How many predictions do I have to get right before you believe?

Here it is – part of the text from last night…

“2-1 to the Arsenal,” said Billy.

“Hat-trick for Theo,” I agreed.

OK I got the goalscorer wrong, but the score was once again correct, and the notion of the own goal was right – although once again I admit I got the side wrong.

And yes, I agree, the bit about the Liverpool bankers digging a tunnel under the pitch to escape with the gate money, and thus causing a hillock in the middle of the pitch, off which the ball bounces didn’t actually happen.  But the own goal was nearly as good.

And so I come back to the basics. I wrote 2-1 to the Arsenal, when most of the other blogs seemed to be going for a nervous 1-1.

So am I a total genius or what?

Let’s go back to the start of the season with the Everton game.  I predicted 7-1 to the Arsenal.   Yes, I fully admit, it was only six, but it was close and we could have had that 7th in the last minute of the game when Ramsey should have passed instead of shooting and sending the ball onto the moon.

Not every prediction has been right, but there has been a stunning accuracy from this blog.  You could have made a fortune following me – but now it is too late as even the bookies in Tottenham know not to accept bets on my predictions.

Meanwhile back in the match there was also the fact that the Carragher fellow was playing.  You will recall that in 2002 the Carragher picked up a coin that had been thrown onto the pitch and threw it at the crowd.

The FA in true style did nothing, although the ref sent him off with a straight red card.

The point about this incident is that throwing a coin from the crowd is unforgivable and anyone caught doing this or indeed throwing anything should be removed and banned, and quite probably arrested by the police and fined by the Magistrates Court.

But throwing from the crowd at a player although awful is nothing compared with throwing from the field of play at the crowd.  That way round you are certain to hit someone and certain to cause damage.  The crowd can’t get out the way or turn a back.  It is a much worse offence.

Carragher should have been banned for one hell of a long time – not just from football, but he should also have been banned from attending any match at Arsenal for life.

That wouldn’t have affected him for this game, in which he played, but it would have given him pause for thought.

Back in the present I will leave everyone else to describe all the wonderful events, and our near escapes – of which there were several, and instead reflect on the fact that we are…

Third in the league with a game in hand over the other members of the top seven except Manchester Arab.   We have seven more points than Liverpool and six less than Chelsea, three less than Manchester IOU.

We are the joint top scorers in the Bent EPL – 40 goals from 15 games.  Our defence which is apparently such a total and awful shambles is indeed the worst in the top 4 (we have let in 19, against 13 and 14 for the others), but the rest of the top 7 are above us in goals conceded

We have lost four games, just like Manchester IOU.  The Tiny Totts in 5th have lost five, and Liverpoodle in 7th have lost six.

So what else do you want us to do with 110% of the first team currently injured?  We now probably have lost Arshavin, Traore and Gallas for the game ‘tup norf where there undoubtedly be trouble ‘tup mill.  (My apologies to the readers of this site who honour me by reading all this when English is not their first language, and those who even with English as a first language find that last bit incomprehensible – it is a Londoner joke about the strange way they talk in the remoter parts of our kingdom).

But we will somehow find a team and we will play more wonderful football at Burnley.

This is what supporting Arsenal is all about.  Watching that first goal go in and thinking, “oh no, we are letting this go” but still having faith, and that faith being rewarded by our roaring laughter at the own goal and an utter frenzy of delight at the Arshavin shot.

Next week Theo will score with his head from the half way line.  But until then….


I thank you.

(c) Tony the Fortune Teller.

I also do history.  See

44 Replies to “How many predictions do I have to get right before you believe?”

  1. Another correct prediction Tony, I say! 😉
    Still feeling the adrenaline running through my body. The fact that we won “ugly” is maybe the best of it all. We didn’t play good in the first half but from the moment the second half started the same 11 players looked completely different and I felt straight away that if we could score a early goal we could turn it around and win.

    I really think that the name Arshavin is sending shivvers down the spine of everyone involved with Liverpool. He seems to be to them wat Drogba is to us.

    Gallas and Vermaelen had a strong game once again.
    Now hoping that the injuries are not to bad to Traore and Arshavin. Fingers crossed

  2. A solid solid solid solid result…….

    I know they suck but it’s still one of the hardest place to win. And to win there the same week the other teams dropped points just made me the more happy.

    The pressure was on for us to win and we did it. Game on my friend…..

  3. diceman I just about the same, but in Dutch at our forum. How bad Liverpool may be this season they still are a difficult side to beat at home. Great, great result this one.

  4. We just need to get through to Jan and if we can add a striker *(Carlton Cole) add some steel in midfield and we must now replace Almunia we are in with a shout the Mancs are not playing well and chelski are loosing there best players in the ANC come on

  5. I would go to the bookmakers with you predictions Tony, but we have no betting or gambling tradition in my country. I even wouldn’t know where to find a bookmaker….

  6. Yes, I’m a new reader of your blog and yes English is not my first language, but yes, this blog is exactly what I have been scouring the blog sphere for awhile. Tony, I discovered your blog from a comment you left on another blog. What a relief, I tell you. I read your prediction yesterday and was not sure. I don’t take responsibility for my doubt as it is the product of a concerted negativity effort put out by the media through the years. I’m happy to win just like the next guy, but I thoroughly enjoy Arsenal’s pretty game and philosophy. Having said that, I’m a bit happier now than last weekend.

    Anyhow, I don’t know if you addressed this in your previous comments, but I’m always wondered if there are more injuries in PL than other European leagues, say Spain, Italy, and Germany. It is very common in PL for any team to have 5+ first team players injured at any given time. If that is the case, what do you make of Arsenal’s injury crisis compared to other Pl teams? We seem to have more players injured than everybody else. Conspiracy or just refs being visionary?

  7. Please can someone find out about Assasin! I cannot bear seeing him injured. Wenger, I hope you use more of this strong language on these babies as they have graduated from the nursary. I got the imagency line ready at half time but thank God I had to disconnect it earlier in the second half. And thanks to my hired assasin for his bullet that kept me at home for a glass of wine instead of drugs in the hospital bed. Joining my favourate friend Tony in saying Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss. See you wednesday.

  8. thank you for that fine prediction. i was surrounded by liverpool supporters this afternoon at home, somehow they got wind the game was on and my front room filled up quicker than liverpools net in the second half.

    i timidly ventured that we might win 2-1 amid cries of ‘4-0 to the pool’

    true, we played ugly, we might even get accused of a bit of rotational fouling ourselves. but with all our forwards injured we are going to have to mix it up a bit.

    poor old ian stjohn was in tears on the sky punditry table as they discussed liverpools demise.

  9. I think Johnson is worth every penny Liverpool payed for him. LOL. yeah I know, I sometimes have a bad character…

    Just read on the internet that Cesc had said that Wenger was furious at half time in the dressing room. Well we don’t know what was said or done but it worked and they came out like another team.

  10. It was an excellent second half performance from the boys.. They showed again that they have the strength(i mean mental strength and not the physical strength others say) and the desire to be champions. They have biggest motivator to guide them to ‘Glory’.

    My only concern is the ‘injury curse’ which has hit Arsenal very hard this season. We have coped very well(atleast a lot better than others) even though more than 10 of our first team squad are injured. They have had to change the style of play every other even if the formation remained the same. Is there any team in the EPL or anywhere in the world who had played the same formation with different players asked to play at different positions. RvP, Dudu, Big Nic, Vela and AA played the lead role at different times this season. No other team have done that or could do that. I just pray the injury crisis goes away from Arsenal and let the boys and Arsene do what they do best….

  11. “The boss screamed at us like I have never seen before. He said we didn’t deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt,” captain Fabregas said.

    If this is what Wenger said to the boys at Half-time, then I’m excited about this season. Never saw or read Wenger saying this.

    Come on you boys or should I says ‘men’?? 2009-10 is going to be a special season for Arsenal.. I’m excited!!!

  12. When will the authorities sort out the HABITUAL divers like Rooney and Gerrard? Rooney on Saturday and Gerrard today were disgusting in trying to con the referee. Assuming they will represent their country in South Africa
    I dread to think of the reaction of the spectators there. Sort the two creeps out, someone.

  13. Well done to the lads, and while I’m not a gambling man, I’m seriously thinking about taking Tony’s predictions to the bookies…

    I understand from the interweb that at half time Wenger roared at the players that they were not fit to wear the shirt, and they were stunned because they’d never seen him like that, and it obviously worked as they came out fighting in the second half.

    It’s like Football Manager: you have to know when to give your players the old hair dryer treatment, and if you time it right, you get results. That being said, my many hours of playing Football Manager surely qualify me to be the next Arsenal manager. Afterall, I’ve won more league titles now than every other manager on Earth…

    A fantastic result, and I fully expect to see the pundits in full retreat come the morrow.


  14. It seems like AW had to turn into Screaming Lord Sutch to get the job done. Or is that Screaming Lord Tel? Or Screaming Lord Tel est la Vie?

  15. Spot on Nicky, Rooney’s out rageous dive did not even get a mention on MOTD post match analysis and although I think the foul by Gallas on Gerrard was a pen maybe his reputatuion for diving played in our favour this time. We were lucky, could have been 3 nil down at half time but we were due some luck and the players showed some bottle in teh second half and deserved the win. So good to see us come from one down and turn it around. Almunia is still a worry though, you need a top top class keeper to win stuff. He’s good but not brilliant and we need brilliant to go the distance.

  16. Gallas on Gerrard was a stone cold sober penalty, but their goal was offside at the free-kick, so it evens itself out. Awesome display.

  17. felt bad for glen johnson…but, damn, what a game, and what a weekend!

    this is a huge boost for our team’s confidence. it proves that we can win big games in hostile territory, that we can come back after being thoroughly outplayed for a half, and that we can close things out with solid D.

    man, the pace of play in the first half was scary. but arsene was right, as always. we weathered the storm, and proved our quality in the end.

  18. I love Arsenal!!!

    Walter, Mark said “Gallas on Gerrard was a stone cold sober penalty”. Seemed that way to me as well. But I do not understand the rules any more.

    Against Olympiakos Vela shot over the bar. The defender clattered into him, knocking him to the ground, a late tackle. Why is that not a penalty, while if he had pushed the ball towards the corner flag, it would have been?

    Secondly, in this game and the CC game we were continuously being pushed off the ball. I thought that only shoulder to shoulder contact was allowed?

    One last question. The Cesc tackle that led to Chelsea’s third goal. Cesc put his body between the Chelsea player and the ball. Is that a foul? Thanks Walter.

  19. Can all you nasty people spare a thought for all those journalists and bloggers who have to eat their word about arsenal clutching straws with arshavin as a centre forward; about our midfield being made of soft bellied cry-babies (gosh,did they give mascherano a torrid time?) and about the fixture being one of also-runs.
    Be thoughful of these people and do try to be magnanimous in your celebrations.

  20. Cape Gooner, You are right it was a penalty. The fact that was mentionned that Gerrard lost control over the ball doesn’t matter in fact. If you make a foul on player who is not in posession is a foul and has to be given. Only when the ball is out of play then you have some different possibility’s but it would take a whole article to write them down and as I have a meeting whole day long and have to go in a minute I don’t have the time now.

    According to me it was also off side and before the penalty incident with Gerrard I think that at the start of the attack the Liverpool player was some 5 meter off side.

    On the Liverpool goal: the player that went to the ball was off side at the moment the free kick was taken and by challenging for the ball he took part of the action and it should have been disallowed.

    Alen Hansen must have missed those things. But then he went total and completly mad when he said that Cesc should have got a red card. Even a biased person could see that Cesc went in not with his leg stretched out but with a bent leg and that the Liverpool player went in with a straight leg. The last one is the foul and if a red card should be awarded, Mr. Hansen then it was to the Liverpool player and also to you for first of all missing al the things I mentionned here and for your disgracefull behaviour and bias.

    It must hurt to wake up on Sunday morning thinking, we (Liverpool that is) still have a chance and then to see a good Liverpool for 45 minutes and the to see the lightweight Arsenal team coming back and win the game. The ghost of 89 alive and kicking you on the ass, Mr. Hansen.

    The only push that is valid is the shoulder to shoulder push. And even then there are times when you have to punish it. There is something in the laws that say that when a push is done with exagerated force even a shoulder against shoulder push is a foul. Thats up to the ref to decide when the push is done with exagerated force.

    Really have to go now.

  21. I watched the fanzine video for this match. feels like watching a mirror at that guy celebrating both goals ..

    Except that I did that alone .. at 1 am XD

    Massive massive win.. Good work to the boys. They, deserved, to wear the shirts.

  22. The Penalty thing……….

    I do think it’s time that we GOT some luck against liverpool for once……

  23. Have you guys read the praise Denilson is getting for his performance yesterday from various sites/blogs? I’m really happy as he is finally getting the credit he deserves.

    The triplets of Cesc/Song/Deni(which is Tony’s favorite midfield) is getting better and better with every single game. Hope this continues and they become the most potent midfield triplet… 🙂

  24. @IndianGooner

    “Have you guys read the praise Denilson is getting for his performance yesterday from various sites/blogs?”

    I think it’s just a minority of blogs that give Denilson any credit for his outstanding performance yesterday. Most others still call him sh*t, useless, donkey, passenger, etc, etc..I’m trying not to read too much into those nonsenses, but still find it’s very disheartening..Especially after watching the game 3 times again (should get a life!! :)) and checked the guardian chalkboard (highest pass success rates, 9 successful tackles (out of 11 attempts), 7 intercepts, 2 blocks,and so forth. Hope the scapegoating and belittling of Denilson stops in the cyberspace and never transmits to the actual football stadia.

  25. Harnet, Its only a minority whose eyes have opened up for Denilson. But thats progress and I’m sure it wont be long before others follow.. Denilson is having a good season despite missing 2 months due to injury.. His understanding with Cesc and Song is awesome.. The way they share the attacking and defending duties are a real joy to watch..

  26. Did any one noticed the changed celebration of Arshavin. He was happy like a child and ran upto Wenger. Now what could it be.

  27. Abhishek: It can only be E-X-H-I-L-A-R-A-T-I-O-N!!!

    Spot on prediction, Tony. I wished I believed you enough to put a flutter on it, even though I am not a betting man.

    I am trying not to get carried away. Will take it easy as my hangover is making my head pound very high. Even my Liverpool fan friend drank more red wine in celebration than me yesterday. When I asked him why he seem so joyous. He claims that his 2nd team won, so it is still a win for him. Fancy that!!! I have known him over 30 years and never once knew Arsenal to be his “2nd” team. Well, stranger things have happened.

  28. And, A day later! How massive was this win? At Anfield, Away, in need of three point, Chelsea ties, MU loses! This wipes away the Sundlerland loss! Seemed Anfield pitch was real slippery. Best of all….leading up to this match were some of the articles posted including: How many predictions do I have to get right before you believe? And “Why so pro-Wenger and why the blind support for project youth?So how does it feel? Solid third with a game in hand, January window in a few weeks, Chelsea & MU looking more exposed and Tony’s& Walter’s words in my head..Remember Model a), b), & c)?YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS! I am interested though on critical thoughts of this game? Where do we go from here?

  29. An indication of how hard it is to win at Anfied – this is the first time since Pires won it for us in the unbeaten season that a team has come from a goal behind to win at Anfield in the league.

  30. We should beat Burnley no problem. They are one of the teams that always come out to play football

  31. IndianGooner, harnet, I think the opposite is the case in that it is actually only a minority of Arsenal fans who see no worth in Denilson. The majority see him for what he is, a stunning player, who is quietly efficient, intelligent and skillful and integral to the balance of our team.

  32. I have just re-watched the first half on Arsenal TV. Stuart Robson said a few times “there is no way Liverpool can keep this up” when referring to the energy with which they were playing. It was a game of two halves. Liverpool used over 60% of their available energy in the first half, leaving us an easy task in the second half.

  33. Just picking up a couple of points from recent posts I think people were encouraged to knock Denilson because of the hammering he got from the press with that LightWeight Denilson tag that every journalist copied.

    I did point out at one moment that he had captained Brazil, of all places, at all levels up to Under 21, and someone wrote back to say, if he was any good he would have made it to the Brazil first team.

    And continuing with the journalist theme, I am sure that when we do win the league the pundits will move immediately into “Of course they don’t have the strength in depth to see it through to another season, while Chelsea and Man U will use their billions to bring in a new squad.”

    Meanwhile – did you see the story that the crowd at Chelsea were booing the side after their 3-3 draw at the weekend? Now that’s what I call loyal long-term historic support.

    I wonder, do they have old time bloggers saying, “I can remember our 70 years without a trophy…”

  34. Every player goes through difficult periods. That is why it is important to recognise each individual’s real potential and show faith in their abiity to improve.

    Although, having said that, a good b*ll*cking appeared to help. Well done lads!!!

    Meanwhile, almost total absence of criticism for Rooney’s attempt to deceive the referee. No surprise there.

  35. Denilson was excellent? He was anonymous yesterday and like Almunia should not be wearing the jersey. He was being pushed around, his passes were terrible and had no pace to track back.

    I’ll take Diaby any day over him. What does offer to the team? Defence? Has no strength. Attack, lack the necessary tricks. Like Eboue, he’s Arsene Wenger’s favourite player and will play no matter what.

    Anyone knows why Anderson and Lucas has all featured for the Brazilian national team and he hasn’t? Not fit.

  36. Behold behold, the best manager ever in football has finally arrived.
    THE MESSIAS, has come to our door. Hope someone recognise him in time. LOL.

    Stuartlondon, it may be the worst Arsenal posting ever but not the worst comment ever on an Arsenal blog. That price goes to someone else I think. sigh….

  37. Stu – I did read that post and thought it unbelievable. It would appear some people wouldnt be happy with Arsenal win. You can imagine the guy who wrote that having a whole “Reasons why Arsenal are crap and what we need to do about it” article ready to go at half-time and being furious that we came back to win, thereby rendering his article redundant!!!!

    I am delighted to see Walter mention the off-side in the build-up to the Gerrard “penalty incident”. I have to think Howard Webb saw that and must have been very surprised his linesman didnt give the offside. The guy was miles offside. So much so that you can imagine the linesman being fooled by just how offside the player was. Webb seemed to look straight at the linesman for a good couple of seconds, obviously waiting for the flag to go up, and took his whistle to his mouth in preperation. Maybe that influenced his decision not to give the penalty???? That and the fact that Gerrard is a serial diver.

  38. It is my first time to participate in this full of interesting comment
    page.I hope i will be a regular participator from now on.I am from Ethiopia more than 80% of Ethiopians are the fans of arsenal this is because arsenal plays the most sensational foot ball in the planet, though it is out of trophies for the past few years.We have to know that the main aim of football is entertaining ,To tell you the truth arsenal with out trophy is very much better than other clubs which win trophies with bad football like Chelsea and Inter .To conclude almost i agree with the above comments except few.AW is the best of all coaches he is the father of interesting football.Please avoid Al the goal keeper it is better to be vacant. Bravo AA the scorer.

  39. You forget the unwritten rule Tony. The secret code. If you want to get an active blog, and become an internet millionaire, pick a really popular topic, something that attracts millions of people, something like…….. Football! Then pick the most marketable league in the most marketable language, something like……..English PL! Then pick a popular multinational team with a big following worldwide, a team like…….Arsenal!

    Now you can hone in on your target market.
    Whatever the team does, stand diametrically opposed to it, choose bluster, choose verbiage, choose illogicality, choose a cod Scottish accent, choose the veneer of football punditry, choose twaddle, Chris Twaddle, or Glen Twaddle, or any twaddle, choose article submission software that will reorder someone else’s tawdry article from some dingy hole on the internet and recycle it in lurid ringspun colours, choose artificiality, the ersatz opinion, the borrowed phrase, the tired cliche, the lame excuse, the souffle of opinion formed in the cauldron of another catastrophic defeat, choose whatever you want , as long as it is hopelessly and irrevocably stupid and and can sit next to old nick in court with a shiny suit and offices at Grays Inn – then dress it up in an Arsenal logo, type it in, and pray.

    Not forgetting the most important thing:

    “Why not visit our new forum! Click here to have a look…”

  40. Sorry for my stupid question, but where can I read the Untold Arsenal’s prediction for Liverpool against Arsenal match.

    I couldn’t find it everywhere even in the match review category.


    Go, go, go, Arsenal!!

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