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A new season. New faces. Big new hopes and dreams. Yet, for all the preseason promise and the pleasure and puns it provided, this is where the football starts in earnest. Arteta’s team must begin turning potential into potential realised from the minute we kick off the Premiership opener at Crystal Palace on Friday evening.

But first, of course, a little history. 

Our first competitive game against Palace was a 7-0 drubbing handed out at Highbury in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1934. Three days previously, Palace had lost 11-6 to Exeter in the old Third Division league cup. Sometimes, it is just not your week.

Our first league visit to Selhurst Park was in November 1969, a 5-1 win in the old Division One. John Radford hit a hat-trick against the team then known as The Glaziers. Since you ask, the fedora-wearing, cigar-chomping ‘Big Mal’ Allison changed the nickname to the Eagles in 1973, mimicking Benfica, then in their European pomp despite the great Eusebio being in his twilight years (Google him, younger ‘holics).

The 1969-70 season was Palace’s first in the top flight since its election to the Football League in 1920. Subsequently, apart from three seasons in the old Third Division in the mid-1970s, they yo-yoed between the two top divisions before a financial near-death experience in the first decade of this century.

Following the Steve Parish-led resuscitation, Palace came out of administration in 2010. They returned to the Premiership in 2013 to settle into mid-table residency (is that how you spell mediocrity?), never finishing lower than 15th or higher than 10th.

Since Roy Hodgson left at the end of the 2020-21 season to play the role of Arthur in the video of Louis Dunford’s The Angel, Palace has been managed by our very own Patrick Vieira. The ambition of a team that counted Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce among Paddy’s recent predecessors has at least risen to playing football.

The opposition 
In his first season, Vieira steered Palace to a familiar 12th place in the league and a less accustomed semi-final in the FA Cup. Palace also achieved a positive goal difference for the first time in the Premier League.

Paddy is rejuvenating an ageing squad inherited from the league’s oldest manager, needing younger legs to turn it into an attacking, high-pressing side. When he talks about his makeover, he sounds uncannily like Arteta:
We are a different team, we have an identity and a clear idea about how we want to play the game in and out of possession. 

He also speaks of recruiting players that fit a profile, of individuals having the discipline to put the team before themselves and of the need for consistent performances to move to the next level. Arsene Wenger must be allowing himself a satisfied smile over his two proteges. 

In this close season, Vieira has bought Cheick Doucouré, a 22-year-old Mali international, from Lens and the similarly aged centre-back Chris Richards, from Bayern Munich, which had the US international on loan at Hoffenheim. Malcolm Ebiowei, an 18-year-old winger who has attracted the attention of some bigger clubs, arrived from Derby County on a free; he is likely being groomed as Wilfried Zaha’s successor. Onetime England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone also joined on a free, from West Brom. Although 29, he is not so long in the tooth in goalkeeping years.

Doucouré replaces the released 32-year-old Senegal international Cheikhou Kouyate as the ‘6’ anchor of Vieira’s favoured 4-3-3 formation. Of Palace’s other midfielders, James McArthur, currently injured, turns 35 in October. Jeffrey Schlupp, whose career has spluttered with the Ghanaian not receiving an international call-up since 2017, turns 30 mid-season. Will Hughes, at 26, the oldest outfield player Vieira has signed, has not fully established himself since arriving from Watford a year ago. Conor Gallagher, last season’s player of the season, has returned to Chelsea. The 24-year-old Eberechi Eze, bought from QPR before Vieira arrived, appears to have leapfrogged up in Paddy’s pecking order. 

Upfront, Odsonne Edouard, also 24, is another who has not fully delivered on his promise since joining from Celtic. He found himself on the bench towards the end of last season but will likely start against us. Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew are wily old campaigners but now 30-somethings. Zaha, who will join that set in November, is still like the daring young man on the flying trapeze — he flies through the air with the greatest of ease — but he was Palace’s top scorer last season with 16 league goals, a menace and a threat.

Palace also have a young striker on its books, Luke Plange, whom some might recall from when he was with our Under-18s. We let him go on a free to Derby County. The Rams sold him to Palace for 1.2 million euros six months later. Hmm.

Palace’s stand-out young player, centre-back Marc Guéhi, is now a full England international, having moved to Palace after failing to break through at Chelsea (O Hutchinson, please note). Guéhi should line up alongside the Dane, Joachim Andersen, flanked at full-back by the combative Joel Ward (32) and Tyrick Mitchell, a talented 22-year-old product of Palace’s Academy. Last season’s No. 1 keeper Vincente Guaita will start between the sticks with Johnstone and Jack Butland injured.

There is not much to be taken from Palace’s preseason friendlies. Nine first-team players were absent from the overseas tour because of injury and the unvaccinated being unable to travel. Vieira has said his preseason was disrupted. Let’s hope so, although Palace ended on a high, beating Montpellier 4-2.

The Arsenal
No need to rehearse the discussions in the drinks about the purposefully made additions to our squad and the gaps still to be plugged and the redundant to be moved on, for which read, given away. 21CG deftly anticipated the expectation of goals and enthusiasm for the season ahead in his Sevilla match report. I will add only that last season, we dropped five points to Palace, and have beaten them once since January 2018. That is not a record we can repeat if we are to deliver on top-table aspirations this season.

Arteta says that three of our quartet of injured are back in training, assumedly Tomiyasu, Tierney and ESR, but not Fabio Vieira (sounds like ESR is the odd man out -Ed). Late fitness tests await. Squad depth allows the luxury of not needing to rush returns. 

I fancy Arteta will start as he did against Sevilla:


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko

Partey, Ødegaard, Xhaka

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Bench (five from nine named subs can be used): Turner, Holding, Cedric, Lokonga, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Pépé, Nelson, Nketiah.

Paddy’s Palace will again provide tricky opposition. So this warning that comes down through the ages is salient.

Commenting on the 1934 FA Cup tie in his Arsenal programme notes for our following game, ‘Recorder’ wrote,
[Palace] were always strong enough to suggest that, if they could snatch a goal, our situation might be difficult.

Yet, ‘Recorder’ added, 
Our victory was complete in every department, for long before the end Palace were outclassed…our splendid display was most cheering…some of our movements were so illustrative of perfect understanding that they could not fail to stamp us as a great team. Our finishing power, too, was shattering, and the way in which some of the goals were scored would have confounded many a defence far stronger.

That is what we want to see on Friday evening and through to the end of May.

The ‘holics pound
The bookies have us as favourites, but the odds are drifting. The value looks to lie in a 3-0 away win at 17s. 

Enjoy the game, ‘holics, near and far.

86 Drinks to “Annnnnnd… We’re Back!”

  1. 1
    Pangloss says:

    Great stuff, Ned.

  2. 2
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks GSD, I’ve been looking forward to the first preview of the season since the Sevilla game. Great stuff and I think you’ve got the team spot on. I will be happy with 3-0 or even 11-6 come to that and three points to start the season.

  3. 3
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh! Pre-season nerves, I meant thanks Ned

  4. 4
    Pangloss says:

    Damn my pemature submission. On the other hand, it enabled me to grab the first first of the season.

    It looks as though we are aboiut a season ahead of Palace in the rebuilding process. What with our recent form against them and the fact that it’s at their place, there is no reason for smugness. I’d be more than happy for a scrappy 0-1 to the Arsenal, though I’d prefer 1-2 after going behind so we can see the team’s cajones. Obviously, I’d even more rather see a repeat of the Sevilla or Chelsea preseason scores.


  5. 5
    Pangloss says:

    Relax OM – the Editor stepped in to change the authorship between your reading the post and submitting your drink.

  6. 6
    Cynic says:

    Feels too early for football but looking forward to it.

    All Or Nothing – watched the first two episodes. Surprised by how well Josh Kroenke comes across, but obviously some of that was staged for the cameras (the morale boosting chat in the canteen for example).

    Arteta is very impressive when he’s interviewed or speaking to the camera but far less so in the dressing room or in player meetings. Real cringe making stuff there and it says much that Stuart MacFarlane gave the most motivating talk of the first two episodes.

    Even if 50% of it was effing. Or perhaps because it was!

    Then… as if by magic, Alan Ramsdale’s dad appeared.

  7. 7
    OsakaMatt says:

    Good to know I haven’t lost it before the season even started Pangloss.

    And welcome to the several new faces about to make their managerial debuts in the HolicsRopeyLeague. And – with apologies for stating the bleeding obvious to most of you – a final reminder of the two rules…
    1) at least one Arsenal player in your squad
    2) no Spuds

  8. 8
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers Ned.

    New season – here we come!

    I’m optimistic as ever, but this year I think there is a huge amount to be enthused about. I reckon we will get top 4.

    And I’ve put a cheeky bet on us to finish as the top London club (I’m assuming Poo and Shitty will still be too good this year)

  9. 9
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    I guess different people will have different responses, but I haven’t seen anything cringeworthy in AON. I see a sincere, intelligent, inspiring leader working out how to get the best from his squad.

    I hope that this is the season Arteta can convince all those who have questioned him that he is the man for this job. Which is obviously done first and foremost by results.


  10. 10
    bt8 says:

    Top ten?

    Thanks Ned for your excellent preview, come on the new season, and …

    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  11. 11
    North Bank Ned says:

    Pangloss@4: I think you are right about us being a season ahead of Palace in rebuilding, but we are also further ahead on quality by a factor. Vieira, like Arteta, started with his defence and is now sorting out midfield.

    GSD@8: Not such a cheeky bet. In order, I would pencil in us, the neighbours, the Chavs, West Ham, Palace, Brentford and Fulham.

  12. 12
    Cynic says:

    If you can watch the heart, the brain and the fan without even a hint of embarrassed unease, you’re a better man than I, GSD.

    On the whole it’s a positive programme. I just have to skip through the dressing room stuff though.

  13. 13
    Trev says:

    Cheers, Ned – here we go again and you haven’t disappointed with your usual interesting, fact packed, history based piece.

    They’ve become a bit of a bogey team for us but our summer additions look to be top notch. Saliba in pre-season has looked strong, calm and classy, while Jesus could really transform this team if he maintains the form and work rate shown so far. The whole team have looked eager and sharp, so individual praise seems a bit unfair. However, I do think Martinelli could have almost as much impact as Jesus if he continues his pre-season form too. Lucky Brazil with a Workd Cup looming – however distasteful the thing may be.

  14. 14
    bt8 says:

    It’s the most interesting time of the year to check out the player roster on the Arsenal website. https://www.arsenal.com/men/players

    Don’t wait until tomorrow to look at it though, or you could miss your last chance to see the pictures of Bellerin and Torreira.

  15. 15
    Countryman100 says:

    Lovely stuff Ned. A nasty banana skin to start with but if we can pull it off, we’re off to an excellent start. COYG

  16. 16
    TTG says:

    As ever your preview is interesting, beautifully researched and comprehensive .
    Palace’s 3-0 win , after we had put together a run of fine results underlined our vulnerability .
    I know Selhurst Park very well and was at that game in 1969 . It’s a bear pit especially if they get on top, a throwback to the late sixties/ early seventies with majorettes and eagles flying around to the strains of Glad All Over. The stadium is a disgrace .
    A point would not be a disaster but would seem a disappointment. We need to put down a marker and hopefully we can with a 2-0 win. It’s interesting that no player has ever been selected more for Fantasy League teams than Gabriel Jesus this season! He’s made the Kentish Vikings line-up as we aim to crawl back to the top from mid-table obscurity . I see him scoring once with Saka notching the other. But it won’t be easy!

  17. 17
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks for an entertaining and informative curtain raiser, Ned. You’ve kicked the new season off in style. I think you’ve selected the team of choice. Tempting as the odds you’ve found for 3-0 are, I am chastened by last season’s experience and, while I would take any kind of win, suspect that in the heat of the first match of the PL season getting a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park will be more achievable. I will be upset if we lose. A draw would just be acceptable given our recent record there.

    I think that this match will, more than the last two spectacular goal replete friendlies, be a better indicator of what this team may be capable of achieving this season.

    Prediction (in optimistic mood): Second in the league; QF in the League Cup; SF in the FA Cup and Winner of the Europa League.

  18. 18
    Premier League Countdown says:

    One more sleep.


  19. 19
    ClockEndRider says:

    Great review, Ned. Thanks vm. I didn’t realise that our recent history vs Palace was quite so poor. It has made me mange my expectations of tomorrow night downwards a little. Perhaps no bad thing after our hugely impressive series of wins in ore season. Remembering that these were just friendlies is no bad thing.
    There is still a sneaking thought though that this could be the start of something good. I hope Palace leave tomorrow night very much sad all over and in bits and pieces. I like it like that.

  20. 20
    ClockEndRider says:

    – mange
    + manage.
    Although mange would be a fair description of the affliction from which the Selhurst ground suffers.

  21. 21
    Depressedgooner says:

    Thanks all from the previous drinks, Mine a Dr Pepper Float.

    @07 OsakaMatt, apologies it hurt me to even put him in there but I thought it was one Spud, how else do you get enough starch?

    Very excited for the new season and think watching All Or Nothing nobody has come off too cringy yet although I always hate swearing in anything.

  22. 22
    bt8 says:

    DG, if you did put a Spud in your team then you need to take him out tout de suite because there are heavy penalties for violating that rule in particular, as one or two nameless somebodies found out last season.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    bt8 says:

    That guy didn’t factor in the Gabriel Jesus factor, I might point out.

  25. 25
    Bathgooner says:

    Just to clarify bt8’s observation @22, last season’s penalty was a deduction of 15 points per Spud per game week. A heavy penalty ‘pour encourager les autres’. I have seen no discussion of a change. Rools is rools!

  26. 26
    Ollie says:

    Cheers Ned! Didn’t know about the Glaziers!
    Looking forward to this season.

  27. 27
    Las says:

    Thanks Ned! Your excellent and well balanced preview made me reconsider the expectations I had before the Palace game. I had to remove the preseason gloss and what is remained is a game against a hard-to-beat-opponent in its bearpit.
    They will be ready for us for our heavenly team with Jesus and Gabriels.
    Viera gave us hard times last season and I not expect anything less in this Friday either.
    They will be breathing in our necks, they will chase us down and they have the firepower to surprise us.
    We need to be at the top of our game to get anything from this game.
    My penny is for 1:2 for the good guys.

  28. 28
    scruzgooner says:

    ned, wonderful preview. you weave more detail into a beautiful fabric than i often think is possible. i’m on 2-1 to us, with a late winner from one esr.

    dg@21, vanilla ice cream, of course.

    las@27, i love it: jesus and the gabriels. a trumpet-playing band that will help arsenal rise to new heights.

  29. 29
    Depressedgooner says:

    Apologies to North Bank Ned who provided a wonderfully entertaining preview that I read and then forgot to acknowledge.

    Thanks to both bt8 & Bathgooner, don’t worry I Kanned the Spud.

    Heres hoping we start like the rip roaring, free scoring, never boring gunners of old.

  30. 30
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Thanks NBN – great preview,
    I’m looking back to the future.
    1-0 to the Arsenal.

  31. 31
    Pangloss says:

    I too am trying to be realistic about the forthcoming season.

    Here are my targets, in no partiular order:

    o Celebrate St Totts;
    o Qualify for the Champions’ League
    o A deep run (quarter final or beyond) in two cup competitions.


  32. 32
    Bathgooner says:

    Eight and a half hours to go. The tension is beginning to build at Bath Towers. I’m off out shortly for a nice Italian lunch to try to distract myself.

  33. 33
    Trev says:

    Enjoy, bath !

    I’m on a subbed by the pool in Majorca guessing how I might get to watch tonight …..

  34. 34
    Las says:

    I don’t know that the house rules are allowing to share streaming info but if not please delete my post.
    So I am watching from a country (Hungary) where streaming and downloding copyrighted materials are allowed. (We use an added flatrate tax for all the memory are sold in here HDDs, pendrives, dvds and all so.)
    Because of this I’m always streaming The Arswnal games.
    My favorite sites are:
    footybitedotcc and livetvdotsx/eng footybite is the betrer option
    But please be advised that all the streaming links are containing malicious appllicatons so you have to be prepared.
    My configuration which helps nullify the treats are:
    Firefox browser nomerous add-ons, namely:
    Addblock plus
    Privacy Badger
    Facebook container
    Enhanced tracking protection
    All the above are downladable as Firefox add-on
    AND most imortantly I have an uptodate NOD32 Antivirus
    With all tbis you can safely watch the streams.
    But there are still annoying adds coming up.

  35. 35
    North Bank Ned says:

    Thank you, all, for the kind words. It is always a pleasure to rifle through old match progammes.

    This is a banana-skin game, to use C100’s phrase, but one we have to avoid if we are to establish top-four credentials. Anything but a win this evening would be deflating.

    Our first five games all look winnable. Our aspiration must be for 15 points from them so we are well positioned to navigate rougher waters we will face before the World Cup break.

  36. 36
    Doctor Faustus says:

    The elusive alchemy of enjoyable education, as always, Ned. 🙂 I think the monks if ever need more funds for any baroque extension to the monastery they can very well collect these previews and sell it as a book. I will buy it. Two copies. 🙂

    Excited about the season. Return to CL must be the main goal, but winning the Europa along the way (but not relying just on it, of course) will be fantastic. For a club of our pedigree we are a bit light on the European silverware.

    Come on Arsenal!

  37. 37
    Countryman100 says:

    I see castle Ned as rather more high gothic than baroque Dr F. But otherwise fully agreed!

  38. 38
    bt8 says:

    Re: Trev. Sounds like fertile ground for thinking up puns.

  39. 39
    Uplympian says:

    Many thanks for setting off the season with style Ned. Can’t believe it’s about to start as it feels we are still in mid summer down here in Lyme.
    The pre-season has gone well, important incomings arrived in good time to gel into the squad – optimism abounds. Palace, at Selhurst Park particularly, have through sheer drive & effort gotten the better of us these past few seasons. I’m hopeful we are ahead of them in preparations and we have virtually a full strength squad to choose from. It’s gonna be our year this evening with a 2-0 win to the good guys.

  40. 40
    TTG says:

    Is Mike Dean on VAR?

  41. 41
    Countryman100 says:

    Most of the games I’ve watched him I’ve thought he was on acid or crack!

  42. 42
    bt8 says:

    Re: Uply, “our year this evening”

    Seeing as Arteta wants us to score 90 goals this season I hope we can save some of our goals for the other games. 😆

    I wouldn’t mind if we score 8 or 9 at Selhurst, moind you

  43. 43
    bt8 says:

    Whoops, I see your 2-0 prediction now. That only leaves 88 more to go!

  44. 44
    ClockEndRider says:

    Team as per Sevilla

  45. 45
    ClockEndRider says:

    KT on the bench

  46. 46
    bt8 says:


    There’s history to be made!

  47. 47
    Pangloss says:


  48. 48
    OsakaMatt says:

    First goal of the season from Gabi 1-0!!

    Doing fine, first 30 minutes, might of been two up

  49. 49
    Countryman100 says:

    This old GG Gooner loves it when we score from corners!

  50. 50
    OsakaMatt says:

    First chance for Palace but a good save Aaron
    Bit of pressure and oh a blatant dive from Xhaka
    gets a yellow. Xhaka does do well to block after that and half-time
    is 1-0.

  51. 51
    OsakaMatt says:

    Playing ok or to put it another way about a million times better than Palace away last season 🙂

  52. 52
    bt8 says:

    Spot on Matt. Big improvement overall, and Zinchenko, Jesus and Saliba particularly have given us a stability we lacked. Good thing Ramsdale reedemeded himself with that save. But let’s see them step it up and improve on those last 15 minutes of the first half. There are goals for Arsenal to score in in the second half.

  53. 53
    Cynic says:

    Impressive first half of the first half, bit more ordinary in the second hald of the first half and the old defensive weaknesses haven’t gone away.

    But encouraging.

    We do need a second goal though and before they score.

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    Another good save from Aaron, first 15 of the second half a bit like
    the last 15

    Aaargh, should of got a second, great work from Jesus
    but Ode a bit slow on the finish

  55. 55
    OsakaMatt says:

    Bit scrappy now

  56. 56
    OsakaMatt says:

    That first nervous last 10 mins feeling of
    the season. COYGS!!

  57. 57
    OsakaMatt says:

    2-0 !!!

  58. 58
    OsakaMatt says:

    A nerve settler 🙂

  59. 59
    OsakaMatt says:

    Saka did well, and their defender steered his hard hit cross home.
    KT and Eddie came on just before that.

  60. 60
    OsakaMatt says:

    Ben into Row 20 hahaha.
    Sambi on for Ode.

    Very good result, we had to work hard for it. Started well but then under the cosh at times
    and we defended well. Saliba was very good. Counter-attacking didn’t work so well 2nd half
    but that will come

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh, I almost forgot, top of the league 😉

  62. 62
    Cynic says:

    After the first 20-25 minutes that was a difficult watch. Still, three points.

    Thought the ref was excellent by the way, which makes a nice change.

  63. 63
    Countryman100 says:

    Say we, are, top of the league, say we are top of the league!

  64. 64
    North Bank Ned says:

    Dr F@36: You are very generous. If such a book existed, you might own the only two copies ever sold.

    However, a GHF compendium isn’t a bad idea. Might make enough to help fund the site.

    C100@37: 🙂

    I was only able to see the final 15 mins of the game when Palace were having plenty of the ball, but we weren’t letting them do much with it. Still, three points, a clean sheet and a banana skin avoided

  65. 65
    OsakaMatt says:

    The first 30 mins are the best if you’re thinking of
    watching later Ned

    Lots of praise around for Saliva, deservedly so as he was
    excellent, but I hope everyone remembers it later when
    he makes mistakes. He’s only 21 and it’s bound to
    happen as we’ve seen before at The Arsenal. Tougher
    tests to come but it’s the first time I’ve watched him
    closely in a competitive game and what a prospect he is.

  66. 66
    bt8 says:

    I also hope people don’t overlook Gabriel. Last season everyone was heaping the praise on Bennie Blanco but a few months later and his starting spot is on the verge of being usurped whereas Gabriel’s spot in the team appears to be nailed on. None of this is to take anything away from Saliba who did great.

  67. 67
    bt8 says:

    A milestone for the manager:

    Arteta has won 50 league matches as Arsenal manager after 98 games in charge, making him the second-quickest manager to reach 50 top-flight wins for the Gunners after Arsène Wenger (94th game).

  68. 68
    bt8 says:

    To state the obvious, in two matches Arteta celebrates another milestone, his 100th game in charge. One measure of success is longevity, and 100 matches is nothing to sneeze at. Especially as he’s doing so well at the moment.

  69. 69
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Say we are top of the league!

  70. 70
    bt8 says:

    Re: my 66: not to take anything away from Ben White either who did a highly commendable job at right back, containing Zaha who is considered one of the league’s most dangerous attacking players. If Saliba slacks for a moment, or has any injury problem, White will be right there to take his spot back.

  71. 71
    bt8 says:

    Say we are top o’ the league

  72. 72
    bt8 says:

    Whoops, should’ve been:
    Say we are top of the league!

    And unless AFC Bournemouth win tomorrow by at least two goals we will still be top of the league because all the other clubs come after us alphabetically. Some people even think Bournemouth come after us. Anybody can stick an AFC at the start of their name, or better yet an AC/DC.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Ollie says:

    *Joins the fanclub*

  75. 75
    Cynic says:

    If Saliba slacks for a moment, or has any injury problem, White will be right there to take his spot back.

    Are we going to dispense with a £50m player to the bench who actually hasn’t done much wrong?

    I think the almost permanently injured Tomiyasu has more to worry about than White and obviously more so if the manager decides the best use of his resources is to switch to three centre backs.

  76. 76
    Countryman100 says:

    Zinchenko has already got a new song. Gary Kemp (a lifelong Gooner) is chuffed to bollocks.

  77. 77
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    We’ve still got a lot to do in the transfer window.

    We need to get rid of Mari, Torreira and Runarrson (bizarre signing, needs to go back to an appropriate level and play some football)

    AMN and Nelson should probably be sold too, unless the boss has more use for them than it appears. I’d keep Cedric as cover (he’s not the best player we have but he is a very solid pro with an excellent attitude).

    If we can get most or all of these guys moved on then it gives us space to sign Tielemans and a wide forward (or maybe a tall target man, someone experienced who won’t block Eddie and Flo in the long term but could do a job for a season or two?)

    Personally, I can’t think of anything else I’d want to do with the squad. Unless Xhaka gets pissy about no longer being a starter, then i’d even keep him – he probably has one more season in him.

    It looks to me like we are close to having a really excellent squad (for the first time in years) and it is so nice to be looking at what we can do to improve in the last few weeks of transfer window when we have started off with 3 points and a solid performance.

    Too often we have been looking for players to save us, or turn things around, and ended up panic buying. I’m loving the strategy in our squad building.

    And the fact that we can relax this weekend with 3 points in the bank. Great stuff!

  78. 78
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    That Zinchenko song is, err, Gold!

  79. 79
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yeah, funny how it sounds but that is so True GSD

  80. 80
    Countryman100 says:

    See what you did there GSD

  81. 81
    Bathgooner says:

    It’s extremely gratifying to start a weekend/month/season with a good win.

    Well done, all. Worked hard, with and without the ball. Deserved the victory.


  82. 82
    bt8 says:

    Graft, guile and goals.

  83. 83
    bathgooner says:

    Say, we are still top of the league!

  84. 84
    bt8 says:

    Could be the work of Agent Leno on the bench that got Fulham across the line?

  85. 85
    bt8 says:

    Xhaka was booked for “simulation” a few seconds after Exe got away with this with no sanction whatsoever: https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunners/comments/wh6vmp/eze_dive_no_booking_and_attacking_play_continued/

  86. 86
    Bathgooner says: