By Tony Attwood
In 1975/6 we went six matches without a win under Bertie Mee. In 1976/7 we went 11 without a win including seven consecutive defeats under Terry Neill. In 1986/7 we went 10 leagues games without a win in which we scored a total of two goals, with Graham in charge. In 1995 before he was sacked Graham won two of his last seven games as manager. In his season as manager Rioch had a run of one win in eight.
These of the sort of numbers that are unimaginable today, because of what Wenger has done to the club. But that’s how it goes. Having lost two, won one and drawn one the end is nigh. Except by and large not for most of the guys who write for Untold, because we manage to live lives that are by and large fairly enjoyable. We love Arsenal to win and celebrate as loud as anyone when they do, but when we have a bad run like now, we live through it. Maybe because most of us remember our previous four managers, Mee, Neill, Graham and Rioch. Some trophies and some gruel.
And anyway, one of my daughters told me today she is expecting a child. What else does an old man need?
So there is no mourning, there are no cries of resign, or wringing hands in despair. We carry on supporting Arsenal, knowing that unlike the old days when terrible runs could mean really, really, really, really terrible runs, something will happen sometime soon. Those who don’t believe that are of course entitled to their opinion, but by and large they are a lot unhappier than most of the Untold writers.
The insults pour in – the Guardian compared Arsenal to a bunch of 10 year olds who had sneaked under the fence to get into the game. So the enemy these days isn’t so much the opposition as a toxic mix of the media, the bloggettas and the people who call themselves Arsenal supporters. As the Swansea player said, the crowd at the Ems helped them win.
But each to their own – if that’s what people want, then fair enough.
Of all the games of the season this is the one I least expect us to win, and a win would give me the greatest joy. The awful way Barcelona and the Spanish FA behaved over the children they allowed to be imported from outside the EU just so they could pick the occasional one or two, still annoys me deeply, so I still dislike the club. The one year sentence and the little fine seem pathetic, and the endless denials on the ground that “we are Barcelona we don’t do that” stick in the throat. The way the media never mention the issue in their desperation to grovel is, well, what the media do. The only light relief is the long queue of players outside the court waiting to find out what the sentence is for gross tax evasion.
According to the Telegraph today, “There have been embarrassments, humiliations, near misses, misfortune and mess-ups for Wenger to contend with,” and yet that could easily be written about Barcelona over the ejection of their proclamation of the sacred shirt, their claims that they pay more of their income in tax than any other club in Europe, their protestations that they are protected from the child trafficking laws by EU regulations… but of course the media won’t consider that.
As befits the new mood of the media there is no proper preview of the game anywhere, no clues about the team just page after page of attacks on Wenger. So here’s the best I can do. Koscielny is back but the usual group are out… Cech, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Ox
And I found a nice factoid too. Arsenal are unbeaten in their last three away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League (W2 D1)
A team tonight could look like this…
Bellerin Koscielny Gabriel Monreal
Walcott Ozil Alexis
The subs on the beach will be Macey, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Welbeck, Campbell.
Here’s the Spanish league... only the top six are closer to winning the league than to relegation and for the last of them its just a matter of a couple of points. It’s, as always that sort of silly league. Incidentally note how far Real Mad are behind Barce. Now Real Mad can afford any manager in the world, and yet they can’t find one (having changed part way through the season) who can get them any closer than 12 points behind Barcelona.
So how are Arsenal supposed to just walk out and find a suitable manager – and one who is ready and willing to come and do the job with our sort of “fans” when Real Mad can’t get one? No more comments on “Wenger out” unless a truly credible replacement is nominated please.
|13||Deportivo La Coruna||29||6||15||8||37||42||-5||33|
The last Barcelona matches were victories – 6-0 over Getafe, 4-0 over Eibar, 5-1 over Rayo Vallencano. Like I said, that sort of a league.
Anyway, those who are angry and/or very depressed might like to think – there are some people who are Arsenal supporters and are quite calm and relaxed, and actually enjoy football. Try it some time.
- 2015-16 FA Youth Cup Semi-Final Preview Arsenal v Man City
- Ref Review : Arsenal – Swansea, when is it going to start to even out?
- Why it is so vital for a club not to take its youth programme for granted.
There are 18 anniversaries on the file today. Here are the most recent four.
- 16 March 1995: Auxerre 0 Arsenal 1. CWC quarter final 2nd leg. A goal by Ian Wright on 16 minutes gave Arsenal the away win they needed to overcome the 1-1 draw at Highbury.
- 16 March 2000: Arsenal 2 Werder Bremen 0. Uefa Cup. There were media suggestions this was not enough. Henry and Ljungburg scored. The second match was on the 23 March and Arsenal surprised even themselves.
- 16 March 2013: Swansea 0 Arsenal 2: From here to the end of the season Arsenal won 8 drew 2 and lost 0. Monreal equalised on 74 minutes and Gervinho got the winner in added time.
- 16 March 2014: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1 with a Rosicky screamer in 72 seconds being the only goal of the match.
Just published by the Arsenal History Society: