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June 2021

Arsenal v Red Star: Lemar, Mahrez, the atmosphere, and the teams first time we met.

By Bulldog Drummond

Supposing someone could read your mind.  More than that, could read what you will be thinking in a few moments time.  Would that be spooky?

If you think so it is it might well be a good idea to lay off the bloggettas for the moment because one of the pop ups called Fantasy Sports now runs the headline


It is in capitals and in bold so you know it must be important.

“Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger doesn’t believe the club will continue their pursuit of Monaco winger Thomas Lemar. The Frenchman has also ruled out a January move for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez. Arsenal fans will not be impressed by either decision as the transfer window approaches.”

So now you know how your mind will be working as that news is revealed.  Remember YOU WILL NOT BE IMPRESSED.  No freedom of thought is wanted in the bloggetta.  Just make sure you are not impressed ok?

The only trouble is that there are other telepathic sources at work as with the headline “Arsene Wenger is keeping his cards close to chest over a possible move for Thomas Lemar, but has refuted suggestions he is interested in Riyad Mahrez.”

That’s from Arsenal Mania and given that for the last two transfer windows there has been very little advance knowledge of any transfers that has been accurate, the confusion between the two sites is understandable.

In totally different matters, but one that is related to a degree to Arsenal, there is debate in Cornwall and elsewhere concerning that situation at Old Trafford during the passing of Manchester United games.

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“There are differing views amongst supporters on precisely how to interpret the manager’s comments,” Manchester United Supporters Trust announced in a statement after their manager made some cryptic remarks about the level of support in the ground.

“However it’s probably fair to say there is a universal desire within the stadium to see atmosphere improved just as there is at other Premier League clubs.   There are a number of factors that have contributed to atmosphere decline over the decades, some of which could be addressed with better co-operation between clubs and supporters.

“MUST would certainly appreciate the opportunity to engage with the manager, as part of our existing dialogue with other club officials, on issues around atmosphere and would be more than happy to meet to discuss his concerns.”

I agree that might be true with quite a few clubs, including Arsenal, but the problem with Arsenal is the divergence of opinion and singular lack of co-operation with two of the three fan groups being content to criticise all the club at every turn.

However the Wenger Out group have gone very quiet since the club has put together another long set of victories (at least at home), but one defeat and they will of course be back.  Meanwhile the level of dislike of the Kroenke regime and growing recognition that Arsenal is becoming a club treated like his other clubs, plus the acceptance that Arsenal is not going to be competing financially in what now appears to be a market without FFP restrictions, means no one is quite sure how to proceed.

But back to the world of actually playing football, and moving on a little, here are all the results against Red Star across the centuries…

Date Match Result Score Competition
22 Nov 1978 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal L 1-0 UEFA Cup
06 Dec 1978 Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda D 1-1 UEFA Cup
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1 UEFA Europa League

So we’ve just beaten them the once, and that in the most recent game.  But I thought it might be diverting to look up the team for that very first game between the sides in 1978.

Pat Jennings
Pat Rice  David O’Leary   Willie Young  Sammy Nelson
Graham Rix  Steve Walford   David Price  Mark Heeley
Frank Stapleton   Alan Sunderland

10 comments to Arsenal v Red Star: Lemar, Mahrez, the atmosphere, and the teams first time we met.

  • Minesy

    1978/79 was my first season as a Season Ticket Holder and that was one of my very first night games, very exciting for an 11 year old … and still only 4 English players in the team !!!

  • Jax

    Terry Neil’s London Irish, who I thought were under appreciated.

  • alexanderhenry

    ‘However the Wenger Out group have gone very quiet since the club has put together another long set of victories (at least at home), but one defeat and they will of course be back’.

    Yes, we’ve put a decent run together, but wouldn’t you expect arsenal to beat Crvena Zvezda, West Brom, Brighton, Everton (on their current form), Norwich, Swansea and Watford- oh we lost that one.

    Also, the ‘Arsenal the divergence of opinion’ as you put it, is no longer limited to fans who think Arsenal could do better than having an almost 70 year old Wenger still in charge.
    The dissatisfaction is now firmly focussed on the club as a whole; wenger, kroenke, gazidis, keswick, josh, Lord harris of peckham- all of them.

    To link the aforementioned bunch to your statement: ‘Arsenal is not going to be competing financially in what now appears to be a market without FFP restrictions’.

    Well, Arsenal fc have been the only big club even mentioning FFP over the past ten years. That’s because just about everyone else knew it would be ignored. Only Arsenal adhered to it, predicting wrongly, that FFP would give the club an edge in future. It’s embarrassing.

    Going back to the ‘Arsenal the divergence of opinion’ , one thing that will really anger it or them, is the resurgence of Spurs.
    They are looking a lot better than us and they’ve spent a lot less. How do you explain that?
    Also, their new stadium will provide them with similar levels of match revenue to ours.

    Over the period starting with the stadium move to the present, Arsenal Football Club are set to drop from the biggest club in London to the third biggest.

  • Minesy


    I think you are right … the three Cup Final defeats either side of the 1979 win sort of diminished their legacy …. small margins as ever

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Talking about one having the freedom to express his or her thought in the bloggetta, and if I should on that premiss express my own thought as to whether if Arsenal should still pursue the signing of Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco during the next January or summer window or jettison the idea altogether, I will in my own opinion say, let Arsenal forget about signing Thomas Lemar if his cost price signing will cost Arsenal more than £45m. Because thst’s what he’s worth in own layman opinion.

    The purported £92m Arsenal were reported almost paid for him to sign for them but was aborted by the reported failed Sanchez sale to Man City was too much an outrageous transfer fee demanded by AS Manaco to transfer Lemar to Arsenal. In fact, I was taken aback when I read in the media of the Arsenal intention to embark on such an overpriced incoming transfer that has no any prove of sustained performace quality consistentency. Is Lemar Pele or Maradona to have commanded such an astronomical transfer fee? At that £92m cost price, how many goals would he has scored for Arsenal or assisted to score had Arsenal signed him last summer? Well, I don’t know. But I doubt if he would have matched that cost price in top performances for Arsenal if he had come. I think he was afraid or panicked he won’t be able to match the huge amount of money Arsenal wanted to pay him with regular top performance in goals scoring or assist giving for Arsenal, hence he declined the offer to join Arsenal. Assuming he had even said yes to Arsenal on that deadline day, Arsenal would likely have paid Monaco his transfer fee. And Sabchez deadline day transfer to Man City which was reported to have become late due to lateness in paper work, Arsenal will be keeping Sanchez as they have wanted to do all season and drop one Gunner from their 25 man list. But which Gunner? I can say who. Hmmm.

  • Andy Mack

    alexanderhenry, You must have a funny definition of ‘Big Clubs’ if you think AFC are the only one mentioning it. Apart from Man U in the PL, every ‘big club’ that doesn’t have a wealthy benefactor has been mentioning it across the years…
    I guess it’s not reported quite so much or maybe you just weren’t reading about other clubs…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And I am one happy cookie that is really and trully glad that the Arsenal are the only so called ‘ big club’ to adhere to the FFP !
    No regrets in doing the right and decent thing.
    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    But sometimes good advice and intentions may backfire.

    An emergency call centre worker in England has been fired.

    It seems a male caller dialled 999 and said , ” This is ****** and I am suicidal. I am laying on the railway track waiting to meet my God !”

    The worker replied , ” Remain calm and stay on the line! “

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Nasty injury to Martinez of Everton. Came down from a great height and suffered a neck/ head injury. Seven and a half minute stoppage whilst the medics got him an a back brace then stretcher. Hope he is OK

  • Flares

    “Going back to the ‘Arsenal the divergence of opinion’, one thing that will really anger it or them, is the resurgence of Spurs. They are looking a lot better than us and they’ve spent a lot less.”

    No, they haven’t. In the last 5 seasons (2012/13 to 2016/17) Tottenham Hotspur have spent 397m Euros to Arsenal’s 366.5m. What they’ve also done is sell profusely to bring their net spend figure right down, including banking 100m Euros for one player. Don’t get it twisted, they’ve flogged almost as much as they’ve brought in whilst Arsenal have only recouped a third of our spend on sales. Arsenal a selling club? No, but Spurs certainly are.

    The microscope is off Wenger and Arsenal in this regard and should be pointed firmly in the direction of the Spuds and Liverpool Football club who, between them, despite shelling out the thick end of 900 million Euros on players in just five years, have achieved precisely one Premier League runners-up position each.

    Are you suggesting Spurs are better than us because they recently overturned a Real Madrid team who have an almost identical record after 12 games? The same Spurs team who are a massive one point ahead of Arsenal after those same ten games. Big deal. They’ve won nothing and this much-vaunted stadium move will decide just how big their minerals are.