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To Villa Park for a lunchtime kick off and with a point to prove. The siege mentality must have been seriously strong at the training ground, as the perceived injustice after the Wolves game continued to rankle. Personally I just loved having all my non Arsenal mates messaging me to gloat over our red card count, although Spurs fans were notable by their absence. Perhaps their WiFi was on the blink. The question today was whether we could channel the resentment in the right way. 

Team selection seemed to point to the fact that Arteta is becoming more and more sure of his first XI. He picked the team that played so well for 46 minutes at Molineux, changing only Gabriel for Luiz and Ryan (happily fit) for Leno, both changes enforced due to one match suspensions.

Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, ESR, Pépé, Lacazette Saka

Subs: Runarsson, Ceballos, Ødegaard, Willian, Auba, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Martinelli

For Villa, Bertrand Traore started, meaning the counter attack threat was very much there, with Grealish to the fore. The euphonically named Marvellous Nkamba also started for the Villains, to the great glee of a certain 8ft tall green dinosaur. 

We were in trouble from the start. Gabriel read a ball into the box well and knocked it to Cedric. He completely under hit the return pass and only played it to Traore. He ran into the box and squared it for Watkins to slide it past Ryan, via a deflection. 

Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal (Watkins 1 min)

On seven minutes, Laca went down after Konsa headed the back of his head. Were these to be the first concussion subs? Evidently not, as both players returned to the field. In the first 15 we were failing to find the crisp passes that were such a feature early on Tuesday night. Gabriel was still looking half a yard off the pace. One factor may have been that we had a lot less time on the ball – Villa were pressing hard. One move showed that well when we broke with Laca on the ball and three vs two. He had Saka on the right and Pepe on the left to move it too, but Mings stepped in quickly and broke it up. Chance missed. 

The game settled down with both teams looking dangerous but with no real saves required by either keeper. That changed on 28 minutes when Emi Martinez sprang to his left to claw out, one handed, a magnificent free kick from Granit Xhaka. A minute later, Barclay laid on Traore who tried to lob Ryan, but an excellent save by our new goalie denied him.

Saka was hauled down as he broke into the Villa half with only green grass and Martinez ahead of him. A yellow card was the result, although Arteta was demanding more. One cannot help considering what might have been the outcome if the shirt colours had been reversed. Moments later Saka was again brutally fouled by Marvellous Mkamba. Another yellow card and, I fear, an indication of what Saka will face in most games from now on. 

A first half where we went behind early, looked nervous for ten minutes, but then grew into the game. One of our most physical games for a long time with Villa shown some leniency by the officials. We had a goal in us, but so did Villa. All to play for in the second half,

HT Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal

No changes at half time, but Auba and Gabigol waiting on the bench. Could we start moving the ball quicker and with more effect?

The first five minutes of the second half were all Villa. A good training ground move from a corner found Barclay in space on the penalty spot but he scuffed his shot. A good passing move led to another fine save from Ryan. Partey was booked for a supposed foul on Mkamba, presumably on the strength of the scream, as the replay showed no foul. Ryan again saved well from McGinn.

Pépé was having a frustrating afternoon with crosses blocked and hitting poor passes. He did hit a shot with his right foot, but with no curl on it and the ball harmlessly passed the post. Flashes of genius from ESR and then Saka saw shots raining in on Martinez’s goal, but he saved well. On 58 minutes Auba came on for Laca. Come on big man!

Martin Ødegaard came on for Cedric, thereby moving Saka to left back. Trézéguet came on for Traore. A goalmouth scramble after a good cross by Pépé saw the ball cleared by Villa but with Mings clattering his goalie. Pépé again fired in a shot and a deflection almost beat Martinez. The Xhaka, Saka, Pépé axis on the left was looking sharp.

Then on 73 minutes Partey went down and limped off, holding what looked like his hamstring. He is proving to be rather fragile, unfortunately. On came Willian. After giving the ball away on halfway, the ball fell to Grealish who jinked onto his right foot and fired in a fierce shot which once again was well saved by Mat Ryan. The on-loan Brighton goalkeeper was having a fine game. His goal was threatened again when Ødegaard gave it away and Watkins shot just wide. On 83 minutes a great chance for Ødegaard was made by Saka who found the bye-line and cut back the ball to the unmarked Real Madrid man. He hit it cleanly and very hard, but too high. Making his only error of the game Rob Holding lost the ball under pressure from Watkins who made 50 yards before forcing yet another fine save from Ryan. 

Meanwhile if it’s possible to stink the place out in 17 minutes, Willian was doing so. Easily brushed off the ball, never beating a man, slowing down moves. Why hadn’t we put Martinelli on?

The minutes ticked away. We just weren’t doing enough. Five minutes of added time went up, but the resolute Villa defence, with Mings and Cash to the fore, stood firm. 

FT Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal

It’s difficult to know what to make of that game. One big plus was Mat Ryan, who looked the part. After a strong run, the events of the 47th minute in Wolverhampton seem to have rattled us and set us back. You can see the promise but the execution was poor today. We now have a week off. Let’s use it.

184 Drinks to “Six Points Dropped in Five Days in the Midlands”

  1. 1
    Bathgooner says:

    Fine report on a difficult match. One issue. Holding’s first mistake was standing off Watkins at their goal. Watkins was the only threat in the box. Why Holding was at least 4 yards away from him, only he knows. He made several more mistakes heading good crosses wide and over (as is his wont). Apart from that, it was the match I saw. Too ponderous after being rattled by the early concession and lacking the guile and movement to unlock a well organised defence. The subs came too late and the choice of Willian was misguided.

    Ryan and Ødegaard look good additions. Willian still looks a busted flush. Has Auba returned from his trip to see his mother yet?

  2. 2
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Well done Countryman. A very fair and speedy report.

    A really frustrating game. I notice you did not mention Matinez hauling down Laca by his shirt for a blatant penalty, which I thought was just another mistake in a litany from the ref today.

    But we did not offer enough threat and after such a good first half last time out that is disappointing

  3. 3
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Baff. Last line. Heh.

  4. 4
    Countryman100 says:

    GSD. There were no close replays while I watched so I didn’t think anything had gone on. At full time I went away to write the report. I’ve now come back to find some replays that suggest you may be right.

  5. 5
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Excellent report in rapid time TTG!
    I also concur with Bath’s observation about Rob’s responsibility in the goal.

    I completely support Mikel and I am convinced he will take us forward. He has shown signs that he is becoming a fast learner. But I must say his continued insistence on making Willian a success is becoming very annoying.

    Willian walked straight into the first team at the start of the season in place of Pépé who ended last season quite well, contributing heavily in the FA cup win and despite all the changes and chaos managed 18 goals and assists. It felt like he was starting to get more consistent. For a very long time Willian did absolutely nothing and yet kept his place. Then when fortunately Mikel’s hands were forced and the younger players forced their way in the starting line up he still keeps on picking Willian as an “impact sub” but always without any positive contribution. It’s him who should be playing for U-23 and Reiss should be on the bench. Nelson can be inconsistent but he brings in directness, drive, energy at least. So does Martinelli.

    There were some discussion about Arsenal’s worst ever signing a few weeks back. Willian given the trust placed on him and given how abjectly awful he has been sits on the top rung of that list. If we are to salvage something from the season we shouldn’t play him unless absolutely needed. Forget Gabbi, if we had thrown in Eddie at least for Partey and moved Auba to left we would have looked more likely than the pathetic performance served up by Willian. At the end of the season both him and his buddy Luiz can just get out of the club.

  6. 6
    Doctor Faustus says:

    So sorry! I meant Countryman! My apologies … 🙁

  7. 7
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Countryman. Yeah, I think it is clear cut. Emi grabs his shirt and wrestles him to the floor. That’s a penalty all day.

    It is also, for what it is worth, much worse than what Luiz was given a red card and a penalty against him for.

    If we had equalised at that point it is a different game.

  8. 8
    TTG says:

    I would be delighted to have written such a fair and insightful report ! Well done C100 , the younger, sexier and more intelligent version of TTG .
    I think we deserved a point today and was immensely frustrated.
    First lesson – Don’t lose a soft goal to a well -organised and cynical team like Villa ( can’t you see the influence of Shagger Terry ?)
    We were affected by the early goal but there was no lack of effort by the team. My take is that we have some super players who will serve us brilliantly going forward . We also had a few players out today who weren’t good enough for the team we aspire to be .
    In the positive camp – Ryan ( who did really well today ) , Saka, ESR , Partey ( But can he hack the PL physically ?) Gabriel , Pépé who did decently today and Odegaard who I thought had a good impact. My feelings on Xhaka are well known but he wasn’t a problem today .
    On the negative side – Cedric, Bellerin ( compare our full-backs with theirs who were excellent ), Holding was too slow not just for the goal but in covering their breaks today , Lacazette and Auba who both had zero impact . I’m starting to worry about Aubameyang.
    Lesson Two is never bring on Willian in an Arsenal shirt again. His incompetence is becoming biblical . He held up every attack we tried to launch , he scarcely played a pass of any quality and he never looks likely to get a shot off
    Lesson three was we must be more incisive and we must punish teams when we get a great chance like Odegaard’s fifteen minutes from time .
    I do hope we can win the Europa League because progress in the league is going to be well nigh impossible

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    Rapid and readable report of an ultimately disappointing result, C100. Not much to add to what has already been said in this and the previous drinks. As SteveT noted, one point, not the required seven from this run of three games. Well off the pace.

  10. 10
    Steve T says:

    What a crap day

  11. 11
    BtM says:

    Outstanding performance. On the front foot from the first minute. Robust defence, rapid transitions, incisive attacks, 70% possession and the home team rarely in the game. Even gave our best player a 10 minute rest break and a spot of spectating just because we could. Good day out for my Calcutta Cup bretheren.

