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On the tube tonight on the way to this match I encountered a group of Neanderthals who soon outed themselves as Chelsea fans. I will censor their comments but their expectations for the game were either that they would get crushed 5-0 or it would be a classic. Their main hope was that Kai Havertz would not score against them. It was to be an evening when their worst imaginings came to pass.

Arsenal made a few changes from Saturday’s starting eleven. Tomayisu was chosen at left back and Partey started in midfield with Rice for the first time this season. Our esteemed friend Btm has been suggesting Partey should come into the side for some weeks and the quality of his performance tonight underlined why.

Although profoundly outclassed Chelsea squandered a series of opportunities in the first half but ended with only one shot on target. Their team was missing some key players, including the exciting Cole Palmer, but still cost a fortune and one can say with confidence that their outlay on Nicolas Jackson was money appallingly spent. They suffered a first defeat in nine league games, and degenerated into a sad rabble long before the end.

Arsenal began brightly and led inside four minutes.

Declan Rice was given  time and space to advance deep into the Chelsea half before slipping in Trossard to run outside Gilchrist and fire home a low, left-footed shot which was allowed to squirm home by Petrovic.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0 – Trossard

Chelsea’s suffered a very lucky reprieve when Jackson avoided a potential eighth-minute red card after raking Tomiyasu’s ankle with his studs.

Rice then fired narrowly over from the edge of the box following a delightful piece of control, before the visitors almost snatched a strange leveller.

Jackson outpaced William Saliba down the left wing, and his attempted cut back deflected off Gabriel and struck the outside of the near post.

Petrovic then saved well from Havertz and, moments later, made a fine reaction save to keep out Trossard’s effort which took a touch off Disasi.

Ben White produced a crucial block to deny Marc Cucurella after good work from Madueke, and Fernandez side-footed the rebound just wide. One felt Arsenal were vulnerable to the quick break and I particularly hoped Mudryk would not harm us.

Jackson then mystifyingly handled a terrific headed chance from Conor Gallagher’s cross as the first half finished with a number of yellow cards, including one for Arteta. It seemed he felt that the referee was inconsistent in booking Trossard having excused Jackson’s reckless challenge. I think he had a point.

Half-time – Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0

At the interval the game was in the balance as we had not been clinical in our finishing and Chelsea had the pace if not the composure to catch Arsenal on the break.

Arteta must have got into his side at the break and they came out with much more purpose after the interval.

Petrovic saved well from Rice and Havertz following lovely work by Ødegaard, who was in quite sublime form. Then from a corner Rice thrashed in a shot which was deflected to White who finished well.

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0 – White

Havertz was then superbly released by Ødegaard and held off Cucurella to loft the ball over Petrovic. The goal was scrutinised by VAR after a heavy challenge by Gabriel on Madueke but was allowed to stand. Perhaps VAR were reluctant to chalk off a goal created by such brilliance from the Norwegian.

Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0 – Havertz

Jackson’s erratic game continued as he hit the side-netting with only David Raya to beat before Arsenal ploughed further ahead. Havertz doubled his tally in the 65th minute by firing home via the right post after receiving a short pass from Saka.

Arsenal 4 Chelsea 0 – Havertz

White got his second five minutes later when he chipped a volley across goal from Ødegaard’s dinked pass and it flew into the top left hand corner. It looked fortuitous but was a fair reflection of the gulf between the sides.

Arsenal 5 Chelsea 0 – White

In the 72nd minute Arsenal made a quadruple substitution bringing on Martinelli, Zinchenko, Jesús, and Jorginho, and ten minutes later brought on Vieira for Saka. The Portuguese laced a fierce drive just wide showing commendable confidence and ambition.

Full-time – Arsenal 5 Chelsea 0

This was not only an emphatic win but showcased some of the very best aspects of this Arsenal side. Ødegaard was mesmeric. I rate him extraordinarily highly and it was the best game I have seen him play. Rice was also brilliant, full of running and creativity, freed possibly by Partey’s elegant presence beside him. I thought the blend in midfield was excellent tonight.

Defensively we were troubled by Chelsea’s pace on the first half but overwhelmed their flaky attack in the second. Havertz had a slightly wasteful first half but an excellent second helped by the penetrative running of Saka and Trossard.

It is always nice to win local derbies and a 5-0 win is especially pleasing. As Trev’s excellent preview underlined Chelsea are a club in the midst of a financial crisis and they seem to lack character and structure on the pitch. Their capitulation in the second half came mainly through Arsenal’s excellence but I ran into those morons on the tube again after the match  suggesting that we might win f*** all and then encountered them being apprehended by the police on Arsenal station. They and their underachieving team deserve each other.

We march on with a healthily increased goal difference and THE big derby to come. We were excellent tonight and seem in good shape to take our title challenge deep into the season’s finale – come on Everton and Brighton!

66 Drinks to “Resurgent Arsenal crush Chelsea as Partey joins the party”

  1. 1
    BtM says:

    Excellent summary of an outstanding performance by the Arsenal, TTG.

    We’ve waited a whole season to see the Odegaard, Partey, Rice midfield weave its magic. It’s difficult not to let the mind wander to pondering what levels of excellence would have been arrived at had both Partey and Timber been fit for the whole season.

    Sharing two comments from among many I’ve read this morning:

    “Martin Ødegaard was sublime, such an odd mix of roughhouse pressing and wonderful surgical passing, like being hounded to death by a poet.”

    “Jackson’s assault on Tomiyasu unquestionably merited a red card. Presumably VAR thought it was a greater punishment for Chelsea to leave Jackson on the field than to dismiss him.

    Have a great day, Holics.

  2. 2
    OsakaMatt says:

    Your late night lucubrations are much appreciated TTG!

    Like the headline, I confidently told BtM Partey’s race was run last week and it was nice to see myself so wrong, he played well.

    Your excellent report is pretty much as I saw it, though I wouldn’t give Petrovic the fine reaction save from Leo’s deflection – it just hit his silly head I thought.

    Both Jackson and Madueke are very quick, not often you see William and Tomi getting done for pace like that but fortunately no end product means it doesn’t really matter how quick they are!

    On we go………

  3. 3
    Sancho Panza says:

    Cheers TTG. This sets us up very nicely for Sunday. Who needs training sessions when there are actual games to play. Spurs will be practicing with cones whilst Arsenal are reading each others minds in front of a crowd. I predict a 3 nil away win on Sunday.
    Shame about the moronic Chelsea idiots. Glad they lost and they can go back to their small little inconsequential lives.

  4. 4
    OsakaMatt says:

    Pipped by The Man himself, morning BtM.
    I liked that Ronay line about Ode too, sums him up well.

  5. 5
    Countryman100 says:

    Thanks TTG for describing so well a wonderful night at The Emirates. A fast start and the best second half all season. Odegaard unbelievably good, Havertz excellent and Ben White providing the comedy lines on top of a great performance. Crowd were loud and proud as well.

  6. 6
    Trev says:

    Thanks TTG – a fine and very quickly delivered report.

    Nothing to disagree with – apart maybe from the trivial matter of Petrovic’s brilliant “save”.
    TV slo-mos backed up Matt’s verdict – it just hit him in the face !

    The comment I’d like to expand on is this one –
    “ In the 72nd minute Arsenal made a quadruple substitution bringing on Martinelli, Zinchenko, Jesús, and Jorginho, and ten minutes later brought on Vieira for Saka “

    – for many seasons there was a suspicion, let’s say, that our medical team were seriously underperforming, apparently in preparing and certainly in rehabilitating our players after injury. To have only one player unavailable at this stage of the season is a remarkable achievement – and that player is Jurrien Timber, who appears to be quite close to a return to action after 8 months, following surgery in his anterior cruciate ligament. That, in itself, puts him ahead of schedule.

    Thomas Partey – and I’m as big a fan as BtM – was terrific last night. He has been out for a long and frustrating time, but better to return in that kind of form, properly healed, than rush back and suffer the usual secondary strains. Fingers crossed for him because on that form there is one less midfield player we need to recruit this summer.

    Similarly, Gabriel Jesus. Knee injuries are very difficult to overcome – especially at this level of the game. He may yet need further surgery in the summer, but he has come back fully combative even if he hasn’t quite found his shooting range yet.

    To have that list of substitutes to come on at the end of Game 34 is truly remarkable. Hats off to whoever is running the medical team now – a vital part of any title challenge.

    Finally, but not for the first time, I am absolutely delighted to admit I was completely wrong about Kai Havertz. What a transformation and what a spot by Arteta and Edu who clearly saw what Chelsea could not. And more hats off to Gunnersaurus Stunt Double who had the Havertz situation sussed from day one !

  7. 7
    Trev says:

    And even more hats off to Man of The Match, Dennis Odegaard !

    What a player !

  8. 8
    TTG says:

    A great post @6 . The conditioning team at Arsenal deserve huge plaudits and it is remarkable to have such a squad available. Citeh were in this position last year and it gives you do many options
    Re the Petrovic save I sit 100 yards away and don’t always see the replays so I went on instinct and at the at time of the morning I wasn’t going to watch replays of a non-goal ! I’ve now seen it and you and Matt describe it well
    I’ve had one of my big Chelsea mates on today . He is horrified by the state of the club and literally amazed by the player Arteta has made of Havertz . He thinks Mudryk is uncoachable ( he goes down to Cobham regularly ) but says he has great ability . I wonder if Arteta could make him a player – but he wouldn’t be four times as good as Trossard !

  9. 9
    OsakaMatt says:

    I think there is a fairly long line of people to admit they were wrong about Kai!

    Arteta talked about Ode as someone he and Edu thought they could develop and I guess they saw the same in Kai, it was interesting that MA pointed out Edu was the one who was most insistent that we must get Ode.

    To be fair to the rest of us with somewhat more limited vision – Edu and MA know more about playing midfield than we ever will! They were both very good and very smart.

  10. 10
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    First up, I’ve only just got round to reading Trev’s preview for this one and I need to thank him before I do anything else. What a fantastic piece. The time and effort put into that are only matched by the superb quality of the final piece. That is a really top level piece of research and writing, and I’m proud just to be associated with a site that has contributions of such outstanding quality. Well done Trev.

    Presumably, word got back to the first team, who made every effort to match Trev’s hard work and devastating lacerations, destroying Chelsea’s defence in much the same way our scribe took the financial management and ethics of their disgraceful club to pieces.

    Top stuff all round.

    I was actually at the match last night, so I’ll try to post a few thoughts when I’ve got a bit more time later today. Suffice to say, it was a helluva game to be at!

  11. 11
    Esso says:

    Cheers TTG!

  12. 12
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bang on the money, TTG. If it is any consolation, the initial reaction of the commentator on the US broadcast was also that Petrovic had made a reaction save from Trossard’s deflected shot and only rowed back from that after seeing replays.

    Trossard’s early goal helped get us off to a bright start but we could have been 4-0 up by half-time or 2-1 down. The second half was a different game. We ran riot as Chelsea folded. Partey looked like the Rolls Royce of a player we know he can be, and by liberating Rice to play as an eight, makes us so much more potent. Rice would have been man of the match had Ødegaard not been playing. What a performance from the skipper!

    I thought Havertz had another good game but not particularly superior to any of his recent ones, although a couple of goals puts a shine on any performance and, in this case, has quietened the nay-sayers. As with Raya, Mikel knows.

  13. 13
    BtM says:

    @6, Trev,

    Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see a fully fit Partey anchor our midfield next season with Martin and Declan alongside him. I wonder though, if after this long season of injury, MA8/Edu may think that releasing Thomas to gentler pastures and reinvesting in a more youthful alternative might be the better course of action? Time will tell.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    North Bank Ned says:

    BtM@13: Partey is out of contract at the end of next season, when he will be coming up to his 32nd birthday. The hardnosed choice is probably between selling him for a modest fee this summer or letting him run down his contract, hoping that he will stay fit enough for 20-25-30 games next season while a successor is bedded in. Talking of which is there any word on the rumour that Sammi Lokonga will be given an opportunity to audition for the part?

  16. 16
    Trev says:

    GSD – thank you, much appreciated 🙏🏼🙏🏼
    BtM, Ned, you’re both right, I’m sure. Whennfir he is such a good player and I guess we will keep one of him and Jorginho as this is still a young squad that needs good senior players. Does Partey fit that role with hereto such poor availability ? That is the question, I guess.

  17. 17
    Trev says:

    C100 @ 14,
    Romero did that to him – by the hair ! – when that played Tottenham. I guess we can all see why – stupid, irritating little rat.

  18. 18
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers TTG. Excellent report and exactly the game I saw.

    I was lucky enough to have a mate who took me along to club level last night, on the curve of the North Bank just under the new Goonerholic banner.

    I won’t try to imitate the inimitable C100 with a personal report but I’ll highlight a couple of things.

    Outside the stadium, I got to pay homage to Arsene’s statue for the first time. I searched it out before the game and even, unusually for me, got someone to take a photo. I love Arsene dearly and I was moved to see him honoured in his rightful place with the stadium he was so instrumental in getting built behind him.
    He suffered so much at the hands of Chelsea and everything they did to modern football just when we’d got together our new stadium plans which would have elevated us into Europe’s truly elite had it not been for the money that Abramovich paved the way for various billionaires and nation states to pump into football out of vanity, ego or propaganda. At the end of the match, I thought of Arsene, and the relative position of Arsenal and Chelsea, and wondered whether he hasn’t had the last laugh. At least, this was a night I am sure he enjoyed greatly wherever he watched it, and that’s a pleasing thought.

    In the ground, there were two blokes behind us who spent most of the match slagging off the team. They were all over Havertz (until he scored two goals), specifically asking for him to be subbed for anybody available, just to get him off the pitch. One of them opined that they’d happily see him replaced by Elneny up top. This level of complaining and nothing the players did being good enough carried on all through the game, with little of the respite I naively thought a 5-0 scoreline might bring.

    In the last ten minutes Jesus slipped in the box as he cut the ball back and one of the gents behind me just layed into him, full power, at the top of his lungs, like the lad had just grievously wronged him. Apparently, he slips too much and should get some new boots, as well as being several types of swear word, the worst of which I would usually associate with the Chelsea ownership or members of the PGMOL. Of course, such people were immune to criticism from those behind me, who reserved this type of language for people who play for Arsenal Footbal Club. Madness. Utter madness.

    As me and the two mates I was with all agreed, it added a tiresome and draining gloss to the evening.

    However, these muppets aside, the crowd was really good. I had a cheerful, sweary lady next to me, whose positivity and noise went well with ours, and that of most of the stadium. The noise was loud, the chants many and varied, most were well known to the majority and sung with gusto.

    Highlights for me were when the crowd started doing olés for Chelsea’s passes once they were 5-0 down, a rousing rendition of “you’re fucking shit” which really amused me, and an impromptu but boisterous few rounds of “Chelsea get battered.”

    There were many more good moments.

    Kai’s song obviously got a good airing, and Benny White got a lot of love, especially for that majestic (flukey) second.

    Simon Hooper was shit at refereeing. I didn’t see how bad the Jackson foul was until later, so that wasn’t a concern for me on real time. Its just how often he gets nothing calls wrong. He’s just a tremendously poor referee and it detracts so much from games when some headless tit in the middle is running around giving decisions that appear to be based on asking a magic 8 ball whether he should give a free kick or not.

    I thoroughly enjoyed how bad Chelsea were. Although we were also very good, and it was the combination that led to such an emphatic scoreline.

    Odegaard was just a joy to watch. He’s some player.

    Partey was fantastic. He had some of his aura back. If we’d got him fit a month before we did then i think we’d have had enough to get past Bayern. I said at the time that he was the player we needed for that tie, and last night has only cemented that view. Hid passing is incisive. Even the first goal for Trossard, it is just the swiftness of Partey’s first time ball that gives Rice space to run into before Chelsea can set themselves, and leads to Leo’s rifled finish. Partey was dominant all game. If we can’t keep him fit, then we need to sell him. But if we can keep him fit then he’s the player who’s gonna unleash Rice. I’d like to see us buy another CM in the summer (22 to 25 years old, one with potential and legs, but not necessarily the finished article, which seems to cost huge money these days) keep Partey and Jorginho, get rid of Sambi and say a fond farewell to Elneny, a player I am a huge admirer of and who has been a wonderful servant to our club. Then share minutes between Partey and Jorginho, depending on the opposition.

    Anyway, that’s much more than I meant to write (I’m on a train and have time on my hands!) but I have to say what a brilliant team and manager we have, how excellent the atmosphere in the stadium was yesterday and how much I am enjoying this team’s efforts to win our first title in 20 years.


  19. 19
    Uplympian says:

    Cheers TTG for a super quick match report that summed up the evening perfectly. Watching the 2cnd half was the best fun night of watching football for a long time. Seeing the Chavs in such disarray was hilarious – perhaps they may need to buy some players in the close season.
    From an Arsenal perspective it was a delight to see Odegaard put in such a show, we are blessed that he is evolving into the top, top player that he was expected to become from his teenage years. TP5 also gave us a cameo of his exquisite skills in the second half – is he up to repeating that for another 4 must win matches?
    Finally it’s really encouraging to see Kai Havertz develop into the player we hoped he could be – he appears to have regained his mojo that he lost whilst over at the Bus Stop. He is now playing with confidence in a kind of a false 9 role and it is bringing a different dimension to our play. Arteta & the coaches are doing a brilliant job developing our players.

  20. 20
    OsakaMatt says:

    1-0 Everton at the half wasn’t what I was expecting but it’s a nice surprise.

  21. 21
    OsakaMatt says:

    Wheels have come off for Liverpool big time this month.

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    Matt, I think we all fall into the trap of listening to the pundits . I really think under the pressure they will find City won’t steamroller everyone and will drop points . So it’s up to us to take tye next four in our stride. Liverpool look like the first of the three to bottle it. Our lads deserve great credit for bouncing back after Villa.
    And let’s reflect on how we would be feeling if we had a two-legged tie with Real Madrid to play . It would put huge pressure on our squad

  23. 23
    Countryman100 says:

    GSD @18. What a fantastic, evocative report from inside the stadium. Bravo sir!

    PS. How about them Toffees!!

  24. 24
    TTG says:

    If you like great analysis and appraisal of our players look at this piece by Adam Clery on Odegaard’s performance on Tuesday night

  25. 25
    Pangloss says:

    Like GSD, I was at the game last night.

    I experienced many nervous moments – would the charabanc get me there this time? The last time I went, I also parked outside my niece’s near Wood Green station. That match was the Europa League game against Sporting – not an auspicious precedent. To make things even worse, Tomi went down and stayed down for long enough for me to remember that he didn’t appear again last season after that Sporting game.

    A few random thoughts, memories and impressions…

    A big thank you to C100 for the link @15. I wasn’t watching sufficiently carefully and the first I saw was Cucurella lying in the goal and Ben White just standing there, staring steadfastly in the opposite direction for what seemed like minutes. I’ve seen no reference to the incident elsewhere and am relieved to see that it really happened and I hadn’t imagined it.

    My memory of Leo’s booking is that he essentially ran the width of the pitch to scythe down Cucurella – what’s not to like?

    I too loved the Ole’s at the end while Chelsea demonstrated their very own version of the horseshoe of death. I was impressed with the variation whereby the horseshoe started just outside the Arsenal box but after a few tens of passes ended up just outside the Chelsea area. Good innovation by Poch.

    What to say about Martin Odegaard? I lose count of the number of times he was there just in front of the defence helping to mop up and appearing a little later, level with Havertz waving the team forward. How he finds the time, let alone the energy, to make vital passes as well is completely beyond me.

    A great game to catch. Thank you Arsenal. Four more wins, please. It would be nice if Brighton can go undefeated for the rest of the season too, or even the rest of the week.

  26. 26
    OsakaMatt says:

    Hi Pangloss,

    That Sporting Lisbon game and the 5-0 win this week is really meeting triumph and disaster. Glad you made it there and back again!

    I am not sure what Cucurella did or said but Ben rag-dolled him a couple of times, Leo kicked him as you mentioned and even our mild-mannered Starboy dumped him to ground with an afters body check in the first half. It was all very funny but I did wonder about any ex-Brigton thing

  27. 27
    OsakaMatt says:

    @22 , 24 TTG
    Thanks for the link TTG and all good points @22. To be honest I have been surprised Liverpoo got this far as they have a weaker squad compared to ourselves and 115ty I think.
    Some credit to Klippity I suppose who wanted to go out on a high and has got pretty close
    with an iffy defence and somewhat erratic collection of forwards.

  28. 28
    Trev says:

    GSD @18, great work yourself for that report from, it appears, behind enemy lines. We do unfortunately have our fair share of numbskulls – doubtless yours were the same idiots calling for Arteta to be booted out after we lost to Bayern, let alone Villa.
    It makes you wonder what the club / team would have to do to actually satisfy them.

  29. 29
    bt8 says:

    A sign that silly season is just around the corner, if it’s not here already:

    “Tuttosport has reported that the Gunners have begun contact with Kia Joorabchian over Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, a player said to be top of their wish-list.

    The report claims that Arsenal have tabled a contract offer for five years, worth €6million plus bonuses. This works out at around £99,000-a-week.“

  30. 30
    bt8 says:

    Zirkzee has a Bayern pedigree (they sold him to Bologna in 2022) but apparently as of last January “his former club Bayern still had a 40% cut of any possible transfer fee.” Not sure we want to be subsidizing a rival, but I wouldn’t mind it as payback for Gnabry if Edu could negotiate that into the deal.

  31. 31
    Ollie says:

    Fantastic evening. Following the first haf on the phone while at a social work event, then on the bus back, second half in the lobby of the hotel on the iPad (but I missed the second goal due to connection problems), while drinking beer and mezcal…
    I’ll read the report, and in fact the preview later. Stranded in Athens for now due to plane cancellation (if we are looking for an efficient striker, we could do worse than look at French air traffic controllers….), but I’ll try to make the best-ish out of it.

  32. 32
    TTG says:

    I would take the Zirkzee rumours reasonably seriously. His skill sets , age and flexibility put him exactly in the wheelhouse that Arteta and Edu understandably crave and his fee isn’t at the Osimhen , Toney , Watkins level and whoever you sign the fee you pay is enriching one potential rival or another . I was told he is not keen on returning to Bayern given the presence of Mr.Kane and I’d suggest he might be a reasonable shout as our next striker signing.
    His You Tube compilation is sumptuous, but they always are!

  33. 33
    bathgooner says:

    Apologies TTG, I am late to the part(e)y, due to circumstances outside my control. That’s an excellent report encapsulating the key moments of an excellent game. The revived fortunes of the blue meanies in the weeks before this match was a concern and, indeed, they still posed a threat to our desired harvest of 3 points at half time, though we should really already have put the game beyond them. However our second half performance was exquisite and they were put to the sword swiftly and summarily. In that second half the match did become men vs boys. Did the men from the Bus Stop play any midfielders?

    I have run out of superlatives for Martin Ødegaard – there are none praiseworthy enough but in that match he was run close by Rice who was everywhere and is not only a better player than I thought he was but is also a better player than he was when he signed. It’s clear from this match that Ødegaard, Rice and Havertz have developed a close understanding of each others’ movements.

    BtM deserves credit for his determination not to lose faith in TP5 whose contribution was immense while Kai Havertz continues to show why MA8 wanted him – no muted celebrations for his goals, I note. I suspect Kai is a happier bunny in N5. An honourable mention for the other two goal hero – his shithousery is entertaining and his goals (even the one he didn’t mean) were excellent. Leo had an excellent game too and took his goal with deadly accuracy. If only Martinelli and Vieira had emulated him, we would have posted an even better scoreline. However it was great to see both of them come on and show hunger and desire.

    Thanks for interesting on the spot supplements from GSD and Pangloss. Why do these moaning bar stewards pay top dollar to watch players who clearly simply upset them. My own experience of the denizens of club level is equally disappointing.

    Now just the small matter of a NLD.

  34. 34
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers TTG for the link at 24. Adam Clery is as good as ever and the video highlights so well what it is that makes Odegaard such a dangerous player.

    “Technically ruthless” is a top description of him.

    It’s also a great sign that an analyst as astute as Adam Clery reckons him for player of the season. I found his interpretation of some of the stats very interesting too.

    I also watched his video on Ten Hag at Manure. Also good, it made me laugh. But I hope Ratcliffe doesn’t see it and persists with the dutchman.

  35. 35
    Ollie says:

    Cheers TTG. I actually watched some of the match with a Chelsea fan I work with once a year, but he’s that rare (unique?) sort, a nice and friendly Chelsea fan. We had celebrated that Coventry ‘goal’ together like mad on Sunday while working.
    Sunday’s even bigger now, we’ll need to be very strong, but the way we could have scored ten on Tuesday was just fantastic. I actually had a big grin all day yesterday despite the travel woes. 😀

  36. 36
    bathgooner says:

    TTG @24, Adam Clery is also on top form. Thanks for posting. I only ever see that when someone posts it here. I can’t seem to ‘subscribe’ and get alerts.

  37. 37
    Countryman100 says:

    I’m sure we all feel this tonight!

  38. 38
    TTG says:

    To confirm the song – ‘ Declan Rice – we got him half price !’ , this excellent analysis underlines just how good he is .

    Declan Rice: Arsenal’s £105m Signing Who Has Proved Priceless

    Thanks for your enjoyable postings GSD and Pangloss . It’s good to see a lot of Holics being able to get tickets at a key stage of the season . Sadly there are a huge number of idiots watching the team and their hostility can mar the enjoyment of proper fans who support the team . My neighbour at the ground and I had strong words with a lad who was incredibly negative about Arteta during the Villa game . He was apoplectic at the subbing off of Odegaard who was clearly carrying a knock . As C100 says we are all Seagulls fans tonight !

  39. 39
    TTG says:

    I don’t subscribe . I just go on You Tube and look for Adam’s latest Arsenal stuff

  40. 40
    bt8 says:

    Thanks TTG for that excellent link showing Declan’s impressive statistics and his importance to the team in so many different areas. As for the Zirkzee link, if it proves to be true we could have an important Dutch contingent in the club next season between him, Timber and Albert (Mikel’s left hand man). No nonsense rather than silly season then?

  41. 41
    Ollie says:

    Time to bring Dennis back in some capacity then?

  42. 42
    bt8 says:

    Re: Countryman above: Come on you seagulls!! That game is hours away and we aren’t involved but it could be massive for us if a few things go the seagulls’ way. BHA to help us again? Benny Blanco and Leandro Trossard haven’t been so bad either. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  43. 43
    bathgooner says:

    Another great link, TTG @38. I think you should be awarded the title of Honorary GHF Librarian. What a great signing! Truly transformative. I’m not a great fan of football stats. I much prefer to watch the player. However those stats confirm the evidence of my eyes. The fella covers every blade of grass and thunders upfield like a galloping stallion.

  44. 44
    Doctor Faustus says:

    A wonderfully recapitulated review of a fantastic performance! Thank you TTG!
    There are a lot of comments in the media about how Chelsea were awful. I think they were nowhere as innately bad as some are making out to be, it’s just that our tactical sophistication and the dynamism and understanding of the players completely outmaneuvered them. If the peak form and fully fit Saka and Martinelli were on the wings then this could have become even more embarrassing for them. Our biggest ever victory over Chelsea and we completely deserved it.

    I see Ødegaard is being compared to few other great playmakers in Arsenal history. Though his elegance, passing range, vision and the ability to manipulate space may bring to mind greats like Bergkamp, I think Martin is a completely unique player with no template in the history of football. His work rate off the ball is phenomenal and comparable to a traditional DM, his pressing — the intensity as well as the intelligent timing of it — is one of the best in world football today, and then all the magic he creates in and around the opposition final third. There is absolutely no egoism in his approach, not a moment of basking in his technical virtuosity, but relentlessly looking to use all his energy and abilities to influence the game exactly as needed. It’s a joy to watch, and can be a great example to the various talented youngsters coming through our academy.

    Thank you Arsenal for presenting us with what felt to be one of the most memorable performances in the Emirates era.

  45. 45
    Bathgooner says:

    I don’t think we should build up our hopes that Brighton will do us a favour tonight. I saw them 6 weeks ago at the Cottage and they were comprehensively taken apart by Fulham in a 3-0 defeat who aren’t good enough to take points off C115y either.

    Brighton are not the team they were last season or the season before, for obvious reasons. However they have had a few surprise results this season and a shock is not completely out of the question but it’s an extremely remote possibility.

  46. 46
    bt8 says:

    Re: Faustus, I too am amazed by all Odegaard does,including leading our press so energetically late into the second half of games. What a combination of attributes including great consistency in his performances.

    Re: Bath. I see your point about the vulnerability of this year’s seagulls but still hoping against hope for a display of unexpected soaring. Now, where did I put my seagull emojis?

  47. 47
    OsakaMatt says:

    Dead seagull emoji

    Reports of Brighton’s demise were not greatly exaggerated it seems. To be fair it is difficult to sell as many as they have and stay competitive.

    Spudward we go then, waders on.

  48. 48
    Goonersince54 says:

    I don’t know if many in the bar follow the Arse website in great detail, but all season long they have been posting weekly stories, interviews, game highlights etc, from the Invincibles season which is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.
    They have had long interviews with all the players, along with highlights from every match played.
    Today, they have the win at the Lane to secure the title, comments from every player on that historical day, and loads of pictures from inside and outside the dressing rooms.
    I’ve registered as a Member on the site, at no cost, so i can get all the content, game highlights, including bench cam, which follows Arteta on the sidelines as he watches the game.
    Also has interviews and game highlight from Ladies and junior teams as well.
    It is very comprehensive and one of the best Club websites in the PL for comprehensive content.
    Well worth a read.

  49. 49
    Goonersince54 says:

    Just read the latest excellent Mike McDonald post on the Chelsea game.
    I fully expect Countryman/TTG or some other wizard of the internet to post it in the bar.
    News re next season, starts August 17th, finishes end of May.
    33 league weekends and 4 midweek rounds.
    No winter break.
    CL changes to league format, kick in as well.
    This Summer is going to be chaos.
    Euro championships and Copa America blending into pre season, so very little rest for players.
    Going to be survival of the fittest.

  50. 50
    OsakaMatt says:

    Cutting the winter break seems very short-sighted to me, but then the whole thing was never about player welfare anyway. The winter break may well be the single biggest factor in our turnaround from January this season though of course i cannot say that for sure.

    One change from my youth is that I used to read the papers hoping our players were in the international squads, now I check the Internet hoping they aren’t!!

  51. 51
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half-ton, OM.

    Clive@49: Don’t forget the new FIFA Intercontinental Cup, a club competition with a final in December, just in case the top players don’t feel they are getting enough minutes.

  52. 52
    North Bank Ned says:

    Also the GHF Predictathon Leaderboard for the double Match Week 34 has been posted. A lot of ups and downs this match week. You know where to find it…

  53. 53
    OsakaMatt says:

    I will check now Ned, hoping for score down, position up 😂

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    It was the opposite 😢
    Never mind, I was in good company

  55. 55
    North Bank Ned says:

    Blame Bournemouth, OM. Your score went up by a net 40 points and the Cherries accounted for 39 of them.

  56. 56
    North Bank Ned says:

    Your Ropey League performance, in contrast, was positively inspired.

  57. 57
    Goonersince54 says:

    Don’t know whether anyone can extract long form interview from Henry about Invincibles on Arse website, and post in in bar, it really is superb.

  58. 58
    Countryman100 says:

    Here we go Clive, here’s Mike McDonald

    If you hadn’t noticed… (Positives Needs & Hopes) [ARS 5-0 CHE]

  59. 59
    Countryman100 says:

    And, as a bonus, here’s Amy Lawrence on Kai Havertz


  60. 60
    TTG says:

    You beat me to the McDonald attachment for Clive but many thanks for the Athletic article on Havertz.
    Amy Lawrence was one of the original writers on the Gooner when it started. A fanatical home and away supporter with a real desire to write professionally. Her story is similar to Alyson Rudd at the Times. I met Alyson when I was Head of Marketing at Swiss Re and she was Editor of a (very dry) insurance magazine called Post Magazine . At our in-house , ostensibly business lunches we would alienate the rest of the diners by long, detailed , technical chats about football. She is a serious Liverpool fan . Her great desire was to become a football journalist and I remember her telling me about the sexism and groping she suffered in the early days ( including from a well-known Liverpool goalkeeper !) . To read her and to read a beautifully nuanced article like Amy’s on Kai does underline that the glass ceiling , in what was a very sexist world , has fractured if not shattered . That makes me delighted and very proud of both ladies . They’ve prevailed after a very difficult struggle

  61. 61
    Countryman100 says:

    And finally, here’s the Henry article from Arsenal.com.


  62. 62
    Goonersince54 says:

    Many thnks C100
    All 3 are great reads.

  63. 63
    bt8 says:

    Thanks to those who made them for the very interesting links above. Re: Timber, Mikel has spoken:

    “We’re going to have to make that decision tomorrow after the training session. He’s very close. I don’t know if it (the north London derby) is going to come a bit too early but he’s very close.”

  64. 64
  65. 65
    North Bank Ned says:

    Some good reads above. Thanks for the links.

  66. 66
    Bathgooner says: