Sporting v Arsenal. The crazy world of “all you need to know” and where 4th certainly ain’t a trophy

by Bulldog Drummond

In the midst of all these calm and relaxed preparations for tomorrow’s game, as described by Sir Hardly and his investigative team, how have Sporting CP been doing of late?

Not too badly it seems…

Date Comp Home Away Res Score
24/09/18 League Sporting Braga Sporting CP L 1-0
29/09/18 League Sporting CP Marítimo W 2-0
04/10/18 Europa Vorskla Sporting CP W 1-2
07/10/18 League Portimonense Sporting CP L 4-2
20/10/18 Cup Loures Sporting CP W 1-2

Looking at all these teams, one of the opposition clubs really fascinated me: Loures, as I had not heard of them before.  So I went to Soccerbase the website of which offered me (and I quote exactly) “Loures Football Club details. Everything you wanted to know, including current squad details, league position, club address plus much more.”

Now I must say that like many in the Untold School of Scribbling I really hate “Everything you need to know” because 99.99999995 of the time it contains far from everything I need to know.  The only headline that annoys me more is “What channel is it on?” to be answered by “It isn’t on TV.”

So, an opportunity to learn about a new club – and of course having this knowledge I wish to share it with you.  I quote exactly and fully from the page provided…  This really is what appears under “Everything you need to know”

Also known as
Year Formed

What I did find out elsewhere is that the club had a ground capacity of 1,000, although on one other site it is doubled to 2,000.

But to consider separately the Europa League so far, Sporting have won both games just as we have.  They beat Qarabag 2-0 at home and Vorskla 1-2 away.

# Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 7 2 5 6
2 Sporting 2 2 0 0 4 1 3 6
3 Vorskla 2 0 0 2 3 6 -3 0
4 Qarabag 2 0 0 2 0 5 -5 0

So it is a bit of a decider!

Sporting is one of three clubs in Portugal that has never been relegated (along with Benfica and FC Porto).  They are nicknamed the lions, and the green and whites.  But not the green and white lions I guess.

They have a total of 48 trophies, including the 1963–64 European Cup Winners’ Cup.   Elsewhere it is 18 Primeira Liga titles, 16 Portuguese Cups and 4 Championships of Portugal.  I think the last of these is the Portuguese Community Shield, but if I am wrong, please do correct me.

So where are they in the league table?

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 7 5 2 0 15 5 +10 17
2 7 5 2 0 16 7 +9 17
3 7 5 0 2 16 6 +10 15
4 7 4 2 1 12 8 +4 14
5 7 4 1 2 11 8 +3 13

The key point is that they are fifth, and they expect to be top of the league.  But if you want to know why they are sitting at this lowly position, the battles explored in this morning’s article should tell you “all you need to know” although in our case it is actually “all we could find out” and with some details included.

Clearly Porto are not an easy side to play, especially away, but clearly they are not where they want to be and those internal turmoils described this morning are taking their toll.

But if we look at their list of trophies we can see the problem.  Here are their league titles…

 1940–41, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1999–2000, 2001–02.

And no, I haven’t chopped off the end of the list – it stopped in 2002.  A club which expects to win the league as of right, has not won it for 16 years.  From 2006 to 2009 they came runners up four times in a row, but since then they have had a couple more seconds, three thirds, two fourths and a seventh.

Obviously there will be some bright sparks who will mention Arsenal’s lack of league titles since the Unbeaten Season, but the quality of competition in the Premier League is somewhat more varied than in the Portuguese League, where coming fourth is actually a case of coming fourth out of three.

And no Portuguese clubs have a fraction of the money given to Manchester City and Chelsea.

But amidst all this we tend to forget that Sporting is where Cristiano Ronaldo started playing professional football.  But who knows what sort of reeception we will get on Thursday.   The best thing we can do for those flying out to the game is to offer them our best wishes and some good luck along the way.

Indeed if any Untold reader is going and wants to write us a report upon returning, we’d love to run it.  Send it to Tony as usual:

More anon.



One Reply to “Sporting v Arsenal. The crazy world of “all you need to know” and where 4th certainly ain’t a trophy”

  1. Arsenal will tomorrow at the Jose Alvalade Stadium beat Sporting CP in the Europa League Cup match day no. 3 to not only move closer to qualifying for the round of 16 of the competition, but keep extending their current winning run in all competitions to 11 after beating them as us Gooners know this very well.

    But the Gunners should not take beating Sporting by them for granted taking the match as a practice game. Because for the Gunners to do that could endanger their winning run to not reach 11 wins if the match ends in a stalemate which of course Sporting will like. Moreover, Sporting CP have already known the aims and the objectives of Arsenal in the match which is to win it. For, Sporting will in the game do all they can to frustrate the aims and objectives of Arsenal to not get the win result they want in the match.

    Therefore, Arsenal should totaly commit themselves in their game to win the match and not take any issue on the field of play slightly. But be serious in their game in all aspects of playing it throughout the .match.

    My guessed Emery’s Arsenal 4-2-3-1 starts and 7 on the bench Gunners for the match are below.

    Lichtsteiner Mustafi Sokratis Holding:
    Torreira Guendouzi:
    Ramsey Smith-Rowe Iwobi:
    I think Holding should be able to play at left back efficiently. Has he not play there before in games under Arsene Wenger?

    Martinez Sokratis Medley Elneny Mkhitaryan Lacazette Aubameyang.

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