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‘Tain’t Just the Taint

Seeing as this first game after the international break could set a trend for the matches that follow, Arsenal’s visit to Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s late game is an excellent time for the Gunners to keep the bit between their teeth, and turn things up a notch or two.  The game offers them the prize of resuming the momentum they built up prior to the two week interruption in successive clean sheet league wins against Brentford, Bournemouth and Manchester City.

The opposition

Arsenal have many scores to settle against this opponent, as no one will have forgotten.  Going back as far as December 2020, the Gunners have won five of the last six Premier League derbies between the clubs, but before that date had managed only six wins and ten draws from the 32 league matches between the clubs after Roman Abramovich, the club’s Russian oligarch owner, first hired Jose Mourinho as manager.  Arsenal finished higher than Chelsea in the league table only three times in the 18 seasons since the Invincible Gunners won the league in 2004, one year after Abramovich infused his money into the previously underachieving West London club. 

In May 2022, after Abramovich was disqualified as club director for his ties to the regime that shocked the world by invading Ukraine, Chelsea was sold to Todd Boehly’s consortium backed by Clearlake Capital.  It remains to be seen whether Chelsea’s new money is as tainted as that of Abramovich, but there seems to be no less of it.  In the 2022 summer window Chelsea spent more than any club in Premier League history, dishing out over £250 million on players like Sterling, Cucurella, and Aubameyang.  Early last season Boehly sacked coach Thomas Tuchel who objected to certain of those transfers, and Boehly appointed Graham Potter in his place.  

By spending over £300 million in January, including £107 million for British record signing Enzo Fernandez and another £89 million for Mikhailo Mudryk, who was heavily rumored to be Arsenal-bound at the time, Chelsea established a new level of transfer madness.  Potter, who was unable to sort this plethora of riches in the requisite jiffy, was sacked with Chelsea 11th in the table, and replaced by interim manager Frank Lampard as the club limped to a record-low 38 goals scored and their first bottom half finish since 1996.  Ex-Sp*rs and PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino was then hired in the summer to see what he could do amidst all that chaos.

Remarkably for a club that spent such sums on transfers in the last two years, after six games Chelsea were 15th in the table with only five points.  But based on three good results prior to the break, things could be on the upswing at Stamford Bridge.  Chelsea defeated Fulham away as Mudryk scored his first goal for the club; the next week Chelsea won at Burnley at a canter; and those two league wins followed a home League Cup victory over Brighton.  Chelsea’s current state of development is difficult to assess, but with so many talented players, Pochettino should be capable of getting results if given sufficient autonomy.  Eight games into the season it still seems that their many new players, and the team as a whole, are something of an unknown quantity.  The Blues now sit 11th in the table, level on points with West London neighbors Fulham.

Arsenal XI

Ex-Blues Jorginho and Havertz, the latter a Chelsea player this very calendar year, will hope for a chance to impress in their old haunts.  The Gunners play Champions League football in midweek when they travel to face Sevilla, so Mikel Arteta may have more substitution issues to consider than his counterpart in this match, as Chelsea will have a whole week to recover before they host Brentford.

William Saliba hurt his toe near the end of our victory over Man City and was ruled out of the internationals.  Arsenal’s other main injury worry is Bukayo Saka, who missed the City game due to the hamstring injury he picked up at Lens, but I am pencilling both players into the team and leaving it to Arteta to name replacements if those two are unavailable.  Unfortunately, I see that Leandro Trossard has also been carrying a knock so Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson will need to be ready.

Seeing as Trev was correct to point out in his Man City match report that we have an awful lot of Gabi’s from Brazil, let’s see if you can spot all of them in my predicted starting XI:


White  Saliba  G.  Zinchenko


Ødegaard  Havertz

Saka  G. Jesús  G. Martinelli

(Oleksandr has not changed his name to Gabriel, he’s nominally just lining up next to Big Gabi on the left side of our defensive line.)

The ‘holic pound

Short and sweet, I’ll predict two snorts and a clean sheet: Ødegaard and Gabriel Jesús to score in a 2-0 to the good guys.  Chelsea may be improving, and have only let in four goals in eight league games, but Arsenal should have enough to hold them off.

Thank Dennis that interminable interlull has at last ended, and the boys in red and white, or, on this occasion, fluorescent yellow with black wavy lines and black (!), will be on the loose again.  Wherever you are watching the game, ‘holics, make it a good one. 

70 Drinks to “‘Tain’t Just the Taint”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    Nice preview, bt8 and thank heavens for th3 return of proper football. Agree with your team selection with the possible exception of Havertz and fully expect us to administer something of a punishment beating tomorrow night.

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    Great preview Bt8 . I think Saliba was injured before Citeh and missed the Brentford game to rest it . This suggests it’s an injury that is being managed and hopefully the break has given him some opportunity to heal. I do hope he is fit and I expect him and Bukayo to figure in the starting XI . I think we may start Partey or Jorginho instead of Havertz .
    This will be a tough game. The Chavs will see this as a bit of a free hit ( how things have changed ) . If we win it’s four in a row at the Bus Stop . I think the most likely result is a draw but we are cooking on gas if we win !

  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    Thanks TTG for the timing correction on Saliba’s toe injury. The interlull has obviously had an a deleterious effect on my short (medium?) term memory.

  4. 4
    Countryman100 says:

    A fine preview Bt8. Chelsea have been a pain in the proverbial ever since Abramovich turned up, parked his tanks on our lawn and started firing £50 notes (in the words of David Dein). My son and I have tickets for the game – let’s hope for a fine outcome as we venture to Fulham Broadway.

  5. 5
    bt8 says:

    The blue shirted Jorginho and Havertz in the picture above don’t look too chuffed about Saliba’s goal, if you didn’t look too closely. We could use a big performance from Big Willy, whose name when translated into Brazilian (or Portuguese) Portuguese is Gabriel, by the way.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Sorry to lead you astray @5. William in Portuguese is Guilherme not Gabriel

    It does begin with the same letter 😗

  7. 7
    Bathgooner says:

    A superb preview bt8. I expect your team to start for the reason you identify – MA8 has had little time to prepare his key players for this match and will rely on those who have already memorised the script. However, if BS7 isn’t fit enough to start, I differ on the solution that I expect MA8 to adopt. I expect that Jesús would be moved to the right where he proved a highly effective substitute for BS7 against the UAE Sportswashers with Nketiah starting in the centre.

    I would be delighted with your predicted 2-0 to the Arsenal scoreline but like both yourself and TTG, I expect the Chavs to have improved from the disorganised rabble who started the season though their recent win against Fulham was based on two minutes of defensive doziness by the latter and the Cottagers’ lack of a decent finisher. I expect a harder fight than last season’s visit to the bus stop in Fulham but I do hope that C100 and son are skipping merrily in tandem along Fulham Broadway after the game.


  8. 8
    ClockEndRider says:

    21CG and I will be watching the game from a hostelry in N5 tomorrow night. One step down from being at the Bus Stop. Although the crowd will be much nicer.

  9. 9
    North Bank Ned says:

    A rollicking review to rev us up for football’s return, bt8.

    I’d happily take your 2-0. Those expecting a draw may have peeped at the record books. The man from Murphy has managed 15 games against us, drawing seven and splitting the rest equally between wins and losses.

    And what has Benny Blanco done to his hair? White by name…


  10. 10
    ClockEndRider says:

    I think Arteta should fine Benny B for that barnet. It’s just showing off.
    I’m not bitter.

  11. 11
    TTG says:

    So sorry to be picky after such a great preview but it was Gabriel who scored at the BusStop last year Willy is just looking delighted ! I hope neither Havertz or Jorginho is on the pitch when we score our first goal but it would be sweet if Havertz got the winner !

  12. 12
    Bathgooner says:

    That would be more than sweet, TTG. That would be divine justice or, if you like, the hand of Nemesis, as would a winner from Leandro Trossard.

  13. 13
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thoughtful and detailed review bt8! Thank you.

    I just wish you didn’t mention the name of an enabler of one of the vilest regime so many times. But it could just be me.

    One of the most interesting subplot of tomorrow’s match is that Arteta will compete against one of his earliest mentors, and his very close friend. By Arteta’s own admission, Pochettino’s support and help in his days at Paris when Mikel joined PSG on loan from Barcelona was instrumental in shaping his football career. He might have managed and now is managing some hideous teams, but I find Pochettino to be a good example of a manager. Maybe not as natural in the job as Mikel is turning out to be, but not one without noticeable qualities.

    Tomorrow has of course got nothing to do with friendship, and I am sure that now we have regained the taste of beating the bus stop dwellers regularly, the boys in resplendent red-and-white will bring upon more misery on that group of blue strangers to themselves.

