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Arsenal played the first game of their preseason trip to America Saturday evening at 7 pm in Baltimore, Maryland’s M&T Bank Stadium. The unlucky opponents were our Premiership co-strivers Everton, who were playing their first preseason game, period. A crowd of nearly 40,000 watched the two teams wage their on-pitch battle; though the stadium was only filled to about half-capacity, the majority of those attending were wearing the red and white. It was a warm, humid night that necessitated the now-standard preseason water breaks midway through each half.

Given that Arsenal travelled to the States with only one Academy tyro (Reuell Walters) it was no surprise to see that Mikel Arteta opted to start with a fairly strong team. He gave first Arsenal starts to William Saliba, and Gabriel Jesus, and offered Thomas Partey a welcome return:


Cedric — Saliba — Gabriel — Tavares

Partey — Xhaka

Saka — Ødegaard — Martinelli


Lampard set out what seemed to be a very strong team, with Calvert-Lewin up front ahead of Gray, Davies, Doucoure, and Alli (boooooooo), with a back five of Godfrey, Mina, and Holgate in the middle flanked by Nkounkou and Patterson. England favorite Pickford started in Everton’s goal, and he was called into action repeatedly in the first half.

We started by far the brighter of the two sides, having within the first two minutes two chances, first from Martinelli then from Saka blocked from inside the penalty spot after good wing play down the left. We were on top of Everton, pressing them every time we lost the ball, winning it back through forcing errors or with our pressure on the ball. Every time we went forward we carried threat, from cutbacks, diagonal balls, and crosses, and for the first twenty minutes was really one-way traffic. Jesus stole the ball just outside their box and laced a shot off the far post. Everton were reduced to a couple of counter-attacks, and a dive by Alli attempting to win a penalty. The first of those counter-attacks was offside, the second Turner saved well from Nkounkou, leading to a corner and a Mina header wide in the 23d minute.

Soon we were back in their faces, forcing them to pass into touch or straight to Arsenal players. Doucoure tried to hit Gabriel with his handbag, but Gabriel just laughed and suggested he should pick up something from Fendi. At the 30 minute mark we’d had 2/3 of the possession, had outshot them 3-1, and were clearly the better squad on the pitch. The crowd could occasionally be heard, but no doubt the intermixing of two sets of fans whose knowledge of chants is less than encyclopedic led to the library atmosphere. Until we scored.

After some nice work by Partey through to Saka that was cut out by Pickford, the Everton goalie threw the ball out to be intercepted by Martinelli; he carried the ball to the endline and tried a cross that was cut out well by Mina for a corner. Mø took the corner, Pickford flapped, and it landed at the feet of Jesus (how weird it does feel to write that). His first touch was a miracle, and his second raised the roof of the net like Lazarus from his tomb. Ok, ok, no more. I can’t wait to see how Trev handles it, though.

Arsenal 1-0 Everton (Jesus 33′)

Our second goal followed just three minutes later. Gabriel threaded a long pass to Jesus in the midfield and he turned quickly down the left channel towards goal, with Martinelli and Saka in support to his right. Jesus flicked a perfect pass beyond Gabi to the feet of Saka, who made no mistake from three yards out. The announcers said there might have been a question of offside, but Saka was clearly onside when Jesus sent the pass. It was a lovely goal, and so good to see glimpses of Arsenal’s future in the way they played.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton (Saka 36′)

And that was it, largely. We traded fouls for the rest of the half, though Godfrey on Jesus led me to wonder if the latter would have to be substituted right then. But he rose and from the resultant free kick Mø fired high from just above the D.

To start the second half the teams combined to make 17 substitutions. Arsenal ended up…well, I couldn’t really tell the formation. 3 center-halves, a full-back, and no recognized creator in midfield, with Maitland-Niles joining Mo’neny and Xhaka. Eddie came in up front with Pépé on his right. Everton’s changes of note were to change Pickford for young Billy Crellin, and for our old boy Iwobi to come in for the still-scum Alli.

All those changes seriously put paid to the flow of the game. Turner was given a fright in the first minute from the active Rondón, who tried to lob the Arsenal keeper after winning an Arsenal mistake inside the halfway line. Turner saved well. After that it was choppy, stop start, and Everton had more and more of the ball, even if chances were few and far between. Rondón tested our defense again in the 66th minute, but his shot was blocked.

In the 71st minute Arsenal made again a raft of changes, bringing off Saliba and Gabi for Marí and Nelson; Lokonga and young Walters replaced Xhaka and Magalhães. Eddie worked his socks off trying to make something happen, and had a couple of shots blocked and passes nicked away at the last moment. Right at the end of the match Pépé had a shot saved after intricate work from Nketiah. And there were more handbags, with Sambi thrown to the ground by Tarkowski; our players gathered and showed Tarkowski where to get off. From within the scrum the ref whistled for full time.

So we won 2-0, and showed some movement at times that teams better than Everton are going to find hard to defend against. Our front group of Gabigol, Jesus, Saka, and Mø, with support from Partey and Xhaka (today) pressed intelligently and interchanged well, leading to two delightful goals. Partey looked very good, moving well within a crowd and usually finding the right pass. Turner made a sharp save and, while not tested much, passed this next test. I wasn’t particularly impressed with Bellerin or Nelson when they came on, but Eddie showed continued sharpness, guile, and a hunger I don’t recall seeing last year until the end of the season.

Our defense wasn’t really troubled by Everton’s (lack of) forward play, but I noticed Saliba was calm and cool and controlled the back line well for his first attempt. Nuno was rocking up and down the left side, and had some nifty footwork that allowed him to play passes inside that could have led to good things. I still don’t think he’s our future there, but good for him for persisting and trying to raise his game. Cedric was strong, but largely anonymous, and I think he’s going to cement the #2 spot behind Tomi when it comes to the season. The most revealing thing of the game was young Walters, who was excellent going forward and quick to defend, getting into the right spots and picking a few good passes. If he comes good in the Europa League and League cup games he will be a welcome addition to the squad.

I enjoyed the first half much more than the second, and for a training exercise it made me wonder about charging £5.99 to watch. Arsenal should perhaps rethink that policy/process, or at least pick better teams against which to play. Lampard’s men were sorely outclassed in nearly every phase of the game, even as it was clear Arsenal were playing the game of exploration at a deeper level than they were the game of football. But it certainly gives me the taste and desire for more Arsenal football, and I’ll be happy when the season starts and our results become meaningful. Oh, and I am really glad we dodged the bullet that is Calvert-Lewin!

The HolicsRopeyLeague Returns!!

Older than time and more prestigious than Crufts, the HolicsRopeyLeague is back. Family friendly footy fun! Any and all Holics are welcome to join and pit their wits against the experts (who they? Ed.) over the 2022/23 Arsenal Premier League season.

Only two simple rules: (1) No spuds (2) At least one player from The Arsenal in the squad.

If you joined the league last season then you will be automatically placed in the league once you enter a team for this season – it’s just like the Hotel California 🙂

For first-time entrants – please just post a comment asking for details and we will e-mail you the entry code for the HolicsRopeyLeague. It’s a very easy process and the more the merrier!  See you there.

74 Drinks to “Giving Everton the blues”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Thanks vm for the report, SG. Seems like we picked up where we left Moffat last week although against superior opposition in Everton.

  2. 2
    bathgooner says:

    An excellent report to which to wake up, Scruz. Thank you for the epistle. I have only seen the goals as I was not inclined either to sit up late or pay £5.99 for a meaningless run out. I agree that the marketing department have got that wrong. Apparently Everton streamed the match free to Everton members though it seems it was also accessible to the general public in the UK. I was unaware of this at the time and the decision to sleep through it was clearly the best policy. From your report I hardly think it convinced any neophytes to follow Everton.

    Also from your description, it seems that Fat Frank’s blues may believe they have to adopt the Stoke/Burnley mantle of thuggery if they are to survive in the PL this season. That will not appeal much to traditional Evertonians who admire good football.

    Anyway, good to see Jesus on the mark again. I can’t wait for the loaves and fishes trick.

  3. 3
    Countryman100 says:

    A big thanks to our man in California for an excellent report on a game I didn’t see and, in fact, slept through. I’m already liking the look of that front four, swapping Laca for Jesus seems to make it much more vibrant. Today I booked lunch for six Gooners, mainly GHF stalwarts, before our first home game v Leicester. Suddenly it’s all getting close. Close out Tielemans and Zinchenko and we will be, as Superintendent Hastings says, sucking diesel!

  4. 4
    bt8 says:

    Nice one, Bill! There really ought to be only one rule regarding the Jesus jokes.

  5. 5
    North Bank Ned says:

    Thanks for the breezy match report, Scruz. A Saturday afternoon kick-off must be a rare treat for you.

    As for Alli, you can take the boy out of Spurs, but you can’t take the Spurziness out of the boy.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    First come first served, in case you were wondering 😁

  7. 7
    TTG says:

    I trust you implicitly so I believe this report although I was bubbyes when the game took place . Excellent job thanks. Jesus is taking to life with us very positively and as Ned said in the previous drinks we are morphing into a classic 4-3-3 . This means we play a 6 as a deep midfielder which is Partey but if he isn’t able to play we need a good deputy ( you know I don’t think Xhaka can do that job well enough ) and two 8s . These may be Odegaard and Vieira or even Zinchenko. I don’t think Zinchenko has been signed to be a back up left back . He might be able to play at 6 .
    Listen to Mike Macdonald’s podcast on potential midfield signings. His stuff is excellent

    Bunny Buzzing, Bunny Died: Arsenal deal with clumsy Everton in first half of pre-season ‘friendly’ [Positive Needs & Hopes]

  8. 8
    Trev says:

    Thanks, scruz !

    A valiant effort to report on not very much, it seems. I believe the donkey who cut Jesus down was the same one who trod on Tomiyasu’s head last season. Richarlison swapped for Alli leaves the Toffees and the Spuds about even in the despicable stakes. Ho hum.

    Well done to our lads for a fairly flowing first half display at this stage of pre-season.

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    Saliba appears to have been given No 12, the lowest open shirt number. Nothing until 28 is available for Zinchenko unless there are departures.

  10. 10
    Up4GrabsNow! says:

    Please e-mail entry code for the HolicsRopeyLeague, thank you & cheers!

  11. 11
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Excellent write-up, Scruz.

    Jesus shall be a life saver this season.

    Please send details of the Happy Train Mark 20-something. I reckon I’ll dip my toe in the fantasy this year.


  12. 12
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks scruz, good to hear we’re a force on both sides of the Atlantic

  13. 13
    OsakaMatt says:

    Up4GN, Lonestar,
    Will do on the code👍

  14. 14
    Pangloss says:

    Good stuff scruz; I’m beginning to start really looking forward to the upcoming season.

    OM – Do you have contact details for U04GN and Lonestar? If not, and simply for boring GDPR-compliance, please will you two gentlement confirm that you are happy for us to forward your email addresses to Osaka? Thanks.


  15. 15
    TTG says:

    Amazingly ManUre ended up paying £55m for a 5’9” centre back ! He would have been a reserve left back for us . Signing Zinchenko will give us more flexibility and save us £20m

  16. 16
    North Bank Ned says:

    Martinez may be only 5’9″, TTG, but the numbers apparently show that he is better than everything taller that Man U have got.


  17. 17
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    The final fee for Martinez looks like brilliant business for Ajax. I don’t know much about the player, but £55m seems a huge fee, and I’m glad we didn’t try to keep up with that sort of bid.

    As usual, Manure throwing money at problems. Zinchenko for £30m looks much better business to me.

  18. 18
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I’d still love to get Tielemans. And if Josh has a spare £60m down the back of the sofa then Sane, with his Arteta connection, looks interesting. Although Lord knows what Edu might be looking at next.

    Of course, we still need to make some sales, but it’s nice to feel that the club are strategically targeting players to help improve the squad, and then doing a good job of pursuing those targets. We won’t win them all, but no club does. We do look like we are starting a new cycle in terms of our transfer business, and perhaps how other clubs are starting to see us. We’ve needed to kick our soft touch reputation for a while, and there are signs of that, which are encouraging.

  19. 19
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Excellent report scruz! I saw the same game.

    Saliba looks assured. Matty Turner not so. The three Gabbies all looked sharp, as did Xhaka, Saka, Partey, Mo and captain Ødegaard.

    Team looked more fluid in the first half’s 4-2-3-1 formation than the 3-5-2 in the second half, but that could partially be because of drop in individual qualities. The latter formation is something Mikel tried last season while chasing games, pushing the wing backs further up and overloading the center with an additional player. I find it runs against the otherwise highly positional player that he likes as the additional player in the center now essentially becomes an instigator of chaos, which someone like Martinelli or Jesus surely can do well but the others don’t adjust to that unpredictability and our midfield becomes disjointed.

    Was nice to see Hector play. But his form and fitness don’t seem to be sharp enough anymore for PL. Hopefully he finds the club he wants to move to, Betis or otherwise …

  20. 20
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Hallo Pangloss,

    Consent, indeed, given to forward my email as appropriate.


  21. 21
    North Bank Ned says:

    There are three keys to making 3-5-2 work, especially when it is used for chasing games:

    wing-backs who are fast and fit enough to get forward to cross and back to defend;

    a top-quality holding DM. The formation leaves space behind the wing-backs to counterattack that the DM has to cover directly or by covering the CBs as they get pulled wide; and

    well-honed coordination between the five midfielders to shift the ball forward quickly.

    I think you can see what sort of players Arteta and Edu are trying to acquire to address our shortcomings in all three regards.

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    I don’t believe we are remotely interested in selling Gabriel to Juve . If we are it shouldn’t be for less than £60 m as we have to replace him .
    I share GSD’s enthusiasm for Tielemans at that price but if we can sign Malinkovic – Savic that would be sensational. I’d like an all-round midfielder and consider midfield our biggest priority . I like the look of Gakpo if we are going for a wide man

  23. 23
    North Bank Ned says:

    We would be nuts to even be thinking of selling Gabriel. Firstly, unlike Martinis, three archangels are not one too many. Secondly, even if we want to gamble on playing Saliba there all season, that still leaves only Pablo Mari as his cover.

  24. 24
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I can’t see us selling Gabriel. I don’t think he has ever shown any sign of being anything other than fully on board with us as a club. And I don’t think Juve offer much. Wages; nothing great. League; average. Champs League football: not good enough to win it.

    And, if Gabriel has the ambition that the rest of our squad do (which I think he does) he’ll plan on being there in a years time, possibly with a Europa League medal on the way…

  25. 25
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I know nothing about Malinkovic Savic.

    I like that we are being linked with a variety of players who I’d be excited to join.

  26. 26
    TTG says:

    Not sure if I’ve spelt it correctly . He’s Serbian , plays for Lazio and is probably the best box to box midfielder in Europe . A great tacked and a very good attacking midfielder with a goal in him
    He’s about 27

  27. 27
    bt8 says:

    Article in a Man City blog from about 3 weeks ago upon the departure of Gabriel Jesus. Not a bad word to say.

    Oh Christ! Jesus set to leave Manchester

  28. 28
    North Bank Ned says:

    This is a tear-jerking read for any far-flung Gooner.

  29. 29
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8: Thanks for the link. Quite a glowing tribute to Jesus. If his goals against Nuremberg and Everton are examples of ‘lacking a certain clinical edge’, then I can’t wait until Arteta gets to work on him. He already looks the most technically accomplished goal scorer we’ve had since that fella with the horse placenta.

  30. 30
    Countryman100 says:

    Ned. Thanks for the link. Brilliant stuff. Our fans, and indeed the readers of this this blog, are far from being those, who, like me, are privileged enough to see our team play many times each season.

  31. 31
    TTG says:

    We need to give some credit to KSE. They are backing Arteta and clearly want trophies at Arsenal . We may have some exciting surprises yet to come

  32. 32
    scruzgooner says:

    all, thanks, i’m glad your enjoyed the post. it was a fine first half!

    bt8 and ned, thanks for the links. ned’s lad captures so much of what so many at the silicon valley gooners feel. we are lucky to support such a club.

  33. 33
    North Bank Ned says:

    Scruz: I will leave a very large drink on the bar for Aston Mack should he ever grace this establishment. We would be honoured to have him stop by and I think he would fit right in.

    C100: That is why your awayday reports are so valued by those of us who can no longer watch from the terraces (that dates me!) but follow from afar.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    Looks like Zinchenko is a done deal.


    Sensible price for what we are getting, too.

  35. 35
    bt8 says:

    Re: Ned @29. Exactly right, I didn’t think the lack of clinical edge was quite as serious a criticism if she hadn’t immediately couched it the way she did: “Gabriel Jesus has been frustrating in front of goal at times, lacking a certain clinical edge. However, City fans have grown to adore him for the heart and soul he puts into all of his performances.”

    The second thing is, lack of clinical edge in comparison with Sergio Agüero? Give the man a break, please. Everyone has a lack of clinical edge in comparison with him, lacking a handful of players I can think of like Thierry Henry.

  36. 36
    scruzgooner says:

    ned@33, absolutely. at any arsenal bar worldwide, i’d imagine.

  37. 37
    bt8 says:

    Good on Aston Mack and his Arsenal support. Looking handsome alongside Odegaard in the new black away jersey by the way

  38. 38
    Bathgooner says:

    Two excellent links bt8@27 and NBN@28. Thanks for sharing.

    bt8@35, I love him to bits and he did wonderful things in an Arsenal shirt but even TH14 was not as clinical as Aguero.

    In other matters, another piece is about to go into the jigsaw that MA8 is buildingl.

  39. 39
    OsakaMatt says:

    Zinchenko is a great buy I think, and a far better deal than Martinez.
    Tip of the hat to Edu / MA so far this summer.

  40. 40
    Pangloss says:

    @Up4GrabsNow – I’m about to pass Lonestar Gooner’s contact details to OsakaMatt. Are you happy for me to pass yours too?

  41. 41
    North Bank Ned says:

    What OM said @39.

    When you see the neighbours paying up to £20 million for the promising but unproven Spence, Zinchenko looks exceptionally good value for £30 million.

  42. 42
    TTG says:

    I rate Spence and in an ideal world would have been happy for us to sign him. But Zinchenko gives you much more tactical flexibility and a range of options. ( he considers himself a no.10 )
    This is the most left-footed Arsenal side I can remember . This is clearly deliberate and it will be interesting to see how we play with so many ‘ lefties’ .

  43. 43
    North Bank Ned says:

    Agree on both points, TTG. I had not realised that Djed is the actress Karla-Simone Spence’s younger brother, and seemingly a Croydon-lad like our own ESR.

  44. 44
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@42: Guess which other team is stuffed with left-footers. Clues: Ederson, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Haaland. All lefties.

  45. 45
    scruzgooner says:

    well, it might just be as in other sports. when i play basketball i surprise my defenders by driving left for layups; i shoot outside shots with my right hand, and they expect i can’t lay it up with my left because of it. i get many baskets that way 🙂 so i am thinking along the same lines with a group of left-footed players in a dominant right-footed game.

    if the majority are right-footed (regardless of where they play) they consider the body-shape of their opponents in specific ways when they’re shaping to do things. And most of those ways are going to be how they usually see other right-footers do things…so that can lead to a split-second of hesitation where they may not really understand what’s about to happen because a left-footed player is goiing to make different choices out of a similar body shape. or a different shape not recognized by the right-footed player.

    i dunno. just musing.

  46. 46
    North Bank Ned says:

    All sounds very sinister, Scruz.

  47. 47
    scruzgooner says:

    indeed, ned.

  48. 48
    OsakaMatt says:

    I think you’re right scruz.

    Training with lots of lefties should help our own split-second decisions too.

  49. 49
    scruzgooner says:

    exactly. or so you’d think..

  50. 50
    scruzgooner says:

    sinister indeed. what the hell.

  51. 51
    OsakaMatt says:

    A left-right combo for the half ton
    scruz. Well in sir.

  52. 52
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, matt! all sorted in your ropey league tasks?

  53. 53
    TTG says:

    Thanks for that insight . I hadn’t realised it before but it is an interesting insight. My old Dad always thought players at that level should be two-footed but only Santi Cazorla truly was!
    It will be interesting to see who, if any we pursue after this. Arteta implied tge other night after the Everton game that the rebuilding process continues . Perhaps it will be another leftie! I’d take Foden or Silva!

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yeah, all good thanks scruz.

  55. 55
    bt8 says:

    Re: TTG above. There’s really no good reason to stop raiding the champions now. Too many jewels left unplundered if you ask me. 😁

  56. 56
    bt8 says:

    Brighton finds themselves in an enviable situation at the moment, at least in a financial sense, what with Man City already having sold Zinchenko and announced very publicly they want Marc Cucurella of the Seagulls to replace him at left back. On the footballing side though it seems Brighton want to keep their left back, which suggests City May have to pay more than for just an arm and a leg.

  57. 57
    Pangloss says:

    I would bear more than a passing resemblance to a crocodile were Man ¢iti to find themselves a limb or three down after replacing Zinchenko. Of course it couldn’t happen to a club better placed not to miss the odd ten million quid, but when schadenfreude is all you have left…

    I fear trouble ahead if we try to play silly buggers with Leicester City in our pursuit of Tielemans – get the job done and face sniping over the price, say I. It’ll be far less than the stick you get if we miss out and he makes a go of it at another club.


  58. 58
    North Bank Ned says:

    Pep is embarking on the most difficult challenge any manager confronts, dismantling a serial title-winning team and replacing it with a better one. He is a student of football history and knows that it has to be done while the first side is at or near its peak, and it means being ruthless in decisions over which players to jettison, especially as the emotional attachments to the players in the first squad that brings a manager success run deep. That makes it more difficult by a factor than rebuilding a squad inherited from someone else. Pep moved on from Barca and Bayern before he had to rebuild the aeroplane in mid-flight. He may see that as his next personal challenge and what will be needed for him to win the CL. Haaland for Jesus, Phillips for Fernandinho and Grealish (bought last season) for Sterling are clear steps in the process.

  59. 59
    scruzgooner says:

    ned@58, it certainly looks that way. methinks grealish was an attempt, but will be a failed attempt. he’s clearly not better than sterling; unless he stuns this year watch for them to replace him promptly, or at least put him on the bench or lower-need games.

    i’d be worried if jesus and sasha (there you go, dr. faustus) were two-three years older. while they’re experienced as hell, they’ve still got enough energy to be running in ma8’s stable of young’uns.

  60. 60
    bt8 says:

    Grealish clearly had a disappointing season if you compare his output to Sterling’s. Looked like a deer in the headlights with the ball.

  61. 61
    bt8 says:

    I do hate to preside over the demise of Man City before they actually, er, demised.

  62. 62
    Pangloss says:

    Ned@58. I think Pep is a wuss. Real men embark on such a rebuilding phase when their club is boracic, the bottom having fallen out of the property market just after the club has transferred their money there from under the mattress.

  63. 63
    TTG says:

    Come on the Lionesses! 🏆

  64. 64
    bt8 says:

    Lionesses needing a late goal or two …

    Surely the time is now, before the season has started, for posting something that is sympathetic to the plight of the poor, maligned referee.


  65. 65
    bt8 says:

    With apologies to Steve T. who might point out that it should be far from the only time of the year. I might add that no place in the article does it mention Mike Dean.

  66. 66
    scruzgooner says:

    heck of a goal by england in et.

  67. 67
    bt8 says:

    Well done the England women!

  68. 68
    North Bank Ned says:

    Marcelo Flores is being sent on a season-long loan to the Spanish second-division side, Real Oviedo. Loans for the other youngsters not included in the US touring party to come?

  69. 69
    North Bank Ned says:

    Hendon has put the highlights of the friendly with our U-18s online. No commentary, just audio of the crowd and benches (including Jack), so rawer and saltier than Arsenal-produced match highlights — and the more enjoyable for it.

  70. 70
    North Bank Ned says:

    The guy in the red shirt with his hair tied up is Hendon’s manager, Lee Allison, son of Ian Allison. Some ‘holics may remember Allison Snr playing for us in the 1980s.

  71. 71
    North Bank Ned says:

    Scruz@59 & bt8@60: Grealish’s numbers overall last season compared well with Sterling’s except for goal-scoring, where Sterling was clearly superior. I expect Grealish to blossom in a team playing a conventional 9 (Haaland) rather than false 9s.

  72. 72
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Ned, bt8 for the links. The 80s revisited – I remember beer belly Sunday League refs and Ian Allison well. Never really understood why we bought Allison – a cheap punt I suppose. He scored a few one season I remember, then did nothing till his finest half an hour against the spuds.

  73. 73
    OsakaMatt says:

    Now we’ve signed Zinchenko it seems Nuno may go on loan. Brighton were reported to be interested – having Nuno and Lamptey as full backs should at least make Brighton an entertaining watch. Though perhaps a coronary health warning might be necessary for the older supporters.

  74. 74
    scruzgooner says: