ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES: Arsenal results before the game starts.
So, where were we?
Everyone’s been off being kicked for their country during Cripplegate Week, and everyone is injured, so we are putting out the under 11s for this fixture.
Arshavin’s out, Cesc is probably out, my cat’s out (but that’s a cat-flap issue) and Theo is hiding under the bench. Or not.
This game, (ie the game after everyone gets beaten up playing pathetically pointless and stupid games for countries that their grandmother once visited on a cycling holiday in the Edwardian era) one year ago was Arsenal 3 Newcastle Zebras 0.
Everyone forgot Fulham, except for the people who said that the defeat at Fulham was the real Arsenal and this was the blip.
We played, in that game…
- Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy
- Eboue (Walcott), Cesc, Denilson (Song), Nasri
- Ade, Van Persie (Vela)
Of that 15, two have been sold into slavery, three are injured.
But when we look at the team today you get
- Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy
- Cesc/Ramsey, Song, Denilson
- Bendtner, Eduardo, Van Persie
Improvement or what? The back for is infinitely stronger with the God-Genius Vermaelen, Song and Denilson were good (in Den’s case v.v.good) this time last year, but now they are doubleplusextragood.
And we are going away with that forward line. Not bad that forward line. Not bad at all.
Of course we are having a hard time of it just now (I know this because I talked to some guys last night who said that this squad was just not good enough and it was time to move on. You can never win leagues with defences that let in soft goals, I was told. Stats don’t lie, I was told. Look at the goals we have let in this season, I was told.)
Ah yes. Quite right. We have
- The best conversation of chance ratio in the EPL (29%),
- Over the last 14 games we have scored 2.93 goals a game.
I said I would sooner watch 6-1 than 2-0, but they wouldn’t have it.
Anyway apart from the equivalent game one year ago, contemplate if you can be so bold, the Manchester Arabs game away last year – the game that started the 287 game unbeaten run (actually I think that stat is wrong, but stats don’t lie so there you are). It was the game after which everyone agreed that we were going to be relegated to the Third Division North, or the Beezer Homes League or something, but somehow we managed to escape.
So, Man Arab 3 The Arsenal 0
- Hoyte-the-elder, Djourou, Silvestre, Clichy
- Eboue, Denilson, Song, Nasri
- Van Persie, Bendtner
It was not very good – goals in stoppage time are never very clever, and the team just didn’t have a heartbeat to pick them up and see the game through. Compare that back four with Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy and Song just in front of them. We are a better team by far more than just one transfer.
So on to the score. Arsenal, desperate to rise above Stoke City in the league tables, (but according to the Mail, saying goodbye to Cesc) are playing a team who has played 3, won 3, scored 6, let in nought, in a ground where if more than 35,000 turn up Sheik Yermoney has to pay the Council rent. We’ve scored 11 let in 4. That’s the scene.
Comparing with the Manchester Arab game a year ago, the defence is in such a different league, the thought of letting in three again in insane. But we like letting in one near the end, so one goal to the Oilmen it is.
In attack, last year they had 4 shots on target and we had 6 – which is quite something in a 3-0 defeat. The shots on target this time will clearly rise to about double. So 12 shots on target – you’d expect 3 of those to go in – we win 3 -1. Not a bad day out what?
Goals from Van Persie, Eduardo, Gallas. A fourth goal from the Lord Wenger in which he picks up Pat Rice, kicks him onto the field of play, whereupon Rice hits the ball which then bounces into the goal is disallowed because of a blood injury.
There you are, no need to turn on Sky Sports News or Radio 5, no need to eat your fingernails, no need to give up smoking (although you should). Arsenal win, life is good.
(Manchester IOU and The Tiny Totts draw 0-0 with eight players on each side sent off).
Postscript: I went to the AGM of Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn last night, where Ken Friar gave a really good speech about life 40 years ago when we won our first Euro trophy.
There was also a somewhat inferior speech by Untold Arsenal (well, that is, me) to the gathered throng, and the proposal to set up Arsenal History within AISA was unanimously agreed. More details of this, and why you should have joined AISA already, and what Arsenal History will do, will appear soonest.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009 (Team Talk, who usually nick all our posts and put them up under other names, tend to lay off the ones with all the silly nicknames in, so that’s why I keep using them. So this might be a world exclusive (except for the licensed agreements to translate into Russian, French and on a few English speaking sites).
Hey ho, twiddly dee.
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