Morning all.

Another home game in which Arsenal have dropped points. But for Eddie’s last minute strike we’d have lost all three. I half expected VAR to rule that one out as they did our first but I guess they didn’t think Holding was interfering with play.

Arsenal weren’t as sharp or clinical as they were against both Sheffield Utd and Slavia Prague which ultimately cost us two points. Fulham parked their single decker bus in front of goal which changed into a double decker after going ahead from the penalty spot.

Gabriel on Twitter:

Sad for the result today and for the penalty, but that will not let me down, these are things of the game! Only those who understand football know what goes on inside the 4 lines. Keep working hard to improve. Say what you want, I accept the criticism.

Moan all we like but nothing is likely to change, make contact in the box and players will drop like they’ve been shot, or swan dive if the opportunity presents itself. Gabriel clearly made contact otherwise he’d have nothing to apologise for.

Arsenal 1 Fulham 1.

Arsenal have dropped a massive 23 points at home this season. It doesn’t take a genius to know that that kind of form will lead to a season of disappointment.

Mikel Arteta now has a striker crisis after Lacazette hobbled off with a hamstring injury. A scan on Tuesday will tell how long he’s likely to be out for. He’s been in good form of late and he’s going to be missed. With Aubameyang out too, it’s time for Pepe, Martinelli, Eddie and Balogun to step up. Even Moller might find himself drafted into the squad for Friday’s fixture against Everton.

Equally as worrying as Arsenal’s home performances is the news which broke during our fixture which relates to a new European Super League. The kind of thing Arsene Wenger predicted was ten years away back in 2009. Ok, he was a year or two out in his estimation but here we are and it’s being discussed.

Arsenal are reported to be one of the six English clubs in support of this new venture, the others being Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Toots. Other clubs reported to have signed up for the proposal are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

According to Sky News’ Mark Kleinman:

Plans have been in development for months. To be clear, this would not be a breakaway from each of Europe’s domestic leagues, but would be a midweek competition designed to usurp UEFA’s Champions League. There are expected to only be five places in this 20-strong competition available each year based on sporting merit.

Unsurprisingly, this news has gone down like a lead balloon with football fans on social media.

How will play out? It’s easier for me to just copy what’s on the Sky Sports website:

  • 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
  • Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
  • An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals.
  • Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.

As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.

The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues. These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs. In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework.

In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid and the first Chairman of the Super League said:

We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.

Backing the new European league, Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said:

Our 12 Founder Clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.

Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said:

By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.

In my opinion, this new competition is about one thing and that’s money. I’m disappointed to see Arsenal’s name in with the clubs supporting the proposal. I guess at some stage we’ll hear from the club as to why they think it’s a good idea.

Changes to the Champions League are expected to be announced today as UEFA proposes to increase the number of competing teams from 32 to 36 with the number of games rising from 125 to 225 matches.

See you in the comments.