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Mr Wenger’s final farewell. Our last match preview with Mr Wenger in charge.

by Tony Attwood

Of course not everyone buys into the remourceless rampant low-level abuse this club suffers on a daily basis.  David Wagnar of Huddersfield Town, for example, said of Mr Wenger, “I can’t imagine that this can happen again, so this only shows he has done something extraordinary. Words don’t describe enough how big this achievement is, which he has done for his football club and football in this country.

“I’m so happy that we are able to host him in his last Premier League game after 22 years, that we are able to host him in these circumstances; we really can give him all the honour and all the attention he deserves.”

That’s how it should be.  As is the thinking behind Mr Wenger’s commentary when he said about this final moment said, “There are some people here who I employed 20 years ago who did fight for me every single day so it is not easy to say goodbye.”  One can well imagine.

The Observer newspaper in its preview didn’t exactly acknowledge my little bit of work with Arsenal History Society concerning the Emirates, in persuading the club to put up the statues, starting with Herbert Chapman, but they do say in their match preview today “Wenger one day should join Chapman immortalised in bronze outside the Emirates but his work is not done just yet.”

Yes of course that should be so, although matters can take a while to settle down.  And let us not forget the run that Herbert Chapman (who we now rightly venerate) had at Arsenal:

Season Lge Pts Lge Pos FA Cup Top Scorer Goals
1925/6 52 2nd Rnd 6 Jimmy Brain 43
1926/7 43 11th Finalists Jimmy Brain 34
1927/8 41 10th SF Jimmy Brain 29
1928/9 45 9th Rnd 6 David Jack 26
1929/30 39 14th Winners Jack Lambert 23

Looking at this little table of the first five Chapman years really does show how, if the current fixation on success now, had existed when Chapman came in and transformed the club, we would never have had the greatness of the 1930s, which was the foundation for everything that the club has had since and the club has now.

Year on year from 1925/6 to 1929/30, under Herbert Chapman, Arsenal’s league points total was declining.  Every single year.   1925/6 was a something of a triumph, with Arsenal becoming runners’ up for the first time in Chapman’s first season.   But then we sank to 11th and by 1929/30 were 14th and flirting with relegation for much of the season.

Yes we got the to cup final in 1927 and lost and then had two more disappointments before the FA Cup final victory in 1930.  But every year our top scorer was getting fewer and fewer goals.  After all, if we were not going to win the league with as stunning a player as Jimmy Brain, how could we ever win the league?

Fortunately we didn’t have the media and the supporters then that we have now, and Chapman was not just allowed but encouraged to continue his work and his revolutionary approach of playing in the same way at home as away.  (No club did that at the time – the attacked at home and defended away, Chapman evolved a completely new style and played it home and away).  And of course y it paid off.

But now, back to today, and this final moment of Mr Wenger’s career at Arsenal, so appropriately with a match against Herbert Chapman’s club before Arsenal.

The BBC has done a report on the highlights of Huddersfield’s recent travails and came up with these four points…

  • Huddersfield have won just three of their last 19 league games, drawing seven and losing nine.
  • They have scored three goals in their last nine league matches.
  • Only Swansea (27) have scored fewer Premier League goals than Huddersfield’s 28 this season.
  • Huddersfield have failed to score in 20 of their 37 league matches this season. The only teams with a worse record in Premier League history are Derby County (22 games in 2007-08) and Leeds United (21 in 1996-97).

So they have been having a rough old ride, but they have survived.

And as for the team, there is no need of course for anyone to be held back for the next mid-week fixture, or any other fixture – although I suspect the club will have its usual Players v Staff game on Tuesday as the players have their farewells to say to everyone who is leaving.  I hope Mr Wenger gets a goal.

Today, we already know for sure who is not playing through injury and Mavropanos is suspended, so given there is no reason to rest anyone we could go with something like this…

Cech

Bellerin Chambers/Holding Mustafi Monreal

Wilshere Xhaka

Mkhitaryan Ramsey Aubamayang

Lacazette

And for the last time on the beach…

Ospina, Holding/Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Mertesacker, Iwobi, Nelson, Welbeck

So there it is.  Over ten years of Untold Arsenal and never a thought that there was a manager at Arsenal other than Mr Wenger.  We’ve even had some rather strange emails of late suggesting that after today Untold should pack up since its only reason for existence is to support Mr Wenger.   But sorry guys, that’s not what it says on the masthead.  “Supporting the club, the manger and the team.”  I know its not a normal thing to do these days, but that’s what it has always said.

But I still do have to say, “Farewell Arsène.  I really shall miss you.”

Huddersfield v Arsenal

33 comments to Mr Wenger’s final farewell. Our last match preview with Mr Wenger in charge.

  • Magneto

    Good stuff, Tony.

    In terms of team selection, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in his final Arsenal
    game, Arsene gives a debut to another young player, possibly Osei-Tutu, at
    rightback. We’ll see.

    Whatever the team selection, let’s just hope that we win the game.

  • Gord

    Some “news” article said that Wenger has had 222 players play under him. If he gives a debut to another, it would be 223. Which is a prime number.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Thanks Tony for the last one, and all the hundreds of others.

    And to all the Untolders in my five years (or whatever it is), many thanks for all your great posts. Some very fine moments over the years.

    To Tony, Walter, Blacksheep, Andrew, and Captain Brickfields, and everyone who was onboard and writing articles: Cheers!

    COYG!

    PS: St.Totteringham says hello, and says he’ll be back next year.

  • sad gooner

    A sad day, but one that had to happen sooner or later, no Arsenal manager bar George Graham’s 89 season has given me so many happy memories. perhaps if some of the WOBs had experienced the tedium of the Terry O’Neill years (it seemed more like decades) they would appreciate what Mr Wenger brought to the club, maybe he’s not the great manager he once was but he is still a great man.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I will watch the match but will not be at home so sorry but no immediate match report from my hand today

  • Gord

    LiveScore has a guess at a lineup (no beach):

    Cech
    Bellerin Chambers Mustafi Monreal
    Ramsey Xhaka
    Mkhy Iwobi PEA
    Lacazette

    Not quite the lineup Tony suggests.

    Hopes to the other games? Hoping for the away win to Brighton and Hove. Hoping for the away win to Watford. Hoping for the home win to Southampton. And close things out with an away win to Leicester.

    And us, hoping for the away win for us at Huddersfield.

    Gord

  • Ospina is in goal today

  • This is what I am told is the team

    Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Subs: Macey, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Willock, Welbeck, Nketiah

  • This is what I am told is the team

    Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Subs: Macey, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Willock, Welbeck, Nketiah

  • Oooops sorry. Got over excited and hit the button twice.

  • finsbury

    Thank you all at Untold for having supported the greatest ever manager in the history of Arsenal Football Club.

    “Of course not everyone buys into the remourceless rampant low-level abuse this club suffers on a daily basis.”

    The squealers from the anti Arsenal Arsenal, and their friendly sychophants the failed novelists and budding “journalists” who dream of writing for free newspapers attempted and failed to accuse Untold of being associated with the club, because Untold is indeed associated with Arsenal Football Club – it supports the club it supports.

    Same can’t be said of a small yet vocal minority who hear their views repeated in media owned by very few people that is not reflective of the vast majority of feelings and yes opinions of people in this country.

    Nevermind the vampires, up the Gunners.
    And the values the club represents, such values that all these braveheart crictics of the club are too scared to even mention what those values entail, and the policies which reflect them! 😉

  • sad gooner

    Oops!… I meant Terry Neill of course.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    The boys seem half asleep so far.

  • Gord

    And we’re started. How to go PEA and Aaron!

    COYG!

  • Gord

    No stats, sorry. LiveScore lost the stats stream about half way into the half, and it never updated since then.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Liverpool leading, ManU leading, Newcastle leading, Leicester leading, tied in Southampton. Also no stats at WorldFootball.

    COYG!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    The team seems to be playing at about 3/4 speed. Perhaps they are just waiting for Huddersfield Town to run out of steam. It was the misfortune of this year’s team that Aubemayang was cup tied because he is so nifty in the box and has a quickness to get to the balls therein. I am curious as to the conversations that led to the changing of the UEFA’s regulations regarding player eligibility. Why now? I know that Arsene Wenger has remarked in the past that it made no sense.

  • Gord

    LiveScore seems to be getting statistics again. They have mentioned many times, about a player being down in needing treatment. But they have only “clocked” two (both to Arsenal).

    I see another incident came up, I presume this is Oooospina down this time. Of course, there are no fouls associated with any of these treamtents, let alone cards.

    COYG!

  • U know who

    Well Conte gets my praises, love it, don’t fire up a firey Italian. Hazard gone, Giroux free to do his thing next summer. And well he played no midfield, Bakayoko; Barkley and what?

    Spurs – Poch won’t commit and suddenly the pundits think Spurs can’t defend, I thought they had one of the best defensive records in the league. Well without all the reds affecting them.

    United to the basics. City on holiday, they don’t quite have the Barca DNA yet. Liverpool and Klopp holding the momentum. How much can Real raise their game, they are coasting for just that in the final. Marcelo, can he cancel No. It’s about that one position.

    What, no, panic buy again.

    Ok I’m off to one of London’s most famous parks to finish the wine and lament on all this older women affection.
    .
    Let’s hope he brings on Eddie.

    Days until I can cash a big cheque and days until I discover if she wore a yellow ribbon indeed.

    Remind me….. let’s see what happens before that. HENRY and well her and I’m content. Either, neither and I x pat.

  • Gord

    Final stats – sort of – maybe

    %Cumulative Arsenal Possession
    _5 47
    10 48
    15 48
    20 54
    25 56
    30 57
    35 57
    40 56
    45 60
    45+1 60
    50 56
    55 54
    60 56
    65 54
    70 53
    75 55
    80 55
    85 54
    90 53
    90+ 56

    I don’t really trust this data. There was 1 minute of extra time played in the first half. So the 90 minute mark corresponds to 91 minutes of football. Arsenal apparently had 53% possession to that point, which is 48.23 minutes. At the end of 5 minutes of extra time (96 minutes of total play), Arsenal now have 56% of possession, for a total of 53.76 minutes. Hence, in the last 5 minutes of play, Arsenal had 5.53 minutes of possession.

    Shots on target 2:1 _6:4
    _off target _ _ _ _ _5:4
    Corners _ _ _ _ 1:0 _7:4
    Offsides _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:2
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 11:7
    Yellow _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 1:0
    Goal Kicks _ _ _1:0 _6:7
    Treatments _ _ _0:1 _0:3

    Player down: 8(Mustafi, no foul), 35(unknown, no foul), 41(unknown, no foul), 54(Ospina, no foul), 66(Ospina, no foul), 73(unknown, no foul). Oh, 90+3 Ospina gets clocked, and Huddersfield receive the first yellow of the game for that.

    In watching the commentary output by LiveScore, you can see that they do actively edits previous commentary during the game. Sometimes changing information, sometimes adding information and sometimes deleting information.

    I have all these bloody “apps”, but I think I would like to see a new one. People at a football game can “run the app”, and they provide statistics input. Maybe they look to clock possession, or number of passes, or …. I would expect few people would choose to track much more than 1 or 2 statistics. And for each person submitting statistics, they develop a “score” based on how close they are to “professional statistics” (as provided by an independent party). And after some period of time to determine weighting factors (based on these “scores”), there could be a real-time display of this statistics information. A display that is independent of PGMO, the EPL, The (sweet) FA, UEFA, FIFA or whatever.

  • Gord

    I would like to make a correction:

    I have all these bloody “apps”, but I think I would like to see a new one.

    s/have/hate/

  • U know who

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ2n6pXnlH8

    In loving memory of PGMO

    Enjoy the summer all the true football fans no matter who you support.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thank you Arsene

  • Josif

    A true winner has left with a victory. Thank you Arsene for 22 years of…You.

  • Nigel

    The end of a wonderful era. Merci Arsene, good luck in whatever you do.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Good-bye Mr. Wenger. You’ve served the Arsenal well. You’ve been a fine ambassador for the club and for football, in general. I wish you only the best in your future endeavours. I expect that the full impact of your stay with the club will only be fully known in the cool evening of retrospect.

  • Va Cong

    You will be missed Arsene! I salut you sir!

  • Gord

    I’ve been a dork for not saying good bye. I apologize Mr. Wenger. I wish you the best in whatever you do after spending 22 years managing the Arsenal FC Men’s team.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! A nice send off for the world’s greatest ever manager . Have a great and well deserved break , Arsene , but do come out with an all revealing book , or books , so that we the loyal Unolders get to understand what really went on in this rigged and crooked EPL .

    It is also my sincere wish that all of our players return home safe , sound and hopefully early from the WC . At least those who are chosen for England will most probably not bother the statisticians ! But thank god for Gabon , Armenia and Wales not qualifying . Our French and German players may be held back, and probably also that of Nigeria.

    And finally to Tony, Walter , Andrew , Blacksheep et al , thanks again for another wonderful and eventful season of fun , facts and much merriment on this site. Keep up the good work , and here is to another great season once again . Arsenal forever !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Chan

    I miss those days when the masthead used to say “supporting the Lord Wenger in all that he does”. I don’t know how much stick you must have taken, to make you change, but I feel that slogan more accurately captured the spirit of UA

  • I don’t think it was people’s comments that made me change – the level of abuse that I get is something that would have to be seen to be believed. I just changed it to that for a while more for fun than anything else and then after a bit changed it back to the original “supporting the manager” etc.

  • inconvenient fact

    merci arsene. end of an era! will i ever love any manager the way i loved you?
    can’t say at the moment!
    But whoever comes in will get my absolute support because you make me love Arsenal fc so passionately.
    i hope the good value you left behind will forever be protected.
    farewell arsene

  • Chan

    Really??? Seemed like it was there for quite a long time. In fact I may be wrong but I doubt the present masthead was there b4 the “Lord Wenger” stuff. It used to be a real topic for laughter among my friends those days. When someone comes up with untold stuff about arsenal like saying “arsenal haven’t won the league because of refs” or any team that builds a stadium gets relegated examples being Portsmouth and Leeds” everyone would burst into laughter, and they’ll be like, such toxic delusion can only emanate from UA

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