The Oddfather Arsenal Ramblings

Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal: 5 Thoughts

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Two-thirds of happiness.

Gosh, I’m tired. Mrs OddFather is away for work so it’s just me and The OddDaughter this week. For that reason alone this probably won’t make sense but football moves so fast that if I release this post late it’ll become even more irrelevant than it already is.

1. Gabriel

After being left out of the opening game, I fully expected Gabriel to start against Palace. Turns out we went for a similar set up to last week. This makes me feel a bit uneasy, as I’m worried there may be something else happening in the background. What I can say is Gabi is an important part of this team, we seemed far more comfortable at the back when he came on in both the Palace game and against Forest. Just seems odd. Every time we had a corner I felt Gabriel would have been useful for his aerial threat.

Are we tempted to sell to Saudi/Madrid?… Saudi Madrid? The way football is going that may not be as far away as we think!

A quick Google search shows results dismissing any plans for Gabriel to exit so thats a bit reassuring.

2. Penalty-taker

I have to say I’m glad Odegaard took the penalty yesterday. There’s just this nervousness with Saka after a couple of missed penalties. I’m not saying he shouldn’t ever take a penalty for us again, just with Odegaard’s finishing from the spot it makes more sense for him to take some of that pressure off Saka.

It does feel like there’s a lot of dependancy of playing through Saka during the game. Didn’t quite work yesterday.

3. Shooting

I haven’t watched back highlights of the game, but it seems like our shooting was really off. A lot of shots went wide, and at times I felt like there were better options to play another player in. I counted 3 times in the first half alone where Martinelli miscued his shots. Credit to Palace, they defended well, but a lot of teams are going to set up against us in that way so we may need to find a way to be more clinical in front of goal.

I don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom. This was a very good result for what it was – an away game at a stadium we’ve struggled at in the recent past. Two years ago we wouldn’t have won this game.

4. Red card

Tomiyasu was incredibly unlucky for getting sent off. The first yellow he was penalised for others wasting time – I think it was Havertz? And the second yellow was very soft for a slight tug of the shirt.

That being said, I have to say I did not enjoy seeing us trying to buy/waste time after we scored with 30+ mins of the game still to go. I remember thinking it was going to come back and bite us in the arse if we carried on that way… I admit I was thinking more along the lines of 15 minutes of stoppage time, not Tomiyasu getting sent off.

I do question whether officials are going in too hard to stamp out time-wasting. Is adding extra stoppages not enough? Rather than penalising players so they get sent off harshly?

5. Away shirt

Unpopular opinion time. I like the away shirt. I wasn’t sure when I saw the leaked images, but when I saw us wear the shirt in the US tour and in the game against Palace, I have to say it’s grown on me. Maybe that just says more about my choice in clothing?

Either way, love the shirt or hate it, it’ll be judged for winning games/lifting trophies in it. If we lift the title in it come May I can’t imagine many fans having a problem with the shirt anymore.

Song at the whistle

I found the last half hour of this game very tough to watch. And soon as I say tough the first song that comes to me is “When the Going Gets Tough” by Billy Ocean. Even if the context isn’t quite right.

A great away win nonetheless – COYG!

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