This week we had a chat with Nathan Reynolds from the popular Arsenal fan site The Short Fuse to find out about their season fo far, thoughts on the game and much more.
Q. What did you make of the game at the Emirates earlier in the season?
Honestly, I had to look back at that specific result to remember it! Much of this season has blended together in lacklustre performances, disappointing results, injuries, and self-inflicted destruction. Arsenal’s centre back pairing (Sokratis and Luiz) scored both of the Gunners goals in the opening ten minutes, Pepe got the start, and Dani Ceballos was still fit. Giving up those two goals to drop two points was indicative of what was to come and really that game was the start of the decline for Unai Emery. Arsenal never won another match from then until Emery was fired.
Q. How has the season gone for you since then?
Well, Arsenal kicked off against Manchester United in 13th place and Mikel Arteta was on the sidelines as the club’s third coach this year. That’s obviously not where Arsenal want to be or expect to be. Unai Emery clearly wasn’t a great fit and a change was needed. Not really to save this year, but to get started on what will be a big rebuilding project. They had some tough luck with injuries, specifically to Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney, so the backline has been makeshift all year. Hopefully, Wednesday’s win is the start of a more stable period.
Q. Is the appointment of Mikel Arteta a popular one among the fans and was the timing right to make the change?
Yes. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone upset at the appointment of Arteta. The only disagreement might have been should it have been earlier, should they have gone straight to him rather than have Freddie Ljungberg as interim manager for a while, or should it have happened this past summer.
Q. How active do you think the club will be in January and what are the needs?
Q. The introduction of VAR this season has not gone to plan so far – what is your view of the system and how it is being used?
Q. Who will win the title this season and which three teams will be saying goodbye to the Premier League?
Q. Who has shone for Arsenal so far this season?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bernd Leno have been the top performaers, while Gabriel Martinelli has been a surprise and one to watch for in the years ahead.
Q. Which Arsenal player do Palace need to keep an eye on in the game?
I think Arteta will rotate heavily for the FA Cup match against Leeds on Monday. If he does, I’d say Pepe. He has the talent and is one of the few Arsenal players that like to take on the opposing defender.
Q. Perhaps you could share your views on what you expect from Palace this season?
In general, I expect Palace to finish somewhere in the 7th to 13th range. Not breaking into the top 6, but also no risk of relegation. Play entertaining soccer and be a place where younger talents or new faces to the Premier League shine.
Q. Your prediction?
2-1 to Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s turnaround continues and Aubameyang gets on the scoresheet.