How Tottenham always fall apart how Arry is always good for a larf, and how Motd rearranges reality.

By Tony Attwood

The Telegraph, now in its hour of desperation at seeing the Tinies demise, quickly got Arry the Red on the blower, and out of his vague ramblings concocted this headline today…

Arsenal are lucky to finish second – they need to spend this summer to get anywhere near Spurs

Arsenal were lucky, it is suggested because other teams didn’t win all their games.  And yes, he is right, except for one little thing.  The teams higher up the league are always higher up because the teams below them didn’t win all their games.  Sorry Arry.  That’s how it works.
Tottenham this season finished higher than at any time since 1990, over a quarter of a century ago, when they also came third.  The last time they finished in the position Arsenal have achieved this year (and which Arry thinks somehow is inferior to the current Tottenham position – maybe he was holding the league table upside down) was in 1963 – over half a century ago.  They had a funny run back then ending up 18th, 2nd, 3rd, 18th.
Although in the quirky way that the Telegraph always does stuff these days, we also had this headline
Spurs finish below Arsenal – but we should not be surprised, Mauricio Pochettino teams always fall away

Here’s what they say.

Pocchettino’s late-season slumps are nothing new. The same pattern has occurred in all but two of his eight seasons in management. Put it down to fatigue from a fast-pressing style inherited from Marcelo Bielsa, blame it on a failure of mental fortitude, but the unavoidable truth is this: Pochettino, once hailed as Tottenham’s redeemer, is in fact even ‘Spursier’ than Spurs…

Pocchettino’s appointment catalysed Espanyol’s transformation from relegation candidates to mid-table stalwarts, starting with a 2-1 win over Barcelona. But as his tenure continued, a pattern began to emerge of weaker finishes each season.

They go on to point out how after a run with Southampton taking them to third, they dipped down.

They then go on to talk about how…

A small dip at the end of last season went unnoticed,  but the decline this time around has been far more dramatic. Pocchettino’s young squad, built around tyros like Harry Kane and Dele Alli at the expense of older rejects like Roberto Soldado, flopped at the last. Draw with West Brom and Chelsea were followed by a loss to Southampton, who, under new manager Ronald Koeman, finished the season in fine form. Still, all they had to do was avoid defeat at Newcastle.

Now this is all most amusing in the aftermath of St Tot’s Day but we should not really read too much into this.  After all this sort of thing is what Arry and all his aaa followers say – Arsenal / Wenger always flop at certain times, bottle it, can’t attack, can’t defend, can’t go a whole season…

But there is something else that I hadn’t quite grasped.   Tottenham also dropped 20 points from winning positions.  But they are fighters.   Nine players booked against Chelsea was an all time record for the Premier League. And there is another point.   Tottenham got 70 points, two less than in 2012/13 when they came fifth.  This century’s points totals for the Tinies makes interesting reading….

Season P W D L F A Pts Position AFC pts
1999–00 38 15 8 15 57 49 53 10th 73
2000–01 38 13 10 15 47 54 49 12th 70
2001–02 38 14 8 16 49 53 50 9th 87
2002–03 38 14 8 16 51 62 50 10th 78
2003–04 38 13 6 19 47 57 45 14th 90
2004–05 38 14 10 14 47 41 52 9th 83
2005–06 38 18 11 9 53 38 65 5th 67
2006–07 38 17 9 12 57 54 60 5th  68
2007–08 38 11 13 14 66 61 46 11th  73
2008–09 38 14 9 15 45 45 51 8th  62
2009–10 38 21 7 10 67 41 70 4th 75
2010–11 38 16 14 8 55 46 62 5th 68
2011–12 38 20 9 9 66 41 69 4th 70
2012–13 38 21 9 8 66 46 72 5th 73
2013–14 38 21 6 11 55 51 69 6th 79
2014–15 38 19 7 12 58 53 64 5th 75
2015-16 38 19 13 6 69 35 70 4th 71

Now the table above shows the history of Tottenham in this century and the points for Arsenal year by year in the last column.  You can see that in the last four seasons twice the difference has been one point and once the difference was 11, and once ten.  Go back through the years and once the difference was 45 – that year Arsenal got twice the number of points of the terribly tiny totts.

So what did Match of the Day make of it?   Here is the commentary among the “experts” (I use the word lightly) after the showing of Tottenham’s 5-1 defeat.

“Penalty was a dive, it kind of killed the game, it was a turning point, not a turning point, Newcastle played well, it was the end of the game for Spurs, I hate seeing that…”

The meaning of this is hard to disentangle (I promise I did take this down word for word), but in essence I think the argument is that Newcastle cheated although evidence to this effect is missing.

To do his regular bit of showing, in an utterly unconvincing manner that he is not biased, Lineker then asks one of his hapless experts,  “What about Spurs capitulation over the last few games of the season, was it inexperience a little bit?”

To which we get this reply…

“Partly, disappointment, yeah I also think when you lose Demebele and Alli, in the middle of midfield you lose the legs you lose the power, the stat alone shows the win percentages when those two don’t play what and I think they have been a big miss, but in other games as well I remember watching the game at West Ham  but overall lets get to the bottom of it, Tottenham supporters must be overjoyed they’ve got themselves in the champions league and they’ve now got a brilliant young squad.”

To which Lineker nods sagely and says, “The future is bright despite today,” and they all nod.

Now what is interesting here is that after the game of the extraordinarily tiny Totts they showed the Arsenal game, and the commentator pointed out that this was Jack’s first start of the season, and Santi’s first since November.   And yet no one on the show picks up that just as the Tinies have lost players of importance, so have Arsenal.  So has every team.   The implication is that it just happened to the Tinies, and is their absolute, utter and total excuse.  I suspect that is the media story this year, but in fact that is a total media falsehood.

So in the closing moments of the “debate” (of course it wasn’t, it was Arsenal bashing, but let’s call it a debate,) the question is put,

“Is that enough to placate the Wenger critics?”

to which comes the reply.

“No I will repeat what I said last year and the year before that they’ve got ability yes but they lack heart and a tough mentality.”

Now this is in response to a situation in which apparently Tottenham conceded a penalty “which was a dive” and then collapsed to 5-1.  But Arsenal lack “heart and a tough mentality”.

Let us not forget that all the very very very tiny totts had to do was get a draw, and we were gone down to third place, but the team with no heart and no tough mentality, won 4-0 while the tinies were suckered by a penalty call.

This is, by any reasonable judgement, insanity.  It calls on the curse of injuries (next we know they’ll be saying Tottenham get more than anyone else), and praises the Tinies mentality and heart in coming third, and throwing it all away at the last.

It is the sort of gibberish which has no recourse anywhere to any evidence or logical deduction, which I have been fighting all season to try and stop in the commentary section on this site.  Indeed were and Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer and their expert poodle to comment on Untold, we would probably put them into permanent moderation, and warn them that if they were to comment again they would need to put a bit of evidence into what they are saying or else they would be banned for life.

Indeed the situation is clear.  The BBC’s leading commentators are not coherent or logical enough or evidence based enough to comment on Untold, but they are the lead commentators on the BBC.  In fact I suspect that if I watched the programme again, I’d find that Arsenal were relegated and Tottenham came second this season.

So perhaps we should just go back to the Telegraph’s analysis of the manager’s inability to manage the run to the end of the season.  Mental fortitude wasn’t it?

But don’t tell the BBC.  They’ll only get Savage in to say “Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

Recent Posts

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  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
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39 Replies to “How Tottenham always fall apart how Arry is always good for a larf, and how Motd rearranges reality.”

  1. The Guardian has Murphy in their top five pundits, which for some reason doesn’t include the very likable Jermaine Jenas.

  2. Spurs fan here. I like to see what the enemy is saying. I rarely watch MOTD. It’s rubbish. Just a vehicle for some inarticulate ex footballers to spout their surprisingly ill informed views. The Sky analysis is superior apart from Carragher who isn’t comprehensible.,Arsenal are a better team than Spurs this season by one point – I agree the table doesn’t lie and Spurs are quite rightly getting slaughtered today for bottling a second place finish. Which hurts. But there is a mentality problem at the Arsenal. You have bottled winning the premier. You were on top in January. Citeh gave up early leaving just Spurs and Leicester to compete against your significantly superior and deeper squad. But by March you were out of it. You rolled over and died. Not against the big clubs but in games you should have won at a canter.

  3. I posted this on another thread, but maybe better off here:

    ust how far is this Sp*rs Love In going to go…

    In their “game” (Like in the Saw films?) against Chelsea, they got 9 yellow cards and their Manager entered the field of play. One player was seen by millions to gauge at the eye of an opposition player. Chelsea, for their part, had 3 players yellow carded. Both clubs were reported for “failing to control their players”.

    The fines have just been announced and it’s £375k for one club and £225k for the other.

    How do the FA justify those fines (It’s Totteringham who have been fined the lesser amount)?

  4. Tony,

    I just watched the replay of the Newcastle-Spuds match. Here is my little match report (plus bonus ref impressions)

    Newcastle’s team was set-up in a classic Rafa 4-5-1, allow opposition inside and pressure them with numbers, leading to possession and possible counter’s. Spuds had gone with their same game plan of pressurizing the opponents from the front in numbers. Newcastle dealt with this easily, by keeping their 5 midfielders close in numbers inside their half and used the striker as holding point.

    Due to Spuds’ constant high pressing in the first 30 mins without any end product, their team shape was all over the place, allowing Newcastle to play early crossing with success and play long ball build up.

    But still at times Newcastle’s general passing was poor. This was overcome,thanks to the Spuds’ players, whose passing was worse than Newcastle.

    Anthony Taylor had a good first half, keeping things in control and was slightly lenient by warning the players (especially Mitrovic, Dier, Mason and Lamela)

    Second half, Spuds played with more risk and tried to stretch the Newcastle’s midfield by playing through the wings with overlapping full backs. This allowed Spuds more possession and lessened Newcastle’s control. Spuds scored one with Lamela, and things were going in cruise control for Spuds. 10 minutes later Newcastle were reduced to ten men when Mitrovic was correctly sent off for stud stabbing challenge on Walker.

    This resulted in Spuds getting a huge advantage of an extra man and their defence had no striker to deal with. However instead of capitalizing on the red card, Spuds’ played with an even higher defensive back line and risked themselves of being counterattacked at any point. Newcastle maintained their formation to 4-5-0 and played Moussa Sissoko and Townsend in counter attacking positions.

    Spuds kept losing the ball inside the Newcaslte’s half and were exposed to numerous counter attacks. Eventually Newcastle got a penalty and went 3-1 up. Sissoko clearly dived for the penalty. So wrong penalty, wrong goal. In the last 10 minutes Newcastle attack so so so much that they could have scored at least 5 more goals and that is by playing with TEN MEN !!. Two shots of the post, 3 clear cut chances saved. Newcastle killed off the game with two more goals.

    Anthony made two major decisions, 1 right, 1 wrong. Red card on Mitrovic was correct. Penalty against SPuds’ was wrong. However Sissoko, Dier and Lamela should have been well sent for committing a minimum of 2 yellow card offences. So overall just like a Taylor-esque ref, Taylor made mistakes.

  5. So glad to see the pundits are as completely and absolutely gutted as the AAA over yesterday.
    Much of the season, their narrative was about shifts of power in North London……now it has changed by defaultit is all about Spurs bright future…..something which say Arsenal are lacking.
    Do Spurs pay these idiots or something?

  6. Continuing more on the Spuds, I will comment on this so called…

    “Fighting spirit, desire, passion, tough mentality of the talented young Spurs’ squad”

    Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele, Ryan Mason, Dele Alli, Nabil Bentaleb, and Erik Lamela. These are 8 Spuds’ players that are part of this squad that media and press loves to the core. (No shame in liking a team, we all do).

    But for the media to be consistently ignoring their rotational foul play, violent conduct every now and then, serious injury inducing foul play, and time wasting tactics is something to be ashamed of.

    I don’t care how much talent/potential these players have or don’t have, these players are a bunch of serial foul players and are encouraged by their manager, the media and the refs in England as a whole to continue to play in this manner.

    Kyle Walker- Well known for high speed diving in around the penalty box, also for rotational and reckless fouls.

    Danny Rose – One of the best and constant divers in England if not Europe. Also a reckless player.

    Eric Dier – Possibly the dirtiest player in the league in the manner he commits in his tackles. Escapes now and then with a clear red card. Serial foul player.

    Moussa Dembele – Rotational foul player and has a side hobby of eye-gouging.

    Ryan Mason – Very reckless player and rose to prominence last season by breaking injuring Ozil in a potentially leg breaking tackle.

    Dele Alli – A player with a well known violent conduct. Loves to hit players in the gut (with a punch or a kick) and also a rotational fouler.

    Nabil Bentaleb – Again a very reckless player and loves to stamp on the fingers on players.

    Erik Lamela – This man is all rounded in every aspect. He dives often, plays with reckless tackles, and also likes to stamp on fingers.

  7. norman14

    As I guess is my response to your post, which was as follows:

    I cant believe it’s JUST a fine, let alone those pathetic slaps on the wrist.

    Given the precedent set back in 1990-91 I cant believe they haven’t both been deducted points, as we where.

    This from Wikipedia.

    “On 20 October 1990, Manchester United Football Club faced Arsenal Football Club in a Football League First Division fixture at Old Trafford, during the 1990–91 season. Arsenal won by a single goal, but the game was best remembered for a brawl between both teams. The Football Association (FA) took the unprecedented step of deducting league points from the two clubs.

    The only goal of the match came moments before half-time, scored by Arsenal midfielder Anders Limpar. In the second half, Limpar was involved in a contest for the ball with Manchester United defender Denis Irwin; Limpar’s teammate Nigel Winterburn made a tackle on Irwin that precipitated a melee between both sets of players. All but one of the twenty-two players on the field were involved; it lasted no more than 20 seconds and referee Keith Hackett booked only Limpar and Winterburn for their actions.”

    It lasted no more than 20 seconds, that’s TWENTY seconds, and we both got docked points. (But for some reason Arsenals culpability was considered twice as bad as Uniteds, with us being deducted 2 points compared to United’s 1).

    What we saw at Stamford Bridge was infinitely worse than what occurred at OT.

  8. Arsenal have gone for the summer holiday after a successful last season campaign. It’s left to us now we the Arsenal fans to be punditing on the in & out of the Arsenal summer transfer rumours. And also watch Euro 2015 that’ll be staged in France as from next month.

    And hopefully, England will lift the Cup. I’ve once stated in 1 of my posted comments that, I support 3 national teams of, the Nigerian Super Eagles(the Nigerian national team), the Selecaos of Brazil(the Brazilian national team) and the 3 Lions of England(the England national team) in the pecking order to the core.

    My advice to Roy Hudgson the England manager is, he should retain the 18 year old Rashford in his final 23 man squad for the tournament. He’ll need his attacking tenacity at a point during the England games as Rashford can score and also gives assists to score. He could become the revelation striker for England in the tourney.

  9. I fully agree with the assessment by Usama on the Spuds players – they have put together a vicious core – and don’t forget Kane – he committed at least one deliberate nasty foul at the Battle of the Bridge and from time to time can drop very quickly when in the box.

    Also, Vertonghen and Alderweireld – certainly no angels.

    This “exciting” Spuds team played like thugs all season, kicking all round them with the connivence of the Incompetents in Black & were almost unbelievable at the Battle of the Bridge. I don’t even think Stoke in their heyday could have produced such thuggery.

    Some questions remain unanswered – why do the PGMO permit such behaviour & why do the media including the twerps on MOTD not question the thuggery tactics and further why do they cover up for the PGMO rather than question their incompetence?

  10. The whole media wank-fest about Spuds and Pochettino is getting hilarious and hypocritical at the same time.

    First of all, they managed to shot themselves in both feet. They had been in the title race with two-and-half matches to go. Then they crumbled in a thug-show that was their performance at Stamford Bridge and dropped two points. Still, due to their superior goal-difference, they still needed just a single point from the remaining two games provided that Arsenal wouldn’t win more than four points. Indeed, we collected four points from the remaining two games so they needed a point from two games: either against Southampton at home or already relegated Newcastle away. They lost both of them.

    Second of all, they are thugs. Whatever they do to mask their ability to make more fouls than any other team, it’s clear that they are thugs.

    Third of all, Pochettino… I was told that his third season is usually a problem so it will be funny to watch him handling Champions League where he won’t be able to field his second string and Premier League. Pochettino gambled a lot this season (sacrificing Europa League, apparently, and FA Cup for the league and ended up with third place that he would get anyway) and failed.

  11. Usama – thanks – appreciated the tactical analysis of the Totts team. I suspect the rest of the Prem will be more wise to them next season. The Totts will also struggle greatly to manage the CL as well as the Prem.

    I very much doubt they will finish top four or ahead of us next time.

  12. It’s such a shame that Gooners have felt the need to resort to this sort of ultra-defensive behaviour but sadly the fault for this has to lie squarely with the media. Why the hell do they have to continually vilify Arsenal for anything and everything whilst ignoring the truth. It’s unedifying in the extreme and demonstrates completely that the argument that the media are biased against Arsenal is no longer a theory. Their inability to distinguish between he facts and their venemous bile is there for all to see. Shame on all of them.

  13. Btw I agree that the Newcastle penalty was a dive………..but that just goes a very small way to making it all even out in the end!!

  14. Motd was a joke last night, couldn’t believe the garbage shearer and murphy were spouting. harry kane summed it up by saying they’re supposed to have had a good season, while we had a bad one, yet they still finish behind us. So if it is to be believed that we had a really poor season, then it says a lot about the spuds if they still finish below us having had their best season in years, than us.

    Spuds players are proper thugs. I hate the arrogance displayed by their players, particularly Rose, Walker and Bentalab (he aimed a stamp on a prone Monreal).

    On a lighter note, Santi’s five year old shows unbelievable skill, as seen in this video. Let’s hope Santi sees out his playing years at the Ems 🙂

  15. ”This is, by any reasonable judgement, insanity.”

    It really is. Either that or deflection from the fact that Arsenal are were the biggest threat to the PGMOL’s corruption this year who knows. For the sake of sticking with the clear facts, lets just call it insanity and COMPLETE incompetence from supposed experts.

  16. This blog is en route to becoming the biggest Arsenal blog in the world. I’ve seen enough traits to reasonably believe this. I will be sticking around to see this happen and, one day, hope to contribute an article myself.

    All the best

  17. It strikes me that the pundits collective rounding on Arsenal having outperformed the media darlings yet again is a rather sad attempt to maintain face. These people are paid to be better than the man in the street at forecasting the outcome of the season. Yet season in, season out they get it so badly wrong. Tonight I watched the MOTD from last night where a patently embarrassed Danny Murphy defended himself and the idiot Alan “kick a man on the ground, putative Newcastle manager but only as long as his own reputation isn’t damaged” Shearer by saying that he and Shearer had forecast Arsenal wouldn’t win the league!. Such talent. 19 teams out of 20 won’t win it. The talent is in telling us who will.
    These people are embarrassing fraudsters. We have no need of them so why are they drawing a salary paid for by the licence payer when the quality of their forecasting is no better than taking a random walk? It beggars belief.

  18. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger shamed them all yesterday and this anti hating press and so called pundits are once again left looking like the total fools they really are. Year after year this Club and her manager have left them sucking up their words and they hate Arsene Wenger and Arsenal for it. Here is a man of great honour and honesty who behaves with dignity and they know that they could only wish to be half the human being that he is. Jealousy is a ugly thing and I really believe that this is part of their problem with him but at the end of the day give me a man with these values any day of the week over these moronically behaved people, they need to look up the word class to understand what Arsene Wenger stands for.

  19. The anti Arsenal & pro Tottenham bias was staggering beyond even their usual unapologetic high levels.
    It was furthered when the Stalinist BBC manipulated the ‘Goal of the Season’ result.
    Alan Shearer is such a boring dullard.
    Whilst 100% certain Arsenal would NOT win the league he was also 100% certain Chelsea WOULD win the league & re-iterated so after their poor start to the season.
    He is such a hypocrite condemning challenges such as Mitrovic’s disgraceful leg breaker when he himself was a dirty player with flailing elbows who also got away with a vile assault on Neil Lennon by blackmailing the FA that he would not go to 1998 World Cup if banned from the FA Cup final.
    It’s fair to say Shearer’s consistent anti Arsenal bias is due to him losing that cup final.
    There’s little to say about Danny Murphy who was a 10 a penny midfielder who would not have a chance of playing today in a top half Premier League team. He is equally a bland pointless pundit without presence or gravitas.
    It is staggering Gary Lineker has had a career as a presenter when he is incompetently awkward with cringeworthy attempted sense of humour. It was that lack of humour that got him a spot on ‘They Think it’s All Over’ where it was easy for Lee Hurst to constantly poke fun at his expense.
    I was amazed nothing was said about his egotistical jumping on Leicester City’s winning moment  being filmed popping champagne. It was a crass lack of humility. There are many good ex players delighted by the achievement ago behaved with decency to allow the club enjoy their moment.
    It is not just the BBC who are guilty of poor quality ex player pundits.
    For BT Michael Owen is horrible to listen to with his sharp scratchy voice. His consistent ani Arsenal bias is puzzling & makes me wonder if Wenger passed up opportunity to sign him at some point in his career.
    Owen Hargreaves is hard to understand & frequently talks nonsense.
    For SKY Paul Merson is embarrassingly thick along with his inability to correctly pronounce players names …… He gets handsomely paid to talk!! The World is crazy!
    There is also Phil Thompson who is so shamelessly biased to the point Liverpool have NEVER deserved to lose a match.
    Talking of Liverpool bias there was Jim Beglin on ITV .
    On the night Arsenal were robbed at Anfield in Champions League Quarter Final tie by the late unjust penalty, when Walcott broke way on long run before setting up Adebayor for what should have been the winning goal Beglin bellowed that Liverpool should have ‘chopped him down’! When I wrote letter of complaint, ITV replied to say Beglin was a Chelsea fan. Clearly then no bias to the club he was attached to for many years.
    On the radio the anti Arsenal bias is led by Savage on Radio 5 & led by the demented Adrian Durham on Talksport are a deluge of pundits including Collymore, Mick Quinn & Ray Houghton

  20. This email has not been published.

    Emails that contain personal attacks on another writer are removed when I spot them, and if you spot a personal attack on you and I haven’t removed it, please do write in and give me full details.

    Also comments in which simply say “you are wrong” without providing any evidence are generally rejected.

    I mention this all here, however, since this email has the honour of being the first since we came second to announce that next season it will all fall apart. We get loads each season, and have had them since Untold started, but I can’t recall seeing one this early before.

    But the conspiracy theories are always amusing.

  21. Jeff Spur, thanks for writing in. I think the issue of “bottling” when applied to a whole team is difficult, because it is hard to see how the social psychology works – and I’ve never read anyone who can explain it in a coherent way. It is one of those notions beloved by pundits because it is simplistic – they can just say it and get everyone to nod, but no one to think.

  22. I cannot believe the utterly poor season Arsenal have had. I mean 1 more loss and we would have been relegated form the top four. Damn imagine what they would have said then, we would have been down with such utterly poor teams as Chelsea and Man United, who having invested nothing for years had very good seasons under the circumstances. As defending champions surely Chelsea achieved the unthinkable by not being relegated (for real). We bought in 1 player and were slammed for lack of spending!!! others spent fortunes but needed to “bed” their new players in.. Yes we should have won the league in hindsight.. how many genius pundits picked Leicester to win and chelski to come 10th. Most said Arsenal would be 6th!!! we come 2nd and we failed!!!!
    Up the gunners for life.
    Anyone who would truly swop Wenger for – Pottie/ LVG /Ranieri/ Moaner etc. maybe Guardiola but I think he will struggle.. Pellegrini ha sso much grace – the way he was treated by fans and players sucks big time Pep is gonna struggle!

  23. Adrian Clark’s analysis on shows how much we missed the Coquelin / Cazorla combination when they were both injured. That might have been the most important missing factor in our spring difficulties.

  24. Usama Zaka
    Your description of the Spur’s players had me in stitches and tells me how passionate you are about our Wonderful ‘ARSENAL’. it’s a pity that those who call themselves Arsenal Fans or Supporters cannot see and enjoy the absolute miraculous job that Arsene and the Board are doing. It has never been in Arsenal’s DNA to go out and spend Big to win Titles or Trophies, I quite like young players from the Academy breaking into the 1st Team. There are no 100% guarantees in Life, but if the day comes when Arsenal drop out of the Top 4 I will still keep the faith and stay positive. For those that spend most of their time whinging,moaning and being negative should find a more suitable past time, maybe how to cope with Life in general and become a happier person, life is too short to spend most of it being depressed and frustrated. ‘KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK UNTOLD ARSENAL POSSE’

  25. Usama

    Pretty sure at least half of Ferguson’s hard on for Poch is for the way he’s got his players fouling.

    Not exactly stupid either, as if he could bring that back to OT, with lots to spend on players, it could well be a winning recipe.

    Everything points to Poch knowing how to play the refs here brilliantly, and Ferguson must dream about taking that to the next level at Utd.

    Think that’s always been the dream of Mourinho. He must’ve thought ‘I do well from them, but I want to do Ferguson well from them, and there’s only one place that can happen.’

    He got utterly desperate this year and tried to make it happen from where he was.

  26. Made the mistake of watching Sky just after breakfast this morning, the “pundits” have recovered some of their composure/revised script and are on a Spuddie love in again.

    Thank heavens for the off button!

  27. If you thought that the motd plunditary was arguably insane (sociopathic at best) then I wouldn’t stop you reading the article from the Bleeb website on Arteta and Rosicky (& Flamini’s) farewell.

    Bitter? Just a little bit. 😉

    Try not to laugh, after all it might have been written by someone who supports another club. I mean it’s not as if there is not clear evidence of a narrative against AFC (and against freedom from debt and debt peonage or slavery from the same extremist far off the right wing’s verge media)

    Very happy to see that in the face of such blunted and infantile though effective propaganda that the use of the word “Gibberish” is coming into it’s own.

  28. Jeff Spur and Tony

    Did Arsenal Bottle it? An interesting question. Or, did Leicester City win it? Where Leicester just too good?

    Well I thought I’d do some analysis on where it all went wrong and to see if indeed it was a case of bottling it, or was it something else?

    From a strong position at the end of 2015 it is definitely since the turn of the year that the tide turned so it is from then that I will do my analysis.

    First up, where exactly did we drop points:

    13/1 Liverpool Away 3-3

    17/1 Stoke Away 0-0

    24/1 Chelsea Home 0-1

    2/2 Southampton Home 0-0

    28/2 Man Utd Away 2-3

    2/3 Swansea Home 1-2

    5/3 Spurs Away 2-2

    9/4 West Ham Away 3-3

    17/4 C. Palace Home 1-1

    24/4 Sunderland Away 0-0

    8/5 Man City Away 2-2

    I’ll deal with the matches in groups.

    First up, we dropped points with DRAWS Away at Liverpool, Stoke, Spurs, West Ham and Man City.

    As much as there’s a mixture of good, bad, and indifferent performances in amongst those draws, with ones we could of won as well as ones we could of lost, given our overall record against top sides, I hardly think you can call them results a consequence of ‘bottling’ it.

    Then we have the away defeat at United. Played bad. Deserved to lose. It happens. It’s United away. Hardly ‘bottling’ it though.

    Then we have the home defeat to Chelsea. Do I even need to go there? But again, can it really be called ‘bottling’ it?

    To me, that Leaves just 4 games that people could justifiably point at as games we SHOULD of won but didn’t, and which could of been down to us ‘bottling’ it. So, the question is, DID we ‘bottled’ it? Or was it something else. The ref? Bad luck? We just played bad? The opponent just played well?

    Now I appreciate people will have all kinds of different interpretations as to what is ‘bottling’ it, but to me ‘bottling’ it is not turning up. Freezing? Not playing your usual game. In other words, letting the pressure get to you.

    So is that what happened?

    Well I don’t think so. I saw all those games and think, despite the stick we got, we deserved to win every one of them. We dominated each and every one, and but for various reasons, non of which was ‘bottling’ it, we didn’t.

    Here’s a short analysis of those 4 matches.


    2/2 Southampton Home 0-0: 2 Points dropped.

    Frankly we absolutely battered them. Koeman said after the game that in all his time at the Club nobody had created so many chances against his team, and the stats back that notion up. There Keeper was, by a distance, MOTM.

    22 Shots

    11 On target

    To my mind that is hardly ‘bottling’ it.


    2/3 Swansea Home 1-2: 3 Points dropped.

    Again, although not to the same extent as the Southampton game, we battered them, especially in the first have. We should of been out of sight by HT. We hit the woodwork 3 times. Again the keeper never put a foot wrong. The problems with this game where a) We got caught on the break, and b) We let that affect us and let our heads drop. We got going again late on but it was too little too late. The stats again show our dominance.

    17 Shots

    4 On target + hitting the woodwork 3 times.

    Again, I don’t see how this is ‘bottling’ it.


    17/4 Crystal Palace Home 1-1: 2 Points dropped.

    Not the greatest performance in our history, but again the stats indicate we completely dominated, and yet again, but for the want of a bit of luck, and another keeper excelling, we would of won this one too. Here are the stats.

    21 Shots

    6 On target

    Again, I just don’t see this kind of performance as ‘bottling’ it.

    And finally,

    24/4 Sunderland Away 0-0: 2 Points dropped.

    The sort of game we would obviously hope to win, but away, against a ‘Fat Sam’ team fighting for there premier League lives? It was never going to be easy. But yet again we dominated.

    20 Shots

    7 On target

    Again I just don’t think that deserves the accusation of ‘bottling’ it.

    So, 4 matches, 80 shots. That’s EIGHTY shots. 28 On target, that’s a rate of 1 in 3, which is pretty standard, but for just 2 goals.

    Lets look at that again:

    80 Shots

    28 On target

    2 Goals

    In anyone’s book that is a pretty meagre return for such an enormous amount of shots, both off and on target.

    Is that really bottling it? Or is there, as I asked earlier, something else at play here? Well, I think it’s the ‘something else’.

    a) Bad Luck? For sure, we had a fair bit of that.

    b) Opposition playing well? With out doubt we where unfortunate to come across a couple of truly inspired keepers.

    c) Us playing poorly? It is true there where times we didn’t play great. A fair proportion of the second half against Swansea being the most obvious example for me. But no team plays well all the time in every match and overall we played pretty well in all those games, as the statistics suggest we did.

    d) And now for the Elephant in the room. The refs? Did we get a fair rub of the green with the referees, not only in these 4 games, but throughout the season? one stat alone suggests not. How can a team that has so much possession, and territorial advantage, as well as trying to ‘walk it in’, not get a single penalty at home?

    In conclusion.

    Did we ‘bottle’ it?

    Well I for one don’t think so.

    The fact is, in the 4 games I highlighted. The ones in which we could of been accused of ‘bottling’ it, we dropped 9 points. Even with these 9 points, that would NOT of been enough to of caught Leicester City.

    To my mind, for all the questions about Refereeing Leniency? Astonishing fitness levels? Lack of injuries and rapid recovery time for any they did have? Less games to play? Luck even? Leicester City where the best team in the PL this season.

    We can though, I believe, hold our heads high. We did our bit. We beat them twice. They only lost one other match. To of finished above them we would of needed one of our best PL performances ever.

    So NO, we didn’t ‘bottle’ it. Leicester City won it.

  29. Following my article on ‘Did Arsenal Bottle it’ I thought I’d do something similar for the Tiny Tiny Totts.

    So, did Spurs ‘Bottle’ it?

    YES !!

  30. I just wonder what pundits would have said had Arsenal lost 5-1 and Sp*rs won 4-0. The good thing from Arsenal bashing this week is the statement that Sp*rs are way ahead of us. Now we will see come next season who is better. But I think we know the answer, and the same pundits will forget their analysis, life goes on!!

  31. Jambug

    Good stuff. Throws up some thoughts about those games.

    I’ll start with refs. Always worth remembering what Utd could expect at this time of year. Think it was Ferguson’s final year when Young went on his diving spree at the season’s end. Seem to remember ridiculous pens two weeks in a row, one of which saw QPR reduced to ten men early in the game. Pretty sure Utd were looking unconvincing in their games at that point. Impossible to overestimate how massive an advantage that was for them at crunch time

    Coincidentally, Liverpool had an amazing run of pens when pursuing the title a few years back, and Leicester of course did very well this year. Anyway, we all know how different things are for us. We have to play the non-pen, in attack, version of football, and compete physically against dirtier teams while knowing we cannot afford to give refs any chance to punish us. That is an incredibly hard thing to pull off.

    We do it well generally but I’ve seen hints that when the reffing is particularly bad- Sanchez pushed at norwich, Swansea’s first goal- the team can lose their way for a bit. That’d make complete sense to me as you’d think the two worse things a ref can do to footballers is make them feel unsafe on a pitch and, even worse from a performance viewpoint, make them feel they can’t win, i.e that things won’t be dealt with equally, in particular that the option isn’t there to try match extra aggression and physicality from opponents.

    If you feel the opposition can get away with too much against you, but that you’ll be dealt with strictly…how the hell do you play that situation?

    Generally, I think we cope well, but it’s a hell of an obstacle. Newcomers must be particularly vulnerable to falling into traps like the one laid by Carroll’s challenge on Kos. A fighter of a player seeing that would think ‘shit. It’s war and you’re allowed to do anything.’ Respond in kind though and we’d almost certainly see red. Similar deal at corners. Gabriel, for instance, must have been well drilled that although any manner of holding and grabbing is permitted for our attacking corners, we can’t do the same when defending.

    Oops, looks like I’ll need another comment for my thoughts on general play and things we can control.

  32. One good way of coping with these refs is to have a wealth of good options in central midfield.

    Those stats last week suggested Coquelin and Elneny get booked very easily, so it’s vital to have replacements (hopefully before the second booking arrives) who can do a similar job.

    If this Xhaka stuff is true, that would give us three who excel in the fight, plus Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla, and I think that might be what’s neccesary.

    We had incredible midfield options in the invincible team. While there’s no way to find another Viera, it might be possible with a large set of high quality options to achieve similar results. Viera, Parlour, Edu and Gilberto racked up 31 yellows (13 and a red for Viera) that year.

    Strong suggestion great depth is needed for us with those tasked with competing physically (and trying to cope with referees at the same time) in the middle of a premier league park in our shirt. We couldn’t hope to match that when money was tight; now we can.

  33. This is a fantastic article!

    Thanks, Tony. MOTD, the whole program on Sunday, was pitiful.
    There’s no longer any reason for anyone to not entirely understand the level of bias and vitriol meted out to the Arsenal.

    I often pop around to a mate’s to watch footy games or MOTD. I time my viewings so I can fast forward through the post match shite, but this time I caught all of it. I thought about writing down the crap Shearer, Linekar and Murphy were saying, but wondered why I should invite these abusers to further infuse me with their bile. Having seen it on paper, I’d made the wrong decision but am glad to see it laid out bare.

    Pure negativity towards Arsenal from all concerned. Not a single sentance of praise. Achievement, non. Disdain, aplenty.
    (And that’s from a MOTD a decade ago, and has been ever thus, or whatever’s).

    Usama, Jambug, Fins, Rich, Linda, Bricky, Mandy…. there are so many of you – writing amazing stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    UA editors, I know you spend much time filtering, and I urge you to maintain vigilance and ban even more crap-comms. They have a whole world of blogs to visit and contribute absolutely nothing of value to this site, as you well know. Quite a high percentage are NOT Arsenal fans. They just pose as such.

    Is Walter’s report up yet? Come on you Walter.
    (Let’s not mention how far I am behind with these superb articles).


  34. In addition to “It’s Happened Again” we should add the Soft Machine classic..

    “We did it again”

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