Gabriel and William Saliba in action for Arsenal

Arsenal should change nothing while Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp comes under fire

Should Arsenal be changing their centre-back partnership after a record start? And should Jurgen Klopp stop acting like a child?

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Drop Gabriel? Why would Mikel Arteta do that?
Arsenal are currently top of the league and have a young, physically imposing, complementary, effective CB pairing that will only improve with games together. Yet 10 games into the league season there are calls to break it up and ‘give Tomiyasu a try at left CB’ or ‘bring White back in and shift Saliba left’.

I also notice that many Arsenal supporters are starting to slate Gabriel – with the word ‘liability’ being used with alarming regularity. Liability, seriously?

William Saliba is a monster of a CB and looks like he could go on to be one of the world’s best, yet off the top of my head I’ve seen him score an OG, concede a penalty and force a top-class save from Ramsdale – in 11 games with not an ounce of criticism.

Tomiyasu is a fine defender, he’s rarely beaten 1 v 1 or in the air and has shown he can play across the backline – good, we’ll need hm to given our injury record at the back. Tierney has never been fit for a full season, Zinchenko currently out and Tomiyasu himself has already shown he’s prone to an injury since joining the club.

Ben White is a very underrated player who has excelled at CB and RB for Arsenal – he’s had to, again given our injury issues.

So, given Tierney and Tomiyasu’s injury record so far, the gap between White and Cedric at RB and Zinchenko’s current issue, why are people calling for Arteta to change a consistent, winning CB partnership that logic says will improve as a unit and has Arsenal top of the league?

At some point Gabriel will need a rest, so will Saliba.

It’s great that we have better options than we’ve had for a while. But as a partnership, I don’t think there’s any reason to separate those two. They will both make mistakes, but one just seems to have become a bit of a lightning rod.

That said, if Saliba comes through Southampton cardless, I’d rest him against Forest given he’s on four yellows and another would see him suspended against Chelsea
Doug, AFC, Belfast


VAR from perfect but it protected 1-0 to the Arsenal
Sorry – but without VAR – Bamford gets away with his shove on Gabriel. Gabriel gets sent off. Leeds probably put away the second penalty and we end up with one point rather than three.

And yes, I get there will be those that think Leeds played better so deserved the points but until we get into a Strictly situation where points are awarded for artistic interpretation, football is settled on goals.

Maybe the injustices would have evened out over the season but for right now, all I care about is getting as many points as we can while the going is good to secure Champions League football as quickly as we can.

I know you’re supposed to enjoy battering sides more but there’s something wonderfully comforting about a 1-0 to the Arsenal and we’ve had two in a week thanks to Saka.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


The cull has been brutal
Unai Emery’s only full season in charge included the following players:

Maitland Niles

The cull has been brutal (27 players). The recruitment to replace them has been phenomenal.
Naz, Gooner


Has anybody heard from Stewie?
Four points clear in mid-October, with our best ever start to a season…

Stewie, you seem to be very quiet at the moment?
Omar (Artekkers)


Winning like champions
Sunday’s Arsenal win (shout out to Leeds for giving us by far our toughest match of the season so far btw) and the line in the F365 match report that we ‘won like champions’ got me thinking – what are the most ‘won like champions’ victories in PL history?
MAW, LA Gooner (We won’t win league that’s not the point.)


What a great weekend of football
My team Leicester didn’t lose then both City and Barca lost. I’m actually hoping Arsenal win the league, haven’t said that since one of my all time favorites and complete legend Kanu left the club.

I am sure however that if Arsenal do win the title, Guardiola will probably get most of the praise from his stans in the media and online because he had Arteta on his staff for 3 years at City.
William, Leicester


He’s a Kepa

Just a quick note to say how pleased I am that Kepa looks to have turned the corner and may just return to the bosom of Chelsea fans. Felt for him, in the past as literally any twat who launched one top bins it went in!!!

The lad couldn’t catch a break, but with a new manager he seems to have found confidence. Let’s hope fans will get behind him and the days of having to turn off his social media are behind him.

Actually, feel quite emotional for the lad, he has had some very dark times and has always kept his counsel. Such a great example to others in the squad.
P Didi


Palace and more from that man Ed
From the people who brought you ‘fourth place is as good as a trophy’, fan TV and Stewie Griffin, comes ‘Invincibles Day’, perfect for making other people’s business all about you.

* Leicester City hosted Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime, in a game described by all who saw it as ‘played on Saturday lunchtime’. Little of any note happened, although Palace fans will have raised a wry eyebrow at James Maddison being penalised again for diving. I don’t think being in the England squad requires moral rectitude but you have to wonder what the onlooking Gareth Southgate made of that and the performance in general of a player around whom there is clamour for his inclusion. For my own part, I think Maddison is on the outside looking in because he isn’t as clinical in front of goal as Southgate’s preferred attacking midfielders, and isn’t sufficiently different enough from any of the others to be described as giving the manager options. He’s a good player, but sometimes that on its own isn’t enough, unfortunately.

* Palace were terrible. If it was perfect, it wouldn’t be Palace, but even by the standards of that maxim, it was not good. This week, the problem was in midfield. Cheick Doucoure had made a promising start to life in Patrick Vieira’s side but his form has dipped in the last couple of games. He was signed to be the primary defensive midfielder, but recently Doucoure has needed to be substituted as a precaution against him being sent off, with the Serbian former club captain coming on in his place. When Luka Milivojevic is seen as less of a disciplinary risk than you, you either have or are a problem.

It’s not entirely Doucoure’s fault; either side of him, Eberechi Eze and Jeffrey Schlupp offer plenty in attack, but were lightweight in defence. City completely overran them, exposing the defence and cutting off supply to the attack for most of the game. These isn’t necessarily a complicated problem to fix, but something needs adjusting and soon.

* That Palace weren’t punished by City was in large part down to Vicente Guaita, who was excellent in goal.

* Next up, the Eagles swap vulpines for lupines, hosting Wolverhampton on Tuesday night. Another game they could win, but another game against an opponent who will see their general lack of form and fancy it as an opportunity to kickstart the weekend.

* Referee abuse corner. top giving media airtime to managers who have been punished for their conduct towards officials. Take AFC Wimbledon, for example. They conceded a goal but believed a foul was committed in the build-up. Manager Johnny Jackson received a yellow card for his protests. Jackson then appeared on the EFL highlights programme and, over footage of his remonstrations, says he “probably couldn’t repeat” what he said to the officials, something that went unremarked upon by either Hugh Woozencroft or Sam Parkin. There probably wasn’t time to get into an argument, but by not challenging him on his conduct, it’s hard not to see that behaviour as condoned or legitimised.

There is a long and cliched list of things ‘no one likes to see’, which is why the cameras have to cut away. However, several times a game we will see an angry mob of players surround the referee, something I do not believe for a second anyone actually likes seeing.

* Then we get to Jurgen Klopp. While it’s not always right to compare football to the real world, there are times in my job where I end up being shouted at for someone else’s mistake. It’s never fun, not least because there’s no workable solution – it’s not fair to throw a colleague under the bus but it’s equally unfair that they don’t reap the consequences of their actions. The German Mourinho was incensed by a foul in a reasonably innocuous area of the field (it is Manchester City after all), he reacted incredibly aggressively towards the assistant referee, taking out his rage on someone not at fault at all. An interesting look for someone in his position.
Ed Quoththeraven


Klopp it. Now.
I couldn’t agree more with Sam, Newtownabbey. This weekend in Liverpool, there was a region-wide postponement of youth league football (from U-7s all the way up to U-16s), precisely to raise awareness about the abuse referees face from parents and coaches. It’s clearly a serious issue. Here’s the full story:

‘Even his child shouted shut up dad’: Referee abused by ranting dad at under-11s match backs calls for change – Liverpool Echo

And then you have the TV images of a demented Jürgen Klopp literally screaming in the linesman’s face, and we wonder where kids get the idea that it’s OK to abuse the referee. He should be absolutely ashamed of himself, as should the media for indulging him because he smiles at the cameras.
Kevin, Dublin


Actually, referees are biased against Salah and Klopp
Liverpool v City was a great match as it usually is. Intense, fast paced and at times had that aggressive streak which everyone seems to think is the answer to something big in rivalries.

I watched the Arsenal game with my brother who argued vehemently Thiago pen was not a pen, I replied saying don’t give the ref excuses – especially in the box. Fast forward to yesterday and Foden scored but in the build up Haaland pulled Fabinho shirt, does fab go down easy? It’s genuinely irrelevant because there is no amount of shirt pulling which is allowed. It’s not like using body weight to challenge whereby there is wiggle room. Shirt pulling is flat out against the rules.

Don’t give the ref an excuse to blow the whistle and the goal isn’t disallowed.

The average speedy wide forward gets a referee decision every 37 minutes. Salah gets one every 100 minutes, that’s not just UK that the whole of Europe. The next closest is Gnabry every 60 minutes. So while I do agree Klopp should have received a red card and that’s not acceptable his point later when he said “what do mo Salah have to do to get a free kick” is valid. He is statistically the forward who gets the least decisions in Europe so it’s understandable Klopp would be angry – though he should not have reacted how he did.

I felt like we deserved the win and were the better side overall. I was one of the doom merchants prior who predicted a Haaland hattrick and a Liverpool defeat so I’m happy to be wrong. Nice to see Jürgen understood the problem too. Everyone is so focused on Haaland and marking him but the biggest weakness of pure finishers is supply. Quite a lot of Haaland’s goals come at the end of the move at the back post, stop the ball getting there and you stop him. The midfield did a great job in keeping De Bruyne quiet, which also kept Haaland quiet.

Lastly the fans who threw coins should be banned for life. Zero tolerance. The City fans who drew graffiti about Hillsborough should also be banned for life. One doesn’t justify the other both are totally unacceptable though I do find it very low behaviour to scribble grafiti about the death of football fans just because you’re losing.

Hopefully this jump starts us now. Arsenal saw improvement in some areas, Rangers saw key players wake up the City game was the entire team waking up. I was even surprised to see Jurgen look relaxed and happy before the game as he’s been very tense and snappy recently.

Finally on the issue of Jürgen red (which again I agree with) why didn’t Pep get a card? He too screamed at officials, be always does … Every manager does – why is it only a card offense when Klopp does it?


What a game for your first at Anfield…
Long time LFC fan; got a chance to be in UK for a week. Decided that it was finally a time to see my first game at Anfield. Checked the PL calendar and boy, what a match up…. Got two more buddies to join in, but all tickets were sold out. So eventually ended up buying the overpriced hospitality tickets coz not gonna do this everyday.

Anyway, flew Fri afternoon from Atlanta, landed in Manchester on Saturday early AM. Took a train to Liverpool Lime Station while hiding away my Allison jersey under a jacket not knowing what to expect from the fellow travelers.

Visited Anfield and did other touristy things. Came back to Manchester in the night hiding the scarves that we bought for the game. Don’t ask me why we stayed in Manchester. Poor planning!

Sunday morning we drove back to Liverpool, went go Aintree Racecourse for lunch and a chat with Jimmy Case. More fans like us who came (some alone) from far away places like Argentina, Singapore, and Telford. Took the first coach to Anfield as the anticipation was too much.


Anfield was rocking… fans were singing. YNWA feels as emotional as you can imagine watching it on TV. You can hear it on the Television but you can never feel the vibrations you feel it in the stands… it is real…

We sat right above the city supporters (section 221). Yeah there were chants about Hillsbrough, “always the victims”, “racist b*stards”, etc. it was fiesty. Our section was heavily policed and nothing happened except banter until the chants and the goal. Couldn’t see the coins thrown incident because that happened towards the middle of the field but can imagine someone losing their cool (and hope they pay for it).

Beer was cheap, food bland. Game awesome and the love real. Can’t wait to come back!


Not a lovely bit of Barclays
Please stop referring to the Premier League by the name of its sponsor when it is exciting and relentlessly unpredictable. It is pretty weird. Are they paying you? Banks getting over-excited and reckless and leading to chaos is not great. You keep mentioning sportswashiing, and the sponsor relationship here seems similar. Maybe just use their name when the game is all a bit shit, screws over fans, and generally highlights how things are often broken and terrible and ruled by money?

Maybe a small thing, and I love the site, just that bit ticks me off.

#Arsenal #change #Liverpool #manager #Jurgen #Klopp #fire

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