By Bulldog Drummond
Our piece about West Ham fans and the way they were seen by the media as being split, while Arsenal fans are treated as a unity of anti-Wengerianism, seems to have been apposite as the news broke of violence and protest at the so-called London Stadium. So the story rattles around the world: violence at the London Stadium, as if it is some sort of national institution rather than a present from the long suffering tax payers of the UK to a club that can hardly be said to deserve it.
There have been worries at the old Olympic ground about security there from day one, but the owners have been left to do it their own way – and now finally they have been ejected from their “own” ground (which tax paying mugs like me were fooled by Boris Johnson into giving it to them). A certain irony in that.
I suspect any punishment given to the club for running a bawdy house will be minimal, and violence as a spectator sport will be allowed to continue undisturbed. But let us never forget Karren Brady’s infamous statement:
Together, we have built (sic) a magnificent new home. A home that rightly stands alongside the very best in world football and a home that I know you will be every bit as proud of as I am.
Be in no doubt, we are part of the most successful stadium migration in history. David Sullivan, David Gold and I have always believed in the West Ham fanbase and our faith was certainly not misplaced.
Can I do that again?
David Sullivan, David Gold and I have always believed in the West Ham fanbase and our faith was certainly not misplaced.
The sheer and disgraceful audacity of that opening statement still knocks me flat. For “we’ve built a new home” read, “Blithering Boris, the pathetically stupid government and its mindless tax payers have given us a new home and we’ve grabbed it with both of our grubby little fists.”
But then, I’m a Londoner, and I care about this stuff.
Anyway, moving on let’s not shy away from looking Arsenal’s last ten games…
|24 Jan||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||League Cup|
|30 Jan||Swansea City v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|03 Feb||Arsenal v Everton||W||5-1||Premier League|
|10 Feb||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|15 Feb||Östersunds FK v Arsenal||W||0-3||Europa League|
|22 Feb||Arsenal v Östersunds FK||L||1-2||Europa League|
|25 Feb||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||League Cup|
|01 Mar||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||Premier League|
|04 Mar||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|08 Mar||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2||Europa League|
Of course four wins in ten is not what we want or expect but we have to get over it and really hope that the display against Milan was the turning point. We scored 15 goals in those ten – and that needs to rise. And it certainly will need to rise today give who we have a referee
So let us compare that with the last ten of Watford…
|02 Jan||Manchester City v Watford||L||3-1||Premier League|
|06 Jan||Watford v Bristol City||W||3-0||FA Cup|
|13 Jan||Watford v Southampton||D||2-2||Premier League|
|20 Jan||Leicester City v Watford||L||2-0||Premier League|
|27 Jan||Southampton v Watford||L||1-0||FA Cup|
|31 Jan||Stoke City v Watford||D||0-0||Premier League|
|05 Feb||Watford v Chelsea||W||4-1||Premier League|
|10 Feb||West Ham United v Watford||L||2-0||Premier League|
|24 Feb||Watford v Everton||W||1-0||Premier League|
|03 Mar||Watford v West Bromwich Albion||W||1-0||Premier League|
Turns out they too have won four of their last ten games, but their record is a little better than ours having also picked up a couple of draws along the way. They have scored 12 across those games – mostly against Chelsea.
That win over Chelsea was the highlight of their season and it came in Javi Gracia’s first home game so made it quite a story. But we must remember that by and large Watford had 12 men with Tiemoue Bakayoko forgetting which team he was playing for. Indeed I rather suspect he was ordered to start committing disgraceful red card offences just to get him off the pitch quickly.
Prior to that game Watford had won just one game in 12 in the Premier League, and they were certainly aided by the referee when Deulofeu fell to the ground at the sight of Courtois approaching. Deeney scored the penalty.
This was the game in which Olivier Giroud toddled on to make his debut; he must have been wondering what he had let himself in for.
Anyway, the Arsenal at home table looks like this
We’ve slipped to 5th in this table but a win against Watford would take us back to fifth where we have been for much of the time.
More on the game shortly…
- Arsenal v Watford Sunday 11 March 2018 – The Match Officials
- How curious that the media reflect a split in the fan base at WHU but not at Arsenal
- Arsenal transfer rumours: another 10 unbelievable stories (literally).
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?