By Bulldog Drummond
We’ve just lost three successive games.
The last time we lost four successive games was in October 2002. Now if the aaa had had their way then and called for Wenger to go, then there would have been disruption in the club and eventually a new manager would have been found.
I suspect the new manager would have done all right because the squad was rather good, but I am not sure if 2003/04 would have been quite as good as it actually turned out to be. If you recall we went the whole season unbeaten.
So sometimes poor results don’t actually mean that the sky is about to fall in. It could just be that reform is just around the corner.
However we all know the new rules: only recent events matter.
I have often wondered what would have happened to Arsenal in the past if the club had worked to these rules – rules that say that a run of poor results means you are out.
As this site has pointed out many times, Arsene Wenger is the most successful manager the club has ever had, with the highest win percentage, with the most trophies, and with taking on clubs that have wealth and resources far beyond anything that could have been imagined in past eras. And financing the building of a stadium along the way.
Sometimes people write in to Untold and say that George Graham was a better manager, despite leaving the club languishing in 13th position the day he was sacked, the club being 26 points off the top of the league. We had won seven, drawn eight and lost nine of our games that season.
Graham of course was not sacked for poor results and a low position in the league, but for pocketing a part of the transfer fee paid to the Danish club, Brndby, for John Jensen in August 1992.
But if the current feeling among some people who call themselves supporters had been prevalent then he would have gone long before. A run of ten league games without a win in which Arsenal scored just two goals in 1987 would surely have been enough to lead for demands for him to have been sacked.
Certainly Herbert Chapman would never have lasted long enough to give Arsenal the club’s first ever trophies. Six consecutive defeats in 1927 during which the club let in 26 goals would have seen him show the door without even a cup final to his name. And even if he had survived that, eight consecutive defeats in 1928 would have led to a raft of “enough is enough” t-shirts surely, if they had had t-shirts in 1928.
Fortunately Sir Henry Norris was loyal to his managers, and Chapman survived.
And moving forwards, poor Bertie Mee would never have won that Double under these rules because of that run of two wins in 17 in 1967.
But now it is all different. Be it the start of a reign or later on, you are only as good as your last few games.
And therein lies a problem, because all teams, no matter how good, have bad runs. The issue is not what happens last week and the week before, but rather how good that manager shows he is in the long term. Arsenal has won two trophies across the last two seasons, just like Chelsea and Man City, two more than all the other clubs, and now we are having a bad run, so there are people who want the manager out and the owner out.
Of course maybe that would work in some way, but for it to work the manager would have to have the best ever win percentage of any manager in the entire history of the club. That’s quite a demand, given the huge levels of funding that are constantly available to Man U, Man C and Chelsea.
As for today, I suspect everyone knows pretty much what the team will be…
Bellerin Mertesacker Gabriel Monreal
Aleis Ozil Welbeck
On the beach: Macey, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Elneny, Campbell, Walcott
Tottenham are a dirty team, with 54 yellow cards this season to Arsenal’s 31, so the normal tension of the match, already heightened by the doom mongering of the aaa will be made even more feisty by the fouls.
Tottenham have not finished above Arsenal in the league for over 7500 days, so like all runs it will end sometime, as this site often says. Arsenal’s current poor run will end sometime, Tottenham might well win the league sometime – the first time since colour TV was invented. Today it could be either, it could be both, it could be neither.
So whether you think the facts and figures I like to run towards the end of these previews actually tell you that a sequence will continue or is about to end depends, I suppose, on your psychological make up. If you are a positive sort of person you’ll see it turning in Arsenal’s favour, if not, well, you don’t have a very happy life – at least until the run ends.
The facts are that we have only won one of the last seven league games played in Tottenham High Road (please do remember they don’t play in White Hart Lane despite what the media might tell you).
But we have won there this season. Remember Flamini? (Oh yes and that funny little person who twitted to the effect that if Flamini ever plays for Arsenal again he’s supporting Leicester)
Both clubs lost their last league match, and when it comes to matches against the top teams, the Tiny Totts lost to Leciester – a club whom Arsenal have beaten twice this season.
Our last six away games have been three draws and three defeats. That looks awful. But on the other hand we have taken 10 points from games against the current top four this season. No other club can match that. (Isn’t it funny how in past seasons some “supporters” have quote the league table of the top four against each other. They don’t do that this season).
And what of poor Alexis Sanchez. Not a goal in 11 matches in the league. Only a turnip on meths would actually believe Alexis is not a great player, so that run will end sooner or later. In fact sometimes a negative run can actually be a better prelude to a game than a positive.
Ultimately it all comes down to a simple question: do you support the club or not? Untold readers do, that’s why those of us who write for Untold do what we do.
- Up to the next milestone; the continuing growth of Untold.
- Arsenal and Tottenham supporters share a rare moment of unity
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.
The anniversaries – we’ve a slight delay on these this morning. Please come back shortly and they will be added.