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A very important match against Newcastle; looking for St Totteridge.

By Walter Broeckx

A few weeks ago I wrote that the FA/PL/PGMOL would do all they could to make it a 3 horse race as long as possible. I think even Steven Gerrard fell for this scenario yesterday. We are not going to let this slip he said a few games ago I have been told. And then he slipped….

But the authorities got what they want. I noticed that for this match the PGMOL or whoever pulls the strings of Mike Riley send Atkinson to Anfield for the match Liverpool – Chelsea. People who follow Untold and who have been reading our referee reviews knew that a Chelsea win would have been very likely.

The fact is now that Chelsea doesn’t have their fate in their own hands. Manchester City has. If they manage to win their game in hand they are first in the league. And from then on could clinch the title even if it is on goal difference. To be honest it looks the outcome I can live with. Not that I really would be happy with it.

But the fact is that Liverpool then would not win the title  - after their owner blatantly lied about the Suarez contract, with help  from the people that should stand up for the players.

It would mean that Liverpool would remain empty handed. Despite their owner having lied to the world in order to win something.  I don’t feel too bad about that.

Chelsea ending empty handed in the league would be also not something I would feel bad about. Au contraire, I think it would be funny. And I also hope that my compatriot Courtois does what he has been doing for Atletico all season long and keep a clean sheet. He sure is a keeper I would have loved to have been bought by Arsenal when he was making the first headlines in Belgium. And to think that at youth level he was most of the time the reserve keeper in the Genk youth teams and considered to be less talented than Koen Casteels who is keeper at Hoffenheim in Germany now. I’m sad to think he will end up at Chelsea one say sooner or later.

Manchester City winning the league would be the natural way of things – the trophy following the money. Indeed it would show that money still can buy you titles. And it will take a genius to beat that. Someone we have. If only for the injuries….

But let us focus on Arsenal. Everton shooting themselves in the foot last Saturday was a great start to the weekend. A football weekend that will finish this evening with our match against Newcastle.

A very important match for us. Not that much for Newcastle. They are free from any relegation troubles but also are not really in the best shape for the moment. If we win today then we will have already something to celebrate this season. As a win will bring Saint Totteringham’s Day (often known as Saint Totteridge’s Day)*. The day that our ‘this year we will finish above Arsenal-neighbours’ cannot overtake us mathematically.

Do you still remember August last season? The days that the whole media was jumping up and down in joy about all those millions spent by Tottenham and how that this time it really was really going to happen. And now later tonight we might be able to shut them up. Till next summer of course as they will start all over again.

But apart from the St. Totteringhams trophy we also could make a giant step forward in making sure we get that 4th place. I know some will try to denigrate it by using the “4th place trophy” sentence. Just look at how much the tiny Totts would have loved to be in that place to know how much it is worth. Look at how much Everton was already celebrating it as a job well done after their win against us. It is probably the most important place apart from winning the league in a way.

If we win tonight we will be 4 points ahead of Everton, out of reach for the tiny Totts. And that with two matches to go. So if all goes well I should be in the stadium to celebrate us taking 4th place next week. As I will be there next Sunday.

But before we can do that we should win against Newcastle. This is today’s cup final match for Arsenal. We must win it, win next Sunday and then we could even relax a bit at Norwich, the week before the cup final. Take no risks with players who have a little niggle that week.

As then we will have the real cup final to play against Hull. So still a lot to play for and a lot to win. Let us hope that the returning players can give us the extra push we need today.

* Last year when debating Saint Totteringham’s Day / Saint Totteridge’s Day there was some debate about the correct use of the phrase.  There is evidence of both being used from the early 1990s, with the press, TV and radio, late as always, picking up on it in 2010.  Neither version of the name can be considered “correct” as both are widely used.

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The Anniversaries section is published in full on the Arsenal History Society blog
The books

24 comments to A very important match against Newcastle; looking for St Totteridge.

  • avatar Jax

    Walter

    I never heard of St Totteridge’s day, but think the origins of (St. Totteringhams day) this lie with Arseblog
    Totteridge is where Arsene lives, and a very nice place too, just south of Barnet.

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Walter, the joke is that the Everton players shot themselves in the foot using their heads; these guys must be contortionists.
    Your words about the future Chelsea goalkeeper confirm what I feared, as Jose does not deserve him; I also believe Courtois is definitely superior to Mignolet.
    My favorite Belgian goalkeeper, having seen him play in person, was no other than Pfaff. He was also a consummate clown, with a style ranging from the loufoque / slapstick practical jokes to a pince-sans-rire more British humor. And he was beloved by the fans.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    Do hope we get the job done tonight. No pressure guys ! Keeping a clean sheet would be good .
    And like Walter said , the first of 3 throwpies for this season .
    Up the Gunners !

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Ray,
    the curious case of Jean Marie Pfaff… Excellent goalkeeper, voted best keeper in the Mexico world cup (I think), stepped in the footsteps at Bayern of their legend goalkeeper, made a mess of his first match and then went on to become another legend at Bayern Munich.
    But also a clown, who has made a living/job of being a clown and acting like a clown. And has been rather successful in doing so.
    He has had his own reality TV-series in Flanders where we could follow the tribulations of the Pfaff-clan is they are called. Forgot to pay his taxes or forgot to mention some income that brought him a lot of trouble with the taxman.

    My take from the outside on him: an amazing goalkeeper but also a person who wasn’t the smartest kid in school but who made a living in fooling others that he really is a simpleton. For some crazy reason people in Flanders have a soft spot for simpletons….
    I’m an exception as I didn’t follow his TV series at all and I don’t feel any connection with him apart from the fact that he was a great goalkeeper.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Mind you don’t write his name too much or he will ask money from Tony for using his name… :) :)

  • avatar para

    “the Everton players shot themselves in the foot using their heads”, i like that.

    When i saw Martinez sitting on the bench in the first few moments of the game, i thought, he looks like he knows he is going to lose. Don’t ask me why, it just came into my head.

    Anyway, tonight is important and the next game too, must wins, so the team can rest(perhaps then a blessing for Norwich) before the FA final. I like Norwich a little for some reason.

    Come on gunners, i am on needles now until kick off and the first 5 mins, where i can gauge the way our team is playing. I usually then either relax, or get more needles until the end of the game.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    So if Liverpool win the league Rogers is a genius. Really? He’s not that great. Genius is a word that’s thrown around too easily today. I don’t think there are any managers who qualify for that statement in our league, maybe Mourinho but I’d like to see him win something without vast piles of cash to help him. Maybe he did that at Porto but can he do it twice on the sort of budget he had there?

    Newcastle are a shambles but three points is never nailed on in football and the barcodes are due a decent result which a draw would be for them. Can’t see us losing this but we must get the three points.

  • avatar John

    Walter, re your references to Liverpool – Chelsea and Mr. Atkinson’s influence. It appeared to me that he did not make any major wrong calls in either team’s favour. However, it was clear from the start that he was not going to intervene against Chelsea’s time-wasting and spoiling tactics, which were obviously well-planned and choreographed and proved to be a key part of their successful strategy. By condoning that behaviour, he showed considerable pro-Chelsea bias.

    On a separate note, the reaction to Stephen Gerrard’s mistake is interesting. The media is full of sympathy… ” an unfortunate slip (ie after he had failed to control a simple ball).. can happen at anytime to anyone ..”etc. Imagine the reaction if it had been one of our players ; Tabloid headlines; “Per / Kos / Arteta / Wilshere in horror show” and thousands of repeats on Sky etc.

  • avatar Steve White

    What a spiteful piece, can’t win anything ourselves, so just enjoy proper football clubs downfalls. Really have turned into Spurs haven’t we?

  • avatar Antique Gunmen

    You seemed neutral about who’s gonna be champion this year. Not me. If I have too choose, I would like to see Nasri, sadly, pick another cups of his life, rather than Chelsea (no, not the special Mou-th again) or Liverpool (for a club who won PL 20 years ago they are so arrogant).
    For us, win two more games including tonite, will take us celebrate another 4th place and St. Totter_whatever you like to call, peacefully. Honestly, Daniel Lewy should resign and sold all his stock. He had sold their one and only world class player (not like he had better option), spend 100M pounds for nothing, not even (almost) a spot in Europa League. His weird obsession to shop in Arsenal junkyard was totally useless.
    However, as you said Walter, the job should be done well tonite, no reason to be carry on. Our team is finding their lost grip. A bit late, but just on the right time to save our day. COYG…

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    So Steve white, you claim to be an Arsenal supporter?
    Did you know we play the final of the FA cup? Or did you miss that part of the season?

  • avatar Steve White

    Yes,I had heard,and I never claimed to be anything ,although I have been going to Arsenal since 1963,so please don’t presume your are talking down to a child.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    So Steve,
    from where the phrase ‘can’t win anything ourselves’ ?

  • Steve White,

    You lose an online argument once you start making unverifiable claims to support your point. We have no idea of your age and there is no way we’ll find out if you have indeed been “going to Arsenal (going to Arsenal?) since 1963″. Or you are a 12 year old posting from his mother’s basement in Auckland. We’ll never know.

    More importantly, however, your age or how long you’ve been “going to Arsenal” does not give your comment anymore validity one way or the other.

    Finally, it is funny to see you get sensitive over a perceived slight (which Walter’s reply isn’t) after insulting your beloved club with the “can’t win anything ourselves line”. It’s okay for you to insult Arsenal but wrong for you to be called out for your selective amnesia?

  • avatar JohnW

    I still think Liverpool will win it. ManC at Everton? With the English Media hailing Liverpool the darling of the league? There’s only one winner. Anyway, I mind about Arsenal winning tonight and over the weekend; then the FA Cup.

  • avatar jambug

    Steve white.

    What on earth do you mean by “proper football Clubs downfalls” ?

    So as an Arsenal fan (you used the term ‘we’) you don’t consider us a ‘proper’ football Club then?

    So tell me, what is your definition of a ‘proper’ football Club?

  • avatar jambug

    JohnW

    2 interesting points you make.

    1st. I think you have a point regarding the media Liverpool love-in, and what that may entail regarding the standard of officiating in the Everton City match. I just get the feeling City will be so fired up it will get them through. But as you suggest it is by no means a given.

    2nd. You seem to be suggesting that for you securing CL football is more important than an FA Cup. It’s a very interesting question.

    This very point was discussed at length on here a couple of months ago and raised some very interesting points of view.

    Back then I chose the CL over the FA Cup as I must say did a vast majority on here. I stand by that today, but it is a close run thing and I bet with the FA Cup so close a few will have changed there minds and honestly I wouldn’t blame them.

    I think over the last 8 years there is no doubt the CL was far more important for a number of reasons, not least financial.

    The problem we have now though, is that this ‘No Trophies in 8/9 years’, however many it is, has become a millstone round our necks and it’s a Millstone we could well do without.

    So it’s a tricky one, one I hope becomes irrelevant over the next Month, but if I had to pick it still has to be CL for me.

  • jambug,

    The good news is that at this point, we don’t have to choose between the two. If we win tonight, our 4th place finish will be virtually confirmed. If we beat WBA next Sunday, we can play a weakened team (just like the ‘great tactical genius’) at Norwich.

    I had a bigger dream earlier in the season but we’d have done better that anyone in the media predicted at the beginning of the season if we make 4th and win the FA cup.

    By the way, 4th place still surpasses the FA cup for me but to shut off the “no trophy in X years” nonsense, I desperately hope that we win it.

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    Much of my antipathy toward another team comes from the behaviour of its supporters not the players. I must say the downcast expression on the face of Mr. MOTD Alan Hansen was nice to see. He has never given an Arsenal player or team a fair shake on the tube.

  • avatar Damilare

    @Bootoomee, I strongly feel that winning the FA cup may not stop the media negativity. How about ”…just 1 trophy in x years, AW out!”

    I want Arsenal to win trophies for Arsenal, manager, players and fans because we all deserve them. Not because it would change the mindset of the media or AAA, because it wont.

    COYG

  • avatar Mick

    @Bootoomee
    The ‘no trophy in X years’ will not be dropped I fear, just modified to ‘no Premier title or Champions League in X years’. This has already been suggested on Talk sport by, guess who, Adrian Durham.

  • avatar jambug

    I’m just watching Nevilles excellent analysis of why Chelsea failed to break Chelsea down.

    Basically they stopped playing there passing game and started ‘hoofing’ it in the box.

    Patience. Keep playing YOUR game. Don’t resort to aimless crosses.

    Exactly what Wenger preaches. Exactly what Arsenal do.

    EXACTLY WHAT THE DUM ARSES CRITISISE HIM FOR DOING.

    No plan ‘B’ and all that crap.

    As Neville says, stuff plan ‘B’. Be patient. Keep playing your own game.

    We may have to do it tonight.

  • avatar jambug

    Sorry typo. Why Liverpool failed to break Chelsea down, obviously.

  • jambug,

    Your 7.40pm post reminds me of a Walter article from months back. He basically said that planB is for those with poor planA. If your planA is meticulous and your best, just stick to it and with patience, perseverance and discipline, you will succeed.

    This is contrary to the common wisdom that you should have plan A to Z but it makes a lot of sense to me.