey over Ozil’s departure on the club site, leaving the ‘thank heavens it is finally over’ unsaid.


  39. 39
    TTG says:

    Very good post but I take Bath’s point re the United / Dippers squads and they have lots of fish to fry too. The problem was balance especially in midfield . If we’d started Partey ( Get that Partey started !) it would have been a different game . He’s played 110 minutes in 6 weeks so needs game time
    I agree re Pepe .
    What do you mean by patience ? I don’t think patience is the issue it’s a bit of a cliche . I think we need faith in the manager ( which I have ) but he needs to improve aspects of our team play – speed of approach play , creativity and getting full backs to stop committing foul throws would be a start .
    I like the culture of this blog but fans can be too passive and lacking in opinions . Sitting back and waiting for things to improve is not as healthy as a constructive blog discussion which we have had on here ( and always do ) . I’d be interested if your deleted post was at odds with this perspective

  40. 40
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Baff and TTG.

    I think the issue is that Partey is our only midfielder of quality. We look a different side when he plays. But we need to be careful with him as he comes back from injury. Tierney is the only other player who we don’t really have a replacement for, but even if our left back is a bit dodgy it doesn’t do the damage done by the hole in the centre of the pitch that Xhakneny create (the only thing they create!)

    Scott Willis in his article on Arseblog News points out…
    “10 – Final third entry passes for Thomas Partey. In his 35 minutes, he did more to move the ball to the attackers than Mohamed Elneny (1) and Granit Xhaka (4) did combined in their 153 minutes.”

    We need to buy quality in midfield this summer and until then we will struggle any time Partey doesn’t play. And if AMM cannot get a game in midfield when Xhakneny is the alternative then it is never gonna happen for him.

  41. 41
    TTG says:

    Terrific point . I read Dan Critchlow’s report on the U23s on Friday and he absolutely raved about Azeez . We took a big chance in promoting Saka early . Could we have pushed Azeez into the starting team ?

  42. 42
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    TTG. Personally I would have loved to see Azeez. He looks to be a tremendous prospect and I can’t see how playing Xhakneny is more beneficial to our club than getting Azeez in the matchday squad.

  43. 43
    bt8 says:

    Haven’t seen the game so thanks bathgooner for your excellent report. It gives me a sad feeling to be out of the Cup, but we certainly can’t win it every year. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  44. 44
    Moran Gooner says:

    Hi fellow gooners, anyone knows how to stream tonight’s nfl game? Please let me know

  45. 45
    Bathgooner says:

    Brady goes to his tenth Super Bowl. Quite a record. Sorry for the Packers though. Came close but not quite close enough.

  46. 46
    Countryman100 says:

    Looks like Odegaard done. So can he and ESR play together or is it one or t’other?

  47. 47
    bt8 says:

    Colin Kaepernick is ten times more admirable than Brady.

  48. 48
    bt8 says:

    As a rough estimate.

  49. 49
    Potsticker says:

    bt8 – I agree.

  50. 50
    Osakamatt says:

    don’t mind if I do

  51. 51
    Potsticker says:

    Oops, I forgot about deflategate – should be closer to hundred times, then.

  52. 52
    Bathgooner says:

    I liked Joe Montana best myself, after Jim McMahan.

  53. 53
    Countryman100 says:

    According to the Torygraph Lampard gets the tin tack at Chelsea today. To be replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

  54. 54
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Typical of Chelsea to get rid of someone after his first bad run. Being a club legend doesn’t count for much.

    But it might not be a bad move. I think Fat Frank is a decent coach but not a great one. (Not that I held a different opinion before he took over at the bus stop- I don’t think we have learned much we didn’t already know from his tenure)

    They did spend far too much in the summer not to improve this season, and although I’m sure results would have improved under Lampard I think Tuchel would be a much better bet in the long term to mould a winning team out of a very expensive squad.

    They spent £71m on Havertz. We spent the same on Pepe last year and he was much better for us than Havertz has been so far for Chelsea. Mind you, I suppose they can afford it.

  55. 55
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Fat Frank has gone. I am quite amused.

  56. 56
    Countryman100 says:

    Been a good morning. Frank gone and England win the test match.

  57. 57
    Bathgooner says:

    I have no animosity towards FF. He was a decent player and always a tough opponent. He did well last season bringing through the young talent that the Chavs have been stifling or sending out on loan, and did well at Derby before that. He hits his first rough patch and they sack him.

    However he should have known that they are a classless outfit. Shit club, no history.

  58. 58
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, OM.

    Tuchel will be a good appointment for the Chavs. He will make them a force if Abramovich gives him some time. However, the Russian sacks managers for fun.

    In other rumours, reportedly Sokratis is talking to Liverpool. He played for Klopp at Borussia Dortmund. But he is also said to be signing for Lazio and Olympiakos.

  59. 59
    TTG says:

    I’ve had several Chelsea friends ( I have some amazingly) express disappointment at the decision to me this morning . These would not be the trailer trash that I’ve seen following them over the years who would expect trophies at all costs even if the club descends into a classless morass of embarrassment .
    The point is Tuchel is not Guardiola or Klopp. He has not been eminently successful and although he took PSG to the CL Final last year they did have Mbappe and Neymar . PSG another outfit with much more money than class disposed of him earlier this season .
    TTG enters another decade today and to my delight Mrs TTG has purchased me a flight in a Spitfire when lockdown eases- a lifetime ambition . She hasn’t cooked me haggis though for my birthday meal . The Spitfire will do

  60. 60
    Countryman100 says:

    A very happy 70th birthday to our very own Mr Arsenal, TTG!

  61. 61
    Bathgooner says:

    Many happy returns, TTG! I hope you have an excellent day despite the lockdown. The Spitfire flight sounds great!

    As your co-birthday boy might say:

    “Fair fa’ yer honest, sonsie face!”

  62. 62
    Osakamatt says:

    Happy Birthday TTG🥳🥳
    Hope you have a great day!

  63. 63
    TTG says:

    Your various kind wishes are much appreciated. As George Burns famously remarked ‘ If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself !’

  64. 64
    North Bank Ned says:

    Congratulations, TTG, and a very happy birthday.

    It must be a round of Spitfire Ale for everyone in the bar to raise a glass to you.

    We already have the picture of your flight:


  65. 65
    North Bank Ned says:

    Tuchel and Arteta have identical career records when it comes to points won per game, 1.88, although Tuchel has managed 417 games v MA’s 59. Lampard averages 1.70 across 141 games.

  66. 66
    bt8 says:

    Happy Birthday TTG.

  67. 67
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Happy Birthday TTG! Many happy returns.

  68. 68
    scruzgooner says: