Ludicrous schedules, anti-Arsenal media, invented tales, declining eyesight


By Tony Attwood

In the past it was indeed quite different.   Footballers just toughed it out.  Take 1932 for example.  On 24 December of that year Arsenal beat Sheffield United 9-2 at home, and then on Boxing Day lost also at home to Leeds United 1-2.  The following day they met again at Leeds and battled out a goalless draw.  Three games in four days and none of this namby-pamby business of having grass on the pitch either.  By Christmas, most grounds were pure mud.

Except these days it isn’t like that,.but still they complain.   And I suspect they have a point to hammer away at, for as it is the Arsenal manager making that point I doubt there will be much sympathy from anywhere.

What Mikel Arteta has been asking for is recovery time for teams in Europe, and that cry has always been there.  Indeed it was part of the reason that the number of league games per season was reduced from 42 to 38.

But then we had the League Cup added and the European games.  So there seems to be quite a good argument about cutting the number of games – were it not for the ever more extensive tours the clubs are putting in pre-season, including now it seems, a regular summer tour of the United States.  It is indeed all getting a bit silly.

So when Areta says “It is not right. Let’s protect the players” I would go along with that and say, pull back on the pre-season tour, and ignore all the untrue comments about Arteta not rotating as much as other managers which we recently proved was nonsense.(see for example t is absolute nonsense to say Arteta does not rotate.)

What we could also do with is the rotation of journalists covering Arsenal for what that would mean is that the regular troup of anti-Arsenla scribblers who make up stories about non-rotation could be put out to grass, and instead we might get a variety of so-called journalists who are not in the mould of writing and broadcasting anti-Arnsenal propaganda each day.

As things panned out Arsenal had a two day recovery time before taking on Wolverhampton.  Indeed you might recall the figures that we produced ahead of the Wolverhampton game.  They showed that Wolverhampton tackled 22% more than Arsenal, fouled the opposition 23% more than Arsenal but got 12% fewer yellow cards as a result of their fouls than Arsenal.

And that was the team that Arsenal were scheduled to play straight after the European trip.   It would have been highly understandable if any player in the Arsenal team had buckled under those figures, fearing for his own safety.

But no, although uncelebrated in the media the Arsenal players went on and saw off Wolverhampton and their ways.

Now although the media will not want to admit it, Arsenal’s record in the league is suddenly not one of a club that is falling apart, can’t hack it, doesn’t rotate (although they may go on touting that rotating nonsense since they refuse to publish any figures of course, because that will show it is not true in comparison with other clubs).

What next?  Arsenal are only top  of the league, have scored more goals than the others and conceded fewer than the rest because… well yes Arsenal have played one more game than Manchester City and Liverpool.

Still one defeat in 13 is not too bad is it?  Here’s the table…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 33 23 5 5 77 26 51 74
2 Manchester City 32 22 7 3 76 32 44 73
3 Liverpool 32 21 8 3 72 31 41 71
4 Aston Villa 33 19 6 8 68 49 19 63
5 Tottenham Hotspur 32 18 6 8 65 49 16 60


On a personal note perhaps I might add that I am writing this while waiting for my daughter to take me to the local hospital for the first of a series of medical procedures on my right eye.  I’m not too sure how that will affect me, although I know from correspondence that quite a few people are of the opinion that when it comes to football I am not seeing the matches as they actually happen anyway.  I’ve no idea how this morning’s event will affect my ability to see the screen (which along with my ability to see the far side of the pitch has been declining of late).  If there is a delay to further publication, that’s why, but hopefully if there is a pause we’ll be back soon.

13 Replies to “Ludicrous schedules, anti-Arsenal media, invented tales, declining eyesight”

  1. Hope your sharp view on things football related is not harmed for the future! Good luck Tony!

  2. Teams do get away with fouling Arsenal because refs hold back on the yellow cards until 10 minutes into the second half. Teams no this and take advantage with dirty tactics. For Arsenal to take advantage of this, they need to do one of four things.

    One: roll about on the floor for 2 minutes like the Italian players of old and embarrass the ref into producing an early yellow.

    Two: Move the ball quicker to the penalty area and try and keep the ball within that area to force the foul and that would then involve VAR because it is in the penalty area.

    Three: Foul them first by playing dirty in the first half, then change tactics the second half to a less physical more tactical game.

    Four: purchase technical players with more physical attributes like Viera and Kean of old that can pass the ball, hold up the ball and take a kick as well as dish it out. What ever happens in the transfer market, do not but feeble injury prone players that cannot handle the physical side of the premier league.

  3. I was proud of the way we handled the kicking. Even Adrian Clarke on mentioned it although as usual he fell short of actually criticising the referee.

    It started in almost minute one when Saka got hit by a challenge that was a booking all day long. Once they got the signal from the ref that that was okay they didn’t stop.

    Talking of Saka, I think we all know he isn’t quite playing to the standards of last season, but I do wonder if these relentless assaults he has to face game after game are affecting him. Not only does he seem to be carrying knocks almost all the time, but emotionally it must affect him as well.

    As a young lad I was a ‘tricky winger’, and of course I got ‘hit’ a lot, it’s part and parcel, but as long as I got my fouls, and as long as they got their booking when due, it never bothered me. Every foul was a moral victory.

    But when a ref just ignored it, not only did it bloody hurt, it really got to me. I never retaliated. I never got booked in my life. I just wanted the protection I was due, and if I didn’t get it, it did affect my game.

    Yes of course different stratospheres, but the effects can be the same no matter what level, and as far as I can see Saka gets very little protection. It cant help his game.

    I’d like to echo the sentiments of others and wish you well when you go under the knife Tony.

  4. Untolds version of how the refereee would perform was correct .
    Hope all goes well today Tony

  5. Thank you Steve. I’ve had the first of four sessions in hospital today, and my sight seems to be coming back now so I can see the screen. Not sure my sight will improve, but he plan is to stop it getting any worse.

  6. Attwell. Demoted to the Football League for 32 months. That was not surprising. What was surprising was that he returned.

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