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Bookies in uproar as UNTOLD ARSENAL readers make a fortune

Rates of 40-1 were being quoted before the match for Billy “The Dog” McGraw’s prediction to be true, and a fair number of the 108,000 UNTOLD ARSENAL readers decided it was worth a flutter.

A fiver on Wolverhampton W. 1 Arsenal 4, with one of those £50 extra bids free if you’ve never had a bet with them before.

And what do you know?

It was another display of staggering brilliance spoilt only (and this is a very personal matter) by not being able to find a single pub in Cardiff that was showing the game.

I went into pub after pub where they might have 15 screens up, some quite small – set with the clear intention that when there were competing events on TV one little corner would be set out for the minority interest group.

But the stupid, pathetic, idiotic, twirpish nut-case landlords and their staff decided to put all 15 screens onto a rugby match.  Of course rugby is the national sport in Wales, and I make no complaints about that.  But there were several of us, meandering around in the pouring rain who would have spent quite a few pounds if we could have had one little corner watching one little screen.  No sound needed, no atmosphere.  Just us and a TV screen.

But no.

In the end I went back to where I was staying, changed out of my wet clothes, and put on Radio 5, while sending a message to the rolling news service on the Guardian.   One guy helpfully sent back a note telling me of an Irish pub near the Castle – but by then I had changed, it was half time and that pub is on the other side of the city.  But thanks mate.  Appreciate it.

Watching Noddy and Big Ears on the Match in a Daze show it was another simple victory with the 3rd goal being something very special.  Last time we played Wolverhampton W I went to the match and felt uncomfortable with the local support – and noticeable again that this time they decided to boo Eduardo’s message of world peace on his t-shirt.  OK so they don’t speak the language, but booing something just because you don’t understand it is about half a step from racism, which is not very clever on Armistice Day.

Now the break for the MOMD (matches of meaningless drivel), which of course means it is time to take in Arsenal’s glorious past.

If you have never yet seen it, go and have a look at the Woolwich Arsenal web site.   And after that order up your copy of the novel MAKING THE ARSENAL.   Did you know this is the only club that actually has a blog that follows the day by day events of 100 years ago.  Now that is what I call a sense of history.

And now, following a request that we give ratings, just like every other site in the multi-verse, here they are…

  • Player ratings – everyone got 10.
  • Crowd ratings – home crowd 2 out of 10, Arsenal 10 out of 10
  • Commentator on Radio 5 ratings 7 out of 10 (spoilt by Jummy Armfield reminiscing about the Boer War)
  • Match of the Day ratings – 8 out of ten – we came on second and they saw the value in the third goal
  • Arsene Wenger’s coat ratings – 7 out of 10 – fairly standard
  • Billy’s selection of the team ratings – 6 out of 10 – Billy earned us all a fortune by predicting the score but didn’t get the team right at all.  1-0 to the Wenger
  • Wolverhampton’s ratings as an exotic centre of nightlife, fun, and suavity, minus several million out of 10.
  • Cardiff’s rating for coping with a minority interest sport – minus the age of the universe out of 10.

Any other ratings you want to add?  Please do.  I haven’t read the other blogs on Arsenal this morning, but we could rate them.  Or maybe the newspaper reports.   Always happy to oblige.  As in, “Coverage by the press that it is 20 years since Liverpool won the league” zero out of 10.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

22 comments to Bookies in uproar as UNTOLD ARSENAL readers make a fortune

  • haho

    Tony, was that you reacting on the Guardian’s liveblog?

  • haho

    Whoops just read. My bad.

  • TheSKAGooner

    I think Stourbridge get 10/10 for making me actually giggle that they have chicken wire around their pitch. Their FA Cup match against Walsall was shown here in the US and every time they swung the camera around I got a good laugh. They should also get a 0/10 for pitch management – lets clean up those leaves on the pitch before the match, eh lads?

  • LRV

    I wish I had a flutter yesterday. Perhaphs I, like others, would have made a few bucks from Billy’s prediction.

    Anyway, I am still slightly hungover from the Melot. I honestly wanted to drink just a glass, but ended up finishing more than a bottle. How much more, I really can’t say.

    I have read just a few pages of Making the Arsenal. So far, it is “SuperBad”; uncannily witty and pleasant to the senses. I’ll continue after the ManU/Chelsea game.

  • “Uncannily witty” – now there is a phrase to conjure with, LRV. Take a peek at today’s http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk and compare the reprint of the Guardian article on men’s hats 100 years ago, with the first page of MAKING THE ARSENAL. I would say “uncannily accurate” – just like Billy the Dog’s prediction.

    And for each game from now on we must add in STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS. Half the stadia in the EPL are up for naming rights purchase.

    Molineux I would give 3 out of 10 for, on the grounds that I never understood what it meant.

    I really don’t get why all the sites do this rating out of ten for players and then ignore the important things, like leaves on the pitch, toilet facilities, view, number of squirrels on the pitch, colour of Sir Alex F Word’s nose, idiocy of the questions asked by commentator afterward (“just how happy did that goal make you?”).

    This is a whole area of serious football commentary that we have not even begun to touch. Can you imagine the headline on Goonernews:

    Wolverhampton v Arsenal: toilet ratings.

  • Simon Bailey

    paying for a riding lesson for my daughter – 20 quid
    paying for a takeaway so the rest of the kids go too – 20 quid
    watching the match in peace on espn – 10 quid

    hearing the young espn lady call cesc – ‘sex’ – Priceless.

    i didnt see motd last night, but its interesting that the bbc saw fit to put us on second.

    what is more interesting is that the cmmentators have gone from not giving us a chance to slagging us off for letting teams get one back without actually admitting how good we are.

    the glee in the espn commentators voice when he realised he could call both of the first two goals – ‘own-goals’. that coupled with the notion that wolves was the best team for the first 20 minutes.

    they havent finished building us up yet and they are already anticipating knocking us down.

    i believe much humble pie is on the menu come may.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Hear, hear Tony!

    I think we should all call on the FA to institute the “Attwood System” of match rating. Special appearances on MOTD would be mandatory to cover all the associated elements and ratings.

    Some more possibilities:

    1. Twitch rating – Unique to Sp*ds matches, this would be assessed accordingly during a match.
    – 1 – The missus put too much starch in ‘arry’s shirt
    – 10 – Being tailed by IRS agents on the way home from the accountants

    2. Losing/drawing coach gruntlement – Some coaches are more animated than others, especially when losing or drawing a match.
    = 1 – The Drunk Scotsman – Jovially laughing and chatting up the 4th referee during stoppage time because you know the match will go on and on…and on until you score.
    – 5 – The Pensive Dutchman – Sitting in ones chair the entire match, looking rather like waiting at the doctors office to have a prostate exam.
    – 10 – The Tangerine Dream – Having your halftime team meeting at midfield. Oh, and singing to the crowd on the last day of the season because you didn’t get relegated gets bonus consideration in case of a tiebreaker.

  • anaconda

    Tony, I don’t know if you were serious about The Molineux but here we go:

    “The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a successful local merchant (and a distant relative of the now extinct Earls of Sefton) who, in 1744, purchased land on which he built Molineux House (later converted to the Molineux Hotel) and on which the stadium would eventually be built. The estate was purchased in 1860 by O.E. McGregor, who converted the land into a pleasure park open to the public. Molineux Grounds, as it was titled, included a wide range of facilities including an ice rink, a cycling track, a boating lake and, most crucially, an area for football.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molineux_Stadium#Origins

    I kind of like that story, 9 out of 10 maybe?

  • anaconda

    Tony said: I really don’t get why all the sites do this rating out of ten for players.

    I totally agree with this, the ratings are most often total bs. Some reasons:

    – Nobody explains if the range of points is from 0 to 10, 4 to 10 or whatever?

    – You never ever see anyone get a 10, well at least in the papers. Actually even a nine is once-a-season kind of stuff.

    – You actually very rarely see grades below 5, if ever. Exception to this are some German papers like Kicker who can give like 3 to every player of Bayern when they lose…

    – So the grading system is actually from about 4.5 to 8.5, makes no sense at all.

    – Even more stupid they are because most of them even from fans of a team are made without watching a replay of a game. So it’s like, ‘Yeaah, great goal by xx’, give him 8.5 and ‘agh, xx missed a pass in the 2nd minute, 5 for him.

  • anaconda

    Oh crap, I’ve forgotten to order your book, remind me again what I had to do get a signed copy?

    Hah, Charlton have been abysmal and are losing to Nortwich Victoria in the FA Cup 😀

  • Jack

    No problem about the Irish pub tip – I’d been there myself earlier in the season. I found somewhere to play the game (which was against Fulham) but then they turned over half way through the first half to rugby. Which was annoying. Then I found this Irish place.

    Thanks for all your blogs!

  • Diaminedave

    Tony at 2.22 – a mixer!!!!

  • OK guys this is it….

    Starting now we are going to do a Alternative Encyclopedia of Football – including all the stuff that no one else publishes. Same idea as UNTOLD ARSENAL – if someone else is going to publish it we don’t. I don’t include the Molineux thing because that is good info and really obscure and gets 10/10 as one of the most incomprehensible ground names of all time.

    I will try and define the categories to write in – but all input is welcome, and see if we can find a way to gather together the best data that comes up into a book, or maybe a web site.

    Certainly we must include the worst League grounds that Arsenal have ever played at, the worst singing fans… all the stuff no one else covers. (And if I have got this wrong and someone else has done this, let me know and I won’t waste your time).

    It will help pass the next two weeks.

    Tony

  • So, sunday games over, we are 2nd, five points behind the KGB in Fulham, with a game in hand, and ahead of Manchester IOU also with a game in hand.

    All this talk about the top 4 becoming the top 7 with the addition of Villa, the Tinies and Manchester Arab. Looks to me more like it is just a top three, with everyone else scrabbling to get the fourth place in Europe.

  • diceman1984

    that’s right Tony:

    It’s clear that there are 3 teams playing for 1st and about 10 playing for that one final CL spot and Europa spot….

    Really am looking forward to playing chelski and showing them the real way of playing football….next trip to Sunderland is not going to be easy though…let’s keep this momentum going for, I’d say, the whole season?

  • walter

    Yesterday the story was told on tv (MOTD) that it has been since 1979 that Wolverhampton has won from us.
    Now I can tell you that I (yes me) was present when we lost 0-1 in that game. It was my first ever game of the Arsenal at the old North Stand.
    Now is my question: do I have to be proud of that ? I’ve got over the defeat in the end but I still wonder every now and then how it was possible we lost that game as we could and should have won by some 9-1.

  • AnonymousGun

    Have you guys ever thought that MAYBE the no clean sheet syndrome we are facing now are actually a strategy to invite teams to attack us and don’t park the bus? Would be funny if that was the case .. not to mention a stroke of genius :p

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Anonymous Gun , I think you may have something there – I can’t come up with any other reason why we concede so late in the game.AW probably doesn’t like to leave without giving a cosolation goal to the opposition,nor allow the team to totally humilate them.I remember when Arsenal had taken a first half 4-0 lead against Kevin Keegan’s Man.City, only to play so poorly in the second half ,that only Stuart Taylor in goal seem keen to want to maintain a clean sheet.The inevitable happened -Anelka
    scored.The whole team just went through the motions.It has continued to this day.

  • diceman1984

    We do seemed to let in late goals quite often….

    I just think it’s the cons of playing total attack football…..

    And you just cannot stop Mr.Craddock scoring on either ends at the moment!!!!!

    PS: any thoughts on Ramsey at DM position????? it seemed very strange to see him there although for only 20+ minutes or so. I would really prefer Wenger playing the young players like Coquelin or Eastmond there!

  • walter

    I think it has got something to do with seeing how he would cope there if needed. The main thing is to give him game time and let him learn some things on the field. Playing in a different position will benefit him in the long run.

  • walter

    I think that Billy even can influence the ref. I saw a penalty on Eduardo but we all know by now that he won’t get a penalty in the PL for some 10 seasons. But as they sing in my country: “If we win, we win without a penalty…..” :-/ It would have been 5-1 then and Billy bookmaker would be the lucky one.

    Sorry to go off topic but just saw the goal from Chelski. This is something that can be debated for days and you still don’t have a clear answer.
    The question is: when is a player interfering the play. It is down to the ref to make a judgement and therefore some will say he interfered and others will say he didn’t.
    I think he did interfered and it should have been disallowed. He was in the line of the ball in front of the keeper in an offside position. The fact that he tried to play the ball by kicking towards the ball proved to me that he intented to play the ball and thus tried to interfere. So this again shows how difficult it is to put one line in refereeing decisions.

  • ryan

    i thought i heard cesc get called sex fabregas too lol