Palace v Arsenal. Hodgson v Arsenal. The teams & Auba’s incredible record,

‘By Bulldog Drummond

Quote of the day: “It’s about what we do on the field.”  Roy Hodgson.

First a spot of news about a player definitely not playing: Maitland Niles played for the under 23 on Friday so wont be in squad.  But that could well put him into the team for the game next Wednesday.

Yet even without him we have quite a squad available to pick players from…

Leno, Cech, Martinez, Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny, Sokratis, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Torreira is the man who has the statistics working in his favour – with him in the team we have scored 24 and let in just four.  Without him the figures go into the negative.

But of course it is never one player – there is the situation of the rest of the team, how the tactics had been embedded, and indeed who we were playing.   Those comparisons can be where the figures break down, not because the figures are wrong but because they are read on their own, without information about other changes that happened.

Although certainly for myself, if I were a manager, which of course I am not, I would play him whenever I could.

As for the knockers (and sadly there are still such people lurking around in the shadows, hiding behind nom de plumes, sniping from the wings while occasionally getting air time on  mainstream media) they have given up on Ozil, Mkhitaryan and to some degree Ramsey. But much of the defence is still taking a battering. Indeed we must be the only team in the league whose defence is criticised even when we win.  In fact the more we win, the more the defence is criticised!

Typical comments over the weekend included “There still a naievity in defence”, which is sometimes combined with “Arsenal can go after the top 4 finish.”   So the logic must be that if we can aim for the top four finish with a hopelessly naive defence, the Premier League is a pretty poor league.

Meanwhile the talking up of Iwobi continues, forgetting all the negatives he got last season, “Arsenal struggle in the middle of the park” (as well as defence), and “Xhaka enjoyed playing at left back,” are among the other phrases circulating.  While Merson says, “If they don’t lose by at least three goals next week I will be shocked. Shocked! Liverpool will rip Arsenal apart and Arsenal will get found out.”

One possible line up today is


Bellerin Mustafi Holding Monreal

Torreira Xhaka

Mkhitaryan Ozil Iwobi


Which would then leave some of these on the beach

Cech, Lichtsteiner or Kolasinac, Sokratis, Guendouzi,  Ramsey, Aubameyang, Welbeck

Those on the beach who might give up sitting it out and actually play would then most likely be Sokratis in the centre of defence, and Aubameyang in attack.  I think I would play Auba from the off, but then, what do I know? Maybe he is much better when he is fresh and the defence are tired.

But there are of course other questions that could be asked such as will Cech take over in goal now he is fit, is Monreal fit enough to play and if not could we go back to Xhaka at left back as an alternative, did Mkhitaryan do enough to secure himself a regular spot in the front three, and if he is left out again, how long will Auba accept being a sub?

Roy Hodgson, who seemed singularly out of touch with reality in his comments about the crowd problems at Palace added to that impression by saying, “We’ve played a lot better this season than we did at the start of last. We lost some games heavily last time, which we deserved to, whereas this season we have lost some that we deserved something from.”  Now my memory is often faulty but was Hodgson manager at the start of last season? I have a feeling not. Wasn’t it Frank de Boer who was in charge, and thus isn’t that statement a rather sly way of taking a knock at the last man in position?

He continued…

“Arsenal are playing extremely well. I don’t see any particular weaknesses, so we must make sure we work hard to minimise their opportunities. There are no secrets, it’s about what we do on the field.”

Mr Emery came up with a better soundbite… “I think the first thing we spoke about when I arrived here was to improve our competitiveness, both individually and collectively as a team. We are doing that.

“When we started with the losses in the first two matches, maybe a lot of people were thinking it could be a difficult way for the club this season. Now, when we are winning, maybe the same people are thinking we are on the way to arrive in the top four.

“We aren’t the best team now, and when we lost we weren’t the worst team. We’re a good team who need to improve a lot of things and take more confidence, responsibility and ambition to improve.”

But Palace probably know that if they lose today the will equal the Premier League / 1st Division record of five consecutive home matches without scoring from the beginning of a season.  At least that is what the BBC said, but I can’t find out who created that record. If you know please do write in, and give the year… I would like to look up the details.

Palace have won one and lost 14 of their last 16 league matches against the teams that finished in the top six last season – which is interesting.  We are so used to hearing about Arsenal’s woes against the other top teams, perhaps sometimes we forget that others get this way too.

And one more snip: Roy Hodgson doesn’t beat Arsenal in the Premier League.  He has had nine goes without a victory – his last success being a 1-0 win with Fulham in August 2008.

But to return to the more positives, we have scored 12 away goals this season.  No one in the league has done better than that. Likewise no one has scored more second half goals than we have as 705 of our goals have been scored in the second half.

And one the  BBC came up with that I didn’t know before: we have won more points and we average more points per game in Premier League all-London matches than any other club.

Finally my favourite, to round it all off

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has got 21 goals and assists in 22 Premier League appearances.  That is made up of 16 goals and five assists.

Rather good eh?

By the way don’t forget the clocks in Europe changed this morning.  It’s earlier than you might think.


17 Replies to “Palace v Arsenal. Hodgson v Arsenal. The teams & Auba’s incredible record,”

  1. Thanks BD
    705 ! Wow liked that stat. Took a while to sink in that it was from the beginning of time. But then I read on…it is toooo early
    Still ages til game time. At least it’s not a bloody Monday nighters tho

    Don’t think the mick will start. Interesting call on Auba. I think Welbers should tire them out, then Auba come on and embarrass with pace and guile.

  2. Bulldog Drummond,

    Sadly You are unfortunately not a dying breed. You belong to the cult that drum up those ill educated, yet hanging on to the cave mentality of Racism and Sexism, Bull fighting etc. who drum up the enthusiasm and energise the ego of those and excite their “dopamine” levels by making statements like ;

    “Typical comments over the weekend includ “There still a naievity in defence”, which is sometimes combined with “Arsenal can go after the top 4 finish.” So the logic must be that if we can aim for the top four finish with a hopelessly naieve defence, the Premier League is a pretty poor league.”

    where is the veracity in that disingenuous and perfidious interpretation? Arsenal have been winning games that they should have lost(nearly every game) and should have won games that they should have won (Vs. Chelsea definitely ) because of mainly the defence was and is very poor but the attacking force tremendous.

    Arsenal to seriously attempt top honours in EPL this season needs to enhance her defence (CB and LB) as did Liverpool who though were also blessed with an amazing attacking force were very poor in defence until the signing of Virgil Van Dijk (£75m CB) and Allison(£68m GK).Arsenal, further must sign a top end Winger (Leon Bailey/ Ismaila Sarr/ Malcom) and Attacking Midfielder to replace Ramsey like (Thomas Partkey/ Nicolo Barella) and sell the dead wood ; Mkhitaryan, El Neny and Mustafi.


  3. Omar . Oh my.
    Not sure where your point was in there, and very unsure of your grounds for the xenophobic analogy, until we got to the need to replace stuff. Guff I think covers it.
    It’s such a shame that None, or Zero, if you prefer , of your proposed purchases have a single moment of premier league experience.

  4. Arsenal should this afternoon in the PL at Selhurst Park beat Crystal Palace 0-5 at fulltime of the match to further sink Roy Hudgson’s Crystal Palace Eagles team into deep water of trouble in the PL.

    Arsenal should henceforth, start scoring 4 – 5 goals in the PL without conceding any to begin building up massive goals difference in the table using the C Palace match today as the catalyst to begin doing that. For, goals difference counts as it could turnout to be the PL title win decider or a top four place finish in the table this season. Therefore, Arsenal should up their goals scoring charge in the PL considerably to avoid been caught to the title win on goals difference when the title is won. In fact, had Arsenal goals difference bettered the current Chelsea’s goals difference in the table, Arsenal would have been 3rd in the table overhauling Man City and Liverpool who are marginally above them in the table.

  5. Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka, Torriera, Guendouzi, Auba, Özil, Iwobi, Lacazette

    Beach – Cech, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, SmithxRowe, Wellbeck

  6. Omar, I doubt that a post on Untold has ever been more misunderstood in our entire existence.

    Racism and Sexism, Bull fighting…

    I have just re-read the entire piece and I cannot see how you can possibly draw that conclusion even if you have not read any of the other Bulldog pieces leading up to this game.

    But I can assure you, you are wrong in every single point you make.

  7. For the 3rd successive Arsenal games, Xhaka is starting again in leftback position for the Gunners against Crystal Palace. And Torreira and Guendouzi are starting at the midfield base for Arsena. But I can not see who will cover for Xhaka at LB and Torreira and Guendouzi at the base on the bench.

  8. I do think Hodgson is a bit of an old duffer who is past his time as a manager, but his clear and succinct commentary on yesterday’s two events was excellent. No ludicrous going over the top, just saying what I suspect most of us feel.

  9. Samuel, I think the answer might be

    Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Ramsey

    Put Sokratis in the back four and move Holding across. Play Licht at full back, move Bellerin across… Several options depending on the situation.

  10. Early in the game, Atkinson had Arsenal out fouling CPalace, now even. Strangely CPalace got the first yellow (only one so far).



    According to the twit feed, the Arsenal women have arrived at the stadium for their game.



    Sounds like Srivaddhanaprabha of Leicester and his daughter were in the helicopter when it crashed.

  11. Starting lineup for the women from the twit feed.

    > Starting XI: Van Veenendaal, Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell, Bloodworth, Walti, van de Donk, Evans, McCabe, Nobbs, Miedema

    > Subs: Peyraud-Magnin, Mead, Samuelsson, Kuyken


  12. A foul could have been given in favour of Holding as his shirt was ripped to pieces by a Palace player previous before the corner was given that resulted in the penalty foul. The penalty foul was correct. Mustafi didn’t get the ball. A live match report is on this site if you want to follow that

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