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Nine things we just learned about something or other, which I’d explain if only I could work it out.

By Tony Attwood

It’s the big thing these days in the press.  Six things we learned about the Premier League this weekend.   Five things we learned about Chelsea.  Eight things we learned about Levy.    Etc etc.  So never afraid to copy what others have done before, here’s the Untold version.

Nine things we just learned about something or other, which I’d explain if only I could work it out.

1.  Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal need a new striker, despite easing injury crisis.   

That was in the Independent newspaper as the headline to an article in which Mr Wenger said exactly the opposite.   As an aside at one point he actually said that he would offer the journalist his phone number if the journalist could find anyone that was for sale who was suitable for Arsenal.  The journalist did not take him up.

2.   Manchester United’s current form scuppers USA tour

That was the Telegraph.  Apparently the powers that be in Man U think that they might qualify for the Europa League and so be playing in qualifying matches just at the time they planned to be doing exhibition games in the USA.

I’m not so sure about this one.  I mean, I don’t really know that Man U will get above Tottenham, and its the Tiny Totts who normally play in the Europa.

3.  West Ham Untidy want Vermaelen.

I am sure they do.  But does our man on the beach actually want West Ham, their owners, their MD and most of all, the old Slug himself?

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 4.  Chelsea v Manchester United: defeat shows this is the end of an empire, not a period of transition at Old Trafford

So the press are slowly getting to the notion that we were running last year that although the MU team could do well, it depended on Rooney and RVP being fit.  RVP had, in fact, by the end of last season, done two complete seasons – the only two complete seasons he has ever done.  The breakdown had to come sometime.

And without those two and a crumbling midfield, MU ain’t much cop.

5.  It is five years since Liverpool last qualified for the Champions League and their prolonged absence has shown that the longer you are out the tougher it is to get back in.

Yep it is that.  It is hard to recruit top players who are not slightly deranged when you ain’t in the Champs League, and when that happens you start dropping points hither and thither.

The problem is that while the more open minded accept that Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City could win the league this season, you have to be a Liverpudlian to accept that anyone else might do it.  This is for the simple reason that not only does one team have to do well, everyone builds every year, so you also have to wait for someone else to do badly.  Like Man U.

This is the insanity of the “top four finish” claims year on year – they suggest that this or that team will get better, but can’t find a way to say who will stand still and allow themselves to be overtaken.

Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United are playing for fourth, and three of them are going to be disappointed and then play for the Europa, and one of them will be disappointed and actually get it.

6.  Arsenal want Juventus striker Vucinic on loan

And about four other players.  No one can agree, and the story changes day by day.  So we might buy another midfielder.  But in that case run the story that Wenger has lost it, and ignore the new way in which midfielders are being used as goalscorers with the number 9 as a decoy.

7.  Andries Jonker will succeed Liam Brady as head of the Arsenal academy in the summer. 

A stunning appointment.

8.  Arsène Wenger says this season may just be the best ever for his club.

Goodness if that is true it is going to be one hell of a run in from this point onwards.  He says that the team shows patience against the park the bus teams and that is certainly true.  And remember he predicted the Unbeaten Season – and oh how they laughed and put out anti-Wenger tee-shirts.  I’ve still got mine.

9.   Arsenal learn to cope without Özil in top gear

This is certainly an interesting point, as opinion is divided about Mesut Özil and his form.  Either you think he’s having a bad game, or else you think he is quiet and is doing the unexpected exactly at the right moments.  Mr Wenger said, “I think the consistency of his quality, of the quality of his passing, slowly drains the opponent. He always passes where they don’t want him to do it. That slowly helps us to take over.”

10.  Arsenal has a daunting run of fixtures during February and March.

Remember at the start how we weren’t really top of the league because we hadn’t played any of the big clubs?  Now we have a daunting run of fixtures in Feb and March.   If we do win the league then the summer will be full of “Of course the real test will come next season, as Chelsea and Man City gear up to overtake Arsenal”.  In short, in the press, we’ll never ever get there.

 11.  Sherwood thinks that if the Tiny Totts finish outside the top four, Levy will give him the boot.

And he’s probably right.

Sorry.  I know I said nine.  But I never was good at counting.


13 comments to Nine things we just learned about something or other, which I’d explain if only I could work it out.

  • raygooner

    Brilliant post! Number 8 made laugh out Loud!!

  • TJ

    Re Point 1

    1. Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal need a new striker, despite easing injury crisis.

    about which you say ” in which Mr Wenger said exactly the opposite”, which is completely wrong. When asked specifically about a striker in the interview Wenger said:

    “Ideally if it’s possible we’d like another (striker). I give you my phone number, if you find an exceptional (player), you can call me over the weekend. Ideally, though we have not found anyone. We are open to strengthening our squad if it’s possible.”

  • Mjc

    Regards 2. , I think the writer was referring to qualification to the Europa League via the League Cup, which then requires 2 qualification rounds.

    Also you missed point 12 –
    Why Man City will win the Premiership (Daily Torygraph):
    Something, something strikers…
    Something, something goal difference….
    Something, something Arsenal only have Giroud as a striker…
    Something, something goal difference (again).
    Case closed.

  • @Tony I love 4&5. The empire built on sandy ground is been washed away beautiful wit Stamford river nd it will take More than Liverpool 5yrs 2 get a land 2 build a New one I.e if they will really have the money to build Again(hope have not jinx them)

  • Pete


    Not sure where to post it, but one expression I absolutely HATE is…

    “Wenger [or AN Other manager/club] need to make a big signing as a STATEMENT OF INTENT”.

    Huh? Why?! What does this actually MEAN…?

    Any club should buy players they need at the right price at the right time. What has a “statement of intent” got to do with it? It is like two overpaid financiers in a bidding war for a property they don’t need – just to show a “statement of intent”.

    Utter drivel.

    Right. Got that off my chest. Please all carry on!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Re : 1 – I believe the club have identfied a big fish called ‘Red’ Herring from the Codswallop Leagues in the Mackerel Isles depths as their prime choice .
    Known to the locals as ‘The Great White ‘ , apparently a great catch Du Jour ; a hammerhead in the air ; leaps like a salmon ; is cold blooded in front of the nets and well schooled in the art of tackle and release as most submariners from Finlanders are .
    Soon the fans will be carping about him on fishbook !
    The world will smack their lips and whale about his entree !
    With ‘baited ‘ breath the AAAA will fall for it hook ,line and sinker ! Well at least till they have haddock it up to their gills ! Then they’ll be truly gutted !
    As we speak , he’s being kept in cold storage till being presented at the proper thyme and plaice . Well done of course !
    Bon appetit !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If you smell something fishy , its probably coming from the pussy !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And do you know what goes well with fish ? Rum !And just to keep up your spirits ….

    10 Things You Perhaps Never Knew About: Rum

    “There’s naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.” – Lord Byron

    Rum, with its rich history and smooth, sweet flavour profile, is a unique and timeless drink. As such, we felt obligated to pay tribute to it, and what better way to do that than to delve into some lesser-known facts about this delicious alcoholic beverage.

    So, without further ado, here are 10 things you never knew about rum:

    Fact One: Rum is the first branded spirit to have ever been made, seeing as how it’s been around longer than most modern alcoholic beverages!

    Fact Two: Rum has medicinal properties that were especially useful for armies at war until a few decades ago. The British Army in particular was known to give rations of rum to its sailors as a mixture of rum and wine kept the risk of scurvy (a major threat at the time) at bay. This ration was referred to as ‘tot o’ rum’ and what actually prevented the scurvy was the dash of lime added to the mixture. (the Indian Army still continues this tradition less the wine and the dash of lime!)

    Fact Three: In a spectacular display of a love for rum, the infamous Admiral Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar, had his body preserved in a cask of rum before it was finally laid to rest.
    Accounts differ as to whether the cask was full or mostly empty at the time, but we do know for sure rum was referred to as ‘Nelson’s Blood’ for a period of time after the incident!

    Fact Four: Rum has humble origins. Its precursors date back to ancient India and China and are thought to have spread from here. As far as distillation goes, it was sugar plantation slaves in the Caribbean who discovered that sugarcane molasses could be fermented and then
    distilled for a pleasant tasting drink!

    Fact Five: Rum has had a long association with piracy. While it began due to English privateers trading it as a valuable commodity, many of these privateers became pirates whose fondness for the sweet drink never vanished. This association was only further strengthened by epic literary works such as Robert L. Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island.’

    Fact Six: The Caribbean is undoubtedly the epicenter of all rum production in the world. Virtually every island here produces its own distinct rum style. More than 80% of the world’s total output comes from here. But almost every other country produces their own rum as
    well–including India, whose Old Monk is a well-known brand.

    Fact Seven: The most expensive rum in the world lacks a specific name but more than makes up for it in price. Bottled in the 1940s by the Jamaican distillers Wray and Nephew, it contains blends that are believed to date as far back as 1915. The bottle was displayed at Europe’s first Rum Festival (RumFest), and there are only four such bottles remaining in the world, which represent the lost tradition of Wray and Nephew.They are valued at a whopping $40,000 a bottle!

    Fact Eight: Rum was also at the epicenter of the infamous ‘slavery triangle’, which operated from the late 16th to the early 19th centuries The first leg involved the shipment of molasses to New England from the Caribbean to produce rum. The second leg was the shipment of rum to West Africa to trade for slaves and the third and final leg of this triangle was the passage of slave ships to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean and South America where these same slaves were put to work in the sugarcane fields.

    Fact Nine: Modern rum actually owes a lot to advancements in air conditioning and the growth of tourism. The latter half of the 20th century saw the viability of modern-day air conditioning, which made it possible for large numbers of people to migrate to warm-weather regions where rum remained a dominant spirit. This massive increase in tourists in such regions led to a rise in the popularity of the drink.

    Fact Ten: Rum, as everyone knows, is an extremely popular spirit used in cocktails. One of the most popular drinks of this variety is known as the Rum Sour. It was conceived in Barbados and is served in a conch shell!

    And on that inebriating note, I bid you adieu with Long John Silver’s famous words,

    “Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum!”

  • nicky

    Brickfields G,
    Re your 9.33 Fact 3.
    Of all titles, NEVER, EVER, refer to England’s hero Nelson as “infamous”.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Nicky – some of us do have ‘questions’ of said gentleman’s last wish . ” Kiss me Hardy .” Really ?
    Acceptable would have been ,”Kiss me goodbye.’ or “Kiss me quick.” ( The King sang that !He also sang “Love me tender ” , but we’ll not go there !))or “Kiss me for good luck or safe journey/ passage .”
    Was there tongue involved ? Or crushing of bosoms ?
    Gnashing ? Clasping ? Fluttering of eyelashes ?
    Or maybe I’m delving into this too deep ,and maybe he was just requesting for CPR and the kiss of life !
    I feel better now !
    What are your thoughts on the Cambridge five ( or 4 + 1) who were also allegedly infamous ?

  • Gord

    The BBC has a recent blurb about squad sizes. Apparently Crystal Palace has the largest squad in Europe (34 players).

    A couple of Academy points:

    > The number of academy-trained players in Europe’s top leagues has reached a new low of 21.2%.

    > Arsenal have the highest percentage of academy-trained players in England at 32.3%, equating to 10 players.

  • Gord has announced an “industrial action” may partially disrupt travel plans for the Feb 12 game against ManU.

  • Edu

    point 1 is key as to how we end our season…