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Arsenal moved eight points clear of Manchester City this afternoon with a comfortable 4-1 win over increasingly relegation-threatened Palace. As songs heralding Patrick Vieira rang out across North London, I sensed that the Arsenal family is becoming so enveloping and tight that part of the satisfaction from this win came from paying them back the insult to a bona fide Arsenal legend. And talking of bona fide Arsenal legends we were able to welcome four of them onto the pitch at half-time (see above). I’m conscious that these great stars don’t have the resonance they should have with the young supporters who inhabit the Stadium so raucously now but I could never really relate fully to Alex James and Cliff Bastin and David Jack when I was growing up. I have a chat scheduled with Bob Wilson tomorrow and I will be fascinated to learn what the legends thought of this crisp and enterprising performance.

There was no sign of a hangover from the disappointment of Thursday evening. As time goes on I consider it almost a blessing that we have now got the opportunity to focus and while I dislike Citeh intensely I see it as a huge advantage that they are committed on three fronts. Let the Cyborg go on scoring but let’s hope intense Premier League games prove a step too far for them as the season grinds on.

We picked a predictable team. Saliba was missing but his prospects seem relatively good for avoiding a long lay-off whilst I suspect Tomiyasu won’t be seen in an Arsenal shirt again this season. Trossard formed part of the three upfront and Capitola Rob Holding, the ‘bestie‘ of scruzgooner came in at centre back.

Palace hadn’t lost at Arsenal for five seasons, often because Zaha is a major headache to us and in the 10th minute he drove forward to fire in a near post shot which struck the post rebounded onto  the diving Ramsdale’s legs and then, rather fortunately, deflected past his post. Ramsdale then made a very brave save to block a Palace breakaway for the move to be ruled offside. The ‘keeper could have been seriously injured for no reason as a result of this ridiculous rule which allows play to unwind when officials know it is to be ruled offside. 

After this we started to dominate but just after the first quarter had passed I remarked to my neighbour that we had not forced their young keeper to make a save. Seconds later he didn’t save again but this was because Martinelli had latched onto a Saka pass and belted it into the far corner 

28 mins: Arsenal 1 Palace 0 

We were clearly dominating play now with Ødegaard playing brilliantly in the number 10 role, Saka shredding Mitchell, a top young full-back, every time he got near him and Ben White catching the eye with superb overlaps. I love watching this team with its complexity, intelligence and athleticism. They are so hard to contain and Palace just couldn’t do it.

Two minutes from halftime the enterprising White fed Saka and he drove it into the far corner for our second goal which survived a VAR check 

43 mins: Arsenal 2 Palace 0 

Half-time was reached shortly afterwards. One sensed Palace were extremely frazzled by the movement of the Arsenal front three and welcomed the break during which our legends entered the arena.

Half-time:  Arsenal 2 Palace 0 

I didn’t envy Paddy McCarthy’s job (was he the guy Val Doonican sang about with the goat?) trying to lift a team that had not won all year and who had been trying to halt a tidal wave of attacks. Xhaka had gone down with what seemed momentarily to be a serious knock but the man is made of Granit and is again getting forward more as he did earlier in the season. Ten minutes into the second half he scored our third latching on to an intelligent Trossard pass (his sixth assist since he signed) and bumping  the ball past the keeper 

55 mins: Arsenal 3 Palace 0 

The destination of the points was no longer in doubt but we did start to harbour some fantasies about a serious hike in our goal difference. Alas, the next goal went to Palace. Our set-piece coach might need a friendly word with Mr. Arteta as we conceded from a ‘bog standard’ left wing corner which hit Schlupp in the midriff and fell for him to knock the ball beyond Ramsdale. This passed a VAR inspection for handball.

63 minutes: Arsenal 3 Palace 1 

Zaha, who had forced a good save from Ramsdale early in the second half, then might have done better when well-placed, as he screwed the ball wide of the right-hand post. He is a player who always makes an impact when he plays against us. If he did this every time he played and if he were eight years younger he would be a no-brainer free signing but he also seems often to be afflicted with a weird form of labyrinthiitis which renders him incapable of staying on his feet when challenged. 

Arsenal continued as they began and among a rash of substitutions, Tierney took up the left-back berth and cut the ball back to Saka who lashed the ball home to make the points completely safe. Again VAR reared its ugly head but the goal was ruled onside .

