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Arsenal vs Wigan. A time to stand up and shout a lot.

By Billy the Dog McGraw

Arsène Wenger has said it would be “sad” if Wigan Athletic are relegated, as they almost certainly will be if we win tonight.

A draw hands the advantage over to the Tottenham H team but would still probably not be enough for Wigan.

When asked if he saw similarities with a young Wenger, Mr Wenger said, “I don’t remember – it is a long time ago – but the dedication, certainly yes.  Martinez has a positive philosophy. Above all, what you want is that he tries to play good football.  That for me, is a good basis to go forward and move higher up. He looks to master the situations well.

“More and more teams play that kind of football now. Swansea has joined in as well so all the teams play good football, Norwich plays good football.  That in the Premier League is now common but Wigan, what they have done as well is always discover players. You have to give them credit for that. With a small budget they find very good players and that’s sad of course if they go.

“The level of energy they have shown on Saturday is absolutely huge, the transitional play they have done is absolutely fantastic, the speed from defence they’ve shown on Saturday was fantastic.   It is a surprise that they are in the position that they are in because they have produced a remarkable game on Saturday and they played absolutely remarkably well on both flanks.  They defended very well and they kept Man City very quiet for a big part of the game.”

As for us Mr Wenger added, “We want to be at our best in a game of that importance.  We are on a great run, a remarkable run.  We have a good spirit, a good understanding within the squad, so let’s just continue to play.”

So, starting with the presumption that the Tines beat Sunderland on Sunday, we need to win this one, and the Newcastle game.  If we win tonight Tottenham H would have to do better than us on Sunday.

As for tonight…

Szczzczzczesny;

Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs;

Arteta, Ramsey;

Walcott, Rosicky, Cazorla;

Podolski.

Wigan on the other hand have Beausejoir, Crusat, Ramis, Figueroa, Miyaichi, Pollitt, and Stam all with injury problems.

On the bench will be Jack (see below) Vermaelen, Monreal, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabianski, and …

But of course the real problem for us is the referee: Mike Dean, as Walter’s articles have shown.

The odds being offered are: Home 4-11, Away 8-1, Draw 7-2.  Walter’s view if you remember is that the away odds look very attractive, now that we know who the referee will be.
Jaclk Wilshere will probably be on the bench, because of his continuing injury problems and will have surgery in the summer.   Mr Wenger said, “It is a very small surgery. It will not be a problem. It’s a two to three weeks job – it’s taking out a pin.”So, last season we got 70 points and finished third.  This season, if we win both these games we will get 73 points and finish fourth.

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The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.

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The books…

The sites from the same team…

38 comments to Arsenal vs Wigan. A time to stand up and shout a lot.

  • Adam

    Well, at least they have to try and score, I think they will be the more nervous side, even with an FA cup under their belts.

    Hope for a couple of early goals and the game over by half time.

  • Stroller

    “and they played absolutely remarkably well on both flanks”.

    Exactly, and we have not defended very well on both flanks of late. Both Sagna and Gibbs have tended to get caught out up the field and with insufficient cover provided.

    With the lack of a natural centre forward let’s hope that we give them problems by playing absolutely remarkably well on both flanks tonight.

  • AL

    I like this line-up. I would love to see Rosicky start, he could be the key. Him and Carzola are always looking to shoot given an opportunity, and sometimes that’s what you want if you’re playing against a team that defends in numbers. Together with Walcott and Podolski we will have a front four who won’t be shy to shoot from the distance.

    Lets hope it doesn’t rain heavily as that could slow our quick passing game down a bit.

  • Rupert Cook

    McManaman is their danger player. Hope he’s not on form.

    I’ll be down the local to watch this probably surrounded by QPR fans.

  • nicky

    My Gran (who cleans at the Emirates) tells me that this morning, Le Patron (as she calls Arsene) showed the squad a video of their first half against Man Utd.
    “Play like that, mes enfants” he said (with Steve Bould translating) “and we will leap over les Spurs once more”.

  • Fred

    Sorry guys, I can only see a Wigan win.

    If Arsenal win tonight then this season’s CL qualifications and PL relegations will be done and dusted, meaning there will be no intriguing storylines for the public (and most importantly the punters) on Sky’s Super Duper Final Sunday.

    If Wigan win, the media and the bookmakers have the final day they dreamed of, with Newcastle-Arsenal, Spurs-Sunderland and Wigan-Villa all taking on incredible levels of importance and public interest.

    Now which of those two scenarios do you think is more likely to transpire, especially with Dean as ref tonight?

    I have to say how incredible is it that the only things left to be settled this season are CL qualification (Arsenal or Spurs) and relegation (Wigan or Villa) and the aptly-named “fixture list” throws up Arsenal v Wigan and Spurs v Sunderland in the final week of the season?! The chances of that coincidence must be over a million to one!

  • Fred

    That last paragraph should read: relegation (Wigan or Sunderland)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dean started surprisingly well (in an attempt to show he is not biased at all)
    Then with some 10 minutes to go in the first half he began his ‘show’ that we all know.
    Not calling fouls against Wigan when there is something going on but punishing Arsenal and certainly close to their goal for any contact that can be seen.
    What is the chance of Arsenal getting such a free kick from which Wigan scored?

  • marcus

    Slim to Nil. A bit like the standard Dean scoreline when he refs us.

  • Russell

    Have some of that Dean, you prick.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I am breathing easier at 4-1

  • John

    Arsenal 4 – Wigan + Dean 1

  • marcus

    I have enjoyed losing a £20 punt.

  • AL

    Wigan aren’t a dirty side, but dean almost turned them into one. Shame on him.

  • Russell

    Feel sorry for wigan, wish it was stoke

  • WalterBroeckx

    Beating Dean almost feels better than beating any team in the world. 😉

  • bjtgooner

    I returned home late on Sunday from Bonnie Scotland and on reading UA on Monday night I was surprised at some of the negative comments – admittedly from the usual AAA suspects. Tonight’s result was the best possible reply to the aforementioned scum.

    Well done the team!!

  • LRV

    Now that’s done and dusted. No ‘storification’ from any story teller. No ‘punterification’ from any punter. No ‘punditrification’ from any pundit. Just simply, “Job Done.”

    Oh! And no ‘Fredification’ from Fred; if I say so myself.

  • Rupert Cook

    The usual idiot comments abound from some.

    A startlingly good start in which the first half hour it seemed Wigan were still transfixed looking at their reflection in that shiny cup they won. Coasting but then we slowed our tempo down and Wigan slyly insinuated themselves into the game. Dean reffed extremely well until he gave Wigan a soft foul from which they scored.

    Second half and Wigan borrowed Arsenal’s first half urgency and looked the better side but then Arsenal recovered and struck for the second goal. After that it seemed only a matter of time before a third would arrive. When it did it deflated Wigan. One of the best performances from the team for a long time.

    Dean seemed rarely in the wrong with his decisions and if he hated Arsenal so much he could have given Wigan a penalty when Kone broke through and then tumbled.

    One more “cup final” to go.

  • LRV

    Rupert? Why are you always so quick to insult – if I may ask? Does it mean that you are not happy to see Arsenal win?

  • WalterBroeckx

    We’ve beaten the Dean
    we’ve beaten the Dean
    WE ARE THE ARSENAL
    WE’ve beaten the Dean….

  • Rupert Cook

    @LRV, perhaps you ought to read my post. I expect it would be hard to extract any disappointment from Arsenal’s victory.

    When you have had as much abuse as I have for daring to venture my independent opinion you get defensive.

  • bjtgooner

    “The usual idiot comments abound from some.”

    Has the rupert started talking to himself?

  • Pat

    Yes Billy the Dog, we did stand up and shout a lot – all round the ground. Great atmosphere! And a fantastic victory over the twelve men. And Dean got roundly booed and called a cheat.

  • bob

    Pat,
    What were the chants/taunts/snarls leveled at Dean? Do tell for those of us who take such joy in that beatdown. 🙂

  • Limpar

    Rupert,
    I don’t think you get criticised for having an independent opinion
    It’s more because you come across as a bit of a nob

  • Limpar

    Thankfully Wigan played football rather than deanball

  • elkieno

    Such an important game and its on at bloody 4:30am! Couldn’t watch it work, baby etc but recorded it and watching it now. 40 min gone 1-0 still Dean ok so far, nothing stands out really. All dean has to do is officiate fairly until 1 moment here and there maybe a penalty or red card, both even.
    Just saw the foul for Maloney to score, exactly what I talking about! Terrible decision man… Perfect spot, perfect time for moral boosting and killing etc… Cheat cheat!
    @fred you forgot to include Chelsea if they lose and score none and spurs win and score 17 goals letting in none, they can make it!
    coyg!

  • elkieno

    Btw, Kosc clearance in first half was brilliant but what was Szcz doing for it, had kone got his head in it Szcz would not be close. Dean has given some dodgy ones for the latics in 2nd half now,ugly bastard!

  • Dave C

    Elkieno,

    That clearance was brilliant. Kosc’s speed and lateral movement is surprising. With his ability to read the game, he’s arguably the most important player on the field.

  • robl

    Always had a soft spot for Anders…..

  • Rupert Cook

    @Limpar, so do you mate and it’s knob, if I think you mean what you mean. But I expect you mean nob, a person of riches and high standing. Thanks for the compliment but you overestimate my position in life.

    Kos clearance was outstanding though I think old sezzer could have saved it. Better to be safe than sorry though. I hear Bayern are sniffing around Kos, I hope we can keep a player or two this summer.

    Yes that Arteta foul that led to a goal was a soft one but plenty of refs give those fouls, hardly something to get apoplectic about.

  • Shard

    Dean has more than a bit of previous in that regard rupert. It’s what could be called his M.O. Anecdotally and statistically, Dean tilts matches against Arsenal. When he doesn’t, it’s an exceptional situation. Yesterday wasn’t an exception.

  • Pat

    I will say this for you, Rupert, you’re crafty.

    You have a few words of praise then you slip in the negative – ‘I hope we can keep a player or two this summer’.

    But I think most Untold regulars have got your measure.

    Why do you carry on?

  • Pat

    Bob, loud boos directed at Dean and chants of ‘Cheat, cheat, cheat!’

    It was a pleasure to hear. And to do!

  • Rupert Cook

    @Pat, I want us to keep our best players. Read in to that what you will.

    @Shard, I’ve seen all the statistics about Dean (you know what they say about statistics) but whatever his previous misdemeanours I don’t think he did anything to warrant a flood of angry invective.

    Yes the Arteta foul that led to the goal was not a foul but that’s easy to judge on tv. Zzdzs or a name similar made a good point about Dean’s positioning re that foul in which he said Dean could have mistaken it for a foul from his position.

    Also if Malanoey hadn’t have scored no one would be making a fuss. I maintain we should have had a player on the post then almost certainly no goal.

    I’ve already pointed out that Dean, if so gripped by this demonic bias against us, could have disallowed the first goal and given Wigan a penalty. But of course these points are ignored by those who only wish to slur Dean. Fine by me, I couldn’t care less, I only make these points to bring some equilibrium to the debate.

    Anyway I think we can both agree that we played well and hope we can repeat that performance against Newcastle.

  • ian

    I thought we played well but our passing did let us down at times. Wigan were also able to pass the ball straght through our midfield.

    Understandably we were nervy at times.

    Dean did miss the advantage when we would have been 3 v 2. Not a lot he could do about the goals though.
    A great result that I am delighted with.

    Newcastle will be a very different game, they will be relaxed as under no pressure.

  • bjtgooner

    @Shard

    The rupert claims to have examined ALL the stastics about Dean, I suspect his examination is incomplete – the Birmingham match in 2008 comes to mind, when a non foul was given to Birmingham as a penalty, a dodgy free kick outside the area allowed Birmingham to score, the vicious Birmingham tackling was permitted & Eduardo had his leg broken, finally Arsenal were denied a stone cold penalty.

    The knock on effect was that our title charge was derailed & poor Eduardo was never the same again. (Kudos to Dean from Red Nose.)

    Based on his comment to you – I suspect the rupert is re-writing history to suit the daily spoof from the AAA sewer.