    Your team is probably what Mikel will choose too. But I won’t be surprise if Partey starts at the base and Rice play the left sided #8 role.

    ‘Holics going to the match — enjoy yourselves!

    Come on Arsenal!

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    I enjoyed that preview, bt8. A bit of an amuse bouche, no?

    I have only the worst feelings about the denizens from the Fulham bus stop. I think, next to the scum, they are the most detestable club in the prem…even more than the petrol clubs or the plastic Mancunians.

    Oh, how I really hate them and their cheating, and diving, and financial doping, and sportswashing, and did I mention cheating? To hell with them (and their racist, mouth breathing fans).

    I have a couple quibbles with your lineup, bt8. I’d like to see Partey and Rice in the double pivot, Havertz at 9, and Jesus on the right. Let’s give Saka ample time to really get fit leading into the festive period.

    Anyway, we’ll see. While any result for the boys in red works, I’m a bit more bullish…2-5, anyone?!?!


  16. 16
    ecg says:

    This made my day, starting at about 16 seconds in:

  17. 17
    Esso says:

    Cheers Bt8!!

  18. 18
    Bathgooner says:

    Esso @17, that’s been my ear worm all week! Great track.

  19. 19
    OsakaMatt says:

    Hahaha brilliant song choice!

  20. 20
    OsakaMatt says:

    Great preview, thanks bt8.
    It’s been great sticking it to Chavs the last couple of seasons and long may it continue.
    Your team could well be right but I wouldn’t be that surprised if Jorginho starts again.
    Anyway,I will be happy with 2-0

  21. 21
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Thanks bt8,
    There was a time (late 60’s / early 70’s) when I didn’t mind Chelsea, even when a firework thrown from the Shed burnt a hole in my jacket.
    Since then, bunch of classless chavs – supporters, players and managements.
    I hope we smash them by 4 or 5.

  22. 22
    Trev says:

    Thanks bt8 for a fine scene setter ! I like the title too !

    In answer to TTG’s “query” in the previous bar about Saka’s injury, I really can’t add anything, I’m afraid. I haven’t seen any information on what the injury is and it’s pointless to speculate. Various sources are making unsubstantiated – that I can see, anyway – claims about his availability, so it’s just ‘wait and see’ as far as I can tell.

  23. 23
    Uplympian says:

    Thanks for a fine preview bt8. I’ve had a dislike for Chelsea for many a long year. They were my first encounter with hooligan supporters back in the mid sixties. My calm days at the clock end were rudely interrupted by a bunch of teenage yobs who, when confronting a large number of mature gooners, soiled their pants and disappeared rather quickly.
    The Abramovich era along with the detestable Maureen made them even more dislikeable and has made our current run of success most enjoyable.
    Difficult to suggest the eleven who will walk out on the pitch later today as no doubt the boss will be thinking of the short turnaround to the Seville away match on Tuesday.
    Just win baby!

  24. 24
    Trev says:

    ecg @16 🤣. Maguire 🤣🤣

    And to concur with others, I do not like Chelsea. At all.
    There was a time when Ab*****ich and Mo***nho were there together – in their first incarnation – and Tottenham were so bad there was no need to bother with them, I actually disliked Chelsea more. When did you ever see anyone wearing a Chelsea shirt before the roubles arrived and they started buying titles ? You actually don’t see so many now – hidden away out of pure embarrassment, I’d say.

  25. 25
    Countryman100 says:

    I haven’t been to the Bus Stop for many years. I have heard it can get a bit spicy outside. So, very unusually for me, I’m eschewing colours today.

  26. 26
    bt8 says:

    Cheers all.

  27. 27
    Ollie says:

    26 drinks already? Blimey!
    Cheers bt8. And I’ll happily settle for your predicted scoreline.

  28. 28
    ClockEndRider says:

    C100 @25 – last time I went to the bus stop with The Arsenal was in 91. It was bloody freezing and pouring down with rain all day. The away end resembled a post-war bombsite with the toilets just portakabins which may well have been imported, uncleaned , from that years Glastonbury. The pitch was like a quagmire and they kicked the crap out of us with no protection from the referee, resulting in Steve Bould having to go off injured leaving us to sub Hillier on as centre half. The police kept us back for ages afterwards in the pouring rain before escorting back to Fulham Broadway in columns three deep with a full complement of dogs and horses. It was the only game we lost that season. I’ve always hated Chelsea since then. I fully expect your experience will be rather brighter today.

  29. 29
    Countryman100 says:

    CER, a I’ve got to know you over the last two or three years, I’ve realised that it’s being so cheerful that keeps you going!😂

    This is interesting, comparing the start to the Invincibles’s season vs this year.


  30. 30
    ClockEndRider says:

    Bah humbug!

  31. 31
    OsakaMatt says:

    Cheaty divey Liverpoo look like they are going to win.
    No doubt Klippity will call for the game to be replayed.

  32. 32
    Bathgooner says:

    Heh, OM!

    The Mugsmashers got away with a second yellow for Konate that was as blatant a piece of corrupt decision making as you’ll ever see. Money, Rolex or simple ineptitude? Expect a PGMOL apology, Everton.

  33. 33
    North Bank Ned says:

    Chelsea were the Swinging Sixties London team back in the day, but it always seemed a club whose natural place was in the Second Division.

  34. 34
    Trev says:

    CER &28 – you had portakabins ? You were lucky !
    I once went all the way to Bolton’s old ground at Burnden Park for a FA Cup tie – in the days when Peter Reid was still just about playing for them. The toilets were literally sheets of corrugated iron hammered into the grass bank at the side of the terrace steps – and we were in the posh bit with seats !
    The seats ? Primary school plastic moulds joined together by a long iron rod. I doubt I could even get out of one these days 😡

  35. 35
    BtM says:

    Late to the Partey!

    I’m hoping to see TP5 alongside Rice and MO; and I’ll be delighted if we start Bukayo, Jesus and Martinelli up front.

    Detest Chel$ki more than most, no respect for any club that buys ‘success’ with dodgy Ruski roubles and couples that with recruitment off the Special Needs one.

    Enjoy. I’ll take an away win of any colour shape or size every day of any week, but particularly today.

  36. 36
    Bathgooner says:

    Trev @34, that pissoire was clearly modelled on the latrine behind the old North Stand at Hampden – the celebrated national stadium north of the border. That facility was a brick wall with an opening that took you into a ca. 40 x 20 foot rectangle with a mud floor surrounded by brick walls. A ca. 3 inch wide trench at the bottom of the far wall absorbed the liquid that cascaded down the unadorned far wall against which one had to pee. God knows what people who required an urgent bowel movement did. The odour of that space, despite it being unroofed and open to the elements was sufficiently foul that one did not wish to explore further. No wonder the locals simply peed down the terraces from their viewing positions.

  37. 37
    Esso says:

    Raya, White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus, Saka

    Rumoured team – hope so! Like that front 3.

  38. 38
    Esso says:

    Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

    Subs: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Partey, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Havertz, Nketiah, Trossard

    Confirmed team

  39. 39
    Esso says:

  40. 40
    Trev says:

    Essoooo !

  41. 41
    Ollie says:

    Hein on the bench. Nothing dodgy though. apparently he’s just become a father!

  42. 42
    Ollie says:

    Replace ‘he’ by Ramsdale, naturally. I’ve not had a beer yet but I’m exhausted so brain malfunctioning…

  43. 43
    OsakaMatt says:

    Congrats to Rammy then, let’s give new Rammy a nice 3 point present

  44. 44
    Trev says:

    Yep, congratulations to Aaron !

  45. 45
    Ttg says:

    I think I could claim I more or less got the starting eleven spot on ! We can give them a tough time with our wide men upfront . Interested to see where Rice plays given Jorginho is out there too
    A very wet evening in West London !

  46. 46
    bt8 says:

    Re: Bath @36. Describes my memory of Easter Road in the late 70s almost to a t if not a p

  47. 47
    bt8 says:

    Congratulations Aaron Ramsdale the new father. Congrats and well done the mama.

  48. 48
    bt8 says:

    Hope Saka and Saliba are 100%

    Great that they made the team.

  49. 49
    Bosnian Gooner says:

    Wanted to see Partey instead of Jorginho but I am not going to complain! Let’s have a great, spirited performance!!! COYG!

  50. 50
    BtM says:

    We’re very far from our best. Saka and MO struggling to impact. Zinchenko very error prone. Jorgi not at the races and super slow. Thomas Partey at half time please.

    That was never a penalty. Ball to hand from a yard away. Absolutely no intention to play the ball.

  51. 51
    BtM says:

    Chel$ki have been close to their best. Raise our game just a bit and we’ll win this.

