Will Pulis leaving Palace help or hinder Arsenal?

The 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season was long coming, and, sometimes the wait felt longer than it actually was. Albeit Arsenal’s pre-season campaign gave us some food for thought, it’s nowhere close to the real deal. Isn’t it? To put things into perspective, however, this season would be no different to any other, with Aaron Ramsey convinced that six teams will be competing for the coveted trophy.

Arsenal, going into the new season, will have very high ambitions of being in the title race longer than they managed to last season. And – if they can get to March and April hovering around the summit position – there’s no reason why Wenger’s wizards can’t put the finishing touches to their long-awaited Premier League triumph.

To kick start their campaign, though, they will face Crystal Palace, who finished 11th last season, and will be buoyed by the prospect of extending their 2-year stay in the top flight. Tony Pulis’s men look like a solid unit and their late resurgence last season – once Pulis took over – will keep them in good stead going into the new season.

Players coming into the Emirates: Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers.

Players who have gone out: Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Lukasz Fabianski and Nicklas Bendtner.

Players coming into Selhurst Park: Fraizer Campbell, Scott Dann, Brede Hangeland, Chris kettings.

Players who have gone out: Dean Moxey, Danny Gabbidon, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Neil Alexander.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

The first weekend of the Barclays Premier League season sees Arsenal face a home clash against Crystal Palace. Both clubs have had decent pre-season campaigns by their own standards, and now face the challenge of putting their pre-season preparations to good use in their respective Premier League campaigns.


Arsenal, with the new additions to their squad, are going to be genuine title contenders for the league title this season. Wenger seems to have developed a renewed hunger to win more silverware this season, following that FA Cup win at the end of last season, and it’s that attitude which will make Arsenal more dangerous than before.

Crystal Palace

From Crystal Palace’s perspective, they were in serious jeopardy of getting relegated close-to-midway last season, before the conjurer in Tony Pulis came to the rescue, and ensured safety for the Eagles. However, a new season will be a different kettle of fish altogether, and Palace would want to start off this season on a good note, with a series of good results.

Arsenal injury concerns

There was worrying news for the Gunners, a couple of days ago, that Koscielny had an injury scare, which could have kept the Frenchman out of action for a week or so. But latest reports suggest that the 28-year old is going to be fit for the 1st game of the season. The German trio, apparently, isn’t ready for action this week. Walcott and Miyachi are long term casualties.

Crystal Palace injury concerns

One of Palace’s key personnel, Damien Delaney is out with a minor knock, which is expected to keep the Northern Irishman out of action for this week, at least.

Arsenal’s probable starting XI – Formation 4-3-3: Wojciech Szczesny (GK), Mikel Arteta (C), Calum Chambers, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud.

Crystal Palace starting XI – Formation 4-4-2: Julian Speroni (GK), Mile Jedinak (C), Jason Puncheon, Yannick Bolasie, Marouane Chamakh, Scott Dann, Adrian Mariappa, Joe Ledley, Joel Ward, Dwight Gayle, Brede Hangeland.

What could Arsenal encounter against Crystal Palace?

Contrary to beliefs, this game, in my perspective, will be a tough one for the Gunners, even though they are at home to Palace. Having said that, I do believe Arsenal will win the game, but it’s not going to be easy. With the devastation of Pulis leaving Selhurst Park, citing transfer policy feud between him and the hierarchy, I am ambivalent about Palace’s game plan due to the psychological blow this incident could have on the players.

However, if Palace set out to be defensively robust, and ensure Arsenal don’t enjoy space and clear chances at goal, this could be a very intriguing game to witness. There will be early nerves in both camps, and if Palace can see out the initial period when Arsenal could dwarf possession, then it’s going to be anybody’s game.


Irrespective of the ammunition Crystal Palace might come up with, Arsenal really should have enough in their locker to see off the Eagles. Just get the feeling, though, that it’s going to be a tight game, which will test Arsenal’s title credentials.

Going for a 2-1 win for the hosts!

Tags Palace Pulis Wenger


  1. Probably not so much in this game because he will have been preparing them prior to yesterday. There’s also the possibility of the players putting in more of a shift. That being said, if Wenger changes his tactical approach mid game, it will cause them big trouble because they wont have Pulis to negate that effect. Probably more of a benefit, but not by much.

    1. Totally agree with you mate. This can swing either ways – Palace players may want to prove a point and live everything on the pitch (if they can get even a point at the emirates, that would be considered success for them).

      We need to be focused and concentrate on our game and not Palace’s dressing room. We are not operating at full capacity right now, therefore the players should have the same mentality as the City game, use possession wisely, take our chances and ask questions later, be lethal at goal, no silly mistakes at the back or any other place on the pitch, come out fighting though avoid injuries at all cost, most importantly have fun while giving us the 3 points!!! COYG

    2. There is also the psychological effect from loosing a manager and board room issues. It will really swing the game in favour of arsenal. 6-1 arsenal.

      Giroud playing his 100th game for Arsenal tomorrow. Played: 99 Goals: 40 Assists 24.

      1. I was actually suprised that people wanted Wenger to bid for Dzeko becaus3 Giroud is better.

    4. BREAKING NEWS – Lord Bendtner has joined Wolfsburg on a 3 year deal. Now Wolfsburg will win the Bundesliga every year.

      1. They will win bundesliga only once. Lord Bendtner will sign for either Madrid or Barcelona at the end of this season.

  2. I believe that we will have to be patient to break Palace down as I don’t expect them to to have many attacking opportunities.

    1. An early goal from us could unsettle them and give us the much needed confidence and breathing room to go on and win this game by atleast 3 goals. Palace will be stubborn and will sit back waiting for chance to hit us on the counter or on set pieces.

      We will need to be sleek and quick in attack in order for us to break them down, Carzola , Ramsey , Gibbs, Debuchy, and Jack will be key in creating chances for Sanchez and OG /or Sanogo.

      Been a big name signing, Sanchez will always be a marked man and will not be given as much space as the City players whose focus was on attacking did, he needs all the help he can get from Debuchy, the other midfield players plus our ST in order to find his sharpness.

      1. Yeah I’d also expect an early goal to open the floodgates. It would be nice for say Sanchez & Campbell to open their PL goal scoring accounts in a game like this, would do them a world of good.

  3. It could really be either way for Crystal. Either they cave under the pressure and lack of comfidence. Or they go out guns blazing, desperate to prove everyone wrong. I still expect Arsenal to win, but could be tight.

  4. I don’t know why people are so worried about man utd this season. Its true they have bought quality players but their back 4 have never played together before and have no understanding. Also LVG is well known for pissing people off, just look at what happened with Rivaldo and at Bayern. Doubt it will be a happy story in the long run.

    1. They haven’t even brought in that much quality… Herrera and Shaw are good players don’t get me wrong, but it’s the LVG effect that is giving these pundits and fans a spruce of confidence. The annoying thing is, their first 5 games are winnable (maybe not under Moyes), and if they do win all 5, they will be oozing in confidence, something that is hard to stop (ask Palace).

    2. Take Man United lightly at your own peril,like Liverpool last year they have no Champions League football they will be rested so we must respect all the teams in the league especially one led by LVG who has a proven record unlike David Moyes!!

  5. arsenal vs chelsea

    szczesny vs cuortois
    debuchy vs azipilicueta
    koscielny vs cahill
    mertesacker vs terry
    gibbs vs filipe luis
    arteta vs matic
    ramsey vs fabregas
    ozil vs oscar
    walcott vs willian
    cazorla vs hazard
    sanchez vs costa

    1. the weak link in that – arteta vs matic

      not gonna revert back to last season at the bridge- still in therapy

  6. arsenal vs chelsea

    second team

    ospina vs cech
    bellerin? vs ivanovic
    chambers vs zouma
    hayden? vs ake
    monreal vs ?
    flamini vs mikel
    wilshere vs ramires
    rocisky vs ginkel?
    ox vs schurlle
    podolski vs salah
    giroud vs drogba

    sorry dont really know about chelsea squad

    1. They don’t really have a true LB backup, but Azpi is very competent in playing in that position if need be. Also Salah is right sided whilst Schurrle is left. Other then that you’ve got it spot on.

  7. If Wenger wins the PL this season it will make him even greater than fergie. That guy never faced competition of this sort in his entire career, even the invincibles had to face only manure n maybe an improving chelsea.

  8. People get real. This is Crystal Palace, who just lost their manager that saved them from relegation. We shouldn’t ask how hard this will be. We should ask how easy we’re going to make this for ourselves. By now we should be in 6th gear already, despite the absentees, because middle of next week there’s a much much more important game.

    1. Agree totally. With or without Pulis, this is a game that we can only defeat ourselves in.
      If we are up for it, then we will win. Score early and it could be 3/4-0.
      But, if we do not start well, and concede, it could be a long 90 minutes.
      Having said that, same goes for all our rivals too.
      Difficult in the opening game for teams to bring their A game, and even moreso if you get someone else giving instructions from the touchline, so, Palace should not be as good without TP, but, lets wait and see.

  9. This arsenal team is very weak? AW keeps saying that it’s a strong team now but how? He has only replaced players that have left. No DM yet again when millions of arsenal fans around the world can see this as a very needed part of our team. The top 4 clubs will run through us yet again. He should have said I want him him him & him but he can’t do it. Me well I look FOWARD to the day AW leaves

    1. Uuuhhh, is this meant to be sarcasm or are you serious men? Either way not funny.

      What do you mean by the top four clubs (which clubs are you referring too), as I recall we have never been out of the top 4 in so many years in the EPL, be it financially or on the table.

      Secondly which team has called for a press conference and tell the world “I want him him him and him”

      Come back to planet earth

    2. Numpty. Man C/Chelsea and Man U have only made “replacements”. Christ how simple is it to understand – transfers are replacements – you can’t stockpile every player you have ever bought. Are the new players better than those they replaced is the only question requiring an answer. Only BR has been caught with his pants down, buying anything in sight like a last minute trolley dash around Tescos on Christmas eve.

  10. Sol Campbell

    “We mainly want to be strong from start to finish this season,”. “Last year we just faded in the middle when we got a few injuries at the wrong time and things went against us. When we got some players returning at the back-end of the year we produced again.
    “Fingers crossed injuries will not hit the strength and depth of our squad too much and then we can make a charge and hopefully win another trophy.
    “If you look at the fact we lost Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain at the wrong point of the season. In the middle of the season we lost four of our dynamic players.
    “We need to get those players back fully fit – as we have with some of them and get everyone firing on all cylinders through the whole season and then add new players into the mix, which we are doing.”

    I like the way Sol says “WE”, even when he is nolonger playing for the club. True Legendary. What we would give to have a CB like him.

      1. “What we would give to have a CB like him”

        Chambers in the making? 😉 Same height, very composed and strong in the air.

        Only difference is he’ll never wear that disgusting potato shirt!

  11. Wenger on the possibility of more signings: “Will I still do something? I don’t rule it out..”
    Wenger confirms Mertesacker, Özil & Podolski will return for Everton game & Walcott will be back end of August
    Wenger on Gnabry leaving on loan: “He needs competition. If nobody else in the squad goes, it could happen.”

    1. yawl Leo,

      What are your thoughts on Reus to Athletico? I know the news is still fuzzy and the sources reporting it unreliable but maybe you’ve heard something about it that we haven’t.

      If truly Dortmund are desperate to sale him and avoid Bayern from taking him, Wenger should pull all the shorts and get him. Add Poldi as a sweetener and loan them Gnabry for a season.

      Win win

  12. R.Madrid ready to sell Sami Khedira for £8m instead of lose him for free in 2015 he can be signed on £110k pw. (AS) they were first asking for around 20m+

    1. Very questionable rumor but if true this could work I guess. All in all we need someone to replace Arteta in the starting 11.

      Khedira and Ramsey could be a good combo with (Chambers / Arteta / Flamini / Diaby / Wilshere) challenging / rotating on those 2 spots.

    2. It’s a no brainer now…8m for Sami is a steal and give him 120k/w. He is a beast and just what we need with Rambo. Can’t let this one go Arsene. Why are our officials in Spain? Who are they busy negotiating for and with? Who were our other Spanish targets? I hope it’s for Khedira……….

    3. For £8 millions? What a steal! But the fact of the matter is Real needs to sell players. FFP? They’ve spent + £100 millions and only sold Sahin and Morata for nickles..

      But signing Khedira would still leave space for another CM as Arteta is 33, Flamini 30 and Diaby – well Diaby. But I think that would be a problem for next summer.

  13. OT Wenger – “Will I still do something? I don’t rule it out. Our finances are still healthy but we want to go through in the Champions League group stages to do that.” That to me suggests that for Wenger to get his targets we need assured champions league football.

    1. Aint sure about that mate, its really hard to read Wenger’s mind or his comments. People think Mou is the king at mind games, well Wenger is a god in that respect. He might say this and do the other the next minute.

      Strap on your seat belts, we are in for a ride until transfer deadline day and all will be revealed.

  14. It doesn’t matter if it will help or hinder their performance.

    If we play our best we will win regardless. We have more talent AND if we play our best we will win.

    We shouldn’t worry about them. We should:
    1. Put out our best 11
    2. Play our best every game
    3. Play with belief and winning mentality

    If we do that good things will happen.

  15. I think the score-line depends on when we score our first goal. If we score in the first 15 minutes, there’s a good chance it will be a rout because it will open up early on. However, if we get to half time at 0-0 then I see us getting a 1-0 or 2-1 score-line…

  16. Sky Sports

    “A Freedom of Information request has revealed that more than 170,000 people bought tickets but did not show up to Arsenal games at the Emirates Stadium last season.

    The figures were obtained by the Arsenal blog “A is for Arsenal” from the Metropolitan Police.

    Arsenal’s official attendance figures are based on tickets sold, instead of the number of people who turn up to the stadium.

    On average, the actual attendance per game was 5,998 lower than the official attendance stated by club.

    The lowest attendance for a game last season was against Fenerbahce with a crowd of 56,271, but according to the Metropolitan Police there were only 44,779 people at the game.

    The highest attendance was against Liverpool on November 2nd, 2013 when the official figure was 60,161, but there were only 57,341 fans at the Emirates that day.

    The majority of other Premier League clubs are also believed to base their attendance figures on tickets sold, and not by the actual attendance.

    One club whose official attendance figures are based on real people is Tottenham. The highest attendance at White Hart Lane last season was 36,284 in the Europa League game against Dnipro, the same number that was recorded.”

    How the English media love such stories about Arsenal huh. But what the f***, all those privileged enough to buy the tickets lets show up and support the team! No wonder the Emirates is so quiet. I am not sure what the policy is like there, but if you cant attend a match, isn’t there an option of giving some1 else your ticket? (Real question I have no idea on how this works there)

    1. The problem in this case is that the majority of the people with a ticket who don’t showup is because it’s last minute and don’t have the time to sell back there ticket or they just lazy and rich and don’t care. I think the best sulution but problably impossible is that AFC should sell the remaining seats at low prices ones the game started or just before. I mean as a football club you would do anything to get your stadium completely full with people, not sold tickets, am i right?

  17. Hi 007 if you take a look at the blog Legrove, Pedro explains how it works and also gives some good ideas how people who cannot get tickets could make use of them.

  18. Put it this way, this Arsenal team can’t wait to get out there and show the EPL they mean business. Whether Palace have a manager or not makes no difference. We will romp this one. I’m seeing 5-0 at least.

  19. Yet again we start a new season with no strong powerful DM,yes the signings we have made are great but without a DM we will not win the league.

  20. Seen the rare situation that a manager walks away just before the season starts i don’t really know what will happen but still rate a 90% chance that the Gunners will easily beat them 4-1 with a conceded goal from a setpiece. Can’t think of a reason Arsenal would lose this match. But always possible we get stuck at 1-1 if they are up for it, defensively. COYG

  21. Atlético de Madrid very close on Reus, in Spain ( look’s like a done deal.

    I’m not kidding.

    1. Athl Madrid just bought Griezmann (born and raised) left winger for record fee. For what they need Reus now?

      1. Oh and Arda Turan is also a left winger and occasionally Koke has played there too.

        I don’t believe that for one second.

        1. I dont believed that either, cholo is changing his main formation. I’m Just saying that a lot of spanish websites are claiming that the deal is done and sealed.

        2. I dont believed that either, cholo is changing his main formation. I’m Just saying that a lot of spanish websites are claiming that the deal is done and sealed.

  22. OT: I know Wenger said we have enough strength in front a and are short in some areas (i.e. defense) but I wouldn’t rule out him signing a world-class striker. The man doesn’t always do what he says. Sure we need a DM and CB more than a ST, and Wenger reckons this too, but last year we did buy Özil in an area where we were filled. He also said Campbell stays if no one comes in the attacking area. Intriguing.

  23. Toral has joined Brendford. Wenger will also loan out Gnabry. Looks like we will release these
    players after this season Arteta, Rosicky, Flamini and Diaby.

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