Arsenal v Man City in a Haiku

Big Title Battle

Canons Roar Gooners Galore

ARSEnal Victor!

Fine fellow BKers. I am saying it all through a haiku today. You know the lineup. The boys know what to do.

Have a go at a haiku yourself. The rules are simple: three lines total, five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners.


175 thoughts on “Arsenal v Man City in a Haiku

  • Not such good news I am hearing: Thomas Partey out injured again and isn’t to feature.

    Otherwise, we know the rest of the team.


  • A somewhat dexterous first line, I know. Call it my kiwi accent…

    North London fore va
    We’ve got Mikel Arteta
    Come on you Gunners

  • Iron-Nerve Buk
    … but sometimes I feel like I don’t understand the rules of football any more
    How was that a pen? (watching with the sound turned off so don’t know what the comments are)
    Eddie’s run and touch were excellent though
    Let’s hope this will help our kids take a load off, they need it

  • Clear pen, LG. If a defender did it, no question a pen. Keepers sometimes get let off but Mr Taylor did himself proud with that decision.

    “Take a load of Eddie, take a load off Gabe, take a load off Eddie. Put the load right on Buk”…
    If I have another son I’m calling him Bukayu.

  • Proud of the kids is all I can say
    Bill has been majestic, Jorgi’s experience has worked wonders, Zinch has out-Ziched himself, what a player
    Our front-3 look like they’re struggling a little, and Taylor waiting the 47th minute to give Siva a yellow doesn’t help. Trossard will not wait long to come on for Marti, I reckon – how I wish Emil was on the bench too (not to mention GJ of course)

  • HAIKU:
    Important evening
    Arsenal must rule this year
    Victory is near

    North-London’s red tilly-tilly,
    Manchester’s blue.
    When you visit, motha’feckers
    We will beat you.

    Sorry, all, but it’s been an emotional evening.

  • Well that is a shame. First half was ours but we didn’t take our chances. Second half we got pushed back too much and struggled to get out. We missed a couple of players tonight but the boys did us proud. Citeh were cynical and clinical at the right moment, and that’s the difference. But our biggest game is in Brum on Saturday.

  • There is a distilled quality and maturity in this City side. We missed our chances, they took theirs.
    We have a game in hand and half a season to further our own distillation process.
    Come on you Arsenal.

  • Disappointing result, considering we had a lot to play for and to see a bit of the old defensive frailties rearing their heads again. Otherwise, a very watchable game in which we controlled the game, caused them problems and generally looked up for it, …in the first half; only to allow ourselves to be penned in our own half for much of the second half and conceding cheap goals.

    It is pertinent to state that we gifted them all of their goals by falling for “traps” set by the City players and making basic errors which we got punished for tonight. If there is any positive to mention, we still have that game in hand and as we are technically joint top, win that and we could bounce right back to the top. But there is the small matter of “the next game” to navigate.

  • Didn’t watch the game as it was late here 1:30 AM honestly didn’t have the stomach to watch. Disappointing but hope this doesn’t become a drain on the team. If we beat villa this would be forgotten and we get back to normalcy otherwise this could be a long half season.

  • Arteta may need to refresh some areas of the team structure; it is good management to allow the same team go out, especially after a bad match-day, to go out and fix things. But this lot have had 3 games now and we have not won in our last 4 games.

    I am looking at resting both Gabriel’s in the team; both Trossard and Jakub Kiwior look like they can step in and do a job. If Kiwior isn’t ready (which I doubt), we could try Tierney or a White – Saliba CB combo. It is just to freshen things up as some of our lads already look battle weary.

  • Good shout, Eris. Refreshing things could help. I reckon we need Jesus back to get going again properly. Villa away in the early Saturday kick off will be v tough. So one or two new starters may help.

  • Self-inflicted, every City goal came via an Arsenal mistake, the biggest disparity was between taking the chances we had, so for me the two areas of reinforcement nave to be an alternative to Partey of the the same quality who is more physically robust, a player with Xhaka’s robustness would be perfect and a quality finisher because in Jesus and Nketiah we don’t have that good as they are. The rest of the squad in good enough it’s just that cherry on the cake we’re missing.

  • I thought that Saka was amazing but again failed to receive any protection from the referee who was avarage overall.

  • Kev, fair point about a quality CF. Eddie did his best but still has to grow a lot. Jesus is different quality, though. He makes spaces and with that chances for others and himself, whereas Eddie is predominantly focused on being on the receiving end of passes and crosses in the box. Against top opposition these few chances need to lead to at least one goal. It didn’t so there is some work to do.

    I thought Partey was not missed as much as I feared. Jorginho played well. It was our left side where we shows weakness. Gabriel and Zinch were not on the same wavelength and made each other nervous. As a result Granit had to sit deeper than he wanted to be and we struggled to get out. Martinelli helped out to but it meant that we had an ineffective left wing.

    I thought Saka, Granit and Ode and Tequila were awesome.

  • Thanks for the response TA, tbh I thought that Xhaka played a deeper role right from the off, almost as if we had a double-pivot at times, as far as the Gabriel/Zinchenko scenario I’m not sure it was just them as we were getting stressed across the defence and needed an outlet, I actually said to the guys around me that Arteta needed to make a change at 1-1, probably Trossard, who is far better at retaining possession than Martinelli and could have bought us some time to relax and refocus at the back, but Mikel hesitated and only made the change at 1-2 when we had lost control.
    Just my take on it

    Maybe switching to a back five might have helped by flooding the midfield and take the draw?

  • I don’t think anybody was awesome, apart from Jorginho, who is my (Arsenal) MotM.
    Still, losing against Manchester City shouldn’t be a shock. It was kind of expected.
    Arsenal is a great team no doubt about that, but Manchester City is better in almost every aspect and any department. Even though Partey is a vital part of this season’s success and a surprise glue of the team, unfortunately Rodri is the real deal and he showed us on Wednesday.

    So while even I was more optimistic than that the reality is that we will take 0 points from our 3 meetings with Manchester City. Yet, we could be (could have been) still champions, but those disasterclasses against Everton and Brentford are just not acceptable for a title contender.

    I keep myself to my earlier pledge that despite leading the PL by 8 bloody points at half-season that should not be interpreted as becoming champions is the minimal expectation; but I would be deeply disappointed if we finish below the second, as the rest of league are simply too bad to collect less points then them. Man City was trashed by Brentford for Christ’s sake and lost at Brighton; Newcastle couldn’t defeat Palace, Bournemouth, Leeds and West Ham at home.

  • My expectations have never been that Arsenal would win the EPL. The cash fueled teams have a huge advantage over us, all we can do (and have done) is to make shrewd choices in buying the right players and promoting from within.

    I’ve been delighted with our performances to date and for the first time in many seasons I’ve started to enjoy watching our team play. We’ve wobbled badly in the last three games, but we still retain hope of finishing in a CL spot for next season.

    Our road to recovery start’s tomorrow and the team’s reaction will show us how far they can go. I’ve loved the way the fans have become our 12th man and I hope they continue to urge our team on.

    The return of Jesus and Partey will give us a huge boost in the run in to the season – providing we don’t drop any more foolish points.

  • Fine comments guys. We are back to OGAAT and next win will give us wings again. We get knocked down and we get up again…. Just don’t give up and keep believing.

  • GN5 completely agree with your post. Win today and we are back on rails. Anything other than that we will be sucked into top 4 dog fight with Man U, New Castle and Spurs. We have to avoid that any cost and forget for top 2. Man U is lurking behind and it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that they could get closer if our results don’t improve. So the next game is pivotal to the rest of the season.

  • Lee Mason resigning is nothing but a plastic on a festering wound. VAR is flawed and so is PGMOl. Unless they are ripped and reconstituted nothing will change. A new Lee Mason will be born who will again ‘Forget to draw the line’. The VAR if implemented properly will influence the way players behave. Look at cricket and they way equivalent to VAR is implemented. It’s encouraged batsmen to walk when they know they are out not even waiting for umpires decision. This used to happen till early 90s after that players refused to walk and put pressure on umpires to make a decision. The walking is back beacuse the batsmen knows it’s futile to wait as the VAR will anyway give them out.

  • Ref stats:
    I find Hooper’s away win ratio … interesting
    Really don’t have a clue about what our lineup will be
    With 60 hours only between the two games, the slight dip in form of some, and Unai bound to have drilled his boys into countering our unchanged 3-2-4-1, I think 3 CBs and adjusting the rest to it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but what do I know?
    Like many of you I guess, i hate those 12.30 kickoffs …

  • Hi guys, PB did a preview of the game but I am on the road and cannot publish it unfortunately. I have asked him to put the text of the post into a comment on this post.

  • Are foreboding or misgivings justified? (18/02/23) – Aston Villa game preview

    I am not a superstitious type. I prefer to base my approach on data and confirmed information. Yet, the the outcome of a football game on the highest level comes down to several factors, and we have intel only on about a handful of them. Some of them are reassuring, but some of them are not too promising to be honest.
    Let’s try and sort the signs before the game. The goal is – obviously – not to build or maintain an unsubstantiated hope or worry, but to have a reasonable expectation, so we could evaluate the result more or less objectively.

    I’ll go with the positives first.
    • Arsenal is a stronger team. We have better players in the starting XI, and better players on the bench. That could be a decisive factor if we force an intense, quick game on the hosts, as when players tend to wear out, we will utilize our edge with the reinforcements.
    • Both are formal and informal leaders, Odegaard and Xhaka are vowing to bounce back after a run of lackluster performances and disappointing results.
    • It is also high time to show that the first half of the season was no fluke, both statistically and moral-wise. I mean it is always nice to bounce back, but it is getting pressing.
    • After 3 straight losses (without even scoring) between 2019 and 2020 we won our last 3 encounters against Aston Villa. That could be a stronger trend than our recent form.
    • Our hard schedule has hopefully came to an end against Manchester City. It was an intense run of 9 games since boxing day meeting Newcastle, Man City (twice), Tottenham, United, Brighton, etc. Now it is time to kick-start the next 7 PL games against teams like Villa, Leeds, Bournemouth, Palace and Everton. With some luck AND hard work we can find ourselves back to the top of the league with a comfortable cushion before our Anfield visit on the 8th of April – the first game when I see Jesus starting again.
    • Aston Villa – like Arsenal – has a tendency to commit individual errors. It will be comfortable finally playing against such opponents.
    • The host lost their last games – in fact the last one they was defeated by Manchester City bay 3:1 – so they are in a similarly bad place

    Unfortunately there are some concerning signs, too. Let’s collect them as well.
    • It’s been almost a year when Villa lost 3 PL games in a row. That was probably the first time Gerrard had his position tremble for the first time.
    • Beside Jesus, Elneny and Nketiah, we have Partey on the injury list. According to Arteta he is being assessed to play today, but I think it is still to early for Thomas. Maybe Nelson will get a few minutes though, as Saka could use some break, and he isn’t playing convincingly in the past few games.
    • OK, it is a superstition, but despite me awarding Jorginho the MotM on Wednesday, we haven’t won a single game since he joined, or to put it differently, when he played – regardless of his actual performance – we were always disappointed after the 90 minutes.
    • Last 3 games we created way too few chances. The xG for those games were 0.69, 1.37 and 1.7 respectively (compared to 2.9 vs Man U and 3.22 vs Brighton). We either lost our edge or simply more predictable.
    • Emery is undefeated against Arteta. Well, 2 games is a small sample but his Villareal side had a draw and a victory against Arsenal in the EL.
    • Unai must be really motivated against us. First, he wants to show that the board made a mistake, and he is the better manager. And he made some remarkable results against Manchester United and Tottenham. He has a decent squad, and had some weeks to find out their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Finally – while we might not agree with TA on this – Emery is a superior tactician than Arteta. He has to be, as he has an overall weaker, and while for Mikel it was enough to have a vision and buy the players to fuel it, Emery had to analyze the opponent and prepare against them every time – something Arteta is not too experienced with.

    And this is not a team issue, but a club issue. Out PL2 (U21) team is doing pretty bad – not winning 4 out of the last 5 games – despite topping the table on New Year’s Eve. Arsenal Women – who unlike the men are the strongest team in the Barclays Women’s Super League – haven’t win either of their last 3 games despite topping the table on New Year’s Eve. And the U18 aren’t doing too good either: winning only one from their last U18 Premier League South games, but in their defense, they haven’t been on the top to begin with.

    Anyway, it seems we have 7 signs for a positive and a negative outcome, so my prediction is a 1:1 draw for today.
    What do you think, my fellow gunners?

  • Real men’s reaction
    Ben’s making a statement on his wing, Jorginho is a superb player
    As for Buk, it’s been a long time since I ran out of words – but what a perfect volley, the expression “a thing of beauty” was coined for this exactly

  • We’ve become incredibly vulnerable – the simplest of runs, dummies, … are enough to make us crumble
    And why, why, why did we stop putting them under pressure after scoring the equalizer??

  • Incompetent refereeing – illustration
    Well … something has to be done at half-time, I keep thinking a real back-3 would do us no harm at the moment
    The intricacies of our left-flank Zinch-Granit-Trossard are taking us nowhere, I’d never seen Oleks that poor, Kieran must be fuming on the bench
    Whatever the setup, Kieran-Reiss-Emil-Marti deserve getting the nod imo
    Come on kiddos

  • So deserved
    Zinch redeeming himself, and what a goal this was, technically as perfect as Buk’s volley
    We’re such a better team than them – how heartbreaking it would be not to win this

  • The second half is a clear improvement over the first, but the final ball (Eddie, Odegaard, Gabriel, Saka) keeps failing the boys. maybe the last 2+5 minutes will bring some closure though as we would deserve the 3 points.
    I fully agree with Le Gall on demanding changes. We still have legs on the bench who could inject us with some much needed energy for the final minutes.

  • What can I say? Stoppage time did bring us the closure.
    Let’s keep the momentum, boys!

    I’m quite satisfied with the attackers and the midfielders despite the many botched chances, it’s Aaron’s and the defend job to improve and reduce the number of chances for our next opponents.

    Eddie was playing in the footsteps of Jesus – does it make him his prophet, or merely a disciple? – playing really useful and dangerously yet not finding the net. I don’t see him being a liability until Gabby J. is fully fit, but I would be happy to see him score against Leicester and/or Everton.

  • Tom Hanks a the end of the game:

    Well, that was fun … amazing festival of perfect strikes, too
    I loved Marti’s assist on Jorg’s one, the kid’s focus when delivering his cutback was a joy to watch
    If there is such a thing as a win glueing a team together once and for good, that’ll be the one …
    Bring on the FoxesLE GALL

  • What a time gamr and half. Thank God we arrested the slide. Onwards and upwards now after a good training for the next week.

  • After Ode dragged his shot wide when Eddie seemed to have given him a goal on a plate, I must confess that I began to think that it wasn’t going to be our day. Thank goodness the players didn’t think the same! What a shot from Jorginho and the goal was made all the sweeter for the look on the face of their time-waster-in-chief after it went in off his head! All the goals were brilliant but, I would like to include a special mention for Fabio (who is under-appreciated by some fans) for his assist for our final goal.

    PB, I often agree with you but, I believe our success in the first half of this season is partly attributable to ALL of the team working as a unit to defend and reduce the number of chances. There’s a balance of course. GJ used to be one of the leaders in this respect and I think that it was one of the reasons that he was scoring less goals. Now we are missing Thomas we need to find a way of frustrating the opposition before they can put undue pressure on our defenders.

  • Pb,
    Thanks for an excellent preview. Also great in game comments from LeGall.

    Jorginho..a brilliant acquisition and a rare bargain for us too.
    When one of your most important players like Partey is not available suddenly, who wouldn’t want a calm head with a real football brain and skill at the base of midfield. To me preferable over the Kante type we were pursuing. Not that he would’ve been bad, it’s just that our young team and style of play more needs a winner to keep things ticking, even if he’s not pacey.

    Perfect assist from Vieira where many players would’ve hoofed it towards the open goal on their stronger foot. He needs to get more game minutes to show his magic. Øde needs more breaks, and I like Fabio replacing Xhaka on occasion, when we brought him in, we hoped he could be a versatile attacking midfielder when we want to be aggressive…. I also hope the new boy Kiwior understands that it’s going to be hard to get minutes right now too.

    Watching Man City today I feel like our mistakes during the week gave them confidence that they had been lacking. They still will drop enough points through the run in with champions league as their real desire.

  • An outbreak of Snoopy dancing across the living room floor at 4 am in the morning…

  • Fine preview PB with some interesting stats and angles.

    I was able to listen to the second half in the car and what a turn around. It looked like Arteta out strategised Unai. So much dominance and chances and winning the half 3-0.

  • How can so many teams take points off Manchester Cheating, and we can’t, is a”total” mystery to me.
    Were it not for Mason’s antics we’d be 4 points ahead, with a home game in hand … How’d that be for leaving our toughest moment in the season behind? As perfect strikes go, Bernardo’s wasn’t too bad either btw
    Gonna take a look at Balogoal’s 2nd half in Nice now

  • Super comment by Big Apple J. Love the thought of you dancing at 4am, Stuart. OX10, agreed when Ode missed that chance I also thought we would not score anymore.

  • Well, he’s the best player on the pitch by many miles but watching mid-table Ligue 1 after a particularly exciting Arsenal game can be depressing … 10 minutes to go, 0-0, I quit

  • Good news from up north where Howe’s boys are on to a very bumpy ride
    Just tuned in to watch his goal, looks like Gakpo is finding his feet in PL, what an elegant player he is
    Stu, could you please have a friendly, but respectful conversation with the Big Guy so we might get week-ends like this one ’til June – and seven Thursday nights, too, if it’s not asking too much?? Thanks, mate.

  • Solid points for Fabio, OX & JNYC. He indeed has limited opportunities to shine, and it’s very difficult to make the most of those rare chances, and you are both right that’s a rare skill that he demonstrated today. A great choice in the decision making department and a flawless execution.

    What is happening today?
    So’ton defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Nottingham kept a point home against Manchester City, and Newcastle is being handed their asses at home. (Even Bayern Münich run into a defeat.)
    Manchester United will face quite a challenge tomorrow,m but they are in a hard run of games anyway, even though they are playing the next 5 games in Old Trafford. We don’t even need Tottenham losing, but they should do that in courtesy.

  • Chris Woods is up for New Zealander of the year. What a tonic for the troops.
    Friendly and respectful it is, my Big Apple brother. Psalm 34:15-20.

  • I had a right old ‘tin bath’ when ball his the massive head of Martinez and went in the goal, he had a face like a smacked arse afterwards… 😃

  • A good fast paced game yesterday.

    Felt that we were attacking more centrally and the space that our players got in the second half translated into a win.

    With Jorginho doing the dirty stuff in midfield we are getting a deputy that we need for Partey.. our depth is helping. Trossard is another player that we needed.

    We need to get on a winning run of games, and everyone needs to be on their top game.


  • Total, it was perfect was t it, a great shot hitting the crossbar at the perfect angle so it deflected onto old big heads big head and into the goal. Amazing

  • Fun fact: as you know WhoScored has a tendency to overrate players who score and assist. Yesterday the second highest rated player in the Chelsea-Southampton game – behind the scoring Ward-Prowse – was a certain Maitland-Niles, who made 6 tackles, 2 clearances and 2 blocks celebrating the trust in him by the cartaker manager Rubén Sellés. Big individual and team performance from our fellow gunner.

    Another ex-gunner making the headlines was Bernd Leno after his MotM display at Brighton. Fulham is now 6th (a single point behind Tottenham) due to Bernd and an overall remarkable transfwer window when they signed Palhinha, Diop, Perreira, and Lukic besides ax-gunners Leno and Willian (!), and got while bringing in Kurzawa and Solomon on loan.

  • Trossard starting gives Martinelli the chance to run at tired defenders… I think we need to use them that way more often.

  • In late April there will be our second league fixture against Manchester City, this time away from home.
    And while I’m a really huge fan of Odegaard, I would rather see us playing in 4-3-3 with Partey, Xahaka and Jorginho all playing, assuring our midfield dominance, supporting our defense, and leave the goal scoring duty to Martinelli, Saka and Jesus. Otherwise we won’t stand a chance. Not in 4-2-3-1 and not with Odegaard. I’m not saying it often (to sacrifice creativity on the altar of defensive stability), but there are only a handful of teams where we might need all our defensive-minded midfielders in the away game. However even in the case of a 0:0 draw we are making ourselves a huge favor.

    Maybe that’s only me, but I would also appreciate Mikel experimenting something, other than the effective, yet largely predictable 4-2-3-1 with the 11 preferred player starting.

  • Hoo! That’s a big call, PB. Interestingly pragmatic, but I think a step back from going toe to toe with those Oilers. Martin is integral to our high press, is the teams best passer and our creative fulcrum. He also would keep the excellent Rodri tied up. I’d rather we named our best X1, looked them in the eye, believed in our game and took them apart on their own patch.
    It was their long ball game which won last weeks game for them. A returning Thomas’s positioning in front of our back four should deal with that.
    In saying the above, I do hope Martin works on his finishing! That was a rather ghastly miss (against Villa) for our maestro. Quickly forgiven and forgotten after Jorginho’s wonder strike and our man in Birmingham’s back header.

    A final Haiku…
    Emi Martinez
    We love you Emi, we do
    Emi, we love you

  • Only “talking point” about us – and the most exciting game/turnaround of the week-end – from Guardian’s Liew this morning: Eddie’s so-called “profligacy” which might “cost us the title”.
    On the other hand, the Spuds are “brittle” and “very much alive on three fronts”, etc …
    I don’t care much for those belligerent ignoramuses’s opinions, actually there is something very pleasant about their bias against us. After all, those so-called pundits’ allegations are proved wrong a few weeks later 99% of the time, but I keep asking myself the same questions nevertheless:
    “Why exactly do they hate us – and our boys (the only thing they can write about Eddie in months amounts to stabbbing him in the back) – so much, exactly?” and “Where does that come from? When did it start?”
    Oh, and btw not a word about the way all sorts of cowardly gunslingers feel entitled (and are made to feel entitled by the PGMO’s criminally incompetent sad clowns), to mow Bukayo down, again and again, and again.
    Surely, it isn’t because the best English player is Arsenal through and throuh, that they don’t give a farting f..k whether or not he ends up being seriously injured (as he will, unfortunately), is it?

  • PB, I agree that we have to make ourselves less predictable, the Everton game proved that, but we need to do it before April. We have options to rotate now that the team has been strengthened and Mikel can tweak the system too. In that way. all managers including Pep, won’t be able to be 100% sure how we will line up against them. For instance, starting Kieran instead of our Ukrainian maestro is one way to change the dynamic on the left side. Another could be that although Bukayo is undeniably more effective from the right, switching him with Leandro or Marti in-game gives defenders different problems to things to worry about.

  • Mrs GN5 and myself have had the new variant of Covid for the last two weeks, it’s been a long struggle but it seems that we are gradually on the mend. My fault as I went to a very busy major store and neglected to wear a mask – far too cavalier!! We both still have after effects, pretty stupid on my part!

  • Here are last weekend results:-

    1st Le Gall with 4/6 plus most correct results = 8 points
    2nd Kev with 3/6 plus 1 correct score = 5 points
    3rd Madhu with 3/6 = 3 points
    4th GN5, Total, Eris & Stuart with 2/6 = 2 points
    8th OX10 with 1/6 = 1 point
    Season to date:-

    1st OX10 with 85.13
    2nd Madhu with 83.80
    3rd Kev with 80.80
    4th Stuart with 79.33
    5th Eris with 75.13
    6th Total with 63.66
    7th Le Gall with 62.80
    8th GN5 with 55.33
    Any one of the top five has an opportunity to be victorious.
    The bottom three need a few Hail Mary’s to help us along!.

  • Next weekends selections. Four EPL games and two Cup Final’s.

    Everton v Aston Villa
    Leeds United v Southampton
    Leicester City v Arsenal
    Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea *
    Manchester United v Newcastle United *
    Rangers v Celtic *

  • Whoa, GN5. Thank goodness, the worst is over. Take good care, both of you and get well soon.

    I was having a discussion with my folks, a week ago, that the new variant is for real and the need to revert to the usual precautionary measures.

    It is well with you and the wife.

  • Thank you Eris, it crept up on us slowly but then it really hit us both hard and we both spent a few days in bed resting. The biggest issues have been shortness of breath for myself and a constant cough for Mrs GN5 and a total lack of energy for both of us. We ventured out yesterday, for the first time in 12 days, to get in some groceries – we both enjoyed the short walk and the fresh air.

    We are following all of the recommendations – so hopefully the worst is behind us.

  • Everton Aston Villa D
    Leeds United Southampton A
    Leicester City Arsenal A
    Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 2
    Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 1
    Rangers 2 Celtic 3

  • This Bench Cam stuff is great stuff
    About “experimentation”, P., well let’s take a look at our “B” side:
    It looks great to me, but some lads’ (Tomi, Rob, KT, Reiss, Fabio) playing time is just ridiculous, considering the moment in the season – and hadn’t GJ9 been injured, Eddie’s would be, too.
    I feel for Kieran in particular. I get Mick’s point, though. Oleks is a superior player, and there is this thing he does when he slots into our midfield as soon as we gain possession, which Kieran doesn’t have in his locker. I get that, but our kilted LB should have played more nevertheless – and I also know that Mick’s conservative choice did pay off last saturday … Look, tbh, I know if I were in Kieran’s shoes (which, fortunately for Arsenal and Arsenal’s fans, I’m not) I know I’d simply hate the manager’s guts …
    As for 23-y-o Reiss, I said it before but I don’t see anything that 28-y-o Trossard does which our lad couldn’t do (actuallyI think Reiss is a better player, more inspired, creative, unpredictable … classier), and yet now that we’ve bought the Brighton lad (I have nothing against him, I do believe he’s the kind of guy who “plays for the name on the front of the shirt”) it’s very likely that we’ve seen the last of Reiss in the red-and-white and what can I say, all I am is filled with regrets about that.
    Not only is predictability the problem of conservatism, but also the further we get into the season, the less ready to deputize (in case of injuries) the bench-warmers will be. But then again, we play well, we might be 7 points clear at the top of the table soon, so the best is probably not to dwell too much on that.
    One conundrum at least may give Mikel a few sleepless nights: the Tom-Jorgi one. For about Jorginho, I’ve rarely seen a player which a new club, new team-mates, new setup, … have fitted like a glove so fast.
    Yet there’s this defense-minded 4-3-2-1 setup which the French national team uses some time, when important players are injured or when this is a period when opponents are supposed to be superior technically, and could be Mick’s way out of the conundrum indeed. In our case it could be something like:
    (1998 France:
    So yes, like TA I think the skipper would still be a starter in it, and it sure could be an interesting rehearsal for the 2023-2024 Champions’ League semi-finals away game!!

  • Everton vs Aston Villa……Away
    Leeds vs Southampton..Home
    Leicester vs Arsenal………Away
    Tottenham vs Chelsea…Home (2-1)
    Man Utd vs Newcastle…Home (4-1)
    G. Rangers vs G. Celtic..Away (1-3)

  • Great to read you are on the mend, GN5.

    Everton vs Aston Villa……A
    Leeds vs Southampton..H
    Leicester vs Arsenal………A
    Tottenham vs Chelsea… 1-1
    Man Utd vs Newcastle… 2-0
    G. Rangers vs G. Celtic.. 0-1

  • Good thoughts, LG. Arsene did something similar with his tactics over the years. Two examples…

    Dixon Adams Bould Winterburn
    Parlour Petit Viera
    Bergkamp Overmars

    Lauren Toure Campbell Cole
    Parlour Gilberto Viera
    Bergkamp Pires

    Great new photo, Total.

  • Take care Mr and Mrs GN5. Don’t know about the new variant but my whole household had a severe case of Pneumonia couple of weeks back. My mom had to be hospitalized due to high levels of sugar, Pneumonia and profuse coughing. I couldn’t get out of bed for couple of days with cough and fever. Something is really wrong and this is the worst I felt in my life for a simple bout of flu as initially thought. Take care GN5 something rotten is in the air.

    Everton vs Aston Villa……H
    Leeds vs Southampton..A
    Leicester vs Arsenal………A
    Tottenham vs Chelsea… 1-0
    Man Utd vs Newcastle… 2-1
    G. Rangers vs G. Celtic.. 1-0

  • Everyone stay healthy out there, both mentally and physically…

    Kieran Tierney to Newcastle screams the rumourmongers, or Aston Villa, but I can’t say that I’m too impressed by the price quoted, between £27m and £30m, but that’s just a guess because frankly nobody knows…

    To me Tierney is easily the best left-back around who is probably available and would hugely improve any club he moved to, so for me he has to be in the £50m bracket.
    So we’ll see?

  • Yes LeGaul, Bench Cam is required viewing, the latest from Aston Villa was simply superb, although I couldn’t thinking that Unai Emery in the background walking around with slumped shoulders and looking at the floor must send out a negative vibe to his team

  • Tierney is a great player and I prefer him to Zinch on the left, but the Ukrainian offers the hybrid quality of supporting midfield like a Midfielder, and the same goes for Ben White on the right. As pure full backs Kieran and Tomi are superb.

  • Glad to hear that you have recovered Madhu, Has your mother fully recovered, her being hospitalized must have been very concerning.
    Mrs GN5 is now doing great and I’m almost there. At our age it’s very scary to catch covid, today marks two weeks since I picked it up – so it has taken a long time for us to feel better.

  • Everton v Aston Villa. H
    Leeds United v Southampton. D
    Leicester City v Arsenal A
    Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea *. H 2-1
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * 2-0
    Rangers v Celtic * 2-3

  • GN5 yes she is back home and now on Insulin. She managed till now on tablets but from now on she will be on insulin. Otherwise she is back to normal and begun her normal daily routine. She is 75 and has managed to stay away from insulin till now.
    At that age any illness is really a scare. So glad to know that you and Mrs are doing fine now. Take care sir.

  • Just checked BT Sport to see what’s happening in europe and Liverpool took a rapid 2-0 lead over Real Madrid and they’re now losing 2-4, always enjoy watchingthose entitled Scousers taking a beating.

  • And as no one has mentioned it, and speaking for myself, I’m really delighted to see that smiling Mo Elneny has signed a new deal and extended his contract by 12 months, or is it 18 months? Anyway up until the summer of 2024.

  • Does Mo have a song, Kev? Love the guy, a team man with talent and heart. Glad to see the club honouring him with the extension.

  • Kev, there are only a few who appreciate or understand the role of Elneny. Majority of Arsenal fandom in the blogs are in a meltdown over Elnenys contract. Arteta said it immediately after his injury that he would be extended. He just said we need to take care of our players. It was never in doubt. Mo has also mentioned his desire to do the badges. So it could that he will start his badges soon.

  • Stu, I don’t think he does but he should as he’s been with Arsenal a long time, I mean even Xhaka has a song now and Jorginho has one already, funny how some players get songs almost straight away and others don’t, I can’t think of a Tierney song or a Rob Holding song either?

  • I’ve not delved into LG yet Madhu so I guess you mean on there, I only saw one negative comment on Arseblog News the rest were pretty positive about Mo, nowhere else has commented where I’ve been tbh. But like you I’m pleased he staying put.

  • I apologize if I’ve posted this before – but it came to mind when I was think of a Hiaku.

    An ode by GunnerN5

    Avenell Road was my abode
    My future passion just down the road

    During WW2 I became a Gooner
    If not for the war it would have been sooner

    The sounds from Highbury drew me in
    A life long passion about to begin

    Without a penny to my name
    Getting inside became a game

    Between my Dad’s legs I would squeeze
    Then under the turnstile on my knees

    Or over the wall I would try to jump
    Only to fall down on my rump

    Under the clock was where I stood
    Every time that I possibly could

    Not a thing could keep me away
    From watching my beloved Arsenal play

    I’ve seen good players go, and bad ones arrive
    At times it was all we could do to survive

    I’ve seen the best and I’ve seen the worst
    So many times I thought we were cursed

    How many times were we on the brink?
    Only to see our chances shrink

    Our injuries have become a farce
    And referees are a pain in the arse

    After 76 seasons I still gleam
    Every time I watch my team

    Nothing could possibly take away
    The amount of pride I feel today

    Defy the odds? – we just may
    Given the way the Arsenal play

  • GN5, one of my favourite verses in the Good Book is Hebrews 11:21. It speaks of the patriarch Jacob at a great age blessing his sons and “leaning on his staff and worshiping”.

    I have a picture of you in my mind, as an aged fellow with a long beard, a red and white rosette pinned to your chest, a “gleam” in your eye, standing under the clock at the old Laundry end of Highbury, with your arms raised, a stick in one hand, singing “Good old Arsenal, we’re proud to say that name…”

    I’ve never met either Jacob or your good self, Cyril. But I love you both.

  • Elneny’s extra year must mean that Arteta does not believe that any of the youngsters will be ready to make the step up next season.

    He will also have severe doubt about Emile (physical) and Reiss (physical/mental) becoming part of the first on a consistent basis. Sad but Arteta and Edu have to make these calls. Hopefully they both com good still.

  • Love you right back Stuart. Back in the day the crowds were so thick that I would pretend to have fainted and then I would be passed over the top of the crowd and would be sat down behind the corner flag to to receive attention. When the Arsenal players took a corner the would run their hand through my hair. So many years back – but I remember those days like yesterday.

  • That’s a truly wonderful recollection, GN5. I remember times on the North Bank (I only stood at the Clock End on one occasion) when the congestion was such that we were like sardines. Whenever the Arsenal scored or a melee occurred in our goal mouth, I would be lifted off my feet by the frenzied crowd, traveling a few yards down the terrace before finding my feet again. I also remember a fellow peeing into a bottle which he kept in his pocket, so that he didn’t have to miss any of the match or brave those old toilets. Wouldn’t see that at the Emirates nowadays…

  • Frank, you really keep a very civilised abode in this place, it’s always such a pleasure to visit even for a catch up…

    Regarding youngsters, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to break through, unless they’re exceptional, given the importance put on every game we play, both Liverpool and Man City are trying to bring through youngsters but it comes with risks and both have seen their levels fall this season possibly because of that fact?

  • I feel Elnenys extension is more due to his injury and probably assist him in his coaching badges. This doesn’t stop us from going after Rice or integrating Patino. I think it was fairly clear when he got.imjured Arteta mention about this extension. I believe it’s at a reduced terms as well. You could say that its a gesture from the club that leaving him to find a new club when he is on a long term injury is kind of.unfair and hence provided him a year on reduced terms to ease his job worries. It’s classy from the club.

  • Jeorge Bird
    The FA Youth Cup game v Cambridge tomorrow will be shown live on the FA Player.
    11:11 PM · 22 févr. 2023
    7pm kick-off

  • Good point, Madhu. I feel there’s truth in your theory.

    Thanks Kev, it’s indeed a nice and wise community here. 🤗

    Eddie and Tequila have shown us that if you reach the level you will get a proper chance.. And then it’s got to be taken.

  • Jeorge B.’s line-up prediction:
    Subs: Rojas, Nichols, Quamina, Ismail Oulad M’Hand, Gower, Ferdinand, Roberts.
    Other options: Green, Robinson, Brown, Forde, Kabia, B. Okonkwo, Small, Camron Ismail, Oyetunde, Heaven, Casey, Copley.
    Injury doubts: Davies, Kovacevic, Quesada-Thorn, Dudziak, Ryan, Akolbire

    I hate contradicting Jeorge, but I think Quamina will play alongside Walters, not Kacurri
    The two players I’d like to see involved, who haven’t been so far:
    Robinson (RCB-RB), QuesadaThorn (LCB-LB)
    … and of course, Kamara or Ferdinand will be a heartbreaking choice for Jack, both have been instrumental in our successful run

  • I had Mitty in my cab some 20 years ago, I was taking him to the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, a very nice guy and a very even handed commentator, they don’t make them like him anymore (example: the appalling Sam Matterface)

  • I had Motty, that should read – I may at some time had Mitty in my cab but I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

  • Place on my sofa for you, Total… Bring your signed ball. I’ll provide the stool. (Great recollection, mate. What a precious memory).

    Sigh, the measured magic of Motson. He is up there with one of the other voices of my childhood, the late great Brian Moore. Son of a Methodist Minister, he was a huge supporter of “Christians in Sport” an organization I was associated with during my years in England. A warm, personable man with a great gift for encouraging others. The Beeb did a brilliant series on him not so long ago, I think it was called, “The full Motty”.

  • Robinson and Ferdinand it is:
    Subs: Rojas-Nichols-Kacurri-Quamina-Ismail Oulad M’Hand-Gower-Kamara.

  • 1-0 Nwaneri
    LewisSkelly’s run tore the Cambridge side open in its middle, very good hold-up play/assist from Benjamin, and amazing purity of Nwaneri’s strike. Wow.
    Plain sailing from now on??

  • Forget plain sailing, bumpy ride it’s gonna be
    Robinson og
    The boys fell asleep after scoring, sat back, let the U’s build their confidence back, and here we are …
    Shameful this

  • Best Arsenal news of the night so far:
    Arsenal have reached verbal agreement to extend Bukayo Saka contract
    It’s not signed yet but it will get done — understand new deal will be until June 2028.

    As for our baby gunners, what an inconsistent bunch they are – they’ve been playing so far down below their level after scoring it was hardly believable
    Wake ’em up, Jack!!

  • Barcelona leading at Old Trafford, interesting game, Martinez is a really good sweeper for United, Frenkie De Jong is such a good player, I’d love him at Arsenal.

  • Rashford looks so dangerous, Newcastle will be hoping this goes to extra time and penalties

  • Cambridge are really giving us a game, they take the lead and we need a penalty to equalise and then they hit our bar, phew!

  • Great result for Jack Wilshere, you wouldn’t believe the trolls you see digging him out TA, it’s sickening.

    Some so-called Arsenal fans are beyond the pale…

  • Sloppy defending gift United an equaliser, Ajax pull one back then Union make it 3-1, Union Berlin look a good side, quite Prussian they are. 😉

  • FT
    Young Guns 3 Cambridge 2 (Nwaneri, CozierDuberry pen, Rosiak)
    Undeserved victory if ever there was one, you have to feel for the young Amber Army, who had many more opportunities to bag the win
    What tipped the balance in our favour is very likely to have been the superior athleticism of some of our lads, which isn’t a reson why you want to see an Arsenal youth side win – there is no interest in that, as far as possible professional careers are concerned.
    Some guys (Walter, Nwaneri) did step up big time but as a team the boys were way below par
    Kawara was very impressive again after being brought on (for Ferdinand), I just can’t imagine he won’t be a starter in the semis; Gower (for Benjamin) was very good too – what an intelligent, subtle player he is. Rosiak has tremendous technical ability too, but I’m not sure (understatement) he has a future in the RB/RWB position (he was made to play the Zinch part tonight, actually, but it is very difficult to get the knack of it for such young lads)
    Looks like Nwaneri went off after doing his hammy, he was good tonight, some of his touches are delightful and when he drops his shoulder the defenders are quickly turned into whirling dervishes. When assessing him, we probably should keep in mind that he’s only … 15!! – which I, for one, keep forgetting
    On to next round, then, but the boys will have to be much, much better than that to be able to dream on

  • Barca coming back after a slow start to the second half, if Sancho is worth £70m then Saka must be worth £200m.

  • I am in a weird spot I have a soft spot for Barca I team I was actually a fan of before Arsenal but even though I hate the Mancs it would be beneficial for us if they stayed busy on multiple fronts as they are starting to come into the title picture.

  • Someone in the Old Trafford dressing room must have come into a job-lot of knockoff blond rinses…

  • I’d prefer Shahktar. Unfortunately it’s more travel and possibly colder than Rome, but we have some unfinished business with those greedy b@$t@rd$.

  • Everton v Aston Villa H
    Leeds United v Southampton D
    Leicester City v Arsenal A
    Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea * D (2-2)
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * A (1-3)
    Rangers v Celtic * A (1-3)

    Total & Eris, I appear to be missing your predictions.

  • Everton v Aston Villa A

    Leeds United v Southampton H
    Leicester City v Arsenal A
    Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea * 3-1
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * 1-2
    Rangers v Celtic * 1-1

  • Great comments, all round and brilliant correspondent work covering many games, by LG and Kev.

    Nice to hear you and Mrs. GN5 are up and firing, GN5. Long may that continue.

  • Sorry,GN5. Busy week.
    Here are my predictions for the weekend’s selections:

    Everton v Aston Villa H
    Leeds United v Southampton D
    Leicester City v Arsenal A
    Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea * D (2-2)
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * H (2-1)
    Rangers v Celtic * A (1-3)

  • Dear BKers

    I have had message from the emperor of Budapest that a match preview is being scribed as I post this comment. Hold on for a bit longer! 😍

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