  52. 52
    ecg says:

    Once again VAR is poor. VAR claims the ball was going to be on target but a camera angle from behind the goal shows it wasn’t going in, and the announcers agree.

    The rules are stupid regarding defenders and hand balls. Basically defenders are required to play with their hands behind their back.

    That being said, we were poor. Especially Zinchenko and Jorginho.

  53. 53
    OsakaMatt says:

    Agree BtM, about the performance and the penalty. Plenty of time to put it right. COYGs!

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    Get in!!

  55. 55
    BtM says:

    Dodged a bullet. Excellent result based on the first there quarters of the game. Highly effective substitutions. Havertz looked quite good.

  56. 56
    OsakaMatt says:

    Things didn’t go our way and I’ll take that
    point. Showed some heart and our stronger
    bench this season came through

  57. 57
    Bathgooner says:

    Got out of jail.

    Shockingly disjointed, handbrake-on performance for 75-80 minutes.

    Great subs.

    Fantastic goal from Declan (future captain).

    Huge hearts.

    Excellent equaliser.

    Could have won it with more time.

    Shocking goals to give away. Chavski pressed and defended well and dominated midfield and will definitely feel they threw away two points (chuckles).

  58. 58
    Esso says:

    If Raya starts next PL game I will be distinctly unimpressed.

  59. 59
    Bathgooner says:

    I fear that he will, Esso.

  60. 60
    TTG says:

    Arteta is a determined man Esso and dies not give homonym ideas easily ( Win the Retriever is still holding court at Shenley)
    Arteta has created an unnecessarily pressurised situation and I’m sure both keepers are stressed out. It shows in Raya’s demeanours . Ramsdale will be stressed out doing the 2 am feed if my memory serves me correctly ! I’d like Ramsdale back in goal but we won’t see him until the Carabao Cup I fear

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    Most players have tough competition for their place, if that is really the issue
    affecting Raya then he’s not up to the job and I believe MA would bring back
    Rammy in that situation. Yes, he is stubborn but that is on values I think not
    performance. As far as I can tell he will try a player or a system for a while
    and go with what works after having a look for a few games.

    Oddly, I feel better after this 2-2 than the Fulham / Spud ones – I suppose that’s
    because I can’t convince myself we were robbed (obvious penalty against
    Sanchez aside) and we fought back well.

  62. 62
    North Bank Ned says:

    Haven’t seen the full game, only the highlights, so it is difficult to judge the performance. Anytime we come back from 2-0 behind to rescue a draw can’t be bad.

    I thought the handball call for the penalty was harsh. Handball has become a technical infraction, so it was what it was.

    Bonus points for Rice for turning an iffy Sanchez pass into a catastrophic mistake.

    On Ramsdale v Raya, Raya may choose one of his other suitors once his loan deal is over, so Ramsdale may see this season as a learning moment.

  63. 63
    OsakaMatt says:

    Agree Ned, wouldn’t have given that penalty against Willy or the one in the Mersey derby myself but that seems to be the way the cookie crumbles these days. The Sanchez one was a blatant foul in my, admittedly biased, opinion.

  64. 64
    ClockEndRider says:

    Watched the game at a packed Arsenal Tavern and the place went mental when we equalised.
    Penalty scorer should not have been on the pitch after the disgusting assault on Jesus. What is the point of VAR if they cant make the referee go and look at that again? The ball isn’t even in the frame when the Manc failure connects with Jesus. Largely because the ball was clearly not the target he was aiming for. Then the pen is given when the header isn’t even going on target but straight out of play. Then the Fulham Hostage gets a complete fluke. Could they have been given any more luck?

  65. 65
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    🤣🤣🤣@CER, “Fulham Hostage” is a good one.

    Good to see Esso.

    For me, yesterday was a confluence of things I thought we had grown beyond. Passivity in the face of adversity. Tactical rigidity. Dubious player selections. My only criticism for the gaffer is his leaving it so late to make the necessary substitutions for the game we found ourselves in. In the end, he made the correct subs in just enough time to overcome the Fulham Nightcrawlers, the match officials, and VAR.

    I see a lot of partisan divide (and inconsistency) over player selections, and, look, people are entitled to their views, but, if you want to crucify the boss for playing favorites, you might should make sure you don’t have favorites either. I couldn’t possibly care less who Arteta starts (at any position). Raya had a stinker today. Bring on Ramsdale…or don’t.
    Odegaard (not for the first time after Interlulls AND since his new contract) didn’t really aid the cause…give him a rest or don’t. Play Havertz at 9 or don’t. Persist with Eddie…or don’t.

