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What happens if Arsenal lose to West Ham on Saturday?

By Tony Attwood

Behold the league table…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
17 Arsenal 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0
18 Fulham 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0
19 West Ham United 2 0 0 2 1 6 -5 0
20 Huddersfield Town 2 0 0 2 1 9 -8 0

And behold bloggers and journalists for whom players, managers and teams are only as good as their last game – and quite often ten minutes within their last game.

So Arsenal play West Ham, Huddersfield are at home to Cardiff, Fulham are at home to Burnley.  Consider we lose, and Huddersfield and Fulham both win, as well (logically) as West Ham.  What do the pundits and the bloggers say?   Anything helpful?

The window for buying is shut, and every player apart from Iwobi has alreadybeen heavily criticised either in bloggettas, newspapers, on radio or on TV.  So what do they call for?   A new manager?  Bringing in the reserves?

Thus we start to see the trouble with criticising everyone at once – if something bad happens there is nowhere further to go in terms of vitriol.  Although I suppose we could call for sacking the manager…

Of course we have lost the opening three games before – in 1894/5 in the second division we lost 5-2 away to Lincoln City, 1-3 at home to Grimsby Town and 0-3 away to Burton Swifts, in the second division.   Then we went on a seven match unbeaten run and finished the second in 8th.   Mind you following incidents involving the referee on 26 January  in the return match with Burton the ground was closed – initially for the rest of the season but later for five weeks.  Other clubs that suffered far worse crowd problems got a one match closure.  It was ever thus.

We also lost all three opening games was in 1921/2 as we lost to Sheffield United home and away and Preston away and finished the season in 17th, and in 1923/4 we lost the first four (and then won the next three) – but that season we were very close to relegation and losing sequences became a habit.

Here’s another: in 1910/11 in the first division we didn’t win any of the first seven, and finished the season in 10th.

But this all leads to this point: in 1928/9 with Herbert Chapman as our manager we lost the opening two games before winning the third (2-0 against Bolton).  We came 9th that season. The following season we won the FA Cup for the first time, and then the season after that won the league with a record number of points.

And if you think that having a good team is a help (although as I have said, every single member of the squad who has played this season has been vitriolically attacked except Iwobi) you might be able to think back to 1976/7 when Terry Neill was the manager.  The team included Liam Brady, Malcolm Macdonald, Frank Stapleton, George Armstrong, Pat Rice and Sammy Nelson.

It was not a season of a high number of injuries but that season we managed an all time Arsenal record of seven consecutive defeats.  And they came in an 11 match sequence without a win.  The crowds sank to around 19,000, but we still managed to end up 8th in the league.

After the seven defeat run was over we went on another run of seven games in which we won six and lost one.

Runs like this has a habit of balancing out – although one can’t always rely on it.  But take 1987/8 under George Graham.  We opened with two defeats and a goalless draw.  That team included Rocastle, Smith, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams and very occasionally Merson.  Then we won ten in a row including six without conceding and ended the season in sixth.   We also made it to the League Cup final where we…. err..    lost to Luton Town.   I was there.

George Graham in fact was notorious for poor starts.   In the previous season, 1986/7 we won two games in the first eight, in a run which included four consecutive games in which we did not score a goal.  Then we had a 17 game unbeaten run in which we won each game apart from four draws.  After that it was a ten match run in which we didn’t win a single game.   We got to the League Cup Final that year (it was the year before the Luton final) and played Liverpool.  And won.  First trophy since the Bronze Age – or so it seemed.  The commentators didn’t have a clue what to say.  All their notes written before the game called us “plucky losers.”

Anyway, my point, if there is one, is that runs don’t mean anything.  If we were to come unstuck this weekend, the results wouldn’t worry me.  I am still much more concerned about the vitriol pouring forth against our players.  That is going to be a much greater hurdle to overcome.

12 comments to What happens if Arsenal lose to West Ham on Saturday?

  • mikeinatlanta

    the sky is falling…as usual

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    I am expecting a loss to west Ham.
    And Emry out chant to start.

    Can we persuade Wenger to come back and rejoin?

    I will b over the moon. Ro

  • DEW

    you don’t start to prepare when the world is going to end for real. Chaos will be everywhere.

  • Robej

    every gud thing does not come so easy.The problem with team is dt some players such as Ozil,Xhaka,Ramsey, Mustafy and Cech,even under Wenger, dont believe they can win things..they lack winning mentality. the club must get rid of them by january.otherwise emery will be disgraced. Emery is a gud gud coach.lets give some time.I believe in him.

  • Dan

    No to Wenger back again. Glad he has gone and sacked (Jack Wiltshire interview which I note wasn’t mentioned in here?). I’m all for giving emery all the time he needs but instead of blaming the press and supporters for moaning about our players to undermine their confidence, maybe they are just not that good and Wenger built an average team on inflated wages that no-one wants. Therefore we are stuck with them. Emery has to work with his hands tied behind his back because no-one wants his players and the wages are too high to move them on for a substantial fee.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Mr Attwood, I hope with all sincerity in my heart, Arsenal will not lose to the West Hammers in the PL again on Saturday at the Ems as you have suggested. Which of course is a possibility that could happen if the Gunners don’t jettison profigancy in front of the opposition teams goalmouth which is fast becoming their trademark in PL games. The profigancy that saw them lost 2 PL games consecutively to Man City and Chelsea very early in the campaign this season must be abhorred by Arsenal in their West Ham game unfailingly.

    In this sense, my advise to the Gunners who Unai Emery will start in the match and the ones who’ll come on from the bench to play is, they should all adhere to Emery’s game plan and play to his instructions in the match. By so doing, I believe Arsenal will overcome whatever game plan Pelegrini, the West Hammers manager and his West Ham team have on offer in the match against Arsenal and thwart them effectively to win the match resoundingly well.

    One thing the Gunners must do in the match is to make sure they mark out Jack Wilshere and Lucas Perez out of the match. For, the duo who moved to West Ham from Arsenal in the last PL summer window have known the game tactics and strategy of Arsenal, being that they were at the Gunners not long ago. Therefore, the Gunners should keep a close eye on the pair to police them if they play. More so, have and eagle eye watch on Chotorito if he plays too to block him from attempting shots and headings against Cech or give assist to his team mates to thus have his efforts to cause havoc against Arsenal rendered ineffective for West Ham in the match.

  • Gord

    I am hoping Arsenal win against State Aid.

    —-

    What I am beginning to think is happening with the varying stylesheets, is that if a person submits a comment from a mobile platform, that sets the stylesheet for Untold to mobile. And if the last comment is submitted from a desktop, it sets the stylesheet to desktop.

    But I don’t think this is on a thread basis. I think it is in terms of all of Untold. Someone on a mobile platform could submit a comment for something that is a couple of days old, and that would switch the stylesheet to mobile.

    I can see something like that creeping into a program meant to support both mobile and desktop. It isn’t desired, it is a bug.

    It’s possible it is more complicated than that.

  • WalterBroeckx

    To answer that question is not difficult.
    The sun still will be the centre of the universe and the trajectory of the earth around the sun will not change one bit. 😉
    What will happen to me in person is I will be very pissed off as I will be in the stadium 😉

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I can’t predict a final result but I am optimistic. Given the way that both teams are still sorting their defenses, I expect a lot of goals. I will be happy if the team takes another small step forward with our pressing and defending and we learn just a little bit more about our players.

  • Tony Justin (Eastern Nigeria)

    @Robej very interesting to know that you know what these players are thinking about in their heads or minds.
    But here is the problem with most fans, we played two difficult matches against City and Chelsea. We lost both games but that’s doesn’t mean we can’t win the next and the next and the next.. But we can as well lose it. But the signs are positive and am optimistic we can go on and have a terrific season. If you are not going to abandon the team if we lose on Saturday, then why not let’s stick with the team and wish them well. COYG!

  • Xi_gunner

    Wondering to hear what the “flip flops” have to say if we blow West Ham away in good style by atleast 3 goals.

    Especially if Ozil plays amazing man of the match performance… I can almost hear the praises in a 180 degree opinion stunt.

  • Xi_gunner

    Oh yes I forgot to mention…

    Xhaka starts… has a great game and scores from 40 yards… it’s pure comedy (dark) what haters will say.

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