It’s been months since we talked about players and matches, what with midweek dribble ball and the invasion of the hatchet men last saturday, so here’s a quick run down on this saturdays team, before a quick review of the opposition and their semi-illustrated history.
Sagna Vermaelen Silvestre Clichy (Eboue, Traore)
Ramsey, Denilson, Ramsey, Cesc, Ramsey, Nasri (Ramsey, Eastmond, Ramsey, Diaby? Ramsey, Eboue, Ramsey, Merida, Ramsey)
Arshavin, Bendtner, Eduardo (Rosicky, Nasri)
As you will have realised from the number of names in (brackets) I don’t really have clue Diaby is maybe, Campbell is maybe. The spirit of Ramsey will dominate and Red Action will entertain us before the match with songs about the bloodsucking Shawcross
Any road tup (as they say in the northern regions of the empire) it has always been a central part of the philosophy of Untold Arsenal that we should entertain, inform and education our readership, and thus with the educational element of this mission in mind, Untold sponsors a regular seminar at the Auld Triangle, Highbury, where visitors can hear experts speak about the clubs with whom we are about to share a footballing experience. And Stoke.
This week I was thrilled to be invited as guest of honour to Billy McGraw’s exemplification of Burnley Rovers FC. Here is a summary of the speech which is copyright In-Your-Face-Lecturers Ltd 2010.
During 1882 some sweet natured daffodils of the northern provinces known as Burnley Rovers vowed never to touch a ball again and played their first game of kicker ball which they duly lost 8-0. They soon moved to a new ground known then as now as More Turf, a reference to the grassless nature of the encampment.
In their first FA cup game the Rovers kept up this magnificent record losing 11-0 to Charles Darwin who annoyed them by saying they were all related to fish. When the Football League was found, Burnley claimed it, saying they had lost it the week before, and entered themselves as the Tufties. They lost their first 17 games.
After the start of the second division, Burnley duly got their place therein, and were immediately involved in one of the first match fixing scandals with our old pals and chums Stoke, fixing a 0-0 draw so both teams went up. Manchester United and Liverpool representatives attended, took notes, and replicated the action in 1915. There’s details of that scandal in the article on Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.
The next year Burnley Rovers got a nose bleed and were relegated.
In 1910 Burnley Rovers changed their colours to the puce, maroon and magenta that they wear today. Then they played a cup final in front of a king they found somewhere and won the Cup. His majesty thought it a dull affair and Burnley were relegated to the Southern League (south western division).
In the 1930s Tommy Lawton (of Tommy Lawton fame) played for the club for six minutes, and Burnley entered their Discombobulating Era.
They got promoted, played in the Cup Final, and invaded Germany, which was a bit of a shame, as the war had ended three years before. They also beat New Brighton 9-0 which caused national celebrations and the boiling of cats by the side of the ground in keeping with the traditions.
In 1960 they won the League when no one else was watching largely because they had never been top of the league during the season, and then lost to the fast food joint in Seven Sisters Road, Hamburger SV, in the second extra preliminary round of the regional pre-Cup Euro Cup.
They repeated the food them in 1966 by competing with some frankfurters in the Fairs Cup.
They then lost to Wimbledon during their Southern League days 1-0 at More Turf in a cup match. They immediately applied for membership of the third division and eventually ended up ready to go into the Conference, but Lincoln City obliged and took their place instead.
Thinking that everything had become too ordinary they emplyed Chris Waddle as manager for a few weeks. Oh fun!
In 2006–07 Burnley Rovers finally achieved a place in the record books with 18 games in a row without a win.
Later the snooker player Steve Davis became their most successful manager ever, with an unbeatable 100% record, of played 1, won 1, drawn 0, lost 0. In their run, which is still celebrated in the wild seas that lap the shores of More Turf, they beat Leicester 1-0.
Burnley’s songs are famous and you will hear them on Saturday. The anthem has the lines, “And it’s no nay never, no nay never no more, will we play Blackburn Rovers, no never no more.” Blackburn, rather curiously, sing the same song.
Other notable numbers are “Requiem for a Tower,” “Tubthumping” and “Pappas got a brand new pigbag.”
They are all jolly nice people, and not at all prone to leg breaking, crowd trouble, or eating pork pies.
Leeds Untidy’s directors are all fit and proper people, according to the fit and proper Football League. “They are all fit and proper people,” said Sir Hardly Anyone. “We know who they are, but we are not going to tell you.”
(And if you think I just made that up, then you are wrong.)
Police were put on high alert today after the manifestation of evil known throughout humanity as “Shawcross” and the Pulis character turned up at the hospital in which Aaron Ramsey is recovering from assault.
In an interview with the press (and again I insist this is true) he said he would not change his style despite having left a vast load of players crippled in his wake during his short career (see commentaries in the Shawcross Diaries)
“Whenever I play for Stoke I am 100% committed and that will be the same as ever when I next play, and I will maim anyone who says otherwise.” (OK he didn’t add the final clause.) “The other players have been fantastic. It has been about football really, nothing else,” he said. (Again he really said that, can you believe it?)
Tony Pulis said, “I’ve made sure I’ve spoken to him every day and he has been fine and the players have been fantastic. Steven Gerrard, apparently, has been exceptional and as the captain of the team has really looked after him. People like Wayne Rooney and David Beckham have been brilliant and I think Shawcross will be the first to say how much help he’s had from the players. When he gets back I expect him to put quite a few players in an early grave, with all he has learned in the England camp.” (OK slight editing problem with the final sentence but the rest of it, including the fact the two criminals got into the hospital, is all totally true. Can you believe it? This is the maniac criminal who crippled a player and they are saying he has to be looked after rather than locked up. This may be rather 18th century of me, and I am generally quite a liberal guy, but on this one, my emotions are still boiling. Sorry.)
THE SHAWCROSS DIARIES…
- What the rule book says about the Shawcross tackle
- Why Shawcross can’t say, “I didn’t mean it” The legal implications of Shawcross’ violent assault
- It is time for a thorough investigation of all that is wrong with football
- Tony Attwood immediately after the end of the Stoke game
- Was the assault on Ramsey linked to money
- Why Stoke type thuggery is not allowed in Spain and Italy
- Stoke and Arsenal: the referee’s views
Untold Arsenal and the Billy The Dog seminars are paid for entirely through the sales of the book “Making the Arsenal”. If you don’t buy a copy I shall be very upset indeed.
PS, If you glance to the right you will see three of those blog counter things with numbers on. They keep changing but as I write this they are saying 7, 3 and 9. A year ago they were up in the hundreds. As the man says at the Ems, thank you for your magnificent support.
The sound of a billion fans saying “I told you this would happen” as the EPL destroys itself is copyright © Untold Arsenal 2010.
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