    Then there was Arsenal. Well reviewed GSD. The early error undermined confidence and punched a hole in pre-match tactical plans. As for so much of the season, lacked the sharpness to turn over a very good Villa team, despite being the better team for much of the game.

    Six points from the last two games were there for the taking. No doubt the twatterverse will blame the manager.

  12. 12
    Countryman100 says:

    Thank God for the cricket and Joe Root Steve.

  13. 13
    Countryman100 says:

    BtM already in his cups celebrating the rugby as he attributes the match report to GSD (who wrote the preview).

    The Lord preserve us from gloating Scots (even when they did deserve to win).

  14. 14
    BtM says:

    Oops, C100, kudos to you, not GSD for a grand report. (A couple of glasses more than planned this afternoon).

  15. 15
    ksn says:

    That was a quick and fine report, C100. We were undone by one crappy pass at the start of the match by Cedric near our 18 yard box and paid the price. I still cannot understand how none of our three defenders surrounding the lone Villa striker in the box, picked him up and he was allowed all the time and space to shoot and score. This aspect of defending needs some work. Villa loves to defend deep and score on the counter and the early goal meant that all their players got behind the ball and defended. They are well organised and we created only two chances (Xhaka’s free kick and Odegaard’s shot) and they came to nothing.
    VAR again screwed us. They didn’t even replay the incident GSD referred to but if an Arsenal player had done that they would have played it in slow motion endlessly and sent our player off and awarded them a penalty. The referees bias against Arsenal is all too evident to everyone except, maybe to Steve T.

    Ryan was impressive on his debut. Odegaard could have got us level but just leaned back and sent his shot over the bar. Saka and ESR had a good game but Cedric and Willian were poor. I can’t understand Arteta’s love for Willian who offers nothing. Martinelli or Nelson (when picked) would add some directness and pace to our attack.

    After eight days rest we take on Leeds, Benefica and City over the ten days thereafter. A tough run and as TTG said we must prioritise Europa Cup as we are unlikely to finish in the top six in the league this season.

  16. 16
    Goonersince54 says:

    Very depressing result, and it looks more and more like we have 2 lame duck defenders when it comes to physical fitness.
    Both Partey and KT clearly have serious issues with muscular injuries.
    Partey coming from a les demanding Spanish league, to the much more intense PL, and KT doing himself no favors by training the same way he plays, at 100 miles an hour, and giving the body too little time to recover.
    Between the 2 of them, who are absolutely vital parts of the first 11, their absence could derail our Europa league hopes given it is the only competition we have left to hang our hat on.
    So the question to ask is are they more injury prone compared to other team mates. ??
    Perhaps Ned’s Monks can enlighten us as to how many games each first team player has missed this season with muscular injuries. ??
    No surprise that with KT missing the last 3 matches which upsets the balance of the team, that we have taken 1 point out of nine.
    We have some good players in the squad, but not enough it seems at the moment, to make sure that if we cannot win games, to at least make sure we don’t lose and take something from them.

  17. 17
    bt8 says:

    Same game I saw Countryman. Very downhearted at the result and the bluntness of our attack although Odegaard did provide some spark. Villa deserved at least three more cards than they received, and the referee did nothing to stop their rotational fouls on Saka. I’m sure the players can use a rest before restarting the grind, but Villa did well seeing as the ref allowed them to do so much.

  18. 18
    bt8 says:

    Saliba wins the Nice club player of the month award as voted by the fans.

    Arsenal loanee William Saliba wins Nice Player of the Month for January

  19. 19
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@4: I am guessing you were watching the game on a UK broadcast, but I was following it on a Serbian TV channel (my channel of choice as I do not speak a word of Serbo-Croat and that makes the commentary considerably less irritating). However, it did show in-game replays of the Martinez/Laca incident in question. So one broadcaster, at least, found the incident of sufficient interest to be worthy of a second look. I wonder why others did not.

  20. 20
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@18: Good for Saliba. I hope he gets a good run of games at Nice and comes back in the summer with his transition to senior football done to Arteta’s satisfaction and ready to fight Rob for a first-team place. In time, he and Gabriel could make for a formidable CB pairing.

  21. 21
    Osakamatt says:

    As BtM said an excellent performance, cracking game
    preview by GSD and a quick and fair report from C100.
    Well done and thank you gentlemen.
    Sorry, a bit late to offer my thanks GSD.
    Anyway, same old problem this season – 1 goal in the
    last 3 games and 1 point. That substitute Auba after
    jealous aliens abducted the real one just isn’t working
    for me. But I want to believe.
    Saka, Laca, Pepe all playing ok, they just don’t score
    enough goals or not consistently enough anyway. On first
    sight Odegaard didn’t look like the solution to that problem
    but I’ve plenty of time for him as a player.

  22. 22
    Osakamatt says:

    @19 Ned,
    They showed it again on DAZN (I get the Japanese commentary
    for exactly the same reason you get the serbo croat😃).
    Looked a clear foul to me, but I do think also that refs almost
    never give those.

  23. 23
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I couldn’t face MOTD last night but I just watched their coverage of our game (during tea in the cricket). The show was disgraceful. Linker laughing at Ian Wright because the refs never give blatant fouls by goalkeepers.

    Would MOTD not be an appropriate platform to question the decisions of the officials (which all and sundry are finding sub par) rather than to be so accepting off their abysmal standard that the response is to openly laugh at someone who thinks a clear shirt pull that drags a man to the floor should be a penalty?

    The in-game commentary said ‘Lacazette bundles into Martinez.” Did he fuck.

  24. 24
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    There was no mention whatsoever of rotational fouling on Saka. I am surprised Dion Dublin did not do a piece on it to congratulate Villa on their smart tactics.

  25. 25
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    MOTD were not shy to say that the Soucek red card should be overturned. They are right. It was a worse decision than any made in our game. If it is overturned it would be the second week in a row that Mike Dean has made a decision BASED ON LOOKING AT REPLAYS that has later been overturned.
    It was a shamefully bad decision from a consistently awful referee. (And the week before on VAR he failed to give Southampton a blatant penalty for the most dubious of reasons). He is just abysmally bad.

    It would be good if MOTD consistently used its platform to call out referees. They could help put pressure on the PGMOL but they seem to choose to do this only when it fits their private agenda, whatever that may be.

  26. 26
    TTG says:

    I share your obvious pain GSD. I think we all do on here. I rarely watch MOTD because I don’t like most of the summarisers and Lineker while very slick is also a bit patronising about Arsenal .
    The Dean issue is a serious one . He is an incompetent ref , an egotist and seems to want to make all his refereeing decisions all about him. Nobody goes to the match to watch the referee unless perhaps they were or are a referee ( I took an old friend once for his last ever trip to see Arsenal and he did scrutinise the referee much more sympathetically than I did!He had refereed non-league football and I enjoyed his insights ). Graham Poll was another who thought he was a mega-star not a facilitator . I saw him come out of Highbury once and look around for autograph hunters . There weren’t any . If you want to see a game ruined by a referee’s ego try Arsenal v Newcastle in December 2001. Poll virtually gave three points to a markedly inferior Newcastle as did Anthony Taylor in that infamous game against Villa which opened the season in about 2013 I think .
    When refereeing becomes that intrusive and error prone it distorts the game .

  27. 27
    Countryman100 says:

    Ainsley starts against Spurs today.

  28. 28
    bt8 says:

    Goal differential in the GF column after one week of Joe Willock’s loan to Newcastle:

    Willock 1 Arsenal 0

  29. 29
    North Bank Ned says:

    Like much BBC programming, MOTD, from the few editions I’ve seen, is more interested in celebrity and entertainment than thoughtful reporting and analysis. It is just Sky Sports with house-trained pundits.

  30. 30
    TTG says:

    When I became an Arsenal fan I remember my father telling me ‘ you either love Arsenal or you hate them’ . He felt there was a lot of jealousy that had built up over the years .
    It’s hard when you support a team to view them objectively but I sense a degree of negativity towards them in the UK sports media. One example is the different way the colossal Bale loan deal is dealt with compared with Ozil’s contract . It may be only one year ( they surely can’t renew it?) but it is a financial disaster for a notoriously financially conservative club . Still he’s still playing off four so it’s not all bad .

  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@30: I guess that the greater the cause for jealousy, the greater the hate. However, it is still surprising, given the impression one gets in this far-flung corner of the world that UK journalists are all paid-up members of the Islington chattering classes.

    I also wonder if anti-Arsenal bias at the BBC has increased since BBC Sport moved to Salford.

    As for Bale, you have clearly not drunk enough of the neighbour’s Kool-Aid. I was ‘a coup’ for Levy and Mourinho to bring him back to marshlands of Middlesex, I read. And they are only paying 40% of his £600,000-a-week wages. Apparently, there is an option in Bale’s loan agreement that allows Levy and Mourinho to keep him for a second season — for those times when one coup is just not enough.

  32. 32
    North Bank Ned says:

    I now see why Big Sam has the reputation as a football tactician that he does:
    We’ve got to start winning games, and we won’t do that by keeping on losing.
    Neasden FC’s tight-lipped, ashen-faced supremo Ron Knee (59) could not have put it better himself.

  33. 33
    Countryman100 says:

    Ned. Are Sid and Doris Bonkers starting to lose the faith?

  34. 34
    Bathgooner says:

    Ned @29, I love it!

    MOTD is ” just Sky Sports with house-trained pundits.”

  35. 35
    North Bank Ned says:

    Life in the North Circular Relegation League would test anyone’s faith, C100, but Neasden’s fans are both steadfast.

  36. 36
    TTG says:

    You’re on great form Ned! I thought S***s were paying £300k per week . He is clearly not in Mourinho’s thoughts as a starter and that’s expensive for someone so parsimonious as Levy( parsimonious other than with his own salary!)
    A friend of my daughter a fairly typical member of the chattering classes and a journalist although not a sports one asked me in 2003 if I could tell her how she could get a season ticket for Arsenal ‘ because all our friends go and we feel a bit left out ‘
    Later the next season I ran across her at the stadium with kids, scarf and hat proclaiming her love for Thierry and Dennis . I have friends who didn’t get near a season ticket at that time and who have loyally followed the club for years . Don’t know how she did it but she dropped it a few years later
    Hilarious to see the Bindippers getting a chasing particularly as Phil Foden signed recently for Kentish Magicians !

  37. 37
    Esso says:

    Cheers Countryman!

  38. 38
    TTG says:

    Arsenal are the first Premier League club to sign up to a Major Climate Change initiative.It is widely praised by a finance expert because it will appeal to sponsors .Could it just be that we believe in it for its own sake?!

    Maguire: Arsenal to reap the rewards after signing UN treaty

  39. 39
    Goonersince54 says:

    As per usual the bar is much quieter after losing games than when we are winning.
    After a decent run of results, we have reverted to type and dropped 6 pts against 2 bang average teams.
    Laying the blame for the Wolves defeat at the door of the referee and VAR, is disingenuous to say the least.
    We only have ourselves to blame after missing countless chances to put the game out of reach prior to the Luiz red card, and paid the price.
    As for the Villa game, we had 90+ minutes after the pathetic defending that cost us a 2nd minute goal to get something from the game, and produced very little in the way of creativity to turn it around.
    The goals for column against our name in the EPL tells it’s own story.
    I cannot remember a year in the recent past when we have scored so few goals this far into the season.
    It is embarrassing and depressing for a Club of our stature to be wallowing in the lower reaches of the table, and unfortunately i cannot see us changing that anytime soon.

  40. 40
    scruzgooner says:

    it’s depressing to contemplate. we really weren’t good enough in either game, but golden opportunities missed and mistakes are plaguing us.

    c100, thanks for the report. i wouldn’t have had the heart to write it. again, a reminder of the grace dave managed to achieve.

  41. 41
    Bathgooner says:

    Go Chiefs!




  42. 42
    North Bank Ned says:

    Not to keep flogging a dead horse, but why didn’t Fabinho get a red when he gave away a penalty against Man City today? No attempt to play the ball, and brought down Sterling more obviously than David Luiz brought down Willian Jose.

    Clive@39: You speak the unvarnished truth as ever. To jog your memory, the last time we had scored this few goals after 23 games was in the 1998/99 season. We had hit 24 at that point, but our goal difference was plus 13, so we had secured 42 points having lost just three games. This season, with 27 goals scored our goal difference is plus 4, and the points total 31, but ten games lost.

  43. 43
    Goonersince54 says:

    Thnks for that info Ned
    It doesn’t make for palatable reading does it. ??
    I am not looking forward to the City visit to the Ems on Sunday week.
    Indeed with a visit to Leicester the week after, we could be looking at a seriously underwhelming month in the league.
    Also, just wondering if you missed my request for info from the Monks re my post @16.

  44. 44
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Saliba was awarded Nice’s player of the month for January. Let’s hope he carries on like that and comes back next season to fight with Holding and maybe Chambers for a starting position.

    Regarding Liverpool — could it be that Klopp’s hyper-intense tactics is physically unsustainable over more than a few years with the same squad? Especially in PL when the opposition already forced you to play at a higher pace? Will be interesting to see how the (still excellent) Liverpool team evolves in the next few years. If I remember correctly at the end of his first full season (15-16) ‘Pool finished outside European positions (and lost the Europa final to Sevilla) and that may have helped in the following season to focus completely on PL and tuning the style of play. The club ownership still backed him with the right kind of players. Hope even if we don’t make it to Europe next season Mikel will be backed to build the team.

  45. 45
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Clive @39.

    Ignoring the content of the many posts here that said both that we were not clinical enough against Wolves AND that the referee changed the game the game strikes me as disingenuous.

    Why does everything these days have to be black and white, one thing or another? Is it not possible that there may be multiple factors that contributed to a result? And can we not speak about the referee without being told it was all the team’s fault?

    If we had played the second half with ten men I would have expected us to score more goals. No team takes all their chances but when you are playing much better than the opposition that matters less. Our misses in the first half are certainly something to improve on. Yet they also look more costly in the context of a sending off and penalty decision. Many observers also thought we looked dangerous even until we went down to 9. A lot of people thought our first half was some of our best football this season. Of all the games to come down hard on the players I don’t get the issue with the Wolves game.

    Villa, yeah, totally different performance. We were not clinical but more than that we failed to work shooting chances from decent positions. There were a lot of wayward passes. The ref was still poor, and it is fine to acknowledge that as well as acknowledging our own shortcomings. On days when things are tight all we can hope for is that a bloke being grabbed by his shirt and hauled to the ground gets given as a penalty. If it doesn’t then that is as fair game for comment as is the low quality of our passing.

    It is also fair to point out the inconsistency when a bloke commits a foul that we have seen red for and gets only a yellow and then goes right through the back of our striker and somehow escapes another yellow. We have suffered from dismissals yet the opposition get away with stuff that we don’t. It’s a totally different issue to the quality of our play and both of them affect The Arsenal.

  46. 46
    bathgooner says:

    If David Luiz was a gridiron footballer, he would almost certainly play for Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs’ defenders gave away so many unnecessary penalties last night ensuring that they had no chance of winning Super Bowl LV.

  47. 47
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@43: Unfortunately, one of the monks strained something while doing the heavy lifting on the data…

  48. 48
    North Bank Ned says:

    Dr F@44: Interesting point about the physical sustainability of Liverpool’s gegenpressing game. They stayed exceptionally injury-free in their championship season, which allowed Klopp to rotate systematically and manage fatigue. Different story this season.

  49. 49
    Countryman100 says:

    I’ve watched a lot of football, test match cricket, Rugby Union and the NFL Super Bowl over the past three days. One thing that did occur to me was that only in football did the referees decisions end up being the major talking point.

    How did we get into this position?

    I’m off to read a book and listen to music.

  50. 50
    ksn says:

    Arsenal add four names to EPL squad. Full list:

    Arsenal add 4 players to Premier League squad

  51. 51
    Countryman100 says:

    Well in for the 50 ksn!

  52. 52
    ksn says:

    Sorry, C100, couldn’t copy the link to the article. Arsenal’s website has all the info on players, of course.

  53. 53
    bathgooner says:

    The link is there, ksn. It just has a stylish look to it in this extremely chic establishment.

  54. 54
    Trev says:

    Excellent report thanks, Countryman.

    A bit generous I thought, both to Villa and the officials. Cynical rotational fouling of Saka by the Villa and a referee who allowed them to do it almost unpunished.

    Konsa, who held Lacazette down as he headed fiercely into the side of the laggers head, could and should have had three yellow cards in that game – even if Graham Poll wasn’t in charge – and as you pointed out, there were possible claims for a red card waived away, which never seem to be when we are the aggressors rather than the receivers.

    I’m back to work now, albeit on a reduced timetable, and I was too angry to comment on Saturday / Sunday, so apologies for the late response.

    I don’t know quite what Willian has to do to get himself dropped from the match day squad, but I wish he’d bloody well hurry up and find out. What a shocking waste of money he has been and worse, a waste of opportunity for a young player who might at least come into the side and try a bit.

  55. 55
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@43: The data is a bit messy, to say the least. Below is a list of games missed this season by individual players because of muscle problems, as best they can be identified. Lacking Trev’s expertise in what counts as a muscle problem, this list does not include games missed because of injury from kicks, dislocated shoulders, ruptured ACLs, ankle ligaments sprain, hip injuries, Covid-19 et cetera. So it is calf, thigh and neck ‘soreness’ and hamstrings. It also does not include muscle issues where the player was a doubt for a game but passed a late fitness test but only made the bench, or game time missed because a player had to come off with a strain.

    Partey 10
    Tierney 8
    Mustafi 8
    Mari 7
    Ceballos 5
    Sokratis 5
    Cedric 3
    Holding 3
    Willian 3
    Luiz 2
    Aubemeyang 1

  56. 56
    bt8 says:

    Implementation of VAR so that it actually works to improve the fairness of decisions is not anything I expected could be done in one season having observed the bumpy implementation in MLS which adopted it a couple of seasons before the Premier League, where VAR is now in its 2nd season but without having enjoyed a normal off-season where improvements could be considered deliberately. Nevertheless the decisions involving VAR have recently been getting worse not better suggesting a deeper problem.

  57. 57
    bt8 says:

    With 16 days of advance time for the teams to revise their travel plans, UEFA announce that Man City’s Champions League away match on 24 February will be moved from Germany to Hungary due to Covid regulations.


    No word yet on a new venue for Arsenal’s Europa League match scheduled at Benfica on the 18th, but there was a story a few days ago that the hosts were searching for a venue in another country due to Covid travel restrictions. It’s getting late I would think.

