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October 2016
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Over and over and over again. Every year we play Hull City in the Cup.

By Billy “the Dog” McGraw.

Mr Wenger has been doing his normal chat to the media which has as always been grossly misinterpreted.  He said that if we had lost in the final to Hull in the season before last he might have considered leaving – which by my book is two steps away from leaving.

And what do the media make of it?  If we’d lost he’d have been off.

But anyway, we won, and now we are working to try for the three in a row – which of course brings forth memories of Ipswich – Man U – WHU in the days of Neill and Howe.  Except in terms of wins we are already one better off than that run.

On the team front we could have Ooooooooooooospina in goal, Elneny playing in the Coquelin role (with Francis being given a lecture in Liverpuddle – Kalm Down Kalm Down Kalm Down, although why Francis should be talked to in Liverpuddle may not become completely clear at this point.  Alternatively Francis might play).

Plus Kos is back so that gives us the heart of defence which is always news of the best.

Hull now play in the Championship, and here they are in that league…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Hull City 31 18 6 7 47 19 28 60
Middlesbrough 30 17 7 6 39 16 23 58
Brighton and Hove Albion 31 15 12 4 40 30 10 57
Burnley 31 15 11 5 48 26 22 56
Sheffield Wednesday 31 14 11 6 49 33 16 53
Derby County 31 13 12 6 40 27 13 51

Fearsome stuff, being top and all that, as you will agree.  But what of their most recent matches?

Their last three results were…

Competition Result Date
Championship Hull 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Tue 16 Feb
Championship Blackburn Rovers 0 Hull City2 Sat 13 Feb
Championship Burnley 1 Hull 0 Sat 6 Feb

Thus top, but not firing on all cylinders.   On the other hand Hull have won four of their last five away games in all competitions, including an away victory over Bury in the last round.

However promotion to the Premier League with the new broadcasting bill will be worth £180m plus money in the next few seasons even if they go down.   Winning the FA Cup gets the winner gets £2m.  I suspect there might be a bit of focussing on the former, and a spot of the rotationals.

Indeed Steve Bruce, who still comes across as a fairly decent guy in a job not designed for decent guys says… “Nick Powell will have a big part to play in the coming weeks. I’ve told him that. He’s versatile and can play as a striker or as a midfielder and I’m sure he can give us that bit of impetus.  He’ll definitely play on Saturday, as will all of the ones who haven’t been playing recently.”  So a bit of a shuffle then.

“Making changes is the only option I’ve got. After Arsenal, we play again on Tuesday and then Friday so I have to make sure we’re fresh enough to compete in those games as well.”

Arsenal will certainly be doing some rotation so that people lurking around the edge of the squad get a game and others are rested before we play the Child Abductors.

On the injury front we have …

1 Manchester United 13
2 Newcastle United 11
3 West Ham United 9
4 Stoke City 8
5 Aston Villa 7
6 Liverpool 7
7 Manchester City 7
8 Crystal Palace 6
9 Sunderland 6
10 Everton 5
11 Arsenal 4
12 Tottenham H 4
13 Bournemouth 3
14 Chelsea 3
15 Watford 3
16 West Bromwich Albion 3
17 Leicester City 2
18 Southampton 2
19 Norwich City 1
20 Swansea City 0

Being in the lower part of the table is obviously against all the rules laid down by journalists through the years, who have said that we get the most injuries and it is ALL WENGER’s FAULT.

Jack Wilshere remains at least 3-4 weeks away from a first-team return.  Gabriel is out for this month only, Santi Caz is out to the end of March, and I fear Rosicky is now out for good.

So what sort of patched together walking wounded team does that leave us with (and I say patched together, because that injury table must be wrong).

Mr Wenger said, “We will play a strong side. A normal side.”  I am not sure.  A slightly abnormal side could be…


Chambers, Mert, Kos, Gibbs

Coquelin/Flamini  Elneny

Campbell Iwobi Theo


Which would leave, sunbathing themselves on the beach seven of…

Cech, Bellerín, Monreal, Coquelin/Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Alexis, Giroud.

On the other hand Alexis Sanchez has scored five goals in six starts in the FA Cup. His first goal in the competition was scored against Hull City 13 months ago.

Trouble is that is nine lurking on the beach – and this is the real trouble with Wenger – we’ve just got too many players AND NOT ENOUGH OF THEM IS INJURED.  I think he give might give Özil a break and maybe Alexis, ready for Tuesday.  I’ll have a word with the lads to see about adding to our injury list.

As for Hull, I can’t see Akpom or Hayden being allowed to play against us, irrespective of what the terms of the loan deal says.  Akpom has played 26 and scored three in the league.  Hayden has played 14 and scored 1.

Interesting comparison on the discipline front, because we all know Arsenal are dirty bastards.  Arsenal have 28 yellows to Hull’s 45.  Be ready for some rough and tumble.  And read the ref preview so you know what to expect.

The last time we were beaten in the Cup was by Blackburn who were then also in the Championship – so we need to avoid taking it too easily.  But that was the only time ever Arsenal under Mr W has lost to a lower league team in the FA Cup.  Two more wins equals our all time best record which occurred between 2002 and 2005.  We won the cup in 2002 and 2003 but lost in the semi-final in 2004, so getting to the final would beat that record and indeed the all-time record of any club in the FA cup for consecutive wins through rounds.  We were there again in 2005.

The first game between the two sides was on 11 Jan 1908 when Woolwich Arsenal drew 0-0 in the FA Cup with Hull, who won the replay 4-1 some five days later.  The anniversary of the game is still a national holiday in Hull.  In fact we didn’t beat them until January 1914 when we won 2-1 at their place in a Division 2 match. Our best win was 5-1 in the league cup in 1977 .  In the last ten meetings we have won nine and drawn one.

This is Mr Wenger’s 100th FA Cup match.  He has won 71 of the games, drawn 13 and lost 13.   He has won the FA Cup six times – equalling the record set in the 19th/20th century when things were a little different.  He has also lost three times in the semi-final and once in the final.  He has lost four times in round five.  A win in the cup this year would make Arsenal the first team since 1886 to win the Cup three times running, and Mr Wenger the most successful FA Cup manager in the history of the galaxy.  Expect a gravitational wave to be named after him.   Arsenal are, of course already the most successful club in the history of the Cup.

Here’s an oddity.  Arsenal won the FA Cup for the first time in 1930.  Also in 1930 Hull City reached the semi-final for the first time.  The result was a 2-2 draw, followed by a 1-0 win to Arsenal, who then beat Huddersfield in the final.  Our manager was, of course, Herbert Chapman.

Hull didn’t get to the semi-final again until 2014 when they beat Sheffield Utd of the 3rd tier 5-3, and then met Arsenal in the final.  Thus Hull have played in two semi-finals, winning one, losing one and each time Arsenal have also been in the semis.

Arsenal have played in 28 semi-finals, winning 19 – more appearances and more wins than any other club.

Arsenal in the cup on this day in history

  • 20 February 1904: Arsenal lost 0-2 in 2nd round of FA Cup to Man City in front of 30,000 spectators.  However the main focus continued to be that of getting one of the two promotion spots.  Arsenal were third, one point behind Burnley but with three games now in hand.
  • 20 February 1932:  Arsenal 2 Blackpool 0 making a perfect February of five league and cup wins.  Jack and Parkin scored with 39,045 at Highbury.
  • 20 February 1937: Burnley 1 Arsenal 7 (FA Cup, 5th round).  Ted Drake got four.  Burnley were a mid-table second division side at the time
  • 20 February 2011: Leyton Orient 1 Arsenal 1.  FA Cup 5th round in front of 9,136.  Rosicky scored and Arsenal won the replay.

The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our previous and forthcoming titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

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57 comments to Over and over and over again. Every year we play Hull City in the Cup.

  • para

    Can it be real? Is it just the luck of the draw? Or is it something else?
    OK, this pen by Barca, should not have been allowed in my view.
    A penalty is a spot kick, from the spot, how can he turn it into a free kick? That is my view.
    A penalty is not a free kick.

  • Tai

    Great preview Billy. Enjoyed it, really did.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am just wondering if Rosicky has been a parasite at Arsenal this season sucking Arsenal’s blood. And what has Akpom thinks he’s doing with his scoring just only 3 goals in 26 appearances for Hull so far this season? Is he moving towards the Arsenal’s exit door next season with that kind of goals tally?

    By the way, is De Abreu becoming injury prone at Arsenal? How dare him getting hamstruged when he is need to pair Koscielny at the Gunners CHB against Hull today while Rhinosacker is rested for the Barca game on Tuesday night.

    Arsenal will undoubtedly beat Hull City today at the Ems. Even in their dreams, the Gunners have caged 4 of the Steve Bruce’s young and senior Tigers today. But later give them out out of compassion to the London Zoo for exhibition to visitors to the Zoo. Instead of to shoot them.
    At Full-time plus the added time, the Score Board at the Ems reads: AFC 4-0 HCFC.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am just wondering if Rosicky has been a parasite at Arsenal this season sucking Arsenal’s blood. And what has Akpom thought he’s doing with his scoring just only 3 goals in 26 appearances for Hull so far this season? Is he moving towards the Arsenal’s exit door next season with that kind of his goals tally?

    By the way, is De Abreu becoming injury prone at Arsenal? How dare him getting hamstruged when he is need to pair Koscielny at the Gunners CHB against Hull today while Rhinosacker is rested for the Barca game on Tuesday night.

    Arsenal will undoubtedly beat Hull City today at the Ems. Even in their dreams, the Gunners have caged 4 of the Steve Bruce’s young and senior Tigers today. But later give them out out of compassion to the London Zoo for exhibition to visitors to the Zoo. Instead of to shoot them.
    At Full-time plus the added time, the Score Board at the Ems reads: AFC 4-0 HCFC.

  • colario

    This time if Mr Dean decides to repeat is chelski performance on us we will tell the world.

    As was pointed out Atkinson’s disgrace last week was (with one exception) ignored by the press.

    This time if the the press ignore Mr Dean’s disgrace we will fill the newspapers and blogs comments with Dean’s disgrace.

    As was noticed last week’s game all the hype was on the penalties and not the bad refereeing. So it was for the most part the bad performance went unreported.

    If the papers don’t report it this week we will in their comment columns.

  • Al

    I’m pretty sure that’s what led to the birth of Untold 🙂 But nothing wrong with making as much noise as possible, we just might see some change.

    I really hope we will get to see fair officiating one day in England. Something about this league reminds me of African politics. Elections are never free nor fair in probably 99% of the countries (think only Botswana comes closest to being a true democracy in Africa). The ruling party controls the state media spouting nothing but propaganda, state apparatus is used to suppress the masses, corruption and cronyism are the order of the day, bi-partisan police, some people go to shocking lengths of bootlicking to get favours from those in power, most people know the real truth but are too scared to say it, hounded opposition leaders…. One could easily substitute any of the above entities – with perhaps the only major difference being the degree of violence – with the FA, a secretive pgmol, a complicit media, pundits and the one-sided commentary, thugs who take to the pitch to maim other players, certain managers being hounded in the media, etc. etc. Lots of similarities.

    Sorry for mixing football with politics but sometimes it’s too hard to tell the difference between the two. Just take a look at Fifa for instance.

    Anyway back to football, hope the team prevails over the cheating pgmob. And hoping Hull play a clean game; not saying they don’t, but hope they’re not encouraged by the ref no to. COYG!!!

  • Va Cong

    Jacky boys on BT sport he looks like he is holding back not to smack them lol there goes the line you mentioned you god Wenger could have left blah blah verbal diarrhoea

  • Gord

    Good morning. This is almost obscenely early (5:23 AM), (Pacific Time, aka Vancouver and California) would be obscene. And the F___ing BBC is still playing their stupid javascript games. I didn’t visit them at all yesterday.

    Oh well, time to go make a coffee.


  • ARSENAL 13

    Hi guyz… Watching ARSENAL at sports bar… Which turned out to be empty

  • Al

    One wrong important decision already, no penalty for us… And we’re only in minute 9

  • Samrat Jha

    1-0 to the ref

  • Al

    Dangerous sliding tackle with studs showing from a Hull player, is this ref blind??

  • ARSENAL 13


  • ARSENAL 13


  • Gord

    Guardian and Daily Mail are putting up lots (too many) pictures in their commentaries. If the pictures showed details that were important, like proof a referee made a bad decision, it wouldn’t be bad. But they are just ordinary pictures showing nothing. So, unless you scroll the browser, you only see one or two comments. Annoying.

    Most seem to have noticed the handball incident. None are saying the referee is bent.

    Looks like the “e” key on Arsenal 13’s keyboard sticks. 🙂


  • Al

    Shouldn’t really be congratulating the ref for doing his job, but did well to book McGuire for a dive

  • Gord

    Why is the BBC posting twits from one of the worlds biggest twits (Piss-Off Morgan)?

    Come on Arsenal, let’s get a goal (or two) early in the second half.


  • Polo

    Refs miss another handball and deny Arsenal a penalty, the refs need glasses. This is becoming a joke.

    Let’s hope we can break down the Hull Airbus 380 defense in the second half.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Even BT Sport is calling that a handball

  • Al

    Definite penalty denied for Bruce’s handball. And no player was obstructing the ref’s view too.

  • Menace

    Kos gets booked because the Assistant doen’t communicate the reality. Kos was having his pants pulled. The asst is dodgy so far hasn’t flagged for 2 clear offsides even after the player plays the ball.

    Dean not 100% but so far so good. I still wouldn’t trust him with dog whistle let alone an officials whistle.

  • Polo

    Menace was going to point out how the ref missed the player pulling Kos short which led to the foul then yellow card.

  • Samrat Jha

    2-0 to the ref

  • Menace

    Clear penalty. Assistant blind. Dean cheating as normal. I am being kind when I call Dean a cheat.

  • Polo

    Another penalty been deny to Arsenal. What must we do to get the ref to do his job?

  • Menace

    Chambers gets a deserved yellow -tryig to make love to a Hull player.

  • porter

    Most of his bookings come from grabbing people , he needs to learn when to let go.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    You’ve got to think that if Gibbs had a right foot he would be played more.

  • Mike Dean shit i just hate the bustard,we were cut off briefly in Uganda communication wise,face book,whatsapp etc but as the big man has been declared the winner, well we might be back soon.

  • Menace

    The Art of Kicking is missing from our boys. PGMO have got their tactics spot on. Arsenal stretched by neat time wasting & poor finishing because of a Keeper in form. One goal is all thats needed God we need you again.

  • Menace

    Good chance for the offside Oluko.

  • Menace

    The obvious offsides are being called but the ones where the player comes back from an offside seems to be ignored. Dean is being kind to Hull.

  • Va Cong

    why do keepers always have match of their lives when they play us?

  • Gord

    Medja: can’t live with them, can’t shoot them.

    I guess Campbell had a good free kick in the first half. Alexis takes this free kick near/in extra time. One set of commentary says it was a ho hum effort, and easily saved. Another set of commentary says it required a brilliant save, from the goalkeeper (who has been having a great day).

    A couple of commentaries made comments about Flamini a while ago. Did he foul someone badly?


  • Yassin

    Va cong, everytime, then their next game they make the stupidest mistake…..
    How we couldnt score is unbelievable

  • WalterBroeckx

    Match report is on line

  • Strus

    Misfits say all.This all shooting requered not brilliant, but just avarage good keeper.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Unfortunately just about everything about that was poor.
    Ref wasn’t great, at least one penalty.
    Our passing was poor, so was the shooting, another slow start in the early fixture, and another inspired keeper at the Emirates.
    Just a bad dal all round, but still in it. The replay is a bit of a pain, but another chance for game time for players that are going to need it.
    Looks,like Alexis saving himself for Barca.
    But,,will,echo the words of Tim Stillman this week, we are just not the same without our ball players. Missing….really missing the likes of Ozil, Jack, Caz and Rosicky today. But the reality is, we should have had enough to win today though.

  • serge

    A replay! Just what we need with our fixture list to come.
    Stats tell us that we made over twenty shots, eleven of which the keeper saved.

  • para

    We fought hard, but their GK was brilliant(we should buy him 🙂 ). Still think we should have not subbed anyone, but i suppose they were tired after all that effort. Lacked a little sharpness and focus today, but understandable with so many changes.

    I actually thought Dean was without agenda today, this worries me, most of his wrong decisions were probably just that, without intent, he looked as if he was trying to be fair. Well surprised.

    So we now have an extra game.

    Barca Barca to come. We need to up our sharpness and focus to reach 100% again, else we will be beaten

  • para

    February 20, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Dislikes 3? WTF.
    Is it my comments or just my name?

  • Rodelero

    So once again Mike Dean has proven he is incapable of refereeing our games fairly. It is telling that he feels so confident enough that he can get away with it.

    In a reasonable world, the media’s spotlight should have been focused on Dean. His last game with Arsenal lead to a petition signed by over 100,000 people asking that he never be allowed to referee another Arsenal match. This game shows that he can’t be honest even when the match is relatively unimportant.

    The mistakes in this match will be nowhere near as high profile as the ones in the Chelsea match, but they were equally meaningful. Hull were able to play for a draw the way they did precisely because we failed to score against them. Part of that is on us, but when their players are allowed to block shots on goal with their arms, and to take our players out from behind as they advance into the area, and their keeper plays an absolute blinder, we’re always going to be up against it.

    After yet another match which proves Mike Dean is utterly incapable of refereeing Arsenal matches properly, will the FA now take note and stop him from refereeing our matches?

    Stupid question – we all know they won’t.

    The better question is: are the media oblivious to what Mike Dean is doing, or do they just not care?

  • porter

    Roedelero , to heap the blame on Dean is to show a consummate amount of frustration about where the blame really lies and that is in ourselves. We may have dominated possession and had 20 or so shots but there is no excuse for not pressurising Hull more than we did. The pace we played at suggests that we played within ourselves expecting the break through at any time . We were slow , pedestrian and sorely lacking in ideas . Not the best day at our office.

  • Careful Porter, the first rule of this blog is to always blame the Ref. Any ref that is, second rule- see first rule.
    Ask Menance et all.

  • Great we are having a replay that is always good for us. whenever we get a replay we usually win the tournament. So that is one for us which one is next???

  • porter

    Thanks for the Tip(ster), I try to be even handed and I will blame the ref if needs be but I call it as I see it. Sometimes The Arsenal frustrate the hell out of me , today was one of those days when i long for a Malcom Mcdonald forward that had no messing and would just burst the net and worry about things later.

  • WalterBroeckx

    So we did the invincible stuff with Malcom Mcdonald then? 😉

  • porter

    No Walter don’t be so precious . It is style that I am talking about . You may or may not have seen him play but he was a powerful player lightning fast ( 100 metres in 10.9 seconds in Superstars) that ran at packed defences and forced his way through. Horses for courses so they say , Unfortunately we don’t have a player of this sort. btw he played 84 times for us and scored 42 goals (wiki)

  • Super Mac was a great striker, would do some damage it this team. Not a bad record.

  • porter

    I know it’s England but he sure could head a goal . The story goes that it was his 2nd cap and prior to the game the then manager Revie handed all the players an envelope with a dossier of all the other teams players weaknesses. After he had scored his 5 goals the kit man tidying up found his envelope unopened and returned it to Revie . The manager asked Supermac why he had not read it and he replied that he did not need a dossier to beat Cyprus. Revie was not amused and he never played for England again.

  • Remember watching the highlights on sports night with Coleman ( I think) would’nt surprise me, Revie and dirty Leeds, another manager whose ego took over. Clough would have been my choice for England manager, had an ego too all the same., but would have played his best team whatever, I think.

  • Menace

    Tipster – you are a sad case of Alice in Wonderland. Join us in Wengerland & start living you onion.

  • austinpaul

    Another frustrating day! 2 clear penalties, non given; why are these refs nt given Us penalties?is it a code or wat?but they wuld hapily give our opponents even wen nt so glaring? Why wuldnt d Club complain formally to PGMOL? At least for d sake of it even if noting hapens;it luks like there is conspiracy sumwhere against Arsenal wich is to ensure d team doesn’t succeed;wat is d FA doing? Is PGMOL nt unda its watch? If we fans are always apprehensive abt refs how are d players feeling? Dis is nt gud enough for a so called ‘ Best League’ in d world watched in every continent, its bad , just too bad!penalties are part nd parcel of d game of football; in last 3 Arsenal games penalties hve bin denied dem whilst same hve bin given to opponents;are English refs Conscienceless? I wonda why FIFA patronizes these group of professional misfits nd nitwits! Be dat as it may, our players nid to do more work on their Shooting Skills; one basic tin in shooting is to always reduce follow tru by ‘ locking d knee’ plus a little crouch on d ball wich reduces d flight of d ball, so u can hve less ‘over d bar’ all d tym; again do d forwards use their peripheral vision b4 shooting to see d positionning of d ‘keeper nd d space to attack?finally, our forwards must learn to vary theirs shots,u don’t use instep often in d box,u nid more of inside of foot, outside of foot nd toeing nd placing of d ball more; outside of d box requires more of instep like Alexis does,den d volleys; Ronaldo, CR7, Ronaldinho, Lewandoski et al seem to perfected dis skills hence dey remain prolific scorers; I hve watched our strikers waste many chances bcos dey lack dis basic strikers’ skills, its worisome nd I tink AW nd his Staff shuld pay more attention to dis if we are to see improvement.To butress my claim, get Ronaldo’s world cup 2002:Brazil v England nd see how he scored d 3rd goal against England by merely toeing d ball afta dribbling 2 defenders, d ‘ keeper was rooted to d spot, dats how a real striker plays!!!

  • @Menace,

    Wonderland, yes, wonder what it would be like to win the champions league, you too, wonder if there is life after wenger, you too, yep, difference is , I believe our best days are in front of us, but some changes need to be made, hope you don’t cry when that day arrives.

  • Gord

    It is so nice to switch to the tab where Untold is, hit reload, and see dumpster commenting on things.

    The Economist has an idea about FIFA and corruption, reform FIFA into a public company (registered on a USA exchange I believe).

    I am not going to try and second guess the imminent results from the FIFA congress trying to clean up this mess. But, maybe what is needed for PGMO is to reform them as a public company?

    But, reforming either FIFA or PGMO as a public company requires that some legal entities would want to become shareholders (owners). It would not surprise me to find out The FA is prohibited from owning stock in anything. Is that true for all FAs? We would probably end up with a rush of FAs trying to amend constitutions so that they could buy stock in FIFA.

    From what Tony has said, I would expect that The FA has debts far exceeding assets. Who would loan The FA money, so that it could buy stock in FIFA?

    Oh, how do 474 employees accumulate $115 million in personal expenses in one year ($242,616 and change each, on average)?

    But, back to a public PGMO. Having insufficient employees to do the job would be out the door early.

    I would imagine that ManCity and Chelsea would be all for buying shares in FIFA. Would Kroenke be first in line to buy shares in PGMO?