It was fun, it was nervy, and even the bloody computer got over excited. But we made it.

By Tony Attwood

My intention having got home in time to make a bacon sandwich and watch Match of the Day was to then write a report on the game highlighting the total ineptitude and lunacy of the referee.   But then the best laid plans…   the computer went onto another planet and short of bashing on the neighbours door and demanding to use their computer for half an hour (never a good plan as it approaches midnight on saturday/sunday) there was nothing else for it than to go to sleep and hope the technology revived itself by the morning.

Which it did.  (I think actually it was WordPress trying to do an update repeatedly through the day.  But never mind, where IT is concerned, its all rubbish.   Ask Talk Talk.  Sorry if you had problems getting on the site).

Anyway, here we are, the sun is rising, the digital clocks have dutifully retreated (in the EU at least) and we’re, oh where are we, let me just check the league table for a second…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal 10 7 1 2 18 8 10 22
The United Arab Emirates 9 7 0 2 24 8 16 21
State Aid Utd 10 6 2 2 22 13 9 20
Man Utd 9 6 1 2 15 8 7 19
Leicester City 10 5 4 1 20 17 3 19
Crystal Palace 10 5 0 5 12 11 1 15
The Tiny Totts 9 3 5 1 11 7 4 14
West Bromwich Albion 10 4 2 4 8 11 -3 14
Southampton 9 3 4 2 15 12 3 13
Everton 10 3 4 3 13 13 0 13
Swansea 10 3 4 3 12 12 0 13
Liverpool the Almighty 9 3 4 2 8 10 -2 13
Watford 10 3 4 3 8 10 -2 13
Stoke 10 3 3 4 9 12 -3 12
Total Meltdown Oh Dear 10 3 2 5 15 19 -4 11
Norwich 10 2 3 5 14 21 -7 9
Bournemouth 9 2 2 5 11 17 -6 8
Newcastle 9 1 3 5 12 19 -7 6
Sherwood the wonder manager 10 1 1 8 9 17 -8 4
Sunderland 9 0 3 6 8 19 -11 3

Ah yes we seem to have reached the top.

Of course we’ve done this before.  Lots of times.  And lots of times we have faded away.  And the aaa will be saying that we should have made it more than two, and so on, but personally I just like to enjoy these moments, have a happy Sunday, and keep on enjoying it even if Man U don’t beat Man C 4-0 – enough to dent the oily goal difference, but not too much to lift up the Man U GD too far.  (We can get quite involved in these things chez Attwood.  I blame my maths teachers at school).

The key point for me is that we are getting better, and that although we have injuries to key players we are doing well.  In the past we have generally done very well without injuries but then when the injuries sink in, we slip.   Now we can look at the injury list of Ramsey, Welbeck, Wilshere, Rosicky and Ospina and know that in time they will come back, and we will be even stronger.

And we can reflect of course that Arsenal were the only team not to buy a new outfield player in the summer and we are at least for the moment top of the league.  And ask…

“Do we know something the rest of the league don’t?”

Or put it another way, could it be, as our new silly league table with added transfer values suggests, transfers are not everything?   Shock, horror, surely not.  What will the blogettas do if they ever discover the truth?

At last we seem to have got rid of the nonsense about Giroud and people are recognising what Untold has said all along – he is a fine centre forward who scores goals.  And all the gibberish about Mesut Özil who did the assist for Olivier Giroud’s sublime goal.

Mind you I can remember when Laurent Koscielny was said to be obviously of lower quality than Arsenal needed, and Wenger only bought him because he was French, and he had a deal with Lorient in which each time he bought a Lorient player he got a kickback.  And where are these people now?  Looking for someone else to knock, and wondering who to go for, I shouldn’t wonder.

Giroud was excellent, as was Özil.

As Mr W said, “After the first game of the season when we lost to West Ham, nobody could have predicted that after 10 games, we are there. Would I have predicted that? Honestly, no. I thought it would take much longer because City started with five wins.”

Meanwhile, the ref really was awful, but I will wait for the official Untold report on this rather than give a long piece about just how awful.   But at least he sent the equally awful Gareth Barry off, which drew attention away from playing Gibbs in the forward line.  Walter reminded me that Gibbs started out in the front four.  An interesting transformation.

So once again Everton come, and fail to conquer.  I didn’t even see any flares when they scored, so unless I missed one (the away fans are harder to see from my new seat this season) they have either cleaned up their act or not worked out how to waterproof the pyros.  We did see the man in his swimming costume – or was it a pair of knickers.  I couldn’t see very clearly, and actually didn’t really want to.  Once glance was enough.

The key to it all was that we held Everton back for almost half an hour, during which time they hardly had an attack.  By that time we had got the measure of it all and then we struck and that is the way to do it.

For the record the team was…


Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal;

Coquelin, Cazorla;

Oxlade-Chamberlain (Flamini, 81), Özil, Sanchez (Gibbs, 89);


And the man of the match was Özil (who else?)

And meanwhile there was the news of that old turnip José Mourinho.   Oh what is he up to, what is he doing?   A row over two kids following him down the street, and then sent to the stands at a time when he is still fighting his suspended one match ban.  And his assistant sent off.  That’s careless.

Still at least the FA will always support Chelsea – as they have shown by opening an enquiry into Heather Rabbatts support for Dr Carneiro.   In response Lord Ouseley described the FA as “antiquated” and in need of serious reform.   Perhaps your lordship would like to write for Untold Arsenal;  we’ve been saying that for eight years with precious little support from anyone.  Nice to have you on our side m’lud.

Rabbatts said she had “major concerns” regarding the disciplinary process in the Dr Carneiro case.  José Mourinho was cleared of making discriminatory comments towards the doctor by the FA.  Need one say more?

Cesc Fàbregas also seems to have lost it a bit of late (you should never have had that DNA test Cesc) and it looked as if all the team could have been booked for dissent if only the ref had been on his game.  Apparently Mourinho was sent to the stands for trying to argue with the ref at half-time.   What a silly little boy.

Chelsea had six players booked and so will get fined – which is a pathetic punishment given the huge oil wealth the club has at its disposal.  They also followed the approach of Sir Alex F Word in not sending the manager to the post-match press conference, which is a breach of Premier League regulations.  Sir F was supposed to be fined each time he did that, but I don’t think he ever was.

So now we can watch and see how the FA deal with the appeal of Chelsea against the £50,000 fine and one-match suspended stadium ban on their Supreme Leaderette.   Probably give them a 10 point bonus for bringing the irregularity of the rules to the FA’s attention.

Some teams do well with an “us against everyone else” feeling in the dressing room – Wimbledon survived for years on that sort of mentality.  I wonder if Chelsea can.  I don’t think they are up to it.

But here’s a bit of news.  It has stopped raining.  At least where I live.

Arsenal on this day

25 October 1924: Debut for Jimmy Brain v Tottenham  in front of 51,000 at Highbury.  He scored when the ball hit his head and knocked him out.  He later became a player and coach at Tottenham but eventually ended up as an Arsenal scout.

25 October 1999: Bergkamp is reported as saying of Kanu, “The skills he has got, the moves he makes, are something you like to watch and learn from. I watch him in training and it is a joy.”


46 Replies to “It was fun, it was nervy, and even the bloody computer got over excited. But we made it.”

  1. There were a couple of times when Sanchez was roughly bowled and no action taken.Same with our Rench striker.
    Sanchez is ,imho, a marked man .The blues had at least two if not three players to force him to a cul de sac and dispossess him.He is a wc player and show he aint going to be intimidated.

  2. “You don’t get good and funny headlines from me now,” Mourinho said – BBC website. What a prat.

  3. the arsenal players form and commitment doesnt suprise me, the talent was there in abundance, and arsene wenger is applying his genius by setting his team in a different set of play considering the oposing team and their weakness, i can proudly say we are the only team in english football, who can dominate posession, play high and deep line, press the ball with efficiency and most of all with a devastating counter attacking football…let them denied us(tabloid) while they see, we dnt care.

  4. A point of correction, the man of the match for the game was Giroud not Ozil. In general a great and fantastic day to be a true and true Arsenal supporter. The last month has been great for the team and for that matter Mr Wenger, whiles it’s obvious that the self acclaimed special one’s team is on a melt down.

  5. For one treacherous moment in the second half, I wished that Everton would equalize…..if only to hammer home to Arsenal the folly of not closing down a game that was won ages ago.
    To open up play, surrender 50% of possession and to invite counter attacks was a blunder of the highest order and we were fortunate not to pay dearly for it.
    When in the final 10 minutes, Flamini was brought on, his amazement at being instructed to join in the attack, was clear to see.
    With respect to Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s ploy in the second half was simply not that of a Championship winning side. When you are the better side, have greater possession and have conceded a bizarre goal to lead by only one, you do not allow the opposition ANY opportunity to recover.
    I would hope a lesson has been learnt.

  6. finally, FA is making some money. Next, they can have a board outside their office “F A. sponsored by chelsea fc.”

  7. The Ox certainly isn’t “on his game” at the moment. In the first 20 minutes against West Ham he looked like our best player and that this would be his season, but then he seemed to lose all confidence. He passes to players which aren’t there and then over thinks things which means he takes a second touch and the option has passed. He then gets annoyed with himself for a few seconds and doesn’t react to the game. I’m just hoping a run of a few games may get him past this because he’s clearly a gifted player with a good first touch, the ability to go past defenders and a rocket of a shot.
    Fingers crossed.

  8. What a week…..
    The AAA must be pondering whats gone wrong with Arsenal. The win against Bayern must be enough for a month atleast to keep there mouths shut.

    I was reading a blog where someone was mentioning that the Arsenal standing today is due to Ozil only and Arsene Wenger has nothing to do with this momentum. Such hatred towards the manager is simply foolish.The blogger fail to realise that no one player can turn up a team. It takes the whole team and the management which can sustain a title challenge.

  9. Nicky ,can you describe to me more specifically what you have in mind by closing down a game and not giving the opposition ANY chance to recover from one goal down.

    I’m guessing it involves keeping a lot of players behind the ball, but you also seem to think we should have kept control of possession. Those two aren’t normally seen together.

    One of the most stirring sights for me yesterday was seeing Coquelin trying to run in the last few minutes as though he literally had heavy weights attached to his lower legs. Those players have worked tremendously hard to earn great results while playing some superb football in recent weeks.

    An unfortunate goal after a mid-sized mistake changed the game yesterday, but I think it was a pretty good ploy to push for another. We nearly got it a number of times and kept the pressure off for long spells.

  10. I think Nicky forgot that the boys had a tough game in midweek and it was easier to not just expend energy without thinking. It was a game plan and a 2-1 win against Everton after being trashed by Manchester United is no mean feat. It was a great win simple and short.

  11. love the team names. missing Wally with a brolly, Yankee Glazing, Smoking Henry, Stoke Butchers & more…

  12. nicky, take note that the Gunners were fatiqued as they have played 3 difficult games in the space of 7 days. Even machine will become fatigued if overused. And as a result of the absence of Ramsey, those 3 changes done to the Boss’ balance 1st team starting XI has caused a little friction in the playing engine of the Gunners(until it smoothens). Thank God as the Boss has now taken a decision to rest some of his regular starting Gunners for the boggy game at Liberty Stadium against the Swans. But for stability in defence line and in the striking line, I think the Boss might need to start the rested 1st team starters of, Rhinosacker and Walcott in his rotation XI starts for the Capital One Cup game at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednessday.

  13. Excellent write-up Tony; nothing much more can be added.

    How karma has hit back so quick at Chel$kie; they stole 3 points from us in a way that can only be described as shameful – those stolen 3 points evaporated and have cost them at least 9 since with more FA punishment to come!

    Payback is a bitch Moaninho!!!!

    Up the Gunners!!

  14. “My intention having got home in time to make a bacon sandwich and watch Match of the Day was to then write a report on the game highlighting the total ineptitude and lunacy of the referee.”
    You would have been watching in vain I’m afraid as the BBC didn’t deem Deulofeu’s Barcelona Aerodynamics and Diving School lecture on how gravity works worthy of showing to the wider football public…….

  15. @sleekwhale,
    Yes, I DID forget what last Tuesday’s match might have cost in terms of energy.
    The art of closing down a game is one which every team capable of winning the EPL, must possess. Until they do, the prize will elude them. The Invincibles possessed it. We don’t….yet.

  16. Nicky you are describing the style of play that was invented by Allerdyce at Bolton, and which caused Tony to set up this blog in the first place. Go back and read the opening articles from this site some eight years ago.

    That may be the way to win leagues, but for many people it is a price that is not worth playing. Arsenal is not and should never be a “win at any cost” team. If you want that go and watch Chelsea – and also note where it got them in the end as others start to realise how to play them at their own game.

    It is, in fact, anti-football

  17. As a matter of fact, during the first few weeks when we were down in the table, Ramsey said judge us after 10 games! He predicted it on the spot!
    The man is a genius!

  18. Very enjoyable article, Tony. Especially seeing Arsenal in red at the top of the league!

    Interesting point about Koscielny. I hadn’t seen that particular slander of Arsene Wenger. Some people don’t want to accept that there is a man of integrity in charge of our team. Or maybe any cheap jibe will do.

  19. My son has just directed me to a statistic on OptaJoe. Mesut Ozil has the best assists/games ratio in Premier League history – 2.71 assists per match.

  20. @Nicky 1244,,
    The Invincibles didn’t always close games down effectively, I remember Everton Bolton and Manure coming from behind to equalise and grabbing a point in the 04 season.

  21. So….Tim ‘the gooner’ Sherwood has been sacked.

    Whoz next? A London club should be there…

    BTW… Has anyone seen our club official photographers tweets. One hardcore gooner he is.

  22. Billy whereas nicky has fear of losing from a winning position, you like me have a love of fearless open football where PGMO have little chance of tilting the field. Yesterday we were a little gung ho but we defended well with Cech being my defensive man of the match with brilliant saves. Ozil was just class with some up front hassling that shows how well Wenger has coached his team.

  23. @Guillaume le Chien,
    Far be it for me to advocate abandoning our attractive sort of football for the boring stuff churned out by the likes of Chelsea.
    I merely thought the casual tactics we produced second half yesterday was asking for a backlash and too much repetition would prevent us from becoming champions. 😉

  24. Nicky

    I usually like your posts but what you have said today is bizarre.

    It echoes so much of what I find so frustrating about the media, in that for some reason, every time we enter the pitch we have to be perfect, and I didn’t think you was like that.

    It seems every time we step on the park we have to go forward like Barcelona, and if we’re not peppering the opponents goal, and tucking away every opportunity we get, then that just aint good enough.

    Our forwards are not permitted to miss a chance without being labelled ‘Not good enough’.

    yet at the same time we are expected to defend like a parked bus, and woe betide we concede a chance, let alone a goal, then we aint gonna win a thing with defending like that.

    Our defenders cannot concede a chance, let alone a goal, without being labelled inept.

    That’s without the fact our keeper cannot make a mistake without being slaughtered.

    You wouldn’t believe we have the best defence in the PL over the calendar year, and are of course one of the highest scorers.

    Lets not even go there about how bad our manager is.

    We had a fatigued squad that could well of been excused for being on a psychological rebound after Tuesday night. Everybody must of been dreading the possibility of being caught cold after Tuesday. It happens. All managers talk about the difficulties of the match following Champions League nights, especially one such as we had.

    But we didn’t get caught cold. We controlled the game, almost from start to finish. Almost every statistic was in our favour.

    We wasn’t perfect, but why should we be? It was a tough game but we ‘toughed it out’, brilliantly.

    Isn’t this just the sort of match that Chelsea and united get praised for as ‘Title winning’ performances ?

    But nope, apparently it’s just not good enough. So bad in fact it invokes this bizarre comment from you Nicky:

    “For one treacherous moment in the second half, I wished that Everton would equalize…..if only to hammer home to Arsenal the folly of not closing down a game that was won ages ago.”

    Sorry Nicky, as I say I generally like your posts, but I find your assessment of this particular match way wide of the mark, and as I say, somewhat bizarre.


  25. Slightly off topic.

    I never watch Goals on Sunday for obvious reasons but I heard Wilshere was on it so I thought I’d brave it.

    It was so nice to hear him say that the best striker he has played with is Rooney, and even better that he turns to one Gary Neville for advice.

    Is he for real?

    What’s he even doing on Sky Sports?

    These are the people that think all his injuries are self inflicted.

    These are the people who think kicking Arsenal off the park is an acceptable, nay preferable, way of playing us.

    These are the people that will highlight any indiscretion by an Arsenal player that may of occurred on Saturday, just to make sure nobody misses it.

    Jack and his brain cell seem to of left the house in different directions this morning.

  26. This is what Wenger told Arsenal Player:

    “But after that our solidarity was exceptional, it got us through. We could not score the third goal but we had the chances and in the end we got three massive points. When you can win a game after such a massive game like Tuesday night, that tells you a lot about your team”

    My thoughts exactly.

  27. From the start of the match it was obvious Arsenal’s game plan was to attack till the end. However, by the 65-70min it was obvious the team was tired due to these reasons
    1. Most of these players were playing about five games in 14 days (international + league matches) that’s an average of a game per 2.8 days five times consecutively. Alexis, Özil, Carzorla are players who plays huge role in pressing the opposition unfortunately they were tired.
    2. Everton plays similarly expansive game that doesn’t wait for the opposition but takes it to them. With there players not having not been subjected to the kind of schedule Arsenal players faced, they were fresh and ready to cover every blade of grass to get better of Arsenal. This meant there will be not respite for the lads. Add the fact that Everton where chasing the game with a positive mindset that they can still get something from the match not denying that they were yet to loose an away match until yesterday.
    3. Arsenal’s defensive solidity that resulted in the winning run is dependent on pressing, when not in possession, from the channel and the flanks, unfortunately a significant player for the right flank was missing (Ramsey) resulting in Everton’s continuous battering of Arsenal’s right wing. The Ox’s defensive awareness cannot rank with that of Ramsey thus resulting in tremendous weariness for the Ox.

    The Managers response to these problems was to lock down the scoreline by
    1. Play Giroud in place of Walcott this giving the option of hold up play when needed. As it shows that came in handy later in the match. Great foresight from the manager
    2. Introduction of Flamini and Gibbs for both flanks, locking the flanks to lock out penetration from the opposition.
    3. Dropping Özil deep as in the Bayern game.

    Discounting the deflected goal by Everton in the first half, it would have possibly ended 2-0

  28. @Jambug Agree with you re pundits whether it is SKY/BT/BBC/ITV etc…but I thought today the questions put to JW were reasonable and on the whole a level above the crap that AW has to answer to Pre and Post match

  29. How about cutting some slack for a team that played a massive game on Tuesday and manage to go toe to toe for 90 minutes against a fresh Everton on a water-logged pitch (anyone ever tried running in water?), and coming out on top on both occasions.

  30. Nicky
    Your treacherous moment is not meant for true supporters. Good or bad support your team. The manager definitely knows what he is doing.

  31. @Jambug

    I saw a bit of Wilshere this morning & persisted with Goals on Sunday because he was on. Like you I was surprised about his comments – he may just have been stating what he thought Sky would like him to say – but if he really believes what he was saying about Rooney & Neville he has a processor problem!

    It was good to see the Chelski cheats get pulled up yesterday for some of their routine (and normally permitted) fouls – but not before time!

  32. Dazza64

    It wasn’t the questions that where the problem, it was the answers.

    Is Rooney really the best striker Wilsheres played with?

    Given all the players Wilshere’s worked with, and in fact has spoken to at Arsenal, and he mentions Gary Neville as a mentor.

    Come on is he being serious?

    Also did you notice there summery of the Aston Villa Swansea match?

    In that match there was an incident that had it been Arsenal they’d still be talking about it now.

    Richards and Fernandez come together. Fernandez head-butts Richards. Richards shoves Fernandez. Cue a melee involving 6 players, 3 from each side. Much pushing and shoving. Williams and Richards get booked for there troubles. Fernandez doesn’t even get spoken too. His actions where deserving of a definite red card. This was a bigger ‘brawl’ than the Arsenal Chelsea one.

    Yet Goals on Sunday don’t even deem it worthy of a mention.

    Head-butt by Fernandez?

    Players ‘out of control’?

    If it was Arsenal? Come on.

    Oh, who are Swansea playing next week?

  33. @BJT @Jambug… I watched the whole show and the comments re Rooney and Neville were made in context of playing for England and rather than Arsenal

  34. Anyone watching the £545 Million pound game?

    80 minutes and still not a shot on target.

    According to Neville that’s because both sides are so good.


    Just had the first shot. Wow.

  35. Someone has been pressing multiple dislikes again and the likes button does not appear to be working.

  36. @Jambug,
    I’m sure you, me and others among the faithful have high hopes that Arsenal will achieve great things this season, perhaps even to take the most prestigious EPL title. Our most recent signings have bedded in, our injury list is less than our grim average and confidence following recent results is high.
    The point I was trying to make (probably badly) was that unless we can control and close down games having taken and deserved the lead, we do not have the professional know-how, these days, to take the title.
    You know as well as I do that to allow* Everton to counter as much as they they did, we very nearly drew a game we richly deserved to win.

    *”allow” was too strong a word. I forgot how much the Tuesday game would have taken out of our players.

  37. The £545 million pound game was shown live where I live but I listened to comments on a stream.

    The commentators sounded bored.

    A lot of midfield play an occasional goal mouth skirmish.

    Nothing like the excitement served up by Arsenal.

    The 0-0 was the best possible result for us as neither team improved its goal tally and both dropped 2 points to us.

    The only footy disappointment of the day was Bournemouth. Let’s hope we soon take revenge for Bournemouth.

    Fully agree with the comment that the team did especially well on Saturday as nevertotn were fresh having had an uninterrupted week to prepare while we had Bayern.

  38. in other news…………..someone call the fire men in Dortmund, aubameyang is on fire

  39. We have lots and lots and lots of problems with the site for the moment. I just got in for the first time today and managed to get the match report online….

  40. Regarding Nicky’s comments …flamini came on , ozil went out wide right and santi moved forward into a more attacking position. Flamini should have been positioned alongside coquelin, instead, what happened , we only had coquelin protecting. In the last ten minutes we frequently had 4,5 and more players in Evertons box. This left us open to counter attacks.
    To be honest, I couldn’t understand why flamini was brought on to play as an attacking mid and at the same time move santi into a more attacking position.
    We got away with it this time but it reminded me of the days when we would all bomb forward even though we were leading and then concede at the death. We must not go back to them days.

  41. Arsene told the BBC Sports Commentator, Simon Brotherton, after the Everton game, that Flamini was not brought on as a sub in order to play as an attacker, so the player himself went off-message.

  42. Too many experts questioning Wenger’s tactics…. I have a couple of questions for them tho;
    1. When Flamini scored his brace against the spuds what position was he playing?
    2. Didn’t Flamini force Howard into a fine save in the dying minutes of the match, what would the tune be had that header gone in?

    I’m sure we all do not know what was communicated to the players and I’ll not try to claim to know the tactics that were in use in those last 10 or so minutes. What I know is it worked, and for me that’s good enough.

  43. Nicky,

    I find myself in complete confusion about your comments. Why on earth would you ever wish for the opposition to score against us, especially in such a circumstance where it might cost us the win.

    Was it too much for you to just relax and enjoy the win, and bask in the success so far?

    The team isn’t perfect, but no team is. Even the Invincible’s didn’t win every match in the season, without ever conceding a goal. I’m pretty confident no team ever will.

    Demanding that we never let a chance occur is unrealistic. The TV analysis are quick to point out mistakes; having the benefit of omniscient hindsight. They will tell you that a player was out of position, or should have seen something. As if that player, in that moment should have known what was about to happen. When in fact, that player is only making educated guesses about what might happen, in real time, against players who have the talent to do something unexpected or stop them from doing something.

    Further, its worth remembering that even near-misses can be reviewed and learned from.

    Support the Arsenal, good times and bad.

  44. @esxtse,
    Having set in stone my allegiance to Arsenal FC way back in 1933 and about to celebrate my 92nd birthday next month, I think I might be excused, for a brief moment, those few disloyal thoughts.
    And judging from a number of comments on Untold’s pages, I was not alone in being concerned over the gungho tactics we employed in the second half.

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