Arsenal Turn Up At Palace

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Vast improvement on previous visit to Selhurst Park sees Gunners take three points

Back in April, Arsenal left Selhurst Park with their tails between their legs and the boos of their supporters ringing in their ears, after a heartless performance saw them dismissed 3-0 by a team that were, at the time, trying to ensure they escaped the relegation dogfight. Sam Allardyce was their manager back then. Roy Hodgson has replaced the latterís successor, Frank de Boer, and after initially posting some bad results, they have lately been on a good run.

However, Hodgson did not set his team up as well as Fat Sam did to counter Arsenalís strengths, and the consequence was that, with time and space to work in, Arsene Wengerís team fashioned three goals on a chilly late December evening. Defensively, they remain highly suspect, but by conceding less than they converted, they are three points better off than they were yesterday afternoon.

It was ironic that the two standout performers were two of the names that look set to depart the club, either in January (Sanchez) or the summer (Wilshere). The club will make noises about fresh contract talks, but the Chilean is 100% leaving and there have to be questions about the relationship between Wilshere and his manager. My prediction is that if Wenger remains in charge the number 10 will depart, although Iíll withdraw that if once Aaron Ramsey is fit, Wilshere remains in the starting eleven until the end of the campaign. On current form, he should.

I read (from memory) somewhere on Twitter that when Wilshere plays, Alexis does not feel the temptation to drop deep to get the ball. This is because Jack combines creativity and thrust. It was such ability that led to a free kick midway through the first half not far from the Palace box. Although initially it looked wasted, subsequently Lacazette created a chance from wide and shot at the Palace keeper. He could only parry it onto the foot of Mustafi who neatly tucked it away first time from a very tight angle.

Kolasinac, Mustafi and Calum Chambers had come in as starters, replacing Maitland-Niles, the injured Monreal and Iwobi from the starting line-up against Liverpool, as Wenger reverted to a back three. In truth, none of them covered themselves in glory. Early in the second half, Mustafi allowed Zaha way too much space to get a low cross in that was converted by an unmarked Andros Townsend. 1-1.

Then, after doing not very much at all, Alexis Sanchez came to the party. He combined well with Lacazette before firing a snap shot just inside the post to restore Arsenalís lead. About three minutes later, Wilshere played a dream ball over the defence for the Chilean wantaway to control it with his chest before slotting it inside the same post he had placed the ball earlier. 3-1 and easy street.

Arsenal being Arsenal, they gave Palace a chink of light late on when ex-Hammer Stephen Tompkin scored a header from a corner, which would have been prevented if Wenger ordered a couple of his defenders to mark the posts. It reminded of many a goal conceded by Arsenal at corners. Zonal marking allows the attacking player to get more of a jump than whoever is covering the space. But it was too little too late. The Gunners weathered four minutes of injury time and the points were secured.

Next up, West Brom away, a reminder of another horrific performance last season. Tony Pulis was their manager then, although he has since been given the boot, Alan Pardew is his replacement. Hodgson, Pulis, Pardew Ė all these guys have managed both Palace and West Brom. And more often than not, been beaten by Arsenal. Letís see what happens on New Yearís DayÖ

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29th December 2017 08:35:49


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Paulo75  9:20am 29th Dec 2017

A welcome 3 points to keep in touch for CL places but must be followed up by wins over WBA and Chelsea. With January imminent hopefully we can cut our (significant) losses with Super Theo and ship him back to Southampton. A fraction of the £75m they received for Van Dyck will suffice. - Post No. 111436

Badarse  10:28am 29th Dec 2017

Good morning my little souffles. Here is another for mbg, I am pretty hot at numbers too, three, four, see what I mean? Anyway ask yourself if your number is up...my precious. Yes I shall be returning to my place on the hill as you so rightly predicted, it is much more serene. To put the warped record straight as you should never leave them besides the radiator. Yes my grandson was a superb runner doing a 5k parkrun in 18 mins 5 secs when 15, plus a very good two-footed footballer, like his dad and myself, two-footed that is. Yes my wonderful wife sets up the computer for me and puts things right as I am a dummy with these things and do not even possess a mobile phone. Though no friends or family read the OG in the past I have spoken to anyone regarding some exchanges, I think that is still allowed in your imagined draconian world, isn't it? So many facts for you to digest Nark, but your playmates will help you out in analysing and deconstructing. - Post No. 111438

Badarse  10:43am 29th Dec 2017

The Awards have been cancelled this year in the light of ruffling too many feathers. To be honest, (here he goes Nark), I haven't the heart for it, just the liver and a pair of knees, and that just isn't enough). I will offer the last already on the shelf though. The 'Grey sock and Sandal Award' has been retired in the absence of jeff wright, as has 'The Pizza Hut Award' in the retiring of jj, though his winkle pizza will go down in myth and legend for future generations. 'The Mercer/McLintock/Adams/Vieira Award', known informally as the Red and White Award, the most prestigious of trophies goes to TOOAW, for his diligence and stand alone opposition and unswerving loyalty to AFC. Well done buddy. Then finally the red and white ribbon of awards, 'Poster of the Year' goes to GoonerRon for his constancy and responses in the face of overwhelming odds, by still maintaining his dignity and respect for others. Have the best of years gentlemen, good old Arsenal. - Post No. 111439

The Man From UNCLE  11:04am 29th Dec 2017

The perfect scenario around 6.15pm next Sunday; 3 pts for us to keep up with the Bin Dippers and Spurz; and zero points for Mr "Made In England" Pardew on his mission to get yet another team relegated. - Post No. 111440

Exeter Ex  11:15am 29th Dec 2017

Another battle lost, another retreat... though not before conjuring up a convenient little narrative that he hopes accounts for all the contrary statements of the last day or so. And by awarding TOOAW one of two 'Red & White' awards for 'unswerving loyalty to AFC' - an individual who just days ago stated about Wenger "Arsenal is yours and yours alone" - Badarse has left us in no doubt exactly where his first loyalty lies. See you in a couple of days/weeks/months to repeat the cycle again. - Post No. 111441

TOOAW  12:18pm 29th Dec 2017

Good afternoon Badarse. I'd like to express my deep gratitude for your generous award. I am extremely proud to collect this award and it sits nicely with the team collecting 3 points last night. Clearly all of the hard work, passion and support of Arsenal FC has paid dividends. I am honoured that my work on OG has been recognised. This accomplishment is not something that I have achieved alone and there are many others who deserve to share this award. Lastly, I would like to thank the great man himself, Sir Arsene Wenger. A born winner who has given AFC everything and more. Ladies, Gentleman and Nark, Thank you. - Post No. 111442

Alsace  12:21pm 29th Dec 2017

Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone. If the Liverpool game provided 5 minutes of much needed fun (including the sudden silencing of the scousers) it also reinforced the weaknesses which haunt Arsenal. I will focus however on one. Wenger has no idea how to balance attack and defence. It doesn't matter how many defenders you bring on towards the end if they can't actually defend as a unit or as individuals. Wenger despite working more than 20000 days in football is a very poor coach. - Post No. 111443

markymark  12:57pm 29th Dec 2017

Toad - this winning remark you made about Wengo ??? Like titles last 13 years? Only club in world top 8 not to win a title in last decade. Yeah heís a winner! Jesus Wept. Badarse you finally seem to have regained your memory eh? More fake news? More twisted facts? Or just you realising youíve been caught and as always a major retreat .Its nice not to have to lie all the time isnít it Brian. - Post No. 111445

Cyril  13:00pm 29th Dec 2017

Alsace- so true. It wonít matter what formations he puts out as he has admitted he wants only one defender in his ideal world. When you have a team who want to [1-2] it out of the box when pressed and then pass it to death from the back when playing 3, you will have problems immediately. Any team with nous just needs to press us and we can have problems. This is not a formation problem, itís a Wengerball problem. Iíve said it a thousand times, we need to buy a top holding player. If his tippy tappy footy hasnít worked with four at the back, how can it work with 3. He says he prefers 4. Itís not because the formation is faulty, itís because he wonít change his football philosophy ever, even when the evidence that he is wholly wrong and has been for the past 12 years, stares him in the face. Itís clearer than ever that we will never improve under Wenger again. Any number of Managers would sort out the back 3 system. However, Iím sure he will find a way to subtly blame someone or something else for his failures. - Post No. 111446

Ando  14:19pm 29th Dec 2017

House! - Post No. 111447

mbg  14:29pm 29th Dec 2017

Nothing surprising, another win against a manager and team who sat back and admired and allowed the nice boys strut their stuff and a past it manager to look good, we knew the out come (if we didn't already) when that other failure hodgson layed on a reception for his counterpart when he arrived, I wonder did he bow as he came through the door. wenger out. - Post No. 111448

Paulward  15:46pm 29th Dec 2017

Roy too much of a gentleman to ruffle the feathers of the preening entity that he still refers to as ď The ArsenalĒ. His record of one win in 12 v us suggests an inferiority complex or simply an aversion to getting in our faces. Despite all this the fact is we looked like losing last night till Sanchez took a match winning hand. Best enjoy him and the enigmatic German whilst we can, there are even grimmer times around the corner. - Post No. 111450

MAF  16:25pm 29th Dec 2017

i thought some of our defending was Laurel + Hardy. better teams cut us open easily. we are giving away far too many goals to ever win anything. when Alexis scored it was plain for all to see he is not so popular in the dressing room now. he's given special treatment on days off to chile and the hes got the club on the backfoot and doesnt want to be there anyway. only old man zipper wenger would put up with such tosh. at least Levy + Potch got 50m for wantaway Carl Walker last summer i.e. took action. from what i have seen so far this season honestly, we are abt the 6th best team in the league these days and thats it. - Post No. 111451

mbg  16:27pm 29th Dec 2017

Yes, even with Hogson bowing and kneeling at TOF, we just scraped through again and managed to grab a win from the jaws of a draw/defeat. We want wenger out. - Post No. 111452

mbg  17:49pm 29th Dec 2017

The fiddler was at it again last night fiddling away, and how the media highlighted it,(where was Toady when his messiah needed him) what a fooking laughing stock and embarrassment this old clown has become. wenger out now. - Post No. 111453

CORNISH GOONER  19:10pm 29th Dec 2017

Oh dear, oh dear - a win against relegation fodder & out come the Terrible Two again spouting incomprehensible rubbish. The only sensible words being a reference to "good OLD Arsenal" - we would all drink to that, so would the horrible twosome try to help us get it back & remind Arthur that the "A" in AFC does not refer to him. - Post No. 111454

markymark  19:49pm 29th Dec 2017

Guardian just run a story saying definitely split dressing room with SŠnchez being unpopular . The way itís written suggests inside information. - Post No. 111455

TOOAW  20:13pm 29th Dec 2017

Nark. Your observation appears to be 20 hours late. Keep up fella. That ain't gonna win you the Red and White Award next year is it. - Post No. 111456

mbg  20:44pm 29th Dec 2017

Toady, wrong again, it's never to late, today, yesterday, last week, Month, Year, etc, it's always good to keep reminding wengerites like you of these things, because you and your ilk hate that, being reminded of your messiah's embarrassments, humiliations and failures, you all would just love them never mentioned all forgotten, wouldn't you(from one game to the next) and air brushed out of history, but that's never going to happen even when he's long gone we'll still be reminding you, the perry's and AKB wengerites of them. wenger out. - Post No. 111457

GoonerRon  22:33pm 29th Dec 2017

Other teams will come unstuck there so a very welcome 3 points. Wilshere very good again. The non-story about the celebration is ridiculous - letís watch every goal from every other club and count how many outfield players join in. Now letís do WBA and the Chavs. - Post No. 111459

TOOAW  23:20pm 29th Dec 2017

mbg (polite again with the person in question not acknowledging my name) Your posts are very strange if not deranged. I see no love, support, loyalty to the football club named Arsenal. It's hatred and negativity. Forgive me but you are no longer in the running for the Red and White Award and the year is yet to end. Check out post 111403 and if you feel this is ok to correspond on OG, then let the flood gates open. - Post No. 111460

Exeter Ex  23:38pm 29th Dec 2017

How anyone can still get excited by individuals results given the wider context is beyond me. As someone else put it, wins or losses under Wenger are akin to a truck stuck in mud moving a few inches forwards or backwards. - Post No. 111461

mbg  1:11am 30th Dec 2017

Did you see Henry post match in the studio giving his two pence worth on the game ? honestly he's getting more and more inaudible every game with his crap, two arms outstretched forcing his opinion asking the question who, (very quickly changing it to who's available) out there would make this team better, if ever there was a question crying out for an answer this was it, but nobody had the fooking balls to answer him/it with three words, A new manager. wenger out - Post No. 111463

markymark  7:56am 30th Dec 2017

Toad - Iím actually interested in your definition of a winner. Does this mean that Wengerís a winner because heís able to win away to Palace ? No titles in 13 years, blew our best opportunity against Leicester, only team in world financial top 8 to not win a title in the last decade. Unable to win a European trophy. The list of failure is growing season by season. Iím really struggling to see how he is a winner. Not sure why my post was 20 hours to late, your posts are a decade late. - Post No. 111464

Arseneknewbest  8:15am 30th Dec 2017

Marky Perhaps I can help. Leekietoo's definition of winning comes from his caravan bound competitions with his late departed chum Jamee son. The first to fill a steel drum with their own ejaculate, which was then ratified by it's a knockout's Arthur Ellist with his rusty old dipstick, was the winner and was therefore excused turnip picking duty for the day. It's all in badarse's new semi-autobiographical tome called 'friend and family'. Out yesterday it's already on sale on amazon for 2pm. - Post No. 111465

markymark  9:00am 30th Dec 2017

Arseneknewbest - an interesting point you raise. It begs a question is Jamee actually dead? One shouldnít speak Ill of the dead but in his case Iíd happilly make an exception. A previous reference to Arsenalís point gathering being compared to a truck backing to and fro as its stuck in the mud. That did make me giggle. Happy new year to everybody and to Toad remember to bring plenty of cardboard tin foil etc as the park bench will be extremely cold as you drink your White Lightening. Sadly I think Brian wonít be joining you as his wife had to intervene . Hereís hoping 2018 brings us what we want including the end of Wenger. - Post No. 111467

TOOAW  11:36am 30th Dec 2017

Well that's the three Stooges out to 100/1 for the Red and White Award for there dire contributions. - Post No. 111470

markymark  12:25pm 30th Dec 2017

Toad - all on your lonesome . There, there, back to how it was eh. - Post No. 111471

mbg  16:25pm 30th Dec 2017

Arseneknewbest, and it would be all Fiction no doubt. - Post No. 111474

Exeter Ex  17:06pm 30th Dec 2017

I reckon the Toad thinks Badarse's Red & White awards are a real thing. - Post No. 111475

mbg  18:33pm 30th Dec 2017

markymark, yes, it's the mating season so maybe he'll produce a couple of tadpoles to keep him company, or maybe his messiah will buy him a couple that's usually the case anyway, and trying so hard to keep the mountain mans ridiculous awards going with his own, it's not right laughing. wenger out. - Post No. 111478

TOOAW  18:42pm 30th Dec 2017

Good to see that the fools on this site lack a sense of humour. Must have had one hell of a Christmas. New years Eve is going to be something else in the household of the negative bunch. Oh well, more to go round. Boring boring arsewits. - Post No. 111479

A Cornish Gooner  19:13pm 30th Dec 2017

TOOAW.'the fools on this site'. Think you'll find there's just the one now. - Post No. 111481

Exeter Ex  19:15pm 30th Dec 2017

"Good to see that the fools on this site lack a sense of humour." You mean your support for Wenger is a joke? - Post No. 111482

markymark  19:31pm 30th Dec 2017

Poor Toad as MBG says itís not right laughing but then again.... - Post No. 111483

TOOAW  21:55pm 30th Dec 2017

As stated before. The great one isn't taking the piss out of me but one whole lot of pisstake out of the negatives, wobbies, wors, fools, shall I shant i's, narks of this world. Keep it coming fellas. Lots of huff and puff and the threat of the protest came to zero. I'm retiring from this anti Arsenal site and watch from a distance the debate?? Or lack of should that be. Fanzine of the year 2017..... comic of the year 2018. Arsene Wenger will decide when he wishes to call it a day and not the 100 or so who turned up on the odd occasion to demonstrate. Laughably, the 3 who turned up for the West Ham game last season must be in a psychiatric home by now and the dog in a kennel. Gutless, fickle, so called gooners. The site is all yours. - Post No. 111485

mbg  0:55am 31st Dec 2017

Swatted away like a fly with the minimum of effort, I wonder has the mountain man got any sudo cream left. wenger out. - Post No. 111486

markymark  9:28am 31st Dec 2017

Toad am I reading this right, are you off? What is it about you Wenger nutjobs retiring! Another one off to the Caravan in Southwold Heights with stunning views of Sizewell B. Bye bye Toad , Toaw , Squeak , BBA or whoever you are. Bye bye. Ps. Donít you think youíre being a bit fickle demanding your right to be heard, then slinking off. - Post No. 111488

markymark  9:53am 31st Dec 2017

Gooner Ed. Might this be a good opportunity to remove Tooawís access? He quite patently is here to disrupt, originally pretended to be a new poster using a slightly different persona before sliding into lazy racist anti Irish speak. He of course was previously posting as Leek. He now suggests he is removing himself so perfect time to go Iíd say. As a general point it is probably harder to keep a differing viewpoint about Wenger as we appear to be in who will be the next monarch territory . The argument as shifted from should it happen at all, to when it should happen. I think most on here would be interested in other view points to my mind though the alternative viewpoint from a number of previous contributors comes tinged with aggression and racism . This is odd as much as much I have issues with Wenger I think he is extremely far removed from that. Itís odd that his poster fan boys seem to revel in it. Perhaps Simon Rose could contribute a sensible article to offer a slightly different viewpoint . - Post No. 111489

Exeter Ex  13:33pm 31st Dec 2017

'Fickle' is not the word for maintaining an anti-Wenger position for years. 'Gutless' is the word for changing your name from Leeky to T0OAW (or Badarse to Brian) and hoping no one will notice. The Toad should take this time out to learn the meaning of words and how to string them into coherent sentences if he wants a proper debate, as he claims. Of course, we won't see this, from anyone, as it's not actually possible any longer to make a sane, rational case as to why Wenger is the best man to take Arsenal forward. If there was, we'd see it on here. Toad, Badarse and all the rest end up running away because ultimately they have no case to make beyond their simple reverence for Wenger and so just end up in slanging matches, not due to some 'clique' on here stopping them, as they like to claim. Graham Perry is the only one that actually attempts it, but his are passive aggressive articles lacking substance and sound reasoning. - Post No. 111490

Arseneknewbest  14:22pm 31st Dec 2017

Hmmmmmm - cuisses de crapaud. Magnifique! Gooner Ed - I join Exeter and Marky in calling for a cull of the tooaw/leekie specimen. The anti-Irish racism (or any other kind) is something that no self-respecting public forum should tolerate. It's OK to ban someone who utters what amounts to hate speech. One can only wonder what his other "isms" and prejudices extend to. It's no over-exaggeration to say that players from the island of Ireland dug us out of a pretty deep hole in the mid 1970s and in no small way contributed to a pretty healthy end to the decade. There's possibly an article in there for the new year. It's also tiresome to have to respond to Leekitoo - there's no coherence to his arguments; no willingness to debate; nothing thought-provoking. He is an empty shell. I suspect - although he won't admit it - that Badarse (if he returns...) would also be relieved to see the back of his comrade-in-arms because in reality he finds him an embarrassing ally. New year, new line up - sans Monsieur le Crapaud! All the best for 2018 everyone! - Post No. 111491

mbg  16:03pm 31st Dec 2017

markymark, Exeter, it always happens doesn't it, it's been the case and happening for nigh on seven years/seasons now, when the AKB wengerites have nothing left to defend their lord and master with anymore (not even a decent stat)they resort to name calling, threats, violence, they always come out and show their true colours in the end, before pissing off, Gutless or what. wenger out tonight. - Post No. 111492

mbg  22:20pm 1st Jan 2018

marymark, I can just imagine toady, sorearse, in the caravan with Fathers ted, Dougal, Jack, along with graham Norton Irish dancing with the caravan rocking. - Post No. 111520

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

21st January 2018

Life Without Sanchez Gets Off To A Promising Start

Online Ed: Arsenal enjoy a comfortable afternoon against Palace