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.
Here are the league tables…
Home games only…
|17||West Ham United||7||2||1||4||10||14||-4||7|
Arsenal away shows one win, two draws and three defeats, with a goal difference of minus four.
Away games only…
|18||Brighton and Hove Albion||6||1||1||4||5||11||-6||4|
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
|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.
We are developing our own video channel. It’s still at the experimental stage but you can get a feel here…
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying
- Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption
- Why do Tottenham players get fouled more than those of any other club?
- The media, the League and PGMO. An insidious agreement rears its ugly head