By Tony Attwood
According to most press reports lots of “angry Arsenal fans left the stadium in protest while others stayed to chant their disdain for the team’s showing, wailing: “We want our Arsenal back.”
No one seems to have found any of the “lots of angry Arsenal supporteres” to interview in terms of how they felt.
How do they feel? Stupid? Drunk? Annoyed? Surely interviewing these fellows ought to be one of the stories of the day. Maybe I have missed it. Maybe the Sun found one.
But dozens? I think there were 4000 at the away end so that would make well under 1% who left. Doesn’t sound so good then does it. “Under 1% of Arsenal fans left at half time”.
So what did happen on Tuesday 30 October 2012?
Arsenal had 65% of possession, and Reading 35%. Arsenal had 65% of the goal attempts too (34 to 19).
The team had nothing to do with our first team that was beating QPR last weekend:
Johan Djourou, Ignasi Miquel (Jernade Meade, 108), Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson,
Francis Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong (Olivier Giroud, 62), Serge Gnabry (Thomas Eisfeld, 63),
Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott, Marouane Chamakh
Walcott had a bash at playing through the middle at times, Chamakh who can’t hit a barn door with a mallet from 3 inches scored two, and we ended up playing 4-2-4 (as my mate Ian pointed out).
Here’s what one correspondent of Untold said,
“The players may go back to the dressing room smiling and patting each other on the back but by and large they were nothing short of a disgrace and I am thinking specially of kos, djorou, coq and pingpong when I say that. Others may disagree but I thought that both full backs were dire and only marginally better than the two centre backs (how the fcuk can noel hunt score that header off jenkinson ??), I thought that chamakh was awful until he scored and walnut gave us no fcuking help defensively all night long.”
OK – that’s a point of view, and we published here – twice actually. But consider this for a moment from a psychological position.
You can go to football because you support your tribe, and because you think football is fun, and because you want to be with your mates. But when it gets to the stage of slagging off your own team because you have just won 5-7 away against a Premier League team, then surely a plot has been lost.
What would you sooner have? A perfect defence and a 0-1 victory?
Let us go to another report at half time. Many of the Arsenal fans, another paper told us, “left the stadium in disgust and missed their team’s comeback. Wenger said that those who stayed helped inspire the transformation. I felt sorry for our fans and I would like to give them credit tonight. A big part of them stayed behind and I am happy that we paid them back.”
And for those who left? “I give them less credit,” he replied.
Here’s another view. We have people who call themselves Arsenal fans who are complaining when the home manager of (I repeat) a Premier League club (who used to play for us too) said that this was the “worst defeat of my career”.
He also said what Mr Wenger said, Walcott’s goal for 4-1 was the turning point. “When you give good players an opportunity, they take it. I really wanted us to get a fifth goal to finish them off, which seems a ridiculous thing to think when you’re 4-1 up. But we didn’t play in the second half, what we did was kamikaze stuff.
“We were really, really good for the first 35 minutes … but then when you see what we did in the second 45 minutes, it was bizarre to say the least,” continued McDermott. “When you consider that we were 4-0 up and who we were playing against and we end up drawing 4-4 [after 90 minutes], it’s just embarrassing for us all.”
We then had the argument about over time before McD said he had now given his players two days off to recover from this ordeal.
The 12 goals scored is the highest in one match in modern league cup terms beating Aston Villa 8 Wycombe Wanderers 3 in 2003.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”: crowd behaviour at the early matches