By Bulldog Drummond
It is interesting that Untold is receiving comments from the occasional reader telling us not to write negative articles.
I am not sure that we are that guilty of such an offence; for a truly negative article how about “The 24 most boring Premier League teams ever” which appears today in the Telegraph (Arsenal 1992/3, Arsenal 1993/4, Arsenal 1995/6 and Arsenal 1998/9 all feature in the list and there are other Arsenal connections scattered throughout the “feature”, as ex-Arsenal men are put in the pictures where other teams are featured). Meanwhile elsewhere they run “Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal seasons ranked – where does 2016/17 fall after Bayern Munich collapse?” So it goes on across all the papers.
As for today’s game… we are told that “Arsène Wenger is considering recalling Petr Cech as he strives to avoid an FA Cup giant-killing that would make his position untenable.”
But in fact later on down the page we find that this is not a lack of faith in Ospina, but rather a reflection of the fact that Ospina has a minor injury. A trifle misleading that headline perhaps.
Patrick Vieira is quoted in a few places saying of Mr Wenger, “He is going through a really difficult period, but at the same time I know Arsène and he is not the kind of person who will throw the towel in and walk out of this situation.
“He will fight for it because he is proud and he will give everything like he has been doing for the football club. It is true that people are doubting his capability to manage the team, but I think you have to look at the players and in some situations the players have been letting Arsène down a lot because coaches have responsibility but players have responsibility as well.”
Mr Wenger however, going along the same lines as Untold, has told the football authorities that they will eventually face legal action if the introduction of video technology for referees is delayed for all major competitions; a really interesting statement in my view. The FA are said to be “considering” video tech for “key decisions”.
Mr Wenger also agreed that the Barcelona PSG match suffered greatly from bad decision making, although of course Mr Wenger was far too diplomatic to blame the referees directly. Instead he said,
“The fans and television companies pay a lot of money and they spoil the package because they don’t do the maximum to give a fair spectacle. We live in a society that is legalist and people pay more and more. If Uefa and Fifa don’t take that step to go for more justice, they can’t offer what we saw for us against Bayern or the night after. It is indefensible.”
Meanwhile there is a shock horror in the injury league table, because Physioroom has included in it those with the sickness bug (ie those “sick”) as well as those “injured” giving Arsenal five players who are out of action. Here’s the table.
|#||Team||Injuries||Last man down||And what happened|
|1||Hull City||10||D Mbokani||Hamstring Injury|
|2||Crystal Palace||7||P van Aanholt||Ankle Injury|
|4||Sunderland||7||D Gibson||Knee Injury|
|5||Watford||7||C Kabasele||Hip Injury|
|6||Stoke City||6||M Diouf||Knee Injury|
|7||West Ham United||6||A Carroll||Facial Injury|
|8||Burnley||6||J Barton||Tight Hamstring|
|9||Southampton||5||V van Dijk||Ankle Injury|
The full Arsenal list is
|Man down||What he’s got||The return||The latest|
|D Welbeck||Illness||March 11, 2017||Late Fitness Test|
|A Iwobi||Illness||March 11, 2017||Late Fitness Test|
|M Ozil||Illness||April 8, 2017||Slight Doubt|
|M Elneny||Ankle Injury||April 2, 2017||Major Doubt|
|S Cazorla||Plantaris Injury||July 1, 2017||Major Doubt|
So with two players perhaps fit today, maybe it is not that bad. Also the Ozil return date is odd – nearly four weeks for a “slight doubt”????????? Must be one hell of a doubt then.
It is funny that we don’t hear the “Arsenal have more injuries that any other team and it is all Wenger’s fault” scenario at the moment. But it will come back soon of course, because the anger just goes round in circles.
As for Lincoln. They have been having a wonderful season, of course, but of late there have been just little signs of a wobble. This table courtesy of Statto.com
|21.02.2017||North Ferriby United||away||W1-0||1|
So that is five wins in the last nine, two draws, two defeats. Not at all bad. (The tenth game was postponed). 15 goals scored – 1.66 a game. Nine goals conceded – 1 a game.
Next up they have Chester and Boreham Stiff. Next up for us, the teams, as usual.