Arsenal v Sunderland: We’re unbeaten in the last 17 games played on a Wednesday

By Bulldog Drummond

Laurent Koscielny has been ill.  How dare he!  Doesn’t he know that he’s got plenty of time in June for that?

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are not fit to work, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck remain injured.

For les chats presque noir (for thus is the name of those we play) Liam Bridcutt is out having been injured in the last game Jordi Gomez and Wes Brown are also injured but Jack Rodwell and Billy Jones are all perfectly tickety-boo.

Sunderland need one point from two games to ensure they will be in the top league next season but even defeats in both the games might not be a disaster since Hull and Newcastle both need to pick up points to go above them and force Sunderland down.  So they will sit back, let us attack, and then wait for a chance on the counter or go for the goalless draw.  They will have studied our last home match.

Arsenal need a point from the two games to come third.  A defeat for Man C and two Arsenal wins would put us second, but that seems too much to ask for.

Herewith is the table, just in case you want to check the maths…

Pld W D L F A G.D. Pts
Chelsea 37 25 9 3 70 31 39 84
Man City 37 23 7 7 81 38 43 76
Arsenal 36 21 8 7 67 35 32 71
Man Utd 37 20 9 8 62 37 25 69
Liverpool 37 18 8 11 51 42 9 62
Tottenham 37 18 7 12 57 53 4 61
Southampton 37 18 6 13 54 31 23 60
Swansea 37 16 8 13 46 48 -2 56
Stoke 37 14 9 14 42 44 -2 51
Everton 37 12 11 14 48 49 -1 47
West Ham 37 12 11 14 44 45 -1 47
Crystal Palace 37 12 9 16 46 51 -5 45
West Brom 37 11 11 15 37 47 -10 44
Leicester 37 10 8 19 41 54 -13 38
Aston Villa 37 10 8 19 31 56 -25 38
Sunderland 36 7 16 13 30 50 -20 37
Newcastle 37 9 9 19 38 63 -25 36
Hull 37 8 10 19 33 51 -18 34
Burnley 37 6 12 19 27 53 -26 30
QPR 37 8 6 23 41 68 -27 30

Mr Wenger said of the last home game, “The Swansea game was an accident. Having analysed it, it’s one of the games we deserved to win the most of all the games.

“I expect them [Sunderland] to be well organised defensively, sound at the back, and to try to use all the counter-attacks they can.   We have to put a high rhythm into this game and play with a high level of energy to win.

“Sunderland, for a few years now, have struggled until five, six games before the end… [but] always they just find the final resources to get out of relegation.

“Advocaat has used his vast experience to give them confidence again, and to get them to play.”

Dick Advocaat said, “We have to make it as hard as possible defensively and be sharp. Maybe we can do something sneaky like we did at Everton.  We will fight from the beginning to the end.  Everybody is expecting us to lose and that makes it easier for us.”

So what else do we know?

Well, Sunderland have won one of their last 22 Premier League games against us, and none of the last 10 having lost seven of them.  Indeed their last league win was when we played at the Manor Ground and Queen Victoria was on the throne…

[Hang on, that’s not right.   It was at Highbury…   If you look in the Anniversary Files it says… 5 November 1983: Tony Adams league début v Sunderland.  (“Building of the Back Four“)  Arsenal 1 Sunderland 2.- Tony]

But there is one thing that they does quite well and that is the goalless draw.  Three of the last six games between the two sides at the Ems have been like this..

If we were to lose (heaven forbid) it would be the first two-in-a-row home games down the pan since 2011, when we lost the last game of one season and the first of the next.

But we ain’t doing much shooting these days (nothing on target in the first half of each of the last two.)  Oh and here’s a goodie that is true, we are unbeaten in the last 17 league games played on a Wednesday.

As for Sunderland they’ve been doing quite well of late, winning three drawing two and losing one of the last… er… six.   But they are the kings of the 0-0, having had eight of the buggers this year.  And they have fewer shots on target than any other side in the country apart from the Toppled Bollard under nines.

And another jolly one: if Lee Cattermole gets a yellow he will be the first player to get 15 Premier League yellows in a season and will be banned for 27 years.  [Errr…..]   The Cat now shares the honoured position with Mark Hughes, Robbie Savage and Cheick Tioté.  It must make him feel really good.

So is this the day of rotation? Maybe maybe, so we could have


Bellerin Mertesacker Gabriel Gibbs

Coquelin Ramsey

Walcott Ozil Sanchez


Beached:  Szczesny, Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Rosicky, Santi Caz, Wilshere.

And if it gets a bit dull we can always make some comments about Jermain Defoe.

But in case you find any of the above a little negative don’t forget we are undefeated in 11 of the last 12 league games, and have scored at least two in the last three games against Sunderland.  So life ain’t that bad.

Anything else?

Well Dick Advocaat and Mr Wenger don’t get on.  There was an argument about the call of up Arshavin for Russia when Advocaat was running the show (and seemingly getting paid, which is something of a miracle) and Advocaat also tried to do a Mourinho (although not very well) saying Mr Wenger was “always moaning about something.”

Last bit.  We might see our old boy Seb Larsson.  He played three times for us in his early 20s between 2004 and 2007 before knocking up 184 league games with Birmingham, and 134 for Sunderland.  Be nice to give him a kind welcome.

Have fun.

The books


80 Replies to “Arsenal v Sunderland: We’re unbeaten in the last 17 games played on a Wednesday”

  1. Another anniversary of sorts (gleemed from

    Theo Walcott

    > … is in line to make his 300th appearance for Arsenal when Sunderland visit Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening.

  2. @Bulldog hmmm thanks for the piece,i like such atmospheres, when the rats are back in the sewers, the AAAA have eaten their puke and are satisfied and we the GUNNERS are just enjoying everything that comes, long live Arsene for you have made many dickheads rot and buried.

  3. Its time to see a black cat shot by a cannon. SPLAAAAT!!!

    Its a miserable cold day in London. Grey cloudy skies threatening to pour down. Lets hope it is a dry evening & Arsenal s to have acore a few goals early to warm the fans up.

    Our last 2 home games before the Cup Final. I’m hoping to enjoy all 3 Wengerball wins.

    It seems so wrong to play a league game that finishes just before 10pm at night & then the fans have to travel home. It is a 3 or 4 hour journey each way for the Sunderland fans. It is not the way to encourage youngsters into the game. All league matches should be played at convenient times for school children – week end afternoons. The TV companies are immoral greedy anti social bar stewards!!

    I sit next to a lady who travels from Belfast in Northern Ireland for matches. It costs her a fortune & then it also robs her of time.

  4. I also had good memories of Arsenal playing on a Monday, until Swansea did us over. But I will be there to root for The Arsenal. Would like to see Chambers play at right back too.

  5. Let the Black Cats get their point/s at Chelski – we have to win our home games .
    Am hoping for a 3-0 win without any injuries or any ref interference .
    Come on guys , make us proud .
    Up the Gunners !

  6. Brickfields Gunners 🙂
    Hope the “animosity” of the Black Cats manager stops us from being too “soft” with them and get the 3 points tonight. We need to be more “ruthless” and “strong” in our games next season.

  7. A.Taylor
    Sunderland, Home, 2011 I think
    Arshavin denied two nailed on pens. Clear as you like. Probert would’ve been proud.

    08, 11 they stopped the squad built around the f word and rvp by any means necessary. Eduardo. Ramsey.

    Fast forward to this season the captain who rebuilt that dressing room and replacement senior player debuchy are taken out for the season by fouls not even called forget about cards. Fouls in any era mind you!

    No other club at the top level has been subject to their players being treated this way. If people want to believe that they are experts and the physio employed by England and AFC over the previous decade is incompetent, alongside this German fitness guru then they are of course welcome to their own opinions. But I’m not sure that I’d be broadcasting such contradictory opinions myself.

    I expect a genteel performance from the transparent PGMOB Rules Football representative tonight not like that Arshavin game. Not in the hunt ATM, like when arteta or debuchy were clogged.

  8. Still think he may allow our players to take a bit of a kicking Finsbury, before Pulis softens them up for the cup final. On the subject of Pulis, I wonder if he will repeat his near pornographic love fest he shared with Jose on Mr Wenger. I somehow doubt it. Pulis is the master of sycophancy towards whoever he considers top dog, guess it is a strategy that works for him.

  9. Think we have to beware of Sunderlands tactics, even their women commit potential career ending tackles on Arsenal players

  10. Did Taylor just hand Cattermole a drink?! Ive seen him help pick up players for teams playing against Arsenal and put his arm around them a couple of times. Despise this guy; absolute disgrace to refereeing.

  11. We need Theo in the second half, Giroud is being dispossessed too easily for my liking.

  12. Not just Giroud is being dispossessed and we’re a little sloppy at the moment.
    That will change now when AW shows his displeasure i hope. We keep knocking on the wall in the same place(through the center) and are not showing any spontaneity, it is easy to predict our attack. It is only when we are sharp and focused that we get through a defense because we are too quick for them. Lets hope we become sharp and focused in 2nd half.

  13. I didn’t start following un til 30 minutes in. Was Ramsey’s cad deserved?

  14. I thought that there is meant to be a professional relationship between refs and players, no familiarity, no touching, no fraternising etc.

  15. Maybe the next time that Sunderland go up a wing, the referee will run to the far post and stop at about the 6 yard line, with his legs facing the goal at an angle. And if the Sunderland player kicks the ball and it bounces off the referee’s legs and into the net, the goal will stand.

    Is that what you mean by professional Para? 🙂

    Come on your Gunners!!

  16. @Gord – Ramseys card was deserved but it was his first foul which is ridiculous as Cattermole should have had at least a yellow already!

  17. We need to shake things up before this turns into a repeat of the Swansea game. COYG!!!!!!

  18. Just about to say we only need a goal and Sunderland will open up at the back but crikey they’re getting some good chances against us. We only need a point boys and as boring as it sounds we don’t want to lose this. COYG!

  19. I missed the first half, but if Ramsey’s been booked why is he still on and risking his cup final place?

  20. @TailGunner – Good question, he’s not been very effective so far so why not take him off because we’ll defo need him against the Villans! Sunderland haven’t had many chances but arguably they’ve had the better ones. Come on guys shore up at the back!

  21. After that failed OG I think we might be seeing where this game is going. How the hell did that not go in????

  22. Is the bumbling bbc full of incompetent jerks! Some “fan” doesn’t understand something and sends in a twit. And the twit from the bbc can’t be bothered to explain why the twit who sent the twit is such a twit.

    Walcott, put that ball in the Sunderland goal!


  23. Typical… Got cramp so kill the game… How many times have we seen this? COYG!!!!!

  24. Since we were discussing how professional the officials are, any bet they only play 1 minute of extra time?

    Come on Rosicky, put that ball in the Sunderland net.


  25. IMHO Theo should have come on at the beginning og the 2nd half. COYG!!!!

  26. 3 hahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahhahahahshshshhshahaxxxxx

  27. How did they get that number….there was no time wasting. There were no sub’s. There were no fouls.

  28. Santi Cazorla has completed more passes in the opposition half in this game than any other player has managed this season in the Premier League.


  29. Gord in another game another ref there would have been cards for even disagreeing with ref.

    It’s alright complaining about “the bus” but it is a valid strategy and we need to find another solution breaking it down to add to our Arsenal 🙂 . We used to have wingers that did that and players in the center to score. We can only do it through the center and through the wall when we are 100% focused, sharp and QUICK. Apparently we cannot play that way all the time.

    Nearly 30 attempts to break the wall and good defending from Sunderland. We could have been embarrassed but all went well. 🙂 🙂

  30. This could be the easiest review ever Walter.

    A bus. And our players kept shooting at it.


  31. Have to agree, when teams ‘park the bus’ we simply have no solution to finding the keys! Was a mistake not starting with Theo and after the last few games we need someone who can muscle through in the oposition area. Hope the Villans weren’t watching because this a tactic that seems to work against us. We need a solution and fast! COYG!!!!!

  32. How many players of ours were pulled off the ball by shirt pulling. And its obvious with this tight shirts, yet we don’t get fouls called for those.

  33. John O’Shea – “We watched the Swansea game”. We seriously need to learn and adapt to these tactics.

  34. The Villans will be studying this game and the next one too, trust me. They will want to stop us from scoring too.

    I expect the same type of game against West Brom from us, trying to do just enough and hoping that we score and they don’t. Dangerous game, and we saw how dangerous tonight, but we are more or less there (3rd) and it is understandable, well not really, but hey.

    In the FA final i am sure we will play with our usual sharpness and focus, defending as a team, movement as a team, attacking as a team, and we will be thrilled. I hope.

  35. The only idea I have for breaking that kind of defending, is to cross from the wing and have attackers running at goal at basically full speed to hit that ball with any legal part of their body to deflect it goal ward. And if the attacker happens to collide with N of the defenders in so doing, maybe some of those defenders get the idea that having people run at full speed at them isn’t a good idea, and step out of the way nexct time.

  36. How many different ways can you explain an adults inability to use a stopwatch when that is part of their job?

    Considering my comment at 6.51, what were the odds on the official adding hardly any extra time for the time wasting that was so obvious anyone could’ve predicted it before KO? Of course no one would blame Sunderland for the official’s inability to use a stopwatch).

    That was a thin transparent performance from the MOB representative make no doubt about it. Walcott was in no doubt, that is why the Arsenal player was counting the seconds by the end, could anyone watching be in any doubt? Should I too have joined the representative and put down some chips onto the predictable draw?

    It’s a good thing that I’m not a punter

  37. I have to admit that we have not learnt how to break a team time wasting players aided by a PGMO cheat. There were so many fouls that were let go with advantage that wasn’t. This is not what I pay to watch. Time waste at its peak. Either the FA does something about their officials or the game will end up like watching paint dry.

    There is no point in supporting a team when there is such a crooked set of administrators hell bent on destroying it because they have an agenda against the best coach/manager/economist/moralist that ever graced football.

  38. ARSENAL13 -shirt pulling was ignored; fouls were ignored; feigning injury was treated like terminal injury; time was not wasted it was totally abused. I cannot believe the cohesion between the PGMO cheat & the Sunderland players it was like a love fest. I am surprised the Taylor didn’t do a Dean & skip for joy when blowing his whistle.

  39. Tail Gunner

    The inference you make in your haste was not made above.
    It’s a gallant effort at trolling and I applaud your commitment to the cause but unfortunately you do not offer an explanation as to why an official who is paid as a part of his job to use a stopwatch is incapable of using said stopwatch. Even more remarkable is that he kept pointing to his watch during Goal Kicks. Did he have trouble finding te buttons. Does Apprentice Taylor lack opposable thumbs? Even more intriguing was the spectacle of an arsenal player counting down time on behalf of the official.

    It’s a simple question: if an arsenal player can insinuate in front of fifty of thousand people and the watching millions that the official is simply a cheat then why is “tail gunner” choosing to fail in his efforts to excuse this transparent bungler? Strange behaviour.

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