  58. 58
    bt8 says:

    Answering my own question, it appears all roads lead to the alternative venue selected:


  59. 59
    Countryman100 says:

    This isn’t good for supporter relations. Mark Brindle has a very high reputation with supporters clubs


  60. 60
    Trev says:

    Ned @32,

    It would appear from the results that Big Fat Ron Knee-Allardyce has a few Pevsners with him as well 😏

  61. 61
    Goonersince54 says:

    GSD @45
    I don’t resile from anything i said in my post.
    I have had my say, and you have had yours, that’s what the bar is for.
    The only point i will make, is the recurring theme in the bar, of the ref and VAR somehow being more biased against us than other teams.
    You can go to any opposing team fan website, and you will read the same gripes from them about how they are being victimized by the ref and VAR.
    We are not being singled out because of who we are, every club has the same complaints.
    Before VAR we only had the ref to blame every time things went against us.
    Now with cameras covering every angle on the pitch and VAR in the mix as well, the ref is under more scrutiny than ever for his actions.
    The players are also more to blame than ever, for constantly employing the dark arts of trying to con the ref, and sometimes they clearly get away with murder.
    Who would want to be a referee in those circumstances.
    I think on the whole they do as good a job as they can despite the opinions of many of my co contributors in this bar.

  62. 62
    bathgooner says:

    I think C100 @49 raises one of the key questions of our era.

  63. 63
    Goonersince54 says:

    Apologies Ned
    I missed your injury update @55
    No surprise to see Partey and KT at the top of the list.
    Although in possible good news, my brother tells me that apparently Partey’s injury is not serious, and that KT’s calf scans have come back clear, so hopefully both won’t be out for too long.
    I’d much rather play City and Leicester later this month with them both in the team.

  64. 64
    Goonersince54 says:

    Great performance by England in first cricket test in India.
    On the cusp of victory needing one more wicket to wrap it up.

  65. 65
    ksn says:

    England thrashed India on a terrible last day wicket.

  66. 66
    Countryman100 says:

    We are living through a golden age of English cricket. What a wonderful win.

  67. 67
    Osakamatt says:

    Glad Leeds won last night, they’re
    very inconsistent so should be a loss
    up next 😁
    I don’t think I’ve ever written the
    words “glad, leeds and won” in the
    same sentence before

  68. 68
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@63: I’d prefer to have Tierney and Partey starting against all teams.

    The cricket was very uplifting. Anderson’s double-wicket maiden was quite some over.

  69. 69
    Countryman100 says:

    Further to my comments at 49, some good stuff from Arseblog today on referees.

    Today’s referee is Mr W Anker, from Spankstown

  70. 70
    Countryman100 says:

    Our Europa League game next week against Benfica, due to be played in Lisbon next week, has been moved to Rome. I haven’t seen confirmation of which stadium in Rome yet, no doubt that will be made clear shortly.


  71. 71
    Countryman100 says:

    Game now confirmed as being at the Stadio Olimpico. Used by both Roma and Lazio.

  72. 72
    bt8 says:

    C100, Your Guardian story linked at 70 is a close variant of the story I linked @58 but the Guardian story clarified that the second leg cannot be played in the UK due to Benfica being banned from entering. The story at #58 did mention that Roma’s stadium is not available for the second leg unless the game is shifted to earlier in the day (with the times currently scheduled our game would end at the same time another game is scheduled to start there).

  73. 73
    bt8 says:

    That is not as serious a problem with fans not being allowed into the stadium of course.

  74. 74
    bathgooner says:

    It appears our home leg is scheduled to be played in Greece and ‘away’ goals will still count double in the event of an aggregate draw.

  75. 75
    bt8 says:

    Still no mention of a second leg venue on the UEFA site.


    That story #58 mentioned two intriguing possibilities: Greece as a potential venue for the second leg (without saying which stadium(s) was/were being considered), and the scrapping of the away goals rule (presumably since both clubs would be away sides in both legs). Draw to be decided by splitting the souvlaki, larger piece won gives you the tie).

  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    Where’s Sokratis when we could use his souvlaki splitting skills? 😉

  77. 77
    Goonersince54 says:

    Very eye opening article on Sky sports re Saliba .
    ” Arteta judged me on 2 and a half games ”
    If any clever clogs in the bar can post it on here, makes for very interesting reading.
    Whether it will damage his relationship with the manager long term will be interesting.

  78. 78
    TTG says:

    Not sure if I count as a clever clogs but here is tye Saliba article
    Our ‘ home’ leg against Benfica will be played further away from our home in Olympiacos’s stadium than the away leg! We live in interesting times

  79. 79
    Osakamatt says:

    Playing the games in Italy and
    Greece is fair but I’m struggling
    to see the sense in it.
    I understand there are new variants
    supposedly in Iberia but surely
    that horse has already bolted.
    Are Italy and Greece really any
    safer than Portugal from a
    logical point of view? Hopefully
    our more scientifically savvy
    gooners will be able to explain
    it to me…..
    Baffled in Osaka

  80. 80
    Goonersince54 says:

    thnks TTG
    Be interested in your thoughts on Saliba unhappiness.

  81. 81
    bt8 says:

    Matt, From a purely non-scientific background as I am, I would amend your question to say “Will Italy and Greece really be any
    safer than Portugal from a
    logical point of view in 1-2 weeks’ time?”

  82. 82
    Osakamatt says:

    that’s a fair enough question too bt8,
    though possibly impossible to answer?

  83. 83
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@79: Playing the EL against Benfica not in Portugal is not so much about the risk of infection, but avoiding the mandatory 14-day quarantine that the team would have to go through on its return to the UK as Portugal in on the UK government’s ‘red list’. That would mean none of the squad that travelled to Portugal would be available for the league game against Man City, the return tie against Benfica and the league game against Leicester City.

  84. 84
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@77: In the original interview on a French TV channel, Saliba comes across as less accusing of Arteta than in the Sky Sports write up — clearly disappointed with his lack of playing time at Arsenal and with the fact that Arteta did not give him the chance to have more game time, but admitting he was off the pace in the two and a half games he did play.


    Despite Sky Sports’ best efforts, I doubt it will cause any bad blood between the two. Arteta has been clear that Saliba needs to be playing regularly — and the Frenchman is getting plenty of games at Nice

  85. 85
    Osakamatt says:

    thanks but I get that Ned,
    I was just wondering if there
    was any actual rationale in there
    that I was missing or it was just
    a hoop jumping exercise

  86. 86
    TTG says:

    I’m getting a mixed vibe about Saliba . He is a young lad who has lost his Mum and went to a club that was going through a schism with the manager during his initial loan . On the face of it I think Arteta has been quite hard on him but one or two people closer to the club than I am have suggested he is a ‘ difficult ‘ lad and has got some obvious technical flaws in his play . With Rekik just signed and McGuinness and Ballard doing well on loan. ( Medley less so) there is a lot of competition at CB ( enough not to renew Luiz’s contract next season!) . I wouldn’t be surprised if we never see him in an Arsenal shirt again .

    This article is concerning about the treatment of Mark Brindle, the Supporter Liaison Officer . He’s a popular figure and it may be an indication of an unpleasant culture developing at the top of the club . This is more concerning than Gunnersaurus !
    Potential redundancy of SLO shows Arsenal do not care about fans

  87. 87
    scruzgooner says:

    i was going to post that arsenal america letter; it’s a devastating redundancy for us here in the states.

  88. 88
    TTG says:

    We’ve had a lot of debates on here about the Kroenkes and how suitable they are as owners for Arsenal . I’ve never been comfortable with them and have been pressed about what sort of people I would like to own the club . I’ve never been able to articulate to my satisfaction the sort of owners I would like but incidents like this provide clarity . I think there are a few key aspects
    – they should be people who love Arsenal rather than just seeing it as an investment. For the Kroenkes it is a part of a sporting portfolio . Arguably the most prestigious part
    – they should genuinely respect the values of the club like people Ken Friar , Arsene Wenger , Bob Wilson and to my mind, David Dein . Arsenal have always behaved in a socially responsible and classy way . That has been something to take genuine pride in .
    – the owner should be a big hitter . When the Kroenkes bought Arsenal we were one of the top eight clubs in world football both in financial and playing terms . Under their stewardship that position has slipped largely because of poor oversight and inadequate selection of key executives. I want to see my club compete with the best teams in world football as they used to ( under Wenger they punched above their weight , we were the best team in Europe in many people’s eyes in 2004) . I very much doubt if they will ever do that again in my lifetime if the Kroenkes stay in charge . You need bigger investment to restore Arsenal to its past glories than the self-sustaining model can provide . That’s why the owner needs to be a supporter so that it is about more than just buying success as a vanity project
    – the owners must realise how big a global brand Arsenal is and the responsibilities that come with that. Mark’s removal is one little sign that they don’t

  89. 89
    Pangloss says:

    TTG@47 I suspect I would figure high on the list of pressers. In that capacity, I thank you for the list of criteria you have supplied. I can think of many more that could be added.

    You or other drinkers here are likely better-informed than I on matters of football club ownership, I wonder whether one of you might be able to proved some examples of successful clubs that are owned by people who fit the description?

    When I consider Premier League ownership I find myself thinking about

    o The Abu Dhabi royal family
    – Lovers of Manchester City? I wonder.
    – Respecters of Manchester City’s values? Who knows.
    – Big hitters (I assume we mean financial big hitters)? Certainly.
    – Well-informed of Manchester City’s status as a global brand and their concomitant responsibilities? Probably as they have been closely involved over the time when that brand developed

    o Roman Abramovitch
    – Lover of Chelsea? I wonder; he does make efforts to project himself that way
    – Respecter of Chelsea’s values? Who knows.
    – Financial big hitter? Yes
    – Well-informed of Chelsea’s status etc.? As with the al Nahyan family, probably.

    o The Glazers
    – Lovers of Manchester United? I wonder
    – Respecter of Manchester United’s values? Who knows.
    – Financial big hitters? I don’t know.
    – Well informed of Manchester United’s status etc.? Less clear-cut than for Abramovitch or the Emiratis as Man U enjoyed that status before the Glazers bought the club.

    o Fenway Sports group
    – Lovers of Liverpool? Probably; I believe they attend matches fairly regularly.
    – Respecters of Liverpool’s values? Who knows.
    – Financial big hitters? I don’t know.
    – Well informed of Liverpool’s status etc.? Like the Glazers.

    o Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
    – Lovers of Arsenal? By popular consensus amongst patrons, no.
    – Respecters of Arsenal’s values? By popular consensus, no.
    – Financial big hitters? I don’t know.
    – Well informed etc. etc. ? As with the Glazers and Fenway Sports.

    And finally for the PL

    o ENIC
    – Lovers of Tottnumb? I’m really not sure. I think they’ve owned the club for some time (>10 years)
    – Repecter’s of Tottnumb’s values? What values?
    – Financial big hitters? I don’t know. I suspect their pockets are significantly shallower than the five above.
    – Well-informed etc. etc.? Not applicable since Tottnumb isn’t a global brand.

    I have no idea about the situation at the big European clubs. I know the German ownership model is different and probably ensures that the owners genuinely love the clubs, and I have a vague idea that something similar happens in Spain. Italy and France are even more of a mystery to me.

    I’d like to see Arsenal owned by someone or some group that I was confident were in it for the long term. I spent many years fulminating about financial doping at other clubs whose owners regularly provided massive cash injections and I’m quite content for Arsenal to continue to do without (I wonder how my fellow drinkers divide on this point). I don’t understand your concerns about Arsenal’s values – I see a club that plays an active part in the local community and by and large treats its staff and supporters quite well. They could treat them better at times, and they could be more media savvy on those occasions when they treat them worse than they might.

  90. 90
    Countryman100 says:

    Dear fellow drinkers in this distinguished bar. We will be taking the site down at 10pm U.K. time tonight for some routine maintenance. Shouldn’t take too long.

  91. 91
    Goonersince54 says:

    Ned and TTG
    Thnks for your insights into Saliba situation.
    Be interesting to see how it plays out next summer when/if he returns for pre season training.

  92. 92
    Goonersince54 says:

    No sign of Partey or KT at training, so unlikely they will be facing Leeds.
    Also Greece looks unlikely now for 2nd leg of EL as their Govt are taking a harder line with Covid crisis.

  93. 93
    bathgooner says:

    That’s bad news, Clive @92.

  94. 94
    TTG says:

    You were certainly one of the pressers but that’s what this bar is for
    That’s a comprehensive list and your observations are pretty accurate . S***s financial capacity is something of a mystery as the power behind ENIC , Joe Lewis , keeps his cards close to his chest .
    My point was that I want Arsenal to have those values BECAUSE other clubs do it differently but at the same time we must get the investment to compete . The nearest to the sort of ownership I’d like for Arsenal is FSG but Henry Winter mullered them in the Times for making business decisions which held back investment in the club after winning the title last year . I disagreed with him because they were hit by the pandemic and by horrendous injuries to the centre of their defence . You can’t have seven top class centre backs .
    Trev wrote a very good piece a few weeks ago on the German League where we looked at the Dortmund model and that is an intelligent strategy to compete with a giant like Bayern. But to do it you have to have very good recruitment and negotiation skills and a coach who is brave enough to give young players a chance . If you do you get to sign the best ones but similarly they move on to other clubs at a huge profit to you .Would we fancy losing ESR, Saka and Tierney for example ? Wenger operated a similar model for years with Anelka, Overmars and Petit. But we found Henry, Pires and Gilberto to come in

  95. 95
    TTG says:

    One point I missed.
    My sense is there is a concern that the Kroenkes don’t share the traditional Arsenal values. Ask Scruz how he feels about Brindle being sacked . Most season-ticket holders I know don’t think this is the same club that people like Bob Wall, Ken Friar and Dennis Hill- Wood were stewards of. I think you are at the more passive end of the supporting scale possibly because you were not paying serious amounts of Wonga for a season ticket every year.

  96. 96
    Countryman100 says:

    Heh. Spurs. Heh.

  97. 97
    Countryman100 says:

  98. 98
    bathgooner says:

    The Scum only win the cup in years BEGINNING with 1. 😂

  99. 99
    Goonersince54 says:

    Depressing news on the Arsenal ladies, with a 3 nil flogging at Chelsea this evening.
    That comes on the back of a 2 – 1 home defeat to Man City last weekend.
    We are a long way off the top 3, and do not look like getting into Europe for next season.
    Now that Chelsea/City and Utd have decided to take the ladies game seriously, they have been busy spending shedloads buying up all the best players in Europe, while we on a very modest budget are not able to compete with them.
    Our best player Vivian Miadema hasn’t signed a new contract, and i fear she may feel that we are no longer the Club she feels can compete at the top level.
    If she goes and we lose her goal scoring prowess, and we don’t get significant funds to compete for premium players, then we will be left behind.

  100. 100
    Goonersince54 says:

    Oh go on then,
    a tap in for the ton.

  101. 101
    Pangloss says:

    TTG@94 and 95.
    I don’t believe you’ve described what you consider Arsenal’s values are, and without knowing that, it’s hard to know how much I should share your concerns about the extent to which KSE share them.

    I also note your last sentence.

  102. 102
    TTG says:

    Arsenal’s values , in my opinion would be to be an ethical employer, a club that engenders respect from the football community by the way it behaves on and off the field and a club that has rooted at its core a desire to improve the game of football so that supporters can be proud of their affiliation with it. It is not a win at all costs approach and it is not centred solely around generating money for those who own and control the club.
    But that’s a personal viewpoint and you may have other perspectives which are equally valid .
    The behaviour of owners colours your impression of them and our American cousins would be interesting to hear from on this. My sense from talking to American friends is that KSE are not hugely respected as a sporting franchise or a force fir good in American sport . This opinion was reinforced for me when I was shown a clip of the video extolling the virtues of big game hunting which is at odds with an ethical approach to the conservation of precious animal life and dwindling numbers of rare species . In a sustainable world these things matter

  103. 103
    TTG says:

    Clive ,
    The ladies have disappointed me this year. They have conceded crucial late goals uagainst most of their rivals in the crunch games to lose or draw and the team seems to have lost some of its spirit. Miedema is , and this is sacrilege I know, a bit of a flat track bully. She very rarely scores in big games in either Europe or the domestic league . She accumulates her goals against many of the weaker teams . I’m usually disappointed by her contribution in the bigger matches .
    The key player in that team is Kim Little who has her own injury challenges . It may be time for a reboot of our ladies team in my view

  104. 104
    Goonersince54 says:

    That’s an interesting take on Miadema, I haven’t really scrutinised her goal tally against the big teams.
    I know we have had a very poor injury record in the past couple of seasons, I think about half the small squad we operate with are currently in the sick bay.
    Indeed we lost 3 key players to muscular injuries in one training session before the City game last week.
    With the aforementioned small squad, those injuries really hurt us.

  105. 105
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the ton, Clive.

    Sounds like the cash-flashing by the moneybags that did for our men’s team is now catching up with the women’s.

  106. 106
    North Bank Ned says:

    In round numbers, we get a fifth of our revenue from matchdays, more than a third from commercial activities and virtually all the rest from broadcasting (plus dribs and drabs from property and player trading). You tell me what business we are in and thus where the club’s management/ownership priorities lie.

  107. 107
    Osakamatt says:

    there’s no business like show business?

  108. 108
    bathgooner says:

    Sadly, as expected for TP18 and KT3:

    Hamstring injury sidelines Partey

  109. 109
    Osakamatt says:

    that is bad news, at least Leno
    will be back.

  110. 110
    TTG says:

    One does wonder , given that Partey has now had to leave the field four times with muscle injuries in no more than ten starts if he can stand up to a season in the Premier League . I’m told he played 46 games for Atletico last season and wasn’t injured but maybe PL football is more demanding ?
    I think we may see the return of Ceballos on Sunday . Interestingly, he had a long injury break giving come from La Liga last season and has had a shorter one this time. Perhaps the intensity of our league football is a grade above Spanish league football?

  111. 111
    Bathgooner says:

    TTG @110, I’m sure you’re right that the PL is more intense than the Spanish you flight abd there’s the additional factor of ambient temperatures. Cold weather and inadequate warm-ups are associated with torn hamstrings in many sports.

  112. 112
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I’m with TTG.

    The traditional values of Arsenal must be applied differently in the world we currently live in but I would suggest areas to focus on might be:

    – leading the sports world in innovative approaches to player fitness and recovery, including significant investment in these areas.
    – leading the sports world in initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and to support green football projects around the planet.
    – significant investment in overseas football academies providing education as well as football to children who need them.
    – fundraising and charitable involvement to be a cornerstone of our ‘brand’ (I dislike the term but it probably fits). This to include active involvement from players in our men’s team, women’s team and at youth level. Think Pepe serving up food at a homeless shelter and Rob Holding visiting kids in hospital. And none of this done as a photo opportunity but simply because we have a responsibility and giving back is the Arsenal Way. Our young players to be given volunteer placements in the community.
    – supporting each other as one club. Members of the men’s team to attend some of the women’s and youth team matches. Mixed training sessions with the men’s, women’s and youth teams.
    – investing heavily in the best staff and facilities for our youth academy so we can continue to train young players that are capable of having professional careers and ensuring that we support those we let go and have provided them with the skills to have successful careers within football or outside of it.
    – increased investment in the women’s team and their facilities.
    – opening an academy for girls.
    – sponsorship deals only with companies that have proven track records of ethical behaviour and green behaviour.
    – hiring qualified BAME staff in the coaching teams and in the board room.
    – hiring qualified women in the coaching teams and in the board room.

    Failing to stand up to Chinese treatment of Uighurs, or back Mesut, because we want the blood money China offers is completely lacking in backbone, class and basic decency. A mere eighty years ago people were fighting a war to stop a racist dictatorship from committing genocide. Now we won’t even speak up as long as they fill our pockets. Disgraceful.
    It is this sort of thing that we should be leading the world on. Good men doing nothing won’t change a damn thing. We should be looking to instil a culture of service to football, the football communities we are part of and to the wider world. To be a club that everyone associated with can be damn proud of, even if we happen to lose a few football matches. Also, for the record, I reckon getting out ahead of a lot of these issues, especially the ethical ones that we shut up about to maintain morally dubious or outright despicable revenue streams would be extremely profitable long term. Globally there is a huge market for an ethical Premier League team that stands up for equality and the environment. And there are a lot of players who are damn good human beings who would be happy to earn a bit less to represent a club whose shirt actually stood for something.

    That lot would be a start. And that is just the off-the-cuff thoughts of some bloke responding to posts on a blog. Imagine how far the club could go with some genuine innovation, passion and commitment to re-establishing The Arsenal as the trailblazing, pre-eminent club in world football that it was before the Second World War.

    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  113. 113
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    At its simplest, from its very conception, Arsenal has always been a club with VISION.

    The Kroenkes have no vision, no gumption. They don’t know where they are leading us and they haven’t got the grit to get us there even if they did.

    Without a vision and a shared mission the club is divided. The suits are awful at their jobs and stay too long or leave unexpectedly. As fans we squabble amongst ourselves because we have no idea what else to do in the absence of a mission.
    Arteta is providing some clarity of purpose to the team. But the club as a whole needs exactly that.

    My question is this… What is the point of Arsenal Football Club?

    The current ownership thinks it is to make them money. And whilst that continues to be true we will always be fighting amongst ourselves as we struggle on rudderless.

  114. 114
    North Bank Ned says:

    GSD@112: You lay out an inspiring manifesto.

    @113: As you and others above say, we have no idea why Kroenke owns Arsenal. We know why the sheikhs own Man City, even if it is to build their brand on the back of City’s. We can see how the Glazers are running a leverage play on the Mancs’ brand. We understand why Abramovich owns Chelsea to keep a chunk of his fortune safely off-shored from Russia. But Stan? No real idea.

  115. 115
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@110: In 188 games with Atletico, Partey averaged 62 minutes a game. By way of comparison, your beloved Xhaka has averaged 83 minutes a game in his 201 appearances for us.

  116. 116
    Osakamatt says:

    great post GSD, with some very good thoughts.
    I did think about trying to rate how we are doing
    in some of those areas but without a much deeper
    knowledge of our activities than my own it was quite
    difficult. We are doing some good work in the community
    I’ve read about but we are not doing so well on
    some of the inclusiveness aspects.
    As for selling Mesut down the river, yes that was cowardly.

  117. 117
    North Bank Ned says:

    Some tidbits from Arteta’s pre-Leeds press conference.
    Most concerning is that it appears his family was threatened over social media. Awful.
    He was upbeat on Pepe’s progress seems hopeful that Balogun will stay.
    KT3 seems likely to return to the team before Partey.
    Martinelli has struggled with his return to fitness.
    Arteta confirms the view in this bar that the Premiership is a more physical league than La Liga.

  118. 118
    TTG says:

    That is an overwhelmingly more articulately expressed and heartfelt agenda than I managed and I concur with your overall view of where Arsenal should be focusing as a club. In different times , especially the thirties when the ‘ modern’ Arsenal took shape we were innovators who combined this with Corinthian values that separated us from a lot of the football herd . We’ve referred on here to two fine books ‘ Arsenal from the Heart ‘ by Bob Walk ( I think C100 read this recently ) and Forward Arsenal by Bernard Joy , which Bath invested in, I believe .
    I share my scepticism about the likelihood of the Kroenkes leading us in the sort of direction you outline . This ghastly video referred to in this Independent article is where Stan sets his sights. Suggesting that a load of rich ignoramuses should exacerbate the shortage of rare and special creatures was the moment I finally thought Stan was really not my sort of man
    The toupee and that appalling striped suit he wore to the Cup Final didn’t help but the Kroenkes association with hunting is loathsome and negates any cosmetic initiatives around sustainability they might espouse for PR reasons . My brother in law had started to attend Forest Green because he saw in their philosophy something rather precious .
    I see nothing precious about the Kroenkes at all

  119. 119
    Countryman100 says:

    Just correct TTG’s typo, in case anyone is looking for the book, the excellent “Arsenal from the heart” was written by Bob Wall, not Bob Walk.

    I have greatly enjoyed this discussion and thank e erroneous who has contributed.

  120. 120
    Countryman100 says:

    Thank everyone who has contributed!

  121. 121
    Silly Second Yella says:

    Another production from Alisher Usmanov
    and this time a great one

    hey ho

  122. 122
    Pangloss says:

    GSD@112 I agree completely. I hope that nothing I have posted suggests otherwise. If it does it will be because I expressed myself poorly or because I responded over-hastily and without adequate thought and I ask you and all other drinkers to forgive me.

    I’m not so sure about yours @113. You say “The Kroenkes have no vision, no gumption”. This may well be true; I don’t know and nor, I suspect, do you. I would not argue that the Kroenkes *appear* to have no vision and may well lack gumption. Their failure clearly to communicate their vision is a serious shortcoming, but is *not the same* as their not having a vision.

    I would suggest that, viewed from outside the club before the Kroenkes acquired a significant interest, it appeared to be well-run by competent suits. It may very well be that once they were in a position to make a better-informed judgement, the Kroenkes felt that the suits were “awful at their jobs” but felt that they should be given more rope, with which they subsequently hung themselves and they and the club have since parted company.

    If this is indeed how things panned out, then the Kroenkes are guilty of misjudging the calibre of their staff and slowly to redress the situation when they became aware of it. In mitigation of the first charge, they were not alone in their misjudgement. For each high-level member of the Arsenal leadership team (as dreadful a term as “brand”, chosen to avoid potential arguments about “staff” and executives”) I believe I could find a barrel-load of comments when they were appointed hailing them as the last brick in the structure who would guarantee the Arsenal’s rapid return to the sunlit uplands. As to the second charge, I think the Kroenkes have tended to react more quickly recently (and have been roundly criticised for it).

    In your final paragraph you assert that the “current ownership thinks it is to make them money”, which I take to be a criticism. I don’t understand this; I never had. Much as you or I might wish it were otherwise, the world is largely driven by those whose motivation is profit. I want to see owners who are in it for the long haul, and if they’re in it for the money, and the club continues to turn a profit then it’s likely that those owners will also continue to be involved.

  123. 123
    TTG says:

    Thanks C100
    Autocorrect knows nothing about Arsenal literature ! Bob Wall was a towering figure at Arsenal for many, many years . I can remember Arsenal and Chelsea having a very serious episode of hooliganism at a game in January 1970. Bob Wall came on the tannoy pleasing with the fans to desist from what was pretty widespread violence . None of the yobs took much notice but I remember the horror and dismay in Bob’s voice as he pleaded with the fans to calm down .
    Unpacking your comments I think the acclamation for new executive appointments ( apart from coach ) comes from the club not from the fans . But your point about trying to trade profitably ( if it is ethically carried out ) is well made . I weep when I see the incompetence that has seen us haemorrhage money as a result of poor contract management .
    Overall management of our finances has significantly worsened under the Kroenkes’ watch partly because I think they didn’t keep close enough tabs on Gazidis and Wenger .I can’t accept they allowed people to hang themselves , because it’s too darned expensive to do that . My own experience of American businessmen is predominantly of strong corporate overview and almost constant financial reporting . My view of Dein and Edelman with whom I had minor dealings and Fiszman who I never met was that they were extremely good administrators. Edelman’s handling of the stadium project and resecuritisation of the stadium loan was exemplary . As for Ken Friar he is a man of huge integrity and competence . I remember him spending half an hour on the phone to me in 1997 when my company had hired a corporate box and there had been a mix-up . Primarily he cared about customers who had been let down but when he heard I was a season-ticket holder and supporter of many years he opened up about the dilemma the board was facing in moving from Highbury .Fascinating stuff and very revelatory . He is still involved with the club and I’d love to know his innermost thoughts about the stewardship of our club by KSE Ken Friar grew up with Bob Wall as his mentor .

  124. 124
    bt8 says:

    Quite contrary to the values of those who consider hunting ethical, I could not stomach even attempting to watch the video linked in the article cited by TTG on Kroenke’s hunting TV channel. I did read the article, and felt a bit ill already when the man said “there is no feeling quite like walking up to your bull elephant” (a highly endangered species to boot). I guess the best way for Arsenal to help is to withhold all advertising money from causes such as, and certainly not limited to, the hunting channel.

  125. 125
    Pangloss says:


    Alas, I recall a goodly amount of enthusiasm from fans for many of the recent unhappy senior appointments,

    I’ve re-read what I posted above and I don’t see any accidental criticism of messrs Dein, Edelman, Fiszman or Friar. If you can point some out, I will be happy to withdraw it and even happier to avoid the poor phrasing that allowed such a misinterpretation. Nonetheless your purple prose in their defence is appreciated.

  126. 126
    bt8 says:

    That is only to mention one item but I thought GSD and TTG’s comments were excellent about upholding the club’s ethical standards, with Pangloss bringing in an appreciated dose of realism.

  127. 127
    bt8 says:

    Are we playing a game of footy this week-end then?

  128. 128
    Countryman100 says:

    Oh God. Are we?

  129. 129
    Pangloss says:

    Game on Sunday, folks. I imagine we’ll be getting a preview some time tomorrow.


  130. 130
    TTG says:

    Pangloss ,
    I took your remarks ‘ appeared to be well-run by competent suits ‘ to suggest that upon reflection they weren’t competent and/ or didn’t run the club well . If that wasn’t your inference please accept my apologies .
    My point was that the club was much better run before the Kroenkes appeared and I think that is a statement that would be concurred with by most people close to the club . The Kroenkes didn’t fire most of the key people in place before they arrived . Fiszman died and tried to ensure financial security for the club before he died . Dein and Fiszman fell out and Dein and Edelman hated each other like poison and as Dein had a vision for the club that did not involve building a new stadium he became estranged from the board much to Wenger’s dismay . Edelman was brought in to drive the stadium project and because he had excellent relationships with the banks who financed the stadium build . One banker told me that he was extremely impressed with Edelman’s knowledge of how to conduct a big banking transaction .Once the stadium was built Edelman stepped down and Gazidis took over . The rest is history

  131. 131
    bt8 says:

    Mourinho on Bale as reported in the paper today.

    “He had a scan, the scan didn’t show an injury but his feelings were still there and coaches, sports science and medical people, we can never go against feelings because the player’s feelings are much more important than all of us.“

    Sarcastic scumbag.

  132. 132
    bt8 says:

    I guess the loan isn’t going too well.

    Or the management.

  133. 133
    Countryman100 says:

    But he’s got his handicap down to three.

  134. 134
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    My 112 was ‘with TTG’ but not against you or anyone else. You asked him a question and I agreed with his response.

    As to the rest of your post…
    If you lead a project for over a decade and no-one has any idea what your vision is for that project then I am not going to argue with you over whether you don’t have a vision or don’t appear to have one or have failed to communicate it clearly. I really don’t understand what value you see in trying to make this distinction. Perhaps we have a different understanding of a vision.
    What would you consider the value of having a vision if you cannot demonstrate it, explain it or achieve it? At absolute best I would call that a fantasy.

    “In mitigation of the first charge, they were not alone in their misjudgement. For each high-level member of the Arsenal leadership team (as dreadful a term as “brand”, chosen to avoid potential arguments about “staff” and executives”) I believe I could find a barrel-load of comments when they were appointed hailing them as the last brick in the structure who would guarantee the Arsenal’s rapid return to the sunlit uplands”
    You could certainly find such comments from other members of the leadership team. Is that what you mean? That people already performing badly said some nice things about the new hires? What do you expect?
    If the comments you refer to are from fans then I am baffled as to how you consider this cause for mitigation. A billionaire owner of one the world’s leading football clubs with a wealth of information and expertise at his fingertips makes a decision that then some people online with fuck all info get on board with as they want and hope things to go well. And because they went along with his decision he gets a pass? If that is your point then I don’t understand the logic of it at all. He has a responsibility that fans don’t. That comes with being the owner.

    TTG has highlighted how much money has drained from the club under his ownership. Financial mismanagement on a grand scale. If it happened at the other end of Seven Sister’s road we would never stop laughing. It is equally embarrassing and infuriating when we consider where we might be had competent people been running things.

    However, as to your point about owners making money I disagree with your analysis. I have no issue with owners making money. But to make money you have to have a valuable product and a strong brand. If you achieve these things you’ll make more money. I think you’ve put the cart before the horse here. It is the owner’s responsibility to make money by adding value to the club. Not to make money by sitting back as London property prices rise and you are still quid in despite wasting literally hundreds of millions of pounds through incompetence. That is straight from the Donald Trump playbook.

    If that is the sort of owner that you want ‘in it for the long haul’ because you have some notion that long-haul ownership is intrinsically valuable then I disagree. I want a good owner, who understands the club, who invests in the club and who is in it for the long haul. And if such a person makes a lot of money out of this venture then they have my blessing.

  135. 135
    Pangloss says:

    TTG – My meaning @122 was that before they gained the deeper insight that comes with ownership, the Kroenkes might well have thought that the club was “well-run by competent suits”. I apologise for failing to express myself with sufficient clarity.

  136. 136
    bt8 says:

    Re: Countryman @133. Bale, Alli and Aurier? 😉

  137. 137
    Pangloss says:

    GSD – I agree that it’s useful for others to know what your vision is. When I wrote my comments @122 I thought it was more important for *you* to have a vision to help you to make consistent decisions. I still believe that to be important, but on consideration it may not be much more important than communicating that vision to others. (Arguably less important.)

    The “barrel-load of comments” I referred to were indeed from fans. I don’t advocate excusing Stan Kroenke from all responsibility for bad decisions he’s taken in the past. I wish, however, to distance myself from a witch hunt directed towards him because he made decisions which at the time were applauded and supported (admittedly by people with little knowledge of the facts) turn out to have been poor.

    I’m still mystified about the responsibilities that you believe Kroenke has taken on as owner. I think KSE have acquired an asset for financial reasons. They have a responsibility to their shareholders to protect the value of that asset, and to grow that value. (I understand that things are slightly different because KSE’s shareholders are Stan Kroenke, and KSE is Stan Kroenke, but I think the principle is sound.) If Arsenal’s value goes down the toilet then Kroenke loses a load of money; I don’t think he wants to do that, so I think he will seek to maintain that value. If he can’t do that, he will probably sell the club to someone else and walk away. A “real fan” would probably not do that; however there are many credible circumstances in which a dispassionate, financially-motivated owner may make decisions that work out better in the long term than those of a hotter blooded “real fan”.

    Our disagreement seems to boil down to whether an owner who is principally in it for the money and builds a great club to do so is more or less desirable than one who builds a great club and makes a lot of money in the process. I don’t think I want to pursue it any further.

    In other news, I reckon 42 angels could dance on the head of a pin.

    I haven’t been studying Stan’s stewardship very closely. If he has indeed simply been sitting back and watching his asset appreciate on the back of the London property boom, that is worrying.

  138. 138
    Esso says:

    Evening All.

    *bends knees*

    Love you guys!

  139. 139
    Esso says:

    Posted the following before, but soz gonna do it again, cos I know the Governor is his cups, like I am, would have loved it.

  140. 140
    Esso says:


  141. 141
    Esso says:

    Yeah I’m really pissed

  142. 142
    Goonersince54 says:

    And in other news,
    Unfortunately the under 23’s were belted 3 zip away at Man Utd this evening, the game not helped by one of our central defenders getting the red card after only 8 minutes.
    It seems our send offs aren’t confined to the first team.

  143. 143
    Pangloss says:

    Apology accepted Esso @139, though none was needed. I’ve just listened and it remains, indeed, fuckin’ excellent.

  144. 144
    bt8 says:

    Esso @139. Fuckin’ excellent indeed and some consolation personally considering Mrs. bt8 didn’t like the dinner I cooked for her even thought daughter bt8 thought it was just fine.

  145. 145
    bt8 says:

    COYG and all the excellent Gooners who sail here.

  146. 146
    bt8 says:

    Interesting thing about the 20 training photos on the dot.con is that Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka (in photos 11 and 16 if my memory serves in my currently impaired state) appear to have trained in different weather conditions than the players in the other 18 photos.

    In any case, the sprinklers appear to have been turned on at a certain stage. Good preparation for all possible conditions by the groundsmen.

  147. 147
    bt8 says:

    Now having watched the 6-odd minutes of the video posted on the dot.con of our training session, it appears that the “sprinklers” were actually the snowstorm that swept through the training ground. My apologies for all those who knew the facts in the first place.

  148. 148
    bt8 says:

    Can’t really believe cba or Oskar the Dog aren’t available to chat with at this hour, and not even Pires is King who hasn’t been around for years. Maybe we should be seeking out a younger profile, but I don’t want to interfere with what works.

  149. 149
    bt8 says:

    And what of the demographic who truly appreciated the pound and a half?

  150. 150
    bt8 says:


    Mooooooooooooooooooooooooo while I’m at it.

  151. 151
    bt8 says:

    And I’ve been missing Cynic recently too.

  152. 152
    bt8 says:

    No matter. (Gives thanks for those who are still around.)

  153. 153
    bt8 says:

    Back at you Esso.

  154. 154
    bt8 says:

    One for good measure.

  155. 155
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    I think there is a difference between distancing yourself from a witch hunt and refraining from any form of criticism of manifestly bad decisions. And even should you wish to do the latter I think that is again different from defending these bad decisions to others who do think them worthy of criticism.

    And I disagree entirely with your assessment of our disagreement (heh!)
    We don’t have an owner who makes money off a great club (whichever way round he has put those endeavors). We have an owner on whose watch a great club has steadily declined whilst external factors (like london property price and the EPL’s increasingly valuable TV deals) have ensured his asset has continued to rise in value anyway.

    If, as you suggest, increasing financial value will persuade an owner to stay in it for the long haul then, based on form so far, we can expect Kroenke to continue to make poor choices for the club until such time as the rising tide stops lifting us along with all the other clubs, at which point he will sell. You seem to be happier about that than I and many other fans are. Okay. That’s your call.

  156. 156
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Well in Esso and bt8.

  157. 157
    ksn says:

    Well in, Bt8.

  158. 158
    Bathgooner says:

    An excellent overnight debate gentlemen demonstrating why this is one of the best Arsenal blogs in which to find intelligent and informed discussion enhanced by excellent music too.

    GSD nicely details the moral values to which we would like the club to aspire (dream on, I am afraid) whilst Pangloss’s spirited defence of capitalism contains much merit even though it seems cold and calculating. TTG’s insights are as ever of huge value and Esso and bt8’s stewardship of the soundtrack is of the highest quality.

    I am afraid that I know nothing of the vision that Stan has for the Arsenal though I am sure he has one. What little I know of him from the press suggests that he may not be a very nice man. He may well be kind to dogs and small children as indeed even several mass murderers were said to be but I have read nothing to that effect, nor indeed, I hasten to add, anything whatsoever to bracket him in any way with mass murderers. However what I have read of him is not in his favour for being a kind man or even a gentleman, the latter being a quality that most custodians of this club were always regarded as possessing.

    Stan allegedly hunts big game and promotes that activity in an era when the survival of these creatures in the wild has long since been widely recognised as in jeopardy.

    On acquiring his mega-ranch, Stan allegedly dispossessed an impoverished community living by a lakeside within the ranch territory despite the previous owners allegedly having given them ‘lifelong’ tenure. It is alleged that he felt their community spoiled the appearance of the lake.

    While attending an ice hockey game, I believe at St Louis Blues’ arena, on being informed that the Executive toilets were closed for redecoration and that he would have to use those in the adjacent concourse, Stan allegedly had his goons clear the toilets of paying customers so that he could use the facilities in private.

    Now, different people admire different kinds of behaviour in the people with whom they wish to associate themselves. ‘Tough’, even brutal leaders acquire loyal followers and such behaviour is complimented in board rooms as well as in the ‘hood. If the club was hoovering up trophies, I have no doubt that many ‘fans’ would be content to have Attilla the Hun as its owner and Genghis Khan as its coach but as TTG and GSD have detailed the club has hitherto always aspired to values as well as to success.

    In my humble opinion, the fact that The Arsenal is owned by a man who allegedly behaves in this fashion diminishes the club even more than his tenure has diminished the quality of its displays on the field.

  159. 159
    Pangloss says:

    GSD@155 I seem to have expressed myself poorly yet again.

    I did not intend to defend any wrong decisions. Rather I had hoped to demur from the prevailing opinion that decisions have been made that were manifestly poor *at the time they were made*.

  160. 160
    Pangloss says:

    Bath@158. My intention was to cite a system in which I think many of my fellow drinkers believe; if you consider my “defence of capitalism” to be cold and calculating it’s probably an indication of my own feelings toward it.

    You appear to have opened up a new front in the attack on Stan Kroenke: that he is not a nice man. That is an accusation against which I offer no defence.

  161. 161
    North Bank Ned says:

    **applauds Bath@158’s praise for the GSD/Pangloss discussion**

    By way of comment, I can only paraphrase Winston Churchill on political democracy: “We are made to ask what it is that [Kreonke ownership] gives us. The system is utilitarian. But is it a fit object of faith and hope?”

  162. 162
    North Bank Ned says:

    As a point of information, as we used to say in endless committee meetings, the Independent reported in 2017 that Kroenke’s hunting and fishing TV channel dropped big-game hunting coverage after the public outcry against the video.


    There is a societal difference between the United States and the United Kingdom over how hunting and fishing are regarded, especially away from the coasts where the outdoor life takes on more mythical trappings of pioneering. 4×4 vehicles come with gun-racks pre-installed and it is not for nothing that Walmart is the world’s biggest gun retailer.

    Yet, the largest sporting goods retailer in the US, Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has business ties with Kroenke — they co-own the stadium where KSE’s MLS team, the Colorado Rapids, play and I would imagine that DSG is a big advertiser across Kronke’s more than 20 hunting and fishing media properties — has been scaling back its gun sales since the Parkland school shooting in 2019. Only one-third of its some 800 stores now carry weapons and ammo. It is getting harder and harder to pop into one’s local store and pick up a semi-automatic assault rifle.

  163. 163
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Genghis Khan’s reputation in the west is based on what would nowadays be called a co-ordinated campaign of fake news. I recently finished an excellent biography if him which further detailed the course of the empire he created until it broke up and its shaping of the world we live in. Although capable of the violence that saw him hold the largest empire the world has ever seen he was as enlightened a leader as the world saw for several hundred years after his death.

    I don’t know much about Stan as a man. What I do know ain’t great, but is too little to make a judgment on. Although if the toilet story is true he can go and take a running jump.

  164. 164
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    If anyone is interested…

    Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.

    Also available on Audible of that’s your thing.

  165. 165
    Pangloss says:

    Ned@161, was it not Churchill who described democracy as “the worst possible political system apart from all the others”? Perhaps that also applies to the ownership of Arsenal FC.

    Alisher Usmanov, anyone? *Possibly* acceptable from a football point of view given the appointment of Ancelotti[1], maybe less so on broader moral grounds.

    [1] Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  166. 166
    TTG says:

    I echo Bath’s observation that this is a good discussion and the sort of civilised but informed conversation about our club that you would struggle to find elsewhere in the Goonerverse . I very much echo GSD ‘s comments @155. Kroenke has overseen the significant decline of the club in both financial terms and playing terms .He is not only an owner that I dislike from an ethical standpoint he isn’t very good at running a Premier League football club . Taking Ned’s points he may have taken down the hunting videos but he made them in the first place . I personally think the American approach to gun control and hunting is abhorrent ( and deeply misguided) although I accept our cousins across the pond may not agree and I find it difficult to waive those moral qualms when they apply to the owner of the football club I support .
    Where Pangloss and I normally disagree is in the need to implement change . It can be very sensible to avoid knee-jerk reactions to crises and problems and I’m not advocating that myself . A bit of patience and breathing-space can prevent precipitous action .But you can also be too passive in tackling problems and that leads to inexorable decline .
    I don’t think PG and I were on the same page about Wenger for some time and we clearly aren’t here . Unless the ownership of Arsenal Football Club changes I cannot envisage us becoming a challenger for major honours again ( ie Champions League and Premier League ) . Tolerating Kroenke will not serve the best interests of Arsenal Football Club but the reality is that KSE are unlikely to make an impeccable moral background a prerequisite for a sale of their ownership . I suspect we will be cursed with them for a very long time

  167. 167
    Pangloss says:

    TTG@168 I’m not sure we have ever disagreed about the need for change. One point on which we regularly disagree is the nature of the required change, and how much effort should be put into determining what that change should be.

    You currently advocate a change in ownership. When pressed as about what would constitute a good change of ownership you have proposed a serious of tests. We currently differ on how practicable those tests are.

    Incidentally, I cannot bring myself to support the modern trend for ever-shorter abbreviations. 8 characters seems to be beyond the limit that many drinkers will tolerate when referring to me and 4 has become the norm. The drinker formerly known as thundertinygooner now seems to wish to reduce that to 2. I’m sorry gentlemen, I think that’s 3+ steps too far.


  168. 168
    TTG says:

    PG oops sorry Pangloss
    I absolutely feel we disagree on the need for change . I’ve never seen you support change of any kind when it is advocated here . If I’m wrong could you point out where you have done so because I am doing you a disservice?
    Just to be clear would you be in favour of new owners replacing KSE ? And if so what would your criteria for the replacement owners be?

  169. 169
    Pangloss says:


    You may well be right that I have never supported any proposed change. Perhaps you can point out a time when the nature of the proposed change has been clearly explained.

    The desirability of a change of ownership at present hasn’t been established to my satisfaction. Since I’m not proposing a change, I don’t need to propose any criteria to judge that change.

  170. 170
    scruzgooner says:

    cleanup on aisle 166.

  171. 171
    Countryman100 says:

    Do you remember my comment the other day about how only in football do we get argument about review systems? Seems I spoke too soon ….


  172. 172
    TTG says:

    It is good for both our health situations that we have never sat on a board or committee together !
    I won’t prolong the discussion but the regular debates about Wenger from about 2013-2018 pretty clearly explained our need to change reluctant in many ways though that was. I presume you thought at the end it was appropriate that he stepped down? I also thought the need to move on from Emery was well articulated from round about September to November2019

  173. 173
    TTG says:

    I saw the second review ( Rahane pad/ glove) and thought the third umpire wasn’t looking at the right thing , We did get him shortly afterwards but some umpires are clearly more proficient at using this stuff than others .
    My observation was this was a game where winning the toss was utterly conclusive . That pitch was a terror on Day 1 !

  174. 174
    Countryman100 says:

    I think Mr Kohli might have had a word with the groundsman! As a former wicketkeeper that stumping looked very out to me as well. The line is mine! England are dead and buried here due to that magnificent knock by Rohit Sharma.

  175. 175
    North Bank Ned says:

    Pangloss@165. You are indeed correct. He said it in parliament in 1947 but did not claim original authorship.

    Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

  176. 176
    North Bank Ned says:

    Usmanov certainly has previous on moral grounds.

  177. 177
    North Bank Ned says:

    GSD@163: Fair shout on Genghis Khan. He was indubitably a great military leader and arguably the greatest imperial administrator, but he did kill a lot of people along the way.

  178. 178
    North Bank Ned says:

    Genghis Khan’s Mongol empire spanned what we know today as the five stans, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Yet not Kroenkestan.

    I’ll get my coat…

  179. 179
    Countryman100 says:

    Gengis Khan was a pussycat compared to Vlad the Impaler.

  180. 180
    Countryman100 says:

    He stuck it to those Ottomans

  181. 181
    bt8 says:

    City 3 Tottnum 0 at the mo’

  182. 182
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned @177

    When Genghis Khan ruled what is now called China (he also consolidated the borders it still has today) religious tolerance was law. He would not have allowed the killings going on in modern day China.

    But he gets labelled ‘uncivilised’.

    Also, for the record, he avoided killing people wherever possible. He thought it was an ineffective way of conquering. His tactics for inducing fear were legendary. They worked well because when people are too afraid of you to fight you then you don’t have to kill them.

  183. 183
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Pangloss @ 167.

    Just wait until I start insisting on my full moniker! 🤣

  184. 184
    scruzgooner says: