Arsenal v Norwich: the fighting, the enquiry, the injuries, the team

By Bulldog Drummond

Physioroom is not showing much change in terms of injuries with eight players out.

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Calum Chambers Knee Injury Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury 29/08/2020 None Ruled Out
David Luiz Knee injury “Right knee. Being assessed ahead of Norwich City.” 01/07/2020 Late fitness test 25% chance
Mesut Ozil Lower Back Injury Lower Back Pain 01/07/2020 Late Fitness Test 50% chance
Lucas Torreira Di Pascua Ankle/Foot Injury Fibula Fracture 01/07/2020 Late Fitness Test 50% chance
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Knee Injury Knee Injury 01/07/2020 Late Fitness Test 25% chance
Bernd Leno Knee Injury Knee Ligament Injury None Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury Meniscus Tear None Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury Ankle Surgery Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out

But that total of eight players does not put us at the top of the league for Norwich has nine players out. Other high flyers are Burnley with seven, and Everton and Bournemouth with six.

As noted previously, if this had been in Mr Wenger’s time we would have had a complete outpouring of anger with articles claiming it was his prehistoric training methods that were causing the problems.  But clearly not so these days; so what is it?

One possibility is that Arsenal are treated differently from other clubs, both by referees and by the media.  The revelation about the fact that the media tend to comment on players differently because of the colour of their skin, (The racist bias in football reporting and its implication for all commentary)  opens up the discussion about the option that the media comment on referee actions, fouls and other factors differently according to which club they play for.  And this affects what happened both in 1989/90 against Norwich and in the following season against Man U.

On 4 November 1989 Arsenal, the current champions, beat Norwich 4-3.  The match included what, in the media language of the day, was generally described as “a bit of argy bargy” which gave Alan Smith a cut to the face, while Nigel Winterburn took a punch from Dale Gordon, but the ref saw nothing out of the ordinary.  Football indeed was a bit different then.

But the media, still reeling from the fact that Arsenal, rather than their beloved Liverpool! had won the league the previous season, went to town suggesting that football was out of control and needed to be shut down.   Ex-Tottenham man Jimmy Greaves at the time ran a notoriously anti-Arsenal TV show with Ian St John, and attacked the referee on their show, ignoring the fact that Norwich themselves had made no complaint.  (Both ex-players were of course model professionals in their time on the pitch).

The FA buckled, talked about their old favourite “bringing the game into disrepute” as if the FA didn’t do that on a daily basis, and the clubs were charged on the basis of a TV programme run by two men who never had a good word to say about the club they had historically and now hysterically hated.

Norwich were fined £50,000 and Arsenal just £20,000.  But worse.  The FA then gave themselves the power to deduct points for anything (really anything) that they didn’t like, and they duly did this the following season for what the media called a “mass brawl” at Man U, in an obvious attempt to stop Arsenal winning the league again.

Bias was now sanctioned and all power handed over to the organisation that would eventually hire Sam Allardyce as the manager of the national team.  Little more needs to be said.

As for this evening Sports Mole give us a team of


Mustafi, Holding, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka;

Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang


The Mirror goes with


Tierney, Holding, Mustafi;

Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Saka;

Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.


The Independent offers


Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac,

Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Tierney,

Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.

So, something along those lines I suspect.

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38 Replies to “Arsenal v Norwich: the fighting, the enquiry, the injuries, the team”

  1. 28th February 1978

    Highbury Stadium

    Pouring rain

    Dire game

    0 – 0

    Luckily there was only 23,506 sorry souls there to witness it.

    Unfortunately I was one of them.

    Kids today don’t know they’re born

  2. On the subject of Saka, I’m very pleased he’s signed a new contract. He’s a very talented young player.

    On the subject of Saka’s contract, I’ve noted that over the last few months numerous “journalists” and quite a lot of fans have been berating the club for not having sorted out a new contract. Obviously all those people will be extremely well experienced at negotiating premiership player’s contracts so it pays to listen to them! I trust they’ll all be writing articles, on here, commenting in other blogs and on AFC social media praising the club for having secured Saka’s services…….or possibly just moving on to the next thing they wish to moan about without having an ounce of professional knowledge on which to base their latest uninformed assertions.

  3. That move leading to the first show on goal was just brilliant.

  4. OT

    Heard on french TV. Ceballos stays at Arsenal on loan. The so-called experts on french TV insist how bad Arsenal is because Bellerin may be leaving for Inter, Juve or Bayern. An they state he’s got 2 more years at Arsenal and is fed up because of his injuries. As if the injuries have anything to do with Arsenal…

  5. Ceballos really into it tonight…splendid touches, winning one on ones, beautiful passing.
    Looks like he regained full fitness…looks promising

  6. OOOOOoopps was that 1 -0 nooooo it is 2 – 0!!

    Auba nicks the ball from Krul and scores the fastest 50 for Arsenal and the soon after gets a long ball from Luiz that he passes to Xhaka who belts it into the net from wide of the 6 yard box.

  7. @Mikey,

    it just proves one point. Those scribblers are lazy, incapable of doing their homework and check the issues, and most probably incapable of understanding some basic concepts. Incompetence is the word I believe.

    If I am not mistaken. Saka was born on September 5th 2001.
    So last summer before the start of the season he was not yet 18, and his running contract most probably was the first professional one he signed at Arsenal.
    On June 30th this year it ran out. he is now 18 years old and almost 10 months.
    And rules and regulations forbid clubs to tie down players under 18.
    So a longer contract would have been illegal. Which by the way did not stop Chelsea and Liverpool do sign some… fact for which they had bans

    If I am mistaken…apologies…
    So yesterday his (probable first) professionnal contract ran out. And on the next day, July 1st, Arsenal sign him for 4 years.
    Now maybe they did not sign him at 00:01 and instead waited a few hours intp the morning, which proves their incompetence, does it not.

  8. @ Chris

    As much as it annoys me that people who are paid “journalists” are lazy, that’s up to them and their employers. What really, really upsets me is that people who claim to “support” the club believe the nonsense they write and then disrupt and destabilise it by continually parroting the rubbish they read. It’s funny how we’ve been told we don’t need experts but everybody thinks they are one…..grrrr!

    Great first half btw. I know Norwich are not a top club but they are today’s opposition and we’re doing a very sound job against them.

  9. @Mickey,

    well, totally agree with you. And as forthe 1st half, Martinez is outstanding, the idiots on TV were keeping on making fun of Xhaka who definitely does not have his place only to have to eat their hat…

    And if I am not wrong, we had just 1 (ONE) foul against us in the first half and 6 shots on target which has not happened in years and years…

  10. Mikey and Chris

    “Those scribblers are lazy, incapable of doing their homework and check the issues”

    I wish it was just that, I really do, but as I have said on many occasions, it is worse and more insidious than that. Personally I believe they know that what they are saying is, at best an outrageous guess, and at worst totally made up.

    They spend a month or more stirring shite. Using a simple period of negotiation, that happens ALL the time at EVERY club, as an excuse to bash Arsenal by infering it’s not going well and of course that this ALWAYS happens at Arsenal, which are both clearly gross exaggerations at best, and completely false at worst.

    But, when that is what it turns out to be, bullshit basically, the damage is done. The ‘Arsenal are incompetent’ mantra has been reinforced yet again.

  11. It’s interesting how when we’re 2-0 up all the commentators can do is wax lyrical about Norwich’s youngsters and what a good position they’d be in if they got one back. Anybody would think they were winning 2-0!

  12. Nitram – that was a simulation that needed a card.

    Auba punishes the mistake by a poor pass at the back.
    3-0 to the Arsenal

  13. @Mickey,

    I believe that any half competent person would not produce as much BS and have a minimum of pride in trying to do her job.
    So what happens is that they choose incompetents – they are the only ones who are (more then) willing to be the idiots in the room – who are just happy to sread all sorts of idiotic affirmations and feel like they are important.

    If this were not the case, we’d be reading and listening to the likes of Arsene Wenger and many other intelligent footballers and coaches, would we not ?

    This is incomptence as a system, as a strategy, as a lifestyle : I’m stupid and I am proud of it. Which basically is something we see at many echelons of football in England, do we not ? FA ? PIGMOB ? Player union ?

  14. I can just hear Delia shouting ‘lets be having you Farquar!!’. ‘Get your balls together!!’.

  15. Lovely shot by Cedric into the near post via a flick off Aubas shoulder. $-0 to the Arsenal.

    Now the pundits having a go at Arteta’s job getting this Arsenal squad into a winning team.

  16. Wonder if the commentator did not pull a Lawrence ?

    he said : this is only the second time this year that Arsenal win by 4 goals.

    Does anyone have the stat on the other teams ?

  17. Auba’s first is the second goal Arsenal have scored recently by pressing the keeper. Love to see this. Good things happen with pressure. Good forward play and very good midfield play today. COYG!

  18. A good performance all round, including the referee – not often I say that!

  19. Chris

    I’m assuming they were talking PL?

    Was it SCORING 4 or by 4 ?


    Man Utd have scored 4 twice beating Newcastle 4 – 1 and Norwich 4 – 0 both at OT.

    Spurs also twice beating palace 4 – 0 any going 1 better with 5 against Burnley.

    So it sounds like they’re doing their usual trick a la Ami Lawrence as you say by highlighting a stat in a negative way without giving it any context whatsoever.

    But apparently according to some they do that to everyone so I wouldn’t worry about it. Of course they do.

  20. we ought to create a prize and hand it out each year. The Lawrence

    And keep track of that, be it with Arsenal or other teams…

    That would be fun…. ;=)

  21. Chris

    And was it just the PL?

    If so then Man Utd have also won BY 4 goals ‘only’ twice, and Spurs ‘only’ ONCE.

    I hope I haven’t got that wrong cos I only had a quick look.

  22. @Nitram,

    yes and no. The statement was :

    it is only the second time in 2020 that Arsenal have won by a 4 goal difference. That’s all.

    I wondered if anyone had the stats for all PL teams.

    The comment, if I am not wrong was by Lizarazu, the french ex-player of Bayern. The same who was making fun of Xhaka who definitely does not have his place in the team, ist good at everything and excellent at nothing, etc, etc.

    Idiots are not only English, trust me… !

    Anyway, he’s got a chance at winning the first Lawrence price !

  23. Chris

    “We ought to create a prize and hand it out each year”

    Great idea.

    We could call it:

    ‘The Lawrence award for the most ridiculously contrived set of statistics deliberately taken out of context simply in order to make Arsenal look bad award’.

    How’s that for a catchy name.

  24. Andrew Crawshaw

    Yep another very good refereeing performance.

    I cant see this going on much longer. We must be due some pay back soon.

  25. Two unbiased referees in successive matches. This is a most unusual experience.

    Riley must be seriously pissed off.

  26. It is interesting, there is this piece in the NYT that explains how the home crowd advantage has disapeared now that we play ghost games.
    The stats are clear. Same for refereeing. There is a statistical effect that is not a blip.

    Now we’ve just got a home game, ended it on 4 goals difference, no goal let in.
    So this goes against stats…. yet when you think about how negative the Emirates turns, my take is that we are a better team with no home crowd…

    Guess the AAA now have a problem. If players just ignore their BS online, they are immune and can play… !

  27. I do wonder whether we’ve been refereed well for the last couple of games because Riley thought we’d probably win them anyway. Once we get into games that may be more of a challenge, perhaps that’ll be when they make sure we don’t do as well as we might. You know, turn three points into one or one point into zero.

  28. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well played guys!
    Truly enjoyed our play going forward. Still apprehensive when passing backwards and in and around our box.
    Up the Gunners !

  29. As for thebBS in reporting , did they notice that Arsenal played well , because there was no booing of our players ? And that the stadium was silent as before !
    Or that there was no toxic atmosphere afoot ?
    Or that all the statues are all still intact ?
    Or that guy and his daughter were not around to pass out those ‘Wenger out !’ , printouts ?
    And am sure there were no planes flying over the ground.
    Long may it last !

  30. This may be fake news !

    Manchester police stopped 100 Liverpool fans with flares outside Old Trafford.
    Turned out that were the same flares they were wearing the last time they won the league !

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