Ten Man Arsenal Take A Point At Palace

Online Editorial – Shares spoiled as Aubameyang sees red

Ten Man Arsenal Take A Point At Palace

I wonder if Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang would even have attempted the challenge that saw a yellow card upgraded to red thanks to VAR under Unai Emery. Still, long term, such determination to win the ball can only be a good thing. It will win more matches than the occasional dismissal will lose. Overall, although VAR has been good and bad to Arsenal, I’d say without it, they’d have gleaned more points this season. And I think the whole phenomenon whereby fans in the stadium are left in limbo after what were previously definitive moments in a game means most would vote against its retention.

Yesterday though, you can’t argue with the final decision. Granted there was no intent to hurt. Aubameyang was going for the ball. But the reckless nature of his lunge could have caused a more serious injury than it did. Meyer had to be substituted due to the challenge, but fortunately nothing was broken. Arsenal fans would have been up in arms to see a similar challenge made on their captain.

The game was already at 1-1 by the time of the card, three quarters of the way into the 90 minutes. Mikel Arteta started the same eleven from the previous Premier League match at home to Manchester United. And for the majority of the first half, things looked good. The opening goal was the end of a multi-passing move that saw Luiz find Ozil, who found Lacazette, who teed up Aubameyang to slot home. It was good use of movement and space. However, Palace were not easy to break down. Before the match, their ten home games had seen nine goals scored and nine conceded. With hindsight, this was always going to be a 1-1.

As the first half wore on, Palace came out of their shell in search of parity, and Arsenal defended in numbers and doggedly. It was good to see them limiting chances, and notable that they played a high defensive line much of the time, and especially at free kicks. It all felt highly encouraging.

After the interval Roy Hodgson’s team came out with more zest and pressed Arsenal far more aggressively. The key moment though, saw Arteta’s team switch off at a free-kick. Expecting a cross into the middle, the ball was played down to a free man on the right of the penalty area with no Arsenal player anywhere near. The cross came in, and an element of pinball eventually saw Jordan Ayew’s shot deflected off David Luiz. I think Ayew’s original shot might have just gone the wrong side of the post, but never mind bemoaning bad luck, Arsenal should not have let the cross into the box happen in the first place. Arteta expressed his disappointment after the match stating his team switched off. At least you get the feeling that under him, the players will learn from this lesson. Let’s give credit here, the defensive side of things is unquestionably improving. There’s a way to go yet, but in the last three matches, a single goal has been conceded. That’s not the Arsenal we know and loathe in recent seasons.

Palace had one cleared off the line and Arsenal came so close to a winner with Pepe’s effort hitting the post and Lacazette firing at the keeper from the rebound. Gabriel Martinelli came on and impressed, replacing Mesut Ozil who had ceased to make a positive contribution once Palace got into the game in the first half. Let’s not mince words here. For 35 minutes, he might as well have been in the dressing room. Perhaps, physically, he’s not capable of doing what Arteta wants, although we can’t be certain what instructions he is under. Maybe he isn’t supposed to drop deeper to get more involved.

Anyway, it’s an ongoing process, and with every dropped point, the optimists out there who think fourth place is still achievable get a reality check. This is going to be a bumpy road, and moments such as the nature of the goals conceded against Chelsea and Palace will not be completely eradicated overnight. Arsenal hadn’t beaten Palace in their previous three meetings, but came close yesterday.

The season is about establishing good habits for the future, ensuring the club are in the Europa League next season because of the potential £40 million they could make from it, and seeing what happens in this season’s competition. Certainly, if they can continue improving defensively, it will give them a better chance of reaching Lodz and a chance to re-join the big boys earlier than expected.


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  1. itsRonagain2

    Jan 13, 2020, 22:56 #116173

    That is very true about Keown. He could man to man mark. He did for a couple of seasons really well for sure too. Having said that, anybody who has played football to any reasonable level will also tell you that being given a man mark job is easy, it’s the easiest job a midfield man or defender can be given. No thinking. No worrying about the team. No pressure to pass well just the pressure of stopping the guy you’ve been given by fair or niggly foul means. In other words , be a rash.

  2. Exiled in Pt

    Jan 13, 2020, 22:01 #116172

    Madmax he wasn't a bad player and he did a good job as a man marker in latter years but he was no TA or SB. Don't forget he was quick to run to villa for money when he thought he was bigger and better than the club. That's not running through a wall for the club! In my opinion

  3. mad max

    Jan 13, 2020, 20:47 #116171

    reading some of these posts brings back some painful memories of the heartbreaking defeats, especially Denis's penalty miss, and the daylight robbery of the scousers nicking the 2001 cup final, utd were so lucky to have won the treble we should have won the double, one thing I disagree with a few on here is their dislike of martin keown,say what you like about him as a person but he would have run through a brick wall for the arsenal, and he was a top man to man marker he wasn't nicknamed the rash for nothing you know

  4. Nicky3336

    Jan 13, 2020, 20:24 #116170

    We’re so very far away from being anything better than a mid table side right now......how long ago was it that we always took a guaranteed 6 points from the Eagles, 3 to 4 goal victory’s always stood out me as a score by which we beat this lot often with Wrighty or TH14 getting a brace....now the reality check>>>>>they held their own against us and the 3-5-2 formation they stuck to threw us from about the 30 minute mark. Massive under-performers at our club mean this is happening week in week out, the Arteta bubble will burst before the season end and his encouragement of tracking back from attackers who cant tackle lead to the Gabonese Vardy picking up his red card (Right decision IMHO). Get real Gooners (and by this statement I don’t mean the clowns on AFTV) we are bang average right now and perhaps it does need a billionaire Nigerian to buy us out to join the new breed of owners who invest heavily and are hungry to win not just compete.

  5. Wengerballs

    Jan 13, 2020, 19:43 #116169

    When PEA got sent off, Xhaka got the captains armband. Can you honestly believe that? Lost all respect for my Club, its a merry go round gone beyond a joke. Arteta will flop, as how can the players respect a 'manager' who gives the captaincy back to a player who told the fans to f**k off, had his captaincy rightfully stripped, and was on the verge of leaving.

  6. Exiled in Pt

    Jan 13, 2020, 14:40 #116167

    Ron , certainly all players of Leg - end status , was very upset that Danny Mills never mentioned TH making him look a complete mug on more than one occasion when speaking of Leeds Arsenal games during his commentary the other week ...

  7. TonyEvans

    Jan 13, 2020, 14:40 #116166

    Agree fellers, far from being lucky Arsenal we have had some difficult final and semi final defeats to take. Not all down to bad luck though, definitely some where we just failed to 'turn up'. Had some good ones to make up for them though. The 2005 FA Cup final made up for the 2001 loss to Liverpool - we were 'owed' that one after being robbed by the Scousers. 2001 remains the only Arsenal final I have missed as I had to go to a relatives wedding that day - furious at the time, but glad when I realised what a travesty the result was!

  8. itsRonagain2

    Jan 13, 2020, 14:13 #116165

    Hi Exiled - yes, RVP S was a bottle job for sure. Its in the body language isnt it. Sometimes you just know when they're going to miss. At that 8-2 one of the guys i went with that day was dead in line with RVP taking that kick and he was shown on MOTD. His face was a picture when he missed. Still tease him about it. Yes, Keown - total fraud. Hes recreated a new image of himself since hes been in that TV seat. Hes got people thinking was as hard as nails and a formidable defender. Was he heck! Mind you, they all re invent themselves. Danny Mills is now elevated to a great past player , Murphy too - legend in his own lunchtime. Now its Mick f-----g Brown making out he was out of the ordinary. Its unreal really. Who employs these mugs.So many of them.

  9. Exiled in Pt

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:48 #116164

    SKG , the first time we should of picked up on Wenger and his excuses , you know he blamed the loss of that game on the referee not tossing a coin to decide which end the penalties would be taken at !! We have a shocking record in European football it always amazes me we get classed as one of the big teams of Europe.

  10. Newpark

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:30 #116163

    I've seen a fair few stills but no explanation for the potential offside for Palaces goal. Is anyone a bit more clued up able to explain what happened there? The picture is inconclusive but given what we've seen given this season for armpits, heels and toes being offside it looks to me like we had a case for the goal to be disallowed? Not excusing the switching off, and inability to stop the cross at all but I just don't have a clue what's going on these days. Was it looked at? I don't remember it being shown by BT so therefore it can't have been. Why wasn't it looked at? The lack of consistency week in week out is frightening.

  11. Exiled in Pt

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:30 #116162

    have to agree Ron , DB bottled the pen that night like RVP in the 8-2 defeat !! 2003 yet another defeat to Leeds killed it off for good Ron ! Mr Keown never in the same class as TA and SB but wanted more money if i remember rightly hence why he left for Villa and George didnt stop him . Never really liked him then and even thou he gave some good service on returning to me he is not Arsenal through and through like he makes out ! As a pundit he really is as slimy as he looks ..

  12. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:28 #116160

    Ron - If you wedge in between your post the defeat to Galatasaray in 2000 it was a pretty dour time. Agree about DB penalty miss, juxtaposed to Peter Storey's in 71, both players faced the best goalkeeper in the world it was just that Peter was a little bit more the "iceman" than Denis. Should have walked all three games - bad luck? not in my book.

  13. itsRonagain2

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:11 #116159

    PS i was living abroad in 88 for the Luton debacle and was kind of insulated from that one.... thank heavens! Its a game and a loss that i hardly ever think about as a result.

  14. itsRonagain2

    Jan 13, 2020, 13:08 #116158

    i was at the Semi in 99 and the FAC Final in 2001. I class them for me personally as the hardest defeats to stomach in all the years of going to the matches. i ve alwaya thought that the semi was the day when our old guard of defenders actually 'got old' as Giggs fleeced them all.Far worse than ll of the thrashings this last 10 years for me. Hate to say it but Dennis bottled the pen kick didnt he. Would have been OK at the other end i always think but we ll never know. As a kid for embarrassment level it has to be the 1969 loss to Swindon. One of the worst games was in 2003 too, away at Bolton when we chucked that away to draw 2-2. That was the day that year when the feeling that we d screwed ourselves for the title became clear. I dont like him and never rated him but that was Mr Keowns fault that day!

  15. Exiled in Pt

    Jan 13, 2020, 12:13 #116157

    Red shirts i still have nightmares about that final with Luton mind you i bet poor old Gus still has sleepless nights too. 99 season was the loss to Leeds that gave it to Man Ure and of course DB penalty miss in the semi all be it think they would of still taken the title due to goals scored that season if we had held on for 5 minutes more against Leeds ! I agree with you Ron would keep Laca and let PA go for a good fee at end of season . Laca , Martinelli and Ceballos in the Ozil role could be interesting ..

  16. Redshrtswhitesleeves

    Jan 13, 2020, 11:48 #116156

    Paul James- your dead right. You can add the 1988 littlewoods cup final vs Luton to that list. Still cannot believe how we managed to lose that! It haunts me to this day! 1999 is another one. Man Ure had every bit of luck going to win that treble when arguably we were the better side and were so unlucky not to pick up at least one of those trophies. Also the CL final to Barcelona...I lost all respect for Barca that day with their constant diving, niggling and getting away with foul after foul without getting booked and then that offside goal. Such small margins have cost us dear over the years and to think we used to be known as ‘lucky Arsenal’!

  17. itsRonagain2

    Jan 13, 2020, 11:15 #116155

    Laca is a very good player, technically and physically. If either of him or Auba was going to go, id sooner it be Auba despite his goals record.

  18. ArsenalMagna

    Jan 13, 2020, 10:48 #116154

    You could be right about Richarlison's level, Ron. I was impressed though with how he kept banging in goals even when Everton were struggling, and he seems very nimble and a good goal poacher so could give us the goals we need. Jimenez is another very good shout too. I could actually see Laca taking Ozil's spot at 10 after the latter leaves, such is the quality of his link up play and passing.

  19. itsRonagain2

    Jan 12, 2020, 23:26 #116153

    Jimenez I meant. Not Ramirez.

  20. GoonerRon

    Jan 12, 2020, 23:21 #116152

    Still quite a lot to like about what Arteta is doing. We seem to have conceded a lot of deflected goals this season which is annoying and perhaps brought on partly by poor positioning / last ditch defending. That said, we are conceding far fewer shots and big chances so things look to be improving. I think Auba was a touch unlucky to get a red - he went in at barely any pace.

  21. itsRonagain2

    Jan 12, 2020, 23:10 #116151

    Hi lass. There you have it re 73/3 Season. Blockley brought in as SK says. Disastrous, though he had looked a good player at Coventry. We have certainly ballsed up good situations and Finals quite often post War haven’t we. Some awful reverses though I guess all the top clubs might say the same. AM. If we were going to buy a front man to lead us with Martjnelli and Pepe in there , I like the look of Ramirez at Wolves. He could do well with us. Richarlison is a hell of a header of a ball isn’t he. An old fashioned type No 9 he is. Needs an orthodox winger to feed him. He’s very brave player. Not totally sure his level is much above Everton’s though mate?

  22. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jan 12, 2020, 20:07 #116150

    Paul James: I can tell you why we never won the league in 72/73 Bertie Mee dropped Frank Mclintock for Jeff Blockley in the second half of the season - Bertie Mee admitted it was his biggest mistake and that sowed the seed for Arsenal's decline to 17th position in 1976 and also led to Bertie's resignation. Frank joined QPR and had 4 great seasons and nearly won the league with the west London club in 76. Bertie threw out "Mr Arsenal " and we all paid a high price for his appalling decision.

  23. Pauljames

    Jan 12, 2020, 19:41 #116149

    Forgive me gents for going off subject but I’ve just been revisiting season 72/3 on you tube and wondering how we ended up empty handed that season? My dad says we should have done the double again that year( beat Liverpool away in feb to go top and lost to 2nd division Sunderland in fa cup semi), Despite our illustrious history I can’t help thinking we could have won so much more, from West Ham and Valencia in 1980 to the Nayim fluke to the 2001 cup final , losing to Galatasaray on pens and the away game at Birmingham when Edwuados league break overshadowed a shocking late penalty call that cost us 2 vital points .I honestly don’t think we’ve had the breaks in big games that Utd , pool and Chelsea have had . Leeds fans of the early 70s would probably say the same type of things I suppose.

  24. Bard

    Jan 12, 2020, 18:15 #116148

    Nothing more or less than expected, a mid table rumble. We are on about the same level as Palace albeit with 10x the wage bill. The thing is MA is on a learning curve. He has never done this sort job before. He looks promising but successful management is as much about managing the psychology as it is about coaching. It is telling that it doesnt appear the board will back him in the window ( putting aside whether there is anyone decent to buy). I tend to agree with those on here who would prefer we werent messing about with the Ropey league. Lets have a season or two mid table and let him learnt his trade and hopefully develop a few of the younger players plus develop a serious culture at the club. The bottom line is that if MA does tank there really isnt anywhere else to go but down.

  25. TerryNeil´s RW Army

    Jan 12, 2020, 17:32 #116147

    I've been satisfied with our performances under MA so far. That never-say-die attitude which was in Arsenal's DNA under early Bertie, George and the first few years under AW is starting to creep back in. Let's hope it continues. That is the backbone on which MA can rebuild. All the players seem to be on board. I'd happily drop points just to see this steady improvement in attitude continue. I've written off this season, and probably the next, with a hope we can challenge again for the title in 2 years time. Now we just need to sign Troy Deeney in the January window. Don't laugh - MA should convert him from striker to holding midfielder who can chip in with a few goals, just like Frank McLintock was converted from midfield to defence and took us to the Double. I see Deeney as a leader and club captain.

  26. A Cornish Gooner

    Jan 12, 2020, 16:58 #116146

    Ron, agree with you on MA's perceived impact, but as you say it's too early to know exactly how successful he'll be. He's certainly sounding like a manager who knows what he's doing. And this from The Guardian yesterday after his press conference: "Calm, level-headed, no-nonsense analysis from Arteta there. He really does cut an impressive figure"

  27. ArsenalMagna

    Jan 12, 2020, 15:22 #116145

    @Ron there were some articles written in the summer on why we were in for Zaha and then Pepe. The key thing was that the team didn't have any dribblers - only Iwobi was really trying to dribble and he showed flashes of brilliance but was inconsistent, and not delivering enough in terms of completed dribbles, particularly into the final third. We were lacking players who could move the whole play forward, especially to unlock mid or low block defences. Pepe has been pretty consistent in delivering (by my count) around 3 completed dribbles per match, about on par with his Lille days. As I said previously, his ball control and ability to keep his bearings whilst spinning are pretty much unparalleled, and his proficiency even when moving off his weaker foot onto the flank, plus his quality shooting and passing when cutting inside, all show he has the making of a world class player. The Youtuber MGH, not citing sources mind, said Pepe's team expect him to be at Barca or Real in a few years, such is his quality. Agree with you on Martinelli whose praises I have sung constantly - you know Klopp called him 'a talent of the century'? Really think he could reach Ronaldo/Messi level. Out of interest, who would you have lead in the front line over Laca? I'd take Everton's Richarlison personally, if the funds were there.

  28. markymark

    Jan 12, 2020, 15:20 #116144

    Ron I agree , lots of obsessing , probably from me lol about 4th/5th/6th. It barely matters compared to really building a solid unit . Gabriel, Pepe potentially Eddie could really put themselves in the mix. Auba and Lacazette likely to be sold season end I reckon

  29. Pauljames

    Jan 12, 2020, 13:50 #116143

    If we can’t qualify for the CL I would definitely prefer to be out of Europe altogether. Looking at Leicester compared to Wolves this season and you can see the benefits of having far fewer games and lots of blank mid weeks for coaching.The nightmare scenario is finishing 7th, which means having to pre qualify for a cup we don’t even want to be in. On the first eleven itself I’m not sure it will look that different come August, Auba will probably go and presumably we will buy 1 Centre back and a defensive midfield player, that might be it with Tierney and Saliba also competing to start.

  30. itsRonagain2

    Jan 12, 2020, 13:39 #116142

    There’s defo a player there in Pepe I think putaside whether we needed him or not, he’s there now. If the team gathers some confidence and a bit of a swagger here and there , he ll shine I think. Like to see him in a few games with Martinelli , Pepe just off him type of thing. Good chance for Martinelli now Auba s gone for a while. I hope MA shows the courage to use him and give him his chance. He s a lot like RVP but I suspect a physically stronger version. Use this season to give him and Pepe the chance to feel established I think. Auba and Laccazette aren’t the future, them 2 are. Plug away in the league, don’t worry too much about the EL and give the FAC a go with such players in way ahead for this yr I think. Mid table if not, it doesn’t really matter where they finish now. Mapping the landscape of the squad for next season should be the aim.

  31. markymark

    Jan 12, 2020, 13:05 #116141

    Makes you wonder if MA is letting the players show their limitations ( Ozil ) there was talk that Emery should have done this . Continually playing him demanding a fearsome work rate. Instead Emery decided to have an argument that he lost on social media. I’d guess the team next season is going to look very different. You often really have to keep at it to get that run of luck. Pepe seems to hit the posts like they’ve got magnets. If they keep up the work rate then I can see Arsenal going on a run. This match would have lost under the last 3 managers I suspect. MA is adding Steeliness

  32. itsRonagain2

    Jan 12, 2020, 12:15 #116140

    Awkward opponent are Palace. Not easy there so all in all good not to lose there. Difficult conditions too for both sides. Luiz was unlucky with the deflect. Another inch of fuller impact on him and he d be lauded as having played well again. There s a greater intensity about the team and a better willingness of players to do a few more hard yards no doubt. Over his games though , I m not sure the impact of MA is as total as many claim. A Summer and to reach next Xmas is the time to form an informed view on his appointment I think. He s compromised though under that owner and his general lukewarm ethos fir the club’s future and it can’t be ignored when judging the guy.

  33. ArsenalMagna

    Jan 12, 2020, 11:27 #116139

    1) OK so top 4 is beyond our grasp now, but that doesn't change the fact that Chelsea, United and Spurs are very flaky, which will likely continue into next season and beyond. Europa League football next season is preferable as it helps to blood younger players and to make more money (£32m from our run last season). That said, Chelsea won the league when they had no European football, so not having it at all could give us a good run for top 4 and the cups next season. 2) I like Arteta's style in getting us to play intensely for 30 mins and building on that, as Wenger/Emery just gave them instructions to go out there and spread their energy across 90 mins, which opened up too much scope for them to slack off. It took Liverpool a few years to be able to press consistently... next season we'll probably drop off after 60 mins and a year or two after that we'll be conditioned to press throughout the game. I'd say Ozil won't be match fit for many months given his long spells on the sidelines. 3) Shame to lose Auba - I saw a stat today showing that, bar him, Torreira, Pepe and Martinelli are the only players to score away from home in the EPL for us this season (one goal each). 4) Definitely agree that the defending is looking much better - Palace didn't really get any clear cut chances which was great. Xhaka has improved a lot with the new system but he should have got closer to Ayew and made a better body shape for the goal we conceded.