Arsenal play Newcastle on the anniversary of Herbert Chapman’s first match

By Bulldog Drummond

Please note that Untold will suffer a bit of an interruption later. There is a note at the foot of the article.


It is not surprising that Arsene Wenger turned on the Neville character this week.

If you want to read the latest Neville rant, it is “Arsenal are a soft touch – when the screw turns they lack strength, power and pace

Mind you if you believe it I would wonder what you are doing here.  That would be a bit like feeling that each nation in the EU should work hard to help refugees pouring out of Syria and then taking the Telegraph, or the Mail, or the Times, or the Express or the Sun or the Star, or pretty much any other English newspaper except the Guardian, as your daily newspaper.

Neville’s ranting is all the more curious given that for the past 18 or so years Arsenal have lost anything between 0% and 25% of their league matches each season.  The question must arise, in the all-powerful Premier League, how come in most games a team, against whom all you have to do is turn the screw (a simple enough devise surely), will not be defeated.  It seems to reflect very poorly on the Premier League that three quarters to 100% of the time, a team that is a soft touch can’t be beaten.

Perhaps what Neville doesn’t realise is that coming out with more and more and more of these pseudo aphorisms is gradually making him look more and more stupid, when each is backed up with only limited or indeed quite often, no evidence.   The manifestation of Neville looks like becoming Stewart Robson II.    Any moment now some columnist or other is going to start Neville of the Day, and it will be, all things told, rather droll I feel.

Moving on to something slightly more intelligent we have the fact that out of the 30 Premier League games thus far, only six (ie 20% – I thought I would add that in case the Neville is reading) have been home wins.  It means an increase in time wasting and defensive play, as well as the always exciting counter attack, and is enhanced by, as Walter pointed out recently, the insistence on having only one ball in a game, and the refusal of most referees to do anything about time wasting most of the time.

The good thing for Arsenal in this scenario is that we have what it takes to win such a match – pace on the break.
The bad thing is the continuingly very dodgy refereeing and linesmanship, and the abject refusal of PGMO to come out of its bunker to enter at least the 19th century, if not the 21st.

In turn this means what we have to do is stop Newcastle scoring in the first half today, in order to make them open up and become more frantic and not willing to time waste, unless they are going to time waste for a draw (which is always possible given their record against us – see notes below).

As for the team, we still have fitness issues with Per Mertesacker (virus) and Laurent Koscielny (back problems) for their trip.  Koscielny might play, but Paulista and Chambers are the replacements in waiting.

So I would guess, and working the other way up for a change…


Sanchez Ozil Ramsey

Coquelin Cazorla

Monreal Koscielny Gabriel Bellerin



Not that there is a beach in Newcastle but if there were I would expect to find some of Oooooospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chambers, Mertesacker, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Walcott lurking there upon.

Apart from the centre back issue the latest on the injury front is Welbeck (12 Sep), Wilshere (19 Sep), Rosicky (no date for his return).   The missing players for Newcastle, are Dummett, Riviere, Marveaux, Good, Sissoko and de Jong (the last two rated doubtful)

Taking a look at the Squawka index which gives rankings for defence, attack and possession we are in second place, behind Man City.  They have our most effective players in their own rankings as Ozil (106), Ramsey (98) and Coquelin (91).
Other bits and pieces
  • We have won the last seven games against Newcastle, scoring 20 goals and conceding just six.
  • Newcastle’s last home win against us almost ten years ago.
  • But they have won three of the last 28 league games against us, and each time we had a player sent off.

Newcastle has only won one of their last seven top-flight home games two of 11 in 2015.   Last season they didn’t win in their first four, and could repeat that today.

As for us…

  • In our last seven league games away we have won six and drawn one.
  • On the downside we haven’t scored in five of their last nine league games.
  • But countering that the tally the team has of 40 shots this season (excluding blocked shots) is the joint highest in the division.  The damn dam must surely burst any minute now.
  • Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in six games against Newcastle.
  • Arsenal have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches against Newcastle in all competitions.
Untold note
An odd combination of events including the distance to Newcastle and the fact that Tony is off watching Jools Holland, while Blacksheep is still in Italy, means that our normal post match arrangements are not going to happen, and we won’t be back with more until sometime on Sunday.   It also means that no one will be able to clear messages that are put in moderation.  We’re all really sorry about the interruption to service – but as you know, we do this for fun, and there are other events around.  However I can promise you in a few weeks time one of the biggest steps forward for Untold in our long history.  More anon.

The Match Anniversaries on this day

  • 29 August 1925: Herbert Chapman’s first match as Arsenal manager, against Tottenham in the first league match under the new offside rule.  Arsenal lost 0-1.  The outgoing manager Leslie Knighton alleged some 20 years later that he was promised the gate money from the game as a benefit payment, but no evidence of such an agreement was ever produced and almost all of Knighton’s anti-Norris statements were subsequently proven to be untrue.   
  • 29 August 1925: Charlie Buchan’s debut as a pro after signing for Arsenal for a second time. Part of his transfer arrangement was that Arsenal would pay a fee of £100 for every goal he scored in the season.  He scored 20.   Buchan’s first signing for Arsenal is here.

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29 Replies to “Arsenal play Newcastle on the anniversary of Herbert Chapman’s first match”

  1. Thanks for that Bulldog!!

    As for that Gary (full of Sh*te) Neville: May his verbal diarrhea prove to be a motivating factor and prove the fool wrong AGAIN!

  2. Actually Neville is not that wrong. Look carefully at what he said and you will see that he is not wrong at all or even insulting. Arsenal seems to fold for no (good)reason at all at times, even though we all know they are much better than that.

    See, it is not that Arsenal are a bad team. We know we can beat anyone if we play well, and that is not just a phrase at all. It is just that we fold and lose games that we should be winning that is not understood, for if we were a bad team, it would be clear why, but we have these “moments” that defy comprehension.

    WE have the quality to win games, but every so often we do things that are completely out of place.

    This is the Arsenal we have come to know, and i for one thought we had mastered most of our demons but to see them recurring is a shock to the system.

    Anyway, let’s hope for a convincing win today to boost our team into a good run. I suspect that with the CL games coming up, AW is glad 🙂 🙂 that our 2nd string CBs are getting some NEEDED game time.

    After all, even though it looks not too good right now, we are STILL in all competitions a.t.m. 🙂

  3. Seems very strange to me that after a Monday night game, our next match is a Saturday morning just about as far away as is possible in the PL for us.
    It bascially means preparation time has been halved.

    Going into the break, 3 points is really vital but this will not be an easy game. The team is under significant pressure early and fans can complain all they want about the negative mdia from the likes of Neville, but it is the Arsenal players that have to take responsibility. The home results have put them in this position.

  4. @Jayramfootball,
    The professional game is now big business, controlled not by sporting means but by financial greed. Global television and the advertising it has spawned has the power now and football clubs and their supporters are firmly in second place. 😉

  5. Walcott for Ramsey will add a combination of pace and directness. May be Oxlade Chamberlain later on as Walcott is the better finisher whereas the Ox has more positional sense.

  6. @Nicky
    I agree 100% however there should be a rule that if you play the Monday match you can not play the Saturday morning match the following week.

  7. One of the reasons i am more than glad to say i was wrong about wanting another striker is the 5 most important players I named over the summer months that we need to perform. I mentioned cech,kos,rambo,cazorla and sanchez, for those of you who agree with that have you noticed i have not mentioned giroud or ozil. That’s our big problem isn’t it.

    If you can’t name your two most forward players in your top 5 most important players of the season then redress is needed big time.while I’ll be the first to admit that giroud has been poor but ozil hasn’t been any better either. I have no doubt out of the two wenger will stick with ozil if he buys another striker in the coming days.

    I mentioned way back last season how lazy ozil is in not supporting the striker in the box.first game of the season v west ham when giroud went down the channel to cross the ball which their keeper half spilled you could see ozil at the edge of the box shake his head in what could have been if he gambled a bit more. the two obviously don’t work well together and that is a massive problem for us.good/great teams are build on having partnerships all over the’s a struggle to pick out any so far this season.

    You can’t help but feel that this team lacks that 90min game killer instinct that’s required to win thing i 100% agree with gary neville on is we lack muscle and a physical presence in defence and in midfield.the truth is wenger does not know his best team and therefor the formation is all over the place.thats the reason we only perform for half a game at times,and thats the reason we can’t consistently beat the big boys because you need a 90 min performance to do so.wenger looks a lost soul if you ask me.

  8. @para
    The point is that although all teams lose, including the very top teams, but it appears to be only Arsenal that constantly get accused of being a soft touch, having no backbone, can’t take the pressure etc etc when the do so. Why can we not be allowed to just lose and that’s it? For goodness sake para all teams lose occasionally but when we do we have folded, sorry that is nonsense and as an Arsenal supporter you should be refuting this media nonsense, not endorsing it.

  9. Good morning Bulldog, how are things, hope they are all fine with you. I read on the ‘net media that Steve McClaren has paid a complement to the Boss. However, the Boss shouldn’t rest on his oars as this could be a ploy to make him the feel comfortable and thus becomes complacent. At the end of today’s game at St James’Park Newcastle, Arsenal will upgrade to the level of Average from been “very average” to start proving their doubters wrong. The Gunners will shoot down not less than 4 Magpies in this encounter to no Gunner getting flapped by any Magpie. All the reported £50m of 4 new Magpies recruited by McClaren, are just mere toilet rolls for the Gunners to clean their anus after visiting the Mens at the away dressing room toilets before the game commenced. Your starts are great save I want the Boss to still start Chambers to pair DeAbreu at the Gunners’ CB positions. My starts: Cech. BellerinChambersDeAbreuMonreal. CoquelinCazorla. RamseyOzilSanchez. Giroud. My bench: OspinaGibbsDebuchyArtetaOxladeWalcottFlamini. Walcott was missing when he came on in our home game against Liverpool. Hence, I am starting him on the bench. He’s just collecting fat pay packets every week and gives nothing in returns since the season started. Let’s wait for Welbeck after the international break to see if he will do something special for us. The Boss should not panic-buy any striker, but can make a steal-buy of a right winger if he becomes available in his neighborhood as he could be due to the Boss neighbour’s necessity to recoup after making further purchases.

  10. Good match preview Bulldog! Looks like Ozil is out completely, was there an injury we didn’t know about?

    Lineup is:
    Coquelin – Ramsey

    On the bench is: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Arteta, Chambers, Joel Campbell, and Giroud
    The team will definitely have pace!

  11. @Jerry
    Ozil apparently has a knee injury but no further information available as to how he obtained it nor how serious it is.

  12. @Mick,
    Thanks for the update. I hope Ozil’s knee injury isn’t too serious and he only has to miss the international break games!

  13. @Jerry
    On BTSport before kick-off Wenger was quizzed on the injury and he said that he expected the German to be back within one week.

  14. Its a farce – zero tolerance is a must. This shit is not football. The Newcastle players are expecting to kick & get away with it.

  15. Did hell just freeze over? NBCSN announced at half time that PGMOL said that the red card was correct AND Arsenal should have had a PENALTY!

  16. We were more dangerous before the red, we are trying too hard I think. We should relax.

    Again, the absence of Giroud shows how important he is to our attack.

  17. Yes, Howard Webb said the only wrong decision by the ref was in Newcastle’s favour, in other words, he didn’t give us the penalty for the foul on Bellerin. He agreed Marriner must have had a good view but excused him by saying he must have been looking at the upper body and not the feet.

  18. Contrary to what we thought we did find the time to do a match report so it is on line now

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