- 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 FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society
By Billy the dog McGraw
Sndrlnd is a diminutive principality based on an island in the North Sea from which both urban guerillas and vowels have been almost totally erradicated.
The name of this idyllic islet comes from Soender-land, meaning a little land carved out of the beautiful river with coal dust floating downstream.
The region was settled by Benedict Biscop of Monkwearmouth who invented the frozen pea and the seed drill, before moving to Bishopwearmouth after he was found out.
In 1179 the little fishing village gained a charter, and the area has remained unspoiled and unchanged to this day, save for the slag heaps.
In the 14th century Triffids were discovered roaming in the local rivers, and after a short battle a peace treaty was arranged in which the Triffids agreed to move to Gateshead while in return the natives agreed to abandon the use of all vowels, thus renaming the area Sndrlnd.
Local people are thus known as Mckm – a word meaning “hunter – gatherer” or “basement flat” depending on which dictionary you use.
Sometime between 4,000BC and 2,000 BC Sndrlnd became a centre of ritual burial (or rtl brl as it is known locally). According to some the first football team in the area was formed in a Roman settlement on the Wear. Evidence for this is the existence of the Vaux Brewery where they made ale and old cars.
Meanwhile many of the local chiefs won talent competitions like King Ecgfrith who won the “silliest name for a king north of Watford” 20 years in a row.
After this the Codex Amiatinus was created by V Bead (the father of English football’s famous V formation) and it is now reprinted once every two weeks under the imaginative title of Match Day Programme. In deference to tradition, the handbook for the season is known as Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
Then came the Vikings, everyone worshipped Thor, football was played on a Thursday and ships were built on Mondays and coal mining plus sheep dipping were invented. Part of the area was renamed Hendon, after the London Borough of Chiswick.
Tthen in 1644, the Marquess of Newcastle invaded Scotland, and Parliament blocked the River Tyne thus creating The Fog. Ownership of The Fog was hotly disputed and the keel was invented.
The city then contracted cholera and everyone decided to donate that too to Gateshead and the locals demanded democracy. Education was introduced in 1901, and the hospital opened in 1923 ready for the bombing from 1939 onwards. By 1985 100% of the population were either employed or unemployed – a remarkable achievement.
In footballing matters, I met Dennis Bergkamp as usual at his allotment in Enfield and he told me that Jack Wilshere (the Great Hope of English Football) and Theo Walcott were left almost uninjured for the first time ever following the internationals (although some are saying that Theo is doubtful because he has a foot). Thomas Vermaelen won’t be back while we actually have a striker in form: Olivier Giroud (five in his last four). Although let us not forget Lukas Podolski has had four goals and six assists in his last eight games.
Martin O’Neill’s great claim to fame came when Aston Villa were within spitting distance of the top four finish, and MO took a reserve team for a Europa game in Russia. Villa duly got beaten and then slid down the league, and finished somewhere around 92nd while Arsenal marched onwards and upwards. MN then blamed the Villa owner who left in a huff – which is a very short space of time. It may not have been a huff. It may have been a minute and a huff.
MN has told his players to crock Jack, although the newspapers express this as him having “warned his players to be wary of Jack Wilshere’s influence.” “Wilshere’s come on in leaps and bounds and he can cause us problems,’ he is alleged to have said. “He’s come back from injury and added another dimension to his game. He’s got that little burst of pace which kind of reminds me of Liam Brady.”
For Sndrlnd Lee Cattermole is probably still injured; Connor Wickham is on loan and winger James McClean is almost certainly out. Carlos Cuéllar might be fit. Sunderland’s Craig Gardener is the most booked player this season, with 8 yellows.
And thus our team is (maybe) (perhaps)
Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal;
Walcott; Giroud; Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Arsenal.com says Koscielny might play, but Vermaelen is def out. If Koscilny is unavailable, and Coquelin does not make a last minute recovery then either Sagna or Iggy Miquel can play in the middle with Jenkinson on the right. The papers have said Walcott has a foot injury, but Mr Wenger didn’t seem concerned.
Elsewhere Ramsey is fit, but Gervinho has only just got back from his hols in Africa.
Subs down on the beach: Mannone, Yennaris, Miquel, Santos, Ramsey, Gnabry, Rosicky, Arshavin
And now the silly stats. Sndrlnd have scored 14 home goals, the least, the lowest, the smallest number, the fewest goals, at the Inky Black Stadium other than those at the bottom of the League. They have scored 26, and we have scored 51 at home.
Three Arsenal players have scored over 10 goals this season – Walcott has 18, Giroud has 14 and Podolski has 12. The top man for Sunderland is Steven Fletcher with 10.
Arsenal have not lost to Sunderland in the league since November 2009, and we have not failed to score since their 2-0 defeat to Man City on January 13, 7 games ago.
Three Arsenal players have scored over 10 goals this season – Walcott has 18, Giroud has 14 and Podolski has 12, compared to Sunderland’s one – Steven Fletcher has 10.
Sunderland have only won two league games consecutively once this season in December against Southampton and Man City. And Sunderland’s Craig Gardener is the most booked player this season, with 8 yellow cards.
The last thing is the last three so here at last it is
- Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0, Premier League, August 2012
- Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0, FA Cup, February 2012
- Sunderland 1 Arsenal 2 (Ramsey, Henry), Premier League, February 2012
Bye bye. (c) 1754, Billy le chien.
- Sunderland – Arsenal: What can we expect from the ref?
- Ref Review: Kevin Friend – Arsenal Vs Liverpool (2 – 2) [30/01/2013]
- What on earth can we ordinary supporters do about this mess?
- Financial Fair Play creeps into the Premier League
- Match Review: Andre Marriner – Arsenal Vs West Ham United (5 – 1) [23/01/2013]
- FFP and Chelsea – a conspiracy theory