“A day when there is no football to report” TalkSport. 12.30pm 2 August

By Tony Attwood

So off we go again.  We’ve had the preliminary warm-ups, now for the warm up.  

And of course we had to have the boorish gibberish from the broadcasters – it is part of the tradition.  Today’s highlight as shown in the headline was said by a show host at around 12.30pm today.  Sometimes I wonder what makes these guys tick.

Anyway, in case you are new to Untold, let me explain what goes on here.  Drew and myself are season ticket holders at the Ems, but live in Northamptonshire, which is about 80 miles or so north of the Ems (or six light years in cultural terms).  So we get to the games, but when it comes to two days in London consecutively, something has to give.

Meanwhile Ian who lives in Leicestershire, although we don’t hold that against him, has given up his season ticket of late because of the call of his family, and the need to take his two young sons with him to the games.  So he attends via the family membership arrangements.

Walter meanwhile lives near Antwerp and is Chairman of Arsenal Belgium, attending matches in his official capacity.  Don lives in Canada.  Dom, not to be confused with Don, lives in Plymouth, although we seem to have lost touch with Dom (who did last season’s match previews) over the summer, so for now match previews are going to be done by Billy the Dog, who lives in the fast lane of the North Circular Road.

Now it would indeed be sensible if those of us running a blog on Arsenal lived closer to the ground, but we don’t and because of that none of us is going to be at the Ems today.  But Ian, Drew and I, plus family members are going tomorrow.  So today, its coverage from my sitting room, and tomorrow, Walter takes over from Belgium with his over-heating laptop.

So what of today?

Mr Wenger said, as reported on Arsenal.com, “It’s always an interesting test for us because for us it’s an indicator of where we are in our preparation. It’s good to come back to competition and it’s good to have two days to see our level. It’s also an opportunity for our fans to see the team and the players who we bought.”

The official site says Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy will play at some stage, and Sanchez should come on as a sub.  But there are injuries before we have even started: David Ospina is out with a thigh injury.

Joel Campbell however should also be playing.  Although he’s not a new transfer, as the site says, it feels like he is.

Benfica always win their league or come second or third – I think it is written into the constitution of Portugal.  I believe the last time Ian and I saw them they were knocking Arsenal out of the European Cup at Highbury.

“We found out in pre-season that there is the tremendous interest and love in this club from all over the world,” added Mr Wenger. “Of course we know, from things like the parade in Islington, how popular our club is in London – and we are very grateful for that. We have another example on Saturday and Sunday at the Emirates Cup as the games are a sell-out again.

“For me these games are a real test because we are close to the Community Shield and two weeks before the start of the Premier League.   Just behind that we have a qualifier as well for the Champions League.  So it’s a measure of fitness, of tactical preparation and just how far we are away.”

The games today are

14:00 Valencia v AS Monaco
16:20 Arsenal v Benfica

Interestingly Arsenal have made much of publicising the points system of the tourney, perhaps in reflection of the way the commentators on BT Sport failed to understand it last year.  Here’s the official view.

Points System
The following points system shall apply for the tournament:
3 points for a win
1 point for a draw
1 point for each goal
0 points for a defeat

If two or more teams finish equal on points, the following criteria shall apply:
a) better goal difference
b) if still level – greater number of goals scored
c) if still level – greater number of shots on target (as determined by the Emirates Cup Tournament Committee)

So to the teams.   Quite honestly there’s no point my trying to guess how the two sides Arsenal will put out will line up across today and tomorrow.  So instead I have tried to create a list of players that we have, noting, occasionally accurately, if they are classified for the purpose of the Premier League as under 21, or home grown.  I have also indicated before each player the squad number where they have one.

Corrections please in the box below, so that hopefully we can start to draw up a list of the 25 players that Arsenal are able to register for the first half of the season.   Incidentally telling me I am an idiot for making mistakes has been done before, and doesn’t really get us much further.   It’s a bit like saying that Untold is fixated on referees, or the media, or Tottenham.   It is said over and over again, and besides I haven’t had lunch yet.

Here’s the squad as I make it…

Afobe, HG U-21
Ajayi, HG U-21
Akpom HG U-21
8: Arteta
Bellerin, HG U-21
28: Campbell
21: Chambers HG U-21
24: Coquelin, HG
2: Debuchy
24: Diaby
Djourou HG
20: Flamini,
3: Gibbs, HG
12: Giroud
Hayden, HG U-21
6: Koscielny
Martinez, HG???
18: Monreal,
Olsson, HG U-21
15: Ox HG U-21
Pleguezuelo, HG U-21
16: Ramsey, HG
7: Rosicky,
22: Sanogo
17: Sanchez
19: Santi Cazorla,
1: Szczesny, HG
Willock, HG
10: Wilshere HG
35: Zelalem. HG U-21


  • 14: Theo Walcott HG
  • 31: Ryo HG
  • 27: Gnabry HG  U-21
  • 9: Podolski
  • 11: Ozil
  • 13: Ospina
  • 4: Merrtersacker
  • 5: Vermaelen

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51 Replies to ““A day when there is no football to report” TalkSport. 12.30pm 2 August”

  1. Nice write up Tony.

    Looking forward to seeing not just our new signings but also how our established players and the emerging young talent shape up against good opposition.

    The Emirates Cup is usually a great family occasion, lets hope for an enjoyable tournament for all.

  2. BT Sport has started very well – it is almost as if someone has directed their attention to the fact that they are media partners of Arsenal.

    They have repeated the point scoring system – the thing they couldn’t understand last year – three times and have been generally positive.

    A few mistakes – which is unfortunate given the amount of time they have had to prepare for today, but they have been minor. The anchor suggested that the points system is new for this year, but there was a decent discussion of the fact that building the Ems and staying in the top four all the way through that era was “a work of genius”.

    Yep, that’s what they said – Arsene Wenger’s work in keeping Arsenal at the top over 10 years was “a work of genius”.

    Wow – and this is BT Sport.

    Also an interesting reflection on Valencia, and how close to the top they were just a few years ago. But they have impossible financial difficulties, and their new stadium, unlike Arsenal’s, is just a plan. They have had several years of selling anyone of any value, and finished, I think, 7th last season, after years in the champions league, two CL finals.

    It is an interesting contrast with Arsenal – who have built the stadium, and stayed in the Champions League, and stayed solvent.

    A fair point made by BT Sport. It is a refreshing approach from them.

  3. I’m really excited by some of these new signing and am looking forward to both matches against fairly strong competition.
    Arséne’s press conference has been received very positively in most of the dailies. They all seem to be up for him & us.

  4. Tony

    Yep, decent start from BT, lets hope it continues.

    The cynic in me thinks that maybe they feel obliged to ‘tick’ everything in your list and once they’ve done that it’s ‘open season’ again. 🙂

  5. After all years of hard work now comes the time for sir Wenger to reap benefits of his work. I always believed that sir Wenger is not bigger than arsenal but arsenal are a lot bigger because of Wenger. He deserves positive reception from all quarters.

  6. @Tony I don’t understand y? Everyone fail to understand that Campbell is a home grown player. Coz his been on arsenal books since. He was 17 even though he hasn’t played a single game for us. Anway gents looking forward to seeing most of you tomorrow @ the emirates.

  7. Dan,

    there was a reference to djorou’s current status in a recent arseblog arsecast.

    It was told that an insider had told arseblog that it’s his transfer is just a formality.

    Inc Vela, Fabegras and djorou’s impending transfer, that looks like circa £20 million in transfer fee’s in

  8. Jnr Gunz – yes I guess you are right . the home grown issue revolved around the registration of the player, and as I see it a loan does not change your registration. So rich clubs could buy up all the youngsters and then loan them out, see which ones make it, and then include them in their 25 as home grown. Not sure anyone has done that however.

  9. Early team news
    Martinez in goal – as Untold suggested by calling the injury to our new number 13

    Chambers plays

    The Ox plays at centre back

  10. Tony – I heard BT announcing the Ox at center back – where they confusing Ox and Chambers?

  11. Sorry put Chambers in twice.
    Valencia now 2-1 up

    My guess is a line up that goes something like this…

    Bellerin The Ox Chambers Gibbs
    Flamini Monreal
    Ramsey Rosicky
    Sanogo Campbell

  12. If BT Sport were confusing the Ox’s posoiton then who is the other centre back?

    I can’t see Bellerin in the centre.

    Flamini? He played full back i know, but has he played centre defence?

  13. @Tony this home grown player idea is a good one. But like in all walks of life the is always a few trying to abuse the system “cough cough chealse cough”. Is it me or some one seems to be moaning about the FFF a lot lately.yes mr mourhino. Anway @ tony how come u got 2 chambers in the line up.unless we signed his twin brother too.

  14. BT Sport have just said Chambers and Monreal at central defence.

    Arsenal.com is showing

    Bellerin, Chambers, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Campbell, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo

    which doesn’t really help for positioning

    How about

    Bellerin chambers Monreal Gibbs
    Flamini Ox
    Ramsey Rosicky
    Chamberlain Sanogo

    No apology from BT Sport for their misinformation about the Ox. First black mark of the afternoon, but in comparison with the standard of TV commentating its pretty much run of the mill.

  15. Sport have Flamini as defensive midfield alone, frive in front of him and Sanogo on his own up front. Campbell on the right and Ox on the left.

  16. BT


    Being far to complimentary. Feels odd.

    All credit to him. Lets hope this isn’t just a flash in the pan.

    On a trivial note.

    Can we be contenders?

    Only 60% say yes.

    Jeez, what is the matter with people. We where ‘Contenders’ last year ffs.

    Contenders is just that. The question isn’t: Will we win it?

    If you asked me I would say, given the strength of the opposition, we probably wont win the Pl.

    But contenders? 100%

    40% don’t even think we will be contenders. What is the matter with these people.

  17. Only 60% because anyone can vote, and supporters of other clubs will be in the pub watching this and texting in. AAA is only about 3% of real Arsenal support – they just make a lot of noise.

  18. Tony wrote:

    “AAA is only about 3% of real Arsenal support – they just make a lot of noise”

    Absolutely spot on. I wouldn’t put a number on it but I am pretty certain that they are tiny fraction of the Arsenal fan base.

  19. Wilshere, Coquelin and Arteta
    Rosicky off Ramsey off Flamini off
    Alesxis warming up

    BT Sport almost slipped with the commentator complaining that it was almost impossible to keep up with all these substitutions, but the co-commentator quickly ticked him off.

    Immediately Benfica scored – long throw in and defence still re-organising after the substitutions.


    BT is now applauding the approach of giving points for goals – so instead of laughing at the stupidity of Arsenal in running a competition that was incomprehensible they are now saying how innovative and forward looking it is.

  20. What a game! Some lovely goals. Before kick off I read that Benfica are ranked 5th and Arsenal 9th in UEFA’s coefficient team ranking. I know it’s still pre-season but wow!

  21. BT have just mentioned Koscielny and his interest in accordions… which was a story Untold covered.

    I just wonder… have they been reading us?

    Sanogo looks like he had an injury and has gone straight off for treatment. Akpom about to come on.

    And Alexi is about to come on.

  22. @ Tony & Jr gunzz

    Joel Campbell will not count as HG. Quite simply loans to clubs not associated to either the Welsh or English FA do not toward qualifying as HG.

    Jr qunzz are you sure he has been with Arsenal since he was 17 for wiki says he signed in 2011 aged 19

  23. Arsenal hit the bar and the post in the final five mines. Coquelin did brilliantly…

    And that’s it. 5-1

    I will put up another article shortly in case you want to continue the discussion

  24. Well, BT obviously got a slap from someone, they were refreshingly “non-anti-Arsenal” today.

    Was pleasantly surprised to see the youth perform well. Bellerin is a good player. Sanogo i wanted to get a goal to settle him, but he took 4, “greedy man”, seriously, another Arsenal signing, who also assists well. Hope Joel fits in the team well, which he should and Arsenal are on their way again.

    Come on Arsenal.

  25. Good win and some great attacking football. Lets hope Sanogo is not too bad – he grew in confidence today.

    Some very good performances from our young players!!

  26. Didn’t watch but judging from the ‘live’ feed from you guys it was a brilliant game. Well done Arsenal 🙂

  27. I just got back to a place with Internet. I looked around again into the home grown business, and from what I can see it doesn’t matter where the person places, or even if they place. It is just the registration. But, maybe I found the wrong definition. Someone brought up an interesting example. Cesc Fabregas is homegrown (for Chelsea) because of the time he spent at Arsenal.

    A couple of people mentioned Sanogo getting hurt. I see mentions of an injury a week ago in Google News, nothing today. There was news about him slipping when celebrating his 4th goal. I suppose there will be some people that will say that he still hasn’t broken is duck (I think that is the saying), as the Emirates Cup doesn’t count.

  28. I guess it is 7:30am in the UK, here it is a bit after midnight. I stayed up to see if Northern Lights would occur tonight (a CME was supposed to hit Earth). If there were aurora, they were very faint.

    In any event, there are no end of predictions that don’t impress Arsenal fans. I happened across a publication called Arabian Business, and one of their writers has predictions for some EPL teams (EPL, FA Cup, Champion’s League, …). And he admits, he hasn’t a leg to stand on in making his predictions.

    But, he fancies Arsenal to win the EPL, and for Spurs to be relegated. He did not predict St. Totteringham’s Day, which surprised me. It is an interesting read.



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