Arsenal beating Crystal Palace was hardly comfortable viewing

After a very positive pre-season Arsenal fans should have rightly been able to enjoy an exciting and comfortable first game of the season. However, this is the Premier League and Crystal Palace, both of which seldom make for comfortable viewing.

The game started well and Jesus was the best player on the pitch for the first half an hour. Unfortunately, that did not continue and the fact that William Saliba deservedly got Man Of The Match speaks for itself.

The same issues that have plagued us throughout Arteta’s tenure arose during the Palace game, where we appeared to lose compose and therefore control of the game. Insert photo of Mikel Arteta’s wide-eyed panicked expression.

Crystal Palace are no pushovers, particularly under Patrick Vieira, but Arsenal dominated the first half of the match to such an extent I almost got my hopes up. However, even while dominating possession there is and was always that sense that they only have to play the right ball and isolate Gabriel or Ben White and we would have problems.

William Saliba was simply brilliant. He looked by far our best defender and most composed player, at least as far as the back line is concerned. His performance should have been a huge boost for the team and the supporters but it only highlighted how ordinary the rest of them are. Even Gabriel, our most assured defender last season, looked erratic by comparison.

So, there are positives to take from the match, but also concerns. I really, really want this team to do well and to work for Arteta. I am not a fan of Mikel but I appreciate the direction in which he seems to be trying to take the team and build a sustainable and positive future for the club. I am just not convinced nor shall I ever be that he actually knows what he’s doing.

Ben Dungate


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  1. I was delighted with the win , yes we had our backs to the wall second half but we didn’t concede.
    We lost this fixture last season 3.0 so to go there and win and not concede is a vast improvement in my opinion.
    We are not the finished product of what we aim to be but I seriously can’t be negative over a away win against a London rival who previously bullied us.
    I’m by far a Arteta fan , didn’t like him as a player and I have my doubts if he is the right man for the job, saying that I will support him as I feel he may be on the right track and the players all seem to be giving thier all fof him.

    1. Well, some are so comfortable watching 8-2, 6-0,5-0,4-0 drubbings that winning 2-0 is very uncomfortable. Maybe he can watch Erik tan Hag and Man Utd, Mikel and Arsenal will be spanking teams this season and that will be uncomfortable to the Mikel out brigade.

      1. Over 1200 games in, what, eighteen years under AW and you come up with four drubbings😂😂😂😂
        Tell me LC, how many scorelines such as the 5-0 and 4-0 drubbings have we seen under MA in just under three years? 😂😂😂

  2. The second half wasn’t convincing, but Selhurst Park was a tough place to visit for many EPL teams last season

    Arteta has got his own CF, so I believe we’ll either finish fourth or win EL this season, if Jesus stays fit

    I liked Ebiowei’s skills and pace on Palace’s right wing, unfortunately we’ve let our former academy player sign for them. Otherwise, Ebiowei could’ve become Saka’s main competitor for the RW role

  3. “I am just not convinced nor shall I ever be that he actually knows what he’s doing.”

    This statement just makes your article pointless. You are writing from a place of incredible bias and admit that whatever he achieves, you wont like him….so what is the point of discussing and contradicting yourself by saying he doing a good job building for the future.


    1. Actually thought the article by and large was fair enough coming from someone not convinced by Arteta angle but missed that comment at the end which changes everything.

      On Palace it was uncomfortable at times and they had a marginally better expected goals with the average likely score being 1-1. Point is they made it uncomfortable for all the top sides last year so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. They beat Spurs and us 3-0, Drew with City and United 0-0, lost to Chelsea 1-0 in the 89th minute and 3-1 to Liverpool with the 3rd being 89th minute. On top of that Arsenal had by far the worst amount of points picked up from games where we had a lower xG than our top 6 rivals suggesting a slightly poor rub of the green for us last year.

  4. It was a tough start to a campaign that’s for sure ,away to palace was never going to be easy for any team but the 3 points are in the bag .
    Regarding the game it was again a game of to halves ,pretty in the first then go into our defensive shell which was our undoing last season .
    Still worry’s for me is that lack of physicality and pace in the middle of the park ,Odegaard showed once again when the going gets tough he cannot handle that side of the game ,looks great on the ball and a superb passer but gets ran past like a 5 year old and should have been taken off 30 mins before he actually did .
    Same applies to Xhaka ,even though he was one of the best players on the pitch against palace over the course of the season he will no doubt revert to type and cost us points ,unfortunately those 2 seem to be first on the team sheet so I cannot see them being replaced anytime soon .
    My opinion OFC
    Overall though 3 points is 3 points and with a good easier run of games to come we should look pretty decent in the league for the next 6 weeks .

    1. Classic Xhaka bash… player last season, had a great game last week……however lets just assume his errors are worse and more erratic then any other player


      1. I did not write an article buddy .
        It was an opinion to the Article.
        And for your information I’m not a Xhaka basher as I will give praise when he plays well ,my point being with him and Odegaard in the same side we lack pace ,just an observation from my own standpoint , now get back in whatever cave you crawled out of because you need to calm down abit with your angry posts ,not a good look going after posters and writers that you don’t agree with .

      2. It’s no Xhaka bashing. He’s been here for many years now and there’s nothing new we haven’t seen. Moreover, be said himself that he will not change his style of tackling. So what’s the bashing in saying what is true about Xhaka? Moreover, I’ve never spoken evil of Xhaka. Never ever ever ever. So don’t think I’m against him as I’ve spoken out before in his defense, but never against him. Dan Kit was just stating the obvious about him

        1. Happy to be described as a xhaka basher .. best player last season !!! Can’t make some people up … he can’t tackle can’t win ariel battles can’t control a ball can’t run with a ball but Ocassional exceptional pass and even more ocasdional long range shot .. that’s his record over 6 years and why we rarely control the middle of the park and never if partey is out .. unless we find a quality DM in next 2 weeks 4th plsce will remain elusive unfortunately

  5. I’m certainly no supporter of Arteta also. That said, I will support him as long as he’s here. This season is make or break for Arteta. If things do not go as planned or we do not get top four, then he’s got to go. I only wish Saliba was here last season. We probably would have been playing Champions League football by now. Anyway, I really hope Arteta does well and takes us to that competition. I am one of those who do not value pre-season games and I make no meaning from them. That’s why I was almost entirely silent on this blog in any post that spoke of our wins throughout the pre-season. The real test is here (man Utd and Ten Haag just got a reality check) and we will judge based on results at the season’s end

  6. ” I am not convinced, NOR SHALL I EVER BE, that he actually knows what he’s doing”!

    What a self admitted biased statement !

    If ever you go to a court of law as a defendant, I hope you have a magistrate /judge and jury VERY UNLIKE THIS PLAINLY BIASED WRITER.

    That self admitted bias shrieks out to me that this article writers opinion, though valid, as are all opinions , is not one a non biased Gooner could accept as impartial or balanced and not something I can therefore accept as being wise.

    I also question the whole premise that fans are usually “comfortable” in expecting their team to win easily.

    Prem fooball, in the main, does NOT work that way. The writer made an attempt to sound educated but what came over to me was his inexperience in watching Prem football, long enough to even know that “comfort” should NEVER be taken for granted and usually does not exist during most games.

    This is what makes almost all Prem games so compelling around the globe and long may that remain.

    So Ben, I reject your article as a piece not properly researched, by your personal experience, nor balanced in any true sense of that word.

    You made some valid points but your biased conclusion spoiled the whole piece and graphically revealed your own relative inexperience.

    1. Most sensible impartial rebuke I have seen in a long time!

      I think the court scenario is spot on.

      I think the prem scenario is spot on.

      Imagine what these guys would say if City or Liverpool ever lost a game in the premier league? oh wait…this happens every season

  7. I think you should be more honest in your articles.If you don’t rate Arteta for whatever reasons just state it.No need for snide attacks or back handed complements.Does no one any favours.You’re one of a tiny minority who it would appear will find fault with whatever he does/ achieves,to suit your agenda.Out of curiosity,aside from Kloppy & Pepsi wh would do a better job at this stage of Arsenals progress.I’d love to know.

  8. “I am just not convinced nor shall I ever be that he actually knows what he’s doing.”

    I’ll tell you just this once. Good for you that you feel that way, but I assure you, not a single one of us team supporters gives a flying phuck if you get convinced or not, and I can guarantee you with all we’ve seen from the players dedication to the coach since last season, not a single one of them will give a flying phuck about you feel either.
    Nobody has to convince you of anything

    1. I don’t need to be convinced, nor do I care if I ever am. I just want to see Arsenal succeed. I am more than happy to be wrong about Arteta.

      1. Slang term
        An insult describing a person who has fallen for someone and gone soft.
        It Does not make sense .

  9. I see the PR team are out in full force .
    Herd mentality on show once again ,I expect a few more to show up and join the “shoot down the writer group “
    He gave his opinion ,respect it .

    1. Its not an opinion, its a statement that contradicts itself in the following sentence.

      I will NEVER be convinced
      HEs doing a good job

      just pointless and not backed up with anything other then stereotyping.

      1. The article was an opinion simple
        The last sentence was his own personal view point on where he stands regarding Arteta get over it ,the rest of the article was pretty much bang on .
        I dont see where your trying to go with it .
        He said he wasn’t a fan but appreciates
        where he is going with the team but is not convinced by him and shall never be ,nothing wrong with that statement ,he obviously thinks he not good enough but gave him some praise .

        1. So by chance Arteta wins the PL, and then a CL, the author of the article will never be convinced ? Sounds like he’s got an agenda.

    2. @Dan. You seem confused as to how free speech works.

      Of course the author is entitled to state his opinion, but there is no requirement that other people must “respect” that opinion.

      Others are also free to express their own opinion, which may be that the author’s opinion is absolute and utter excrement – no “respect” required.

      In case you’re not aware, respect is a commodity that is earned, not given – nor is it a right.

      People who’ve watched too many movies featuring thick drug dealers might get the wrong idea – you don’t get “respect” by pointing a gun at someone’s head, that’d be confusing respect with fear.

      1. @IDKWIC
        Great speech buddy ,but my point as obliviously flown straight over that preaching head of yours .
        Like you said respect must be earned ,not given

      2. IDKWIC, lovely sentiment regarding the respecting of other people’s opinions – I totally agree that one doesn’t have to agree with that opinion as well.

        But, unlike you, we have certain people on here, who try to belittle those who’s opinions they disagree with.

        I will leave it up to you to decide who they might be.

        By the way, I read your posts dillegently and respect your views greatly…. occasionally I disagree with you.

    3. Dan Kit
      It’s typical of the herd mentality crew. They attack the messenger because they can’t credibly attack the message…IJS

    4. Odd statement really given the last line on this article was always going to bring out the majority who are excited about this season in force. Say “I am just not convinced nor shall I ever be that he actually knows what he’s doing.” is going to invoke a reaction.

      Had it not included that line I don’t think it was too bad. The palace part was caveated with the fact they have good home from, slightly underplayed that given the true strength of that home form but mentioned it none the less. The Saliba part was positive without using it as an excuse to have a dig at Arteta or White. Then the final part gave a little credit where credit is due. It’s that final line that has riled everyone up especially as the article would of been a tepid I don’t trust Arteta yet article anyway.

      1. @Angus – it’s not the whole sentence, it’s the closed-mindedness of “nor shall I ever be” that most people are commenting on.

  10. Well, I am a fan of arteta and I think he’s doing a magnificent job! He had a huge task on his hands turning over a squad chock full of underperforming and overpaid players! It’s not easy to get rid of the amount of players we needed to get rid of, and perform at the top end of the table! And for all those who complain that we should get bigger fees for players we are selling, you try and sell a player who’s not good enough for a top four club, but earns top four club money! It’s practically impossible to get them out of the door! When he came to the club, I said he’d need three seasons just to turn the squad around, so now that he’s almost there we need to give him at least that time again so that the team and the squad can keep growing together, with no more than the odd tweak here and there! Stop putting the manager under pressure, as we’ve seen, arteta is a highly motivated individual, he will, given our support, get us where we want to be! Positivity, not negativity!!

    1. Well said. The state of the club when he took over is rarely mentioned.

      I have no strong feelings either way on Arteta’s abilities – I acknowledge that I’m not qualified to judge – my only strong feeling is to hope that he succeeds and does so by playing attractive football as Wenger did.

      Your point re giving him more time is also valid and vitally important. The doomsters claim he needs success this season or he should be out. I disagree with them.

      I’ve pointed out a few times on this forum how big money has changed football beyond recognition in the last 15 -20 years, how it’s much more difficult to be in the top 4 now than it was in the past etc. Also that Kroenke is more interested in teh business performance of the club whereas the Abramovic type were playing fantasy football and gave up some of their own money to skirt FFP rules with on-field success teh only driver.

      If Arteta can have the club regularly *challenging* for the top 4 that would be an achievement in the current climate.

    2. Strangely, that underperforming and overpaid players won Mikel the FA cup and the Community Shield, finished 5th in the PL the season before and got to a European cup final…. but don’t let that stop you from re-writing HISTORY to suit your argument.

      Now I don’t agree with the author, but I accept his opinion and the right to give it.

      I thoroughly enjoyed watching our attacking prowess in the first half and our new and improved defence in the second half.

      Of course, there were some troubling moments during both periods, but we were the better team and we improved on last season’s results against our opponents.

      Not sure what else your looking for from the game Ben, but what I want to see going forward, is the CONSISTENCY we have lacked since Mikel took over…. if he can install that this season, then we can start dreaming again.

      1. Point of correction arteta used them to win fa Cup, and he had to achieve that using temporary negative football that had everyone complaining about our style of play. But moving forward he had to buy his own players and impose his style of football. The process is starting to come together now.

        Another point of correction, we didn’t lack consistency since Arteta took over, Arsenal has lack consistency for about 14yrs now

        1. We are talking about Arteta – but just remind me where we finished in the PL over the last 14 years before Mikel took over and then the three years since then… as a point of correction.

          As for having to use the players he had, that’s EXACTLY my point – he used players who had won the fa cup, achieved a semi and final spot in a European football and never finished below 6th.. while playing attacking football… another point of correction is that, since he let said players go, we have finished 8th 8th 5th, no european football, knocked out of the fa cup in the 4th and 3rd rounds and the played dire football.
          At last, after spending over £300,000,000, we are back in Europe, finished 5th and the football is starting to be exciting.

      2. Point of correction arteta used them to win fa Cup, and he had to achieve that using temporary negative football that had everyone complaining about our style of play. But moving forward he had to buy his own players and impose his style of football. The process is starting to come together now.

        Another point of correction, we didn’t lack consistency since Arteta took over, Arsenal has lack consistency for about 14yrs now

  11. “Nor shall I ever be” ???

    There’s nothing like an open mind – and yours is nothing like an open mind.

    My first reaction was to wonder why Pat allows so many articles by the Doom ‘n’ Gloom squad who’re out to put Arteta down – and to wonder if any articles are ever rejected, or if they have the editorial eye cast over them and adjusted…

    Then I thought… well, maybe that’s best left as-is. If those giveaway words were taken out then the author’s bias might not be so obvious.

    Of course a supporter of a club may have their doubts, but a genuine supporter hopes to be proved wrong about those doubts.

    1. Can any comment here really puts Arteta down or elevates him. Please let everyone and anyone enjoys his/ her 15 minutes of their relevance when it comes to Arsenal matters.

      1. I couldn’t understand your first sentence.

        As to your second sentence… are you suggesting that there should be no comments? Or that only comments that you approve of should be posted?

        I’m struggling to detect any logic.

    2. @IDKWIC
      You wonder why Pat allows so many articles by the Doom ‘n’ Gloom squad…

      Are you suggesting that I should be censoring certain Arsenal fans opinions that you don’t agree with?

      That’s a rocky road to take….

      1. @ Pat

        I was suggesting that your editorial role might include removing / adjusting certain passages. All editors do that – improve quality, readability etc (not to mention avoiding legal potholes). They also look at content and tone quite often.

        AND… I then went on to say that I could see why you might decide not do that in this case, if you re-read (since it shows the author’s biases to the reader).

        Basically, I was discussing editorship rather than censorship.

        1. IDKWIC, I can see your intellect is a little out of Ad PATS reach!

          PAT quite often does not understand the importance of perfectly helpful and sensible fan comments , such as your first post, which COULD, if implemented, massively improve the content and level of intelligent readership of this site.

          I have many times emailled PAT to offer advice but my comments are routinely either ignored, derided or avoided altogether, if he replies.

          I have long ago thought him a fine man but not of the very highest intelligence level. That is my honest opinion and I do hope he will allow it to stand and not censor it ,as he has many times done to me.

          And I NEVER USE FILTH OR ABUSE, though I do speak plainly and reject illiberal wokism as anti free speech.

          1. Jon, uou call yourself a great believer in FREE SPEECH (usually in capitals and usually to deride someone else) but the fact is that you are a believer of censorship. And as I am now the subject of your abuse, I will tell you that I am FAR AND beyond the level of your intelligence, and especially your common sense level, which is negligible…

            1. How I wish you would reprint some of the garbage that these fans, who deride anyone with a negative thought regarding MA, sent in with regards to AW and UE Pat….managers who were in place at the time we were top four, winning cups, in europe and getting to european finals and semi finals.

              Their “intelligence” SHONE THROUGH, as they wished harm on the former manager and showed the level of contempt they felt justified to say, while, of course they now, deride anyone who questions MA!!!!


              1. I don’t know who you’re referring to Ken, but I wasn’t here to say anything about them. And…

                If I had been, I wouldn’t have a bad word to say about either of them – I’m behind all managers and wish them success.

                And two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s not ok to bash any manager based on the excuse that someone once bashed some other manager.

                1. IDKWIC, just read this response and I will give you the names of two of the people I refer to:

                  Jon Fox and Loose Cannon.

                  If I could only reprint some of the vile bilge that these two men put out regarding AW and UE I believe it would shock you.

                  Yet, here we are, being told we don’t support the club, simply because we question some of MA’s decisions.

                  I suggest you read what these two say about Xhaka and Elneny, then ask yourself this – how can they question anyone’s loyalty to MA and the club, when they do not get behind his decisions… if they don’t like said decision?!?!

                  As always with Jon, it’s the kettle calling the pot black and I will call him out every time he does it.

                  Nothing personal, just don’t like the hypocrisy of it all.

            2. An utter lie, as you well know But you will now for 100% certainty censor it . No change there then!

      2. I agree as long as the article doesn’t cross any lines and isn’t absolutely terribly written it should be posted given how this site functions with user generated content.

        I do agree IDKWIC that had the final line been taken out it would of provoked a much lesser reaction but the author put in there. That is the author’s business.

        1. I’m not sure what you’re saying, you seem to be saying simply “he’s entitled to say what he said”…

          No-one suggested otherwise, the issue seems to be that a few people (just 2 or 3) are now complaining about the responses he got, as if to suggest that the people reading and commenting don’t have the same right to post their opinion of what he wrote.

          And there are only about 2 or 3 people – well, accounts – with a lot to say on this, the rest of the posters just happen have the same view.

          1. I’m saying articles should not be rejected just for being negative even if I personally don’t like the majority of negative articles. Nor should the admin be editing other peoples articles that is all. In this case admin editing would of somewhat hid the authors intent.

  12. It’s not as if Arsenal didn’t go after Top proven managers. That’s why we brought in Unai Emery who was highly rated. Even by some of the same naysayers on here. Top managers were interested in instant results they were not willing to take on the new project we started. Kudos to Mikel and Edu we can see what they are doing taking shape. Arteta took control of this team. In the words of Rob Holding : “the boss got balls”..

    1. There are very few who have consistent success unless they inherit a great situation.

      E.g. how good a manager is Zidane? When he’s coached Everton to a title he might have proved something.

      Talking of Everton, Ancelotti seemed a good idea, then the results waned quickly and he scarpered back to Madrid leaving them in the lurch. As you say, looking for instant results.

      Ferguson was a great manager. His work taking Aberdeen to break the old firm duopoly has never been done before or since. His rebuild at MU took time and he was almost sacked, but his abilities shone through in the end – just in time.

      There are very few managers you can trust to (a) deliver (b) stick around (c) do what’s best for the club. That’s why I like Arsenal’s approach of identifying an up and coming manager and sticking with him, as they did with Wenger, riding out the “Arsene who?” period.

      Emery was perhaps a little unlucky to hit a run of bad results at a bad time, but he suffered communication problems because his English wasn’t good enough. Waving your arms around on the touchline and yelling incoherently was not good for the players.

      I don’t think the Board were wrong with the appointment, they couldn’t foresee his (in)ability to learn English and tbh every appointment has a high risk element in PL football.

  13. @Ben Dungate
    A solid and fair assessment of the match Gooner. Big ups on your brutal honesty concerning”The Coach” also…

  14. What is increasingly apparent to me and to many others, as close other GOONER watchers, is how many Gooners now consistently call out the very few remaining anti MA brigade who regularly and consistently post their bile on almost every article.This bile is irrespective of the threads subject.

    It is heartening to see that over this last year, and esp since this last summer, how very many can clearly see the positive and exciting direction our club is running towards.

    Instead of slating the few dinosaurs who remain to carp daily, even hourly, against MA, I say we normal fans should pity them and feel sorry for their addictive and self induced misery.

    Imagine how they must wake up each morning and see all the NEGATIVES from the dawning day ahead.

    “What no milk for breakfast” “Oh, its going to rain all day”. “I bet the car breaks down”. “We are bound to get huge utility bills that we can’t afford!

    Oh woe, woe and thrice woe, as the great comedian Frankie Howerd used to cry. But in his case, for comic effect.

    The saddo pessimists only recognise misery.

    Optimism is a word they have never heard of, yet alone POSITIVITY.
    I bet THAT word makes then sweat with worry!

    1. This is not a competition about who is right or wrong – you sound like the classroom bully who shouts out that yours is bigger than everyone else’s!!

      A little bit of mature posting regarding those with a different viewpoint to you might add some weight to your thoughts – thoughts that just a few months ago, was calling for Arteta’s head, something you seem to have forgotten!?!?

      No matter how much you SHOUT your opinions out, you will never stop others from having their opinions – for example… Mikel’s faith in Xhaka and Elneny, something that seems to get your knickers in a twist every single time either player is mentioned.

      So I suggest you grow up and act your age, respect others opinions, never believe that your opinion should be the one everyone else should believe in and FINALLY, get yourself down to The Emirates and support Mikel in person, not behind a keyboard in Croydon…. just my humble opinion of course.

        1. @jon fox. What an obnoxious man you are. Please control your bully boy tendencies and show a little decorum.

        2. Yes they are Jon – but I notice that you do not address one single point I made – just more of the SHOUTING down of other’s opinions.

          If you can deride someone, as you often do of course, why is it that you get SO offended when someone challenges you?

  15. Anyone reading this article would think we lost 5-0 given the tone of it. But the fact is we won 2-0, away from home, against a team that beat us 3-0 last season, without our two first choice full backs. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing but as you pointed out, Palace at home are no pushovers so what more did you want??? 20-0? 100% possession? Get over your dislike for Arteta and see it for what it was: A decent start to the season.

  16. The one aspect of this article that would have been interesting to explore is what did actually change in the second half, or beyond the first half an hour to be precise.

    Was there a change by either or both sides? The match report shows that subs were not used until the 58th minute:

    Palace: 58′ (one change), 75′ (one) and 86′ (two changes)
    Arsenal: 83′ (two changes) and 90+3′ (one)

    By the time Palace made a single change the flow of the game had altered for more than half an hour. Did someone change to a different formation with the same players? I could be wrong but it didn’t seem so.

    Even a good half time team talk by PV wouldn’t fully explain the last 15 mins of the 1st half.

    So is it psychology? Or did they get too tired to keep up the press?

    To my mind, that seems to be the interesting conversation about that match: what changed after the first half hour?

    Arteta did say after the match that there were a few problems to work on but he wasn’t pressed to be more specific. It is the first game of the season though, so hopefully this will improve going forward.

    1. IDKWIC, it’s called a game of football in the PL my friend!!

      Anyone who expected Arsenal to dominate a fellow London based club for 90 minutes is living in cloud cuckoo land.

      Palace have some excellent players, a very good manager, superb supporters and play excellent football.

      Mikel played the game tactically correct and showed that we have defenders, midfielders and attackers who are worthy of that description and,, over the 90 minutes, we were a well organised team of players who, on the day, were better than the opponents.

      No real mystery in my opinion.

      1. Ken, there’s a difference between a game that sees the action to and fro over the 90 minutes, first one side then the other – and a game where one team is dominant for 30 minutes and then suddenly the other team dominates for the next 60.

        Especially since the team that started well has been able to maintain that dominance in pre-season against some rather good sides.

        And I know “it’s only pre-season” but all the same, whenever that happens it seems to be a situation worth analysing and understanding.

    2. Great question you pose there IDKWIC,

      I said a week ago that we have to learn to be more ruthless
      We seem to land a punch and stand back to see what they can throw back. Instead of going for the kill…

      In recent years City and Liverpool seem to destroy the opposition
      Into submission and then they can take it easy. Where we seem to be in a fight the entire game. Obviously there are ebbs and flow to games and teams like palace, a small victory in a 50/50 tackle
      Will stoke the fans up which will give them a boost.

      Personally I think this season will be better for us simply because I think we will be more offensive and score at least twice as many goals 🤞

      1. Opps, just looked at the “goals for” 61 last season and I think we will score more goals not twice as much 🙄

        1. Figure of speech is what I saw it as GoalDan – plus a positive statement from a supporter who gets stick for not being positive… sometimes one can’t win it seems!?!?

        2. Well said GoalDan and yes 122 goals might be asking a bit much!

          Like you, I expect to score more and concede fewer and one thing I notice about the league table is that it’s usually pretty much aligned in goal difference order (with a few outliers but generally in line with GD) – so aiming for a good GD is the way to a good league position). SImple game 😉

          1. And I’m certain that Mikel and his players will sit down and analyse the game, but, again I ask, does anyone expect complete dominance of another PL club over 90 minutes…. even the Invincibles, with 18 drawn PL games, couldn’t achieve that.

            1. Please read what I wrote carefully Ken. Repeating myself is not fun.

              There is a difference between the two *types* of game I mentioned – no-one has ever suggested total dominance for 90 minutes was expected.

              The point being analysed is why a *long period* of dominace for one team suddenly became an even longer period of dominance for the other team without any obvious changes in personnel, formation etc.

              1. No need to repeat yourself, as I read what you say carefully – perhaps one can read a thought differently?
                It often happens, when one is writing, rather than speaking, to another person.

                Back to the “dominance” question.
                What, in my opinion, I saw Friday evening, was a team set up by Mikel, to counter every situation that happened on the pitch and I cannot give higher praise than that.

                Mikel was obviously happy with the situation, hence no hasty substitutions or panic from the sidelines.

                Full credit for a complete performance, despite the opponents, naturally, having periods of domination.

                Hope that clears up the situation and you don’t get tired trying to explain anything else to me.

  17. I am gobsmacked that the writer feels that he could never be convinced that Arteta is the right man-cum-knows what he is doing.

    What if Arteta surprises you this season and finishes in the top4? What if the team win the Europa League this season?
    What if next season they make the semi final of the CL and finish in the top4 again? Would you still not be convinced? Not ever?

    I am clearly someone who is considerably more convinced about the credentials of Arteta than you are, but I am not blinkered enough to give him carte blanche.

    So far, over his tenure, I have preached patience. A new manager learning his trade, so now is the time for him to show that he has learned the ropes as he heads towards 3years in charge.

    8th twice was not progress.
    5th then is
    Less than 4th or the Europa league this season isnt.

    But for me to be unconvinced after one match which we did win away, that Arteta doesn’t know what he is doing is not where I am at.

    Ask me before they all head off to the World Cup

    1. Suep

      Can’t believe we are only 1 game in and the bitching has already started …May I say by the for and against of if MA is right the club
      I said it when he started and I said it last season.
      He is a young manager still learning his trade
      He has got more things right then wrong so for me he is doing a decent job and he has rid us of a lot of dead wood
      He has earned my respect on doing this and it my seem heartless a d ruthless in some people’s eyes but it needed to be done and may that type of.player stay gone
      Onwsrds and Upwards

      1. AB, respect as always for your opinions.
        However, if one gives an opinion that differs from, say, yours, why do we not question the author as to why he sees it that way?

        I really don’t see what Ben wanted from the game, a game that I thought showed how we are, without doubt, moving forward.

        Of course there are still doubts about Mikel, but I couldn’t have been happier with our performance on Friday – that doesn’t mean that I will blindly follow the hysteria that certain fans have replied to the author on here.

        I’m looking forward to see what Saturday brings and, if I DID believe in the hysteria, then Leicester might just as well hand us the points now!!

        Bravo to Ben for writing what he believes in, especially knowing what replies he would receive from the bully boys – I just don’t happen to agree with his final statement.

        1. So the author’s negative opinion is somehow ok, but the opinions of others are “bullying” just because they happen to be in the (rather large) majority?

          And overly-emotive words like “hysteria” are really not helpful Ken tbh.

          In case you hadn’t noticed, the issue people have with the author is not (only) the negativity, it’s his statement that he could never change his negative view. That takes him into a whole new universe of negativity.

          There’s a preponderance of sensible folks here who realise that it’s really not wise, even downright illogical, to say that you could never be convinced by *future* events, as yet unknown. At the very least, that undermines the author’s credibility.

          From the point of view of analysing the first match, the result is that his piece generated much more heat than light.

          I’m sure it’s good for site traffic stats though 🙂

          1. No, the author was not challenging anyone else’s views was he?
            He wrote what he believed in and then others gave their opinions… totally different scenario.

            Now, most of us gave our opinions of what he wrote in a sensible, well constructed way.
            We questioned why he saw it as he did – there were other replies that were hysterical in their condemnation, not of the article, but of the author himself.

            I suggest you read the response at 12.49 and ask yourself if this is HOW Arsenal supporters should refer to each other.
            My use of the word “hysteria” fits perfectly with regards to this post.

            1. I didn’t say he was challenging anyone else’s views?

              But I think this is a rather non-productive line of discussion, let’s leave it there Ken?

        2. I respect Ben’s out look on how he saw the game which is not how I saw the game but respect for him putting it together and voicing it
          What I don’t under from some on here weather you or disagree or agree on the article there’s sometimes a lack of constructive criticism and just a full scale launch of abuse and slagging off
          Come on fellow reds..we are better then this. I expect this from a spud site who may i say are a fickle bunch
          We all want the same thing which is success on the field
          Onwards and upwards

      2. I agree allanball08
        It was rather a shame to be so negative when we had won the first game away. A dismal draw home or away to Southampton might have excited some people into getting uptight but for the life of me to have added the final sentence at this point if the season deserved the opinions of those who disagreed with the writer being aired so strongly. The match was played nearly a week ago so I am surprised that the topic came up again

        1. “the match was played nearly a week ago so am surprised that the topic came up again”
          I love this one!

        2. SueP
          A few good consecutive wins under our belt and everyone will feel the feel good factor again
          I predict 25 wins this season so 24 to go and hopefully back to the promise land

  18. Our negativity as fans is really worrying. We played Man City on new year’s day. We pressed them for most part of the game.
    We even arguably deserve to come out of that game as the winners. Poor refreeing decision cost us the match. Till today, I never read anywhere that any Man City fan or even football pundit address their performance that day with any negativity.
    But we went away, played good football overall, dominated the proceedings for most part. Scored two goals and were able to hold our nerves when the tide turned against us.
    Then somebody will just wake up and decides that writing trash about the lads is the right thing to do? I just cant get it.
    Check all the stats, there is no any significant aspect of the game that C/palace did better than us. Please this needs to stop. Admin though I know we have freedom of opinion expressions, but some articles ought not to be admitted here.
    Lastly even before a ball is kicked, we all know we are not going to win all the 38 matches right? We also know that sometimes even small teams do beat big teams right? Lets have all these in perspective even before the journey gets tougher.
    The negativity is becoming unbearable. And to say we are still doing it when we have won the match wonder, I what would have happened if we had lost that match. COYG

  19. Some very erudite comments in response to this article.

    However, being just a dumb dinosaur, the way I saw the match was, after 30 minutes of being outplayed, “Palace decided to “put it about a bit”, and several Arsenal players didn’t like it up em!!!!!

    I will say again, as a defender, there is nothing worse than playing behind a porous midfield.

    In games like this we really really need a second Thomas Partey!

    1. I saw reberto Martinez interview on sky the other day, and he was praising Onana, saying he will be a special player, so I watched he’s highlights on YouTube (I know 🙄) but flipping heck he does look good. For someone that tall he incredibly mobile. I think we are going to regret not trying to sign him or ( show interest)…IMO…

    2. That’s an interesting observation – it’s the first theory I’ve seen that might explain the change in fortunes after half an hour.

      If that’s correct then it doesn’t bode well – that would be an old weakness coming back to haunt us, when the lesser teams knew we could be out-muscled.

  20. I think now is not the time to get too carried away by the first match of the season. Although we did well to have netted two goals away from home and against one of the strong opponents in the prem. We had little and bearable problems when opponents attack through the wings which I believe the suited players for the two positions will sort the problem when fit to play. Let’s see what happens in the next three or four matches. Also there is still chance to bring one or two players before the window closes which I believe should be a serious competition for Saka on the right wing provided Pepe leaves. and maybe a midfielder in mode of tielemans. Incase of xhakha unexpected suspension at times and partey’s injury worry. And Tielemans could even bench xhakha in a short period of time because he is already a premier league proven player. And also more competition to play as we are back in Europe competition.
    At this point, we just need to SUPPORT the team. Also with strong BELEIVE that Arteta and Edu Will make the right decision to take us to the promise Land. I can see the future is bright for the team. Bring on Leceister !! I’m confident we are going to win. Arsenal 3:0 Leceister. COYG.

  21. The harsh reality and a fundamental problem is the fact that in the modern world the foolish are cocksure of whatever they claim while the intelligent are always doubtful.

    1. You sound very cocksure about that Fk, while I’m rather doubtful that just applies to the modern world!! 😂😂😂😂

      1. Yes it’s always been true, as you say, although Fk has a point in that we see more people like that in the modern world – for example, people thinking they can challenge science with opinion (which leads to things like people dying for lack of an MMR jab).

        In days of yore, people who weren’t very bright knew it because other people were able to make them aware of it. These days, it’s considered very non-PC to do that so we have lots of people who don’t realise just how dense they really are.

        1. @idkwic,well said.i could’ve replied myself last night but for whatever reason i could’nt access this very article.glad to see someone bright enough to grab my points,thanks bruv.

          1. To add @idkwic,internet aiding it’s swift spread and revenue likely to be generated from the blog makes a big difference btw now and yesteryears.

      2. Or just to people who are foolish 🙂 We all have blind spots. Get the general gist though although suspect personality plays a larger role in willingness to question things and oneself whilst being questioning/doubtful is not always a positive in life depending on the situation. On the pitch as an elite footballer for instance. Balance needs to be struck as with most things in life.

  22. Everyone’s welcome to their opinion. The game could have easily been a draw. Our midfield completely lost it during the middle forty minutes. Whether that was down to the Odegaard, Xhaka, Partey trio not being up for it or Arteta is still early to tell. We won’t really have a clearer idea till the end of October.

  23. All teams get tough games. Many games are touch and go. Those games you need goalscorers and unpredictable talents. It’s not possible to totally dominate every game. I do think that Arteta needs to keep them on point though as we know they threw the towel in at times, in the run in battle last season. Another couple of quality players and who knows we could challenge at the top. As long as the Kroenkes, Edu. and Arteta hold their nerve and spend the money. If Jesus or Partey get injured we could suffer. Last signings please.

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