Enter Brendan Rodgers, accompanied by some notably discordant music

By Bulldog Drummond

For today’s game the Guardian had a lovely vision of this match…

“Enter Brendan Rodgers, accompanied by some notably discordant music.”

I love that as a starter.  But I wish they wouldn’t then drift into stuff like, “It had been only a few months previously that Arsène Wenger had been heckled by his own supporters at the railway station after a defeat at Stoke.”

No, he was shouted at by about 0.3% of the away support of Arsenal.  Or 0.000000000000001% of the total Arsenal support in England.

But there is a point to the effect that Arsenal needs to sort out the home form, starting today.  The defeat to State Aid Utd followed 0-0 results with Chelsea and Sunderland and a defeat to Swansea,  at the end of last season, with just the WBA game a bright moment.

Reviewing the situation, Mr Wenger said, “Against teams who came only to defend, we didn’t find the goal…. Most of the time if you really dominate the games you will win.” The key is to “Play with good pace.”

So what of Liverpool?

There is a story in the Independent today which really ought to stop people saying that Arsenal are incompetent in getting transfers done.  Here is what the paper says; a story which suggests it wasn’t just that Alexis Sanchez simply wanted to live in London.

The story tells of “Arsène Wenger flying between three Brazilian cities during the World Cup, having dinner with the player and his agent after games; selling himself, selling Arsenal, selling London, indeed.

“Liverpool dispatched a delegate to the tournament too only they were stationed in Rio de Janeiro for a week. By the time Chile arrived in the city to face Spain at the Maracana, such was Wenger’s persistence, Sanchez’s was already minded to go to the Emirates, rather than Anfield.

“From there Liverpool’s season unravelled. Mario Balotelli was recruited instead and scored just four times in all competitions. Over at Arsenal, Sanchez’s 25 goals contributed towards Champions League qualification and an FA Cup win.”

Every year Liverpool sign a multiplicity of players, and have some left over who they wish were not there, by the end of the season.  Their failure to reach the Champions League most of the time is their problem, and their final position in recent years does not read like anything  other than a club that might once in a while have lucky break by signing a vampire and then selling him quickly to a club about to be banned from transfers for child trafficking.

But there is a little something more I must take from the Guardian.  Speaking of Mr W they say, “He does not Rodgers the job of rebuilding with Luis Suárez and Raheem Sterling prised away in successive summers.”  (Well you know what they mean).  Then asked if he has sympathy for them Mr W says,

“They refused to sell us Suárez so I cannot feel too much sympathy for them.”

And what has the “Buy-Don’t Sell-OK sell-Buy” approach of Rodgers-the-job come up with?  He has said of late, “There’s a real focus in our group this season, a real toughness, mentally.   We know that we’ve got that ability to scrap and fight as well as play good football. If we can go there and perform like we think we can and keep to our game-plan we’re confident we can get a result.

“If you assess Arsenal’s last 10 games they’ve lost at home, the teams that have won have averaged four shots on target, with 43% possession. It tells you that you can go there and you don’t need to dominate the ball, but you can dominate the space.”

So what else have we got?

Here’s a fun fact…

Matches between Liverpool and Arsenal have produced five hat-tricks – more than any other fixture in Premier League history.

And a not so fun fact…

If we lose today we lose our opening two home matches of a top-flight campaign for only the third time, after 1908-09 and 1949-50.

But we have the highest number of shots in the league after the first two matches.  That has only produced one goal, but these things (unlike ref decisions) even out in the end.

Olivier Giroud produced a wonder goal in the last game and this will be his 100th game in the league.

Mesut Ozil (the player of whom Give Me Sport said, Arsenal must sell Mesut Ozil this summer and Caught offside said, Five Reasons Arsenal MUST Sell Mesut Ozil Immediately), misplaced just one of his 55 passes against Crystal Palace and has averaged 3.61 chances created per game in the Premier League in 2015 – the highest of any player in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers has never won a PL game against Arsenal away, incidentally.

As for the team, today we could make changes.  Mr W said, “Santi is an important player in the buildup of our game. He is naturally a guy who brings fluidity, and gets you out of tight situations.”  But when he wants physical power in the centre he turns to Ramsey.   So in the team sheet, it is possible there might be a shuffling of position of the two players which is always a clever move since Liverpool will see the team sheet but not know who is playing where.

Or we could also bring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in on the right, in place of Ramsey, providing some width, we could put Theo at centre forward.   But if none of that happens we have


Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Coquelin Cazorla

Ramsey Ozil Sanchez


On the beach either in the late night sun or the rain, (it’s raining in Northampton as I write this) some of

Oooooooospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, although it is reported in some quarters that Mathieu Flamini is a doubt with an ankle problem.

Right, off we go to London.  No Blacksheep in the party today, he’s in Italy doing things, so Curtis and his mate Adam have the pleasure of listening to me drone on and on and on and on, all the way from Northampton to Finchley Central.  It’s a tough life Curtis, but someone has to listen, otherwise I’d be talking to myself.


Arsenal v Liverpool

The Ref Preview for Arsenal v Liverpool.

Injuries, Liverpool’s transfers and the blogettas problems with Ozil

From today’s anniversary files

  • 24 August 1954: David Herd bought from Stockport for £10,000.  His games for  Stockport were restricted by his national service but he scored five goals in 12 games in 1953–54, thus attracting the attention of Arsenal.
  • 24 August 1961: George Armstrong became a professional, having been turned down by Grimsby and Newcastle Utd.  He went on to play 500 games for Arsenal.


  • @UntoldArsenal on Twitter
  • Arsenal Annivesaries each day on the home page
  • Remember, remember.  The history of Arsenal’s pre-seasons: now covering every season from 1983 to 2014, with more articles forthcoming.

The books

106 Replies to “Enter Brendan Rodgers, accompanied by some notably discordant music”

  1. And of course if all goes right with the internet we will have a match report shortly after the final whistle.

  2. Nothing but three points tonight will do. Otherwise we’ll be playing catch up again. Our recent home form has been piss poor, so a victory is far from certain. Although we do seem to have the scousers number.

    Up the Arse!

  3. Hey, thanks man for that good one. The only thing left to go with this great article is a healthy, hefty thrashing for Liverpool, which I have a feeling we all will witness tonight.

    I only feel sorry for Curtis and Adam. Having to endure whatever it is you have to offer. Good luck to them, and to the boys on home turf. Up the gunners!

  4. I can’t help you directly with how often hat tricks happen. But, I left a short (for me) comment about play in the 1 goal per team Poisson league. And it isn’t a fish story.


    I can tell you in this league, games where either or both teams score 3 or more goals happen about 15.3% of the time. How often those are hat tricks, I don’t know.

    Good luck to Arsenal today. Hopefully I can catch up with things at the end of the week.

  5. I think when you get shouted at by the away support – even if its only 3% – you have to take notice. The Arsenal away fans are the best in the league in my view. I used to go to a few away games each season and was amazed at the atmosphere they created. They are more often than not fully supportive of Wenger and the team.

    As for Rodgers, I can only pity the Liverpool fans for having such a dick (i was looking for a different word but that one seemed to fit well) as a manager.

    i am not too fussed about what Liverpool did during the Suarez saga though – players rarely honour their contracts if they decide they want to leave, instead applying pressure on the club to sell them. So, the club not honouring a conract is not a big news story. Contracts really do mean very little in the game today.

  6. May Bellerin been granted the pace of Achilles to destroy Red Army whose manager is quick to brag against the Coach of the decade and his sterling mentees

    Bring on The Fortress Of Emirates

  7. May Bellerin be granted the pace of Achilles to destroy the Red Army whose manager is quick to brag against the Coach of the decade and his sterling mentees

    Bring on The Fortress Of Emirates

  8. One thing is certain, Brendan Rodgers will not be able to play Liverpool’s philosophy of high intensity pressing game at the Emirates Stadium this Monday’s night.Because he won’t have Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling to do that job for him.And if he tries it,the Gunners will overrun his Reds. Consequently, he will revert to relying on Roberto Coutinho’s long range shots, Martin Skrtel’s incursion aerial prowess from corner & free kicks and Christian Benteke’s penalty area power to do his bidding for him. Brendan Rodgers is coming to Emirates Stadium with a Game App Data Plan of: CONTAIN THEM AND STRIKE DEADLY. And the Boss and the Gunners are to nullify Brendan Rodgers’ game app data plan, with their own superior Game App Data Plan of: SHORT CIRCUITING THE REDS DEFENDING AND COUNTERS, to erase the Reds’ database game memory and renders it into obsolete state. I expect the Boss to stick to his reliable new Orthodox starters as indicated in the published article above. And I will support the Boss if he does that. However, for the purpose of getting behind the Reds defense line in time to score and assists to score. I want the Boss to start Walcott centrally ahead of Olivier Giroud in this big game. The Boss could bring on Giroud in the 2nd half, whose qualities of holdup play to pave ways for others to pounce and also he can defend aerially and also through tackling, is not underrated. That is the only change I want to thinker with the Boss likely new Orthodox starters for today’s game. AFC 3-0 LFC. Full time + added time. For AFC: Walcott, Sanchez and Ozil. Arsenal to go 4th in the table after the game.

  9. The Zelalem announcement is up at Arsenal now. He comes back Jan 3, 2016.

    Good luck at Rangers.

  10. AS long as we are prepared to work hard in the game tonight and close down pool from being able to do anything with the ball, we will win.

    This is a different pool, and they will be playing differently(perhaps the bus? perhaps rough tackling in the first 15 mins to test the ref?), not wanting to lose an early goal.

    Arsenal cannot let themselves be surprised, and i hope we have researched pool’s latest “threats” as players and are ready to cope with them. No false confidence or stats led game plan, but hard work and determination to end the game with 3 points.

    AND please please please no defend mode after just 1 goal. PLEASE. Defend mode just allows them to be in our half, and i always say, if they are in our half they are more likely to score. 🙂


  11. I wouldn’t expect this to be as emphatic a win as last season’s ( we’re not completely up to speed yet ), but a win nevertheless. I don’t see much in this LIverpool side to be concerned about.

  12. Regrets ? I’ve had a few …..

    A guy is watching a film with creepy organ music on the tv , and suddenly yells ,” No ! No! Don’t enter that church , you damn fool !!!”
    His wife asks him, ” What are you watching ?”
    Husband replies , “Our wedding video !”

  13. Lol Brickfields.

    I think we need a win tonight to silence the aaa and their agitators in the media.hearing their views if we fail to win. Carragher, Rednapp, Sounness,Owen, Collymore etc just seem to take the michael, yet have a blindspot where Liverpool are concerned. Liverpool have never won the premier league and rarely even qualify for the Champions League, yet they are treated as some kind of premier league giant.

    One day I will get to the bottom of why Arsenal are so disliked in the media. So easy for the intellectually challenged aaa to become brainwashed. The criticism we receive is out of kilter, from the countdown of red cards to the number of years we went without a trophy (despite the obstacle we faced at the time). Meanwhile Chelsea ride roughshod over decency, their manager displays the empathy of a serial killer and Liverpool have never won the premier League. Where is the daily countdown of the ’23 years’ Liverpool have gone without a league title?


  14. PS: why are their so many ex Liverpool players in the media? They could field two legends teams!

  15. @ proudkev – As I don’t listen or read their comments , I am immune from their opinions . As for ‘them’ – ditto ! Am only interested in the Arsenal and hope for a win , the more classier , the better I feel.

    As for so many of them in the media , I guess that they have been promised that, ” You’ll never work alone !” And probably that only they can understand themselves !

    When the wayfarer whistles in the dark, he may be disavowing his timidity, but he does not see any the more clearly for doing so.
    (Sigmund Freud)

  16. Hopefully, we will combine our undoubted pace with A PLAN to break down a resolute defence. No close passing like a bagatelle board in their penalty area.
    Lessons should have been learnt from our two earlier games. 😉

  17. I hope chambers and Gabriel do the business tonight, good luck lads.Any noise on Per and Kos?

  18. 5Live simply making up their gibberish this evening (same as always?):
    “Coquelin has only played 22 games in the PL for AFC? He came from nowhere”

    Erm. he’d played that many games for the first team on nearly two previous occasions. Last season he was thirty odd. Most of the precious apps. were at FB and although up until the end of last season he was a rookie in the middle however in those preceding seasons he had impressed those watching with Derby games against the tinies, Gazprom etc.

    Indeed it was an uncalled deliberate stomp from Ramires which led to a big injury, a setback and the end of his previous run in the first team at AFC. Plus yet another dodgy goal of the PGMOBs anointed club of that season.

    Still, it only the bleeb eh? On it’s 24/7 sports Broadcaster, how are they meant to know this stuff? Maybe they just don’t like the Arsenal? For some unfathomnable reason?

    Never mind the footballs.

  19. Why are these plundits crying crisis over the defense pairing!!!!

    Despite their gibberish, feel confident. That’s a good pairing there.

  20. Neville you dick head.

    Wenger hasn’t won the PL because he’s been living on a net spend of one tenth that of city, Chelsea and United over the trophy less 10 years, 2003 to 2013.

    We have been loosing our best player year on year over the same period.

    Henry, to his credit has been trying to explain but that thug just wont give it a rest.

    I thought he used to be ok, but as I said….dick head, and the false platitudes just make it worse.

    By the way, how many years since Liverpool won the league only SKY haven’t mentioned it. Funny that.

  21. ” for all the possession ARSENAL have had, Liverpool’ve had better chances”….what!!!!!

    We scored you jerks…what offside was that about…

  22. If Chambers confidence was wobbly it’s certainly all over the place right now. Gosh we’re bad at the back!

  23. We are not playing well at all. Nervous and like headless chickens at most times. They need a quick kick up their arses.

  24. Seeing the difference between the two forwards here today, Benteke is a battler!

  25. Benteke is a bit of a handful.
    On Ramsey’s goal he was leaning into an offside position, but it was so close that he should have got the benefit

  26. Arsenal looking really nervy defensively and toothless in attack. Giroud is a quality squad player and best used off the bench against the better teams. We need to eek out a win by any means, sod the performance.

  27. Thank God Chambers has Cech in goal. It’s like the Keystone cops at the back!

  28. Why on earth if we’re not(?) going to sign a forward did we let Chuba go on loan and sell Benfike? Not good at all.

  29. We shouldve been 1 up and controlling the game now….

    Oh and I am not talking about almost goals here. A clear cut goal scored, disallowed by the referee. And this is not even the new rule offside bullshit……..

  30. If we win this game tonight we will be very very lucky, that is, if we do not change our focus and concentration.

  31. @Tailgunner,
    Ramsey was played onside due to Skrtel’s behind according to the replays. Even the half time analysis team said said it and showed a still of it.

  32. Pool would be 4 up by now. Twice the post saved us and twice Cech. Cech has redeemed himself for me now.

  33. If hope Chambers gets back on field and have a strong second half….

    Taking him off now would damage his confidence. Not now please.

  34. Don’t want to knock Chambers confidence any further but the result is all that matters and the boy will cost us if this continues.

  35. Don’t blame Chambers alone. He’s not the only one that will cost us the game. This is not a PL winning performance in any way.

  36. Liverpool have been poor in their opening games and yet we’re making them look good. We have to wake up soon otherwise we’ll get a pasting by Bournemouth!

  37. Let’s be honest the disallowed Rambo goal is the only highlight we’ve had in 55 minutes! The Scouser’s could have banged in 3 or 4 if it wasn’t for Cech!

  38. Al, its never about what ARSENAL could’ve had. People always have a say about what ARSENAL could’ve conceded….


    Come on gunners
    How many clear cut chance did Liverpool have in second half!!!! Zero!!!…..

  39. Now that is how to respond, cracking srcond half, gave liverpool no chance at all. Parry and Smith going on about Liverpool not having conceded, they’ve conceded twice already, you muppets.

  40. Can’t score at home to save our lives, this team needs a miracle and that ain’t coming from this manager who is too scared to try and win games. He is very happy with a draw.

  41. Just to show the clearest chances were just when Giroud was involved.
    He is not the best finisher, but we really depend on him to create

    Coq best player in this match, closely followed by Cech.

    The nervous first half (due to the mistakes in the defence). Cost us 2pts

    As for the offside goal, ya it was an offside, but this is a much better officiating than last season. Now I can accept this wrong call as just a mistake by the official.

  42. There’s just no pleasing some miserable gits I see. That was one of the best second half performances I’ve seen in a looong time; think sky had the stats at about 72%-28% at one time. Liverpool have just had their lowest possession ever under Rodgers. … Think Cech only had a save or 2 to make a in the second half. It’s Wenger’s fault that a legitimate goal by Ramsey got disallowed.

  43. Ramsey goal ruled OFF!!

    I am still going with PGMOB will cost us more points then ever before!

  44. Anyone who thinks thie squad doesn’t need strengthening is totally deluded. What’s worse is all the mindless twaddle spouted by the likes of Merson about how this team bottle it and can only play when there’s no pressure is given credence by tonight’s bull shit.

  45. Let’s be honest unless Wenger opens his cheque book we’re scrabbling for the obligatory CL berth. We have no bite up front when teams shut shop and our midfield are too busy protecting our nervous back four. Cech saved us tonight despite a strong second half. How many times do I need to say we need a SOLID DM! When I hear commentators talking about Arteta or Flameni I cringe.

  46. So Laen, braveheart

    Taking away your best defender (coq), when the defence is already nervous, to win the extra two points is a scary thing?

    Man, have some logic. This is boring.

    And please dont start the tape we already listened to hundred times by your likes.

  47. is heading not considered to be an integral part of football?
    we suffered from general lack of pace and the willingness to score the perfect goal.
    two penalties not given plus a wrongly disallowed goal didn’t help either.

  48. After one of the poorest first halves I’ve seen in a long time we had an okay second half (possession means nothing if you don’t score) and we resort to bemoaning what could have been a goal that was disallowed. Smacks of desperation right now!

  49. we will definitely bounce back. but the worrying thing is that we start every season slowly.

  50. Awful wasteful and unprofessional first half. Just wasteful in the second half.
    Poor start to the season and after that who can argue Giroud needs to be replaced. Absolutely terrible striker.

  51. We were poor in the first half , much better in the second. We are just not yet quite on the pace, through balls are often inches away. Cech was excellent ozil really grew into the game and chambers much better in the second half
    The trolls , those with vested interests and some who just exercise their rights to be critics will have their say in multitudes .
    Liverpool saw our defenders missing and went for it but were completely outclassed in the second, from my seat this eve they are nothing special, can see them just resorting to defending most of the season.
    But it must be said, yet again a ref seems to apply the offside law custom designed for Liverpool. Giroud could have had two penalties and where did four minutes time added on come from, Liverpool couldn’t score when we were at out worst and had to sit back and take the help they seem to get this season when we are at our best
    We do have to become more clinical but that will come with or without transfers
    Gary Neville has an agenda and is full of shit with it , the only teams consistently doing better than us have had vastly superior resources over the years, nothing to do with player size.
    And whatever the media or critics tell you, I can assure you the crowd were right behind the team, willing them on right to the end

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