By Tony Attwood
All it took at the start of the season was a defeat by one goal at home to Liverpool and a goalless draw away to the champions (at that point yet to fall from their perch) for the aaa to orchestrate their “Wenger out” chants at Leicester. Which means despite all the success both in terms of results and style of play this season, we are probably a draw away from the return of the silly bu**ers (sorry have to use stars otherwise NewsNow doesn’t like it – so if anyone complains in an attempt to get us delisted I shall claim the word was “butlers” – servile creatures who all wear the same costume).
This was our first away defeat in the Premier League since 28 February and as predicted in our ref previews, we had an uphill struggle. Mr Wenger made a comment after about the referee, and Ronald Koeman, knowing he could rely 100% on the media to back him up, gave a response was nasty and clever.
The implication of his sarcasm is that referees are accurate and untainted. Yet all the gathered evidence suggests not and when Everton suffer at the hands of the ref in the future the smirk will be wiped off his face. For suffer they will at some stage. True, they are not big enough or successful enough to be on the wrong end of of Type III match fixing (in which a match-fixing club suggests to a ref that it would be helpful to their cause if a certain match in which they are not playing ended in a particular way) because in that regard they are only likely to get help – as possibly happened last night. No, if they do suffer it will be because of the gross incompetence of the refereeing fraternity in the PL. (See for example, the article Over half the important decisions made by referees are wrong).
As Mr Wenger said, “We lost a bit of urgency when we were 1-0 up and in control. We started to lose some balls. They made the game physical. They played a cup game. That is a big difference from what I saw recently from them. I don’t think they can repeat that in every game….
“We have been nine months unbeaten away from home. You can lose a game, especially in an atmosphere like that. We played five or six games away from home. We played the Champions League. We had a difficult game on Saturday.”
But there is always the question of response. If we look back to what happened in years of winning the league, in 1997 we had a dodgy spell from October to December…
Three wins in ten games and a decline from 1st to 6th, but we went on to win the league.
2001 also had a dodgy period in which we very rapidly dropped from first to fifth, before recovering a little with three wins, but then slipping again before again going on to win the league.
|16||15.12.2001||West Ham United||away||D||1-1||2||30|
That time it was three wins in nine games.
2003/4 was of course different since we were unbeaten in the whole season, but certainly a similar period between late November and in this case early January can be seen as an equivalent run.
Such a run with no defeats would seem brilliant most other years but in retrospect it was a blip as it not only hard three draws in it but in six of the eight games we only scored one goal, and overall slipped into second place during a spell in which we were not exactly playing like challengers for the title.
Much now will depend on two factors. Primarily of course the response of the players in subsequent games. But also there is the issue of whether the aaa judge the moment right to get out their banners and start chanting their chants.
If they come out of the closet too early they will make themselves the laughing stock, but get it right and the media will immediately suggest that they are “catching the mood of the moment” we will have nonsense about “Twitter being in melt down” (illustrated by between three and five tweets generally from the same account holder using different aliases), and Arsenal will be deemed to have blown it.
That is not to say that without the undivided support of the fans Arsenal cannot win anything, but the remorseless sniping of the aaa and their allies in the media makes life harder, not easier.
As yesterday’s opponents showed, and as Manchester Airport have shown this season, changing the manager, rather like changing the stadium, can have its problems.
The majority of the rest of December, and January, does not look too difficult for Arsenal, providing the club can overcome the disappointment of last night. The problem is that the Airport are also wounded and thus dangerous, and will have done everything imaginable to get the media and the officials on their side.
|18||26.12.2016||West Bromwich Albion||home|
Chelsea have the Tinies in the remains of their stadium and Liverpool!
|20||04.01.2017||The Tiny Totts||away|
This is when our club needs our support because after game 23, we play Chelsea.
Arsenal v Everton and other recent tales