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Bournemouth visited The Grove for a midday Saturday game under glorious skies, The Arsenal hoping to advance their cause and increase their lead at the top of the league. In the 11th minute Ryan Christie earned a straight red card for a high-footed, studs-up foul on Bukayo Saka. Arsenal, who by that time had five attempts on goal blocked, then found space all over their box and proceeded to put five first-half goals past a clearly outclassed 10-man Bournemouth squad, before swapping out 5 starters at half-time (Saka, Ødegaard, White, Partey, and Trossard for Jesús, Vieira, Cedric, Jorginho, and Martinelli) and cruising to a goal-difference-enhancing, position-maintaining victory.


That’s what I could have written, had referee David Coote actually been competent and worked with VAR to figure that a foul like Christie’s is both reckless AND dangerous. Instead we were treated to an otherwise outstanding first half of Arsenal pressure (nearly complete dominance for the first 30 minutes), and a second half evincing our maturity in the face of a team that has quality, just not enough to make a real challenge against us.

After that series of shot attempts by Saka, Trossard, and Mø, and then Christie’s unpunished foul, Arsenal spent the next 20 minutes with more than 90% of the ball. Excepting on 18 when Solanke got away from Gabriel and had the ball nicked off him in our box by an imperious Saliba we were largely untroubled by any Bournemouth threat. Havertz forced the first save of the game from Travers after a beautiful ball over the top from Tomi, hitting a delightful snap-shot on the half-volley.

And then, in the 14th minute of the game, fans in the stadium rose as one and clapped, in remembrance:

Rest in peace, Daniel. Go find ‘Holic, CBA, and Gooner Terry, they’ll take care of you…

Even as the fans were honoring Daniel Havertz was fouled by Christie. From then we were so on top of the Cherries even Saliba and Tomi were marauding forward, the former forcing Travers into another save and the latter nearly setting Mø free with a cutback intercepted in the box. Partey had a shot saved, Trossard shot over, Tomi’s header was cleared off the line, Saka had a shot blocked out for a corner, and on it went. We played in their half like we owned it, except for Bournemouth’s fouls, Christie being their principal offender…still not seeing even a yellow card. When we lost the ball we recovered it using a press that was active, multi-faceted, and suffocating.

After a foul on 29′ by Christie Bournemouth began to assert their quality, undoubtable under manager Iraola; as people have pointed out, after the first ten games of the season Bournemouth’s form has been fifth-best in the league. (Full disclosure: I had Iraola as my choice for first sacked in our GHF contest this season; Dr. F. Jnr. won that bet, correctly choosing Paul Heckingbottom.) While they began to see more of the ball, they could do little with it. When we had it we repeatedly held possession deep in their half, and our patience would soon pay off.

As with the rest of the half up to the 42nd minute Bournemouth decided to give us free run of the midfield, only to compress the central spaces trying to stop us from playing our intricate passes that so often lead to goals. One of our best chances in the half was by Rice from Havertz’s head; his low, fizzing half-volley from the penalty spot went just the wrong side of Travers’ post.

And then came our breakthrough moment.

After a Bournemouth free kick, we worked the ball around the defense before Gabriel found Mø just inside their half. He spotted Havertz’s run between Senesi and Zabarnyi, then curled a delightful ball into the box that Kai touched beyond a lunging Travers, who brought our £65-million man down. While there are arguments to be made that Havertz’s leg was “left in”, if that sort of rule were enforced with consistency players like Harry Kane would be playing in the Championship. VAR opined the ruling on the field was correct (Coote for once having not lived up to the etymology of his name). Saka stepped up and stood up Travers, firing in the goal to the keeper’s right. It was his 20th goal this season, and it was noted on X that Saka is the youngest to 20 goals in a season for Arsenal since Martin Hayes in 1986-87. Truly a remarkable player.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth (Saka, 45′)

The rest of the half continued as it had been being played, with Arsenal bossing Bournemouth, even through 4 minutes of stoppage time. Even with 16 shots forcing only 3 saves from Travers we weren’t exactly profligate; Bournemouth’s box-packing was excellent, and they blocked at least three times as many of our shots as Travers saved. Make no mistake, though, our dominance was such that had we scored five against 11 men no one would have thought we’d overperformed.

Half time: Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

We began the second half as we ended the first, forcing Travers into two saves in the first five or six minutes before Bournemouth began to bite into the game. Our defense was compressed by Bournemouth’s pressing, and after a pair of non-fouls on Havertz and Mø Solanke got the ball from Kluivert in the box; Solanke shot hard and low, but it was well-saved by Raya.

The next fifteen minutes went back and forth like this, with Saka nearly converting a Havertz center, thwarted by Cook’s excellent defense. For the neutral it was probably the best part of the game; for Arsenal fans it was a bit of a tough watch, but our defense showed their ability to graft and dig in. Kluivert missed left wide of goal, then again from a free kick after a Gabriel foul twenty-five yards out. And Havertz and Partey got yellow cards for things more innocuous than Christie on Saka (thought I’d dropped that, didn’t you?), these were par for Coote’s course on the day.

Then came our second. Havertz won the ball deep in our defensive half, then White lofted a ball to Saka who found Havertz again, twenty yards inside our half; his movement on the day, his passing range, his touch, and his endeavour were all top, top class. We really wasted our money on him, eh? He found Mø, whose deflected pass landed at Rice’s feet. Rice is another whose day was magnificent: he showed light feet, power, drive, and incredible touch all game long. He used his first touch to stop the ball, and his second on the spin to send it to Trossard, who fired his first-time shot into the far corner of a despairing Travers’ net.

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth (Trossard, 70′)

And that, substantially, was that. The final 20 minutes of regular time played out a bit more foul-ridden than most of the game, with Arsenal largely on top. We kept pressing, putting in shots that went wide or were blocked, and Bournemouth kept trying, but to no avail. Well, except for that incident in the 73rd minute, when Solanke fouled Raya, who was lining up a punch of a high ball.

Solanke’s push forced Raya to only meet the ball weakly, punching it out to Christie who volleyed it off the bar; Semenyo then fired the rebound into the corner of the net. Coote had whistled (correctly again, amazingly) for the foul on Raya, and (also amazingly) VAR supported Coote’s original call. Bournemouth could certainly feel hard done by, but if Solanke doesn’t nudge Raya his punch would not have gone to Christie, etc.

