Arsenal v Dundalk the unconfirmed confirmed confirmations of the teams

by Bulldog Drummond

In the last couple of years a number of newspapers have started to put up headlines which say “the confirmed teams” a day or two before the match.  The details that follow are nothing of the sort – the club doesn’t actually confirm the team until one hour before kick off at which point the team sheets are handed to the referee who then passes them on to his or her officials and to the other team.

Hence my little nonsense in the headline.  Nothing is confirmed.  Not even the end of the world – although that is predicted in the book of Revelations if you want to take a quick peek.  No mention of today’s match there however, so we should be ok.

But I digress.  Today the Standard has a new twist with “Confirmed early team news” but they don’t give us a lineup.   In fact it is nothing of the kind, but is instead an attack on Arsenal’s transfer policy as they say that…

“Arsenal have just two centre-backs available for the match at Emirates Stadium as Sokratis Papastathopoulos and William Saliba were not registered for the Europa League, while Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding are, like Luiz, not fit to feature.”

Oh, so it could be an upset then!  How exciting!

Anyway, the two centre backs should be, according to pretty much everyone, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The BBC have a feature on Reiss Nelson saying, “Arteta could hand Reiss Nelson a taste of European football after the Spanish boss revealed the club looked to loan out the forward during the summer – but Nelson wanted to stay to fight for his place.

“The 20-year-old started three of the first four games of Arteta’s reign as Arsenal manager but has so far only managed 81 minutes of first-team action this season.”

But I wonder, why is the nationality of Arteta relevant at this point?

Sportsmole do have a go at the team with


Soares, Mustafi, Gabriel, Kolasinac;

Elneny, Ceballos;

Nelson, Willock, Pepe;


The Hard Tackle go with the same players but a different positional selection…


Cedric, Mustafi, Gabriel, Kolasinac;

Ceballos, Elneny, Willock;

Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson

90 min tell us how to watch it on TV.  Last time I looked one either turned the set on and found the station or (in my case, not being one who wants to give BT Sprout a penny of my hard earned cash) trot off to a pub with the TV and buy a pint.  That way you get a drink and its cheaper than a subscription.

They do however oblige us with a different line up


Cedric, Mustafi, Gabriel, Kolasinac;

Willock, Elneny, Maitland-Niles;

Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Nelson.

The Short fuse provides another variation


Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Gabriel, Kolasinac;

Ceballos, Elneny, Willock;

Pepe, Nketiah, Willian

Sqwaka cheat a little bit by offering us the line up for the game against Leicester, which I don’t think really helps too much.

Finally the opposition manager, Filippo Giovagnoli,  has been having his say on the matters in hand.  He’s an interesting guy having only played one season in the third tier of Italian football before he retired in 2003, and started coaching at the lower levels, with the under 19 team of Serie C club Gubbio 1910.

But then he got a rapid rise, working as technical director of AC Milan Soccer Camps in Italy and then by 2014 in the USA where he gained his A licence.  And his knowledge of English, which fits in well with working in Ireland.

He became interim head coach of Dundalk on 25th August 2020 until the end of this season after the previous manager Vinny Perth was dismissed when Dundalk were beateb by NK Celje in the first qualifying round of Champions League this season.  Celje won the Slovenian league last season, so it is not quite like being beaten by a team from San Marino.

Speaking of Arsenal he said, “We just need to try to make them uncomfortable.  The difference in quality is obvious. What a lightweight can do with a heavyweight is they have to work more. If you get close to them then they’re going to kill you.

“There’s not really a way to compare the two sports in terms of performance because a lightweight eventually has to run more. How is it possible to run more than Arsenal?

“We just have to match their intensity for a part of the game and stay focused and play with passion and with these kind of characteristics.”

Which is actually a much fairer and more open way of talking before the game that we normally get from managers of lower league teams.  Hence our decision to cover his comments.  He seems a decent bloke.

12 Replies to “Arsenal v Dundalk the unconfirmed confirmed confirmations of the teams”

  1. Sorry to go off topic but in case anyone missed it this is how far SKY and their lackeys are prepared to go to make out that VAR didn’t screw us over. This from Dermott Gallagher regarding Lacazettes disallowed goal.

