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August 2021

One extraordinary fact about the Man City game

By Tony Attwood

I have the view that having started this blog a few years ago, and now having a fair old number of readers each day, I have a duty to try and keep the thing running, while living up to the original notions behind the blog: that it should be pro-Arsenal at all times, different (hence “Untold”) and experimental.

I have to admit the one time when it is hardest to stick to this is when we lose, as we did on Sunday.  It was a match of could have beens – we could have had the penalty, one of those very close efforts could have gone in.  It was close.

On such occasions I look to Walter, Dale, Anne, Dogface, and Phil – my regular co-workers on the site, to give me something to publish – and yes there are a few ref reviews to put up – but that seems a bit of an easy way out. One must say something.

In a regular season one defeat wouldn’t matter, but because of the bizarre antics that were going on in the transfer window following the sale of Cesc and Nasri and the injury to (of all people) our one remaining genius midfielder, it matters a lot.  As Mr Wenger says, that really knocks it on the head for the title.  We’re too far behind, and have too many clubs ahead of us who all need to falter.

So what to say, other than to bemoan the lack of luck on the day?

One thing positive was the statistics of the game, beyond the all important goal.  We had 53% of possession.  I have no idea how unusual this is for a Man City game this year but it must be uncommon.  Actually I find that quite amazing – that we can come from such a poor start to be so close to Man City, who are clearly the top team in the league.  (Although I did like the chant from our supporters about City’s failure in another specific competition).

And the goal attempts were virtually equal: 15-14 to them.   Quite a surprise for a club out-scoring everyone else so easily.

Beyond that my thoughts took devious routes.  Like suggesting that the man of the match should be the accountant who managed to wangle it that us British taxpayers paid for and are still paying for the stadium in which the game too place.   And the fact that we are all so stupid that we’re allowing more stadia to be built in our names at our expense.   “It’s all going to budget” we are told of the Olympics, except that the amount of money set down for security was out by about 20,000%.  But we don’t count that because it is not the Olympics fault…

As you can see (if you are still with me) after a defeat my mind wanders, meandering from there to the issue of the Mayor of London offering Tottenham £millions so the trick can be pulled again, and we can all pay for the new Tottenham ground.  Clever idea that.

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So it goes.

Then there’s Man U’s effort to get back into the Champions League via Fifa rulings against Switzerland.  That looks ominous to me, and I wouldn’t like to bet that Man U and their cronies don’t pull that one off, just like I wouldn’t bet that Tottenham don’t get public money to build their stadium.

They – the Tinies – have a very clever whispering campaign running which says “Arsenal got public money for their stadium, so why shouldn’t we?”  Clever because it just says that message over and over again, and offers no evidence.  Anyone who challenges this thought is told to “just look at the facts”, but of course there are no facts.  It is a bit like the Sarah Palin supporters in the US – there are no facts, but don’t let that get in the way.

Tottenham are good at this sort of thing – as with the 1919 promotion issue in which Arsenal and Chelsea were elected to the newly expanded first division following the Liverpool/Man U match fixing scandal, but Tottenham, Barnsley, Wolverhampton and Hull were not.   They blame us – but present no evidence, and ignore the fact that they left the Southern League in the same way – by being elected in.

I suppose I have got onto that fact (as I try to forget that we lost yesterday) because the next big big big event for Arsenal beyond the 125 anniversary is the anniversary of 100 years in Division 1 in 2019.

That is going to be astonishing – but I wonder how the club will handle it, because to make it big, they will have to reconcile themselves to Henry Norris, and he has been written out of Arsenal’s history by the club, for years on end.

By chance I’m chair of the AISA Arsenal History Society (AISA being the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, of which the History Society is part) and Henry Norris has been a prime area of interest for some of us.  He has been painted in a very poor light – very wrongly as it now turns out – and I suspect we are going to have to start work on repairing his image now, if we are going to have him brought back into the fold by 2019.

But enough.  I must gather myself together, because next on the agenda is in fact a meeting of 3 of the committee of the Arsenal History Society, in which we need to resolve how to handle the latest discoveries made about Arsenal’s history – which once again blow apart the traditional view.  I thought I was getting used to the re-writing of Arsenal’s past – but this one is so huge that I just can’t think how we are going to present it.

So that should take my mind off the game.

If you have been, thanks for reading.


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8 comments to One extraordinary fact about the Man City game

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Am I 1st to comment?

    Is it reflective of the despondency in Arsenaldom?

    A bit sad but Wenger was realistic in his interview that we’ve gone too far behind to be thinking of winning the EPL at this stage. Nonetheless, we have to keep our heads down and see what happens in the second half of the season. It is not that a 12point deficit haven’t been overcome before; its not that we cannot then finish 2nd or 3rd still.

    There may be a disadvantage in Wenger’s statement such that the team plays without hope and does even more poorly. However, seeing the spirit in the team, I hope the opposite happens: that they keep their heads down; play without pressure racking in the wins and then see where that gets them in March/April.

    Go Gooners!

  • goonergerry

    We deserved to get something out of this game despite being chronically weak on the flanks at the back all game especially at right back. I felt it unbalanced us at times in midfield. A game where we needed a touch of extra class up front. But you have to admit we were unlucky. Yes it was a big result- but there is still a long way to go and we are not in or out of anything. City have no experience of what it takes- though I hope they don’t get it.

  • Gord

    A piece of trivia for you. Apparently the second most common search term on Google News in 2011 was Arsenal.

    This was in a few places n the Internet, including$21378316.htm

  • Byo

    Shaka, there is no despondency in Arsenal land, just anger.
    Anger at Dowd who is quick to pull out a yellow card 5 minutes into the match; anger at Barry and Johnson rolling around on the pitch to draw a red(imagine if it was a johnny foreigner); anger at Dowd who was blind to a blatant hand-ball 10 yd from him!
    And maybe anger at the fact that Arshavin and Chamakh have nothing to offer to complement the efforts of Vermaelen, RvP, Arteta, Koscielny, Gervinho and Song.

  • RedGooner

    I think the attitude will still be one game a time and that should be good enough for this season come may its not about can we or will we win the league its about keeping our heads down and working hard and we will be in that top 4 again.

    The annoying part was barry and richards diving going down to easy to get arteta and song sent off. For once I will say dowd wasnt fooled by their antics that really and truly could have ended the game. Maybe he should have booked them for it …but it goes to show its not just foreigners that do it all the time for those with that mindset.

    Only thing I would have changed was I would have brought on yossi for walcott and chamberlain instead of chamak his speed and dribbling against tired legs would have caused problems late on rather than 2 players who simply have lost their way lately.

    Great performance anyway unlucky with the goal dissalowed and the hand ball shout for a penalty on another day we might have been given it.

  • Sammy The Snake

    This loss was somehow easier to take, ManC being a billion dollar team… We are where we are due to avoidable losses to weak teams like B’burn. Things are looking up for us, 22 points out of last 27 isn’t bad at all!

  • Gooner4mIndia

    We played agreat game, not disappointed at all with the performance of the team at all though the result hurts…as an Arsenal fan,you do feel that even the Gods are conspiring against your team. Nevertheless, I did feel sad for Arshavin – tying himself up in knots…Theo had just started coming into the game and the decision was surprising…We shall have our revenge sooner than later. Its just a matter of time!!!

  • bob

    Red Gooner,
    Yes, alas, Arshavin/Chamakh predictably unlikely now to make a difference VS. Benayoun/Ox/Park hungry and talented. There is squandered talent on our bench, and this caculation felt totally wrong at the time for a nostalgic dream that ArshChamakh would miraculously conjure the old fleeting touch for us.