77 mins: Arsenal 4 Palace 1 

Arsenal played out the rest of the game comfortably with Jesús getting more minutes and rather oddly Partey ending the game at right back, Kiwior came on for his league debut and twice we saw Arsenal defenders show exceptional pace to thwart Palace attacks firstly Tierney and then Kiwior. We have a big squad but we really don’t want to see Ben White getting injured.

Final score: Arsenal 4 Palace 1 

It’s almost surreal to find ourselves so far ahead at the top of the table playing such incisive and intelligent football. In our last four league games we’ve scored fourteen goals and conceded three. We now await what the interlull may bring and prepare to resume in just under a fortnight with Liverpool travelling to the Etihad and a few hours later us welcoming Leeds to the Home of Football. Heady times and evidence today that there is a thread of excellence that has run intermittently through the club over the last fifty years. Please may another special chapter be about to be written 

120 Drinks to “Arsenal Take Inspiration from Four Legends”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Superb report, TTG, of yet another game I was consigned to “watching” over Arsenal.com. Hugely impressed with the sheer energy displayed by Martinelli in particular (from the TV highlights) after Thursday exertions. We now have as many points after 28 games as we finished with last season. Onwards to Leeds – my first game for 2 months- and then a tough run in April. A lot will depend on the City vs Pool match on the same day. A draw there for Pool and the cat will well and truly be among the pigeons. Providing we win on the same day. Let’s hope the gods responsible for these things are kind over the upcoming round of international games.


  2. 2
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Engaging report, TTG. Thank you!

    Please return and fill us in on whatever nuggets Mr. Wilson divulges that are cleared for public consumption.

    Although credit must be given to the players for the champagne football we currently enjoy (“[P]layers?!?! Where are the players?”—the players are in Islington, Mr. Conte), Arteta and his staff deserve their flowers. Mikel has the team, the staff, and the club singing from the same hymnal…and it’s lovely.

    By the way, yesterday I heard the description “Rob ‘Holdin back the Years’” and laughed so hard, I almost drove the truck off the road. Classic. We gotta get the kids to start that one in the HoF. Finally, LGtY, is enthralled with the Ashburton Army…what a real engagement and branding coup…drums notwithstanding.

    Win the next match!


  3. 3
    Ollie says:

    Cheers TTG. Enjoy your chat with Bob!

  4. 4
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks TTG, an excellent piece encompassing past and present greats.
    The first twenty minutes were as you say a little nervy but once the first goal went in it was enjoyable to relax back into the settee and watch us shred Palace with quick, incisive football that was a level too good for them.
    As you also say with Tomo’s absence we have to cross the fingers for Benjamin’s well-being. And given the difference in level with their deputies I will also be hoping that Aaron, Bukayo, Thomas and Martin come back sound. We have 12 players away this interlull.

  5. 5
    Cynic says:

    Now I know who’s responsible, I’d like to thank the Ashburton Army for destroying my enjoyment of the season and ensuring that I am no longer able to stand watching our games, even highlights, thanks to their idiotic drumming.

    Thanks a fucking bunch.

  6. 6
    Countryman100 says:

    Thanks for a great report TTG. It was a lovely mild Sunday afternoon to be standing on the North Bank watching my football team playing beautiful football and tearing apart a fairly hapless Palace. So many good performances. Rob Holding was terrific all afternoon. The partnership between Ben White and Saka is telepathic. Martinelli ran with pace and guile and how about that laser bullet from his chocolate leg? My favourite goal was the fourth, right in front of me. KT3 (god I will miss him if he does leave) again finding space with a cut back for Saka, who absolutely thumped it home. This is wonderful football and it is a joy to be there, in the midst of this giddy atmosphere. Many chants but not “we’re gonna win the league” thank goodness. One game at a time.

    Cynic if a drummer is spoiling your enjoyment of the best team since the invincibles I feel sorry for you. Why not go fishing? It’s nice and quiet there.

  7. 7
    ClockEndRider says:

    I believe there’s a space in N17 which is increasi gly quiet and well stocked with guppy impersonators

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    To complement TTG’s fine review here are the thoughts of Mike McDonal, who was at his first Arsenal game for 24 years. Looks like you enjoyed the day Mike!

    When you can’t see great: how I’ve probably maybe definitely taken this great Arsenal team for granted [ARS 4-1 CRY] (Positives Needs & Hopes)

  9. 9
    Noosa Gooner says:

    I believe Paddy McGinty was the aforementioned man with the goat.
    4-1 shout out to OM.
    Happy days.

  10. 10
    Gooner_KS says:

    I guess Ramsdale and Gabby are taking private synchronised swimming lessons

  11. 11
    North Bank Ned says:

    A delightful report, TTG, that allowed a most pleasurable re-savouring of the day.

    You are right to mention Holding and White in dispatches, and Palace had no answer to Saka and Martinelli. I don’t know what the physios put in their ice baths after Thursday night, but it worked wonders. Such energy.

    Ødegaard is playing at such a consistently high level you almost stop noticing how good he is. Something similar can be said about Trossard; he’s not at MØ8’s level, but his efficiency and economy of style belie his effectiveness.

    I don’t know about Capitola Rob holding back the years, but that Alice band holding back his ever more fulsome hair deserves a chant in its own right. He is the perfect backup CB to have. He’d be regularly starting for many Premiership clubs but seems happy with his role and can be relied upon to do a job when Arteta calls upon him. Plus he puts a smile on scruz’s face (Matron!).

  12. 12
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for the link c100 @8. Nice to see Mike and family having such a good day!
    Lot of good observations as always.

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    Mike Stride who is in the picture with Mike on the right is an old friend of mine. He comes from a massive Gooner family and I’ve spent much time drinking at hostelries in North London with him before and after games . He once made a video for me at a conference
    I will contact him and try to get a closer link to the other Mike . It’s a small world !

  14. 14
    bt8 says:

    Thanks TTG for a great report on a great day that helps to narrow Citeh’s window of opportunity. Onward to Leeds after a hopefully smooth international break. Also thanks to c100 for the Mike McDonald report which was top rate. Top of the league.

  15. 15
    Bathgooner says:

    It was a real pleasure to read through that match report, TTG and to re-experience the early nerves, the building control and the four fine goals, each crafted with precision, poise and power. Never has it been more apposite to expostulate, “OoooH to be a Goonah!”

    That was a great performance by each of the 15 men called upon yesterday and while we dominated the game and scored four, it was no cake-walk as Palace put up more resistance than Fulham had done a week earlier. It’s invidious to pick a MotM under these circumstances so they all share it IMHO. Ramsdale deserves huge credit for the early save, albeit subsequently given offside but that would otherwise have prevented us from falling behind. Given the shadow from Thursday, who knows how things would have gone then? But I am very optimistic we would have seen the same final scoreline or at least the same outcome.

    It’s a pity that Ben White’s (wasn’t he good?) determined clearance not only took Xhaka out (briefly, for he is indeed seemingly indestructable as well as indefatigable) but led to the corner that led to Palace’s goal. However it did give Mystic Matt a reward for hours pouring over a crystal ball which I hope he hasn’t sshattered

  16. 16
    bt8 says:

    Palace bringing in Roy Hodgson?

    Time for Tottenham to follow suit and bring in Harry Redknapp, surely. 😎

  17. 17
    Goonersince54 says:

    It’s been 2 long years since my younger brother suffered a near fatal stroke, saved only by fate, as his beloved, who is a senior nurse at their local hospital, was on day shift the night it happened, he wouldn’t still be with us otherwise.
    He is now close to 90% there, about the same as our favourite team, with just the home straight to go.
    He has had 2 relapses, both due to the last minute and time added on dramas against Villa and Bournemouth, as a result of which he has now been temporarily banned from watching the team live.
    I have kept an eye on the bar on a regular basis, and hopefully now he is almost restored to his normal rambunctious self I can re enter the online world of the Holics.
    I do want to commend those who have kept up the high standards of our beloved Landlord, with both the pre and post match blogs, which have been superb, and with the odd exception, the insightful responses from the merry band of long time Holics who inhabit the bar.
    My Brother has 2 important milestones and checkups to get through in the next couple of weeks, and with everything crossed for positive outcomes, I should be back in the fray for the Leeds match ironically on April Fools day.
    The Sweeper

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive: Great to see you back in. Fingers crossed, crossed again and then one more time for luck for your brother. Stay strong. You have been missed but always, family first.

  19. 19
    Cent says:

    Cheers, TTG.

    Good to “see” you, Clive. All the best to your brother on his recovery journey.

    Hi, all!!!


  20. 20
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Insightfully recalled and elegantly articulated report! Thank you TTG!

    Wonderful to see you back here Goonersince54 and thank you for the kind words. Best wishes for your brother and hope to see you back regularly as before.

    Hi Cent!

    I don’t remember where anymore (maybe The Athletic, or The Guardian…) but 2-3 weeks back I read snippets of a reporter’s conversation with George Graham where he is quoted to have praised the current team as (paraphrasing here), “With the ball they are playing some excellent football, and without the ball they are good but they can get better.” Which I think would summarize our performance against Palace quite aptly.

    It was nice, and also reassuring, to see Holding starting and playing so well. He defended well and some of his cross-field passes were excellent. Was great to see Tierney reminding us all of his defensive strengths and qualities in the final third. Despite his Arsenal career being so injury interrupted he has always had a talismanic presence and influence whenever he played, and while Zinchenko’s technical excellence, tactical sophistication and the infectious positivity have helped to move us a level above, Kieran I think still has a big role to play next season (if he chooses to stay which I hope he will) given that we are likely to need to field a first eleven every three days.

    Speaking of fullbacks this was also one of White’s best games for us, and his rapidly growing telepathic connections with Saka helps us to be bewilderingly (for the defense) unpredictable on the right with Ødegaard dancing in and out of the half spaces.

    As Mikel said immediately after the match that all focus is now on the next match against Leeds and the “clock stops there.”

    On an unrelated note, Balogun becomes the first player in Ligue 1 since 65-odd years to score 17 goals in his first season. He may very well get to 20. At the age of 21. Playing for a mid-table club. In his first full professional season in a top division league. That really is extraordinary.

  21. 21
    OsakaMatt says:

    Hello Clive! It’s great to see you here again and just as great that your brother is well on the road to recovery, my fingers are crossed for April too.

  22. 22
    OsakaMatt says:

    A link to the latest Balogun goal that Dr F mentions above…..

    Several familiar faces in there…..

  23. 23
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh, maybe it doesn’t work!
    But if you click / press on the watch on you tube link it will take you there

  24. 24
    bt8 says:

    Cheers, GS54. Hoping your brother and all of us get to see a glorious run in, and it’s great to see you back here.

  25. 25
    ClockEndRider says:

    GS54, wishing your brother a continued strong recovery and a heartily enjoyable conclusion to the season.

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    Just read @15 😃
    My crystal balls remain unshattered thanks Bath!

  27. 27
    Trev says:

    Clive, great to see you again and pleased to see things are a little better. We’ve all wondered how you were.

    Glad to see you’ve been looking in and thanks, on behalf of all of us, for your kind words on our attempts to keep the great man’s work going.

    Take care.

  28. 28
    Trev says:

    TTG, late thanks for a super report.

    Best bit – “ I love watching this team with its complexity, intelligence and athleticism. They are so hard to contain and Palace just couldn’t do it.”

    Job done ! 👏🏻

  29. 29
    Bathgooner says:

    Great to see you back in this fine hostelry, Clive. We’ve missed your pithy observations. Thanks for the kind words too – we like to think the Guvna would approve. Sorry to read of your brother’s health travails but pleased to read of his progress. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.

    Great to see you back in too, Cent. Don’t be a stranger. Hope all is well with you.

    Bad news on Tomi requiring knee surgery. Hope the news on Saliba is better.

  30. 30
    Countryman100 says:

    So delighted to see you back Clive. TTG is the nipper again!

  31. 31
  32. 32
    TTG says:

    Clive ,
    Lovely to hear from you.
    I do hope your brother is back in fighting form and you can enjoy a triumphant end to the season.
    Although young at heart my great age bears down on me but it is good to share memories of Highbury pre- Ice Age with kindred souls.
    I’m still down with the kids though and was re-listening to North London Forever yesterday . Nice song but what it really needs is a good, throbbing drumbeat to liven it up !😀 anyone know any drummers .
    I also unravelled the surprise in Mike McDonald’s blog where he appeared with an old mate of mine . Apparently my friend ( confusingly called Mike) was a great fan of Mike M’s work, as I think we all are , and started to correspond with him. Mike M reached out to my mate on planning his trip to UK and he was able to get him some tickets for the game. My friend says he was great company and a very interesting fella to chat to during the game . Nice to create a connection to Mike M anyway .
    Woy has gone back to the Palace and Antonio is about to depart the Armitage Shanks . Might it not be better if Parish and Levy were to leave ?

  33. 33
    OsakaMatt says:

    « Might it not be better if Parish and Levy were to leave? »
    Was it Alias Smith & Jones where they said ‘let’s keep that
    our little secret’
    Though I can’t think of another industry where you can appoint
    so many apparent failures and not get the boot yourself.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@33: The perks of being an owner.

    Cent@19: Good to see you back in, too.

  35. 35
    OsakaMatt says:

    Rashford pulled out of the England squad and Haaland has now pulled out of the Norway squad. I will make a superhuman effort and not moan about this.

    Thanks for the link C100. It was a long read but it was generally good. Personally, I think VAR has improved since a couple of seasons back and I was pleasantly surprised when Mason was finally held to account. From that point of view I’m happy to give Webb some time to improve things, however with or without VAR some of the referees in the PL are
    just poor time and again (Pawson, Marriner mentioned in the article would be two of them who should go).

  36. 36
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@31: Thanks for the link. A sympathetic peer behind the curtain that puts refereeing in a different light. A case, perhaps, for more transparency on PGMOL’s part over referee assessments.

  37. 37
    Trev says:

    Hi Cent – all good I hope ….

  38. 38
    North Bank Ned says:

    I asked the ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) to pick an all-time Arsenal XI. Its selection:

    David Seaman (Goalkeeper)
    Lee Dixon (Right-back)
    Tony Adams (Centre-back)
    Sol Campbell (Centre-back)
    Nigel Winterburn (Left-back)
    Patrick Vieira (Central midfield)
    Cesc Fabregas (Central midfield)
    Robert Pires (Left midfield)
    Thierry Henry (Striker)
    Dennis Bergkamp (Attacking midfield)
    Ian Wright (Striker)

    A touch of recency bias.

  39. 39
    TTG says:

    It was rude of me not to greet Cent too.
    You’re very welcome!
    That’s an iconic team. It depends how far you go back but say from 1980 I might advance a case for Viv Anderson at right back ( he was incredible in his time with us). At left back I’d choose either Sansom or Cashley Hole ( reluctantly ) . Playing with Henry and White feels unfair to other clubs and we tended to play Dennis with one or other . Looks a great team to me .
    Of the current team we might consider Saliba, Partey , Odegaard and Saka…but not yet !

  40. 40
    Countryman100 says:

    I’m not Luddite about AI Ned. It’s proving revolutionary in drug discovery to take an example I know something about. But this just seems to be picking those with the most trophies. Where’s Liam Brady (for example).

  41. 41
    TTG says:

    Interesting stat showing the correlation between touches in the box and penalties awarded …except that it breaks down for Arsenal! We have the most penalty box touches but only two penalties
    Suddenly every tackle on an Arsenal player is legitimate !

    Arsenal penalty stat raises serious questions

  42. 42
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG & C100: I asked the AI to select an all-time XI and, too, was disappointed that there was not more era diversity in the outcome. I thought some of the 70-71 Double Team might have made it and was hoping against hope that one or two of the 1930s team would be included, perhaps George Male as he was considered the best full back in Europe for a decade. What do they know of football, who only the internet know, to mangle CLR James?

    I’ve just tried asking the AI to pick an all-time XI for the neighbours to test your trophies theory, C100. The data set must be too small. Garry Mabbut and Ledley King make its team but not Ossie Ardilles, Danny Blanchflower, Gary Lineker and even Gareth Bale.

  43. 43
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@41: Not to be churlish, but statistically, the correlation between touches and penalties is ‘moderate’ on the basis of the numbers in the article in the link, and there are plenty of outliers, not just us. Given how VAR is all over penalty shouts (and especially for handball), it probably needs a more detailed breakdown of penalty offences given to start drawing conclusions about causality. In the Guardian piece on referees that C100 linked to @31, a point is made that every club’s fans think officials are biased against them. When it comes to being given penalties, we have received the fourth-highest number in the Premier League, after Liverpool, the red Mancs and the mob at the Bus Stop.

  44. 44
    TTG says:

    Ned I take your point but this season we have only been given two penalties and 11 sides have more penalties than us. I do find it unusual that despite the fact tgat we have the best dribbling wide player in the League he has not forced a penalty this season .
    In reality I thought the two penalties that we have had this season ( both at home ) were both generous!
    Interesting to note Harland will miss Norway’s games with a groin injury

  45. 45
    Cent says:

    I’m very well, thank you, gents.
    Looks like Partey arrived in Ghana for the interlull with a member of the Arsenal medical team in tow. I wonder whose idea that was, they clearly do not want to take chances with our charge for a top 4 place. Which particular top 4 place? I have no idea, let’s get enough points to guarantee a top 4 finish first. 😉

    (©️ Lonestar Gooner, I believe)

  46. 46
    Cent says:

    Martinelli-esque solo run towards goal?

  47. 47
    Cent says:


  48. 48
    Cent says:


  49. 49
    Cent says:

    Remembers the old days
    When a self-assist
    Meant an automatic yellow card
    And lays it off for…

  50. 50
    ecg says:

    Thanks for the assist, Cent! No yellow card for you! Hope you are doing well.

  51. 51
    ecg says:

    for cba…

  52. 52
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, ecg.

    Cent: cba would be proud of you…

  53. 53
    bt8 says:

    Excellent solo run @46, Cent. Martinelli-esque, even. 😎

    Well finished half-ton ecg. 👍🏼

  54. 54
    ecg says:

    Another interdull. Only need about 15 drinks per day for the double ton.

  55. 55
    ecg says:


  56. 56
  57. 57
  58. 58
  59. 59
    ecg says:


  60. 60
  61. 61
  62. 62
  63. 63
    Ollie says:

    Great mazy run, Cent, congrats on the half-ton ecg.

  64. 64
    Trev says:

    VAR still checking #50 for a possible offside 🥴

  65. 65
    bathgooner says:

    Great stuff, cent and well in for the demi-ton ecg. Heh @ Trev. VAR is still checking, I see.

    Good references to cba. Bless him. I bet he’s leading the angels a merry dance in t’other place.

  66. 66
    North Bank Ned says:

    VAR still checking. Now looking for a possible handball three sets of drinks back.

  67. 67
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@16: Good call on ‘arry Redknapp, who says he is open to a return to the neighbours to help out if/when Conte goes.

  68. 68
    Countryman100 says:

    Mesut Ozil retires from football at 34

  69. 69
    OsakaMatt says:

    Not sure about Hairy Redkrapp to be honest, I think I want the spuds to go with Timmy the Gooner Sherwood if they’re going to reappoint

  70. 70
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for the team @38 Ned.
    No place for Mesut Ozil in our silicon selectors XI?
    I expect it didn’t understand how he played 😉

    Anyway, I think I will agree with the XI as I am expecting
    thé AIs to be our new overlords any day now and if I agree
    maybe they’ll zap TTG and C100 before me

  71. 71
    Countryman100 says:

    Need something new to drink your morning coffee from?


  72. 72
    Countryman100 says:

    Matt @70. Last time I find you a ticket for a game! 🤣🤣

  73. 73
    scruzgooner says:

    such a nice report, ttg. thank you and for the pic of the legends. i saw other pics and was so glad to see everyone healthy and hale. matt, well played on the pound punt!

    i’m a happy holding fan, glad that capitola rob seems to be raising his game to the necessary level…at least at home against palace. he made a couple raking diagonal passes that were worth the price of his hairdo, even without the band. he has more hair up front now than when i met him back in 2019. go capitola rob!

    i am sort of glad of the interlull, insofar as it will get us set and ready for the run-in. has anyone mentioned we’re 8 points clear at the top of the league with 10 games to go? that’s amazing…COYG!

  74. 74
    scruzgooner says:

    and clive, welcome back. i’ve prodded ttg at times to check in with you (not that he wouldn’t already), and he said you were involved with family issues. i hope your brother progresses out of his benchmarks and back to full tilt as soon as possible. you’re a good man to have worked to get him there. i’ll look forward to the run-in with you back and fit 🙂

    cent, you too. it’s always such a pleasure to write pieces here, knowing even if we don’t see comments people are enjoying them and seeing them as our way of extending holic’s legacy.

    neither of y’all be strangers, you hear?

  75. 75
    bt8 says:

    Re: That coffee mug @71.

    “Everywhere they go” is on the other side of the mug from “Tottenham get battered”

    Who knew?


  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    Zinchenko’s confidence on the ball and consistency in picking out the right pass projects those behaviors on to the other players. Nice to have him, Thomas and Ødegaard ruling the ball, depending on which third of the pitch you wish to discuss.

    Could Zinchenko get the vote as Arsenal’s signing of the season so far?

  77. 77
    Doctor Faustus says:

    A good article on Özil, focusing purely on his football and the contradictions within his game: https://theathletic.com/4335699/2023/03/22/assessing-mesut-ozils-contradictory-career-of-brilliant-highs-and-tactical-lows/?source=user_shared_article .

    The summary especially is pithy: “Ozil was a modern playmaker who suddenly became yesterday’s man. He was a selfless footballer who wasn’t considered a team player. He was a speedy counter-attacker who got caught out by the speed of matches. He was a player whose assists tally was constantly referenced, but who also received the ‘You can’t appreciate him simply by looking at numbers’ treatment. He was the outstanding German talent of his era who got left behind by the emphasis on pressing which stemmed, in part, from German football.”

    His technical skills on the ball, his vision, and his ability to manipulate spaces were wonderful to watch when he was at his best, but at the same time he was a cautionary example of how quickly football can evolve past you if you fail to evolve yourself, no matter how talented you are.

  78. 78
    bt8 says:

    Seldom has there been such excitement upon Arsenal’s signing of a player. Seldom has the entire fan base said good riddance to such vehemence upon the same player’s departure.

  79. 79
    bt8 says:


  80. 80
    bt8 says:

    And cba reminiscent

  81. 81
    bt8 says:


  82. 82
    bt8 says:

    up and on

  83. 83
    bt8 says:

    the drinks above

  84. 84
    bt8 says:

    in the 50s and 60s

  85. 85
    bt8 says:


  86. 86
    bt8 says:

    the returning Cent

  87. 87
    bt8 says:

    not to

  88. 88
    bt8 says:

    leave out

  89. 89
    bt8 says:

    the hugely

  90. 90
    bt8 says:


  91. 91
  92. 92
    bt8 says:

    Would cba

  93. 93
    bt8 says:

    ever have

  94. 94
    bt8 says:


  95. 95
    bt8 says:

    the redesignation

  96. 96
    bt8 says:

    of the number 50

  97. 97
    bt8 says:

    as the new

  98. 98
    bt8 says:

    and appropriate

  99. 99
    bt8 says:

    ton in place of the traditional

  100. 100
  101. 101
    bt8 says:

    quite certain he would

  102. 102
    bt8 says:

    despite saying the opposite

  103. 103
    bt8 says:


  104. 104
    scruzgooner says:

    lol. you’re a caution, bt8.

  105. 105
    bt8 says:

    also might have said one person’s shameless self-assisting

  106. 106
    bt8 says:

    Is another’s

  107. 107
    bt8 says:

    mazy run

  108. 108
    bt8 says:

    heh scruz

  109. 109
    scruzgooner says:

    or you deserve one 🙂

  110. 110
    scruzgooner says:

    well run and one hell of a rabona for the self-assist. it had an irish feel to it.

  111. 111
    Uplympian says:

    Utterly, utterly shameless self assisting bt8………a possible extended ban awaits you (and well in ).

  112. 112
    OsakaMatt says:

    An extended ban a la Mitrovic or away with it scot free a la Bruno?

  113. 113
    OsakaMatt says:

    @77 Dr F, thanks. There’s a series of articles on MA this week in The Athletic, just read the first one about his early days at Barca and then PSG.

  114. 114
    bathgooner says:

    bt8, that was truly a cba-esque contribution last night, though perhaps light on the Youtube links to music of variable quality and diverse nature. While you certainly deserve a yellow card for the onanistic nature of your ton, I think you should receive the inaugural ‘cba memorial “Moo” award’ for that contribution.

  115. 115
    scruzgooner says:

    faustus, thanks for that athletic link above. great article, captures özil’s story well. i loved seeing santi on the field with him, those were good times.

  116. 116
    TTG says:

    There are those in the Goonerverse who are dubious about investing in Declan Rice . If you are watch his performance for England against Italy . He was magnificent .

  117. 117
    bt8 says:

    Re: bath @114.

  118. 118
    bt8 says:

    There’s an excellent article by Jordan Campbell today in The Athletic about Mikel Arteta’s early years as a player in San Sebastian, Barcelona and Paris. I would link to it but there’s a paywall. Great insight about Mikel as a young man from the perspective of fellow players and coaches.

  119. 119
    North Bank Ned says:

    That was quite a slalom to the ton, bt8. The disputed ton committee must be too exhausted trying to keep up to adjudicate.

  120. 120
    Bathgooner says: