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Wonderloaf v Arsenal. The preview, the teams, the stats, the score and the bland bread.

by Bulldog Drummond

The first bread slicing and wrapping machine in Britain was installed in the Wonderloaf Bakery in  White Hart Lane, right on the boundary of Tottenham and Wood Green, in 1937 and was used to create the Wonderloaf.  It was a white sliced loaf with all the natural goodness removed to produce something incredibly bland and quite extraordinarily unappealing.

I suppose I thought of it in relation to the Sunderland game not just because both Sunderland and Wonderloaf have the syllable “der” in the middle with a word either side.  For although technically “Sund” isn’t a word we use much in English it was an Old Norse word meaning swimming – also meaning the sea.   Besides Sunderlands style of  play seems to be football with all the goodness taken out of it and replaced by something rather stodgy, especially when wet.

Thus it is fair to say that Wonderloaf have scored six goals this season and created 58 chances (as opposed to Arsenal’s 19 goals and 94 chances).   The top assists player is Duncan Watmore with one assist.

The Telegraph has helpfully produced a calendar year chart for the teams which shows that Sunderland have played 28, won 6, drawn 11, and lost 11, while Arsenal during the same period have won 14, drawn 10 and lost 4.  So we are ahead on the year 52 points to 29.

Thus we might ask, where could it go wrong for Arsenal?   Well, anywhere, because of the referee obviously, and also because we might well not have Santi Cazorla who is our player with the highest pass accuracy (91%, with 495 completed passes – the highest number of anyone in the team.)

Oh, and just in case you are wondering Alexis Sánchez has the highest goal scoring chances created number – 19.   In relation to which Mr Wenger came up with a nice turn of phrase: “When Sánchez comes, Walcott goes.”  A rather neat and concise description I thought.

Speaking further on the topic, Mr W said, “We would want him to have a better balance, but we do not want to forbid him to come to the ball, but to get in a few more off the ball runs. But that’s why when we have Theo Walcott it balances well.   This is a good mixture, a good working unit.”

Which I guess can only be disturbed by the disruption to the squad.  Granit Xhaka serves the last of his three-match suspension here.   Santi Cazorla had his Achilles done and may not make it.  Theo is a doubt also – with a hamstring problem – and  Lucas Perez is out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage sustained after an appalling deliberate kick in the game against the Spectacles.  There is also doubt about Nacho Monreal.

Carl Jenkinson however is back and playing and Aaron Ramsey is in the squad.

Since there is no way of knowing just how bad some of the injuries is, picking the team is a guess, but then, it often is and that doesn’t normally stop us so it is the normal 4-2-3-1…

Alexis

Iwobi Ozil Oxlade-Chamberlain

Elneny Coquelin

Gibbs Koscielny Mustafi Coquelin

Cech

Now the beach at Sunderland is not necessarily the best place to be but seven jolly chaps do have to be there for the duration.  However given the possible (or not) injuries it is a bit tough to decide who.  Maybe some or any of these… (in a worst case scenario of all of the doubtful playersbeing out completely)…

Ospina, Jenkinson, Gabriel, Holding, Ramsey, Reine-Adélaïde, Giroud

As for the Wonderloaf, they have made the worst start to a season in the Premier League since Sheffield Thursday who in 1999 managed one point by this stage of the proceedings.  But before we feel too sorry for Wonderloaf, we have to remember that they chose to make The Rather Large Sam Allardyce their manager.  Any club that does that deserves all they get.

Louise Taylor in the Guardian however is not convinced by the demise of the White Bread Boys saying, “a crowd well in excess of 45,000 is expected to turn up to see him try. Its collective mood could prove influential.”   (More on the Guardian in a mo – their view of the referee is something to behold…)

So to the stats and things…

Sunderland have lost five of their last six games in the Premier League, and Arsenal have won all three of their last away games – in fact as we saw in the tactics preview Arsenal are top of the away games league having won the last three.

What the table doesn’t fully show is that Arsenal are undefeated in the last nine games with Sunderland in all competitions excluding the white bread bake off which Sunderland won.  But they have lost seven of their nine games this season.

However the last game between Wonderloaf and Arsenal ended 0-0, although Arsenal haven’t failed to score in two successive games since last February.   In fact it was a three match run against Stoke, Chelsea and Southampton.

On the other hand Arsenal twice scored three goals at home against Sunderland last season (once in the league and once in the FA Cup). The goalscorers were identical (Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey).

The Wonderloaf however have player issues too, and will make late decisions on Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer.    Sebastian Larsson, Vito Mannone (both ex Arsenal), Fabio Borini and Jan Kirchhoff are out, while Lee Cattermole is uncertain like their attack.

So what does the Wonderloaf manager, a Mr David (“the jury is still out on Ozil”) Moyes say?   He speaketh thus:  “Our confidence is good and the players know they are doing better.   The results haven’t shown that but the last two results could have been different.   We want the fans in full voice but what we do on the pitch will determine that so we need to get them off their seats.”

Moving on to the stats…

Sunderland have won just one of their last 25 Premier League games against Arsenal and…

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in 13 league matches against Sunderland (W8, D5) and have won on four of their last five league trips to the Stadium of Light.
  • David Moyes has lost 14 Premier League games against Arsene Wenger.
  • Jack Rodwell hasn’t won any of the last 34 Premier League games he’s started, the longest run ever by a Premier League player. That includes all 32 of his league starts for Sunderland.
  • Jermain Defoe has faced Arsenal 21 times in the Premier League but has only scored twice – once for West Ham in January 2003 and again for Tottenham in November 2004.
  • Arsenal have only lost one Premier League away game in 2016 (3-2 at Very Old Trafford in February).

The WhoScored votes for the score all show an away win, with 1-3 being the most popular score followed by 1-2, 0-1, 0-2, and 0-3.

And finally here is the promised Guardian coverage of the referee for today

  • Referee A Name
  • This season Games 0, Yellow cards 00, Red cards 0
  • 0.0 cards per game

“That,” as they say before each match at the Ems, “sums it all up”.

PS: It’s Robert Pirès birthday one of eleven Arsenal anniversaries celebrated today on the home page of the site.  This comes from our daily anniversaries file…

Robert had a Portuguese father and Spanish mother and found learning both French and English difficult.  After he had left Arsenal to play for Villareal he did an interview in fluent Spanish and the UK journalists, having not done their homework and not realising Spanish was one of his native tongues berated him for not having bothered to learn English properly.  He scored a hat trick in the first game of the “49”.

Recent tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Arsenal to change the line up for Sunderland game: the tactical preview.

Sunderland v Arsenal Saturday October 29th – The Match Officials. Expect serious fouls to go unpunished.

Why CIES data ranking clubs by the average age of their signings is not all it seems

Reasons to be cheerful parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Reading in the library: watching the EFL cup from the posh seats

Empty seats at the Ems? You should try the Tax Payers’ Stadium!

Alisher Usmanov makes his move – and it is not the one predicted.

127 comments to Wonderloaf v Arsenal. The preview, the teams, the stats, the score and the bland bread.

  • An article I wrote on the Arsenal History Society website a few years back about White Hart Lane brought in many reminiscences about the Wonderloaf factory and White Hart Lane in the old days.

    If anyone remembers it and wants to read about others who lived near WHL in olden times the piece is at http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/570

    Indeed a number of friends from years gone by who attended the primary school just off White Hart Lane and who lived in the area (as I did) have now got back together after fifty years or more, as a result of the article.

  • nicky

    A gleeful post Bulldog, which has quite made my Saturday…..although too much laughter over bacon and eggs is not really recommended.
    As you rightly say, Sunderland and Allardyce deserve each other.
    Another test for Arsenal FC against what will almost certainly be a 11-man defence. 😉

  • Leon

    I used to clean Wonderloaf’s windows in the 1970’s.
    There, that’s a reveal.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Maitland-Niles trained with the squad yesterday and didn’t feature in the U23s 4-0 win last evening against Sunderland. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the beach.

    Scorers were Mavididi (pen), Nelson, Hinds and Willock. Most of the youngsters who played against Reading started and this meant that we were able to field a much stronger squad than the one who lost to Manure on Monday night. Interestingly we have a similar fixture congestion before the EFL quarter final which is scheduled for Nov 29 with an U18 game at Villa on Sat 26 and an U23 game on Monday 28 away at Leicester.

    The senior players from the U18 squad will step up to the U23s, and those from the U23s to the EFL squad. All very good for their development but both leagues are so competitive that points will probably be lost.

  • nicky

    @Leon,
    Did you use handfuls of their moist bread in order to get a real shine? 😉

  • Nonny

    @ Bulldog

    I know you love Coq so much but replacing Hector ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Bellarin at RB with him is a little too much. Overall, I’m expecting a good win which will catapult us to the top of the league and never to desend again. COYG

  • Tony Attwood

    Nonny, I think the tradition is now so well established of having one player listed twice in the line ups we can’t really stop it now.

  • Tony Attwood

    Substitutes: Ospina, Gabriel, Ramsey, Giroud, Holding, Jenkinson, Maitland-Niles – M-L as predicted above. Is his mum at the match?

  • Tony Attwood

    The teams, without duplicates

    Cech,
    Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Gibbs
    Coquelin, Elneny
    Ox, Ozil, Iwobi
    Alexis

  • ARSENAL 13

    Such early kickoff!!!!!

    Come on Gunners.

  • Gord

    Good morning.

    Grumble, grumble, …, 4am, grumble, grumble.

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Alexis raised his arms to block a goal kick from Sunderland & just learned that a funny bone is not so funny!!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Alexis bum checked there….foul given against Bellerin.

    Elbow on Coq

  • finsbury

    Predictable pgMOB rules alternative and bipartisan code being applied by Riley’s man. At thevleast Iceland had it all worked out

    Come on the Gunners!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Electric Alexis… yyyeeeeaaahhhhh

    Come ARSENAL

  • Gord

    How to go Alexis! Who got the assist(s)?

    The commentaries I am following seem to be trying to say that Arsenal is being rough. The Guardian figures Fat Sam is a genius. And they (commentators) admitted they aren’t journalists.

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Scored. Alexis. Assist by Ox.

  • Robido

    Great overlap on the right flank with early cross by the ox.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Awesome steal from Alexis…

    Good shot Iwobi…a little down…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yellow!! No!! What!! The!!! Eff!!!

  • finsbury

    Atkinson calling a foul on the ‘ard man Ozil.

    So transparent. It’s unreal.

    No yellow for the ankle clip on Sanchez as he was away. An AFC player would’ve been sent off! The pgMOB has zero credibility.!

  • Robido

    Was that not a deliberate trip foul with no attempt to play the ball by Rodwell?

  • Va Cong

    Peenar does a Xhaka but doesnt get a red

  • finsbury

    Who do they think they are kidding?

    Come on the Gunners!

  • Va Cong

    sanchez hatric

  • finsbury

    Wow tbf to Khazri it wasn’t the worst foul, he did go for the ball and not the man, didn’t deserve a yellow.

    Does the official know the rules of association football? Seems like a fair and reasonable question!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahaha…

    Now hez booking everyone. Deservedly though…

  • finsbury

    Card happy now. I guess the Gunners know this game.

    We’ve seen it before. Just a few weeks ago.

    Players will have to keep their guard up and not give the bendy official the palpable excuse to sway that he’s looking for here.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Oooo Ox…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Rodwell just pulled Alexis there

    .no foul!!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Oooooohhhzil!!!

  • Va Cong

    stopped the game for a non head inyury then

  • Va Cong

    and someone guy name peahead should have been sent off then…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Kamikaze coq…….smashed his face on to the ground!

  • ARSENAL 13

    That’s an awesome ball….needed a goal that.

  • Va Cong

    sanchez hatric headers

  • ARSENAL 13

    Give Iwobi his shooting socks back.

  • Va Cong

    when the Iwobi gates open they will…

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    The referee not helping much as usual.
    It would be nice to see yellow cards on first serious offenses.Sunderland should definitely be down to at least 10 men by now.
    It’s nice to see the new rule taht saw Xhaka sent off in his own half has not been brought to any games since.
    One rule for arsenal no rule for other teams.
    Shocking !

  • Menace

    What is there to be said about the PGMO officials that hasn’t been said already. If Arsenal were to commit the fouls Sunderland have we would have been down to 8 men. There have been high foot offences ignored, tackles from behind ignored, pulls & pushes but Atko the Riley appointee has used his one eye to see what he wants.

    Alexis has had to go with kicks left, right & everywhere else but blind mice don’t see.

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    just saw the half time stats
    Arsenal 8 fouls
    Sunderland 5 fouls
    What a load of bollox

  • bushido

    not quite a fire work performance by Arsenal and we lack a bit of creativity. Alexis take his goal like a deadly striker and Elneny is much more comfortable in this match’ not to mention he floating ball beautifully all over the pitch. but we contain the pressure well and in the 1st 25 minutes’ the lads get no protection from the referee, what a joke MA is

  • Goonermikey

    Atkinson living up to all expectations……..what prat

  • finsbury

    The pgMOB Rules Football (OK?) code variant has less then zero credibility!

  • Robert

    Listening to the match on Arsenal Player. Both commentators pointing out how bad Atkinson has been. One of them agreed with a fan’s email that Atkinson sucked.

  • para

    So for so good, now some more goals pleez. 🙂

  • para

    Are they trying to injure our star or what!!!???

  • finsbury

    Knee in the back.
    Yellow for the sun’lun sub.

    The gunners will do well to keep eleven on the pitch with this cunning and subtle (ha!) official.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Wow….Gibbo is crazy angry there..

  • para

    Gibbsy my man of the match, two sure attacks(goals) thwarted.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahaha… what was that Coq

  • ARSENAL 13

    So striker can shove the defender in air…

  • Gord

    It sounds like Alexis was booed by the home crowd, for receiving a knee in the back.

    According to the text on Arsenal.com, there has only been a single yellow issued in the game so far (Alexis on the receiving end of the knee, not the card). 🙂

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Where is your shooting shoes…Ox.

    Come.on Gunners

  • finsbury

    Sunderland players clearly being allowed to make the kind of leaning in fouls that Alexis has been flagged for multiple times.

    One set of rules for the Arsenal.
    A different code for the opposition?

    pgMOB Rules (OK?) Football??
    It’s football Jim but not as we know it.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Superb tackle Ox..

  • ARSENAL 13

    Sure penalty. Dead on

  • Menace

    Theo is missed big time. Ox just doesn’t have the accuracy required. More time on the training ground Ox!!

  • Va Cong

    piss take Arsenal 13 that takes the biscuit cake and the party

  • finsbury

    Unbelievable riffing by the Charing official.

    Bogus!

  • Gord

    Ahh, I see. You need to hover cursor over some symbol, to see that other events also include a yellow. Dumb interface if you ask me.

    COYG!

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    should have been a penalty for sanchez martin atkinson not fit to referee

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….

  • Va Cong

    WTF??!

  • finsbury

    Try again:
    Unbelievable yet entirely predictable from the official.

    Sanchez’s reaction tells you all you need to know.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahaha

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    after missing such a blatant penalty for Sanchez what as urprise Atkinson couldn’t wait to give them one

  • para

    That was a pen for Alexis too.

  • Va Cong

    what a cunt ref the cunt to score it

  • finsbury

    Entirely transparent performance from this official.
    Don’t waste your time trying to defend the crook we all saw it.

    Sanchez is livid and there’s a simple reason why.

  • para

    Come on lads, we need to pull out just a little more now, we’ve got 12 men against us.

  • finsbury

    We all knew what the official was up to at half time.

    The problem people who will try to defend this will find is that: how can we all predict the decision making process of the official and the type of calls he is going to make?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come on Gunners

  • Gord

    12 men? How about 11 men and 4 worms?

    COYG!

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    15 you mean

  • Va Cong

    worse off sanchez gets a card finsbury absolute wanker and the commentators are pissing me off

  • para

    Oh Ox, you left you contacts at home? 🙂

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    Pienaar getting substituted now , he shoul;d have been sent off in the first half

  • Menace

    Giroud back with a first touch gaol!!

  • Menace

    GOAL!!!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Na na naaa
    Na na naaaaa
    Na na naaaaa saa

    Gieeerrooooooo

    Come.on

    Gibbo assist

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    Girouddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • para

    What an entrance. Girouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud

  • Va Cong

    yeah!!! Goiroud!!! fuck you sunderland and your paid refs

  • ARSENAL 13

    Gibbo with awesome cross again

  • Gord

    How to go Giroud, and Gibbs!

    COYG!

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    dangerous high foot not even a yellow from MA

  • Va Cong

    COq just git kicked in the face what the hell are the sunderland players moaning at?!

  • Menace

    If there is anyone watching this game & thinks the official is honest they need their heads examining. This is one of the most corrupt bit of officiating today. Riley & Dean have the worst records Atkinson the cheating son of a bitch is a close third.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Girooooo

  • Menace

    Giroud with his 2nd & Arsenals third.

  • Va Cong

    Sexy Giroud!! boom!!

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    3 1 Giroud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What will all the haters say now

  • Va Cong

    My swearing can stop now sorry the ref was pissing me off

  • Menace

    Go on you Gunners another 6 just to teach their boss that Ozil is not ready yet!!!

  • Va Cong

    We need a world class striker HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER lol

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh
    Alexis..

  • HIGHAMSPARKGUNNER

    4 1 COYG
    TOP OF THE LEAGUE

  • Va Cong

    yes!! Menace 6-1 come on baby

  • ARSENAL 13

    Does that count as Rambo assist

  • finsbury

    They don’t like it up ’em.

    Stick the big man up there.
    Get in the mixer!

    ‘Ave it!

  • Menace

    Alexis for 4 & the ground is emptying … all the northern cheats dripping tears. Rambo on as sub.

  • Va Cong

    Classic Finsbury

  • Va Cong

    And there Moyes was thinking Wenger doesn’t do tactics lol

  • Gord

    Come on, we need 2 more goals, one from Alexis and one from Giroud!

    COYG!

  • Va Cong

    and Ramsey Gord

  • Gord

    What was Gibbs booked for?

    Does Moyes get sacked today? The Sun predicted it.

    COYG!

  • para

    Some goal difference would be good, but the lade are tired too.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Gibbo booked for not letting Sunderland take a quick freekick

  • para

    To all those who think Gibbs is no good, arent you glad we have him now?

  • Gord

    Are you looking for 3 hat tricks in one game Va Cong? 🙂

    So much for the medja pronounciation that Arsenal can’t be creative without Cazorla.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Thanks 13.

    COYG!

  • Robido

    Early crosses causing havoc – way to go

  • Robido

    The odd empty seat there now

  • para

    Gord, Its only Sunderland, lets not get carried away too much.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahaha Rambo Freezed.

  • Va Cong

    I wish Gord, but if the ref did his job 9 me sunderland would have been 10-0

  • ARSENAL 13

    Gibbs sure showing his.worth…..

    Sure starter….

  • Menace

    We are top of the league. Say ‘we are top of the league’ !!

  • Leon

    A three goal improvement should be enough to keep us top.
    Sad to see Rodwell in such a crap team. I always hoped he would make it big, but injuries have ruined his career.

  • Robido

    Gord
    Worth getting up for ? (not like me for the cricket!)

  • finsbury

    I enjoyed the manner in which the big lump came off the bench, took that load off of his shoulders, and dropped a house upon the wicked witch in the middle.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sick report, sorry match report is on line

  • Gord

    Yes Robido, thanks.

    Is Walter sick? Working too hard I suppose. He probably straightened out the Walloon situation for us. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL Gord, yes I’m really sick but managed to watch the match and writing a match report. Now off to recover.

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