    VERDICT: It’s difficult for me to explain this. Offside is not my specialist subject and I sought guidance on this as to why it was disallowed. My first reaction was that Xhaka touched the ball, but he doesn’t.

    The assistant flags because he thinks Xhaka is in the vision of the goalkeeper. They feel he’s so close to Kasper Schmeichel and the goal in his starting position that it impacts on the goalkeeper and his ability to move either way. That’s why it was disallowed. The assistant signalled it to the referee, the referee agreed with it and the VAR felt the assistant and the referee were right on this occasion.


    So in order to avoid coming to the absolutely obvious conclusion that it should never of been disallowed, by way of mitigation he claims “Offside is not my specialist subject”. WTF !!

    How can any referee, ex or otherwise, especially a ‘professional’, have the temerity to claim that he is not an expert on what is probably the most important, match defining rule in the entire Laws of the Game ?

    Disgraceful and embarrasing, but it seems he’s prepared to make himself look such a complete twat simply in order to avoid having to admit Arsenal were totally screwed by the corrupt VAR. Quite astonishing.

    Yet of course he goes on to say Bellerin should of been sent of for a second yellow and Fuchs hand ball wasn’t a penalty. There’s a surprise.

    Quite simply unbelievable

  2. Should it be Nitram be shocking? I stopped watching as it was getting bad for my health. The hate is real!

  3. Dermott Gallagher is my specialist subject as are his former comrades in PGMOL.

    They are all cheating lying corrupt bastards select at that!! Born of simplicity, converts to the game of football in the FIFA way where money matters and sport does not. They are supported by the media who despite being told the obvious truth work out a way to lie.

  4. Mike Riley will want to sign up this ref. 18 fouls against us for virtually any contact whatsoever and not one of n our favour after 79 minutes!!!

  5. @Menace Those he can’t ref lol @Mikey its just hard work watching if the arsenal players breath to heavyly a foul is called…

  6. Final stats of this ref: Arsenal 20 fouls – Dundalk 0 (zero)
    A not given penalty for a foul on Nelson, a clear pull in the last minutes were just the two most blatant decisions he didn’t want to give to Arsenal.
    This ref made look Dean, Taylor and other Rileys look like decent and unbiased refs….

  7. Don’t know where this ref is from but he must have got his tickets from our FA. He looks like Riley in disguise.

    Dandalk’s captain wanted Willocks shirt before the game ended and the ref wouldn’t let him have it.

  8. Luckily it didn’t matter but this ref really was a joke, although I suppose some people might say we were lucky as we didn’t get a single card for those 20 fouls 🤣

  9. The officials were:

    Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
    Assistant Referee 1: Peter Bednar (SVK)
    Assistant Referee 2: František Ferenc (SVK)
    Fourth Official: Michal Ocenáš (SVK)
    UEFA Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)
    UEFA Delegate: Philip Woosnam (WAL)

    Note the referee observer- That might explain the truly terrible performance tonight.

    I have said before that I am not an Arsenal fan but even I, as a neutral, know when I have seen yet another truly pathetic attempt at officiating.

    How do they pick them?

    I did not listen to BT S**t pundits or commentators who I should think did not mention anything was wrong.

    What really makes me sick is that this is now almost normal for UEFA refereeing displays in both tournaments.

  10. OT: I like the way that Joe Willock is willing to make runs. Ramsey used to do that not so long ago.

  11. @Les Williams – the observer should report on the officiating of the game. I wonder if this report is available at some point?

    This Sundays PGMOL select cheats:
    Referee: Mike Dean. Assistants: Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Anthony Taylor. VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Neil Davies.

    The boys have to play against 17. Riley & Fergie united.

  12. @Menace – with Hugh Dallas as that official I would not trust it, Try reading about the Lanarkshire Mafia in Scottish refereeing.

    Just like the PIGMOB all come from the North of England – most of the Scottish referees come from Lanarkshire, Hugh Dallas son Andrew is now a “top” referee!!!

    Looks like PIGMOB really want Arsenal to lose on Sunday. With the commentators that will be 19 for the opposition.

    As I have said before I am not an Arsenal supporter. On that note can someone explain to me why Martin Keown hates them now???

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