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The Gaffer will be justifiably pleased at the result this evening. After making nine changes, the performance was always of secondary concern here. The goal tonight was, very simply, to get through the tie, while taking the least out of potential starters against Leicester this weekend.

Fortunately for the players who played tonight, the disappointment of their likely absence from the Leicester game was somewhat mitigated by the kind gesture of Leeds Utd, who played this evening’s match in Leicester kits. Nice touch.

For Arteta, who is sometimes accused of being too proscriptive in the way he choreographs his team, it must have been a supreme pleasure to see his most audaciously planned tactic yet bear fruition…

After having told the lads to keep it tight for the first half, he waited until ten minutes into the second half and a corner for his team, before giving old-school reggae DJ Ben ‘Jammin’ White the sneaky signal to pull up and feign an injury. This, as planned, meant that Leicester Leeds did not pay much attention to Calum Chambers as he came on to the pitch. Little did they know that, far from being a hasty substitute for a better player, he was the Boss’s secret attacking weapon.

Pepe, meanwhile, had gone to elaborate lengths to trick the opposition into thinking he was not dangerous enough to mark. Barely ten minutes had passed before he lost the ball by tripping over himself, so deeply had he gone into his method. His commitment was supreme, and they totally fell for his performance of ineptitude.

And thus, the stage was set.

ESR played in a good corner. True to form, our entire team treated the ball as though the young man had just smeared it in dogshit, keeping well away from it as it swung invitingly into the box. Pepe, however, pulled away smartly into space at the back post, and the genius of his performance up to that point could not have been clearer, as the Leeds defence summarily ignored him.

The Ivorian headed the ball into exactly the right space for someone to attack it. And, who would be there to finish a deviously scripted move straight from the playbook of our wily Spanish boss than Mr Deadly himself, Calum ’23 seconds’ Chambers? 

Now that’s what I call Artetaball!

Seriously, though, it was a pleasing result that we should not take for granted. But, beyond qualification for a quarter final, we didn’t gain much more, or learn much we did not know from tonight.

What we saw:

Leno is a good shot-stopper but flaps and punches at balls Ramsdale would catch. He is a good keeper but I don’t see him taking his spot back. He made a couple of smart stops tonight – exactly what I would expect from a good goalie, who is no longer the best at our club.

Elneny is a decent, honest pro. He ain’t great, though. AMN is a player with quality, but he doesn’t have the positional discipline to play CM against tougher opposition than we saw tonight. After a decent opening 15 minutes, a midfield of the pair of them struggled to impose itself on a decent Leeds outfit, but not a great one. Kalvin Phillips is a good player, mind – I’d love to see him next to Partey in our midfield, although I’ll not be holding my breath.

Kola is Kola. Nothing more to add, m’Lord.

Cedric whipped in a few excellent corners. And, from one of them, KOLA HEADED THE BALL AT THE GOAL!

It has been ages since we won a header from one of our own corners. We don’t usually even bother challenging for them. We seem to turn into a team of twitchers, binos at the ready as we relish in the sight of a Greater-Crested Inswinger in its natural habitat. It was a rare treat for us fans to see someone actually get their head on one.

Cedric also hit one corner out of play, and generally showed what most of the nine replacements did tonight, namely, that they aren’t pushing for a first team spot.

ESR worked hard and is becoming an on-field leader. He oozes class in everything he does. (Except when he kicks the ball past everyone on his team and off for a throw in. But then he looks so unconcerned and just gets on with it that the class factor seems to be straight back in play. Top lad.)

Pepe was frustrating. And then he got the assist for the breakthrough goal. Typical. A bit dodgy, but very effective. Less of the former, more of the latter, please (said every Gooner for the last three years!)

Eddie Nketiah was very quiet, but he scooped Sky’s MOTM award for scoring our second goal in a passage of play both sublime and ridiculous.

He raced on to a slightly short backwards header and, with a beautiful first touch, he lifted it over the keeper. As the goalie and defence ran back at him, he ran past them all and, with a second touch God would have been proud of, he controlled his lob in such a way that he took it straight towards goal from a tight angle. At that point he seemed to have used up all his quality touches, so he endured a nervous moment when he thought he had missed an absolute sitter after doing all the hard work. Fortunately for us all, despite shinning the ball woefully when it would have been better to, y’know, kick it with his foot, he breathed a sigh of relief as the ball trickled over the line to put the match beyond Leeds.

It was good to see him on the scoresheet, but personally I’d try to give Balogun more game time as I don’t think Eddie has a future at the club. However, he apparently works hard in training and has a good attitude. I respect him for that, and I respect Arteta for sticking to his guns about giving playing time to those that earn it, so I’m glad he took his chance tonight. And it is probably wise to show everyone in the squad very clearly that hard work and a good attitude are rewarded. Fair play to the Boss.

Gabi was a bit rusty, but it is hard to judge him when he had Kola and a quiet Eddie around him to link up with tonight. He showed some flashes of why he is a player that fans are so excited about, although he needs more game time to get back into the form he showed before the injury that kept him out for so long.

Generally speaking, the game was low on quality and not worth too much rehashing. We started well, Leeds came back into ascendancy and probably just about got the better of the first half. In the second half they began to tire, and we made the most of a couple of decent situations to stop the game becoming attritional and, instead, to hold them at arm’s length as we ran out comfortable winners.

One further observation is how the narrative around the club is swinging wildly at the moment, based on not much.

According to the caprices of the media and its inbred ‘social’ cousin: we were shit at the start of the season. Then we got better. Then we were great after the Spurs result. Yet, we were back to square one after Brighton, and worse after Palace.

Jamie Carragher has never been so full of praise for Arsenal as he was when discussing our performance against Villa on Friday. Yet, even then, he said multiple times how he thought that, if we had lost that game, the pressure would have been right back on Arteta after two draws.

Now, we are magically on an ‘eight match unbeaten run’ and everything is rosy again.

Until, inevitably, we get a disappointing result and people start losing their shit. The media narrative around our club is bonkers. It is almost like they don’t believe any of it, and simply string it out to get people to click on the crap they write.

What is great to see is that the people in this bar, and, it appears, the vast, vast majority of matchday fans, are not going in for this constant seesawing of opinion, and are instead settling in to see how this young team develops and grows together. Again tonight, it was possible, even through the telly, to hear the home support giving the team plenty to feed off. We are building more unity between the club and fans, something we have not had enough of in recent years, and the whole club is starting to come together around an exciting project.

However, on a night like tonight, I don’t think we need do more than applaud a committed effort from everyone involved, take the result, and get ready for the next one. Forwards!

Have a good one, holics. 

64 Drinks to “Leeds Shackled in Arteta’s Chambers of Horrors”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Very good report, GSD.
    “ What is great to see is that the people in this bar, and, it appears, the vast, vast majority of matchday fans, are not going in for this constant seesawing of opinion, and are instead settling in to see how this young team develops and grows together. Again tonight, it was possible, even through the telly, to hear the home support giving the team plenty to feed off. We are building more unity between the club and fans, something we have not had enough of in recent years, and the whole club is starting to come together around an exciting project.”.
    Well put. Fortunately this establishment is frequented by those with the critical faculties to be able to think for themselves and see through the media bs. Long may it continue.

  2. 2
    Las says:

    An excellent and very funny report, very funny indeed. Thanks, GSD!
    But I do think you just described Pepe’s state of mind correctly. 🙂
    Otherwise, I feel important to keep the momentum not just on the pitch but also between the team and the fans what you so delicately wrote down above (cited by CER)

  3. 3
    Countryman100 says:

    Thanks for a report which is both hilarious and very accurate GSD. This game, the third home game in eight days, was probably mid way between the low of Palace and the high of Villa. Listening to the radio on the way home,they had an Arsenal fan on who articulated exactly what you’ve said above, “I was Arteta out after three games, now I’m Arteta in and think we can make top four, but if we lose against Leicester I’ll be Arteta out again”. What a numpty. The hosts of the radio show also had a clear agenda to get our fans to complain that Eddie could leave on a free next summer. Unfortunately that didn’t work as all five callers said the same thing which can be summed thus. It’s up to him, because he refuses to sign a new contract, but basically, while he’s a good player he probably isn’t quite good enough to be first choice for The Arsenal. One caller compared him to Francis Jeffers.

    We’re a work in progress, but the keyword is progress. The first XI is shaping up, as are the areas where we have good backup and where we don’t. Visiting the Emirates just at the moment, is a pleasurable experience. Long may that continue.

  4. 4
    Countryman100 says:

    Incidentally I didn’t get the chance to comment on the excellent preview by 21st Century Gooner. Top, top job and set the game up well.

  5. 5
    Trev says:

    Super stuff, DSD !

    Lots of genuine laughs, accurate recollections and measured analysis of where we are.

    Applause, applause 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  6. 6
    Trev says:

    🤦🏼‍♂️ and GSD did well too !

    DSD ! 🙄

  7. 7
    Countryman100 says:

    Dino Stunt Double?

  8. 8
    TTG says:

    I enjoyed DSD’s report more than the game and it summed it up perfectly . I thought Arteta had undercooked his selection but he was proved right through sleight of hand cleverly spotted by DSD .
    My only slight divergence from our reporter is that I think there is a player in AMN . In the first half he showed a burst of pace that could be harnessed effectively in a variety of positions . He seems to lack concentration but I definitely prefer him to Elneny .
    Overall it was a job soundly done and it’s always good to beat ‘ Dirty Leeds’ even if they are not particularly dirty

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    Top report, GSD. As witty and sharp as ever. Arteta can’t slip anything by you!

    I thought we played better than many here are allowing, given it was a cup-tie, we fielded a second-string and Leeds played as close to a first XI as injury would permit.

  10. 10
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@3: My 2 cents would be that Nketiah will have a more substantial career than Francis Jeffers, who was probably a flash in the pan as a teenager at Everton and never looked the part once he joined us. Forty-nine goals in 280 appearances across 12 clubs are not the numbers of a top striker. He is now a coach down the road from you at Ipswich, btw. As I mentioned in the previous drinks, Nketish looked yesterday like a striker who needs to be playing regularly to play himself into form, the curse of every PL backup striker. Yet, I am not sure he will get too many opportunities with us if Auba and Laca stay fit.

  11. 11
    Countryman100 says:

    Ned I think Eddie would be well suited in a 4-4-2, playing off a target man. Can’t see that happening at Arsenal, despite such success with it under Wenger.

  12. 12
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Très drôle, GSD! And then also insightful … 🙂 Nothing to disagree about.

    A few words about two players I like and I think are falling behind — or at least have fallen behind for the time being because these things are never as permanent as they seem — in Arteta’s preferred squad: Martinelli and Pépé.

    Gabi is only twenty years old. As young as Saka and younger than Eddie and ESR. He is never going to look like a cultured elegant footballer the way ESR or Saka do, he doesn’t have that kind of academy upbringing. But I think he has a ceiling as high as either of them in terms of the ability to influence a match. He can become an Alexis like player — who in his early days in Udinese was exciting and erratic, and who remained even at the peak of his career a bit of a chaos merchant, even at times a lone warrior — who will not necessarily stick to a perfect tactical shape but will cause damage to the opposition by a combination of skill and a ferocious tenacity. He needs to play more. Hopefully next season we will have European football and will see more of him. I think he can play down the middle of a fluid front three.

    I see some people comparing Pépé to one of his Ivorian predecessor in Arsenal color: Gervinho. Whereas there are some similarities in how both can start a dribble with a piece of wonderful skill that ends with an embarrassing lack of ball control, Nico unlike Gervinho is highly effective in and around the penalty box. He scores and assists. Our best starting eleven when everyone is on form and fit evidently doesn’t include him — it seems ESR and Saka on both flanks with Ødegaard playing high up as #10 is the likeliest, unless we want to play Auba and Laca together in which case ESR takes Martin’s position and we play this hybrid 4-2-3-1/4-2-2-2 — but as long as he is at the club (maybe we can upgrade on him in the summer) there has to be a way to keep his final third contributions coming (and getting better) while minimizing the impact of his ordinary build-up play.

    Kola and Cedric … reminded me of those few occasions where we had lined up with Ignasi Miquel as left back and Djourou as right back. At least they were young (Djourou had always seemed to be a young player on the verge of a breakthrough that never came 🙂 ) and we could at least hope … 🙂 I hope Kola finds back his pre-Arsenal wing-back qualities in the next stage of his career, his limitations turned out to outweigh his qualities far too much in PL but before joining Arsenal he was in Bundesliga team of the year…

  13. 13
    North Bank Ned says:

    Djourou’s 76 caps for Switzerland wasn’t bad going for a player whose breakthrough never came, Dr F. 🙂

    I do agree with you about Martinelli. His long-term future is to be the 1 in a 4-2-3-1 or at the centre of the front three in a 4-3-3. The question will be if he has the patience to wait it out until Auba has gone and gamble on it being him rather than Balogun/Nketieh/ANOther who emerges as the first choice in a couple of summers.

    Pepe is destined to be a Plan B for Arteta, who likes his wide attackers to play in the half-spaces as much or more than the wings. ESR and Saka fit that bill, whereas Pepe is more of an outright winger. Perversely, Pepe is most impactful in the half-spaces in the final third because that is where he shoots.

  14. 14
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Ned@13: Our experience with the Swiss internationals until now have all been … mixed, let us say. 🙂 Senderos, Djourou, Xhaka, Lichtsteiner…. Djourou had sequences of good games in the middle of the defense especially …

    You are right about Gabi. He had signed a long term contract, and I think next season itself would offer him more opportunities — even if Auba stays he would need more break in between matches — unless Mikel thinks he is not suitable to the system. It is crucial for us to get European football, even if Europa league, next season to ensure that we can have a bigger squad to choose from while keeping everyone happy enough.

  15. 15
    TTG says:

    Interesting debate . I once wrote an unkind piece about Djourou in the Gooner after a particularly bad performance at right back in a game in which he was sent off . I was ghosting a column for Arsene Wenger explaining his thinking and outlining the options between Djourou and a traffic cone . That evening the cone would have won hands down!
    I obviously have an inbuilt deadline of Swiss players .
    Re Martinelli and Pepe both frustrate me. Gab I has not kicked on after a great start to his Arsenal career albeit garnering most of his goals in Europa League or League Cup games . His great moment came at Chelsea . I hope he makes it although he has not prospered under Arteta .
    Pepe is an enigma . It’s not his fault that Raul paid about three times too much for him and he has a sublime left foot . But he doesn’t impose himself on games enough and always seems slightly half-asleep to me .He is a bit of a one-trick pony. It’s a great trick but most people know it by now . I’d love to see him emerge and progress but Saka and ESR are well ahead of him and we have lads like Hutchinson and Taylor-Hart coming through who may put pressure on him .

  16. 16
    TTG says:

    Sorry Autocorrect has put in deadline instead of dislike. I wouldn’t have a deadline for Swiss players but they often prove to be deadweights .
    That game incidentally was against Fulham at Craven Cottage on New Years Eve and it was freezing . You would have thought a Swiss player would have been used to a bit of cold weather !

  17. 17
    TTG says:

    Charlie Patino has an ankle injury that will sideline him for two or three weeks

  18. 18
    Countryman100 says:

    Looks like the move to five subs will be made permanent. That would give more game time to younger players.

  19. 19
    Bathgooner says:

    An entertaining and amusing take on the game, GSD with hawkeye accuracy the merits of which became entirely clear last night. The match was a bit of a curate’s egg and our dodgy last 20 minutes or so of the first half could have left us in a very difficult situation come half time. Thanks to Leno we ended the half level and he demonstrated not only his shot-stopping skill and fleetness of foot but also the merit of having a good back-up keeper while putting himself in the shop window. When he departs we need to get in a quality back-up to Ramsdale.

    Leno apart, I thought only White, Harding and AMN did themselves justice with Nketiah almost making the cut for his goal. I agree totally with the observations about Pepe, Martinelli, Elneny, Cedric and Kola, However no team with 9 changes is going to be a smooth machine and there was plenty ring rust in evidence.

    At the end of the day, it’s an important win and the performance doesn’t matter a jot.


  20. 20
    Cynic says:

    Bit harsh on Martinelli when he never gets to play

  21. 21
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks GSD, an enjoyable report. In Leno’s case, he is a nice luxury to have as No 2 but I think the best we can hope for is that he stays until the end of the season and doesn’t push to move in January, necessitating a move for a back-up keeper.
    If Odegaard and.Mari had been fit I think it would have been 11 changes, I wonder if MA will keep that up for the quarter finals. May partly depend on the draw. Despite Shitteh’’s defeat a tough draw is still likely – Sunderland at home would be best.

  22. 22
    bt8 says:

    Just to predict what Lonestar Gooner might have said at this juncture, BHBD.

    That’s Barcelona has been destroyed, for the uninitiated.

    Koeman sacked after Rayo Vallecano 1 Barcelona 0.

    Personally I have nothing against them in particular but I’m happy for Lonestar, wherever he is. Hope he’s enjoying the moment.

  23. 23
    bt8 says:


    I’ve been in that homely neighborhood stadium in Vallecas. 1981 was the year and Barcelona was the away team but it was the Barcelona of Bernd Schuster. Pretty sure Barcelona won that one.

  24. 24
    North Bank Ned says:

    I don’t think anyone could make much of a fist of the Barca job given the financial straits the club is in.

  25. 25
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@21: The bookmakers have us third favourites for the EFL at 6/1, behind Chelsea (11/4) and Liverpool (10/3), but ahead — just about — of West Ham (13/2) and Leicester (33/5), followed by the neighbours (9/1), Brentford (20/1) and Sunderland (80/1). I’d probably take being drawn against them in reverse order in the next round, but, as you say, no easy ties.

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    BHBD indeed, mostly their own work
    too. Looks like a rebuild of a few seasons
    as well.
    Those odds look about right, though on
    current form I’d reverse Brentford and
    spuds in the betting.

  27. 27
    Cynic says:

    Stan Kroenke’s move of the Rams to LA has been the subject of lawsuits. He made promises at the time amounting to billions of dollars of liability but he’s apparently trying to back away from them.

    This video may be of interest as it explains what’s going on.

  28. 28
    ClockEndRider says:

    I think a move to 5 subs will just cement the position of clubs with no budget, by which I mean those who don’t have to consider financial restrictions as they are not run as businesses. They will be able to play more of the benched first team quality players they stockpile, leading to a further concentration of teams genuinely likely to win things. For me, sport is war by other means – strategy; tactics; the deployment of limited resources over the field of play, in order to defeat the other side. If you take out the last of these then it risks just becoming an exercise in futility.

  29. 29
    Bathgooner says:

    CER @28, you have nicely summed up the whole attraction and raison d’etre of team sport and why it generates such tribalism. I absolutely agree with your observations on the effect of a permanent move to 5 subs which will overwhelmingly advantage clubs that are stockpiling top quality players and keeping them happy within a squad with eye-watering salaries and occasional outings. In the UK it all started with Abramovich’s Chavski stockpiling quality players simply to prevent their rivals acquiring them ending with Shitteh having a backup XI that would walk into anyone else’s first team.

    This is just one further straw on the camel’s back for me. I have no interest when a competition becomes uncompetitive despite the hope that David will beat Goliath.

    Interestingly, despite a longstanding dislike of the Bindippers, their recent achievements and current form using normal old-fashioned football economic rules are impressive and as a default, in the absence of an astonishing Arsenal revival, they are now the team in the ‘top 3 runners’ that I would prefer to win the league, provided they lose at least one game.

    However in the longer term I expect their current competitive position will decline when Klopp leaves and the current squad ages or breaks up as happened at Aberdeen when Demento went to Manure. I expect in England a situation like Scotland where the league is dominated by a duopoly of far richer clubs or perhaps in England a triopoly of petrodollar driven reputation-cleansers.

  30. 30
    Bathgooner says:

    Our loanee defender Harry Clarke scored a cracker last night for Ross County. It’s at about 2.20 on this clip.


  31. 31
    Bathgooner says:

    Apologies to BtM for adding to your pain if perchance you should still be dropping silently into the bar.

  32. 32
    Cynic says:

    The reason the Kroenke thing is significant is that if things do go badly for the league (ie him), he faces a bill that could wipe out half of his net worth at a stroke. Then he’d be faced with potentially selling assets.

  33. 33
    Bathgooner says:

    Cynic @27 & 32, thanks for posting that link. Verrry Interssssting! as the German helmetted little chap (Henry?) used to say on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. Thanks for the link.

    I am sure you are correct that if the lawsuit ends up with Kroenke having to write that big cheque, there may be consequences felt at the Arsenal.

    Indemnifying the NFL for any consequences of the move seems an incautious move but perhaps it was the only way to get the owners’ agreements. Unsurprising that as the chips begin to fall, he is trying to wriggle out of it.

  34. 34
    Bathgooner says:

    This fella:

  35. 35
    bt8 says:

    The Kroenke brand within the NFL appears to be on a downward spin, with the owners of the New York Giants and the New England Patriots pitted against his latest swindle. For those who are interested in reading more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.si.com/.amp/nfl/2021/10/27/nfl-owners-upset-stan-kroenke-dodge-legal-expenses

  36. 36
    North Bank Ned says:

    This is the original ESPN story that broke the news of Kroenke trying to walk back his indemnity agreement with the other NFL owners over legal fees relating to suits triggered by the Rams move back to LA from St Louis.


    It looks like the sums at risk are in the high hundreds of millions/borderline billion rather than billions plural, although the ESPN story acknowledges the numbers are unclear. There was a reference to it being more than the net worth of some in the room. The pauper among NFL owners is reckoned to be the Raiders’ Mark Davis. His net worth is around $500 million, so that would put a floor under the number. There are at least half a dozen other owners who are wealthier than that without being billionaires.

    As much as we can hope, I fear it is unlikely that Kroenke will have to sell significant assets as a result of the lawsuits, which in any event will take years to resolve.

  37. 37
    North Bank Ned says:

    Kroenke (and the NFL) will also likely have litigation insurance that would cover some or all of the lawyers’ fees, out of pocket legal costs and/or an adverse judgement. Difficult to imagine an open-ended indemnity agreement without it.

  38. 38
    North Bank Ned says:

    CER@28: Spot on on both points.

    Football is increasingly a 16-a-side game, and the substitute coach is now a thing.


  39. 39
    TTG says:

    Very well summed up . I agree completely with you and Bath re the way in which the owners of Citeh and Chelsea have distorted the principles on which competition is based.
    As for Cynic’s observations I think there is an element in the US media which briefs against Kroenke ( probably with very good reasons) and I’m not convinced that his demise or need of a firesale of assets is imminent . If it is he will clearly sell to the highest bidder and we might find ourselves with an owner we don’t greatly respect taking over . I don’t think the Archbishop of Canterbury has the necessary cash to stump up.
    Surely the way forward is a salary cap applied across Europe…or is that FFP by another name ? If the Saudis are fit and proper owners it is highly probable that Donald Trump may pitch up at the Grove .
    CL qualification is possible for us this season and it would be terrific for so many reasons to achieve it

  40. 40
    Cynic says:

    There’s another video which I cannot find now, which says the costs involved are more likely to be in the billions. The hundreds of millions up to a billion figure is what he supposedly offered in order to settle the case.

  41. 41
    Bathgooner says:

    bt8 @35, that really doesn’t give anyone confidence that Stan’s word is his bond.

  42. 42
    Countryman100 says:

    Stats driven tactical analysis isn’t really my thing, but for those who like it, Tim Stillman’s Arseblog column today, on ESR, might be of interest.

    Here we are and here we are and here we go

  43. 43
    TTG says:

    I’ve spent a professional lifetime working with Actuaries and data scientists and even as a cretin with no maths or statistics degree ( many of my colleagues had first class maths degrees ) I’ve kept up reasonably well because a lot of conclusions are to quote Basil Fawlty ‘ bleeding obvious’.
    Data analytics is definitely the future and I enjoy poring over what is produced , it’s not deeply complex but these findings are only based on a few games , in three of which we got overrun. I thought he was the only player who could hold his head up at Brentford but since we got those three out of the way his numbers are interesting . Lots of caveats . Assists may be down because the players ahead of him are making less or less productive runs , or finishing poorly but it looks as if he is trying to release the ball earlier over longer distances . Certainly he has Auba and Lacazette providing a lot of energy and quality this season .
    I’ve not heard from anyone who knows him about his character but he presents as a decent boy who loves the club and is dedicated to his craft . I agree with Tim that there is great joy when homegrown lads break through and fans cut them more slack than big signings . He and Bukayo are splendid young men and hopefully the bright shiny future of our club .

  44. 44
    Peter Hill-Wood says:

    Kroenke ? Pffttt !

    You all mocked me when I said we didn’t want his sort around here ….

  45. 45
    TTG says:

    Halloween eh and you’re back from the grave!
    I didn’t but most people were much more concerned about Usmanov!
    My first posting on here made a point about the relative attractiveness of them both as owners. The overwhelming feeling on Goonerholic ( including the Guvna) was that Usmanov was overwhelmingly the undesirable face of ownership. I wish I could remember when I posted . Some of the reactions would make interesting reading . I nearly didn’t return

  46. 46
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@45: The first mention of Usmanov by the Gov’nor that shows up in search was in August 2007. As you say, he was not enamoured of the Uzbek-born Russian oligarch, nor, come to that, of the current owner.

    Dein Shows His Hand

    The smell of real money can mask a number of objectionable odours.

    This was directed at Usmanov but covers both of them. No one could twist the knife with such silkiness as Dave.

  47. 47
    North Bank Ned says:

    Cynic@40: St Louis is seeking punitive damages and restitution of profits in its lawsuit against the NFL, its teams and their principal owners (which include four Glazers, btw). If the case runs its course and St Louis wins in court, then the award against the NFL and its co-defendants would, as you say, likely be in the billions plural (and likely be reduced on appeal, as that is the way of the US legal system). Kroenke’s indemnity agreement, as I understand it, covers the NFL’s legal bills in defending the suit, not any damages or other court awards. The city’s lawyers, Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, which sounds like the US practice of Private Eye’s Sue, Grabbit & Runne, are working on a contingency basis, but, will no doubt be handsomely paid when the suit gets settled out of court, which still seems the most likely outcome.

    If anyone can be bothered to read it, the lawsuit is here: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/stltoday.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/18/b18dd730-f51b-5870-9bb4-09b80c74862c/58ee5c62254f1.pdf.pdf Spoiler alert: It is 52 pages long.

  48. 48
    bt8 says:

    Blimey! That’s the last very first time anyone has linked to the entire text of a lawsuit to my knowledge. There must be legal scholars among us, and not just TTG. I’ll get back to you in a few days Ned. 🙂

  49. 49
    bt8 says:

    Well the first 18 pages were easy being simply the addresses of the defendants, the owners of every NFL club. It’s at the bottom of page 18 that things start to get trickier.

  50. 50
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for doing some hard yards bt8, I will start from P.18 😀

  51. 51
    OsakaMatt says:

    Ok, it is a pretty damning naming and shaming indictment as is to be expected from the plaintiffs. Basically, Kroenke and his minions as well as the NFL lied and lied and lied, plus the relocation policy is a total sham is the accusation. As a result they should give St Louis a stupendous amount of money. No surprises there.
    I’ll go for 1 billion to Nil for St.Louis.

  52. 52
    bathgooner says:

    C100 @42, that is indeed a very interesting piece by Tim. I’m not much of a data geek when it comes to football but these data do somewhat confirm what my eyes have been telling me. He’s a gem.

  53. 53
    bathgooner says:

    Ned @46, love it!

  54. 54
    Cynic says:

    Regarding the Kroenke thing … (the person named Young is a lawyer, J. Bradley Young, a legal analyst for KMOX Radio in St Louis). I won’t link to the story I copied this from as it’s one of those “not available in the EU” websites. I was curious enough to use a proxy.

    [i]The entire lawsuit is under a court-ordered seal, but this latest attempt by Kroenke’s team to have the lawsuit thrown out was filed without putting it under a seal. So for about three hours, Young says, the documents were in the public domain until the lawyers finally got it sealed.

    Young adds, there’s one more very exciting thing we learned from the latest document dump. He says Kroenke has an indemnification agreement with both the NFL and all of the NFL owners.

    “So any money that they all spend on legal fees [b]or anything that they’re forced to pay as a result of this lawsuit[/b], Kroenke has to personally pay for all of it,” Young says. [/i]

    Now that would make sense to me, because if all he had to pay was the legal fees of tens of millions, why offer a settlement close to a billion dollars?

  55. 55
    Cynic says:

    Ah shit, I used the wrong brackets for me tags. Sorry folks.

  56. 56
    North Bank Ned says:

    Cynic@54: The indemnity agreement bears close reading, but I now don’t doubt that you are correct that it covers all potential costs of the lawsuit, not just legal fees for the NFL and the 32 NFL teams that are co-defendants. Those fees reportedly already top $10 million for some of those teams, and that alone suggests a bill in the hundreds of millions just for lawyers. KMOX Radio says Kroenke is considering suing the NFL over the agreement. My 2-cents on that would be that that is the sort of thing billionaires do to each other all the time rather than that it is particularly mendacious. The two may be the same, of course.

    Separately but related, Kroenke’s efforts to prevent his financial records from being turned over to the court pre-trial so the jury in the main trial can assess punitive damages if the city of St Louis wins the case are not meeting with success. If they continue to fail, the financial records he will have to turn over will include three years worth of statements for any entity he owns ‘in whole or in part or directly or indirectly’.

    That would include our beloved club, even though we are, in the legal jargon, ‘a stranger to the underlying action’. It seems a ridiculously broad request and unlikely that having three years of Arsenal financials will let the jury value Kroenke’s net worth substantively more accurately than using one of the valuations of his ownership already out there (Deloitte, Bloomberg, Forbes &c). Nonetheless, those documents would make fascinating reading if they become part of the public court record, especially as it would reveal how Kroenke structures his ownership and management of the club and extracts money from it.

  57. 57
    North Bank Ned says:

    Not great news on availabilities for the Leicester game. Someone failed to reheat the lasagne properly, so there is a stomach bug going around, of which White, Mari and Ødegaard are known victims, but there may be others reading between the lines of Arteta’s pre-match press conference. Also, he says some unspecified players picked up knocks against Leeds. They could well be players not in contention for starts on Saturday, although, equally, may be needed to cover for those stricken with the stomach bug. KT3 is also a doubt and faces a late fitness test.

  58. 58
    Peter Hill-Wood says:

    I have a pretty good view from up here ☁️🌥☁️

    On a clear day, as they say, I can see forever.

    All I will say is that I would trust Kroenke considerably less far than I could throw him – and I’m dead …..

  59. 59
    Trev says:

    Ned @57,

    Unspecified players – late fitness tests ?

    The hope must be that we are only as depleted as some of our recent opponents have claimed to be, but have turned up with almost all their sufferers on the pitch at kickoff.

    I sense skullduggery, fittingly for Halloween – but could obfuscation possibly occur at our great club ? See above a51, @54-56, et al.

  60. 60
    bt8 says:

    Sounds like St. Louis could soon afford to stabilize their arch.

  61. 61
    bt8 says:

    Queens Park Rangers v. Nottingham Forest underway in the Championship. If team names are anything to go by it should be quite the bucolic matchup.

  62. 62
    bathgooner says:

    bt8 @60, is the arch unstable? I’ve travelled up to the top on a very ingenious little internal railway.

  63. 63
    bt8 says:

    Bath, Although it is not unstable to my knowledge it is, as I understand stand it, the source of great civic pride in the city and the last thing they would want is an unstable arch. At least least they have got legal standing.

  64. 64
    scruzgooner says: