By Tony Attwood
The last time Hull beat Arsenal at home was 2nd April 1915. It was match 33 out of a 38 match second division season, in a game played at Hull. The score was 0-1 to Hull, and the crowd was 8,000. Of the remaining games we drew one, lost one and won the remaining three scoring 12 and letting in five. We ended the season fifth in division 2 (although an error caused the official record to put us sixth – something that was not corrected until the 1970s).
Following the enlargement of the league after the suspension of games during the remainder of the war, and because of a notorious match fixing scandal involving Manchester Utd and Liverpool, an election was held as to who should be in the 1st division when it resumed in 1919. Arsenal won one of the places.
Tottenham H. who were relegated from the first division have long since argued that this was fraudulently arranged, but without any evidence to back up such wild and whimsical claims. If you want to know what really happened the story is here.
And just before we get back to today, remember that they beat us 2-1 in the first-ever top division game between us in 2008, so they are not total pushovers.
But now, to return to more recent matters…
Mr Wenger spoke patiently and calmly about Henry’s recent comments, rather like one speaks of a naughty child, saying, “We know all the system now of the modern media, especially on TV. I know how it works. They push you to be controversial because they give you a lot of money. I can accept an opinion but the comment on Giroud was a bit more wrong, especially because I heard the same thing being said about Nicolas Anelka, about Thierry Henry himself and about Robin van Persie. And they all became world-class players themselves….
“We are not in need of absolute change. We have a strong squad. We have some strong young players behind. We have a very big squad, so we need to lose some players as well. We have Lukas Podolski away, Joel Campbell. Yaya Sanogo will come back.”
So, on we go, in the knowledge that Hull City have lost five and drawn one of the last six Premier League games against us.
As for scoring goals, well Alexis Sanchez has scored in both of his games v Hull this season, and Olivier Giroud has scored six goals in his last seven Premier League away matches.
We’ve won our four Premier League away games but only by a one-goal margin, so it is clearly time to knock in a few more.
Hull have won their last two, but haven’t won three in a row since October 2008. And they have only lost one in the last 13 at home.
And here’s an odd item I found, over the last two seasons Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady has sent over 429 crosses from open play which is 89 more than any other player. Oh yes, and they have Michael Dawson. Still, at least with him in the team, when we sing “It’s happened again, it’s happened again, Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happened again” someone on their side will get it.
Hull’s team looks to be in sharper shape than of late, since Nikica Jelavic and Andy Roberston back from injury and David Meyler returned from suspension. Since Leicester seem to be on the up, relegation is still looming, and they know a poor run could drag them down. They did it against Liverpool, so their expectation will be high.
Whoscored.com are intresting on the topic of Hull in that they have only one strength according to the site: ariel duels. It is one of our strengths too, so that should be ok. They are said to be weak on keeping possession and finishing scoring chances.
They are apparently very weak at defending long shots and defending against skillful players – which should make life interesting.
Thus they play an aggressive game with width, and attack down the right with long balls.
The outcome, according to Whoscored is that we will score as a result of individual skill and dominate possession, while they will be shown lots of cards (I really doubt it but you never know).
As for us Mathieu Debuchy is doubtful and Arteta and the Ox are not yet ready. Jack might just get a game, although most likely he will come on as a sub.
So a line up… remembering that we have only failed to score in three league matches this season – twice against Chelsea and once against Southampton.
Monreal Gabriel Koscielny Bellerin
Alexis Ozil Ramsey
To come off the beach: Wilshere
Other residents thereof:
Szczesny, Walcott, Welbeck, Flamini, Debuchy, Mertersacker, Gibbs, Rosicky.