Arsenal v The Palace. The Queen gives her view

By Bulldog Drummond

Well my young rascals, writing these pre-match notes I discover I also have to give the award for the Untold Turnip of the Week – the much sought after prize for Rabid Journalism during the last seven days.   And of course it goes to Ben Rumbsy for his piece “Arsenal announce attendances 6,000 higher than official Met Police figures” in the Daily “let’s take over where BT Sprout left off” Telegraph.

And there is a side award to all the web sites that reprinted the story without a single thought about how utterly deranged it was – the Evening Standard, Lockerdrome, viralnews365, premnews, oh the list goes on and on.

Mr Rumbsy you will carry this with you for ever – indeed it will be here on Untold forever, and we might even refer to it once or twice in the future.  Your life is made. I’ve asked Algy Longworth MC, Toby Sinclair VC, Peter Darrell and Ted Jerningham to drop round a little later and pay their respects.  But let me be quite sure.  THIS IS NOT A THREAT IN ANY WAY.   

And so it is that on a day when we learn that West Ham and Tottenham fans have warned that racism, anti-semitism and homophobia will not be tolerated (well that certainly is a change of policy) Arsenal fans have been warned against absenteeism.  I knew we had to be guilty of something.

Meanwhile the Telegraph is on the attack again with a bizarre story headlined “Sagna tells Wenger to get his facts straight”   Here’s a clue guys: when in a hole, stop digging.

Anyway, I was told we were playing Palace, so off I went to see Her Majesty and she was in fine fettle I must say.

“Palace,” she said.  “Well if you like a good knock-down-and-drag-out rough stuff  with excitement and violence on nearly every blade of grass, you never could go wrong with Tony Pulis – a brutalized ex-Stokio whose thirst for excitement is also an attempt to reenact the war” she replied.

I wrote it down and she looked at me.  “Ah,” quoth she calmly, “you must be Bulldog Drummond.  How jolly.”  And with that she got a footman to inform me that it wasn’t that Palace we were playing and I left but not before she added that Pulis was previously sacked by Stoke’s Icelandic board for ‘failing to exploit the herring market’.

She did point out to me also that it wasn’t actually that Palace we were playing, but we had a natter anyway and she said she thought that Mr Wenger, with whom she occasionally has tea, had done the business in the transfer window this summer while Crystal Palace’s management was as dysfunctional as her coalition government.  And you can’t say fairer than that.

Finally the royal lady told me  that behind the scenes Crystal P have Carl Peterson, Arsene’s arch-enemy.  “Tell your readers,” she said gamely, “that Peterson is also  master of disguise and uses several aliases.”  So I’ve passed it on.

Now, what else do we know?

Arsenal are unbeaten in our last seven league games against Palace.  We won five of them.   It says that in the Telegraph so it may not be true.

Arsène himself has said the squad is still “a bit short” in his favourite phrase.  Now we are going to have to play without the Germans, but we can do that.  Also Mr W said, “We are a bit short in our preparation because we had 11 players at the World Cup and because in Fifa rules you have to give four weeks’ holiday to the players…”

But here’s the thing: Abou Diaby will be in the squad and I suspect if we go 8-0 up in the first half hour he might get quite a good run out.  On the other hand if we get an Arsenal 1 Referee 3 result like this time last year, he won’t.

On Monreal, Mr W said he can play centre back  “because he is intelligent, because he has a good sense of interception, because he reads the game well and because he is a good passer of the ball and for us it is important coming out from the back. People drop off at home so we need very good passing out from the back.”

Thus Pulis, friend of Shawcross and arch enemy of football, has gone.  Pulis, the man who supported our campaign for the relegation system for referees, the man who got an honorary degree from the University of Staffordshire for services to journalism, and another at the University of Wales.  But to be fair he also ran the marathon to raise money for the Donna Louise Trust and climbed Kilmanjaro for the trust as well.

These are the Palacial transfers…

Fraizer Campbell Cardiff City £900k
Scott Dann Blackburn Rovers Undisclosed
Brede Hangeland Unassigned Players Free
Chris Kettings Blackpool Free


Laurent Koscielny will have a final fitness test this morning on his Achilles but everyone expects him in the team.  with Calum Chambers also at centre-back.

And the game…

Arsenal scored more goals from inside the penalty area than anyone else last season – so expect several from the half way line this.

Our players touched the ball 29815 times – more than any other side got

Alexis was involved in 29 goals last season – 19 goals 10 assists.

In the last 13 starts to  the Prem League we have won 8 drawn 4 and lost one to the referee.

We spent 128 days at the top of the league last season, and scored first in 24 league games winning 22 of them.  Giroud scored six in his last six league games at the Ems.

Last season Palace lost nine of their first ten.



Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs,

Arteta (c), Wilshere,


Alexis, Giroud, Cazorla,

Subs from:  SanogoMartinez, Monreal, Flamini, Campbell, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby

Injured or resting: Gnabry (knee), Ospina (thigh), Mertesacker, Özil, Podolski (celebrating), Ryo (hamstring, Walcott (photo opportunities).

Prediction?   Arsenal to win at a saunter and the Telegraph to say we were lucky and struggled and that after 28 years without a trophy it looks like being another long wait for the Highbury faithful (they never quite get it right, even when insulting).

Oh and Rumsby, the lads are watching you.



71 Replies to “Arsenal v The Palace. The Queen gives her view”

  1. As much as I’m looking forward to the match against Palace I’m also very interested in how Webb will explain away the blatant penalty we weren’t awarded (on MOTD later). He’ll probably fudge it by saying something like “at the end of the day it made no difference as Arsenal won 3-1”

  2. 1st day of the Premier League. A home game. Let us not repeat the mistakes last year (we looked quite lax after scoring so early), beside the blatant questionable referee’s decisions which we had no control over, and get a big margin win this time round! The 6-1 against Everton was one of my favourite opening day games. The game was aided, according to some reports, by a certain player, playing physically but was absence spiritually, named Lescott from the Toffees. And TV5 scored in the match!By the way, better if we are able to keep a clean sheet!

  3. Many thanks Mr.B Drummond,
    Sagna says in the Torygraph that moving to City wasnt about money.Glad that Sagna didn’t leave because of money, got to admit I was concerned…
    Here we go again! Good luck to the Arsenal!And hope that everyone at Untold has an enjoyable season…
    COYG! AHA and Amen.

  4. @B.Drummond,
    As a supporter of Tony Pulis, and a member of the Flat Earth Society (which would explain it), I must protest at the alleged remarks of Her Maj about Tony. She no longer describes him as a “brutalized ex-Stokio”.
    Tony has been known throughout the Royal Family for at least a year as “that pillock not from OUR Palace”.

  5. Kenneth

    He went to City for twice his worth & three times as long as he is worth it for.

  6. Is that the official Arsenal starting line-up you gave out? If it is, how did you get it so quickly? Kick-off is at 17:30 GMT. I thought the boss will start the pairing of Chambers and Bellerin in the CB position or alternatively, pair Chambers and Monreal. Those 4 five with Debuchy are mobile defenders complementing the Arsenal attacking machines. The boss should test how mobile will Debuchy, Chambers, Bellerin and Gibbs will be in their attacking support and defensive recovery. Koscielny Achilles should be further rested for the Besiktas game.

  7. So football deficient that i am watching Manu-Swansea. Score 0-1 at 42.13 mins.
    How come the same refs always referees manu’s games? There needs to be a proper system to decide which ref gets which game.

    Looking forward to the first match later.
    Onward to another chapter Arsenal.

  8. I love Sagna very much and I wish him nothing but the best in his future undertakings. I bear him no ill-will for leaving us for Man City.

    Having said all that, I consider it naive at best and idiotic at worst for anyone to believe that he left for City for any reason other than money. I don’t care what he says (oh, by the way, when has any player ever said they left for MONEY apart from Ca$hley?). He left for money and as a professional myself, I don’t hold it against him. I’d do the same in my own profession.

    I just don’t want to hear any bullshit comments about money not being the reason.

  9. Para,

    As Walter and many others including me have been banging on about for a very long time, there aren’t enough referees in the select group to ensure a proper rotation. Last season there were 18 but three of them combined to do the same games as each of the others so effectively there were 16. Now Webb has retired the number is smaller unless they have promoted anyone without me noticing. There should be a minimum of 20 then a system of ensuring that each team gets a ref once at home and once away. It really should be simple! Don’t expect it anytime soon though. If there aren’t enough English referees they should look to bringing in some from other countries.

  10. Andrew Crawshaw

    I’ve always championed that ALL the Referees should come from abroad.

  11. Thanks Walter, now you reminded me. Sad that this so pivotal part of football is so obviously neglected.

  12. I see dean is at it again 4 mins stoppage time he played nearly 6 what a bell end.

  13. Bootoomee

    “Having said all that, I consider it naive at best and idiotic at worst for anyone to believe that he left for City for ANY reason other than money”

    Man City have won the PL twice in the last three seasons. Isn’t just remotely possible that Sagna , who has never complained about not getting payed enough and stayed on the same wages for six years , went to City to win the PL and make more money ?

    Drogba to SH Shenhua, Eto’ to Anzhi M. transfer were all about the money no doubt but to go to ,what bookies consider a favorite to win the PL title, surely must qualify as at least part of the reason for a proffesional footballer who’s never won it before.

  14. watching a bit of the Wham Spuds match…commentator (don’t know who)” Hopefully we’ll see some more leniency from the refs like we did at the World Cup, eh Gary!”

    Like we need more leniency from the refs…not.

  15. One of the medja outlets had this little gem:

    > Match report: United suffer their first opening-day defeat since 1972

    Wonderful news to start a new season.


  16. Tom,

    No problem. You go ahead and believe whatever you want to believe.

    Jonah Hill took the minimum pay possible by law ($60,000) for the supporting actor role as Donnie in “The Wolf of Wall Street” while Leonardo di Caprio got $10 million for the lead role as Jordan. Hill said he wanted the role and the opportunity to work with Martin Scorsese (the director) so much that he was willing to do it for free. That is a professional making a career decision that is not monetary.

    Had Sagna moved for the same salary at Arsenal or even take a pay cut to win the league with the team that is ‘certain’ to win it, then your hypothetical might be acceptable. Sagna moved for money. Even the talk about getting a longer contract is about making money for longer; or just plain about money.

    I don’t begrudge Sagna. I might do the same if I find myself in his situation. Just stop serving bullshit reasons for his departure.

    Oh, it does felt very good to see the team that is ‘never’ winning the league thrash the ‘presumptive’ champions 3-0 to win the first silverware of the season.

  17. jambug,

    Even the Romanian League had foreign referees officiating matches. Well, now of course the reason was the club owners couldn’t decide who to have in the middle, so the FA had to step in. But at least they showed some ingenuity.

  18. Bootoomee
    I am sure Wenger said a couple of weeks ago that Sagna was offered a three year deal so length of contract was not an issue in him deciding to leave for the oilers.

  19. I saw some of the Man U/Swansea game and saw Fellaini yet again perform his party piece and elbow someone in the face and get away with it.

  20. @ Bootoomee

    I agree. Apparently Arterta pulled a “Jonah Hill” when he came to us. He wanted to play in the CL, and also contend for the PL. Also, it’s very strange that sagna chose to leave us after one of our best seasons in a while. Surely if he wanted to leave to “further his career”, he could have done so a couple of seasons ago.

  21. Here we go ! The wait is over and the roller-coaster ride begins !

  22. Wengerson,


    Also, I don’t see any reason for anybody to be worked up about the fact that Sagna left for money. The guy is a thorough professional and one of my favourite Arsenal players, EVER! He has absolute right to move on for financial reason which is why we all work. Virtually all Gooners worldwide appreciate the guy’s service to the team and wish him well. It is patronising to sugar-coat his reason for leaving; we are mature enough to take it.

  23. Bootoomee
    Jonah Hill wanting to work for free ( if need be) ,and I use the term “work” loosely, with people like Martin Scorcese and Leo Di Caprio for about six months or less, is an equivalent of an average Championship player wanting to work with Wenger and Ozil on a six months loan spell for a minimum wage.

    Sagna on the other hand is an elite PL footballer who hasn’t won the PL title yet and decided that Man City will give him a better chance to do it with. Now, unlike you I don’t love Sagna and I hope he fails miserably in which case his handsome wages will soften the blow.

    As for me “serving bullshit reasons” for his departure , well, it’s Sagna “serving “them and not me. I just happen to believe that winning trophies plays a big part in a player’s decision what club they go to and I take Sagna at his word because of his track record ,which was impeccable with Arsenal.

    Questioning people’s motives is a healthy impuls and a sign of inteligence but dismissing them out of hand when it suits you, little less so.
    You make a habit of doing that whenever an Arsenal player says something you disagree with ,like for example Mertesacker or Koscielny saying “Loses to big teams killed our chances to win” , or Wenger saying he was going to look into our injury problems and do something about it.
    You dismiss those statements because they collide with your opinion on a subject and call them “throwing the bone ” to the less inteligent who fail to see through what the” real problem was”.

    BTW, don’t you think that by hiring the new fitness guru, Wenger’s taking this “throwing us the bone ” a bit too far? 🙂

  24. Sagna, even though I have nothing against him, moved form money. Players move for footballing reasons, such players like Arshavin(chose Arsenal and even paid part of the transfer fee himself when he could’ve gone to warm the bench at the likes of Madrid/Varcelona, picking up ridiculous wages and ‘trophies’ along the way), Arteta as pointed above, Ozil was on 150k p/wk at Madrid(could’ve stayed on as a bit-part player and pick up a trophy or two), Sanchez was offered more at Liverpool than we offered but he still chose us. I don’t think Sagna will play as much at City as he will no doubt do while p;aying for us. Even France do seem to think he’s gone into semi-retirement by his city move, coinciding with his being dropped from their starting line-up. He’s a pro yes, but he also wants to make money, which everyone does.

  25. I wonder what the real reason for Pullis walking out/thrown out just before a game?

    Hope it has no effect on the game.

  26. I’ll need to re-write my 17:24 post again in English 🙂 After watching Sanchez and co kick some ass. COYG !!

  27. Tom,

    You would argue till your fingers bleed to win nit-picked points. You come across as having a rather empty life and looking for online battles to win to make yourself feel good.

  28. Carragher spent 2 minutes slating Koscielny on Hangeland’s header and 10 seconds on Hangeland letting Koscielny get the tying goal. Jerk.

  29. Ref has been okish so far, but I think he’s too keen to penalise Arsenal players any 50-50s.

    Difficult to play against these park the bus teams, no space. Hard to believe Chamakh was once an Arsenal player, has all the hallmarks of a stoke player.

  30. Go on Arsenal! That’s the stuff! Two penalty shouts not given, according to the commentary on Anyway, we still did it!

  31. Yeaaaaaahhhhh…derby win.3 points and a Ramsey goal. And a shit ref.

    Welcome to PL Alexis.

  32. Not our best game by far BUT we got the 3 points and that’s all I care about!

    The team is going to get better as the season progresses. The short passes in the final 3rd are going to get more accurate and consequently more chances will be created and converted. I have faith in this team and the man who put it together.

    Yes AL, 1 down 37 to go. We’ve just taken 3 of the 114 points possible. 111 points remain to be taken; and the oppositions against which they are won is not important.

    Come on Arsenal, keep it going!

  33. Exactly Bootoomee, what matters is three points in the bag, you don’t get four points for beating a ‘big’ side! 🙂 COYG!

  34. great to have the arsenal back!

    a very valuable 3 points, palace played very tight and very defensive. they did little to deserve anything from the game, but a good reminder to the team that small lapses on set plays can really change the game. palace didnt even try to score and i dont think they had connected more than three passes in the arsenal half, but found themselves in the lead. its arsenals achilles heal and if we are to have a successful season we need to cut out those kinds of cheap giveaway goals.

    sanchez is gonna need some time. hes played in a barca team for a few years that has a very particular style of play + messi. i think hes gonna be a hell of a player but its gonna take some time for him to develop an innate understanding with our team.

    chambers had another very impressive performance. he might not be the fashionable answer to replacing TV, but i think he has what it takes, and is a similar sort of defender. if we dont sign a replacement we might just be alright…

  35. Tough match but a good win at the end. Three valuable points and a good start to the campaign.

    I noticed Kos seemed to be limping at the match end, lets hope it is nothing too serious.

    Also, anyone any news on Gibbs?

    Palace showed the Pulis influence – very physical – Chamakh was lucky to get only one yellow.

    And when is time wasting not really time wasting?

    Anyway, I am pleased with the result, especially since a number of the players are not yet really match fit and some are still missing.

    Oh – nearly forgot – really impressed with Chambers once again.

  36. wilshere has moments but i think he really needs to let the ball talk a little more for him. its good to suck defenders in but you have to be smart about when and where you do it. i would like to see him focus a bit more on his passing game, particularly his decision making and vision before he receives the ball. i get the impression his first thought is to receive, pivot and dribble at people….which is okay if you have variety in your play. far to often he runs into trouble and then passes, when simple pass and move should be the rule of thumb.

  37. John L,

    Agree about Alexis. He is trying really hard and against another type of opposition, he would have done better as we saw against Man City. But once he gels with the rest of the team, he is going to be a monster of a player.

    I am just over-joyed that we did not lose any point in this game. Looking at what Swansea did to Man United at Old Trafford and how Palace played us today, I am just so relieved to bag the 3 points.

    On to Besiktas on Tuesday.

  38. Great win, let’s see the media reaction. We scrapped by and man u were unlucky, what’s the odds on that?

  39. @ bjt,

    yeah chambers was extremely impressive. he looks very assured for such a young player in a new team.

  40. as much as i want to laugh at united, and the media that really want to tell the story of van gaals genius…the swansea game reminded me that theres really no easy games in this league. you spend all summer looking at teams on paper, and everyone expects us to blow palace away. the reality is very different.

    3 points was huge today, the team had to be patient. hopefully it will send a message to teams that simply playing deep and hoping for soft goals isnt going to work against this arsenal team.

  41. The ref red carded the CP player, we are 1 player more, Debuchy gets in the Box on corners, he shot the ball that rebounded after to Ramsey. Simple Logic, the ref has a big effect on the game. Today he made some mistakes, but you can see it was honest ones, mistakes. It was a shame if we lost any points when Moss is referee.

  42. @boo,

    your absolutely right, in games where teams come at us a bit more, theres more space and alexis can be influential simply because hes such a good player.
    however when teams play like palace did (and lets face it thats gonna be the majority of PL games) team cohesion becomes far more important. i think we lacked a little bit of fluidity and anticipation of movement in the final third today, which makes the 3 points all the more valuable.
    the tricky thing for wenger is where to get the best out of sanchez. when he switched to the left in the second half he was always turning back onto his right foot. does that make him to predictable? when theo returns thats surely were he will play. but i wonder is thats where he is best? wingers that cut inside work best when theres space to run into, when teams park the bus theres no space to cut into. in fact defenders are trying to turn you into that inside space where theres lots of bodies to stop you. it will be interesting to see what wenger does….

  43. The players who scored in the FA cup also score in our last 2 games. Is it a sign of things to come? Remember Giroud nearly scored in that match too! The goal by Ramsey was made possible with Debuchy’s effort! Looks like our defenders are contributing to the scoreline! Hopefully all will go well!

  44. Great win.

    This one was more about sustaining the momentum if anything, and when the opposition defends deep and starts time wasting after half an hour it just makes the task harder.

    @John L, there was a fan quote on the BBC feed that sums up United right now perfectly for me:

    ‘No matter who the manager is: Nani, Young and Felaini will still be Nani, Young and Felaini’

  45. John L,

    Where I differ from most fans is my utter lack of interest in diagnosing tactics or suggesting them. Compared to the guy who does this for Arsenal, I am a fucking idiot. I really trust Arsene Wenger to figure it out. I am sure that you do too.

    Really looking forward to Tuesday play-off in Turkey. At least they must come at us to have any hope of qualifying. I think Alexis will excel in that game.

  46. Some transfer news. It seems that Arsenal picked up another youth player. Adrien Rabiot (19 years old) from PSG(?) for 5.5M Pounds (?).

    Haven’t seen injury news as of yet.

    How to go Arsenal!

  47. Thanks for the preview.
    Three points!

    Without the benefit of a replay looked like there were a couple of strong pelanty shouts early in the first half?

  48. Injury News.

    Jack Wilshere has been sick the last few days.

    Kieran Gibbs has picked up a hamstring injury.

  49. Until Gibbs is prepared to use his right boot, he will never be the Arsenal and England fullback he wants to be.
    To see him cut inside from the left wing-back position and then, pathetically, have to transfer the ball back on to his left boot in order to advance further, is terrible to watch.

  50. nicky

    I noticed Sanchez also do this when he was dribbling down the left wing towards the goal line (on the left side of the pitch), he could have got to the line and put a great cross in, but instead stopped & switched to his right foot and overhit his pass.

  51. @oldgroover

    Sanchez can use both feet quite easily, I have no problem with him switching from one foot to the other – he probably wanted to flight a right to left spin.

    That he over hit the cross is a separate problem – most players will over/under hit crosses from time to time.

    So lets not be too ready to criticize our players after the first EPL match of the season – especially when the players are not really match fit.

    Chill out and enjoy the win.

  52. bjtgooner

    I’m not commenting on what Sanchez “probably” wanted to do, but what he did do, and he’s actually very right footed and takes every opportunity to switch to it. It’s a flaw which some players like Wilshere & Walcott have worked hard on to eradicate. Doesn’t make him a bad player, but perhaps not as good as he could be if he was completely two footed.
    It’s not a criticism but a comparison between established & emerging internationals.
    Also, I don’t need your patronising “chill out” advice.

  53. @oldgroover

    As you tend to advise others to chill when they disagree with you, you probably do need to chill yourself. You have been quite grumpy lately!

    Matchday 1 is a bit early to start undermining our squad – so you probably do need that chill out!

    Wanted to come on earlier, but the game and highlights took up to 3 AM to finish. Very good 3 points from a very difficult game.

    @ bjtgooner -Wink ! Wink !


    A man with a winking problem is applying for a position as a sales representative for a large firm. The interviewer looks over his papers and says, “This is phenomenal. You’ve graduated from the best schools; your recommendations are wonderful, and your experience is unparalleled. Normally, we’d hire you without a second thought.

    However, a sales representative has a highly visible position, and we’re afraid that your constant winking will scare off potential customers. I’m sorry…. we can’t hire you.”

    “But wait,” the man says. “If I take two aspirin, I’ll stop winking!”

    “Really? Great! Show me!”

    So the applicant reaches into his jacket pocket and begins pulling out all sorts of condoms: red condoms, blue condoms, ribbed condoms, flavored condoms; finally, at the bottom, he finds a packet of aspirin. He tears it open, swallows the pills, and stops winking.

    “Well,” said the interviewer, “that’s all well and good, but this is a respectable company, and we will not have our employees womanizing all over the country!”

    “Womanizing? What do you mean? I’m a happily married man!”

    “Well then, how do you explain all these condoms?”

    “Oh, that,” he sighed. “Have you ever walked into a pharmacy, winking, and asked for aspirin?”

  55. A golden oldie from the same …
    Learn from the story of Noah’s Ark

    Funny things that can be learned from the bible and applied to life.

    1) Don’t miss the boat.

    2) Remember that we are all in the same boat.

    3) Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

    4) Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

    5) Build your future on high ground.

    6) For safety’s sake, always travel in pairs.

    7) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

    8) When you’re stressed, float a while.

    9) Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

    10) The AKBs were on the Ark , while the AAAA errr… went out for a swim !

  56. Bjtgooner

    “undermining our squad” Is this the best you can do?
    Where’s the T word or the triple A’s.
    Losing your touch?
    Just stay off my case, my original comment on this ( which was absolutely correct by the way) was to Nicky not you, so but out.

  57. @oldgroover

    You are on an open forum man. Also don’t forget you often invite yourself to comment on the views of other contributors, so don’t be two faced!

    It is too early to have a wee dram, the Sun is not yet over the yardarm, so why don’t you have a nice cup of hot tea – the world might seem a better place afterwards.

  58. Bootoomee,
    If you say you are a fucking idiot compared to the Boss, where does this leave the AAAA?

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