If you’re planning to tune into Match Of The Day tonight, there’ll be no presenters. Gary Linekar has been ‘stood down’ from his duties after his comment on social media caused a bit of a stir and both Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have quit in support of the presenter. It seems the BBC has tried to find someone to takeover the show tonight but no one wants the job. Or no one wants to go against Linekar. Either way, it’s a mess for the BBC to try and sort out. Whatever you and I think about Linekar’s social media post, his choice of words was always going to cause a problem in my opinion. As is often the case in life, it’s not what one says which can cause offence, it’s how it’s said.
Could this be the end of MOTD? I doubt it because not everyone has Sky Sports so it’s the only way to ‘legally’ watch highlights of the day’s football but if Linekar isn’t a part of it then quite frankly, I couldn’t care less because he’s always been anti Arsenal. Mind you, so are most of the presenters on Sky Sports. Especially the Chelsea supporting guy who presents the morning show. How he’s survived so so long in his job I’ll never know.
In other footballing news, Barcelona are in trouble as they’ve been charged with corruption after allegedly paying over €7.3m (£6.4m) between 2001 and 2018 to firms owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, an ex-vice-president of Spain’s referees’ committee. On Friday, the public prosecutor’s office said Spanish prosecutors had filed a complaint against the Catalan giants and two of the La Liga club’s ex-presidents over alleged payments to a company owned by the senior refereeing official to influence match results.
So that’s Man City and now Barcelona accused of cheating albeit in different ways. For the sake of the game, I kind of hope both are proved to have done no wrong but if they’re found guilty, then they deserve the book throwing their way. And yes, I’d be saying the same if it were Arsenal cheating because fairness applies to everyone and every club in the game. How can a club, manager, players or fans complain about the officials IF their own club isn’t playing by the rules?
Back at Arsenal, Oleksandr Zinchenko has been voted fan’s player of the month for the second month running. He received 49 per cent of the vote, with Gabriel finishing in second place while Bukayo Saka was third.
We face Fulham tomorrow at Craven Cottage. Marco Silva, a manager who after tough times at both Watford and Everton, is enjoying a good spell in his managerial career in West London. We’ve already played them at The Emirates of course, winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Gabriel. Mitrovic had put Fulham ahead early in the second half after Gabriel was sloppy in defence, but Martin Odegaard soon equalised before the big Brazilian nabbed the winner. Aaron Ramsdale made a crucial save before the final whistle blew. “There’ll be tougher tests than Fulham” said the back page headlines, well, I think Fulham have since proved they are one of the tougher tests.
The familiar faces of Leno and Willian have been present in Silva’s side for most of the season so far. Mitrovic is a horrible player to be up against I’m sure. Joao Palhinha’s stats suggest he’s one of the best midfielders in the league but he’s out for tomorrows game because of two match ban. On loan Cedric Soares wont feature of course and nor will Tom Cairney, Layvin Kurzawa and Neeskens Kebano.
For Arsenal, the main concern is Martin Odegaard who missed the midweek game because of illness. As did Kieran Tierney. Can Bukayo Saka manage another game? Will Leandro Trossard return, and Eddie Nketiah? Will Gabriel Jesus be on the bench? So many questions but which will only be answered tomorrow at 1pm when the squad is announced.
One thing that is clearly obvious though is that Mikel Arteta’s team needs to defend set pieces a lot better than they have of late. The 6’ 2” Mitrovic will be on hand to punish anything which comes his way and in any way he can. He’s the kind of striker I’d love Arsenal to have in the squad.
Catch up in the comments.
Good morning Rico a bit of good news, Palinha is banned.
Morning Cicero, yes, that’s in the post which you clearly didn’t read. 😆
You spotted my deliberate mistake Rico. 😉
Afternoon Folks, Lets hope we defend better against Mitrovic than we did on Thursday.
As you pointed out Rico, Fulham are a good side and will give us a hard time. Willian could have something to prove too.
The Lineker thing is a nothing story blown out of all proportion by him and the media. I just can’t be bothered, and am a bit upset Wrighty got involved really.
I posted here in January that Palhinha would be a good reinforcement.
How has Lokonga performed?
I married into a Fulham supporting family and for as long as I can remember it’s not been a problem . No doubt if they get the upper hand tomorrow I will be inundated with no end of sarcasm and abuse.
However that’s the nature of the beast .
The Spanish league has always been subject to underhand practice , Real Madrid the flagship of General Franco and Barcelona “” mes que un club “”,the voice of Catalunya .I have no doubt that the presidents of Barca are as dodgy as a nine bob note but you can be assured that any delving into their practices will be political.
Barca now have links to Qatar and Real, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Madrid to the Spanish government
Nicely swerved Cicero. Lol
Leno too Mike but we know he can be harassed into making mistakes.
Who Potter? Lol
Barca now have links to Qatar and Real,Madrid to the Spanish government
The Lineker thing is politics .Right wing / left wing with a bit of racial on the side. Political leanings in this country have still not recovered from 2016. The 48% have never forgiven the 52% and blame everything upon them but
also blame the government for allowing it to happen . The 52% strangely also blame the government but for entirely different reasons, whilst the 48% wish that it had never happened the 52% wish it had been handled differently.
The left wing really hate the phrase ” take back control of our borders” whereas the political right are happy for migration providing that it supplies an endless stream of cheap labour to maintain their profit margins. Neither are particularly interested in developing British industry or agriculture and are happy to moan about no tomatoes when the ability to grow them and other vegetables has never been invested in .
The BBC are in a cleft stick , in heritably it is run by a large proportion of left wing people and probably are personally in agreement with Lineker but because it is in danger of having it’s government funding removed has bent over backwards to look impartial.
I dare say that the final outcome is that Lineker and his pals will “”cross the channels” ” so to speak and wash up eventually in the Sky or Qatar with Gray and Keys.
Anyway that’s enough politics for one day .
There’s certainly very little chance these so called experts will be spotted in a dugout. At least Wrighty isn’t always biased towards his old club.
Bournemouth beat Liverpool 1 nil, salah mist his penalty shot
Cesc Fabregas was on 5live this morning. He said when he left Barcelona, he was only ever returning to Arsenal in his head but, Wenger didn’t want him.
Feast or famine as far as the bin dippers are concerned, all is glorious when they got seven against United. Now they’ve shown their true selves by losing to bottom club Bournemouth.
Our result against Bournemouth is looking better all the time . It wasn’t fluke that we struggled against them.
Salah missing a penalty is so satisfying 😂
Match of the Day will only be 20 minutes long this evening – result…
20 minutes of football and no talking heads – excellent..,
An opportunity for the BBC to bring in some fresh blood, cheaper as well, say goodbye to the millionaire grandees who virtue signal from the safety of their mansions..,
I see that Haaland scored his 6th penalty in a 1 nil win against Palace, how many have we had given this season ?
Good morning all.
The FA have, sensibly in my view, have decided to take no further action over the Arsenal team’s celebrations following the 97th winner against Bournemouth.
Fulham’s bargain basement deal to sign Bernd Leno for £3 million is about to get more expensive. The fee will rise to £8 million if Fulham remain in the Premiership for next season and Leno plays sufficient games. The first condition is already guaranteed and as he has appeared in every game this season, the second should be no problem.
FA and sensible don’t usually go together but I’m glad on this occasion, they’ve seen sense. Had there still been 20 odd minutes to go, I could understand if they decided to punish us.
£8million is cheap imo.
It is cheap Rico, but we had already signed Matt Taylor as our number two ‘keeper and Leno was too highly paid to be third choice. In addition Leno refused to move to a club outside London and wanted to stay in the Premiership. Consequently there was little chance of getting a higher transfer fee.
Leno is a good shot stopper but in Arteta’s view was not good enough with the ball at his feet which caused problems with playing out from the back.
For sure Cicero, I totally get why we sold him but like Martinez, let him leave to cheaply. Water under the bridge now though.
Striker Gabriel Jesus is on the bench after returning from injury.
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Partey, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saliba, Trossard, Xhaka, Zinchenko.
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Holding, Tomiyasu, Jorginho, Vieira, Nelson.
Afternoon Rico and all.
Great to see Jesus back
Hi Geoff, it is..
Great start shame it’s not 2 nil, dam VAR so close
Yes another nice goal, 2 nil up and looking hungry for more
Should be 4-0..
Complacency , 2 is never enough.
Ramsdale showing off nearly cost us a goal
Agree Rico we could be we in control, 1 disallowed by VAR and 2 easy goals missed. Hope Arteta rips into Ramsdale 2 stuff ups in 2 minutes
Nice first half 3 nil up and we look still hungry for more
What an out ball from Saliba for our second…
3 nil should be a platform to build more as long as we don’t get sloppy.
Casemiro has been shown another red card.. Come on Saints..
Could do with resting Saka now.
Shame we didn’t score more goals, but I will a 3 nil win, clean sheet and no injuries can’t ask for much more. Jesus nearly scored
Old Mick Jagger in the stands
Man U draw at home
Got sloppy at the back and that’s what happens when you take your foot off. Could have further reduced the goal difference but I suppose 3 points are more important . Next up sporting and then Palace , just got to keep the pot boiling
1st part of cohesion, mental strength and good football. In the 2nd part, it was more management. We could have conceded a goal but also scored. Fortunately, we have exhausted all possible substitutions. Sporting will be a tough test. Portuguese teams are always difficult. They fit well into Arsenal’s game and tactically they are very strong. Mick Jagger is from Fulham?
Jagger is an Arsenal fan.
Beautiful game by the boys. I agree Rico. That Saliba ball out of defence to turn a sticky position into a goal-bound threat was magnificent. He has been brilliant lately. So much to admire about this team . It could easily have been 6. The goal that Xhaka almost scored would have been sensational. How great to see Jesus back too.
Just finished watching a recording, family lunch today at The Blackboys in Aylsham, multiple celebrations three birthdays a 57 year wedding anniversary and an early Mother’s Day.
Good quick start three up at half-time and a controlled second half conserving energy with a view to upcoming games.
What can I say? Three goals, a clean sheet, three points. J A D A T O.
How good was it to see Jesus back in the action.
The Xhaka and Jesus chance Adam, if only eh. Xhaka was so unlucky, would have finished a fabulous move. Agree on Saliba, what a player he is..
Evening. And let’s not forget Trossard, first player in a premier League match to get 3 assists in an away match before half time
Happy that Jesus’s first comeback goal will be saved for when we really need it. Although it would have crowned a terrific result.
Cicero, sounds like you had a busy lunch and then arsenals win put the icing on the cake.
….followed by Arsenal Women putting four passed Reading without reply Geoff.
New post up now