By Bulldog Drummond
According to the X Files (remember them?) the Truth is Out There.
Now we have Jose Mourinho telling us that the result of the match against Hull wasn’t a win for Hull because the ref made a mistake, so their unbeaten run continues. (Which means that Arsenal’s unbeaten run wasn’t 49 at all but at least 50).
And then we had the Independent telling us that Arsenal get more injuries than all other teams with data so fake that a dead parrot sold by John Cleese could recognise that there was something wrong.
Surely there would be no more. But no, for now we have the Telegraph telling us that the FA Cup match involving the Arsenal tomorrow is at the Emirates. Here’s the exact section of their site today at 4pm – although to deny their cock-up they might change this at any time.
And they say…
Arsenal vs Southampton (Saturday 5.30pm)
They then follow this with a picture of the Alexis dogs’ banner and suggest that Arsenal fans will “display a new banner in place of the one for Alexis Sanchez’s dogs, this time for Mesut Ozil’s pug Balboa.”
Putting Arsenal’s name first on the fixture and “in place of” suggests replacing the banner at the Ems. Yep they really want us to believe the game is at the Ems.
In fact they caught Tony out who was to be heard frantically calling Blacksheep (with whom he normally goes to the games) to check that it really was away.
So what next – the results are not as we are told, the venue is not where we thought, everyone is injured so no one can play…
And yes there is more
Southampton boss Claude Puel, who has led the Saints to their first cup final in his first season in charge, has been looking ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal.
The Saints first cup final???????????????????????????????
It’s not even their first cup final against Arsenal! Here is a selection of cup finals involving Southampton who at any moment are likely to be called Southampton Academical.
|1901–02||Sheffield Utd||1–1||Southampton||Crystal Palace||76,914|
|1901–02 (R)||Sheffield Utd||2–1||Southampton||Crystal Palace||33,068|
This really is getting seriously out of hand.
Let’s try and find a few real facts. Sort of really real, real facts that are actual facts and not made up at all type facts.
Manchester United and Arsenal are the dominant teams in the FA Cup. FACT!
Each has won the cup 12 times and has been runner’s up seven times, making a total of 19 appearances. FACT!
The nearest challenger in terms of wins is Tottenham with eight, and the nearest in terms of appearances is Liverpool with 14 (seven wins, and seven defeats). IRRELEVANT FACT!
Mr Wenger is the most successful FA Cup manager of the last 100 years, and one more win would make him the most successful manager of all time in the FA Cup. FACT!
The last time any team scored more than the four Arsenal got in beating Aston Villa the season for last was in 1903. FACT!
So, what about Southampton, who have never been in a cup final (apparently)? How are they doing at the moment?
Here’s their league record of late courtesy of Statto.com
|19||31.12.2016||West Bromwich Albion||home||L1-2||9||24|
In the league cup they have done much better, beating us 2-0, and Liverpool home and away 1-0 to get to the final. But it is interesting, those league cup games were on 11th and 25th January, which suggests either they were putting far more effort into the League Cup or the victory over Leicester turned the corner for them.
Here’s the home and away analysis
|8||West Bromwich Albion||22||6||2||3||21||14||3||3||5||9||14||+2||32|
|10||West Ham United||22||5||2||4||12||16||3||2||6||17||20||-7||28|
Southampton in the league at home have five wins, three draws, three defeats, 13 goals scored and 11 conceded.
Arsenal in the league away from home show a better set of results – six wins, three draws, two defeats, 27 scored 12 conceded, which certainly looks to give us the advantage.
In the third round of the FA Cup they beat Palace 2-0 at home, while you will recall we were at Preston and had a grotty first half, but it all came good in the end. The Arsenal team on that day was
Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Gabriel, Monreal,
Ox, Iwobi, Lucas,
Beached: Martinez (who the Telegraph, keeping up their recent run of errors, called Martinex), Jenkinson, Holding, Reine-Adelaide, Dasilva, Willock, Welbeck
Obviously we can’t put out the same team again, but we do have quite a few options with the injured returning. I’ll return to this tomorrow.
Anyway, for now the key things to remember are these.
1: The match is not at the Emirates FACT!
2: Southampton have not just reached their first cup final. FACT!
3: The name of Arsenal’s third keeper who is likley to be reserve tomorrow ends with a Z. FACT!
4: Hull did beat Manchester United. FACT!
Like I say, the truth is out there.
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Read all about it
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