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Well, here we are again. After getting well and truly Pawsoned against Wolves the players have to get themselves ready for Villa tomorrow lunchtime. There are some things to take away from the midweek game, beyond the obvious fact that the current refs/laws are asses. We produced an excellent performance for the first half that we will certainly hope to build on. Partey and Pepe both continued an upward trend in their recent influence on the team. Every player fought hard right up to the last whistle. And after the way we dropped points the players may also be carrying with them a sense of injustice. I certainly hope they are.

In this league nothing is a given and there is still a lot to play for. I would love to see us adopt a siege mentality from here on in. Us vs Them all the way and, far from thinking we might get the occasional favour, we must remember we cannot even expect to get a fair rub of the green. (No conspiracy theories here – just a reasonable acknowledgement that there is no consistency and little sense to the decisions we are seeing every week). Our squad has been shorn of deadweight this January and there is an opportunity for those still involved to build a mentality that compliments the obvious on-pitch improvements we have been seeing recently. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see how the team responds to a loss that has left a bitter taste.

The Arsenal

Of course, David Luiz will be missing for us (unlike Southampton’s Bednarek as the FA cover themselves in more shit, er, glory.) The Brazilian’s absence may be seen as a good or bad thing, depending on how you rate him, but we have another ready to go as a replacement. Gabriel will be looking for a strong performance that sees him reclaim the position he lost due to indiscipline and then Covid. We will also be without Bernd Leno, no debate there – that is definitely a bad thing. We are waiting on Matt Ryan’s fitness to see whether he can start. Oh, that we may play Emi Martinez’s Aston Villa with Runarsson in goal. As the man with the supremely cool sunglasses said “fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.” Indeed not.

However, the lad from Iceland won’t get any better with us on his back and aside from a dodgy game against The Oilers he has been decent enough, making a couple of good stops when he came on against Wolves. He has our support. If he plays, let us hope that he treats the opportunity like a dangerous cross into our box and lets it fly right past him grasps it firmly with both hands. That’s the stuff. And he also takes a mean free kick.

Pepe has to keep his place. He is in great form and must be given the chance to build on it. Saka is also undroppable. The boss is left to perm two from the returning Auba, Laca, ESR, Gabigol and new boy Odegaard who might get a start. Worryingly, Tierney is still out. Boooo!

Runarrson

Hector, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric

Partey, Xhaka

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe,

Auba

I am fairly confident that the defence and midfield will be as predicted. The options up top are such that we might see a different looking side to the one above, although I think Arteta may decide ESR has earned a rest and that our second loan signing from Real Madrid is ready for a start. It would be no surprise though if ESR and Laca were in the side and Auba shifted to the wing. And Gabigol must be knocking on the door. We will have to wait and see what Arteta does. Although do not let our varied options stop you making predictions in The Drinks (comments) at the bottom of the page. For anyone who correctly guesses the team you will get… the satisfaction of knowing that your astute prediction will be preserved on t’internet for posterity!

The Villains

Craig Pawson and Jon Moss.

And Mike Dean. Always Mike Dean.

Okay, okay. Time to let it go.

Well, not Mike Dean, obviously. Grrrr.

Although if The PGMOL let him go my joy would be unconfined.

The Villains (take 2)

Starting for Aston Villa will be one of our own, Emi Martinez. He might play the traditional blinder against us but after an excellent season he has made a couple of errors recently and will not fancy facing our attack in its current form. Villa as an outfit are pretty good and having a good season. They sit a point and a place above us but they also have two games in hand. Their defence is fairly tight and usually consists of Fantasy League favourites Targett, Konsa, Mings and Cash (who, when they retire from football, are all set to form a folk rock Supergroup.)

Douglas Luiz is having an excellent season in midfield, the waspish John McGinn runs his socks off and we may see Ross Barkley get the nod now he is back from injury. Otherwise El Ghazi and Trezeguet are both good players.

Obviously Jack Grealish is a threat that we will have to keep an eye on, we all know his quality. And Ollie Watkins is a fine player who has come in, worked hard and scored goals for them.

Their recent form has been LWLWL. Having been turned over by The Irons last time around let us hope we can break the pattern they are developing and consign them to a second loss in a row, leapfrogging them as we do.

The holics’ pound

This is a tough one to call. The bookies have Arsenal as slight favourites. The two goalkeepers may be crucial and, depending on how they perform, the score could swing a lot. However, the holics’ pound is going on a victory to the good guys, as ever. Our attack is functioning well but against the creativity of Grealish and without Leno we may not keep a clean sheet.

I am going for 3-1 to The Arsenal, partly because William Hill have it at 16/1 (you may be able to shop around for a slightly better price) which I think is a very fair price.

If you are feeling cheeky then you can get around 33/1 on Runarsson to get sent off!

I think we will see a reaction from the lads and I expect us to perform well. That will not necessarily be enough to get a result at Villa Park. Tomorrow’s opposition have put in their own fair share of excellent performances this season. They were very good in their 3-0 thrashing of us at our place, yet it is also fair to say that we were extremely poor that day.

However, I think we have more to prove than they do. The poor result in the last game should not fool anyone into thinking that our form is on anything other than an upwards trajectory and we will be desperate for three points tomorrow.

So go and earn them lads!

I hope you all enjoy the game wherever you are in the world and wherever you are watching it. What’s that? You’re watching from home, you say?

Have a good one ‘holics. 

107 Drinks to “Our Goalie Brings All The Boys To The Park, And They’re Like, He’s Better Than Yours”

  1. 1
    bt8 says:

    Excellent preview GSD, only lacking a cheeky quote on the odds for which player would take over if Runarrson is sent off. Seeing as Luiz is unavailable has Xhaka spent time with the gloves on in training?

    The 0-3 against Villa in November may qualify as our worst performance of the season although there are quite a few other possibilities. Siege mentality should be directed against Villa, not the referees. COYG

  2. 2
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers bt8.

    Siege mentality is for everyone and everything that ain’t The Arsenal!

    UTA

  3. 3
    TTG says:

    Very amusing and sensible preview GSD .
    Morale in our part of North London has risen much higher than along the Seven Sisters Road because there appears to be an obvious and coherent plan. The team did really well in the first half against Wolves and had we not received a Pawson pen letter we might have won the match.Villa were excellent at our place but struggle noticeably more at home as their defeat by West Ham showed .
    Bt8
    If Runarsson is sent off the sub goalie who will probably be Okonkwo if Ryan is not involved would take over . GSD is right that Runarsson enjoys our full support but I still pray that Ryan plays ! I think a 2-1 win for Arsenal is obtainable and it would hugely lift morale if we can get it

  4. 4
    Trev says:

    Nice one, GSD !

    I particularly like your Us v Them idea. The only alternative on offer would appear to be
    Us v Ourselves which, although we’ve often tried it in the past, is much less profitable. 😏

  5. 5
  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent, GSD. Brought a smile to my face. This is a six-pointer so a win by any margin is acceptable (and not negotiable), but 3-1 sounds achievable.

    My worry, as ever, is that the refs in a new pursuit for consistency will land us with another couple of bogus red cards.

  7. 7
    Esso says:

    Cheers GSD!
    A game without Luiz – deep fucking joy!

  8. 8
    Esso says:

    Friday night foot stomper!

  9. 9
    scruzgooner says:

    esso knows.

    nicely done, dino. i always enjoy your posts. i can imagine auba coming on as a sub, based on the reading of ma8’s presser, with gabi in the middle to start. i’m becoming more and more comfortable with cedric on the left for kt3, he has also had a good couple of games. let’s hope partey’s passing is a little more on point tomorrow as well.

    i’ll take that 3-1 at 16, thanks.

  10. 10
    bathgooner says:

    Thanks for a fine preview GSD.

    I must confess that I thought the steam went out of our 10-man momentum against Wolves when PEA replaced Pépé. I would stick with the front three who looked so good for 45 minutes against Wolves and won the game against Southampton, ie. front three of Pépé – Laca – Saka with ESR floating behind and past that threesome. Gabriel for Laca is a no brainer and Ryan for Leno if fit.

    Three points would be very nice and are essential to regaining our upward trajectory.

    COYG

  11. 11
    Esso says:

    Probably agree don’t really think Auba merits going back to starting yet either.

  12. 12
    Esso says:

    Luiz can’t play you say?

  13. 13
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Characteristically amusing and enjoyable preview GSD! Any win will do. Let’s start the match brightly and take the early chances.

  14. 14
    bt8 says:

    Top Tunes, Esso. 👍🏼

  15. 15
    TTG says:

    Pravda says that Mat Ryan is fit for tomorrow

  16. 16
    Esso says:

    @ 15 TTG

    Yeah – but they also say Tractor production has gone through the roof?

  17. 17
  18. 18
    bathgooner says:

    Heh, Esso @16

  19. 19
    Esso says:

    @bt8 sweet style!!

  20. 20
    Silly Second Yella says:

    Eduuuu

    !!!

  21. 21
    Goonersince54 says:

    Excellent preview GSD
    I repeat what I said from previous drinks, that if the Hammers can put 3 past Emi, 2 of which he wouldn’t have been happy about, then I don’t see any reason why we can’t do the same.
    Like Esso, I hope Luiz will not feature in the first 11 again unless it is an absolute emergency.
    The Wolves result still annoys me intensely, and only a good win at Villa Park will assuage some of my disappointment.
    On a brighter note, another of our young and upcoming stars of the future, Charlie Patino, has scored his first goal for the under 23’s tonight in a very entertaining 2 – 2 match against Chelsea with about 5 minutes remaining.
    Reiss Nelson back on the pitch at last, scored our opener.

  22. 22
    Goonersince54 says:

    Under 23 update,
    Entertaining game ended 2 – 2.
    And remiss of me not to acknowledge a cracking Century by Joe Root on an absorbing first day of first of 4 Test matches in India.

  23. 23
    TTG says:

    Clive ,
    Greetings!
    Interesting to see Balogun was given the captain’s armband tonight .

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Goonersince54 says:

    Evening TTG
    By all accounts he did not have a very good game, certainly nothing to justify his silly post after the defeat against the Saints in the Cup.
    Quite why he was made captain is baffling, considering there were other more senior players on the pitch.
    Whether the Club are trying to appease him and make him feel wanted is something only they will know.
    But he certainly didn’t play tonight like a young man with a point to prove.
    More like someone who has already committed himself to another Club.

  26. 26
    bt8 says:

    2 of today’s 25 training pictures on the club website show an Arteta/Pepe chat while seated on footballs. Are they planning something?

  27. 27
    Trev says:

    Esso – Choons !

  28. 28
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    TTG @24.

    Thanks for the link. Impressive indeed! If he played like that for the first team he’d be challenging for a place.

    What on earth is going on with him?

  29. 29
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers for the kind words all. Hopefully we get a result to be happy about!

  30. 30
    Trev says:

    And bt8 @17 👍🏻

  31. 31
    Trev says:

    For Martinez tomorrow – please don’t 👍🏻

  32. 32
    Silly Second Yella says:

    oi oi
    ya turkey necks

  33. 33
    Uplympian says:

    Cheers GSD for a fine review. I would like to see the same team who started against Wolves to start against the Villans with the obvious subs of Ryan & Gabriel to replace the red carder. If we can somehow keep Grealish quiet ( a very tough ask as he’s playing superbly at the moment ) then we should have too much for them and come away with all 3 points – 2-1 to the good guys.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Good tunes tonight. The spirit of cba must be abroad.

  35. 35
    ksn says:

    That was another fine preview, GSD. We have been poor against Villa in recent games and they are well organised and excellent in counter attacking. Grealish is their main threat but West Ham found a way to subdue him last Wednesday and I hope Arteta has seen the videos and will have a plan in place. I would retain the team that played Wolves minus Leno and Luiz who will be replaced by Ryan and Gabriel. It is time to see what Odegaard has to offer so it would make sense to start him and rest ESR. A win is a must and though 1-3 score line would be great, I will settle for a win by any margin.
    Thanks for u 23 clip, TTG. Nelson needs some game time which he is not getting from Arteta. He may play in the Europa cup matches.

  36. 36
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Root has passed 200. What a player.

  37. 37
    ksn says:

    Joe Root is a classy batsman who is in great form. Enjoying watching him bat. India on the backfoot.

  38. 38
    RosieKey says:

    Great review, GSD. Fingers crossed for today. (And thanks for the heads up about the cricket)

  39. 39
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    ksn. India were obviously heavy favourites. Their home form is beyond formidable and the performance and result in Australia was one of the all time best.

    So I’m really pleased England are off to a strong start as it adds so much more excitement to the series.

    Personally England v India is my favourite cricketing clash. Of course The Ashes are pretty special but I’ve never been to Australia whereas I’ve spent a lot of time in India and I love the place. I have many fond memories of watching games between the sides taking place in the UK as I sat in various locations around India. The fun I had with all the India fans, regardless of the results, has made this matchup insuprassable for me.

    I was in a bar in Mumbai all day watching a one day match, having a lot of banter with the bar regulars. The woman I was travelling with had gone to a museum or something (madness when the cricket was on) so I made friends with everyone in the bar. Sachin scored the winning runs in the last over of the day and the patrons proceeded to jostle each other for who got to buy me a Guinness first! A wonderful day!

  40. 40
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers RosieKey. (Nice handle!)

    Welcome to the bar! Have a tipple of your choice on me…

  41. 41
    Esso says:

    Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette

  42. 42
    Esso says:

    Subs: Runarsson, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Ceballos, Odegaard, Willian, Martinelli, Aubameyang

  43. 43
    bt8 says:

    Welcome RosieKey.
    Hoping your arrival in the bar is our good luck charm against Villa. The Ryan/Martinez dynamic is very interesting. COYG

  44. 44
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    How could I not mention the possibility of Marvelous Nkamba starting for Villa?

    That is a great name that brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it!

    Smith Rowe and Laca get the nod. Auba and Odegaard will presumably both feature from the bench.

    Ryan makes it!

    UTA

  45. 45
    Steve T says:

    Cheers Dino

    Cricket first thing. Bacon rolls. Then us. 3 points and a performance please. Walk the dog and then settle down for beer and the rugby. All topped off with a curry.

    This could be a great day. Bring it on.

  46. 46
    Countryman100 says:

    Steve you just described my day too. Swapping only a steak for the curry.

  47. 47
    North Bank Ned says:

    Welcome in, RosieKey.

    I hope we play today as well as Root batted.

  48. 48
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Steve. A man with a plan. I like it!

    C100. You too. But I had to say so separately.

    Otherwise it is men with plen. 🤷‍♂️

  49. 49
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned.

    I hope we score 218. 🤣

  50. 50
    bathgooner says:

    GSD @44, I sincerely hope he’s Disastrous Nkamba for Villa this afternoon.

  51. 51
    bt8 says:

    I woke up and smelled the coffee. Over to you Arsenal.

  52. 52
    Trev says:

    Come on you Rreeedddssss !

  53. 53
    Trev says:

    Watchya Steve !

    All well I hope ? 👍🏻

  54. 54
    scruzgooner says:

    i woke up and heard the sparrow fart. COYG!

  55. 55
    scruzgooner says:

    sigh

  56. 56
    ksn says:

    Cedric makes a mistake and Watkins scores, in less than 90 seconds.

  57. 57
    Trev says:

    For fuck’s sake – 1 minute

  58. 58
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Matt Ryan’s worst nightmare

  59. 59
    ksn says:

    Ryan had no chance as the ball took a vicious deflection. Just the set up Villa wanted as they love playing counter.

  60. 60
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    What a horrible start.

    Come on lads. COYG

  61. 61
    ksn says:

    Laca butted by Villa defender, Konsa but they are both back on their feet. Tough day ahead.

  62. 62
    Steve T says:

    Missing Luiz’s organisational skills already

    Greetings Trev. All good ta. Hope you snd yours are all well?

  63. 63
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Wake up Cedric

  64. 64
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Laca wasteful. He has to release one of them

  65. 65
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Passing sloppy allround

  66. 66
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    ESR is the bright spot. They can’t pick him up.

  67. 67
    Steve T says:

    Not out best first half. Need to find a spark from somewhere. Only one shot on target all half. Need to be more creative and more direct.

    Saka getting kicked off the pitch. Not a lot you can do about it if Villa nominate separate players to effectively pick up yellow cards. Embarrassing tactic on their part.

  68. 68
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Steve. Spot on

  69. 69
    Osakamatt says:

    well lady luck is proving fickle
    again, we’ve pressed well the
    last 20 minutes and deserved a
    goal really. Still, all to play for
    2nd half.
    Ryan did well after the goal,
    and we are getting some
    openings down both flanks.

    oh and should of been a red for
    the villa lad, saka was through.

  70. 70
    scruzgooner says:

    the john terry influence. they’d scream bloody murder if we did that to grealish.

  71. 71
    Esso says:

    Totally agree on the red card. Disgrace. As usual.

  72. 72
    Esso says:

    But agree with Steve T as well. We have not looked particularly up for it. That needs to change.

  73. 73
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    OM. Yeah, that should be red.

    We always get reds in the same position. Saka is faster than the guy and has control of the ball. How is that less of a goalscoring opportunity than Traore being near a ball headed down the wing that Leno got done for a few days ago?

    Just be consistent refs.

  74. 74
    bt8 says:

    Halftime highlights: second pair of reading glasses found behind the sofa cushion. Product of siege mentality absent elsewhere.

  75. 75
    ksn says:

    Martinez is having a good game. We need to speed up the game. Laca off for Auba.

  76. 76
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Martinez clearly pulls Laca down for a penalty.

    Ref does nothing. No VAR review.

    Absolutely disgraceful

  77. 77
    ksn says:

    They are now managing time by acting injured, first Grealish and then Martinez.
    Odegaard on.

  78. 78
    ksn says:

    Saka’s shot hit a defender’s arm in the penalty area but it was not even looked at.

  79. 79
    ksn says:

    We shouldn’t have sold Martinez to any team in the League.
    COYG.

  80. 80
    ksn says:

    We are trying but just missing the last pass or shot.

  81. 81
    ksn says:

    Partey down but I hope it is nothing serious. He is replaced by Willian. Shit.

  82. 82
    ksn says:

    We got off to a bad start and didn’t have the rub of the green. There is a slight improvement but not enough to beat a low block against a well organised defence.

  83. 83
    ksn says:

    Auba had a good chance but he has lost that edge he had last season.

  84. 84
    ksn says:

    We lose again. Our shit slow passing around wasn’t effective at all.

  85. 85
    Esso says:

    Well SNAFU then.

  86. 86
    Steve T says:

    Poor performance. Too slow with the ball snd too slow without it. Missed Partey. Xhaka looked clueless after he went off. Pepe reverted to type. Has he had his one good game?

    Fair play to Villa. Defended well snd worked hard. We just were not good enough. Poor goal to give away but nothing much in front of goal. In the end we had loads of ball but no real idea what to do with it.

    We wanted 7 points from 9. We’ve taken one. Just shows how much work there is still to do.

  87. 87
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    After last week I cannot believe that I am so angry again.
    3 moments changed the game .
    1. Cedric poor pass leads to goal.
    2. Konsa stays on for a red card challenge.
    3. No penalty given for blatant foul on Laca.

    Only one of those is our fault. Unbelievably frustrating.

  88. 88
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I did not see what you did Steve. Pepe played well. He tracked runners and tackled well in the defensive third. He made a lot of good runs that were not always picked out but created space. He was in the right areas and looked dangerous. He was unlucky with a couple of close shots. Yes, he does miscontrol sometimes, and he doesn’t always make the most of every opening, but that is not all there is to see.

  89. 89
    ksn says:

    Spot on, Steve T. Apart from Xhaka’s free kick and Odegaard’s hit which went over the bar we huffed and puffed but were expertly kept away by a well grilled Villa defence.
    The one lament is that after Cedric gave away the ball no one picked up Watkins (he was surrounded by three Arsenal defenders) who had a free shot at goal and they also were lucky that the shot went in off a deflection.

  90. 90
    depressedgooner says:

    Sadly we seem to be that team……

    We almost cannot buy a decision from any official……

    But in the second half we were very poor in the final decision making process and I still fail to see what Willian gives us…..

    Pass ball to Willian, Willian takes a touch and if that does not give the ball away he then spins around and gives the ball away……

    Plus point was my stream failed for almost the entire first half and Ødegaard looks good.

  91. 91
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    The first half was too slow and our passing was poor. Especially in the final third. The second half was much better but still too many bad choices or executions when it mattered.

    We shot ourselves in the foot with their goal. Just a bad goal to concede.
    All of that is on us. Our fault.

    Yet it doesn’t change the fact that the ref let them kick Saka off the park, repeatedly failing to book players. He made 2 huge errors with the non red for Konsa and a blatant foul by Emi on Laca. If we had played against ten men, or got the penalty half way through the second half we might well have won.
    Xhaka got absolutely taken out. No yellow.
    The ref was awful. Again. And it cost us.

    If we had played really well and scored three then of course we could have overcome this. But on days when it is tight I don’t think the only response is to blame our lads for not being head and shoulders above the opposition whilst refusing to acknowledge that if we had been on the good side of decisions that have consistently gone against us it would have impacted the result.

  92. 92
    North Bank Ned says:

    Good enough to have come away with a draw if we had had a bit more of the rub of the green, but not good enough for a win. We don’t create enough threatening chances, even though we are starting to look more creative in midfield.

    Makes it worse that the goal conceded was so unnecessary.

    Badly missing Tierney on the left, and the Cedric subbed off, Saka to left-back, Pepe to right-wing gambit makes us less threatening all-round.

    Also, why didn’t Martinelli come on when Partey went off? We needed his energy and direct running as we were chasing the game, not the running into cul-de-sacs of an out-of-form Willian.

    Did Auba come off after he had gone on? He was nowhere to be seen. Laca, at least, hustles and bustles when he is leading the line.

    Matt Ryan earned his corn. Martinez showed why he is a starting Premiership keeper. Top save from Xhaka’s free-kick. And sedate TTG when I say it, but Xhaka is looking much more effective when playing alongside Partey.

  93. 93
    ksn says:

    Welcome break for the players as they don’t play for the next eight days but after that they play Leeds, Benefica and City over the ten days following that break.
    Gutted today as we could have won if we hadnt conceded first.

  94. 94
    Steve T says:

    Really not quite sure what Peter Walton is on about?????

  95. 95
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Ned @92: Completely agree about Martinelli. He would have ran at the defence and pressed much better. Auba should be ashamed of his performance today. Did nothing.

  96. 96
    North Bank Ned says:

    Dr F.@95: What happened to the Auba who wouldn’t get a touch all game yet still score a hat-trick? All that seems left is the not getting a touch part.

  97. 97
    Doctor Faustus says:

    VAR or no-VAR, English referees are the certified worst in all of Europe’s top leagues. And given how much of their absolutely ridiculous decisions go against Arsenal — or favour teams like Man U — it can be argued that their incompetence is also salted with bias.

    Two consecutive matches where the refereeing against us was disgraceful.

  98. 98
    North Bank Ned says:

    Two-thirds of the possession, but only three of 14 shots on target versus Villa’s eight of 12. Pinpoints where the problem lies.

  99. 99
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    “Two consecutive matches where the refereeing against us was disgraceful.”

    Spot on, Doc.

  100. 100
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Bang

  101. 101
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Ned@96: Yes, he just doesn’t have that sharpness of movement and alertness in the box which used to find him the right space and that extra second to finish. Hopefully he recovers some form…

  102. 102
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned @98.

    Well, it pinpoints where the problem that we have control over was. Although it wasn’t just our shooting. We failed to turn a lot of promising positions into shooting chances, and generally made poor choices in the final third and executed them badly.

    And our passing in the middle of the pitch set the tone for that. None of it was good.

  103. 103
    ksn says:

    Willock scores on Newcastle debut.

  104. 104
    Doctor Faustus says:

    GSD @ 102: Exactly! Our first time through pass in transition remains very ordinary. Partey for all his qualities has shown himself to be inconsistent in this respect. Xhaka mostly takes an extra second or two.
    I won’t mind seeing a 4-3-3 with both Odegaard and ESR in the midfield. ESR more as #8 as he defends quite well when needed. Martin showed a passing quality we can really do at the middle of the pitch.

  105. 105
    ksn says:

    Ned, we were up against a packed defence for the entire match but they had plenty of space behind our defence and it is not surprising that they had a lot more shots and a much higher percentage of them on target. That is why their goal at the start of the game was a total game changer. If they hadn’t scored it would have an open game and I am sure we would have won.

  106. 106
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    @ksn

    It was a proper Rambo style run and finish too. Well done Joe!

  107. 107
    Bathgooner says:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>