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After last week’s comprehensive review of the 2021/22 Premier League season for The Arsenal, I realized it was time once again to share the thrills and spills of the season that was in the Holics Ropey League. In fact, much like the real world, it was a season of uplys and downlys for many of the Gooners striving to win the coveted crown, however in the Goonerholic Ropey League’s realm of fantasy, a happy ending is always guaranteed for one lucky Gooner. 

Last season had seen the triumphal march of TTG to the sea of success but who was it to be this time round? Ten good men and true set out to challenge our defending champion back in August, putting their managerial acumen to the test and hoping to season the season with a generous dollop of sheer blind luck. Two simple rules were agreed – at least one Arsenal player in your squad and no spu#s allowed – and off we set. 

In the early stages it was your own correspondent who set a Low Bar at the head of the table with the Purists and Giants beginning a season-long fight for the wooden-spoon. However, by the end of September, Uply was the man in command and he was to lead the chasing pack a merry dance for the next four months as he soared up, tiddly up, up. Though challenged early by the feverish cannons of rhetoric and the dire wolves of Bath (there are no wolves in Somerset, plenty Squares though! Ed.) our very own Uply held his pace and place until the engines finally stalled in February.  Come the home stretch and around 50 points covered the top 6 through March and there was much jostling for position as the season wended its way to teatime. No quarter was asked or given and a bad week or two spelt the end for several stalwarts of the blog as the situation became dire for Bath, Fife slipped to Forth for BtM, and Game of Throw-ins fell away, much like the TV series I suppose, to an unappreciated end for TTG.  

Come the merry month of May and there could be only one, bt8 and the Big Time Bottlers strode unbottlingly to the line, jet-propelled by the astutely timed switch of Salah for De Bruyne (eat your heart out Klippity). The minor placings were filled by the Dino-driven Red-Hot Chilli Pepes in 3rd and, noted without comment as usual, in 2nd the fantastically-managed Low Bar of Osaka Matt. A quick note that the Manager of the Month successes were shared liberally amongst Canons of Rhetoric, bt8, GSD, Uply, BtM and myself. 

Regardless of the result I hope all enjoyed a closely-fought contest this season. A fine win and it remains only to say 2,4,6, bt8, who do we appreciate? 

Now, how do I get revenge?

85 Drinks to “Thrilling Dénouement Sees Big Time Success for Gooner!!”

  1. 1
    North Bank Ned says:

    Congratulations, bt8, for a fantastic success, and to OM and GSD for podiuming.

    In real-world news, the club has confirmed Laca’s departure, to no one’s very great surprise.


  2. 2
    bt8 says:

    Thanks Matt for a great review of a very Ropey season when Bottlers oddly failed to live up to their name. A tightly contested race indeed, and well done all around. As to your last question,

  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    And thanks Ned too. Bon voyage Laca.

  4. 4
    Bathgooner says:

    Nice review of a competitive season.

    And a nice goal today from ESR for the under-21’s with a tasty performance from Balogun too.

    Highlights on the BBC site:


  5. 5
    SparkyGooner says:

    Blimey, far better than my effort in the PL Fantasy League. Thanks to you all for another year of great writing. All your articles have been a wonderful addition to the agonies and ecstasies of the season, and – after reading this blog for many years – I reckon the Guv’nor would be proud of the course it has maintained. Sorry if I am overstepping the mark here, having never met Dave, but the legacy is alive and thriving. TTG’s excellent summary of season however, was sullied slightly with his mention of Untold Arsenal and his/their foul count ratio to cards analysis. It annoyed me to read that blogs’ latest write-up of the awful issues at the Champions’ League final last Saturday. It appears to be terribly biased, partial and with no references or sources. It is wholly against ‘Pool supporters, and panders to the same arguments we have seen for years in the tabloids. No offence intended, TTG and all, your previews and reviews of all the games this season, have been a highlight for me, and I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing summer (transfer windows notwithstanding). All the best, Dave

  6. 6
    TTG says:

    Thankyou for this account of a very competitive season in the Fantasy PL . Congratulations to Bt8 for a very well judged challenge ( like Lester Piggott at his best ) and a deserved win but there were some fine performances and the wily Uply was leading the field over Bechers second time around ( I’ve switched from flat to steeplechasing ) and then was passed by the chasing hordes ( who did not include me ) .
    Winning Fantasy League comes down to how well you utilise your ‘ boosts’. Last season 8 picked Mahrez as captain on a day when he scored a hat-trick and ha£ two assists . This year I chose a triple captain who didn’t play in either match ! Well done to all who took part .
    Thankyou for your super comments which will warm the hearts of many on here . It’s lovely to feel appreciated. I take no offence whatsoever at your comments . My reference to Untold Arsenal was fleeting and tongue in cheek . I detest it as a blog and I think some of their pieces are wacky and one-eyed to say the least . Cheerio Laca…it was time to go. Thankyou for the fish

  7. 7
    North Bank Ned says:

    Sparky@5, Thank you. There is no greater compliment to the scribblers here than to say we are keeping the Guv’nor’s spirit alive.

  8. 8
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks to all participants for keeping it interesting right until the final weeks.
    Cheers Sparky – a drink on the bar for you sir🍻
    And best of luck to Laca!

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    Blogs makes a fair assessment of Laca, which might be summarised as one of the least bad in an era of poor transfer deals. A Premier League goal every 188 minutes is below the strike rate needed from a top striker. By comparison, Ollie G, who, Blogs notes, ultimately left because of Laca’s arrival, scored once every 154 minutes in the PL in our colours and once every 161 minutes if his time at the bus stop is taken into account. Perhaps like his great mate Auba, Laca will find his shooting boots again after a fresh start. He seems to be the sort of person who deserves to.

  10. 10
    ecg says:

    Boom! In for the 10 spot!

    Awfully quiet in here.

  11. 11
    bt8 says:

    Re: TTG and “Winning Fantasy League comes down to how well you utilise your ‘ boosts’. ”
    What made it for me this season was picking enough Man City players in Gameweek 36, when they outscored their opponents 10-1 over two games, and DeBruyne scored 4 goals (he was my captain that week and for most of the final stretch of games). As Matt noted I had captained Salah through the end of 2021, but I took a guess that he would be a bit knackered after AFCON and dropped him from my side in favour of other expensive players like DeBruyne.

  12. 12
    bt8 says:

    Well in, ecg

  13. 13
    OsakaMatt says:

    Laca wasn’t really the main striker except for a little while before Auba came so I’d cut him a little slack for that but in the end he wasn’t really an upgrade on OG. Personally, I just preferred Laca but it’s only an opinion, based on him not being as truly awful as the HFB could be when out of sorts, and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who disagreed.

  14. 14
    OsakaMatt says:

    It was a great “guess” and De Bruyne was annoyingly excellent as usual second half of the season…. Mostly people save their boosts until near the end and the double game weeks – I did and it didn’t really work as I put in too many useless Villa or Burnley players who did nothing. I blame it all on Coutinho😂😂😂

  15. 15
    North Bank Ned says:

    10 is the new half-ton, ecg.

  16. 16
    TTG says:

    There are those of a mathematical bent on GHF.
    You may be interested in this latest piece from Le Grove which suggests we got screwed by the algorithm selecting the fixtures . I’m not a conspiracy theorist but if I was this would have me foaming at the mouth


    I’m genuinely interested in whether the maths is sound

  17. 17
    Cynic says:

    It’s always somebody else’s fault.

    Meanwhile, my current earworm

  18. 18
    TTG says:

    Arsenal have lost their two excellent U23 and U18 coaches to Crawley Town. Kevin Betsy’s move was anticipate£ but not Dan Miccihe’s. This leaves us to find replacements at a very busy moment .
    I wish them well. From what I saw and heard they did a very good job after things had slipped in those areas under Steve Bould and Ken Gillard

  19. 19
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@16: The statistical calculations appear sound, but the interpretation raises some questions.

    First, a general point: a low probability of something happening does not mean it won’t happen, or if it does, it shouldn’t have, and thus there must have been foul play.

    Second, the generic probability of any PL team not involved in a European competition avoiding one that is the following weekend over the two months of the group stage is indeed 3.4%. But last season, we had already played Man City and Chelsea before the group stages and Tottenham early on in them. Take that into account (Premier League fixture rules mean we couldn’t play them again in the first half of the season), and it becomes more than three times more likely we would not ‘get the advantage of playing a team after Europe’. If the chance of rain was one in twelve, not one in thirty, that might change your thinking about taking an umbrella — and make you less conspiratorially-minded if the heavens do open.

    Also, last season, playing no in-Europe teams and playing three are both within two standard deviations, which would typically mean neither number would be considered an outlier.

    A further point: is there an advantage of playing a team after Europe? Of the 44 CL, Europa League and Europa Conference group qualifying and group stage games, in only three following PL matches did an in-Europe team lose to a non-in-Europe team. The overwhelming majority of points dropped by in-Europe teams during those games were to other in-Europe teams, implying that the quality of the opposition matters more than travel fatigue.

    As for the way the fixture list is compiled, the interview quoted appears to be this, from 2016. https://www.premierleague.com/news/261976. No one, except perhaps the author of the Le Grove piece, is pretending that the PL fixture list is purely randomly generated. There are rules imposed (Atos’s Thompson mentions some of them), and I would imagine that, like most recommendation algorithms, the system generates a candidate set of fixtures for the season that meet the rules and then selects one at random.

    Any system for compiling fixtures will only be as good as its rules. Those are necessarily complex for the PL, given the league’s and clubs’ specific requirements and policing and travel implications. The more conditions, the greater the complexity. Thompson says that changing one match may require 40 other changes.

  20. 20
    North Bank Ned says:

    That should have been chance of rain one in eight, not one in twelve.

  21. 21
    bt8 says:

    Wales qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. 💫

    That’d be even longer than since Spurs won the league. One important difference would be that Wales’ losing streak ended, whereas …

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    That was helpful and interesting .Thankyou .
    Personally speaking I don’t believe there is a conspiracy against Arsenal( in terms of administrator bias or continually adverse refereeing decisions ) and other clubs have similar grievances to us .
    Chelsea fans point to the two Cup Finals with us . The same referee ( Taylor) sent off Moses in 2017 for two yellows the second of which was for simulation. I think that was a very brave decision but I can appreciate their reservations about our first goal which I thought was offside .
    In 2020 , he gave us a ( stonewall in my opinion) penalty , allowed Bellerin’s debatable challenge before our second goal and sent off Kovacic ( two yellows again ) . We had a fine goal disallowed but all these major incidents were reviewed ( presumably) by VAR . Chav fans are livid about him and feel similarly about his anti- Chelsea bias to the way we feel about the ‘ runt’ Mike Dean .
    I think Arsenal fail to get the rub of the green from some referees but I think the main reason is that most current PL referees are very poor . Compare the performances of the CL Final referee and the two referees in the World Cup play-off matches and imagine how they might have been refereed by Paul Tierney , Chris Kavanagh, Stuart Atwell or Jarod Gillett.

  23. 23
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@22: I think you are right on the conspiracy front, and about the standard of PL refereeing. VAR has taken on a life of its own that was never expected and thus not enough thought was put in in the first place as to how to make its decisions consistent.

    Back to fixtures. A league fixtures generator at https://sports.icalculator.info/fixtures-calculator.html will let you draw up your own PL fixture list. It is a standard home and away league format for Teams 1-20. Allocate a PL team at random to each number, and you will get a complete 38-match week fixture list. I created five randomly ordered lists of the PL clubs, and not one of the resulting fixture lists got past Match Week One without breaking the known PL rules (and who knows what others there are that are publically unknown.) I suspect you could waste hours until you came across one that worked (at least unless you had some serious computing power to chew through it for you). I also checked how many times we would have ‘got the advantage of playing a team after Europe’ if the first list I tried had set the fixtures last season — just once, away at the Bus Stop. But we would have been at home on Boxing and New Year’s Days.

  24. 24
    OsakaMatt says:

    Nice finish from ESR

  25. 25
    bt8 says:

    Nice shot by ESR with Balogun on the pre-assist. Balogun with a good shot later forcing the keeper to push it over the top.

  26. 26
    Cynic says:

    I don’t believe there is a conspiracy against Arsenal

    Definitely not, and talk of conspiracy is always embarrassing. No conspiracy lost us fourth last season and neither did the fixture computer. Let’s not forget that having Spurs at the end of the season was our own stupid fault, bending the system by postponing for Covid when we had ONE case. I didn’t like that at the time and it bit us in the arse. Our own fault.

    Arsenal has been failing because of one simple reason. Our players haven’t been good enough. For many years.

  27. 27
    North Bank Ned says:

    Freddie Ljungberg and Jack Wilshere are being mentioned as possible candidates for the newly vacant U-23s and U-18s coaching jobs. Both are deeply rooted in the club and appear to be immediately available, which would be convenient given the need to make an appointment in short order. I doubt either’s background would sit ill with Arteta’s cultural revolution, yet Betsy and Micciche showed the value of bringing in fresh blood. Freddie left previously because he wanted to manage a senior team. If appointed, he might prove only a stop-gap.

  28. 28
    TTG says:

    I agree about the convenience of appointing Freddie and Jack but it would look a backward step for Freddie to me . LJW however, might be a good option for the U18s. People speak well of Adam Birchall, an ex-player at Arsenal and someone whose career was blighted by injuries. He currently looks after the U16s at Arsenal.
    The encouragement to follow ‘ the Arsenal Way’ inculcated by ex Arsenal players is one of the main reason players like Saka and ESR have such strong loyalty .
    I’m a bit surprised that someone considers no.2 at Crawley a step up over U23 coach at Arsenal. I think Miccihe would have got that job.
    I’d love to see Dennis Bergkamp in charge of the U18s. Who better could they learn from ?

  29. 29
    North Bank Ned says:

    Freddie appears to be unemployed at present so he might see running the U-21s as I suppose it will be under the reformatted PL2 as a restart rather than a step back. Jack would be a good fit for the U-18s and let him cut his teeth as a coach.

  30. 30
    North Bank Ned says:

    England’s top goal scorers
    % of total goals accounted for by penalties

    Kane (15/50) 30%
    Rooney (7/53) 13%
    Charlton (3/49) 6%
    Lineker (4/48) 8%
    Greaves (0/44) 0%

  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    From our where are they now dept: I see that Krystian Bielik, the Polish CB/DM we signed as a teenager in 2015 with high hopes he would become a first-team fixture for years to come, is one of only five players Derby Co have under contract for next season when they will be playing third-tier football.


    We bought Bielik for 2.25 million euros and sold him to Derby in 2019 for 8.2 million euros, which has to be chalked up in the column for transfer success.

  32. 32
    bathgooner says:

    A success indeed, Ned. Clearly there are a few more gullible purchasers than the Arsenal though there may be fewer than we would hope and there must be few more feckless managers of contracts and incompetent salesmen!

  33. 33
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Saka wins the official club player of the season award. To the huge surprise of, well, no-one, obviously.

    Well done Bukayo.

  34. 34
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Bissouma, Hickey, Tielemans, Gabriel Jesus and a wide forward, please. And some sort of cover for Tomi at RB (even if that means getting in another CB, so Ben White can be a like for like kind of RB backup).

    I know the window has not even opened yet. But that is what I want, and I won’t be happy until it’s done 😉

    And, as for sales… Cedric, Pepe and Xhaka to start with, and then let’s see who else we both do not need and can get some cash for. AMN, Leno and Nelson spring to mind. And Tavares’ race may be run, although he probably has 3 years left on his contract, and won’t be on huge money, so I’m not averse to giving him another season if the Boss sees fit.

    Anyway, lots to do, and not long to do it in.

    Edu, pull yer finger out.

  35. 35
    TTG says:

    Good stuff GSD
    We’ve also got to unload Mari and Bellerin as well . I think Tavares and Sambi might be better to loan out but , as will surprise no one we must unload Xhaka or he will linger around Colney like a bad smell. Bissouma seems to have jumped onto the list and a midfield of Yakubu , Tielemans , Bissouma and Elneny with Patino and Azeez playing in the Europa and hopefully progressing would be excellent .
    If we keep AMN and buy Hickey we have fullback cover and we have Saliba coming back to join Benny Blanco from the Bronx ( perhaps it’s Pacino not Patino?) and Gabriel with Capitola Rob in central defence
    I hope we don’t sell Ballard . I’d try to loan him to a Premier club .
    Upfront I can’t get excited about Jesus ( that sounds blasphemous) but my good friend C100 made a very fine case for him last week at cricket . I don’t think he will score enough goals but he fits the way Arteta plays and I suppose Arteta knows him well . I think the exciting wideman would be Cody Gakpo of PSV .
    That would give us a net spend of just under £100 million but our wage bill will be radically reduced losing Laca, Auba, Pepe , Leno and Xhaka
    Get to it Edu

  36. 36
    bt8 says:

    Ned’s table this time listed by goals scored from open play:
    England’s top goal scorers
    Rooney 46
    Charlton 46
    Lineker 44
    Greaves 44
    Kane 35

  37. 37
    North Bank Ned says:

    Different order but same point, bt8.

  38. 38
    bathgooner says:

    The window in the UK opens tomorrow and stays open until 1 September so there’s plenty of time to get the necessary business done. I can’t disagree with the observations already made on what’s necessary in terms of comings and goings. However our primary objective must be securing a top level goal scorer – frankly the rest is mere frippery if that is not achieved. Has Bissouma had a moral makeover to render him acceptable again? A good player who would add steel to our midfield but with an allegedly somewhat questionable off-pitch history. It would be very encouraging if we could get that striker in ‘early doors’.

  39. 39
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@38: Spot on. We need goals.
    TTG@35: No Partey in your midfield?

  40. 40
    North Bank Ned says:

    And bon voyage to Laca as he heads back to Lyon.

  41. 41
    bt8 says:

    Re: Ned @37. I thought so too but just decided to post my #36 for any subtraction-ally challenged readers. 🙂

  42. 42
    bt8 says:

    Re: Ned @39. There appears to be congratulations in order for Yakubu (formerly Thomas Partey) who not only got married but changed his name too. Some details here: https://www.londonworld.com/sport/football/arsenal/arsenal-thomas-partey-name-wedding-marriage-fans-back-of-shirt-3724940

    Come on Yakubu!

  43. 43
    bt8 says:

    But the article says he will keep Thomas on the back of his shirt. He seems to have married a rockin’ Moroccan. Come on Thomas!

  44. 44
  45. 45
    TTG says:

    Sorry Ned I was trying to illustrate how up to date I am with matters in the Goonerverse . Yakubu is still Partey as far as we are concerned.
    I note that Lyon have revealed in their press release that Arsenal paid them a £5.5 million bonus on top of his original £46.5 million transfer fee. No one is clear what triggered this substantial sum or when it was paid . It does suggest we might have looked to move him on when we had bids for him .
    It’s also worth noting that Liverpool are asking for £17m for Miniamino and £15 m for Phillips .Contrast this with the fees we got for Guendouzi and Mavropanos. I don’t know if it’s Garlick or Edu who is pissing our money done the toilet but we are giving our players away . We need to ramp up this area of our activities enormously

  46. 46
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8 & TTG: The Yakubu conversion had passed me by completely, so thank you. On the cutting edge, both of you…

    Bonuses are usually triggered by goals scored or appearances made thresholds. It was reported before we bought Laca that Lyon had agreed a deal for him with Atletico Madrid for 53 million euros plus 12 million euros in bonuses. That deal was scuppered by a transfer ban imposed on Atletico. It looks as if we got a 5 million euro saving on the rebound.

  47. 47
    North Bank Ned says:

    If ‘Pool is asking £17 million for Miniamino, it can only be so that the buyer thinks they are getting a bargain when they end up paying his full market value of around £8 million.

  48. 48
    Pangloss says:

    bt8@44 Emphasis on “mildly”. Massive emphasis.

  49. 49
    bt8 says:

    There’s not a lot going on PG. Back to tending the peonies.

  50. 50
    Pangloss says:

    That sounds like a plan, bt8.

    It feels a bit late in the year for Peonies – based on the German for Peony being Pfingstrosen – Whitsun Roses.

  51. 51
    TTG says:

    Christiano Ronaldo is a show peony

  52. 52
    bathgooner says:

    This window will be a big test for Edu. He has to prove to TTG that his concerns are misplaced about his competence as a salesman both in persuading top players that they can develop and win medals at the Arsenal and also in generating good transfer fees for outgoing assets. In the classical definition of examiners, I see TTG as a hawk rather than a dove so Edu had better have prepared well already as the clock has started ticking.

    Meanwhile it seems that Jesus may not be so keen on walking on our stretch of water:


  53. 53
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@52: Edu might struggle to satisfy even a lenient examiner.

  54. 54
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, Pangloss

  55. 55
    bt8 says:

    Peonies in mid-June. One of the advantages of living in such a northern climate I suppose. April was none too pleasant, I can assure you.

  56. 56
    TTG says:

    That’s me . Ready to pounce on Edu if he sells the family silver- for peanuts 🥜

  57. 57
    TTG says:

    Tchouameni signed for Real today. They have him and Camavinga. Life just ain’t fair

  58. 58
  59. 59
    OsakaMatt says:

    Leno to Fulham is a reported story – 10m on transfermarket.
    Seems about right, he could play for another few seasons and
    is a decent keeper.

  60. 60
    North Bank Ned says:

    I’d bet we don’t get more than £6 million for Leno, OM. He has only a year left on his contract. But it would be another £5.2 million off the annual wage bill.

    I can see TTG soaring in the thermals above N5…

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, I guess Leno will be on more than Turner. 6m would be a good buy for Fulham I think.

  62. 62
    North Bank Ned says:

    A switch to Craven Cottage would make sense. Fulham is on the lookout for a long-term No 1 keeper, so he would get regular Premiership starts to help him back into the Germany squad for Qatar. He apparently wants to stay in London, where he and his wife have reportedly recently bought a new house. Assuming he and Fulham can square the circle of the £100,000 a week he currently earns, he probably just needs to make sure to have a contingency clause in his contract for if/when Fulham go straight back down.

    The ill-fated Rúnar Rúnarsson is on £40,000 a week. I would guess Turner would be on similar money.

  63. 63
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Forty grand a week for Runarsson?


    We’ll not be able to give him away.

  64. 64
    Cynic says:

    I know northerners can be a bit slow, but it has taken two (completely unrelated) Newcastle fans I know until today to give me “bantz” about our defeat to them. A month ago!

    And I’ve seen them both two or three times a week ever since that day of infamy.

  65. 65
    bt8 says:

    A mildly interesting read: https://www.football365.com/news/feature-premier-league-transfers-where-every-club-has-shopped-most-this-century
    No maps or flow charts included but if there had been a map of the Mississippi River it would have showed Chelsea in the position of Minneapolis, Arsenal at St. Louis, and West Ham at New Orleans. What olían was the recruit from Chelsea but hopefully their detritus has now stopped flowing in our direction.

  66. 66
    bt8 says:

    What olían was the recruit =
    Willian was the last recruit

  67. 67
    bt8 says:

    Not to say that the same players who arrived from Chelsea were later sent down the river to the Big Easy.

  68. 68
    bt8 says:

    Willian to Corinthians probably would have been the closest approximation.

  69. 69
    bathgooner says:

    bt8 @65, mildly interesting it is. There does seem to be a pattern of recurrent trips to the same ‘well’. Hopefully we have discovered a sweeter source.

    Can anyone argue that we gained a single unqualified successful signing at the bus stop since John Hollins? This lot doesn’t contain one:

    Arsenal: Chelsea – 6
    Players signed: Petr Cech, David Luiz, Lassana Diarra, Willian, William Gallas, Yossi Benayoun
    Total spent: £23.04m

  70. 70
    North Bank Ned says:

    Not many clubs seem to do particularly well returning to the same source. Quite a few has-beens and never-weres on those lists.

  71. 71
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    First signing confirmed. Obviously a young player, but Arteta can have a look at him in preseason and decide how best to develop him.

  72. 72
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Apparently Edu did quite well to sniff this one out, as there was some sort of potential legal issue and the whole contractual situation was less than clear.

    However, it turns out that Arsenal are legally allowed to sign Brazilian players who do not have the name ‘Gabriel’ somewhere in their passport, so we’ve been able to get the deal sorted.

    Lovely stuff.

  73. 73
    North Bank Ned says:

    Our pre-season friendlies:

    8 July v FC Nurnberg (Max-Morlock-Stadion, Nuremberg)
    16 July v Everton (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore)
    20 July v Orlando City (Exploria Stadium, Orlando)
    23 July v Chelsea (Camping World Stadium, Orlando)
    30 July v Sevilla (Emirates Stadium)

  74. 74
    North Bank Ned says:

    Our official released players list:

    First-team squad: Alex Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah (contract offered, ongoing discussions)

    Under-18s/Under-23s: Jonathan Dinzeyi, Joel Lopez, Jordan McEneff

    Fewer youngsters were released than might have been expected, which suggests a lot of loans next season in preparation for sales.

  75. 75
    OsakaMatt says:

    Welcome to Marquinhos, never seen him play to be honest but anyway it’s a start.

  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    The Sun has leaked the fixture list. It seems Arsenal’s first league game would be away at Brighton on the 6th of August and then hosting Leicester City on the 13th before travelling to Wolves (20th August) and hosting Newcastle United (27th August) in their first four games. Manchester City, Everton, West Ham, and Nottingham Forest would be their next four opponents. A better first three fixtures than they had last season but away at Brighton will be difficult.

  77. 77
    North bank Ned says:

    If those leaks are accurate, we will likely be playing at least four of the other big six in the run-in to the end of the season, and could be at he bus stop in our penultimate game. Not.good.

  78. 78
    TTG says:

    Can I add Colin Pates to that list , another failure although he played decently for the Chavs . I thought Diarra was let go much too early but I subsequently found out the tug of war going on among his three agents .
    By far the most successful buy from them was George Graham

  79. 79
    TTG says:

    I join your welcome to Marquinhos. May he be a Martinelli not a Wellington Silva
    As for seeing him play I don’t think any have, I hope Edu has

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Sancho Panza says:

    I can certainly recommend a visit to Nuremberg if you get the chance to go.

  82. 82
    OsakaMatt says:

    I hope he’s seen him too TTG 😂😂

    Pates was a roundabout signing as we didn’t get him directly I think. I have no idea why we signed Pates, and have always thought it a fishy one. Apart from Diarra I didn’t want of the players on Bath’s list – Cech, Luiz and Benayoun were shades of ok I suppose, Willian a mistake and Gallas a tragedy of sorts.

  83. 83
    North Bank Ned says:

    IAFB is to trial kick-ins instead of throw-ins, with a five-second time limit to take the kick to stop teams from using kick-ins as an attacking set-piece. The IAFB believes throw-ins are a significant source of time-wasting; thus eliminating them would speed up the game. If so, why not just impose the five-second rule on throw-ins? It also strikes me that making the change would devalue the punishment value of a free-kick, and there would still be loads of arguments over when the clock started ticking on the five seconds. What do you think?

    The IAFB has also approved five subs allowed in a game, as expected, but teams can have benches of 12 to 15 at the discretion of the competition. Virtually the whole first-team squad will be involved on match days.

  84. 84
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned. Can you imagine the mess the PGMOL would make of enforcing that? Absolute carnage.

  85. 85
    scruzgooner says: