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Rémi v Arsène: the battle of the accents, the meeting of old chums

By Bulldog Drummond.

Shock headline of the day… “Premier League injuries: Neither Arsenal or Manchester United are missing the most players.”

Tony has put a limit on the number of times we are allowed to say “We did that” in terms of what Untold has achieved, but since that limit is 8,354 times per article I can safely say it.  That line comes from the Guardian’s preview of the game.  Before we came along the headline would have been “Arsenal injury crisis gives Villa a strong chance”.

And if we are buoyant at another little victory, think what our Arsène is feeling.  Actually he’s probably got feet firmly on the ground (or in the air if the squad is driving from the training centre to the laughably called London Luton Airport, flying to Birmingham and then getting the coach.)

Anyway we enter this game knowing Giroud can score, as if we didn’t know that, and that we’re in the Champs League draw on Monday when we will get either Real Mad or the Barcelona Children Scandal.

And of course after a great victory come awful defeat.  For example, we beat Tottenham 0-5 at their place one Christmas and then immediate lost at home to West Brom 1-2.  But that was 1978 and this is now (or so I am told).

As Mr Wenger said, “We have Walcott, Giroud and Sánchez that can all score goals. And they all have different styles, which is very important as well.”    Untold has said that as well, but we can’t claim credit on that one since it is rather obvious.  Although not so obvious that the press have never been able to see that you can either have one dominant centre forward who scores most of your goals (Wright) a forward and a winger who intertwine and leave the opposition tangled up in Notts County [that should be knots of course – it is a silly joke – Tony] or you can have three so that the opposition don’t know where the next approach is coming from.  The latter works particularly well if you have Özil behind them.

So Giroud has 10 goals in his past 12 matches.  And now Theo is back – two of our three strikers on the pitch.  And that Campbell fellow looks rather nifty both as a scorer and as a assistant.  Clever chap, that Mr Wenger, to spot that.

Thus we have the old friends: Rémi , who was Arsène’s first signing, made while he was still in Japan, and Our Arsène.   Of this game Mr Wenger said of his old chum, “He has to tighten up his defence to restore the team’s confidence. I expect a more physical match with a lot of commitment and a big emphasis on the defensive aspects.”

Our team probably looks a bit like this

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Campbell Özil Walcott

Ramsey Flamini

Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin


On the beach in the glorious Birmingham winter sun will be seven of Ospina, Macey, Debuchy, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Aston V have gone 14 league games without a win which is a club record.  Our all time record for this was 19, from 28 September 1912 to 15 January 1913 in the season of relegation, which you’ll also recognise as the season of packing up the heritage in boxes and moving to Highbury.

But of course it is now written in law that we can’t do previews without the injury chart.  Our not-quite-there list with expected return dates is

  • Sánchez (21 December)
  • Arteta, (2 January)
  • Wilshere (Jananary)
  • Rosicky (January)
  • Welbeck (February)
  • Coquelin (March)
  • Cazorla (April)
1 Newcastle United 10
2 Manchester United 8
3 Arsenal 7
4 Aston Villa 6
5 Bournemouth 6
6 Everton 6
7 Liverpool 6
8 Manchester City 5
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5
10 West Ham United 5
11 Crystal Palace 4
12 Southampton 4
13 Stoke City 3
14 Sunderland 3
15 Swansea City 3
16 Watford 3
17 Leicester City 2
18 Norwich City 2
19 West Bromwich Albion 2
20 Chelsea 1

To my mind what is interesting is that Chelsea have just one injury – (Falcao) – and yet they are below Bournemouth in the league.  They can’t even say, “when we get our players back then you’ll see.”   Actually they can say that because they tend not to pay much attention to detail in south west London, but you know what I mean.

13 West Bromwich Albion 15 5 4 6 14 19 -5 19
14 Bournemouth 16 4 4 8 20 31 -11 16
15 Chelsea 15 4 3 8 17 24 -7 15
16 Swansea City 16 3 5 8 15 24 -9 14

The statisticals

The first ever game between the two was on 8 October 1904 and it ended Woolwich Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 0.

Aston Villa have won three our of 31 league games against us since 1 January 2000.  But did once win three in a row in the 1990s.   However the recent games look rather fun

21 Dec 2011 Aston Villa v Arsenal W 1-2 Premier League
29 Jan 2012 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 3-2 FA Cup
24 Mar 2012 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 3-0 Premier League
24 Nov 2012 Aston Villa v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
23 Feb 2013 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 2-1 Premier League
17 Aug 2013 Arsenal v Aston Villa L 1-3 Premier League
13 Jan 2014 Aston Villa v Arsenal W 1-2 Premier League
20 Sep 2014 Aston Villa v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
01 Feb 2015 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 5-0 Premier League
30 May 2015 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 4-0 FA Cup

That is 10 games, one defeat (a ref manipulated opening game of the season) and eight wins.   We haven’t lost at Villa Park since 1998.

It could be a stroll in the park.  It could also be a day for Özil to put everyone through on every occasion and we beat our all time record win in the league (12-0).  Although I haven’t put money on that one.

Some more bits and pieces

  • Villa have not won at home in eight – equalling their longest ever record.
  • Villa have lost 23 league games this year.  Ipswich hold the Premier League record for defeats in a calendar year, losing 26 games in 1994.  Villa have four to play in 2015.
  • Brad Guzan is, in terms of goals scored, the worst keeper in the universe – well in the premier league – having let in 202 goals since he became Aston Villa’s first-choice goalkeeper in 2012-13.

But against that

  • Arsenal have won only one of the last four league games, drawing 2 and losing one.
  • We are still top of the league for 2015 calendar year with 72 points.
  • We’ve scored in nine successive league games.
  • We have created one new record this season: Most consecutive Premier League matches assisted in: 7, Mesut Özil 26 September to 21 November 2015
  • We have only lost two of the last 14 away league games (W10, D2).
  • Giroud has scored in each of his last four matches against Aston Villa.
  • Giroud is one goal away from his 50th in the Premier League.
  • Petr Cech is still just one behind David James’ record in terms of clean sheets.

The result: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 3.

An Aston V anniversary

13 December 1998: Arsenal lost 3-2 away to table topping Aston Villa.  Having taken a 2–0 lead, through two goals scored by Bergkamp, Arsenal let in three goals in the second half to lose the match.  This debacle is followed by a 19 match unbeaten run, which took Arsenal to the edge of winning the championship themselves.  This was the only game in which Arsenal conceded more than one goal all season.


41 comments to Rémi v Arsène: the battle of the accents, the meeting of old chums

  • nicky

    Let there be no complacency today. Villa are so desperate for points they will defend to the death, knowing that Arsenal often find it difficult to break down massed defences.
    It won’t be a pretty game and the referee will need to be eagle-eyed and efficient.
    The weather and the state of the pitch may play a part in the result. 😉

  • colario

    Who was the first former Arsene player to manage a team against Arsene? My answer is……. but what is your answer?

  • Usama Zaka

    Tony Adams at Portsmouth ?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    It is widely expected that Arsenal will beat Aston Villa today at Villa Park to collect all the 3 points that will be at stake. Even if it’s by the odd goal of 0-1 or 1-2, the Gunners MUST beat the Villans to go top of the table and wait to see if their topping the table will be for to actually topped it or for a temporary topping after the result of the match between Leicester vs Chelsea is known later on.

    Happy Sunday to every Gooners including myself in Jesus Christ Name. Amen! Arsenal will go top. Amen!

  • colario

    Had my question been ‘Who was the last player?’ then I think you could be right.

    In the days when Arsene was manger of Monaco information about football in mainland Europe was hard to come by so my answer could be wrong.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Let’s walk go the top….

  • ARSENAL 13

    PL goal number 50



  • Al

    Friend getting slaughtered on the stream I’m watching on, NBC, for hesitating to award a stonewall penalty. Rightly so.

  • Josif

    @colario – Glenn Hoddle?

    Nice penalty by Giroud.

  • Gord

    What’s up with the penalty?

    The Guardian says that Friend had to be convinced to give the penalty, that it wasn’t called immediately. Keown at BBC says it was never a penalty.

  • Al

    I mean he took about 2 or 3 steps backwards before pointing to the spot. There was not a single body in his way to argue his view may have been obstructed. And the commentators are questioning that strange behaviour. They seem to think the far side assistant ref indicated it was a penalty.

  • Al

    That’s disappointing if Keown said that. Sky and NBC commentators called it an absolute penalty, 100%

  • Gord

    Trivia from commentary.

    Giroud is the 7th Arsenal player to score 50 in the EPL. He is the 3rd Frenchman to score 50 for Arsenal.


  • Al

    Just to add, I don’t get what it is with ex Arsenal players on TV.. was listening to Thierry in the pre match discussions and he seemed to be really struggling to offer just praise without being critical, when talking about Monreal, Giroud, our tactics, etc.

  • Gord


    There was nobody in the way, and the referee wasn’t paying attention to the vicinity of the ball? What could he have been watching? Some WAG in the stands?

  • Al

    I am have since come to the conclusion to lump Thierry in the same category with the likes of caragher, redknapp, the neville sisters, owen, etc. I don’t listen to him anymore.. The reason I’m watching NBC is for the less biased commentary, the TV is on mute.

  • Al

    Gord 🙂
    He was about 6 yards from the action, so no excuse really.

  • Gord

    Some twit sent to the BBC suggests it wasn’t the linesman that called the penalty either. Who called for it to be a penalty? Why is Keown adamant it wasn’t a penalty?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Rambo yyyeeeaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr…

    Unselfish Ozil. Very very unselfish.

  • Al

    Ramsey!!! And it’s that man Ozil, again 🙂

  • Gord

    The outline of Ramsey scoring just popped up on BBC commentary. The comment before that mentioned what Arsenal’s visiting fans are chanting:

    You’re going down with the Chelsea!



  • Al

    There was no arguing it was a definite penalty, it’s embarrassing the ref didn’t point to the spot right away. Keown is probably just trying to keep his paymasters happy. Anyway, I’ll let others weigh in with their thoughts on whether it was a penalty or not.

    Campbell seems to be having another brilliant performance again, so far. If he continues this way it’ll be difficult for him to lose that place.

  • ARSENAL 13

    ARSENALs twitter feed has been taken over the one that runs Chelsea one….

    They are celebrating Rambo hattrick. Hahahahahahahaha

  • ARSENAL 13

    Was it a foul that started ARSENALs counter attack that ended in Rambo goal.

    I think it is. Rambo foul to Rambo goal.

  • Gord

    More trivia.

    In 2009/2010, Fabregas had 14 assists at the end of the season. We aren’t even half way yet, and Mesut the Wonderful has 13.


  • Gord

    Arsenal 13

    A couple of the commentaries discussed that tackle of Ramsey’s. They both thought it was a good tackle. I wonder if Walter will mention it?


  • ARSENAL 13


    Replays don’t show Rambo touch the ball.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come on gunners more goals more goals… Let’s build the goal difference.

  • The whole penalty debate is ridiculous and exemplifies the nonsense we get when people are paid to talk for hours. They must come up with controversies to talk about to death.

    Hutton brought Walcott down with the Friend behind both of them implying imperfect view. His actions afterward are quite rational as far as I am concerned. He initially made the wrong decision for a VERY short moment. Then he changed his mind and made the right one UNPROMPTED or influnced by anyone.

    Isn’t this the sort of behaviour we should be demanding of people we put in charge of situations like this? While I understand the frustration of Villa fans, I cannot understand the complaints from the commentators about a man momentarily making a wrong decision and then doing the right thing.

    Anyone questioning the correctness of the final decision itself should be ignored for displaying blatant hackery.

  • Al

    We just saw the difference between Ozil and other players’ decision making right there; Ox led a counter and it was 3 v 2 in favor of us, and instead of just laying the ball left where he had two unmarked teammates the Oxford chose to go for goal by himself. He lost possession and won a corner, but that could easily have been another goal for us, had he taken the right decision. Anyway this one is in the bag, so no harm done. Hope Cech gets his clean sheet.

  • Al

    The Oxford…? 🙂 the Ox.

  • Al

    Top of the league! Take that, haters.

    Seems Gibbs is being converted into a winger 🙂

  • para

    NBC says it was a clear pen.

    Well done lads, could have been a few more goals, but i suppose players tired too.

    Top of the league 🙂

  • para

    I don’t even think he made the wrong decision, he walked backwards and a 1/2 second later pointed to the spot. He was probably letting his ear piece confirm.

  • para

    me again.
    Easiest game this season?

  • Gord

    More trivia. Cech is now equal with David James on cleansheets, with 169.

    I had been wondering about Gibbs of late. It seems that he is losing his opportunity at becoming a first choice fullback. If things work at wing, that is wonderful. If it means he is backup fullback, that is good as well. But, to me, it would mean that Wenger is now on the lookout for another fullback. Could be a youth coming through the system, could be a transfer. Not necessarily in the winter window, where bargains are more rare.

    Congratulations Gunners!

  • Job nicely done! Kudos to the team and our esteemed manager.

    I’ll take any result tomorrow evening, even a Leicester victory. I’m not one tiny bit worried about the Foxes but anything that piles the misery on Chelsea is welcome to me. I don’t know about other Untolders but I kinda like our position of being close to the top but not quite sitting at the summit. Leicester will ultimately lose the top spot but Chelsea suffering their 9th defeat in 16 games has got to gladden the heart of all Gooners and lovers of football everywhere.

  • WalterBroeckx

    match report is on line

  • sleekwhale

    Alex ox Chamberlain is definitely not improving in any aspect of his game…and he is not a very good team player. Sad. I had high hope for him.

  • Gord

    Football corruption:

    US prosecutors are threatening banks for failing to report suspicious activity.

    > Prosecutors have told the banks that allegations that Fifa is a corrupt organisation have been known for a long time so the banks should have been regularly filing suspicious activity reports for individuals and entities connected to it.

    Media affiliates in the USA with ties to FIFA corruption are being investigated.

  • Gord

    Does Mike Riley 😈 have relatives in Bulgaria?

    Ludogrets is threatening to quit the league over how referees and their FA treat Levski Sofia.