Feed on
The Arsenal goal map vs Newcastle (and image from Quora)


This Saturday saw us welcome the Riyadh Democrats Repressors to The Arsenal for a rare evening kick-off. Nice Guy Eddie and his merry little band of ne’er do wells were on a run of four unbeaten in the Premier League and were expected by some to provide a stern test of The Arsenal’s mental mettle after the unfortunate travails of our midweek trip to Oporto. They had certainly frustrated The Arsenal on their previous visit as they anti-footballed their way to a 0-0 draw, and then once again at their own ground this season when, with an assist from the PGMoL, they stole three points in the manner of a particularly rapacious house of kleptocrats. The latter game proved a step too far for Mikel Arteta, who rightly lambasted the officiating as an absolute disgrace and followed up prior to this game by happily showing no regret whatsoever for telling the truth – well said that man. However, having talked the talk, it was time to put our game faces on and walk the walk.

The Teams 

The only change for The Arsenal was Jorginho in for Leo. After the game, Mikel said of Jorginho “he’s a top player, especially when the opponents have certain behaviours or a certain set-up. The way I can imagine the game, he’s going to have a big impact….” Make of that what you will and no doubt there is a strategic aspect to it but I also feel MA values Jorginho’s character in potentially tricky situations. Whatever the actual reason, the fact was that Jorginho had an excellent game, though I should add I thought Leo a tad unlucky to be the one to make way as none of our attacking players were sharp in midweek. We also welcomed Gabriel Jesús back to a bench that is slowly gaining in strength. The Tiny Toons had made 3 changes, one of them in goal where Dubravka had shrewdly rustled up a sick note and left Karius to face the on-fire squad in his first PL appearance since 2018. 

1st half

The double whammy of motivation for The Arsenal, to bounce straight back whilst serving a dish cold, meant the faithful, including some of our fellow Holics who had, if I have understood correctly, recently arrived from Ecuador, were in full voice right from the off. North London Forever had barely faded before Martinelli won our first corner about 10 seconds into the game. It was swiftly followed by a second that was adroitly nodded on at the near post by Benjamin but fell unfortunately to a Toon player and was cleared. The pattern however was set – we pressed ferociously and attacked in waves, they clung on for dear life. Chances and half-chances came and went over the next fifteen minutes before the opening goal came, to absolutely no one’s surprise these days, from a corner.

The Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0

Saka’s 18th minute corner from the right was well-met by a dominant Gabriel but then well parried by Karius. Fortunately, this time as the ball dropped down it was expertly keystoned into their own net by a combination of Livramento and Botman. In real time I was unsure if it had gone over the line before Karius had pushed it out but in these days of miracle and wonder goal line technology had it all sorted out in a jiffy and a 1-0 lead was ours. It didn’t last long.

The Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0

In response to our opening goal Newcastle did nothing as we continued to completely control the game for about 5 minutes until the ball arrived at Jorginho’s feet and he dropped a perfect ball to Martinelli as he smartly made his way from the left to ring wing. Demonstrating some top-class control Gabi made his way to the byline and then cut back into the path of Kai “65 million down the drain” Havertz, who finished readily. A richly deserved 2-0 lead that could easily have been four or five by the break as we once again made a team that is in the top 8 look like 2nd rate mugs managed by an overrated halfwit. 

To cap an outstanding first-half, when Newcastle finally got in our area in the final minutes of the half we defended well and stopped them from getting a single shot on goal. Considering Newcastle were, prior to kick-off, the highest scoring team outside the Top 3 that is top quality game management. 

2nd half

As the 2nd half kicked off the Japanese TV commentator wondered how many we would get and his co-commentator opined “as many as they want” to my amusement. In fact, it could have been 3-0 very early on. There was some vintage passing around the cones, Newcastle players, then back to Raya who fired a great long ball to the right wing, more smart passing and suddenly Kai was one-on-one with the keeper. Tragically he poked it wide and what would have been a truly great goal was lost. The game then entered an odd twilight zone and I was confused for a time until it dawned on me that Newcastle had the ball and were attacking. They had their first attempt on goal, a mediocre effort from Gordon that was charitably considered on target (it wasn’t). Isak then cut inside Benjamin (with quite worrying ease in truth, though Isak isn’t a bad player to be fairer than I prefer) and over-clubbed a shot into the crowd. Leo replaced Gabi M after about an hour and normal service was resumed shortly afterwards.

The Arsenal 3, oh no I mean 4 Newcastle 0

A smart interception by Kai, (or a poor pass from Botman I suppose) who then combined with Øde to leave Bukayo alone with Livramento. A few tortured-filled seconds later the referee stopped Livramento’s punishment and pointed back to the centre circle. 3-0. It was a cracking finish across the keeper and into the far corner from Saka, scoring in his 5th PL game in a row (first to do that since Giroud apparently). 

The crowd had barely had time to finish celebrating the third, when the fourth arrived. Our friends from Riyadh displayed a delightful inability to learn and a corner from Rice was nodded home at the near post by Kiwior. It was I believe our millionth goal from a set-piece this season or something like that. Initially, the goal was given as an own goal as it took a deflection off Smiley (Isn’t he dead by George? Ed.) but the PL espied that it was in fact on target and it happily became Kiwior’s first of the season. 

The game drifted to a contented close (unless obviously you were a Toon supporter but then you get what you deserve for lacking a moral compass).  Raya amusingly nailed the ref from 30 yards and pretended it was an accident; there were a whole raft of Hale Enders subbed on; Joe W scored for The Arsenal Newcastle, and Dan Burn cleared off the line to deny ESR a goal that we all wanted to see but alas it was not to be and 4-1 it remained.

I could happily write many more words as it was a truly enjoyable game with much that was good and encouraging but I may have tested your patience enough and so I will finish by saying it was a great end to a testing week and we can go to Sheffield for the next game in fine fettle. Just keep winning. 

156 Drinks to “Thieving Magpies Righteously Put to the Scimitar”

  1. 1
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Thanks OM
    I particularly liked Havertz’s movement for his goal, ducking behind the Newcastle line and then popping up in front of their other defenders to take his goal. $65m down the drain indeed.

    In unrelated news, sad to hear the passing of one Stanley Bowles, a magnificent entertainer for QPR and a player I saw a lot of as some of my rellies were ardent Hoops fans. Rodney Marsh was a hard act to follow but Stan did that brilliantly.

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    Super report Matt and perfectly recalled . We timed our return from Ecuador
    immaculately. These Holloway Road eateries certainly bustle on match nights .
    It was a huge performance given the Porto disappointment. Team press was intense and some really clever football .
    Jorginho really was a snip at £12m and the whole team did well. I also thought ESR looked very sharp . And I was home before midnight watching on MOTD ! Great evening

  3. 3
    BtM says:

    The flight in from Ecuador was draining, although the company was grand and the in-flight dining very fine, but well worth the effort to see retribution being enacted on the ‘2nd rate mugs managed by an overrated halfwit’ (excellent and long to be remembered and probably plagiarised, Matt).

    I particularly enjoyed Guimaraes’ contribution to the evening. Unable under the piercing illumination inside Emirates Stadium to use his favourite skills, the forearm smash to the head and the shoulder barge between his opponents shoulder blades behind the ref’s back, the odious little shit spent the game in Jorginho’s pocket being schooled in fair play and skills excellence before deservedly being substituted for woefulness. I booed him off heartily.

    A vey nice night out. Great win and excellent play all round from the men in red. Fantastic pressing from the start and a strong will to win from the get go – very refreshing after Porto.

  4. 4
    Depressedgooner says:

    Nicely reported OM, pretty much the same game I saw.

    With my only travel lately being to the land of nod this was a game I struggled to be awake for, it did not take long to rouse me fully and I was glad to be able to keep awake and alert for a wondrous game against a bunch of thugs and thieves.

    Kai Havertz is winning me over bit by bit, but I still think there is a lot more he could be doing right if his football brain would only fully engage, Raya has very little to do but I still don’t like the way he displaced Ramsdale or the fact Mikel seems to have lied about it, promising that Aaron would have a big part to play this season….did he mean bit part and it was misheard?

    But that is me grousing after a very fine win, with a hint of smugness I never thought we would struggle today, I’d seen press speculating that Newcastle would try and Porto us but they simply do not have the squad to do that at the moment so it never concerned me.

    I also have zero doubts about the return leg against Porto as I think it will be a fine win by at least a two goal margin.

    Nice to see you all again and health permitting I will try to do more than just read the drinks, however you may struggle to believe just how tired this typing malarky is these days.

    Come on you rip roaring, never boring, free scoring gunners.

  5. 5
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent, OM. As an enjoyable match report to read as the match was to watch.

    Yet again, the opposition’s main threat was shut out of the game by Arteta’s tactics, not that not seeing that much of Bruno Guimaraes was a great loss to the world.

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    DG@4: Good to see you in. Glad you had a good game to lift you up. Long may it continue.

  7. 7
    Sancho Panza says:

    I think Havertz is really showing his worth now. He can play across three positions really well and he’s a real handful for the opposition to work out. He’s extremely versatile.
    As for Raya, he makes mistakes but he plays on the edge. He starts counter attacks very quickly and he’s a good enough keeper for what we need in that position. Ramsdale was s curious buy at the time who we warmed to over last season with his shot stopping. However he did like to muck around with opposition fans and players. I’d rather have quiet professional in goal personally.

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    Thanks Matt for a nice and rapid report. I’m curious – did you rise early for the 4am kick off, or just stay up drinking sake?

    As TTG said, I dined before the game with my son, TTG, BtM and a couple of TTG’s friends from Kent. TTG was kind enough to say I was in good form. This was far from true. On returning from our Egyptian holiday, both my wife and I realised we had caught colds (we think on the flight home) and I felt distinctly rough on Saturday, full of aches and pains. I don’t think I have ever ascended the steps to the stadium so slowly!

    Yesterday was also my wife’s birthday, although, like me, she really wasn’t up for a night out and, and was, she tells me, in bed by 8.30. However, in a very kind act, she recorded the game for me to watch back this morning. What a woman!

    That first half was quite awesome. The pressing was off the scale. My mind went back just over ten years to when we played Juergen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in a CL group game in 2013. This was the first time I had seen the”gegenpress”. Just like Arsenal yesterday, they gave us no rest on the ball. Pep era Barca were similar but not as aggressive. Oh, by the way, who was the Arsenal captain that day? Mikel Arteta.

    Yet again we were able to rest key players with over 15 minutes left. Everybody was good but I thought Havertz (bar the glaring miss) and Jorghino were outstanding. Martinelli with a gem of an assist and Saka with a gem of a goal. Two assists for Declan.

    We eventually got home at midnight and my aches had aches. Next games in nine days time, and my son and I will be visiting Bramall Lane for the first time.

    Time for some R&R washed down with Lemsip.

  9. 9
    bt8 says:

    Excellent, Matt. A few hilarious barbs at the Saudis brought chuckles and should be required reading in

  10. 10
    Bathgooner says:

    Great report, Matt, leavened beautifully with appropriate observations about the visitors’ venal owners. It was an evening of just retribution though for my taste, we only did half the job as we should have been 4-0 up at half time. Thus a further portion of retribution must be held over to our next meeting. It was a superb performance from all in red and white and that first half blitzkrieg will live long in the memory.

    I loved the chant reported by CER, “You’re getting beheaded in the morning!” I really can’t see “See no evil Eddie” being there next season. If I were a betting man, I’d put good money on the Crown Prince already having tapped up Mourinho to take over in June. Birds of a Feather and all that…


  11. 11
    Trev says:

    Excellent Matt !
    Good and humorous to boot.
    Nothing to add really except to reiterate what I predicted in the last bar – Newcastle were no great sheihks.
    Grumpy Eddie grudgingly admitted , when asked what happened, “In the first half Arsenal were good, we weren’t.” – craftily omitting the words “allowed to be” and with an enormous lack of awareness.
    Never mind Eddie’s gripes – assaway aileikem !

  12. 12
    Up4GrabsNow! says:

    Revenge for that travesty in St James Park earlier in the season.

  13. 13
    Up4GrabsNow! says:

    Should add that I was not too thrilled when we acquired Havertz from Chelsea last summer; happy to be wrong! He has been very useful so far in 2024.

  14. 14
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for the kind words all, it was a really easy one to write!

    C100, as the clocks have changed it was a 5AM kick off so an early start is mandatory these days to keep the vultures from my livers door.
    Hope the lemsip does it’s job…

  15. 15
    bt8 says:

    Arsenal’s 25 goals from the last six games is the most any team have scored from the start of a calendar year in the Premier League.

  16. 16
    Las says:

    Cheers Matt, joyouos report. Enjoyed reading as much as watching the game. We lef them in Newruin with this performance. This first half will linger in their memory for a long time. My favorite was watching Gardner getting his treatment from our own Benny Blanco. Irresistable Arsenal. Eleven to go.

  17. 17
    Countryman100 says:

    Gary Neville. “Chelsea’s Blue, Billion pound, Bottle jobs”. Heh.

  18. 18
    Countryman100 says:

    If you hire a Spurs manager ….l


  19. 19
    TTG says:

    I missed the final as a top of the table bowls match took precedence but on the drive home I listened to some of the extra time commentary . It was a game where I could not care less who won . I’d like Liverpool to be stretched as far as possible until they snap and Chelsea to continue flailing around being run by idiots expending vast sums on mediocrity. I think our exit from the FA Cup while disappointing at the time was fortuitous in hindsight Bravo Jakub Kiwior who has had a fine 2024 . Also nice to see you DG. Our thoughts are with you as always

  20. 20
    Countryman100 says:

    Chelsea are the first club ever to lose 6 straight domestic cup finals.

    ❌ 2019 League Cup
    ❌ 2020 FA Cup
    ❌ 2021 FA Cup
    ❌ 2022 League Cup
    ❌ 2022 FA Cup
    ❌ 2024 League Cup

  21. 21
    Sancho Panza says:

    Chelsea are so classless and clueless.

  22. 22
    bt8 says:

    Still haven’t been able to see the game, but some observations from the club photos:

    Big Gabby is a jumper

    Bukayo is a goal scorer

    All our guys ran circles around all their guys

    Did I miss anything else of major importance?

  23. 23
    Ollie says:

    Cheers Matt! A great way to finish a difficult week.
    No Arsenal next week, yet it’s not an internationa break…

  24. 24
    OsakaMatt says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch than Chelsea.

  25. 25
    North Bank Ned says:

    We have more winners or at least a pair of joint-winners. Come on down TTG and Uply, the only two players in the GHF Predictathon to forecast correctly the winner of the League Cup.

    Congratulations, gentlemen. You join Dr F Jnr on our inaugural roll of honour.

    Five players still with hats in the ring for the FA Cup prediction.

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    Congratulations to you both on your scrying skills, it’s always important to have
    your glass balls in good working order I guess

  27. 27
    OsakaMatt says:

    Not really sure what to make of the reduction in Everton’s points deduction and the appeal boards apparent conclusion that Everton had acted in good faith.
    The Premier League are secretive souls so it’s difficult to get an accurate picture but I am extremely doubtful that Everton acted in good faith. Whether 6, 10 or for that matter 60 points is fair seems just arbitrary.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Trev says:

    I think the Premier League had to reduce Everton’s points deduction otherwise if Manchester €ity were judged and punished by the same criteria, they would have been deducted 23,795 points and relegated to the National League until 2225. As it is now, 2224 will have to do 😡

  30. 30
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks for the link C100, an interesting read as always. Mike mentioned Karius, which was nice. I meant to give him a shout in the match report as I thought he did amazingly well in the circumstances but unfortunately I completely forgot!

  31. 31
    scruzgooner says:

    matt, that captured it well, thanks. i just rewatched it, and we were so far above them in the first half, and a lot of the second, they just had no clue how to play us. my biggest regret was burn’s line clearance of esr’s shot. i want him to get his motor going so bad, he’d make such a great 8…

    i’m headed to arsenal this summer! they’re playing manure in LA at sofi again, and i just got my (very, very expensive) ticket. even at face value i could have gotten THREE tickets in the north bank lower. and still could have bought a round. ticketmaster is the sauron of ticketing agencies. regardless, i can’t wait. i’ll turn 60 the day before i head to la, and will ring in my next decade arsenal style! hopefully they will travel with the premiership champions trophy from this year!

  32. 32
    TTG says:

    Congratulations Uply , delighted to be sharing an accolade I had completely forgotten about! I just looked at clubs that take the League Cup seriously and I won’t vote for Citeh as they will ultimately be stripped of all their trophies . It seems bizarre that Everton’s punishment is set and being served whilst Citeh’s misdemeanours which go back years won’t be decided on for at least another year. But trust me, they will fry

  33. 33
    Sancho Panza says:

    Anyone else have Maidstone or was it just me?

    Only 3 down the can pull that back.

  34. 34
    Uplympian says:

    A belated thanks OM for a most enjoyable review – you picked up the vibes of the match perfectly.
    I return congratulations to TTG in sharing the GHF prediction winners of the League cup. Like you I forgot this was a part of the competition and picked the bin dippers quickly as a team who are regularly there or thereabouts in the League cup. Maybe it’s our skills as fellow bowlers has something to do with it.
    With the delay until next Monday for our trip to Bramall Lane, there’s plenty of time for those with tired limbs to recuperate and ready to come out with guns a blazing again.

  35. 35
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Las, Ollie, scruz and Uply.

    Congrats on securing your precious scruz. Like you I turn 60 this autumn
    but as the powers that be seem to have no intention of touring Japan I
    will try to go to them 😃

  36. 36
    scruzgooner says:

    we will have to coschedule our next visit, matt. i’m hoping for fall!

  37. 37
    North Bank Ned says:

    The Everton points deduction reduction has shaken up the GHF Predictathon leader board. You know where to find it…

  38. 38
    OsakaMatt says:

    Might have to be 2025 scruz. I am in the UK for the first two weeks of April, but this fall I am giving myself a 2 month tour of Northern Italy as a 60th birthday present

  39. 39
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Good shout, OM. Excellent report.

    The next two gameweeks might just be decisive in the campaign.
    GW 27: Scousers away to Forest (I predict a draw); €iteh host Yanited (Yanited are pony, but I think they’ll manage a draw); Arsenal away to Sheffield (we need another win).

    GW 28: Arsenal host Brentford on Saturday (Arsenal would go top with a win. Scousers host €iteh on Sunday (I think a draw would be best for us).

    If results go our way, at the end of GW 29:
    ARS 64
    LIV 62
    MNC 61

    Regardless, the goal have to be taking max points to the next interlull. Then we burn the boats when we invade the Etihad.

    It’s all there to play for.

  40. 40
    Bathgooner says:

    Lonestar, I do hope that you’re the seventh son of a seventh son.

  41. 41
    Esso says:

    Cheers Matt!

  42. 42
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Only in me mind, Baff. Only in me mind. 😂

    I’m actually the first son of a ninth son (but it doesn’t quite average out); so no Oracle of Delphi am I.

    Just got a feeling, that’s all (although that feeling could just as easily be attributed to an undigested bit of potato).

    Fingers crossed all the same.


  43. 43
    North Bank Ned says:

    Is that a half-ton I see on the horizon?

  44. 44
    OsakaMatt says:

    I think it might be Ned

  45. 45
    Ollie says:

    One step closer.

  46. 46
    OsakaMatt says:

    One match at a time.
    A song for Sheffield United

  47. 47
    OsakaMatt says:

    As it is Brentford after this one
    Here’s a Granit Xhaka song

    I don’t miss Xhaka despite his good final season though I wish him well and denying Kane a league winners medal in the Bundesliga is just hilarious

  48. 48
    OsakaMatt says:

    Anyway, time is running out so I will slide a pass into the box with my trusty left peg a la Chippy

    Talking of Trusty I believe he is playing for Sheff Utd

  49. 49
    Ollie says:

    Backheel flick from Olivier (Giroud)

  50. 50
    scruzgooner says:


  51. 51
    scruzgooner says:

    slides on his knees to the corner flag, ends up pointing at ollie and matt!!!

  52. 52
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Nicely done, Scruz.


  53. 53
    Ollie says:

    Your trademark finish, scruz, nice one!

  54. 54
    bathgooner says:

    Interesting observations in the Athletic report of the Appeal Board’s comments when considering Everton’s appeal. Surely these observations have implications for Shitteh:

    “Two aggravating factors ultimately ensured Everton were given a six-point penalty.

    “The PSR breach itself (no longer challenged by Everton) ran to almost £20m and was considered “substantial” by the original commission and the appeal. “We can infer that it gave the club a significant sporting advantage that, although impossible to quantify, requires a deduction of some points simply to eradicate that advantage and to be fair to other Premier League clubs,” said the appeal.

    “Everton might have justifiably opposed the “less than frank” description of their conduct, but the appeal was not enamoured by their admission that wrong information had been submitted to the Premier League. Or, in Everton’s own words, been “objectively misleading”.

    “The error was not simply a slip or over-enthusiastic proposal,” said the appeal, who concluded that Everton’s submission of incorrect figures, regardless of best intentions, amounted to an aggravating factor.”

  55. 55
    Ollie says:

    They certainly SHOULD have implications, bath.

  56. 56
    OsakaMatt says:

    Nice finish scruz!

  57. 57
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-tone, Scruz.

  58. 58
    North Bank Ned says:

    Or even the half-ton.

  59. 59
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@54: why do I think that City’s lawyers will find a way to argue that none of the Everton arguments apply to them?

    There is an old saying that if you owe the bank a thousand pounds, you have a problem, but if you owe the bank a million pounds, it is the bank that has the problem. I fear it is the PL more than City that has the problem.

  60. 60
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, all. it’s so easy when everyone is pressing on defense and making runs on and off the ball. and half-tone? certainly paints a picture.

  61. 61
    Trev says:

    Morning all, for those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ve taken a copy of the final paragraph from today’s excellent piece on arseblog.com –

    “ Finally for today, let’s send best wishes to former young Gunner Kristoffer Olsson who is in a coma in a Danish hospital having collapsed at home. His club Midtjylland say he is suffering from an ‘acute disease related to the brain’. He’s just 28, so keep fingers crossed he can pull through and make a full recovery. “

    As Andrew says, all the very best to the young man for a complete recovery. 🤞🏻

  62. 62
    bathgooner says:

    Well observed Trev @61. Fingers crossed for the lad.

  63. 63
    Ollie says:

    Final training session done, though I might do a little extra tomorrow. Don’t want to look at Sunday’s weather forecast yet….

    Best wishes to Olsson, and to Alberth Elis

    News a bit thin on the ground over the last couple of days re: him, though the ‘rumours’ were of a positive evolution.

  64. 64
    Bathgooner says:

    What are you training for, Olie?

    Perhaps some good news: Timber allegedly back in full training according to a number of usually reliable Twitter sources!

  65. 65
    Ollie says:

    Paris half-marathon on Sunday, bath.
    Good stuff, re:Timber!

  66. 66
    bt8 says:

    Multiple kudos Ollie for training and even attempting to finish the half marathon. This document only details the course of the full marathon


    So do you start half way through that course and finish where the full marathoners finish, or is it another course entirely?

  67. 67
    bt8 says:

    I see now, it’s a different (sooner) date and route too. Allez Allez Allez!


  68. 68
    Ollie says:

    Yep, you got it bt8. Funnily enough when I first and last did it 18 years ago, I think it was a very similar course, except that the start/end point was at the other ‘end’ in Vincennes.
    Note also, that they sent us an update last week, the starting point has been modified, due to a boat accident on the bridge on the river. Not much of a change, but instead of Pont de Sully/Ile St-Louis, the starting line is sort of on the other side of the first big straight, so on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

  69. 69
    TTG says:

    The Twitterati suggest that Timber is in full training
    Assuming we pick the same first eleven against Sheffield United our bench could be
    Ramsdale , Timber , Partey , Vieira , ESR , Trossard , Nketiah , Jesus , Zinchenko.
    No place for Elneny or Nelson or even Cedric!

  70. 70
    Ollie says:

    I very very very much doubt that Timber back in full training means he’ll be anywhere near the bench on Monday, TTG. Well, he’ll probably be sitting there or just behind, but you know what I mean.
    Cédric on on in the 85th minute when 5-0 up is more likely.

  71. 71
    North Bank Ned says:

    What? No Cedric? Arteta out!

  72. 72
    OsakaMatt says:

    No Tomi yet? It’s a fearsome bench once Tomi is back and we have Timber, Benjamin, Tomi, Zin, Kiwior as full back options most of whom can play CB as well.
    Alas poor Cedric I knew him well

  73. 73
    North Bank Ned says:

    Good luck for Sunday, Ollie. The half is a great distance to race. Long enough to feel you’ve stretched your legs but not as knackering as a full.

  74. 74
    North Bank Ned says:

    Looking at the video and pictures on the club site, Timber seems to have taken part in a few rondos but not in any of the mini-games (and why were they training at the Emirates not Colney?) I would be surprised if he is in a match-day squad before April.

  75. 75
    bt8 says:

    Picks up the right ipe cherry that is the quarter ton with thanks and awe to the ancient half marathoner Ned who now runs a stable of monks. What more could you want?

  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    Re: Timber’s recovery and when Arsenal should/will play him, Blogs today has this very pertinent quote from a medical specialist: “Players returning from ACL reconstruction have more than 4-fold increase in reinjury rates over the next 2 years

    Reinjury rate is significantly reduced by 51% for each month return to sport is delayed until 9 months post surgery, after which no further risk reduction is seen.”

  77. 77
    Ollie says:

    As I mentioned him yesterday, good news on Elis.

  78. 78
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I doubt we will see Timber even on the bench before we play City but his progress is a good sign.

    Partey has been so far out of sight that I’ve barely given him a thought for a long time. Rice’s performances have obviously contributed to this fact. It does occur to me now though that, if we can keep Partey fit for the rest of the season and simultaneously he can reach towards his best form, rather than the indifferent stuff he can turn up with so infuriatingly, he could be a huge weapon in the final stages of the season.

    On his day, he does the job of two players. Rice is similar. Given that we already looked like we had a couple of extra men on the pitch in that first half hour against Newcastle, I quite like the idea of adding a fit and eager Partey to the mix.

    It’ll be like we’ve got 14 guys in the starting line up! Let’s hope we get to see it…

  79. 79
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers for the report OM. Nicely done, very much in the mould of the team.

  80. 80
    Ttg says:

    One for perhaps our older drinkers
    Alan Ball giving probably the best after dinner speech I’ve ever heard from a footballer, seemingly without a note and indicating what superstardom constituted in 1966.

  81. 81
    Trev says:

    Thanks,TTG – great stuff 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  82. 82
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@75: more ancient than a half-marathoner these days.

  83. 83
    bathgooner says:

    Thanks for posting that TTG. What a great speech that was. I didn’t know that Bally had that in him.

  84. 84
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@80: Thanks for the link. Alan Ball was a popular after-dinner speaker, but in the days before everything was posted on social media, you had to be in the room to hear him.

  85. 85
    TTG says:

    C100 and I produced a piece to support the club’s Prostate Cancer awareness initiative .
    Here it is
    Please heed the message and get yourself checked if you haven’t already
    Please urge your partner to get checked

  86. 86
    Trev says:

    A thought on Jurrien Timber, particularly with regard to bt8’s note @76 –

    The first thing to say is that I personally don’t want to see Timber “rushed” or even gently nudged back into first team action until the risk of re injury has been absolutely minimised, as far as these things can be. I can’t see that Manchester City on March 31st makes much sense in that regard. A match of such intensity after so many months out seems counter intuitive at the very least, both in terms of physical and match fitness.

    I did read the article on Arseblog to which bt8 refers and I have to admit I’m struggling a bit with the maths. The specialist quoted refers to a four fold increase in the likelihood of re injury for two years after an ACL reconstruction, but also says that that risk is reduced by 51% for each extra month that a return to playing is delayed.

    What we don’t know is exactly when, or even if in Timber’s case, that earliest possible return date was given. At any rate, after seven months of continuous 51% reductions, I make his risk a mere 0.85%.

    So what do we believe ?
    The base statistic must be calculated on all players at all levels for the two year period to make any sense.
    When does the two year period begin – on the day of surgery or the day of “fitness” being achieved ?

    I’m no mathematician, and have possibly missed the point, but can someone reconcile the “two years” vs “seven months” difference for me ?

    Sorry, Ned, if this has cost the monks an afternoon off !

  87. 87
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@86: I think there is a statistical apples and oranges problem. Your sums are correct in as much as a 51% per month reduction in re-injury risk would take the chance below 1% seven months on from the ACL construction. What I don’t know is if the quoted 51% number refers to the general population or footballers in general. There is a 2022 literature review in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that concludes that there are 15 risk factors that determine reinjury risk. Being young, male, having a low BMI and returning to elite sport (Timber obviously ticks those boxes), plus having a bunch of traits such as a higher posterolateral tibial slope and preoperative high-grade anterior knee laxity, which means nothing to me but you will understand, are all factors that elevate the re-injury risk. Only an allograft has higher risk odds of re-injury than returning to elite sport. All of which argues in my book not to rush Timber (or any player) back. Viv Miedema is having to have knee surgery and she has only recently returned from her ACL reconstruction, so it happens to the best of them.

    As for the stat that ‘players returning from ACL reconstruction have more than a four-fold increase in reinjury rates over the next 2 years’, the question is, what is the baseline that the increase is being measured against? Does it mean that ACLR returnees are four times as likely to be injured than the average player for those two years, or is the comparison being made with the player’s past history of recurring injuries, which is what the words should most seem to mean, but that doesn’t seem an illuminating piece of information.

    The monks are now returning to their afternoon tea and biscuits…

  88. 88
    bt8 says:

    Re: The mathematical discrepancy to which Trev refers above. I’m certainly no mathematician either, but assuming it is a good study, the difference must have something to do with the choice of the beginning date of “each extra month that a return to playing is delayed.” (delayed from when, in other words, so as to define it as extra)

  89. 89
    bt8 says:

    Refers readers to Ned’s response @87

  90. 90
    bt8 says:

    Refers readers to Ned’s response @87 which covers it so much better than mine

  91. 91
    bt8 says:

    Spies an opportunity downfield and lays it off for an Odegaard-like teammate to deliver the requisite quality

  92. 92
    Trev says:

    Ned, thanks for confirming the maths – I’ll come back and comment in a bit more detail later – have to go for a while now – to explain the anatomical stuff, but the detail of that study / those claims seems unclear to me.

    Women are particularly vulnerable to ACL tears for a number of reasons – angle of femur into the knee joint, general strength of the muscles and hormonal fluctuations and their effects on soft tissue being some. It’s safe to say they don’t have many advantages.

  93. 93
    Sancho Panza says:

    He makes his run to receive it but has he gone to early?

  94. 94
    scruzgooner says:

    having nonchalantly sunk the halftone he turns provider and plays pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-assist cross field…

  95. 95
    Sancho Panza says:

    This sideways backwards passing is so negative. Get your handbrake off ffs!

  96. 96
    OsakaMatt says:

    The ball was in the air for what seemed like an age but it’s down now and placed carefully for a corner from the right…

  97. 97
    OsakaMatt says:

    Shuffles forward to artistically block the keeper….

  98. 98
    scruzgooner says:

    splits the center backs with a delightfully-weighted throughball…

  99. 99
    Sancho Panza says:

    They’re making a substitution. Panza looks thoroughly fed up but in truth this game has passed him by. He’s been truly woeful and the crowd are telling him to get off the pitch in no uncertain terms.
    “Panza there’s arses need wiping!”
    How cruel.

  100. 100
    OsakaMatt says:

    Ooh did he get a toe poke into the far corner?

  101. 101
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, it was over the line, the crowd erupts 🥳🥳🥳🥳

  102. 102
    OsakaMatt says:

    Great piece in the online gooner and thanks for for the link TTG👍

  103. 103
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, OM.

  104. 104
    bt8 says:

    Well in OM.

    I missed the combination play due to an enjoyable rewatch of West Ham 0 Arsenal 6. That was fun.

  105. 105
    bt8 says:

    Bayern Hotspur drop two more points at Freiburg. Bundesliga title slipping away …

  106. 106
    scruzgooner says:

    sancho, what an assist!

  107. 107
    scruzgooner says:

    and a fine ton from japan.

  108. 108
    bt8 says:

    Yes, an outstanding assist by Panza. Diverted their attention with talk of a substitution and then passed it through their legs. We could try that at Citeh but no doubt VAR would find a retrospective way to rule it out. No VAR here, of course.

  109. 109
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yeah, a nice leave from SP and a nice leave of the title by Bayern.
    I expect to see a piece in The Athletic soon about why teams with Kane never win anything.

  110. 110
    North Bank Ned says:

    I meant full ton, OM. Must have been distracted by all that talk of 51% reductions.

    TTG@85 and C100: Bravo for the prostate cancer piece. The sooner it is caught, the sooner fixed.

  111. 111
    ecg says:

    Only 90 posts to the double.

  112. 112
    ecg says:

    Oops, 89.

  113. 113
    ecg says:

    Oops, 88.

  114. 114
    ecg says:

    Thanks to TTG and C100 for the prostate piece. Both my father and grandfather were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Both had their prostate removed. We believe my great-grandfather died of prostate cancer.

    Get tested and live a healthy life.

  115. 115
    Ollie says:

    Great move, folks, well in Matt for the ton!

  116. 116
    bt8 says:

    Three attendances this season of more than 50,000 each for the Arsenal women at home, snd the women’s game continues to grow. It’s great to see.


  117. 117
    bathgooner says:

    That’s an excellent piece in the Gooner, gents. I’m glad to hear you’re both on the mend.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    Trev says:

    He hasn’t seen Mrs Trev cheat at Scrabble 😱

  120. 120
    bt8 says:

    A really excellent piece on Benny Blanco linked @118. Mostly interpreting the man’s words in an revealing interview. “Some of the videos I’ve seen” for instance. Sure do hope the refs don’t watch those videos. 😗. Thanks for the read, OM.

  121. 121
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@116: I heard it stated this week that Arsenal Women’s average attendance this season is higher than that of nine men’s Premier League clubs.

  122. 122
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@118: Thanks for the link. Benny Blanco says that most of the other players in the team could play his inverted full-back role, which may well be true. But somehow, only he could play his role at corners.

  123. 123
    OsakaMatt says:

    Fingers crossed for Forest. Even though there is no Turner or Tavares, I can’t really blame them for that.
    Useless Elanga just missed a great chance

  124. 124
    OsakaMatt says:

    Robertson just delivered a flying forearm smash to a Forest player and only got a yellow card. Klopp subbed him off 10 seconds off 10 seconds later

  125. 125
    OsakaMatt says:

    How annoying

  126. 126
    bt8 says:

    Haven’t seen the Liverpool game but the BBC report sums it up

    “Coach Steven Reid was shown a red card as they fumed at the decision to give Liverpool the ball after Ibrahima Konate went down with a head injury shortly before the goal.

    Forest had possession when the game was stopped but the game restarted with the ball at the feet of Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and the away side kept the ball, went down the other end and eventually found the winner.”

  127. 127
    bt8 says:

    If anyone enjoys watching a game played in a blizzard there’s one going on right now in MLS, Salt Lake v. LAFC but the challenge is seeing the ball. Reminds me of the snow bowl that was Minnesota v Atlanta six-odd years ago when Miguel Almiron scored a brace for Atlanta as I recall.

  128. 128
    bt8 says:

    Hugo Lloris is the new keeper for LAFC and he just allowed the second Salt Lake goal. Cut to a close up of his face and he looks completely bewildered that he is playing in such conditions

  129. 129
    ecg says:

    You would think he would be use to playing in crappy conditions having spent several years playing in a toilet bowl.

  130. 130
    bt8 says:

    So one might think, ecg

    Now he lets in a third in first half stoppage time

    I don’t think they are going to allow him any hand warmers for the second half

  131. 131
    bt8 says:

    Minnesota kicked off their home season today in 60 degree F bright sunny weather. Unheard of for early March. I left at full time missing the stoppage time equalizer by one of the local club’s youth movement under their new coach

  132. 132
    OsakaMatt says:

    @126 Fortunately Forest have Clattenberg as a consultant now so he could expertly explain that Tierney is a fuck-up 😂😂

  133. 133
    TTG says:

    I’m oop North this week and will be in Liverpool for the second part of the week when I will ( out of interest) take the Anfield tour but will do my best to thwart this habit of late goals which is very disconcerting . It’s as if the football world is clubbing together to give Juergen a special send-off.
    I will stymie him

  134. 134
    Ollie says:

    Looks like I ran the Paris Marathon in 1h 43 min 29s this morning, beating my unofficial target by over 2 minutes (and the unofficial one by more than 6).
    More money for charities. And thanks a lot again for the generous contributors. You were part of the motivation.

  135. 135
    Ollie says:

    HALF marathon of course, even the just deceased world record holder didn’t run the full one in that time!

  136. 136
    North Bank Ned says:

    Congratulations, Ollie.

  137. 137
    Countryman100 says:

    Congratulations Ollie! Fabulous job!

  138. 138
    bt8 says:

    Congratulations 🎉 Ollie !!

  139. 139
    bt8 says:

    85 mins
    Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham
    An attendance of 60,050 has just been announced at Emirates Stadium on a lovely sunny afternoon in North London.

    Now see it our, ladies. 🥰

  140. 140
    bt8 says:

    FT: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham – Alessia Russo scores only goal to keep Gunners in title race


  141. 141
    Sancho Panza says:

    1 hour 43 is a very respectable time Ollie. Well done mate.

  142. 142
    OsakaMatt says:

    Well done Ollie and the Arsenal Women, a good Sunday except for the useless lumps at Old Toilet of course

  143. 143
    North Bank Ned says:

    Ominously typical City performance: 1-0 down to 3-1 up with Haarland barely getting out of bed. How Utd are still sixth is beyond me.

  144. 144
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thank you Matt for such an enjoyable report. Sorry it took me a while to post comments here.

    Agreed with you and others that it was likely Kai’s best performance for us. How the whole team started and completely dominated such a physical team in every aspect of the game was magnificent to watch.

    This team is now consistently offering materials for long lasting happy memories on a frequent basis. Especially in days like these when they get the balance between control and creativity right.

  145. 145
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Gasp! The fabled one and one-half ton is within range.

    Oh, and my lack of oracular competency has been definitively confirmed.😳


  146. 146
    North Bank Ned says:

    Plays it crisply out from the back…

  147. 147
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, the 150 dragon is there is to be slain.
    Coincidentally, it’s the Year of the Dragon in Japan.
    My year as well, more apt than my star sign Virgo

  148. 148
    OsakaMatt says:

    Receives the ball from his teammate Theolonius Walcott Monk,
    turns and.

  149. 149
    OsakaMatt says:

    slips it through to an onrushing……

  150. 150
    Lonestar Gooner says:



  151. 151
    bt8 says:

    Well in Lonestar for the increasingly rare ton and a half

  152. 152
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the one and one-half ton, LG.

    That assist was a thing of ugly beauty, OM.

  153. 153
    bt8 says:

    Spot on about United @143. They suck. And I could be wrong but Ten Hag strikes me as more hopeless than their last handful of managers.

  154. 154
    Ollie says:

    Landmark achievement, well in Lonestar!

  155. 155
    Ollie says:

    Indeed Ned and bt8. They fluked quite a few results to get to that position and that’s made Ten Hag miraculously remain. They are truly dreadful.

  156. 156
    scruzgooner says: