There were gasps of horror and amazement yesterday in the dim and distant north east as a bunch of men dressed in zebra outfits assaulted Arsenal players who were attempting to play a game of football.
In one incident Arshavin was smashed in the face, while in two others Clichy was twice pulled down, once in a rugby type tackle. None of the incidents resulted in a yellow card.
Of course the gasps of horror were not for the events themselves, but for the way in which journalists, the ref and the linesmen conspired to reduce the events to the normality of playing in the wild north east. And probably they were right.
In truth, apart from the assaults, it was a fairly jolly game, but any of those assaults could have resulted in serious injury, and in the case of Arshavin, loss of teeth. It shows just how low the EPL has fallen as the broadcasters desperately try to keep up audiences with their endless encouragement to players to rough the opposition up a bit.
But that is now 2,857 games without defeat (I may have miscounted that but it is quite a lot), and we have scored just one goal less than KGB Athletico Fulham, Manchester B, and Liverpool I. To be clear, those three teams have scored 49 and they are joint top scorers in the EPL. We are one behind – (which by my calculation is 48) which when you consider we had 38 consecutive 0-0 draws (again I need to check the maths here, but it’s not far off) is quite amazing.
Considering also that Bendtner can’t ever hit a barn door (according the to the guy next to me), that Adebayor should be given away (according to his mate), Eduardo will never recover from injuries (his mate’s girlfriend) Vela is lightweight, (his mate’s girlfriend’s mate) and Van Persie is leaving for WC Milan (the guy who went to get the beer at half time and never came back) it is astonishing that we have scored any at all.
It is also interesting to recall that when we lost to Fulham Mohammed, blogs were running stories along the lines of “this is exactly what I predicted” and it all led to the Gooner (as in “GetYerGooner, new edition out today”) to run its Meltdown theory.
They’re not melting now! (Actually that is a meaningless phrase but I thought it rather amusing.)
Of course even though Manchester B lost to Fulham M we are still 10 points behind (although I think the guy who went to the bar at half time misheard me and thought I said we were ten pints behind), but my point is the gap is not huge in terms of an ability to get results. The league has changed – 90% of the clubs will play the rotational game and take a 0-0 as a victory, and the club that will emerge victorious from these dark times will be the one that finds a way to defeat these new systems, and the increasing level of violent assaults from other players.
It is, as I say, dark days in the dim and distant dismal domain past Doncaster.
Still, it was fun, weren’t it?
(c) Tony Attwood. 10 Points Later.
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- WSL North London Derby – reflections on the game at the Emirates
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- Arsenal are the most fouled team in the Premier League. Why?
- Partey setback, AFC man hauled off, new C Ronaldo signing, Arteta desperate