The Palace comes to the Emirates. Arsenal v Fat Sam: the prologue

By Tony Attwood

One of my favourite comedians – and indeed my favourite Shakesperian comic actor (although sadly I was unable to see much of his work in this regard), was Frankie Howerd.

At one stage in his career he became completely unacceptable for his politically incorrect jokes, but I never stopped loving his performances, and relished each and every come back he made as tastes changed and he found a new audience.  At the end of his life he was just about the biggest comedy act on the university circuit, an amazing achievement for the man who a few years before had an act that was looked down upon as not suitable for today’s “sophisticated” audience.

I mention him now because Frankie would have had no problem calling Fat Sam, “Fat Sam”.  And I think that name is right not just because of his size but also because of the greed he showed having grabbed the England job, in wanting more, more, more, more, and never ever stopping, no matter what.  To be found out through one undercover investigation is bad enough, but to find yourself in that position twice, is beyond belief and suggests a total inability to learn, plus a total lack of humility or willingness to admit one’s behaviour is abhorrent, unacceptable and quite possibly illegal.   His excuse for not suing the BBC for its presentation on his methods in football having said quite openly that he would be suing, (“It would have been too expensive”) holds as much water as a cullender with added holes.

As a football manager his approach is the archetypal anti-football – utterly appropriate for the FA and England.  The list of teams managed reflects this: Preston, Blackpool, Notts C, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland, and now Palace.   His triumphs are winning the 3rd division with Notts County, the first division (ie Championship) play off with Bolton, and the Championship play offs with West Ham.  He was eventually sacked by West Ham following a series of ludicrous failed signings such as Matt Jarvis, Modibo Maiga, Alou Diarra, Andy Carroll (always injured) and Razvan Rat.

Allerdyce recently said that he was offered a chance to manage in China but he turned it down.  But given the way truth and Allerdyce seem to slip off each other, of course it could be the other way round – and seeing all the money available he could have asked for the chance to manage there, (that would have been very much in his character) but they could have turned him down.  China, it could be, will take anyone in football, but not him.

Indeed with anything Fat Sam says (as with Pulis whom we discussed the other day), you have to treat matters with caution following, as I mentioned, the BBC revelations about him in September 2006 and the Telegraph’s revelations when he was England manager earlier this year.  To be caught out once might just be misfortune, but twice, and with not a single moment of remorse or apology… well…

And of course Sam Allardyce has been known to call Mr Wenger “arrogant” and he has regularly boasted how easy it was for him to wind up Mr Wenger.  The Fat Sam disgraceful “autobiography” (it wasn’t that at all of course, it was ghost written for him, as was his regular “column” in the Evening Standard and like that column, was a complete ramble of disconnected commentaries without evidence) claimed, “I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was in charge at Bolton.   We’d really got to them and Arsène Wenger hated us. We drew with them or beat them more often than expected and Wenger couldn’t handle it.”

In fact the results of Arsenal v Notlob (as Monty Python renamed the place) show that during the Allerdycian era of misrule the clubs played each other 15 times and Bolton won four of those games, all in the era of 2005/6 when Arsenal were at their financially weakest, and much of the Unbeaten team had either reached the end of their period at the top or had had to be sold to pay for the Emirates Stadium.

When Arsenal had no such financial concerns (2001-4 for example) it was all pretty much plain sailing but Allerdyce is always one for turning reality upside down (while taking a quick fiver on the side).

He alleges about Mr Wenger, “There was one time he wouldn’t shake hands with me at Highbury because we got a draw. I saw him ripping his tie off and throwing it on the floor in anger. He takes it all very personally and has an air or arrogance.”

And of course we know what really happened.  The Fat One is the man who virtually invented the technique of playing the game through the newspapers.  There are a million examples, but here is just one from the Guardian in 2014.

“He can’t take it, can he?” the Fat Owl said. “He can’t take it because we’ve out-tactic-ed him, out-witted him. He just can’t cope. He can tell me all he wants. I don’t give a shite, to be honest.”

That quote is one that is oft used to suggest the Fat Sam got one over Mr Wenger.  But if you actually look at the whole quote, you will see that it continued, “I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate the officials, and José jumping up and down in his technical area. It’s great to see.”    Oooops.

Now knowing that this was coming up, and facing the same sort of anti-football against West China in the last game, I think that Mr Wenger may well believe that one solution is playing Giroud up front for all these games, with Alexis on the wing.

We’ll take a look at this and quite possibly have some more pics of Frankie Howerd in the second part of the preview tomorrow morning.  Up next however, for our final post of the year, a look back at the state of football in 2016.  It won’t be very celebratory.

Untold Arsenal: 


11 Replies to “The Palace comes to the Emirates. Arsenal v Fat Sam: the prologue”

  1. I’ve been listening to the football pundits or experts on SKy Sports through my subscribed Dstv Nigeria. And the 3 expects on the Premier League match build up program have all agreed unanimously that Chelsea will beat Stoke at the Bridge this afternoon.

    While am not in total disagreement with them in their a win take for Chelsea over Stoke who have not won a League match against Chelsea at the Bridge for 43 years according to the 3 experts on Sky Sports, I want to leave a room for Stoke to cause an upset at the Bridge this afternoon to beat Chelsea or at least get a point in the game to stop Chelsea equaling Arsenal’s 13 winning run in a PL single season campaign. Besides, this is Premier League where a sure banker result can disappoint by not conforming to the most believed outcome.

    Why was big Sam Allardyce not banned for some years as a punishment by the FA from having his hand in any football related matter for his Entrapment has won slogan? Is big Sam too big to be punished for a wrong doing in which he has confessed his wrong doing that led to him unceremoniously relinquished his England national team manager job?

    Against whatever anti Arsenal referring referee Andre Marriner and his 2 linesmen and the 4th match official may have planned or ordered to carry out by the Pgmol to referee against Arsenal tomorrow at the Ems in their game against the FA protected big Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace team, Arsenal MUST overcome whatever hindrance the quartet officials may pose to the Gunners in their game by downing 4 hefty Eagles in their flights with no Gunner taken to fly him away by the Eagles. Thus leaving Arsenal to obtain maximum benefit in points in the battle of this game. Final Scores: Arsenal 4-0 Crystal Palace.

    My starts:
    Bellerin Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
    Coquelin Elneny
    Ramsey Ozil Sanchez

    My bench:
    Ospina Jenko Mustafi? Holding Xhaka Iwobi Oxchambo?
    ? Means subject to fitness issue.

  2. Mason cancelled what looked to me as a clear goal from Ibrahimović.

    Chelsea look like they can’t lose the grip on the league title. Unfortunately, it looks like they will win it with ease. 🙁

  3. Josif,

    The boot of Ibrahimovic was higher than my head, and his studs were showing, less than 1 meter away from Valdes. If that’s not dangerous play I don’t know what is. But the more important issue is that right now manure need to spend $200mil on Negredo because he can give a quality assist.

  4. Sadly, United turned the game around but it is a deserved come-back. Mason had a stinker from what I have seen as United should have won this one more comfortably.

  5. OT: On MBEs

    The BBC had this.

    > Also honoured is football referee Sian Massey-Ellis who becomes a Member of the British Empire (MBE) and hopes to inspire the next generation of female officials and footballers.

    I wonder what (dorks extraordinaire) Andy Gray and Richard Keys got?

  6. If Stoke had proper game discipline, they wouldn’t have lost their match against Chelsea today but drew the match. What is left for Arsenal to do now that Chelsea have in this their home game against the indisciplined in game Stoke team to equalled their 13 PL games winning run record in a season but haven’t yet been surpassed, is for Arsenal to as start in their last WBA game win extend their win to 2 in their Palace match at Ems tomorrow to start a new very long winning run which will eventually leads them to win the PL title this season and also make the new winning run they would have ran difficult to equalled talkless of to break it by any PL club in future.

  7. That fat Sam finds himself with a job again shows everything that’s wrong with football in England.

  8. @Florian

    Yes, his boot was high but Ibrahimović played the ball well before Valdes came close to pick it.

    Also, the penalty call on Martial at 0:1 was similar to the one in the Southampton v Liverpool game when Coutinho was fouled after the shot. The ref reviewers called that one as a wrong decision from the ref as he should have given a penalty to Liverpool.

    About Negredo comment – LOL. And they might spend 100 millions on Valdes as well. It’s not like they had heard about him before this game, right? 😉

  9. Josif:
    In the end we just have to whip them on 7th of Feb so bad that their run ends right there.

    It is starting to look so that if Arsenal wants to win anything we have to play with the “big” money people and spend. Knowing Arsenal this will/may not happen anytime soon.

    Still, all is not lost, 19 games to go still and lots can happen.

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