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The issue of where two points might be stuck

Way back in the dim and distant, when George Graham was the man in charge and no one had heard of the French even playing football, we had a game against Manchester London as they were then known.   During the game a lot of players ran around a bit, and waved their arms at the ref and each other.  No one got hurt, no one fell over, but the commentators from the BBC called it disgraceful, an affront, and all that sort of thing.

So the Football League acted and took away two points from Arsenal for the new offence of running around too much after the whistle had gone.  We went on and won the League and on the night we won it we sang, all night long, “You can stick your ****ing two points up your ****”

I remember it particularly because when I finally got home I put on the video recorder of and watched the game again (little wonder the wife subsequently sued for divorce) and there was the dopey prat idiot commentator before the game saying, “You can hear the Arsenal fans singing ‘We are the Champions’ because Liverpool have lost, so Arsenal are indeed the champions…” and you can clearly hear the entire crowd singing “You can stick your ****ing two points…”

I was reminded of this (the two points, not the singing) with the news that Sol Campbell has said that football authorities should deduct points for racist abuse by the crowd.  I agree 100000%, but sadly Sol, I can’t see it.   The league will deduct points from Arsenal for the players running around the ref a bit, especially if they think it will help Liverpool win the league, but action against the infinitely more vile act of racism, no, not a chance.

Meanwhile we have West Bromwich Wobbleyum, where I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem, although I haven’t been for a year or two.  And here’s a jolly statement from the Lord Wenger…

“But I will not rotate too much because there are five days before the Burnley game. There will be one or two but what we try to do is rotate a little bit without losing the balance of the team.”

And this from the official AFC web site just now…

According to Wenger, there is an outside chance that three of them (Walcott, Silvestre, Eduardo and Adebayor) will face Burnley in the FA Cup on Sunday.

And a bit later

“Fabregas and Rosicky [will return in] three weeks.”

Now that’s a thought and a half.  All those people who have torn up their tickets in disgust and vowed never to come back until Arsenal adopt the Tiny Tott approach of sacking the manager every October, must be scrabbling around in the dustbin thinking, maybe I might just give them one my try…

(c) Tony Attwood, sometime in the 21st century…

10 comments to The issue of where two points might be stuck

  • Ian Trevett

    Docking us two points in 1991 gave us a great siege mentality that helped drive us on to the title. It was us (the players, fans, manager) against the world. And it worked.
    If only all our fans could see all the anti-arsenal crap that is out there and say it is us against the world again. Instead too many fans are directing the anger at the club, which helps no-one except our rivals.
    Bring on the siege mentality and we’ll show the world that this club means business!

  • consolsbob

    Very good point and well put Ian. What is the difference today? Why are thses ‘fans’ turning inwards and not standing shoulder to shoulder with the club?

    I mean, every day the media give us cause to get angry. Yet I get the impression if we were diocked points today under similar circumstances, thos fans would blame Wenger for not keeping his players under discipline.

  • Bobby Pliers

    Its all down to it now being a global game. Arsenal have fans (courtesy of Sky etc) now that they didnt have back in the early nineties. Unfortunately because of the coverage we get in the media its all some fans have ever known and they cannot understand where we have come from, how far, and where we are trying to get to. Most armchair fans (and I am not being disparaging here) out there see Manure as the perfect model for a successful football team and want us to mirror their approach. More and more though I am convinced that Alex Ferguson is in it for himself and wants a legacy where he will be remembered for winning the lot but the cost to the football club will be not his problem.

  • bender

    If only all sides were as accommodating as West Bromwich Albion.
    West Brom are so charitable. No confidence, no tackling, no danger, no points. Manchester United would have won the game 10-0 straight, so 3-1 will do us thanks. We needed goals and a win and the Baggies were pleasantly compliant with both, so all donations gratefully received.

    There has been a lot of attention given to how West Brom are trying to play ‘football’. Is everyone else playing basketball? By ‘playing football’ it is meant that they are passing the ball on the ground, rather than lumping it around and ‘playing percentages’. (Are footballers intelligent enough to understand percentages, or to know what that phrase is supposed to mean)?

    As my uncle Ed says, there is nothing in the rule book that says football has to be played on the ground, you can do what you like with it. The common consensus has been accepted that football isn’t football unless it is played on the ground. Brian Clough may have said “if God wanted football to be played in the air he’d have put grass in the sky”, but he wasn’t fighting a relegation battle at the time. West Brom will get relegated because they are too pleasant for the Premier League. They are the football equivalent of the band on the Titanic, gleefully playing ‘football’ while the ship goes down.

    It was great for us that West Brom have chosen to ‘play football’ because they aren’t very good at it and that enabled us to get the ball off them a lot. We don’t have many midfielders that are terribly good at passing the ball to their own teammates either but we are, thankfully, marginally better at it than West Brom.

    We needed something to kickstart scoring goals again and a match against the Baggies is just the prescription that any ill club needs. It is just a shame that we can’t play them a few more times this season because we could do with racking up the points.

    Still, it will be interesting to see how Villa cope with waiting 24 hours before visiting Manchester City, which is just enough time for Arsenal closing to within three points of them to play on their mind. In a nice twist for Villa, City will be without both Craig Baloney and Robinho. That should work in Villa’s favour and my prediction of a 2-1 City win is now less likely. Villa might think that a good result is now in the bag though with City having to field less damaging players, but that is a risky mindset if the likes of Bojinov et al start better than Villa expect and City manage to go 1-0 up. I still fancy that City can get at least a point.

    Like I’ve been saying all along, I don’t believe that Villa can handle a 38-game season and I retain my belief that Arsenal can and hence will overcome Villa for fourth place by the end of that 38th game. As George Graham used to say, it’s a marathon not a sprint. The reward comes when you pass the finishing line, let’s see if Villa can handle the home straight.

  • Kevin Whitcher

    Okay, okay. West Brom are dire and relegation certainties. The kind of team Arsenal should beat without getting out of second gear. Still, after dropping 10 points out of 15 since their last win in the middle of January, it was Arsenal who seemed to be displaying relegation form.

    This was a game the team needed to win for all sorts of reasons. I am a firm believer that success in one competition is good for the chances in others, and that choosing which games to play with genuine commitment (as opposed to displaying it in all of them) is counter-productive. And surely this season has proved that if nothing else.

    The finishing was good enough to see off the Baggies, although at the same time it could and should have been a lot better and this might have been a six or seven goal hiding from a previous Arsenal team. But let’s not be churlish, just grateful for a long-awaited league win and a little bit of pressure on Aston Villa. I’ll even pass over Emmanuel Eboue’s notion of what makes a good defensive wall.

    With the next two outings being cup games, Arsenal’s outlook might just be considerably brighter by the end of Wednesday next week. It is to be hoped that Toure was taken off as a precaution, as I wouldn’t fancy a Song and Djourou partnership against Burnley never mind Roma. In fairness Song did not play badly as a centre back, but West Brom were so deflated after the break that he wasn’t really tested.

    Arshavin was once again a bright spark, but equally demonstrated why he is not a prolific scorer of goals. He fashions the chances, but is not as clinical as other forwards. His assist for Toure’s headed goal was a thing of wonder though. Finally, an Arsenal player who can deliver a pinpoint dead ball cross that beats the first defender.

    It was a game Arsenal should have won, needed to win and ultimately did at a canter. Perhaps being away from the pressure of playing at home actually helps the team at the moment. We have seen false dawns aplenty this season, so it is too early to think this might be a springboard to some kind of recovery. What it is though is three very vital points in the bag, and a reminder that some of those that have underperformed of late are capable of better.

    Now, let’s see if some momentum can be established. And with returning players, that competition for places becomes the norm. The season’s denouement may only be a few weeks away but there’s a lot of football to be played between now and then. Let’s hope the Gunners play it with purpose…

  • Jimmy

    still not holding my breath for Rosicky’s return!

  • Cape Gooner

    The contribution by Simba is a straight copy of the Arsenal FC Blog entry by Spanish Fry. Why?

  • All reports of plagiarism are taken very seriously this end. I always write immediately to the alleged plagiarist and ask for a reply, and then if there is no explanation the work is deleted. Anyone reported twice gets banned from contributing to the site.

    I always welcome information on where contributions first made here turn up elsewhere, and (as in this case) publication here of contributions from elsewhere.

  • consolsbob

    Do you tell us the outcome of your enquiry, Tony? Naming and shaming is effective if warranted.

  • Cape Gooner reported the issue of Simba copying from elsewhere and posting here. I wrote to Simba asking for an explanation but as yet have had no reply. Therefore I have deleted the posting.

    I’m always very grateful indeed to have details of plagiarism reported to me and I certainly do try to take action to resolve such issues.

    Tony