Olympiacos v Arsenal; the Arsenal line-up, and what could be done about referees

By Bulldog Drummond

Quite possibly because many websites have been following the Daily Mirror lead which suggests that Arsenal are about to sell half of their first team squad, there is not too much info available about Olympiacos.   Indeed the match fixing findings and banning from the league have been totally ignored by the media for reasons that only they will understand.

But we are told that Ruben Semedo, Ousseynou Ba and Avraam Papadopoulos are injured.

Radio Times forecasts 1-1 which is a score that quite a few others are happy to copy.

So far we have scored 100 goals in the Europa League, although Tottenham, who have of course had much more practice at the Europa League thing, have scored more than we have in the competition.  Although only just, currently being on 101.

And of course Sokratis Papastathopoulos who played for us in the 2019 Europa final now plays for Olympiacos.  We await BT Sport’s comment about him asking all the questions. 

Another pairing is that of Bruma, now with Olympiacos and Emile Smith Rowe, who both played togther at Red Bull Leipzig in 2018/19.  

And if you want something really ludicrously trivial, we have Mathieu Valbuena and Lacazette both playing for Lyon – although not at the same time!

But Arsenal should enter this pairing remembering that Olympiacos lost their first five matches in the Champions League this season, which is why they are in the Europa (Greek law ensuring that no matter what they do, they win the domestic league).

And let us have our moment of glory.  The 20 goals we scored in the preliminary round is the highest ever by an English team.

So, moving along, Sports Mole offer a team of


Cedric, Luiz, Mari, Tierney;

Xhaka, Partey;

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;


The Hard Tackle goes with 


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel Tierney;

Xhaka, Ceballos

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;



The Short Fuse offers


Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka,

Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe;


The Standard goes with


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;



Kevin Campbell on Sky Sports reported on HITC tries his luck with


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Tierney;

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe,


The first choice team thus becomes


Bellerin Luiz Gabriel Tierney

Xhaka Partey

Saka, Odegaard, Pepe;



Just going back one step, I know that Mr Campbell has of late said a few odd things, but really, I don’t think we have the Tierney twins in the squad at the moment.  I mean, if we did, surely we might have noticed.  I’m not sure if someone is larking around, or if this is an HITC cockup or that of our Kev.

Oh yes, and TBR tell us that “Arsenal have confirmed that young goalkeeper, Hubert Gracyzk, has signed his first professional contract with the club at the age of 18.”

And while we are on a bit of a meander, Lancs Live has the comment ‘I don’t understand Arsenal not getting a penalty against Burnley’ made by a Mr P. Guardiloa of Lancashire.   I wonder why the managers of clubs that feel that refereeing in the Premier League is now totally out of control don’t get together and make a clear demand, such as sort this out by the start of next season, or we refuse to play under your auspices.

“Sort it out” would mean we… 

a) have the same number of referees being used equally, as other major leagues in Europe.

b) have a balanced geographic spread of referees.

c) restrict the number of times a referee handles a match involving each club in the PL to two per season, as an insurance against bias (conscious or unconscious).

d) make all decisions of the referee available on line after each match so we can all check the 98% accuracy claim made by the PGMO.

e) have an analysis of home and away results this season made on line, and then a comparison made with the last season where crowds attended all games.  Then offer an explanation as to why the two are so different.  If that explanation is different from the findings of the LSE research, explain why.

f) make referees available for interview on TV after a match.

g) explain why none of the above have been done before.

Of course that’s not all we want, but it would be a start.

It is the fact that this is such an utterly reasonable set of demands and yet is not considered by PGMO and never considered by the English media, that makes me continue to believe something dodgy is going on.



13 Replies to “Olympiacos v Arsenal; the Arsenal line-up, and what could be done about referees”

  1. Because the media are quite happy with things just as they are, what with the PGMOL and their agents in black only being answerable to their good selves.

    Why on earth would the media what them answerable to the fans, the clubs, or heaven forbid the Laws of the game ?

    Nope, they’re very happy just the way it is thank you very much.

  2. I see the incompetence of the English referees was on show for all to see in the Champions League during the PSG v Barcelona game last night, where the Spanish side fell victim to an unbelievable refereeing blunder.
    The five strong English officiating team spearheaded by ref Anthony Taylor with Andre Marriner as the VAR official somehow failed to spot an encroachment by a PSG player for the missed Barcelona penalty. The penalty should have been retaken, but the buffoon Mariner in the VAR studio missed the PSG player inside the area, who to make matters worse, was able to clear the ball for a corner after the goalie had saved the shot because of his head start over the other players. You would think it virtually impossible for the VAR official to miss this, given it is almost all he has to concentrate on whilst the penalty is taken.
    I think any of my young grand children would have noticed what the useless Marriner and the others missed.
    So how many English officials does it take to completely cock up a penalty?
    Answers on a postcard please.
    The first entrant to give the correct answer wins a genuine PIGMOB whistle.

  3. Confirmed
    Arsenal starting XI: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Willian, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang.

    Arsenal substitutes: Ryan, Hein, Ceballos, Lacazette, Holding, Cedric, Pepe, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Smith Rowe, Martinelli.

  4. Not forgetting Mick the appalling penalty given for PSG in the same match. Now in the Utd match AC Milan have a brilliant goal ruled out for an apparent handball when it clearly hit his hip. Even Scholes admitted it wasn’t handball. What is the point in VAR when they make these decisions?

  5. Mick, did not the same thing happen to us against the scum a couple of seasons ago, when a penalty was saved and then the ball kicked away by a scum player who had encroached in the box before the penalty was taken?

  6. I see ESR on the bench and Willian on the pitch.

    I fear we will see much more of that the season.

    What ESR does is an anathema to Arteta’s style of play and it was only a matter of time before he was phased out in favour of that star of the game Willian.

    You see that Willian has learnt to do what he is told, whilst ESR plays by instinct and inspiration a la the Exile and that will not do, will it?

  7. Excellent win after again a terrible error when trying to play out from the back. Could we please stop shooting ourselves in the foot with that tactic?
    Excellent ref by the way. Could we transfer him to the PL?

  8. Jigsol,

    Your memory is correct. It was the PGMOL way of making up for the “mistake” of giving Arsenal a penalty in the first place. To add to this, Torreira was given a red card for taking the ball off a Spurs player.

    I can’t remember whether it was Taylor or Moss

  9. Walter

    Arsenal.com just said 7 of our last 14 goals have been from individual errors.

  10. Olympiacos

    2 cards for 13 fouls


    1 card for 5 fouls and that was never a yellow card offence.

    Again a team targets Saka.

    Same old same old

  11. On Olympiakos goal…IMO, that was more of an error from Leno than from Ceballos. By the time the ball got to him, he had no time.

  12. The ref was better than any PGMOL official, though he did let a few off without cards in the first half. Our keeper needs a loan spell in the academy. He cannot tell the difference between a safe pass and a goal opportunity. He wasn’t the only bearer of gifts.

    We had an excellent set of goals, in my opinion Gabriel rising to shake hands with St Peter before heading a beautiful goal was the best. Mo Elneny putting his offering in the net without gift wrapping was magnificent.

    We are partially set for the next game with the PGMOL and their roast chickens from north London. It’s time to give them hell.

  13. Harry Kane bound to be the one with the red card non red card challenge on Saka at the weekend

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