Martinelli came on for Trossard, then Jesús came on for Saka. Gabriel scored a peach of a goal for what would have been our third, but it was ruled out for offside on Havertz at the free kick. 90 minutes came with 7 8 minutes [hat tip to ollie; ed.] of stoppage time. Then, in the 5th of those 7 8 minutes it happened: Ryan Christie received a yellow card. While it won’t matter to our season, it should have been his second (I mean as long as he remained on the pitch after fouling Saka) and he should have been gone.

It didn’t matter. Two minutes later, in our second straight home game against Bournmouth we scored a third goal in the 7th minute of stoppage time, this one of understated brilliance by MOTM Rice. Not as explosive as Nelson’s third last season, it was quality nonetheless, showcasing Rice’s tireless running and power even after a full game. Martinelli won it back in defense, squared it to Jesús who played it to Saka Partey [good catch, gsd’s dad; ed.] and took off upfield; Saka Partey passed to up centrally to Mø, who returned it wide right to Jesús. When Jesús collected the ball some 30 yards from goal Rice was still at the half-way line. With everyone watching our diminutive Brazilian Rice ran full tilt up the middle of the pitch, and in between two defenders at the edge of the box; Jesús’ pass was excellent, and Rice’s shot after a settling touch was hard and low and into the net. It was as perfect as Nelson’s goal, in its own way.

Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth (Rice, 90’+7′)

That was essentially it. We played one hell of a game, bossing most of it, and able to shift into a defensive mode that smothered most of what Bournemouth could think to try. My first paragraph above is really how it should have gone, all things being equal, but the end result in reality was perhaps even sweeter. Rather than rely on the decisions of a poor referee we took matters into our own hands and kept them out; two of our three goals were the result of excellent work and their lack of scoring was down to our defensive endeavour. We have a really, really good team.

It’s not in our hands, and on evidence of C115y’s play against Wolves we probably won’t win the league. But I am prouder of this season than last, as we are going to take them right down to the wire, forcing them to be as perfect as we are showing ourselves to be. Congratulations to MA8 and our team, it’s been such a fine ride this year…

126 Drinks to “Arsenal turn possession into dominance”

  1. 1
    TTG says:

    What a good and comprehensive report and please don’t give up hope . There are always twists and turns and C115y have yet to really suffer in the run-in. They will.
    I missed the game live but it was as you say a very fine performance and we kept a high tempo and great movement with another clean sheet.
    We got the rub if the green although I believe that was a penalty for us but I thought Raya was moved off the ball very easily for their disallowed goal and Saliba was holding in the area .
    Above all it was mentally a strong performance and we look a very strong team indeed. Rice , Havertz and Odegaard were quite excellent and Ben White is such an underrated player . Fine win

  2. 2
    bt8 says:

    Quite right with your assessment in it’s entirety Scruz, and most definitely also in your first paragraph. Bournemouth are a good team but nowhere in the class of Arsenal. Onward to the old toilet.

  3. 3
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks scruz, a fine report that covered all the key points.
    Bournemouth are as you say not a bad side but we totally dominated
    them in an excellent first half performance,

    Wasn’t a penalty for me and also wasn’t a foul for the Bournemouth goal.
    I wouldn’t argue with anyone who says there was contact etc etc and also
    that they are often given etc etc. Both could of gone either way but basically
    went our way on a kind of umpire’s call equivalent. Great for us this time.
    I would be fine with that consistent approach in every game

    Christie shouldn’t of been on the pitch by the time he hit the bar for the
    disallowed goal. I wonder if Coote will watch the game back and think to
    himself ‘wow, my judgment is crap’

    Brilliant performance from Rice and it was great he got a goal at the end,
    a clean sheet, generally excellent defending and creatively very good as we
    made a whole raft of chances. On we go.

  4. 4
    Ollie says:

    Cheers scruz. Great and accurate report, we saw the same match (well, except the end of the second half it seems, as there were in fact 8 minutes of added time. :-p).

  5. 5
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, all. ollie, i fixed that 🙂

  6. 6
    Bathgooner says:

    Good stuff, scruz. Excellent opening section!

    What a performance. Ødegaard was a magician. What feet! Rice was a force of nature. What forcefulness! Havertz led the line superbly, ans well ans being everywhere and Saka showed such resilience coming back again and again from being a punch ball once again. We should have been three up by 15 minutes and 6 up by half time.

    It’s about time that we got the rub of the green or the benefit of the doubt on marginal decisions. All of those decisions would have generally gone against us, whichever side of the ball we had been on. I am therefore happy to accept Coote’s generosity.

    Onwards. Now finally to do ourselves justice at the Old Toilet.

  7. 7
    BtM says:

    The final scoreline reflected the difference in match tactics and player skillset between the teams – although an even higher goal difference would not have flattered the Arsenal. The two contentious decisions were soft, generously given and only marginally merited, but greatly appreciated nevertheless.

    They went nowhere close to balancing the fiasco at Newcastle (1 point), the near beheading of Jesus at the Bus Stop by Chel$ki’s keeper for a certain penalty (3 points), nor Douglas Luis’ Jesus leg kick at Villa that mirrored the one Declan was penalised for last Sunday (1 point).

    Ryan Christie should most certainly have seen red for his intentional attack on Bukayo. Using the ITWGX meter, the mercury would have shot right through the top of the glass and bounced right back of the ceiling.

  8. 8
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers Scruz. Top effort, top report.

    The penalty was similar to Wan-Bissaka on Elliot recently (in that the defender challenged recklessly across the line of the attacker’s run and got none of the ball, but the contact itself was caused by the attacker pushing a limb into the challenge) and the media unanimously said that was the right call. You can’t have it both ways. I’d like more consistency. Although I’d also like Havertz to stay on his feet 10% more than he does.

    Anyway, we deserved the lead and have had plenty go against us this season, so a call which is generous rather than wrong is one I’ll take all day.

    Solanke not looking at the ball is what does him for their disallowed goal. It’s a bit soft but his intention is to impede Raya, and just because he does it badly doesn’t mean he should get away with it. As Scruz notes, they should have been down to 10 men if Coote weren’t so shit at his job. And as Blogs notes, that’s 3 challenges against us in 4 games that were at least as bad as the one Vieira got a red card for earlier in the season, so we are hardly the recipients of generous refereeing calls.

    Again, someone elsewhere pointed out that what Solanke did was nothing compared with the two handed push in the back on Gabriel at Newcastle, and if we had got a draw from that game instead of a loss then we’d be ahead of City on goal difference even if they won their game in hand. The refs are terrible, but nothing Coote did yesterday affected the end result: the far superior team won the game. The one at Newcastle absolutely changed the result and any non-biased observer would have to conclude it should have been given as a foul. So if anyone wants to chat about referees then I’d point them towards a terrible decision which may be the difference that hands City the league title, and the subsequent appearance of the bloke in charge of the referees on national TV to tell us all that our eyes have reported fake news to our brains and it definitely wasn’t a foul.

  9. 9
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Amongst the excellent performances yesterday, I though Odegaard was different class. His desire and workmate are top, but that’s a matter of effort and attitude. His sheer skill at manipulating a football is a bit different though, not many people in the world can do that, no matter how hard they work. The guy is getting better and better. He looks a better player than he did at the start of the year. Whatever happens this year, he’s gonna be even more effective next year. He’s a joy to watch and I’m so proud he’s our captain.

  10. 10
    Ollie says:

    As ever, GSD is bang on the money.

  11. 11
    ClockEndRider says:

    Excellent write up, Scruz. Top comments from all in the bar. Whether we win the league or not, we have progressed from last year considerably. The signs are looking good for next year.
    By the way, no sign of our wonderful media calling their darlings, Sp*rs and Liverpool, bottlers despite the former taking only 7 points out of the last 18 and the latter taking 8.

  12. 12
    Countryman100 says:

    “But I am prouder of this season than last, as we are going to take them right down to the wire, forcing them to be as perfect as we are showing ourselves to be. Congratulations to MA8 and our team, it’s been such a fine ride this year…”

    Oh Scruz. Every word. Every word. Such a fine day in the sun yesterday (my face is slightly pink and the temperature hit 20 degrees). Such wonderful, flowing football. Another nerveless penalty from Bukayo. Another sweeping finish from Trossard. The cherry 🍒 (see what I did there) on the cake Declan’s late goal. And our superb Captain dropping another performance that St Dennis would have been proud of. Havertz magnificent. Tomi right back to form.

    I don’t think we’re going to win the league. I do think we’re going to win our last two games. This team is magnificent, and in magnificent form.

  13. 13
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, all. gsd@9, spot on. i gave Mø short shrift above, though only because i missed a trick. i’ll leave it as down to the ubiquity of his quality, it is so integral and so apparent i took it for granted. thank you for calling it out.

  14. 14
    Sancho Panza says:

    After 36 games we finally move above our points total fir last season, 81 after 36 games and plus 41 goals.
    Quite the improvement and enough to be champions if we weren’t up against a cheating nation state.

  15. 15
    GSD'S Dad says:

    If Jesus came on for Saka, how did he manage to pass to Saka in the build-up?

  16. 16
    scruzgooner says:

    quantum mechanics?

    good spot. saka on the back of my jersey, saka on the brain.

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent report, Scruz. Your alternative history should have been the real thing.

    Every word of praise for Ødegaard and Rics above is thoroughly justified. Both were magnificent yesterday. Arteta deserves praise for developing two very good footballers into consistently outstanding ones.

    And what Dino said @8 about the officiating over the season.

  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
    bathgooner says:

    There’s been lots of debate upon whom we can place most hope to take points off C115y. Sadly, it’s clear that not one of our London rivals have the remotest prospect of achieving a result that helps us out. Our best prospect is that C115y turn up to one of these fixtures in an entirely complacent frame of mind and shoot themselves in the foot. Not very likely but our best hope.

    The moral of the story of this season is that we have to do it for ourselves every week next time round.

  21. 21
    bt8 says:

    An excerpt from Arseblog’s match report:
    “So, let me just use this moment to say that however it ends up, I really love this team, what they do, and how they do it. In those fallow years, I said many times that I’m not so entitled that I demand trophies or else. All I wanted to see was an Arsenal team that was genuinely competitive, and that played in a way I could connect with. One whose performances and attitude showed they really cared, in the way we care as fans. We’ve got that. We’ve got a team that plays for the badge, not the paycheck and the comfortable lifestyle, and whatever happens in the next two weeks, I appreciate that so much.”

    That sums up the way I have been thinking about this season, and much better than I could have written it.

  22. 22
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yeah, pretty much how I saw it too bt8. Funnily enough I want them to win more for them than for me now if that makes sense.

  23. 23
    bathgooner says:

    Matt, I think it’s very important that this team wins either the PL or CL next season orI fear that we may see it unravelling through frustration and thwarted ambition as we saw happen to Wenger’s ‘Project Youth’ with the departures of Cesc, Masri, RvP et al. This season’s evident progress is sufficient for our ambitious young players but next season they will want something more tangible. Blogs sums up my own pleasure at just watching this team compete at the sharp end but I’m sure these players will want more. Which is, of course, a good thing.

    We are light years from Baku!

    Onward and upward.

  24. 24
    Trev says:

    Scruz – a fine and comprehensive report but don’t give up ! It’s not the 7th minute of added time just yet !

  25. 25
    Trev says:

    Off to read what looks like a great set of drinks ….

  26. 26
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@23: I agree with you. Players — and head coaches — want titles, trophies and medals. The vision of the shining city on the hill will be harder to sustain with each passing day.

  27. 27
    OsakaMatt says:

    @23 Bath,
    Yes, that’s the fear but we are certainly in the mix for both next season. And though I have little faith in our London neighbors the fat lady hasn’t sung yet this season.

  28. 28
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    The team have to pick up 6 more points this season. If they do, then they are in with a shout of winning the PL.

    Who knows what will happen in City’s last 3 games? Much, much stranger things have happened in football than them failing to take 9 points.

    As Odegaard said today, it isn’t a foregone conclusion.

    We have to do our best to affect what we can, and accept the rest is out of our control, whilst maintaining as positive and open a mindset as we can. If that sounds familiar, it’s cos that’s also how everything else works too.


  29. 29
    scruzgooner says:

    trev, thanks. i am not giving up hope, just expectation.

    if we keep challenging for trophies every year, and lose to financially-doped teams, where are the great players to go? even if you look at the top five leagues, that’s only 55 starters really winning things. i just don’t see that’s the reality any more; otherwise, unless you get c115y to sign you, or real madrid (or…), you’re really better off staying and keeping those teams pushed to the max with the project you’re on and taking the chance that you and your team can rise to that level.

    and we are *so* close to that level. another good summer of recruitment and development of both current players and current strategies and we’ll be that much closer. maybe we do the same thing against c115y next year and rather than lose to villa, we win…

  30. 30
    ecg says:

    I’m not overly concerned about players trying to leave in the next few seasons. Most seem to really like playing for Arsenal, which I think is just as important as winning trophies. There might be some question when contracts are starting to wind down. Also, moving to another team is no guarantee of trophies or playing time.

    I’m hopeful that summer recruitment will add some depth and additional quality to the team. And next season let’s make sure we take 6 points off of Fulham instead of the 1 we got this season.

  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    Don’t overlook the vector of change that is the players’ agents. According to the FA, in the year to January 2023 (its latest numbers), City, the Red Mancs, the Stanford Bridge spendthrifts and the Scousers paid agents £150 million in fees on transfer dealings, and PL clubs in excess of £300 million overall. Agents are not going to give up that sort of income lightly.

  32. 32
    Pangloss says:

    ecg@30, and others. “Also, moving to another team is no guarantee of trophies or playing time.”

    Very true. Look at Harry Kane.


  33. 33
    North Bank Ned says:

    David Moyes is parting ways with West Ham at the end of the season. He was the GHF Predictathon favourite for this season’s tin-tack award, nominated by five players to be the first manager to leave their club. (If only they had listened to Dr F. Jnr…)

    Reports say that Julen Lopetgui will be his replacement. He walked out of Wolves before the season started because the club’s best players were being sold and not replaced. He and West Ham’s chairman, David Sullivan, hardly seem like a marriage made in heaven.

  34. 34
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Ned. I pivoted to Moyes as my pick to be sacked at the last minute after my first choice, Lopetegui, walked away from Wolves. I’m quite amused that one is getting the other’s job. Although I absolutely agree about Sullivan and Lopetegui not being an obvious match. If Wham start splashing the cash as soon as Moyes moves on he’ll be somewhat miffed.

  35. 35
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Manure currently earning their name. Great to see.

  36. 36
    ecg says:

    Pangloss@32, Kane is a special case. He reeks of spursiness (sp?) and has likely infected the whole Bayern Munich club. They will need to sacrifice a goat and perform an exorcism if they want to win the league again.

  37. 37
    Pangloss says:

    Weeell.. If you think one goat will be enough…

  38. 38
    bathgooner says:

    It isn’t really enough of a sanction for 115 offences but at least the scrutiny of the PL has ramped up since the early years of UAE Treasury’s approach to buying success. C115y’s ability to seduce opposition and overseas stars into joining their ranks of overpaid prima donnas should be limited by the financial rules unless their creative accountants come up with new covert financial scams. The situation may hopefully have changed.

  39. 39
    OsakaMatt says:

    @33 as one of the 5 to pick Moyes it was annoying to see Wham’s good start to the season,
    but I think Moyes must be far more annoyed to see Lopetegui brought in. Can’t see him working out at Wham unless they borrow a goat from Bayern to appease the wrath of the almighty.

  40. 40
    bt8 says:

    True or false question:

    Trossard has a knack of scoring big goals.

  41. 41
    scruzgooner says:

    bt8, let’s see.

    scored our only goal in the community shield. got us penalties, we won. scored our only goal vs. everton away in matchweek 5 to earn us a win. scored our second goal vs. chelsea away in matchweek 9 to earn us a draw. scored the final goal in 90+2 vs. liverpool at home in matchweek 23. scored our only goal in our second porto tie. got us penalties, we won. scored our second goal in the first bayern quarterfinal, earning us the draw.

    plus other odds and sods.

    i think he’s a pretty big-game player.

  42. 42
    ecg says:

    Trossard is also our third most efficient scorer with 11 goal in 56 shots. Havertz is second with 12 goals in the same number of shots. And our most efficient player in putting the ball in the back of the net is, drum roll please, Benny Blanco with 4 goals in a mere 12 shots.

  43. 43
    OsakaMatt says:

    Given @41,42 I am going to plump for true 🥳

  44. 44
    OsakaMatt says:

    Talking of true or false…….

    bt8 has marched into the semi finals of the HolicsRopeyLeague Cup of Cups and I have been unceremoniously dumped out by Lonestar

  45. 45
    bathgooner says:

    Leo has, unquestionably, been an excellent signing, and at a great price too.

    Mudryk anyone? I thought not. Overhyped, overpriced and overtattooed!

    Where are the League Cup ties displayed, Matt?

  46. 46
    Countryman100 says:

    Anyone fancying a bid for Michael Olise? What would he cost?

  47. 47
    bathgooner says:

    He’d certainly add quality to our squad and cover for BS7, GM11 and MØ8. £40m plus Eddie or Reiss Nelson. However, from the quotes I’ve seen, I suspect he has already been tapped up by the club he put to the sword last night.

  48. 48
    Countryman100 says:

    This piece seems to suggest he has a release clause of £60m. He’s also a Londoner, born in Hammersmith (even though he has played U18 for France).


  49. 49
    North Bank Ned says:

    I can’t see why Olise would want to go anywhere where he doesn’t start regularly.

  50. 50
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I’m with Baff on the idea of offering £40m plus Eddie or Reese for Olise, on the proviso that our medical team reckon his hammies are alright. It doesn’t matter how good he is if he is injured all the time.

    As a player, I like him a lot with the ball, although, from what limited game time i have seen, he would need to show Arteta before signing that he has the attitude and workrate to make pressing and positional awareness much more significant parts of his game.

    He has a different blend of skills to our other wide options, combining something of Saka’s skill and control, Martinelli’s direct running and Trossard’s shooting from distance.

    I think he’d be a good addition. I have no idea if it could happen, but I certainly wouldn’t view Manure as a stumbling block. They are in disarray and I can’t see any young footballer choosing to go there unless they get offered truckloads of cash and are more interested in that than being part of a winning team. Liverpool, City or a foreign club could all be far more interesting options.

  51. 51
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the half ton, GSD.

  52. 52
    North Bank Ned says:

    The latest update to the GHF Predictathon for Match Week 36 has been posted. You know where to find it…

  53. 53
    OsakaMatt says:


    When you click on the League & Cups tab it will take you to a page with two more tabs just above the League name. One is leagues and one is Cups.
    Or at least that is how it works on my iPad.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Bathgooner says:

    Thanks Matt.

    That was short and bitter. 😬

  56. 56
    OsakaMatt says:

    I know what you mean, I went out because of a Son goal in my other league.

    However, the poor Visigoths of Kent have the hardest of hard luck stories, a sterling 98 points before losing on a tiebreaker.

  57. 57
    Countryman100 says:

    Some lovely stories of the young Arteta in the Athletic (£££) today.


  58. 58
    TTG says:

    As the manager of the defeated Visigoths it falls to me to lift a deflated dressing room. It all came down to whether Diogo Dalot got booked, United conceded two more goals or he created an assist . On that night the former two were the more likely.
    Congratulations to Junior OM who is potentially on course for a prestigious double . In my other league I face a showdown to determine who gets the double there .

  59. 59
    North Bank Ned says:

    The Bad Habits just lived up to their name. Congratulations to Pangloss’s Purists. We take the positives from the performance, learn from the experience, get back to work and go again…

  60. 60
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@54: Thanks for the link. Wade through the lyricism and McDonald makes some good points, as always. A couple particularly stuck out for me: first, how good Arteta has been all season tactically at neutralising the opposition’s main threats by starving them of the ball; second, how our preseason is going to be disrupted by the Euros. That will be true for all the top PL clubs, of course. Who handles it best and who is given the kindest run of early fixtures could have an outsized bearing on where the title ends up next season.

  61. 61
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Like most of us, I felt that our current squad probably didn’t have quite enough to challenge beyond the CL quarter finals whilst maintaining the league challenge. Too many big games, not enough experience, not enough trusted core players playing at the level required.

    So, I was stoical about losing a close tie with Munich. However, if we made through then we’d only need to have won 2 out 3 games to be champions of Europe, and anything can happen when it’s such a small amount of games.

    Dortmund are showing just that. PSG missed a host of chances in both legs and are out. It shows that when the luck is with you a knockout competition can be won by a team who are not as good as plenty of others in the competition. The league is different. Over 38 games, the best team wins.

    So, whilst I’m curious to see how the league ends up (neither expecting us to win it or sure City will win their last 3 game either) I do wonder which competition would have been our better chance for a win?

    If we win the PL, then I’ll be more than happy that we went out of Europe. But if City beat us to the title by a point, then perhaps I wouldn’t have minded a couple more dodgy league results as we fielded weaker sides so we could focus on Big Ears. I know I’d always be calling on us to focus on the league, and I’m glad we did, but hey ho.

    Its all academic, and I guess my main point is that we are close. I reckon that, at the moment, CL quarter finals is about par for us. Hopefully we can add some new faces and continue our development and next year be good enough that CL semi finals looks about our correct level. By the time you get to the last 8 of Europe, even more so the last 4, then all the teams have a decent chance of winning it.

    The league is harder to win and a better marker of a good team, but as we’ve never won the CL (or European Cup) i have to admit that i’d dearly love to see us finally lift that trophy.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Bathgooner says:

    Heh C100 @62. A great tale. Shirley was the last of the Tuesday Club. A slightly different culture now! I don’t think he’d meet Mikel’s non-negotiables. On the pitch perhaps but off the pitch? Seems unlikely.

  64. 64
    Pangloss says:

    Ned@59 I’d forgotten that the cup was due to start around now – it’s another wonderful side effect of the team doing so well this season.

    Now to see if we can make “Nearly” superfluous to the Doggies’ team name.

    By the way, I don’t think I can remember previously scoring over 60 in two consecutive weeks.

  65. 65
    Countryman100 says:

    Hell of a game in Madrid

  66. 66
    Countryman100 says:

    Harry Kane.


  67. 67
    Noosa Gooner says:

    Harry Kane – he’s done it again.

  68. 68
    North Bank Ned says:

    GSD@61: Before the season started, I had thought that we might make it to the CL semi-finals. From there, as you say, the competition becomes a bit of a lottery. In the event, we didn’t fall that far short: the Bayern tie turned on a couple of moments that could have gone either way but didn’t go ours. You are also right that the PL is harder to win than the CL.

  69. 69
    Countryman100 says:

    Excellent and very clear “she wore” blog on the book value of players

    Understanding book value and its impact on transfer fees

  70. 70
    Trev says:

    Well, Bayern got there – to the semi final – after Neuer “got away with one” when he brought Saka down and went unpunished, and the ever cheating, sneaky Kane elbowed Gabriel in the throat and similarly escaped sanction.

    Karma can be a wonderful thing. Kane subbed off and the most uncharacteristic mistake from Neuer I can ever remember.

    I’m indulging myself in my own Bayern preview headline as Karma “tore them a Neuer one !” Apologies and thank you !

  71. 71
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    The Athletic article that Countryman linked @57 is very good. Mikel really is something special.

    I didn’t realise that Zubamendi came from the same youth team. We’ve been linked with him and fair bit, and if we did want to push to sign the player then I dare say that connection wouldn’t hurt. Mind you, I don’t remember ever watching the guy play, so whether or not we should try to sign him I haven’t a clue!

  72. 72
    Trev says:

    What GSD said above 👍🏻

  73. 73
    Trev says:

    C100 @62 – how does Ray Parlour look so fit ?

  74. 74
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers for the link @69 Countryman. Well written and informative piece from Keenos on the She Wore blog. Definitely worth a read.

  75. 75
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@69: As a footnote to the She Wore piece, UEFA’s financial rules are more restrictive regarding the amortisation of transfer fees than international accounting standards in general. UEFA requires clubs to amortise transfer fees, to do so in equal parts over the life of a player’s contract (now with a five-year cap) and prohibits revaluation of the book value of the asset, even though a player’s value might have increased since being bought. Non-football companies have more flexibility in choosing whether and how to shift an asset from the balance sheet to being an expense on the P&L.

  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    Re: Pangloss @64. Stateside bookmakers report a surge of late money on the Doggies, and their diet has been honed for top performance as if their consecutive double-digit wins weren’t enough. We’re just hoping Purists won’t park the bus!

  77. 77
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@76: Be warned, Pangloss’s charabanc is notorious for breaking down and not moving an inch.

  78. 78
    Countryman100 says:

    Amazing. Bayer Leverkusen preserve their Invincibles season in the 97th minute. Granit Xhaka is in the Europa League final!

  79. 79
    Pangloss says:

    bt8@76: Listen to Ned. He knows that whereof he speaks.


  80. 80
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@78: Funny old game, football. Xhaka would have barely got a game had he stayed and now he is on the verge of being a Triple Invincible.

  81. 81
    OsakaMatt says:

    True enough Ned @80, Joselu knocked out Bayern Munich with a couple of late goals, he’s a player who would be our 4th or 5th choice CF!

  82. 82
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Good point OM @80. Could we sell Eddie to RM as an upgrade?

  83. 83
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Fair play Bayer Leverkusen. They are doing so well. And without the template for ‘success’ used by City, Chelsea, PSG etc.
    (Strangely, none of the megarich clubs ever thought to pounce for Granit Xhaka as the final piece in the puzzle to achieve utter dominance).

    BL’s achievements deserve huge credit and good luck to them in their final few games.

    Go on Granit!

  84. 84
    Countryman100 says:

    Doubts over Saka and Tomi according to Mikel. Decision to be made after Saturday training.

  85. 85
    Depressedgooner says:

    I know this will probably be as popular as my previous post but so be it.

    As much as I have loved this season with Arsenal improvements becoming more obvious and Kai Havert proving me wrong, there are two things that bother me and anybody who knows me will know I’m not lying.

    Play acting from any team annoys me, it is cheating pure and simple and I hate seeing Arsenal players doing it, I hate it when commentators say the player has the right to go down, no if the tackle actually brings you down then it is a foul, if you choose to go down it is cheating.

    In May 2023 we signed Aaron Ramsdale to a new contract, it is very hard for me to believe that Ramsdale signed the contract knowing he was going to lose his place in the team.

    In August 2023 we then sign David Raya, Arteta says Raya was a long term target and he is delighted to sign him, then why give Aaron Ramsdale a new contract?

    Later in September 2023 Arteta says that he wants to be able to sub keepers like any other player during games when it is needed, yet despite so many howlers it is almost ridiculous he refuses to sub Raya or drop him for any games and only uses Ramsdale against Rayas old club and a cup game where he was understandably nervous having not played for a long time.

    It leaves a really bitter taste in my mouth that having done nothing wrong he dropped Ramsdale and has treated him so incredibly badly, I honestly think that Ramsdale would have made far less mistakes than Raya and with that defence in front of him would also have been the golden glove winner or Arsenal.

    No matter how well we do I find myself utterly unable to trust Arteta or believe in his judgement calls.

  86. 86
    bathgooner says:

    The facts as I understand them are these:

    1) We tried to sign Raya before we signed Ramsdale but were told he was not available. We signed Ramsdale instead and he quickly took Leno’s place in the first team. However we remained keen on Raya.

    2) Ramsdale did sign a contract extension shortly before we signed Raya. How do you know at which point Brentford informed Arsenal that their position on Raya had changed? That could just as easily have occurred after Ramsdale had signed his extension as it could have before. It is also clear that we could not pay the asking price without breaching FFP rules. How long do you think it might take to negotiate a loan instead.

    3) Football is a competitive business. Every professional knows that their position isn’t a sinecure and that they have to compete for their shirt. Ramsdale will be acutely aware of that, given that he was signed as a back-up to Leno and quickly replaced him in the first team.

    How do you know Arteta did not initially believe that he might alternate keepers or even believe that he might sometimes substitute a keeper? He may well have intended to do either of these things or these ideas may have been useful deflections for intrusive and hostile Hacks.

    I think Arteta has shown himself to be an excellent coach, an excellent judge of players and an excellent tactician. He is also adept at dealing with the media.

  87. 87
    Depressedgooner says:

    Hey bath, I did say I epected it not to be popular but as you answered.

    1 & 2, exactly my point we wanted Raya from the get go but signed Ramsdale who turned out brilliantly to be the one we needed, there was no need for a contract extension while we were cleary still trying to get Raya, especially as you say working out the loan probably took a while and happened before signing him, that cuts the window down even further, disingenuous at best.

    3, Ramsdale made it clear through intermediaries that he was not told a new keeper was incoming and thought he was still first choice, I don’t picture him as somebody who would take the money to sit happily on the bench especially when it is endangering his England position.

    Because he never did it, I do believe Arteta said it to deflect from him replacing Ramsdale with Raya especially as not one person could bloody understand why.

    Excellent coach yes, excellent judge of players I’m not so sure, tactician well there were a few games this season where we all called for changes and he did nothing that changed the games, we definitely set up badly against Fulham at Christmas and Villa the first time around.

    It’s all my opinion so of course there is no evidence.

  88. 88
    North Bank Ned says:

    Where was Ramsdale’s agent in all this? Isn’t one of an agent’s roles to be ‘in the know’ about things that might affect their client’s career?

  89. 89
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Dg, a good post with several points of varying unpopularity!

    I actually see your points, firstly you hate players cheating, be they Arsenal players or not. I think many people share that view actually. When I was in the UK in April I was chatting with old friends who support various different clubs and about the only point we agreed on was that cheating is annoying and endemic, we also saw no solution as players have simply become too good at it and short of mind-reading it is impossible to know.

    The second point about Raya / Rammy is also one where there are plenty of Gooners who agree with you that Rammy is the better keeper. Personally, I liked Rammy but don’t agree with you he did nothing wrong – I thought he made several mistakes towards the end of last season and again right at the beginning of this one. MA seems to judge keepers by different criteria than in days of yore (this is just my opinion of course) and what we see as mistakes may not be seen in the same way by him. Having had time to watch him I now think Raya is a decent keeper too and a better fit for the team than Rammy. I wish Rammy all the best and hope he finds a decent club and has a great career but I don’t see him as “hard done by” in this instance as MA’s job is to pick what HE thinks is the best team.

  90. 90
    Sancho Panza says:

    Interesting opinions on the goalkeeping situation. Can’t say I agree with them though. You could argue Ramsdale lost his place and hasn’t been given the chance to earn it back. But then maybe he isn’t showing enough in training. What do we know? Arteta rates Raya as his number 1 and I’m happy with that.

    Aaron will be alright playing football somewhere else, being paid handsomely and getting picked by Southgate but never getting on the pitch.

  91. 91
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Hello DG. Good to see you in, and I’m glad you were up to writing a long post about your thoughts.

    To your first point, as OM notes, lots of people don’t like the diving and play acting, of which I am certainly one. However, the way referees do their jobs makes it beneficial to the players and teams doing it. Whilst this is true, I don’t expect any player to voluntarily give up that advantage when they know no-one else will. So I’m at an uneasy impasse on that one.

    It’s also worth noting that some football cultures see conning the ref as a clever move to be applauded, not as ‘cheating’ as we tend to in Britain, so even though I don’t like it, that’s only my opinion, not some sacrosanct higher truth that makes anyone who fails to adhere to it a moral reprobate.

    I’d love us to cut it out, but I don’t really see how that’s to be brought about in the current climate. What we need is better refereeing. Personally, I’d mic up the refs and launch a campaign to get them treated with respect like in rugby, but they’ll never get respect until they earn it, like the refs do in rugby, with consistent, well-explained, substantially correct decisions.

    The play acting is not the whole problem, its just a symptom of the deeper problem with the refereeing system, so focusing on the symptom is not gonna cure the disease.

  92. 92
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Arteta’s loyalty is to Arsenal, not to any individual player.

    Ramsdale is only a loyal player in as far as it serves his career. He won’t be loyal for another 5 years sitting on the bench will he? Why not, if he is so loyal to the club? Because, obviously, his loyalty doesn’t stretch very far when he isn’t playing. That’s not a dig on a player I like, just an honest reflection of the football landscape and one that I don’t think we should forget to naively argue about the unfairness of the situation on poor, loyal Ramsdale. He’s a top sporting professional. He’s not immune from having to play for his place and he himself fully understands that.

    You can say there was no need for a contract extension if we wanted to buy Raya, but that ignores the fact that Ramsdale got a hefty pay rise. If Arteta hadn’t given him a pay rise then surely you could just argue that he was being unfair to the loyal Ramsdale for failing to reward a good season where we came second by increasing his wages closer to some of the other regular first team players?

    As I’ve said before, I think Raya is a good keeper, not a great one, and his style suits the team. There are lots of stats available about how effective he is, especially at taking crosses, where he is a huge step up on Ramsdale. The stats also say he has made 3 errors leading to a goal this season, which may stick in some fans minds (especially I’ve they’ve decided to view him through their entrenched support of Ramsdale) but is not what I would call ‘so many howlers’.

    We all know that Ramsdale will move to another club where he will play, although it won’t be a team fighting to win the league, because he isn’t that good. We will get a decent fee for him. We will wish him well, he will remember his time with us fondly, and there will always be a connection between him and the club.

    That’s just the way football works. Arsenal and Ramsdale have both behaved fine and will both come out of this fine. No harm, no foul.

    Our manager is working his nuts off and doing a genuinely amazing job. No-one could be sure it was even poasible to close the gap on City and clearly overhaul Liverpool, let alone in such a short time frame. Arteta is doing brilliant work by any metric. He is incredibly loyal to Arsenal and what he deserves is to be lauded for his work. Then again, football doesn’t always work out how we’d like and Arteta knows that as well as Ramsdale.

  93. 93
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    There will doubtless be a preview along soon. Anyone fancy clocking off a century before then?

  94. 94
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Only six more to go, he says, getting tackled but winning a free kick with a well executed dive, much to DG’s disgust.

  95. 95
    The Ref says:

    Hands out a deserved yellow and a stern lecture for the dive.

  96. 96
    OsakaMatt says:

    After roundly abusing the ref, he wins it back and passes it wide to his inverted outverted winger…….

  97. 97
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Realising from the quality of refereeing that this isn’t a PL match, he stops trying to get the match halted because someone brushed past his shoulder and makes a run down the the channel.

  98. 98
    OsakaMatt says:

    A quick check at the clock end to see that time is marching on and remembering the advice of a football genius he decides to get it in the mixer…..

  99. 99
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Throws himself at the high ball, putting off the defender whose wonky headed clearance goes to…

  100. 100
    bathgooner says:

    Wellies it in!

  101. 101
    bathgooner says:

    Knee slides into the corner, tearing both ACL’s, whilst blowing kisses to GSD for the assist and OM for the pre-assist.

  102. 102
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Get in Baff!

    Now we settle in for a long wait while VAR fucks about unnecessarily in the hope they can disallow it. Grrrr!

  103. 103
    OsakaMatt says:

    Well in Bath, a fine team effort

    Come on Fulham is the plaintive cry…..

  104. 104
    bathgooner says:

    OM @103, having watched Fulham at the Cottage several times this season (as it’s been easier to get tickets there than at the Ems), I advise you not even to consider it a remote possibility. You will give yourself unjustified pain if you retain the slightest hope of a result favourable to us. Simply wallow in our own achievements this season, sadly unrewarded with silverware due to the PL’s failure to prosecute a club with 115 charges hanging over it since February 2023!

    Meanwhile this is good (£):


  105. 105
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Baff knows.

    12 minutes Fulham lasted before conceding a crap goal that could’ve been avoided if the guy tracking the runner hadn’t come over all Theo Walcott and just run along near the man instead of trying to stop him doing what he wanted with the ball.

    When left-sided CB Gvardiol playing LB ghosts past your defence to finish unchallenged (and right footed) from inside your penalty box… well, you know you’ve got problems.

  106. 106
    OsakaMatt says:

    Well, I was happy for 12 whole minutes.

  107. 107
    OsakaMatt says:

    And what Dino said about Fulham’s defending.

  108. 108
    bathgooner says:

    I’m watching a truly competitive match between two equally financially doped clubs (though not on the scale of the club with 115 charges), unaffectionately but accurately termed “the Ugly Sisters’ by Zico in Exile, once of Dave’s parish.

  109. 109
    Sancho Panza says:

    The Fulham defence were all flying their kites rather than watching the ball.

  110. 110
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the ton, bath.

    And good common sense from GSD, as usual, on the Raya/Ramsdale situation.

  111. 111
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    When planning how to deal with a team containing such creative talents as De Bruyne, Silva, Forden et al, there is a lot of merit to the idea that if you can keep certain players out of the game then you are in with a chance.

    Fulham have executed this magnificently, but surely they were misguided to make Ederson the target of such a ruthless shutout?

  112. 112
    Depressedgooner says:

    I’ll be taking my leave now, I’ve really not felt like there was a lot here for me for a while now, the post about my issues quickly became nothing to do with me at all, lip service was paid and the virtual bar, real friends thing didn’t amount to much as not one person reached out to me afterwards.

    I will always follow Arsenal but I didn’t know that meant I had to toe some invisible company line of loving Arteta and never criticising him, my message was about my view of the situation but the replies have mainly been about me being out of line

    I would have been delighted if anybody had taken the time to write me a long reply on the post about my health issues.

    We all follow Arsenal but we aren’t all in the same community.

    Best of luck to you all and of course to Arsenal.

  113. 113
    OsakaMatt says:

    Not sure if you will ever read this DG but all the best to you too. I am sorry to see you go and hope you will one day change your mind and drop in again.

  114. 114
    Sancho Panza says:

    Well this is all a bit awkward. Not sure I came here ever to make friends beyond pleasantries with fellow Gooners. It’s a place where people are usually considerate and not over reacting if we don’t win. I know some of you meet up and go to games and I like that you do. Like dg I can’t afford to go to games but I learn so much here from fellow fans who do go. I know everyone here wishes you well DG but I’m not sure the virtual world is ever going to meet your expectations. Take if for what is and I hope you come back one day.

  115. 115
    bathgooner says:

    Seconded, OM @113.

    DG, I am sorry that you haven’t felt that there’s a lot for you in this forum for a while. Most of us share that feeling every now and again and it passes. No forum is perfect and some opinions can irritate. I do hope you’ll drop in again and throw in your tuppence worth. Best wishes.

    Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and there has been plenty of criticism here of Arteta’s choices, in particular over signing Havertz and Raya as well as his choosing the latter over Ramsdale. Opinions are often strongly expressed when felt deeply.

  116. 116
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    DG, I wish you well, as does everyone else here, and you’ll always be welcome to share your opinions.

    Other people will also be welcome to disagree, and we have clear guidelines for how to interact here. None of the responses to your posts broke these in any way, and none were intended to upset you.

    The bar has often seen plenty of criticism of Arteta and that’s fine. If you do choose to express yourself this way, then don’t be surprised if people disagree. It’s not personal.

    Also, most people who post here don’t get to go to matches. Many don’t even live in the UK. And plenty read the posts and drinks but rarely or never post themselves. We are a broad church and all are welcome.

  117. 117
    TTG says:

    Chido Obi Martin had a very quiet day today only scoring a hat-trick as Arsenal U18s beat Chelsea 5-2 in the last game of the season. We finished third in the league . What a prospect . It is believed around the club that he will resist overtures from other teams to commit himself to Arsenal l

  118. 118
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Yeah, someone showed me a short piece, I think on twitter and whose reliability I have no idea about, which said that the club has been linking academy players with a mentor from the senior team and that Obi Martin is being mentored by Saka, which has influenced his decision to commit to us.

    I’d love to know a bit more about this, but, if true, it sounds like a great scheme, and good news in this particular instance as the young man is highly rated.

    One thing to watch is that he was 6 “2 at 16, so the club have been playing him in different age groups so he gets used to the fact that he won’t always enjoy the physical advantages he currently does over lads his own age. I’m pretty sure there was a recent piece in The Athletic about him, which is worth a look for those interested in our academy prospects.

  119. 119
    Depressedgooner says:

    I’m a depressive who is normally very good at not letting oters see just how depressed, I’ve failed very badly here and have certainly never meant to upset anybody, I’d appreciate it if my posts that caused such upset and made people uncomortable could be deleted or removed.

    Apologies to all.

  120. 120
    Bathgooner says:

    DG @119, your original post contained valid points that led to considerable discussion in response. Rather than leave that discussion in a vacuum, I have taken the liberty of editing out the offending accusations rather than deleting your entire post. I trust you will be comfortable with this. If not, please respond and I will delete the whole series of Drinks.

    I have also edited out all subsequent references to your accusation from responses to your post and I hope the authors of these posts will also accept that. That way we preserve the discussion that you initiated which is interesting and the very reason the Drinks exist. If anyone is not happy with this, again please let me know.

    Peace, brothers.

  121. 121
    Depressedgooner says:

    Hi bath,

    My post at 2:15 is the one that concerns me, I had no right to make presumptions about anybody else.

    The edits you have made are fine thanks.

  122. 122
    OsakaMatt says:

    Hi DG, I’m glad you’re back for what it’s worth!

    And a good read about AW fighting the good fight…


  123. 123
    ClockEndRider says:

    We’ve all loosed off at some point or other but our common bond around The Arsenal, our remembrance of The Guv and our wholehearted and genuine desire to make this place as much of a welcoming, open and thoughtful place as was the original mean that once we reflect, often gently prompted, we remember why it is that we come here. That you have done likewise simply goes to show you are one of us.
    There are no barriers of class, religion , financial means or life experience (otherwise known as age!) here. This is indeed reflected in the range of commenters, and I hope readers, of the site. I’m glad you have come back and hope to see you here for a long time to come. You continue to be a most welcome and valued member of our community.

  124. 124
    Bathgooner says:

    DG @121, sorted.

  125. 125
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I’m glad DG is back.
    CER @123 is a top post.
    Baff has played a blinder with some minimal but perfectly judged edits to keep the essence of an interesting debate. Well done and thanks.

    Now we have to go to Old Trafford and get 3 points. This one is massive.


  126. 126
    Bathgooner says: