By Bulldog Drummond
Of course some news comes in at most inconvenient moments. Here am I about to prattle on concerning the line ups for tonight when we get the announcement that Newcastle Utd and West Ham United were raided this morning by HMRC concerning suspected criminal tax fraud in professional football. That is what us scribblers call “pretty big news” at least for a publication like Untold which has been poking around such matters for the last nine years.
Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley is reported to have been arrested along with a number of other men. Mobile phones have been seized and the officials have been removing documents relating to transfers going back at least seven years.
It is suggested 50 HMRC officers (which believe me is a BIG number for an investigation like this) also raided the London Stadium and seized documents. WHU say they are co-operating. One report says over 100 went to Newcastle.
The key issue that we know of within these investigations is the level of tax paid on transfers and image rights payments. In France arrests and searches have also been made relating to deals between French and English clubs.
A second key point is that this is not an investigation into the under payment of tax which could be seen as the result of mistaken accounting, which then results in the payment of due tax and a fine. This is a criminal investigation and where the Revenue are involved, they usually call for imprisonment of the guilty.
Other clubs are also said to have been investigated. More from us on this when we get it.
So back to the footie.
As we were reporting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could still feature today despite leaving Wembley after Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final on crutches. And we must remember the game on Sunday was 120 minutes so some players might like a break.
On the Leicester front Wes Morgan (hamstring) and Nampalys Mendy (ankle) are certainly out along with Islam Slimani (groin).
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Leicester haven’t won any of the last 20 league games against Arsenal although they did get the better of us after two goalless cup draws in 2000. Since then the results have run…
|26 Dec 2000||Arsenal v Leicester City||Won||6-1|
|20 Jan 2001||Leicester City v Arsenal||Drew||0-0|
|25 Aug 2001||Arsenal v Leicester City||Won||4-0|
|23 Jan 2002||Leicester City v Arsenal||Won||1-3|
|06 Dec 2003||Leicester City v Arsenal||Drew||1-1|
|15 May 2004||Arsenal v Leicester City||Won||2-1|
|31 Aug 2014||Leicester City v Arsenal||Drew||1-1|
|10 Feb 2015||Arsenal v Leicester City||Won||2-1|
|26 Sep 2015||Leicester City v Arsenal||Won||2-5|
|14 Feb 2016||Arsenal v Leicester City||Won||2-1|
|20 Aug 2016||Leicester City v Arsenal||Drew||0-0|
Mr Shakespeare at Leicester made an interesting comment prior to this game regarding Wembley at the weekend: “Seeing the Arsenal match, it didn’t look like turmoil to me. There were players fighting and they thoroughly deserved the win in the end, even though it was a close game.”
So what do we know?
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 20 league games against Leicester.
- We have won nine of the 10 games against Leicester at home in the Premier League.
- They did however get a 1-1 draw at Highbury in 1995.
For a long time the media were counting up the number of away defeats we got in a row. They can’t do that sort of thing any more and they could look at Leicester’s away form, but instead they have now come up with the fact that we have lost three of their last six Premier League matches and haven’t won back-to-back league games since January.
But the comparison table that we ran with our position last season is now being thought about.
As for this game, there is a little talk about Leicester still needing points to avoid going down, but I think that is pushing it a bit. I can’t see them being relegated given that the clubs below them are making such a good job of it.
Of all the clubs in the bottom six Leicester is the only one that has been winning (most recent results on the right in the final column) and they are already six above Swansea with two in hand and two teams below them more likely to be overtaken by Swansea, if any team is.
As for the teams…
Theo has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Leicester, including in both home games and I suspect he’ll get a game…. except I don’t see how to fit him into the new line up.
And one more goal for Alexis will make him the fifth Arsenal player to score 20+ goals in a Premier League campaign. The others have been Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor.
To counter the positives for us, we can note that Leicester have won five of their last seven league matches. But that is because they have been catching up on home games. As the last article showed, they have been terrible away from home this season.
So who might we put out…
Gabriel Koscielny Holding
Bellerin Coquelin Xhaka Gibbs
Which would put on the beach…
Theo, Monreal, Welbeck, The Ox, Ramsey, Elneny, Martinez.
As I say, I’d like to put Theo in the team, and also Iwobi on the beach, but can’t see how to do it. Right, I am getting ready for the trip to London, avoiding the road works which have left Northamptonshire isolated from much of the rest of the kingdom.
Walter may be along later with some, all or maybe none of his match report. We’ll watch with interest.
Arsenal v Leicester, the story so far…
- Arsenal v Leicester Wed 26 April 2017 – The Match Officials. 80% of wrong decisions will be against Arsenal.
- Arsenal v Leicester: a shocking home and away comparison, and excellent injury news
- Arsenal v Leicester: how exactly do the teams compare with our position last season