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Norwich v Arsenal. Beware the pit with the TV camera, and other thuggery

By Bulldog Drummond

Norwich v Arsenal and the key question is: is the ground safe, or still as unsafe as before…

Arsene Wenger very reasonably claimed that Norwich City’s ground in December 2015 was unsafe for playing football after Ryan Bennett deliberately pushed Alexis Sanchez into the TV pit at Carrow Road.

Of course this tasty incident was not mentioned in TV reportage in terms of the safety of the players, because the pit is there for the benefit of the media companies.   My view, biased of course, is that Norwich should never have been given planning permission to dig those pits and install cameras anyway, and immediately after the event the ground should have been closed until the pits were covered in fully and the cameras removed.

But hey this is football, and safety?   Well, no, that doesn’t matter.  Balanced reporting?  No of course not.  Why is the main film of the incident only available from a Brazilian company?  What have Sky and BT Sprout to be afraid of?  Oh yes, they were in collusion with Norwich City and the safety authorities have allowed a stadium to be used that is a danger to safety – at least when there are hooligans on the pitch willing to push players into the danger.

Safety at football grounds – ah that’s a local council matter, and local councils don’t go against the interest of their local football clubs.  At least not until they stop paying their rates.

So who would be surprised if the cameras are still there and if Arsenal players are incredibly cautious going forward?

And Norwich will be looking for every trick in the book that they can pull given the state of their home performances thus far, for Norwich at home shows us two wins and four defeats with a goal difference of minus six.

However at least we can be thankful for the fact that the thug who pushed Alexis into the camera pit, Ryan Bennett, was released by Norwich in May 2017 at the end of his contract.   He is however playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers although was thankfully not in the team when we played them this season.

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Here are the league tables…

Home games only…

Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 2 3 1 9 9 0 9
16 Crystal Palace 7 2 2 3 5 7 -2 8
17 West Ham United 7 2 1 4 10 14 -4 7
18 Norwich City 6 2 0 4 10 16 -6 6
19 Watford 7 0 3 4 4 13 -9 3
20 Southampton 6 0 1 5 5 21 -16 1

Arsenal away shows one win, two draws and three defeats, with a goal difference of minus four.

Away games only…

Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
13 Tottenham Hotspur 7 1 3 3 10 14 -4 6
14 Newcastle United 7 2 0 5 6 16 -10 6
15 Arsenal 6 1 2 3 5 9 -4 5
16 Watford 6 1 2 3 4 13 -9 5
17 Everton 6 1 1 4 5 10 -5 4
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 1 1 4 5 11 -6 4
19 Norwich City 7 1 1 5 3 12 -9 4
20 Aston Villa 6 1 0 5 9 13 -4 3

Looked at from those points of view the best we might hope for is a 1-1 draw with only a limited number of players injured or indeed crippled.  However our record in recent years against Norwich is not at all bad

Date Game Res
Score Competition
03 Mar 1993 Norwich City v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
26 Oct 1993 Arsenal v Norwich City D 1-1 League Cup
30 Oct 1993 Arsenal v Norwich City D 0-0 Premier League
10 Nov 1993 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-3 League Cup
13 Feb 1994 Norwich City v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
10 Sep 1994 Norwich City v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
01 Apr 1995 Arsenal v Norwich City W 5-1 Premier League
28 Aug 2004 Norwich City v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
02 Apr 2005 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-1 Premier League
19 Nov 2011 Norwich City v Arsenal W 1-2 Premier League
05 May 2012 Arsenal v Norwich City D 3-3 Premier League
20 Oct 2012 Norwich City v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
13 Apr 2013 Arsenal v Norwich City W 3-1 Premier League
19 Oct 2013 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-1 Premier League
11 May 2014 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
29 Nov 2015 Norwich City v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
30 Apr 2016 Arsenal v Norwich City W 1-0 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Norwich City W 2-1 League Cup

Yes, just one defeat in 18, but any club that can build a ground with camera pits like this, and employs players who will deliberately push people into the pit is capable of anything.  Safety first should be the order of the day.

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8 comments to Norwich v Arsenal. Beware the pit with the TV camera, and other thuggery

  • John L

    At least Grant Holt is no longer there.

  • Menace

    The Health & Safety of football grounds is the responsibility of the Local Council. The Laws cover some areas of pitch requirement and the PGMOL officials are responsible to ensure those are met. I have yet to see an official measure anything on a football pitch ( apart from the steps to ensure 10yards).

    There is an assumption that all the basics are done long before the match. If that is true then the pits should have raised alarms of endangering human life because of proximity to the pitch. It is only a matter of time for a fit athlete to mistime his momentum and fall into one of the pits with all the hard metal equipment to inflict injury.

    Following the Alexis incident Untold published an article about this issue and unilt there is a fatality nothing will be done about it.

    Stay safe you Gunners!!

  • robl

    Just officially report it to the local council, they would then have to log it & risk assess.

  • MickHazel

    Per Mertesacker will be on the touchline alongside Freddie L tomorrow, a great move in my opinion.
    I have seen Per as a future manager of Arsenal since his retirement. He shows signs of being an embryo Arsene Wenger I think.

  • Mikey

    I just wonder what an outcry there would have been if it had been Beckham, Roonery, Kane, Salay, Shearer, Giggs or any other of the media sweethearts that had suffered in the pit………….. You can bet you house on the fact that something would have been done then.

  • Bobome

    @Mikey,
    You are right, this says a lot about the English FA and the PigMob, doesn’t it? May any player not be injured as a result of their obvious negligence in doing their duties in ensuring the safety and well being of those who play at Carrow Road – including the Norwich players.

  • Menace

    correction *until there is a fatality

  • Mandy Dodd

    Are those pits still there?
    Norwich and the FA should be liable to a big law suit if anything goes badly wrong after what we saw back then

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