By Bulldog Drummond
And so the world of football rambles on.
“How can a sport be worth billions and spend just a pittance on fighting racism?” asks the Guardian while “Police investigate allegation of historical racist abuse in youth team” at Chelsea.
The Telegraph meanwhile has an exclusive telling us the Mourinho and the Man U board are on a collision course of the board’s desire to appoint a director of football. (Is that really an exclusive?)
Elsewhere there is news that Tottenham’s new ground finally looks ready, but their “hopes of hosting a last 16 Champions League tie” have been hit by Uefa scheduling. Naughty Uefa!
And then we’ve had all the nonsense about the exact date and time of the second game against BATE. It seems we were going to kick off at 5pm on the Wednesday – as if to make sure that the crowd really was small. Has Uefa not heard of people working and having to get to the ground thereafter? Through the rush hour!
No that’s a silly question of course not. That is not what they do. They don’t think of fans.
One of the fan groups said that this disrepescted fans, but really, childishly stupid as it was it was no more disrespectful than taking our players for internationals, getting them injured and handing them back with instructions to get them ready for the next round. Chlesea were given Thursday because you can’t have two Uefa games in the same city on the same day (not even a city the size of London!) and they won the FA Cup (don’t ask me what that has to do with it).
Anyway it was then moved back to the almost as stupid time of 5.55pm on Thursday February 21. It seems we can have two games on the same day. That really gives one confidence in Uefa.
Moving onto the League Cup if we have a look at Arsenal’s home form the table shows this…
Tottenham have become the masters of away form this season, probably as a relief in getting away from Wembley, Milton Keynes and the electricians at new WHL (which I suppose could be written Newhl and pronounced Newal – that sounds about right to me. Newal it is).
So the Tiny Totts at Newal are top of the table on away form…
I’ve added the extra column at the end to show the average points per game, thus revealing their away form without the extra games. It is still very good at 2.4 points per game, second only to Liverpool.
For Arsenal this compares with 16 points out of 19 games last season, an average of 0.8 points a game. So thus far we are doing just on twice as well away from home as last year – just the sort of improvement we needed to come fourth if we could maintain the home form.
The predictions we made, you will recall were, that if Arsenal could return to a more normal away form this season that should be enough to get us up to a champions league spot. Last season we won four and drew four away. So far, as you can see, we have won four and drawn two away already
Using this method of average points, Tottenham might expect to beat Arsenal in the league cup match with their 2.4 points per game away from home and our 2.2 points at home.
The goals tally is very close. Tottenham have 19 goals away from home, conceding ten. Arsenal have scored 17 at home conceding eight. So the goal difference is equal. It looks like the match could come down to who is coping best with the number of injuries. As you may recall from yesterday both clubs are suffering.
Tottenham and West Ham are top of the injury league with eight while Arsenal are on six men down. So both are suffering there, and I suspect the managers will not only look at the skill of any younger players they want to promote but also their ability to cope mentally. Maitland-Niles as we know is as cool as a very cool thing on an exceptionally cool day, but not every player is able to be quite so relaxed in the sort of atmosphere we will see at the ground tomorrow.
The newspapers are trying to whip up a storm, so that they can then blame players and/or fans for going over the top. The Standard has “Tottenham out for revenge” as its headline. The Independent goes with “Tottenham out for North London revenge” and the Telegraph has “Arsenal weren’t respectful after being Tottenham says Mauricio Pochettino”.
All nice and calming.
- Have you heard the one about the Arsenal team to face Tottenham?
- It’s BATE again. Remembering the last time, and comparing with past seasons
- Is everything really ok with football or are we just following a blind faith?
- Arsenal v Tottenham update, team news and appalling, flagrant media bias
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.