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As a failed professor of philology in Basel university once observed, thoughts are shadows of our feelings – darker, emptier and simpler. The paradox that he had to resort to an aphorism – which is but an articulated expression of thought — to convey his feeling about thought’s innate limitations was probably the kind of stressors that pushed him from the edge of harmless eccentricity to an inner world beyond the grasp of ordinariness.

While trying to accurately articulate my sense of elation, joy and a lack of that gnawing anxiety — which is otherwise so distinctive of a football fan’s daily existence – in following Arsenal this season I have often found myself lost for words. There is a genuine sense of celebration in how the team have played through the inevitable highs and lows of a season, have weathered difficult moments in matches, have come back with a sense of purpose and determination after a loss or draw, and even when the opposition had put up a stern test on days when we started slower than usual, they somehow found a spark of inspiration – collective or individual, collective and individual – to stamp their authority by winning the right moments. Watching us play, anticipating the matchday, discussing the performances after each match with fellow Arsenal fans spread around the world … it has been an exhilarating few months, and I don’t take a moment of that for granted. This has been an extraordinary season, and irrespective of how this season ends or how the future seasons unfold with this team under Mikel, I will always remember the sheer pleasure of following Arsenal in 22-23.

The home match against Leeds – after an international break that thankfully didn’t see Arsenal squad pick up any newer injuries, though players like Thomas Partey or Bukayao Saka might have benefitted more from getting rests – started with the away team demonstrating a resilient defense of low blocks which are now de rigeuer of visiting teams at Arsenal, complemented by the frenetic pressing and speed on transitions that were more of a reminder the whirlwind football of the Leeds under Bielsa. Arsenal had started a bit slow and circumspect, and it felt that they were patiently finding their way back to the groove that had the home crowd singing and dancing in the last match before the break.

The starting eleven was mostly as expected but with the surprise of Saka being given a rare break, sharing the bench with his academy friends Emile Smith-Rowe and Reiss Nelson. Eddie Nketiah was still recovering from the ankle injury that have kept him out for a few weeks already. Saliba’s back injury hasn’t healed enough over the last two weeks of rest – the young Frenchman had withdrawn from the France squad to recover – and while along with Tomiyasu’s season-ending surgery this makes us a little light on the defense, Holding has enough experience and quality to deputize, especially with Gabriel – who has been superb all season, in tandem with Saliba at the heart of the defense but also covering a large area on his left allowing Zinchenko to reinterpret the left-back role in a variety of novel ways – on his left and Benjamin “Benny Blanco” White as a right back playing some of the best football a right back can play.


White – Holding – Gabriel – Zinchenko

Partey – Xhaka

Trossard – Ødegaard – Martinelli


Gabriel Jesus, starting for the first time since his unfortunate injury in the winter World Cup, was greeted warmly by the supporters. Whether he scores goals or not, by now Arsenal faithful have realized that he always brings a rare combination of work ethics, professionalism, and technical quality that gives the team a cutting edge even when things aren’t otherwise going well. In his absence we have coped admirably well – Eddie Nketiah performed well beyond expectations and Leonardo Trossard has been a revelation since joining us in January from Brighton – and his return should make us even more unpredictable and dynamic in the attacking third.

Leeds had enjoyed the better attacking moments in the opening 15 minutes of the match, young Summerville particularly impressing with his pacy runs and ability to spin behind the defense with one touch passing. Ramsdale needed to make a save or two, and on the other end Martinelli had an effort blocked in the penalty box.

As the game progressed Arsenal started to dominate possession, control the spaces, and recognizing the danger the speedy front four Leeds possess in transition Arsenal players overloaded the midfield with captain Ødegaard dropping deeper and connecting the players, keeping control of the tempo and looking for rapid switches to find the front players in space. Jesus and Martinelli started to exchange positions and passes, and Trossard taking up various pockets of space to dynamically accommodate the two Brazilians to play their brand of more direct football.

The first Arsenal goal came from such a combination. Jesus attacked the defense on our left side with ball on his feet and as he twisted past Ayling – former Gunner and a member of the 08-09 double winning academy team – the Leeds defender caught the Brazillian’s knee with the studs of his outstretched legs. As clear a penalty as they come — even VAR couldn’t possibly have overturned that decision. Ødegaard held on to the ball and gave the impression that he would take on the penalty duties in absence of Saka. But he was simply protecting it for the Brazilian center forward who stepped up to slot it coolly down the middle after sending Meslier to his right. His first goal for Arsenal since October, and the entire squad – playing eleven as well as the bench – came together to congratulate him. Afterwards at the end of the match Arteta elaborated how much his teammates love and admire Jesus for his humility, desire, hard work and how much of an inspirational figure he has become.

Arsenal 1 (Jesus 35’) – Leeds 0

The goal brought in a measure of sharpness and speed in our play that have been missing until then. And quickly after the second half started our quality and unpredictability in the attacking third helped us extend the lead. After a buildup involving Zinchenko and Xhaka, Martinelli manufactured a sliver of space for himself on the left side of the Leeds penalty box and sent in a perfect fizzing cross past the entirety of the Leeds defense for Benjamin White to ghost in and finish clinically – like the striker he could have been if he wanted to, one assumes – through the underside of the bar. It was the second goal of the season for our right back, and I come from a school of thought (feelings?) that insists that the best teams in the world always have fullbacks contributing with crucial goals.

Arsenal 2 (Jesus 35’, White 47’) – Leeds 0

After that goal Arsenal fully asserted their dominance and started to play with the signature verve and creativity that this team has formed a good habit of playing with. The third goal was an exquisite piece of art. Jesus, positioned on the right wing, fizzed in a delightful pass to Trossard who had taken up a central position at the edge of the penalty box. The Belgian cushioned the ball forward and moved away in a slanted run towards the far post while Jesus came into his vacated spot. Trossard delivered a cutting ground pass that the Brazilian then homed in with a classic striker’s finish from the outside of his boot. A fantastic return for Jesus, and let us hope he just carries on from here.

Arsenal 3 (Jesus 35’, White 47, Jesus 55’) – Leeds 0

Mikel made a couple of protective substitutions after that around the one-hour mark – brining in Jorginho for Partey and Saka for Jesus. Trossard moved back to his nine-and-half role and Saka took his customary right- wing position.

However, just a degree of complacency might have crept in our game at this time and the defense was slow to react to a rapid Leeds move down the middle. Kristensen’s shot deflected off Zinchenko to fly past the wrong-footed Ramsdale into our goal. Even though the original shot was goal bound, if not for the deflection one suspects Aaron would have saved it. He was not happy about losing the clean sheet once again and he had every right to let his displeasure be known to the team.

Arsenal 3 (Jesus 35’, White 47, Jesus 55’) – Leeds 1 (Kristensen 76’)

If Leeds had seen a slim ray of hope in that goal – and wanted to test Arsenal’s nerves in the dying stages by somehow scoring one more goal – it was quickly extinguished by our fourth goal that was simple, beautiful and beautifully simple. Ødegaard found himself with a bit of extra time with the ball on his left foot. He looked up to see Granit Xhaka making a late run straight down the middle of the two Leeds central defenders who looked puzzled by Granit’s excitedly waving raised hand; by the time the realization dawned on them of what was going to happen, it had already happened – Martin put in a cross that given that much time and space he can probably deliver with his eyes closed, Xhaka finished into the top corner with a flawlessly executed header. It was reminiscent of Aaron Ramsey goals, and white Xhaka is never going to be the kind of goalscoring midfielder Rambo was, he has shown enough times in this season that – as Mikel often mentions that if you believe you can score goals and get into the right positions you do score goals – he now has a few new effective tools in his box to continue to surprise us with the kind of contributions that no one has ever expected of him. Before Mikel, that is.

Arsenal 4 (Jesus 35’, White 47, Jesus 55’, Xhaka 84’) – Leeds 1 (Kristensen 76’)

Arteta brought in Tierney, ESR and Vieira for Zinchenko, Ødegaard and Xhaka. The team saw out the rest of the match professionally.

As this recapitulation of another enjoyable matchday outing was started with some words from the mad Saxon in Torino, let us finish this with one of his favorite phrases: amor fati. To be honest, it is rather easy for the Arsenal supporting soul to love their fate when goings are this good. In the weeks to come we might be offered a much sterner test. But whatever may happen, let us continue to love the fate of being an Arsenal fan, especially as we look around and see the rest of the clubs.

Victoria Concordia Crescit!

90 Drinks to “Thoughts and Feelings”

  1. 1
    TTG says:

    Thankyou for your usual considered and beautifully crafted report which touches on much more than the football. I missed the game live and have only seen it on Match of the O Day, which is no way to appreciate what actually happened .
    I began the week with Covid and ended it having appreciated another fine win ( we are scoring a lot of goals at home ) and two excellent performances by an injury hit ladies team.
    From the chunk I saw yesterday I thought we overcame the Leeds press and really turned it on in the second half. Results are everything but so much of our success comes because we know how to organise the team and we have a tremendous collegiate spirit. So many other clubs are a mess .
    Big props for Jesus, Martinelli and White especially . We probably are already in the Champions League with a quarter of theseason to go. Remarkable stuff

  2. 2
    North Bank Ned says:

    When a football match report starts with Nietzsche, it can only mean one thing: Dr F on GHF. And what was not to like? As TTG says, your usual considered and beautifully crafted report. Bravo.

  3. 3
    Goonersince54 says:

    Another very impressive post match summary DR F.
    A comprehensive win over our old sparring partners from the dark old days of the 60’s and 70’s when the ball was a sidebar to the physical assaults on our players.
    I was musing just yesterday about the run in of our 70/71 season which will be well remembered by the older brigade of the bar, TTG/Uply/Countryman/Trev et al, and I wondered what would have resulted if VAR was in use back then.
    They would have had no trouble ruling out the WBA offside goal at Elland Road, which upset the applecart for the then league leaders, but what would they have made of the very dubious Jack Charlton goal that cost us a point , and at the time as supporters, we thought had cost us our chance to win the Title.
    It would be intriguing to know.
    I can’t finish without a big shout out to the injury riddled Arsenal Ladies team, who after a highly emotional and physical CL win over Bayern Munich midweek, had to back up on Sunday in a big 6 pointer league game against an in form well rested Man City team.
    Down 1 nil at half time and losing yet another player to injury in the first half, we looked tired and well off the pace, but after a few tactical changes at half time and through sheer grit and determination we fought our way back into the game, got a deserved equalizer on the hour from Frida Maanum and then took the lead in the 75th minute through an absolute belter from the left foot of Katie McCabe which ultimately won us the game 2 – 1, and completed a massive week for the team.
    If anybody can post the goal in the bar, it really is a thing of beauty to watch, and one that young Mr Saka would be proud of.
    That win keeps us in the top 3 which is vital if we are going to be in the CL next season.
    We still have to play the top 2 Man Utd and Chelsea away, so our Title hopes are still much as with the Men’s team, in our own hands.

  4. 4
    bt8 says:

    “A fantastic return for Jesus, and let us hope he just carries on from here.”

    Didn’t see the religious angle coming. 🤣

    Great report Dr F. 👍🏼

  5. 5
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@3: if there had been VAR back then, criminal charges might well have been the outcome. That Leeds team were assassins off the ball.

  6. 6
    Las says:

    Bravo Dr. F! If Nietzsche and Jesus in the house what could possibly go wrong? 🙂 . It was a slowburner game, a potential banana skin but the from the penalty we were irresistable. The three second half goals were beautiful results of great vision and quick passing.
    And thumbs up for the Ladies back in title race.

  7. 7
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, Dr. F. And I’ve come round to accept that ‘rigueur’ must be the hardest word to spell in English (probably because it’s not English to be fair…)…
    A great match in the end, and another great day out.
    Now for nearly a month and a half of not going to a match (and again completely missing the Man City match, but hopefully with a better result than in the reverse fixture).

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    Another great piece Dr F. Truly you grace this blog. After a lovely afternoon at the Emirates I took the opportunity to rewatch the game on Sky’s game of the day. Here’s a few things I noticed.

    Our pressing was off the scale. Every time we lost the ball we swarmed the ball to try and win it back. The only teams I can compare it too that I saw live were Klopp’s Dortmund and Pep’s Barcelona.

    Leeds were good in the first half hour. Ramsdale kept us at 0-0 by three fine saves. He keeps doing this. I was very impressed with Leeds’s diminutive 10, Summerville.

    I love Leo Trossard. But of the three positions he plays for us, the one I like least is right wing. For most of the first half he was struggling to link up with Benny. Meanwhile Jesus was largely drifting out to the left. At half time, for the 15 minutes before Jesus was subbed, he largely broke right, freeing Trossard to go to centre forward. He is very good there with back to goal. Jesus’s second goal was totally due to Trossard being in the 9 position and the way he rolled his man and drove into the box. With Saka coming on, Leo stayed in the centre for the rest of the game and was just brilliant and tireless.

    Although I agree with Leo being MOTM, Martinelli has reached a new level since the World Cup. He was terrific Saturday and the way he worked back in defence was exemplary. I’m really looking forward to him taking on Trent Alexander Arnold next week.

    We are far less predictable with Jesus up top. I love watching him play.

    My favourite goal was the Xhaka goal, both for the peach of a pass from Odegaard and the great finish. Dr F refers above to Mo finding himself in space. It was only when I saw the tv replay that I saw why. The ball was moved out to Saka wide on the right. He jinked and turned, attracting three Leeds players to him. He drew them in, then passed to MO, who now had space and time to use that wand of a left foot to play a perfect 25 yard pass to Granit. Sometimes we say Saka is being quiet if he isn’t beating men. He is now being double, or even triple teamed, which leaves space for others.

    On to Anfield, before two more very winnable games against West Ham and Southampton before City. One game at a time. Get well soon Big Willy.

    I am loving this season. Say we are top of the league!

  9. 9
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, C100, excellent points there!

  10. 10
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Dr F, a fine report although I hope our season will end better than poor Friedrich.
    Glad to see Jesus converting again, and Xhaka continuing his spree.

  11. 11
    Countryman100 says:

    Clive @3. Great memories and recall of that 70/71 season. We had great fun chatting with Bob Wilson and Pat Rice about that run in two years ago (see tab above). I’m not letting myself believe just yet. The mantra continues to be “one game at a time!”

  12. 12
    Trev says:

    Dr F – when a football report begins with Nietzsche, I say “bless you!” Fine work, as complex as Artetactics.

    The older brigade, Clive ? I resemble that remark !

    Good stuff from Countryman too. I said in one of the preseason pieces that I thought, and hoped, Martinelli could prove as influential for us this season as Gabriel Jesus. He seems to be fulfilling that potential brilliantly. Different to Jesus, although just as hard working, he is clearly a lot more robust these days and has added goals and end product to his repertoire, while Jesus remains a level higher of inspiration to the entire squad.

    Liverpool next weekend is indeed huge but their older, experienced players seem to have run out of legs in the way Klopp’s Dortmund did the year after they won the title, while their own batch of youngsters are not yet at the level of ours.

    Everything crossed. Nine to go ……

  13. 13
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@: A good point about Trossard on the right. He seems to play there as if he is holding MA’s instruction manual in one hand, whereas in the middle or on the left he just flows.

  14. 14
    BtM says:

    Amor fati requires care with use. Once, with amorous intentions, I tried it out on Her Nellieness. A bang on the ear, “How dare you call me fatty” and an absence of anything else resulted.

    Entertaining report, Dr F, on an excellent performance.

  15. 15
    Ollie says:

    Is Amor Fati the twin of Ansu Fati?

  16. 16
    OsakaMatt says:

    Just read it’s the Youth Cup semi final for Super Jack’s U18s against Shitteh tomorrow – best of luck to Jack and the boys!

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    Today is MA’s 1200th day as our manager, a tenure sufficient to make him the Premiership’s fourth longest-serving manager after Klopp, Pep and Thomas Frank.

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    The bookies have Rodgers as the favourite to be Conte’s successor. A perfect marriage of Spurzyness.

  19. 19
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks Dr F. I never expected to read of Nietsche in an Arsenal blog but then Goonerholics Forever breaks all records! I suppose, if someone said he was going to feature I might have expected Nietsche to have been compared with Özil for his brilliant early career but sudden catastrophic decline though the reason in each case is clearly markedly different. I bought Also Sprach Zarathustra many years ago but strangely never got round to reading it. I Kant say I’m into philosophy or philosophers after Plato who to my mind, cracked it, as Greeks tend to do after a fine meal.

    I am into this Arsenal team though. What a superb second half with three exquisite goals. Now for the Dippers! I very much hope we beat them.

  20. 20
    OsakaMatt says:

    @18 I read that and laughed too Ned. I thought they’d reached the bottom with Maureen but their spurzyness knows no bounds. However, according to The Athletic’s comments section the spud support are more concerned about whether to sell the mouth breather to the Guilford Gullibles for 100m this summer. Manure would have to be shoveling more opium than a failed philologist to fork that over. Their incompetence is good for my health 😂😂

  21. 21
    scruzgooner says:

    dr. faustus, wonderful review. i had to look it up that it was nietzsche (i had my suspicions), and of course it would be with you writing the review 🙂

    i thought our first half was poor, for us, and we got lucky with the penalty against the run of play (not that it wasn’t a penalty, but that it happened right then). and then, after the halftime oranges we came out and played with what peter drury calls “gorgeous arrogance” for about twenty minutes. after the second goal we sort of drifted, allowing leeds to score off zinchenko, but immediately the rockets were up us and we were wielding the blunt end of the stick until xhaka’s goal.

    c100, re xhaka’s goal, i looked at that run by saka up the right and he drew firpo, roca, and i think rodrigo directly to him, and forced struijk and mckennie to pull over to that side, closer to goal to block off saka’s passing lanes. his ball between roca and rodrigo was sweet, and mckennie had to push hard to get to mø. he was still 5 feet away when mø hit the pass, having had acres of time to pick out xhaka’s raised arm…mckennie was 20 feet away when mø saw xhaka raised it. the entirety of leeds’ outfield players were between the touchline on the right and the base of the d on the left, squeezed into an area along the length of the pitch less than 18 yards deep. whatever we are doing, however we do it, that goal will remain a fine example of artetaball and the awareness and alacrity with which our players are playing right now. marvelous stuff.

    clive@3, here you go. it should start about 3:20 in. definitely a belter.

    9 more.

  22. 22
    scruzgooner says:

    funny thing, baff@19, nietzsche has been a 10 before: https://youtu.be/LfduUFF_i1A?t=1

  23. 23
    Bathgooner says:

    Brilliant, scruz @22!

  24. 24
    North Bank Ned says:

    scruz@22: a perennial classic.

    &@21: that is the genius of Saka. Occupies three opponents directly, pulls two more out of position — that is half their outfield players in total, btw — and still gets a telling pass away.

  25. 25
    Goonersince54 says:

    Scruz @21
    Thnks for posting clip of Katie’s winner against City.
    I’ve watched it several times, and it is a thing of beauty.
    She clearly has been watching Saka in action, the way she cuts inside from the wing and arrows it into the top corner.
    9 more for the Men, 6 more for the Ladies.
    Never a truer word.
    I’m sure the oldies will well remember the night at Highbury, that Billy Bremner kept baiting and niggling Eddie Kelly with sly fouls off the ball until Eddie lost the plot, retaliated and got sent off.
    From memory, a Lorimer free kick special did for us that night.
    Apologies if I assumed you were older than you actually are.
    Great reminiscing from Bob and Pat.
    Are you going to Anfield on Sunday. ??
    Been a graveyard for us, with the odd exception, since our Title win there.
    I do feel the Football Gods have been punishing us ever since for having the temerity to win a game, that probably not even the players or supporters thought was possible.

  26. 26
    Countryman100 says:

    Sadly not Clive. Sold out at 30 credits I’m on 28. Will be watching from my sofa with an Easter Sunday roast lamb dinner to follow. It will taste all the better if we turn them over.

  27. 27
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Thanks Doc,
    With only 9 to go I suspect that points will be dropped along the way to potential glory but I think it imperative for maintaining confidence that no losses are recorded before the game with Citeh.

  28. 28
    Trev says:

    Clive, read #12 carefully- it sadly says resemble, not resent !

    Scruz @22 – excellent !

    I actually used to study philosophy – at the same time I was taking horse riding lessons.
    It was very important to always have the riding lesson first as you must never put Descartes before the horse.

  29. 29
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@28: 🙂

  30. 30
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind words.

    Bath — Nietzsche is probably less of a philosopher in the classical “Platonic” mode, but more of a unique combination of psychologist/historian/anthropologist. A perennial questioner, even of questioning, and a peerless dismantler of all certainties. The contingency and mutability of reality — of self and nature — and our powerful capacities of deluding ourselves away from that contingency into certainties are some of his key preoccupations, and in that sense he is closer to Shakespeare or Montaigne (or maybe Lucretius in ancient times), full of wit, insight and playfulness. … Zarathustra is kind of clunky, I prefer the more aphoristic “Ecce Homo” or “Beyond Good and Evil.”

    Countryman & others — fully agree with Saka’s role in creating space for Ødegaard for that fourth goal. Saka’s humility and hunger are matched by his intelligence, and I hope to see him play for us and driving us to excellence for a very very long time.

  31. 31
    TTG says:

    Dr.F’s classy and erudite report has teased out some excellent drinks and it’s lovely to see Clive back in the bar on a regular basis .
    I was going to the Youth Cup tie tonight but sadly a friend’s funeral this afternoon took priority especially with a 7pm kick off meaning I would have had to leave home in the rush hour . Citeh are on a very hot run but if we beat them following on from the ladies’ victory it will augur well for the big one .
    Paul Tierney is reffing on Sunday ( Klopp has form with him after he told him that he had no confidence after he failed to send off Harry Kane for GBH at the Toilet Bowl ). Early sighs are that Saliba will not play . That means Capitola Rob will play .
    Re the comments from Saturday I found C100’s comments very interesting. Trossard adds to a heady mix of attacking quality but won’t start on Sunday . But he is a brilliant sub Even Garry Neville thinks we will win the league if we win on Sunday !

  32. 32
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Arsenal FB account has posted the video of the Katie McCabe goal next to the famous Reyes goal against Chelsea with a caption “Knew we had seen Katie’s strike somewhere else.”
    That made he happy, proud and sad all at the same time.

  33. 33
    Doctor Faustus says:

    @32: … “that made me…” of course .

  34. 34
    TTG says:

    Dr F
    I was behind the goal for that Reyes strike . A spellbinding moment. I understand your comment perfectly

  35. 35
    Goonersince54 says:

    good to be back
    and you missed a cracker of a semi final, with the young guns scoring the winner in the last minute of extra time to make it to the final.
    The Club is really enjoying a great season across all levels.

  36. 36
    Goonersince54 says:

    I am still, despite advice from nearest and dearest, operating under the stubborn perception that I don’t need reading glasses. !!
    I’ve just watched the winning goal scored by Lewis – Skelly in Youth Cup semi, excellent header, cue absolute mayhem, and great celebration both on the pitch and in the stands.
    We await the winner of the other semi being played on Friday between the Hammers and Southampton.

  37. 37
    TTG says:

    I watched it on the website and as you say it had a great ending. We’ve beaten City teams on good runs twice recently! How about a third by winning at the Emptihad !
    There are several potential first teamers there – ACD , Lewis- Skelly , Rosiak and Sousa and Reuell Walters . Nwaneri did not convince but the boys couldn’t handle extra time .
    History tells us that Youth Cup wins leasvto other senior trophies . Remember we won the Youth Cup the year we first did the Double !

  38. 38
    Goonersince54 says:

    To be fair to City, they did play 113 minutes with only 10 men, having a player sent off very early for apparently a tripping incident.
    I missed it, but if you saw it, was it a fair call. ??
    Interesting that Jack won it as a teenager back in 2009, and has now coached them to the Final.
    Hammers should beat Saints in other semi, as they have been very impressive this season.
    Will be a tough Final if we have to play them.

  39. 39
    OsakaMatt says:

    The sending off was a bit harsh but fair based on the rules. A fair way out but he did trip a player going through for a one on one with the keeper. We scored from the free kick to rub it in for City.
    I did notice a couple of our players celebrating the sending off a touch unsportingly I thought…
    Anyway, congrats to our young lads and Jack and a link below for the highlights.

  40. 40
    Goonersince54 says:

    Many thnks for the insight, and highlights.
    Man City website much quicker than ours with updates and highlights.
    I must say I thought the send off was extremely harsh, looked to me like a coming together rather than a foul.
    Looked like a very healthy crowd at the Ems.
    I wonder where the final is being played. ??

  41. 41
    scruzgooner says:

    if i read it right, clive, it’s at the emirates…

  42. 42
    Esso says:

    Cheers Doc!

  43. 43
  44. 44
    TTG says:

    The final is being played at our place and a few Holics are considering attendance . Last night we were speculating that it would be around 25 April

  45. 45
    TTG says:

    I thought the red card was incredibly harsh but that’s modern football.
    I didn’t like the Arsenal boys celebrating but one can understand their excitement. Tgat again is modern football

  46. 46
    Ollie says:

    *starts move from the back*

  47. 47
    Countryman100 says:

    Picks it up in the centre circle and puts some width on it to the right.

  48. 48
    Ollie says:

    *runs up the right wing, receives pass and switches play all the way to the left*

    Note: we’ll have to play a lot faster at Anfield…

  49. 49
    bt8 says:

    Nips in Tierney-like at the byline with a perfectly calibrated inswinging cross that couldn’t possibly be missed for the head of the streaking ‘holic known by all as …

  50. 50
    Benny Blanco says:

    BOOM. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. 51
    bt8 says:

    One interesting piece of data on Trossard from The Guardian: (Arsenal’s) “goals-per-game record improves from 2.14 to 3.29 when Trossard starts.” The entire article is here: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2023/apr/05/january-signings-leandro-trossard-arsenal-goals-assists-title-chase

  52. 52
    Ollie says:

    Well in ‘BB’! Perfect assist, bt8!

  53. 53
    North Bank Ned says:

    The next manager to be sacked by a club in one of the top five European leagues will be the 50th this season.

  54. 54
    Ollie says:

    Madness, Ned. Smart money on Cooper?

  55. 55
    North Bank Ned says:

    Ollie@54: Indeed. Cooper has just had the dreaded vote of confidence from his owner, and the shape-up or ship-out message was pretty thinly veiled. Moyes at West Ham might be another on thinning ice, although I suspect he will last until the season’s end, possibly to be replaced by Potter in the summer if they stay up. The Spammers would be the right scale of club for Potter at this point. I can’t see many other alternatives in the Premiership (Palace possibly) so he might go abroad again. He’d fit in the Bundesliga.

  56. 56
    Trev says:

    Chelsea are reportedly seriously considering Frank Lampard as caretaker manager. He wasn’t seemingly in their plans until he was spotted at last night’s match. You really couldn’t make it up. Chelsea without somebody’s billions would still be the no-mark outfit they always were.
    However, please, please, please let this be true 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  57. 57
  58. 58
    bt8 says:

    Howard Webb is to be commmended for taking action to clear out the dead wood.

  59. 59
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@56: I think Chelsea has slipped through a time warp to an alternate universe where nothing makes sense. How else could Frank end up back there?

    Yet perhaps Lampard and Roy Hodgson are a new wave of specialist managers, caretakers who come in for the final eight or nine games of the season as any potential manager good enough to take on the job full-time will wait for the summer to see if there is anything better on offer.

  60. 60
    Sancho Panza says:

    Ned, any ammunition to ridicule Chelsea with is fine by me.
    Hodgson’s 10 game specialism at Watford didn’t add much and I’m sure Lampard’s injection of blandness will see them finish lower than expected.

  61. 61
    Ollie says:

    Yeah, the mind boggles at the re-appointment of Lampard, even on a temporary basis.

  62. 62
    Ollie says:

    But it’s not happened yet, saw a headline somewhere saying Conte is suddenly in the frame.
    It is a ridiculous club indeed.

  63. 63
    Las says:

    Here is an excellent article about one of our better visits to Anfield from the Double winning season.

  64. 64
    OsakaMatt says:

    I must admit I would have fired Moyes by now if I owned Wham.
    Though not Cooper I think. Lamps to Chavski and Rogers to the Spuds
    – that would be like getting Xmas presents at Easter. Weird but still

  65. 65
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for the link @57 C100. As bt8 said Webb is doing ok, better than I was expecting anyway and more power to his elbow.

  66. 66
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@64: Would that be the same Moyes who was once touted as the outstanding British coach of his generation and the perfect successor to Arsene Wenger?

    SP @60: 👍

  67. 67
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, that would be him Ned. I am happy to say he was never touted by me.
    Though the way he has kept his job at West Ham has made me think he might
    be a football genius after all.

  68. 68
    OsakaMatt says:

    Lampard confirmed as caretaker manager. Hahahahahahhahahaha, I wonder how many more stupid things Todd can do or say this season.

  69. 69
    OsakaMatt says:

    Anyway, on a more positive note, we are rumored to be offering Reiss Nelson a new contract. It’s fine with me, but I wonder if it is really best for him.

  70. 70
    Ollie says:

    Brighton match now officially on May 14th 4.30pm.

  71. 71
    Countryman100 says:

    My birthday!

  72. 72
    North Bank Ned says:

    And the anniversary of the patenting of condensed milk!

  73. 73
    Countryman100 says:

    We play West Ham in the final of the Youth Cup, at the Emirates. Date to be annnounced shortly.

  74. 74
    bt8 says:

    Happy Birthday c100, not to overlook condensed milk of course. 😆

  75. 75
    Goonersince54 says:

    I can heartily recommend Las’s link to Guardian article @63
    It is a compelling long fabulous read, { tea and biscuits a necessity } of a wonderfully mad season in Arsenal history.
    Having read the article in the Guardian, I had popped in to see if someone could post it in the bar, but Lars had already done so.
    It brought back some wonderful memories, and lots of things I had forgotten.
    I defy any member of the bar who finds the time to read it, not to become emotional by it’s end.

  76. 76
    OsakaMatt says:

    Las’ article is a long read as Clive suggests, made even longer because I found myself stopping and remembering so many events and people as I read it through.
    With 20 years or so to reflect I found that I saw some things in a different light too, an additional pleasure thrown in!

  77. 77
    OsakaMatt says:

    This is a shorter read and absolutely nothing to do with football…..

    I know we don’t usually post non-footy but it was just interesting to me and seems non-political so I though I’d share….

  78. 78
    North Bank Ned says:

    Lars@63 and Clive@75: Agreed. An excellent read, and as OM says @76, hindsight brings some fresh insight.

  79. 79
    Trev says:

    Neely installed as the caretaker, Lampard is now “advertising “ himself for the permanent position, saying HE will see how it goes until the summer.
    Either he knows something we don’t; his imagination is running riot, or Chelsea is an even more bonkers club than recent actions would suggest.
    Regardless, we should all hope it comes to pass. His CV to date is perfect to take them right back where they belong ….

    Clive, thanks for endorsing the recommendation, I’m off to have a long read, complete with tea and biscuits 👍🏻

  80. 80
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@77: I asked ChatGPT about potential new managers at the Bus Stop. Its answer included the following, Chelsea Football Club is one of the top clubs in European football . Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done on the accuracy of its information.

  81. 81
    Trev says:

    Happy Birthday, Countryman !

    Ned @72 – I don’t know about condensed milk except it comes in tiny little bottles 😉

    I bought a tin of evaporated milk the other day and when I opened it there was nothing there ! No apologies – the old ones etc etc 😉

  82. 82
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@79: Why wouldn’t he? I suspect the pool of potential rival candidates is smaller than Boehly would like. The two managers most suited for building a ‘project’ (now the ubiquitous but horrible jargon for a manager that can last more than two-thirds of a season) are Julian Nagelsmann and Louis Enrique. The strikes against them are, for Nagelsmann, his age (35) and lack of experience outside Germany, and for Louis Enrique, his Tuchel-like temperament and, possibly, that he has been out of club football for a while. The other names in the frame are mostly retreads (Conte, Mourinho, Ancelotti) and unemployed Premiership managers (Rodgers, Gerrard, Beilsa, Marsch). Boehly could go for an up-and-comer like Oliver Glasner at Eintracht Frankfurt, but he went down that route with Potter, so is unlikely to do so a second time. He will want a name. The strikes against Chelsea for Nagelsmann and Louis Enrique are that the Real Madrid and PSG jobs will likely be available in the summer, both more appealing than the Bus Stop. My two cents is that Diego Simeone would be an ideal manager for them, but I have him pencilled in to replace Klopp. Klopp to Chelsea in the summer? Not beyond the bounds of reality and a better option than Lamps, in my book. Hey, you’d be a better option than Lamps…

  83. 83
    Trev says:

    Oh, maybe your birthday is not til 14th May 🙄

  84. 84
    Trev says:


  85. 85
    Countryman100 says:

    Yup birthday is May 14 Trev. But many thanks anyway. It’s a memorable day as I will be 66 and start drawing my old age pension!

  86. 86
    TTG says:

    A plan comes together
    We meet to celebrate C100’s birthday on May 14 and he can pay for lunch with his old age pension. It is meant to be .

  87. 87
    Goonersince54 says:

    66 Countryman ??
    Still in short trousers then.

  88. 88
    OsakaMatt says:

    Is 66 the retirement age in the UK these days?
    I noticed in the news our French cousins were revolting
    at the increase to 64.

    @80 😃 Ned, yes, the old garbage in, garbage out problem

  89. 89
    ClockEndRider says:

    That’s right, Matt. Although for spring chickens such as me, the state pension age will be 67. There’s no justice…….

  90. 90
    Bathgooner says: