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Let’s be honest, despite bullish prognostications on the site, almost all Arsenal fans were wary about the outcome of this match. Just over a year ago, we were beaten by a very physical Brentford side in the first game of the season in a bearpit of a stadium, staging Brentford’s return to the highest echelon of English football after seventy four years. No matter that we had a Covid outbreak in the club nor that we had a young league debutant as our only fit striker, the strong suspicion was that we had been bullied by a more determined side. Sky loved that game, it played to their favourite narrative of an Arsenal team who in the immortal words of Corporal Jones, “don’t like it up ‘em!”

After the match Ivan Toney who had given Arsenal’s new centre back Ben White a very tough evening tweeted, “Nice kickabout for the boys!” 

Those of you who have watched ‘All or Nothing’ will have seen how Mikel Arteta was angered by the arrogance of that quote and used it to motivate the team in the return fixture in February. What would Toney be tweeting after this game? There was a degree of pressure building as the table begins to take shape following a comfortable win for Manchester City at Wolves and a 6-2 victory for the Spuds that looked immensely flattering to this observer’s eyes, although my attention on the game was only fleeting. On top of that Arsenal had injuries. Ødegaard and Zinchenko had slight knocks and missed the game, ESR was absent and although Thomas Partey returned, how fit would he be? On the bench Arsenal blooded Lino Sousa a 17 year -old left back and, almost unbelievably, Ethan Nwaneri, who at 15 years and 181 days old was the youngest player to be included in a first team squad in our history. I have stuffing in my fridge older than him! In Ødegaard’s place we gave Fábio Vieira his debut as a ‘number10’.

After an impeccably observed minute’s silence for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and a rendering of ‘God Save the King’, we were at it right from kick off. Not only did we monopolise possession but we were incisive and a beautiful crisp move initiated by Xhaka set up Martinelli in the very early minutes but he slipped in shooting and fired wide. The team’s rhythm was excellent and the main key to the game was the superiority of our midfield. Xhaka was superb today and is perfectly suited by the more advanced position he can occupy as a ‘left 8’. He was able to settle into that role because of the excellence of Partey who gave a consummate display in front of the back four. The whole side was pressing manfully and effectively and Sky seemed alarmed that our side was so much bigger than Brentford almost as if this was sharp practice. It certainly didn’t play to the ‘Snowflake Arsenal’ narrative we’ve had shoved down our throat since that opening game last season.

This quite unreasonably large Arsenal side took the lead on 16 minutes when Saka looped in a fine corner and Saliba flicked the ball on at the near post. It found its way across goal and entered the net very clearly off the far post. The confirmation by the referees watch was superfluous. GSD rightly bemoaned last season that we do not see our defenders notching enough goals. We have three from seven games this season!

Brentford 0 – Arsenal 1, Saliba 

Our attacking play almost overwhelmed Brentford at times and Xhaka picked out Jesús with a perfect cross that he diverted past Raya into the top corner. It was both a brilliant cross and a magnificently executed header despite what Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had to say! 

Brentford 0 – Arsenal 2, Gabriel Jesús 

Jesús was terrific today with his lightning movement and dynamic pressing. He is such an upgrade on Lacazette, it is untrue. At half time we could honestly say that we had been completely untroubled by Brentford even the garrulous Ivan.

Half time: Brentford 0 – Arsenal 2

As the team came out for the second half I thought that the icing on the cake would be for Fábio Vieira to produce an assist or dare we hope a goal? Amazingly, we had only three minutes to wait for that to happen. Saliba looked in deep trouble but shimmied out of danger, Saka fed Vieira about twenty five yards out and giving Raya the eyes, he whipped in a shot that clipped the inside of the right hand post and careered across goal and in. A very satisfactory way to crown your league debut ! 

Brentford 0 – Arsenal 3, Fábio Vieira

The scoring was over but not the exciting, incisive football from the Gunners. Jesús fed by Xhaka was well blocked by Raya who went full length to tip away a Saka curler. Brentford threatened on a couple of occasions and thought they had a penalty only for it to be ruled offside. But we dealt with their set pieces effectively. They clearly need a bigger team! 

We managed to play ‘keep ball’ very comfortably for the rest of the game. 

History was made as the game moved into injury time when Ethan Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history. With Charlie Patino opening his account for Blackpool yesterday Arsenal’s future is very bright. 

Nwaneri came on for Vieira along with Marquinhos for Saka and Nketia for Martinelli on 90+2 after Sambi had replaced the excellent Partey on 78 minutes. 

Full Time: Brentford 0 – Arsenal 3

I look forward to Mr.Toney’s tweet describing this game. Something like “We were absolutely mullered by a much better team” would describe it well. Who was our MOTM? I’d just give it to Xhaka, despite a completely unnecessary booking in the second half which may provoke investigations into peculiar betting patterns in the Balkans. But Saliba was superb. He really is an extraordinary talent. In a couple of tight situations, including in the build-up to our third goal, he looked so elegant and assured. Partey played very well and showed us what we had missed at Old Trafford. Jesús was an absolute livewire and Saka and Martinelli worked their socks off to good effect.

Some Gooners might suggest this was an easy win. It was because of the work ethic and quality that this team has but we also have a notable ability to shithouse where necessary. Ramsdale gets a calf time out each game, Gabriel had one too (side of knee) and we just looked so much more effective than we did here last year.

My final comment was that Arteta looked very smart and respectful in his suit. He must have been delighted with the performance and the knowledge that he doesn’t have to follow Ivan Toney on Twitter any more!

80 Drinks to “A Nice Kickabout for the Lads”

  1. 1
    scruzgooner says:

    well in, ttg. glad you could take a break from your mania to watch the game and pen this report. pretty much the same game i saw (damn poor night for sleeping, luckily in this case). except: ivan who? he’s going to be coughing out ben white’s pocket lint until he returns from england duty.

    highlight of the game, on par with any of the three goals: partey with the ball in the center circle, escapes two brentford stokies with impeccable footwork, then is about to do the same to two more when they crash in to him, one high and one low, sending him sprawling. heart in mouth time, until thomas finally got up and continued, largely untroubled. stoke, er, brentford couldn’t touch him all game (my motm).

  2. 2
    Doctor Faustus says:

    A very enjoyable review of a dominant, professional, satisfactory display.

    Great to see that the wonderful talent and maturity of Saliba has now become an established fact in English football, putting to rest the various doubts and concerns many had about whether the young Frenchman can stamp his authority in the more frenetic premier league.

    Xhaka, Partey, Jesus, Saliba … all candidates for MoTM. The best compliment to the PL debutant Vieira would be that Ødegaard wasn’t missed that much. His sumptuous goal may actually inspire our captain to take more shots from those kind of positions. If he does, given his superb technical abilities Martin will score many more goals.

  3. 3
    Esso says:

    Cheers Baff! Great report. Great performance. Great result.



  4. 4
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in, indeed, TTG. Plenty of steel amid the silk of your match report, much like the performance today. I would make the team MOTM. As I mentioned in the previous drinks, as a collective, they just drained the life out of Brentford, who are a much better side than they were allowed to look.

  5. 5
    scruzgooner says:

    so right, ned.

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    Saliba looks more impressive with every game. Arteta and his team deserve a lot of credit for the way they developed the gambolling foal we bought into a Premiership thoroughbred. Ditto, the way they brought Martinelli into the team. As we saw with Ethan Nwaneri, there is some exciting talent coming through, so it will be interesting to see how Arteta manages those youngsters’ transition into being first-team regulars.

    btw, is the reason Nwaneri can’t play Europa League games because they are all on school nights? 🙂

  7. 7
    Countryman100 says:

    A fine report of a wonderful performance by The Arsenal. I always enjoy it when we score from corners. The wonder in the voice when the dreadful Sky co-commentator said, as we took our positions for that first corner and Saliba goal “Arsenal are a big team aren’t they” brought joy to my heart. The great Wenger side of 97-2004 were big and physically imposing. Combine being big, quick and technically skilful and you have a winning combination. Notwithstanding that, the way our 5’9” Jesus leapt, hung like a salmon in the air and then powered in the header using his neck muscles for the second goal was something else. All credit to a great ball from Xhaka who is, this season, JLANS. So many had a good game, including Saka with two assists, the second being for the Portuguese Vieira to score a wonder goal. Saka has had one goal and four assists in the last four games. He seems so much stronger this season. Yet many are saying he has had a slow start. Perhaps he’ll get better soon!

    The pressing reminded me both of Pep era Barca but also that night when peak Klopp Dortmund came to the Emirates in the CL. Clad in yellow and black they looked like a swarm of wasps attacking our players under the floodlights. Brentford must have felt the same. We were unstoppable.

    Enjoy the moment fellow Gooners. We have a harmonious club, are playing beautiful football and are top of the league.

    My next live game is the women’s NLD next Saturday, together with my son, wife and daughter. I believe they are also top of the league!

  8. 8
    Bathgooner says:

    Great report, TTG. A wonderful reprise of an outstanding performance by the lads. Sexy, sexy football! I had forgotten Toney’s jibe. We responded rather well, I thought.

    I think we should pay suitable note and respect to your ability to cast aside previously long-held and deeply ingrained prejudices and to give credit where credit is certainly due with your observation (which was almost emboldened!):

    “Xhaka was superb today”!

    Others have observed that MA8 has improved several of the youngsters and as a coach at Citeh he was also credited with improvements in several players notably Sterling and Jesús, so I think both he and Xhaka (you can teach old dogs new tricks!) deserve credit for the transformation in the latter’s play this season. Long may it continue. Master Gunner today.

    Did I mention that I like this sexy football?


  9. 9
    scruzgooner says:

    careful baff, you’ll become a sex(y football) maniac…

  10. 10
    21st century gooner says:

    Yet another exemplary team performance. Dominated them from start to finish. It honestly felt like I was watching Man City at times. The way we control games now is so pleasing to see, the way we’re playing this team we’re looking at a top 2 finish. We will learn a lot about this team in the next 2 games but at this point I’d be surprised if we got less than 4/6 points out of spurs and pool. Expectations of the team have increased and rightly so; I cannot remember a time when we looked this comfortable and consistent. As a fan I now go into these types of games expecting us to be a couple of goals up inside the first half and this is what we’re seeing. So many games this season we’ve had wrapped up after 60 minutes allowing us to control the final third of games at our own pace. And it’s killing our opponents. Right now we are playing like champions and as the table tells us, we are getting the results associated with champions. But perhaps more importantly what we are also getting is a level of consistency of qua we have not seen from Arsenal since the 07/08 season (in my opinion). Long may this continue.

  11. 11
    ClockEndRider says:

    Great report, TTG. The game I saw.
    I thought Partey was the key. He was so calm and assured and just kept mopping up and moving the ball around. I hope he’s available against that lot.

  12. 12
    ClockEndRider says:

    What 21CG said.

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    Very good observations in the comments. CER is right that we do look VERY like Man City. We took care of this game in the way they would have done – by playing round them and not letting them have the ball.
    As Mark Chapman says, one good, one bad from the game, the bad first .We are getting far too many injuries especially in training. Shad Forsythe has left – is there a connection?
    The good is the youngsters . Nwaneri is a phenomenon but we also have a 14 year old boy Obi- Martin who is playing for our U18s and above his age group for England already.We have several young lads who might be in our first team midfield soon – Patino , Cozier Duberry , Sagoe Jr , Flores and Nwaneri . At that time Norton- Cuffy and Sousa may be our full-backs . Upfront we have Butler – Odeyeji, Balogun , John- Jules and Edwards to break through . There is a veritable conveyor belt of talent coming out of Hale End

  14. 14
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@13: The other plus about the Academy production line is that it is not just turning out only attacking midfielders anymore.

    Myles Lewis-Skelly is another name to look out for, according to Jorge Bird.

  15. 15
    Ollie says:

    Cheers TTG. Yep, superb team performance, everybody was on song (hope Alex can still breathe under that). Really turned out to not be anywhere near as stressful as I expected. In fact practically zero stress bar a brief worry about Gabriel getting injured.
    I’d probably go with Xhaka too for MOtM because I just keep being impressed by his performances. Now we can all enjoy the international break, hoping nobody gets injured before THE big match.
    And we can also still laugh at Mourinho. I happened to watch Roma vs Atalanta with the local Roma fan club, and it wasn’t easy to hide my glee (and not call him what I normally call him. 😉).

  16. 16
    Countryman100 says:

    Our 15 year old Nwaneri scoring for the U18s

  17. 17
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks TTG, great stuff. And several excellent comments above too.
    Happy Days

  18. 18
    bt8 says:

    Superbly enjoyable review of a thoroughly enjoyable match. Our dominance was as complete as I might want, and Thomas Frank was very complimentary of the Arsenal team in the post match interview. Now to avoid injuries, win the Derby and keep the good energy flowing. Thanks TTG.

  19. 19
    OsakaMatt says:

    I guess the interlull will be time enough for Ode and Zin to get fit. For me, Ode comes back but I am not sure that Zin does. I thought KT was very solid against Brentford and is a good man to have in the trenches for the NLD.

  20. 20
    Ollie says:

    What about playing KT, Zinch in front of him, resting Martinelli (though I am aware that he will get a rest during the interlullà and unleashing him in the latter stages of the game?

  21. 21
    bt8 says:

    Ollie. That plan sounds like it could terrify a few right backs. Just when they think they have seen it all, they are confronted with an unleashed and absolutely fresh Martinelli marauding through the marketplace, plucking peaches out of the fruit stalls. It could even be enough to send a few right backs into sudden retirements. 😆

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    These are exciting times for the club although with our injury record or more especially our series of very fragile players our squad is probably too small BUT we have some players who may develop very quickly – Marquinhos , Vieira , Sambi and some of our U21s and they may morph into top first team players quickly although that’s a big ask.
    If I were Edu I’d be focusing on whether Turner is good enough to understudy Ramsdale , whether we need a stronger back-up to Partey who made such a difference yesterday and if we might need another striker . We only have two plus Martinelli who plays every game and no obvious ready made young strikers coming through .Balogun might be able to be recalled from Reims but I haven’t studied that agreement .
    We have a fearsome October after a quiet September and we must be able to rotate

  23. 23
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@22: Another striker this season would be helpful, for the reasons you indicate, and it appears that Edu was trying to borrow one rather than buy one towards the end of the window, not wanting to clog up the pipeline as there are some prospects among the Academy strikers. Khayon Edwards in the U-21s is highly thought of; as well as Balogun, we have Mika Biereth, Nikolaj Moller and Tyreece John-Jules out on loan, again, all well thought of within the club. However, all three have had injury problems so it is difficult to assess from the outside how realistic are their chances of breaking into the first team. Behind them, is the aforementioned Chido Obi-Martin.

    Another Partey would be top of my list. We just don’t have anyone who can play his role, in the way that, say, ESR or Fabio Vieira can replace a missing Ødegaard or Nketiah could fill in for Jesus if necessary. Sambi might be able to be a true 6 eventually, but he needs a season or two’s further seasoning.

  24. 24
    ecg says:

    Is the interdull over yet?

    Re: Partey backup. I’m not convinced Sambi is the right person for the job. I see him as replacement for Xhaka. He is surprisingly short (5’8″ vs 6’1″ for Partey) and not very good in the air, from what I’ve seen. I’m partial to a defensive midfielder who can win 50-50 challenges in the air.

  25. 25
    bt8 says:

    Transfermarkt lists Lokonga as 183cm in height, which is just over 6 feet. The four extra inches could be of use to him on occasion, ecg. Of course he is a young man and by the end of the international break he might have grown even taller.

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    Wiki also lists Sambi as 183cm but the PL has him at 173cm…….

    I’m an optimist but objectively we should consider that he may
    have shrunk to 163cm by the end of the interlull 😱

  27. 27
    ecg says:

    Hopefully Arsenal have him on a proper diet and he will be 193cm by the start of next season.

  28. 28
    OsakaMatt says:

    It’ll give a whole new meaning to contract extension

  29. 29
    ClockEndRider says:

    Pedantry Corner. Pray, indulge me.
    During the game, the Sky commentary team repeated, ad nauseam, how Arsenal were a bigger team than Brentford. Being the kind of person who likes to compare what I am being told with the evidence of my own eyes, I was more than a little disbelieving, since when we lined up at corners, it certainly didn’t appear to me that we were noticeably bigger. Below are height stats in cm for both sides taken from the Brentford FC website for the Bees and the PL website for Arsenal, since our own no longer seems to carry this information.
    Brentford Arsenal
    Hickey. 185 Tierney 178
    Henry 170 White 186
    Ajer 196 Magalhaes 190
    Jansson 194 Saliba 192
    Mee 180 Partey 185
    Da Silva 184 Xhaka 186
    Janelt. 184 Vieira 170
    Jansen 180 Martinelli. 178
    Mbeumo 171 Saka. 178
    Toney 179 Jesus. 175

    So really little to nothing in it in total with match ups pretty much all over the pitch, certainly from set pieces. I wish the people paid to do inform us would actually do their job.
    Rant over.

  30. 30
    ClockEndRider says:

    Apologies for formatting above. I had it all nicely lined up in the preview, but it’s all gone a little boss-eyed once I hit submit…

  31. 31
    OsakaMatt says:

    Formatting is fine on my screen CER….

    The point is well made too, the key difference between the two sides was quality not height.

  32. 32
    Ollie says:

    Quite, Matt. Fancy us being labelled as the physical bullies now though…

  33. 33
    Bathgooner says:

    Nice analysis CER @29, formatting difficulties notwithstanding.

    Your analysis conclusively demonstrates the truth of Matt’s observation @31 which of course would never be universally acknowledged. No surprise though if we flip from being described as spineless weaklings directly to card-acquiring thugs, Ollie @32!

    Formatting comments on WordPress is a nightmare. I’m not even going to attempt to achieve what you clearly intended to produce as I would probably make it worse.

  34. 34
    TTG says:

    Good point CER
    It was sharp practice of us to employ tall players and then put the ball in the air . Same old Arsenal always cheating
    If on the other hand we allow ourselves to be bullied we are soft . A depressing media narrative

  35. 35
    Trev says:

    Great stuff, TTG, and thank you !

    I’m pleased you have finally seen the light and recognised Xhaka for the superb creator he really is ! Apologies if this has been said but there are three players tying for the highest number of chances created this season – de Bruyne, Salah, and …. Granit Xhaka. It’s great to see Arteta taking players out of positions that don’t suit them and transforming them into better players in positions that do. Compare this to the utter buggers muddle under Emery that ruined Torreira and had Saka playing at left back !

    I have said from the formative days of our playing out from the back under Arteta that our shape very much mirrors that of Man City. Another competition drew on Saturday was with Barcelona who trained under Guardiola to win the ball back within seven seconds of losing it. We seem to be doing it in about four or five, in our highly organised and efficient press.

    Of course, “we haven’t really played anyone any good yet”, cry the critics.
    Far less said about Man City whose highest placed opponents so far have been Bournemouth.
    Oh well.

    We absolutely schooled Brentford on Sunday. And whatever anyone says, we ARE top of the league.

  36. 36
    North Bank Ned says:

    ecg@24: As I recall, the whiteboard in Edu’s office seen in All or Nothing showing the players distributed by position had Lokonga paired with Xhaka and Mo with Partey, so Edu and Arteta agree with you.

    The Arsenal website says that so far this season, Sambi has won three of his five ariel duels against Partey’s six of twelve, a 60% success rate against 50%, but probably too small a sample size to draw firm conclusions.

    This contracting/expanding height issue clearly runs in the family. Wikipedia has his elder brother at 1.79m (taken from the Standard Liege website when he played there), but Transfermaket has him at 1.73m.

  37. 37
    North Bank Ned says:

    CER@29: I find having the sound off enhances Sky commentary.

    The Athletic published this chart of the average size of the squads in the PL, which shows both Brentford and us at 1.82m.

  38. 38
    Trev says:

    Ned, who ever worried about an extra 6 centimetres… ? 😉

  39. 39
    Trev says:

    So we’re the fifth smallest team in the league. More great work from the Sky commentators.

  40. 40
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@38: as the actress said to the bishop…

  41. 41
    Trev says:

    “I did,” said the bishop …..

  42. 42
    bt8 says:

    Sambi’s height is still not exactly a settled question. There seem to be roughly as many websites saying he is 173 km as those saying he is 183km. How about this: the next time he plays I will measure him up on my giant TV screen thousands of miles away, and offer you my verdict? Thanks Ned for those stats on aerial duels won.

  43. 43
    scruzgooner says:

    god knows we need oskarthedog to measure him using his giant tv in the sky (rest in peace, chris).

  44. 44
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@41: “I couldn’t tell”, replied the actress…

  45. 45
    North Bank Ned says:

    News of the day is that Xhaka is doing his coaching badges, apparently.

  46. 46
    TTG says:

    I’ve heardvery good things about David Dein’s new book. It may reveal a lot of the behind the scenes stuff Arsenal didn’t in his book

  47. 47
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Re #46
    Arsene’s book was somewhat of a disappointment in several ways although spilling the beans was probably never going to happen.
    I will give Dein’s book a try anyway.

  48. 48
    Countryman100 says:

    I entered a small competition on Twitter, involving only retweeting something by Le Grove (mentioned on the right hand side as a friend of this august publication) and find I have won a free, signed copy of David Dein’s memoirs. I look forward to receiving it and reading it with much pleasure and TTG has kindly volunteered to provide us with a review during the World Cup. He’ll have to pay for his copy though (mind you he can afford it). So thank you Le Grove!

  49. 49
    bt8 says:

    Here’s a site that lists both Sambi’s height (6’0”) and weight (172 lbs.) . In order to be height-weight proportionate I am guessing that height is correct, assuming the weight is not too far off.


    Apologies to English readers for the references to English measurements, but that means that 183cm not 173cm is marginally ahead in the Lokonga height sweepstakes.

  50. 50
    Ollie says:

    There’s an easy run up for grabs here.

  51. 51
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, Ollie. As easy as it gets.

  52. 52
    bt8 says:

    Well in Ollie. The first goal of the interdull (a term that was coined, to my knowledge, by ecg on this very page).

  53. 53
    Ollie says:

    Heh. It’s going to be a long ‘interdull’, isn’t it?
    The huge game to restart is going to heavily condition how we feel after it.
    Should the unspeakable happen, we’ll be longing back for it…

  54. 54
    Ollie says:

    Tierney starts tonight. No injury please.

  55. 55
    bathgooner says:

    KT3 had an excellent game for Scotland last night making key contributions at both ends. Subbed after 80 minutes probably due to lack of recent games though there was no cleaar evidence of him running out of steam. Probably more to preserve him for a crunch game vs Ireland. Bar an early first half spell of dominance Ukraine without Zinchenko could not control the momentum and outcome of this game in the second half.

  56. 56
    bt8 says:

    Despite the mention of the names of one or two Arsenal players I fail to see any interest in these international matches even though it is just a few weeks until the start of the World Cup. Maybe it’s because they keep expanding the number of countries that play in the finals. It would be more interesting if it were limited to the highest ranked 15 and the host country although in this case it might be better if the host country were barred on moral grounds. The fewer countries involved would also mean club football would resume considerably faster. Did anybody mention that the World Cup people gave us the interdull?

  57. 57
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@56: It all went pear-shaped in 1879 when England doubled the number of internationals it played in a season from one to two, playing Wales as well as Scotland. It got completely out of control in 1882 when an annual match against Ireland was added to the calendar. The rest, as they say, is history.

  58. 58
    bt8 says:

    I didn’t mean to come across as a complete troglodyte, Ned. 🤣

  59. 59
    OsakaMatt says:

    I was idly thinking about Qatar being booted on moral grounds too. Never happen of course
    and neither will my own thought of penalizing corrupt countries with headstarts for democracies. I would actually want to work for FIFA if I could toddle around the world explaining to scumbags « your stinking kleptocracy robs, represses and murders it’s own people so we’ve decided you will start at -2 goals to reflect that you personally are a disgrace to humanity. Not to worry about communication, we will explain it to your people on the internet »
    On reflection it might be safer for me to deliver that message by zoom.

    Anyway, back on planet reality I hope KT and others come back sound in fetlock.

  60. 60
    OsakaMatt says:

    In other news Holics of the World will finally be welcome to visit again 👋👋

  61. 61
    Ollie says:

    Let’s all go to Osaka and make a song and dance about Saka.

  62. 62
    bt8 says:

    Ollie, Your may already have the bare bones for a great song there. 😁 We should be very glad if Saka indeed does sign that new contract, not to be expecting Osaka would have been highest in his mind as an alternative club to consider. Higher than Manchester United though if he’s thinking like me.

    Re: Matt @59 🤣🤣😊

  63. 63
    North Bank Ned says:

    Be careful what you wish for, OM. 🙂

  64. 64
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh Saka we love you just rolls off the tongue….

    Watching Japan vs US just now, Tomi and Turner both playing.
    Tomi solid as ever, doing everything competently and Turner
    just made a nice save to keep it down to 1-0.

  65. 65
    OsakaMatt says:

    2-0 in the end, nothing Turner could do nothing about either goal.
    Both he and Tomi look fine after the game.

  66. 66
    OsakaMatt says:

    Swapping shirts at the end in a nice clubly gesture,

  67. 67
    bt8 says:

    Matt I didn’t see the game but it sounds like a case of efficiency by Japan and inefficiency by USA. And excellent shirt swapping by the principals.

  68. 68
    Ollie says:

    I had the misfortune of watching Italy vs England last night. Gret goal from Italy but very very dire match.
    Chances of England winning the World Cup must be pretty close to zero.

    The ‘positives’ highlighted post-match by Southgate must be borne out of magic mushroom consumption.

  69. 69
    Countryman100 says:

    Saka played out of position. Pope clearly unsure with the ball at his feet. Maguire and Dier as centre backs. Kane trying to do it all up front. I thought only Bellingham looked the part.

  70. 70
    Ollie says:

    Yep, that’s about it C100.

  71. 71
    bt8 says:

    Arsenal 4 Spurs 0

    Maybe we should do this every week, at least for the remainder of September.

  72. 72
    scruzgooner says:

    let’s just bleed it into october!

  73. 73
    bt8 says:

    Aha, exactly what I meant to say Scruz 😉

    September ends on October 1 this year, in mid-afternoon.

  74. 74
    Countryman100 says:

    Those in the U.K. vote vote vote for Tony Adams! TA6 Mr Arsenal!

  75. 75
    scruzgooner says:

    bt8, let’s bleed it until the end of october…

  76. 76
    OsakaMatt says:

    Is there an election for something?

    I guess the Womens NLD was an enjoyable day C100!
    Record crowd too

  77. 77
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh, now I see, TA6 is showing us his fancy footwork on Strictly Come Dancing

  78. 78
    North Bank Ned says:

    Some talk of Conte returning to Juve if Allegri gets the heave-Ho. We can only hope.

  79. 79
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Arse girls – onya, as they say in these parts.
    And 47,000+ – brilliant.
    I hope it’s all an omen.
    UTA – boys and girls!

  80. 80
    Pangloss says: