Chapter 8: Bournemouth Away

Can a chapter be a single sentence? Can that sentence read “Great game, no notes”?

It could, and this was close but I do have a few notes.

This is the first time that Arsenal have been awarded two penalties in a game since 2018 (at home against Stoke) and the first time in our history that we have been awarded two pens in an away game. This raises a small complaint that I have which is that it is literally impossible that this is the first time in Arsenal history that we deserved two pens in an away game but we all know that there’s an unspoken “rule” that the ref isn’t supposed to award a 2nd pen unless the player is either decapitated or plays for Liverpool. And the thing about this is that I bet most home fans agree with this unofficial policy. I don’t!

I loved the change from Arteta in the 2nd half. Up 2-0 we didn’t start playing Emeryball! We love going ultra defensive with a lead but this time, we started on the front foot. What a refreshing change.

Havertz got his first goal for the club “and you could see how much it meant for him and the fans”. Classy moment from Saka. He was more active in this game than I’ve seen from him so far this season. I mean active in the attack – I don’t give two fucks about how great he plays at positional defense, that is a given, if he doesn’t play defense it’s a problem. Anyway, Havertz looked like he was part of the team and it was refreshing. He even had a great cross! Maybe he’s starting to acclimate? We can hope!

Saka limped off. We need to stop seeing Saka limp off ffs. Put Smith Rowe or someone else on EARLIER IN GAMES WE ARE WINNING.

Raya is the Arsenal number one. People need to stop asking Arteta about it but it’s kind of his own fault for saying that nonsense about rotating keepers. I mean, we are “rotating” them: Raya starts all the important matches and Ramsdale is the League Cup keeper. I feel bad for Ramsdale, he’s good enough to start for most teams in the League. This had to be difficult for him, but he’s a guy who thrives in adversity, so I’m hopeful he puts his nose down and gets so damn good that we have to start him over Raya. If not, then I suppose we will have to sell him. He would walk into the number one spot on a lot of teams in the world.

This keeper thing does make me laugh. I’ve been saying that we need to get a good backup keeper now for.. what? 6 years? We keep getting these starters who force out our former starter who is too good to be a backup! Arsenal never do things the “normal” way!

Oh yeah, I told you that “Phillip” sucks. I’m legitimately confused why he’s starting in a Premier League team. Is it because he’s tall? I did see that the Arsenal guys gave him space when he was on the ball. Are they afraid of him because he’s tall? For me, I’m short but I always used to get stuck in on those guys right away. Prison rules! Hit the biggest guy first, let them know “I’m not in here with you, you’re in here with me!”

That’s enough about that game, let’s talk about the fuck job that the refs did on Liverpool. I hate Liverpool. In my pantheon of hated teams it would go, the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls, Manchester United with Alex Ferguson, Chelsea, any team coached by Mourinho, any team coached by Pep Guardiola, Tottenham, and Liverpool. So, this is to say, I don’t like Liverpool and I don’t have any reason to care if they get jobbed by the refs. I will also admit that both of Liverpool’s red cards were funny (we can argue whether they were red cards, I think the first one probably was, and the second one absolutely wasn’t) as was the fact that Tottenham couldn’t break down a 9 man Liverpool. And I will admit that I hate Tottenham and so maybe I’m biased there but when I was watching the offside call the only thing I thought was “why didn’t they draw the lines”? Clyde was sitting here and he said it out loud! He doesn’t even really watch football and he knew that was a weird moment. It was all strange because the commentators said he was onside and then when it was called they had to chide each other and remind each other that the camera angles are deceptive! I kind of blindly accepted it after that.

Well, guess what? The PGMOL has issued another apology. We don’t know what would have happened if the goal had been allowed to stand but they took a goal away from this game and that is unacceptable. I think you have to start asking when people are going to lose their jobs. A few weeks ago the VAR official was Michael Salisbury and he absolutely blew a clear and obvious error call in the Wolves v. United match. He was “stood down” but officiated the Arsenal match we just wrote about! The VAR official in the Spurs-Liverpool match was Darren England and he’s now been “stood down”. But honestly, at some point, someone has to pay a heavy price. I wouldn’t fire the refs per se, I would look at the training methods they are receiving and the instructions they are being given and I would either fire or retrain THAT person.

Anyway, something has to be done. We can’t just keep getting apologies.



  1. It’s Howard Webb’s org now so we (especially Arsenal) are f$(ked for the foreseeable future.

    And 100% agree about subbing off Saka much earlier. He was carrying an ankle injury going into the game and I was upset with Arteta leaving him in there like that.

    ESR is looking better with more minutes and he needs game time especially with score and match in hand.

    I hated the yellow Cincinnati Bengals away kit at first but it’s grown on me.

    1. I am sick of “pundits” lauding “Angeball” as if he has just discovered way to run your car on water. Spurs were mediocre at Emirates & couldn’t break down 9 man Pool at home. All Ange does is make his teams run about a lot. Its not a viable strategy for whole season. Hopefully his team runs out of gas & gets found out after Christmas (sooner if possible).

      1. I agree that there’s a sense that the team is just playing super happy right now, not that there has been some kind of revolutionary change. It’s actually quite Arsene Wenger.

    2. I still can’t stand that kit. I know that the lines are supposed to be Islington or something but I just hate the color and design.

  2. Referees need a point system like your driver’s license. For example, 1 point for minor errors and 2 points for major errors (i.e., those that are reviewed by VAR). After 5 points, unpaid suspension for a few games. After 5 more points, unpaid suspension for remainder of season.

  3. The highlight for me was the emotion and humanity and reminder that there’s more to this team than just football

    You could see the leaders among the team making an intentional decision to create Kai Havertz’ opportunity, to include him

    That’s bigger than the result and bigger than the performance yesterday

    1. That moment was great to see, but I also liked seeing 4 goals. Was a little worried someone had told them that scoring goals is unseemly.

  4. The annoying thing about the missed VAR is that this is the 3rd or 4th issue of the VAR officials screwing up offsides calls…the one call that shouldn’t really be a judgement call.

  5. I’m not feeling the Kai Havertz love moment. There’s something off about bending over backwards to feed a guy in his 4th season in the premiership a “goal.” Please.

    Are the players going to do that for Emile — more deserving of a start than Havertz — when Arteta deigns to give him more than a couple of minutes?

    Until Odegaard upgraded his contract, Kai was the highest earner at the club. On a 60m plus transfer fee. I dont get it, or Arteta’s increasingly tortured defences of him. Is he that fragile?

    Look, he has to earn the right to start. He hasn’t. But yes, let everyone celebrate the pen like it was Reiss Nelson’s match-winning volley. Speaking of Reiss. Never mind. I say that as someone who wants him to ram our doubts down our throats, and become a beast in the left 8. And who thinks that in time, he could hit the ceiling that we bought him to hit. But I’m not feeling the love, sorry.

    Bigger picture, nearly the perfect weekend until referee Simon Hooper tilted the Spurs/Liverpool game to Spurs.

    1. Pretty much agree with everything you say, Claude, but for me the take-home wasn’t that Havertz finally got a goal, it was that the whole team wanted to give that chance to him, and celebrated with him when he took it. We have a team that really looks after each other, regardless of who’s picked or who deserves a spot. I LOVE that about this team!

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