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Wanted: two more goals from Mesut, Granit the master passer, and why Crouch hates Gillingham

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal are, of course, only as good as their last match.

That’s not what I think but it certainly is a view that is very strongly held by many people who like to put their viewpoint across.

But even then, the need with Arsenal is always to dampen down matters just in case any Arsenal fan starts getting a bit uppity.  So Arsenal haven’t won six of the last seven but have only won three in a row according to most media outlets.  Hang on I’d better check that

  • Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 2
  • Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1
  • Arsenal 1 Leicester City 0
  • Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0
  • Southampton 0 Arsenal 2
  • Stoke City 1 Arsenal 4

Yep still looks right to me.  13 goals scored and five against.

But there are still pictures on TV and in the newspapers of the aeroplane flying over the ground with the rather deep and profound sentiment Mr W should depart.   “An FA Cup triumph and a top-four finish would render all those airborne protests plane crazy… wouldn’t it?” says the Telegraph, which runs two pictures of the plane and a picture of a man carrying a Wenger Out banner in the ground – just in case we didn’t get the message.

Of course football can always be reduced to simplicity.   When Arsenal lose Arsenal are disorganised, the players don’t care, and the manager has no plan B.  When Arsenal win, the other side were “tepid” (to use the Guardian’s phrase today).

But times they are a changing as someone somewhere once said, and there is even some recognition that Crouch (apparently the man of the match according to the loudspeaker announcement made towards the end of the game) is an abject cheat as well as being rather a silly person.

Of course the media don’t tell you this, but it is possible to track down the real Crouch by reading his autobiography – not that you would ever want to have such a thing in your house, but Untold likes to stray into the backwaters of smut, not to mention sewers, and so yes, it was read within our august offices many years ago.

Crouch used a fairly large chunk of his book to attack …. Gillingham.  In the book (with the droll title Walking Tall) he attacks Gillingham the club, the fans, the ground, the children, the residents of the town, and even some passer by who happened to get in his way.  Can you imagine – you get fame, you are paid several billion pounds a second, and then not only feel the need to make a bit more by publishing your autobiography, but you use it to make a rampant attack on Gillingham.

As Untold said, when we reviewed the book, this is insanity.  But in case you missed our review last time around (and it was over nine years ago that we mentioned it, so it might have slipped your mind) there’s the bit where his dad visits a pub and is shocked by the programme being shown on the pub TV. He is outraged!!!

Next he notices some people in the pub gambling!!!   He sees some prat doing an oil change on his car in the street!!!  He sees a child wandering down the street with a dog!!!  And out of all this he says,  “If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Gillingham I hope that puts you in the picture.”

In short it is Liverpool with two extra exclamation marks.

I can’t really replicate the style of the “book”, but basically this is a wild rant in which brought about because some kids gave him a bit of a abuse when he once played at Gillingham for QPR.   Crouch calls the inhabitants of the town “the hillbillies in the film Deliverance”.

So, anyway, we know that Crouch is still around, still handballing in the penalty area to get a goal, still, basically being Crouch, just like the supporters of Stoke continue to behave in their unique way.  But I guess what makes their behaviour so amusing overall is the fact that they really do have no idea that the rest of football is laughing at them.

Anyway, enough of such trivia, I think we ought to consider a different fact at this point: that Mesut Ozil has now scored eight league goals.  That is (if my maths is correct) two short of being in Double Figures, that mythical status created by a certain Guardian journalist who I can’t mention because if I do people keep writing in and castigating me.   If only Mesut could get two more then we would have FOUR players in double figures – that magical heaven through which all greatness is measured.

I have been trying to find the last club to achieve this, but for the moment I can’t, but I do know that if Mesut could get two more than would take him up to being the 18th highest scorer in the league this season.

Incidentally we currently also have three players in the top 10 in the assist league.  Alexis, the Ox and Mesut.  Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool and the only other clubs to achieve this.  (I should explain there are five players tied in 10th position so it is actually a top 15).

One last one to wrap up the ramble: who are the top three players in terms of passes this season?  Bet you can’t guess unless you just looked it up!

Rank Player Club Nationality Stat
1. César Azpilicueta Chelsea
Spain
2,340
2. Granit Xhaka Arsenal
Switzerland
2,154
3. Paul Pogba Manchester United
France
2,139

If you knew that about Granit without having previously looked it, would you like to write a regular column for Untold, cos no one here did.

Recent Posts

A new series just started on the Arsenal History Society site:  Henry Norris at the Arsenal: Part 1. How Arsenal fell from grace.

And the modern day stuff

Stoke – Arsenal : (0)1 -4

With Chelsea winning the league where does that leave the rush for the other CL places?

I know Wenger has been criticised this season but would you really have preferred Mourinho?

 

37 comments to Wanted: two more goals from Mesut, Granit the master passer, and why Crouch hates Gillingham

  • MickHazel

    According to the experts Granit Xhaka has had a poor first season yet he has made 2,154 passes. It would be interesting to see his % completion rate.
    I can’t wait to his figures when he settles in and has a good season!
    I haven’t seen much media condemnation of Crouches deliberate handball goal, there was plenty when Sanchez scored an accidental one off his hand.

  • Leon

    If Peter Crouch was offended by Gillingham, he’d have been truly mortified with nearby Chatham. Seems to have lived a very sheltered life.

  • nicky

    We played so well yesterday when hardly anyone gave us a chance. The passing was crisp, attacking and a joy to watch. It reminded me of the Arsenal/Chelsea encounter last Summer.
    Amusingly, the fickle doom and gloom merchants (on other sites) were compelled to pay tribute to the Arsenal performance. No doubt with gritted teeth, the creeps. 😉

  • Josif

    @Tony

    Arsenal had 4 players with DD in 2012-13 – Walcott, Santi, Poldi and Giroud. I may be wrong but I think I’m not.

  • Knobby

    On SSN the reporter was more concerned that Sanchez goal came off the post than Crouch’s came off his hand.
    Wenger did two classics one calling it the “hand goal” and the other saying we kept a clean sheet.
    Great refereeing in the Leicester Man Shitty game….not.
    Could cost us or Liverpool a champions League place

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL they maybe wanted to take the goal away from Alexis and now we get apart from goal, own-goal the post-goal.
    So basically Alexis got the assist and the post scored the goal…

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Our hope is rising and is still rising. Let’s hope its will rise up tonight at the London Stadium as envisaged from Arsenal fans point of view when as being thought, Liverpool drop points to West Ham. And should that happens and Arsenal capitalised on it to get a Ucl ticket in next season’s campaign at the expense of Liverpool by winning their remaining 2 PL games all at the Ems. What is likely to happen to Juggen Klopp, the Liverpool manager? Will he get the sack from Henry, the Liverpool owner for not haven won anything even get a top four place finish in the 2 seasons he’s been at Liverpool and haven also reached 2 Cup finals but lost both? But how does this worry concerned me when I am Arsenal? I’ve asked myself.

  • Josif

    As an addition to my post from 9:35:

    Just took a check of the stats about the most prolific sides in EPL and their double figure men.

    Chelsea 2009-10 had four players scoring more than ten league goals (Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka). Manchester City 2013-14 are still the only team ever to have three players with more than 15 league goals to their name (Yaya Toure, Edin Džeko, Sergio Agüero). Alvaro Negredo scored 9 to pick the fourth-place trophy. In that same season, Liverpool had three players with double figures (Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard) with Raheem Sterling falling one goal short to get into that club.

    Mind you, these three clubs went on to score more than a hundred league goals in a single season.

    Arsenal 2012-13 are a really interesting entry. We had four players with double figures (as I’ve already written) with Mikel Arteta (6) and Gervinho (5) having a solid contribution to our overall record. What is really interesting is, we scored “just” 72 goals in the league or 28 goals bellow the magical 100-goal mark. To make an internal comparison, Arsenal 2004-05 scored 87 goals but there were “just” three players with double figures (Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Fredrik Ljungberg). It gets even weirder when we take The Invincibles in the analysis – only two players (admit it, Tony, you just smiled when you read this part of the post 😛 ) had double figures (Henry 30, Pires 14) with the third best return being 4 goals (Dennis, Gilberto Silva, Freddie).

    Anyway, if we want to know why we don’t have the Champions League place already in the bag, we should check the other part of our goal-difference. We have joint second best attack in the league (72 goals, only Chelsea have scored more than us) but only seventh defensive record (43 goals conceded).

    Last season after 36 matches played, we had just 59 goals scored (13 fewer than now) with 56 chances more created (446:390). To put it this way: with our conversion rate from this season and number of chances created last season, we would have scored 82 goals by now (10 more than now). Also, if we had the conversion rate of the last season applied to the number of chances created this season, we would have scored 52 goals by now (20 goals fewer than now). Of course, these raw numbers don’t show the number of penalties – the biggest chance in football – as we have had 4 goals from penalties this season comparing to sole Giroud’s strike against Aston Villa last season.

    Speaking of penalties… I can’t confirm but I think that (still pathetic) ratio of the referees’ mistakes in our favour and against us has been slightly better this season which is not weird given that the last season was a non-stop horror show.

    When it comes to defending, our defensive record after 36 matches last season was 34 goals conceded (9 fewer than this season). It could be related to the average number of defensive actions as we had 47 defensive actions last season comparing to 41 this season. While the number of clearances have gone up, the number of blocks and, ESPECIALLY, interceptions have deteriorated a lot (over one block and four interceptions per game which means one more shot for Čech/Ospina to face and four more unbroken attacks for the opponents per game).

  • MickHazel

    Knobby
    It’s just a feeling I have but it seems to me that Man City have been allowed several ‘offside’ goals this season, not least the two against us earlier in the season.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think from http://www.worldfootball.com, Alexis Sanchez and Harry Kane are both on 21 League goals scored so far this season with 2 matches left to play by Arsenal and 3 by Tottenham. And Romelu Lukaku leads the pack with 24 goals scored so far to his credit. I hope the thigh injury suffered by Alexis in our last Stoke game will heal off properly to allow his start our home match on Tuesday night against Sunderland. So that he can helped score a brace in that match to go to 23 goals. Arsenal host Lukaku’s Everton led attack in our last PL game this season. All the Gunners defending need to do in this match is to block Lukaku from scoring to ultimately pegged him down to his 24 goals scored. Since Alexis is our top scorer this season, I don’t mind if the Gunners will help him to goal fix goals for him in both our Sunderland and Everton games to score a brace each in both games. So that he can reach a goal tally of 25 PL goals scored to surpassed Lukaku’s 24 and wins the PL highest goalscorer of this season. Hoping Harry Kane will not argue that.

  • Pat

    Knobby

    Glad you put the points in about Arsene saying ‘hand goal’ and clean sheet. With the clean sheet, I thought I might have misheard because he just slipped it in. He’s a sly one!

    He also said when asked about fans flying aeroplanes ‘the rich ones’. Sadly it didn’t appear in the transcript on Arsenal.com. Deserves to be spread wider.

  • Knobby

    Man Citeh should have had a sending off yesterday too for an elbow. It will be interesting to see if retrospective action is taken.
    Also they seem to get a free ride from the media the only criticism I recall of Pep is when he sold Dan Druff.

  • Knobby

    Sorry loaned… Permanently?

  • LP Gills Stoke

    I was bought up in Gillingham, now live in Stoke. If you want to see hillbillies this is the place to be. Apart from Liverpool (more hillbillies),where else do you see women going to Tesco in pyjamas? Think about that Crouchie,we don’t do that in Gillingham so why do they do it in Stoke?

  • insideright

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2001/apr/27/newsstory.sport1
    Surely it’s a coincidence that Tony Pulis (an old ‘friend’ of Crouch) has had previous run-ins with Gillingam?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Hope rising, hope dashed? Liverpool are appearing to be saying that to us from the London Stadium now. But notwithstanding, the relegated Middlesbrough may become our unlikely friend at Anfield on Sunday the 21st of this month of May by holding the Scousers.

  • alexanderhenry

    So, that’s bye bye to the champions league.

    Let’s be honest, unless we win the FA cup, which is unlikely, this season has been dreadful.

    My money’s on Wenger not signing- I’m assuming he’s been offered a new contract.
    Will we be better off without him? Almost certainly not. That’s because arsenal fc is owned by Stan Kroenke, a man who specialises in mediocrity.
    Well, he’s been in charge since 2011 and he’s achieved that. Arsenal are now genuinely mediocre.

    Well done Stan,

  • Josif

    Chambers scored for us against Liverpool at the beginning of the season and now he is in a position to score much bigger goal for us next Sunday.

  • Gord

    What has been dreadful, is the number of “fans” coming out of the woodwork that only judge a football team by:
    _1. Did you win the EPL?
    _2. Did you win the Champions League?
    _3. Did you win the FA Cup?
    _4. Did you win the League Cup?
    _5. Did you finish above team XYZ?

    Do you enjoy football? Do you enjoy watching Arsenal play? How many games do you watch, for enjoyment purposes?

    Alternatively, how many games do you watch for the result? How many games do you watch to see illegal play? How many games do you watch to see people suffer injuries? Serious injuries? Career ending injuries? Quality of life ending injuries? Life ending injuries?

  • Mark

    I was at the game between Gillingham and QPR when the shout of freak went out every time he got the ball, I seem to remember it did not stop him scoring a few goals that day. Time to get over it and move on.

  • Menace

    Knobby – I don’t think the elbow was used by its owner but the ‘headbutt’ was on the elbow (by mistake). Nobody headbutts an elbow on purpose.

    The off side was an excuse but the attacking side got the benefit of the doubt.

    The truly visible cheat was the hand ball goal & incidentally (Spuds V Manure) Wanyama’s deliberate stud first kick on a Man U knee. Moss used selective blindness to avoid a card.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Harry Kane has shot to 22 goals on the PL goal chart to surpassed Alexis’ 21 by time am typing this my comment. The Gunners should not throw in the towel to give up the fight to secure a top four place finish this season because the fight for it is not yet over as it’s still on. Liverpool and Man City are still the targets for Arsenal in this regards. Now, Arsenal MUST score six goals in their home match against Sunderland on Tuesday night to improved on their goals difference. And Sanchez if he’s able to play should be assisted by his mates to score a hat trick in that match to overtake Kane and equalled Lukaku on the goals chart, awaiting our final game with Everton in which he should again be helped by his mates to score goals in that match to win the EPL top goalscorer price of this season.

  • Menace

    Isn’t it a great historic day – the Spuds say goodbye to WHL (undefeated this season) where we won the League more times than them!!

  • Scuba

    Gord, Arsenal have been far from enjoyable this season, given the quality of players and resources they have. Far, far too often they fail to turn up for large portions of the match. The results are certainly underwhelming, but now, the performances have been largely underwhelming as well.

  • colario

    Menace. It is an historic day because it is 54 years since spuds came seconded. That was what the pundit said but I haven’t check his claim.

    According to former chairman Alan Sugar ‘Spuds are on the up.’ So now we know.

  • Pat

    Gord at 6.01.

    Spot on. Our current play is very enjoyable. It was fun especially to see us beat Stoke despite ref Dean and the hand goal.

    Arsene Wenger has mentioned in passing the atmosphere of negativity surrounding the team when we had our worst run in twenty years. All the moaners should take note and learn a lesson for the future

    Arsene Wenger is brilliant but he is not a magician. He must have racked his brains for the solution and he did find it. But possibly too late for the Champions League this year. I’m hoping anyway for two more storming performances to finish the Premier League season.

  • Zuruvi

    Thanks Josif.
    Very informative indeed.
    So the Invincibles depended on having a clinical main striker.

    I have often said that Arsenal really needs a clinical main striker because in most games that we lose Mr Wenger always laments that we had several good scoring chances that we failed to take.

    Also agree that our defensive record needs improvement.

  • omgarsenal

    Alexanderhenry….please provide something more substantial than you spurious opinion to support your mediocre claim that AFC have been poor since Kroenke purchased them, otherwise F off.

    Scuba…you are underwhelming. AFC have won 6 of the last 7 games and are playing much better football now but you never miss an opportunity to dismiss them as poor, being the whiner you are and shit all over the team you supposedly support when they lose or draw.

  • Menace

    omgarsenal – your observations are spot on. The Arsenal I’ve watched live & seen on TV are consistent in one aspect & that is they have played against a team of PGMOL cheats. This subdues their flair & tenacity but does not take away their soul. Wenger has been super human to survive their attempts at drowning his brilliance. Piers & his ilk have done their bit to ruin the club that they purport to support but have had short shrift. It’s now a matter of Piers out & fuckoffyouforeignbitch!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I saw only the last part of the WHL ceremony . I was really craning my eyes in looking for a former captain of theirs – Sol Campbell .
    Was he invited , being a former Spud legend and all that ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Worldwide Survey –

    A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was:”Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”
    The survey was a huge failure…

    In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.
    In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.
    In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.
    In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.
    In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.
    In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.
    And in the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.

    ( And probably the rest of the non English speaking world didn’t know what the question meant at all !)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And none of the Spuds were asked , “What was it like to win the EPL ?”
    Well at least they may get to feel the joy that second place brings!

    As for **** , they were so unhappy that we finished second last year ! Bonkers and plonkers !

  • Mark, the “time to get over it” phrase always strikes me as one with its roots in anti-history – the approach outlined by Orwell in 1984. I think history needs to be retained and occasionally mulled over, but I would agree there are limits. For me the player showed poor judgement in putting it in his autobiography, but having put a memory into a medium which lasts, he then opens up the debate. Had he not mentioned it at such length, I would agree, it would hardly be of interest. But it is his decision to talk about it so much in his book that makes it an issue for discussion even now.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Funny and tall tales –

    Spurs and England forward ,Peter Crouch has been voted the funniest man in British sport after admitting if he wasn’t a footballer, he’d be a virgin.

    http://metro.co.uk/2010/03/11/peter-crouch-wins-funniest-man-in-sport-vote-after-virgin-jibe-161087/#ixzz4h8U1V1WD

    An ugly woman walk into a store with her two kids, yelling at them.
    The store clerk pleasantly said, “Good morning ma’am and welcome. Nice children, are they twins?”

    The ugly woman stops yelling and said, “Hell no ,they are not, one is 9 and the other is 7. Why the hell would you think they’re twins, Are you blind, or just stupid?”

    The clerk replied, “I’m neither blind nor stupid ma’am, I just can’t believe someone would fuck you twice.”

  • Norman14

    Anybody watch “Ref Watch” or whatever it’s called on Sky’s Channel PGMOL?

    Honestly, how Dermott Gallagher can stand there and utter such garbage is incomprehensible! Even Phil Thompson was arguing with him.

    This was the classic (referring to Fernandhino’s attack on Albrighton..

    “just because the outcome looks horrible doesn’t mean it was a horrible challenge”

    FFS!

  • Menace

    Norman14 – you just don’t get PGMOL logic do you. Just because the guy had a bullet through his heart does not mean he was shot to death. He could have bled to death.

    Now you can begin to understand how fouls on Arsenal are viewed. The kick to Alexis’ ankle was not what injured him. It was the percussion of the drums in the crowd that vibrated the ankle joint that caused him pain & was therefore not a foul. We are all human after all.

    PGMOL – there’s only one team in England!

  • jjgsol

    Have you not missed out the Manure win in your list? You have included the 2 goals in the 13.

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