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What I will see, and what I’d really like to see next season

By Tony Attwood

I started sketching this notion of what I would like to see next season, about a week ago, and the more I thought about it, the more entangled it got.

So I decided to start with the new bits I will see.

First, I will see the game from a different angle.  I am extremely fortunate in having a season ticket, (or maybe I should say that I had to foresight in the days of George Graham to go and get one) but more than that, I have a new season ticket seat from the new season.  In the East Stand upper, on the 18 yard line.  Of course I haven’t sat in it yet, but I’ve had a look through the club’s virtual reality thing, which allows one to see the ground from a particular seat, and it is pretty whizzo, I can tell you.

The change was rather forced upon me because my eyes are not quite as good as they used to be, and I’ll be sorry not to be with the friends I’ve made in the north bank over the years, but one has to adapt to the times.

Anyway, this year I was one of the lucky ones (many more people seek to change seats than actually can), and my number came up.

I also will see the Untold Banner at the Emirates – or at least I hope I will.  If it is placed in the East Stand I won’t see it during the games, but I will certainly take a trip around to the West from time to time, just to make sure it is there.  Incidentally if you support what Untold is, and want to help with the cost of the banner (and see it and read all about it) the article and information is here.  A contribution is £5, should you wish to be part of Untold in a very real way.

And I will see the publication of the sixth volume of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn series on Arsenal’s history: Tom Whittaker: the end of the dynasty.   AISA publishes one volume a year, and this deals with post-war Arsenal, and the last of the four managers who were at the club with Chapman in 1925.

I’ve had the very good fortune to talk with Tom Whittaker’s grandson in relation to this volume, and he’s very kindly offered to write an introduction, which I am very pleased about.

For these publications I write the text, but don’t do the pictures, so I won’t see what it looks like in full much before anyone else.  So, I will very much be seeing it for the first time, this coming season.

Anyway, a copy will go, as always to everyone in AISA.  If you are not a member, and you want to be, there are details about AISA here.  Join now and you’ll get your copy free.

So that’s what I know I will see for the new season – the Untold Banner at the Emirates, the publication of volume 6 of the AISA history of Arsenal series, and the games from a new seat.  But, being a greedy sort of cove, I want to see more.  Here are the first few of my ideas of what else I want for the coming season.

1.  The FA Cup won for the third successive time.

I actually want this more than I want us to win anything else.  More than I want Arsenal to win the League, or even the Champions League.

The reason is simple – history.  Three successive wins has been done twice: The Wanderers (1876, 1977, 1878), and Blackburn Rovers (1884, 1885, 1886).  So to do it for the first time since 1886 (when of course winning was so much easier) would be amazing, unbelievable, and probably never ever to be repeated.

Arsenal are one of just two teams who have twice won the FA Cup in successive years – the other was Tottenham – and Arsene Wenger is the only manager in history twice to win the Cup in successive years.  He is also the most successful manager in the FA in the FA Cup in the 20th and 21st century.  Winning it again would make him the most successful manager in the FA Cup of all time.

Mind you I don’t know how my nerves would hold up at the Final.

On the other hand I’d also like Arsenal to beat the goal scoring record for modern times in the FA Cup Final – and if we did that my nerves would be fine.  No one has scored more than four in a final since 1903.  So a 5-0 win in the final would go down a treat.  Another record.  (7-0 would give us the all time record score, but I don’t want to be silly, and besides 5-0 would be the record since the off-side rule was changed in 1925).

This unique triumph – of being the only team to win the FA Cup three times in a row in the 20th or 21st century would be something beyond belief – and given that I have been lucky enough to have been at the last two cup finals, I would love to make it a third.

That then is my dream – my aspiration – for the new season.  The FA Cup.

But what if I can’t have that?  Then I’d accept the Premier League title, or the Champions League, as second best.  Especially if somehow I was able to get a ticket for the final of the Champions League at the San Siro.  (OK I know I am getting a bit silly here, but you know, we can all dream).

So, the Premier League – is it possible next year?

Well, we were not that far off this year just 12 points behind Chelsea.  So let’s change a couple of results and see what happens.  Instead of a draw and a defeat to Chelsea as we actually got, supposing we got two wins.  That adds five points to our total, and reduces Chelsea by four points.  That leaves us three points behind Chelsea.

Now last season we went unbeaten in the first six games, but our problem was that we drew four of these.  Supposing we had won two of those four draws – say away to Leicester (a game I was at, and it was a game we could have won easily) and at home to Man C (ditto).

That is it, we’ve won the league.  I have changed four results.  Three draws turned into wins, one defeat turned into a win.  Of course it is a fantasy, a bit of wishful daydreaming on a nice summer’s afternoon – but maybe that is difference between people like me, and people who inhabit the aaa.  I can relax, dream, and have pleasant thoughts.  That doesn’t make me any less of a person – in fact it makes me a much happier person.

Of course I could combine this and say, let’s win the FA cup for the third successive season, and the League.  A fourth double.  OK, I’ll have that.

As matters stand we’ve done the double three times, and so has that pesky Man U team.  Preston, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa, have each done it once.

A fourth double would have a nice ring to it.

I have plenty more on my wish list, but I think, for the moment I’ll leave it at that.  If you would like to provide your own wish list please do comment – or if you wish to expand, you could always send me an article.  Email Tony.Attwood@aisa.org

————–

From the anniversary files

  • 27 June 2002: Arsenal played a pre-season friendly against Rapid Vienna, but the game was abandoned after the home crowd threw flares and stewards moved into the crowd.  After the game was restarted both sides colluded to get the ball down the far end of the ground away from the fighting.  The ref then blew and the players ran for the changing rooms.

25 comments to What I will see, and what I’d really like to see next season

  • Jweeraga

    First, I would like to see Theo sign a new deal. Second, Isaac Hayden to break into the first team; to win the PL on the last day with a deflected shot from Per. Not only that but to snatch it from Mourinho who would already be cerebrating. Now that would be something!

  • Micheal Ram

    I fully agree. Gaining one point will decide titles. The team did drop unnecessary points last season due to injuries and off-forms. The form from Jan 2015 to the end gave me hope the team can win titles if they are consistent. The FA Cup has become a sentimental competition for us so looking forward for a successful treble, besides the obvious treble… COYG!

  • Menace

    Theo is priority – but if he doesn’t then flog him the highest bidder.

    We are good to go providing the playing field is levelled. It is such a shame that in this day & age officials are knowingly allowed to be corrupt.

    Our next banner ‘Officiating for PGMO is a Dark Art’.

  • Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner

    I will like us to beat Chelsea home and away in the league and win the league. I will like us to retain FA cup by beating Chelsea at the final. It will be so sweet to see the reactions of Chelsea fans in Nigeria.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    I think Jose Mourinho will not allowed to win the League title back to back again by Arsenal. Gone were the seasons when Sir, Alex’s Manchester United were allowed by Arsenal to be winning the League title with freedom abandons, Until Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini arrived to start putting cogs in his winning wheel. The contest to win the Premier League title has become unpredictable than ever. And Jose will not be give any breathing space next season to pip his rivals to the title next season. I think Abram Abramovich knows the suffocation of Chelsea team out of the title will likely happen next season. Hence his allowing Petr Cech to be coming to Arsenal for good cash to prevent him going for free next season. I have my possible wish to see Arsenal win the unofficial and official fifthdruple titles of: the Emirates Cup, the Capital One Cup, the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League trophy next season.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    I think Jose Mourinho will not allowed to win the League title back to back again by Arsenal. Gone were the seasons when Sir, Alex’s Manchester United were allowed by Arsenal to be winning the League title with freedom abandons, Until Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini arrived to start putting cogs in his winning wheel. The contest to win the Premier League title has become unpredictable than ever. And Jose will not be give any breathing space next season to pip his rivals to the title next season. I think Abram Abramovich knows the suffocation of Chelsea team out of the title will likely happen next season. Hence his allowing Petr Cech to be coming to Arsenal for good cash to prevent him going for free next season. I have my possible wish to see Arsenal win the unofficial and official sixthdruple titles of: the Emirates Cup, the Charity Shield, the Capital One Cup, the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League trophy next season.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    I think Jose Mourinho will not be allowed to win the League title back to back again by Arsenal. Gone were the seasons when Sir, Alex’s Manchester United were allowed by Arsenal to be winning the League title with freedom abandon until Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini arrived to start putting cogs into his winning wheels. The contest to win the Premier League title has become unpredictable than ever. And Jose will not be give any breathing space by his rivals next season to pip them to the title. I think Abram Abramovich knows that the suffocation of Chelsea team out of the title will likely happen next season. Hence his allowing Petr Cech to be coming to Arsenal for a good cash to prevent him going for free next season. I have my possible wish to see Arsenal win the unofficial and official sixthdruple titles of: the Emirates Cup, the Charity Shield, the Capital One Cup, the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League trophy next season by God’s will.

  • Andy Mack

    ” The Wanderers (1876, 1977, 1878)”
    There seems to be a near 100 year gap…..

  • colario

    Dreaming of how we would like the next season is a lot more fun then reading all this speculation transfer rubbish.

    For me it would be the double and a second invincible season. For no other reason than a third double would be a one up on the manure manager who asked:

    ”What does a Frenchman living in Japan know about English football?”

  • nicky

    Tony,
    You are easily pleased if your aim is the 2015/6 FA Cup and would regard winning either the CL or EPL title as second best.
    While the Cup is very much a lottery, in many cases depending on the luck of the draw, victory in the EPL depends on grinding out results week after week in the face of incompetent or biased refereeing. Not forgetting dodgy UK winter weather, which plays havoc with recuperation after injury.
    The CL is also somewhat of a lottery along the way although at the end we would have to face the best in Europe.
    I enjoyed your post though if only because it avoided mentioning all the
    rubbish being spouted pre-Window opening. 😉

  • para

    Menace June 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm, i go for that new banner indeed. 🙂

    Yes a third FA cup i would like.

    Now, here comes the big one:
    The Shield and then a Quadruple, LC, FA, PL and CL now that would be something.

    Ok ok i’m going over the top here, but hey the team is good enough i tell you that this could be done, alas we have more than just a team as opposition most times.

  • Stan The Man

    Dreams are okay man. Your piece always drip with so much positive vibes it is almost a crime to not dream. I am almost in the same boat with Para except that I want to add another invincible run in the league… Well dont look at my post like that! A man is entitled to dream, isn’t he?

  • Usama

    For the next season I will try my best to help out Walter and Andrew in their Ref previews and reviews. I will do my simple analysis of every match in the UEFA CL, Fa Cup, League Cup and Premier League mostly a day after the match. The document will contain every Correct and Wrong Decision made by the referee (throw-ins, goal kicks, corners, fouls, goals, offsides and other infringements)

    For the time being here is something for taste of my work. Its the FA Cup 6th round ref review. Replies and other suggestions would be much appreciated.

    http://www.docdroid.net/14vda/manchester-united-vs-arsenal.docx.html

  • Sammy The Snake

    I was in Berlin for this year’s CL final. It was like watching somebody else’s child graduating when Barca had their moment of glory.
    If Arsenal make it to the final, I’ll be there even if I have to give my left arm for it.
    But EPL would suffice for now.

  • Damilare

    What are they smoking/drinking/eating on UA?

    Well Mr Attwood, I will have an extra plate of whatever you are eating…

    1.I want our boys injury free.
    2.I want Arsene’s Arsenal beat Mou’s Chelsea blue black at the Community Shield, Away at the Bridge and home at Stadium Wenger. Or at any time we are drawn together in league cup, FA or CL.
    3.Lift the trophy in every competition we participate in.

  • Menace

    Great game by England Women in the World Cup (England 2 Canada 1). There was a blue & Gold Arsenal shirt in the crowd supporting Canada. I suppose that’s one of our Canadian Gooners.

  • omgarsenal

    I,like most Gooners, love to dream as that is a prerequisite to being an Arsenal supporter, so here goes:

    1)AFC continue our winning form from the last half of last season,
    2)We avoid serious,long-term injuries all season long,
    3)We beat the likes of Tottenham,Liverpool,Everton,Southampton,etc. and improve on our points total against Chealsea,United and City by at least 50%,
    4)Sanchez continues his energizer bunny form and scores 25 goals+, Walcott turns into a seriously effective striker and scores 20+, Wellbeck becomes a killer substitute, Giroud has a 20-25 goal season, the OX finally matures into a Cazorla-like superhero, Ramsey becomes the ultimate player he can be, Ozil is finally recognized as the fabulous team general he is, Cazorla continues to dominate the midfield, Jack shows his Arsenal pedigree and Bellerin steadily improves to become our greatest right fullback since Cole.
    5)Debuchy,Sanogo,Gibbs,Chambers,Szcezsny, Monreal,Koscielny,Per,Coquelin and Arteta/Flamini have another formidable season even as substitutes,
    6)Podolski finds either an opening at AFC or gets a new home that suits him and 2 new revelations come up from the youth academy or through transfers.
    7)If the Cech rumours are true then we let Martinez go and keep Ospina and Szceszny and rotate them between EPL,CL,FA Cup and other competitions,
    8)Wenger signs a new 4 years contract.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I would like the club to play at a consistently high level. Avoiding a crisis of injuries would be second. I don’t think we can avoid all injuries but being in the middle of the pack instead of being miles in the lead would be refreshing. Third would be to be treated as a normal EPL club and not a pariah by the referees. Wins will come in due course if these three things happen.

  • Gord

    On the subject of this thread, I would like the PGMO, The Premier League (Scudamore et al) and the FA to find some brains and the backbone to call what should be called, and quit making up calls to make the statistics look “normal” when they really aren’t.

    On the terms of expectations in World Football: …

    The last few Cyprus Cup games seems to have set up Canada for this, the friendly was atypical. I think the Canadian women played well, and I have no problem with the players or management. I think Canada being host nation performed about the same as a host nation typically does, start of slow and then build. The last thing we wanted to see was a gimee (Give-me) to England. And giving up 2 early goals headed in that direction. Christine Sinclair is a phenomenal football player. I don’t know there is a reason that she should eclipse Ammy Wabach, but Christine Sinclair is only a hair behind Abby. Mia Hamm? Sorry, both Abby and Christine have her beat.

    The problem for Canada, is that Christine Sinclair isn’t likely to participate in another World Cup. The USA has 10 times the population, they generate great players about 10 times as often. For everything Christine Sinclair has done for Canada, I hope she has a successful life in the future. She has given up more of her life to play for her nation (Canada), than just about any other person (male or female) has done.

    Another attendance record was set tonight. I am sure that would have been broken if Canada had of won tonight, I suspect every seat in BC Place was sold. Only Commonwealth in Edmonton has more seats, which is where that game would be played. I still hope that game in Edmonton gets good attendance.

    The Canadian Men’s team really needs to take a hard look at itself. They have been a poor team for far too long, and all of this attendance data aggravates things. And it is not the fault of the players, it is all head office politics.

    There has been lots written about how acceptation of viewers to WWC-2015 points to desired and needed changes in society. WWC-2015 is not over, it is in a sense for the host nation. Perhaps what is most important, is the attendance (TV and live) for the remaining games/teams. The attendance for all the games to this point (TV and live) have been wonderful.

    I suppose I am going to get labeled as a racist again, because I advocate for not reporting every incidence of racism.

    Are there more homosexuals participating in the women’s world cup than in society? It wouldn’t surprise me if the answer was yes, it has no input as to why (or the extent) I follow women’s football. Casey Stoney (Gunner and recent MBE) has chosen not to follow the typical path. She is a good person for lots of reasons.

    Canadian news sources were looking at why the Canadian Women’s Football team should be followed, why there were role models there.

    Just winning some game or cup, should not be a reason for a player to be a role model. Jack Wilshere has been in the news recently after ditching the mother of his children and finding a new person. To me, it is Jack’s choice that now has some people wondering if the girl he had children with is a good person. Or rather, Jack Wilshere is less of a person to me, because of what has happened between him and the mother of his children.

    Jack Wilshere is still a good footballer, and I will support him (as a Gunner) as long as Arsene Wenger does. I will support Casey Stoney as a Gunner, as long as she is at Arsenal.

    If some young person asked me for role models for them to pattern their lives after, I could not recommend either Jack Wilshere or Casey Stoney to them. For someone to choose a path followed by very few people, is not a reason for others looking for a path to follow.

    And not being as socially in tune as most people, I could easily have inserted foot in mouth above. That is autism.

    Enjoy the football, and try to ignore the medja.

  • Rantetta

    omgars

    Yep.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I too would love us to win the lot . Am hoping for a fairer shake from the refs , no or less injuries and a united squad .
    Getting ‘them’ to STFU will be good too.
    Congrats , Tony on your upcoming book . Don’t you think that it is about time to start on that book which has been always in your heart and mind , “Arsene Wenger -The first 20 years !” ?

  • Florian

    I would like to see most if not all players step up a notch and play the mesmerizing football we know they are capable of. May they learn to jump away of dangerous attacks, letting their offenders hit the fence they were attempting to send our players to. May the thugs injure among themselves before they play us. And of course may the PL trophy be ours come the end of the season.

  • dan

    Champions League, just got this feeling.

  • Of course I really want everything, but the achievement of a third FA Cup win in a row, would be there in the history books for all time, standing out from everything else in the FA cup.

    I agree with all the other wants, but still the FA Cup x 3 would be wonderful.

    And sorry about the mis-typed date for the Wanderers.

  • Matt Clarke

    A fair playing field.

    Anything else would be a bonus