    Bottomline, Mikel is gonna pick who he wants. If the squad is as good as I think it is, whatever 11 he picks should be enough to take the points in most circumstances (although, we’d better mind our Ps and Qs against the Saudies, I mean, Geordies in a couple weeks).

    On a more positive note, the Boys do have spirit and fight (thank you Martinelli, Big Gabby, and Declan)…I don’t often agree with Tom Canton, but I think he led off proper like in his post-match review. Point gained!


  66. 66
    MMTWP says:

    I’ve been biting my tongue for too long…its not a habit but…I want to talk GKs. Now i don’t know much but my first Gooner GK was when i was a boy and it was Jack Kelsey…he played for The Arsenal and in my 10yo view was the greatest. Not so sure now but he was v.good (his book Over the Bar, is across my shoulder). Then we had a few who did their best and finally Bertie settled upon Bob Willow..and he like JK was v.good. Others followed, many of note.. Pat Jennings though from up the road, still my personal AFC favourite, who played so well for The Arsenal but really my favourite in the whole world is Gordon Banks – Full Stop.(but FFS he played latterly for Stoke!) Rimmer, Lukic, Seaman, Lehmann and a few who showed promise…and then along came Ramsdale…i thinks he’s done well. I realise MAs endeavour to get the best that we can afford but from day one, i remain unconvinced about David Raya. Biggish lad though he is…then as i recall from back in the 60s, was it Eddie Hopkinson or Hodgkinson was only 5’8”? Now being truly unkind Peter Bonetti in my day was then known even amongst my MU mates as the only English player to be awarded the Iron Cross for his performance in the 1970 WC finals?? Was he 5’10″” or so..shorter than Raya…FFS (again) down at the Bus Stop he was known as the Cat….

    I remain very dubious about Raya but MA will do what he wants, I hope that Aaron stays with us as his day may well come (again)…not too soon for me. He’s a big lad…and i think, rather good. Would his extra 2-3 inches have prevented Murdryks effort..maybe. He’s rarely let us down. Raya…you judge..
    Finally like many on here and elsewhere i am very saddened to learn of the passing of Bobby Charlton. I was in Nairobi when i listened joyously (on the radio with my Dad..we didn’t have TV) to the WC in 66 and then in 68 was at Wembley when he and MU won the European Cup. I was with my 2 MU great friends (as we still are) and the only time i ever cheered for anyone other than The Arsenal…although i might have hollered one or twice for Bromley
    Always great discussion, info and general know how from GH…keep it up all. Always very civil and well informed. My daily go to…

    the sun is well set here in Sarf Orstraya..so am off to the humpty! I’ve quietly indulged with some local nectar whist groping for the keys..hic

  67. 67
    ClockEndRider says:

    LG and MMTWP, above. I’m a huge admirer of Arteta, make no mistake. But this season he does seem to have made some curious selections. The early season nonsense with leaving Gabriel out and playing Partey and now preferring Raya, at best the most marginal of improvements on Ramsdale, have been hard to fathom for me. The word which sprang to my mind this morning was iatrogenic- descriptive of a condition engendered by the doctor. Hopefully Arteta is still learning his trade and mistakes are to be expected.

  68. 68
    TTG says:

    Jack Kelsey was the first Arsenal keeper I remembered and he was very good . Since I have been a supporter ( 1958 ) I’d rank my top five as –
    2. Rimmer
    3. Jennings
    5. Kelsey
    I’ve had the pleasure of discussing goalkeeping with Bob Wilson several times and he tells me it is very different nowadays as the balls move much more and come st you faster . He would possibly agree with this hierarchy more or less.
    I don’t think Ramsdale or Raya are anywhere near the quality of these five. I don’t rate many keepers near them but we are basing this table on stopping shots and current ratings on playing rush goalie . Martinez and Leno are better shot stoppers than either of our current two. There are big reservations amongst many supporters about the goalkeeping coach .
    I want Ramsdale back. He didn’t deserve to be dropped and I suspect he has bigger cojones than Raya . But Arteta won’t move yet . He’s an obstinate bugger !

  69. 69
    GHF Central says:

    We apologise for the interruption in service due to inexplicable technical issues.

    Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

  70. 70
    Bathgooner says: