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June 2021

Chelsea vs the absolute total and complete all-time underdogs

By Tony Attwood

It happens sometimes, but not that often, that the media and their bloggetta camp followers make out that the cup final is so obviously a one-sided affair that it is hardly worth even writing a preview of it.

Of course what they forget each time is that occasionally the underdogs come out and win.  And I should say in presenting a few examples of underdogs winning I think from my earlier list of clubs getting to runs of cup finals I missed out Everton, so let me correct that first.

  • 1984: Everton 2 Watford 0
  • 1985: Manchester Utd 1 Everton 0
  • 1986: Liverpool 3 Everton 1

And now the underdog results… (* is for extra time)

Season Underdogs Score Losers
1972-73 Sunderland 1-0 Leeds Utd
1975-76 Southampton 1-0 Manchester Utd
1986–87 Coventry City 3–2 * Tottenham Hotspur
1987–88 Wimbledon 1–0 Liverpool
2007–08 Portsmouth 1–0 Cardiff City
2012–13 Wigan Athletic 1–0 Manchester City

(I included Portsmouth just because two years later they were relegated, and then quickly fell to the fourth tier of English football).

Of course in the future people will forget just how much of the underdogs Arsenal were at this moment, at least in the minds of the media.  Fans in revolt, useless manager, useless players, hopeless board, non-intervening owner… a club falling apart and with not much of a route back.

Not surprisingly given the way the media presents Arsenal these days, Arsène Wenger has pretty much given up trying to give any serious information to the media, since it will only been twisted and turned into something else.  So now he is being accused of not being helpful.  It was ever thus.  He’s even being criticised for responding to Tony Adams’ childish barb.

Actually Mr Wenger’s comment was rather mild I thought: “Don’t trust too much to what Tony Adams says.” He could have said far more.

And he had a nice riposte to the “FA Cup is not a trophy” commentary of late.   “Believe me, the 18 other managers in the league would like to be in our position on Saturday.”  I suspect that is true, especially of Manchester City whose last FA Cup final was that defeat to Wiigan.

And by way of conclusion, Per Mertesacker had a nice comment on all this, saying “Whatever is necessary for Arsenal, we do it.”



17 comments to Chelsea vs the absolute total and complete all-time underdogs

  • Leon

    With the perfect storm of injuries, suspensions, team selection, unresolved contract issues, negativity surrounding Wenger & the Krankies, playing against Anthony Taylor and probably the best team in the country right now; just for a change we’ll not be going into a final as outright favourites, so the pressure will be off and we can just get on with the game with no particular expectations. And who knows, we may just surprise everyone and win.

  • Ryan F

    Whilst I live in eternal hope, that fact that Wigan are the only outsiders to win the FA Cup final in 29 years (Portsmouth were odds-on to beat Cardiff) doesn’t exactly bode well. We don’t have the best of records against Chelsea in recent years, and I’m already mentally preparing myself for a defeat.

    I still think that Arsene’s own dithering and the uncertainty surrounding his new contract has had a negative effect on the club and the players. By all means be a bit cagey with the media, but sometimes staying silent and creating needless speculation can be far more damaging than a few bad headlines.

  • Leon

    From what I’ve been reading elsewhere today, it looks as though Ospina is playing, so that’s a clear indication that Mertesacker will also play (as captain).

  • nicky

    On the subject of unexpected results, I well recall the 1939 Final. Portsmouth v Wolves.
    Speculation before the game was rife that Wolves, had just discovered the powers of “monkey glands” as an aid to certain success. It would be the most one-sided Final ever.
    Portsmouth 4 Wolves 1 😉

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Due to suspension and injuries occasioned by three Gunners centrebacks, Whichever be the final team selection Le Prof finally makes for this Cup final against Chelsea today, I confidently believed that Arsenal will prevail over Chelsea by 2 goals to nil at full-time + the added time or after extra time of 30 minutes +. And should the match goes to penalty shoot outs after the game had tied, Arsenal will still prevail over Chelsea in the shoot outs by 3 shoot out goals to Chelsea 0 shoot out goals as they’ll faile to score in all their first 3 shootings in the shoot outs after Arsenal had first scored in the shoot outs, thereby negating the completing of the first 5 penalty taking per team in the shoot outs.

    But why am I this so confident and sure that Arsenal will lift the FA Cup at Wembley today to deny the media and football pundits favourite – Chelsea team running away with the Double this season? It’s my hunch that told me this and I believe it.

  • para

    Chel$ “learned” from their defeat against us and went on to improve significantly.

    Lets hope we also learned from our defeat at Chel$ and are again ready to show them something new. 🙂

  • Menace

    So Leon decides that ‘Chelsea are the best team in the country right now’. He has forgotten his other team HotSpuds. The best team – most consistent- has been PGMOL. They try to screw us every match without fail. Let us watch the kicking we get without any protection & cards to manage the game.

    The media tried their shit with a smile on Conte & a frown on Wenger.

  • Gord

    From Bet365:

    > referee Anthony Taylor is 7/2 to produce a red card and 9/4 to award a penalty during normal time.

    I don’t see any entry for Anthony Taylor’s odds of being Man of the Match.

    Granit is first listed to be booked first.

  • Scuba

    I really don’t get the logic in starting Ospina today. Does the backup keeper that’s probably gone this summer really need minutes in a cup final, while a clearly superior option will be sitting the bench? Stuff like this is why I want a change of management.

  • Menace

    Scuba – that’s why Wenger is Manager & you?
    There are 5 subs in this Final.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done guys. Awesome display . How we didn’t score a half dozen beats me !
    Walter must be gutted that his presence at Wembley did not see us winning by 3 goals !
    And didn’t Stan look cool in pinstripes !
    Congratulations to all AKBs – the loyalest and hardcore supporters .
    Thank you and Cheers !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And as I hoped , their will be an open bus parade for the best and successful team in North London this season .
    And many more seasons to come.

  • Scuba

    Great performance, best one of the year against good competition for my money. If we had these sorts of showings regularly, the supporter base would calm down.

  • Oldham Gooner

    Come on you Arsenal!!!!! Happy days for all real Gunners and excellent performances from all the lads including and especially Mertesacker and Oooooossspinaaaa!

    In Wenger I trust 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    True believers trust in AW and the twam and always have been calm throughout the whole season .
    Who cares a &hit about the others?

  • Rantetta

    You had an awesome season, Andrew, Usama and friends. Thank you.