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August 2021

Today is not eternity (but goodness, life must be tough for the family))

By Tony Attwood

If you ever take a look at the “Arsenal Anniversaries” section that appears on the home pageof Untold you might have seen that today’s list includes a link to 15 December 1934 and the match which occurred that day.

All the details are on the Arsenal History site, so I won’t repeat them here, but in preparing that article something struck me – and it was to do with the league tables.

The league table today, as you undoubtedly know, looks like this…

Man City

And here is the league table from 1934, when we were in the first year of George Allison’s reign.  (Two points for a win of course, and goal average counted, not goal difference).

Pd W D L F A GA Pts
1 Sunderland 18 10 5 3 38 19 2.00 25
2 Arsenal 18 9 6 3 54 23 2.35 24
3 Stoke City 18 11 1 6 40 27 1.48 23
4 Manchester City 18 10 3 5 37 27 1.37 23
5 Grimsby Town 18 7 6 5 34 24 1.42 20

What is interesting is that in this 1934/5 season when we won the league with some ease, we’d already lost three games.   Using contemporary measures we would have had 33 points out of 18 games.  This season we have 35 out of 16.But more interesting is the away form – by this 18th game Arsenal had only won one away match.   

Yet this team of 1934 was brilliant (take a look at the full article to read more about it) but it couldn’t win away – at least in the first half of the season.Matters did turn round a bit in the second part of the season, and we got the hang of the away win, but at this pre-Christmas point, I started to wonder. 

Just what were the fans making of all this?

Were they saying that the team is rubbish, that now Chapman was no longer with us Arsenal wouldn’t win anything any more, that we needed new players, just like now?  

Certainly, between October 27 and November 17 there had been a wobble with two defeats, a win and a draw – the sort of performances that today send “supporters” into apoplexy and make the under 12s (or at least those with a mindset of the under 12s) to say that they have just thrown their season ticket in the bin.

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And it all makes me wonder what on earth some people are trying to measure this season against.   I can only assume that in a moment of insanity they had turned on BT Sport, left the volume up, and assumed that the commentary team and associated grinning pundits were on Earth.  

Obviously I don’t know what the final outcome this season will be, and of course I don’t like defeats, but I do know that there has never been a season without a wobble.Just look at the first Wenger double. 

If the under 12s had had their way Mr Wenger wouldn’t have made it past the spell in the autumn in which we won two games, drew two of them 0-0, and lost to Derby, Sheffield W, Newcastle and Blackburn.   Or what about this run: drew away with Tottenham, drew 0-0 at home with Birmingham, drew 1-1 with Portsmouth.   Earlier in the season we drew 1-1 with Rotherham (winning 9-8 on penalties).    You may remember that season, we won the league unbeaten.

Of course everyone has the right to define life and everything within it by what happened in the past two days, but it actually isn’t a very clever way of doing it.  It tends to lead to inaccurate analyses and makes you miserable.

I wonder if the people who are utterly miserable now because of a league draw and a league defeat, do this in their home lives?   If so, if must be awful for their partners, not to mention their poor children.   And the neighbours.

Arsenal anniversaries on 15 December…

  • 15 December 1890, Luton offer five shillings (25p) per week offered to 3 players leading to the suggestion they pre-dated Arsenal as the first southern professional club.
  • 15 December 1926: Harold Peel, a stop gap signing by Chapman, arrived at Arsenal
  • 15 December 1934: Arsenal 8 Leicester 0.  Drake’s 6th hat trick of the season.  Arsenal thus far have scored 8 twice and 7 once in 19.
  • 15 December 1995 the European Court ruled the transfer system was prohibited by Article 39(1) of the EC Treaty.  Bosman had arrived.
  • 15 December 2000: Paolo Vernazza sold to Watford for £350,000
  • 15 December 2000: Christopher Wreh sold to Al-Hilal


Arsenal books for Christmas at discount prices

18 comments to Today is not eternity (but goodness, life must be tough for the family))

  • bob

    “Of course everyone has the right to define life and everything within it by what happened in the past two days, but it actually isn’t a very clever way of doing it. It tends to lead to inaccurate analyses and makes you miserable.”
    Mr. Atwood,
    As ever, there is a flip side to your characterization of legitimate worry as frenzied, wobbly, gloom and doom among the genuine supporters. That flip side is a reckless stand patism (we’ve got enough, it’ll come good next season). This when January offers a chance to shore up with quality to win (or go far in multiple competitions) this season. A trusty old expression seems all to applicable to your “don’t worry be happy” (Bobby Ferrinism?): “Fiddling while Rome burns”
    Fortunately AW can see and can act on this. It may take the outcome of the Chelsea game to prove decisive. Prediction: Beyond the sprint to halfway, if/when AW then purchases quality, you and I will be singing his praises for having purchased in order to ruthlessly compete to win this marathon. (That is, unless Diaby(ism) is the stealth dream.)

  • Tony,

    I have repeated your last paragraph here so many times that now I don’t bother to anymore. But more often than you might believe, those who go over the top when we have bad results are usually those who aren’t doing so well in their own personal life and who try to substitute the achievements of the teams they support for their own lack of.

    The points that we lost this season that have been most painful to me are those against Aston Villa and Everton. And that is only because these are the points that I have factored into our season total. It’s still no biggie as many of the results could be reversed on the away run. A game like yesterday is from which any point feels like winning the lottery. Losing away to city is not worth going nuts over, painful as it may feel.

  • bob,

    If “fortunately AW can see and can act on this”, then what is the point in us supporters going nuts with negativity? If you trust the man in charge to act as necessary (as you seem to infer from your comment), then spreading gloom and doom over a result that we were all realistically expecting is not helpful in any way other than to cause depression.

  • para

    I was not expecting to lose, as i know Arsenal could beat Manc at this time, but i realised during the match we we really tired, we just could not take control like we do, in fact, City were playing like WE usually do.
    So let’s now use this and the days rest we now have, to decimate Chelsea and regain a little confidence and bragging rights.
    Still think we are going to be PL winners, even though i know the “others”, speak refs and pundits, are trying everything to hinder that.

  • para,

    I am as optimistic a Gooner as they come but I don’t know what you based your “knowing” that we “could beat Man City at this time” on. They have 100% home record, scoring more goals than we have altogether. They used half of their 1st team on Tuesday while we used nearly 100% of ours the next day. They were home yesterday while we had to travel to them despite having a day less to rest from our travel. EVERYTHING pointed to a Man city win yesterday and to say you “know” otherwise is just wishful thinking and nothing based on reality. Hoping for a result and knowing that you will get same are 2 totally different things. I was hoping for win too but I had braced myself for a loss.

    I will be on your side if, heaven forbids, we lose to Chelsea on Monday.

  • blacksheep63

    interesting that Mr @Arseblog has been so many negative posters (the AAA I imagine) on his site that he has today issued a warning. Good on him I say, the last thing we need after a bad day at the office is an internecine war – what we need is belief and a week of rest for the team.

  • bob

    After you accused me of dishonesty this summer, I will have no time for your self-important moralism about everything. You lazily call caring criticism the spreading of doom and gloom. Your a narrow minded bully who takes the air out of the room. I have no time for your accusations of dishonesty and find your johnny-come-lately embrace of the pov that there really IS refshite to have to deal with a recognition of the reality of something you had railed against bothering with for months on end. Now you’re the hero of refshite detection. Deluded dude.

  • bob,

    Speak English please.

    Here is an idea: when you are mad at someone, take some time to read your insult to them. Your ramble above made no sense at all. I know you can do much better but your anger got the better part of you.

    I did not know that you keep malice for so long. Sorry dude.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Even the invincibles didn’t win every game. We have a difficult run of Everton-Napoli-ManC-Chelsea, it is conceivable to drop points.

    Having said that, Arsenal would do well to narrowly miss the championship. We must close the gap first, then challenge. Win, lose or draw…

  • Gord

    Congratulations Tony, you made the Media Watch list (bottom of first page).

    > Untold Arsenal compares the title race of 1934/35 with this season’s situation

  • TommieGun

    And in other happy, comparative news:

    Spurs are being butt kicked, at no-heart-lane, by a team who we beat 2-0 (quite easily, too).

    I think AVB should start looking for a new job (unfortunately, I did want them to do better … so the fall would be from a higher ground).

  • TommieGun,

    Have you also noticed that no matter how bad things may be going for us at any time, worse things always tend to happen to the scum 🙂

    Scum 0 – 5 Liverpool. I love it!

  • OMGArsenal

    Irrespective of the last 2 losses, the real issue is whether the Gunners’ team-spirit and confidence can be maintained or augmented by AW and the players, and whether these setbacks will affect the rest of the season. Our next 5 games are entirely winnable but here are my concerns:

    1)Will the fatigue factor hurt us more than we think?
    2)Will we get more serious injuries as the pressure intensifies?
    3)Will our fickle whiny plastic fanboys start carrying Wenger out and Spend cash banners during home games?
    4)Will the yellow media and punditry continue to have an orgy of Arsenal-bating and bashing regardless of circumstances?
    5)Will Walcott and Bendtner show their real zeal and worth to the Club or will Wenger need to consider a new striker?

    None of us wear rose-coloured glasses. We saw what happened at City and we know there is still work to do with this team BUT, unlike the AAA and all is lost brigade, we do remember Arsenal’s form and ability to pick up the pace when they come out of a bad run of form. Despite the gloomers saying our season is over and all is hopeless while Wenger rules the roost, we know we are in the knock-out stage of the CL for the 17th straight year, we are still top of the EPL and with the potential to remain there,provided we maintain our commitment to winning.

  • OMGArsenal,

    I’m more worried about points 3 and 4. This team has shown us a lot this season and when they are down is when we are most needed. It is easy to support a team that is on a good run but we as supporters are most needed when things are tough and spirits are low.

    This is my major peeve with these so called ‘realistic’ fans (like the rest of us are deluded fools) who harp on about the team’s shortcomings. Every team has their shortcomings and unless we are in any kind of position to correct such or influence a change, all we can do is increase our level of support at times like this rather than telling the whole world about how crappy our team is.

    You are my kind of Gooner man!

  • TommieGun

    @ Boot and OMG –

    Why worry about fickle plastic fans and/or media ? This is no more than background noise. I don’t think they can influence the team so much. Conversly, fatigue and injuries might have very serious effects on our season.

  • poldi coming good then chamberlain comes good and the diaby comes super good and what finish to win the title! just score one more is the way!

  • para

    @ Bootoomee
    What i meant was, i know we can beat them, as they still have weaknesses, i mean, look how tired we were, and we scored 3 goals in one game there, where they only let in 2 all season, so imagine if we were completely focused and fit, it may well have been 6 goals we scored or more.
    The game should have been Sunday 16.00 anyway.

  • Damilare

    Good morning everybody! Im grateful to God to be alive today and on top of that Arsenal still top of the table.

    I still do not understand why anybody at all should be negative because we lost a match (that some people – not me, had negatively expected that we’d lost )

    Sorry, must you support the Arsenal? I also want to agree with the last paragraph of Tony’ article. As a child, I would cry even refuse to eat because of a football match defeat. My mum would then ask ”Do you know that the players have collected their pay and nobody remembers little Damilare that cried and refused to eat for them?” And trust me she is right.

    Take my advice, if you cannot stand a defeat or endure a bad run of games, be non-committant. Babu, a guy who frequent same viewing centre with me is like that. He has no allegeance to any team. According to him, ‘I support any team on the day that plays well’

    But if you must support a team that always wins, take another advice. Get a video game, choose a team, alter their skills, ability, stamina etc (you know what Im talking about) to 100% then enjoy your endless reign on Football Manager like Wole my friend does.

    Manshiity lost to Cardiff and beat Arsenal. Their fans won’t feel same about the two matches, but that’s the beauty of following a real football team.

    Like marriage, has anyone got the perfect husband and wife? Not even Adam and Eve. What your spouse is deficient in/of is imbeded in you. The earlier you helped him/her the better for the marriage.

    The players cannot support themselves so it is our duty as true fans to lend that support especially in defeat where its most needed.

    Please can we just have only Arsenal fans on this blog. Warning: If you are negative about Arsenal (and your life), keep off.