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June 2021

The Palace v The Arsenal. The Form, The Ox, The Injuries (and wow, just look at the injuries!)

By Bulldog Drummond

In the build up to this match Arsène Wenger has been talking a little about Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and his importance to the club saying, “I personally think it’s vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal.  We bought him when he was very young and built him up. He has a great mentality and a good football brain and it would be big damage for us to lose this kind of player.”

As to when the matter will be resolved, Mr Wenger added, “It will be done this year.  We have to keep them all. Ramsey, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together.”

Certainly seeing the Ox transform himself from winger into a deep lying central midfielder has been particularly interesting – and not something I saw many people in the media predicting.  As a possibility it certainly passed me by – but then to be fair quite a bit does.

And despite the return of Santi Cazorla – another player who has been transformed in that new position (although ducks and water come to mind when thinking about how he made the move there) – and the assumed returned of Jack Wilshere, the way Mr Wenger was speaking suggests he sees the Ox as the long term player for that role.

Mr Wenger added of the Ox, “He’s offensive and you can feel as well that he’s a guy who can get out of pressure because of his dribbling skill. And he has penetrating skills and in midfield that is important. I find as well that sometimes on the flank he is out of the way. In the middle he’s more focused, he needs to be involved in the game.   He’s a player who likes to take the ball and go at people. He can lose balls but defensively he is strong in the challenge. He has that kind of robustness to deal with the body-to-body that is very important in the Premier League.”

As for today, we play the team that went looking for the Big Sam Bounce.   The Large One joined the Palace on 23 December 2016, after his latest escapade into the realms of rule breaking, and those who crave managerial change as the solution to problems will undoubtedly have been interested in his form.

And yes he has had the bounce, but not at first.  Here are the results after the addition of extra weight on the bench…

Game Date Opposition Venue Result Position
18 26.12.2016 Watford away D1-1 17
19 01.01.2017 Arsenal away L0-2 17
20 03.01.2017 Swansea City home L1-2 17
21 14.01.2017 West Ham United away L0-3 17
22 21.01.2017 Everton home L0-1 18
23 31.01.2017 Bournemouth away W2-0 18
24 04.02.2017 Sunderland home L0-4 19
25 11.02.2017 Stoke City away L0-1 19
26 25.02.2017 Middlesbrough home W1-0 17
27 04.03.2017 West Bromwich Albion away W2-0 17
29 18.03.2017 Watford home W1-0 16
30 01.04.2017 Chelsea away W2-1 16
31 05.04.2017 Southampton away L1-3 16
The bounce did indeed take a long while to come and has ultimately resulted in the club rising one place from where they were, to where they are now.    But let us not be churlish, those four wins in a row after one win in eight stopped the slide and took them up one place.
If we look at the current League table to compare home and away form we find…

Arsenal’s away form is certainly better than Palace’s home form.  Indeed Palace’s away form (18 points) is better than Palace’s home form (13 points).   They also score more away from home, but then again concede more.   Arsenal have scored twice as many goals away from home as Palace have scored at home (30 to 15).

Indeed only two teams have a worse home record than Palace.  Here is the table showing home games only for clubs near the drop zone.

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Thus in home form they are right down there with Sunderland.

As for injuries – well here Palace do win out in what is becoming an increasingly erratic physioroom table

# Club Total no of injuries Last man down What he got
1 Crystal Palace 11 L Remy Calf Strain
2 Manchester United 8 A Valencia Muscular Injury
3 Southampton 7 S Davis Ankle Injury
4 Everton 6 A Lennon Knock
5 Hull City 6 H Maguire Knee Injury
6 Liverpool 6 S Mane Cartilage Knee Injury
7 Watford 6 S Prodl Rib Injury
8 West Ham United 6 M Antonio Hamstring Injury
9 Arsenal 5 D Ospina Back Injury
10 Tottenham Hotspur 5 M Vorm Knee Injury

The Palacial injury list is indeed rather excessive and it is worth looking at it a little further – for six of their players have no return date and only one, McArthur, might be back for this match.  Cabaye, Remy, Dann, Tomkins, Campbell, Wickham, Mandanda, Benteke and Souare are among the missing.

With Arsenal, within a week or two of return we have: Kos, Ooooospina and Cech.  Santi is next season – but on Perez we seem to have mixed messages.

Funny how none of the media is running a story about Palace being the centre of injuries.  That only seems to work when it’s the Arsenal.  Odd that.

How Arsenal got its own history wrong in the club’s official handbook

The Arsenal handbook 1930: after winning the first major trophy

13 comments to The Palace v The Arsenal. The Form, The Ox, The Injuries (and wow, just look at the injuries!)

  • nicky

    Yes, what about Perez?
    There is a mystery, at least to many supporters. He rarely starts. When he comes off the bench he does well. He’s quick, he can score.
    Unfortunately, when Arsene prepares the team sheet he’s one of yesterday’s men. 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Whoever plays tonight, I hope they play well and get all the 3 points .No slips ups guys . Up the Gunners !
    Let it be a unique first for Fat Sam to get his team relegated . He’ll be missed of course !

  • Alexanderhenry

    I am baffled by wenger’s continued faith in these three players. If arsenal actually want to win the PL or CL they have to get better players into the squad than the above. If you read between the lines of his latest statement, it’s all about being prudent financially. In other words, the usual penny pinching arsenal stuff. Fans who think we’ll spend big this summer should think again. The first priority for arsenal will be to factor in the loss of CL money if we fail to qualify, which seems likely. That’s how Kroenke’s arsenal operate.
    Overall, arsenal fans are set for a triple whammy: no CL football, wenger staying and an underwhelming transfer window.

  • Sammy The Snake


  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    This keeping of the core of 4 British players at Arsenal as being highlighted by Le Prof and carried by the media, could be good and fine but IF it won’t be at the expense of Arsenal winning the PL title next season which has been the main bone of contention between the disgruntled Arsenal supporters and Le Prof for quiet sometimes now. But if his keeping that core could lead to Arsenal missing out on the PL title again next season, I’ll advice him to think twice on this mentality of keeping all the 4 at Arsenal beyond this season.

    No Arsenal fan will be against the keeping of a selected young talented British core players at Arsenal provided they are of the right top quality that can be delivering top quality footballing on a regular and consistent basis for Arsenal But If it’s just for making up the FA regulation number of having 5 English or British players in the first team of every Premier League club is main reason Le Prof wants to continue with the keeping of the core of the 4 British players at Arsenal and not for their top quality performance on the field of play and title winning delivery for Arsenal, that will be unfortunate and unacceptable.

    Nevertheless and haven said all that I’ve said, I think Oxlade Chamberlain, is worthy of being kept at Arsenal beyond his current contract deal there but if he can overcome his more or less constant injury problem. But the rest of: Ramsey, Wilshere and Gibbs, Gibbs could be kept as a squad player. But for Ramsey and Wilshere, the constant injury crisis they’ve been having season after seasons has rendered them to become more of no longer Arsenal top quality players overtime they were once are for Arsenal, and Arsenal have to win the PL title next season. And therefore should not continue with the using of players who are now living on their past glory and consequently will be liking a living at Arsenal if they continue to be there.

  • Ben

    I don’t think Wenger reads the comments section for advice.

  • Leon

    Oh I’m sure he does.?

  • Jammy J

    @ Alexanderhenry – Then do you care to please explain the subtext of the particular statement, for those of us who aren’t quite as brilliantly perceptive as you are?

    And what is this nonsense about an underwhelming transfer window? What are you basing that off? The last transfer window where we spent the most out of every team in the PL (except, perhaps, Man U)? Or the one before that, where we purchased Sanchez? Or the one before that, even, when we purchased Ozil, who at the time was the largest PL transfer fee (and of course, that’s leaving out all of our other “smaller” signings”)? But sure, you’re completely right; just the usual penny pinching..

    Your comment is not based on reality!


    Perez needs game tim, not sure what that’s about his stats are marvelous, but Giroud loses value if he is dropped, along with Theo and Monreal. I am loathe to lose Kos the Boss but he looks in need of rest, why did he play on after the head collision for France??? Oxlade is good enough, just needs a year, His dad and Wenger both said on his signing he was long term direct through the middle. Je needs to get his passing back. Rambo needs an injury free summer off, Gibbs has finally stayed fit, progression, Forsythe??? Jack is beginning to purr at Bournemouth, people are cutting him slack there, he’s still worried about the ankle, but I saw fire in his belly for the Chelsea game, in which they got referee bumped a lot.

    People talk like you don’t have a home grown quota, and 2 cups plus CL, you need a squad. So starters, Mustarfi, Koscielny, Belllerin, Ozil Alexis, there lies in your problem, only 5 are guaranteed starters in most any squad. If you want a league or FA Cup squad, excluding them, then.

    Gabriel, Holding, Chambers, Gibbs, Cech
    Ramsey, Coquelin
    Oxlade, Ramsey, Iwobi,

    1 over Elneny

    I again excluded people with questionable futures, but in terms of asset Value Giroud 20m+ Welbeck10+ Monreal5m+ Ospina 8m+
    Debouchey, Santi, released
    Wilshire, Szczesny, re-signed.

    If you went with that format, you’d have 19 players, only Iwobi qualifying under 21 Home Grown. with 8+ British trained, if you kept the players AW insists are pvotal.

    Which would leave us 7 slots and a Theo Walcott extra, he’s worth another 30m. that’s about 70m – 85m in potentially liquidatable assets, a annual transfer budget of a now approximate 110m, plus 150 cash reserves, if Usmanov would invest in our cash reserve pot to increase the number of club shares to increase his holding in our holdings, that would be the most secure way to increase investment and guarantee a shopping spree, we could use the rolling 3 year 150m debt rule in FFP like the everyone else has already and shop till we drop. Lukaku, Morata, Aubamayang, if you want to guarantee goals, Insigne, Reus, Keane has looked imperious for England, reading of the game and timing of the tackle, mobility, distribution, decision making and guile, Napoli habe the hot property left back, but they are top four again. Manolas and Laporte are the two you want to challenge and replace Kos.

    Meyer is a wonderful talent I like a lot, Pickford as well, Chuba is coming along nicely, Willock as well, Ainsley and Niles will prob need loan time next season.

    A CB is on Chelsea and Real’s list, Wingers are on a few lists, but a lot of other teams will be offloading which could favour us there, Strikers, well they are all costly, so we may have to wait on that front for players to move. getting rid of the fringe players we have to teams who don’t want to risk it could be the right move, Napoli are used to a point man, so Ghoulam may be easier, since the deal favours both parties. Ryad and Kasper and maybe Drinkwater, not that I’m interested in DW but a person to streth teams wide right would be very handy.

    Monreal is an easy sell. And I like Welbeck but, he’d very much suit one oof the mid table boys and be in their price range. The summer is going to be all about a thin squad and very efficient negotiating. we have to strenghten the LB position first to give solidity, CB cover would show we are serious.

    If we address those then it’s DM RW and a CM but Jack is enough as here, but would then be covering two positions.

    so lets say we bought Lukaku, Mahrez, Meyer, Carasco, Laporte, Ghoulam & Keane it would cost the same as offloading the players we didn’t need, plus the transfer budget for the season and a bit of the reserves.

    As it says, exiting CL, ould not only cost us revenue, drop our share price, but also cost us players and possibly our manager, and hamper us signing new ones.

    Spurs in the top four is fine for now, they have no money, Zaha would be there best bet. They can sell Janseen, Son has taking it, like him a lot. Takuna Asano, shux he’ll be arriving as well.

    We have also sold the stadium out for the next 5 years, it’s really nothing to worry about, if we don’t make top four, it’s Wenger and the squads fault nobody was good enough. I don’t think he miscalculated, just to make the most of our money, we have to wait. Draxler didn’t work well enough for PSG now did he!

  • Nonny

    @ Dwain Kaye

    And so it is so easy to move players about and bring other players in. It’s all about going to a supermarket to shop. Sell oranges and buy apples. Whether the players want to come or their clubs want to sell is immaterial. Also forget the home grown rule and 25 players registration. Not important. #Weldonsir.

  • ARSENAL 13

    I see fantasy managers…..

    Am I the only one????….Man I need to get my eyes checked…

  • 10/11 in the starting 11 😀 Welbeck deserves another nod, but I was thinking he’d respect Girouds stats against.


    I see a sh£t HOT economist who is in the top 2% of thinkers!

  • Nonny can’t you count, or read? Maybe he meant Ninny! I did the rules, squad registration and based it on the players contracts, etc I did a hypothetical suggestion, Usmanov released in the article his views, not too dissimilar to mine.

    I breathe and bleed North London Red/White and all of the players are of the desired quality and would probably most put ARSENAL in their top 3 choices.