Zelalem returns as Arsenal progress and the Man U game that never was (but was paid for)

by Tony Attwood

It is certainly not the most well-followed trophy among those that Arsenal are engaged in, but it is there, the fifth competition on the agenda, and having seen one of our games thus far I can confirm for those who do go, it is good fun.

For below the Permier League, FA Cup, Europa League and League Cup, Arsenal are also playing in the Checkatrade Trophy.   In this, clubs from the third and fourth tier of football, play against the under 21s of some Premier League sides.

We played against Cheltenham, Forest Green and Coventry, and having beaten Coventry but lost to Cheltenham we’ve now beaten League Two’s Forest Green (who play in Nailsworth) to qualify for the next stage.  The reward is an away game against Portsmouth in the next round.

In the Forest Green game Joe Willock opened the scoring with a penalty just before half time, and then two minutes later (even closer to half time) Willock received the ball from Saka and scored his second.

Tyreece John-Jules got third after Forest Green had pulled one back in the second half, 1602 being in the ground.  The Arsenal team was


Ballard, Bola, Bramall, Pleguezuelo

Willock, Zelalem, Coyle

John-Jules, Olayinka, Saka

Zelalem, whose brilliant career has been cut short by a series of injuries was substituted at half time, but I am not sure if there was an injury of if this was tactical.

So the table ended up…

Pos Club  P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Cheltenham Town 3 2 0 1 8 6 2 6
2 Arsenal 3 2 0 1 8 7 1 6
3 Forest Green Rovers 3 1 1 1 6 4 2 4
4 Coventry City 3 0 1 2 1 6 -5 2

Meanwhile the Football League clubs have agreed a new deal with Sky for the televising of games, although some of  the larger clubs are reported to be unhappy with the package on offer and continue to be looking into setting up their own direct to viewers service.   Sky are also introducing some games which are only made available to pubs and clubs.

And elsewhere there are more revelations among which is the story that Manchester United paid Monaco €4.5 million for a friendly match which never took place, as part of the arrangements for a loan of Radamel Falcao.

The allegations say that Manchester United proposed making part of the payment for the loan dependent on them finishing in the top four and thus qualifying for the Champions League.

That however would have been completely illegal and been utterly obvious to anyone taking more than a cursory glance at the accounts – which suggests there was either supreme arrogance on Manchester United’s part or else they were woefully ignorant of the rules.

What then happened instead, it is said, is that Falcao did indeed go on loan for €6 million but a second contract was agreed in which Manchester United would pay €4.5 million to play the friendly with the contract saying that the money would be paid even if the game was not played.

In fact the club could not have played the friendly since as normal they were on tour (in the USA) in the summer.   Falcao then moved to Chelsea on loan.

There is one other development emerging amidst all the leaks of emails that have given us these stories in recent times, and that is that the Premier League clubs who have not been accused of any wrong doing in the leaks, are said to be getting a bit fed up with the notion that they are abiding by the rules, and others are not, and are starting to discuss between each other what might be done next.

As for the reactions to the leaks and other tales of potential wrongdoing, I’ve mentioned my own amusement about the comments that we should not handle the story because Arsenal bribed its way into the first division.  Amusement since we were the ones who published on the Arsenal History Society site the only complete account of those events, with evidence.   The key articles are listed below, in case you are interested.

Then we have had the argument about the fact that FFP is itself illegal and could be challenged in the courts.   In fact it has been challenged both in football’s own courts and in the European courts, the those seeking to overturn it have lost each time.   Those details are included in the rather obviously named article Is FFP legal or could it be challenged in the European courts?

A third argument is that the evidence used in the articles we’ve been running in the interlull has been  stolen, and therefore not somehow acceptable.  That’s obviously a matter of opinion, but for me, given that this is not (at least the last time I looked) a court of law but just a place where issued can be explored, the source of the data is not particularly relevant.  What matters is whether it is likely to be true, and the impending enquiries suggest to me it might be.  And therefore the tales seem to me to be worth covering.

Although all that is just my view of course.

Here are the articles about Arsenal’s election in 1919.

The preliminaries

The voting and the comments before and after the election

More anon…

2 Replies to “Zelalem returns as Arsenal progress and the Man U game that never was (but was paid for)”

  1. Why is Arsenal election into the first division kept coming up as if it was true that Arsenal had financially bought the way to election to the first division before they got elected into it? And the election was at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur who have been alleging ever since then saying, they are the ones who were better placed then to be elected based on a higher cumulative points collected by them above the cumulative points that were collected by Arsenal then? And therefore they were the ones who should have been elected instead of Arsenal who got elected.

    The past is the past. And the present is the present as both Arsenal and Tottenham have been playing in the Premier League. But Arsenal have never been relegated from the PL. And are they the only club side who has never been relegated from both the first division and the Premier League since they were elected to the first division in 1919? ( man pass man) Whatever be the way that Arsenal legitimately used or allegedly illegitimately used as been tailored around by Tottenham thereafter when Arsenal got elected after both Arsenal and Tottenham seek election to the first division but Arsenal beat them to it, Tottenham Hotspur should forget about beating the dead horse that has died continuously which they can’t bring back to live. For, Arsenal election to the first division since 1919 is a fact in history that cannot be changed and it has come to stay for life irrespective of whatever be the level of accusation on the matter kept been leveled against Arsenal by Tottenham to discredit the Gunners. if I were Tottenham, they should be focusing on how they can avert a PL match defeat to Arsenal who are bent on punishing them with defeat in that PL match encounter at the Ems in less than a fortnight time as their reward for the slander of Arsenal which they’ve been doing which will result to them certainly not escape from getting punished severely at the hands of the Gunners in the match to force them to henceforth keep their mouths shut.

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